Construction Accountant Job Description

2022年07月04日/ 浏览 15

how to do construction accounting

This is particularly challenging because a company’s projects are typically distributed across multiple sites, use a mobile workforce and are subject to fluctuating costs. Traditional methods of accounting do not account for the specialized accounting and billing methods that are used in construction. Large construction projects tend to be lengthy, spanning multiple accounting periods or even years.

RedTeam is a company built out of a commercial construction firm, so it understands the needs of a construction company intimately. This is one reason it has received several industry awards, including Software Advice’s 2021 Front Runner award and making Capterra’s Shortlist. This cloud-based solution has a base of user interface customizations, custom workflows, search construction bookkeeping tools and collaboration features. The next function layer is the Procore analytics feature that works with the specialized app marketplace filled with third-party solutions that integrate with Procore. The Pro Plan even allows Home Depot cart integration and management of Home Depot receipts. Project management is critical to meeting budgets on your construction sites.

Long-term Contracts

These payments are subject to the builder meeting certain obligations, at which point the payment received would be recognized as revenue in each installment. Retainage occurs in construction when a portion of a payment is held back – or retained – from a payment until the project is complete. For custom home builders, every project is different, which means every accounting cycle can change. In many industries, wages are determined by simply investigating the local market rate and minimum wage requirements for various roles.

We are looking to hire an experienced construction accountant to join our company. Many smaller construction firms use cash-based accounting methods, recording revenue when it is received and when expenses are paid. For example, imagine you buy several different materials from a supplier in bulk. You’d need to define each of those materials to perform accurate job costing, especially if you’re using them for multiple projects. This report is also important in helping a contractor understand their cash flow for each job.

Discover the underpinning way of doing construction accounting

Revenue will then be recognized as performance obligations are completed or as work progresses. This is similar to the percentage of completion methods that companies used before ASC 606. One of the most important things to know about construction accounting is that you have to do it regularly. That means you need to update your accounting software with expense reviews, your cash flow, updated employee information and generated invoices at least once a week. If you fall behind in your accounts, things can quickly get out of hand.

In other words, you’ll apply a portion of your annual overhead to each project for every labor hour required. The only exception to those rules is if your project qualifies as a home construction contract. That means 80% of the total project costs are for work on a residence with four units or fewer. Unfortunately, construction businesses don’t get to choose freely between the two options.

Common Reports in Construction Accounting

Each type has specific characteristics that tend to favor one party or the other, depending on the circumstances. Reporting requirements for a particular union may exist on a national or a local level. Contractors can typically determine their requirements, especially when entering another jurisdiction, by checking with their local union business manager. In comparison to other industries, like retail or manufacturing, construction contracting has several distinct traits from an accounting perspective. The first step for all construction firms is to open a separate business bank account that will be used exclusively for your business. This can make it difficult to track expenses and effectively calculate the profit generated from each service category.

  • It uses a cash basis accounting and construction contractors should consult with a tax advisor to get the best tax strategy for their business.
  • Both plans offer the basics needed to run your construction business, including scheduling, daily logs and a to-do list.
  • Tied to the idea of long production cycles is the idea that construction contracts are longer than many other businesses deal in.
  • This allows project managers and contractors to see exactly how much is being spent on each scope and the entire project.
  • The purpose of retainage is to ensure that the contractor completes the project as agreed.
  • Construction accounting software is known as SaaS, or Software as a Service, and software in this niche can get expensive.

And integrated job cost accounting software is incredibly important for contractors who outgrow small business software like QuickBooks® and need more robust reporting. In general, a construction business with gross receipts over $10 million must use the percentage of completion revenue recognition method for tax purposes. A construction business with gross receipts under $10 million can use the completed contract method on construction projects that last less than two years. They’re only required to use the percentage of completion method for construction contracts that extend over two years. Use a journal, spreadsheets, or construction accounting software to record day-to-day transactions like accounts payable, accounts receivable, labor costs, and material costs incurred.


This is best for contractors who want clients to have access to cost data and project management oversight. However, many are able to integrate with time-tracking software, allowing the user to find an additional program that can handle and report its data back to the accounting software. While questions and issues may require reaching out to the manufacturer, the real efficiency comes with the team being able to use the software to its full potential on their own. Choosing a construction bookkeeping program involves more than throwing a figurative dart at a search engine result page. The following are some of the most important considerations that construction management and ownership will want to consider before choosing the best software program for construction accounting.

What is the best accounting method for construction?

Large contractors must use the percentage of completion method, which is a type of accrual accounting. The percentage of completion method involves estimating the finish date of the contract and recognizing income based on the work completed.

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