WHEN A GOVERNMENT CONTRACTOR FACED THE SIMULTANEOUS RETIREMENT OF A BOOKKEEPER, LOSS OF SOFTWARE SUPPORT AND A DCAA AUDIT, SUPPORTING STRATEGIES OFFERED RELIEF
For over three decades, this global engineering, logistics, information technology, training and management-support services company operated with seamless efficiency. Then a cascade of unforeseen challenges suddenly arose.
In 1986, after a 24-year career in the US Navy, and stints of about two years each with the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division and as a defense contractor, Tom Kornegay launched TeKONTROL, Inc. (TKi) in Orlando, Florida, shortly after retiring from the nearby Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division. TKi has since established a reputation for providing quick, affordable solutions to diverse business challenges, many involving government contracts, and performing projects, for companies operating in more than 40 countries.
Smooth Sailing, Then Rough Seas
Continuity was long a key to TKi’s success. Experienced personnel and proven systems enabled the company to navigate the increasingly complex world of government contracts smoothly and efficiently. Then, in fall 2018, TKi’s bookkeeper of over 20 years retired. Shortly after that, the vendor that provided TKi’s ERP bookkeeping platform discontinued its support.
Under the circumstances, a brief disruption in TKi’s pristine recordkeeping and impeccable customer service would have been understandable. But the combination of a short-term bookkeeping hire and the trial use of temperamental new ERP software turned that disruption into an extended delay.
“Nothing was happening,” Kornegay recalls. “I wasn’t getting my month-end reports. I wasn’t getting my check registers. I wasn’t getting my accounts payable. I wasn’t getting my accounts receivable. None of that stuff was getting done.”
After three frustrating months, a longtime client delivered a blunt message: “You’ve got to do something, Mr. Kornegay, because this is not working.”
Righting the Ship
Kornegay had built up enough goodwill with his clients over the years to temporarily weather the storm. The Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA), however, was another matter. The DCAA has strict rules and immovable deadlines. And when the DCAA announced in January 2019 that it was conducting a pre-award audit of a pending government contract, Kornegay knew he needed to sort out TKi’s bookkeeping nightmare immediately. “It was a crisis,” he says. “Believe me.”
The first step in resolving the crisis was for Kornegay to persuade his former bookkeeper to come in and restore “ground-floor reference points.” But he also needed someone to quickly and decisively take charge of TKi’s bookkeeping from there.
A business acquaintance put Kornegay in touch with Supporting Strategies | Orlando & Rochester, which has experience in dealing with government contracts and DCAA auditors. After an initial meeting, Managing Director Jim Rice spoke the words Kornegay needed to hear: “We can solve your problem.”
Staying the Course
Rice and his Supporting Strategies | Orlando & Rochester staff not only managed to salvage files that had been totally corrupted, but also transitioned to a new, affordable software system — “all while getting us through the DCAA audit with a passing grade,” Kornegay marvels.
What most impressed Kornegay was Supporting Strategies’ commitment to partnering with TKi on a long-term solution rather than simply exploiting the crisis for short-term gain. Before hiring Supporting Strategies, Kornegay had met with a consultant who had offered to provide a tutorial on the new operating system — for an exorbitant fee, and with no ongoing support.
“Their patience has been incredible,” Kornegay says of Rice and his staff. “I’ve never asked a question that wasn’t answered, whether it had to do with bookkeeping or DCAA or what have you. They either know the answer right away or say, ‘We’ll look into that and get back to you.’ And they always do.”
Part of the Team
With the immediate crisis behind him, Kornegay has resumed doing business the way he has for more than 30 years, with a new bookkeeping partner that has helped him adjust to the changing times. “Supporting Strategies has actually taken on more than I anticipated,” he says. “And they’re delivering.”
a question that wasn’t answered, whether it had to do with bookkeeping or DCAA or what have you. "