New reporting regs mean more work for smaller contractors

Small contractors to the federal government just got handed a whammie: new rules that put an end to reporting costs using off the shelf software like Excel. Now the small guys, like the big guys, must use sophisticated software that track long-term progress over the life of a project.

Small contractors to the federal government just got handed a whammie: new rules that put an end to reporting costs using off the shelf software like Excel. Now the small guys, like the big guys, must use sophisticated software that track long-term progress over the life of a project, The Washington Post reports.

While DoD has required the earned value management systems for years, the new rules extend to many more federal agencies and will affect thousands of contracts. The move is providing an opening for Virginia-based Deltek, which just acquired C/S Solutions Inc. of California.

"It's like having a dashboard for running your own internal business," said Kevin Parker, Deltek's chief executive. "Typically you're not just looking at 90 days' worth of business. If you've been running a project for the federal government for four or five years, you need to know how much progress you've made and how much progress you need to be making."

Each agency sets its own floor for where the cost-reporting regulations will kick in. For DoD its $20 million, while it's just $5 mil at Energy.

"A lot of the professional services companies are already familiar with the process, because they may have done it for the Department of Defense," said Ray Bjorklund, senior vice president at Federal Sources Inc., a McLean-based market research firm that specializes in government contracting. "But more or less these things are going to be learned and spread around the contracting world."

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