Contractors need to invest in tax planning throughout the year to gain the maximum impact. While most year-end tax strategies strive to accelerate income in the current tax year and defer expenses to the next year, strategic tax planning takes into consideration many other factors, including how reducing income for tax purposes will affect a contractor’s financial statements, cash position, working capital and financial ratios.
Martin C. McCarthy
Although most construction contractors have a formal business plan, few have a succession plan—which is equally important. While a business plan focuses on the current direction of the company, a succession plan focuses on the future of the business and transition of ownership.
Building a solid foundation for a good relationship with sureties is important to every contractor. Just as with any relationship, it must be built on trust, mutual respect and honest communication. Sureties want to work with contractors that are accountable and proactive. They also expect contractors to have good management skills so that a profit is realized on the majority of their projects.
Business owners must collect, report and submit payroll taxes as required by federal and state laws. It is important that payroll systems and processes are accurate and efficient to meet federal and state obligations. Otherwise, a corporate officer or other responsible party (as defined by the IRS) may be personally liable for payroll taxes that are not reported or deposited, even if someone else processes payroll.
In every industry, technological advancements are helping companies to be more efficient and save money. Construction is no exception. According to the 2016 report on the results of a global PwC survey, Industry 4.0: Building the Digital Enterprise, respondents anticipate a return on their investment in technology over the next five years. Participants in all industry sectors expect to realize a 2.9 percent increase per annum in revenue. Engineering and construction companies anticipate a revenue gain of 2.7 percent per annum. On average, companies across all sectors expect to reduce costs by 3.6 percent annually.
A successful contractor does everything possible to run a lean, financially sound company. Finding ways to save money while increasing margins, improving cash flow and operating more efficiently is key. Following are 12 financial strategies contractors can implement to stay financially healthy.