# The Percentage Of Completion Method & Formula Explained

Companies identify the various measures (costs incurred, labor hours worked, tons produced, floors completed, etc.) and classify them as input or output measures. Neither measure is universally applicable to all long-term projects. Their use requires the exercise of judgment and careful tailoring to the circumstances.

There are two main conditions for the use of the percentage of completion method. First, collections by the company must be reasonably assured; second, the company must be able to reasonably estimate costs and the rate of project completion. With Percentage of Completion Method Accounting, the surety bond underwriters should be able to match the revenue and gross profit from the income statement to the open and closed job schedules.

• Many businesses unnecessarily struggle as they search for financing or never explore financing options from more than one financial institution.
• The percentage of completion method evaluates work-in-progress that’s applied to long-term projects, in which expenses and revenues are recorded as a percentage of the completed work during that period.
• However, of these three methods, the most commonly used is the Cost-to-Cost method.
• This leaves considerable room for error and inaccuracies due to missing paperwork and late payments.
• If a company consistently overbills, they will have trouble covering costs as projects are completed.

The underlying problem with this method for the surety bond underwriters is it ignores both underbillings and overbillings. Additionally, the Internal Revenue Service will have issue with the cash basis once a contractor reaches certain revenue limits. It’s not uncommon for construction projects to run over a course of several years, with each year presenting different costs to the company undertaking the project. For instance, the prices of material used in the construction can change from year to year, or weather complications may cause a delay in the project.

## How Do You Calculate The Percentage Of Completion?

In this method, the completion factor equals the project costs already incurred divided by the total estimated project costs. The contractor should disregard startup costs that don’t relate to contract performance.

Under this method engineers and other experts observe the activities and determine their judgment of the percentage of work completed. Under IFRS 15, while using the output Percentage of Completion Method method the costs incurred in relation to satisfied or partially satisfied performance obligations must be written off to the income statement as they are incurred.

## How To Calculate The Percentage Of Work Completed?

This method uses direct measurement of value to the customer of the goods or services transferred https://www.bookstime.com/ to date. This includes units produced/delivered, milestones and appraisal of results achieved.

Conservatism PrinciplesThe conservatism principle of accounting guides the accounting, according to which there is any uncertainty. In contrast, all the revenues and gains should not be recorded, and such revenues and profits should be recognized only when there is reasonable certainty of its actual receipt. Reducing the amount billed means you may not be able to cover expenses for the period, causing cash flow problems.

## What Is The Percentage

For example, a project could be estimated to be completed by rendering 40,000 labor hours. Under the efforts-expended method, the percentage of completion is computed by comparing the effort already expended to the total expected amount of effort required. Using the percentage of completion method for revenue recognition can be quite daunting at first. This is in contrast to the usual method of revenue recognition which only recognizes revenue when the service is completed. Similarly, output measures can produce inaccurate results if the units used are not comparable in time, effort, or cost to complete.

Dawn Killough is a construction writer with over 20 years of experience with construction payments, from the perspectives of subcontractors and general contractors. Dawn has held roles such as a staff accountant, green building advisor, project assistant, and contract administrator. Her work for general contractors, design firms, and subcontractors has even led to the publication of blogs on several construction tech websites and her book, Green Building Design 101. Making sure contract amounts and estimates are accurate on the work in progress report ensures income is reported correctly and avoids penalties for overbillings. Gross profit is the direct profit left over after deducting the cost of goods sold, or cost of sales, from sales revenue. An adjusting journal entry occurs at the end of a reporting period to record any unrecognized income or expenses for the period. The information featured in this article is based on our best estimates of pricing, package details, contract stipulations, and service available at the time of writing.

## The Accounting Percentage Completion Method For Billing

The percentage of completion method allows businesses that have long-term projects to recognize revenue in every period that the project is live until completion. The rationale for using percentage-of-completion accounting is that under most of these contracts the buyer and seller have enforceable rights. The buyer has the legal right to require specific performance on the contract.

Percent Complete is a field that is calculated based on Actual Duration and Duration and it indicates how much progress has been made on the project or on tasks. The trade-off is that it should only be used for projects that specify the number of units to be delivered. By the end of the year, a total of \$1,200,000 cost has already been incurred to date. The cost of items already purchased but are yet to be installed is not included in the computation of cost incurred to date.

• Dawn has held roles such as a staff accountant, green building advisor, project assistant, and contract administrator.
• All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.
• Costs are used most often, but some contractors may find that units completed or labor hours may more accurately reflect the completion of their projects.
• Corrigan Krause is a team of dedicated, passionate, experienced professionals who provide comprehensive consulting, tax and accounting services to individuals and privately-held businesses.
• If the total estimated cost of a project is \$100,000, that figure includes supplies and labor.
• For instance, if a project’s total costs are expected to be \$5 million, and the current costs incurred are \$2 million, you can divide \$2 million by \$5 million and multiply by 100.

The degree of completion of the construction, i.e., the percentage-of-completion, is typically estimated by dividing the total construction costs incurred to date by the total estimated costs of the contract, or job. An analyst would learn that changes to total estimated contract costs or losses, if any, are recognized in the period in which they are determined by the company. The percentage of completion method is an accounting method in which the revenues and expenses of long-term contracts are recognized as a percentage of the work completed during the period. This is in contrast to the completed contract method, which defers the reporting of income and expenses until a project is completed. The percentage-of-completion method of accounting is common for the construction industry, but companies in other sectors also use the method.

## Ways Companies Cook The Books

The buyer can be expected to satisfy his obligations under the contract. The Woodard Report is a collection of articles from several authors to advance the understanding and knowledge surrounding the accounting profession and technologies connected to that profession. Construction companies have many different tax deductions available to them, and workers can also take advantage of numerous tax breaks that help save money.

The method works best when it is sensibly conceivable to assess the phases of task finish on a progressing premise, or if nothing else to gauge the leftover expenses to finish a venture. The representing long haul contracts utilizing the level of fruition technique is a special case for the essential acknowledgment standard.

The important thing to remember is that you have to be consistent in how you calculate the percent complete. Generally accepted accounting principles require that revenue be recognized in the period it was earned.

The gross amount due to customers for contract work as a liability. Just about every construction contract will require that work be done in a “workmanlike manner.” But what exactly does that…

With this in mind, accounting would be much easier for contractors who simply report income after the project is complete. For purposes of the EPCM, the criteria used to compare the work performed on a contract as of the end of the taxable year with the estimated total work to be performed must clearly reflect the earning of income with respect to the contract. For example, in the case of a roadbuilder, a standard of completion solely based on miles of roadway completed in a case where the terrain is substantially different may not clearly reflect the earning of income with respect to the contract. Total estimated expenditures for the contract represent the total budgeted cost for the project. It includes costs that have been incurred to date and costs that are expected to be incurred in future periods.

In conditions where litigation exists, where the contract looks unenforceable, or issues exist with some of the properties related to the project or contract, do not use the percentage of completion method. The percentage of completion system is used when revenues are determined based on the cost of the project incurred so far. It works best when you can estimate the costs attached to the different stages of completion on an ongoing basis.

The method you choose to calculate the percentage of completion should be based on the nature of the contract and the terms of the delivery obligation. The output method compares the results achieved till date to the total expected results of the contract.

## The Percentage Of Completion Method: Definition And Examples

This method is used to perpetrate unethical activities such as boosting short-term results using this method. Also, there is a tendency for companies or contractors to bloat the expenses and revenues recorded at a particular period. By overstating or understating costs, companies can defraud project owners. The percentage of completion method offers a work-in-progress method of evaluating revenue and expenses in long-term contracts.

The only exception is small contracts that companies will complete within two years. To meet this exception, contractors must be considered a small business that has grossed \$25 million or less over the past three years, and the project must be completed within two years. Contractors who can’t meet these criteria must report income during the project. Based on the percentage of completion calculated using cost date we determine than revenue of \$62.5 million has been earned (31.25% multiplied by \$200 million total contract value). On the other hand based on the engineer’s survey the revenue recognized should be \$80 million (40% multiplied by \$200 million). GAAP allows a contractor to figure the completion factor based on how much work has occurred divided by the estimated total amount of work needed.