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Cost Structures are used to direct how labor and expenses get burdened with the appropriate formulas and indirect rates. 

Most companies will only have a single Cost Structure, but some may require more based on their specific circumstances. Typical reasons for having more than a single Cost Structure include:

  • Multiple legal entities.
  • Multiple segments within legal entities with separate indirect rates.
  • Different indirect rates for government customers versus commercial customers.
  • Different negotiated provisional rates for projects within the same legal entity or business segment.

Cost Structures contain the following basic setup items:

  • The Cost Elements to use in the Cost Structure.
  • The formulas used to calculate indirect costs.
  • The rates by fiscal year used when calculating indirect costs.

Once Cost Structures are set up, projects must be assigned to a Cost Structure in order for the indirect rates to be applied to those costs. 

All labor/expense items will show up in the cost reports as long as the project is associated with a Cost Structure, regardless of whether the labor/expense item has been associated with a Cost Element/Cost Structure. If a mapping doesn't exist between a labor/expense item and a Cost Element/Cost Structure combination, the transaction will appear in one of the Unmapped categories. For example, if the Project has a Cost Structure, but the labor/expense item does not have a Cost Element/Cost Structure association, then the labor/expense item will still show up in the cost report (as Unmapped).


Project

Labor/Expense

Result in Project Accounting Reports*

Project has Cost Structure

Labor/Expense has Cost Element

Labor/Expense shows up as expected

Project has Cost Structure

Labor/Expense does not have Cost Element

Labor/Expense shows up as Unmapped

Project does not have Cost Structure

Labor/Expense has Cost Element

“No data found”

Project does not have Cost Structure

Labor/Expense does not have Cost Element

“No data found”


Note
: Cost Report definition must have a row that would pull the labor or cost, including but limited to tags such as [Total Mapped::Labor Cost] or [Total Mapped::Other Direct Bill].

  1. Cost Structures must have a unique name and optionally may have a description. If calculating actual indirect rates for the Cost Structure using the Cost Pool Calculation process available with one of the Financials licenses, the Cost Structure must be associated with a legal entity.




  2. Assign Labor Cost Elements.




  3. Assign Expense Types with ODC Cost Elements.

    Note: Expenses entered before the association is created will not automatically appear on Project Costing reports. If there are historic actual expenses that need to be included in project costing reports, contact Unanet Support for a script which will update the historic expense actuals with the ODC-Expense Type mapping.




  4. Configure the rates calculations (or formulas). This is where the rates get applied to the various direct costs. A simple example is shown below for Fringe, Overhead, and G&A.




  5. Enter the Indirect Cost Rates and specify when the Actual Rates were last calculated. This date is shown on report headers when Actual Rates are used so that it is clear if the rates are current, as Actual Rates may change significantly over the Financial Year.

    Note: Fiscal Years must be set up first.



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