Indirect Cost Rate Agreement Example

Indirect Cost Rate Agreement Example: Understanding the Basics

An indirect cost rate agreement, commonly known as ICRA, is a contract between a company and the government that outlines the rate at which indirect costs will be reimbursed for a specific project or program. Indirect costs include expenses that are not directly related to the project but are required to support the project, such as administrative and overhead costs. In this article, we will provide an example of an indirect cost rate agreement and explain the key terms and concepts.

Example of an Indirect Cost Rate Agreement

Let’s use a hypothetical scenario to understand how a typical ICRA works. Suppose a construction company has been awarded a government contract to build a highway and has agreed to follow the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) guidelines. The company’s indirect costs, such as rent, utilities, and salaries, will be reimbursed by the government at a predetermined rate, which is calculated based on the company’s indirect cost rate agreement.

To arrive at the indirect cost rate, the company must first determine its total indirect costs for the year and divide them by the total direct costs. For example, if the company’s total indirect costs for the year were $1 million, and its total direct costs were $5 million, the indirect cost rate would be 20%.

Now, let’s assume that the government has approved a predetermined rate of 25% for the construction company’s indirect costs. In this case, the company would receive an additional 5% reimbursement on its indirect costs, which would be $50,000. This reimbursement covers the administrative and overhead costs that are necessary to support the construction of the highway.

Key Terms and Concepts

To better understand the ICRA example above, here are some key terms and concepts to keep in mind:

1. Direct Costs: These are expenses that are directly related to the project, such as labor, materials, and equipment.

2. Indirect Costs: These are expenses that are not directly related to the project but are required to support the project, such as rent, utilities, and salaries.

3. Indirect Cost Rate: This is the percentage used to calculate the amount of reimbursement for indirect costs.

4. FAR: This is a set of guidelines established by the U.S. government to regulate contracts with federal agencies.

5. Predetermined Rate: This is the rate at which the government agrees to reimburse the company’s indirect costs.


An indirect cost rate agreement is an essential contract for companies that work on government contracts. It ensures that they are reimbursed for their indirect costs, which are necessary to support the project. By understanding the key terms and concepts related to ICRA, companies can negotiate the best rates and ensure that they are adequately compensated for their expenses.