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Analytics Capabilities for Government Contractors Highlight Latest Unanet Release

by Kim Koster ERP Software Best Practices, GovCon

Jul 23, 2020

How to improve what is already the standard-bearer for project-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software for government contractors? By adding several features that enable GovCons to unlock new efficiencies and insight within their data. Announced in late July, the latest enhancements to Unanet’s purpose-built ERP software are analytics-focused — and designed to be simple to use and immediately impactful. They include: Analytics+, a capability we expect to quickly emerge as best in its class for its dashboard and reporting functionality. The new analysis and reporting capabilities build upon the software’s real-time data visualization features that enable GovCons to aggregate data from multiple sources across finance, accounting, and project management for automatically generated reports, including statements of cash flow. It’s included in customers’ cloud subscription. Analytics Studio, which is tailored to GovCons whose businesses demand advanced analytics and custom reporting to further mine their data for real-time insight. It provides a deeper level of interactive analysis and drill-down capabilities, with embedded, eminently customizable and feature-rich dashboards, including dashboards designed specifically for the C-Suite. Automated Invoice Attachments is a feature that gives finance teams a tool to shorten time to cash, with its ability to automatically generate required or supporting documents for invoices. Unanet’s new release is designed to equip government contractors with more tools to meet mounting business and compliance challenges, explained CEO Craig Halliday. “From the C-suite to the project management level, finance to operations, our new analytics capabilities allow for better decision-making across virtually every function.” The July software release is the first in a series of enhancements that Unanet expects to unveil over the course of 2020. You’ll be the first to know what our development team has in store to simplify life for our valued GovCon clients. In the meantime, to learn more about the latest software enhancements, click here.

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Unanet Releases New Analytics Capabilities for Government Contractors

by Kim Koster Press Releases, Unanet News

Jul 23, 2020

Dulles, VA, July 23, 2020 – Unanet, the leading SaaS project-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) provider, today released several new best-in-class features for its award-winning software, which are designed to help government contractors (GovCons) unlock their data for meaningful business insight and significantly improve the efficiency of their operations. The new features are Analytics+, Analytics Studio and Automated Invoice Attachments. Analytics+ is an industry-leading new capability that provides GovCons with an array of dashboard and reporting functionality. The new analysis and reporting capabilities build upon the software’s real-time data visualization features that enable GovCons to aggregate data from multiple sources across finance, accounting, and project management for automatically generated reports, including statements of cash flow. Unanet Analytics+ is a value-laden feature that is included in customers’ cloud subscription. Analytics Studio is a new add-on capability, allowing GovCons that require advanced analytics and custom reporting to further mine their data for real-time insight. Analytics Studio offers customers a deeper level of analysis and drill-down capabilities so they can interact dynamically with their data. Feature-rich, expert-level dashboards, including C-Suite dashboards, are embedded in Analytics Studio, and customers can further customize them for their unique business needs. This advanced feature offers additional functions, including crosstab reports and dynamic auto-filling report templates (Pixel Perfect) reporting. Automated Invoice Attachments allows finance teams to shorten time to cash by automatically generating required or supporting documents for invoices quickly and easily, using several common attachment formats. “Government contractors are facing challenges – from increasing competition to compliance and audits, to cybersecurity,” said Craig Halliday, CEO of Unanet. “From the C-suite to the project management level, finance to operations, our new analytics capabilities allow for better decision-making across virtually every function. Having the ability to report, analyze, and visualize data all in one ERP enhances GovCons’ understanding of their business and gives them the ability to make confident decisions.” “These five years with Unanet have been a great partnership and we look forward to implementing some of their new features that will continue to drive efficiency into our organization including Unanet Purchasing and Analytics,“ said Bob Deegan, Chief Financial Officer, Array Information Technology, a leading IT products and services firm. “We see Unanet as a core enabler supporting our anticipated growth over the next 5 years.” Analytics+ helps teams discover trends for business drivers, including resource allocation, revenue, costs, cash flow, and timing. This powerful tool offers role-based and permission-based reports and dashboards, so team members can easily communicate to their stakeholders with the precise and relevant information they need to do their jobs, including the metrics that matter to them. Unlike competitive products, Analytics+ is integrated into Unanet as a seamless solution with extraordinary value. “In today’s highly fluid, dynamic business world, real-time information is more critical than ever,” continued Halliday. “Our new analytics capabilities, built upon our real-time data insight engine, are a game-changer for GovCons who can’t wait around for next week to make a decision.” Unanet plans to roll out additional capabilities throughout 2020. About Unanet Unanet is a leading provider of ERP solutions purpose-built for Government Contractors, A/E, and Professional Services. More than 2,000 project-driven organizations depend on Unanet to turn their information into actionable insights, drive better decision-making, and nurture business growth. For more information, visit www.unanet.com. Follow Unanet at @UnanetTech on Twitter and Unanet-Technologies on LinkedIn.

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An Up-Close Look at DCAA’s Ambitious Audit Plans for 2020

by Kim Koster GovCon, Government Compliance

Jul 16, 2020

Government contractors, prepare for closer scrutiny from the Defense Contract Audit Agency in fiscal 2020 and beyond. Having cleared its longstanding audit backlog, the DCAA has returned to performing a full range of audits, the agency’s director, Anita F. Bales, declared in a recent letter to the U.S. Congress. In fiscal 2019, the DCAA “focused more effort on other audits such as business systems, Truth in Negotiation Act, Cost Accounting Standards, and labor and material reviews,” she said in the letter, which accompanied a report summarizing the agency’s activities last fiscal year. “We also successfully met the Congressional requirement to complete incurred cost audits within one year of adequate submission as well as contracted with seven independent public accounting (IPA) firms to perform 101 incurred cost audits.” The DCAA’s renewed commitment to timely audits is expected to continue in the current (2020) fiscal year, putting the onus on government contractors to prepare for a busy compliance season. In particular, DCAA said it “prioritizes the audits that pose greatest risk to the government,” namely contracts that “involve significant costs, significant audit findings in the past, or circumstances that reduce the incentive to control costs, such as those inherent in cost-type of contracts.” Here’s what the agency says about various types of audits: Incurred cost audits “continue to be a priority to meet both the adequacy review (60 days) and completion (12 months) timelines.” Forward pricing audits “net the highest rate of return and are time sensitive because to be of value they must be completed before contract negotiations.” Special audits are prioritized in coordination with contracting officer needs. Other audits become a high priority “when DCAA or the contracting officer identifies a high-risk area such as inadequate business systems. DCAA assigns priority to additional audits based on individual contract and audit risks to the government.” To maintain timeliness with its audits and prevent another backlog, the DCAA indicated it plans to continue using IPA firms to conduct select incurred cost audits. To support a more aggressive audit caseload, the DCAA said it is focusing on recruiting, developing and retaining high-quality auditors and support staff, such as with hiring events and internship programs aimed at bringing college students into the fold and grooming them to become full-time employees. As it ramps up its caseload, the DCAA also has increased its industry outreach. In July 2019, it adopted the materiality guidelines from DoD’s Professional Practice Guide to “help oversight professionals plan their work and provide the information contracting officers need to make reasonable business decisions.” The agency also has been regularly engaging with industry groups, resulting in a proposed FAR change and improvements to the incurred cost electronic (ICE) model. It also is working with the acquisition community to mitigate the risks associated with using Other Transaction Agreements, or OTAs. The goal: ensure cost reasonableness “without hindering the speed that makes OTAs so valuable.” Moving forward, expect the emphasis on Truth in Negotiation Act audits to continue. The DCAA said it is stepping up efforts to train and educate its staff about TIN audits, and that beginning in fiscal 2020, its field audit offices will join its headquarters TIN team in conducting TIN audits. ”These collaborative, proactive efforts are vital as DCAA will double the number of hours dedicated to these audits in FY 2020.” Also expect the DCAA to continue to leverage technology — data analytics, “intelligent documents,” etc. — as it moves away from outdated Excel and Word-based audit tools. Looking ahead to fiscal 2020 and beyond, DCAA said it expects to “move away from complex, specialized audits performed by dedicated teams, like TIN and business systems, to performing these audits with our FAO staff.” The agency also plans to finalize its strategic plan in FY 2020, meaning more changes to audit processes and procedures could be forthcoming. We closely monitor the DCAA here at Unanet, so stay tuned to this space for updates.