Financial & Business Management Services
Many times a business either can't afford or just doesn't know the value of the services of an experienced Chief Financial Officer or senior business partner. This function is critical to the development and success of any business but especially to a new or small to mid-sized business. This issue may be further complicated when the business is a Federal Government Contractor, where additional requirements and regulations affect the business. ReliAscent can provide these services on an outsourced basis that is affordable to the business and allows the business to prosper. Is your business at the top of it's game in this critical area? Do you have expertise in the following areas:
Indirect Rate Management
In the world of Cost-Type Government Contracting, the Indirect Cost Rate determines the difference between profitability and difficulty for the contractor. Allowable indirect expenses such as Internally Funded Research & Development, Strategic Business Planning, Bid and Proposal, and some other growth-oriented expenses, flow into the calculation of the Indirect Rates and can be recovered from the Government per the allocation schedule determined by the FAR. An experienced Financial Executive knows how to structure these Indirect Rates so that the company can answer any audit concerns successfully and also assure the contractor of covering all allowable costs during the performance of the contract.
Understanding indirect rates is a fact of life for firms having or seeking government funding. Financial success in this environment depends on avoiding regulatory and administrative traps along with optimizing your competitive position.
Indirect rates are initially required for pricing efforts, where government budget templates segregate “direct” project costs and “indirect” costs as budget line items. Project, or direct costs, are easy enough to identify. The indirect cost “burden” represents the amount of administrative costs that get allocated to the project being estimated.
Calculating and managing this administrative burden is the key to both successful pricing and contract or grant profitability.
In its simplest form, and indirect rate is all administrative costs divided by all project costs. Regulatory language in general restricts costs to those that are “allowable” along with a number of rules for how costs are allocated. Rules vary widely depending on the government agency and for particular contracts or grants.
Here are just some of the factors that go into selecting an indirect rate structure and level appropriate for your business:
- Business size – Larger businesses will likely have more types of indirect rates than smaller firms.
- Competitive environment – If competitive pricing is an issue, selecting the most effective indirect rate structure is critical.
- Type of business – Manufacturing firms tend to require more complex rate structures than professional services firms.
- Mix of commercial and government business – The approach to indirect rates may be different if the majority of revenue is generated from commercial sources.
- Regulatory environment – Indirect rates are closely scrutinized by the government in a flexibly priced, cost-reimbursement type contracting environment.
ReliAscent has the experience and knowledge to assist businesses of any size in establishing indirect rates that are profitable. Using the factors that influence indirect rate development, ReliAscent can customize an indirect rate “fingerprint” and assist firms with reporting and managing these rates throughout the acquisition cycle.
Annual Budget Prep and Review
Most small businesses don't understand the benefit of creating and operating to an annual budget. The government contractor is further handicaped if they don't perform to budget on government contracts. This key principle means the difference between making and losing money, especially in a job cost environment. An experienced Financial Executive can oversee the creation and operation of a company in this critical environment.
Project Performance Monitoring
In addition to the budgeting function mentioned above, a skilled Financial Executive can help create comprehensive job cost reports, including the proper allocation of allowable indirect expenses, to track total earned expenses per project during the entire term of the project. This is not only mandatory for cost-type Government Contacts but is good business practice on other commercial parts of the business.
An experienced Financial Executive will know the ins and outs of obtaining all types of funding for the business. Government contracts and grants can be an excellent source of non-dilutive funding but the company must know how to, when to and the cost of pursuing this type of award. Other types of financing from the 4F's (Family, Friends, Founder, Fools) to Angel Financing to Venture Capital to a Stock Issue are just some of the avenues available to a business. The experienced Financial Executive knows the costs, the "how" and the timing for these growth strategies for small business.
Internal ControlsOver the years, many financial controls have been added as regulations to help businesses prevent mis-use of investor capital. Regulations from the IRS and the Sarbanes–Oxley Act (SOX) can be an additional financial responsibility (and worry) for a small firm. An Experience Financial Executive can help set up the controls that are expected, especially when the company grows, for checking, dual authentication and other controls to prevent errors and/or fraud.