by Werx

Unlock Progress & AIA Billing

Optimize cashflow with progress billing today.

As the construction industry continues to thrive with increasing demand for new infrastructure projects and property developments, cash flow management becomes a critical aspect of success for construction companies. One effective way to optimize cash flow in the construction industry is through progress billing and retainage practices. In this article, we will explore how progress billing and retainage work and their significance in managing cash flow for construction companies.


What is Progress Billing?

Progress billing is a billing method commonly used in the construction industry to invoice clients for work completed on a project. Unlike traditional invoicing, where the contractor invoices for the total contract amount upon project completion, progress billing allows contractors to invoice for the portion of work completed during a specific period. This enables contractors to receive payments in increments as the project progresses, rather than waiting until the project is fully completed.

Progress billing is typically based on the percentage of work completed or the value of work completed during a specific period. The percentage of completion is usually determined by comparing the actual work completed to the total work planned for the project, as defined in the project contract. For example, if a construction project is 50% complete and the total contract amount is $1 million, the contractor can issue a progress invoice for $500,000 (50% of $1 million).

Progress billing can provide several benefits for construction companies. It helps improve cash flow by allowing them to receive payments at different stages of the project, which can help cover costs such as labor, materials, and subcontractor payments. It also provides transparency to clients as they can see the progress of the project and how their payments align with the work completed. Additionally, progress billing can help mitigate risks by avoiding overbilling and potential disputes over payments, as payments are based on actual work completed.


What is Retainage?

Retainage, also known as retention, is a common practice in the construction industry where a certain percentage of each progress payment is withheld by the owner or client until the project is completed and accepted. Retainage serves as a form of security or protection for the owner to ensure that the contractor completes the project according to the contract requirements and resolves any outstanding issues before the final payment is made.

Retainage is typically calculated as a percentage of the progress billing amount and is specified in the contract between the contractor and the owner. The percentage of retainage varies by project and jurisdiction, but it is commonly in the range of 5% to 10% of each progress payment. For example, if the progress billing amount is $100,000 and the retainage percentage is 5%, the contractor would receive $95,000 as the progress payment, with $5,000 withheld as retainage.

Retainage is typically released to the contractor upon completion of the project or when specific milestones or tasks are completed, as defined in the contract. It provides an incentive for the contractor to complete the project in a timely manner and to address any defects or deficiencies before the final payment is made.


AIA Billing

AIA (American Institute of Architects) billing is a standardized billing system widely used in the construction industry for invoicing and payment applications. AIA billing follows a specific format that includes detailed information on the project, progress of work, and payment details. It is based on a series of standard forms provided by the AIA, such as G702 and G703, which outline the progress billing and the accompanying payment application. AIA billing provides a consistent and transparent method for contractors to communicate the status of work to owners, architects, and other stakeholders, facilitating smooth payment processes and financial management in construction projects.


Unlock Cashflow

Progress billing and retainage are essential practices for managing cash flow in the construction industry. Progress billing allows contractors to invoice for work completed during specific periods, providing incremental payments throughout the project. Retainage, on the other hand, serves as a security measure for owners to ensure that contractors complete the project and address any outstanding issues before final payment release.

By understanding contract requirements, keeping accurate records, and maintaining effective communication with owners, construction companies can effectively manage progress billing and retainage to optimize cash flow. These practices provide transparency, mitigate risks, and incentivize timely project completion.

Implementing sound progress billing and retainage practices can unlock cash flow for construction companies, enabling them to manage costs, meet financial obligations, and achieve success in an increasingly competitive industry.

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