All accounting uses the same equation—what you own (assets), what you owe (liabilities), and what’s left over. However, there are some key differences between general accounting and construction accounting that you should be aware of. In this article, we’ll highlight some of the best accountants who specialize in construction businesses in New York.
Why construction accounting should matter to contractors
General accounting works for companies operating in a fixed environment, with regular invoicing and consistent cash flow. On the other hand, construction accountants needs to serve companies in a complex, project-based industry that has its own unique financial challenges. Construction businesses need to account for highly variable cash flow, deposits (or lack thereof), retainage, change orders, job costing, and a whole lot more. All in an industry where the average delay in accounts receivable (A/R) is 83 days.
In order to make sure you’re on track to make a profit, construction accountants dedicate a lot of time to learning the ins-and-outs of the construction industry. This way, they can help you understand which projects are profitable, jobs to avoid, how to bill your clients, and how to bid on projects (just to name a few).
A construction accountant in New York will understand both federal and state tax laws that apply to contractors. In addition to optimizing your financial books, they can often help you file your business taxes – and find opportunities to reduce them.
The Top 5 Construction Accountants in New York
These accountants and firms made the list 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 New York
The list below is in alphabetical order. The accountants are not listed by any respective rank.
1. Anchin Accountants and Advisors
New York location: 1375 Broadway, New York, NY 10018
The team at Anchin Accountants and Advisors understands that construction is a competitive and unpredictable industry, and that each construction company faces its own unique challenges. That’s why they put their knowledge of the industry to work for you.
Anchin’s team teams up with yours to produce:
- Improved financial reports
- Incentive plans for employee retention and attraction
- Tax strategies
- Succession plans
They aim to help you overcome challenges and continue growing in the construction industry.
Among other accolades, Anchin is a member of BKR International, an association of the best independent accounting firms across the globe. Above all else, BKR firms are known for their commitment to customer service and unparalleled accounting services.
Philip M. Ross is Anchin’s leader of “Architecture and Engineering and Construction Industry Groups.” He’s a member of the New York Building Congress (NYBC), the Subcontractors Trade Association (STA), the General Contractors Association (GCA), and the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY). Philip is also on the CFO Committee of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC-NY).
2. EisnerAmper LLP
New York location: 750 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017
EisnerAmper LLP works with a wide range of businesses within the construction industry, such as general contractors, homebuilders, residential developers, heavy highway contractors, and a variety of subcontractors as well.
Their reach has afforded them an in-depth knowledge of the construction industry as a whole, a fact that’s driven home by their many specialties. They work with GCs, heavy equipment and highway contractors, homebuilders and residential developers, and subcontractors/specialty contractors.
They tailor the conventional construction accounting services to bring you support specific to the needs of each business. Services include:
- Tax services
- Streamlined billing
- Custom bookkeeping
When services are tailored to the client, the positive effects are much greater and longer-lasting. So, no matter what your goals are, EisnerAmper can help you achieve them.
Gary Master is an advisor in EisnerAmper’s “Real Estate and Construction Services Group,” and has 35 years of experience in the industry. He’s a member of the General Building Contractors Association, Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA), and a Board member of the Homebuilders Association of Bucks & Montgomery Counties.
3. James Castaldo CPA & Associates
New York locations: Lake Grove, Melville, Uniondale
James Castaldo CPA & Associates understands that small construction businesses rely on professional accounting and bookkeeping services for continued success and growth. However, they also know there’s more that goes into construction accounting than simply managing cash flow.
James Castaldo CPA & Associates works closely with small contractors (plumbers, electricians, masons, landscapers, painters, etc.). They can help you cut down on expenses and reduce tax liabilities to maximize profits. They also use your financial data to help you get the most profitable projects for your company and bill your clients accordingly.
Their expertise includes:
- Cash balance tracking
- Operational reviews and assessments
- Payroll management
- Construction tax compliance
- Tax reduction planning
When you combine that with their wide range of other services, James Castaldo is the complete package for your construction business.
James Castaldo, CPA holds a M.S. in Taxation from Long Island University and a B.A. in Business Administration from Hofstra University. He is a member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New York State Society of Public Accountants.
4. VJN Associates CPAs
New York location: 1250 Broadway, Suite 3613, New York, NY 10001
VJN Associates CPAs specializes in construction accounting. Cash flow problems are rampant in the construction industry. VJN is dedicated to analyzing your unique financial situation and creating effective solutions that help your business run smoother.
Along with that, VJN’s team works like an experienced CFO by combing through your books to optimize your accounts receivable and prevent any profit leaks.
Services VJN offers include:
- Construction tax planning and analysis
- Benchmarking analysis
- Strategic planning
- Audit & review of financial statements
- Cash flow analysis
- QuickBooks implementation
VJN is widely regarded as one of the most affordable construction accounting firms in New York, and they back it up by providing Fortune 500 quality without the extortionate price tag. Additionally, they offer a 100% money back guarantee if their services don’t meet your needs.
5. Wiss & Company, LLP
New York location: 14 Penn Plaza, Suite 1010, New York, NY 10122
Wiss & Company, LLP’s team is dedicated to the construction industry. Their industry knowledge allows them to provide their construction clients with actionable, tailored business advice.
Wiss construction-focused services include:
- Audits & reviews
- Contractor pre-qualification statements
- Improved billing practices
- Capital financing strategy
- Employee incentive and benefit plans
- Performance benchmarking
They work to help contractors improve their bottom line and optimize the company for growth.
Wiss & Company, LLP provides their clients with the resources of a national firm with the regional appeal of a boutique firm. Wiss is a member of BDO, a network that includes more than 600 major accounting firms that share insights and motivate one another to provide the highest-quality service possible.
Timothy Kennedy, CPA, a Director at Wiss & Company, is a member of Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA), and the Utility and Transportation Contractors Association (UTCA).
New York construction businesses need an accountant that knows their industry
Your construction business is as unique as the projects you work on. When it comes to your books, it helps to have an accountant by your side with a deep knowledge of your industry, and the cash flow issues you face.
New York has no shortage of good accountants. But a good construction accountant can be a critical partner in a contractor’s financial success. We hope this list can help you find a firm that aligns with your goals, no matter what your specific accounting needs are.