Category Archives: Government Contract Accounting

Building Customer Loyalty – A Few Basics

Building Customer Loyalty – A Few Basics

Building customer loyalty is a matter of focusing on the basics. Does your company need to refocus on any of them?

Studies have shown that businesses often spend five to six times more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. Over the long term, those dollars add up. In fact, a company’s ability to care for its customers often determines its survivability in the marketplace. Make customers happy and they’ll stick with you; disappoint them and they’ll tell their friends.

Hire friendly people. You have probably visited a business where you encountered a grumpy salesperson or a bashful receptionist. Unlikeable staff will not generate repeat business. The staff you employ should enjoy interacting with your customers. If your employees regularly hide out in the back room instead of greeting clients, it’s time to take a hard look at your hiring practices.

Request customer feedback. This can be as simple as spending a few minutes with a customer to inquire about his or her experience with your company. Be specific. Instead of asking, “How was our customer service today?”, ask something more along the lines of, “Did our salesperson answer all your questions about ‘XYZ’ project?”. You might also establish a focus group of customers to solicit ideas for improving your products and services.

Follow up. If customers spend valuable time providing their opinions via surveys, suggestion boxes, or focus groups, don’t ignore what they have to say. Let them know that you take their ideas seriously and are looking for ways to implement at least some of their suggestions.

Never stop training. Often employees treat customers rudely or disrespectfully because they simply lack training in proper etiquette. Show them the proper way to answer phone calls, how to make eye contact and smile, how to help without being pushy. With a little focused training, most people can learn good customer service skills. Take time upfront to develop these skills in your employees and you’ll reap dividends in customer loyalty.

Model proper behavior. Simply put, the boss should exemplify top-notch customer service. If your employees see you treating clients poorly, don’t be surprised if they assume that such behavior is acceptable.

Remember: it’s easier to keep an existing client than to beat the bushes for a new one. It’s cheaper, too.

The Real Definition of ‘Dependent’ May Surprise You.

The Real Definition of ‘Dependent’ May Surprise You.

Many people think of a ‘dependent’ as a minor child who lives with you. This is true, but it’s important to remember that dependents can include, parents, other relatives and non-relatives, and even children who don’t live with you. Exemptions and your taxable income. Each dependent deduction is worth $4,050 on your 2016 and 2017Continue Reading

Tax Bracket, Tax Rate, What’s the Difference?

Tax Bracket, Tax Rate, What’s the Difference?

The difference between your tax bracket and your tax rate is more than a trick question. For example, knowing your tax rate gives you an accurate reflection of your tax liability in relation to your total income. Knowing your tax bracket is useful for planning purposes. For instance, you may want to spread a RothContinue Reading

Start Smart: Five Items to Focus on When Starting a New Business.

Start Smart: Five Items to Focus on When Starting a New Business.

Are you starting a new business in the New Year? Put these items on your to-do list for your smart start. Business plan. Outline who will own the business and what the legal form will be, your qualifications to run the business, the competitive market you face, the products or services you will sell, andContinue Reading

FAR 31.205: Improving Employee Moral, Health, and Welfare

FAR 31.205 discusses Unallowable Cost rules and regulations for government contractors but FAR 31.205-13 in particular discusses what costs are unallowable/allowable to improve employee moral, health, and welfare. To find out more read our article Loyalty, Fitness, and Employee Welfare from our newsletter last week. Feel free to sign up for our newsletter and/or contactContinue Reading

Flow-Down Clauses

If you missed out on our newsletter last week there was an interesting article titled When in Doubt, Flow It Down. The article discussed what needs to be included in subcontracts so that your company is ensured protection within the FAR. Please sign up for our newsletter and if you have any questions feel freeContinue Reading

Incurred Cost Submission Tips

Do you find that incurred cost submissions are draining your business of time and resources? For some tips on how to help your company prepare for incurred cost submissions read this article from our newsletter last week. If you have any other questions about incurred cost submission and/or government contracts please contact our office!

DoD Makes Big Changes to IR&D Reporting

As of January 30th, 2012 the DoD added reporting requirements to Unclassified Independent Research and Development (IR&D) projects.  DFARS 231.205-18 and specifically section DFARS 231.205-18 (c)(iii) now requires contractors to report unclassified IR&D projects to the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) in order to claim the costs as allowable.  To be able to claim theContinue Reading

Gold Coast 2012

Last week Peter Witts, CPA PC’s Government Consultant Mike Gitlen attended the Navy Gold Coast/NDIA Small Business Procurement Event at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, Ca.  The event brought in over 1500 attendees that ranged from small business owners to government officials within the Deparment of Defense, specifically the Navy. The purpose ofContinue Reading