How Microsoft Dynamics 365 Helps You Navigate the Complexities of Working with USAID

By - March 8, 2023

The various sub-groups of the Government Contracting industry each have their own rules, regulations, and standard operating procedures. Contractors working with USAID are no exception to this rule and often introduce more complexities than companies working with different government agencies. RSM’s Microsoft Dynamics Government Contracting Practice has worked with several large USAID contractors to provide solutions for the key issues experienced in the industry, including: 1) Establishing and operating international field offices in compliance with local regulations, 2), Detailed project accounting and indirect rate allocations, & 3) Reporting and consolidation for multi-currency & multi-entity businesses.

Field Office Solutions:

The management of international field offices is a staple of USAID contractors. These offices range from permanent fixtures to short-term operations in existence for as little as 6 months. It is very common for the offices to be in small villages or areas with no connectivity, and where English is not the primary language. No matter which designation the offices fall into – our clients require a solution for recording time and expenses for projects, generating jurisdictional reports for the offices, and properly consolidating financial results into financial reports.

RSM’s ERP implementation methodology has been refined and tailored to utilize D365 F&SCM’s inherent intercompany capabilities to benefit Government contractors working around the globe. Deploying D365 with the appropriate localization features enabled support offices in regions with strict data storage & service requirements. In cases where connectivity is limited and the rollout of a full-scale ERP is not viable – RSM’s Data Science & Analytics group can utilize the ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load) capabilities and tools developed after working with various global clients to ensure information is properly loaded into the solution. The RVM (Rapid Verification Model) approach is used to quickly establish multiple legal entities for field offices around the world. Once the environment is established and configured appropriately – Individuals such as the COP (Chief of Party), Accounting leader, and standard Time & Expense users can utilize the multi-language capabilities embedded in the system, combined with the task recorder training tool, to ensure they understand how to perform key business processes within the new solution. Finally – by utilizing the additional tools provided by the Microsoft Power Platform, field office teams can quickly generate new reports (Power BI), automate tedious processes (Power Automate), and create new tools for transaction entry (Power Apps).

International Project Accounting:

Alongside ensuring the organization is compliant with all FAR, CAS, and DCAA requirements imposed by the US Government, and validating applicable GAAP/IFRS requirements are met, USAID contractors must also handle the complexities of managing vendors, paying employees, and invoicing customers in multiple currencies. To meet all the total time accounting requirements, maintain proper workflows and controls, and create critical reports at year-end – these organizations must have a technology solution that is flexible enough to allow multiple configurations based on key data points, while also maintaining a strict control environment.

D365 F&SCM’s project accounting module offers a wide variety of tools to assist in properly tracking project cost and revenue across multiple organizations. Some of the capabilities offered by the system include:

  • Flexible indirect rate structures allow organizations to maintain an unlimited number of cost pools and service centers
  • Labor processing linked to employee pay rates in multiple currencies
  • Project specific labor caps to ensure employees do not exceed salary thresholds set by USAID or other Government agencies
  • Enhanced timesheet policies to account for various overtime/extended time scenarios & employee work locations
  • Workflow approval queues based on transaction types, vendor classifications, or dollar thresholds
  • Activity level setup for billing rules, revenue recognition, and financial dimension determination
  • Ledger posting flexibility based on project type

RSM GovCon gives users the ability to easily establish projects according to unique requirements imposed by Government clients and established appropriate controls to ensure costs are accurately recorded to the appropriate locations.

Financial Consolidation and Reporting:

Increased regulation leads to a larger number of reporting requirements for compliance, internal, and client-facing purposes. The multi-entity and multi-currency requirements discussed earlier also complicate this process as users need the flexibility to consolidate costs from multiple field offices onto the appropriate projects and generate reports in both contractual currencies and the standard accounting currency for the entity.

Dynamics 365 has several out-of-the-box & bolt-on reporting tools to provide the Chief of parties, Project managers, and Internal accounting teams the information they need. The Financial Reporter and Management Reporter tools allow users to create consolidated financial statements from all offices. PowerBI empowers users to quickly create reports and display the information required to make critical decisions. RSM GovCon gives users the ability to easily create and assign invoice formats to projects based on contractual requirements and introduces several industry-standard reports to help analyze project performance.

Understanding The Needs of USAID Contractors

RSM GovCon was built with USAID contractors in mind – providing flexibility to set up and manage multiple organizations with varying levels of complexity within one technology solution. In addition to IT implementation services, RSM’s Global presence provides clients with resources available all over the globe and allows us to offer a diverse range of services uniquely tailored to the government contracting community, including Financial Advisory, Outsourcing (Managed IT, Virtual CISO, Federal Contract Regulatory Compliance), Risk Advisory, Government Contracting Regulatory Strategy and Management Consulting, and Transaction Advisory. RSM is a one-stop shop for USAID contractors and the Government Contracting community.

Cole is a Senior Associate within the Government Contracting channel of RSM’s D365 business applications practice. He has spent the last 3 years working with client delivery teams performing ERP solution implementations and helping clients remain compliant with FAR/DFARS regulations. During this time – he also worked with RSM’s Product and Strategy team to design, develop, & enhance the RSM GovCon solution for D365 F&SCM to better support the industry in the future.

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