Management concepts : COT (COTR) – CGFM – INC (incorporated) companies

If you own a business and want to go after lucrative government contracts, you’ll need to become familiar with certain important management concepts. Two terms you will need to learn are COTR, which stands for Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative, and CGFM, which stands for Certified Government Financial Manager.

The COTR is a liaison between the government and the contractor and is usually a federal or state employee. COTRs must undergo standardized training and be certified. The COTR’s responsibilities include recommending authorizing or denying actions and expenses for task orders and deliverables. Most COTRs have to have technical expertise in a particular area in order...

to be able to translate government requirements into requirements put into acquisition documents for contractor bidding. Some agencies and jobs have Contracting Officer’s Representatives (CORs) or Project Officers (POs) instead of COTRs.

A COTR monitors the contractor’s progress in fulfilling the technical aspects of a government contract, making sure that documentation and data are submitted on schedule. If the contractor misses a contractual requirement, the COTR is the one who informs the contractor and the main government contracting officer of this. Other responsibilities of COTRs include maintaining records, approving invoices and performing the final inspection and acceptance of work done on contract. But the COTR is not allowed to grant the contractor permission to stray from the contract requirements, nor can he or she ask the contractor to perform work outside what’s stated in the contract.

The CGFM receives his or her certification from the Association of Government Accountants. A CGFM may work at the federal, state, or local governmental level, though not all states recognize CGFM certification. Someone with CGFM certification may also work for a private contractor. The certification provides a degree of confidence that the CGFM is adequately trained, educated, and experienced for the tasks related to governmental financial management.

But while many CGFMs are accountants, not all are. A CGFM may be an auditor, budget analyst, program analyst, or some other type of financial management professional. The CGFM certification is used to designate that a professional has the knowledge and experience for governmental financial management and is dedicated to governmental accountability.

The CGFM designation is particularly important for accountancy agencies that want to do contract financial work for the government. While having someone who has earned CGFM certification on staff isn’t a requirement for getting government financial planning contracts, it is a way to make your firm stand out from the others and show that the firm employs professionals who are peers with their government counterparts. Having one or more CGFMs on staff shows government agencies that your firm knows the government environment.

While your company doesn’t necessarily have to be incorporated to gain government contracts, it certainly doesn’t hurt, and it provides various forms of protection to your company, such as asset protection, limited liability, and many tax advantages. Raising money through investment and borrowing is generally easier for corporations too. Some people say that having “Inc.” after your company’s name makes it appear more professional and competent too, which can’t hurt your chances of landing a lucrative government contract.

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