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!  


 

DCAA Timekeeping Requirements - Part 2

Posted by Mike Anderson on Wed, Sep 22, 2010 @ 02:30 PM

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.

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Topics: government contractor, DCAA, DCAA guidance, timekeeping


Obama takes aim at Government Contractors

Posted by Mike Anderson on Wed, Dec 23, 2009 @ 02:30 PM

Last year when the economy “tanked” many small businesses looked to the one customer that was still spending money, the Federal Government.

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Topics: government contractor, DCAA audit, government contract management


SBIR/STTR Reauthorization, Part IV

Posted by Mike Anderson on Thu, Oct 29, 2009 @ 01:45 PM

To quote one of my favorite presidents: "Well, there you go again".  We all knew it would happen.   There is too much in the news about Afghanistan, Health Insurance Reform, the Recession, the Economy, etc. for Congress to pay attention to the SBIR reauthorization bill this month.   So they did what they have done so many times in the past, they extended the deadline!  This occurred in two separate legislations.  H.R. 2647, otherwise known as the” FY-2010 National Defense Conference Report”, was passed by both the House and Senate and signed by the President yesterday (10/28/09).    This included extension of funding of DoD SBIR/STTR’s until 9/30/10.  Originally this bill had language to extend the DoD program for 14 years but it was revised down to only one year prior to passage.   The other 10 SBIR agencies have to depend upon a new bill introduced in the Senate (S.1929) that extends the funding deadline for 6 more months to April 30, 2010.  This is to allow small businesses to get “thru the holiday season”.    The bill now goes to the House but approval is not guaranteed since the Small Biz Committee has been reluctant in the past to extend the SBIR program for any length of time.   What?  It all makes sense when you look back to the original expiration date of Sept. 30, 2008 and what has happened since then.  There are a number of politicians with individual agendas that are preventing the reauthorization of this important program.  Never mind that it affects over 29 million small businesses and that small businesses represent about half of all employment in the United States.  Judging by what is going on with Health Care Reform, it could be extended again next April.  Stay tuned…..
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Topics: government contractor, SBIR, STTR, DCAA, Announcements


Autonomous DCAA?

Posted by Mike Anderson on Fri, Oct 09, 2009 @ 03:17 PM

We are continuing to see more discussion about the DCAA and whether or not it should continue to function out of the Department of Defense or whether it should be it's own independent agency.  One side says that there is a conflict of interest of sorts.  The DCAA lacks independence over the contractors that it oversees because the Defense Department is doing business with those contractors.  They further believe that pressure from outside groups is the reason for shoddy audit practices and approval of substandard systems.  This seems to be supported by the fact that when the GAO reviewed 69 audits performed between 2004 & 2006 they found that 65 of these audits were faulty in some regard.  This has caused the DCAA to issue "get tough" messages to their auditors (see our blogs; "DCAA to get tougher (again) and may become more influential" and "DCAA 2008 Year End Guidance - Happy Holidays, Government Contractors").  There are several US senators, namely Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Olka. and Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., that want to re-design the DCAA and make them an autonomous agency to cure the problems.  The comptroller of the Pentagon, Robert Hale, strongly opposes this move and feels that the DCAA should continue to report to him.   The DCAA itself has not only issued the above referenced "get tough" directives to their auditors but they are also prioritzing their audit plan for 2010 to focus on high-risk, high-dollar value audits.  They also have changed the way they evaluate their auditors, focusing more on adherence to audit standards than to the number of audits performed.  All auditors have also been given refresher training focusing on increasing the quality of the audits. 

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Topics: government consulting, government contractor, DCAA


Colorado PTAC now open to provide government contract support!

Posted by Mike Anderson on Fri, Sep 25, 2009 @ 04:10 PM

The Colorado PTAC is now in operation. One of the last states to get a PTAC (Procurement Technical Assistance Center), the Colorado office is headquartered in Colorado Springs. However, the agreement specifies that the PTAC office serve all of Colorado including performance metrics designed to stimulate government contracting beyond the I25 corridor. 

What is a PTAC?

A PTAC is an outreach activity co-funded by the Department of Defense, state and local economic development groups, and private donations. It provides free services to government contractors related to business development, business management, and other issues facing firms in the government contract environment. It is this focus on government contracting that distinguishes it from the bulk of fee services provided the SBA, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), and SCORE (Service Corps Of Retired Executives). Think of the PTAC as the center of gravity for Colorado government contractors, a clearinghouse for the latest opportunities, trends and requirements from the government. 
Core services

A key service of Colorado PTAC, as it is with others across the country, will be business development. It plans to provide sophisticated tools to enable businesses to sift through the enormous amount of solicitations released each day by federal, state, and local governments. Assistance will be offered in identifying critical processes for responding to solicitations and where additional resources can be acquired. In a similar way, the PTAC can advise firms on the risks and responsibilities when contracting with government entities. Finally, firms can rely on the PTAC for recommendations on meeting minimum requirements for management systems such as finance and accounting, program management, pricing support, and the like. 
Why promote PTAC?

We feel free services offered through PTAC and other organizations are invaluable, especially for firms new to government contracting. We view this market as very lucrative if you have solid products and services the government needs. Government rules can be onerous and arcane, so an educated client makes all our efforts easier.  Check the Association of PTAC’s website (http://www.aptac-us.org/new/) for the latest updates.
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Topics: business consultants, PTAC, government consulting, government contractor