Construction accounting according to IAS 11


It is possible to keep records of profits and losses in the construction industry according to internationally accepted principles with the help of IAS 11 Construction Contracts in any country that you might work. The peculiarity of the standard is that it allows you to regulate the reporting indicators of losses and profits not only in the construction industry, but also under other long term contracts. Accounting is based on the degree of implementation of the project. To implement long term contracts, it is necessary to establish a job order execution system with the customer.

It is possible to do accounting in the company without losses in certain periods. It is important to keep in mind that the contract start date and the date of fulfillment of all obligations under it in construction and long term contracts can be different months or even years. During the execution of work specified in documents, the company will have losses for the purchase of materials, payment of wages and maintenance. After completion, the profit will be taken into account. The phased implementation and mid term profit are taken into account to avoid loss in reporting periods.

Accounting methods for construction contracts.

The profitability of a company is reflected in the financial statements. The possibility of a cash gap increases as the critical role of risks increases. When there is a profit at the end of the term, it will cover intermediate losses and replenish the company’s assets, but at a specific stage there may be a cash flow constraint for current expenditures such as paying wages to workers.

There are two ways to do accounting for long term contracts.

  • By the end of contract.
  • There is a percentage of completion.

The financial evaluation of the completion progress of works is necessary when the construction is delayed for several years. It is possible to reduce cash gaps by identifying the ratio between the expenses on materials, wages, and the total amount of the project, which will meet the reporting goals of the company.

The possibility of combining and segmenting is one of the types of contracts.

The preparation and presentation of financial statements is an important task for organizations of all types. Generally, these statements are prepared to provide information to the public about the financial health of the organization. In order to ensure the integrity of the financial statements, it is important that accounting and financial reporting principles are applied correctly.

One principle of accounting is that revenues must be generated from contracts that are entered into between an organization and its customers. Generally, an organization will combine contracts into one contract revenue account. This way, all revenue generated from the contract will be recorded in one place. If a contract is broken down into separate parts, it will be much more difficult to track the revenue for each part.

It is important to be able to segment contracts in order to analyze the performance of the organization. This analysis can help to identify any areas that need improvement. Segmenting contracts can be done on a product or service basis. This will allow an organization to identify the areas that are generating the most revenue.

Any changes to contract terms or performance must be recorded in the financial statement. This includes any changes to the contracting cost of the contract. Contractors must be able to provide accurate and timely information so that the financial statement can be accurate.

Regular updates to information in the financial statement are important to ensure that the information is accurate. Periodic reviews of the financial statements will help to ensure that the organization is operating effectively and meeting the financial goals of the business.

The main construction contract is the first type of contract. It may include the construction of one final asset or a whole complex of assets interrelated or interdependent in terms of a common design, features, functions and purpose Such contracts might include:

  • Construction agreements, architecture creation.
  • There is a demolition permit for the restoration of the environment work.
  • The process of landscaping after a construction project.

There are separate documents for each stage. A document is needed for the demolition of the previous building. There are two documents for the construction of a new asset and one for the post construction restoration.

Contracts can be combined, if:

  • During the negotiations, the possibility of a package agreement including separate contracts was discussed.
  • They are part of a single project because they are so closely interrelated.
  • Contracts are performed at the same time.

You can divide one document if necessary.

  • There are separate proposals for each stage.
  • Each asset’s conditions, terms and volume were discussed separately.
  • The costs and revenues can be identified.

The method of calculating the total revenue amount is one of the ways in which the regulation distinguishes them.

  • The customer agrees to pay a fixed price for the entire asset or each of its elements, for example a fixed price per square meter with a total agreed volume.
  • Cost Plus includes an agreement between the customer and the contractor that, upon completion, the customer will pay the entire cost of the actual costs plus a profit margin for the company’s activities.

Combining and segmenting contracts will allow you to keep financial records at the company, receive stage by stage acceptance certificates, and take into account intermediate profit.

The revenue under IAS 11

According to the new regulation, revenue shall comprise:

  • the initial amount agreed upon at the negotiations and the closure of a contract;
  • incentive payments;
  • variations in stipulated contract terms;
  • claims and other factors.

At the same time, it is important to understand that all variations shall be capable of being reliably financially measured.

Under IAS 11, revenue should be calculated as the fair value received or expected. It is admissible that the estimated contract amount may vary depending on the following factors:

  • additional costs or vice versa balances obtained at the request of the customer;
  • claims for expenses beyond the calculated estimate;
  • inflation, increase in the cost of materials;
  • penalties for poor quality, non-compliance with the declared project, and deadline failures;
  • bonuses, rewards, and incentives from the customer.

In addition to revenue, there is another crucial item that is regulated by IAS 11 — these are the contract costs.

Cost plus Percentage of Cost

Construction companies often use cost plus contracts with their quoting customers. A cost plus contract means that the contractor pays a percentage of the construction cost, rather than a fixed cost. This method offers contractors more flexibility in budgeting and pricing their work, while also guaranteeing the customer a set amount of profits even in cases of early termination or unanticipated construction costs.

The process of using a cost plus contract starts with estimating the costs of completing a project. The contractor then calculates their percentage of cost and adds it to the original estimate. This gives the customer a price quote that incorporates both the contractor’s fixed costs and their percentage of costs.

There are a few important tips for avoid pitfalls and maximizing profits when using a cost plus contract:

1. Estimate the costs of the project completely and accurately:

Without accurate estimates, it’s difficult to determine the contractor’s percentage of cost and add it to the original estimate. This can lead to inaccurate quotes and unexpected costs down the road.

2. Factor in unanticipated costs:

Even the most detailed estimates can’t account for everything that could go wrong during construction. In cases of unanticipated costs, such as difficulty finding suitable construction materials, the contractor’s percentage of cost will increase.

3. Negotiate the contract:

If the customer isn’t happy with the quoted price, they may be able to negotiate a better deal. By working with the contractor early in the project, they can ensure that they receive the best possible price.

By following these tips, contractors can ensure that they’re getting the most out of cost plus contracts. By increasing their profits in the face of unanticipated costs, they’ll be able to complete more projects at a lower cost, improving the quality of construction for everyone involved.

Target Cost with Variable Fees Contract

When contracting with a construction company, you want to be sure that the total cost of the project is as low as possible. One way to do this is to use a cost-plus contract type, in which the contractor is paid a fixed fee plus a percentage of the total cost of the project. This type of contract is usually more expensive than a fixed-cost contract, but it can result in a lower overall cost.

One potential drawback of a cost-plus contract is that the contractor may be reluctant to submit bids that are high enough to cover the fixed fee. This can cause overruns, which may impact your bottom line. To avoid this situation, you may want to specify a lower fee than the fixed amount, and then allow the contractor to bid above that amount. This way, you can be sure that the project will be complete at the agreed-upon price.

Another potential issue with cost-plus contracts is that construction costs can vary wildly from project to project. If you are not prepared for this type of variation, you could end up spending more than you planned. To prevent this, you should set up parameterized pricing, which allows you to vary certain costs based on specific factors (such as subcontractor availability.) This way, you will be able to predict actual costs without having to worry about major fluctuations.

Overall, cost-plus contracts are a useful way to save money on construction projects. However, be prepared for potential overruns and be sure to set up parameterized pricing to account for possible variation in construction costs.

Cost accounting in construction

It’s no secret that construction costs can add up quickly. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see construction cost reports that list costs in multiple figures, with nothing close to the final price paid appearing on the final bill.

The good news is that you can take steps to minimize your construction costs. Making wise choices when procuring supplies and materials, working with a contractor who has experience with your specific project, and staying organized during construction can all help to keep construction costs low.

But even if you can’t completely eliminate construction costs, you can at least try to control them. That’s where accounting for construction costs comes in.

Accounting for Construction Costs

When you start to tally up your construction costs, you’ll want to keep track of a few key items. Here’s a quick guide to help you get started:

1. Quantity and cost of materials used

First and foremost, you’ll want to track the quantity and cost of all the materials used in your project. This includes both the traditional building materials like lumber and cement, and more exotic items like titanium screws and Kevlar beams.

2. Labor costs

Another key factor to consider is your contractor’s labor costs. This includes both the wages of the workers on the project, as well as any related expenses such as benefits.

3. Taxes and fees

Finally, you’ll want to include any taxes and fees related to your project, such as building permits and insurance premiums.

Once you’ve gathered all the information you need, you can start to prepare your construction cost report. This report will list all the items mentioned above, along with the total cost of each.

Along with your construction cost report, it’s important to keep track of your project timeline. This will help you to ensure that your costs are in line with your original estimates.

If you’re serious about controlling your construction costs, then accounting for them is essential. By following these tips, you can get started on reducing your overall bills.

Recognition of expenses in IAS 11

To enter information into reports related to the construction stage, it is necessary to pay attention to how reliable the cost and revenues are. The expected losses should be included in the financial statements. It doesn’t matter whether they were actual expenditures or the funds paid in advance for the equipment rental for the entire construction site or the wholesale purchase of construction materials.

The expected losses amount is entered regardless of:

  • whether construction has begun;
  • construction stage;
  • expected profit on other segmented contracts.

All contracts under the new regulation can be divided into several categories:

  • profitable;
  • loss-making;
  • starting.

In the first ones, the profit will exceed the loss according to the quarter results, year or another reporting period. In the second case, quite the opposite. The third ones include fresh, just-signed, contracts.

If we are talking about fixed price contracts, then it is possible to evaluate the progress in fulfilling obligations when:

  • you can estimate the total amount of revenue;
  • there is high confidence that revenue will be generated;
  • you can accurately determine the preliminary date of the fulfillment of obligations, calculate the estimated cost of materials in the remaining period;
  • planned spending can be clearly identified, evaluated and compared with previous estimates;
  • costs attributable to the contract can be clearly identified and measured, and be compared with prior estimates.

Only 2 and 4 of the above points are used to evaluate the execution of the cost plus contract.

The money received and spent can be seen in the reports of the period in which they were performed according to the rules of the International Financial Reporting Standards. The case was the same even if not completely.

You need to get confirmation from the customer to estimate the percentage of completed work.

Unlike revenue, losses must be recognized in full and not as a percentage at the reporting date, as is the case with revenue. There is a possibility of a cash gap. If the customer will reimburse the losses, they will be attributed to receivables or work in progress.

You should look at the starting contracts separately. It would be difficult to estimate the finances of the contract since it will be in the early stages. You should recognize the funds spent in the period when they are incurred. Only revenue that will be recovered for the cost of materials, labor costs and other expenses should be taken into account. Net profit will be zero in the financial statements.

Evaluation of the results

IAS 11 requires entities to disclose the following information:

  • revenue that was received in a specific reporting period and for the entire period;
  • methods to obtain it (sale of balances, fuel, leasing of unemployed equipment);
  • the methods used to determine the stage of completion.

If the contract has not been completed, the following data must be disclosed upon request:

  • the amount of all advances received from the customer;
  • costs and revenues;
  • the progress billings amount to be paid by the customer until all obligations under the contract are fulfilled.

It should be taken into account that the issuance of progress billings must be reflected in the financial reports, regardless of whether the customer paid them or not. Also, the financial statements must show:

  • the gross amount for completed work — to attribute to assets;
  • advances for work in progress as liabilities.

It is also necessary to provide information on all contingent liabilities, gross contributions, advance payments, and intermediate costs. The financial statement should clearly state that a certain amount is charged for warranty service and correction of possible deficits, penalties, possible risks and losses, as well as other amounts included in the total amount under the contract.


There are four major financial accounting systems in use today: double-entry bookkeeping, accrual-based, cash-based, and trial balance. Each system has its own advantages and disadvantages, which will be summarized below.

Double-entry bookkeeping is the oldest and most traditional financial accounting system. It is based on the principle that two entries must always be made to record an event. This system is widely used in businesses that carry inventory, because it allows for accurate tracking of how much money is invested in inventory and how much money the business has in cash.

Accrual-based accounting is based on the principle that businesses should account for expenses only when they have been paid. This system is popular in businesses that deal with regular expenses, like rent and salaries, rather than investments, like inventory.

Cash-based accounting is the most modern financial accounting system. It allows businesses to keep track of all their finances in one place by dealing with transactions in cash. This system is best suited for businesses that have a lot of short-term investments, like stocks and bonds.

Trial balance is a simple financial accounting system that can be used to check the accuracy of basic financial statements.

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