When you’re preparing for Contract Purchasing System Reviews (CPSR), it’s essential to focus your efforts in the right direction. In a previous blog, we talked about the main provisions and CPSR objectives, but in this blog, we’ll flush out some best practices for preparing for a CPSR.
1) Lockdown Your Documentation Process
As we’ve said with other audits and reviews, documentation is a pivotal piece for passing any government contracting system analysis. The entire CPSR process begins with reviewing purchasing policies and procedures. Without adequately maintained documentation around those, you can forget about any positive feedback from the CPSR team.
While looking through your records, it’s critical that you comply with requirements laid out by DFARS, FAR, general policy laws, and the outlines offered in the DCMA CPSR Policies and Procedures Checklist and Guidebook. While adherence to these requirements displays your ability to observe compliance, it also shows that your business does everything it needs to around procurement files, competitive metrics, and extensive record-keeping around your pricing negotiations and contract fulfillment.
With CPSRs, documentation is always king. When setting a priority list for preparing for the review, keep documentation at the top.
2) Establish File Compliance
Your procurement filing system is an essential part of your government contracting business, and it’s also necessary for CPSRs. To show the CPSR team (and the DCMA) that you’re maintaining internal processes around system compliance, you need to confirm that your team is actively managing it.
When the CPSR team reviews the system, they want to see that you’re monitoring it for risk factors, identifying problem areas, and providing concrete solutions. Not only will that process solidify your position with the CPSR team, but it’ll almost certainly make your life easier when it comes to DFARS compliance.
3) Train Your Staff
Reviewers want to know your business is taking every measure possible to ensure your company is operating per their requirements. Annual training is a critical aspect of those requirements. Train your new hires on the purchasing system, and hold annual training sessions for anyone who works within the purchasing system. Updates happen, new features get released, processes change, and it’s up to management to make sure everyone is proficient in using it.
In addition to providing training, make sure you keep documentation around your training sessions! Everything from schedules and attendance records to the presentation content and plans should be retained for the CPSR team to review.
4) Properly Configure Your Purchasing System
A common downfall for many government contractors undergoing a CPSR is an inadequate response to the data call, which asks for accurate data around subcontracts and purchase orders. Robust configuration of purchasing systems can instill a sense of trust with your reviewers and show them that your system is reliable and consistent.
Design your system to have dependable ways of tracking data sources, segregating them, and reporting on all data requirements including, contract (and subcontract) types, award values, negotiated values, and so on. Without these in place, the review process is rigorous, and you won’t be doing your team any favors.
5) Utilize Premiere Technology
All of this boils down to having the best purchasing system that you can have — one that shows attention to detail and commitment to compliance. An easy way to nail down a system like that is to opt for premiere technology that can maintain all the documentation and data without all the manual exertion. One software paving the way to easy compliance is Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Government Contractors.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Government Contractors provides your team with a variety of support features and compliance safeguards so when the CPSR day comes, your team can rest easy. For a list of ways that Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Government Contractors can give your business the upper hand around CPSRs, click here.
With the right preparation, a CPSR doesn’t have to be a burden. Instead, it can be a smooth process that establishes a credible and trustworthy relationship with the CPSR team. In an industry where trust is crucial to your business’s success, a positive CPSR can go a long way.
If you have any additional tips for preparing for a CPSR, we’d love to hear them! Reach out via the comments below, or contact us here if you have any questions/concerns.