Cost allocation plans, user fee studies, development impact fee studies, and other types of financial analysis are a core area of expertise for Matrix, with our experience comprising more than several hundred studies for organizations across the country.

Click on a subject area below to learn more about the services we provide and view samples of our work:

Full cost allocation plans

Better understand your organization by identifying and allocating indirect costs to receivers and justifying transfers from non-general fund sources

Through staff interviews and research, we will identify departments and programs that support or provide services benefitting other areas. Allocation metrics will then be developed to ensure that indirect costs are distributed fairly and equitably.

We will work with finance staff to ensure understanding of the plan and it’s methodologies, as well as how to utilize the informational outputs.

A documented plan will provide justification for inter-fund transfers, as well as ensure that cost for service studies account for appropriate jurisdictional overhead.

Case Study: Cupertino

Super Circular compliant cost allocation plans and indirect cost rates

Develop documented and defensible indirect costs in accordance with federal guidelines, for grant and other funding reimbursements

Through staff interviews and research, we will identify departments and programs that support or provide services that benefit grant or other mandated funding sources. Allocation metrics will then be developed to ensure that indirect costs are distributed fairly, equitably, and in compliance with all federal guidelines.

We will work with Finance staff to ensure understanding of the plan and its methodologies, as well as how to submit plans to cognizant agencies for approval.

A documented plan will outline total indirect costs associated with grant programs and funding, and provide a defensible base for potential recovery.

Case Study: Long Beach, CA

Cost of services

When developing new services or assessing current ones, this study can help outline direct and indirect costs and outline potential fees for service

The analysis begins by documenting and confirming established services, or by assessing proposed operational processes.

Costs associated with staffing, supplies, and general operations are documented and calculated to determine the full cost of a program or service. For existing services, annual costs can be developed, with startup costs being calculated for proposed services.

Recommendations relating to the current or proposed services will be discussed with management, including if and how best to establish fees or rates, and when they can be assessed.

The results of this analysis will provide a detailed understanding of the true costs for any given service, and can lead to the development of fees.

Case Study: Austin

User fees

Document fee related services and service level assumptions and develop detail of the full cost associated with each permit

These studies begin by identifying current or potential fees for service by looking at existing fee schedules and discussing current services with staff. Modifications are then made to streamline schedules in order to best reflect the services being provided by each department or division.

Time estimates are then gathered at a positional level for every person involved in the service, including administrative staff and support from outside departments. These estimates are then used to calculate the full cost of providing each unit of service.

Full cost results are shared with staff and management, and cost recovery goals are discussed and assessed. Recommendations are provided on where and how to set and raise fees within the context of the service being provided, as well as the potential impacts to the community.

Case Study: Manhattan Beach

Development impact fees / Nexus Studies

Document the nexus between the impact of new development and growth on public infrastructure (facilities & equipment) and the fees associated with them

These types of studies are used throughout the country to help fund public infrastructure as a result of new or anticipated growth and development within the community.

Studies are typically developed utilizing comprehensive/general plans and capital improvement/facility plans. These plans are used as the basis for future growth and facility needs. The data in these reports helps develop a standard level of service that is then used as the basis for calculating impact fees.

Currently, there are 26 states (e.g., California, Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Montana, etc.) that charge a type of development impact fee. These studies help serve as the legal basis for assessing those fees.

Case Study: Novato

Billable/hourly rates

Component-based rates enable jurisdictions to recover allowable costs; direct, indirect, or fully burdened

Establishing an hourly rate for staff or equipment can allow jurisdictions to better recover costs associated with services that are provided. Hourly rates are developed at the component level, and include direct and indirect support, taking into account available work hours. Equipment rates also account for annual costs, including maintenance and useful life.

Results are provided to staff broken down by component, in order to provide the greatest level of flexibility when applying rates.

Case Study: Richland Fleet Rates