Three Steps to Optimizing Your Overhead Rate

Professional architectural, engineering, railroad, and utility companies who perform work for government agencies are generally required to have an independently audited overhead rate. You calculate this rate by dividing total allowable indirect expenses over direct labor but getting to this step and optimizing this result involves some effort.

It might seem as you're jumping through hoops to satisfy a regulatory body, but that's only partially true. If you're working in this space, your livelihood and success depend on your ability to be fully reimbursed for your eligible costs and make the right decisions on future contracts. These are just a few of the reasons why understanding and optimizing your overhead rate are vital.

New Business Tax Credit for Employers Providing Paid Family & Medical Leave

Eligible employers who provide paid family and medical leave to their employees during tax years 2018 and 2019 might qualify for a new business tax credit.

This new employer credit for family and medical leave is part of tax reform legislation passed in December 2017.

The intent of the business tax credit is to encourage companies to offer paid time to their employees for family responsibilities, offer relief of some financial pressure. Under the guidelines, employers can get a tax credit equivalent to a percentage of the wages normally paid to employees during any period for up to 12 weeks, who are on family or medical leave.

Employers setting up or updating a leave policy may also be eligible for retroactive credit.

Did You Get this Call from the IRS? (Listen to the call here!)

If your business is anything like ours, it probably gets hundreds of unsolicited emails and calls every week. Whether it’s a seemingly innocuous request for payment information or a blatant attempt to swindle the company, scammers are constantly out to get our (and your) money and private information. Both are desirable to scammers, but information may be even more valuable than cash because they can sell it to numerous other fraudsters.

Common FDOT Contractor Prequalification Application Questions (and Answers)

Florida Law (Chapter 337.14 F.S.) And Rules of the State of Florida, Department of Transportation, (Chapter 14-22, F.A.C.) require contractors to be prequalified with the Department in order to bid for the performance of road, bridge, or public transportation construction contracts greater than $250,000.00.

Prequalification is accomplished by using an annual application process. Applicants should read Chapter 337.14 F.S. and Rule 14-22 F.A.C. to review for compliance prior to completing the application.

All corporations, LLCs, limited and general partnerships, LLPs and LLLPs wishing to do business within the State of Florida must register with the Florida Department of State here.  This registration is renewed annually.  An active registration is required before a certificate of qualification can be issued.

10 Traits of a FAR Compliant Accounting System

A FAR compliant accounting system is a common prerequisite for becoming a pre-qualified consultant for a state transportation department. 

Your accounting system must, among other functions, properly segregate direct and indirect costs in accordance with the Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) of Federal Acquisition Regulation(FAR) Part 31 for you to work government contracts.

If you do not have a FAR compliant accounting system, you could fail to get or keep pre-qualified consultant status and perhaps miss opportunities to bid on transportation contracts all together.

Preparing for an FDOT Reimbursement Rate Audit - Management's Responsibilities

Engineering firms must provide annual reimbursement rate audit reports to the Florida Department of Transportation to bid on contracts larger than $500,000. 

FDOT Reimbursement Rate Audit Guidelines contain specific Departmental requirements in addition to the general guidelines contained in the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Uniform Audit and Accounting Guide.

How to Comply with FDOT Job Cost Accounting System Requirements

The Florida Department of Transportation requires consultants requesting professional services prequalification at the unlimited level (greater than $500,000 in fees) to certify the establishment of an accounting system that separates and accumulates direct and indirect costs, and identifies and records labor charges and expenditures for specific projects or jobs.

Overhead Rate Audits Explained


What is a FAR overhead rate?

Technically known as a firm's "indirect cost rate," the more familiarly known "overhead rate" is the percentage of general expenses that consultants can bill to contracting government agencies. More specifically, it is the ratio of allowable indirect costs to total allocable direct labor costs.

Estimate FDOT Reimbursement Rate

The year is almost done. Do you know your FDOT reimbursement rate?

Knowing what your rate is for the year so far and projecting results for the remaining months of the year will allow you to:

Is It Better to Use a Bookkeeper, CPA or Enrolled Agent to File Your Taxes?

During tax season the same question always resurfaces among executives, business owners, and independent contractors – who should prepare my taxes?

While this question depends on each circumstance, the primary benefits of using a tax professional will always be time savings and improved accuracy. Individuals with more complicated tax needs will obviously benefit more from hiring someone to do their taxes, but everyone will benefit to some extent.  

The Serious Consequences of Poor Business Transition Planning

Fifty years after The Beatles first sang, “Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?” baby boomers are asking the same question of the businesses they own.

Pre-recession business owners busied themselves growing their companies, often assuming their values would increase with a go-go economy and that they eventually could cash out with ample sums to live in comfortable retirements.

Unfortunately, those assumptions did not always hold true. Boomer business owners must now decide whether to sell their companies for less than they had once hoped or to work longer than they had planned.

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Increasing Reimbursements and Profits at Your Architect & Engineering Firm



3 Steps to Optimizing Your FAR Overhead Rate

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