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Also, to maintain consistency and relevancy, the revenue and costs related to the period are recorded in the same period. In the case of huge projects, the total cost incurred on the project is estimated at the start of the project itself so that the company can accordingly quote a fee for the same. This cost can be the basis for calculating the percentage of completion method as it is assumed that the revenue will go hand-in-hand with the cost incurred. To employ the PCM, a contract must describe how to determine a “completion factor” that determines how much income the contractor has earned up to that point. The revenues earned and the costs of these revenues are equal to the completion factor times the total contract revenues and costs, respectively. GAAP doesn’t permit a contractor to determine revenue based on cash receipts.

This can create cash flow problems for the contractor if they aren’t careful. The work in progress report provides a summary of the information used in the percentage of completion calculation. It includes total revised contract amount, total costs to date, percent complete based on cost, amount billed to date, and the difference between the amount billed and the percent of revenue that can be recognized. Instead of costs, percentage of completion can also be calculated using units or labor hours, depending on the nature of the business. The important thing to remember is that contractors must be consistent in how they calculate the percent complete. Accounting for income and expenses can present a real challenge for contractors, especially on long-term projects. The percentage of completion method is one of the most common methods of accounting used in construction.

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You do not include the cost of items that have not been installed even if they have been purchased for the contract unless they were specifically manufactured or produced for that contract. Long-term projects oftentimes require the buyer to make payments as certain milestones are reached. This is a common arrangement in the construction and other heavy equipment industries that might involve customized projects or products that can take years to complete or build. Reports given during the project cause no changes in the balance sheet, but the income statement carries such reports. Financial StatementsFinancial statements are written reports prepared by a company’s management to present the company’s financial affairs over a given period .


Percentage of completion method is commonly measured through the cost-to-cost method which compares costs incurred to total estimated costs. To estimate the percentage of completion, you divide the total expenditure incurred from inception to date with the total estimated costs of the contract. This percentage of completion method recognizes revenue and income related to long-term projects. The justification relies on the matching principle in accounting, where revenues and expenses are matched in the applicable accounting period. When using the percentage of completion method, it’s important for contractors to revise their estimates anytime changes occur on the job. This ensures the accuracy of their accounting calculations, and helps to avoid cash flow challenges.

How Do You Calculate the Percentage of Completion?

Corrigan Krause is a team of dedicated, passionate, experienced professionals who provide comprehensive consulting, Percentage of Completion Method and accounting services to individuals and privately-held businesses. Corrigan Krause is headquartered in Westlake, Ohio with two additional offices in Medina and Mayfield Heights, Ohio. The Percentage of Completion value for the COGS can only be modified/ calculated for the existing revenue data.

total estimated contract

Under IFRS 15, while using the output the costs incurred in relation to satisfied or partially satisfied performance obligations must be written off to the income statement as they are incurred. There are many types of revenue recognition that are allowed under the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles , and they all have different benefits and limitations depending on how you do business. The percentage-of-completion method is a common revenue recognition method for companies that deal in long-term contracts. A management accountant is studying the relationship between the number of units of output in one year and the total cost incurred for a given product.

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