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8 Sharing the Costs of Human Services Transportation Clearly, some (perhaps most) agencies will have to make a number of changes in the way they approach data collection and reporting if they are going to work together. But why should these agencies change? Why go to the cost and expense of doing things differently in the future? The answers were discussed in Chapter 2: 1. To improve internal program management. 2. To increase the cost effectiveness of services throughout the community. 3. To support requests for future funding. Requirements for Uniform Service Cost Reporting Ideally, the following elements should be incorporated into any framework for a uniform transportation services cost reporting structure: The principles of cost allowability articulated in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circulars A-87 and A-122. The procedures for the allocation of indirect costs articulated in OMB Circulars A-87 and A-122. (For OMB Circular A-87, see http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars_a087_2004. For OMB Circular A-122, see http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars_a122_2004.) A cost reporting framework that does not prescribe a specific accounting approach. Rather, the framework should emulate the approach used in the public transportation industry for cost reporting (the U.S. Department of Transportation's [DOT's] National Transit Database Uniform System of Accounts). Thus, each agency may maintain its own accounts and records necessary to meet its own internal information requirements and grant reporting standards, as applicable. Some translation of these internal accounts may be necessary to meet the require- ments of the framework. Cost reporting that is based on the accrual method of accounting. Capital costs that are segregated and treated separately from program operating costs. Services and costs that are reported separately for each of the different modes of transportation services: community transportation, case management transportation, specific individual transportation, and managed care transportation. A functional approach to cost accounting. Uniform definitions of common service units, such as those provided in this report's Glossary (see Volume 1 of TCRP Report 144).