Delta Point, LLC Levels Up Their Business to Support Future Growth with Deltek Costpoint

March 28, 2022
Delta Point

An interview with Delta Point’s Braxton Apperson, Director and Kidada Kendall, Senior Accounting Manager

Delta Point, LLC is an SBA (8a) Certified Alaska Native Village Corporation (ANC) and socio-economically disadvantaged small business. Dedicated to delivering a wide spectrum of best-in-class IT services and security capabilities to its government and commercial sector customers, Delta Point is rapidly becoming a preferred choice across the government contracting industry, with a proven team of program management experts.

As a growing organization of 35 employees and counting, it’s typical to find the team wearing multiple hats. For Delta Point’s Director, Braxton Apperson, an average day consists of anything from supporting finance and back-office functions to contract review and business development – all in close collaboration with Senior Accounting Manager, Kidada Kendall.

Fast-tracked for growth and fulfilling mostly service-based contracts for the Department of Defense (DoD), the two knew it was only a matter of time before they entered into cost-plus-fixed-fee territory. It eventually became clear that Delta Point needed a system in place that would be respected by the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) and could support DCAA audit requirements, in order to receive a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. Apperson and Kendall knew that they had to graduate the firm from QuickBooks®, “an elementary school solution”, as they phrased it, to a “college degree”, like Deltek Costpoint, an all-in-one ERP solution that would not only support rapid growth but gain the respect of the government contracting community.

What was keeping you up at night?

In addition to lacking a DCAA-compliant system, we found ourselves burdened by time-consuming, manual processes. QuickBooks lacked the sophistication, automation and standardized reports that were needed to support industry compliance requirements and the needs of our customers. The day-to-day manual processes became even more cumbersome as we started to grow, with a more remote and dispersed team – spanning more than 10 states across the U.S. The advantage of moving to a project-based ERP system like Deltek Costpoint was that it was clearly built with government contractors in mind, with the necessary guardrails in place to support DCAA compliance and standard reports, and ready to use right out-of-the-box in just a few clicks.

Can you share some of the challenges you were facing on QuickBooks?

For us we found QuickBooks to be more of a mom-and-pop accounting system, which again, entails more manual processes. Our small but growing team would spend countless hours entering data into the system for invoicing due to the lack of system automation.

If you only have a handful of employees, you can probably get by on QuickBooks for a short period of time. But, imagine overnight you get awarded one large contract requiring you to add 10 more employees, and that turns into 15 medium-size contracts. If it takes one day to generate a simple invoice, that’s approximately 2 weeks spent on just invoicing. Needless to say, the manual data entry became very time-consuming and pulled our employees away from focusing on key initiatives.

The lack of automation in QuickBooks also meant we need more resources. Deltek Costpoint allows us to have a leaner team, as the system’s automation improves efficiency and enables us to better allocate our resources today and in the future.

Additionally, QuickBooks didn’t provide the necessary visibility into the information to appropriately prepare for audits to meet the industry’s compliance requirements. This didn’t sit well from an accounting perspective. But, by moving to a more robust ERP system like Costpoint – the team now has visibility into what’s being changed, what’s being moved and what’s being recorded. There is now a clear line of sight across the organization.

What was the driving force that made you decide it was time to evaluate ERP systems?

The team was in agreement that it was time to invest in a comprehensive ERP system that could scale with our growing business. Being a fairly small organization made this the perfect time to make the move. By moving to an all-in-one accounting system in advance of outgrowing our existing system, we decided to switch early - giving us the opportunity to build our processes, policies and be forward-thinking about planning for future needs.

And so, we began the process where we evaluated Microsoft Dynamics 365, Unanet and Costpoint. Ultimately, it came down to Unanet and Deltek Costpoint.

Was there anything the Unanet system couldn’t offer that made you decide to partner with Deltek?

Deltek’s purposeful innovation continues to evolve and Costpoint’s ease-of-use has been improved to support smaller government contractors – packaging up all of the basics that we need for Delta Point to be successful.

The Deltek team is customer-centric and truly personalized the experience for us – from the sales team to the best-in-class partner network. We knew we would be in good hands with Deltek and their marketplace partner, Aronson.

And, then there’s brand recognition. The government contracting industry knows and trusts Deltek Costpoint, even the DCAA. It’s the industry-standard. Running on a system that is widely known, trusted and accepted by the industry makes the job a lot easier when preparing for an audit, supporting a customer, bidding on a new contract or recruiting, particularly for a finance or accounting position.

Are there any core processes the team hopes to enhance by leveraging Costpoint?

Now that we have invested in all-in-one ERP system, we hope to implement accounting controls and basic processes for invoice approvals as an example, and optimally scale as we grow. It’s critical that we focus on improving the basics as a young organization.

We also hope to implement a project kickoff for each of our contracts, to improve the flow and management of each project from cradle to grave. Previously, we were managing our projects with more basic solutions, but we hope to become more sophisticated in our project management with Costpoint.

Finally, the Delta Point team is really excited that Deltek has a Mobile Time and Expense app. It makes a big difference for us, that our employees have the option to create, submit and approve timesheets or expense reports from their desktop or right at their fingertips – anytime, anywhere.

What does the Deltek relationship mean to you, and how do you anticipate this partnership impacting your overall business?

Upgrading to a project-based ERP system is a great undertaking, and usually not an easy feat. However, we’ve witnessed other businesses, smaller in size, work with Deltek and its partners to implement Costpoint during similar periods of growth. The system scaled and they simply grew. The growing pains were minimal. So, that’s what we really hope to accomplish by partnering with Deltek – easily scaling our business and eliminating those growing pains as much as possible.

What’s on the horizon for Delta Point?

First and foremost, we have a pretty aggressive growth goal of exceeding over $25 million in annual revenue between 2022 and 2023.

Another priority is to be awarded contracts with the State Department. We fulfill a lot of contracts for the DoD, however, we are looking to diversify our portfolio to include work with the State Department. Delta Point has a facility clearance at the Secret level, with hopes of obtaining Top Secret which will aid dramatically in working with the State Department.

What advice would you give to an industry peer, who might be considering the move to a project-based ERP solution like Deltek Costpoint?

The size of your business, compliance requirements or business needs can all change with the award of a single contract, so it’s important to prepare in advance and consider your long-term goals as early as possible. If you invest in a full ERP solution from the start, you’ll be prepared for whatever contract comes your way, will cause you less headaches in the long run, and will make your company a stronger competitor when something bigger comes along. It’s important to think beyond being awarded the contract. Be strategic – how will you start the work on this contract, how will you sustain it? And, a lot of this is dependent upon the systems you have in place today.

As you grow it’s critical to have a real point of record. A lot of other entry-level systems like QuickBooks are disjointed and require users to go elsewhere to retrieve necessary information. Deltek Costpoint provides that single source of truth, storing all needed information in one location.


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About Delta Point LLC.

Founded in 2018, Delta Point LLC. is rapidly becoming one of the Government’s contractors of choice. A federally recognized Alaska Native Corporation an SBA (8a) and socio-economically disadvantaged small business.