7 key strategies to navigate a large government contract award

    To successfully navigate a large and possibly game-changing contract award, government contractors should follow these seven key strategies.

    1. Debrief – Schedule your winner’s debrief. If the government loved certain parts of your RFP response, make sure you follow through.

    2. Kickoff – Hold a project kickoff meeting that establishes the key points of contact, including program management, project controls, finance, and contracts. Include your subcontractors in your kickoff meeting. Ensure everyone is on board with the who-does-what part of the statement of work and how time should be tracked and reported. Verify that the contract management team understands the clauses in your contract and the finance team understands the relevant revenue recognition methodologies under the new ASC 606 standards.

    3. Subcontracting – Get teaming members under subcontract. Use advanced notices to proceed sparingly. Make sure you understand which flow-down clauses are necessary. Establish subcontract monitoring policies.

    4. Financing – Know how the project will be financed and how that may impact your reporting requirements. Do you have new covenants or requirements for audited or reviewed financial statements?

    5. Policy – Review accounting and timekeeping policies and procedures to see if they are current, accurate, and complete. If not, update them immediately and schedule a regular periodic timeline review of them. Make sure your employees and your subcontractor employees are trained on timekeeping practices.

    6. Business systems – Understand which business systems apply to you as prime and to your subcontractors. Perform a gap analysis of any potential problem areas before an audit commences. Areas of concern are accounting, purchasing, and government property systems.

    - Accounting systems – A must-have for any type of flexibly priced contract or subcontract, such as cost plus, time and materials, and labor hour; includes timekeeping systems

    Purchasing systems – Applies not only to primes but to subcontractors as well, for second tier subcontracting

    Property management systems – Applies whenever you have government property (like that government issued laptop); flows down to subcontractors

    7. CAS – What, if any, impact did this award have on your cost accounting standards (CAS) applicability? Did it throw you into full or modified CAS coverage? If not, do you know what your trigger contract is?

    Among the most critical questions to ask yourself is, will this be a one-time opportunity or the foundation win that will drive the growth of your business? If it is a foundation for growth, then you will need to simultaneously focus on your strategy for business development, organization, and supporting technology as you respond to the needs of the contract.

    Successfully managing a big win can make or break a government contractor. Strategically managing a large contract award is critical to profitable growth. Contact our team for additional tips on how to manage your contract award.


    Kristen Soles, CPA, Partner, Government Contracting industry leader


    Subject matter expertise

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      Contact Kristen Kristen+Soles kristen.soles@cohnreznick.com
      Kristen Soles

      CPA, Partner - Managing Partner, Advisory - Global Consulting Solutions and Government Contracting Industry Leader

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    This has been prepared for information purposes and general guidance only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining specific professional advice. No representation or warranty (express or implied) is made as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this publication, and CohnReznick LLP, its partners, employees and agents accept no liability, and disclaim all responsibility, for the consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this publication or for any decision based on it.