Posted: May 25th, 2022

Contractor Estimating and Accounting Systems

Contractor Estimating and Accounting Systems

When negotiations between the government and a contractor are taking place, a conventional estimating system becomes necessary. The DOD policy mandates every contractor to have an estimating system. Moreover, the policy places a requirement to maintain, disclose, and support the estimating system’s review on every contractor (Semaan & Salem, 2017). In the wake of technological advancements in the last few decades, the industry has benefited differently, such as innovations. Contractor estimating systems have a positive effect on how business is conducted and determine the achievement of goals. Accounting systems are also essential tools for contractors. These are systems of procedures and methods that have been established to record, analyze, interpret, and show, among other activities, timely and accurate data on financial statements. They are used in decision-making and compliance with regulations and laws.

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Literature Review

Today, companies and firms have been forced to move towards automated systems that use specialized software and activities. Accounting systems and contractor estimating have become essential tools for contractors in their line of operations. According to Lambart (2018), these tools are essential in determining the feasibility of a project and help achieve the goals set and fulfill the vision that a company or project hopes to achieve.

Accounting systems are valuable tools in managing expenses, income, and other activities that are finance-related. With accounting systems, a company, firm, or contractor can keep track of every financial transaction, such as the sales, liabilities, and purchases. Moreover, accounting systems are designed to generate comprehensive financial reports that give the contractor, management, and any interested party a precise data set helpful in making decisions. Another essential aspect of accounting systems is a review of an accounting system whose main objective is determining an accounting system’s suitability and adequacy and the practices which accumulate costs under prospective government contracts or those that already exist (Lambart, 2018).

According to Alshanti (2017), an estimator’s most crucial task is compiling accurate information for a project. Erroneous estimates have severe consequences for both parties involved since it translates into extra costs. A well-prepared estimate helps to draw a proper budget that the contractor operates within, all the way to the completion of a project. In general, a well-prepared estimate helps the contractor avoid making losses in the long run and maximize profits.


Estimating systems have become popular over the last few decades with the increase in technological advancement and innovations. Contractor estimating systems provide valuable solutions in the industry, so the increasing popularity is not mysterious. As a result, many contractors have embraced it. With these systems, accuracy is no longer an issue, especially in the fluctuating and competitive economy. Under such conditions, keeping track of expenditures in terms of equipment and materials and other budgetary expenditures is critical to the success and profitability of any project (Alshanti, 2017). Estimating systems provide the necessary tools to keep track of essential data and establish the closest total cost of the project to be undertaken.

The estimating systems are also helpful and applied to manage a project better. It enables a contractor to manage their project better since the operations can be appropriately aligned with the estimation software to ensure that purchases and procurements are cost-effective. These systems also ensure that the tracking of items is seamless and efficient. These systems are also used to bring about consistency, convenience, efficiency, and integration (Alshanti, 2017).

Similarly, accounting systems are of great use to contractors. Geiger & Ittner (2019) write that contractor accounting tools provide most data on pricing and cost and other information related to cost that a contractor or a firm avails for the government in their dealings. Contractors make use of accounting systems when decisions related to cost data are made. Such data include the commencement of progressive payments, pricing of contracts, and responsibility of the contractor as far as the fixed-price contracts are concerned.

A review of accounting systems is applied when determining the sustainability and adequacy for cost accumulation under an existing or a prospective contract. In case of an inconsistency between the contractor’s application requirements and accounting practices, then costs that arise from such practices are not allowed excessively over those that would have been incurred from consistent practices. They are also applied in tracking finances that have specific purposes for a project and give feedback on the completed amount of work. They are also used to develop budgets, payroll management, collaboration with other contractors, and monitoring the use of equipment (Geiger & Ittner, 2019).

Conclusion and Recommendation

Accounting systems help track the expenses and income of a company or a project. They are also valuable for tracking finances and provide feedback on the work completed. They are also used to develop budgets, payroll management, collaboration with other contractors, and monitoring the use of equipment. Using these systems, the contractors and companies can perform their operations seamlessly and efficiently while staying organized. The overall outcome is that the profit margin increases (Semaan & Salem, 2017).

Additionally, accounting systems help reduce or remove errors that may occur manually and entries that appear twice, and classifying receipts and data entry. Contractors estimating is of equal importance when it comes to project management and execution. These help the contractor avoid losing money since everything is projected in advance. Any error that is likely to occur is remedied before affecting the whole project (Lambart, 2018).

Ultimately, the most crucial aspect of a project is affordability. Using the relevant estimating services and accounting systems will guarantee that costs are appropriately managed. Therefore, more future research should be done to understand better these tools and how they can best be applied, especially as the world continues growing in technology and innovation.


Al-shanti, Y. A. E. R. (2017). A cost estimate system for Gaza Strip construction contractors.

Geiger, D. R., & Ittner, C. D. (2019). The influence of funding source and legislative requirements on government cost accounting practices.Accounting, Organizations and Society,21(6), 549-567.

Lambert, R. A. (2018). Contracting theory and accounting.Journal of accounting and economics,32(1-3), 3-87.

Semaan, N., & Salem, M. (2017). A deterministic contractor selection decision support system for competitive bidding.Engineering, construction, and architectural management.

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