How Switching to Deltek Costpoint Gave Applied Insight the Necessary Audit and Compliance Support They Needed

January 06, 2022
Applied Insight

An interview with Jason Lee, Vice President and Corporate Controller, Applied Insight

Applied Insight is an Information Technology government contracting firm with more than 700 employees who deploy failsafe technologies and quality analysis for cybersecurity intelligence—enhancing their customers’ ability to preserve national security.

For Jason Lee, a day in the life of a corporate controller includes managing payroll and invoices for both employees and vendors, overseeing the cash forecast and ensuring timesheets are accurate upon completion. But to be successful, Lee needed a system with the proper controls to maintain industry compliance requirements to help the daily operational activities move forward. And he knew that their legacy Unanet system was not conducive to Applied Insight’s accounting and compliance needs.

What type of challenges was Applied Insight facing that resulted in you evaluating various ERP solutions and ultimately choosing Deltek Costpoint?

As Applied Insight began to grow, it was near impossible to pull accurate reports within the Unanet system, and our teams did not have clear visibility into the necessary data to make critical decisions in a timely manner. In addition, we found ourselves preparing for audits regularly because our legacy system did not have the necessary controls to support our compliance requirements. We knew it was time—we needed a comprehensive and compliant accounting system that was a one-stop-shop to accommodate our internal processes to ensure all teams would have greater visibility into project and financial data and intuitive reporting tools that could meet a government contractor’s compliance demands. So, we quickly began our evaluation process of Deltek Costpoint.

I have used many different ERP systems over the years, so when I was initially introduced to Unanet I found the interface rather appealing. However, the system was not conducive to the accounting department of a medium-sized business and did not have the necessary controls for government contractors. As a result, we were constantly preparing for audits when using Unanet because their system did not have the appropriate processes or controls to support our compliance requirements.

Additionally, with accounting comes traceability. In theory, you should be able to trace your costs and know where they go. However, with Unanet, there is a feature that enables users to change or edit a project number which ultimately prevents traceability, potentially opening government contractors up to a wide range of compliance challenges.

Did Deltek’s investment in the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) impact your final decision to move from Unanet to Costpoint?

Absolutely! Being a cybersecurity company, we have to make sure that we comply with government regulations like CMMC. So, the fact that Deltek had done their homework and already set guidelines of where they were going to be was a critical part of the decision for us. In addition, CMMC isn’t only important to us but also Deltek, and you can see this by the investments they have made in cybersecurity and compliance.

So, what was the catalyst that made you decide it was time to switch from Unanet to Deltek Costpoint?

As our company grows and becomes more sophisticated, the systems we use must do the same. Deltek Costpoint has the level of sophistication that can grow and scale with our business. It also has the proper controls, processes and integration capabilities in place that are necessary for government contractors. 

Being widely recognized by the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) and knowing auditing firms like PwC understand and trust Costpoint is important to us. When PwC previously audited us, they really struggled with our Unanet reports, which meant more time and resources were spent on the audit in order to be compliant.

Finding a new project-based accounting system that needs all your needs can be challenging. Can you describe your evaluation process of Deltek Costpoint?

We did our research and due diligence to ensure Deltek Costpoint was the right fit for our business needs in terms of cost, compliance and internal processes. Surprisingly, the cost was comparable to Unanet. However, what sold us was Costpoint’s built-in compliance support and logical setup for its purpose—an accounting system—which made us quickly realize that we needed to make the move from Unanet.

Deltek Costpoint is known for improving business efficiencies. What are some of the specific improvements to business processes that Applied Insight has experienced since moving to this project-based accounting solution?

With our legacy system, our users did not have appropriate access to various areas across the business. For example, if an individual was working on billing, that doesn’t mean they need access to revenue; however, with Unanet, we had to provide access to both since they tie together. With Costpoint, you can give users access by module drilling down to a specific level of detail right out of the gate. And once the entire company is live on Deltek Costpoint, we plan to improve the controls within each rule significantly. We anticipate that this will ultimately save us time and improve overall visibility across the entire organization.

Can you explain what made you decide to want to work with a Deltek Partner like Infotek Consulting, to implement your ERP solution?

The greatest benefit of including a Deltek partner like Infotek in this process is the knowledge. There is a depth of product and industry knowledge they offer that is invaluable. Infotek understands the system and processes, which has made the switch seamless for us.

To give government contractors a better idea of what moving to Deltek Costpoint entailed, can you describe your experience so far?

We were very impressed with Deltek’s sales team and our account executive. She was transparent from the start and accessible even during her vacationthe Deltek team always delivered. The difference in service between Deltek and Unanet is like night and day. I feel like a customer at Deltek, and I’m unsure if I ever felt like a customer at Unanet.

Deltek not only supports its customers during the sales cycle but through implementation and beyond. We experienced this first hand during our implementationwe desperately needed to import 700 temporary licenses to test our data that was being migrated from multiple servers to ensure data accuracy before officially going live on Costpoint. This was a great undertaking for Deltek, but they pulled it off. Without Deltek’s support through this approach, I don’t know how we would have made our go-live date. And, delaying would have presented a variety of complications. A partnership like this confirms we made the right choice in moving Applied Insight off of Unanet to Deltek Costpoint!

As someone who has gone through the implementation process, what advice would you give an industry peer thinking about making the move from Unanet to Costpoint?

First and foremost, it’s essential to identify your long-term or even short-term goals. If you plan to grow your company or sell itwhatever it is, it’s important to understand what will help you and your team achieve that goal.

As a government contractor, it’s also critical to consider cybersecurity and compliance requirements. Does your current system meet the industry’s evolving regulations? If the DCAA were to audit you tomorrow, would you pass? How much of your time and resources would be spent preparing for the audit? When it comes to audits and compliance, Deltek is the industry expert that will save you time and aggravation, and moving to Costpoint is the best decision our small business has ever made!

 

 

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About Applied Insight

At Applied insight we work closely with government agencies and industry to overcome technical and cultural hurdles to innovation, empowering them with the latest cloud, data and cyber capabilities. As a mid-size company, we have the agility to stay close to the mission and respond quickly to rapidly evolving requirements. Our solutions help people work better, faster and more securely – no matter where they are.