What is an Incurred Cost Proposal? | Hour Timesheet

An Incurred Cost Proposal is an important document for contractors who work on cost-reimbursable contracts with the government. It helps them accurately calculate their indirect costs and ensure that they are compliant with government regulations. Accurate employee timekeeping records are essential for ensuring that this process goes smoothly and efficiently.

In this blog post, we will discuss what an Incurred Cost Proposal is, how it works, and how Hour Timesheet can help you track indirect rates for your ICP.

What is an Incurred Cost Proposal?

An Incurred Cost Proposal (ICP) is a report of actual indirect expenses that contractors must submit annually when they have a Cost Reimbursable contract with the government. This report includes all costs incurred during the accounting period, such as employee timekeeping, fringe benefits, overhead costs, and general and administrative expenses. The ICP is used to reconcile the contractor’s provisional billings with their actual costs for the period.

The ICP must be submitted to the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) within six months of the end of each fiscal year. The DCAA will then review and assess the proposal in order to ensure that all costs are reasonable and allowable under government regulations. If any discrepancies are found, they will be addressed with the contractor before payment can be made.

Basic elements of an Incurred Cost Proposal:

  1. Executive summary: Provide an overview of the contract, including the contractor’s name, contract number, period of performance, and a brief description of the work performed.
  2. Schedule of direct costs: Present a detailed breakdown of all direct costs incurred during the contract period, organized by labor categories, materials, equipment, travel, and other relevant expenses.
  3. Schedule of indirect costs: List all indirect costs incurred, such as fringe benefits, overhead, and general and administrative expenses. Organize these costs into appropriate cost pools and allocate them to the relevant bases (e.g., direct labor hours, total labor dollars).
  4. Indirect cost rate calculations: Calculate the indirect cost rates for each cost pool by dividing the total indirect costs by the appropriate allocation base. Include the provisional or budgeted rates for comparison purposes.
  5. Allocation of indirect costs: Apply the calculated indirect cost rates to the direct costs to distribute the indirect costs across the contract. This will help determine the total cost of the project.
  6. Contract billing summary: Provide a summary of billings submitted to the government during the contract period, showing the amounts billed for direct costs, indirect costs, and any applicable fees or profit.
  7. Reconciliation of claimed costs to financial records: Reconcile the costs claimed in the ICP with the contractor’s financial records, such as the general ledger or income statement. This ensures that the ICP accurately reflects the contractor’s financial performance.
  8. Certification: Include a signed certification by a responsible official of the contractor, attesting to the accuracy and completeness of the ICP. This certification is required by the government to confirm that the contractor is providing truthful and accurate information.
  9. Supporting documentation: Attach any necessary supporting documentation, such as invoices, receipts, timecards, or other records that validate the costs claimed in the ICP.

How Can Hour Timesheet Help You Track Indirect Rates for Your Incurred Cost Proposal?

Hour Timesheet is a timesheet software that can help contractors track their direct and indirect labor costs accurately. With Hour Timesheet, contractors can allocate their labor hours to the appropriate job, contract, and task. Additionally, Hour Timesheet provides customizable indirect rates, which can be used to accurately calculate indirect costs for the ICP. By using Hour Timesheet, contractors can ensure that their labor costs are accurate, which supports the accounting records required for the ICP.

What are the Benefits of Using Hour Timesheet for Your Incurred Cost Proposal?

There are many benefits to using Hour Timesheet to track indirect rates for your ICP. Firstly, Hour Timesheet is easy to use and customizable to your business needs. Hour Timesheet also has a real-time dashboard, which provides instant visibility into labor costs and helps contractors make informed decisions. Additionally, Hour Timesheet provides accurate indirect rates, which supports the accuracy of the ICP.


In conclusion, submitting an accurate Incurred Cost Proposal is critical for government contractors to ensure that their business runs smoothly. By using Hour Timesheet, contractors can track their labor costs accurately and ensure that their ICP is compliant with the government regulations. Additionally, Hour Timesheet provides many benefits that support contractors’ financial visibility and accuracy. Hour Timesheet is an excellent tool for government contractors to ensure their ICPs are accurate and up to date.


Can Intuit Force Users to Switch from QuickBooks Desktop to Online?

QuickBooks has been a go-to accounting software for small business owners for decades. However, Intuit, the company behind QuickBooks, is now making a push to move all its users off the legacy QuickBooks Desktop platform and onto the newer, cloud-based QuickBooks Online subscription model. The company has been aggressively promoting the benefits of QuickBooks Online and has caused some concern among QuickBooks Desktop users, who may be hesitant to switch.

You Have a Choice

For government contractors, it is crucial to maintain accurate and reliable financial records to comply with the strict regulations of government agencies. While QuickBooks Online may offer some benefits such as convenience and accessibility, it does not have all the advanced features necessary for government contracting firms. QuickBooks Desktop has more robust job costing capabilities that are essential to government contractors. Additionally, many government agencies require contractors to submit financial reports in specific formats, which may not be possible with QuickBooks Online.

What’s the Future of QuickBooks Desktop?

Ultimately, the future of QuickBooks Desktop may depend on the continued demand from users and the ability of Intuit to balance the development of both platforms. For now, small business owners can continue to use QuickBooks Desktop with confidence, knowing that they have access to a trusted and established accounting solution.  Intuit has stated that it will continue to offer support for QuickBooks Desktop, including software updates and technical assistance. However, it is unclear how long this support will be available as Intuit shifts its focus towards QuickBooks Online.

Sticking with QuickBooks Desktop also has other advantages

Expert Support

QuickBooks Desktop has been around for over 20 years and has a large community of experts who can provide help, advice, and support. This support is invaluable, especially for government contractors who have complex accounting needs. If you switch to QuickBooks Online, you may not have access to this level of support. Sticking with QuickBooks Desktop means that you’ll continue to have access to this support whenever you need it.

Familiarity and Ease of Use

QuickBooks Desktop is familiar to many business owners, and its ease of use is unmatched. It’s intuitive, and users with minimal accounting experience can navigate it with ease. For many government contractors, making the switch to QuickBooks Online may mean having to learn a new interface and adopting new processes. It may also mean having to train current staff, which can be a time-consuming process.


All in all, QuickBooks Desktop offers the best solution for government contractors who want to ensure that their record-keeping is up to par and that they are compliant with government regulations. For those who are unsure, check with any the referral partners listed on the Hour Timesheet website.

The Value of Human Expertise: Why AI can’t Replace Accountants

As the AI industry continues to develop and advance, there has been some concern that accountants may eventually be replaced by AI-powered programs. However, it’s important to remember that while AI can certainly enhance certain aspects of accounting work, there are certain tasks that still require the personal touch and expertise of a professional accountant.

The Limitations of AI in Accounting

While AI can automate certain tasks such as data entry and categorization, it lacks the human touch and nuance needed for more complex accounting tasks. For example, AI cannot provide the creative thinking and judgment that is required for auditing or providing financial advice. Additionally, AI may not always be able to interpret the context of transactions or understand the unique financial needs and goals of individual clients.

The Value of Human Expertise

Accounting is not just about crunching numbers; it’s also about understanding and working with people. A skilled accountant can analyze a client’s financial statements, identify potential issues, and provide valuable business insights. They can also provide personalized advice for each client, taking into account their unique business goals and financial situation.

Accountants can also serve as a business advisor, providing recommendations for growth or areas of improvement. They can help clients navigate complex financial regulations and tax laws and develop long-term financial strategies. These are all tasks and skills that cannot be easily replicated by AI.

The Importance of Trust

Another important factor to consider is trust. Clients rely on accountants to handle sensitive and confidential financial information. AI, while efficient, is not human and cannot establish the same level of trust and rapport with clients that a skilled accountant can. Clients need to feel that they’re working with someone who has their best interests at heart and who can guide them through difficult financial decisions.


While AI can certainly streamline certain aspects of accounting work, it is not a complete substitute for the skills and expertise of a professional accountant. As the accounting industry continues to evolve, it’s important to embrace the benefits of AI while also recognizing the value of human insight and judgment. Ultimately, clients need to feel confident that their finances are being handled by a trusted expert who understands their unique needs and goals. Join the list of trusted accountants and referral partners of Hour Timesheet who is a trusted technology leader when it comes to the time and attendance industry.

Future Industry Trends for Government Contractors and Compliance Issues

If you’re working as a government contractor, you’re likely familiar with the importance of staying compliant with regulations from agencies such as the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA). However, the government contracting landscape is constantly changing, and contractors must remain aware of evolving compliance issues. Here are some future industry trends for government contractors and compliance issues to keep in mind.

1. Increased Emphasis on Cybersecurity

With more government contracts being awarded to technology companies, cybersecurity has become an essential compliance issue. Government contractors must be able to protect client and company information from cyber threats, including regulations like the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), which sets cybersecurity standards for contractors across the Department of Defense (DOD) supply chains.

2. Continued Emphasis on DCAA Compliance

While DCAA compliance is not new, it continues to be a vital aspect of government contracting that will remain relevant in the future. Companies must maintain compliance with DCAA accounting standards, including timekeeping, billing, and indirect rates.

3. Increased Focus on Ethics and Compliance

As the government increases its scrutiny on compliance with ethical standards, government contractors must also establish policies and procedures to prevent improper business practices, including bribery and kickbacks. Safe guards against FCA, anti-corruption, and anti-bribery policies are expected to be enforced more stringently in the future.

4. Use of Emerging Technologies

Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics process automation, and machine learning are expected to play increasingly important roles in the future of government contracting. Contractors must be aware of the compliance issues related to these technologies, understand their impact on their supply chain, and incorporate them to stay competitive.


To stay competitive and maintain compliance, businesses need to leverage software such as Hour Timesheet’s DCAA compliant time and attendance software to help manage resources effectively, stay audit-ready. Stay ahead of the trends by partnering with Hour Timesheet – the leading provider of DCAA compliant time-tracking software, and visit our website at www.hourtimesheet.com to find out more.

8 Things You Should Know About DCAA Compliance

The government frequently extends contracts to small- and medium-sized government businesses to cover its varied needs. Winning such a contract offers businesses a tremendous financial opportunity, but it comes with some essential responsibilities.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of Defense (DoD) work with the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) to ensure financial oversight of government contractors and their employees.

If your business has recently won a government contract, you are likely to have some questions regarding what you should know about DCAA compliance.

8 Things To Know About DCAA Compliance

Here are the eight facts that we believe are important facts that  you need to know about DCAA compliance.

1. The founding of the DCAA and its mission

The DCAA was founded under the DoD to provide transparent financial services to ensure proper use of taxpayer dollars when the government signs small- and medium-sized businesses for contracts. The DCAA’s mission is to provide regular audits and financial oversight and work according to the authority and control of the Secretary of Defense to guarantee that the U.S. military has all the resources it needs at fair prices.

2. Guidelines for DCAA compliance

DCAA compliance focuses on a small contractor’s systems and diligent efforts to meet the stringent demands of a DCAA audit. There are two sets of guidelines government contractors must follow:

  • Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Standards
  • Cost Accounting Standards (CAS)

3. What DCAA compliance covers and entails

Government contractors need to comply with various regulations and requirements, including the following:

  • Documented policies set forth by the DoD, DOL and DCAA
  • DCAA-compliant business systems
  • Accounting systems that track costs for various costs separately from nongovernmental business relationships
  • Job timekeeping records combined with cost accounting
  • Readily available auditing records for a DCAA-initiated audit at any time

4. The DCAA audit process

Any time the DCAA deems it necessary, the body will initiate an audit to examine costs, such as direct or indirect costs, unallowable costs or the pooling of indirect costs outlined in FAR, CAS and Government Auditing Standards.

5. Different types of DCAA audits

Different types of DCAA audits include those related to incurred costs, forward pricing, precontract award, labor charges, compensation and benefits, and contractor purchase systems review (CPSR).

6. Timekeeping audits can occur at any time

Government contractors should remain fully compliant and prepared for a full-fledged DCAA audit at any time. One frequent audit that DCAA auditors regularly conduct is related to timekeeping-specific examinations.

7. Basic protocols for a DCAA audit

When a DCAA audit is triggered or determined, an auditor will visit the contractor’s business site. The contractor should be ready to provide all requested documents, including:

  • Time entries for workers
  • Submission and approval procedures
  • Verification documents for paid and unpaid time
  • Time spent on each individual project

8. General risk thresholds that trigger audits

There are different risks that might trigger a DCAA audit, such as contracts on a specific job that cost the DoD more than $1 million. Another risk might involve those having recurring issues with their accounting systems and timekeeping records. These contractors might experience audits if their contracts fall well below the $1 million mark.

Our Solutions Will Help You Ensure Consistent Time Tracking Processes

With Hour Timesheet, our time tracking software will keep your payroll department and employees on point and compliant with your government contract.

Contact us to learn about our integrated system that will allow you to access vital employee time tracking information in an instant.

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Thriving in Economic Uncertainty: How Time and Attendance Software Can Help Government Contractors

Economic uncertainty is something that affects everyone, especially small business owners. Government contractors are no exception, and the current climate only heightens that uncertainty. However, there are ways to mitigate risk and take advantage of growth opportunities. A robust time and attendance software can help companies navigate these uncertain times by providing the necessary data and tools to make informed decisions.

Ensure Accurate Timekeeping and Compliance

One of the fundamental ways that time and attendance software can help government contractors is by ensuring that timekeeping is accurate and in compliance with complex government regulations. The consequences of non-compliance can be severe, leading to penalties, damaged reputation, and even losing valuable contracts. With a robust time and attendance system, companies can track and verify hours worked, overtime, compensatory time, and leave, ensuring that everyone gets paid correctly, and the company stays in compliance with regulations.

Increase Workforce Efficiency and Productivity

Time is a scarce resource, and government contractors need to ensure that their workforce is maximally productive to stay competitive. By implementing a time and attendance software, companies can automate manual workforce management tasks like scheduling, time-off requests, and shift management. Doing so can significantly reduce administrative workload while improving employee engagement and satisfaction.

Accurately Calculate Indirect and Direct Costs

Inaccurate workforce costing can lead to overspending and hurt profits in government contracting. By tracking personnel costs down to the project and cost center level, contractors can make better decisions about resource allocation, proposal pricing, and lower indirect costs. Time and attendance software can also help government contractors better understand the return on investment of their workforce and optimize their workforce. Further, using a time and attendance system that delivers real-time data can reveal areas where they are costing excessively, thus enabling contractors to make informed decisions that improve their bottom line.

Increase Data Accuracy and Security

One persistent challenge that government contractors face is ensuring data accuracy and security. Time and attendance software can help resolve these issues as the best solutions offer several tools created to secure data accuracy and security. These include biometric authentication, time-logging tools that offer capture images, self-service portals that allow employees to check their data to help catch errors early, and strong firewalls that discourage unauthorized access. With the right software, government contractors can minimize risks and ensure data integrity.

Easy Integration With Financial and HR Systems

Lastly, a competent time and attendance system can work seamlessly with other systems in a company, helping to streamline business operations. Government contractors can easily integrate their accounting, financial, and HR system with a time and attendance tool. Integrations improve data accuracy across all business functions, save time, and the accuracy of reports.


In times of economic uncertainty, data and analytics are essential for government contractors to prosper. By implementing time and attendance software such as Hour Timesheet, government contractors can take advantage of data and insights. It provides the necessary tools to make informed decisions, comply with government regulations, and optimize labor costs. With so many benefits to reap, implementing a time and attendance system is a wise move that will set your government-contracting business up for success.

Overview of Indirect Rates

What are Indirect Rates?

Indirect rates are basically a way for companies to account for the costs that are not directly related to a specific project or product. These costs are often necessary for the company to function, but they can’t be directly linked to a specific product or service.

An indirect rate is a percentage that a company adds to their direct costs to account for their indirect costs. Indirect rates can be complex and there are different ways of calculating them, depending on the type of company and the specific contract.

When it comes to government contracts, companies need to account for indirect costs as well as their direct costs. The government wants to make sure that the companies are not overcharging for their services, so they require companies to calculate their indirect rates.

What types of contracts have to account for Indirect Rates?

Cost-reimbursement contracts: These contracts require the government to reimburse the contractor for all costs associated with a project, including direct and indirect costs.

Time and materials contracts: These contracts are used when it’s difficult to estimate the total cost of a project upfront. Contractors are paid for their time and for the materials used, plus a fee that includes their indirect costs.

Fixed-price contracts: These contracts specify a set price for a project, and the contractor is responsible for covering all costs, including indirect costs, within that budget.

Indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts: These contracts specify a set price for a project, and the contractor is responsible for covering all costs, including indirect costs, within that budget.

Audits and Indirect Rates

When auditors review a company’s indirect rates, they are looking for a few key things to ensure that the rates are calculated correctly and are in compliance with government regulations. Here are some of the things that auditors may look for:

Proper segregation of costs: Auditors want to ensure that costs are properly segregated into direct and indirect categories, and that indirect costs are not being charged to direct cost categories.

Consistency in calculations: Auditors want to ensure that indirect rates are being calculated consistently and accurately across all contracts and projects.

Proper documentation: Auditors want to see documentation that supports the company’s indirect rate calculations, including financial statements, invoices, and other records.

Compliance with government regulations: Auditors want to ensure that the company’s indirect rates are in compliance with government regulations, such as the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) or the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS).

Types of Indirect Rates

There are typically three types of indirect rate buckets that government contractors use to account for indirect costs. These buckets are:

Fringe Benefits: Fringe benefits are indirect costs that are related to employee compensation.

Overhead: Overhead costs are indirect costs that are related to the operation of a company

General and Administrative (G&A): G&A costs are indirect costs that are related to the overall management of a company.

Examples of Fringe Benefits

Health Insurance: The cost of providing health insurance to employees is an indirect cost that is typically included in the fringe benefit rate. This can include premiums paid for medical, dental, and vision insurance.

Retirement Plans: Employer contributions to employee retirement plans, such as 401(k) plans or pension plans, are indirect costs that are typically included in the fringe benefit rate.

Paid Time Off: The cost of providing paid time off, such as vacation, sick leave, and holidays, is an indirect cost that is typically included in the fringe benefit rate.

Worker’s Compensation Insurance: Employer payments for worker’s compensation insurance, which provides benefits to employees who are injured on the job, are indirect costs that are typically included in the fringe benefit rate.

Social Security and Medicare Taxes: The employer’s portion of Social Security and Medicare taxes, which are paid on behalf of employees, are indirect costs that are typically included in the fringe benefit rate.

Examples of Overhead Cost

Indirect overhead costs are expenses that are not directly associated with a specific project or contract but are necessary for running a government contracting business. Some examples of indirect overhead costs for a government contractor include:

Rent and utilities: The cost of renting or leasing office space and utilities such as electricity, water, and gas.

Office equipment and supplies: The cost of purchasing and maintaining equipment such as computers, printers, and telephones, as well as office supplies like paper, pens, and folders.

Depreciation and amortization: The cost of depreciating or amortizing the value of long-term assets such as buildings, equipment, or software.

Insurance: The cost of insurance premiums for general liability, property, and workers’ compensation insurance.

Professional services: The cost of hiring external consultants or contractors for services such as legal advice, accounting, or marketing.

Training and development: The cost of providing training and development programs for employees to improve their skills and knowledge.

Travel and entertainment: The cost of travel and entertainment expenses related to business operations, such as attending conferences or meetings with clients.

Examples of G&A Costs

Accounting and Auditing: The cost of hiring accountants and auditors to manage a company’s finances and ensure compliance with government regulations is an indirect cost that is typically included in the G&A rate.

Legal Services: The cost of hiring lawyers to provide legal advice and representation for a company is an indirect cost that is typically included in the G&A rate.

Human Resources: The cost of hiring and managing employees, including recruitment, training, and benefits administration, is an indirect cost that is typically included in the G&A rate.

Executive Salaries: The cost of paying the salaries of top executives and management personnel is an indirect cost that is typically included in the G&A rate.

What are the penalties of inaccurate indirect rates?

If your indirect rates are found to be incorrect or not in compliance with government regulations during a DCAA audit or review, you may face several consequences, including:

Financial Penalties: The government may impose financial penalties on your company if your indirect rates are found to be incorrect or unallowable. These penalties can be significant and can result in financial losses for your company.

Contract Termination: If your indirect rates are found to be noncompliant with government regulations, the government may terminate your contract. This can be a significant blow to your business and may make it difficult to secure future government contracts.

Reputation Damage: Noncompliance with government regulations can damage your company’s reputation and may make it more difficult to do business with the government in the future. This can also impact on your ability to secure contracts with other customers who may be concerned about your compliance history.

Increased Scrutiny: If your indirect rates are found to be noncompliant, you may be subject to increased scrutiny by the government and may face more frequent audits and reviews in the future.

Benefits of keeping your Indirect Rates low

Competitive Advantage: Companies with lower indirect rates are generally more competitive in the government contracting marketplace. Lower indirect rates mean lower costs, which can allow companies to bid more competitively on government contracts.

Increased Profit Margins: Lower indirect rates mean that more of the revenue from government contracts flows directly to the bottom line, resulting in increased profit margins for the company.

Better Cost Control: Companies with low indirect rates are generally more focused on controlling costs and managing their operations efficiently. This can result in better cost control and financial management practices throughout the organization.

Reduced Risk of Audit Findings: Companies with lower indirect rates are less likely to be subject to audit findings related to indirect costs, reducing the risk of financial penalties or contract termination.

Improved Cash Flow: Lower indirect rates mean that more cash is available for the company to reinvest in its operations, pay down debt, or distribute to shareholders.


An understanding of indirect rates and its effect on a government contractor profit margin is key to an organization’s success. These guidelines can appear complex, but with the tools available to aide in your management systems, such as Hour Timesheet, you can be confident that you are staying within them. Furthermore, recording data accurately allows for tracking of employee work output as well as efficiency in other areas of your business operations. With project tracking features and customizable reporting functions, Hour Timesheet makes it easier to get the most out of your team and keep accurate track of indirect rates. Don’t wait! Start today by signing up for your free 30-day trial with Hour Timesheet now.

Understanding DCAA Compliance

The term ‘DCAA compliance’ when referring to your timekeeping procedures is often just thrown around. But what is DCAA compliance, and what does it mean for your business? If you don’t understand what that means or how to verify that you are DCAA compliant, Hour Timesheet can help.

What Is the DCAA?

What does DCAA stand for? Simply put, DCAA stands for Defense Contract Audit Agency. This is the federal government agency responsible for conducting DCAA audits of the Department of Defense (DoD) contracts. Its purpose is to review all contracts with outside vendors and suppliers to ensure that taxpayer money is being spent in the most appropriate manner. With approximately 7,500 contractors being reviewed and audited every year, the agency’s responsibilities are substantial.

As imagined, the DoD is very strict about its rules and regulations surrounding DCAA compliance and timekeeping. The DoD will award government contracts to businesses that use web-based timekeeping if they meet all requirements.

For companies seeking government contracts, adhering to the DCAA requirements is imperative. Those that are found to be noncompliant with the agency’s standards run the risk of being hit with significant penalties. These run the gamut from termination of contracts to fines to prison time depending on the severity of the infractions. One of the most severe consequences of noncompliance is debarment, which means the contractor in question is no longer allowed to be considered for future federal contracts.

What Is a DCAA Audit?

Audits and reviews are the primary method the DCAA uses to determine whether or not a contractor is complying with the appropriate standards. What is a DCAA review? These typically examine a wide range of items, including direct costs, indirect cost pools, allowable costs and more.

There are a wide range of audits that a contractor may be subjected to, depending on the nature of the standards being looked at and the possible infraction. For example, audits may include:

  • Pre-award surveys — These reviews are conducted primarily to determine whether or not the contractor’s accounting system is up to DCAA standards. They typically involve the contractor demonstrating the system for an auditor.
  • Forward pricing — Under this type of audit, the DCAA evaluates the contractor’s estimate of the project’s cost. They are usually performed before the contract is awarded.
  • Incurred costs — These audits determine how accurate a contractor’s annual allowable cost representations are. This is performed after the awarding of the contract to ensure what the contractor has estimated the costs to be is truly what was quoted.

Understanding the Influence of FAR and CAS

Referring to Federal Acquisition Regulation and Cost Accounting Standards, respectively, FAR and CAS are rule sets used by the DCAA to establish its standards. FAR represents the guidelines for government procurement and is used by all federal agencies whenever purchasing goods or services. On the other hand, CAS refers to the rules used to establish consistency for government contractors’ cost accounting practices. This includes outlining how charges to contracts can be made and exactly what can be charged to them. Both of these frameworks inform and influence the DCAA regulations.

1. The company must document all timekeeping procedures in a policy or procedure handbook.

The employee handbook must address all critical elements of an adequate timekeeping system. Companies must provide all employees with an up-to-date policy or procedure handbook regarding time entry procedures.

2. Every employee must record all of his/her time daily.

Attempting to track time worked in advance or days after the fact is not acceptable. Hour Timesheet comes equipped with reminders and alerts to ensure employee time is entered daily. This means that no matter the size of the company, Hour Timesheet is equipped for every employee to track time. This DCAA timekeeping feature is especially useful for any companies participating in SBIR and STTR programs. They may be smaller businesses, but they must ensure they remain DCAA compliant to qualify for their funding.

3. All employees must record 100% of the time worked.

Whether working on a government contract or commercial work, all time worked must be accounted for. With the Hour Timesheet mobile app  the employees and 1099’s can add time from anywhere, whether they’re working from home or the office.

4. Employees must record all indirect time not identifiable to a given project to proper indirect cost accounts (Overhead, G&A, B&P, R&D, etc.)

One example of an indirect cost is overhead. This usually includes the indirect costs involved in support operations or direct production. These costs are directly related to a project or projects. However, they cannot be allocated to one specific contract. This is because they overlap across many different projects.

5. Employees must record all PTO, vacation, sick, holiday, and other leave time to the proper leave accounts.

Hour Timesheet allows for leave tracking any kind 

6. The system administrator(s) should initiate all job codes that appear in the timekeeping system.

Charge codes must be provided to employees authorized to work on a given project.

7. All timesheet entries must be recorded by the employee.

An employee must record their time based on work completed. They should track all time entries, irrespective of whether the time is billable or non-billable. This must happen daily.

8. Employees must charge to the appropriate project

Whenever the employee completes work or tasks, they must charge it accurately and directly to that project. Hour Timesheet can be setup to restrict which codes an employee can charge their time; therefore, an employee cannot charge to a project they have not been assigned.

9. Employees may not work on indirect tasks and record time as direct costs

An indirect task is work that is not explicitly tied to a project. To remain DCAA, compliant employees must never charge the time it takes to complete these tasks to any project. This would violate DCAA compliance and regulations.

10. The employee is required to initiate all correction timesheet entries.

The employee must record all corrected timesheet data that includes a detailed audit trail. An audit trail is critical to remaining DCAA compliant.

The employee’s supervisor must approve every correction time entry in a detailed report, in the event of a DCAA audit.

In the unusual circumstances where the employee cannot make the changes to timesheets, then the HTS administrator may make such changes with the employee’s consent. The DCAA may analyze each entry on an employee’s timesheet. Thanks to your detailed audit trail, the DCAA will see who edited a time card after it was submitted. They will also be able to see when the changes were made, and why. Hour Timesheet creates an un-editable audit log that proper documentation. This activity log will include all of all the additions, deletions, approvals, and modifications made to your employees’ timesheets.

11. The employee’s supervisor must approve all employee timesheet data.

Each timesheet requires two signatures, in order to comply with DCAA compliance regulations. Hour Timesheet allows for online signatures at both the employee and manager levels.

12. All employees should be provided documented timekeeping training.

The company’s employee handbook or new-hire orientation program typically includes this training. Either way the employee should become familiar with the company’s timekeeping policy before they begin working.

13. In order to be DCAA compliant, the company must retain timesheet data for at least two years.

That means the company must be keep their files in a secure and easily accessible location. Should the DCAA require you to produce copies of your timesheets, they should be available. Hour Timesheet keeps the timesheets indefinitely for all employees, current, and past.

14. The company must conduct audit or floor checks randomly throughout the year to monitor employee timekeeping compliance.

Unfortunately, DCAA timekeeping compliance is one of the primary reasons government contractors fail an audit. Hour Timesheet can help. We have the employee and contractor time tracking experience to ensure total complianceSign up for Hour Timesheet today and work with an experienced implementation rep to review your account for total compliance. All for FREE.

We Can Help

What is DCAA accounting, and how can you ensure your organization is in compliance? Choosing Hour Timesheet’s solutions for your timekeeping provides you with a DCAA-compliant answer that is easy for you and your employees to use. Our simple, real-time time-tracking platform gives you the tools and resources needed to stay compliant and prepared for any audits that might come your way. To learn more about our software and what it can do for you, reach out and speak with one of our representatives today.

How Accurate Timekeeping Benefits Remote Workers

As the number of remote employees grows, employers need to understand the importance of accurate employee and contractor timekeeping. For government contractors who often use a timesheet system, it’s important to ensure that all employees are accurately tracking their hours and work activities. Here’s why accurate timekeeping is an essential part of managing remote workers.

Accurate Records Ensure Compliance with Laws and Regulations

When managing remote workers, it’s important to have accurate records for compliance with laws and regulations. Government contractors must comply with specific labor laws and regulations, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA requires employers to keep accurate records of all employee hours worked, wages paid, and other payments made. Accurate employee and contractor timekeeping helps employers maintain compliance with these labor laws and regulations.

Improved Productivity

Accurate employee and contractor timekeeping also helps increase productivity by providing visibility into how much time is actually being spent on tasks. Employers can identify areas where employees may be spending too much or too little time on their assigned tasks. This allows them to adjust workloads as necessary or provide additional training or resources if needed to ensure that tasks are completed efficiently. Having an understanding of each employee’s workflow also helps managers better assess performance levels over time.

Tracking Performance Metrics

Accurate employee and contractor timekeeping also provides visibility into performance metrics like average completion times for projects or customer service response times. By understanding how quickly tasks are being completed by each employee, managers can more easily identify areas where improvements need to be made or processes can be streamlined for better efficiency overall. Accurate timekeeping data is especially useful for non-salaried staff who are paid hourly because it makes it easier to calculate total hours worked per week or month by each employee.


Accurate employee and contractor timekeeping is essential for managing remote workers—especially those in highly regulated industries like government contracting. Accurate records help companies remain compliant with various labor laws and regulations while also improving productivity and giving managers visibility into individual performance metrics like completion times and customer service response times. Employers should strive to implement an effective system such as Hour Timesheet for accurate timekeeping in order to maximize the benefits associated with having a remote workforce.

Is QuickBooks a DCAA Approved Accounting System? 

When you are in the business of federal government contracts, DCAA compliance is non-negotiable. DCAA stands for the Defense Contract Audit Agency. QuickBooks provides an accounting package that is well suited for small to mid-sized businesses looking for DCAA compliance. QuickBooks offers two options and several different versions depending on your unique business requirements. QuickBooks offers both a desktop solution and an online tool, and either can be set up to be DCAA/Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Compliant, especially with our DCAA compliance checklist. The keys are Job Costing and Labor Distribution. 

DCAA Contracts

Potential government contractors who wish to bid on certain types of contracts should know that although the contracts vary, there is a difference between direct costs and indirect costs.

  • A direct cost is a cost that can be tied directly to the production of goods or services. A direct cost may be variable. An example of a direct cost is labor cost or manufacturing supplies.
  • Indirect cost allocations include overhead expenses such as rent and insurances and general expenses like accounting department costs. Indirect costs are harder to pin down and harder to allocate to a specific project or item. Using a timesheet tracking application in conjunction with an accounting package like Quickbooks, you can better control the indirect cost allocations, particularly for general and administrative expenses, to the correct cost objective.
  • One type of DCAA contract is called a cost reimbursable contract, where the direct cost and a percentage of the indirect costs are paid. This type of contract requires the accounting system approval under FAR subpart 16.3.

What is QuickBooks?

QuickBooks is an accounting software solution that allows for integration across multiple platforms to make payroll quick and easy. They have two main products that make their service worthwhile.

QuickBooks Desktop

This interface of web-based time tracking software and payroll makes QuickBooks Desktop an ideal tool for DCAA Compliance. We base this on our experience with hundreds of clients over several decades. Furthermore, the QuickBooks Desktop integrated payroll module permits the charging of time directly to the General Ledger. This includes Customer, Job, and Service Items, which are immensely beneficial.

QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based solution that is not, at the outset, designed to meet the FAR and DCAA requirements and has some limitations. The good news is that there are ways to make the QuickBooks Online system meet all the government’s requirements without too much effort.

What is DCAA Compliant Accounting Software?

DCAA-compliant accounting software is software that meets DCAA requirements. Your chosen accounting package – in this case, QuickBooks is set up to meet the requirements. Timekeeping and the allocation of costs are of particular importance. Consequently, QuickBooks Time Tracking software integration is an essential aspect of DCAA compliance.

Refer to DCAA compliance explained for more information.

Any accounting package set up to meet compliance requirements will be subject to strict internal controls to ensure financial integrity. One of these internal controls should be an internal accounting system audit regularly. There should also be regular checks on a monthly basis to see that all the income and expenditures balance.

The Benefits of Being DCAA Compliant for Small Businesses

If you are DCAA compliant, you may be one step closer to securing funding from the federal government programs SBIR and STTR. These programs gear towards supporting innovation and technology in small businesses. Integrating Hour Timesheet’s DCAA-compliant timesheet with QuickBooks will be invaluable in pursuing this kind of opportunity.

Is QuickBooks DCAA Compliant?

Yes, QuickBooks can be set up to be DCAA compliant, but it doesn’t automatically meet DCAA standards and requires additional configuration to be compliant. Certain elements of the software do meet the standards, including the ability to properly segregate direct costs from indirect costs. This can be accomplished by using the software’s reporting features to separate costs by project as well as items versus expenses. When searching for DCAA-compliant accounting software, QuickBooks also operates under general ledger control, which is required under the standards. Another example of how the platform conforms with DCAA standards is its support of separating preproduction costs in a number of ways.

On the other hand, as a DCAA-compliant accounting system, QuickBooks as it is distributed falls short in a number of ways. For instance, it does not automatically calculate indirect rates per your company’s rate structure. It also fails to offer time tracking capabilities required to identify employees’ work according to intermediate or final cost objectives. Satisfying these and other requirements calls for expert configuration of the platform as well as integration with time tracking software that provides additional functionality. These are areas in which Hour Timesheet’s solutions can be of exceptional benefit to your enterprise. We provide you with the expertise necessary to make the most of your QuickBooks setup and ensure you are making QuickBooks DCAA compliant.

There are three areas to consider:

  • Chart of Accounts establishment
  • Flow of transactions
  • Cost and Computations

It’s important to note that one should always bear Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) in mind when analyzing your accounting system.

Even if you understand all the regulations, it is still best to refer to the DCAA compliance checklist. Where possible, seek professional assistance! Be ready to implement policies and procedures that need to be applied consistently across your business.

Keys to Compliance

  • Employee time tracking posted daily with required explanations for edits and record locking.
  • Printable timesheet reports.
  • Policies & Procedures oriented toward FAR Compliance Criteria found in DCAA’s SF-1408 pre-award audit checklist.
  • Consistently applied labor dollar distribution accommodating uncompensated OT for salary exempt personnel.
  • Indirect Cost Pools and the ability to compute and forecast Indirect Rates applied to Direct Costs under Cost Reimbursable Awards.
  • Progress billing + Cumulative dollar values reported against award ceilings tied to cost proposals.
  • Identification and segregation of Unallowable Costs as defined per FAR 31.205.

This isn’t a comprehensive list, but it gives a good idea of what to expect. One of the best ways to help navigate QuickBooks DCAA compliance with timekeeping and accounting systems is to partner with a company that has a demonstrated knowledge of government contracts. It can also be helpful to review multiple services and look for important features in DCAA compliant time tracking systems.

What Happens if You Fail a DCAA Audit?

You may lose your contract or face a suspension of payment. Be assiduously aware of remaining compliant. Floor checks are routine, and timekeeping records are an essential part of your compliance. A floor check is the DCAA’s way of verifying your employees.

One way to help ensure you pass your DCAA audit is to get any requested information to your auditors quickly. This can speed up your audit, and help ensure the DCAA auditor has all the information they need. In order to do this, it’s best practice to keep excellent records and track every process and transaction. Hour Timesheet allows businesses to keep these kinds of records, in a convenient, cloud-based place.

We Can Help

Hour Timesheet isn’t just a timekeeping software provider for government contracts looking to pass a DCAA audit. We also partner with dozens of CPA firms and consultants who can assist you with the entire life cycle of getting a DCAA-approved accounting system. Call Us Today! We can introduce you to our extensive list of experienced partners.