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Accounting for Building & Construction

Running a business in the building and construction game is hard work. The physical challenges aside, you need planning, scheduling and financial skills to manage your cash flow and sub-contractors. The long hours, travel and regulations are all challenges for builders which probably explains why the bookkeeping and administrative functions often take a back seat. Some of the largest financial obligations for a self employed builder are GST, BAS and tax payments, however, many builders end up paying too much tax and incur fines for non-compliance.

Here at Upside Accounting we understand the building industry from plans to lock up to eventual sale. Make no mistake, having an accountant who understands the mechanics of the building industry can mean the difference between your business thriving or just surviving. We can assist you with all the usual small business compliance issues of GST, BAS, PAYG and superannuation, however, it is our services beyond complaince that differentiate us from other Melbourne based accounting firms.

Over the years, our team of accountants have mentored dozens of builders, plumbers, electricians and carpenters through the various stages of their business life cycle, from start up right through to sale. We offer you experience, technical tax knowledge and most importantly, an intimate understanding of the building trades.


One of our biggest points of difference with traditional accounting firms is our marketing expertise. We can assist you with your branding (business name, logo and slogan) and where required, we can also help you create a corporate brochure and harness the power of social media to win more business.

Unfortunately a lot of builders and trades people have websites that are nothing more than electronic billboards that list the who, what and where of the business. On the other hand, over the past few years we have worked with dozens of clients to help them create affordable, lead generation websites. If you need advice and direction with your website content, video production, lead magnets or calls to action we can help you.

We'll introduce you to strategies like re-marketing, social media advertising and search engine optimization that can drive more visitors to your website. We'll make sure your website is responsive to mobile devices  (click here to check your current website) and we strive to give you a serious competitive edge in your industry. The fact is, if you aren’t using some of these marketing tools and techniques in your business then you're probably not going to reach your full profit potential.


Starting a building business is a bit like building a house. You need solid foundations and the corner stone of the business is your taxation structure. It is a critical business decision and there are a number of options when it comes to business structures including sole trader, partnership, company and trust. Because of the risks associated with the building industry, asset protection is a key consideration so we sit down with you to discuss your family situation, your forecast level of profits and likelyhood of admitting new business partners in the future. Only then can we make a recommendation regarding the most appropriate business structure for your business.

Your choice of accounting software is another brick in your business foundations. The wrong choice can prove financially disasterous and cause enormous frustration which is why we insist the software matches your business needs with your level of accounting skill. If you use a sophisticated double entry accounting program without intermediate accounting skills your records will amount to nothing more than a 'computerised shoebox'. In turn, this will defeat our objective of helping you minimise the cost of tax compliance. Poor records are one of the biggest causes of business failure and you need up to date, accurate financial financial records to make informed business decisions. Where required we will train you to use the right software that will prepare quotes, invoices and job costing plus help you manage your payroll and superannuation obligations for staff, apprentices and contractors.

As you know, to build a house frame you also need tools. When building your business we can provide you with a number of practical tools. Our start up expense checklist will help you identify all your potential establishment costs broken down into categories including tools, equipment, IT expenses and marketing costs. These figures then automatically feed into a cash flow budget template that allow you to forecast your trading figures for your first year of operation. For a builder, your van, truck or ute is arguably your most important business tool and you can download our Motor Vehicle Tax Guide from the resources section of our website. It details the alternative methods of claiming your vehicle expenses and explains the distinction between a business and private trip for a trades person. In addition, through one of our affiliate partners we can assist you with vehicle finance (chattel mortgage or lease) and get you fleet discount pricing on your new car, ute or light commercial van that could save you thousands of dollars.

Clearly, we are not your typical accounting firm who view the tax return as the end of the client process. To us the tax return is just the beginning because we can do some financial modelling and prepare some ‘what if’ scenarios so you understand your business’ best and worst case profit scenarios. Next, using industry benchmarks we can compare the performance of your business against your competitors so you understand what is working in the business and what needs working on. We can also help you understand your key numbers and unlock the profit potential in your business. 

Our approach is unique and our mission is to help you fast track your business success. The team of building trades specialists at Upside Accounting offer you a range of accounting, taxation and business coaching services including:

  • Start-Up Business Advice for Builders and Trades People
  • Tools including the Start-Up Expense Checklist
  • Templates for Your Business Plan, Cash Flow Budget, Letterhead and Business Card
  • Advice and Assistance with the Establishment of Your Business Structure
  • Tax Registrations including ABN, TFN, GST, WorkCover etc.
  • Preparation of Business Plans, Cash Flow Forecasts and Profit Projections
  • Accounting Software Selection and Training – Bookkeeping, Invoicing, Quotes & Payroll
  • Preparation and Analysis of Financial Statements
  • Preparation of Finance Applications
  • Bookkeeping and Payroll Services
  • Tax Planning Strategies
  • Assistance with your Marketing including your Branding, Corporate Brochure etc.
  • Advice and Assistance with your Website Development, Content and SEO
  • Wealth Creation Strategies and Financial Planning Services
  • Industry Benchmarking and KPI Management
  • Vehicle & Equipment Finance (Chattel Mortgage & Lease)
  • Monitoring and Controlling Labour and Sub-Contractor Costs
  • Advice & Assistance with Pricing and Job Costing
  • Advice & Assistance to Maximise Your Claim for Motor Vehicle Expenses
  • Recession Survival Strategies
  • Advice regarding Employee Relations and Workplace Laws
  • Business & Risk Insurances (Income Protection, Life Insurance etc.)
  • Business Succession Planning

We are more than just tax accountants. We are ‘business and profit builders’ who provide strategic advice and practical business solutions designed to give you a serious competitive advantage in your industry. We work hard to understand your business and over the past decade the building industry has become a niche area within our accounting practice. If you're looking to get your building business off to a flying start or you want to boost your current business results, contact us today.

We invite you to book a FREE, one hour introductory consultation to discuss your business needs. You can expect practical business, tax, marketing and financial advice that could have a profound effect on your future business profits. To book a time, call us today on (03) 9575 3800 or complete your details in the box at the top right hand side of this page and we will be in contact.

Upside Accounting - Helping Your Business Achieve Amazing Results