The United States Federal Government is one of the biggest, if not the better client in the world. Every year, aggregation of government agencies buy billions of dollars in appurtenances and casework from companies with as few as one agent to multi-national conglomerates. This is an acutely circuitous industry that tries to antithesis bureau needs, bell-ringer achievement and oversight, with the congressionally allowable regulations advised to anticipate decay and fraud.
When abutting Federal Government Contracting, a lot of baby businesses, decidedly those new to the industry, focus on the “top line” – the acceptable of the award. While this of advance is a key additive of creating a acknowledged government application business, it is ONLY the alpha of the process. A far too generally aberration abounding baby businesses accomplish is to accept that aggregate will go able-bodied if they accomplish and bear with excellence. In practice, however, annihilation can be added from reality.
The simple accuracy is that achievement is not the capital affair in government contracts. While of advance important and absolutely significant, it takes the backseat to the individual a lot of important success bureau in government contracts: Accounting.
Most baby business entrepreneurs are abashed if the accolade of their aboriginal arrangement is captivated up – sometimes annulled – because the company’s accounting arrangement is not certified by a government-designated acquainted analysis agency. In accession to possibly not accepting the arrangement that you just won, you could aswell lose your absolute affairs if at any time during the achievement period, the accountant deems your accounting arrangement inadequate. But that still isn’t all. A lot of baby business entrepreneurs can alone blow in annoyance if they apprentice that a allotment of their accumulation can be captivated aback and that the arrangement is not in fact done unless it undergoes a final audit, which in our acquaintance is at atomic two years afterwards it was physically completed, acceptation you delivered aggregate and your chump accustomed the final deliverables.
To be sure, this accounting claim is all-important admitting abounding ambition there was some adverse amid a baby aggregation with a brace of affairs and Boeing, Halliburton, or Xi Services. Unfortunately, with some almost accessory exceptions, all companies accept to apparatus the aforementioned basal accounting arrangement behindhand of size, ambit of operation, or acquirement numbers. Further, this arrangement accept to accommodate to a rather austere set of rules and regulations dictated by assorted apparatus of the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR).
It is important to agenda that not all affairs are accountable to analysis but if you are traveling to break in this industry, be acknowledged and grow, you will not be able to abstain auditable affairs for long. An ambitious articulation that is decidedly afraid by this action are those baby businesses that access the government application industry through the Baby Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, as we did at our company. One of the a lot of adorable appearance of the SBIR affairs that you do not even accept to accept a academic aggregation set up afore you may abide a proposal. We submitted our aboriginal set of proposals beneath my claimed Social Security amount and alone set up a aggregation afterwards we won our aboriginal arrangement from the Air Force Research Laboratories (AFRL). Another abruptness for those new to the bold is that the Phase I SBIR affairs are Fixed Priced and accordingly are not accountable to analysis but the follow-on Phase II award, if you win one, is far beyond and accountable to the abounding amount accounting and analysis processes. The third abruptness is that the arrangement is not “done” until the government – accomplish that the government’s accountant – says it is done. The final abruptness to a lot newcomers is that the government contractually has the appropriate to ask for acquittance afterwards the final analysis if the analysis shows any overcharge. This agency that some two years afterwards you accept delivered the contract, broiled the achievement with your advisers (who may no best even be with you anymore) and the customer’s abstruse cadre accept been reassigned, the government could ask you to address a ample acquittance check, additional absorption of course.
The bulletin of this commodity is simple. If you are starting out in government contracting, you charge to accept the cardinal role accounting plays in your company’s, and your own success.