On August 9, 2023, DCAA issued guidance to its auditors revising the real-time labor and material testing requirements. DCAA historically referred to these procedures as Mandatory Annual Audit Requirements (MAARs) 6 and 13. DCAA states in its guidance what its auditors need to know is that “[l]abor and material are two of the most significant cost elements billed under government contracts. As such, one of the primary reasons … [DCAA] audit[s] labor and material costs incurred is to determine the accuracy of the charges. The real-time verification of these costs as they are incurred provides valuable confirmation of the accuracy of the charges and can only be accomplished during the accounting period to which they apply.” I cannot really argue with this statement.
In August of 2023, the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) changed what is used to refer to as Mandatory Annual Audit Requirements (MAARS) 13 audits to Real-Time Audits of Purchase Existence and Consumption. This change was to eliminate the mandatory part of the requirement and introduce greater flexibility based on the auditor’s risk assessment of the contractor.
In August of 2023, the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) changed what it called Mandatory Annual Audit Requirements (MAARS) 6 audits to Real-Time Audits of Labor. This change was to eliminate the mandatory part of the requirement and introduce greater flexibility based on the auditor’s risk assessment of the contractor.
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
If chosen carefully and skillfully, a Human Resources Management (HRM) Technology Solution can significantly improve workplace productivity, enhance compliance, and encourage employee engagement. The various acronyms (i.e., HRM, HRIS, HCM) utilized to describe HR technology solutions often create confusion. Essentially, a robust Human Resource Management system, “HRM” as we will call it, brings together human resources (full life cycle of applicant tracking through onboarding-to-termination), timekeeping, workforce management, payroll, and data analytics all under one technology solution—a comprehensive, full-suite single solution.
Over the last few years, with the uber-competitive labor market and evolving landscape of remote and hybrid work arrangements, I've had many conversations (some feeling more like counseling sessions!) with clients who had become very tired and frustrated with the rising compensation and work-related demands of candidates. These conversations included questions like: When will we see the labor market settle? How can we be profitable when paying rates such as this? What makes sense? Is there any way this would be considered reasonable? Will that be fair to my long-term employees? What we found is those with established and well-structured compensation plans were able to respond to these questions and the challenging scenarios they faced much more efficiently and effectively than those who did not.
All Time and Material (T&M) contracts with the Federal Government, even commercial ones under Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) part 12, have one big thing in common. That big thing is that all of the labor hours delivered must be performed by individuals meeting the labor qualifications specified in the contract. The Federal Government uses very strong language in its contract requirement related to this, stating the hours “will not be paid to the extent the work is performed by individuals that do not meet the qualifications.”
In late 2008, the Final Rule on Contractor Code of Business Ethics and Conduct (“CoBEC”) was added to FAR Part 3 (Improper Business Practices and Personal Conflicts of Interest) in response to the heightened focus on increased lapses in corporate ethical behavior. FAR Subpart 3.10 sets forth guidance for all contractors with regard to enhanced ethical and compliance standards and requires the insertion of the clause at FAR 52.203-13 in solicitations and contracts if the value of such contract is expected to exceed $6 million, and the performance of which is 120 days or longer. DCAA focuses on compliance with FAR 52.203-13 when conducting accounting system audits.
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has been busy since the start of fiscal year 2023, which began on October 1, 2022. Since this time, they have completed over fifteen investigations that have resulted in large settlements totaling more than ten million dollars. Many of the investigations centered around discrimination in hiring and compensation.