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A/E Consultant Audit Materials

The following sections describe ODOT's requirements for annual cost submissions by architectural and engineering (A/E) consultants. Additionally, a set of compliance tools are provided to assist A/E Consultants in the preparation of overhead schedules and related financial documents to comply with Part 31 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). Templates and tools are available below:

A/E Consultant Auditing - Templates and Tools

Overhead Submittal Requirements

On an annual basis, all Consultants that perform any of the "covered work types" must submit current cost information for review by the ODOT Office of External Audits. All Consultants must complete the AASHTO Internal Control Questionnaire for Consulting Engineers (ICQ), available here. All the required documents listed on the ICQ also must be submitted, and ODOT will accept only the current version of the ICQ. Older versions of the ICQ are obsolete and will not be accepted.

Annual Cost Certification

In compliance with FHWA Directive 4470.1A, all companies must certify that proposed indirect cost rates were prepared in compliance with applicable Federal regulations. Accordingly, the Consultant Cost Certification document, available here, is mandatory.  

Submittal Package

A complete package consists of:

  1. the AASHTO ICQ and all the attachments listed on ICQ page B-1; 
  2. documentation sufficient to establish the reasonableness and allowability of executive compensation (see Sample NCM Compliance Worksheet in the Templates and Tools section); and
  3. the Consultant Cost Certification document.  

Note: ODOT has discontinued use of the Supplemental Accounting System Questionnaire (SASQ). 

Covered Work Types

In compliance with 23 U.S.C. 112(b)(2)(B), all companies must submit indirect cost schedules if they perform any of the following types of work: program management, construction management, feasibility studies, preliminary engineering, design, engineering, surveying, mapping, or architectural related services. ODOT does not require CPA-audited indirect cost schedules; however, if a CPA has performed such an audit, it must be included in the submittal package.

Submittal Method

The required documents must be submitted electronically via email to DOT.CostSubmissions@dot.ohio.gov. (Note: Please do not send the documents via "cc" to any other ODOT email addresses.) The documents should be submitted in Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, or Adobe PDF format when possible. Please submit all indirect cost schedules in Excel format, if possible. This will greatly facilitate and expedite the review process. Documents submitted in hard copy format or via fax will NOT be accepted.

Individual email messages must be smaller than 25 MB , including attachments. When submitting your company’s indirect cost package:

  1. The Firm name and year of the indirect cost rate schedule must appear in the subject line.
  2. The body of the email must include a listing of all attached files.
  3. Multiple emails from the same company should be identified accordingly; for example, “Sample Consulting Firm, Year 2020 cost submittal, 1 of 3.”  

Confirmation Message

After submitting the indirect cost materials, you should receive an email confirming ODOT's receipt of the submittal package. If you do not receive this email within 24 hours after you submit the package, please verify the email address, and resubmit, if necessary. Note: You will not receive a return receipt or "read" receipt.


Due Date

Documents must be submitted and updated annually, no later than six months after the close of the Consultant’s fiscal year. Accordingly, the documents are due by July 1 for calendar-year companies.  

Request for Extension

ODOT will grant an extension to the due date for any company that has made a timely submittal to its cognizant audit agency and is awaiting issuance of a cognizant letter of concurrence. Requests for extension must be in writing, on company letterhead, and submitted electronically via email to DOT.CostSubmissions@dot.ohio.gov.

Mileage Reimbursement

For direct billings on ODOT contracts, all A/E Consultants are limited to the mileage rate specified by the Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM). Click here for details.

Mileage Logs

A/E Consultants must track mileage on all company-owned vehicles, so that vehicle costs are allocated consistently to direct and indirect cost categories. All direct vehicle costs, and costs associated with commuting and other unallowable activities (as discussed in 48 CFR 31) must be eliminated from the indirect cost rate used for billings on ODOT contracts. Please see the Vehicle Cost Template available here.

A/E Safe Harbor Rate

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is participating in a pilot program that allows for the use of a “Safe Harbor” indirect cost rate of 110 percent to be used by qualifying engineering consulting firms. The fundamental purpose of the Safe Harbor Indirect Cost Rate is to allow time for small engineering consulting firms, new engineering consulting firms, and engineering consulting firms that may not have previous experience with Federally-funded contracts, to become compliant with Federal and State laws and Part 31 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation. For more details, please see the Pathway to Compliance document available here.  

AASHTO Audit Guide

Click here to purchase a .PDF digital download of the 2016 Edition of the Uniform Audit and Accounting Guide for Audits of Architectural and Engineering (A/E) Consulting Firms (also known as the AASHTO Audit Guide).

The AASHTO Audit Guide is a primer in the design of financial and project-management systems that comply with Part 31 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation and related laws and regulations that apply to A/E firms and transportation projects. The Guide also is a collection of recommended best practices that A/E firms and their auditors are expected to apply when designing and operating financial systems that record costs and allocate costs to projects and other cost objectives and/or auditing such systems and projects.

Along with most State Transportation Agencies, The Ohio Department of Transportation has adopted the AASHTO Audit Guide as official policy. Accordingly, A/E firms and their auditors are required to comply with the cost recording processes, allocation procedures, and other recommendations presented in the Guide.

Tools and Templates

Templates and tools are available below:

A/E Consultant Auditing - Templates and Tools