DCAA ACCOUNTING, CONTRACT MANAGEMENT, & OUTSOURCED CFO SERVICESReliAscent® provides small to medium-sized government contractors and grantees with the complete back and front office support they need to be compliant with government contract accounting requirements, and to succeed and grow their businesses. This starts from the installation of a FAR & DCAA compliant job cost accounting system, which then needs to be maintained in compliance through outsourced monthly accounting and DCAA audit support. These outsource contractor accounting services, however, are only the first pillar in our 3-Pillar approach to serving our clients; what we call ReliAscent's "3 Pillars of Government Contracting Success."
While this first pillar provides businesses with the government contract accounting system and outsourced accounting they need to compete for contracts and remain compliant, the other two pillars are just as critical to the ongoing success and growth of a government contractor or grantee. After all, success in this industry takes more than just a good product or idea, and it takes more than "just an accounting firm." In order to ensure growth, profitability, and that your idea, product, or service can succeed, a small business also needs both the expert government contract management support, and the strategic, highly-specialized financial and business management expertise that major defense contractors have...and ReliAscent® offers all three under one roof:
GOVERNMENT CONTRACT ACCOUNTING
A GOVERNMENT CONTRACT ACCOUNTING FIRM LIKE NO OTHER...
We Don't Sell Software, Unnecessary Products, or Training Services: we aren't here to sell you expensive seminars, unnecessary and overpriced packages, or software (and leave you to fend for yourself). We don't lock your business into an accounting system that costs tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars, or one that is nearly impossible to get out of or grow beyond.
While these platforms can be ideal for defense contractors making more than ~$30M in annual revenue and/or those having several dozen to hundreds of contracts or jobs (and with an accounting staff that can be intensively trained to use the software), they are not realistic or cost-effective for most small business government contractors and grantees (despite how they may be branded).
At ReliAscent®, our time is valuable, and we know yours is too. We aren't interested in wasting it with pushy sales tactics, or trying to sell you "services" that you don't need, provide little to no value, or simply set you up for failure. We are here to help you grow through our expertise and what makes your technology, products, or services special.
We're Not Just Accountants—We're Strategic Financial Consultants: ReliAscent® is a full-service government contract accounting and consulting firm that focuses on making sense of your financial data and helping you to stay efficient, proactive, profitable, and competitive. We are not simply a bookkeeping firm (with only one or two experienced employees), or an overpriced CPA firm that serves medium to large-sized contractors. These accounting firms are a dime a dozen, and generally have two models:
1) A Bookkeeping firm with a knowledgeable CPA at the head, but several inexperienced bookkeepers doing all the work (simply following a template).
2) A CPA Firm with overpriced personnel (charging higher rates than ReliAscent®), but lacking Contract Management, and CFO & Business Management expertise and services.
In both cases, your business is left at a disadvantage.
An accounting firm that simply follows a template and performs data entry does not provide any real value, other than to (hopefully) keep your business from failing a DCAA audit. If you are serious about wanting your business to succeed and grow in the highly competitive government contracting industry, you also need to have expertise in: government contract management, administration, and negotiation, business and financial management, IP rights, legal support, and even cybersecurity (NIST and CMMC compliance). That's a lot of expertise and positions to fill in a company with only a few, or few dozen employees...
That's where ReliAscent® comes in. Our accounting teams possess the necessary skills and expertise required to provide these services to government contractors (and can also offer them on an as-needed basis), all at less than the cost of hiring a single, full-time accountant. After all, our clients are in the business of bringing their unique ideas, solutions, and services to the world; not to spend their time dealing with government compliance and accounting issues!
GOVERNMENT CONTRACT ACCOUNTING BASICS - WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The United States Government is the largest consumer in the world. They purchase more goods and services than any other entity, and they are one of the best customers in the world that a small business can have as they always pay on time and it seems their demand is always increasing in some capacity. They will even pay for a portion of your overhead. As such, they demand preferential treatment as a customer. They not only have a long list of terms and conditions for which they expect their suppliers to comply with, they also can dictate how a company does their accounting, their billing and other seemingly standard business tasks. This is the cost of doing business with the world's number one consumer. Companies that do not prepare for and then comply with these requirements, will not be viewed as suppliers of value to the government and will not be doing continuing business with the Government.
The rules for supplying goods and services for the United States Government are quite detailed and found in many places. The basic rules are found in the Federal Acquisition Regulations (see FAR below) and there are a number of other interactive regulations found in the Code of Federal Regulations, the Office of Management and Budget as well as each agency modifying these basic requirements to fit their individual agency mission. This smorgasbord of regulations is very intertwined and can be confusing to the uninitiated.
What is the FAR and how does it relate to Government Contract Accounting?
The Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) are a set of detailed requirements that govern how the government will purchase items and services. The FAR is 53 sections and over 2,000 pages of fine print covering everything from the types of contracts, to how contracts are awarded to terms and flow downs to appear on contracts. The cross references many times and sometimes to external regulations. It can be very difficult to figure out how to comply with for the uninitiated.
FAR clauses are flowed down to contractors in contracts from the Federal Government and/or prime contractors. If your contract cites FAR clauses from parts 31 and 52, and if you have a Cost Type contract, or a Fixed Price with cost reimbursable CLIN's, and even some Time and Material (T&M) contract, you will be required to have a DCAA compliant government contract accounting system, meeting all of the requirements outlined in the Government's Standard Form SF1408.
What is the DCAA, and why do they matter to me?
The Defense Contract Audit Agency (or DCAA) a group within the Department of Defense (the largest budget within the Federal Government) responsible for auditing contractors. Their primary guide in these audits is the FAR and the DCAA Contract Audit Manual. There are many different audits they are responsible for including everything from pricing proposals to incurred cost proposals to full system audits. The risk of audit is up to the government, usually determined by a combination of contract type, size of award and apparent financial risk. The DCAA does do some work at the request of other agencies but their primary responsibility is auditing contracts and financial systems/reports of contractors supplying to the Department of Defense. According to FAR requirements, they will have full access to a contractors records in order to verify that the US Taxpayer is getting value for the money they spend. To learn more about the DCAA, visit our Government Agencies page: https://www.reliascent.com/dcaa-compliance.
Why do I Need a Government Approved Accounting System?
The type of contract (cost type awards, many T&M awards and some Fixed price award require compliant accounting systems) as well as the size of the contract will normally dictate whether the government wants to see a compliant accounting system (often referred to as a "government approved accounting system," though the DCAA simply verifies that your accounting system is compliant, and does not certify or approve any software or accounting system. The government can also request a compliant accounting system if they have some reason to mitigate their risk. This will be reflected in the contract terms and conditions.
How Can I Install & Operate a Compliant Government Contract Accounting System?
For a new company, it can be rather painless to start a government compliant accounting system, as long as the company realizes there will be some procedures and policies required from the start that might seem "different". For an existing company, it can be a major paradigm shift for the company as the compliant accounting system for government contracting is sometimes referred to a "Job Cost Accounting System on steroids". Either way, ReliAscent® has been able to help hundreds of companies in both of these categories with successful implementation of such a system.
Whether your business is located here in Colorado, across the United States or even overseas, ReliAscent® can help. Through the use of modern electronic tools, such as e-mail, video conferencing, cloud sharing of files, cloud hosting of files and other virtual capabilities, ReliAscent® can operate as if they were just down the hall. A complete, virtual, compliant accounting department can be affordable by even a small business.