Keeping track of cash can be hard for contractors; a good accountant can help you put more money back in your pocket. But not all accountants are created equal. The construction industry is complex, and requires specific knowledge of how money moves through a project. A good construction accountant can help you reduce your expenses, limit tax liabilities, and help you create a game plan that sets your company up for continued profit and success. In California, an accountant for the construction industry will also understand state and federal tax laws that affect contractors. In this article, we list some of the best construction accountants in California to learn what they can do for you and your business.
Construction accounting is unique
Accounting isn’t necessarily different in the construction industry. A construction accountant will use the same Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) as they would in another industry. But construction businesses face unique financial situations that other businesses don’t have to worry about. A contractor’s accountant needs to understand how to track retainage and change orders. They should know what a pay application is, and what’s required. They need to be able to do job costing, and help you identify which projects are profitable (and which aren’t).
The construction industry is notorious for slow payments. On average, it takes around 83 days for contractors to get paid. If payment delays and cash shortages have caused problems for you in the past, a construction accountant can help you make sense of it all.
Five of the Best Construction Accountants in California
These accountants and firms were selected based on a few key criteria:
- They focus on, or specialize in, accounting for construction businesses
- Their staff are members of construction industry trade groups
- They are based in, or work with contractors in California
The list below is in alphabetical order. The accountants are not listed by any respective rank.
1. Cook CPA Group
Location: 3400 Douglas Blvd., Suite 210, Roseville, CA 95661
Cook CPA Group stands out because they’re on top of the industry trends in California. The state’s building boom is creating great opportunities for contractors and developers alike. But still, construction companies are struggling to get new projects off the ground.
Accounting firms like Cook are dedicated to helping construction companies position themselves to take full advantage of these opportunities.
Cook helps contractors by:
- Managing your cash and assets
- Engaging in trend analysis, helping you stay ahead of the curve
- Organizing tax-saving opportunities
- Reviewing & negotiating insurance policies
- … and much more!
Most of all, Cook CPA Group gives you the peace of mind that your finances are being managed by a team with decades of construction accounting experience.
2. Gelman LLP
Location: 1940 East 17th Street, Santa Ana, CA 92705
Gelman LLP has over 30 years of experience in the construction accounting industry. Since the construction industry is so unpredictable, Gelman’s team is committed to helping you create a financial plan that postures you for growth and prepares you for downturns in the market.
According tot the president of Valverde Construction, Inc., “Their timely professional services have increased our bonding capacity, improved our internal controls and minimized our tax burden.” The firm has also won a number of awards from the Associated General Contractors of California.
A few of the services Gelman provides to their clients include:
- Financial statement audits
- Cash flow projections
- Financial risk analysis
- Business valuations
- Personnel recruitment
The construction industry can be a tough one to navigate. That’s why Gelman tailors their accounting services to construction companies to help them maximize profits, limit liabilities, and get paid on time.
Larry Kane, Senior Partner at Gelman, has over 35 years of experience in audit, accounting and tax planning. In addition to membership in state and national accounting trade groups, he’s also a member of the Southern California Contractors Association.
3. Hall & Company
Location: 111 Pacifica Suite 300, Irvine, CA 92618-3705
Hall & Company’s main area of focus is making sure California construction companies are acutely aware of project costs, and for good reason. In fact, construction companies that don’t have an accurate picture of those costs often go under. To avoid this, the most successful companies hire CPAs like Hall & Company instead of managing their own finances or hiring a full-time CFO.
To ensure your financial stability, Hall & Company:
- Conducts job costing and setup
- Implements equipment costing
- Performs budgeting and projections
- Promotes compliance and bonding
- Optimizes tax planning and preparation
Michael Silvio, CPA is a Director of Tax at Hall & Company. He has more than 28 years of experience in public accounting and tax planning, and is “a nationally recognized leader in the Federal Credits and Incentives Tax.” He has also presented at the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) Conference.
4. MBS Accountancy Corporation
Location: 2300 Tulare St #230, Fresno, CA 93721
MBS Accountancy Corporation believes that running a successful construction business revolves around accurate accounting services. There’s a lot that goes into construction finance—who you hire, when you hire them, the ever-changing cost of materials, travel time, and much more.
MBS takes care of all aspects of accounting, bookkeeping, and tax planning for contractors, including:
- Developing transaction reports
- Processing change order requests
- Managing accounts payable and accounts receivable
- Mapping each project’s expenses
- Complying with tax requirements
- Avoiding overpayment
MBS uses the financial data they collect to create actionable insights that help move your construction business forward and save money in every area possible.
Just ask Gene Delerio, owner of Delerio Construction, a Fresno-based remodeling and construction company. “I have used MBS for everything from tax strategy and advice to bookkeeping and consulting. They incorporate technology to make the process simple and efficient, and the staff is great and easy to work with.”
5. Moss Adams
Multiple offices in: Irvine, Los Angeles, Napa, Silicon Valley, Woodland Hills, and more.
Moss Adams understands the fickle nature of construction payments and cash flow. In order to help you get paid on time and simplify your financial situation, Moss Adams seeks to get to know your business from the inside out. As a result, many of the partnerships they’ve made in the construction industry have lasted for over 50 years.
On top of that, they truly have their finger on the pulse of the construction industry. Each year, they conduct surveys within the construction industry so they can provide their clients with the latest and most accurate services they possibly can.
When you pair this with their ability to help you overcome downturns, make consistent profit, and aggressively manage cash flow, Moss Adams is more than a construction accountant—they’re a business advisor.
Elaine Ervin, CPA, is a partner at Moss Adams, with a focus on closely-held businesses in the construction industry. She is a member of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA). Elaine is President of the AGC Education Foundation. She has also been an invited speaker at a number of construction conferences.
6. Mutschler Accountancy
Address: 1024 Bonita Avenue, LaVerne, CA 91750
Construction accounting is much different from regular accounting, and no one knows it better than the team at Mutschler Accountancy. They specialize in construction accounting, and they know how to streamline your business to make it more profitable. A few of their services include:
- Job costing
- Benchmarking analysis
- Payroll services
- Internal controls and reporting
- Financial planning and wealth management
Led by Andy Mutschler, CPA, the firm has been in business since 1970. Their strong identity as a family business means they treat their clients like family too.
California contractors need accounting for their industry – and state
For California-based contractors, using a construction accountant allows you to focus on what you do best. They can take the burden of monitoring your company’s finances as closely, and give your business the push it needs to climb to the next level. A construction accountant in California will not only understand the special nature of the industry, but also tax considerations for contractors in the state.
Whether you hire an outside accountant or you do the work yourself, organization and accuracy is important. Whoever is managing your books, generating financial reports, and keeping your cash flowing should understand the best practices for construction accounting.
Good accounting for contractors requires more than bookkeeping software. A construction accountant can give you insights into where your cash is going – from year-to-year and project-to-project.