Industry Standards

Learn about performance standards and methods to monitor your company’s results against industry standards. There a multitude of tools and principles to guide the business owner to success.

Hard and Soft Costs With Construction

Tangible and Intangible Meaning

All hard costs are directly assignable to a job.  These costs are most often tangible in nature, but there are many intangible costs that can be directly assigned to the job.  Thus some intangible costs are ‘Hard’ costs. A contractor must understand the difference between hard and soft costs in order to properly markup assignable costs to determine the final sales price of the project built.

Restoration Contractors – Business Dynamics

Restoration Contractors

Restoration contractors face a different set of business dynamics than the traditional new home builder or remodeler. Unlike the builder and remodeler, restoration companies deal with a third party in their contract negotiations and performance. The new home builder uses the market to determine the value of their product, whereas the restoration contractor is forced to perform services based on pricing models set by insurance underwriters.

Setting Up Item Codes for Contractors

Item Codes

A common problem for contractors is setting up item codes in their accounting software. Most accountants and bookkeepers fail to fully understand the concepts behind item codes and how it works with the construction industry. This article is designed to explain to you the underlying concepts and how to set up item codes for contractors.

Contractor’s Audit Guide – Introduction to IRS Audits

Construction Tax Audit

In 2009, the Internal Revenue Service issued the Construction Industry Audit Technique Guide (ATG) for use by IRS agents and for contractors.   The contractor’s audit guide explains the processes and methods the IRS uses to examine a contractor.   The end goal is to verify actual taxable income over an assigned tax year for a contractor.   The IRS recognizes that this industry is complex and utilizes multiple methods to establish revenue and net profits.   It is so complex, the guide is 257 pages long.

This article introduces the guide and its major sections and how to understand what areas are applicable to your construction company.

Contractor’s Chart of Accounts – Completed Contract or Percentage of Completion Method

Contractor's Chart of Accounts

The  contractor’s chart of accounts is significantly different than the traditional chart of accounts.  First off, the layout is more dependent on the balance sheet than the income statement (profit and loss) accounts.   Furthermore, the income statement accounts are laid out to present a resource based costing presentation than a job costing format.   To add another layer of complexity, the chart of accounts is somewhat oriented to the method of accounting selected by the contractor.

Cost of Services Rendered

Cost of Services Rendered

Service based operations do not use the traditional retail based format for the profit and loss statement which utilizes a ‘Cost of Goods Sold’ section, instead the service industry uses a ‘Cost of Services Rendered’ segment.   The presentation format is very similar though.

Open Job Cost Status Report

Open Job Cost Status Report

The Open Job Cost Status Report identifies a project’s actual costs of construction, amounts borrowed or financed, and any customer payments made to date. The net result is the contractor’s net investment into the respective project.

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