DCAA Compliance Blog

Government Contracting News and DCAA Information for Contractors

ReliAscent® LLC is the only government contract accounting firm that specializes in all aspects of government contracting compliance.  From monthly DCAA compliant accounting services, to contract management & administration, and financial services & planning for contractors and grantees, our goal is to ensure the success of our clients, and all small business government contractors.  

In our DCAA Blog, we discuss the latest government contracting news from the Federal Government, the DCAA, and DCMA, as well as promotions offered by ReliAscent, and helpful tools and resources for contractors.

We hope you will visit and take part in the discussions on our blog on a regular basis. If you ever have any questions or would like to discuss how our experts can help, do not hesitate to contact us at any time!  

 


 

ReliAscent® Newsletter Released - The National Defense Authorization Act and More

Posted by Tyler Link on Wed, Sep 12, 2018 @ 12:38 PM

ReliAscent® is happy to announce the release of our first newsletter of 2018!

This issue features articles on the National Defense Authorization Act, as well as a discussion on why the Federal Government is concerned with your firm's financial success.

2018 ReliAscent Newsletter

To download your copy of the newsletter, click here now!

As always: if you ever have questions about FAR & DCAA compliance, our services, or government contracting in general, please do not hesitate to call or email us at any time.

Topics: newsletter

Indirect Rates Reviews for Government Contractors

Posted by Tyler Link on Mon, Aug 27, 2018 @ 12:39 PM

Indirect Rates Reviews for Government Contractors

Are your Indirect Billing Rates Hurting Your Bottom Line?

Your Indirect Rates are critical for managing costs effectively and ensuring your business remains profitable.  However, if you don't know HOW to properly manage your indirect rates—or, if you're not making strategic modifications to their rates at the right times—you could be losing a lot of money. 

To help small business government contractors make the most of their indirect billing rates, ReliAscent offers the industry’s only, Free Indirect Rates Review.  This review provides contractors and grantees with sound, valuable advice about their indirect rate system & structure, can help them to understand and maintain DCAA compliance, and can help a small business use their rates as a financial engine to grow their company.

TO GET YOUR FREE INDIRECT RATES REVIEW, CLICK HERE NOW!

With just a little information about your company, our experts can complete your indirect rates review and schedule a call to discuss the path forward, should you need help fixing any errors detected.

We encourage small business federal contractors to take advantage of this helpful service, and as always, if you ever have any questions about FAR and DCAA compliance, or our accounting and contract management services for Federal Contractors & Grantees, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

 

Helpful Indirect Rates White Papers

Topics: Indirect billing rates, Indirect rates, indirect rates review, managing your indirect rates

New Funding Opportunity for Small Business from the US ARMY

Posted by Tyler Link on Thu, Jun 28, 2018 @ 02:15 PM

The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (ASA(ALT)) is announcing the Army Expeditionary Technology Search – xTechSearch – to be featured at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., on October 8 - 10, 2018.

xTechSearch will highlight opportunities for small businesses and nontraditional defense partners to collaborate with the Army to tackle the most poignant Army modernization challenges. This opportunity is open to all Small Businesses based in the US, and focuses on key technology areas like long range precision weapons and firing capabilities, next gen. combat vehicles, and even areas like network and software engineering.

To learn more about this opportunity and/or submit proposals to the ARMY, download your copy of the xTechSearch RFI here, and complete the xTechSearch Registration Form  

We encourage all small businesses working in engineering and scientific fields to review the RFI, and participate in the program if your technology is applicable.  This is a valuable opportunity for Government Contractors, and even those small businesses that have never contracted with the Federal Government previously.

Good luck!

Topics: xTechSearch, US ARMY Small Business Funding

DoD SBIR/STTR 2018.2/B Closes Tomorrow, June 20, 8 PM ET

Posted by Tyler Link on Tue, Jun 19, 2018 @ 10:30 AM

2018.2-B SBIR-STTR BAA Open

The DoD SBIR/STTR 18.2/B BAA's are Closing Tomorrow at 8 PM ET.

 
ReliAscent would like to remind all contractors and grantees that the Department of Defense (DoD) SBIR/STTR 18.2/B Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs) will close tomorrow, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, at 8:00 p.m. ET. Be sure to submit proposals as early as possible to avoid potential complications which can arise due to the high volume of submissions tomorrow afternoon and evening.

All submissions must be made through the DoD SBIR/STTR submission portal, at https://sbir.defensebusiness.org/.


Put it on your Calendar: the DoD SBIR/STTR 18.3/C topics will Pre-Release on August 24, 2018. View the full BAA schedule here.

For any questions regarding the submission process, contact the DOD SBIR/STTR Help Desk Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. ET at 1-800-348-0787 or sbirhelp@bytecubed.com.

DCAA Compliance

Should your business win a Ph II award (or any other cost type contract that requires a DCAA compliant accounting system), remember to contact us first. ReliAscent is the only consulting firm in the country that offers not only DCAA compliant accounting systems and monthly accounting services, but also provides contract management, and business & financial consulting to Contractors/Grantees.  As a result, our team can help you to remain compliant in all aspects of your contract, stay profitable, and position your business for success in this highly-competitive industry.

Best of luck on your proposals, and as always, please feel free to contact us at any time to discuss DCAA compliance, our services, and government contracting!

Topics: 2018.2 SBIR, 2018.B STTR, DoD SBIR/STTR 2018.2/B

Other Transaction Authority (OTA) – Is it Worth it?

Posted by Dave Donley on Tue, Jun 12, 2018 @ 09:30 AM

United States Department of Defense

The bulk of what the DoD buys in the research and development (R&D) realm complies with customary processes surrounding competition, cost and pricing, and reams of regulations covering everything from labor rights to intellectual property. The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) is the prominent avenue for small businesses to tap into DoD R&D funding.

The Defense Department has breathed new life into an existing contracting tool called “Other Transaction Authority, or OTA. OTA's have less restrictive contracting rules, so in theory DoD components can use OTA's to fulfill their needs for the warfighter quicker than traditional contracting methods.

 

Incentivized for small business

Recent DoD legislation incentivizes the use of small businesses when considering OTA's. In addition, consortiums between industry and academia continue to be formed to pursue the increase in OTA activity. DoD legislation requires these consortiums use small and non-traditional defense contractors or otherwise pay a “cost-share”.

We heartily encourage our R&D clients to look into joining a consortium surrounding their particular technological niche. Here’s a recent list of DoD-focused consortiums.

https://www.woden.one/woden-blog/2017/9/11/existing-dod-ota-consortia

 

Contracting with consortiums

Contracts or subcontracts formed under an OTA through a consortium still require close scrutiny in regard to risk and compliance in the areas of performance risk, pricing, accounting, and intellectual property protection.

 

Contract type

Whereas most DoD contracts for R&D efforts are performed on a cost-plus basis, contracts with R&D consortiums have the flexibility to use all contract types (Fixed Price, Time and Material, Cost-Plus). Contract performance requirements and risk should be carefully considered to appropriately match the contract type. For example, the highly aspirational development of a prototype unit should probably be a cost-plus type contract, whereas research services could be fixed price or time and material.

 

Pricing

While OTA's do provide some relief in this area from the customary DoD approach, it’s fair to say the basics will still apply to pricing:

Project labor – proposed costs are based on an hourly rate representing an annual salary that is actually paid (not deferred). Hours are then estimated and multiplied by the labor rate to derive labor dollars.

Non-labor project costs – costs can be justified through a variety of methods, including quotes, prior history. While the expectation may still be you use competitive sourcing techniques, using a sole source may require less justification.

Indirect rates – The amount of rigor in reviewing indirect rates will likely be much less than traditional DoD contracting. If indirect rates haven’t already been established with the DoD, project cost “burdens” can quickly be determined through an analysis of company financials or pricing history.

 

Accounting

The design and rigor of the accounting system would depend on the type of contract and reimbursement methods used. Cost-type contracts, where actual project costs and an allocation of administrative costs are recovered, require intricate design and operation of an accounting system.  This requires a discrete isolation of project costs in the accounting system, a timekeeping system, along with a logical method of calculating the administrative cost “burden”.

In this case, it’s unclear if one would still need a DCAA-approved accounting system if using an OTA directly with the DoD or with a consortium partner.

Time and material contracts, or labor hour contracts, may also require a timekeeping system and a method of tagging material or “other direct costs” to a job.

While fixed price contracts may not require any of these accounting techniques, implementing even a basic job costing system would provide a window into project profitability.

 

OTA win-win

We greatly endorse the DoD OTA contracting methods as a funding source for our R&D clients. By using this method directly with the DoD, or by working through a consortium, you should find the path to success much less rigorous.

Topics: OTA, Other Transaction Authority

New SAM Registration Requirement for Federal Contractors & Grantees

Posted by Tyler Link on Wed, Jun 06, 2018 @ 12:42 PM

In case you hadn't heard, we wanted to notify all of our clients of news and a new requirement coming out of the GSA for all Federal Contractors and Grantees:

The GSA's System for Award Management (SAM) is supporting an investigation by the GSA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) into alleged, third-party fraudulent activity in SAM. At this time, only a limited number of entities registered in SAM are suspected of being impacted by this alleged fraudulent activity.  If you were affected the GSA has already notified you of the activity.  All other entities will need to take measures to comply with the GSA’s corrective action for prevention of future breaches.

What does this mean for you:

  • If you were affected by the fraudulent activity, GSA has already notified you, and you are required to submit an original, signed notarized letter identifying the authorized Entity Administrator for the entity associated with the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number before the registration will be activated. GSA posted instructions for domestic entities and instructions for international entities for easy reference.
  • All new entities going forward that are registering in SAM for the first time are required to perform this step.
  • All existing SAM registrants are also required to perform this step when renewing or updating their registration.

While you are not required to perform this step until you perform your annual renewal, ReliAscent recommends all contractors and grantees take proactive measures and update this as soon as possible, as GSA anticipates (some) potential problems with payments in Q3 and Q4 as a result of this situation.  For more information on this please see the GSA website.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at any time. We greatly appreciate your business, and are always happy to help.

Topics: GSA, SAM, GSA SAM Fraud Investigation

Government Contractors Need More Than "Just an Accounting Firm"

Posted by Tyler Link on Wed, May 23, 2018 @ 09:30 AM

When you decide that you need expert help in Government Contracting, what do you look for in a partner?  Do you want someone with experience running a small business like yours?  Does the depth and breadth of experience really matter?  Are there other factors besides just having your accounting system comply with the Federal Acquisition Regulations?

Most Federal Government Contractors have likely come across—or even worked with—companies that advertise FAR and DCAA compliant accounting services or systems.  While these companies may offer bookkeeping or accounting (or a software solution to initially bring your system into compliance), each lack critical skill sets and services that a small business needs to not only maintain their accounting system, but ensure contract compliance and profitability as well. This leaves small business contractors open to risks many aren’t even aware of until it’s too late.

When you put your business in the hands of companies that are not skilled in important areas like: strategic financial planning, budget & profit planning, indirect cost rate management, contract negotiations, closeouts, & modifications, and other critical contract and business management services, you open yourself up to reduced profits and increased risk of failed audits.

At ReliAscent, what makes us unique is that we are built on a solid triad of skills for a profit driving foundation.  We are not simply a bookkeeping or accounting firm, nor do we exclusively sell software or training services to contractors and grantees.  We are your modern day outsourced partner; providing you with the DCAA Compliant Accounting, Contract Management, and Business & Strategic Financial Consulting services you need to succeed in this highly competitive industry.

To learn more about how ReliAscent can position your company for success, contact us today, and don’t forget to subscribe to our Blog

At ReliAscent, the success of our clients and all government contractors and grantees is our top priority!

Topics: Outsourced CFO, government contract management, DCAA Compliant Accounting, DCAA Accounting Systems

DoD SBIR/STTR 2018.2/B Open for Submissions

Posted by Tyler Link on Tue, May 22, 2018 @ 09:50 AM

2018.2-B SBIR-STTR BAA Open

The DoD SBIR/STTR 18.2/B BAA's are Now Open for Proposal Submission.

 
ReliAscent would like to remind all contractors and grantees that as of today, May 22nd, they are now able to  submit Phase I proposals through the DOD SBIR/STTR proposal submission website at https://sbir.defensebusiness.org. All proposals for this round must be received by 8:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, June 20, 2018. To view the topics, click here now.

Important Dates: 

  • June 6, 2018: SITIS closes to new questions 
  • June 20, 2018: SBIR 18.2 and STTR 18.B close at 8:00 p.m. ET


SITIS Q&A
At this time, proposers are no longer allowed to directly communicate with the DoD's topic authors. However, the Government encourages contractors and grantees to review all relevant information and submit written questions through the SITIS Q&A System at https://sbir.defensebusiness.org/topics  (in SITIS, the questioner and respondent remain anonymous, and all questions and answers are posted electronically for general viewing). As a reminder: questions are limited to technical information related to improving the understanding of a particular topic’s requirements. No other questions will receive a response.
 
The SITIS Q&A service for this Announcement closes to new questions on June 6, 2018, and contractors/grantees are advised to monitor SITIS during the Announcement period for questions and answers.
 
DCAA Compliance

Should your business win a Ph II award (or any other cost type contract that requires a DCAA compliant accounting system), remember to contact us first. ReliAscent is the only consulting firm in the country that offers not only DCAA compliant accounting systems and monthly accounting services, but also provides contract management, and business & financial consulting to Contractors/Grantees.  As a result, our team can help you to remain compliant in all aspects of your contract, stay profitable, and position your business for success in this highly-competitive industry.

Best of luck on your proposals, and as always, please feel free to contact us at any time to discuss DCAA compliance, our services, and government contracting!

 

Topics: 2018.2 SBIR, 2018.B STTR, DoD SBIR/STTR 2018.2/B

DCAA ICE Submissions

Posted by Tyler Link on Wed, Apr 04, 2018 @ 12:47 PM

DCAA ICE Submission Help

ReliAscent would like to remind contractors that if you had a Cost Reimbursable type contract in 2017, your Incurred Cost Proposal / ICE Submission is due 6 months after the end of your FY (per FAR 52.216-7).  If your FY ends on Dec 31st, that means your submission deadline will be here faster than you think, and it's time to get started!

Just like you don’t wait until April 1st to select your accountant and start your tax return, you should not wait any longer to select a qualified government accounting firm to help you with your Incurred Cost Submission.  The experts at ReliAscent have completed thousands of Incurred Cost Proposals for contractors over the last 20+ years, and can alleviate the stress of this process.

ReliAscent also has a number of helpful ICE resources for contractors:

Call us today to secure ReliAscent’s professional and expert services to help you prepare your 2017 ICE.  Slots are filling up fast, so the time to act is now!

If you have any questions about our government contract accounting or contract management services, please feel contact us at any time!

 

Topics: incurred cost proposal, DCAA ICE, DCAA ICE Submission

Are Your Indirect Rates Helping or Hurting Your Business?

Posted by Tyler Link on Tue, Mar 20, 2018 @ 08:30 AM

Indirect Rates - Helping or Hurting Your Business?

Have Contracts But Still Losing Money? It May Be Time to Review Your Indirect Rates

Managing your Indirect Rates effectively is critical for managing your costs and maintaining profits. Unfortunately, most contractors face the same problem: they don't know HOW to properly manage their indirect rates, and they're not making strategic modifications to their rates at the right times...and the consequences could be killing your bottom line.

To help small businesses struggling with their rates and maintaining profitability, ReliAscent offers the industry’s only, Free Indirect Rates Review.  This review provides contractors and grantees with sound, valuable advice about their indirect rate system & structure, can help them to understand and maintain DCAA compliance, and can help a them use their indirect rates as a tool to grow the business.

TO GET YOUR FREE INDIRECT RATES REVIEW, CLICK HERE NOW!

With just a little information about your company, our experts can complete your review and schedule a call to discuss the path forward, should you need help fixing any errors detected.

We encourage small business federal contractors to take advantage of this helpful service, and as always, if you ever have any questions about FAR and DCAA compliance, or our accounting and contract management services for Federal Contractors & Grantees, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

Topics: Indirect billing rates, Indirect rates, indirect rates review, managing your indirect rates