Category Archives: New Year’s Resolutions Series

Build Your Toolkit – Business Acceleration

In collecting items for your 2014 business acceleration toolkit, you will need three critical elements if you intend to stay ahead of your competitors.

First: Check your records immediately. The Past Performance Information Retrieval System (PPIRS) is the central access point for federal prime contractor past performance reports which the Federal acquisition community uses in making source selection decisions.

The PPIRS web site states: “…Confidence in a prospective contractor’s ability to satisfactorily perform contract requirements is an important factor in making best value decisions in the acquisition of goods and services.  PPIRS consists of three components, Report Card (RC), Statistical Reporting (SR) and Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) and includes access to your CPARS (Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System).  These PPIRS components support the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) requirement to consider past performance information prior to making a contract award (FAR Parts 9, 13, 15, 36 and 42).” 

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Build Your Toolkit – Improving Billing

When was the last time you reviewed your organization’s invoicing process?  Do you know how many of your invoices are generated manually using Excel as opposed to your accounting system?  For those invoices that are prepared using Excel, the process of manually entering data, editing and verifying, routing for approvals, re-editing and re-verifying data is time consuming, inefficient and error-prone.  All of which contribute to costly delays in receiving payment.  Unfortunately too many organizations accept manual invoice preparation as the solution while not understanding the true capabilities of their Deltek accounting system.   With a plan, a little time and patience your organization can automate the invoicing process to save time, money and improve DSO.

Why do you prepare your invoices in Excel?  Below are some falsely perceived system limitations as to why we turn to Excel for invoicing:

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Build Your Toolkit – Fulfilling State Tax Obligations

As service providers have been developing a customer base across state lines, states have been developing more aggressive approaches to imposing its income tax and sales tax on those multistate businesses.  Businesses, particularly small to mid-size businesses, often overlook their state and local tax compliance obligations.  An out-of-state business can be taxable in a state if that business has substantial “nexus” with the taxing jurisdiction.  The lack of a uniform bright-line nexus rule that businesses can rely on, partly caused by the U.S. Supreme Court repeatedly denying to hear a nexus case, has created a nexus “Wild West” where states searching for revenue are enacting aggressive nexus rules and pushing the bounds of vague laws already on the books.

This is the perfect time of the year to assess whether your business is in compliance with all of its state filing obligations. 

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Build Your Toolkit – System for Determining CAS Applicability

In the current environment where “affordability” is paramount and companies must “do more without more,” it is critical that companies can quickly and efficiently identify their CAS-covered contracts. This is important for two key reasons:

  1. Company executives often make strategic decisions which impact the company’s cost accounting practices.  A consequence of these executive decisions is the requirement to determine the cost impact to CAS-covered contracts.  A system that quickly provides the universe of CAS-covered contracts saves significant time when performing the cost impacts.
  2. Companies who have modified CAS-covered contracts and who are not required to submit a CAS Disclosure Statement need to monitor the award values of their CAS-covered contracts.  This is necessary to determine if they will trip the threshold that would require their next contract award to be subject to full CAS coverage or to submit a CAS Disclosure Statement.

The original CAS Board, in its Working Group Guidance Paper – WG 77-17, recognized the necessity for companies to quickly and efficiently identify its CAS-covered contracts.  In WG 77-17, the CAS Board stated:

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Build Your Toolkit – Report Writing Using Cognos or Impromptu

Regardless of which financial system your organization uses, getting relevant actionable data out of your system quickly is top priority. While most onboard reporting capabilities of your financial system can be regarded as adequate or sustainable, third party reporting tools such as Cognos or Impromptu offer many benefits.

Standard or “canned” reports, packaged with your financial system as mentioned above, are generally adequate; however, most of us are looking for greater flexibility and ease of delivery when it comes to critical financial information.  Canned reports are often built as a “one size fits all” solution which often compromises the flexibility your organization desires.  Ask yourself… Do your canned reports have key performance indicators that are important to you or unique to your business?  Do you have immediate visibility when KPI thresholds have been exceeded?  If you are in receipt of this information, is it provided timely and efficiently?

In addition to your organization’s KPI monitoring, here are some other ideas how you can use Cognos or Impromptu to drive efficiency and automation in 2014:

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