The FACT SHEET issued by the White House on November 8, 2023 professes the four underlying initiatives “will generate more than an additional 10 billion annually in savings and cost avoidance while improving the performance of Federal contracts.” Seeing as it also states, “[l]ast year alone, the Federal Government purchased $700 billion of goods and services,” – this 1.5% saving would be a good start. So, let’s take a look at these initiatives.
The Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) issued a memorandum to its leadership – and ultimately its auditors in the field – addressing a revision to its audit guidance related to the audit of contractor cost impact calculations for unilateral cost accounting practice changes (23-PAC-009(R) Revised Audit Guidance on the Cost Impact Calculation for a Unilateral Cost Accounting Practice Change – dated October 3, 2023). Well, it is about time.
If this were only a simple question. The most straightforward answer is that it is a good idea for any company to have policies and procedures. If that company is going to do business with the US Government those policies and procedures are going to have to be expanded as each contract may present additional requirements. To help you understand the complex level of requirements we will address the major business systems and other key areas.
Topics: Compliant Accounting Infrastructure, Contracts & Subcontracts Administration, DFARS Business Systems, Human Resources, Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR), Government Regulations, Government Property Management, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Material Management and Accounting System (MMAS), Estimating System Compliance
Well – besides being the first thing your friendly DCAA auditor will ask you for, they should be something your employees use and rely on daily. The last thing you want is one of your employees telling an auditor they have never seen or read the company’s policies and procedures. The joy that will come across the auditor’s face will be truly shocking – and – the sadness that will come across your face when the Business System Deficiency Reports start to arrive, requiring endless responses and corrective action plans, will be just as shocking. This fairytale has no happy ending, at least not for you and your company – just a drain on your resources and more audit oversight.
FAR 31.205-20 provides that interest is unallowable on Federal Government contracts, no matter how it is calculated or presented in your financial books and records. This means you cannot propose, bill, or claim your interest expense.
As the Government approaches yet another potential shutdown, we wanted to bring our reader’s attention to the information we have previously provided on this topic and some just-in-case planning suggestions. While unfortunate, the shutdown battles have become a perennial occurrence for most of the last two decades. We began writing on the topic prior to 2010, and our blog archives go back to 2012. The advice from these older blogs is just as relevant to contractors now as when initially published. Below are a few blogs we’ve published on the government shutdown topic:
Any company receiving a government contract for the first time will have lots of questions and changes to their operations as a result of that contract. The question is, will the accounting structure and approach to the company’s accounting practices have to change?
If you are awarded a fixed priced contract or a commercial FAR part 12 contract with the Federal Government with payment on delivery, you should not need to make any changes to your accounting practices based on US Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (GAAP). However, even a fixed priced contract or a commercial (FAR part 12) contract can become complex and require specific accounting be applied should the Government make changes to that contract after award, which they often do, during performance, or terminate the contract for the Government’s convenience.
On June 27, 2023, The Small Business Administration (SBA) Inspector General issued a White Paper titled “COVID-19 Pandemic EIDL and PPP Loan Fraud Landscape.” The paper states the IG “estimate[s] that SBA disbursed over $200 billion in potentially fraudulent COVID-19 EIDLs, EIDL Targeted Advances, Supplemental Targeted Advances, and PPP loans.” The paper going on to state: “OIG is working on tens of thousands of investigative leads on alleged fraud, waste, and abuse of taxpayer resources. Thousands of investigations will ensue for years to come because of swift congressional action to increase the statute of limitations to 10 years for COVID-19 EIDL and PPP fraud.”
So, why is it that the Federal Government has a list of cost it will not pay for on Government contracts? These rules related to what costs the Government will pay for and what costs it will not pay for (i.e., unallowable costs) were developed around the Government’s belief that most companies doing business with the Government are not operating in a competitive market. As a result of the Government developing these unallowable costs, companies doing business with the Government have to take the unallowable cost they do incur out of the fixed amount of profit or fee the Government has agreed to pay these companies.
2 CFR 200.331, Subrecipient and contractor determinations, requires that an organization performing a grant or cooperative agreement document a case-by-case determination as to whether each sub-agreement it makes classifies the lower-tier organization in the role of a subrecipient or a contractor. The guidance provided to assist with this required determination is extremely subjective.