Construction accounting exists to provide two key financial points of information to contractors and the management team of a construction company. The first and most important financial point is field production profit. This particular profit measurement is commonly referred to as job profits. It is essential contract revenue less direct (hard) costs of construction. The secondary and almost as important as the primary key financial point is the company’s net profit after taxes. This particular key financial point is the customary financial profit of the company. The first financial point is tied to job costing and therefore, construction accounting is comprised of two different accounting systems. The two systems are job costing and traditional financial GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) reporting.
The construction industry is a 800 billion dollar sector of the US economy. The construction industry is not only instrumental with growth but it is one of the largest employers too.
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.