The number one software for accounting for small business is usually considered to be the QuickBooks® program. This program is very flexible and very complete for setting up and operating a small business. When the small business decides that they want to participate in government contracting or they secure a government grant, the QuickBooks® software is not designed to meet the requirements set forth by the CFR, FAR and DCAA. This does not mean that the program cannot be made compliant however. Since QuickBooks® is not designed to meet government requirements, many people panic. By setting up the QuickBooks file in a specific manner and then using some secondary programs to supplement the system, the program can be made to comply with government requirements and pass government audits, such as those conducted by the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA).
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In the world of government contracting there are always issues with the way contractors do their accounting. It's not good enough to do it like a normal business and the Federal Government instills lots of additional requirements. These requirements all are based in a logic that helps protect the government from fraud and helps insure the government gets a good value for what they are paying for. Sometimes these requirements can be not only intimidating but they can cause confusion and even inadvertant miscues. It is not easy to run a compliant accounting system as a government contractor.
With the tightening of the Federal budget combined with the effects of sequestration take their toll on government contracting companies are looking for survival strategies. For large corporations that are well diversified, this task is easier as they can shift resources from hard hit departments to other business units that are doing well. I have heard of such strategies employed at some of the large government prime contractors where they were able to successfully report better than predicted results due to business units in commercial aerospace or foreign sales having improved results. These business units were able to keep the company in the black, even though the segment of government contracting might be down. Even so, these large companies will have to scramble in the future if sequestration continues and there is every indication that this will continue for the immediate future. On the other hand, what about small business? Small business usually doesn't have the diversification or the international sales groups that can help keep the company in the black.