When you receive a Phase II SBIR or STTR grant or contract, you need to think about government award accounting and how to cost-effectively comply with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 31.
After more than 30 years of specializing in government award accounting, we know the mistakes government awardees make, and how to prevent them. This 10-part blog series is designed to help you avoid trouble and protect your innovation and business.
This blog may seem like the polar opposite of Mistake #10, “Spending too much time on accounting when you’re not an accountant.” In that blog, we talked about the dangers of spending your time working IN the business, instead of ON it—especially, trying to learn the complexities of government award accounting.
In our opinion, if you have a cost-reimbursable government grant or contract, you need accounting help. The question is how much.
If you have a cost-type government award, you must comply with the rules contained in the FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulation) and there’s a 100% chance of an audit.
To protect themselves, some awardees will hire a good internal accountant. At the controller level, this could mean a salary of $120,000 to $160,000 per year depending on where in the country you’re located – plus benefits, office space, and so on. In California, Massachusetts, NY and many other high cost areas, it can be much higher.
Many of our clients have a CPA or CPA firm that helps them maintain the books in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) – a requirement of FAR Part 31 accounting.
However, it’s important to recognize that most CPAs are general practitioners and/or tax experts. They don’t specialize in government award accounting, in fact, most have ever worked in this area before.
What does that mean to you?
Whether you hire someone internally or go to your outside CPA firm, there’s an enormously good chance that they’ve never helped a client:
Finding out if your internal accountant or outside CPA is qualified to handle your grant or contract accounting is analogous to thinking about questions you’d ask a doctor before they performed knee surgery (pick those that apply to your funding award type):
First, we have been in business since 1978 and have 40 plus years of experience in government award accounting. We specialize in government contract and grant accounting, it’s all we do.
All our Account Managers (the people who would manage your account) are CPA’s with at least 10 years of experience, most have 15 or 20. Before they become account managers, they have to go through a three-year training/apprenticeship program here, before we’ll put them in charge of your account.
In other words, they must be incredibly well-prepared to help our clients. The stakes are too high to settle for anything less.
Clients work with us in one of three ways.
Why does this make financial sense?
Our clients find that unless their annual revenue exceeds $10 Million it’s almost always less expensive to outsource this function than it is to build it themselves – and it isn’t even close!
They love that our fees grow when they grow and shrink when they shrink. They never have to spend time hiring and firing and training and most important – never spend time worrying!
If you’re concerned about compliance, audits or your contract or grant management, Contact Us to schedule a time to speak to one of our government funding experts, and we will follow up within 48 hours!
To learn more about our services, visit our solutions page.
Not all government contracts and grants are the same. Your funding agency, type of award, and funding stage require unique accounting requirements. Provide your information below to schedule a time to speak with one of our government funding experts!
Writing A Government Funding Proposal
Received A Pre-Award Notification
Received A Funding Award
National Institute of Health / HHS
Department of Defense (DOD)
National Science Foundation
Department of Energy (DoE)
SBIR/STTR Phase I
SBIR/STTR Phase II
R01, U01, Carb-X, HEAL or Pioneer Grant
EERE or ARPA-E Award
One of our government funding experts will contact you within 48 hours to schedule a phone call.