Financial success in construction is tied directly to job costing. Without job cost accounting, financial wellness is likely a product of coincidence than authority within this industry. Implementing job costing in construction is the absolute best financial control a contractor can do to ensure success. Tie cost accounting to the estimating process, and prosperity is all but certain. Rarely does any contractor fail when they implement job cost accounting.
A type of accounting used in construction or with large contracts. Phases break down the structure/contract into identifiable groups. This information or activity within this group is compared against an original estimated amount to complete this phase (step). Phase accounting is used to compare the estimated amount against the actual outcome.
Phase costing takes accounting to the next level. Phase accounting (costing and accounting are interchangeable at this level of detail) can only be used with job costing. It is designed to break a job down into distinct functions (stages) for analysis. It is a tool to identify discrepancies from estimates.
Just like a tip of an iceberg, a progress billing for a construction project is an invoice for a small part of the overall contract value. It needs to be recorded correctly and presented to management in a way that is understandable and beneficial for making decisions. This article will introduce the concept and cover how progress billings are presented on the balance sheet.
This is the second article in a series of articles walking the small business contractor step by step in implementing cost accounting in construction. This article focuses on designing and developing a document flow system for use in cost accounting. The next step after creating a document flow system is learning how to sort and process the documents that come into the office.