A government contract consultant advises government contractors through every step of a contract’s life cycle, from sending proposals to closing out contracts. Choosing the right government contract consultant is important to help ensure compliance and avoid crucial mistakes.
How Government Contract Consultants Can Help
Government contract consultants assist clients in five key areas — proposals, compliance, business systems, contract life cycle support, and auditing. By preparing in these five key areas, you can help ensure that your contracting business is able to remain in good standing with government agencies such as the GSA, DCAA, and more.
Government contract proposals are sent in response to a government-issued request for proposal, also known as an RFP or a solicitation. These are issued when the government is in need of certain goods or services. A government contract consultant helps clients prepare their contract proposals for the best chance at procurement and profitability.
The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) provides a set of principles related to contract procurement that must be followed by all government contractors. It is also important to follow the Cost Accounting Standards (CAS), along with other relevant standards and regulations. A qualified government contract consultant understands government contract compliance and offers advice to help clients remain in good standing.
Clearly defined business systems and processes are crucial for government contractors. Government contract consultants help clients establish standard operating procedures (SOPs) that offer organization for your business to ensure that government agencies view your business in a positive way and are more willing to choose your goods and services. Adequate accounting systems are also an integral component of government contract businesses.
Contract Life Cycle Support
Government contract consultants offer support throughout the entire contract life cycle. This includes establishing business and accounting processes that adhere to government standards and regulations, procuring contracts and fulfilling their terms, and closing out completed contracts properly. Consultants also assist with the auditing processes that many government contractors go through.
Government agencies such as the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) may perform an audit to ensure compliance. Other agencies such as the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) can also conduct audits. In addition to keeping you prepared through compliance measures, government contract consultants can assist you through audit processes.
Qualities To Look For In A Government Contract Consultant
The role of a government contract consultant is to ensure that their client is able to complete successful contracts and remain in good standing with government agencies. Government contractors should look for the following qualities when choosing the consultant to advise them through the life cycle of a government contract.
Experience And Knowledge
The best government contract consultants are experienced and understand how government contracts work. The intricacy of government contracts requires a keen understanding of government regulations, accounting practices, risk assessment, and more. Experienced consultants also understand common mistakes made by contractors and can help clients avoid them.
A good consultancy should provide you with a direct contact that you can communicate with effortlessly. The agent should be able to assist you throughout the life cycle of your government contracts and make themself available to answer your questions and concerns.
The government expects your contracting business to operate professionally and reliably. In the same manner, you should expect the same professional demeanor out of your government contract consultant. This lets you know that they take their work seriously, and a consultant that conducts themselves professionally is likely to benefit you more than one that does not display the same level of professionalism.
Willingness To Understand Your Business
Your government contract consultant should have a genuine interest in the advisory services they provide for your contracting business. Ideally, they should have an understanding of your specific industry as well as the regulations and standards of the government agencies in charge of your contracts.
Clear Fee Schedule And Work Plan
A reputable consultancy should offer a clearly defined fee schedule so you are not surprised by costs. They should also have a clear work plan so you can trust they are spending time and attention on you and your contracting business.
Recommendations And References
It is always a good idea to check reviews and consider references and recommendations before you hire a government contract consultant. Online websites such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) can give you a general overview of the experiences of previous clients. You can also ask the specific consultancy that you are considering for references as well.