Starting a new project is exciting and stressful. Especially in the fast-paced world of professional services, you may even feel like you’re rushing to stay on top of things from the start. If you’re like me, you like to keep the momentum from project to project, but in the back of your head, there’s a little voice that questions if you should have spent more time building your plan before diving in.
When it comes to DCAA compliance, the answer to the little voice in your head is yes. Yes, you should make sure you’ve built a strong foundation, even if it means more leg work upfront, it’ll save you from a scramble at the end when being organized really matters. If you’ve already forged ahead, it’s not too late to go back and reassess the process in place to make sure you’re on the right path for growth.
So, let’s make a plan. Follow these four steps to invest in the success of your DCAA compliance and it’ll be smooth sailing ahead.
For more tips on how to be DCAA compliant the efficient way, watch this on-demand webinar with Golden Gait Consulting. Heather Kourcklas shares the strategies she uses with clients to build their DCAA workflows for stress-free compliance.
Tip 1: Build a sustainable plan for growth
Even small firms need to think big when it comes to government contracting. Growing a business on a manual process, that may work for the initial project, will keep creating more work down the road. Remember to think long-term when you’re planning out your process for compliance. Finding a PSA software that is flexible enough to grow with your firm allows you to adapt to the process, rather than having to reinvent the wheel in each new phase of business.
Tip 2: Create documentation for DCAA policies and procedures
Having a formal policy for DCAA time tracking and building your audit trail is required by the DCAA, along with an accompanying procedure document detailing the process. Resist from thinking of this as just another compliance step to cross off the list, and use the opportunity to get your whole firm organized. Although some of the compliance rules seem tedious, there’s a lot of good ideas built-in for aligning your time tracking, budgeting, capturing costs and invoicing. Keep notes as you plan, or enlist the help of a consultant from the beginning to help you build out your own custom “formula” for success. This will save you money down the line of having to hire a last-minute consultant when an audit strikes.
Tip 3: Get everyone on the same page
Standardizing your firm’s internal management and time tracking system for all employees is the safest route. Even if government contracting is only a branch of your business, you never know when you’ll need to pull in an additional resource, and ultimately one process keeps things less complicated and organized. Communication is key to making the adoption seamless for everyone in your organization. Aim to make the transition swiftly to avoid messy records and overlaps. Change is hard in the beginning, but everyone will adapt to the new norm with time.
Tip 4: Train your employees with the why
Often the biggest pain point in service firms, and even more crucial in those who need to be DCAA compliant, is operations doesn’t get accounting the information they need. Many businesses make the mistake of training their employees on their processes, but leave out the essential “why”. Why am I doing this? Why is it important? Why were these steps put it place? It’s human nature to give more care and thought to our actions if we know the purpose behind them. When training operations on the needs of DCAA compliance, and staffers on their time tracking, make sure to communicate the importance of the audit trail. Explain how the regulations impact the way accounting is able to build your documentation and the possible consequences that come from failing an audit.
To learn more strategies on DCAA time tracking, budgeting, reporting and more, don’t forget to watch our on-demand webinar with Golden Gait Consulting.
About the Author
Senior Manager, Content MarketingSee more by Trilby Lawless