Visit to Jacobs House Orphanage in Korea – Volunteer Initiative

Many-Hands-Make-an-Impact-Jacobs.png

Our team members Anthony Kim, Ben Sedelmeier and Jon Bencivenga visited the Jacobs House Orphanage in South Korea with clients.

During the visit, they provided clothing, snacks, toys, and other greatly needed supplies.  Most importantly, the team spent the afternoon interacting with the children.

“Anthony without a doubt took first place for the most popular with the kids using his Samsung face filter App with the various goofy face displays of animals, Sun Glasses, hats, and eating ramen!”

Jacob’s House was built in 1985. Children at the home range in age from newborn to three years old.  Between taking care of the children’s needs and upkeep of the facility, Jacob’s House is in continual need of volunteers.

 

Report to Congress on FY 2018 Activities Defense Contract Audit Agency U.S. Department of Defense Released
PDF Download for DCAA’s report to Congress

Click to Download

NEWS:  The Defense Contract Audit Agency’s  – DCAA – Fiscal Year 2018 Annual Report to Congress, as required by 10 U.S.C. §2313a has been released

DCAA Summary:

This report highlights DCAA’s audit performance, recommendations to improve the audit process, industry outreach activities, and key accomplishments.

As a result of DCAA audits, contract officials saved $3.2 billion in defense spending last year—significant savings that can be reinvested in our warfighters or go back to the treasury.

We examined nearly $409 billion in defense contractor costs, identified over $9.6 billion of audit exceptions across 3,717 audit reports, and supported Contracting Officers with other valuable products and services to help them ensure fair and reasonable contract prices.

Additionally, we continued to improve communication and coordination with our acquisition partners, resulting in responsive approaches that met their needs and timelines.

In FY 2018, DCAA successfully eliminated the incurred cost backlog. This was a significant undertaking by the entire workforce resulting in 8,482 incurred cost years closed with a total dollar value of $392.2 billion.

We also worked with DCMA and industry to lay the groundwork for the use of Independent Private Accountants to conduct select incurred cost audits.

We feel we have laid a solid foundation in this area to ensure they will be prepared and successful. We look forward to continuing this coordination. Our vision, Every audit or service we deliver is on time, on point, and highly valued is demonstrated by our workforce every day. I look forward to working with Congress and other stakeholders to achieve the vision for acquisition reform. I am proud of our workforce and our ability to deliver outstanding audit products and services to the Department in FY 2018.

 

 

Government Contract Acronyms Resource Sheet

Our Experts know Government Contracting regulations can be difficult to manage, but terminology should not be. The GovCon industry uses a lot of acronyms so our team put together some of the most used terms as a quick resource.

Below are some of the most common acronyms and we created a printable document to keep handy or download as a file for quick access.

ACO Administrative Contracting Officer FPRA Forward Pricing Rate Agreement
BAFO Best and Final Offer GAO Government Accountability Office
BOA Basis of Award ICS Incurred Cost Submission
BOM Bill of Material IDIQ Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity
B&P Bid and Proposal IRAD Independent Research and Development
CACO Corporate Administrative Contracting Officer IR&D Independent Research and Development
CAGE Commercial and Government Entity ITAR International Traffic in Arms Regulations
CAS Cost Accounting Standards MMAS Material Management Accounting System
CDRL Contract Data Requirements List NDAA National Defense Authorization Act
CLIN Contract Line Item Number ODC Other Direct Costs
CO/KO Contracting Officer OIG Office of Inspector General
COTR Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative OMB Office of Management and Budget
COTS Commercial Off-The-Shelf PCO Procurement Contracting Officer
CPFF Cost Plus Fixed Fee RFI Request for Information
DACO Divisional Administrative Contracting Officer RFP Request for Proposal
DCAA Defense Contract Audit Agency RFQ Request for Quote
DCMA Defense Contract Management Agency SAM System for Award Management
DFARS Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement SAT Simplified Acquisition Threshold
SCA Service Contract Act
DOD Department of Defense T&C Terms and Conditions
DOJ Department of Justice T&M Time and Materials
EAC Estimate at Completion TCPD Truthful Cost or Pricing Data
ETC Estimate to Complete >TCPD formerly Truth in Negotiations Act)
EVMS Earned Value Management System TINA Truth in Negotiations Act
FAR Federal Acquisition Regulation >TINA (now Truthful Cost or Pricing Data)
FFP Firm Fixed Price Ts&Cs Terms and Conditions
FOIA Freedom of Information Act WAWF Wide Area Workflow

Care Packages for Deployed Soldiers- Volunteer Initiative

Our team member Amanda Eubanks and her daughter have been involved in an ongoing initiative of assembling care packages for deployed service men and women.

The program recently worked with Piney Grove Middle School and DeSana Middle School as part of their “Give Back Days”.  The students, parents, and teachers do an amazing job of organizing projects with various non-profits to give back to the community and to teach the importance of helping others.  On two dates in May, they packed cookies, candy, and letters of encouragement for military service members.  The packages are much appreciated by the Troops!

From the event organizers: “Our Community has once again come together to show their amazing support for our AMERICAN SOLDIERS.  We all play an important role in serving those who serve us.”

DCAA UPDATE: Expressly Unallowable Costs – newly issued MRD

DCAA MRD: Expressly Unallowable Costs – newly issued MRD updating DCAA’s view of expressly unallowable costs. Guidance is largely the same as issued 4 years ago with new specific references to a few recent Raytheon cases. A few observations – I) many of the cost principle excerpts include conditional language; i.e., the costs are not always unallowable, and II) it is arguable that #1 on the list (31.105) is not a ‘cost principle’ as required – it is widely held and specifically referenced in several parts of the FAR that ‘cost principles’ are at Subpart 31.2

SUBJECT: Audit Alert on Identifying Expressly Unallowable Costs

This audit alert revises the guidance on identifying expressly unallowable costs due to recent court cases. This guidance includes an updated listing of FAR 31 and DFARS 231 cost principles that meet the definition of expressly unallowable costs. We also updated the guidance for determining whether a cost principle identifies expressly unallowable costs. Audit guidance 14-PAC-021(R), dated December 18, 2014, and 14-PAC-022(R), dated January 7, 2015, are superseded.

Summary

In order for a cost to be expressly unallowable, the cost principle must state in direct terms that the costs are unallowable, or leaves little room for interpretation or differences of opinion as to whether the particular cost meets the allowability criteria. The Government must show that it was unreasonable, under all the circumstances, for a person in the contractor’s position to conclude that the costs were allowable. Determining Whether a Cost Principle Identifies Expressly Unallowable Costs We are providing the enclosed list to assist audit teams in determining whether a questioned cost is expressly unallowable. We updated the list to reflect the impact of recent court cases and for current FAR and DFARS language. Audit teams should use the list as a tool to help determine whether statements from the cost principles that they used as a basis to question costs are expressly unallowable. Even though audit teams have the tool, auditors will need to be use judgment in the evaluation of costs. If an audit team questions a cost that is on this list, it generally should treat the questioned cost as expressly unallowable and subject to penalties.

SUBJECT: Audit Alert on Identifying Expressly Unallowable Costs

Assistance with Determinations If, based on unique facts and circumstances, FAO personnel believe costs are expressly unallowable under cost principles not included on the list, the FAO should alert the appropriate regional or CAD points of contact. Regional/CAD personnel with questions regarding this audit alert should contact Accounting and Cost Principles Division, at (703) 767-3250 or by e-mail at DCAA-PAC@dcaa.m

Read full MRD online

Soldiers’ Angels – Baby Brigade – Volunteer Initiative

Soldiers' Angels Baby Brigade

Our team members Jennifer Rettelle and Renata Walsh are regular supports of Soldiers’ Angels – Baby Brigade, formerly called Operation Top Knot.  This team of Angel volunteers from across the country provide virtual baby showers for military families to help ease the emotional and financial stresses of military life.

Due to the difficulty of deployments that coincide with the birth of a child, Baby Brigade is primarily focused on serving expectant spouses of deployed service members, spouses of deployed service members who have given birth in the past year, and expectant active duty female service members.

Dedicated Team Angels purchase or handmake baby items to help the military families prepare for their new little bundle of joy.  Each participating expectant family receives a collection of baby shower gifts from Team Angels across the country.  Depending on the needs of the family, gifts may include baby gear, diapers, clothes, toys, handmade blankets, and more.

Do you know a military family Soldiers’ Angels Baby Brigade should help? To receive Baby Brigade support, a family must: 1) Have a deployed parent or be an active duty female service member AND 2) be expecting a child OR have a child under the age of one.

Do you want to get involved?  Check out Soldiers’ Angels for more information. Click here to get started!

 

5 Ways to Prep for the Audit While Preparing the Incurred Cost Proposal

PDF Download for CEC5 Ways to Prep for the Audit While Preparing the Incurred Cost Proposal

Jennifer Rettelle, Director of Operations | Capital Edge Consulting, Inc.

The requirement to submit a final indirect cost rate proposal, more commonly referred to as the Incurred Cost Proposal or Incurred Cost Submission (ICS) is contained in FAR clause 52.216-7(d)(2)(i) – Allowable Cost and Payment which states: “The contractor shall submit an adequate final indirect cost rate proposal to the contracting officer (or cognizant federal agency official) and auditor within the 6-month period following the expiration of each of its fiscal years.”

Are you ready for your incurred cost audit? One of the major historical audit challenges is the delay, sometimes many years, between timely submission under FAR 52.216-7 and the actual audit. DCAA is now required to audit adequate final indirect cost rate proposals within one year, but only time will tell if they can meet that lofty goal. To help eliminate the future audit risk, Capital Edge has identified five ways to start preparing for the audit, while preparing the current annual incurred cost submission.

Document, Document, Document!

This point cannot be stressed enough. The backlog in incurred cost audits only further solidifies the likelihood that the people preparing the Incurred Cost Submission may not be available to support an audit or the data needed to support the audit is difficult to find. The likelihood of an ICS audit year occurring years after submission has historically been high. Be sure to document as much as possible in a way that someone unfamiliar with your organization will understand since you may be long gone by the time an auditor shows up.

  • While preparing the current ICS or in the course of performing your regular duties, you may receive information which impacts future incurred cost submissions.

For example:

  • Do you have new intermediate cost pools this year (i.e. new fringe, IT, facilities, etc.)?
  • Did the basis for the allocation of any of your cost pools change?
  • Are you aware of potential changes to home office allocations which could impact the current fiscal year or future years?
  • Is your company still able to track all data metrics needed for allocation (i.e. number of user licenses, headcount, square footage, etc.)?

We recommend keeping a list of these items so that the preparer of the next incurred cost submission has a head start. Maintaining such a record can also expedite the timeline for incorporating these changes into current or future submissions and provide some, if not all, of the information needed to document the change(s) in preparation for an audit. In addition, these changes may likely be considered a change in cost accounting practice, which has other compliance implications for CAS covered contracts that we won’t delve into here.

  • Did the purpose of a specific account change from the prior year? Are the costs previously accumulated in one account now captured in multiple accounts? Did the purpose of a particular cost center or department change? Be sure to keep clear notes on these changes year after year, as they may prove invaluable during an audit.
  • Save yourself the headache of scrambling to answer an auditor’s questions and be sure to keep all files used in the preparation of the ICS in a storage repository that is shared with multiple people and is routinely backed up. Keep the file structure simple and organized so that someone who is less familiar with the process can find documentation needed to support an audit.
  • Keep the original source data, including the trial balance, project ledgers, 941s, Statement of Indirect Expenses, contract list, invoices, and all other information used to populate and calculate the final rates in the ICS. Having a single and organized place to find this data will save time, effort, and sanity when the auditor is asking questions.
  • Were any assumptions, adjustments, or other information used to prepare the ICS? Be sure to document all of these including any applicable rationale that was used. This information can go a long way to support costs that are questioned by an auditor.

Spread the Knowledge Wealth

We recommend that contractors are careful to spread the wealth of knowledge of the inner workings of their Incurred Cost Submission and preparation methodology with others in the finance or accounting department. Such steps will reduce the risk of substantial knowledge loss in the event employees with major roles in the ICS preparation process move on to other positions before the audit occurs.

Prepare all the Supplemental Schedules

Although supplemental schedules are not required to be included with the ICS for adequacy determination purposes, they will likely be some of the first items requested at the beginning of an audit. The process to complete these schedules is more efficient when completed as part of the original ICS preparation and can help identify items which may be questioned by an auditor.

In addition, some of the supplemental schedules have other valuable uses to the company and to the ICS preparation process. For example, the set of Supplement Schedule A’s can be used to evaluate the year after year change in costs by account.

Large fluctuations in costs identified in these schedules can indicate a preparation error in the ICS or simply changes in company spending. These schedules can be used by management to see what is driving the change in rates for a deeper understanding of their business and they can also be used to identify areas where DCAA may focus their audits, especially if certain high-risk accounts such as travel, executive compensation, legal, consulting, etc. have increased significantly year after year.

Keep a “Working Copy” and a “Final Submission” version of the ICS

We recommend maintaining two copies of the ICS when it is completed:

  • The “Working Copy” includes all links to supporting schedules and workpapers so that each value on every schedule is easily traceable. The details in the working copy will significantly reduce the time spent answering questions during an audit and will also help those new to preparing an ICS understand the source of the amounts claimed and how the rates are calculated.
  • The “Final Submission” version contains only the schedules required for submission and contains no supporting schedules or links to supporting schedules or source data. This is the file which is submitted to the government.

These two files should be marked as FINAL and WORKING COPY in the file name and stored in a properly labeled folder.

Understand Audit Expectations

Understanding the expectations of your auditor will help facilitate a working relationship during the course of the audit. An auditor is likely to expect a turnaround time of three days or less for documentation and answers to questions. It is critical to set a clear understanding with DCAA of when you will be able to provide data and set yourself up for success by under-promising and over-delivering. Additionally, be sure to take a look at the supporting data that DCAA typically reviews and be sure it can be available upon audit initiation.

For many contractors, the deadline for the next Incurred Cost Proposal is June 30th. We recommend getting started soon to be sure that you have adequate time to prepare the submission. Capital Edge has a wealth of resources available to support contractors with preparation and review of their ICS. Whether your organization is large, small, or somewhere in between, we can help take the stress out of this requirement.

The requirement to submit a final indirect cost rate proposal, more commonly referred to as the Incurred Cost Proposal or Incurred Cost Submission (ICS) is contained in FAR clause 52.216-7(d)(2)(i) – Allowable Cost and Payment which states: “The contractor shall submit an adequate final indirect cost rate proposal to the contracting officer (or cognizant federal agency official) and auditor within the 6-month period following the expiration of each of its fiscal years.”

Are you ready for your incurred cost audit? One of the major historical audit challenges is the delay, sometimes many years, between timely submission under FAR 52.216-7 and the actual audit. DCAA is now required to audit adequate final indirect cost rate proposals within one year, but only time will tell if they can meet that lofty goal. To help eliminate the future audit risk, Capital Edge has identified five ways to start preparing for the audit, while preparing the current annual incurred cost submission.

Download your copy of 5 Ways to Prep for the Audit While Preparing the Incurred Cost Proposal below:

 

Capital Edge Announces Sponsorship of Federal Publications Seminars Premier Weeklong Conferences

Capital Edge Continues Commitment to Educating Government Contractors through Sponsorship of Federal Publications Annual Premier Weeklong Conferences

McLean, VA – May 06, 2019 – Capital Edge Consulting, Inc., a global consulting firm that specializes in helping federal government contractors solve complex business problems, is pleased to announce company sponsorship of Federal Publications Seminars premier conferences including, La Jolla Government Contracts Week, Hilton Head Government Contracts Week and Las Vegas Government Contracts Week.

“This sponsorship is an extension of our partnership with Federal Publications Seminars. Our team has been actively instructing courses with them for many years, and this sponsorship is a continuation of our commitment to support government contractors. Partnering with a proven leader of unparalleled industry knowledge known for providing high-quality courses and materials for government contracting professionals, was our first choice,” said Chad Braley, Founder and Managing Partner of Capital Edge.“We know that participants of the premier conferences, as well as the clients who use Federal Publication Seminars’ continuing training resources, leave training with a wealth of knowledge thanks to their high standards.”

“Capital Edge Consulting brings a powerful lens through which to look at the complex world of government contracting, and we believe the instruction and insight they provide to classes during weeklong conferences enriches the sound educational content we provide to our clients,” said Andy King, President of Federal Publications Seminars. “With our combined history as leaders in FAR compliance, DCAA Audit preparation, training and education, we are excited to partner in order to further enhance learning outcomes for our weeklong conference attendees.”

Capital Edge Consultants will be instructors for a dozen classes this year including:

  • A Practical Guide to the Incurred Cost Submission (ICS) a 2-day workshop provides a detailed, step-by-step guide to the preparation and development of the Incurred Cost Submission (ICS).
  • Price and Cost Realism in Government Contracting will provide an explanation of the cost and pricing techniques, requirements and rules that impact the preparation, and evaluation of contract cost proposals.
  • DCAA Contractor Business Systems and Internal Controls will consist of an examination of the characteristics of adequate business systems relevant to compliant accounting and management systems required for Government contracts.
  • Contractors’ Purchasing Systems Review will provide what Prime Contractors and Subcontractors must know about compliant Contractor Purchasing Systems and Contractor Rights and Responsibilities.
  • Estimating Systems and Defective Pricing will focus on implementing and maintaining an adequate estimating system to take a proactive posture to defective pricing prevention.
  • Preparing Effective Proposals covers a step-by-step analysis of the proposal preparation and source selection processes — from both the contractor and Government perspective.
  • Government Contract Purchasing and Subcontracting addresses U.S. Government contractor requirements related to letting subcontracts under government prime contracts and Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR) compliance.
  • Advanced Cost Analysis in Government Contracts provides a working level understanding of Cost Analysis through a thorough review and analysis of the regulations and illustrated through a variety of real-world examples, scenarios and case studies.
  • Advanced Contractors’ Purchasing Systems Review will build on basic knowledge of CPSR. Discussion will focus on the challenges, issues and updates to requirements. It provides expert insight and detail through classroom discussion on risks and remedies before and after the review is completed.

Federal Publications weeklong training conferences in particular, immerse attendees in critical topics that impact the way they manage contracting activities. Premier business law and government specialists lead classes sharing their expertise in terms participants will understand and apply to daily contracting activities. Their classes are tailored with the specific information attendees need to conduct business and earn continuing education credits as they learn about contract strategy, crucial compliance issues, and industry trends. At the end of the week-long trainings, they leave equipped to succeed amid constant regulatory changes.

For more information about Federal Publications Seminars’ Weeklong Conferences, visit them online: https://www.fedpubseminars.com/Schedule/

About Federal Publications Seminars

Federal Publications Seminars has been the leading provider of government contracts training for over 60 years. They offer hundreds of public and online courses – all with the goal of providing clients with solid, comprehensive opportunities to get up-to-date on topics that are of critical importance to their government contracting activities. They also offer the cost-effective option of on-site training. Courses and materials are continually refined to provide accurate, concise information from solid fundamentals examining core principals to highly technical analysis of specific subjects and issues. Federal Publications Seminars instructors are nationally recognized leaders in the government contracting industry. They are not only experts in their subject areas but are proven educators able to communicate the material in terms you can effectively relate to your individual operations.

For more information, visit:   www.fedpubseminars.com or call 888-494-3696.

About Capital Edge Consulting, Inc.

Capital Edge consultants combine their unique backgrounds and experience in consulting, public accounting, industry, DCAA, and DCMA to provide clients with unmatched government contracting expertise. This breadth and depth of specialized experience enables Capital Edge to provide the exact services and level of expertise federal government contractors need to succeed. Capital Edge has worked with government contractors ranging in size from startup to Fortune 100 companies in industries such as manufacturing, nuclear energy, professional services, biotech/pharmaceuticals, defense, and software.

To learn more about Capital Edge Consulting, Inc., visit http://www.CapitalEdgeConsulting.com

Click to Read Press Release on PRWeb

Honor Flight – Volunteer Initiative

https://www.honorflight.org/

An Honor Flight is conducted by non-profit organizations dedicated to transporting as many United States military veterans as possible to see the memorials of the respective war they fought in Washington, DC, at no cost to the veterans.

Mail Call is a special surprise for the Veterans who fly on the Honor Flight! Mail Call is a packet of mail made up of letters and cards from family members, friends, neighbors and others expressing their appreciation and thanks to a Veteran for their service to our country.

Jennifer Rettelle participated in a recent Honor Flight and will continue to support this wonderful initiative through letters of gratitude for the service our veterans gave.

Don’t have a veteran on the flight, but still want to send mail?
Write letters to our honored veterans. Just address the letter, card or picture as “Dear Veteran” and thank them for their service and sacrifices. If you have children in school, have them start a class project to write letters or collect donations.

The History of The Honor Flight Network

The Honor Flight Network was co-founded by Earl Morse, the son of a Korean and Vietnam War veteran, and Jeff Miller, a small business owner, and son of a WWII veteran.

Earl Morse, Physician Assistant and Retired Air Force Captain, worked in a Department of Veteran Affairs clinic in Springfield, OH. After the National World War II Memorial was completed in 2004, he realized many of his WWII patients would not be able to travel to DC to visit their memorial. Morse, himself a pilot, offered to fly with two veterans to Washington. In January of 2005, he pitched the idea to about 300 private pilots at his local Air Force aeroclub. He proposed the pilots would pay for the flights and personally escort veterans around the city. Eleven additional pilots volunteered. By January 2005, a board was formed, funds were raised, and other volunteers had joined. On 21 May 2005, six small planes flew 12 veterans to Washington, DC for the first Honor Flight. A combination of small planes and commercial flights were used to transport a total of 126 WWII veterans that first year.

In late 2005, Jeff Miller, a dry-cleaning company owner in Hendersonville, NC, inspired by Morse, had a similar idea but on a larger scale – to charter entire commercial jets! Jeff, the son of a World War II veteran and nephew of a B-24 pilot who died in the war, had been a charter member of the National World War II Memorial Foundation. Miller was also concerned that local WWII veterans would never visit their new memorial. Miller formed HonorAir and began flying great numbers of WWII veterans from the Asheville Regional Airport using enormous chartered jets. By the end of 2006, HonorAir had flown more than 300 WWII veterans to their memorial. His actions revolutionized the mass movement of these senior heroes to Washington D.C.

In February of 2007, Morse and Miller met in Washington, DC at the first “Summit” and merged Honor Flight and HonorAir into what is now known as the Honor Flight Network. By 2017, there were 140 Honor Flight Network regional hubs across the United States. Now, HFN is escorting WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam War veterans to see their memorials in DC. At the end of the 2017 flying season, the network has escorted over 200,000 veterans to their memorials, free of cost to the veterans.

In the Spring of 2008, Senator Bob Dole nominated both Earl Morse and Jeff Miller for the prestigious Presidential Citizens Medal. The medal was awarded to Morse and Miller by President George W. Bush in the Oval Office in December of 2008.

more on letter suggestions/guidelines and how to support The Honor Flight Initiative – visit them online 

The Wish Project – Volunteer Initiative

"Many

The Merrimack Valley communities have some of the highest poverty rates in the state, according to the National Low Income Coalition Out of Reach study – Massachusetts ranks sixth as the most expensive state for renters.

Even for a two income family, obtaining household goods is a daunting task under these conditions, for an at-risk family struggling with a loss of a job, family tragedy or recovering from homelessness it becomes almost impossible.

The Wish Project is a critical resource for furniture, household goods and baby needs serving these families in need. In any given week, there are as many as 100 families with children, sleeping on the floor in largely unfurnished apartments in our own community. Without The Wish Project families have very few affordable options. Household furnishings for a family is a burden that too often families can not carry.  So they simply go without.  With support from The Wish Project, they are able to manage their expenses, reducing the likelihood of becoming homeless again.

Learn more about Bits Bags  and remember Deadline for items  is 4/6/19 Basic Items for Toddler Success – Bags with educational and developmental toys for young children

Learn more on how to support The Wish Program – visit them online