Completed-Contract Method Definition

Forex Glossary


The term completed-contract method identifies a accounting approach which guarantees the recognition of earnings and costs connected with longterm endeavors. The completed-contract method permits organizations to collect earnings and costs on the balance sheet, however no credits or charges appear on the sales invoice before job will be completed and brought directly to the client.


The FASB Concept Statement No. 5 countries which organizations can’t recognize earnings because being got until they’re realized or realizable, and also the organization has significantly finished what it should accomplish to be able to qualify to payment. Revenue might be realized at the purpose of purchase, before, and after delivery, or even as an ingredient of a distinctive earnings trade.

Long-term projects often-times require the client to make obligations as certain milestones are reached. This is a frequent structure within the construction and other heavy equipment businesses which may demand customized projects or services and products which could take years to finish or build.

The completed-contract process hastens costs and earnings over the balance sheet before job is delivered directly to the client. When that happens, the balance sheet items are transferred into the revenue statement. Even the completed-contract approach permits businesses to report those costs and earnings based on actual outcome, while averting the estimating errors that could occur while employing the percentage-of-completion technique.

While the completed-contract method removes the potential for a twisted revenue announcement, it’s idea to misrepresent the provider ‘s actual operation in the event the longterm endeavor crosses multiple accounting periods. The calculation of earnings and costs listed on the balance sheet could be equal to people flowing into the earnings statement below the percentage-of-completion technique.


Company A has contracted Company Z to upgrade their customer information platform. The entire value of this contract together with Company Z may be worth $22 million and the job is anticipated to take 36 months to finish. Company Z’s internal quote indicates the job will probably cost $15 million to finish. The initial milestone payment from Company A doesn’t happen until eight months to the job, however, Company Z want to recognize revenue in the balance sheet at the upcoming yearly report. At the point in time, the Company Z would’ve expended $5 million in costs.

Using the completed-contract procedure, the percent total are Just like that calculated beneath the percentage-of-completion strategy:

= $5 million / $ 1-5 million, or 3 3% absolute

The Present period accounts receivable will be computed as:

= 33 percent $22 million
= 7.26 million

The diary entries to record such transactions on the balance sheet will subsequently be:

Debit Credit
Unbilled Revenue in Excess of Cost $2,260,000
Inventory: Construction in Progress $5,000,000
Unbilled Revenue $7,260,000

Note: Since that may be the very first conclusion of earnings, there’s not any requirement to correct this value for earlier periods. Each one the above mentioned accounts are present in the balance sheet.

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