Executive Summary

The CM Benchmarks Report: Best Practices in Federal Contract Management

When it comes to federal contract management, actions speak louder than words

In a first-of-its-kind survey on how federal government contractors handle their contract management function, over 90 percent of contract professionals reported that effective contract management is essential to their company's success by helping them mitigate risk and boost profitability.

Despite this near universal agreement however, a clear disconnect was found between these words and the actions currently being taken as survey results showed that many businesses fail to make the investments necessary to effectively perform the broad range of contract management duties. Many companies continue to view contract management as a "back office" administrative function instead of a critical cross-organization business function that should involve resources from legal, human resources, information technology, marketing, and accounting and financial departments.

These are some of the most important takeaways found by Baker Tilly, one of the nation's 15 largest accounting and advisory firms, after polling a broad cross-section of industry professionals and summarizing the learnings into "The CM Benchmarks Report: Best Practices in Federal Contract Management."

This report serves as a valuable resource for business leaders seeking guidance during a time of a new presidential administration, the impending shifts in budget priorities and a changing enforcement landscape. For federal contractors facing both heightened risk and opportunity, the report offers best practices and benchmarking metrics to be mindful of as 2017 continues to unfold.

Key survey data is summarized alongside best practices that cover:

  • The size, structure and composition of the federal contract management function,
  • The factors and business characteristics that impact it, and
  • The perceived importance and impact of contract management within an organization.

Other key findings from the report include:

  • A positive correlation exists between contract win rates and the existence of robust training programs,
  • Well thought out controls and software solutions reduce the likelihood of compliance issues attributable to human error, and
  • Documentation of formalized policies and procedures eliminates potential conflicts of interest and reduces risk.
  • Many organizations lack the specialized training, policies and procedures and resources necessary to reduce risk and increase profitability.

The CM Benchmarks Report is based on a survey of approximately 250 contracting professionals at all levels of experience whose job duties ranged from pre-award proposal activities through post-award compliance responsibilities. Their firms included small, mid-market and large businesses across an array of industries and geographic locations.

Download the full report to learn what your company can do to emulate best-in-class federal government contractors.

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Report Inquiries

Bill Bressette
703 923 8624

Media Inquiries

Ariel Bendorf
703 923 8259