Once your Contracting Officer negotiates and awards you your contract (and all documents are signed), quite often your contract will be handed off to the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) who is now responsible for managing and administering the contract. In other words, it is their job to ensure you comply with the terms of the contract.
Part of these duties include:
- Submitting proper forms
- Ensuring deliverables are provided
- Ensuring financial management systems compliance as required per your contract type
- Performing necessary audits as required per your contract type
The DCAA— comes in in the financial management systems audit state as support to your DMCA Administrative Contracting Officer (ACO). As relevant audits are required that need DCAA experience and capabilities, the ACO will send formal requests to DCAA to perform such audits. DCAA only performs audits for DCMA or specific agency contracting offices. This means, as a contractor, you may not request an audit of any of your systems directly from DCAA.
Such audits may include:
- Forward pricing audits (proposals, PBR, forward pricing rate agreements)
- Accounting system compliance
- Labor floor checks
- Material purchasing system
- Billing system audit
- Incurred cost audits (final indirect rate cost agreement)
- Equitable adjustment claims
Coming from a former DCAA Senior Auditor, don’t be surprised during a meeting (specifically entrance and exit conferences), they show up with 4 or more people. Typically speaking, these will include the Auditor, Supervisory Auditor, ACO, and the ACO’s Contracts Administrator (CA). This does not necessarily mean you are in trouble or they are trying to bully you, it just is what it is! Sometimes they just want to show you they are being serious.