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Did you save too much money on your accounting software?

We received a call the other day from an employee of a small subcontractor who was both stressed and overwhelmed. You see, their prime contractor recently told them that they need to submit four year’s worth of incurred cost submissions as directed by DCAA per FAR 52-216.7 (Allowable Cost and Payment) . As a subcontractor, they were not expecting the long reach of the DCAA to extend beyond their prime, but they dutifully went to the DCAA’s Website and downloaded the ICE spreadsheet model. Understandably, panic set in when the scope of what was being asked of them came to light. With QuickBooks as their accounting software for the period of performance, how can they possibly be able to generate the required schedules dating back to 2007 within the time allotted?

This is clearly going to be a challenge for this particular subcontractor, and by having to pull in outside professional help to assist with the work at hand – very expensive!  When you add up the hourly billing rates multiplied by the level of effort required to create the various schedules, the expense associated with not using a cost accounting system with the capability to produce the ICE submission far exceeds the cost savings of using shrink-wrapped accounting software that is not specifically designed for cost reimbursable government contracts. Your “affordable” accounting software that seemingly worked just fine up until this point is now costing you money. So it really comes down to is this; did you save too much on your accounting software?

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