Accounting System, Cost And Accounting, DCAA Relations

How it Should Be

May 30, 2013

I just finished a pre-award accounting system survey with the DCAA for a small contractor receiving their first cost plus fix fee contract. The DCAA auditor taking the lead and her supervisor did and excellent and complete job, asked intelligent questions, and completed the work in a timely manner (fourteen business days from contact to exit interview).

The auditor began by getting the IQ13 filled out by the contractor, getting our take on the SF 1408, and getting my role properly defined as the outside consultant.

She employed the entrance conference to go over the audit program she would use and to flesh out any concerns or questions we might have.

The field work began with her acknowledgement that she had only spent a little time with the contractor’s 100+ pages of accounting policy and procedures manual and allowing us to refer back to it, as appropriate, while she walked the contractor through the primary accounting functions. The questions she asked were targeted and clearly communicated for both the understanding of the accounting professionals in the room and those who were not.

She came back the next day with excellent follow-up questions that identified areas that required clarity or even a little rethinking on our part.  Although nothing led to a finding, she followed good auditing practice and DCAA guidance and brought the issues back to us for development and resolution.

During all of this her supervisory acted in a true supporting and mentoring role, as she allowed the lead auditor to lead, but made sure any issues that came to her mind were addressed.

The lead auditor followed up the field work with an excellent question on how Meals & and Entertainment (M&E) were treated in the contractor’s Chart of Accounts. I responded by pointing out the need to address both the IRS requirements and the DCAA requirements and how the claimed and unclaimed portions were addressed by the policies and procedures to include additional accounts and classifications.

The exit interview was painless and the report issued with no findings.

****

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country I wait to hear from the DOD OIG and a congressman on complaints filed against a DCAA auditor working with a similar contractor with almost identical policies and procedures. This auditor could not get a brain cell to spark if you hooked him up to Hoover Dam.

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