Indirect Cost Allocation Tool for Government Contactors using QuickBooks

ICAT Getting Started Guide

Setup and Configure ICAT with QuickBooks® in no time.

Step 1. Download & Install ICAT for QuickBooks®

ICAT reads your QuickBooks data in real time to allocate indirect costs and run contract cost reports. ICAT must be installed on the same machine where your QuickBooks® is installed.

For QuickBooks in a hosted environment (e.g. with Right Networks or other service providers) - Please request that ICAT be provisioned in your remote environment.

For QuickBooks on a local computer or server - If you have not already done so, please download the ICAT software to that machine:

Download ICAT

The ICAT installer will first check your computer for all required components and provide instructions if additional action is needed before installation. If the computer has all required components, the installation will begin. The ICAT Installation Wizard will guide you through the installation process.

You may want to reference the full ICAT User Guide for installation and setup.

Step 2. Activate ICAT

Once you have downloaded and installed ICAT, use your Activation Key to enable the software. Don't have an Activation Key? Purchase a Full License or Request a Free Trial. Your Activation Key will be sent to you via email.

To use ICAT, first open your QuickBooks company file, then launch ICAT. The first time you run ICAT, you will need to log on to QuickBooks as an administrator in order to grant access to your company file. Thereafter it is not necessary to sign in to QuickBooks as an administrator to use ICAT. To start ICAT after permission is granted, first launch QuickBooks, then launch ICAT.

ICAT's Direct Activation option will work in most circumstances. If you need to activate ICAT on a computer that does not have internet access or access is blocked by a firewall, choose the Browser Activation option.

Once activated, ICAT will open to the Start Page.

Step 3. Select an Indirect Rate Structure

Selecting your Indirect Rate Model is the single most important step in the setup process. The indirect rate structure becomes the foundation for how pricing is developed, analyzed and proposed for a contractor's work.

ICAT is designed to be flexible; you are not limited in configuring your indirect rates. Included with ICAT are Instructions and Examples on multiple alternatives for configuring the indirect rate structure. For most users, one of these choices will work very well and help you accomplish your goals. If your need for cost pools is other than those described with this package, ICAT enables you to define desired allocation centers, cost pools, bases and allocations of indirect costs to final cost objectives.

Step 4. Organize Chart of Accounts

Once an Indirect Rate Model is selected, the Chart of Accounts must be created or reconstructed to facilitate the accumulation of costs appropriately.

If you're working with a brand new, completely clean slate in QuickBooks, we've provided a Company Setup Wizard to help you configure your Chart of Accounts properly. Please Note: If you already use QuickBooks, this option is not for you!

For established companies, you'll want to make sure your Chart of Accounts is consistent with how you bid your contracts.

A complete explanation of Managing your QuickBooks Chart of Accounts and Establishing Cost Pool Hierarchy, is provided in the ICAT User Guide.

Questions? Contact us.

Step 5. Setup Indirect Cost Pool Structure

ICAT's Rate Model Editor enables you to control the consistent representation of accumulated costs from the Chart of Accounts to final cost objectives/jobs by establishing an Indirect Cost Pool Structure. In Step 3, you selected an Indirect Rate Structure, and defined cost pools and bases. It is now time to enter these cost pools and bases into ICAT.

On the Start Page, select Edit your indirect cost pool structure under Setup & Configuration to get started. The Rate Model Editor contains tabs reflecting the Top Level Accounts and thus the Cost Pools. On the left portion of Rate Model Editor, ICAT also displays the cost pools identified based on the Cost Pool Hierarchy in the Chart of Accounts. You will need to address each of these cost pools individually in this Rate Model Setup phase.

A Video Tutorial for this step is available in the ICAT Setup & Configuration training videos. Full setup instructions can be found in the ICAT User Guide.

Step 6. Configure Contract Reports

It is important now to make sure ICAT is generating the right data when you run contract reports.

First, you'll need to describe the different Contracts on which ICAT reports. Using the Assign contract information to customers link on the ICAT Start Page, you can enter the type of contract (e.g. Cost Type, T&M, etc) and other descriptive information for the reporting process. You can also exclude Contracts/Jobs from ICAT reports. For step by step instructions, see the ICAT User Guide.

Use the Identify reporting categories for accounts tool on the ICAT Start Page to classify correct categories for accounts so they perform appropriately during the reporting process. Care should be taken to ensure each account is properly classified. If numbers do not seem to be reporting correctly, you should first check here to ensure the accounts are properly associated. Details on account classification can be found in the ICAT User Guide.

That's all it takes to setup ICAT. Please see the Support Page, ICAT User Guide and ICAT Video Tutorials for additional information to help you get started.

If you have any questions, please Contact Us.