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 your business can meet the government's requirements, you could end up with a healthy revenue stream. But every job has its pros and cons, and government contracting is no different.
Whether you choose to become a government contractor could involve a mixture of circumstance and personal preference. There are some who swear by this type of work and others who wouldn't touch a government job if offered one. Still, others have more government work than they can handle and long for something else.
While government contracting can be an excellent way to start or sustain a business, it's not without its downsides. As with any risk, you must evaluate all factors to determine if the reward is worth the effort. Here are some of the pros and cons of contracting with the government.
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.
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.
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