Government regulation requires costs to be classified as either a direct cost or an indirect cost. As we know, indirect costs, in the aggregate, represent the largest class of expense incurred on government contracts. Direct costs, by definition, are identifiable with a specific “final cost objective” while indirect costs are associated with common or joint cost objectives.
Learn about service centers and cost allocation methods, specifically direct allocation and step allocation, that can help you understand the "true" cost of your products and services so you can price them for a profitable return.
The recent cancellation of the General Services Administration (GSA) $15Billion Alliant 2 Small Business (A2SB) contract highlights the need for small government contractors to have a properly evaluated cost accounting system.
The government cannot dictate the number of indirect rates you have or how you apply them but they can cite you for non-compliance in the allocation of your indirect costs. Learn how best to allocate your costs based on the type of expense.
Was your rate structure used to allocate indirect costs to your products or services established to satisfy your accounting software? Was it dictated by your customer? Did you set it up because you thought that is what was needed to win contracts? Did you get it from a book or seminar, or even Google? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you need to read further.