Full Sail Partners Blog

Top Trends in Recruiting Quality Talent

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, May 23, 2018 @ 11:35 AM

Recruiting Top TalentWith repetitive sourcing for candidates, constant scheduling, and continuous boilerplate interviews, recruiting and hiring has become very mechanical in nature. It should instead be focused on discovering the best talent fit for the company culture and be done in a more strategic and efficient way. To accomplish this, recruiters need to improve their methods which have often been unknowingly biased, think outside the box, and find ways to streamline the recruiting and hiring process for quality talent. Let’s check out the top 4 recruiting trends.

Seeking Out Diversity

It has been shown that diversity is directly tied to company financial performance. Companies with diverse leadership are more successful and are thus better able to win quality talent. There is also increasing evidence that diverse teams are more productive, innovative and engaged. Based on these facts, recruiters are now actively pursuing more diverse candidates in the gender, ethnicity, age, and LGBT categories. Nonetheless, for the diversity initiative to really work, it must start at the management level. Senior executives should be held accountable for the company diversity and inclusion outcomes.

Utilizing New Interviewing Tools

Conventional interviews have been shown to present bias and be an ineffective way to really read candidates. As human beings, we are comfortable with the familiar and often unconsciously choose applicants like us as the best hires even though other candidates may be more qualified. Additionally, with traditional interviews, there is less ability to address soft skills and weaknesses of the candidates. Now, with new interviewing tools, recruiters can get many more useful details to determine quality talent:

  • online soft skill assessments - used to measure traits like teamwork which give a better picture of candidates
  • job auditions - candidates are paid to do real work, so their skills can be observed in action
  • casual interviews - take place during a meal and offer a look into a candidate’s character
  • video interviews - recorded or live and help tap a broader talent pool in less time

Being Super Data Driven

While data has been used in the past to make recruiting decisions, the amount of available data for talent acquisition and the speed at which it can be analyzed has increased. This data can now be used to predict hiring outcomes rather than just track them. Data can even be used to test the effectiveness of diversity initiatives. With all this accessible data, every recruiting and hiring decision can be made on facts instead of feelings. Essentially, the sheer volume of data allows recruiters and their companies to compete for quality talent with their own talent intelligence strategy.

Streamlining with Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is quickly becoming the recruiting industry standard. Using AI, recruiters can capture information from candidate resumes for qualities that indicate a workplace culture fit. AI can also be used to increase diversity in the workplace as it can be programmed to ignore demographic information when sourcing candidates. Once candidates have been hired, AI can even help with retention by identifying ideal learning opportunities. Finally, letting AI do the more tedious tasks for recruiters will offer more time to build relationships with quality talent which has a greater impact on company success.  

Recruiting Quality Talent for the Future

When vying for quality talent in a very competitive market, recruiters must stay on top of current trends instead of relying on standard recruiting protocols. Recruiters can maximize their talent acquisition efforts by choosing new technologies and streamlining their inefficient processes. With super data at their fingertips and a plethora of AI options to choose from, recruiters are well positioned for a successful talent acquisition future.

 Talent Management  

Topics: Professional Services, HR

Tips and Tricks for Deltek Vision Users

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, May 16, 2018 @ 11:35 AM

 

Deltek_Vision_Logo_16Deltek Vision is a powerful tool with many capabilities to ensure the success of project-based businesses. Despite the availability, users often overlook or simply just don’t know some of the things Vision can do to make their jobs easier. Let’s take a look at some tips and tricks to learn how to get more out of your Vision system.

10 Tips and Tricks for Deltek Vision Users

  1. You can create a Web dash part that links to a web site, a file, a report, or a Web Outlook site. Unlike the Links dash part, which can list many links, the Web dash part displays the content associated with a single link. To display a website on your dashboard, navigate to the Dashboard. Click on Configure > Add Web Dash part. In the Address Type choose HTTP to display a website. Then provide a Web Part Name and add the URL and click save.
  2. A UDIC or a User Defined Info Center can be created to track custom information in a separate Info Center. To create a UDIC, go to Configuration > General > User Defined Components, and click the New Info Center button at the top. Then name the Info Center and select Activities Grid or Files Grid to add those tabs. As with any Info Center, now add custom tabs, grids and tabs. 
  3. Display settings were introduced in Vision 7.0. You can find them in User Options. From here, you can change the color scheme of Vision. Each element has its own display setting. For example, you can make required fields a particular color such as yellow.  
  4. The Record Access tab of the Security roles now contains a checkbox called "Enable Self Service in Employee Review." To display the Employee Review form, click Human Resources from the Vision Navigation menu and then click on Employee Review.
  5. You can now edit Activities fields directly in the grid that is located in any Info Center. Previously, the fields in the grid were display-only and could only be edited by clicking the Edit option on the grid toolbar. 
  6. An Equipment Info Center comes with the addition of the Purchasing or Asset Management modules. It stores two types of items, asset items and equipment items.
  7. You can create a Client record from a Vendor record. Under the Vision Navigation Tree, click on Utilities > Advanced Utilities > Create Client from Vendor.  
  8. You can email or run a report at a later time. Use the Schedule dialog box which is available in applications where you can use the process servers, such as Reporting. The Schedule button also allows you to set-up reoccurring activities. For example, you could send a report every Monday to project managers.
  9. You can now exclude projects on a resume by the number of hours worked on a project in the Custom Proposals module. This new feature can be accessed when adding new Projects to a resume by checking "Only include Projects where this Employee worked more than this many hours" and inputting the number of hours. For example, you can exclude any projects that have less than 20 hours associated to an employee from showing up in your search criteria. 
  10. Each department head can enter their own General Ledger budgets and submit them through an approval process in Vision. Those budgets can then be combined into a company-wide General Ledger budget.

Do More with Deltek Vision

These tips and tricks should help you get more value from a tool like Deltek Vision. Remember, there are always ways to explore how your firm can better utilize Vision. Contact Full Sail Partners, and we will be happy to assist you in this endeavor.

Reach Full Sail Partners  

Topics: Tips, Deltek Vision

Spend Management Reporting Made Easy

Posted by Tanya Drake on Wed, May 09, 2018 @ 11:30 AM

Spend Management ReportingFinancial reports are essential to every organization for providing information about the health of a business to internal stakeholders as well as interested outside parties. For many firms, this is a manual process which requires significant time and resources to collect expense and invoice details, code them to the ledger, and then organize high-level summary information. Your accounting staff shouldn’t be spending their time organizing data, but instead analyzing the data to help your firm make better business decisions.

What’s the Solution?

To get started, SAP Concur has organized the key information into many standard dashboards, tiles and over 180 reports available in the standard report catalog. Many of the standard dashboards include the bulk of information your teams need, but they can also be personalized to meet specific requirements or preferences. These dashboards, tiles, and reports can be used to assist managers in tracking budgets and forecasting for future cashflow management. Tracking elements include spend by expense type, time-period, and project or department.

Why SAP Concur Reporting?

To budget for future spending and forecast future cash needs, you need to understand what you have spent in the past and what spend is still outstanding. Firms often use the processed spend data from within their financial or enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. However, the challenge firms face is real time access to spend and accrual data that hasn’t yet been submitted into their ERP system. Concur Analytics Data is available in real time and is available before the expense report or invoice is submitted for payment.

Get to Know Tiles

Tiles in Concur can be used by themselves or pulled into dashboards for a more comprehensive view of spend.

  • Top 5 Spend by Category allows users to easily view where your spend has been incurred. This lets you quickly determine if it is incurred in the expected categories, if spending needs to be reduced, and where might make the greatest impact. Accountants can then utilize the Spend Analysis dashboard or Expense Entry Analysis Details report to drill further into the categories and spend by vendor to help negotiate better pricing with your top vendors.

Concur 1

  • Top 5 Entry Exceptions by Category enables users to easily view exceptions. This allows your team to identify the impact of any policy changes and see the policies with the most violations that should be investigated further. For even more visibility, they can then drill down into the Policy Exception Detail or Spend Analysis dashboard as well as the Expense Exception Analysis for both Report Level and Report Entry Level reports.Top 5 Entry Exceptions by Category
  • Accrual Detail lets you identify the largest opportunity to take action on with outstanding spend, and specifically which individuals carry the largest value of outstanding spend. Your managers can either find training opportunities with these top individuals or focused spending cuts. For your accounting staff, this tile will help you determine the impact to future cashflow during tight budget cycles.

Accrual Detail

  • Credit Card Transaction Report is one of the best features since it enables you to easily regain hours or even days’ worth of your accounting staff’s time. Although it may not be the sexiest feature, it is critical for keeping your data in compliance. This report lists all credit card transaction details imported into Concur. It can be used as a comprehensive listing or as an ad hoc exception report to look at certain subsets of credit card transactions. Organizations with a corporate card program need to reconcile their credit card transactions with the card statement to ensure all expenses are being processed, and this report can assist with that reconciliation. Also, this report can be grouped by Employee, then sorted by Posted Date to mirror the format of the credit card statement for simplified reconciliation. Another version of this report, the Unassigned Credit Card Transaction report, can help you quickly find those expenses which have been accrued are not yet assigned to an expense report.

Credit Card Transactions

Take a Deep Dive with Reports

For more in-depth analysis and details, reports can help streamline your workflows and drill down into the data you need. Custom reports can also be created by the Concur team if your requirements fall outside of the standard options.

Quick Access with Dashboards

You can start with one of many pre-built dashboards or create your own from scratch by adding tiles and reports to existing templates. While there are many dashboards available, some of the top ones include the Expense Overview dashboard and Policy Compliance dashboard. 

The Expense Overview dashboard is a perfect starting point for budget, cashflow management, and policy compliance all in one place. This dashboard can be used as a starting point to create a new custom “Spend Management” dashboard. Managers can use this detail for budget and forecasting purposes. Personalization recommendations are to retain the Spend, Accruals, and Top 5 Spend by Category tiles as well as adding additional tiles: Spend Summary Trends, Spend Change by Category, and Accrual Detail.

Expense Overview

The Spend Analysis dashboard is an incredibly functional dashboard that offers users an in-depth analysis on total spend for a given period along with a summary breakdown of that spend by Expense Type and associated detail. This dashboard can be easily filtered to show specific Spend Categories, Expense Types, or Employees for total spend analysis or grouped and sorted in ways that are meaningful for specific tasks. It allows leaders to identify what their teams have spent in a given period. They can even track individual spending patterns to identify specific areas for follow-up or track improvements in spending behaviors. This report is versatile in that it can be filtered to show trends in spending patterns or behaviors. If more detailed analysis is required, use the Expense Entry Analysis Detail report.

It is recommended that an organization review their travel policy once a year and adjust as needed. It is important to consider the potential impact of a policy change before one is implemented. If an organization does not have a limit on cell phone reimbursement, but needs to create a policy on this expense, the Spend Analysis dashboard can be reviewed to identify average reimbursement rates to establish a baseline for a new policy. This dashboard can also be used to assess the impact of such a policy change to identify how many individuals would have been out of policy if the value was changed.

Spend Analysis

SAP Concur is a Complete Spend Management Solution

With over 180 reports available in the standard report catalog, Concur can help you quickly and easily analyze your Travel, Expense, and AP automation program to gain valuable insight into how to proactively manage all aspects of your business’s finances. It’s been said that knowledge is power, but having too much information can be as bad as not having enough. You need to be able to see spend clearly so you have more time to run your business. As your business and reporting needs evolve, let Concur and Full Sail Partners help you capture and monitor the data you need.

Concur Spend Management

Topics: Accounting, Technology Solutions

Enhancing the Client Experience - Tough Questions You May Want to Ask Sooner than Later

Posted by Kevin Hebblethwaite on Wed, May 02, 2018 @ 03:45 PM

Ask the Tough Questions Your clients need you to be successful. Think about it – would the alternative be a great experience for them? Relationships in the professional services industry are interesting animals that need specific care and feeding to fully develop. It’s not easy, and I certainly don’t claim to have it all figured out. However, you can be certain that your client relationships are getting stronger when asking hard questions doesn’t seem so nerve-racking. So, when the relationship IS there, you can ask almost anything. Here are a few questions that come to mind – and please paraphrase if using them in client discussions.

Are you REALLY ready to commit funding for professional help?

Mama always said, “Don’t talk about your money,” and per Kenny Rogers, “You never count your money while you’re sittin’ at the table.” While money is a very sensitive topic, we know from economics class, that business transactions involve the exchange of goods or services for compensation. Without the compensation part, it’s no longer a business transaction. In that context, we must recognize both the sensitivity AND the importance of money in our client relationships. We can treat it carefully, but we certainly can’t shove it under a mattress. Sorry, Mama.

Some potential clients truly aren’t ready to pay for your help. And that’s OK! Regardless of the reason, you can still give those prospects a wonderful experience. Getting to know your firm and helping them understand the value you bring with your paid expertise offers the chance to keep in touch for future initiatives/challenges/projects.

When the timing and value equation IS a match, keeping your client projects and relationships in good financial health is imperative for all parties involved. The client has expectations about your service delivery and outcomes, and your firm has expectations about meeting its cost obligations and returns on the owners’ equity. Getting that value equation right will reward your clients AND your firm.

How can we best serve you in conjunction with your internal resources?

Part of the mystique of developing business in professional services is finding the right match between the client’s ongoing business challenges and “how much” of your expertise to throw at them. We’ve all been in those situations where the outcome felt like we did too little/too much. Most professionals in their area of practice, of course, are pretty good at assessing whether clients have [no/some/significant] internal expertise of their own. Whatever the case, we can’t just assume no expertise, or worse, stop the pursuit because they seem to have more experts than we do.

Figuring out where and how your firm’s knowledge and capabilities fit in is crucial! You’ll find the need to address this balance in all kinds of professional disciplines – the built environment, accounting, legal, information technology, and many more. One example might be when your client must manage the replacement of a key employee whose role is involved in your area of expertise.

Your engagement with this client might be more focused and short-term, but if you are able to strategically line up a handful of clients who consider you “first call” for that situation, the experience can be very rewarding. Some clients choose to not maintain a certain expertise on payroll. The outside professional may desire an expanding scope, but he or she should still proceed cautiously to make sure there is clarity with the client’s reasoning and expectations of our delivery. As you’ve heard many times, seek to understand before needing to be understood.

What outcomes from our work would cause you to laud us among your closest peers?

This question is more common, and maybe even more uncomfortable, but very important. The professional’s best client development tools are the references, referrals, and introductions from other extremely satisfied clients. While it’s helpful to promote the “50 times we’ve done that before on other projects,” it’s preferable to have a solid group of existing clients who will happily describe HOW you did it for them.

Having cheerleaders for your awesomeness are indispensable. Yet, professionals often struggle with the challenging work of developing a process to nurture, catalogue and leverage them. Starting with the important questions will help. Remember, your clients are also motivated to see successful outcomes from your work together.

Ask, Ask Away

You can probably come up with other important questions that you wish had been asked earlier in certain client relationships. Like with most skills, practice makes perfect. Think of several of your best existing clients and seek their input on how to address the tough topics in new relationships. They’ll likely be honored to help, and you’ll be making that relationship even stronger.

Conferences and Events

Topics: Client Relationships

SAP Concur Recognizes Full Sail Partners’ Blackbox Connector with Two Awards

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Mon, Apr 30, 2018 @ 11:40 AM
SAP Concur Solution Provider Award Full Sail Partners is honored to be the recipient of the Solution Provider Program Top Overall Partner 2017 award and the App Center Partner of the Year 2018 Newcomer Award from SAP Concur at their annual Fusion Conference in Seattle. Over the last few years, Full Sail Partners and SAP Concur have been diligently working together to provide Blackbox Connector solutions to their mutual Deltek Vision clients.

“Due to the amazing support of the partner teams at SAP Concur and our own incredible Blackbox Connector team at Full Sail Partners, we have been able to provide some fantastic solutions to our clients. It has been a great year and I look forward to a bright future with Blackbox Connector and SAP Concur,” noted Tanya Drake, Director of Add-on Technology sales at Full Sail Partners.

SAP Concur is the world’s leading provider of integrated travel, expense management, and AP invoice automation services and solutions. Deltek Vision is a leading enterprise software solution designed for project-based professional services firms to improve business performance, streamline operations and win new business. The Blackbox Connector offering by Full Sail Partners allows Deltek Vision users to connect their Vision systems to other third-party software solutions like SAP Concur and streamline business operations.

Full Sail Partners was also given the App Center Partner of the Year 2018 Newcomer Award. Both the Deltek Vision to SAP Concur Expense and SAP Concur AP Invoice Blackbox Connectors are available in SAP Concur’s App Center. The SAP Concur App Center offers apps which integrate with Concur Travel, Expense and AP Invoice products. For more information, visit https://www.concur.com/app-center.

“Full Sail Partners has proven to be an outstanding and valued partner to SAP Concur. Full Sail Patners’ Blackbox Connector integration for Deltek Vision along with their team of experienced professionals led us to numerous customer wins and pipeline growth in a previously untapped market,” stated Chris Llorente, Head of American Solution Providers as SAP Concur.

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

Top 5 Benefits of Deltek for Professional Services by Role

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, Apr 25, 2018 @ 02:32 PM

Deltek for Professional Services By now, you’ve probably heard about Deltek for Professional Services (DPS), but how does the next generation Deltek product help your firm? To answer this question, it’s easiest to break down the firm into its key roles and show the benefits of DPS to each of them. So, role by role, let’s look at the top 5 benefits of DPS.

Marketing Manager      

Marketing is all about firm promotion to assist the business development team with connecting a firm to a potential new client. Firms must deliver and manage marketing campaigns and streamline the proposal process to win more projects. So, how does DPS benefit marketing managers?

Using DPS, marketing managers can:

  • Monitor campaigns to find potential clients and follow up on leads
  • Track marketing ROI and win rates
  • Deliver better and more information packed proposals
  • Eliminate wasted time and double entry with all the information you need in a single view
  • Collaborate on proposals through conversations, tasks, shared documents, and calendar events

Business Development Manager

Business development requires keeping a close eye on all your opportunities. Business development managers must track all their activities and touchpoints to ensure they are meeting their goals. Let’s see how DPS benefits business development managers.

Using DPS, business development managers can:

  • Cultivate, nurture, and manage relationships with clients employing tools available
  • Easily see your sales pipeline to ensure goals are met
  • Provide competitive and reliable project estimates to ensure profitable projects
  • Easily collaborate across the firm to make the most of limited business development time and resources
  • Drive the go/no-go process to determine the best opportunities to pursue

Project Manager

Delivering a profitable project on time that exceeds the client’s expectations can be difficult. Project managers must have the tools at their fingertips to make this happen. How does DPS help project managers?

Using DPS, project managers can:

  • Easily build project schedules and budgets for a profitable project
  • Utilize the right people on the right projects to deliver on schedule and under budget
  • See all necessary project aspects on one screen
  • Utilize alerts and dashboards to identify potential risks and make the required adjustments
  • Collaborate with project teams through conversations, tasks, shared files, and events to ensure projects are delivered on time and on budget

Human Resources Manager

Finding and retaining the best talent in the professional services industry can be difficult for human resources managers. Human resources managers need to quickly find, onboard, and retain top talent. What can DPS do for human resources managers?

Using DPS, human resources managers can:

  • Manage skills and certifications so they have the information they need to assign the right resources to projects
  • Forecast and fill resourcing gaps
  • Utilize customized self-service onboarding so talent can become billable faster
  • Evaluate resources at the project level to ensure project performance is at its best
  • View your firm’s new hire information, retention rates, and turnover ratios

Controller

For a controller at a professional services firm, it can be extremely difficult to get accurate and timely financial information on projects and clients. Controllers need to track important metrics and address red flags before they affect the profitability of projects. Check out how DPS benefits controllers.

Using DPS, controllers can:

  • Generate invoices that are correct the first time
  • Get paid faster with interactive and automated billing tools in combination with robust accounts receivable management
  • Always know when things need your attention with thorough reporting
  • Track your goals by monitoring key metrics including margins, utilization rates, and cash flow
  • Quickly capture accurate information with simple timesheets and expenses

Executive

As the firm leader, the executive needs critical firm information at his fingertips. Executives manage the entire project from pursuit to payment and everything in between. How then do executives benefit from DPS?

Using DPS, executives can:

  • See the most profitable types of projects
  • Gain more profitability and efficiency by adjusting teams, projects, and resources
  • Make better and faster business decisions with all the information about the firm in a single view
  • Give employees a solution that is easy to use so they have more time for things that matter most
  • Find clients that are draining resources and hurting the bottom line

Deltek for Professional Services is the Answer to “What if”

What if it all just worked? With DPS, your firm can simplify the entire project lifecycle, from winning the project to getting paid by the client at the end. If your firm is ready to increase its profits and win more business, now is the time to see what DPS can do for you.

Deltek for Professional Services | DPS  

Topics: Technology Solutions, Professional Services, PSA

How Do You Measure the Success of Your Firm’s Talent Management?

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Apr 18, 2018 @ 11:35 AM

 

Talent Management Many people don’t realize that talent management is a key business strategy and is vital to a firm’s success. It begins with recruiting potential hires and follows employees throughout their entire life cycles with a firm. Since talent management has such a great financial impact on a firm, talent metrics should be used to show return on investment and to make informed business decisions. So, which metrics are the most significant?

5 Important Talent Management Metrics 

  1. Cost to Hire

It is very expensive to hire a new employee. Up front, you have ad placement and sourcing costs. Additionally, there is the time spent by the recruiter and managers to interview and determine the best candidate from the pool. As much effort and time will be put into selecting and onboarding the right match for a position at your firm, you want to ensure the new hire is a good return on investment. You also want to assess whether your ad placements and sourcing tools are getting you the quality candidates you desire. 

  1. Time to Full Productivity

Every new hire needs some time to become acquainted with the new position and learn the ropes. Generally, it requires several months before a new hire can be fully productive. However, it is imperative that your firm has an effective onboarding and training program to get new hires up to speed as fast as possible. The quicker a new hire moves to full productivity, the faster there is the return on investment. 

  1. High Potential Talent

As part of your talent management plan, you should hire a percentage of people that you expect to provide more value down the road for the organization. This talent should be the best of the best. These employees will be the ones you pull from for future succession into higher-level roles. Making sure you hire talent with potential is necessary to avoid more costs of hiring. 

  1. Talent Mobility

Retention of talent is another important factor to consider, especially when concerned with the financial impact of hiring a replacement. Employees need to know that there are opportunities for them to move within the firm, so they don’t stagnate in the same position after several years. Your firm should offer career paths for upward mobility for top performers who seek new challenges. 

  1. Talent Turnover

Turnover is probably the most relevant metric of all. Your firm will want to keep this number as low as possible to reduce its financial impact. With turnover, you have the cost of replacing the position with a new hire and the loss of the knowledge gleaned during the years of service. Additionally, turnover stops the cohesive flow of business and causes efficiency to wane.

Manage Your Talent Well

Of course, there are cases where turnover cannot be prevented no matter what the firm does. Overall though, your talent should be chosen wisely, trained properly and given opportunities for mobility. When you manage your talent well, you will in fact reduce your costs because word of mouth is free and high potential talent will come to you.

Talent Management

Topics: Professional Services, HR, Employees

Make Smarter Decisions with the Informer 5 Business Intelligence Tool

Posted by Matt McCauley on Wed, Apr 11, 2018 @ 11:35 AM

Informer 5Business analytics has become increasingly important for professional services firms. However, finding a business intelligence (BI) tool that works with Deltek Vision and gives us the analytics we want has been challenging. We need flexibility, customization and ease of use to answer important questions about our firms yet often we find that this type of analysis is not accessible in Vision. Thus, we are faced with the export/import/number crunch process in an external tool like Excel plus countless hours spent doing the calculations over and over. We need a better solution, instant access, and easy updates.

Enter Informer 5

Introducing Informer 5, the BI tool which works with Deltek Vision to make instant analytics readily available. Informer 5 is an integrated customizable interface to Vision data for use in various analytical scenarios. Using the Blackbox Connector, direct integration with Vision is now a reality.  

You simply select the data fields you want in your database including standard Vision fields, User Defined Fields, and User Defined Info Centers, and you’ll quickly be able to visually see project metrics, employee measurements, marketing results, and firm forecasting. You’ll be able to answer questions such as: 

  • How are my projects performing?
  • How is that new branch office doing?
  • Are my employees billing enough hours?
  • How is the firm doing compared to the last three years?

Also, remember those spreadsheets with all that data we built over the past years? Informer 5 can integrate this data with your Vision data. No need to reinvent the wheel, we can use it as a data source. Other data sources? Informer 5 can access those too.

Visualize Your Data with Informer 5

Are you interested in where your work is being done and where the profits are made? Well, Informer 5 also includes geographical presentations including maps. You can easily visualize and determine these specifics with Informer 5.

You can even find the numbers behind the pictures. Informer 5 has built in drill down capabilities that can take you directly to the detail data. From Profit Center to Project Manager, Project Manager to Project, and all the way down to line item detail, data can be acquired with Informer 5, and all of this can be gathered from the same graph with no need to run additional reports.

Make Smarter Decisions with Informer 5

On a final note, the Informer 5 package includes set calculations for many of our industry standard metrics. Additional calculations can be added to customize this solution for any firm. Also, firm data can be updated regularly on schedule or updated on demand from Vision. It is up to you. So, with all of these awesome features of Informer 5 and its integration with Vision, isn’t it time for your firm to start making smarter decisions?

Blackbox Connector for Informer 5 and Deltek Vision

Topics: Building Business, Technology Solutions, Professional Services

STOP THE MADNESS with AP Automation

Posted by Tanya Drake on Wed, Apr 04, 2018 @ 11:35 AM

Invoice In almost every business we walk into, AP is the cause of significant, but often overlooked, strain and costs. From sorting through emailed or paper invoices and tracking checks to manually entering accounting information often requiring corrections, these tasks are huge time consumers. Do you know how many people are managing this in your business, and how many hours they spend each week/month? Think about what else they could be doing with this time and how much money could be saved.

Just the Facts

Did you know that 77% of invoices received by companies are in a manual format – either hard copies, PDFs, emails or faxes? The average cost to manually process just one invoice is $34. Using a manual system, there is limited visibility into who needs to get paid what and when, not to mention the possibility of late fees or the dreaded double payment. To add to this issue, any disruptions or delays in payments can jeopardize critical vendor relationships.

By automating your invoices into and through your system and eliminating errors, the average cost per invoice is 80% less. Multiply that times all your invoices and see how much you can save. It just makes financial sense to go with AP automation.

Using AP Automation

With AP Automation, you can connect every step from purchase requests to processing and payment with one solution eliminating paper and costly mistakes. Invoices of all types get captured electronically and matched against POs and goods received before being automatically routed for approval.

The process is a very simple one. The vendor sends an invoice to an email you provide that automatically routes into Concur. The Concur system uses optical character recognition (OCR) to read the invoice and fills in the:

  • Vendor information
  • Payment request type
  • Request name
  • Invoice date
  • Net payment terms
  • Invoice & PO number with invoice received date
  • Currency type and amount
  • Shipping and tax
  • Line item descriptions, quantities, and unit price 

Your staff simply reviews the invoice, makes any corrections necessary, fills out the Project, Phase & Task information, as well as Expense Type, then submits the invoice to be routed through your process. Your firm can also establish policies to automatically route invoices from specific vendors or projects to the appropriate staff members and to code those invoices and flag exceptions.

Your firm’s approval process can be as simple or complicated as you need. The approver has the ability to approve, approve and forward or send back to the submitter. A comment can also be added that will communicate the reason for not approving. The communication thread is maintained with the invoice as it flows through the system and even after it is paid. You can always see what was discussed during the approval flow.

Gain Visibility into the AP Process

All this is great, you say, but I still need visibility. With Concur, you get all these benefits plus easy to access reports and dashboards that allow you to track many KPIs, including:

  • Invoice accruals
  • Invoice cycle time
  • Top vendors by spend - to help give you visibility into where you can negotiate to lower your costs 

If you’re also using Concur for your expense reports, you can truly capture your entire firm spend with one solution and view reports and data across all areas in one place. Below is a diagram that demonstrates the Concur Invoice process: 

Concur AP Invoice Process

Concur Integrates with Deltek Vision

How does this all get back into Deltek Vision, you ask? With the Blackbox Connector, integrating Vision and Concur is simple. Of course, there are some mandatory fields that must be synced – for example, the Vendor ID and name. However, you can choose what additional data is synced.

Do you need to send the vendor type to Concur? Have you added a custom field you wish to include? The Blackbox Connector mapping will allow you to sync the fields you want with a simple click and drag. This works on any field from Vision into Concur. All you do is ensure that a field is in Vision and is in Concur to hold the data. Within some limits, you can also control what comes back into Vision for the AP transaction file including the images associated to the invoices.

Your accounting team will likely be concerned about everything going to the correct GL Account. Concur uses Expense types for the entry data. The Blackbox Connector for Vision to Concur allows for these Expense Types to be translated into Vision GL Accounts based on the project type used, which allows for your GL coding to be automated and standardized, significantly reducing errors.

What about the periods? How do you control what period this goes in? Simple, the AP transactions go into Vision as an unposted status. This gives you the ability to post the transaction to the correct period.

Stop the Madness

AP Automation is a simple phrase that, as you can see, solves a not so simple challenge facing almost every firm. In addition to lowering your costs, you also get the added benefits of better control over and improved visibility into your spending. Automate AP and free up your team to take on bigger challenges and make a greater impact on your firm!

Vision Integrates with Concur

Topics: Accounting, Technology Solutions

Using Business Intelligence for Successful Firm Performance

Posted by Wes Renfroe on Wed, Mar 28, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Business Intelligence Technically, business intelligence or BI has been around for centuries. It is simply the review/analysis of business data. Traditionally, this review had been focused on the past performance of financial data which was easiest to access. As this was financial data, the only people who had access were senior management teams and lower level employees were provided little, if any information. Fortunately, we have come a long way since the old days.

Old Days No More

Financial trends have become easier to access and report against, and we have gotten better at creating and using tools to let us peer into the murky future. Solutions such as resource (people) planning, project planning and CRM (client relationship management) now allow us to track what we see on our immediate horizons. With a combination of these past-looking and forward-looking tools, we can provide a comprehensive view of our performance and where we see upcoming opportunities.

New Problem with Amount of Available Data

So, here’s the new problem. We have access to so much information that it is easy to get overwhelmed. There needs to be a way to draw our eye to a potential “opportunity.” We have also restructured enough that simply having a team who looks at the information and communicates the “opportunity” down the channels isn’t enough. We now require everyone in the company to see the potential and act on it. 

Power of Modern BI Tools

Modern BI tools are the solution to this problem. They allow for consolidation of information into a single data warehouse, so management can see the trends, but this information can also be maintained ‘real-time’ or very close to it depending on the situation. The information can then be presented in a cohesive format that provides an easy view of how the company is performing against its goals.

Furthermore, this information can be disseminated through all the employees (as appropriate) so they can then make informed decisions about their day to day priorities. Additionally, with our mobile workforce, modern BI provides people access to what they need when they need it. Ultimately, the best BI will offer a visual that will call out an issue (or opportunity to improve) and then allow direct access to the data to see what the detail is. 

Example of How Modern BI Works

Below is an actual Division Manager view that shows her the team’s utilization, backlog and outstanding AR. She might look at the AR third column (with the big past due amount) and want to see the specifics:

BI Blog Image 1.png

A simple click of a button will drill down to the clients and let her know there really is only one problem:

BI Blog Image 2.png

She can even go down further to the detail level and see more:

BI Blog Image 3.png

This information will be available to her at the job site, the soccer match or while she grabs a coffee on the way to work. Modern BI tools are very convenient and effective.

Ensuring Successful Firm Performance with Modern BI Tools

Today’s BI is the best way to stay in touch with your company’s performance. A responsive, well thought out BI tool will allow the company to focus on performance metrics that can easily be drilled down to the individual and rolled up to the management team. This modern BI will enable everyone on the team to pull in the same direction and ensure success for the entire company.

Blackbox Connector for Informer 5 and Deltek Vision

Topics: Building Business, Marketing, Technology Solutions