Software for gov't contract accounting?

Does anyone know of any accounting software suitable for a small business that would be good for gov't contract accounting (in particular, can accurately compute overhead rates)?
Thanks for any suggestions.
Pat
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Thanks for the reply.
I've heard of Deltek and looked at their website, but got the impression their products were oriented more towards big companies. By any chance do you know how expensive (generally)? Their website provided no cost information. Having something that works well would be worth paying a little more for.
We do mostly SBIRs and are pretty small (although we use a lot of subcontractors), so one of the QuickBooks add-ons might be the most practical solution. Have you heard anything good or bad about any of those. There appears to be several oriented towards gov. contracting.
e.g. ICAT: http://www.fcservicesnetwork.com/products.aspx gov-con: http://www.gov-con.us/newsite/software.php TechBiz: http://techbizsolutions.us/html/I_am_a/phase2.htm
Thanks again for the help. I appreciate it.
Pat
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Pat,
Exactly what kind of business are you in? That will let me know what kind of accounting you are doing.
Thanks,
Arnold
Pat wrote:

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Hi Arnold,
We're basically a startup developing a new design for an electric actuator (so basically doing product development). So far we've managed to fund most of this through gov't contracts (SBIRs and BAAs) which, up until now, have all been fixed price. So the accounting (and reporting) requirements have been pretty simple. However, we just won a larger (Phase II) "cost-plus-fixed-fee" type contract that will involve tracking time and materials, as well as determining overhead rates, etc. So the accounting needs will be more complex (and hence the reason for this inquiry). We eventually plan to go into production with our design, and expect our first sales to be to the military (who's been our primary sponsor). I'm sure this will entail a whole other set of accounting issues, so (ideally) it would be nice to find something that could evolve with our company.
Thanks for any help you can provide. I have both a bookkeeper and tax accountant that I work with, but neither has had much experience with gov't contracts. I'm finding not many have!
Pat
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I'm located in southern Indiana (near Louisville, KY).
Thanks for the additional advice.
Pat
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Pat,
Analysis:
It sounds like what you need is a "job costing" function. It works like this: First, if you have an "estimate" for each phase of your project, use those numbers as budgets for Labor, Materials, Subcontracted amounts (if any), Equipment (rented), and a catch all, Other expenses. Then, as you receive invoices from vendors and enter your payroll, you assign each expense and employee timesheet to the appropriate budget. The result is a comprehensive set of cost data that can be analyzed. Reports then show a comparison of budgeted costs against actual, with variances calculated for you. If you do your billing on a cost plus basis, there are ways to accomplish that too.
If you don't have an "estimated" amount for each of these costs, it's a matter of creating a budget category for each expense, but with "zero dollar" budgets. Then you let the actual costs accumulate in their respective categories. This can be done using the job costing function instead of cluttering up your income statement with lists of expense categories for individual projects. Of course, overhead and other expenses are tracked on the general ledger.
If you want to assign a portion of the overhead to each job, you can create a "burden" function that adds a fixed percentage to each actual expense, spreading out the overhead to the jobs or projects you are working on. This may be a step further than you want to go, but you can do it. Job costing can be very sophisticated.
There may come a time that you need a "certified payroll", a function that complies with the Davis-Bacon Act, showing that you are paying "prevailing wages." This may or may not be part of your government contract. That should be part of your job costing.
Suggestion:
A-Systems has been providing job costing software since 1978. Our software is rated 5-Stars out of 5 by "The CPA Technology Advisor", obviously a specialist magazine. Companies in every state in the country use our job costing software to track costs. We have versions that are extremely sophisticated (for large companies) and we have a version for start-up companies. Because we are very pro small business, we practically give away the version we call The Small Builder Advantage to smaller businesses. It includes job costing, general ledger (for financial statements), payroll (including W-2s, and free tax table updates), accounts payable (including 1099s), accounts receivable, contact management, forecasting/modeling, sales order, a built in report generator, and on and on.
We include comprehensive multimedia training on the CD with the software. We even include a "getting started Wizard" to help you set up your company. Finally, the software has one of the best "Help Files" in the software industry. Every time you hit the Help Button, a full color picture of where you were comes into view. Every data entry field is explained in straight-forward English, no computerese, no jargon, just simple to understand instructions. If you are not an accountant, we even have a training session called, "Bean Counting 101, a crash course in accounting." It is an introductory course in accounting, designed to introduce novices to the terminology and processes of accounting.
If you want, you can download a free-trial copy of our software from our website at www.a-systems.net or we can send you a free-trial CD. We recommend the CD because it includes all of the training. You can request a copy from our website at:
http://www.a-systems.net/freetrial.htm
or you can call us toll-free at (800) 365-6790 and give us the mailing information.
By the way, we sell The Small Builder Edition for $79.95. We have priced it so everyone can afford the software they need. We used to sell this package for $1,500, but we dropped the price to make it available for everyone. We are proud of the fact the the United States Small Business Administration bought a copy for every SBA office in the country. They told us they had never done such a thing in the past.
That covers everything I can think of, including my unabashed sales pitch. I believe you need to use the right tool for the job and it sounds like you need job costing.
Please let us know if we can assist you. When you call, the first thing you will notice is that we do not use voice mail. We are as high tech as anyone, but we still provide old-fashioned personal service.
Thanks,
Arnold
Pat wrote:

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Thanks Arnold for your very detailed replied. You're right in that "job costing" capability is what I need.
I've never heard of A-Systems, but will give it a look. The price certainly seems to be right!
Thanks again,
Pat

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