Cost recovery is the method used to recover any expenses that a company takes on. Whether these expenses are a startup fee or even an initial investment, it is important to understand this concept as it can impact the financial results of your business.
For example, let’s say a web developer has hired a freelance copywriter to work on a client project. The client will ultimately pay for the copywriter’s services, but there is an uncertainty in determining when this profit will be realized. This is why using a cost recovery method is a good idea, as this accounting practice defers recording of this profit to when the company knows that it will receive payment for the services rendered.
There are a few different ways in which this cost recovery method can be implemented. For instance, the company may choose to implement it when handling credit card or check payments where there is an element of risk in terms of payment not being received by the company. In this case, the profit that is recorded in the account is only made up of actual payments received, rather than expected profits. Similarly, the company might decide to use this methodology when dealing with particular clients who have a history of not paying in a timely fashion. This prevents the company from counting on this income, which makes it easier to manage its cash flow and make sound financial decisions.
Another way in which this cost recovery method can be applied is to the calculation of gross margins. This is done by dividing the total costs of goods sold by the total revenues generated by the company. This figure is then multiplied by 100 to generate the percentage value that is reflected on the company’s accounts. This number helps to determine if the company is breaking even or making a profit.
One of the best applications for this type of accounting practice is in managing construction projects. It is often used in conjunction with Errors and Omissions (E&O) policies that design engineers must abide by when performing their duties. E&O claims can arise when construction issues are discovered during the building phase that were not identified in the original design plans. This process is often facilitated through non-binding arbitration, but can also be settled through direct negotiations between the department and the designer.
To help its employees better assess E&O claim risks, the EPA has developed a detailed cost recovery procedure that it follows for all projects. This includes a comprehensive list of factors to consider and a clear description of how the costs associated with each factor should be evaluated. In addition to establishing this protocol, the agency is also working to promote best practices in this area. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, including identifying and evaluating the types of work that should not be eligible for E&O coverage. This can help to reduce the number of costly errors and omissions that are filed against the agency by contractors.