The Costpoint Interview (Abbreviated)

Welcome to Risk Reconnaissance. I’m Brian Smith with the Insurance Office of America. Today I’m joined by Heather Stroud, senior Cost Point Consultant with Redstone Government Consulting. In today’s segment, Heather reviews with us how to improve your cost point performance when it comes to working with a government contracting professional on the finance side.

Making it Easier…How?

What are some of the things that you frequently see that would make things so much easier on that group?

Specifically thinking in Costpoint, just because that’s what I support with Redstone.  Really what you want to see is a solid set of policies and procedures. Are your personal trained?  Do they have a set of desktop procedures?  So if they fumble, they have a way to work through that. Oftentimes that’s not the case, which is where Redstone comes in and myself and the rest of the Costpoint group.  We come in and we try to help them, we maybe fix this project in the system to make it run more the way it was intended to run, so it’s not as cumbersome on the staff to run it.  Sometimes it’s just a matter of training them what the system can do for them. So again, it just makes it a little bit easier.  Timing is everything with accounting and finance, so anything we can do to help them move through those processes smoothly and correctly, that’s really our end goal.

You’re talking about putting together a set of processes and procedures, within the structure of Costpoint, predicated on what gaps you identify, you’ll recommend training or enhancements.

Exactly.   Whether it’s just training the staff, depending on the amount of staff that they have or, we step in and help them for a while. Sometimes we do reconciliation for them, so that they can keep current work moving and we’ll try to help them with any backlog work and reconcile it.  We will step in, in any capacity that they want us to once we’ve identified any areas where they need help.


Based on what you see with clients, what are some of the common things or mistakes that they’re making that, that you find routinely?

The biggest thing, if you’re a services type company, most of your contracts are people, hours based. You’ve got to watch a time sheet. So people have to know where to charge. They have to charge daily. If there are time sheet corrections, they must be the ones to correct their own time sheet. Their manager has to be the one to approve it.  It needs to be done in a timely manner, not three months down the road.  And it needs to be communicated with the employee. This is what you’re billing the government. This is what they’re paying you for. You need to be able to easily prove to them that what you have built was in fact, the work that was done and performed and delivered to.

Heather Stroud is a Costpoint Consultant with Redstone Government Consulting in Huntsville, Alabama.  Heather works with clients on improving their Costpoint performance, understanding and utilization.  She can be reached at