My answer to How long did it take you to go from starting your business to automating it?
Answer by Ken Larson:
I found government contract job cost accounting challenging
I started with a rudimentary direct job cost accounting software, Peach Tree and crutched it with manually maintained records on spreadsheets for indirect cost allocation, time keeping, expense reporting, purchasing and supplier commitments. There was nothing wrong with such an approach as long as I could supply job cost (individual contract) records complying government requirements and demonstrate such things as:
Time Cards and time keeping process by worker and labor category by contract or indirect cost pool
Expense Reports and expense report process by worker by contract or indirect cost pool
Purchase Orders with job cost accounting data traceable thru invoices to contacts or indirect cost pools after payment
Overhead Allocations in a Government-unique cost center to individual contracts at month end based on individual contract direct labor cost
G&A Allocations in a Government-unique cost center to individual contracts at month end based on individual contract total cost
A semi-manual approach got burdensome as the company grew and the number of accounting transactions at the direct and indirect cost level increased in volume.
I then began looking for a good job cost software, and began a plan strategically to implement it. I knew that progress billings and service contracting to include time and material and cost plus contracts were in my future.
Implementing a government compliant job cost system was a sensitive matter and had to be planned. I was not able to pull it off in less than a year with some delicate timing, particularly during cut-over from the old system to the new.