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the business unit uses to allocate its G&A expenses.
(11) DEFERRAL OF DEVELOPMENT COSTS
The proposed Standard provided for the deferral of the cost of IR&D effort which met specific criteria, and established criteria for the identification of such costs. It also noted that the composition of the costs and the allocation procedure for such costs would require further research before establishing an accounting Standard. Reaction to this provision in the proposal has been extensive and varied.
Several respondents to the May 25, 1979, proposed Standard noted that the Board should not allow the allocation of deferred development costs as this would be in conflict with the Financial Accounting Standards Board's (FASB) Statement No. 2, Accounting for Research and Development Costs. One of these pointed out that the FASB in its statement set forth the position that for financial reporting purposes research and development costs should be charged as a current period cost. Another stated that his company did not and would not defer such expenses, even if the Standard permitted such action.
Although the Board has always considered the FASB to be an authoritative body and considers its statements when promulgating its own, the FASB's concern is with external financial reporting, not with contract costing. FAS Statement No. 2 therefore is not determinative for contract costing and pricing purposes.
A few commentators agreed with the provision as stated in the proposal and urged its adoption without modification. One industry commentator said, “We agree with the language as stated and believe the criteria is conceptually sound so as to permit implementation by the acquisition agencies. We do not feel that further research on behalf of the CAS Staff is necessary, and (we) encourage this language be contained in the promulgated standard as written.”
The majority of commentators expressed approval of the concept provided that the act of deferral should be at the sole option and discretion of the contractor. The Board has con
cluded that this would be inappropriate, however, because it would not be consonant with the uniformity and consistency objectives of Pub. L. 91379.
A broad spectrum of commentators suggested that the Board not change the status quo of this category of costs of deferred development in this Standard. They suggested that the entire subject, including requirements for allocating deferred costs, should be treated in one Standard. The commentators who made this suggestion represented industry, a professional accounting association, and a Government agency.
The Board continues to believe that there are different types of development costs and that objective criteria can probably be found to identify such costs. It believes, also that an important aspect of this question is the accounting treatment, including the amortization and allocation of these costs. The existence and the allocability of deferred IR&D and deferred development costs are recognized to some degree today in various procurement regulations. Current proposals in the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) increase the recognition and allowability of such costs.
Many commentators criticized the criteria listed in the May 1979 proposed Standard, but were unable to suggest other criteria that would provide the objective tests the Board believes necessary for a Standard on this subject. The Board will undertake research on a project to determine the feasibility of a Standard which will identify and provide for the accounting treatment of deferred development costs. In the interim, the agencies may continue to exercise their authority to identify and allocate such costs. To that end the Standard covers these costs in § 420.40(f)(2) which provides: “IR&D costs incurred in a cost accounting period shall not be assigned to any other cost accounting period, except as may be permitted pursuant to provisions of existing laws, regulations, and other controlling factors.”
(12) TRANSITION FROM THE USE OF A
COST OF SALES BASE TO A Cost INPUT BASE
On commentator noted that the Standard was silent in regard to its application when a contractor was required to convert his accounting system from the use of a cost of sales base to the use of a cost input base for the allocation of a segment's IR&D and B&P costs. This commentator suggested that the Standard include a provision such as was incorporated in the appendix of CAS 410 which provided the accounting to be followed during the transition period. The Board does not believe that this Standard warrants the additional complexity of a transition method. The Board notes that the contractor and the Government may negotiate an equitable adjustment for this change as provided in § 331.50(a)(4)(A) of the Board's regulations.
(13) EFFECTIVE DATE OF STANDARD One commentator stated that the promulgation of this Standard would require reorientation of both contractor and Government personnel who are charged with the accounting and administration of contracts. The commentator noted that the Standard should provide for an extended implementation period. The primary concern of the commentator was directed towards the negotiation of advance agreements for these costs, and the impact of this Standard on such advance agreements. The Board expects that this Standard will become effective on March 15, 1980. However, to provide adequate lead time for its applicability the Standard provides that it shall be followed by contractors as of the start of the second fiscal year beginning after the receipt of a contract to which this Cost Accounting Standard is applicable.
ments received regarding the proposed Standard published in the FEDERAL REGISTER, some commentators offered opinions as to the cost of implementing the Standard. One commentator stated the proposed Standard will have minimal impact on administrative costs. Some commentators stated that they had not estimated the amount of increased administrative costs which would result from implementation of this Standard. Based on their experience with previously promulgated Standards, these costs depend on the interpretation and implementation requirements used by the auditors and procurement officials responsible for the administration of Cost Accounting Standards. Two commentators provided large cost estimates for implementing this Standard. One commentator based its estimate on the requirement to identify IR&D or B&P projects to product lines. This requirement has been eliminated from the Standard being promulgated.
As mentioned earlier, Congress continues to express its concern regarding the large reimbursements defense contractors receive in order to carry out their IR&D and B&P efforts. (About $1.2 billion in 1978). As many commentators pointed out, this area of costs (especially IR & D) receives much attention through the medium of advance agreements. These advance agreements contain some accounting ground rules to be followed by the contractor in determining what constitutes IR&D and B&P costs. The current acquisition regulations, however, allow significant flexibility in determining costs for these projects. One of the benefits of the Standard is that it provides increased uniformity and consistency in determining how IR&D and B&P costs are constituted, and how these incurred costs should be allocated to cost objectives.
(14) COST AND BENEFIT The Board in taking into account the cost and benefits of the Standard being promulgated today was especially mindful of the significance, both in nature and amount, of the category of costs being considered here. In com
In addition to the promulgation of 4 CFR Part 420, related amendments to 4 CFR Part 400 and to Standards 4 CFR Part 403 and 4 CFR Part 410 are being promulgated.
A list of CFR titles, subtitles, chapters, subchapters and parts and an alphabetical list of agencies publishing in the CFR are included in the CFR Index and Finding Aids volume to the Code of Federal Regulations which is published separately and revised semiannually January 1 and July 1.
Table of CFR Titles and Chapters
Table of CFR Titles and Chapters
(As of December 11, 1981)
Title 1-General Provisions
Administrative Committee of the Federal Register (Parts 1-49)
Title 3-The President
General Accounting Office (Parts 1-99)
Office-Department of Justice) (Parts 100-299)
Title 5-Administrative Personnel
I II III
Office of Personnel Management (Parts 1-1199)
passes Panel (Parts 2400-2499)