Cost-Plus Contract

DEFINITION of 'Cost-Plus Contract'

An agreement to pay a company for a job based on the amount of money used to buy the materials required to complete that job plus an added payment. A cost-plus contract fully reimburses a contractor for the cost of materials and then adds additional money to arrive at the total cost of the job. Cost-plus contracts are commonly used in research and development activities, where it is difficult to determine in advance how much a job should cost. For example, the U.S. government has agreed to cost-plus contracts with military defense companies that are developing new technologies for national defense.

BREAKING DOWN 'Cost-Plus Contract'

Cost overruns are a major concern with cost-plus contracts, since all costs are reimbursed and the additional fee may already be known in advance. However, this problem can be mitigated or avoided if the contract is structured properly. For example, the contract can offer an incentive fee for saving money on materials, or the contract can limit the amount of money that can be spent on materials.



RELATED TERMS
  1. Variable Cost-Plus Pricing

    A pricing method in which the selling price is established by ...
  2. Unilateral Contract

    A legally enforceable promise - between legally competent parties ...
  3. Bilateral Contract

    A bilateral contract is a reciprocal arrangement between two ...
  4. Oral Contract

    A type of business agreement that is spoken, not memorialized ...
  5. Adhesion Contract

    A contract in which one party has substantially more power than ...
  6. Breach Of Contract

    Violation of any of the agreed-upon terms and conditions of a ...
Related Articles
  1. Insurance

    Top 6 U.S. Government Financial Bailouts

    U.S. bailouts date all the way back to 1792. Learn how the biggest ones affected the economy.
  2. Taxes

    Tax Withholding: Good For Government, Bad For Taxpayers

    It's important to understand where that money coming out of your paycheck goes and why - after all, you earned it.
  3. Retirement

    Is The U.S. Government Too Big To Fail?

    Some think that the U.S. government is too big to fail, but one must only look at historical examples to know that it's not true.
  4. Retirement

    Navigating Government And Nonprofit Financial Statements

    Learn how to trace where your tax dollars and charitable donations are going.
  5. Taxes

    Tax-Free Accounts Make Saving A Snap For Canadians

    In 2009, the Canadian government began allowing citizens to save more tax-free dollars than ever.
  6. Economics

    Understanding Cost-Volume Profit Analysis

    Business managers use cost-volume profit analysis to gauge the profitability of their company’s products or services.
  7. Fundamental Analysis

    5 Must-Have Metrics For Value Investors

    Focusing on certain fundamental metrics is the best way for value investors to cash in gains. Here are the most important metrics to know.
  8. Investing Basics

    How to Analyze a Company's Inventory

    Discover how to analyze a company's inventory by understanding different types of inventory and doing a quantitative and qualitative assessment of inventory.
  9. Professionals

    A Day In The Life Of A Public Accountant

    Here's an inside look at the workdays of two experienced CPAs, to give you an idea of what it might be like to pursue a career as a public accountant.
  10. Professionals

    A Day in the Life of a Public Accountant

    There’s no typical day in the life of a public accountant, but one accountant’s experience may shed some light on what the career entails.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Can working capital be depreciated?

    Working capital as current assets cannot be depreciated the way long-term, fixed assets are. In accounting, depreciation ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Do working capital funds expire?

    While working capital funds do not expire, the working capital figure does change over time. This is because it is calculated ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How much working capital does a small business need?

    The amount of working capital a small business needs to run smoothly depends largely on the type of business, its operating ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What does high working capital say about a company's financial prospects?

    If a company has high working capital, it has more than enough liquid funds to meet its short-term obligations. Working capital, ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How can working capital affect a company's finances?

    Working capital, or total current assets minus total current liabilities, can affect a company's longer-term investment effectiveness ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What can working capital be used for?

    Working capital is used to cover all of a company's short-term expenses, including inventory, payments on short-term debt ... Read Full Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Super Bowl Indicator

    An indicator based on the belief that a Super Bowl win for a team from the old AFL (AFC division) foretells a decline in ...
  2. Flight To Quality

    The action of investors moving their capital away from riskier investments to the safest possible investment vehicles. This ...
  3. Discouraged Worker

    A person who is eligible for employment and is able to work, but is currently unemployed and has not attempted to find employment ...
  4. Ponzimonium

    After Bernard Madoff's $65 billion Ponzi scheme was revealed, many new (smaller-scale) Ponzi schemers became exposed. Ponzimonium ...
  5. Quarterly Earnings Report

    A quarterly filing made by public companies to report their performance. Included in earnings reports are items such as net ...
Trading Center