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Career News | Feb. 8, 2021

Understanding DCAA Audits

By DCAA Staff Writer

There is no other agency that does the work DCAA does for the Department of Defense (DoD). Perhaps you’ve heard that the work DCAA auditors do is highly specialized and each audit is unique. Or maybe that this work isn’t like what you learn in school.

If so, what kind of auditing would you actually be doing in your role?

The Purpose of DCAA Audits

DoD obtains a vast array of weapons systems, supplies, technology, and services that are essential to its mission, the safety and lethality of our warfighters, and the security of the Nation. Most are acquired through a formal acquisition process designed to:

  • Ensure fair and open competition among qualified providers or vendors;
  • Deliver quality supplies, products, and services that meet all specified DoD requirements; and
  • Obtain best value and optimal Return on Investment (ROI) for the government’s expenditures.

That’s where DCAA audits come in. We conduct independent, professional reviews of financial representations made by defense contractors to help determine whether contract costs are reasonable and comply with contract terms. When reviewing these costs, you may hear DCAA auditors mention three key attributes: ensuring they are allowable, allocable, and reasonable.

DCAA Audits Throughout the Contract Life Cycle

DCAA plays a vital role at every stage of the contracting process, saving the government more than $3 billion annually. Highlighted below are common types of audits of which you may be a part throughout your time at the Agency.

Graphic of audit cycle














To learn more about the most common types of DCAA audits, read the blogs on Forward Pricing Audits, Incurred Cost audits, or visit the DCAA Career blog.