What Does a Chart of Accounts for a Construction Company Look Like?

A construction company’s chart of accounts includes assets, liabilities, income, expenses and the cost of goods sold. The asset section of the balance sheet typically covers bank accounts, earnings that exceed work in progress billings, construction equipment and other fixed assets.

Many of these accounts are the same for construction companies and non-construction companies, such as accounts receivable, accounts payable and payroll expenses. However, construction companies also have industry-specific needs that require different types of general ledger accounts. Income accounts are broken down by the type of services the construction company offers to its customers, such as the sale of parts, equipment installation and subcontracting income. The cost of goods sold accounts include all expenses the company incurs in performing its jobs, such as parts, subcontractor expenses and direct labor.

Some general ledger accounts are present in more than one section of the chart of accounts depending on whether they are billable to a particular job. For example, the direct cost subaccount of cost of goods sold covers any permits and bonds related to a specific job. General permit expenses belong in a regular expense account instead of cost of goods sold. Many companies also use separate accounts for general liability insurance, auto insurance, equipment insurance and the other policies they carry.