As a follow-up to our recent blog post, My CPA Audited My Financial Statements. Does That Mean My Accounting System is Adequate? where we covered some differences between a financial statement audit and an adequate accounting system, we received several great questions from our readers. We thought it might be beneficial to address them via a new blog post for the benefit of all our readers. We welcome discussion on our blogs, though we do so in private via email. In this case, though, these questions are ones we see frequently and impact all companies doing business with the U.S. Government.
The topic of accounting system adequacy seems to be a recurring issue for many in the government contracting community. Earlier this month in the ongoing “process of elimination”, GAO weighed in again on what is NOT considered a determination of accounting system adequacy. In Shivoy B-413104.36, GAO rightfully denied a protest for unequal treatment in eliminating a proposed offeror due to lack of verification of a proposed subcontractor’s accounting system as adequate.
Unless you have undergone a DCAA Accounting System audit under the criteria in DFARS 252.242-7006 (a.k.a. DFARS Accounting System Audit), you do not know what a comprehensive audit is. To start with there are eighteen criteria, some of which are as broad as “Accounting practices in accordance with standard promulgated by the Cost Accounting Standards Board, if applicable, otherwise, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.” This leaves the door open to pretty much endless questions. But don’t worry, DCAA has narrowed it down to only 27 questions.
You now understand a little bit more about provisional billing rates from our first of this two-part series. In this second part of our coverage of provisional billing rates, we delve a little deeper into the purpose behind provisional billing rates as well as how to prepare them and the differences between provisional billing rates and proposal bid rates. Knowing these details will enable you to prepare an accurate DCAA submission.
For our 12/31 year-end contractors, this is a busy time of year. Year-end books are ending and 2019 budgets are being formed. This is also the time of year for submitting provisional billing rates or PBRs for contractors that have cost reimbursable type contracts such as cost-type and time and material contracts.
The competition for that big contract you have been dying to win is underway. This is a great business opportunity for you. So, you begin the process of putting together the perfect proposal. As you go through that process, there are several pitfalls that could prevent you from having the best proposal. As a government attorney, I saw many of those pitfalls in every source selection I worked. So as one gift as you enter this new year, I want to go over some of the main pitfalls I have seen from the government’s perspective.
In its report dated November 27, 2018 (DODIG-2019-029), the IG reviewed 12 of 540 task orders (issued between September 2014 to October 2017) to determine if contractor employees met the contract schedule labor qualifications. The contract vehicle is the OASIS (One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services), administered by the GSA, but used by multiple DoD (and other Government) agencies. The good news is that the IG reported 1,175 of 1,287 contractor employees met the labor category qualifications; the bad news is the remaining 112 employees did not meet the labor qualifications, and/or the DoD agency could not document that contractor employees met the labor qualifications. Thus, DoD agencies authorized $28 million of potentially improper payments (based on the IG’s statistical projection), authorized $574K of potential improper payments for employees who did not have qualification documentation, and did not consider the potential impact on contract performance and price before authorizing $6.8 million for employees without relevant education and work experience.
We’re almost through October and 2019 will be here before we know it. This is a great time to review your company’s year-end and new year checklists for compliance. Want to be sure those frightful DOL ghosts and OFCCP goblins don’t come after you? Keep these checklist items in mind:
On August 14, 2018 the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) released the Fiscal Year 2019 travel per diem rates, taking effect October 1, 2018. These represent the maximum reimbursable amounts allowed for expenses incurred by federal employees. Making adjustments based on the current economy is important, as well as taking into consideration local price variations in what is termed “Non-Standard Areas.”
The GSA Office of Inspector General (OIG) is actively investigating alleged fraudulent third-party activity in GSA’s System for Award Management (SAM). At this time, a limited number of entities registered in SAM are suspected of being impacted by this illegal activity. GSA has taken proactive steps to address this issue and has notified the affected entities.