Full Sail Partners Blog

Is This the End of Deltek Vision’s Revenue Method B?

Posted by Matt McCauley on Wed, May 24, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

Revenue Method B-1.pngRevenue Method B is the most widely used revenue method in Deltek Vision. In fairness, this is Vision’s default method for projects whose charge type is Regular. As a result, most firms use it since it’s easy to deploy and seems to work, or so we think.

How Revenue Method B Works

Revenue Method B works well when we have a time & materials project that is billed frequently. In this scenario, we have a perfect match between revenue and costs and can easily measure project performance. On the other hand, when billings and costs don’t align, measuring interim project performance becomes more challenging. Milestone billings or fixed fee projects are billed on cycles that don’t always coincide with a proper revenue accrual or as the associated costs are incurred on the project. Keep in mind that we are not matching revenues and expenses, and this can lead to unreliable financial results during the project life cycle.

For example, a project has a contract provision that calls for $10,000 to be billed at the end of month two. We complete the work in month one at a cost of $3,000 (10,000 billing rate). The financial reconciliation for this project is:

Revenue Method B Table

In month one, the project has no income (no billings) and incurs costs of $3,000. With Revenue Method B, the project incurs a $3,000 gross margin loss.

In month two, when the project is billed, we have the reverse situation; $10,000 Revenue and no cost, which results in a $10,000 Gross Margin profit.

So…did we make money or not?

The Results of Using Revenue Method B

From month to month, it is very difficult to assess the true profitability of the project. Therefore, we must wait until a point where billings and costs align or the project is closed. In this simple example, we can look at the end of month 2 and determine our performance. However, what if this project spans over a year or more? With Revenue Method B, we may never have a point where revenue and costs align to make an informed decision on profitability.

To accurately measure performance, a proper matching of revenue and costs is mandatory. Revenue must be earned as work is completed or as the associated costs are incurred. This is the best accounting practice, and with the impending requirement of FASB 606, will now be part of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

Clearly, Revenue Method B will not work well when the earnings process does not align with the billing process. For those of us using this method, we are reporting inaccurate results to our stakeholders or making manual adjustments to accommodate for Revenue Method B’s shortcomings. Fortunately, Deltek Vision offers alternatives that will help us properly record revenue and comply with FASB 606.

FASB 606 Implications

In May 2014, FASB 606 was released and will be required by December 2018. FASB 606 will render Revenue Method B obsolete for most projects.

FASB 606 has five elements:

  • Identify the contract with the client
  • Identify the performance obligations in the contract
  • Determine the transaction price
  • Allocate the transaction price to each performance obligation
  • Recognize Revenue as we satisfy the performance obligations

FASB 606 does not reference billings unless billings specifically follow the earnings process described above. Therefore, to be in compliance with this new requirement, we must abandon Revenue Method B for most of our projects.

Revenue Method B Alternatives in Deltek Vision

Stay tuned for the next chapter…User Defined Revenue Methods. We will look at how we can use Deltek Vision to create Revenue Methods that will comply with FASB 606. In the meantime, click here to learn more about FASB 606. 

AE Firm

Topics: Accounting, Deltek Vision

Intro to Deltek iAccess for Vision

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, May 17, 2017 @ 04:00 PM

As a Deltek Vision user, having the ability to access the information in your system from anywhere on any device with an internet connection can change the way you work. Good news! Deltek iAccess for Vision makes this possible. Here’s a short video to give you an introduction and a demonstration of how easy iAccess is to use.

 

 Deltek iAccess for Vision Timesheets and Expense Reports

Topics: Video, Deltek Vision

Full Sail Partners Awarded the Concur 2017 Rising Star Solution Provider

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Thu, May 11, 2017 @ 02:00 PM

Blackbox Connector for ConcurFull Sail Partners, a Deltek Vision Platinum Partner, announced that Concur®, an SAP company and the world’s leading provider of travel, expense and invoice management solutions, has recognized the Full Sail Partners with the 2017 Rising Star Solution Provider of the Year Award at Concur Fusion 2017.

Full Sail Partners’ Blackbox Connector for Deltek Vision and Concur provides a seamless integration between Deltek Vision ERP and Concur Expense Management.

“We are honored to receive this award for our work with Concur to enable our clients to improve spend management for expenses and invoices for their professional services firms,” said Tanya Drake at Full Sail Partners. “The Blackbox Connector allows project-based firms to utilize the power of Deltek Vision and integrate it with the elegant user interface, additional controls and reporting available from Concur. This integration gives firms better visibility and control of their corporate spend for expenses and invoices.”

The Blackbox Connector is a ready-to-deploy integration suite focused on keeping professional services firms centered on efficient production by connecting their critical business systems to the outside world.

“The 2017 Concur Solution Provider of the Year awards recognize and celebrate the innovation and business value that program partners deliver to our mutual customers,“ said Sachin Vora, Senior Director, Global Business Development, Concur. “Congratulations to Full Sail Partners for being awarded the Rising Star Solution Provider of the Year. It is a clear recognition of the commitment to excellence in partnering with Concur and creating lasting value for our joint customers.”

For more information, please contact Full Sail Partners’ Marketing and Communications Department.

 

Topics: Technology Solutions, Press Release

Why You Should Be Using Deltek Dashboards

Posted by Amy Balassone on Wed, May 10, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

Deltek DashboardAre you maximizing your time by taking advantage of a dashboard? Dashboards are one of the most beneficial and functional parts of a system and yet are often the most underutilized. Dashboards are comprised of dashparts, or widgets, which are used as a portal into your Deltek database. For firms using Deltek Vision or Deltek Talent, the dashparts are extensive and include reports, metrics, links, alerts, tips and more.

Three Major Benefits of Deltek Dashboards

Deltek Dashboards not only provide you immediate access to the needed information right at your fingertips, but also serve as the entry point to your company data. They provide you quick visibility into areas significant to your specific role and can be easily customized for your needs. While there are many benefits to a dashboard, let’s focus on three major ones.

  1. Instant Access to Information – A dashboard allows you to view already compiled daily reports when you open your software in the morning. The dashboard also shows reminders of the day’s tasks and alerts that require follow-up. Each dashboard is set-up with the information vital to each user’s role. In addition to reports and reminders, dashboards include information to ensure you are meeting goals and objectives for your role and for the company.

  2. Avoid Repetitive Navigation – When you utilize the dashboard components, you avoid the tedious and time consuming task of searching through the navigation panel to get to the data needed on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. Reduce your clicks down to one or two by creating shortcuts to reports, URLs, links, and more. The extra time saved allows you to focus on other areas of your work.

  3. View Role Specific Data – Role specific data can be set up to focus on the role you play in your firm. Even more, specific predefined dashboard configurations can be pushed out to you based on your role. For example, if you are a project manager, you may want to have project budgeting, billing information and possibly accounts receivable invoicing review. With role specific data, each user has immediate access to the tools necessary to do his unique job.

Setup Dashboards to Improve Productivity

Regardless of your role, there are benefits for every user when utilizing a dashboard. Immediate data access, saving navigation time and the convenience of role-based setups are just to name a few. Now that you have realized the benefits, it’s time to fully utilize dashboards at your firm.  

Power of Pie Charts in Deltek Vision dashboards

Topics: Technology Solutions

Why C-Level Financial Types Are More Interested in CRM than Ever

Posted by Michael Kessler, PMP on Wed, May 03, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

CRM for Financial LeadersThere has been an uptick in interest recently from C-Level financial leaders to become more involved with the CRM functions within Vision. You may ask yourself why this new trend is occurring since the CRM module of Vision is for marketing and business development functions. The reason must surely be based on an informational need so that actionable decisions can be made.

CRM Information for Financial Leaders 

CRM databases are full of information to help the marketing and business development team drive new business. So, what information can provide financial leaders the insight they need to make better decisions?  

  1. The Life Cycle of Projects – More often than not, a project is born during the opportunity stage. More specifically, the opportunity can trigger a promotional project and/or a resource plan. As a result, there are financial considerations that must be taken into account: 
  • The numbering of both the promo project and the plan
  • Determining when the pursuit trigger will need to include resources in the staffing heat map
  • Figuring out the rate tables and a multiplier that are going to be used in the plan 
  1. Pipeline and Backlog – A conversation that often occurs between a CFO and director of business development is about the movement of future revenue from the pipeline to soft backlog to hard backlog. This can result in some level of double counting and is especially prevalent in task ordering agreements or infinite deliver/infinite quantity (IDIQ’s). C-Level financial people need to be involved in the definition stage of how future revenue is separated and quantified.
  2. Cost of Winning and Losing Work – Opportunities afford us the ability to track hit rates. These are metrics showing win/loss ratios and can be filtered by unique attributes that are meaningful to your organization. One suggested attribute to track separately is sole source versus competitive wins. From this metric, financial managers can begin to quantify and measure the effort that goes into these wins and losses. However, this requires creating a promo project once the decision is made to bid on an opportunity.
  3. Utilization – Having the fluidity to evaluate time spent on a proposal is a value add. Moreover, C-Level financial types are also aware of utilization. By moving time from a promo project to a regular type project, the time moves from non-productive to productive. When we use Vision functionality to isolate proposal time on utilization reports, it provides insight into why employees are not being productive. 

Sharing Information Firm Wide

It’s always best practice to share important firm data with key individuals from all teams, but those people should also be able to find the information on their own. Like this new trend for financial leaders to learn more about using the CRM module in Vision, marketing and business development people also need to know how to access information from the financial side of Vision. Most importantly, everyone should be involved in the implementation of all Vision modules to ensure the initial setup, data structure and reports are valuable to the firm.

Deltek Vision CRM Top 10 Features

Topics: CRM, Deltek Vision, Professional Services

Ashley Jabalera Joins Full Sail Partners to Strengthen Consulting Services

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Fri, Apr 28, 2017 @ 02:00 PM

Ashley_Jabalera.jpgFull Sail Partners, a Deltek Platinum Partner and Client Feedback Tool Premier Partner, is pleased to announce the addition of Ashely Jabalera to the consulting services team. Ashley has joined the firm as a Deltek Vision CRM consultant. In this position, she will work with clients to implement Deltek Vision’s CRM, Custom Proposal, and SF330 modules, as well as, the Client Feedback Tool and Blackbox Connector tools.

Ashley has over 17 years of experience in the A/E/C industry with an extensive background in business development and leadership within an extremely competitive and product based service environments. Her work history includes the procurement of projects ranging from $10 million to over $1 billion, with a focus on healthcare, commercial, retail, industrial, higher education, government and military clients.

"In the ever-changing world of technology choices – Full Sail Partners offers the stability of Deltek Vision, and a history of successful implementations that will allow you to spend your time and resources on what’s important to you – your clients," said Ashley.

The Full Sail Partners CRM consultant acts as a trusted advisor for all clients and their focus is to evaluate the client's existing software solution and develop a training strategy that is unique to each client experience. In this role, Ashley will leverage her knowledge to ensure our clients continue to be successful long into the future.  

“Our team will be strengthened by adding Ashley, and our clients will benefit from her strong marketing, business development and consulting experience,” stated Sarah Gonnella, VP of Marketing & Sales. “Her background combined with her keen ability to identify customer needs will provide highly responsive solutions for our clients. We are thrilled to have her join Full Sail Partners.”

For more information, please contact Full Sail Partners’ Marketing and Communications Department. Interested in learning more about the Full Sail Partners' team? Check out our crew!  

Topics: Press Release

Emergency Preventing a Commute into Work? Don’t Get Stuck, Get Virtual

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Apr 26, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

Virtual OfficeIt seems like every time you turn on the news, there appears to be a new emergency. It might be a man-made disaster like the recent I-85 bridge collapse in Atlanta or a natural one like a Snowmageddon event or a devastating wildfire. The concern of lost work time due to an emergency is a reality, especially if employers expect all employee work to be done on site at the office. In order to decrease downtime and loss of productivity due to such emergencies, firms should provide flexible work options for their employees.

Getting virtual is a necessity and it is becoming a common occurrence. According to statistics from Global Workplace Analytics, the telecommuting workforce has increased by about 102% from 2005 to 2014. How your firm gets virtual first requires the employer to evaluate the specific needs of the employees and identify what would be best for the employees and the firm.

Let’s Get Virtual

The ideal situation would allow employees to work from anywhere, anytime which requires virtualization. There are different options available to get virtual depending on your firm’s desires. At a minimum, a plan should be in place for unforeseen circumstances that keep employees from getting to the office.

Let’s take a look at some solutions that would help professional services firms:

Desktop and Application Virtualization

A desktop solution like Desktops2Go is a perfect option. Using any internet connected device, such as a tablet or smartphone, you can access your virtual desktop from home or another location. Work files and resources are housed remotely in the cloud, so there is no need to be physically in the office to get your work done. Whatever your job may be, from accounting professionals to project managers, all company information and software such as Vision or AutoCAD would be accessible in this cloud solution. 

Additionally, this cloud solution has the benefit of allowing you to switch between devices and pick right back up where you left off. In case one device fails or is stolen, you could continue working without missing a beat. Since none of the company information is stored locally, you don’t ever have to worry about losing control of company collateral.

Virtual Private Network

If you don’t want to be completely in the cloud, you could take advantage of Virtual Private Networks (VPN). This solution allows you to connect your company issued laptop directly to the company network and work virtually that way. While you will feel like you are at the office, you can work from any location with internet access. The only downsides of this option are:

  • IT department approval and configuration are required
  • It may not work from every remote network an end user is connected to, such as a hotel, café or airport
  • Additional training and user actions are needed to get connected and can be difficult to troubleshoot 

Remote Control Software

Another good option to get virtual is to use remote control software such as GoToMyPC to access a company workstation from anywhere. This solution does not require a company issued laptop. Instead, any IT department approved device can be used to work remotely with internet access. The drawbacks are:

  • It requires additional software and training for remote access which can be expensive
  • IT security policies may preclude this option

Web-enabled Products like Deltek Vision, Deltek PIM and Microsoft Office 365

Finally, and specifically for Deltek and Microsoft users, you can take advantage of web-enabled Deltek Vision, Deltek Project Information Management (PIM) and Microsoft Office 365. With these products, you can access Vision and all company information such as company files, emails and Microsoft Office from anywhere. However, remote access to Vision and PIM do require IT involvement and approval to configure for remote access.

Full Sail Partners Can Help You Get Virtual

Full Sail Partners can assist you with any of the solutions you feel will fit your firm’s needs. We look forward to helping you get virtual so you will never have to get stuck again in any emergency. Click here to request more information! 

 Desktops2Go

Topics: Technology Solutions, Professional Services

KPI - the New Industry “Buzz” Word

Posted by Michael Kessler, PMP on Wed, Apr 19, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

KPIs A KPI, or Key Performance Indicator, is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving crucial business objectives. Organizations should use KPIs to evaluate their success at reaching targeted goals. Simply stated, KPIs provide your firm with metrics that compare budgeted amounts to the actual values. KPIs are no longer just for accounting and finance as they now reach deeper into a firm’s operational side examining marketing, business development and project management.

KPIs vs Traditional Reporting Methods 

Let’s take a look at how firms benefit from KPIs and how KPIs differ from standard reporting. A common reporting technique is to compare current profit & loss results to the same period the previous year, or to compare year to date then versus year to date for the current year. Budget data for one or both comparisons can be incorporated. Now, what if we graphed this information and included a desired growth line? We will then have a visual of actual performance in relation to a chosen measurement. This measurement will inherently become an indication of whether we are achieving our goals, and would allow us to be proactive in correcting potential challenges. 

Using KPIs to Measure Success 

As mentioned earlier, KPIs are not just a tool for the finance team. For example, a chief operating officer may not relate well to traditional financial statements and focusing on project related metrics would be more to his liking. These indicators can be project specific, relate to a grouping of projects, or be sliced and diced based on the organizational breakdown structure (OBS) or work breakdown structure (WBS). Click here to learn more about OBS and WBS.

In another scenario, a chief strategy officer believes there is a benefit from evaluating trending data regarding hit rates filtered by a predetermined criterion. However, we must keep in mind that unless a benchmark or some other distinguished metric is established, this may not result in a clear and meaningful measurement. 

Here are two examples of KPIs that have proven to be successful: 

  1. Cost and Schedule Variance – Using Deltek Vision reporting, actual project cost performance index (CPI) and schedule performance index (SPI) is calculated and compared to an acceptable mean-variance.
  2. Estimate at Completion (EAC) Analysis – This can be as simple as a two-column report showing EAC in comparison to the contract value. The criteria can also be set by contract type to “flag” anomalies that need to be further investigated. 

The Bottom-line on KPIs 

KPIs can be used company wide. C-level executives can look across client and project types and evaluate revenue multipliers or collections success. These same evaluations can be done at all levels across your enterprise from managers that are accountable for sections of your organization down to individual project managers driving the lowest levels of WBS. What is required is a benchmark, a budget or a goal. Whether top down or bottom up, the view into why businesses perform the way they do will kept top of mind.

So, how does your firm measure success across the enterprise? Is it profit centers, projects, employees or pursuits? Every firm is unique and can’t just use “off the shelf” KPIs. It all begins with a discussion of what you need to drive your firm to the finish line. Once decided, designing the reports and data is easy.

Deltek Vision Performance Management  

Topics: Project Management, Accounting, Professional Services

Why Aren’t Project Managers Taking Responsibility for Their Projects?

Posted by Rana Blair on Wed, Apr 12, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

iAccess for Project Management It wasn’t long ago that firm management took a “need-to-know” approach with sharing project performance information with staff. Today, most firms have changed their attitude about access to project information. Firm managers want project managers to be engaged with the financial results of their projects and have taken great steps to train them to use the Deltek Vision reporting tools and dashboards. Still, project managers are intimidated and paralyzed by the information they receive.

So why are project managers not taking responsibility for their projects?

  • Budgets are not easy to access or review against actual performance
  • Reports are complex and rely heavily upon the accounting cycle that many project managers don’t understand
  • Too much information in reports makes it difficult to focus on what is important
  • Analyzing data requires pulling information into Excel for What-If scenarios
  • Access to information “on-the-go” is not available 

How Can We Change This? 

Enter iAccess. The tool built for project managers to provide them the information they need at their fingertips to successfully manage projects. Even more, it’s ready to go right out of the box. Sure, that sounds too good to be true and one might wonder what you get with iAccess’ standard configuration. 

Here’s a high-level summary. An iAccess core feature that requires no configuration provides a simple project review tool that allows users to quickly review, analyze, and focus on projects needing attention. Any project accessed will appear with current contract, labor, and expense information in graphical and tabular formats at the project or lower levels. This removes the need of having complicated reports and performing What-If scenarios. 

Can iAccess Do More? 

iAccess, like Deltek Vision has the flexibility to meet the different and complex needs of each individual firm. From simple custom configuration of reports to in-depth configuration of projects, iAccess provides the same information that’s stored within Deltek Vision to project managers from anywhere they have an internet connection.   

With just some minimal configuration, project managers can use iAccess as a comprehensive project management tool from the beginning of the project through closeout by using the planning functionality. Starting with an original budget, project managers can interact with their projects as needed to review actual data and then provide estimates of additional effort required to complete the project. 

Stay Connected with iAccess 

The real-time connection to your Deltek Vision database and the mobile accessibility of the iAccess tool may be the missing link in motivating your project managers to take more control over their project financial management responsibilities. The use of iAccess allows them to absorb data in a friendly format while creating a platform for predictive information entry and sharing across the firm. Stop giving project managers an easy excuse for not taking responsibility.

iAccess for Project Managers Webinar  

Topics: Project Management, Technology Solutions, Deltek Vision

Lower Costs and Risks with an Effective Spend Management Solution

Posted by Tanya Drake on Wed, Apr 05, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

Spend ManagementSpend Management is a popular term, but what is it really? Spend Management can encompass anything from procurement, supply chain management, expense control, outsourcing and more. For most businesses, managing spending may not seem to provide a competitive advantage nor differentiate them from the competition. While this task doesn’t directly drive revenue, figuring out how to better manage and control your travel costs, expenses and invoicing does provide significant business value.

So, what exactly does a good Spend Management strategy need to accomplish? It should:

  • Simplify accounts payable (AP) workflows
  • Enhance the end user experience
  • Encourage mobility in the AP process
  • Improve compliance levels
  • Provide increased insight into spending
  • Allow for visibility of expenses before they are incurred

What Can All This Do for Your Firm?

Spend Management will lower your capital expense profile, increase employee productivity, lower costs for managing operational functions and drive new capabilities that have a direct impact on business performance. Accomplishing these goals allows your firm to continue to compete in this hypercompetitive environment that continually rewards sustained agility.

Organizations typically start with a manual process for managing purchasing, expense reports, and invoice management. As the company grows in size and complexity, workarounds like spreadsheets and physical reconciliation are simply no longer efficient and directly impact the further ability to grow and manage spending.

According to an IDC study (Document #US42246116 © 2017 IDC), implementing effective strategies can result in:

  • 68% less time processing invoices
  • Improving company procurement compliance by up to 14%
  • Increasing productivity by an average of 11% using mobile/OCR management tools
  • Reducing IT staff time to manage spend by 29%

How to Evaluate Solutions to Help Your Firm with Spend Management?

There are many factors to consider when evaluating a Spend Management solution. Here are some key things to contemplate:

  • Business ready: Solutions must be able to scale to accommodate your firm now and in the future, and must automatically link into existing accounting and ERP systems. These are secure, cloud-based solutions that fit within the CIO’s IT policy framework, are cost-effective and easy to deploy across the organization.
  • Business Intelligence: These solutions must be capable of providing greater business performance visibility and driving smarter decision-making. With a solution that offers more than automation, executives are armed with the insights to identify business opportunities that never existed before. What used to take days or weeks can now take hours.
  • Complete visibility: Encompassing all areas of spend in one solution, including travel costs, expenses and invoice management, is ideal. If you only see a piece of the puzzle, it is virtually impossible to view the entire picture. With solutions that can integrate all of the data and incorporate your firm’s spend management regulations, you can ensure there is maximum compliance and have the easiest adoption across the company with only one solution to learn.
  • End-user adoptability: As better financial performance rests with reducing accounts receivable turnover and achieving greater efficiency in cash flow management, businesses need to ensure that finance and accounting staff, as well as their employees, are able to quickly and accurately execute a modern, mobile process. When end users are satisfied and are able to employ solutions anywhere and anytime, this results in faster and increased adoption of the solutions and increased financial performance.

The best systems provide better visibility and insight into non-PO spend, P-card spend, and corporate card spend as well as meet employees where they are. They allow for visibility into spend before the money has been spent (PO management) and follow through to auditing with full details completely integrated into your firm’s ERP system. They also can incorporate all of these areas of spend into one solution so it’s easy to quantify spend across all areas.

Gain Control of Your Spend Management

Expectations and demands for employees, especially finance staff, have never been higher. The cost of lower productivity, employee turnover, and inefficient financial operations is now even more critical to a firm’s success and must be addressed. Employees require mobile, efficient solutions to increase their overall satisfaction and productivity. With increased industry compliance regulations, accurate reporting is now a necessity instead of a luxury. Now is the time to get control with a Spend Management solution.

 Vision Integrates with Concur

Topics: Accounting, Technology Solutions, Deltek Vision