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Career News | Aug. 27, 2020

Onboarding at the Defense Contract Audit Institute

By DCAA Staff Writer

DCAA’s Defense Contract Audit Institute in Atlanta is where DCAA employees learn the ins and outs of government contract auditing. For our new employees, the Institute is where they begin their career and for our more seasoned auditors, it’s where they gain leadership and more complex audit skills.

Our new hires begin their journey to become auditors by filling out personnel paperwork at home. Our Human Resource staff will guide each new employee through the required documents and also arrange travel to the Institute, located in the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs. The initial onboarding session is two weeks. Students stay in nearby hotels and are transported to and from class by shuttle bus. Additionally, there are many dining and recreational opportunities in the local area to explore after class and on the weekend.

All new DCAA employees attend the first week of onboarding.  Each class has about 50 students so there are opportunities to network. There are over 15 different presentations throughout the first week to acclimate new employees to the agency and its culture. Also in the first week, everyone establishes a payroll account, receives an ID card and laptop computer, and learns about the many benefits and work/life programs offered by DCAA.

The second week is when contract auditing education begins. All auditing classes are taught by DCAA auditors who have years of experience. Classes are a mix of theory and hands on application of principles. Using the laptop provided in the first week, students use DCAA’s audit software and audit guidance to perform basic audit tasks. The instructors work with each student to be sure the material is understood before moving on since all other lessons build on this foundation.

After two weeks, new hires return to their DCAA office and start working with their coworkers. To ensure the work performed at the office reinforces and builds upon lesson in the classroom, each employee and their supervisor receive an On-the-Job-Training guidebook. Additionally, a coach is assigned to guide the learning process in a peer to peer non-attributional way. After approximately 90 days, new hires, now junior auditors, return to the Institute for additional education, which does not stop until retirement.

As our auditors advance in grade and experience, they and their supervisors decide on future courses based on office audit tasks and the employee’s future development. The Institute also offers courses in leadership, communication, mentoring, and soft skills necessary to develop both personal and technical skills to help each employee reach their goals.

A career with DCAA is a career with education, leadership, and coworkers who are there to help you learn and meet your goals.