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Calculation and Recovery of Head Office Overhead. 

Calculation and Recovery of Head Office Overhead. 

Calculation and Recovery of Head Office Overhead.

Calculation and Recovery of Head Office Overhead.


In the competitive business world, maximizing efficiency and optimizing financial performance are key objectives for any organization. One important aspect that contributes to these goals is the calculation and recovery of head office overhead. Effective management of head office overhead expenses is crucial for maintaining a healthy bottom line and ensuring the long-term sustainability of a business. This article will delve into the intricacies of head office overhead, its calculation methods, and strategies for successful recovery. By implementing these practices, businesses can position themselves for growth and outperform their competitors.

Understanding Head Office Overhead

Head office overhead refers to the indirect costs incurred by a company’s central administrative or management office. These costs are essential for the overall functioning of the organization but are not directly attributable to specific products or services. Examples of head office overhead expenses include executive salaries, office rent, utilities, information technology infrastructure, legal and accounting fees, and other administrative costs. Calculating and managing these overhead expenses accurately is vital for financial planning, budgeting, and decision-making processes within an organization.

Calculation Methods

Accurately calculating head office overhead is crucial to gain insights into the organization’s cost structure and allocate expenses appropriately. Here are two commonly used methods for calculating head office overhead:

1. Direct Cost Allocation

The direct cost allocation method involves directly attributing overhead expenses to specific cost centers or departments based on actual usage or predetermined allocation keys. This method requires a detailed analysis of expenses and careful tracking of activities to ensure accurate allocation. By assigning overhead costs to specific departments, businesses can better understand the true cost of each unit or product produced.

2. Activity-Based Costing (ABC)

Activity-Based Costing is a more sophisticated method that involves identifying and analyzing activities that consume resources and then allocating costs based on the activities performed. This method provides a more accurate reflection of how overhead expenses are incurred across different processes or departments. ABC takes into account various cost drivers, such as the number of transactions, hours worked, or square footage utilized, to allocate costs more precisely. By using ABC, businesses can identify areas of inefficiency, optimize resource allocation, and improve overall cost management.

Strategies for Head Office Overhead Recovery

Once head office overhead costs are accurately calculated, it becomes essential to devise effective strategies for their recovery. Here are some approaches that can help organizations recoup head office overhead expenses:

1. Cost Center Charges

Assigning a portion of head office overhead expenses to individual cost centers or departments is a common practice. This approach involves charging each department a fair share of the overhead costs based on predetermined allocation keys or specific usage metrics. By doing so, the departments are made aware of the indirect costs they incur, fostering a sense of accountability and enabling better cost control.

2. Service Level Agreements

Service Level Agreements (SLAs) can be established between the head office and various departments or divisions within the organization. These agreements outline the services provided by the head office and the corresponding charges or fees associated with those services. SLAs create transparency and ensure that the cost of head office services is adequately covered by the recipient departments, reducing the overall burden on the organization.

3. Profit Center Contributions

For organizations with multiple profit centers, it may be appropriate to allocate a portion of head office overhead expenses to each profit center based on their respective contribution to the overall revenue or profitability. This approach reflects the notion that each profit center benefits from the support and services provided by the head office and should contribute proportionately to cover the associated costs.

4. Internal Cost Awareness

Creating awareness among employees regarding head office overhead expenses is crucial. Educating staff about the impact of indirect costs and encouraging them to find ways to minimize waste and inefficiencies can significantly contribute to cost reduction efforts. By fostering a cost-conscious culture, organizations can effectively manage and recover head office overhead expenses.


There are a number of methods for calculating and recovering home/head office overhead. Some of the most common methods include:

  • The Eichleay formula: This formula is based on the principle that a contractor’s home/head office overhead costs are incurred regardless of whether or not the contractor is working on a particular project. The formula calculates the contractor’s daily overhead rate by dividing the total home/head office overhead costs by the number of days in the contract period. The daily overhead rate is then multiplied by the number of days of delay to determine the amount of overhead that is recoverable.
  • The Carteret formula: This formula is similar to the Eichleay formula, but it takes into account the fact that a contractor’s home/head office overhead costs may increase during a period of delay. The Carteret formula calculates the contractor’s daily overhead rate by dividing the total home/head office overhead costs by the number of days in the contract period. The daily overhead rate is then multiplied by the number of days of delay and by a factor that reflects the increase in overhead costs.
  • The Manshul formula: This formula is based on the principle that a contractor’s home/head office overhead costs are directly related to the value of the work that is performed. The Manshul formula calculates the contractor’s daily overhead rate by dividing the total home/head office overhead costs by the total value of the work that is performed. The daily overhead rate is then multiplied by the value of the work that is performed during the period of delay.

The method that is used to calculate and recover home/head office overhead will vary depending on the specific circumstances of the project. It is important to consult with an attorney or other qualified professional to determine the best method for your particular situation.

In addition to the above methods, there are a number of other factors that may be considered when calculating and recovering home/head office overhead, such as:

  • The contractor’s contract documents
  • The contractor’s standard overhead rate
  • The contractor’s actual overhead costs
  • The extent of the delay
  • The contractor’s ability to prove that the delay was caused by the owner

It is important to note that the recovery of home/head office overhead is not always guaranteed. The owner may be able to successfully argue that the contractor’s overhead costs are not recoverable, or that the contractor’s overhead rate is unreasonable.

Understanding Home Office Overhead and Its Impact on Business Costs


Home Office Overhead (HOOH) plays a crucial role in determining a company’s overall expenses. It encompasses various costs incurred by contractors to facilitate ongoing projects. HOOH, an integral part of the cost of doing business, represents expenses that cannot be directly attributed to a specific project. In this article, we will explore the concept of HOOH, its significance, and the different types of costs it entails.

1. Executive and Administrative Salaries: Streamlining Management Operations

Effective management is essential for any successful business. Executive and administrative salaries form a substantial portion of HOOH. By allocating a percentage of the overhead costs to these salaries, companies ensure smooth operations, decision-making, and coordination between departments.

2. Legal and Accounting Expenses: Ensuring Compliance and Financial Accuracy

Maintaining legal and financial compliance is paramount to the sustainability of a company. Legal and accounting expenses incurred by the home office are part of the HOOH. These costs cover legal counsel, accounting services, tax preparation, and other professional fees necessary to meet regulatory obligations and ensure accurate financial reporting.

3. Home Office Rent and Expenses: Creating a Productive Workspace

Rent and expenses related to the home office space contribute to HOOH. These costs include lease payments, utilities, maintenance, and repairs. By providing a conducive working environment, the home office supports the overall productivity and efficiency of the company.

4. Advertising: Boosting Brand Awareness and Market Presence

To thrive in a competitive business landscape, effective advertising is vital. Advertising costs incurred by the home office are considered part of the HOOH. This includes expenses related to print, online, and social media campaigns aimed at increasing brand visibility, attracting customers, and expanding market reach.

5. Company Insurance: Safeguarding Business Assets and Liabilities

Protecting a company against potential risks is a fundamental aspect of risk management. Company insurance premiums are included in the HOOH. This encompasses various types of insurance, such as liability insurance, property insurance, workers’ compensation, and general business insurance, providing financial security and peace of mind.

6. Recruiting Costs: Acquiring Talented Personnel

Building a competent and skilled workforce is crucial for business growth. Recruiting costs incurred by the home office are part of the HOOH. These expenses cover recruitment agencies, job advertisements, background checks, and other processes involved in attracting and hiring talented individuals.

7. Utilities, Telephone, Fax, and Computers: Supporting Operational Infrastructure

Efficient communication and technology infrastructure are essential for modern businesses. The costs associated with utilities, telephone services, fax machines, and computers used by the home office are included in the HOOH. These expenses support day-to-day operations and facilitate seamless internal and external communication.

8. Human Relations Costs: Nurturing Employee Relationships

Maintaining healthy employee relationships is crucial for fostering a positive work environment. Human relations costs, such as employee engagement initiatives, training programs, team-building activities, and employee benefits, form part of the HOOH. These investments contribute to employee satisfaction, retention, and overall organizational success.

9. Interest on Company Borrowings: Managing Financial Obligations

Companies often rely on borrowing funds to support their operations or invest in growth opportunities. The interest paid on company borrowings is considered a component of HOOH. By accounting for these costs, businesses can better manage their financial obligations and optimize their overall budget allocation.

10. Travel for Home Office Staff: Facilitating Business Operations

Travel expenses incurred by home office staff are included in the HOOH. This covers business trips, accommodation, transportation, meals, and other related costs. Supporting travel needs enables the home office staff to visit project sites, attend meetings, collaborate with clients, and maintain efficient project management.

11. Bad Debt: Minimizing Financial Losses

In the realm of business, unfortunate circumstances can lead to uncollectible debts. Bad debt expenses are part of the HOOH. These costs reflect the losses incurred when clients or customers default on their payments. Properly accounting for bad debt enables companies to mitigate financial risks and make informed business decisions.

12. Depreciation of Company Assets: Accounting for Asset Wear and Tear

Over time, company assets experience wear and tear, resulting in depreciation. The depreciation of company assets is a component of HOOH. By considering the diminishing value of assets, companies can accurately assess their financial performance and plan for future equipment upgrades or replacements.

13. Entertainment: Cultivating Business Relationships

Building and maintaining business relationships are essential for long-term success. Entertainment expenses, such as client dinners, outings, and events, are included in the HOOH. These costs contribute to fostering strong connections with clients, partners, and stakeholders, leading to potential business opportunities and partnerships.

14. Professional Fees: Expertise for Business Advancement

Seeking external expertise can provide valuable insights and support business growth. Professional fees paid to consultants, advisors, and industry experts are considered part of the HOOH. Engaging professionals enables companies to tap into specialized knowledge and gain a competitive edge in their respective industries.

15. Contributions: Giving Back to Society

Corporate social responsibility is an integral part of many businesses today. Contributions made by companies to charitable organizations or community initiatives are included in the HOOH. These contributions demonstrate a commitment to social causes and contribute to a positive brand image.

16. Bid Cost: Investing in Business Opportunities

When companies pursue new projects or contracts, they often incur bid costs. Bid costs refer to the expenses associated with preparing and submitting bids or proposals to potential clients. These costs are an important consideration within the realm of Home Office Overhead (HOOH).

Bid costs typically include various components, such as:

a) Proposal Development: Developing a compelling and comprehensive proposal requires significant time, effort, and resources. This includes conducting research, analyzing project requirements, outlining the scope of work, and creating a persuasive presentation. The expenses incurred during this process contribute to the overall bid cost.

b) Graphics and Design: To enhance the visual appeal and professionalism of the proposal, companies often invest in graphic design services. This may involve creating custom illustrations, infographics, and diagrams to effectively communicate complex ideas and project plans. The costs associated with graphic design form part of the bid cost.

c) Printing and Collateral: Producing physical copies of the proposal, including high-quality printing, binding, and packaging, is essential for presenting a polished and professional image. Additionally, companies may include supporting collateral, such as brochures, case studies, or samples of previous work. The expenses incurred for printing and collateral contribute to the bid cost.

d) Travel and Accommodation: In some cases, companies may need to visit the client’s location or project site to gain a deeper understanding of the requirements and present their proposal in person. Travel expenses, including airfare, accommodation, transportation, meals, and other related costs, are considered part of the bid cost.

e) Legal and Contractual Review: Before submitting a bid, companies often seek legal counsel to review and ensure compliance with contract terms, conditions, and any associated legal obligations. The fees paid to legal professionals for their services form part of the bid cost.

Effectively managing bid costs is crucial for companies aiming to secure profitable projects while maintaining a competitive edge. Here are some strategies businesses can employ:

1. Prequalify Opportunities: Conduct a thorough evaluation of potential opportunities to ensure they align with the company’s capabilities, expertise, and strategic goals. Focusing on qualified prospects can help minimize unnecessary bid costs.

2. Develop Standardized Templates: Establishing standardized proposal templates and content libraries can streamline the proposal development process, saving time and effort. These templates can be customized based on project-specific requirements, reducing the need for extensive content creation from scratch for each bid.

3. Utilize Digital Platforms: Embrace digital tools and platforms to create, collaborate on, and submit proposals electronically. This can significantly reduce printing and shipping costs while enabling efficient communication and tracking throughout the bidding process.

4. Prioritize Targeted Marketing: Instead of pursuing every potential opportunity, concentrate on targeted marketing efforts to attract clients that align with the company’s strengths and objectives. This strategic approach can increase the chances of winning profitable projects and minimize unnecessary bid costs.

5. Conduct Cost-Benefit Analysis: Evaluate the potential return on investment (ROI) for each bid opportunity. Consider factors such as project value, probability of winning, long-term client relationships, and potential for future business growth. This analysis can help prioritize and allocate bid costs effectively.

By adopting these strategies, companies can manage bid costs while maximizing their chances of winning lucrative projects. Balancing the investment in bids with the potential returns is crucial for optimizing the utilization of Home Office Overhead (HOOH) and overall business profitability.

How to Mitigate Damages Effectively During Owner-Caused Delays


When it comes to owner-caused delays in construction projects, mitigating damages becomes a crucial aspect for contractors. However, the ability to do so effectively can be challenging under certain circumstances. In this article, we will explore the concept of mitigating damages during owner-caused delays and discuss various factors that may hinder a contractor’s ability to pursue new work. By understanding these challenges and implementing strategic measures, contractors can navigate through such situations with confidence and minimize financial losses.

1. Demonstrating Impracticality of Taking on New Work

One key requirement for contractors seeking to mitigate damages is to demonstrate the impracticality of accepting new projects during the period of the owner-caused delay. This argument rests on the premise that without knowing the exact duration of the delay upfront, contractors cannot commit to additional work without risking scheduling conflicts or resource allocation issues.

2. Owner Directives and Limitations

In some instances, owner directives such as “remain on standby” or “be ready to resume work on short notice” can further complicate a contractor’s ability to seek new projects. Courts have recognized that these instructions, although vague, imply an expectation for the contractor to prioritize the delayed project over potential alternative opportunities. As a result, contractors may be discouraged from pursuing new work to replace lost income, contributing to the difficulty of mitigating damages effectively.

3. Examples of Inability to Mitigate Damages

Let’s delve into specific examples that illustrate a contractor’s inability to mitigate damages during owner-caused delays:

a. Numerous Sporadic Disruptions of the Work

Frequent interruptions in the progress of the project can hinder a contractor’s ability to take on additional work. Unpredictable delays and fragmented work schedules make it difficult to allocate resources efficiently and meet obligations on new projects, resulting in reduced opportunities for damage mitigation.

b. Exhaustion of a Contractor’s Bonding Capacity

Bonds are crucial for contractors to secure projects and provide assurance to owners. However, in situations where owner-caused delays strain the contractor’s resources and finances, their bonding capacity may become exhausted. This limitation can prevent them from pursuing new projects and limit their ability to mitigate damages effectively.

c. Uncertainty of the Duration of the Delay

When the duration of an owner-caused delay remains uncertain, contractors face a dilemma in committing to new work. The possibility of the delayed project resuming at any moment requires contractors to remain available, making it impractical to take on additional projects that could conflict with the original commitment. Uncertainty adds complexity to the contractor’s ability to mitigate damages promptly.

d. Size and Capability of the Contractor

The size and capability of a contractor can significantly impact their ability to mitigate damages during owner-caused delays. Smaller contractors with limited resources and manpower may find it more challenging to absorb the financial impact of delays and take on new work simultaneously. Their capacity to allocate resources effectively becomes a critical factor in mitigating damages successfully.

e. All Available Equipment Committed to This Project

If a contractor has already committed all their available equipment to the delayed project, it restricts their ability to take on new work. Without the necessary tools and machinery, pursuing additional projects becomes impractical and jeopardizes their capacity to mitigate damages effectively.

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