Uncompensated Overtime DCAA
Last week we looked at the DCAA requirements for Timekeeping on a government contract and this week I want to explore the different types of systems. For small companies, a manual timekeeping system is probably sufficient and cost effective. This requires that the employee has only 1 timecard that they fill out daily in ink. The supervisor must monitor arrival & departure to help verify the time record at the end of the time period. Corrections are made in ink, with an explanation, dated & signed. These timecards must be reviewed and approved by the supervisor prior to entry into the accounting system. As the company size grows, it makes not only economic sense but procedural sense to move to a more automated system. So what is the difference? The basic requirements of both types of systems are the same. Daily recording, correct charge codes used, corrections having a complete audit trail, approval cycles, etc. are required of both types of systems. We have seen some companies get into trouble by setting up an "electronic" timekeeping system based in a spreadsheet software like Microsoft's Excel. Excel lacks several key ingredients like the change control/audit trail & approval processes that the DCAA needs to see. The audit trail needs to include the original entry, a description of the change, initialed, authorized and dated by both the employee and the supervisor. Automated systems also must insure that only the employee can access their specific record (nobody else can record time on another employees timesheet). Of course, the supervisor must also have access to the employee's time record for monitoring and for approval. There are many timekeeping software packages on the market today but only a select few have DCAA approved packages and you usually have to ask specifically for the DCAA approved package. Tech Biz has worked with many of these and we know the pro's and con's for them. While there is no one simple answer (there are lots of variables, lots of extra features and certainly costs to weigh) we can usually help steer clients to the most cost effective solution on an automated system to meet each company's specific needs. Timekeeping is a key ingredient to effective government contracting and meeting DCAA requirements. It is probably the number 1 audit finding by the DCAA. You need to make sure and get this one right.