military-647074_640By now most Department of Defense (DoD) contractors are aware that DoD’s Wide Area Workflow (WAWF) invoicing system changed its name to Invoicing, Receipt, Acceptance and Property Transfer (iRAPT) in November 2014. The iRAPT system was created to support DoD’s goal of moving to a paperless acquisition process to track where everything DoD owns is logged with a purchase date, a purchase price, the dates the item was sent for repairs, or refurbishment or was taken out of commission.

The new system allows government contractors and DoD personnel to generate, capture and process receipt and payment-related documentation using the iRAPT web-based system. There are many benefits to the new system, including the ability to check document status online, improved data accuracy, reduced unmatched disbursement and reduced costs and time for payment processing. The new program also requires less re-keying of information. Instead of submitting documents in triplicate to numerous offices, documents are submitted electronically through iRAPT speeds up the process of approval and payment.

Just like WAWF, the new iRAPT system uses Item Unique Identification (IUID) to achieve asset identification compliance to MIL STD 130. The Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) requires defense manufacturers to identify, mark, and track assets by placing a durable asset tag containing a machine-readable IUID, or a 2D Data Matrix barcode, on new equipment under contract. The 2D Data Matrix barcode links to a range of pedigree data that is unique to the item including manufacturer and serial number as well as identifying traits and lifecycle history. DoD and all defense contractors must account for all critical DoD assets using IUID barcode labels and plates. However, with the new iRAPT system, you can no longer add new acquisition deliveries directly to the IUID Registry. Instead, you must submit them through the iRAPT Receiving Report.

As your company begins using iRAPT, here are few tips for making the transition go more smoothly.

Don’t wait until you need to submit an invoice to update your registration in iRAPT. Instead, as soon as your contract is awarded, take some time to verify that your registration in the iRAPT system is up to date. Otherwise, waiting to confirm that your registration is accurate could result in a payment delay.

When your company registers in iRAPT, you will be asked to name someone as the Group Administrator, or GAM. Make sure your appointed GAM has sufficient knowledge of government contracting. The GAM’s role is to add, delete or change any company information or Cage Codes in the iRAPT system, as well as grant or deny other employees access into the system and to assign appropriate roles.

You will probably want to name as your GAM the employee listed as the Electronic Business Point of Contact in the System Awards Management (https://www.sam.gov). If your company decides to name a different employee as your GAM then your company will need to submit an authorization letter to the Defense Information Systems Agency (http://disa.mil/)

iRAPT is a secure DoD system so be prepared for stringent password restrictions. Your employees will need to update their passwords every 60 days. Make sure your employees are aware of when their passwords are about to expire because getting a user back into the system will take time, effort and patience.

When you receive your contract, read the instructions carefully because many different types of invoices can be submitted through iRAPT – it all depends on the type of contract you have with DoD. For some contracts, such as those awarded based on the Fast Pay procedures, not all documents are required to be submitted through iRAPT.

Don’t wait until your invoicing date to ask questions about the process. It is best to read through instructions and make sure you understand them when the contract is awarded so that, when it is time to invoice, you know what documents to submit and how to submit them. This will allow your company to be paid on time.