The construction sector is a very competitive market, and there are some complicated additional fiscal responsibilities (red tape), so it is advisable to choose someone who is a construction expert.

Every successful team needs a mixture of complementary skills; you provide the entrepreneurial drive & ambition, we provide the financial systems & control, along with pro-active practical advice to improve profits and optimise your tax position.

As a critical member of your management team we take care of the Finance side, so you can focus on attracting, retaining and selling more to your customers and building your business’s value, which helps with exit strategies, selling and succession planning.

We work with SME construction companies, providing accountancy, planning and tax support for:

Main Building Contractors, Construction Companies, Property Developers, Subcontractors and Trades (for example: Bricklayers, Roofers, Plumbers, Electricians, Plasterers, Renderers, & Landscapers).

Construction Professionals for example: Architects, Surveyors, Project Managers, Interior Designers & Environment Professionals.

Every good business keeps a close eye on sales margins, whatever their industry or sector.  This means knowing your market to get a good sales price, to buy right and control costs, which are all crucial.

We give you all the numbers that matter, along with trend analysis, VAT advice, including special rates for building and converting private dwellings, help with efficient strategies for key employee remuneration & staff incentive schemes. Because new build construction work takes a long time financing the operation is an important consideration, so we liaise with banks and other financial institutions for you.

Your success is our success; we want to help you build a business is not reliant on you being there all the time, and for you to become a business owner, able to enjoy more time out doing those things you really enjoy.

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Use our experience to help you avoid the common mistakes made by Construction Companies:

No Written Contract

You need to be smart & keep the client onside to get paid properly & quickly. Both you and the client need to know what‘s included & what’s an extra.

The client will believe everything is included & want to you do the work as they instruct, so you & the team need to carefully manage their expectations. 

You will need to be picking up extras (known as Variations), and be communicating how much every extra will cost before you do the work, so it really helps if your quotes & estimates are detailed & clear.

Most projects need extra work & more materials not specified in your quote; you need to address these as you go along, because very few people are happy to accept a big balloon payment at the end.

Not Spotting Loss Making Contracts

This could happen if the job was not estimated correctly, & if not spotted quickly the contract could make a big loss.

To avoid this mistake, you need monthly job reports that compare actual performance to its budget. We can help you set up Projects in online software to see your profitability easily, keep track of costs & eliminate guesswork.

Inaccurate Cost Planning & Control

During any contract the income, costs & profit need to be checked and controlled regularly, ideally at least monthly.  

To help with this, quotes & estimates need to be detailed and clear. It is important to compare the
actual figures to budgets and/or estimates, making it easier to identify & correct misposted costs or pick up variations.

t helpful to divide big project into stages, to help plan the timing of revenues, and check profits, costs & cash flow are on target. This also helps you & your client know where you are, by making sure that each stage is accepted & signed off by the customer before starting the next one.

Costs Misallocations

Be aware, costs are often omitted due to the delays in invoices getting recorded on to jobs in your systems, usually because they are invoiced late by suppliers. 

It is important for you to ensure your systems recognise if costs have not been picked up, ideally at the end of each month, or at least before each stage is invoiced & before the final account is raised.

You need to accrue for costs, to keep your cash coming in & to recognise profits properly.

The red tape & legislation peculiar to this sector
1. CIS Administration
  • The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) is a set of rules for contractors and subcontractors in the construction industry.
  • As a CIS contractor, you’ll need to register with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and complete a monthly CIS Return.
  • You’ll also have to comply with certain rules to make sure you pay your subcontractors within the scheme correctly. HMRC can issue fines & penalties if you get things wrong.
  • You need to register as a contractor, subcontractor, or both depending on your circumstances.
  • You need to know what records to keep, to make sure you get your CIS refunds quickly & easily.
  • You can apply for a gross payment status under a CIS scheme, do you know if this will benefit your business, how & when to apply?
  • We can help you with your Monthly Contractors CIS Returns.
  • When paying people as subcontractors you need to be careful & be sure they shouldn’t be paid as employees, and have evidence you have checked this out.
  • You need to organise training, apply for grants and ensure that you are fully compliant with all on-site regulations.
2. VAT Administration
  • The Construction Industry has a number of VAT rates, including 0%, 5% and 20% imposed on the services it invoices, you are responsible for getting this right on every sales invoice you raise.
  • Do you know the VAT rate charged on new build houses?
  • Do you know the VAT rate charged on new commercial buildings?
  • Do you know what VAT is charged on renovations for private dwellings, when & how to apply the 5% rate on renovations?
  • Do you know that if you can’t sell a private dwelling you have built or refurbished, and decide to rent it, it will make life very complicated, and you will have to pay back any VAT claimed to HMRC? We can help you solve this problem.
  • Do you know when to apply the 20% VAT rate?
  • If you are a developer, do you know about the Option to Tax VAT rules?
  • Do you know how to apply the recently introduced Reverse Charge for businesses invoicing Construction projects, & other construction companies?
  • We can help you make sure you apply the correct VAT rate on your CIS sales invoice.

Every construction company needs good project costings & be able to clearly see the profitability on all jobs.  You need to be able to allocate income & costs accurately to each job, and compare actual performance to budgets & forecasts for each project.

These are a ‘must’, which help you & your team to be alerted & quickly spot variations against your quotes & estimates.

Most projects go over budget, mainly due to unexpected scenarios. To be profitable, you need to spot them quickly & get any variations approved, after all you want your clients to pay for anything unexpected, and not you.

You also need someone in your team to understand all the red tape and peculiarities of this sector, manage & administer Invoicing, Interim Valuations & Applications, Variations, Work In Progress & Retentions.