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Accounting for Builders

Running a building business is hard work. The physical challenges aside, you need planning, scheduling and financial skills to manage your cash flow and sub-contractors. The long hours, travel and regulations are all challenges for builders which probably explains why the bookkeeping and administrative functions often take a back seat. Some of the largest financial obligations for a self employed builder are GST, BAS and tax payments, however, many builders end up paying too much tax and incur fines for non-compliance.

Here at R J Tyrrell & Co we understand the building industry from plans to lock up and eventual sale. Make no mistake, having an accountant who understands the mechanics of the building industry can mean the difference between your business thriving or just surviving. As accountants we can assist you with all the usual small business compliance issues of GST, BAS, PAYG and superannuation, however, it is our services beyond complaince that make us different.

Over the years, our team of accountants have mentored dozens of builders, plumbers, electricians and carpenters through the various stages of their business life cycle, from start up right through to sale. We offer you experience, technical tax knowledge and most importantly, an intimate understanding of the building trades.


Starting a building business is a bit like building a house. You need solid foundations and the corner stone of the business is your taxation structure. It is a critical business decision and there are a number of options when it comes to business structures including sole trader, partnership, company and trust. Because of the risks associated with the building industry, asset protection is a key consideration so we sit down with you to discuss your family situation, your forecast level of profits and likelyhood of admitting new business partners in the future. Only then can we make a recommendation regarding the most appropriate  structure for your business.

Your choice of accounting software is another brick in your business foundations. The wrong choice can prove financially disasterous and cause enormous frustration which is why we insist the software matches your business needs with your level ofaccounting skill. If you use a sophisticated double entry accounting program without intermediate accounting skills your records will amount to nothing more than a 'computerised shoebox'. In turn, this will defeat our objective of helping you minimise the cost of tax compliance. Poor records are one of the biggest causes of business failure and you need up to date, accurate financial financial records to make informed business decisions. Where required we will train you to use the right software to help you minimise your compliance costs. We support a range of programs but have a preference for clound based solutions like Xero.

As you know, to build a house frame you also need tools. When building your business we can provide you with a number of practical tools. Our start up expense checklist will help you identify all your potential establishment costs broken down into categories including tools, equipment, IT expenses and marketing costs. These figures then automatically feed into a cash flow budget template that allow you to forecast your trading figures for your first year of operation.

For a builder, your van, truck or ute is arguably your most important business tool and you can download our Motor Vehicle Tax Guide from the resources section of our website. It details the alternative methods of claiming your vehicle expenses and explains the distinction between a business and private trip for a trades person. In addition, through one of our affiliate partners we can assist you with vehicle finance (chattel mortgage or lease) and get you fleet discount 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 th ese ingredients remain important, you need to shift your marketing focus online. Increasingly local searches like ‘Bulder Pakenham’ are driving traffic to your website and often your website is the first touch point with a potential new customer. As you know, you only get one chance to make a good first impression and your website and marketing can be the difference between boom and gloom in your industry.

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. Using some online resources we can help you build a modern brand (business name, logo and slogan) that resonates with your target market. We can even help you develop eye catching stationery at a fraction of the cost of engaging a graphic artist or marketing consultant.

Unfortunately a lot of builders and trades people have websites that are nothing more than electronic billboards that list the who, what and where of the business. On the other hand, over the past few years we have worked with dozens of clients to help them create affordable, lead generation websites. We'll make sure your website is responsive to smart phones and tablets and provide advice and guidance with your website content including video production. 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 strive to give our clients a competitive edge and if you aren’t using some of these marketing techniques in your business then you're probably not going to reach your full profit potential.

We recognise the fact that business owners want more sales, more customers and more profit so we also give you access to one of the world’s most successful marketing programs, the ‘Business Growth System’. It contains details of more than 80 breakthrough marketing strategies supported by videos, templates and checklists. Access to this ‘vault’ of resources would normally cost you $500 per month ($6,000 per annum), however, as a client of the firm you get unlimited FREE access. In addition, you also get FREE access to the ‘Grow Your Business in 5 Days’ video training course that could have a massive impact on your future business growth.

As you can see, we are not your typical accounting firm who view the tax return as the end of the client process. To us, the tax return is just the beginning because we can do some financial modelling and prepare some ‘what if’ scenarios so you understand your business’ best and worst case profit scenarios. Next, using industry benchmarks we can compare the performance of your business against your competitors so you understand what is working in the business and what needs working on. We can also help you understand your key numbers and unlock the profit potential in your business.

Our approach is unique and our mission is to help you fast track your business success. The team of building trades specialists at R J Tyrrell & Co offer you a range of accounting, taxation and business coaching services including:

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

We are more than just tax accountants. We are ‘business and profit builders’ who provide strategic advice and practical business solutions designed to give you a serious competitive advantage in your industry. We work hard to understand your business and over the past decade the building industry has become a niche area within our accounting practice. If you're looking to get your building business off to a flying start or you want to boost your current business results, contact us today.

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 free call (03) 5941 4868 or complete your details in the box at the top of this page.

R J Tyrrell & Co - Your Business is Our Passion

T (03) 5941 4868 F (03) 5941 4750
A 1/56 John Street,
   Pakenham VIC 3810
P PO Box 555,
   Pakenham VIC 3810

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