Steps to DCAA Compliant Timekeeping

August 8, 2019 Trilby Lawless

The DCAA is here to prevent fraud and waste. Something ideally valued by all firms for all projects, but understandably the requirements to actually ensure no waste or falsely recorded time is happening is difficult. 

The following checklist includes the required guidelines for all government contractors as instructed by DCAA, and ways a timekeeping software can ensure they’re followed. Although it can be overwhelming, when tackled one step at a time, DCAA timekeeping can become less tedious and help avoid large penalties for your firm.

1. Start with Documentation 

A formal policy or procedure document detailing the steps for accurate timekeeping must be provided to all employees, including those who are not directly working on the government project. Everyone must also receive a formal or informal review time-tracking training annually to stay up to date. 

Tech Tip: Having a universal timekeeping software used by everyone in the company prevents anyone being left out from following the policies or trying to re-create their own system in a spreadsheet that may lead to errors. 

2. Daily Time Keeping Only 

All timesheets must be submitted daily for the highest accuracy. Timesheets that are submitted at the end of the week, or in advance are not considered accurate or compliant. 

3. All Hours Accounted For

In addition to time being tracked daily, no hours can be left behind. Every hour of the workday must be recorded including any leave time - vacation, holiday or sick days. 

Tech Tip: Timekeeping software can be configured to block out late or advance time entry and prevent timesheets with errors from being submitted. This way workers are held accountable to follow the rules and have the appropriate amount of hours each week. 

4. Follow the Project Codes

Entering time to the right project with the correct label is just as important as the time being entered. The system administrator or finance team must initiate the set up of proper job codes and names, and authorize the appropriate employees per project. Time spent working outside of the dedicated project must also be allocated to the appropriate place rather than left unaccounted for. 

Tech Tip: Integrate your time tracking and accounting software to ensure project names and codes are consistent across the systems and save administrators the time and hassle of double data entry. 

5. Get Approval

All submitted time must be reviewed and approved by the employee’s supervisor. Remember for government contractors all submitted timesheets become a legal document so reviews and approvals are crucial. 

Tech Tip: Cut down on the time spent sending emails by setting up automated approval processes within your time tracking software. Approvers get a notification automatically within the app or in their inbox.

6. Corrections

Any corrections can only be made by the employee and need to be approved again by the supervisor. If for unforeseen reasons the employee cannot make the changes themselves, then accounting or the administrator can make the changes with the employee’s consent.  

7. Stay on Top of It

All company timesheets and all corrections must be kept for at least 2 years. Government contract projects specifically must be kept for audit purposes for 3 years after the final payment. 

Tech Tip: Relying on cloud-based software is the safest way to ensure your timesheets will be kept and protected. Storing files on a local hard drive or in printed format is a higher risk of them being damaged, misplaced or lost. 

To learn more about BigTime’s features specifically built to ensure your firm is DCAA complaint, request a demo of our software today.


About the Author

Trilby Lawless

Digital Content Manager

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