Key Financial & Safety Metrics for Subcontractor Qualification 

Key Financial & Safety Metrics for Subcontractor Qualification 

Evaluating a subcontractor’s health before awarding work has become more important than ever for general contractors. For one thing, circumstances can change quickly in today’s uncertain construction industry. For another, work delays from 2021 are likely to impact the risk of subcontractor default in 2022 and beyond.  

The following standard financial ratios can help risk management teams evaluate potential trade partners during the subcontractor qualification process. Extracting key ratios from financial statements and safety metrics from OSHA filings allows builders to gauge a subcontractor’s short-term and long-term health — and empower estimators with the data they need to make more informed bidding decisions. 


Quick Ratio 

A very common liquidity metric, the Quick Ratio is also known as the “Acid Test” ratio. A higher ratio indicates a stronger cash position. 

Formula: (Cash and Cash Equivalents + Marketable Securities + Accounts Receivables) / Current Liabilities 

Current Ratio 

Like the Quick Ratio, Current Ratio measures a company’s ability to pay off its short-term liabilities with its current assets. A higher ratio indicates a strong working capital position. 

Formula: Current Assets / Liabilities 

Days of Cash on Hand 

Days of Cash on Hand is the number of days that a company can continue to pay its operating expenses, given the amount of cash available and assuming there is no additional revenue. A high value indicates a strong cash position and ability to withstand cash flow constraints. 

Formula: Cash on Hand / (Operating Expenses – Depreciation) / 365 Days  

Underbillings to WC  

Underbillings to Working Capital indicates the percentage of a company’s working capital that is composed of work performed but not yet billed. Underbillings may be unreliable assets, therefore a lower ratio is preferred. 

Formula: Underbillings / Working Capital 


Accounts Receivable Turnover  

Accounts Receivable Turnover is an activity ratio that measures how efficiently a firm uses its assets. A higher ratio indicates a stronger ability to collect on Accounts Receivable. 

Formula: Revenue / Accounts Receivable  

Working Capital Turnover  

Working Capital Turnover compares the depletion of working capital to the generation of sales over a given period. This provides some insight as to how effectively a company is using its working capital to generate new sales. 

Formula: Revenue / Working Capital  

Asset Turnover Ratio 

Asset Turnover Ratio indicates the efficiency with which a company is deploying its assets in order to generate revenue. 

Formula: Revenue / Total Assets  


Debt Ratio 

Debt Ratio measures the extent of a company’s leverage. It can be used to determine the proportion of a company’s assets that are financed by debt. A high ratio indicates a heavily leveraged company, and is less preferrable. 

Formula: Total Liabilities / Total Assets 


Debt-to-Equity measures how much suppliers, lenders, creditors and obligors have committed to the company versus what the shareholders have committed. A lower ratio is preferred. 

Formula: Total Liabilities / Total Shareholders’ Equity 

Debt (Less Cash) to Equity 

This is like the Debt-to-Equity ratio but adjusts to the strengths or weaknesses of a company's cash position. Cash is excluded from liabilities in this ratio because cash can be used to retire a liability at any point in time. In some cases, this may be a better indicator of how leveraged the company is. 

Formula: (Total Liabilities – Cash & Cash Equivalents) / Total Shareholders’ Equity  

Cash to Overbillings 

Cash to Overbillings is the percentage of a company’s cash that is composed of work not yet performed but already billed. This ratio is used to identify whether the cash from billings has been collected/ spent or saved as cash. 

Formula: Cash & Cash Equivalents / Overbillings 

Working Capital Compression 

Working Capital Compression is used to measure compression in the current portion of the balance sheet. A low ratio indicates that the company is financing a substantial portion of its current assets to create a relatively small working capital position. 

Formula: Working Capital / Current Assets 


Gross Profit Margin 

Gross Profit Margin indicates the gross profit (revenue less cost of sales) as a percentage of overall revenue. 

Formula: (Total Revenue – Cost of Goods Sold) / Total Revenue 

Return on Assets  

Return on Assets measures how effectively assets are being used to generate net profit. 

Formula: Net Income / Total Assets 

Net Profit Margin 

Net Profit Margin indicates the net profit (revenue less cost of sales plus all operating expenses, interest, taxes and dividends) as a percentage of overall revenue. 

Formula: Net Income / Total Revenue 


Experience Modification Rate (EMR) 

EMR is a value calculated by insurance carriers and is an indication of Worker’s Compensation claims history. EMR indicates the ratio of actual losses to expected losses, though it can be an imperfect metric that sometimes hurts smaller companies disproportionally more than larger.  

Recordable Incident Rate (RIR)  

RIR describes the rate of employees per 100 full-time employees that have been involved in a recordable injury or illness. 

Formula: (Number of Incidents x 200,000) / Total Hours Worked 

Days Away / Restricted or Job Transfer Rate (DART) 

The rate of recordable incidents per 100 full-time employees that resulted in lost or restricted days or job transfer due to work related injuries or illnesses. 

Formula: (Number of OSHA Recordable Injuries and Illnesses that Resulted in Days Away; Restricted; Transferred X 200,000) / Total Hours Worked 

Simplify Subcontractor Qualification with TradeTapp 

TradeTapp, Autodesk’s subcontractor qualification solution, helps risk managers quickly collect and evaluate this financial and safety data. Automated email reminders ensure subcontractors provide the necessary information without the chase, and TradeTapp’s risk evaluation engine provides concrete risk mitigation recommendations based on the results. 

Request a demo today.  

McKenzie Gregory

McKenzie Gregory was a Content Marketing Manager at Autodesk Construction Solutions.