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Accounting system and internal control reviews

A strong internal control system is critical to achieving compliance with the FAR and related regulations, and to the acceptance of your firm’s overhead rate for purposes of government contracting. Our involvement in developing the AASHTO Audit Guide and related NHI training, and ongoing role in these issues, give us tremendous insight into the expectations of State DOTs in the area of internal controls. Let us review your system and provide suggestions for potential improvements to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your efforts in this area.

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Policies and procedures

Consistent application of appropriate policies and procedures are critical to cost allowability. Conversely, audit findings of deficiencies in this area can result in questioned costs in the tens of thousands or even millions of dollars. We can help you to examine your policies and procedures to support FAR compliance and allowability of your costs. And as necessary, we can assist you in implementing the necessary improvements to achieve compliance and reduce the risk of disallowed costs.

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Contract and cost proposal support

Contracting with local, State and federal agencies can be a complex process. We can function as an extension of your staff to assist in developing, reviewing and negotiating cost proposals and
contracts that meet all applicable compliance requirements while helping to ensure that you are compensated fairly.

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Subconsultant support

Many government contracts require the use of small businesses to meet subcontracting goals. Often, these small businesses lack the resources and expertise to comply with FAR Part 31 or other requirements. We can assist your firm in meeting your subcontracting goals by working directly with your subconsultants to educate them on these requirements and to help them to comply. Our assistance in the cost proposal and negotiation stage will help you to avoid potential future questioned costs for these subconsultants later in the project.

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Dispute resolution

We have substantial experience and expertise in resolving contract, audit and cost disputes between A/E firms and state, local and federal agencies. Let us help you to achieve resolution of these difficult issues, allowing your project managers to maintain a positive working relationship with your clients.

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Executive compensation review and analysis

One of our specialties is helping A/E firms to evaluate the allowability and reasonableness of executive compensation under FAR Part 31, to assist in the development of a FAR-compliant overhead rate. Dan Purvine, President of A/E Clarity, helped to write Chapter 7 of the AASHTO Audit Guide on compensation, and teaches nationally on the subject. He was also a member of the National Compensation Matrix development team, representing ACEC and the A/E industry. State DOTs have identified executive compensation as a key risk area in the development of A/E firm indirect cost rates, and one where many firms are not doing enough. We can help you to develop an executive compensation analysis that will not only meet all applicable requirements and the expectations of your state DOT clients, but also show your commitment to proper treatment of this important issue.

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Audit support

There is often no more stressful process than undergoing an audit. Let us help to take the worry and stress out of the audit process. We can work with your staff and your CPA firm to assist in pre-audit testing and evaluation, to address issues and help you to avoid costly audit findings. By helping you to develop and document policies and procedures for key areas, we can help to reduce audit risks and improve the perception of your firm’s internal controls and the accuracy of your overhead rate. Ultimately, having better policies and procedures will help you to keep audit costs down.

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Overhead/indirect cost rate audits

Through a related CPA firm, we perform overhead / indirect cost rate audits for A/E firm clients. Through our substantial experience in auditing and developing A/E firm indirect cost rates, we know what’s necessary to perform an efficient, effective audit that will meet the stringent requirements of state DOTs and local and federal agencies. Our team was heavily involved in developing the current series of National Highway Institute training courses on the AASHTO Audit Guide, as well as the Guide itself, and spends substantial time traveling the country and presenting these courses, as well as addressing issues of FAR compliance for firms nationwide. Let us bring this expertise to you in the performance of your overhead audit.

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Time for a Tune Up?

08/08/2018 - 11:30am


Summer is going by fast, and I hope all of you are getting a chance to take a break, go on vacation, and spend time with family and friends. 

This is also the time of year when many of you are going through the annual review of your overhead rate by one or more state DOTs. 

Supporting a Successful Overhead Rate Audit in 2018

12/21/2017 - 8:09am

Today's blog is geared toward audit clients of D. L. Purvine, CPA, PLLC. We'd like to take the opportunity to bring you information on current events and ideas that will help you to better understand FAR, improve your processes, and be more prepared for a smooth overhead rate audit.  If there are topics that you would like to see highlighted in future issues, please let us know!