All too often we hear tales of people being told that in order to run an ERP system you need to have a large staff of employees to be able to handle complex issues and challenges that arise in ERP systems. We are here to tell you, you are being misled.
How Hard is Running an ERP?
In Government Contracting, there are few options in the ERP space that are compliant with DCAA without a vast amount of customization. PCI specializes in Costpoint and while we can postulate what it takes to run other systems, we can tell you for certain the efforts associated with Costpoint and debunk the myth about these large staff counts required.
Within ERP systems and Accounting Departments, tasks are tasks, and there is no secret that makes entering a journal entry faster in one system verse another. What’s really behind all of these numbers is organization size.
It is perfectly reasonable that a company of 50 employees will need less staff then a company of 250 employees to run a department. So, any report or blog or report where a staff number is given without an organization size is really just spinning data. Size is relative, a company could be easily misconstrued by revenue. For example, a company may have a large subcontractor pass through, raising revenue but leaves the company as a small organization (back to its true size). So, let’s assume for this discussion that we have 100 employees, about 10 contracts (task orders) and operate domestically. This makes your organization a perfect sized candidate for an ERP system.
Hiring to Operate a Government Accounting System
Based on our criteria above, it is critical that you have the right mix of employees and maybe even a 1099 to support your back office. While the folks we mention may have other roles in the organization, at least some of their time must be dedicated to your system.
First, a Contracts Manager is required, this person may also have other responsibilities, procurement, proposal work, etc. but this person should have part of their day dedicated to maintaining the contract data within your ERP, updating period of performance, funding and adding new tasks as they are awarded.
Second, you need an accountant, this person should have a degree or training as an accountant, and if some Government Contracting background exists then all the better. Either way, a willingness to learn and a strong accounting background will get the job done.
Last, since a vast majority of the organizations, in Government Contracting are service based, a person with good computer and personal skills, maybe also supporting other areas of the business can assist with the administration of the timekeeping system.
It’s That Simple
There you have it, from this base you can scale up and down as needed, those with less employees and contracts may need fewer and as your organization grows adding roles like an AP Clerk, Project Accountants, and/or Assistant Controller, scaling your business to keep your organization running properly and keep your system nice and neat. Remember to hire the right people for the job and give your staff the proper training.
Don’t be fooled by all those reports out there on the web, look at your business and the volume of transaction you generate, your ERP will not create more transactions