The GAUGE report was introduced in our recent blog on benchmarking for government contractors. We recognize the power of benchmarking and wanted to provide a point of reference for the government contracting industry. The GAUGE is a tool for government contractors to compare themselves to others in their industry. The information in the report is organized by company size, so it is easy for you to make a comparison to your direct competitors. We will blog about each section of the report over the coming weeks, starting with G – Government Contract Compliance.
Compliance is a part of the fabric of a government contracting organization and it is important to stay on top of what is going on.
Here are some you need to think about now and in 2018:
- DCAA will continue to prioritize the more significant pay-back type audits, such as forward pricing and cost incurred audits. Look at http://www.dcaa.mil for the DCAA Letters to Congress and you will find a host of information on what audits have been priority and what is priority for the coming year.
- Contractors had until December 2017 to attain full compliance (or self-certify there is a plan) with the cybersecurity requirements in NIST SP 800-171. Where are you with this requirement?
- The DCAA timeline for audits is under heightened scrutiny. Contractors are now accountable for making the agreed upon dates for audits and shouldn’t expect delays.
- If you are a small business, DCAA has reduced the time it takes to do a pre-award accounting systems audit. They have also provided valuable documentation and seminars to help get the “acceptable rating” in a short time frame. More companies than ever report having at least one pre-award audit. If you haven't been through such an audit, you should expect one and prepare for it.
Go to http://www.dcaa.mil/Home/AuditProcessOverview and you will see "Help for Small Business Contractors" and contact information for the DCAA Small Business Focal Point (571) 448-2008.
No surprise that Incurred Cost Audits lead the pack. The GAUGE report reflects other popular audits: pre-award, accounting system, provisional rates, and billing.
The types of audits and the agency you are dealing with can dictate the level of compliance and scrutiny you will face. Know the mix of contract types and agencies you deal with. Don’t be surprised or caught off guard that a certain type of audit may be required for an upcoming RFP. It is important to remember that compliance does cost money, so make sure you include budget funds for preparing for, coordinating, and replying to contract audits.
Many companies have suggested that it is unfair to require compliance with these types of audits at certain size limits. You need to invest the time and resources to properly understand your contracting officer’s needs and requirements. If they want to give you the business, they must be able to check off the box on which types of contracts your system can handle.
Many of our respondents have both Fixed Priced and Time & Material contracts. Cost Plus contracts are anticipated to be on the rise in 2018. What is your current mix?
No surprise that our respondents predominantly deal with the DOD. Where do you get your business? Can you easily see your book of business and who you are working with?
There is speculation that the economy will continue to grow in 2018 and with that, so will the funding for government contractors with certain agencies. Economic growth often leads to increases in overall spending, more M&A activity, and greater investment in employees/resources. It’s a good time to be a government contractor so make sure you are ready to COMPLY!
If you'd like to see the full GAUGE Report, click here.