Four Tips to Get Paid Quicker When Using AIA Payment Applications

By AIA Contract Documents

November 30, 2022

Contractors and subcontractors need to get paid on time in order to get the job done on time and avoid delays. From purchasing materials to overhead and profit, it is critical to get paid the amounts requested in a timely manner. Before you begin:

  • Check with the owner/general contractor (if you are a subcontractor) on a draft; make sure you agree to completed work.
  • Confirm that you have all the required documents such as Lien Waivers and Sworn Statements the first time you submit the package.
  • Ensure all change orders have been approved prior to submitting the pay application.

Here are some tips for filling out AIA payment applications:

  • List your line items on the Continuation Sheet (G703, G703S, etc.), then fill out the payment application (G702, G702S, etc.).
    • The AIA Contract Documents online system lets you import from G703 to G702. It also lets you pull data from the previous pay period as well.
    • Keep in mind that the Continuation Sheet is a line-item-by-line-item breakdown, so it does not necessarily correspond to the exact amount requested in the payment application.
  • Retainage: fixed or variable rate?
    • Fixed rate retainage is a specific percentage based on the Completed Work (G703 Columns D and E) and/or Stored Material (G703 Column F) that is the same for ALL line items. You can simply fill out the pay app as a fixed rate and enter the percentage(s) in G702 Line 5A and/or 5B.
    • Variable rate retainage varies among portions of the work, so you enter the dollar amount for each line item in G703 Column I. This then gets transferred to G702 Line 5. (Lines 5A and 5B are not relevant in this case, because it just brings in the Grand Total of G703 Column I.)
  • Change Orders: How do I list them?
    • List each Change Order on the continuation sheet as a line item of work, then fill out the “Change Order Summary” table at the bottom of the pay application.
  • Stored Materials: How do I account for this and avoid double-billing?
    • Per the continuation sheet instructions: Column F: Enter here the value of materials presently stored for which payment is sought. The total of the column must be recalculated at the end of each pay period. This value covers both materials newly stored for which payment is sought and materials previously stored which are not yet incorporated into the project. Mere payment by the owner for stored materials does not result in a deduction from this column. Only as materials are incorporated into the project is their value deducted from this column and incorporated into column E (Work Completed–This Period.)
    • This does NOT double-bill because amounts previously requested come out in the pay application Line 7 (Less Previous Certificates for Payment).

For more information, please see:

FAQs: Application and Certificate for Payment forms, used also for final payment

Completing payment applications in the online service

AIA Contract Documents has provided this article for general informational purposes only. The information provided is not legal opinion or legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship of any kind. This article is also not intended to provide guidance as to how project parties should interpret their specific contracts or resolve contract disputes, as those decisions will need to be made in consultation with legal counsel, insurance counsel, and other professionals, and based upon a multitude of factors.