How Working with Nonprofits is Beneficial for Design Engineers (or Professional Services Firms)

   It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.” - Napoleon Hill

Choosing any professional for a job is never easy. Most people don't know exactly what design engineers do, and they certainly don't know how to judge how competent they are.

But your potential clients might one day need the services of an A/E firm (don't leave out professional services firms) and wonder how they'll be able to choose the best one. While experience and skill in the industry are understandably important, not being deliberate enough in this selection process can have serious ramifications.

Maybe a business chooses an A/E firm based on a recommendation, but there's no innovation or creativity. Or a selected design engineer lacks dedication to the project, leaving the client wishing they could ditch the contract for someone else.

     How can a potential client see into the heart and mind of a design engineer professional whose work is done largely behind the scenes?

These are difficult scenarios, but not uncommon. How can a potential client see into the heart and mind of a design engineer professional whose work is done largely behind the scenes?

While past projects are one way to accomplish this, so is the right kind of work with nonprofits.

What FDOT Consultants Need to Know About Job Cost Accounting Systems

Professional Consultants seeking to provide services to the Florida Department of Transportation must be certified as “qualified” annually in accordance with Chapter 14-75 of the Florida Administrative Code.

The First & Primary Requirement

Regardless of whether the “Request for Qualification Package for Professional Consultants” is the initial submission or an annual renewal, the package must include evidence that you (the Consultant) maintains an accounting system adequate to separate and accumulate direct and indirect costs and to support billings to the FDOT Department and other clients.

The capability to identify and separately report direct and indirect costs is the first and primary Departmental requirement for your accounting systems.

When you (the Consultant) has the expectation of billing for direct labor by the hour, a job cost accounting system is required in order to “support billings to the FDOT Department.”

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.

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.

increasing-reimbursements-and-profits-at-your-architect-and engineering-cover-3d-600

Increasing Reimbursements and Profits at Your Architect & Engineering Firm



3 Steps to Optimizing Your FAR Overhead Rate

Get Your Copy >
Recent Posts

How Working with Nonprofits is Beneficial for Design Engineers (or Professional Services Firms)

   It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.” - Napoleon Hill Choosing any professional for a job is n...

Read more

When is the Best Time to Die – The Ultimate Guide for Business Owners Who Do Not Plan to Retire but Who Will One Day Be Kaput

   I have enough money to live comfortably for the rest of my life... If I die next Thursday.”  - anonymous    I’ve been told , more times than once, ...

Read more

The Pros and Cons of Contracting with the Government

The United States government spent $835 billion in contractual services in 2018, making it the world's largest employer for contract work. If you or y...

Read more

New IRS Tax Forms - There are six new schedules

Following the most expansive tax law changes in 30 years, Treasury asked the IRS to look at ways to improve the 1040 filing experience. The IRS review...

Read more