DCAA Compliance Blog

Your Source for DCAA News and Information for Contractors

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

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!  


 

Mike Anderson

Mike has more than 30 years of experience with manufacturing companies with over 10 years of that experience in government contracting. Mike led the merger of Tech BizSolutions, Inc. and PBC, Inc. to form ReliAscent. As CEO during this process Mike merged the two organizations successfully and achieved a first year profit in the new organization. He has a broad base of experience from engineering to manufacturing to quality assurance to sales, marketing and business development. He has managed independent sales representative and distribution networks both nationally and internationally and has developed extensive international marketing and sales channels. Mike has extensive experience with all sizes of businesses having set up sales and marketing organizations in small businesses as well as multi-billion dollar international businesses. Mike has managed both prime government contracts as well as subcontracts and has experience in both the SBIR contract market as well as government contracts for direct products and services. Mike also has extensive experience in handling multi-million dollar high paced, high volume commercial product contracts. Mike has a degree in Aerospace Engineering and an MBA in Finance.

Recent Posts

Continue to follow the Tech BizSolutions Blog

Posted by Mike Anderson on Thu, Jun 07, 2012 @ 01:57 PM

As of June 1st, Tech BizSolutions, Inc. has merged with PBC, Inc of Denver to form a new company called ReliAscent, LLC.  ReliAscent will still offer all of the same services that Tech BizSolutions and PBC offered individually.  In addition, ReliAscent will offer services based on the synergy of bringing these two successful organizations under one roof.  For instance, PBC has very detailed technical accounting knowledge to add to the Tech Biz accounting knowledge base.  Tech BizSolutions has a wealth of contract management knowledge to add to the base of PBC's knowledge of government contracts.  PBC has focused on the SBIR/STTR market in the past and brings intimate knowledge of this contract vehicle to the offering.  Tech BizSolutions has offered services to all types of government contractors including Broad Agency Announcements, IDIQ contracts, GSA schedules, Seaport-e contracts, EFAST contracts and other contracting vehicles.  PBC brings a strong working knowledge of the 8(a) program and other specialized contracting vehicles. ReliAscent Group

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Topics: Government contract consultants, Tech BizSolutions


Outsourced Accounting and Cloud Computing Means Compliance

Posted by Mike Anderson on Tue, Feb 14, 2012 @ 09:02 AM

How do small businesses survive in the world today, especially when they are primarily government contractors?  The government has such a twisted path of regulations concerning contractors and then they control the amount of fee or profit that the small business can earn.  There is definately a cost in doing business with the government that many businesses don't realize when starting.  One of the constants we have noticed over the years is that experience in government contracting makes a difference.  Small businesses usually can't afford to hire someone with experience on their staff but they can hire a consultant and outsource this experience level on an "as needed" basis.  We have found that fully outsourcing back office services such as bookkeeping, accounting, payroll, contract management and even HR or purchasing can be valuable to the small business.  This allows those services to be performed by "experts" in the area and allows the members of the small business to focus on the tasks that they are experts at - thereby increasing their value to the bottom line.  A web hosted accounting system is a great tool for this scenario because both the outsourced consultant as well as company management can access the financial records at any time.  The following video outlines some of the benefits of such a web hosted solution, just imagine the cloud shared application is your accounting system!

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Topics: business consultants, Government contract consultants, DCAA compliance, Outsourced CFO


Provisional Rates - A potential DCAA focus area in 2012

Posted by Mike Anderson on Tue, Jan 24, 2012 @ 03:01 PM

Provisional Rates

Over the last year or so the DCAA has focused attention on larger government contractors.  Many smaller businesses may feel left out since they have not been visited by the DCAA.  More likely, they may feel that everything is "ok" since for most of us "no news is good news".  Our Account Managers here have been hearing bits of news from various sources that this might change in 2012.  First, the DCAA is apparently going to focus more on completing Incurred Cost Proposal audits in 2012, especially from smaller contractors.  The backlog of Incurred Cost audits was estimated to have quadrupled over the last 10 years but even DCAA Director Fitzgerald didn't know the exact number in a meeting with Senators Brown (R-MA) & McCaskill (D-MO) in  February last year.  Rest assured the number is huge.  We have recently seen clients that have received letters from the DCAA that demand the Provisional Billing Rates for Jan. 1, 2012 thru Dec. 31, 2012 be completed and turned in to the DCAA by February 1, 2012.  So we are seeing focus not only on the provisional rates (Ref Far 42.704(b)) but we expect to see a focus on cleaning up the backlog of Incurred Cost Proposals.  Both of these efforts will affect small business contractors.  The Provisional rates affect your ability to bill the government in the near future.  Once the DCAA audits the Incurred Cost Proposals the provisional rates become final rates.  The government is bound to payment based on the final indirect rates so these are very important numbers.  If your final indirect cost rates are lower than your provisional indirect cost rates, then the contractor could be liable for repayment to the government.  The important message for all government contractors is twofold: 1) it is important that your provisional rates are calculated correctly so that they come as close as possible to the final rates and 2) it is important that your Incurred Cost Reports are correctly done and accurate.  We envision spending a lot of time on those two areas this year.  It would be wise for all government contractors to do the same.

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Topics: Indirect billing rates, Year end indirect rates, Provisional rates, DCAA, DCAA audit


Monitor your subcontractor's Incurred Cost Submissions

Posted by Mike Anderson on Mon, Dec 12, 2011 @ 07:20 AM

Tech BizSolutions has noticed another policy change from the DCAA recently that could impact the bottom line of a small business.  One of our clients received a notice from the DCAA that indicated there will be more emphasis on subcontracts.  Specifically this emphasis will be on reviewing policies and procedures related to subcontracting.  Two areas of concern were outlined on monitoring subcontractors  and on requiring subcontractors over $700K to submit Incurred Cost Submissions either to the prime or to your ACO in accordance with FAR 52.216-7.  This has significant impact for many small businesses.   Tech BizSolutions can help any company with preparation of an Incurred Cost Submission as well as your subcontractors (just a reminder that an Incurred Cost Submission is due within 6 months from the end of a company’s fiscal year per FAR 52.216-15).  

So there are basically 2 action items required:

1.  You may need to review your Policies and Procedures to make sure you have the proper documents in place for your subcontracts and control of your subcontractors.  Tech BizSolutions can help you by performing a review and providing a “gap” analysis.  Then Tech BizSolutions can help fill in these “gaps” with standard procedures that Tech BizSolutions has developed to handle these situations. Of course, training can be supplied by Tech BizSolutions until you are comfortable that these policies and procedures are working properly to be compliant.

2.  You may need help with preparing your Incurred Cost Submission.  Now is not too early to start getting ready even though it may  not be due for 6 months.  Completing your ICE early can also help improve your positive cash flow.  To help you complete your ICE report, Tech BizSolutions has created two valuable resources to help you prepare for your ICE submission.  Use these resources to ensure you can accurately finish each Schedule from the ICE.  Click on the links below and you will be directed to our website where you can download each today!

Download your copy of “The Ice Date Requirements Checklist” here!

Download your copy of “The ICE Preparation Checklist” here!

Tech BizSolutions can help your company prepare a complete Incurred Cost Submission to ensure you remain in compliance.  Tech BizSolutions staff are experts in completing Incurred Cost Submissions.  We will complete this accurately, quickly, and in the most advantageous fashion for the needs of your company.

    Contact us today to see how we can help you with these important tasks.  In today’s government contracting environment you don’t want to have this done improperly.  Errors in Incurred Cost submissions can take money from your bottom line.  Don’t let that happen.  Call Tech BizSolutions today to see how we can help you protect your bottom line.

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    Topics: Incurred Cost Submission, DCAA compliance


    Top 5 Reasons Small Government Contractors should outsorce their CFO

    Posted by Mike Anderson on Fri, Oct 28, 2011 @ 08:21 AM

    In small businesses executives must wear many hats.  There simply isn't enough revenue to fund specialists in various "non-direct" areas like accounting.  For this reason alone, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) duties are often carried out either by a founder with limited financial experience or carried out by someone who does not have enough time to devote to the duties to do the job in a complete and efficient manner.  As a result, the business usually suffers.  To hire, as a consultant, an outsourced CFO for your business you can focus on the tasks that will bring the most benefit to your firm again and rest assured that the financial health and strategic growth of the company are being watched.  Here is a quick list of the top 5 reasons for hiring a consultant to serve as your CFO:
    1. Cash flow:  Cash flow is the lifeblood of a small government contractor or subcontractor.  Managing cash for a small government contractor requires knowledge of government contract types and specific clauses related to contract payment.  Negotiating the most favorable terms may mean the difference between long term success or failure of the contract and possibly even the firm. 
    2. Pricing:  Pricing in the proposal stage of a contract is crucial.  Knowing how to leverage government cost rules when budgeting and pricing new proposals will directly affect cash flow after the award of the contract.  With all the FAR regulations and other flow-downs on most government contracts it is critical that the small business has an expert CFO that can anticipate and construct pricing models that will be in the best interests of the firm going forward. 
    3. Compliance: Depending on your mix and dollar amounts of the contracts, your financial and business systems may be heavily scrutinized by the government.  Most small businesses simply don't have the expertise to survive the scrutiny if it focuses on your firm.  An experienced outsourced CFO can provide that expertise and stability.
    4. Profitability:  Success as a government contractor means monitoring profits and threats to performance on a job-by-job basis.  Understanding the special contractual obligations imposed by government work is key to assuring this success.  Understanding all of the government's complex matrix of requirements and applying them strategically can also lead to the maximization of a limited "fee" under government contracting guidelines. 
    5. Company Vision:  An outsourced CFO provides a "second set of independent eyes" on your business that assures the best possible long term strategy.  This helps control costs because you pay for only the CFO duties that you need and don't need to pay 6 figures to receive the benefit of this position.  A part-time CFO makes you look "bigger" and helps assure the government of your ability to survive and grow in the market.  Also, by hiring a consultant you may have the benefit of more than one CFO at the outsourced agency that can "poll" their ideas and strategies resulting in a better final strategy for the small business.  To top it all off, this is an allowable expense for government contractors.
    Tech BizSolutions offers experienced CFO personnel on an outsourced basis.  All of our CFO's have over 20 years experience with government contracting and financial responsibilities.  Call me today if you want to discuss how this could positively impact your business.
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    Topics: Outsourced CFO, Government Contractors


    Budget Cuts, Fraud & Inefficiency Means Stricter Compliance

    Posted by Mike Anderson on Wed, Oct 12, 2011 @ 08:30 AM

    There may be a perfect storm brewing in the government contracting world that will make it harder to do business with the federal government.  It started in July of 2008 when the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report that 3 of 3 DCAA audits showed inadequacies in the DCAA's performance of the audits.  This was followed up with another GAO investigation in September of 2009 that indicated a widespread problem within the DCAA organization.  As a result the DCAA went through 3 directors in a little over a year.  Major reform was announced and the DCAA is performing audits strictly to the book now, with only a "pass/fail" grade issued.  But even with this increasing dose of compliance issues for contractors, there continues to be problems.  Does it seem to you that we are hearing more about federal contractor fraud cases lately?  And then how about the case where government contractor executives are paid excessive salaries?  Many contracts suffer from cost overruns and late deliveries.  Combine all of this with the current economic crisis and the emphasis on cutting the federal budget and we have a perfect storm focused on government contractors.  What does this mean?  I think it will mean more scrutiny on government contractors, more emphasis for compliance and certainly more emphasis on performance.  There will be more difficulty for firms to survive in the government marketplace that do not meet all he compliance issues and/or that don't perform on-time and either on budget or under budget.  The contractors that can do this will be rewarded.  The contractors that cannot perform to this new standard will be rapidly pared from the market.  Companies that have an experienced staff to respond to all the government's compliance issues will prosper.  Companies that do not have significant experience in this area need to shore up that weakness.  Outsourcing this function can strengthen a company and assure survival.  Tech BizSolutions staff has the experience to offer to these companies in need of this service.  Call us today if you need to address a weakness or potential weakness.  We can help.
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    Topics: FAR, DCAA compliance, Government Contractors, DCAA, DCAA audit


    Happy New Year Government Contractors

    Posted by Mike Anderson on Wed, Oct 05, 2011 @ 08:56 AM

    The new year starts this week for the government.  Just like last year at this time, the budget is not yet approved for this fiscal year.  Instead, the House just approved yesterday a measure to operate through mid-November.  This happened several times last fiscal year too if you remember.  Finally the government threatened to shut down in late spring before congress approved the budget.  In other words, the government operated half way through the fiscal year without an approved spending budget!  (Try that in your business!!)  We are headed for more of the same this year.  Federal spending is cautious at best under such guidelines.  Spending is postponed for fear of possible cuts and/or cancellations.  This makes it difficult not only for the Contracting Officers but also for the businesses bidding on projects that the government needs to buy.  Combine this with the proposed trimming of the budget and business is very uncertain and tough for small business contractors.  Large business contractors also feel the pain.  It has always been a challenge to do business with the Federal Government but now, especially with the certain drop in defense spending for the first time in over 10 years,  makes it even more challenging.  There are some areas of opportunity in this market however.  It seems that certain areas of spending will demand a growing emphasis, including areas such as Energy (especially conservation related areas), Healthcare, Budget Streamlining and Cybersecurity.  There will continue to be Defense related opportunities (spending will be cut, not eliminated) but they will result in more competition and it will be harder to secure them.  This will mean businesses need to focus on making sure their systems are compliant, that they can deliver a quality product, at a competitive price and on time.  Sounds like typical "lip service" except in today's environment this is no longer "lip service".  Only the "best" will survive the competition.  If you would like help making sure your offering is in this class, Tech BizSolutions can help you. 
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    Topics: government contracting, 2012 Budget Cuts, Business Strategy