Completed-Contract Method: Meaning, How to Calculate It, Impacts

completed contract method formula

The revenue recognition standards that ASC 606 introduced changed the equation slightly for contractors reporting under U.S. This is because instead of looking at contract completion, ASC 606 looks at the completion of performance obligations. If a contractor falls under this exception, they can opt out and use the contract completion method. Contractors tend to favor this method when the actual contract costs are hard to estimate, the project is short, or the company has a number of ongoing projects that contracts are finished regularly each year.

completed contract method formula

The main advantage of EPCM is that income is reported over the life of the contract and any losses will be recognized based on the percentage of the contract completed, called the completion factor. The completion factor is the amount of work that has been completed compared to the estimated amount remaining. The completion factor must be certified by an engineer or an architect, or supported by appropriate documentation.

How to calculate percentage of work completed in construction

The percentage of completion method allows for the recognition of revenues, expenses, and taxes during the period that a contract is being executed. Through frequent reporting, percentage reporting reduces the risk of fluctuations while affording tax deferral benefits. This example illustrates how using the costs incurred to date against total budgeted costs allows construction firms to calculate percentage of completion and recognize revenue based on project progress. As we can see, the percentage completion climbs each month as more costs are incurred. Carefully tracking these percentages allows the contractor to recognize revenue over time as the project progresses. Following the percentage of completion method ensures revenue, expenses, and profit are accurately reflected on financial statements throughout the project lifecycle.

  • To those outside the company, this could be seen as a sign of inconsistency and risk, which can make securing bonding or acquiring financing particularly tricky.
  • Using the CCM, a contracting company doesn’t recognize either revenue or expense transactions relating to the contract until the contract is completely finished.
  • For example, projects that last less than a year are considered short-term.
  • There’s no need to estimate costs when using the completed contract method since those costs are readily apparent at the end of the contract.
  • Other types of construction contracts qualify for the completed contract method if they satisfy the general CCM requirements.

The difference is that, until the contract is complete, they’ll keep those amounts on their balance sheet rather than on their income statement. A key advantage of the completed contract method is that the delay in income recognition allows a business to defer the recognition of related income taxes. This defers the payment of cash to a later period, thereby giving the company the use of that cash in the meantime. For longer-term projects in which revenue and expenses might be earned and paid out at various intervals throughout the project’s lifetime, companies can use the percentage of completion accounting method. Let`s take look real-life example illustrate application completed contract method formula. XYZ Construction Company working major infrastructure project expected last three years.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Completed Contract Method

Assuming that the project was finished on time and the customer paid in full, the company would record revenue of $2 million and the expenses for the project at the end of year two. The Completed Contract Method of revenue recognition is normally only used in the short-term. For example, projects that last less than a year are considered short-term.

In this case, however, Build-It should be able to finish the property and turn it over to another buyer. And this demonstrates another reason why point-in-time recognition may be appropriate for them to use. Once they do, their costs and income will shift from the balance sheet to their income statement.


Using the percentage of completion method, a contractor recognizes project income and expenses as the project progresses, usually on a monthly basis. Using the completed contract method, the taxpayer does not recognize revenue until the contract is completed and accepted by the customer. Except for home construction contracts, CCM can only be used by small contractors for contracts with an estimated life that does not exceed 2 years. There should be no terms in the contract with the only purpose of deferring tax. The percentage of completion method is a revenue recognition accounting concept that evaluates how to realize revenue periodically over a long-term project or contract. Revenue, expenses, and gross profit are recognized each period based on the percentage of work completed or costs incurred.

  • Assuming that the project was finished on time and the customer paid in full, the company would record revenue of $2 million and the expenses for the project at the end of year two.
  • Instead of costs, percentage of completion can also be calculated using units or labor hours, depending on the nature of the business.
  • It is necessary to fully understand the chosen method, as each differs, especially concerning taxes.
  • International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS 15) provides guidance on the treatment of stored materials in income recognition.
  • This can be disconcerting for investors and lenders, who cannot tell if the organization is performing well.

In the first year, the company reported revenues and expenses as much as construction costs incurred, which amounted to Rp220. In the second year, the company reports the remaining revenue of Rp180, and the expense of Rp80, generating a profit of Rp100. Most commercial contractors — both general contractors and specialty contractors — use the percentage of completion method to report their income.

When to use the completed-contract method

The completed contract method (CCM) is an accounting technique that allows companies to postpone the reporting of income and expenses until after a contract is completed. Using CCM accounting, revenue and expenses are not recognized on a company’s income statement even if cash payments were issued or received during the contract period. The completed contract method of accounting is the practice of deferring all revenue, expenses, and gross profits until the completion or substantial completion of the project. This is a more straightforward and conservative approach than other accounting methods. It will still yield the same results as the commonly used percentage of completion method, except that revenue recognition comes at the end of the project.

completed contract method formula

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