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​​​​​​​Unanet Receives Growth Investment from JMI Equity

by Kim Koster Press Releases, Unanet News

Jun 11, 2019

​​​​​​​Unanet Receives Growth Investment from JMI Equity Funding will be used to accelerate growth, further enhance Unanet’s product, and expand the organization Dulles, VA – June 11, 2019 – Unanet, the leading project-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) provider, announced today that it has received a significant growth equity investment from JMI Equity (“JMI”), a growth equity firm focused on investing in leading software companies. The funding will allow Unanet to consolidate its leadership position in project management and ERP software. Through the optimization and enhancement of the Unanet one database solution, Unanet will better serve clients across all industries, including government contractors, architecture and engineering firms, and consulting organizations. “JMI will be an exceptional partner for Unanet’s next phase of growth,” said Fran Craig, Founder and CEO of Unanet. “Its shared customer-centric culture, network, and expertise in scaling market-leading SaaS companies will provide greater opportunities to Unanet’s employees, customers, and partners. All will benefit from an even stronger product, service offering, and overall customer experience.” Unanet’s natively developed Cloud platform offers project management and enterprise resource planning capabilities in an integrated application. By integrating the key business functions in one system, customers report 50% lower G&A headcount relative to competitive systems, higher project-level profitability, real-time visibility to support decision making, and a significant reduction in administrative process. “Unanet has established itself as the leading project-based ERP provider on the strength of its streamlined approach to optimizing the workplace,” said David Greenberg, General Partner at JMI Equity. “We are pleased to make this investment and apply our expertise and resources to help the company continue to grow.” “Fran and her leadership team have built a company that is well positioned for sustained growth,” added Krishna Potarazu, Partner at JMI Equity. “We look forward to partnering with the Unanet team to continue enhancing the product offering, expanding into new industries, and pursuing operational initiatives that will propel Unanet forward.” About Unanet Over 1,200 professional services organizations trust Unanet’s ERP platform to scale their businesses while drastically reducing G&A in a “Single Source of Truth”. Unanet optimizes skills management, resource scheduling, budgeting & planning, time & expense reporting, billing & revenue recognition, real-time project management analytics and dashboards, and GL, AP, AR, cost pool calculations, and indirect allocations. Our customers report 50% lower G&A headcount than those running competitive systems and can reduce effort on administrative processes by 90%. Unanet was founded in 1998 and is based in Dulles, Virginia. For more information visit www.Unanet.com. About JMI Equity JMI Equity is a growth equity firm focused on investing in leading software companies. Founded in 1992, JMI has invested in over 145 businesses in its target markets, successfully completed over 95 exits and raised more than $4 billion of committed capital. JMI partners with exceptional management teams to help build their companies into industry leaders. For more information visit www.jmi.com. Media Contacts: For Unanet Jess Primanzon – Unanet 703-429-1821 jprimanzon@exportunanet.wpengine.com For JMI Equity Chuck Dohrenwend / William Braun – Abernathy MacGregor 212-371-5999 cod@abmac.com / whb@abmac.com


What to Look for in a Billing and Invoicing Tool

by Kim Koster Budgeting & Forecasting, GovCon

Jun 06, 2019

As a professional services company, it is critical to be able to automate and shorten the bid-to-bill lifecycle. Professional services organizations need revenue recognition and billing to be completely in lock step. The concept of billing and invoicing does not need much explanation as we deal with bills continually in our daily lives. Billings/Invoices typically are a form that contain information like name, address, payment terms, a unique id, elements of cost, direct costs, and indirect costs applied. Choosing a billing and invoicing software can help you maintain accuracy and efficiency. But how do you find billing and invoicing software that will give your company all the features it needs for success? When looking for a tool, it is important to have… A time application that is a part of the project based ERP system so that billing can be done quickly Traceability of all transactions Ability to create multiple, standard invoice formats to be used across projects, showing summary or detailed level information Hide or show Cost Element detail on Cost Plus Invoices Include Fixed Price, Time & Materials, Pre-Bill Labor, and Additional Items on the same invoice Defer items from the current invoice for future invoicing Add one-time items such as additional fees or discounts   The Benefits of Billing and Invoicing Software Once your organization finds the right system, you will enjoy the following benefits: Billable expense markup ensures company or project-specific markups can be applied. Manage different contract types including Time & Materials, Fixed Price, Pre-Bill Labor and Cost Plus. Estimate and record what is billable, billed and earned. Enable review of draft invoices by project management roles. Manage bid-to-bill lifecycle in Unanet, or feed data to other systems Feed other systems with accounts receivable, or journal transactions at summary or detail level. Flexible invoice formats per project to reflect client needs and level of detail.   Streamline Your Billing and Invoicing Process with Unanet When searching for the perfect billing and invoicing software for your organization, Unanet is the clear choice. Our software can automate the “bid-to-bill” lifecycle, allowing your organization to forecast and track revenue across different contract types, and provide authorized managers with real-time insight. Our software promotes faster invoicing which in turn results in a faster closing of the books and reduced DSOs. By providing a single integrated system to manage the entire services bid-to-bill cycle, Unanet gives businesses the opportunity to replace their disparate standalone systems, resulting in greater productivity, fewer errors, lower costs, and less stress for your team.


What You Need to Know About the Contractor Purchasing System Review

by Kim Koster GovCon, Government Compliance

Jun 13, 2019

What is a DCMA Compliant Purchasing System? A DCMA compliant purchasing system is one designed to ensure that purchases are made at fair and reasonable prices and in compliance with the applicable contract terms, regulations and public laws. The first thing a contractor needs to understand about contractor purchasing systems is what constitutes a purchasing system. Many contractors think a purchasing system is something that can be purchased off the shelf and installed, like a mechanical system. However, as depicted in the figure below, a purchasing system is an amalgamation of people, processes, and tools that must work together to achieve the goal of spending taxpayer dollars wisely. Advantages of a DCMA Compliant Purchasing System Maintaining an approved purchasing system (i.e. one that has passed a CPSR) benefits the contractor for many reasons, including: It may fulfill a contractual requirement. All Department of Defense cost plus or time and material (T&M) contracts will contain a clause (252.244.7001) that requires the contractor to maintain a compliant purchasing system. If the contractor is subject to the Cost Accounting Standards, the clause allows the government to withhold up to 5% of the payments if the contractor fails to maintain an adequate purchasing system.Some solicitations require the bidders to have an approved purchasing system. Others, such as the recent General Services Administration (GSA) Governmentwide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) solicitations, offer bonus evaluation points for contractors that have an approved purchasing system.Providing advance notification and obtaining the contracting officer’s consent to enter into a subcontract is generally not required when the contractor has an approved purchasing system. Not only does this eliminate some bureaucratic paperwork, it also significantly reduces a contractor’s risk. If the contractor was required to provide advance notification and obtain consent for a subcontract and did not––or cannot prove that they did––the government can disallow all costs for that subcontract. Why is a CPSR Performed? When, how, and why is a CPSR performed? The objective of a contractor purchasing system review (CPSR) is to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness with which the contractor spends government funds and complies with government policy when subcontracting. The review gives the Administrative Contracting Officer (ACO) a basis for granting, withholding, or withdrawing approval of the contractor’s purchasing system. Though contractors will benefit from passing a CPSR, they cannot initiate one. Rather, once a contractor’s sales to the government—excluding competitively awarded firm-fixed-price and fixed-price with economic price adjustment contracts and sales of commercial items pursuant to FAR Part 12—are expected to exceed $50 million in the next 12 months, the ACO is required to conduct a risk assessment. The ACO will review the contractor’s past performance and the volume, dollar value, and complexity of their purchasing to determine if the risk of ineffective or inefficient purchasing justifies the costs and effort required to perform a CPSR. Though the ACO is solely responsible for initiating a CPSR, it is possible other government organizations can determine the risk justifies the effort and ask the ACO to schedule a CPSR. A CPSR, as contemplated by FAR Subpart 44.3 and DFARS Subpart 244.3, will be conducted by the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) in accordance with the CPSR Guidebook. All CPSRs, except a follow-up review, are predicated on a risk assessment. Take the time to understand what DCMA will be looking for in your purchasing system and carefully review the DCMA CPSR Policies and Procedure Checklist. There are 24 DFARS criteria that must be met and at least 65 items on the DCMA checklist. CPSR References: DFARS 252.244-7001, Contractor PurchasingSystem Administration DCMA CPSR Policies and Procedures Checklist DCMA CPSR Guidebook Risk Assessment Form Now that you know why a CPSR is performed, let’s talk about the risk assessment form.The ACO will conduct the risk assessment utilizing the CPSR risk assessment form. Some of the information that will be requested is company information, last CPSR date and recommendations, sales data, contract type mix, sales to the government as a percent of total sales, number of POs/subcontracts by dollar values for the most recent year, type of business, and if you have been suspended from doing business in the past three years. The ACO will submit your completed risk assessment form to the CPSR Team to determine if the CPSR Review will be scheduled. If you have reached or are about to reach the $50 million threshold, it is time for you to make sure your purchasing system operating in a manner that can pass a CPSR. Don’t wait until the ACO calls. Start preparing today. Policies and Procedures are a Big Part of the CPSR Having and adhering to policies and procedures is the largest part of this review. So, making sure your documentation is in order, up-to-date, followed, and monitored is critical. TIP: Establish a self-audit program and document the results. DCMA will see this as a very favorable activity. Below are some basic, overarching guidelines for your CPSR policies and procedures: Establish clear lines of authority and responsibilityEnsure that all purchases are based on authorized requisitions and include documented support for vendor selected, price paid, and files, which are subject to government reviewImplement internal audits or reviews, training, and policies for the purchasing department to ensure the integrity of the systemInclude a system description detailing policies, procedures, and purchasing practices that comply with the requirements of the FAR and DFARSInstall a sound organizational and administrative structure to ensure effective and efficient procurement of requirements at the best value from responsible and reliable sourcesEstablish a role-based training program for all who participate in the purchasing process CPSR Requirements and DFARS 252.244.7001(a) The Business Systems Rule sets forth 24 system criteria that must be present in all contractor purchasing systems for a purchasing system to be “acceptable.” The criteria are outlined in DFAR 252.244-7001(a). In this blog, we will review these CPSR requirements. Below, the DFARS criteria are grouped into summary activities with the applicable criterion. Procurement Planning/Market Research (2 Criteria) Apply a consistent make-or-buy policy that is in the best interest of the governmentEnsure proper type of contract selection and prohibit issuance of cost plus a percentage of cost subcontracts Conflict of Interest/Misconduct (1 Criterion) Enforce adequate policies on conflict of interest, gifts, and gratuities, including the requirements of the Anti-Kickback Act Competition (2 Criteria) Use competitive sourcing to the maximum extent practicable, and ensure debarred or suspended contractors are properly excluded from contract awardRequire management level justification and adequate cost or price analysis, as applicable, for any sole or single source award Negotiated Procurement (1 Criterion) Document negotiations in accordance with the FAR requirements for negotiation Memoranda Cost of Pricing Data and Price Reasonableness (5 Criteria) Evaluate price, quality, delivery, and technical, and financial capabilities of competing vendors to ensure fair and reasonable pricesPerform cost or price analysis and technical evaluation for each proposal or quote to ensure fair and reasonable subcontract pricesDocument negotiations in accordance with FAR 15.406-3Take discounts, including cash discounts, trade discounts, quantity discounts, rebates, freight allowances, and company-wide volume discountsEstablish and maintain procedures to ensure performance of adequate price or cost analysis on purchasing actions Source Selection (3 Criteria) Use competitive sourcing to the maximum extent practicable, and ensure debarred or suspended contractors are properly excluded from contract awardEvaluate price, quality, delivery, technical capabilities, and financial capabilities of competing vendors to ensure fair and reasonable pricesEstablish and maintain selection processes to ensure the most responsive and responsible sources and to promote competitive sourcing so that purchases are reasonably priced and from sources that meet quality requirements Contract Formation and Content (3 Criteria) Ensure purchase orders and subcontracts contain all flow-down clauses, including terms and conditions, and any other clauses needed to carry out the requirements of the prime contractNotify the government of the award of all subcontracts that contain flow-down clauses that allow for government audit of subcontracts, and ensure the performance of audits of those subcontractsEnsure purchase orders and subcontracts contain mandatory and applicable flow-down clauses, as required by the FAR and DFARS Foreign Purchasing and Performance (3 Criteria) Ensure compliance with all relevant domestic preference requirementsEnsure compliance with export control regulationsEnsure agreements are not executed with prohibited parties Procurement Administration (4 Criteria) Maintain subcontract surveillance to ensure timely delivery and procedures to notify the government of potential subcontract problems that may impact delivery, quantity, or priceDocument and justify reasons for subcontract changes that affect cost or priceEnsure that proper types of subcontracts are selected, and that there are controls over subcontracting, including oversight and surveillance of subcontracted effortEstablish and maintain procedures to timely notify the contracting officer, in writing, of excessive pass-through concerns Tips for a Successful CPSR The process kicks off with the risk assessment and a series of detailed data questionnaires. Make sure your data is correct and that YOU understand what the information means so you can easily answer the reviewer’s questions. Answer clearly and timely so that the reviewer can understand the answer. Contractors that don’t have CPSR experience in-house may find it beneficial to engage a consultant to help prepare for the CPSR. Review the below tips for a successful CPSR: Prepare a strategic plan for compliancePrepare yourself with policies, procedures, and toolsSelf-audit plan executed and documentedUnderstand the purpose of the purchasing reviewStudy the guidebook and all references that DCMA providesHave at least one member of the executive team and ALL other participants at the entrance meetingChoose a point of contact to be a liaison with the CPSR teamKeep a copy of all questions and answer documentedAt the exit meeting, make sure that you have all the stakeholders and understand issues brought up by the team The CPSR report will state recommendations that the CO/ACO will use to make the final determination of approving or disapproving the purchasing system. Common Issues Some common review issues can be easily corrected by taking the time upfront to put together a comprehensive plan. Planning the system is very important, so don’t rush through it. Make sure you are thorough. After the system is planned and documented, it must be executed and maintained to avoid issues. Below are a few common issues, but this list is by no means exhaustive: Policies and procedures don’t address the requirementsThe actual practice doesn’t match the policies and proceduresLack of competition – too many sole-source with inadequate justificationsInadequate FAR/DFAR flow-downsInadequate price analysisInadequate documentation Procurement planning is essential. It is difficult to pass a CPSR if every purchase is urgent. Having a Successful CPSR Requires an Integrated ERP Tool Unanet purchasing software delivers powerful functionality to manage and simplify your buying process, designed to address the specific needs of professional services firms. With Unanet’s one system, purchasing integrates directly with timekeeping, expense, financials, and billing, saving time and money, and increasing accuracy. Our web-based system makes the process easy and visible from purchase requisition (PR), to issuance of the purchase orders (PO), through to customer invoice. Through Unanet’s workflow and approval process, all purchasing transactions can be tracked efficiently and integrated into the project forecasts. With Unanet, the overall purchasing requirements for the CPSR will be met. You can trust the accuracy of the data you are providing to the CPSR team as well as provide reports with all the needed traceability. To learn more, download the Aronson and Unanet white paper, The Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR) – What You Should Know.


Understanding The DCAA Accounting System Audit

by Kim Koster Accounting, GovCon, Government Compliance

May 15, 2019

The topic of this blog is the post award accounting system audit. The post award accounting system audit is an examination of the accounting system at non-major contractors after contract award. The objective of the post award accounting system audit is to determine if the contractor’s accounting system complies with the DFARS 252.242-7006, Accounting System Administration, requirements. A post award accounting system audit is usually performed at the request of the contracting officer when: a follow-up audit to a preaward survey (SF1408) is recommended or a preaward survey was not conducted prior to contract award, and the contracting officer determines that an audit is now required to support contract requirements. What are the characteristics of an acceptable accounting system? Acceptable accounting system means a system that complies with the system criteria below to provide reasonable assurance that: Applicable laws and regulations are complied with; The accounting system and cost data are reliable; Risk of misallocations and mischarges are minimized; and Contract allocations and charges are consistent with billing procedures. What is DCAA Looking for in the Accounting System Audit? This list of criteria below is very similar to the SF1408 Preaward Survey. A sound internal control environment, accounting framework, and organizational structure Segregation of direct and indirect costs Identification and accumulation of direct costs by contract Consistent allocation method for of indirect costs to intermediate and final cost objectives Accumulation of cost under the general ledger control Reconciliation of subsidiary cost ledgers and cost objectives to general ledger Approval and documentation of adjusting entries Management reviews or internal audits of the system to ensure compliance with the Contractor’s established policies, procedures, and accounting practices A time keeping system that identifies employee’s labor by intermediate or final cost objectives A labor distribution system that charges direct and indirect labor to the final cost objectives Interim determination of costs charged to a contract through routine posting of books of account Exclusion from costs charged to the government contracts of amounts that are not allowable per FAR 31, Contract Cost Principals and Procedures, or other contract provisions Identification of cost by contract line item (CLIN) and by units if required by the proposed contract Segregation of preproduction costs from production costs Billings that can be reconciled to the cost accounts for both current and cumulative amounts claimed and comply with contract terms Cost accounting information, as required: By contract clauses concerning limitation of cost (FAR 52.232-20), limitation of funds (FAR 52.232-22), or allowable cost and payment (FAR 52.216-7); and To readily calculate indirect cost rates from the books of accounts; Adequate, reliable data for use in pricing follow-on acquisitions Accounting practices in accordance with standards promulgated by the Cost Accounting Standards Board, if applicable, otherwise, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. A common question is what are some of the typical pitfalls contractors have when completing this audit. Our answer is that all of requirements are important and non-compliance could leave you with a non-adequate system. If the Contracting Officer makes a final determination to disapprove the Contractor’s accounting system, and the contract includes the clause at 252.242-7005, Contractor Business Systems, the Contracting Officer will withhold payments in accordance with that clause. No one wants to not get paid!! A tried and trusted tool like Unanet can help you meet the requirements above. If you are not comfortable with taking this on yourself please do reach out to Unanet as we have a partner network that can assist you every step of the way. It will be worth every penny you spend. Good luck on your audit and hope that there are many contract awards coming your way. For more information, download A GovCon’s Essential Guide to DCAA Compliance.


Alternatives to Deltek – What to Look For

by Kim Koster GovCon, Professional Services

May 13, 2019

Two words. Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware). You’re in the market for a system that will support your entire business lifecycle. You need a robust system that can handle your financials, accounting, budgeting & planning, timesheets, expenses, project management, resource management, real-time reporting and more— all in one place. So, it’s time to research the market and find the best business software at the best value. Simple, right? Well, yes and no. Proceed with caution, ask the right questions, and you can figure out which system is the best fit for your business. Here are some questions to ask as you evaluate the myriad options for business software: 1. Are all of the products on one database? Unfortunately, many of the business software systems on the market are essentially a conglomerate of smaller products that have been acquired over the years, patched up to look similar, but running on different databases (this is the case with Deltek). This means that you are really dealing with multiple products, each with a different schema, different technology stack, and different security model. These disparate products interface through a system of importing and exporting, each time introducing an opportunity for error. What you want here is one unified application – one user interface, one database, one security model. Anything else is just a mess of leftovers served up in a single bucket. 2. Are project and resource dashboards, KPIs, and analytics reported in “Real-Time”? Another consequence of using business software that is a conglomeration of smaller products is that users will need to learn multiple products and go to multiple places to get the information they need. Because data is stored in numerous places and requires transfer and synchronization, their information is not truly “real-time”. With Deltek’s disparate systems, data needs to be combined to produce reports, and reports will show different output in different systems. Unanet, however, provides managers and project managers with real-time, “live” reports – instead of having to wait for weeks or even months to receive a report from an accounting system. 3. How can I ensure that only authorized employees have access to sensitive information? You will need to make sure your business software includes roles-based access for all members of the company. Unanet ensures security of information by providing real-time access to management without having to give them access to the backend financial system. 4. Is the software made in U.S.A.? Many companies save money by outsourcing the design and development of their software to offshore developers. Unanet is 100% designed and developed in the United States. 5. Will I have the customer support I need and want? Ah, the controversial question of where to base customer support. Again, it is cheaper to outsource customer support overseas, but this frequently results in customers complaining about high turnover, that they never talk to the same person twice, the rep can never answer questions, etc. Don’t get me wrong, it can be done well, but that’s rarely the case. Unanet believes that customer satisfaction and responsiveness are the highest priorities, and we have the customer feedback to prove it. We have an experienced, US-based team of dedicated, knowledgeable, responsive, and just plain nice people who will make sure you get an answer to your question and will support you through every step of implementation. As a self-funded company, we don’t answer to private equity or venture capital firms, so we are not forced to outsource our customer service. After all, a system that meets your desired outcomes is more than just technology. You need expert assistance in order to accomplish true business transformation. 6. What is the total cost of ownership? Yep, the million dollar question (well, let’s hope not – that’s a lot to pay for business software!). Ultimately, many decisions about purchasing new software for your business will come down to price. What do you get for your money? Be sure to compare not only the functionality of the software systems, but also the implementation costs, consulting costs, subscription/license fees, and, of course, the human resources you need to operate the software. Unanet’s intuitive, easy to use, easy to operate interface enables our customers’ finance teams to focus on transforming the business rather than running monotonous transactions. We feel confident that you will discover that Unanet offers the best “bang for your buck” when it comes to selecting high-value, low total cost of ownership software to manage your projects, people, and financials. Still struggling over your ERP software decision? One-Third of Unanet’s Customers Made the Switch From a Competitor. Here’s Why.


Getting Ready for a DCAA Audit

by Kim Koster GovCon, Government Compliance

May 22, 2019

Let’s quickly level-set on the mission of the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA). Their primary function is to perform contract and financial audits for agencies that are responsible for acquisition and contract administration for the US Government. DCAA audits ONLY government contractors. Each DCAA audit is conducted in accordance with the Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS). The principles that GAGAS embodies are unbiased audit conclusions based on facts. DCAA is a very vital part of the acquisition process for the Department of Defense (DOD) and certain other agencies. Their charter is to make sure that the taxpayers’ money is spent responsibly and ethically, by conducting audits that ensure the validity of costs throughout the acquisition process. They have a tremendous amount of influence because they communicate with the Contracting Officer (CO) and make recommendations that have an impact on contract negotiations. The recommendations help the CO understand what the price of the contract should be. In the past the relationship between the government contracting community and DCAA has been strained. DCAA is making a concerted effort to improve overall relationships with government contractors by improving communication and coordination. DCAA Audits are a Fact of Life for Government Contractors During our most recent GAUGE Report, we noted the types of audits that were most prevalent. There are many audits that a GovCon can be subject to. Below are those results with the ICS being the largest audit by far.   Tips to Prepare for a DCAA Audit 2019 GAUGE survey respondents said that their DCAA oversight is increasing, 6% more than last year. So, it is important to understand how you can best manage your compliance and audits. Here are a several tips you can use to help ensure a successful DCAA audit. Why Unanet for DCAA Audit Preparation? Unanet is purpose-built with the project or contract in mind. It is uniquely designed for government contractors and has been battle-tested for compliance rules and regulations. Our compliance features are built into the tool, making compliance part of the fabric of your business. Unanet currently has over 1,000 clients using and trusting the system. Unanet supports compliant accumulation and allocation of costs utilizing time keeping, expense accounting, cost pools, indirect rates, revenue recognition, and project management all in one truly integrated system. Whether you are a small new or a seasoned larger GovCon, you can count on Unanet for your compliance needs. Unanet is recognized by the audit agencies as being “compliant ready,” giving you an immediate advantage in the audit process. Click here to learn more.