“I believe that continuous learning is the key to success,” explained Bill Walter. “Over 30 years ago, when I was presented with my first training class, I was thrown into the deep end of the pool.”
With that initial experience with teaching, along with the support of his colleagues, Walter persevered and has since taught and developed hundreds of programs. In addition serving as a faculty member of the George Mason University and the Public Contracting Institute Government Contracts Program, Walter is the executive director of the Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP Government Contracting Advisory practice, assisting clients in navigating complex government contracting compliance requirements. The DHG Government Contracting Advisory, Tax and Assurance practices have over 60 employees serving more than 650 government contractors.
Prior to joining DHG, Walter grew his career in various roles throughout the government contracting industry, starting as an auditor with the Defense Contract Audit Agency, which laid a foundation of an auditor’s perspective and experience he could tap into in executive-level positions.
While at KBR, the largest service contractor for the Defense Department, Walter enforced government contract compliance programs for a company facing significant growth in a new “contingency contracting” environment.
“When my team and I advise government contracting clients today, we rely on our career experiences and training in order to add value and build trust with those clients,” Walter said. “As a consultant, I helped companies by translating regulations into business speak and identified strategic business solutions and pathways for my clients to consider and helped tackle audit issues.”
When DHG’s clients win, the company wins as well.
“We closely examine the secret sauce of our clients—their offering, successes, challenges and strategic vision for growth,” Walter said. “I think of it as the DNA of the company.”
DHG’s Government Contracting Advisory team guides government and private sector contracting professionals to efficiently and effectively maneuver an extensive maze of rules and regulations. Walter’s team helps them understand the clauses applicable to their contract with the goal of increasing their opportunities to be the prime or sub in securing contract wins.
“Due to a prior negative experience with the DCAA, one of our clients nearly decided not to contract with the government at all,” Walter said. “Our team helped the client work with commercial pricing tools and techniques, and as a result, the U.S. Navy awarded our client with a commercial item contract valued at over $100 million. Everyone saved time and money, and the client was very pleased that the compliance process was streamlined as they continue to focus on the core business.”
In addition to better serving the needs of DHG’s clients, Walter believes in fostering an inclusive and collaborative team culture. Incentives include outstanding career development opportunities, as well as a focus on adding value through a “knowledge sharing” approach to assist employees and clients alike.
Such an approach consists of bimonthly webinars with more than 500 government contractor participants in attendance, as well as relevant articles and regulatory updates published on an ongoing basis.
“Two-way communication between clients and our team is crucial,” Walter said. “If we run into a challenge, we leverage our internal technology tools which allow our team and clients located across the U.S. to connect with us at any time.”
In dealings with their clients, DHG team members consistently upholds the company’s values of trust, relationships, passion and innovation. This year, DHG celebrates its 22nd Annual Government Contracting Update—a pinnacle of knowledge sharing the DHG team brings to the GovCon market. The event will feature the top minds in the industry from service providers, government agencies and contractors sharing the most up-to-date information, materials and industry insights. As an instructor, Walter understands deeply the value of shared knowledge.
“I get a kick out of seeing a student reach that ‘aha’ moment when he or she understands a complex cost accounting issue buried deep inside a regulation like the Cost Accounting Standards or the Truthful Cost and Pricing Data Act,” he said. “These are the most memorable and rewarding experiences for me as an instructor. At least once a week, I am at the podium trying to help people understand government contracting rules and regulations that impact them.”
Most of all, Walter wants his students and clients alike to enjoy the experience as much as possible.
“I want students to have fun and enjoy these classes,” he said. “No matter what you do, have fun. My motto is, ‘Keep it simple and make it fun.’ My wife and I have seven children, and somewhere along the way, I realized that they have taught me more than any formal educational system.”