A professional service firm such as an engineering design firm or construction engineering and inspection firm can be thought of as a rocket ship. Looking at the business as a rocket ship, it gets easier to remember and share the elements of developing a successful business.
Like a rocket ship a business has two basic parts, the engines that power the ship, and the guidance systems to set course. Our rock ship has five engines and four guidance systems.
Thinking back to when you first started your firm, if you did not go through the checklist you see below formally, you did so informally.
Subcontracting allows small and disadvantaged businesses to substantially impact the federal procurement preference programs. Large prime contractors receiving Federal contract awards valued over $700,000 ($1.5 million for construction) are required to establish plans and goals for subcontracting with small businesses, veteran-owned small businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, HUBZone small businesses, small disadvantaged businesses and women-owned small business concerns. More information on the government's subcontracting program can be found under the Federal Acquisition Regulations Subpart 19.7
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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:
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