NAHB has provided general ledger charts of accounts for use by production builders (A), small-volume builders (C), and remodelers (D). Appendices E and F provide detailed lists of direct and indirect costs that can be added as subsidiary accounts in the general ledger or, as the author describes, used as the basis for an itemized job-costing system.
NAHB has provided general ledger charts of accounts for use by production builders (A), small-volume builders (C), and remodelers (D). Appendices E and F provide detailed lists of direct and indirect costs that can be added as subsidiary accounts in the general ledger or, as the author describes, used as the basis for an itemized job-costing system.

Imagine a job site where all the materials you needed, from the concrete to the finish nails, were jumbled in one huge pile along with your tools, and you had to dig through the mess to get any work done. It would be almost impossible to find anything, and the day would be over before you could actually start working. If you’re like many small contractors, the way you organize your finances probably isn’t much better: All the money goes into one pile and all the expenses get paid out of a checkbook riding around on the seat of your pickup.

For the past few months we’ve been talking about working “by the numbers,” but in order to do that you’re going to need a better way of organizing and categorizing your business expenses and job-cost data. You’ll need a system that funnels your financial transactions into the right “buckets” and allows you to create reports comparing what you...

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