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Accounting for Builders

Running a building business is hard work. Apart from the physical challenges you need planning and financial skills to manage your cash flow and sub-contractors. The long hours, travel and regulations are all hurdles you face and they probably explain why builders and trades people are notorious for neglecting their bookkeeping and compliance obligations. While GST, BAS and tax payments often represent some of the largest financial obligations for a self employed builder, many end up paying too much tax and incur fines for non-compliance.

Here at Accrue Accounting we understand the building industry process from plans to lock up to eventual sale. Make no mistake, having an accountant who understands the mechanics of the building industry can mean the difference between just surviving and potentially thriving. Apart from the usual small business compliance issues of GST, BAS, PAYG and superannuation, we assist clients with managing their cash flow and selecting the right software to prepare quotes, invoices and manage their staff and apprentices. Over the years our team of accountants have mentored dozens of builders, plumbers, electricians and carpenters through the various stages of their business life cycle, from start up right through to sale. We offer you experience, technical tax knowledge and most importantly, an intimate understanding of the building trades.


Starting a building business is a bit like building a house. You need solid foundations and the corner stone of the business is your taxation structure. It is a critical business decision and there are a number of options when it comes to business structures including sole trader, partnership, company and trust. Because of the risks associated with the building, asset protection is also a key consideration. We sit down with you to discuss your family situation, forecast level of profits and likelyhood of admitting new business partners in the future before making a recommendation regarding your business structure.

Accounting software selection is another brick in the business foundation wall. Again, the wrong choice can be disasterous which is why we insist the software matches your business needs with your level of accounting skill. If you use a sophisticated double entry accounting software program without intermediate accounting skills your records will be nothing more than a 'computerised shoebox'. In turn, this will defeat the purpose of minimising your tax compliance costs. Poor records are one of the biggest causes of business failure and you need up to date, accurate financial records to make informed business decisions. We will train you to use the right software to minimise your compliance costs.

As you know, to build the frame for a house you also need tools. When constructing your business we can provide you with a number of tools including our start up expense checklist to help you identify all your potential establishment costs. It lets you break up your expenditure into categories including tools, equipment, IT expenses and marketing costs. These figures then automatically feed into a cash flow budget template to project your figures for the first year of trading. For a builder, your van, truck or ute is arguably your most important business tool and you can download our Motor Vehicle Tax Guide to learn more about the alternative methods of claiming your vehicle expenses and the distinction between a business and private trip for tradesmen. In addition, through our affiliate partners we can also assist with vehicle finance (chattel mortgage or lease) and get you fleet discount pricing on your new car, ute or light commercial van that could potentially save you thousands of dollars.

One of our biggest points of difference with traditional accounting firms is our marketing expertise. We can assist you with your branding (business name, logo and slogan) and offer you advice regarding your website design and content. If required, we can also help you create a corporate brochure and harness the power of social media to win more business. We are not your typical accounting firm that views the tax return as the end of the client process. To be honest, that’s just the beginning. As accountants we can do some financial modelling and prepare some ‘what if’ scenarios so you understand your building business’ best and worst case profit scenarios. Next, using industry benchmarks we can compare the performance of your business against your competitors so you understand what is working in the business and what needs working on.

Our approach to business is unique and we want to fast track your business success. Our team of building trades specialists offer you a range of accounting, taxation and business coaching services including:

  • Start-Up Business Advice for Builders
  • Tools including the Start-Up Expense Checklist and Templates for a Business Plan, Cash Flow Budget, Letterhead and Business Card
  • Advice and Assistance with the Establishment of Your Business Structure
  • Tax Registrations including ABN, TFN, GST, WorkCover etc.
  • Preparation of Business Plans, Cash Flow Forecasts and Profit Projections
  • Accounting Software Selection and Training – Bookkeeping, Invoicing, Quotes & Payroll
  • Preparation and Analysis of Financial Statements
  • Preparation of Finance Applications
  • Bookkeeping and Payroll Services
  • Tax Planning Strategies
  • Assistance with your Marketing including your Branding, Corporate Brochure etc.
  • Advice and Assistance with your Website Development, Content and SEO
  • Wealth Creation Strategies and Financial Planning Services
  • Industry Benchmarking and KPI Management
  • Vehicle & Equipment Finance (Chattel Mortgage & Lease)
  • Monitoring and Controlling Labour and Sub-Contractor Costs
  • Advice & Assistance with Pricing and Claiming Motor Vehicle Expenses
  • Recession Survival Strategies
  • Advice regarding Employee Relations and Workplace Laws
  • Business & Risk Insurances (Income Protection, Life Insurance etc.)
  • Business Succession Planning

We are so much more than just Tax Accountants. We are business and profit builders who genuinely care about the success of your building business. We service the needs of a number of builders and related trades from all around Australia and offer you strategies to grow your business, your profits and your wealth. Over the years builders, plumbers, carpenters and electricians have become a real niche within our accounting practice and if you’re looking to get your building business off to a flying start or want to grow your existing business, contact us today.

Accrue Accounting - Your Financial Future is Our Business


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