The Defense Contracting Auditing Agency (DCAA) is a stickler for rules and Timekeeping is not an exception. The importance of DCAA timekeeping cannot be understated. The goal is simple — prevent fraud and waste; therefore, a good managerial eye and employee timekeeping system is necessary. What makes employee work hours so important is that there are often no paper trails. If you buy an item or some interaction that is needed to complete a government contract there is a receipt or some form of documentation that indicates what has been bought or has taken place. This is not the case when it comes to employee work hours.
Managers count on individual employees to keep track of work hours or some other internal system that provides documentation for hours worked. However, employees make mistakes and may commit fraud and though an internal system may provide accurate hours worked it may not suffice or meet the standards required by the DCAA. If your company desires to win a contract or to maintain a good relationship with agencies that you seek to continue to do business with, you need to make sure your timekeeping efforts are up-to-par and meet DCAA requirements.
The DCAA requires that employee work hours be separated from other areas of the business to include payroll. Remember, employee hours and payroll are not seen as being within the same internal function. Also, those that are in charge of payroll should have no control over employee hours. This can be a testy area since there is the enticement to adjust hours to meet payroll abilities.
Additionally, the procedures for employees and the company in timekeeping should be thoroughly outlined with what is or is not allowed, easy to understand, and maintained. The maintaining of procedures and processes must be checked and verified to ensure that there has been no violation and to act as deterrence in attempts to use deceptive practices by all members of the organization.
Now, it may seem daunting to deal with such issues and some may even say it is aggressive, but it is the American public that must not be cheated or abused. Handle these issues like a professional; confer the standards in employee meetings and in employee manuals. Let it be known that government contracts are important to the company’s livelihood along with their own, make employees a partner in compliance and impress the auditors.