Construction accounting uses job cost reports to inform management of progress and existing issues with projects. There are several different sets of reports. The balance sheet set functions as an overall financial picture for the company.
The balance sheet compares the assets of the company against the sources of those assets. Sources include borrowing money to earning the money. Learn about the different classes of assets, liabilities, and the owner’s equity. Included with this are balance sheet ratios and proper analysis of balance sheet accounts.
Construction accounting consists of three major groups of accounts. The first and most understood set are the accounts found on the profit and loss statement. Customarily referred to as Cost of Goods Sold or Costs of Construction, these accounts convey the total costs of construction against the revenue earned for those contracts. The second major group is located on the balance sheet in the current assets section. This group is called the ‘Construction in Process’ (CIP) accounts. The third major group is also located on the balance sheet down in the current liabilities section and is called ‘Construction Billings’ or ‘Construction Deposits and Draws’.
This article explains the balance sheet accounts related to Construction in Process. I will explain how they are designed, formatted and presented. In addition, I’ll explain the impact either the completed contract or percentage of completion method has on the corresponding project’s account balance. Finally, I’m going to explain to you how to interpret the information presented.
In another article I will go into detail related to Construction Billings and the corresponding deposits and draws. This article will focus on the Construction in Process/Progress or what is commonly shortened to CIP.
Long Term Debt is one of the multiple forms of capitalizing a business. It includes bonds, secured notes and mortgage notes. In the world of small business, the most common form of long term debt is secured notes, most likely with recourse. As an owner of a business you need to understand how this information is presented in your financial statements.
In the arsenal of capitalizing a business operation, long term debt serves as one of the primary sources of capital. If you are an owner of a small business, you need to understand the relationship this source has to the overall financial status of the company. Too much debt and the owner is burden by the cash outlays to service.
Tangible and intangible are terms with several different meanings. A lot of well educated folks have a difficult time providing an all inclusive definition. Someone once described tangible as ‘something that can be burned’. Well, land is tangible and yet, you can’t burn it. Actually, in Boy Scouts, we teach the boys to use dirt to put out fires! But the best overall definition for these terms that I heard was a synonymous statement made by a Supreme Court Justice when trying to define pornography in relation to art. He said something along the line of ‘I don’t have a definition, but I just know it when I see it’. Basically the gray area for the definition is vast. This is true for these two terms because there are various levels of definitions related to their respective use.
There is the classic college textbook definition. It is straight forward, but it doesn’t really begin to get involved in the gray area definitions. Then there is the more extended definition as used in accounting and customarily in the traditional business setting. Really getting into higher thinking and use of the terms comes into play when discussing value. Finally, there is the relationship to each other with regards to economics and the evolving concept of wealth. They are similar to the theory of the Yin and the Yang of life itself.
The textbook answer defines cost drivers as those factors that determine the overall cost of operations. As an example, in manufacturing the cost drivers may be processing time or number of steps to produce the product. With service, the cost drivers could be the actual ratio of billable to non-billable time.
The one single term mostly equated to capitalism is ‘Stock’. When a business is incorporated, stock is the core medium of exchange for the investment. The company issues a certificate referred to as stock in exchange for the investment – most often cash. This is the one true form of pure risk. Most other forms of investments generally have some form of collateral, credit, or cash flow to substantiate the investment.
The trial balance is an accountant’s report used to identify issues with the respective ledger accounts. In general, the trial balance sums all the debits and credits in the footer section and the accountant verifies that the total debits equal total credits. This confirms proper entry in the dual entry accounting system.