DOD Invoicing Demystified

What is WAWF? What is iRAPT?  

 iRAPT is the same as the Wide Area Workflow invoicing system. It just has a new name.   

iRAPT is an interactive web based system that allows contractors to electronically submit invoices and receiving reports (DD250’s for you old timers) for DoD contracts.  This in turn allows the Government to inspect, accept, receive and pay electronically.  Sounds easy right?  Not so fast.  iRAPT (formerly WAWF) is considered by many contractors to be one of the most frustrating and unfriendly systems of its type currently in use.  Unfortunately there is no way around it when doing business with the military, as it’s use is mandated for most DOD contracts and delivery orders.   The following tips may ease some of your troubles:

•   Register, or update your registrations as soon as possible.   Verify that your registration is accurate and up to date at the time of contract award, as the process can take some time.  Waiting until the invoice is due can result in a delayed submittal of the invoice, which will subsequently result in a delayed payment. 

•  Make sure when registering, that the Group Administrator (GAM) is someone with government contract knowledge.  The GAM serves as the gate keeper to access all documents. The GAM is in charge of adding, deleting or changing any Cage Codes or company information.  The GAM also accepts or denies other users within your company and assigns them their roles.
•   It is recommended that your company’s Electronic Business Point of Contact (EB POC) listed in SAM System for Awards Management   be your GAM.  If your company assigns a GAM that is not your EB POC a letter must be submitted to Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA)  for authorization.
•   Maintain good records to keep track of your passwords.  iRAPT (formerly WAWF) is a secure DoD system. The password restrictions are stringent and you must update every 60 days. Do not let your passwords expire as it can become an administrative nightmare to get a user reinstated (and don’t expect it to happen overnight). 
•   Read the Invoicing Instructions on your contract or delivery order carefully.  There are many different types of invoices one can submit through iRAPT (formerly WAWF) depending on the type of contract.  For example, if your contract is awarded based on Fast Pay procedures not all documents are required to be submitted in iRAPT.   
•   Ask any questions ahead of the invoicing date.  Some contracts and delivery orders are written to include very comprehensive and specific invoicing instructions, while others are not.  Make sure you review and understand the invoicing instructions at the time of award.  When in doubt, ask your contracting officer to clarify.   An incorrectly submitted invoice can delay the payment process extensively.


And Now, the Good News

Prior to WAWF now iRAPT,  the required documents were submitted via paper in triplicate to numerous offices which took on average of 90 days or more to approve and pay.  Despite the frustrations, electronic invoicing is here to stay and iRAPT will continue to shorten the payment cycle when contracts are invoiced correctly.  iRAPT is beneficial, but it needs to be managed correctly to avoid extensive delays in the receivables cycle.
We have helped a number of clients navigate the iRAPT (formerly WAWF) maze, and have even performed invoicing functions for many of them.   If you find yourself in need of assistance, feel free to give us a call.