Most contracts with the Federal Government are governed by the regulations set forth in the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR). While most government contractors have heard of the FAR, and may have some familiarity with it, many do not know where these regulations came from and why they are important. The FAR was created following a statue from the Office of Federal Procurement Policy within the Office of Management and Budget in 1979. The purpose of this statute was to create and implement a uniform procurement system. The FAR became effective in 1984 (a mere 5 years later), again proving that most things take time, especially related to the government. The actual FAR regulation is contained in Title 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 1 through 53. This regulation is used by all Federal Executive agencies in their acquisition of supplies and services using appropriated funds.
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Ok, so you have an award from the government and you understand that there are requirements on how your accounting system is set up and operated. Where do these requirements come from? How do you know what needs to be done to make your accounting system compliant? I think it makes sense to understand the "rules of the playground". This review is fairly superficial but will help you, as a Federal Award participant, to understand more of the "why" and where it is coming from. This overview may also help you understand some of the other terms and conditions that are always attached to a Federal Award.