Navigating the waters on your voyage to winning federal contract awards can be very tricky, and there are unseen dangers you must brave to avoid shipwrecking your proposal with a wrong turn along the way. As captain of the ship, it’s your responsibility to learn how to win government contracts. To do that you need to make sure that your pricing proposals meet all regulations and standards to be accepted, and this can mean understanding these rules from multiple agencies. That can be very difficult when you’re trying to run your business at the same time…which is where we come in.
We have kept our clients out of rough waters and away from the rocks time and time again, by reviewing their pricing proposals – for DCAA compliance and for meeting the standards and requirements of the DMCA, FAR, and CAS. Let us show you how to bid on government contracts by conducting one or more of the services shown below, to assure that your proposals are accepted and have a better chance of winning.
Commercial Item Determination – The Federal Acquisition Regulations require subcontractors to use off-the-shelf products, or Commercial Items, in fulfilling the needs of a government contract, whenever feasible. However, determining what constitutes a Commercial Item is subject to interpretation and can lead to poor consequences if not carefully undertaken. The decision as to whether the government’s requirements for a specific acquisition can be met by a Commercial Item is based on market research and an analysis of the marketplace by a knowledgeable acquisition professional. We can aid small businesses and subcontractors in determining if a potential acquisition meets the definition of a Commercial Item.
Cost and Price Analysis – All contracts require significant cost and/or price analysis be performed as part of the proposal preparation. You must support your proposal with a piece-by-piece cost analysis to establish the reasonableness of your pricing, and if that is insufficient, with an analysis of the reasonableness of the pricing cited in the proposal. Given the exacting standards required , we have guided many clients through these analyses successfully – to a result that is accepted by the contracting agency.
Pricing Model Development – You spend hours pulling together your pricing proposal. Have you accurately representing your direct costs, indirect costs, and indirect rates – all are important to developing the right pricing model for your proposal. Do your CLINs contain the detail required for invoicing, and does the total contract value match the total of all CLINs? Does your staff have the expertise to know what to look for? We are experts at reviewing pricing models to avoid mistakes that will impact your cash flow.
Indirect Rate Development and Cost Allocation – Government contractors are required to segregate direct and indirect costs while fulfilling their contracts. Further, you must allocate the indirect costs into various “pools” or categories, including fringe benefits, overhead, and general & administrative costs. Sorting indirect costs into their various “pools” requires a lot of forethought, and selecting the proper base for allocation of costs is in some cases. For example, travel costs for employees are classified as indirect costs when their travel is incidental to the contract – but these same travel costsare classified as direct costs when the employee is traveling often to an offsite location to carry out the requirements of the contract. We have in-depth experience at how to properly allocate and classify your contract costs, so you’ll be paid for them as you anticipate. Call on us if you have any concerns or questions about this area.
Provisional or Forward Pricing Rate Submission – Provisional Billing Rates are used to estimate indirect costs related to a contract, submitted to the contracting agency at the beginning of each fiscal year. These rates can be changed as conditions warrant, and they are made final at the end of the fiscal year, using actual indirect costs. Forward Pricing Rates are agreements to “standardize” a contractor’s indirect cost rates for a period of time going forward. This convention allows a contractor to receive quicker responses to bid proposals, when they include appropriate, previously agreed Forward Pricing Rates. We can work with you to establish fair and acceptable Provisional Billing Rates and Forward Pricing Rate Agreements (FPRAs). Just give us a call to learn more.
Disclosure Statement Preparation – Contracts proposals must include a Disclosure Statement covering the bidding firm’s accounting policies and procedures – which must, in turn, comply with the Cost Accounting Standards (CAS). This is a formal, required submission using a format that has eight sections. Once submitted, it is reviewed for accuracy and completeness, and then your accounting policies are audited – to verify that the reality matches your Disclosure Statement – all before a contract is awarded. So the CAS Disclosure Statement is not to be taken lightly. This process is designed to assure more consistency in bidding and negotiations between potential contractors and the contracting agency – essentially, leveling the playing field for all contractors because they are required to follow the same accounting policies. We are experts at completing these Disclosure Statements and making sure that your policies and procedures are in compliance with the CAS. Ideally, the Disclosure Statement is prepared long before it’s required to be submitted to the government, in order to ensure it properly represents the policies and procedures within your organization.
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"The CPA Department provides meaningful and actionable expertise related to preparing for DCAA audits, prepares winning pricing proposals, and provides overall strategies for small government contracting businesses to succeed."
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