Uncompensated Overtime - A DCAA Hot Button
One question we always get is how to account for uncompensated overtime. Almost every small business has at least one employee working gazillion hours over a standard 40-hour work week. The DCAA considers these hours "at work labor." They want these hours captured in the name of treating all contractors accounting and pricing systems equitably and consistently.
Not addressing this issue successfully now poses a huge risk since DCAA auditors have no wiggle room in overlooking it as a minor problem. Any deficiency in your accounting system will likely lead to a failing grade, according to the latest DCAA guidance to its auditors (see previous article). This could prevent you from obtaining lucrative flexibly-priced contracts or fixed price contracts financed through progress payments.
The DCAA way
The basic DCAA audit guidance for addressing uncompensated overtime is very simple and straight-forward. They will divide your yearly salary by all the hours you worked and used for personal time off. This results in your "effective" billing rate. The DCAA expects you to adjust your rate in your accounting system each pay period to reflect this effective rate. The drawback to this system is contractors have to make these adjustments in their accounting system every pay period. It also artificially reduces your hourly rate. The DCAA will use this lower rate when evaluating any proposal you have submitted to the government or a prime.
A better way
The DCAA guidance does recognize other methods as being suitably fair and consistent. One approach lets you use your existing timekeeping system to segregate your "extra effort" hours, dollarize those hours, and direct those dollars to the appropriate place on your balance sheet as a liability, similar to how you might already treat regular accrued wages. Periodically, you can bring those dollars back to the income statement as a credit expense in an indirect pool. This reduces your pool costs, which gives the government credit for your extra work. You also won't have to adjust your billing rates in your accounting system or for proposals.
Everyone's happy, even the DCAA. That's what life's all about for government contractors, right?
1) DCAA Information for Contractors DCAAP 2641.90, section 2-302.1
2) DCAA Contract Audit Manual, section 6-410