The federal government is considered by many businesses to be an ideal client. They can provide a steady stream of income to businesses that are fortunate enough to secure government contracts, and there is often the opportunity for establishing long-term relationships when contracts are successful.
Moreover, the government typically pays on time. However, landing a contract with the federal government is only part of the equation. Working as a government contractor has its pros and cons.
When you work with the government, your success depends largely on your ability to comply with the applicable rules and standards. These regulations are highly detailed, specific, and can be difficult for contractors to understand. Moreover, their aggressive auditing system means there is no room for error.
Many contractors seek guidance from government contract consultants to ensure that they are fully compliant with government regulations.
Consultants can help a small business to register as a contractor, write a solid proposal, and assist with the accounting processes necessary for winning bids. For those who have secured a contract, consultants can ensure ongoing compliance and help with audits.
What Does Government Contract Consulting Offer?
Government contract consultants provide a broad range of services that generally fall under three categories: accounting, costs, and proposals.
Those who do business with the federal government must submit proposals and invoices following a very exacting set of accounting practices. Government contract consultants have a thorough knowledge of the specific accounting requirements that apply to the various types of government contracts and can help to ensure that accounting proposals meet the requirements.
Proving to the government that your business has accounting practices in place that are consistent with general ledger accounting is an important component of being awarded contracts. Consultants can review your current practices and recommend changes that will help raise your chances of a successful audit.
The government has a long list of requirements outlining which costs are considered allowable and which are not allowable. Attempting to get reimbursement for costs that are unallowable can lead to penalty charges or interest.
Consultants can help businesses distinguish between these two types of costs and make sure that unallowable costs are not submitted. They can help implement processes related to labor charges and compensation and analyze smaller details on financial statements, such as uncompensated overtime. Consultants can also advise on the rules related to direct and indirect costs
The federal government uses proposals to filter out many potential contractors, so it is essential to get the format and style right. Government contract consultants can help a company ensure that its proposal will get the attention that it deserves from contract officers.
What Are The Benefits Of Government Contract Consulting?
The main benefit of using government contract consultants is that their experience with federal government contracting allows contractors to ensure that they are following all regulations to the letter. From helping secure contracts to ensuring compliance and handling audits, their knowledge can protect businesses through every step of the contracting process.
Understanding The Requirements
Experienced consultants can explain to contractors in plain language how to perform vital tasks such as tracking direct costs by contract; assigning indirect costs into pools; identifying costs as direct, indirect, or unallowable; ensuring unallowable costs are not billed; and calculating indirect rates. This can prevent potentially costly misunderstandings.
Experienced consultants can also help with all aspects of timekeeping, which is an area that is subject to extensive requirements in government contracting and can be difficult for inexperienced contractors to understand.
These regulations cover how timekeeping systems are set up, how time should be recorded and when, who is responsible for filling out the timesheet, policy documentation, and authorizations.
Contractors can also assist with the requirements surrounding your billing systems, monitoring and review procedures, and labor distribution process.
Outsourcing compliance can help make audits smoother. Consultants can identify the areas auditors will focus on and the documentation and audit trail that you will need to provide. They are well-versed in the common mistakes made by government contractors and can help you avoid them.
Being aware of the main areas of scrutiny can help you fix problems and raise your chances of audit success, as well as help government contractors avoid criminal liability or terminations due to default
Planning For The Future
Consultants can help contractors develop a tailored roadmap to help them boost their revenue through government contracting and other federal small business matters.
Moreover, by ensuring that you follow all of the relevant government agency guidelines, they can help you improve the chances that you will continue to receive government contracts and ensure that you will be able to collect the payments owed to you.