6 Tips from Government Contractors Who Moved Off QuickBooks and Unanet

May 15, 2024
6 Tips from Government Contractors Who Moved Off QuickBooks and Unanet

Curious why small and medium-sized government contractors are moving off entry-level solutions like QuickBooks®, Unanet or homegrown systems? In recent interviews with executives at several leading government contracting companies, they explained why switching from these niche solutions to Deltek was the right decision for their project-based businesses.

They shared six tips on how finding the right accounting solution supported their critical business processes and growth strategy.

Tip #1: It's Important to Have a Solution That Is Built for a Growing Business

As government contractors grow, they need a reliable solution that meets industry needs today and into the future. Whether their business is growing its employee headcount or pursuing more complex contract types like cost-plus, they cannot rely on cumbersome solutions that make it challenging to manage evolving government contract requirements.

Red Gate, a service-disabled veteran-owned small business, shares that when they were using Unanet, it could not fully meet their business needs or support new contract expectations. They needed an established planning tool to help them scale for the future. Due to the company's growth, Red Gate needed a more mature enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that provided an integrated budgeting and planning module to fulfill new contract types. This was lacking with Unanet, so they switched to Deltek Costpoint to establish the foundation they needed and to help plan for their future. Read the full story

Tip #2: Streamline Your Back-Office Processes and Improve Company-Wide Efficiency

As government contractors execute and deliver on projects, their people will be more productive if they have streamlined accounting functions where back-office processes are automated with tools that create a digital thread linking all project financials together. This gives team members confidence in the data shared with colleagues and used in business forecasting.

For Aaron Solar, President and Founder of Adaptic LLC, a software development, systems engineering, and data science firm that supports the Intelligence Community, recording time and hours worked in QuickBooks was a challenge. He explained in a recent interview, “With QuickBooks, even though there was a third-party payroll system, there were still enough issues with recording time and hours per pay period. If you had any kind of adjustments you needed to make, it was extremely difficult to do that and not have a cascading effect, especially when you're talking accounting periods – which QuickBooks does not have. Everything is based on what date something is entered, so it basically doubled or tripled the amount of work I had to do by creating or adjusting journal entries in order to have accrual-based accounting. Switching to Deltek Costpoint has streamlined this process, reducing the time to complete billing from 8-10 hours per month to 20 or 30 minutes.” Read the full story

Tip #3: Automate Reporting Processes to Improve Visibility Across the Entire Business

Rapidly growing firms need to have an accurate view of strategic business growth drivers. As organizations monitor and analyze revenue, it's critical to have end-to-end visibility and granular details on costs and profitability for each project. Many government contractors have found that entry-level accounting systems can be cumbersome and time-consuming due to manual processes, making it challenging to access the necessary data to make fact-based business decisions.

INFINITIY Conference Group, a woman-owned small business with approximately 20 employees, moved from QuickBooks to Deltek Costpoint and shared how they benefitted from the transition.

When INFINITY switched to Costpoint, they shared how they gained a holistic view of their data across the organization, from indirect rates to hours billed on a specific day for a particular project and proved invaluable to reducing the number of timesheet revisions and enabling version control. They now have a complete view of their business, which helps them operate more strategically. Read the full story

Tip #4: Addressing Industry Security and Compliance Requirements Are Table Stakes for Success

All government contractors assess their processes and technology choices in the context of DCAA accounting regulations and the evolving government approach to strict cybersecurity and compliance requirements like the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC). For small and medium-sized businesses, this is often a key driver for switching to a secure cloud-based solution that meets the changing compliance requirements presented in CMMC 2.0.

Braxton Apperson, Director at Delta Point, an SBA (8a) Certified Alaska Native Village Corporation (ANC), shared in a recent interview that QuickBooks lacked the sophistication, automation and standardized reports needed to support industry compliance requirements. “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, Deltek has the brand recognition and trust from industry and the DCAA, which we discovered during our evaluation other software vendors like Unanet lacked.” Read the full story

Tip #5: Eliminate Manual Work for Your Team

For small businesses, reducing manual work to improve efficiency and productivity frees up valuable time for strategic tasks and decision-making. Automating repetitive processes can also minimize the risk of human error and lead to cost savings, ultimately contributing to the company's overall growth and success.

SAWTST, LLC, a government contracting company located in Georgia that grew from 250 to 600 employees in four years, was using an accounting system that required a lot of manipulation within Excel to get the data that was needed. Debra Hadley, Chief Financial Officer of SAWTST, said, "It lacks comprehensive reporting; it lacks business development; it lacks opportunities. As we continue to grow, we need software that really can handle everything that we need, including those items.”

These limitations and inefficiencies led SAWTST to choose Deltek Costpoint as their new solution. “Deltek Costpoint is miles ahead of Unanet, and it’s going to cut down greatly on the amount of manual intervention we have to do,” said Debra. Read the full story

Tip #6: Industry Leadership Matters

Growing government contractors recognize that their ongoing success involves partnerships with other industry organizations. When evaluating an end-to-end ERP solution, it’s critical to keep in mind the accounting and compliance support to meet the unique demands of the industry. Still, it’s also helpful to consider how your next software vendor can partner with you now and as you grow.

Janette Case, Accounting Supervisor at Applied Insight, a growing IT cybersecurity firm and prior Unanet customer, explained in a recent interview, “Deltek Costpoint helps us reach our compliance goals with our federal customers. Our decision to change systems was also based on a future look at our company growth – having a system that would allow us flexibility and the capabilities to use other Deltek products going forward.” Read the full story

Ready Time to Switch Your Business Off of QuickBooks or Unanet?

Is your government contracting business accelerating growth, preparing for audits and trying to meet compliance and contract requirements? If the answer is yes, it’s time to move from your entry-level accounting system to Deltek Costpoint. Costpoint is the gold standard for government contractors, with over half of its current Costpoint customers having fewer than 100 employees. Contact us to learn how Deltek Costpoint can power your project success.


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