4Thought Blog

4thought graphic - blog 2020

Time to Upgrade Your Construction Accounting Software? What to Consider

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Sep 17, 2020

As construction companies evolve, they quickly outgrow their first generation accounting software packages.

That software was likely purchased when there was not a lot of capital on hand and not a lot of business to keep track of. If your firm needs to upgrade, making the decision can be daunting.

Here are some considerations that can help you determine if you really need to change or if your current software still has some life left in it.

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Topics: Construction & Real Estate Development

Construction: How Joint Ventures Can Boost Business, Finances

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Aug 13, 2020

Joint ventures are common in the construction industry, especially with large long-term projects. These collaborative arrangements allow construction firms to work together, for a limited time period, on one or more construction projects.

The upsides include pooling of expertise and resources, broader geographic reach, reduced risk, and enhanced financing and bonding capacity. But joint ventures also have potential pitfalls, so they need to be set up and managed with care.

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Topics: Construction & Real Estate Development

Tax Relief for Rental Real Estate Owners with COVID-19 Crisis Losses

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Jul 7, 2020

Economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis will cause many rental real estate properties to run up tax losses in 2020 — and possibly beyond. Here's a summary of important federal income tax rules for such losses.   

What You Can Write Off

Rental property owners can deduct mortgage interest and real estate taxes. They can also write off all standard operating expenses that go along with owning rental property. Examples include:

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Topics: Construction & Real Estate Development, 2020 Coronavirus

Overcoming COVID-19 Challenges: Tips for Construction

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Jun 11, 2020

Although the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has walloped most U.S. businesses, how your business recovers will largely be construction-industry-specific.

For example, most construction companies need to address disruptions to project schedules and overseas supply chains. They may need to renegotiate building contracts and find replacements for workers who are no longer available due to travel restrictions.

Depending on your niche, the fallout from COVID-19 could last months and possibly even years. Here are some tips on handling five major obstacles to help make a full recovery:

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Topics: Construction & Real Estate Development, 2020 Coronavirus

Safety Tips, Best Practices for Construction Companies During COVID-19

Posted by Concannon Miller on Fri, May 8, 2020

As COVID-19 spread throughout the country this March and April, many states restricted the movement of residents while allowing those in "essential" businesses to continue working. Generally, construction companies have been deemed essential for this purpose — leaving contractors to grapple with the logistics.

Although nothing is certain at this point, some standard COVID-19 operating procedures have been established by American General Contractors, one of the construction industry's leading associations. Here's an overview of what you can do to keep workers and others safe in the current hazardous environment.

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Topics: Construction & Real Estate Development, 2020 Coronavirus

Construction: How to Find Employees and Get a Tax Break

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Feb 20, 2020

The current labor market is tight particularly in the construction industry.

Recently, the 2,700 contractors, construction managers, builders and trade contractors surveyed in the Commercial Construction Index reported having "difficultly" or "moderate difficulty" finding skilled workers. And according to a new survey from the Associated General Contractors of America, four of every five construction companies are having a hard time filling hourly and craft positions, which represent the bulk of the industry's workforce.

In this tough environment, contractors need to explore all their options. A recent tax law change suggests one potential labor source and provides a welcome tax break. The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2019 extends a special tax credit through 2020 for businesses hiring workers from certain disadvantaged groups.

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Topics: Construction & Real Estate Development

Job Cost Accounting: The Benefits for Construction

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Jan 23, 2020

Job costs are the lifeblood of your construction business and accurately estimating them will determine if a project will make money.

Managing job costs across the life of the project will ensure that your firm makes money on every job. Moreover, those job-by-job profits make the office and your executive salary possible.

Despite this, some CFOs don't take job costs seriously. Some see tracking those costs as more trouble than it is worth, while others think that the costs are so obvious that tracking them seems like extra, unnecessary work.

Neither is true and both can limit your firm's profitability. Here are seven tips that can make job cost tracking easier than you might think:

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Topics: Construction & Real Estate Development

Construction: Tips to Make Competitive Bids on Government Contracts

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Dec 17, 2019

In general, government contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder. Yet prevailing wage laws require contractors to pay wages that are comparable to those for similar work in the same city or geographical area. Such laws can make it difficult for contractors to win public projects.

However, you may have an opportunity to reduce costs and make your bids more competitive by leveraging fringe benefits. Let's look at this strategy.

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Topics: Construction & Real Estate Development

How Construction Can Capitalize on Opportunity Zones

Posted by Maureen McGetrick on Tue, Nov 19, 2019

As 2019 approaches its final months, construction firms may start to see an uptick in interest for projects in opportunity zones.

Enacted as part of 2017 Tax Reform, the opportunity zone program began attracting significant investor interest after the IRS released clarifying guidance about the program’s rules in October 2018 and again in April 2019.

While additional IRS guidance is still expected, one thing is certain: 2019 is the prime time to invest in opportunity zones to receive the program’s full tax benefits. Consequently, eager investors have begun pouring capital into qualified opportunity funds (QOFs)—the investment vehicle to participate in the opportunity zone program.

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Topics: Construction & Real Estate Development

Considering Credit to Finance Business Growth in the Construction Industry

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Oct 17, 2019

If you find your construction company gaining a large influx of projects, the biggest problem will be the boost in the amount of capital you will need in comparison with your cash flow.

A jump in new jobs can strain your firm's resources, challenging the firm's capacity to hire field crews, its technology infrastructure and its cash flow. The upside, of course, is that a large backlog of incoming projects means more income and a lead time that lets your management team meet increasing cash flow demands. The more backlog of construction-in-progress the more big payrolls, more benefits going out, larger materials bill. And of course, everyone wants to be paid in cash.

This demand for cash can make it hard to ramp up to meet growth opportunities, but you can effectively manage it by using existing credit efficiently and taking out new strategic lines of credit.

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Topics: Construction & Real Estate Development

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