WE GUIDE ORGANIZATIONS SELLING TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

Previous Portfolio

Portfolio accomplishments supplement the highlights, below. Major successes by topic are available via the links under the Portfolio button in the menu.


Previous Project Highlights:

August, 2014 through December, 2014 - Guide emerging small business on timing of company credit card entries, timing of paycheck issuance after receipts of timesheets and after receipt of (electronic) timesheet, certified hours worked. Prorate sample salary-days for new-hires. Perform monthly reviews of monthly General Ledger (G/L) records and provide detailed recommendations for corrections. Verify adequacy of support and provide sample, step-by-step calculations for actual indirect rates and their allocation. Suggest alternate and additional (protective) U.S. Government contract language and add comments to a (pre-awarded) subcontract.

July, 2014 - Conduct the first of several month-end reviews, to ensure that accruals, reversal of accruals, open Accounts Payable, open Accounts Receivable, bank account reconciliations, and other month-end activities were correctly recorded by the accountant. Update monthly workbook of year-to-date indirect rates, using actual dollars.

June, 2014 - Perform a complete clean-up of all current-year transactions in client's QuickBooks General Ledger (G/L). Reclassify cash-out to charge correct accounts; add Accrual Basis records for each month-end; close aging Accounts Payable bills, erroneously paid with "Write Check"; charge correct Jobs for all transactions; correct Payroll Journal Entries, including paycheck deductions and Company expenses; save Memorized Transactions; create Payroll Items; add missing transactions, including Prepaid Assets; and provide a solid basis for future recording, indirect rate calculations, and profit by Job.

June, 2014 - Create draft worksheets for some types of proposed costs, for a submission to the federal government. Calculate costs, based on client information, with self-explanatory descriptions (for client revisions). Evaluate proposal support for some Direct Labor salaries, and Catering during training presentations. Re-do spreadsheets for 2014 projected costs and expenses, resulting in revised, recommended indirect rates (and dollars) in the 2015 proposal. Proofread and evaluate cost-proposal text supporting G&A and Material. Edit formulas for inadvertent double-counting.

June, 2014 - For a low cash-flow client, needing financial analysis to consider factoring Accounts Receivable (federal government customer) invoices, read (cash-provider's) contract terms and translate to understandable English. Calculate and describe the recording of each related transaction for an example invoice. Answer questions about the amount and timing of true and complete costs.

June, 2014 - Conduct conference-call training with all staff involved in accounting, for a small non-profit. Explain the ICR; the reasons for the recommended Chart of Accounts that flows to ICR calculations, plus to projected ICR allocations in future proposals; and direct, indirect, and (OMB Circular) unallowable expenses.

May, 2014 - Revise a draft of client's Cash Flow workbook. Review and provide feedback on client-revised Policies and Procedures. Match client (employment) offer letters to recorded Payroll transactions and recommend calculated corrections. Provide explanations of terms and conditions, plus point out those of special note and why, in an up-coming federal government award.

April, 2014 - Create a workbook of projected indirect rates based on actual, client-recorded G/L data, and collaboration with client on anticipated changes through year-end. Create revised versions of the projected indirect rates, based on corrections and omissions in the G/L and client-anticipated changes in employee benefits. Explain Accrual (versus Cash) Basis accounting, especially as it relates to the timing of corrected and approved timesheets, Job costs (including accrual and usage of Paid Time Off), and deferred salaries.

March, 2014 - Per federal government customer request, revise the draft of a client's cost proposal with requested time-period and task break-outs, exclusions of costs for contract-required Travel, and Contracting Officer Representative's format.

March, 2014 - Offer client the definitional differences between CDRL versus CLIN, related to customer payments funded by the federal government. Explain the IDIQ contract type, specific repercussions of terms in a subcontract Teaming Agreement, and recommendations for several contract language changes. Provide feedback on particular (QuickBooks add-on) timekeeping software.

February, 2014- Create a new QuickBooks general ledger for conversion from poorly formatted ledger. Work with client to establish a general ledger format to capture IR&D costs not allocable to the federal government. Draft (from boilerplate) policies, procedures, and related forms, tailored to unique processes within client company. Help client implement Accrual Basis accounting (per Generally Accepted Accounting Principles), instead of Cash Basis. Help client address DCAA findings on prior-year Indirect Cost Proposal submission:

  • Change spreadsheet data that used proportions instead of rates
  • Segregate amounts not already included in unallowable costs
  • Add missing description and amount for intermediary rate/base
  • Fold applicable cost centers into the General and Administrative pool

Create recommended Chart of Accounts and internal Jobs for Unallowable, Bid and Proposal, and Independent (internally/company-funded) Research and Development. Request and act on specific feedback from client regarding desired general ledger output (reports). Copy IIF files from old QuickBooks general ledger to new and revise:

  • Delete vendors erroneously inactivated by client
  • Separate direct versus indirect Travel accounts
  • Rename employees in Vendor list

Enter all open accounts payable bills and accounts receivable invoices, so that future payments and receipts could be applied. Enter payroll Journal Entries for outsourced paychecks and payroll-related transactions, as examples for future client entries. Correctly accrue Paid Time Off in the period incurred (as opposed to expensing Paid Time Off when taken) and explain the current expense and liability to client. Reconcile new general ledger to old general ledger for matching balances before use. Design a pro-forma workbook of spreadsheets for calculating monthly and cumulative actual indirect rates. Explain corrections, for future implementation of:

  • Usage tax
  • Gross pay for Paid Time Off
  • Correct vendor-bill dates
  • Extraction of unallowable costs
  • Timing for (month-end) closing of books, especially with cost-reimbursable awards
  • Expensing amounts previously recorded as prepaid
  • Accruing payroll until documented by approved timesheets and other support
  • Moving long-term liabilities to short-term (reducing long-term with expenses)

Evaluate scans of source documents and provide specific feedback.

January through February, 2014 - Using the client Profit and Loss Report plus Cost Center reports for a non-profit, design pool, base, and unallowable groups of accounts (with actual incurred cost dollars for each). Build spreadsheets showing formula for the Indirect Cost Rate and explain historical, anticipated changes, and the projected fiscal year (annual) Indirect Cost Rate for proposals. Report specific issues and specific recommendations to address all costs - in a general ledger format - to facilitate federal government acceptance of a proposed Indirect Cost Rate as a valid basis for negotiation.

January through February, 2014 - Review and comment on terms and conditions of a potential client-award. Copy FAR excerpts and highlight/note important information. Provide a full set of SAM screen-shots and discuss several SAM questions. Provide decision flow-charts, and explain with text, when client executive compensation becomes public. Describe DPAS ratings plus employee and facility issues for classified material.

January, 2014 - Lead client on development of a cost proposal. Build Travel worksheet formats with required, detailed calculations and support. Base build-up of projected costs on information tying back to actual incurred costs supported by the general ledger. Evaluate client-provided supporting documents, such as those for projected rent of new facilities; guide client toward adequate pricing support. Carefully read solicitation to ensure all instructions are followed. Verify Technical Volume matches Cost Volume for labor categories, hours, material quantities, and trip quantity-data. Include/check use of correct per diem rates. Build spreadsheets using formulas (internal to workbook) so that only one cell (e.g., escalation rate, hours by labor category, number of trip-days) need be changed to update the entire cost proposal. Calculate projections for out-years from the base year. Develop projected indirect rates - supported with account-by-account data - and evidence for each high-dollar pool account. Estimate future unallowable account data for exclusion from pools. Educate client on efficient ways to document lowest-price COTS and Travel elements. Recommend use of (provided) Source Justification and Price Justification forms. Assist with researching support for salaries of future employees. Verify recommended workbook meets all solicitation requirements. Explain Certificate of Current Cost or Pricing Data, when it applies, and potential repercussions. Verify amounts on subsidiary worksheets/tabs tie exactly (with changes for rounding) to higher-level tabs and to Summary. Review entire proposal for obvious errors and omissions.

December, 2013 - Read and suggest revised wording to a prime contract's attachment of terms and conditions. Add explanatory comments, so that client could understand repercussions of high-impact clauses. Point out standard federally-funded contract clauses. Recommend segregating Key Personnel, to eliminate customer approval for every replacement. Define and differentiate when scope triggers a modification (or change order) versus an equitable adjustment. Provide feedback on subsequent versions of contract language.

November through December, 2013 - For a small engineering firm, with the majority of sales being commercial, design a new Chart of Accounts for compliance with federally funded sales. Explain (compliant) Paid Time Off accruals, Timekeeping, and Travel. Create a two-week timesheet that calculates data (for summed entries of general ledger records), using drop-down boxes to minimize mischarging. Draft several policies and procedures, tailored for this unique company. Review and discuss client edits. Define adequate receipts from the perspective of audit trail/objectives. Map the old Chart of Accounts to the new Chart. Work with client on a Depreciation Schedule. Recommend several specific changes in supporting documentation.

September through December, 2013 - Perform an on-site Mock Audit (or pre-audit before DCAA) of the Accounting System. Guide revisions to the policies and procedures. Help create two new indirect rates, one for each service-line; draft new policies and procedures on Timekeeping with the new indirect Jobs. Present on-site staff training on forms for Travel, Business Meetings, Timesheets, etc. Educate client management on several unique indirect rates.

October, 2013 - Analyze client accounting processes plus policies and procedures. Comment on documents in Word "Review" mode and/or with Adobe markup tools. Question how reviews and approvals are documented. Recommend Fund Accounting text (copied from a non-profit) be replaced with Job Cost Accounting text (consistent with for-profit regulations). Suggest specific word choices, unique to federal procurements. Guide client on applicability of Cost Accounting Standards and on Disclosure Statement requirements.

August, 2013 - Evaluate general ledger format and give client feedback 1) on obvious non-compliances, and 2) compliant ways to greatly diminish client investment of time and effort in general ledger upkeep. Trace sample billings to general ledger; contrast approved policies and procedures to actual practices; research vendor bills for unallowable expenses. Perform a "mini" Mock Audit of the Accounting System, using a sample of general ledger records. Draft answers on an SF 1408, for client to correct and complete - so that client sees audit objectives. Guide client in providing on-target answers to prime contractor (customer) questionnaire.

July, 2013 - Analyze overall status of financial risks. In understandable words, report findings with examples and recommendations to mitigate or eliminate potential regulatory findings.

January through July, 2013 - Advise on ICE submission. Guide client through (IR&D versus Job overrun) self-funded G&A. Explain issues with an OMB Circular A-122 subcontract. Draft response on DCAA findings. Recommend improvements to indirect rates structure. Explain use of DCA Approved rates in a CPFF proposal and alternative proposal cost reductions. Recommend flow-downs and Source Justification for an SBIR sole source supplier.

April, 2013 - Draft a response to Contracting Officer regarding support for proposed cost elements for a T&M proposal. Research and provide sample support for fully burdened labor rates. Explain negative result of pricing far lower than the competitive range.

February, 2013 - Guide client with external (sales) and internal Customer Jobs in QuickBooks, a tailored Chart of Accounts - compliant with FAR 31.2, and one-on-one training on direct versus indirect accounts. Suggest solutions to contract terms and conditions contrasted against QuickBooks invoicing limitations. Advise format and priority topics for policies and procedures.

October, 2012 through March, 2013 - Revise old General Ledger to reflect both Job Cost Accounting and several unallowable accounts. Record all transactions and monthly Journal Entries (as examples) for three months. Draft all policies, procedures, and forms for a very small business growing from (Firm Fixed Price) Phase I awards to (Cost Plus Fixed Fee) Phase II awards on SBIR endeavors. Create and update Excel-based timesheet forms that maximize adequacy of a direct audit trail to Payroll, Direct Labor, and G&A Labor in the General Ledger. Conduct extensive one-on-one training with technical/scientist owner of client company, resulting in adequate supporting source documents for travel, purchases, salaries and wages, office rent, and other company payments. Recommend compliant operations toward a DCAA approved Accounting System. Set up a purchasing process to support proposed/issued subcontracts, as well as reasonableness of accounts payable. Review subsequent entries in the Job Cost Accounting General Ledger, create Journal Entries as necessary, and oversee new Accounting System. Act as the Subcontract and Contract Administrator. Oversee all purchasing and cost estimating (including indirect rates). Liaise with DCAA/DCMA and act as POC to client for all administration. Supplement oversight with the support of other consultants. Segregate almost all administration from client owner, to allow him to focus on technical objectives.

November, 2012 through July, 2013 - Advise on ICE submission. Guide client through (IR&D versus Job overrun) selffunded G&A. Explain issues with an OMB Circular A-122 subcontract. Draft response on DCAA findings. Recommend improvements to indirect rates structure. Explain use of DCAAapproved rates in a CPFF proposal and alternative proposal cost reductions. Recommend flow-downs and Source Justification for an SBIR sole source supplier.

April, 2013 - Draft a response to Contracting Officer regarding support for proposed cost elements for a T&M proposal. Research and provide sample support for fullyburdened labor rates. Explain negative result of pricing far lower than the competitive range.

February, 2013 - Guide client with external (sales) and internal Customer Jobs in QuickBooks, a tailored Chart of Accounts - compliant with FAR 31.2, and one-on-one training on direct versus indirect accounts. Suggest solutions to contract terms and conditions contrasted against QuickBooks invoicing limitations. Advise format and priority topics for policies and procedures.

October, 2012 through March, 2013 - Revise old General Ledger to reflect both Job Cost Accounting and several unallowable accounts. Record all transactions and monthly Journal Entries (as examples) for three months. Draft all policies, procedures, and forms for a very small business growing from (Firm Fixed Price) Phase I awards to (Cost Plus Fixed Fee) Phase II awards on SBIR endeavors. Create and update Excel-based timesheet forms that maximize adequacy of a direct audit trail to Payroll, Direct Labor, and G&A Labor in the General Ledger. Conduct extensive one-on-one training with technical/scientist owner of client company, resulting in adequate supporting source documents for travel, purchases, salaries and wages, office rent, and other company payments. Recommend compliant operations toward a DCAA approved Accounting System. Set up a purchasing process to support proposed/issued subcontracts, as well as reasonableness of accounts payable. Review subsequent entries in the Job Cost Accounting General Ledger, create Journal Entries as necessary, and oversee new Accounting System. Act as the Subcontract and Contract Administrator. Oversee all purchasing and cost estimating (including indirect rates). Liaise with DCAA/DCMA and act as POC to client for all administration. Supplement oversight with the support of other consultants. Segregate almost all administration from client owner, to allow him to focus on technical objectives.

October and November, 2012 - Draft policies, procedures, and forms for a small business subcontractor. Review client revisions for retained compliance. Analyze actual and projected indirect rates. Recommend simpler indirect rate structure, commensurate with business size and accounting resources. Demonstrate that add-on program to allocate indirect dollars not updating. Set up format for projecting, budgeting, and proposing indirect rates based on history and by-account increases. Work with client to show that dollars by-account, not percentage, increases for indirect rates with significant growth.

June through September, 2012 - For two small businesses, guided priority tasks toward an approvable Accounting System. Recommend specific changes to the Chart of Accounts, explained Job Cost Accounting, and described the impact of accrual accounting (especially for Payroll). Provided drafts of some suggests procedures with forms for easier implementation.

June through August, 2012 - Reviewed and revised client policies and procedures, explaining the compliance or audit reason for any revisions. Helped client implement proper recording of direct versus indirect labor costs to specific Jobs, especially for Bid & Proposal and other G&A Jobs. With client, worked through example calculations of indirect rates. Provided sample certification language for supervisor signatures on timecards. Discussed internal controls and related them to specific audit steps. Prepared client for implementation of an approvable Accounting System, with plans for a Mock or Preparatory Audit, after adequately documented audit trails are consistently available.

June, 2012 - Recommend extensive overhaul to Chart of Accounts, explaining changes, especially for accounts to accommodate unallowable costs per FAR 31.205; draft policies, procedures, and forms to facilitate extraction of unallowable costs and calculation of indirect rates; and provide extensive training to accounting executive regarding word-choices and internal controls in preparation for DCAA perspectives. Tailor an Accounting Desk Guide and an Administrative Desk Guide to help with day-to-day operations and recording of specific transactions.

May, 2012 - Assist client with first prime-level Cost Volume proposal. Guide client on the difference between diverse subcontract proposals, each with different contract types (Time and Material, Cost Reimbursement, etc.), and the roll-up of one all-inclusive prime contract proposal. Research, print, and provide bases for several Price Justifications; draft a formula-filled template for and calculate Travel costs; provide memoranda of negotiating points and requests for supporting documentation from subcontractors, with follow-up; and assist client executive with final (by cost element) roll-up of spreadsheets. Draft cost justifications for final-proposal submission. Read final Cost Volume for errors, word choices, and compliance with solicitation instructions.

May, 2012 - Subcontract to support other consultants on matters including a prior-period adjustment that distorted the G&A rate of a client and the policy and procedure on Government Furnished Property for a complex client.

February, 2012 through March, 2012 - Evaluate current, and recommend new, Chart of Accounts (CoA), with detailed descriptions of what (old CoA) items go into each (new CoA) account. Draft policies, procedures, and related forms for a compliant Accounting System. Write a Desk Guide with detailed instructions and examples, especially for segregating unallowable costs from audit-trail source documents (e.g., Travel Reimbursement Requests, Time Cards, and Business Meeting Forms).

January, 2012 - Recommend methods for creating budgets (i.e., cost proposals) for two (cooperative agreement) grants, each in the tens of millions of dollars. Supplement hands-on development of "Uses of Funds" category for both submissions, including exclusion of unallowable costs per the applicable OMB Circulars (e.g., "Community Outreach" versus "Marketing/Advertising", detailed build-up of Travel with per diem, employee salaries with benefits versus contract employees). Build changeable, interrelated spreadsheets - allowing automatic changes throughout cost elements, such as refining a realistic Fringe Benefits rate with all dependent amounts updated automatically. Draft revisions to the Cost Narrative and recommend formatting changes in compliance with the solicitation. Suggest sources and assist with support for salaries and other projected amounts.

November, 2011 - Guide a new small business with initial planning, including setting up a Chart of Accounts, segregating direct from indirect costs, and developing an indirect rate structure.

September, 2011 - Provide findings and recommendations for a small sample of Purchase Order files, on a telecommuting basis. Suggest alternatives to sole source procurements for broadly available, but design-unique, materials.

August, 2011 through October, 2011 - Provide one-on-one training to a management consultant toward improving his services to a U.S. Government contractor client. Use simple English to explain complex topics ranging from bridging the gap between commercial sales contracts and those funded by the U.S. Government; required responses to customer versus excessive requests; and prioritized implementation based on risks of repercussions of non-compliance.

April, 2011 through June, 2011 - Guide an emerging small business toward compliant timekeeping with accurately charged G&A labor and complete recording of all hours. Draft two dozen policies, procedures, and forms. Strategize with other consultants and client management toward DCAA approval of the Accounting System. Continue with policies, procedures, and client-staff training, especially related to charging of Direct Labor and allocation of indirect pools.

February - March, 2011 - Create and begin implementation of a Mahnke Consulting marketing plan, including advertising; mutual subcontracting with other small consulting firms; and improved company exposure. Oversee development of a marketing campaign, including extensive interaction among colleagues; representation at conferences, meetings, plus educational seminars; and social networking.

November, 2010 - Guide medium-size business through the submission of a proposal pursuant to a Termination for Convenience. Advise implications of each step (including negotiation), form, and supporting document.

September, 2010 - Explain the repercussions of a DCAA audit report to a (mostly commercial) subcontractor. Provide specific text to support significantly higher profit, in order to consider questioned costs (as support for profit, not costs). Research and provide regulatory references, regarding (unauthorized) Government disclosure of company-private information to the prime contractor.

Mahnke Consulting - providing tools and services to federal government (USG) contractors, subcontractors, and grantees.

August, 2010 - Develop slides, handouts with examples, and an outline of two on-site presentations at client facilities. Create a dictionary of USG procurement terms and acronyms, as a reference guide for attendees implementing new policies and procedures, in anticipation of their first CPSR.

July, 2010 - Offer industry information and DCAA perspectives to a client encountering their first DCAA audit. The small business with substantial commercial contracts submitted its first cost proposal, with only competitive, Fixed Price contracts preceding that. Guide development of adequate, traceable supporting documents after proposal submission. Prepare the Accounting Manager for what to expect and translate commercial-manufacturer language into DCAA-objective wording.

July, 2010 - In compliance with the RFP, draft a cost proposal as a basis for both proposal submission and the emerging Estimating System of a new, small business prime contractor. "Walk" the President through proposed travel (departure, destination, and number of trips; number of people, etc.), segregate independent consultants from subcontractors (advising the client of appropriate support for each), explain calculations for direct labor rates, and develop detailed accounts and projected amounts for the new, indirect pools.

June, 2010 - Recommend setup of employee and independent contractor labor, including comparative sources of proposal pricing for a non-profit contractor. Suggest specific accounts in the indirect expenses section of the Chart of Accounts, and methods of supporting projected dollars for them. Guide executive management through calculations (and auditable support) for the Indirect Cost Rate and job-cost budgets.

April through July, 2010 - Design a Travel Reimbursement and Business Meeting form (with draft procedures - especially for calculating M&IE), develop a detailed P&L section of the Chart of Accounts (with each indirect pool segregable, even if currently combined), and assist with client-specific challenges (from payroll journal entries to overtime on USG-funded jobs with no paid overtime on IR&D jobs).

April, 2010 - Advise a construction business with its first USG-funded contract how to distinguish between direct (Cost of Goods Sold) costs and indirect (pools) expenses. Consult as a reference source on several specific, complex questions for this unique job, dissimilar from other jobs for the company.

March through July, 2010 - Consulted as a reference source on specific practices, related to newly drafted purchasing policies and procedures. Assisted with matrices, flowcharts, and other graphical displays to consolidate purchase order requirements by dollars and other attributes. Reviewed and provided feedback on client management's revisions and additions to policies and procedures.

March through May, 2010 - During an on-site visit, evaluated and helped correct accounting practices geared toward priced customer invoices without accurate and complete job costs. Drafted policies and procedures for a DCAA-approvable Accounting System. Created a new general ledger, including a Chart of Accounts that segregated different indirect pools per the ICE model. Helped client initiate accrual accounting, including expensing PTO as earned, not taken, and a logical process for closing the books. Explained and suggested (travel) per diem procedures. Recommended changes to record general supervision in overhead, but program management in direct labor. Entered sample transactions into the new general ledger, in order to point out non-compliances and offer remedies. Set up a spreadsheet template for indirect rates. Coached Operations management on allowable versus unallowable expenses. Drafted a Desk Guide to assist day-to-day strengthening of the Accounting System.

February, 2010 - Consulted with a family-owned, small business. Explained calculations for supportable, fully-burdened price per hour rates, especially for the two owners. Explained and showed sample calculations for indirect costs, in anticipation of a DCAA audit. Discussed segregation of unallowable accounts in the general ledger. Helped executive management with calculating and supporting labor overhead, especially for the two owners.

January, 2010 - Guided a small business through potential exceptions and corrective changes to prepare for DCAA approval of the Accounting System.

Prior to 2010
Evaluated P.O. documentation and actual practices at multiple sites. From the evaluations, drafted one consolidated, compliant set of policies and procedures, plus a procurement Desk Guide for day-to-day use. Helped management implement new audit trails for a future CPSR.

Built - and trained a prime-contractor client staff to build - a draft cost proposal volume. Devised creative, supporting audit trails for cost or pricing data on this five-year, multi-million dollar proposal encompassing several major subcontracts.

In preparation for a CPSR, reviewed dozens of files for purchases. Recommended specific re-wording to enhancing Source Justifications and Price Justifications. Worked one-on-one with cost/price analysts. Guided buyers and supervisors to creative, more compliant Price Justifications for sole source purchases. Recommended quick and easy approaches to Price Justifications, where specific buyers documented compliant-but-complex Price Justifications. Recommended specific changes to formal policies and procedures.

Conducted an Internal Audit in anticipation of a DCAA audit toward approval of the Accounting System. Discussed specific findings with management, including at least one recommendation to eliminate or mitigate each reportable finding. Advised management on key issues to build stronger, compliant audit trails.

Drafted a Termination for Convenience (T for C) proposal, on applicable forms, for a large Defense contractor. Researched forms requirements and discussed unique, high-dollar issue with the Termination Contracting Officer. Performed an on-site cost analysis of one subcontractor's proposal and a price analysis of another; incorporated auditable results into the prime contract T for C proposal. Coordinated with contractor employees regarding Government property (location and transfers), negotiation strategy, and contractor costs of developing the termination proposal.

Developed a more effective approach to resolve a Request for Equitable Adjustment. Refocused the claim squarely on documented communications between the U.S. Government and the prime contractor, mitigation of damages, notifications of delays, and supportable costs. Brought an objective perspective to an emotional situation, refined narrative to legally-relevant and well-documented events, facilitating a prompt PCO response.