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A DCAA compliant ERP system is crucial for government contractors to ensure adherence to regulations, enhance controls and compliance, and achieve exceptional performance in the government market. OneLynk™ provides integrated systems for accounting, timekeeping, payroll, contract management, purchasing, and more.
Why DCAA Compliant Systems Matter for Government Contractors?
In this blog, we describe the systems required to support government contractors and why it's important to understand the DCAA requirements when selecting your back-office systems. DCAA (Defense Contract Audit Agency) compliant systems are important for government contractors, particularly those working with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), because they ensure adherence to specific accounting and business systems regulations. Here are some reasons why DCAA compliant systems matter:
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back office needs together in one affordable comprehensive platform, including:
Finance, Accounting, HR, Payroll, Contract & Project Management, and much more!
Eligibility for Government Contracts:To be eligible for certain government contracts, contractors must demonstrate compliance with DCAA requirements. These contracts can be highly lucrative and provide long-term business opportunities, so having DCAA compliant systems is crucial for contractors seeking to work with the government.
Audit Readiness: Government contractors are subject to audits by the DCAA to ensure compliance with regulations and contract requirements. Having DCAA compliant systems in place helps streamline and facilitate the auditing process, reducing the likelihood of significant audit findings, penalties, or contract disputes.
Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) Compliance: DCAA compliant systems ensure that contractors adhere to Cost Accounting Standards (CAS). Compliance with CAS regulations helps maintain consistency and accuracy in cost accounting practices, ensuring fair and equitable pricing on government contracts.
Proper Allocation of Costs:DCAA compliant systems facilitate proper allocation of costs, ensuring that expenses are appropriately attributed to specific contracts or projects. This allows for accurate tracking of direct and indirect costs, minimizing the risk of cost misallocation, and ensuring compliance with government regulations.
Risk Mitigation: Non-compliance with DCAA requirements can result in financial penalties, contract termination, or even legal repercussions. By implementing DCAA compliant systems, government contractors mitigate the risk of non-compliance, protecting their business interests and reputation.
Enhanced Financial Management: DCAA compliant systems often incorporate robust financial management functionalities, such as project tracking, budgeting, and reporting. These systems enable contractors to effectively manage their finances, monitor contract performance, and make informed business decisions.
Improved Efficiency and Accuracy: DCAA compliant systems typically feature standardized processes and workflows that enhance efficiency and accuracy in financial and contract management. Automation of various tasks, such as timekeeping, expense tracking, and invoice generation, reduces manual errors, saves time, and increases productivity.
In summary, DCAA compliant systems are essential for government contractors as they ensure compliance with regulations, enhance audit readiness, support proper cost allocation, mitigate risks, and improve overall financial management. Adhering to DCAA requirements not only enables contractors to participate in government contracts but also helps establish a strong foundation for successful and compliant business operations.
What are the essential systems required by government contractors?
Government contractors typically require several critical back-office systems to effectively manage their operations and comply with regulatory requirements. Some of the essential systems include:
Accounting System: An accounting system is crucial for government contractors to track and manage financial transactions, maintain accurate records, and generate financial reports. It should comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and include features to support contract-specific accounting requirements, cost allocation, indirect rate calculations, and government contract compliance.
Timekeeping System: A timekeeping system is necessary for recording and tracking employee labor hours accurately. It should allow for the segregation of direct and indirect labor, allocation of labor costs to specific contracts, and compliance with labor regulations. The system should provide features for employee time entry, supervisory approval, and integration with payroll.
Payroll System: A payroll system handles the processing of employee wages, taxes, and benefits. It should ensure accurate calculation of wages, deductions, and withholdings in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Integration with timekeeping and accounting systems is beneficial to streamline data flow and ensure consistency.
Contract Management System: A contract management system helps contractors efficiently manage their contracts throughout the contract lifecycle. It should provide functionalities for contract tracking, document management, contract deliverables, compliance monitoring, and reporting. This system helps ensure contract compliance, performance tracking, and timely submission of required documentation.
Human Resources Management System (HRMS):An HRMS assists with managing employee data, such as personnel records, benefits administration, leave tracking, and employee onboarding/offboarding processes. It helps contractors comply with labor regulations, maintain employee records, and streamline HR operations.
Purchasing and Procurement System: A purchasing, and procurement system enables contractors to manage procurement processes efficiently. It should include features for vendor management, purchase order creation, approval workflows, contract management, and tracking of purchases and subcontractor costs. Integration with the accounting system helps ensure accurate cost tracking and financial reporting.
Compliance and Ethics System: This system supports contractors in managing compliance programs and ethics-related matters. It includes functionalities for tracking regulatory requirements, facilitating internal audits, managing conflicts of interest, and reporting compliance violations. It helps ensure adherence to government regulations, ethical standards, and internal policies.
Project Management System: A project management system aids in planning, executing, and monitoring projects. It includes features for project scheduling, resource allocation, task management, progress tracking, and collaboration. This system helps contractors effectively manage project timelines, budgets, and deliverables.
Document Management System: A document management system provides a centralized repository for storing and organizing various documents related to contracts, financials, HR, compliance, and project management. It facilitates secure document storage, version control, document access control, and search capabilities.
IT Security and Network Infrastructure: While not a specific system, having a robust IT security framework and network infrastructure is critical for government contractors. This includes measures to safeguard data, protect against cybersecurity threats, maintain data privacy, and ensure compliance with relevant security regulations.
The specific systems required may vary depending on the size, scope, and nature of the contracts and the contractor's specific needs. Government contractors should assess their requirements and select or develop systems that best meet their operational and compliance needs.
What are the requirements for a DCAA compliant accounting system?
While DCAA (Defense Contract Audit Agency) does not explicitly "approve" accounting systems, they provide guidelines and criteria for what they consider to be an acceptable accounting system for government contractors. Contractors are expected to have an accounting system that meets the following requirements:
Adequate Segregation of Costs: The accounting system should be able to segregate costs by contract, project, task, and other relevant criteria. This enables contractors to accurately allocate direct and indirect costs to specific contracts and ensures compliance with contract terms and regulations.
Accurate and Reliable Job Costing: The system should provide reliable job costing information, allowing contractors to track costs associated with specific contracts, tasks, or work orders. This includes the ability to capture labor costs, material costs, subcontractor costs, and other direct and indirect expenses.
Timekeeping System: A timekeeping system should be in place to accurately record and track employee labor hours. It should be able to capture labor hours by project or task, differentiate between direct and indirect labor, and comply with applicable labor regulations.
Proper Indirect Cost Allocation: The accounting system should have mechanisms to appropriately allocate indirect costs to contracts or projects based on an acceptable allocation base (e.g., labor hours, direct labor dollars, etc.). Indirect costs include overhead expenses such as rent, utilities, administrative costs, etc.
Consistency with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP): The accounting system should be designed and operated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. It should accurately record financial transactions, maintain appropriate documentation, and generate reliable financial statements.
Adequate Timekeeping and Labor Distribution Controls: The system should have controls in place to ensure accurate timekeeping and labor distribution. This includes policies and procedures to prevent fraudulent or inaccurate recording of labor hours, appropriate approval processes, and documentation to support labor charges.
Contract Monitoring and Reporting: The system should enable contractors to monitor and report contract costs, performance, and progress. It should provide the necessary reports and data to meet contract reporting requirements, including cost tracking, cost variance analysis, and progress billing.
Documentation and Internal Controls: The accounting system should have proper documentation and internal controls to ensure the accuracy and integrity of financial information. This includes written policies and procedures, segregation of duties, periodic internal reviews, and appropriate access controls to prevent unauthorized changes.
It's important to note that the specific requirements and interpretations may vary depending on the nature of the contracts and the applicable regulations. Contractors should consult the DCAA Contract Audit Manual (CAM) and engage with DCAA representatives to understand the specific requirements and expectations for their accounting system compliance.
What are the requirements for a DCAA compliant timekeeping system?
A DCAA (Defense Contract Audit Agency) approved timekeeping system should meet specific requirements to ensure accurate recording and tracking of employee labor hours. The following are key requirements for a DCAA compliant timekeeping system:
Timekeeping Method: The timekeeping system should capture employee labor hours on a daily basis. It should allow employees to record their actual hours worked, including start and end times for each workday.
Segregation of Direct and Indirect Labor: The system should enable the segregation of direct and indirect labor hours. Direct labor refers to hours worked directly on a specific contract or project, while indirect labor includes hours spent on activities that benefit multiple contracts or support general business operations.
Labor Distribution: The system should provide the ability to allocate labor hours to specific contracts, projects, tasks, or work orders. Contractors must be able to identify and track labor costs associated with each contract separately.
Employee Identification: The system should capture employee identification or employee number to accurately record labor hours for each individual employee. This ensures that labor costs are attributed to the correct employee and can be matched with payroll records.
Supervisory Approval: There should be a process for supervisory approval of recorded labor hours. Supervisors or authorized personnel should review and verify the accuracy of time entries before they are finalized.
Timekeeping Controls: The system should have controls in place to prevent fraudulent or inaccurate time reporting. This includes features like password protection, limited access to timekeeping functions, and audit trails to track any changes made to time records.
Timekeeping Documentation: The system should generate and retain supporting documentation for time entries. This includes timecards, timesheets, or electronic records that provide a clear audit trail and evidence of the actual hours worked.
Timekeeping Policies and Procedures: Contractors should have written policies and procedures outlining the requirements and expectations for timekeeping. These should include guidance on recording hours, proper approvals, correction processes, and any applicable compliance regulations.
Compliance with Labor Regulations: The timekeeping system should comply with relevant labor regulations, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and applicable state labor laws. This includes accurate tracking of overtime hours, breaks, and any other labor-related requirements.
Integration with Payroll: The timekeeping system should integrate with the payroll system to ensure accurate calculation and payment of wages based on recorded labor hours.
It's important to note that the DCAA may have additional or specific requirements depending on the nature of the contracts and applicable regulations. Contractors should consult the DCAA Contract Audit Manual (CAM) and engage with DCAA representatives to understand the specific requirements for their timekeeping system compliance.
What are the requirements for a DCAA compliant expense management system?
The Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) does not maintain a list of approved expense management systems. However, contractors who are subject to DCAA audit requirements must use expense management systems that meet certain criteria to ensure compliance with government regulations. Some of the key requirements for a DCAA-compliant expense management system include:
Accurate Recording of Expenses: The expense management system must be able to accurately record and categorize expenses, including direct and indirect costs, as well as unallowable costs.
Adequate Segregation of Costs: The system must have the ability to segregate costs by contract or project to ensure that costs are properly allocated and accounted for.
Compliance with Regulations: The system must comply with government regulations related to expense management, including those related to allowability of costs, cost accounting standards, and cost allocation.
Timely and Accurate Reporting: The system must be able to provide timely and accurate expense reports to the contractor and government agencies as required.
Internal Controls: The system must have effective internal controls in place to prevent errors or fraud, including processes for monitoring expenses and ensuring compliance with regulations.
Record Retention: The system must maintain accurate and complete expense records for a minimum of three years and must be able to produce these records for audit by the DCAA upon request.
In addition to these requirements, contractors must also ensure that their expense management system is secure and protected against unauthorized access or use. The system should also have user-friendly features that make it easy for employees to enter and track their expenses, and for supervisors to approve and review expense reports. By using a DCAA-compliant expense management system, contractors can ensure that they are in compliance with government regulations and are well-prepared for any DCAA audits.
What are the requirements for a DCAA compliant property management system?
The Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) does not maintain a list of approved property management systems. However, contractors who are subject to DCAA audit requirements must use property management systems that meet certain criteria to ensure compliance with government regulations. Some of the key requirements for a DCAA-compliant property management system include:
Accurate Tracking of Property: The property management system must be able to accurately track and record all government property, including equipment, materials, and supplies.
Adequate Segregation of Property: The system must have the ability to segregate property by contract or project to ensure that property is properly allocated and accounted for.
Compliance with Regulations: The system must comply with government regulations related to property management, including those related to the tracking and disposition of government property.
Timely and Accurate Reporting: The system must be able to provide timely and accurate property reports to the contractor and government agencies as required.
Internal Controls: The system must have effective internal controls in place to prevent errors or fraud, including processes for monitoring property and ensuring compliance with regulations.
Record Retention:The system must maintain accurate and complete property records for a minimum of three years and must be able to produce these records for audit by the DCAA upon request.
In addition to these requirements, contractors must also ensure that their property management system is secure and protected against unauthorized access or use. The system should also have user-friendly features that make it easy for employees to enter and track property, and for supervisors to approve and review property reports. By using a DCAA-compliant property management system, contractors can ensure that they are in compliance with government regulations and are well-prepared for any DCAA audits.
What are the requirements for a DCAA compliant purchasing system?
The Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) does not maintain a list of approved purchasing systems. However, contractors who are subject to DCAA audit requirements must have a purchasing system that meets certain criteria to ensure compliance with government regulations. Some of the key requirements for a DCAA-compliant purchasing system include:
Adequate Policies and Procedures: The purchasing system must have written policies and procedures that are adequate to ensure compliance with government regulations and the terms of the contract.
Competitive Procurement: The system must ensure that all procurement actions are conducted in a competitive manner, with adequate documentation to support the selection of the winning bidder.
Review and Approval: The system must have procedures in place for reviewing and approving all procurement actions, including purchase orders, subcontracts, and modifications.
Cost Reasonableness: The system must ensure that all costs are reasonable and allowable, and that the contractor is obtaining the best value for the government.
Compliance with Regulations: The system must comply with government regulations related to purchasing, including those related to cost accounting standards, cost allocation, and allowability of costs.
Record Retention: The system must maintain accurate and complete purchasing records for a minimum of three years and must be able to produce these records for audit by the DCAA upon request.
In addition to these requirements, contractors must also ensure that their purchasing system is secure and protected against unauthorized access or use. The system should also have user-friendly features that make it easy for employees to enter and track procurement actions, and for supervisors to approve and review procurement reports. By using a DCAA-compliant purchasing system, contractors can ensure that they are in compliance with government regulations and are well-prepared for any DCAA audits.
What are the requirements for an HR system for government contractors?
When it comes to selecting an approved HR system for government contracting, contractors must ensure that the system meets specific requirements to support compliance with regulations and effectively manage their human resources processes. Here are some common requirements for an approved HR system in government contracting:
Employee Data Management: The HR system should provide a centralized and secure database for managing employee data, including personal information, employment history, qualifications, training records, and performance evaluations. It should allow for easy retrieval and updating of employee information.
Compliance with Labor Laws: The system should support compliance with applicable labor laws and regulations, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) regulations. It should provide features for managing leave accruals, overtime calculations, and other legal requirements.
Benefits Administration: The HR system should facilitate benefits administration, including enrollment, tracking of benefit plans (healthcare, retirement, etc.), and management of employee contributions and deductions. It should support compliance with benefit regulations and provide reporting capabilities.
Payroll Integration: Integration with the payroll system is important to ensure accurate and timely processing of employee wages, tax withholding, and other payroll-related functions. The HR system should be able to exchange data seamlessly with the payroll system to avoid duplication and errors.
Performance Management: The system should enable performance tracking, goal setting, and performance evaluations. It should support the establishment of performance metrics, feedback mechanisms, and performance improvement plans. It should also facilitate the generation of performance reports.
Timekeeping Integration: Integration with a timekeeping system allows for accurate tracking of employee attendance, hours worked, and labor distribution. It ensures seamless data flow between the HR and timekeeping systems, enabling accurate labor cost allocation and compliance with labor regulations.
Training and Development: The HR system should support the management of employee training and development activities. It should allow for the tracking of training courses, certifications, skills assessments, and training completion records. This helps ensure compliance with training requirements and facilitates employee development.
Reporting and Analytics: The system should offer robust reporting capabilities, allowing contractors to generate HR-related reports, such as headcount reports, turnover analysis, training reports, and diversity reports. It should also provide analytics features to derive insights from HR data.
Security and Access Controls:An approved HR system for government contracting should have appropriate security measures in place to protect sensitive employee information. It should include user access controls, data encryption, audit trails, and compliance with privacy regulations.
Compliance Documentation: The HR system should generate and maintain relevant compliance documentation, such as employee handbooks, policies, and procedures, and required government reporting forms. It should facilitate the management and dissemination of compliance-related information.
Contractors should consult specific government contracting regulations, such as those outlined in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) or agency-specific guidelines, to ensure alignment with their HR system requirements. It is also advisable to engage with legal and compliance experts familiar with government contracting to ensure adherence to all relevant regulations and guidelines.
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AtWork Systems designed OneLynk to enable GovCon's to navigate through the challenges of growing a GovCon business by providing a DCAA compliant ERP system to deliver exceptional performance. While a government contractor is maturing in the government market, as either a prime or subcontractor, OneLynk is there to instill the processes and systems needed to help achieve government compliance. AtWork Systems offers fractional subject matter experts - across functions like accounting, HR, financial, contract and project management - to help startups step out on the right foot or to help more mature firms transform ad hoc or inadequate processes into higher levels of performance. The combination of AtWork Systems' OneLynk and associated professional services is available as a comprehensive, secure, and affordable means of gaining the competitive advantage.
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AtWork Systems is an Arlington, Virginia based managed services and software development company. Its principals have decades of experience doing business with and working for federal, state, and local government. They developed OneLynk as a configurable and scalable SaaS platform that digitizes and optimizes processes while providing just in time business intelligence for decision making. OneLynk contains a suite of easily configurable web applications for automating and monitoring business transactions, including: human capital management, accounting, timekeeping, expense management, procurement, contracts and project management, payroll services and more. Discover the latest ERP System for Government Contractors at www.atworksys.com.
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