Close this search box.

Work progress: definition and challenges

Work progress report is an essential document in the construction industry. It is used to monitor the financial progress of worksites and the contractual relationship between the various parties involved. In this article, we will explore in detail what a progress report is, what information should be included in it, and provide some concrete examples for better understanding.

Work progress definition :

A works progress report, also known as a “progress invoice” or “worksite statement”, is a document issued by the company carrying out the work (contractor, tradesman, etc.) to the project owner or his representative. This periodic invoice details the work carried out, the quantities completed, the materials used and the cost associated with these services over a given period, usually monthly.

Let’s imagine a house-building worksite. Every month, the construction company issues a works report to the owner. This statement details the work carried out during the month, including the completion of the foundations, the laying of the walls, the installation of the roof, etc. It also specifies the quantity of materials used. It also specifies the quantity of materials used, such as the number of bricks, bags of cement and hours of labour. In addition, the statement of work calculates the total cost of the work carried out and indicates the amount the homeowner must pay for that month. Finally, this document is used to take a step back from the worksite and monitor its progress more closely.

Why is important to prepare a work progress report?

  1. Precise financial monitoring

The first major reason for drawing up a works progress report is to keep a close financial eye on the worksite. By providing a detailed overview of the work carried out, the quantities of materials used and the associated costs over a given period, it makes it possible to accurately calculate the amount owed by the customer. This ensures that payments are made in accordance with the contract, avoiding costly disagreements and late payments.

  1. Justification of expenditure

The second fundamental reason is to justify the expenditure incurred by the construction company or contractor. The works report serves as tangible proof of the work carried out, the materials used and the hours of labour invested. In the event of a dispute or need for verification, this document can be used to demonstrate that all the work has been carried out in accordance with the contract specifications. This provides crucial transparency for all parties involved.

  1. Managing the contractual relationship

Thirdly, the works report contributes to the smooth management of the contractual relationship between the customer and the contractor. It ensures clear traceability of services, costs and payments, thereby strengthening mutual trust. What’s more, it enables any problems, such as delays or budget overruns, to be detected at an early stage, enabling corrective measures to be taken in good time, thereby safeguarding stakeholder satisfaction and the success of the project.

real estate and inspector concept, looking house model by magnifying glass in construction site table

Information to be included on the work invoice

  • The number of the quotation relating to the situation
  • Identification of associated contracts
  • Overall progress of the contract and worksite
  • Progress to the last deadline (0 if it’s the first)

In addition to these specific elements, it must also include the following information:

  • Company details (SIRET, company name)
  • Customer details (surname, first name or legal name, address, telephone number, e-mail address)
  • A full description of the work carried out
  • Unit costs excluding VAT and including VAT
  • The total before and after tax

The 3 major risks of a bad work progress

Factoring companies are generally reluctant to enter into factoring contracts for services involving work progress. This reluctance stems from the fact that work progress are not considered as invoices in their own right, but rather as advance payments.

As a result, certain risks arise:

  • Contract amendment risk: when amendments are made to the original contract. This can affect the total amount due for the work. As a result, the amount invoiced in the works statements may no longer correspond to the final amount actually due. If the parties involved (client and contractor) are unable to reach agreement on payment adjustments linked to contract amendments, the factoring company may find itself in a tricky situation. Care should therefore be taken.
  • Inability to complete the work: the factoring company may experience financial difficulties leading to a court-ordered liquidation, leaving it unable to complete the planned work. In such a situation, any advance payments already made are lost, as the final invoice can never be issued.
  • Refusal of the final invoice by the client: in this case, the company has already paid the service provider but risks not being able to recover these sums from the client. This can create a definite financial imbalance.

FAQ – Works progress

Is a works progress report an invoice?

Yes, a works report is a form of invoice used in the construction sector to detail the work carried out over a given period and the associated costs.

Who approves works progress reports?

Work progress reports are generally validated by the project owner (the customer) or their representative, such as an architect or project manager.

How do you validate a works report?

To validate a statement of work, the customer or his representative examines the document to ensure that it is accurate and complies with the contract. Once validated, the work progress can be paid for by the customer in accordance with the terms and conditions agreed in the contract.

Share this news: