GOVERNMENT CONTRACT ACCOUNTING & CONSULTING SERVICES

ReliAscent® 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. This starts with the installation of a FAR & DCAA compliant job cost accounting system, which then needs to be maintained in compliance through monthly outsourced DCAA compliant accounting and audit support. However, accounting is only the first pillar in our 3-Pillar approach to serving our clients. In order to succeed and grow, 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, and on each accounting team:

 

A GOVCON CONSULTING FIRM LIKE NO OTHER...

Govern Approved Accounting Systems

What separates ReliAscent® from other accounting and consulting firms serving the government contracting industry?

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 ~$50M in annual revenue or those with dozens to hundreds of contracts at any given time (with an accounting staff that can be intensively trained to operate the software), they are not realistic or cost-effective for most small businesses.

At ReliAscent®, we don't waste your time with pushy sales tactics.  We don't try to sell you products or services 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 guidance.

 

We're Not Just Accountants—We're Strategic Financial & Contract 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 turn that insight into a competitive advantage for your business.  We are not simply a "DCAA bookkeeping firm" or an overpriced CPA firm.  These firms are a dime a dozen and generally have two models (these probably sound familiar): 

1) A Bookkeeping firm with a knowledgeable CPA at the head, but several inexperienced bookkeepers that perform all the work (following a template). You think you are getting expert support for the money you spend each month, but they are constantly making errors and can't answer simple questions about the FAR, DCAM, or even provide basic guidance on the critical issues you face every month.

2) A CPA Firm with overpriced personnel (charging higher rates than ReliAscent®) but lacking Contract & Grant Management and CFO & Business Management expertise and services. "Need help? Call someone else, and good luck!"

In both cases, your business is left at a serious disadvantage.

 

 

YOUR BUSINESS DESERVES A TEAM OF EXPERTS

A "DCAA bookkeeping firm" that simply performs data entry provides no real value other than to (hopefully) keep your business from failing an 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: financial strategy, government contract management, administration, and negotiation, business management, IP rights, legal support, and even cybersecurity.  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 include a Bookkeeper, Senior Accountant, (optional) Controller, and the Account Executive (your very own CFO and Contracts Manager, who runs the accounting team and provides additional services on an as-needed basis).  This approach is entirely unique in our industry, but purposefully structured to strengthen your business. 

We also provide clients with an extensive Partnership Network of CPA's, Law Firms, Proposal Writers, Subject Matter Experts (to support SBIR/STTR awards), Business Development Consultants, and Software Companies, so they have instant access to the other specialized services they need (from taxes, to Uniform Guidance or A133 Audits, to SBIR proposal writing, commercialization support, and legal representation, to name a few). 

To learn more about our team-based approach to serving our clients, visit our popular blog, "Why Does a Team Matter? How the Account Executive Positions Your Business for Success"

 

Government Contract Accounting - Team based appraoch

 

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 Federal Government and will not be doing continuing business with the Government.

The rules for supplying goods and services for the United States Government are extremely 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 maze of regulations is very intertwined and can be confusing to the uninitiated. 

 

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.

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.

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.

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.