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Accounting for Builders

Running a building business is hard work and there are no short cuts to success. Apart from the physical demands of the work you also need planning and scheduling skills to manage your cash flow and sub-contractors. The long hours, travel and industry regulations are occupational hazards and they  probably explain why builders and trades people struggle with their bookkeeping and administration responsibilities. Some of the largest financial obligations for a self employed builder include GST, BAS and tax payments but we still find many builders paying excessive tax and incurring fines for non-compliance.

Here at Velocity Accounting Group in Perth we understand the building industry and our knowledge of the various building trades could mean the difference between just surviving and potentially thriving. Apart from the usual small business compliance issues of GST, BAS, PAYG and superannuation, we assist clients with managing their cash flow and selecting the right software to prepare quotes, invoices and manage their staff and apprentices. Not only that, our services beyond compliance distinguish us from other accounting firms in Perth and we believe your marketing could be the difference between 'boom and gloom' for builing practitioners. For that reason we offer you assistance with your branding, website, videos, social media campaigns and digital publishing. These marketing strategies and tools have the potential to give your business a serious competitive edge in your industry.


Starting a business is a bit like building a house. The foundations of your business are your taxation structure, accounting software, adequate and appropriate insurances, marketing, a website and social media. Your choice of business structure is critical and there are a number of different options such as sole trader, partnership, company and trust. Asset protection is a key consideration when selecting a business structure because of the high risks associated with the building industry. We also take into consideration your family situation, forecast level of profit and your future plans regarding admission of new business partners.

Accounting software is another brick in the wall of your business foundations. Again, the wrong choice can be catastrophic because poor business records are one of the biggest causes of business failure in this country. You need up to date, accurate financial records to make informed business decisions which is why we insist your accounting software matches your business needs and level of accounting skill. Using a sophisticated double entry accounting software program without a reasonable level of accounting skill can create a 'computerised shoebox' and you also need to consider cloud accounting options. Here at Velocity Accounting Group we aim to minimise the cost of compliance for you but shoebox records defeat the purpose. For that reason, once we evaluate your business needs and skills we then train you to use the software. We support a range of accounting software programs but do have a preference for cloud based solutions like Xero where your data is stored ‘in the cloud’ rather than on your local hard drive or server. This means you have access to your financial data from anywhere, at any time, using any device including your mobile phone or tablet.

As you know, to build a house you also need the right tools. When 'constructing' your business we also use a number of tools including our start up expense checklist to identify all your potential establishment costs. It dissects your start up costs into several categories including tools, equipment, IT expenses, professional fees and marketing costs. These figures can then be transferred into a cash flow budget template to produce a projected trading statement for your first year of operations. For a builder, your van, truck or ute is arguably your most important business tool. You can download our Motor Vehicle Tax Guide from the resources section of our website to learn more about the alternative methods of claiming your vehicle expenses and the distinction between a business and private trip for tradesmen. In addition, through our affiliate partners we can also assist with vehicle finance (chattel mortgage, CHP or lease) and get you fleet pricing on your new car, ute or light commercial van that could save you thousands of dollars.


Most builders rely on their reputation and referrals to grow their business and while these ingredients remain important, in the digital age you also need to focus on your online presence. Increasingly local searches like ‘Bulder Perth’ are driving traffic to your website and often your website is the first touch point with a potential new client. As you know, you only get one chance to make a good first impression and your website and marketing can be the difference between thriving and just surving.

One of our biggest points of difference compared to other accounting firms is our marketing expertise. The marketing process begins with your branding and we have worked through the process with dozens of clients over the years and using some online resources we can help you build a modern brand that resonates with your target market. We can even help you develop your stationery at a fraction of the cost of engaging a graphic artist or marketing consultant. We can assist you with your corporate brochure and help you harness the power of social media to win more referrals.

Over the past few years we have worked with dozens of clients to help them create affordable, quality lead generation websites. If you need advice and direction with your website content including video production we can help you. Not only that, if your website lacks calls to action or lead magnets we'll help you build them plus we'll introduce you to strategies like re-marketing and search engine optimization to drive more traffic to your website.

We are not your average firm of accountants who just keep the score. We view the tax return as the start of the client process, not the end. To be honest, that’s just the beginning because as accountants we can do some financial modelling and prepare some ‘what if’ scenarios so you understand your best and worst case profit scenarios. Next, using industry benchmarks we can compare the performance of your business against your peers so you understand what is working in the business, what's not working and what areas need working on.

As specialists in the building industry we offer you an extensive range of accounting, taxation and business coaching services that are tailored to your needs. Some of our services include:

  • Start-Up Business Advice for Builders
  • Tools including the Start-Up Expense Checklist and Templates for a 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
  • Assistance with your Marketing including your Branding, Corporate Brochure etc.
  • Advice and Assistance with your Website Development, Content and SEO
  • Preparation of Finance Applications
  • Bookkeeping and Payroll Services
  • Tax Planning Strategies
  • Wealth Creation Strategies and Financial Planning Services
  • Industry Benchmarking and KPI Management
  • Vehicle & Equipment Finance (Chattel Mortgage & Lease)
  • Recession Survival Strategies
  • Advice regarding Employee Relations and Workplace Laws
  • Business & Risk Insurances (Income Protection, Life Insurance etc.)
  • Business Succession Planning
  • Advice & Assistance with Pricing and Claiming Motor Vehicle Expenses
  • Monitoring and Controlling Labour and Sub-Contractor Costs

We are so much more than just tax accountants. We are ‘business and profit builders’ who provide strategic advice and practical business solutions that could give you a competitive advantage in the building industry. We work hard to understand your business and over the past decade builders and property developers have become a niche area within our accounting practice. To get your building business off to a flying start or to take your business to the next level, contact us today.

If you're a committed and ambitious business owner looking to accelerate your success 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 (08) 9250 4048 or complete your details in the box at the top of this page.

Velocity Accounting - Accelerate Your Business Success