Accounting Tips For Federal Contractors

Government Contracts Can Be Very Lucrative For Small Businesses

The United States government issues 500 billion dollars in federal contracts on a yearly basis. They also set aside 23 billion dollars specifically for small businesses. However, many small businesses find the process of winning government contracts daunting and give up before even really trying. 

Sam Directory will guide you through the process of writing a successful government contract proposal. We are invested in your success and want to help you succeed in winning a lucrative federal contract.

Understanding The Regulations

There are many advantages to being a successful government contractor. However, the government has stricter rules and regulations regarding accounting when compared to private sector clients. It is important to keep up with federal regulatory requirements

Federal government agencies receive their funding from taxpayer dollars and they need to justify their spending in order to prevent waste. We will help you make sense of government accounting so you can develop a methodology that works for you and your business.

DCAA Approval

The Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA)  helps define business systems requirements and provides direction on audits and approval criteria. Potential government contractors need to understand this agency as they define the approval criteria for awarding contracts. They also have a strong hand in guiding government audits. Speaking with them will help you with the following:

  • direct and indirect cost segregation
  • cost pools and allocation bases
  • timekeeping
  • labor distribution systems
  • maintaining compliance with invoicing clauses
  • avast and ever-changing complex of other issues

Have A Clear Understanding Of The Government’s Accounting Requirements

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) states that contractors must comply with the following in order to work with the government:

  • Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR)
  • Cost Accounting Standards
  • FAR agency supplements

Understanding Audits

Your company should be clear on what the DCAA considers the responsibilities of federal contract actors. They include the following:

  • timeliness of payments to subcontractors
  • documentation of contractor oversight of subcontractors
  • documentation of enforcement of flow downs
  • documentation of support for subcontractor billings
  • documentation of subcontractor reviews

Keeping Ahead of Technological Innovations

Keeping pace with stringent government accounting policies allows a company to truly understand governmental purposes, needs, and larger processes, and then use that knowledge to best manage and methodically grow the company.  Luckily today there are many cutting edge technologies that can take the pressure off by making even the most complex accounting procedures quite simple. These innovations help a contractor comply with government requirements, permitting employment of systems for management and growth while adapting to keep in step with ever-incoming changes in requirements. Also, having a strong accounting system in place will only make your company better in the long run.

Understand That Change Is Constant

Agencies are only allotted a certain amount of money through government funding. Changes in the administration can bring a total overhaul in what is a priority in comparison to previous years. 

Many people think that governments are slow to change. However, as the world becomes more complex, a contractor needs to keep pace with the changing federal marketplace. It is extremely important for agencies to be transparent about their finances. Contractors must be strategic in anticipating and implementing modifications to any policies, procedures, and systems that support compliance, in order to maintain pace with changing requirements for their companies in regards to being a federal contractor.

Surprise Audits

Government audits can occur without any type of advance notices. Contractors must always be prepared in order to receive a solid evaluation. 

A surprise audit that reports non-compliance with federal accounting regulations can have a lot of negative consequences. This could include termination of the contract and payments can be withheld unless improvements are in place. This can be very time consuming and stressful. This can also severely affect opportunities for future business with the government.

Make Sure You Have The Right Staff

It is vitally important that government contractors have skilled accounting staff to ensure that the company is in compliance with all policy regulations. The company must have adequate policies and procedures in place for the prevention of mistakes, and especially for their timely discovery and correction. This helps cut down on exposure to accounting errors that jeopardize contractors, inaccurate data, incorrect data entry into the system, or errors in the performance of internal accounting processes.

Make Sure You Are Organized

Having solid financial records and a clear thought out process goes a long way to impress government agencies that you can handle the job. It presents a professional demeanor that is quite impressive.

The Key To Winning A Government Contract Is To Pay Attention To Guidelines

It is very important that you read closely what the request for proposals or RFPs wants in your bid. Make sure that you are aware of deadlines and who is handling the requests. Usually, small businesses have 6 to 8 weeks to submit a bid but this can vary, depending on the agency. 

Make Use Of Government-Provided Free Tools.

You can identify contracting opportunities online by utilizing tools such as this forecasting tool that lets you see what opportunities are available. You can study the government contracts that are a couple of years old to see what requirements are needed to win the job. This puts you in an excellent position to have all your research completed when the contract is about to expire and you put in your proposal.

The System for Awards Management or SAM Directory

The absolute first thing that you must do in order to qualify for government contracting jobs is to register with the federal government supplier database, which is called the System for Award Management or SAM, for short. 

This allows you to be certified by the Small Business Administration (SBA). This gives you the Dun & Bradstreet Number (DUNS Number). Your business size will be determined to see if you qualify for the specific set aside government contracts. You will also identify Your North American Industry Classification System. Please see our many informative blogs to find out everything you need to know about SAM for small Businesses, to get an in-depth look at what is needed for lucrative federal contracting opportunities.