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DCAA Compliance

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  1. Great post! Thank you to Koprince Law and Wifcon for publishing this piece--I am going to share it with our clients (several of which are 8(a) small businesses). To add to this post, I would note that in addition to the provisions discussed above, JV's and other contractors (specifically small businesses working with the DoD, NASA, and DoE), may also be required to have an adequate cost accounting system (a DCAA compliant accounting system). In these cases, if your business does not already have experience with the FAR and DCAA, it is a good idea to learn what is going to be expected of your accounting and timekeeping systems. You may be asked to complete an SF1408, or expected to have a compliant system already in place simply to submit your proposal in the first place! To learn more about the SF1408 (and what each of the 17 criteria mean for your business and accounting system), there is a helpful explanation found here. More information on the components, setup time, and cost of a compliant system is available from accounting and software companies like ReliAscent, Deltek, or Jamis, to name a few.
  2. Great article covering the importance of the small business community to the US Government...the Federal Government is often called the “greatest customer for a small business” because they purchase more products and services than any other entity on earth—and though profit margins may be a bit slimmer than in certain commercial industries (and of course, certain contract types may require companies to jump through a number of compliance hoops when it comes to things ranging from how they track their time, perform their accounting, and even executive compensation levels) there really is no better or often easier way to secure the funding required to develop a technology and grow your small business...especially for engineering companies in the defense, aerospace, medical/biomedical and energy industries. Regarding the compliance requirements that are flowed down in many Defense, NASA, and DoE contracts that these same 8(a) and SDVOSB contractors often face; most of these (assuming they are cost type contracts, as well as certain T&M and fixed price) will require the business to have (and maintain) a DCAA compliant accounting system (which also means a compliant timekeeping system). Many contractors will be required to complete the SF1408 pre-award audit checklist when they are first notified of the award, and this is the government’s way of assessing the company’s current accounting and timekeeping systems. A link to the Government’s SF1408 can be found here: Further, a complete explanation of the SF1408 can be found here: https://www.reliascent.com/government-contracting-blog/dcaa-accounting-system-requirements-making-sense-of-the-sf1408 This just covers the pre-award audit, however. When it comes to actually setting up and maintaining a DCAA compliant accounting system, there is quite a bit more involved than simply filling out a two page checklist and sending it to the program officer. Here is a great resource on the process and cost of setting up a compliant system: https://www.reliascent.com/dcaa-compliant-accounting-systems Great article, and thank you WIFCON and NIH for posting it! *I should also note that while many NIH grants may not require a fully DCAA compliant system, phase II SBIR’s and many other contracts and grants coming out of HHS and most other agencies will require some form of a job cost accounting system, as well as a DCAA compliant timekeeping system. I’d recommend checking out Hour, Tsheets, or SpringAhead timekeeping systems.
  3. Very informative video--especially for start-ups or new hires just getting into the government contracting world. I'll pass a long a link of this to some of our start-up DoD clients that would find this helpful. Contract management; starting from pricing your proposal, through the award, ongoing contract administration, and then close out, is critically important to US Federal Government and Department of Defense contractors. So too, is maintaining compliance with the FAR and DCAA regulations flowed down to your small business in cost type, and FFP or T&M contracts with milestone payments. If anyone is interested in learning more about these topics, I recommend checking out the DCAA's website, and this firm here, which offers both DCAA compliant accounting systems and outsource accounting services, as well as contract management and CFO services for contractors. Great video, and thank you for posting!
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