Construction Industry

A $750 Billion industry encompassing home construction to industrial development. The construction industry section of the website has over 50 articles related to proper administration and accounting for construction.  Learn the nuances that create success in construction.

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.

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.

Cost Codes – Subset of Item Codes

Cost Codes

Cost codes are unique identifiers assigned to items in an inventory sold individually or as a part of an assembly. The goal is to track the final outcome of the item(s) sold against the original estimated cost of the item. It is used in both financial and cost accounting.

Using Cash in Construction

Debt or Equity

There is a notion in business that using cash to pay for materials or service is illegal.  IT IS NOT ILLEGAL TO PAY FOR MATERIALS OR SERVICE WITH CASH.  It is illegal to do this if you do not properly document the transaction.  This is especially true in the construction industry.

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