Full Sail Partners Blog

The Benefits of an Applicant Tracking System for Project-Based Firms

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Oct 17, 2018 @ 02:30 PM

Now Hiring! It used to be that people needed companies - employees were loyal, jobs were scarce, and everyone accepted the standard employment package offered. Today, things are very different. Companies need people – talent is hard to find, few make long term commitments, and many are demanding a lot more than before. Project-based companies are particularly impacted since without the right people in place, projects suffer, customers suffer and so does the bottom line. Therefore, having an applicant tracking system is a necessity to deal with the challenges of talent acquisition.

Expediting Talent Acquisition

These days, companies are the ones trying to convince talent to join the firm while the competition is courting them as well. It is crucial that the time it takes from sourcing candidates to interviewing to offering positions is greatly shortened. An applicant tracking system provides a clearer picture of the entire process. It shows right away if any of the steps are taking longer than necessary and allows firms to be more efficient in the hiring process. Project-based companies need the right people available at the right time to keep projects running smoothly.

Talent Pools

With people moving around as much as they do today, firms should always have a reserve of potential talent. An applicant tracking system helps with creating and maintaining these pools of talent. When resumes are entered, HR can flag those candidates who would be good fits for future opportunities. So, if a project manager leaves unexpectedly or a new project is won, a talent pool is immediately available to contact which reduces the delay in staffing. Nothing is worse for project-based firms than having to put off a project start date because of lack of appropriate personnel.

Candidate Experience

Another benefit of an applicant tracking system is that it ensures a positive candidate experience. The candidate’s experience moving through the hiring process has a huge impact on whether an offer will be taken. Firms must make candidates feel that they are valued. An applicant tracking system makes it easier to stay connected with candidates, so they feel informed and not forgotten. Project-based firms will not only have excited quality talent coming on board from this positive experience, but word of mouth will spread creating a talent pool for future projects.

Invest in an Applicant Tracking System

Project-based firms make money when projects are done on time and to customer satisfaction. Without the right personnel on the project, firms are destined for failure. An applicant tracking system expedites the hiring process by reducing inefficiencies and encouraging quality talent. Firms can easily overcome the challenges of talent acquisition by investing in one today. What is your firm waiting for?

Talent Management  

Topics: HR, Professional Services

Improve Your Expense Management Process

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Thu, Oct 11, 2018 @ 01:54 PM

 

Expense ManagementExpense management seems to be a difficult task for accounting personnel at many professional services firms. With a workforce that is constantly on the go, tracking spending and enforcing expense policies can provide a plethora of challenges. What if there was a better way to manage expenses? Let’s see what firms can do to improve the expense management process.

Streamlined Process from Start to Finish

Being on the go means employees must be able to book travel and track expenses from anywhere at any time. Employees and those who approve expenses need to be able to easily accomplish these things from a smartphone or tablet. So, an efficient expense management solution needs to have a user-friendly mobile feature available to all.

Accurate Collection of Information

Not only is it time consuming to have to manually enter information from receipts, it is also prone to errors. Firms should have an expense management solution with optical character recognition (OCR) capabilities. OCR technology enables applications to recognize printed or written text characters so users can take a picture of a receipt, and the application will add the name of the vendor, the dollar amount spent and the date to an expense essentially saving time and reducing errors.

Simplified Policy Enforcement

Sure, we all like to make travel for ourselves more convenient for our schedules and prefer certain hotels. However, the later flight and the preferred hotel might cost a lot more, and if the policy is to find the best deal, how can your firm know employees are sticking to it? Well, firms should have an expense management solution that compares the costs of flights and hotels to ensure employees are booking the best value. If a more expensive flight or hotel is required, employees can submit a request with a reason indicated.  

Integration with the Core Accounting Software

Several core accounting management systems have built-in expense management solutions. However, they often lack the key features mentioned above. This means firms may need to look for a third-party solution provider to gain these benefits. It is important that the third-party solution integrates with the core solution, so do your research to find one that helps keep your expense management process streamlined.

Picking the Most Efficient Expense Management Solution

It is said that business travel expense is the second most difficult operating expense to manage. By moving away from paper receipts and automating the expense management process, firms can gain better control of employee spending. So, what are you waiting for? Find the best solution to improve your firm’s expense management processes.

Vision Integrates with Concur 

Topics: Technology Solutions, Professional Services, Accounting

Business Intelligence and Key Performance Indicators: So Happy Together

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Oct 03, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Business Intelligence and KPIs

Establishing meaningful key performance indicators (KPIs) is vital if your firm is committed to data-driven decision making. First, you will need to determine what most clearly correlates with your company’s goals. A simple way to think about KPIs is that you can only improve what can be measured, and using today’s business intelligence (BI) offerings, measuring KPIs can be especially precise and easy to do. Let’s look at some trends in BI and the connection to KPIs. 

Easier data discovery

It used to be that data discovery was only done by IT experts who created reports about crucial information regarding KPIs. This process could take many days, and by the time a report was generated, the information was irrelevant. With the continuing simplification of BI, more people can now have access to real-time analytics. Using simplified BI, anyone can drill down into the data and find answers to important questions which are related to KPIs.

Visual Analytics

For non-analytical people, visualizations are helpful to digest key information. They activate the brain’s recognition capabilities and enable people to detect patterns in charts and graphs. Rather than having to discover data buried in tables over multiple pages, visual analytics allow for decisions to be made quickly and are a much more efficient way to evaluate KPIs.

Self-service Business Intelligence

More and more business users are accessing BI solutions to make faster and better-informed decision. Each company has unique goals and so does each department. To measure specific KPIs, customized BI dashboards can be created with the features relevant to each user. These dashboards are viewed in a single screen providing immediate, accurate and up to date visual status reports.

Mobile Business Intelligence

Today’s fast paced business environment requires that people have access to critical BI anywhere, anytime. With increased accessibility and improved smartphones, BI can also be analyzed on mobile devices. Companies that use mobile BI can stay ahead of the competition because there is always access to important data for decision making and gauging KPIs.

Cloud Business Intelligence

While most BI software has been hosted on-premise, the increase in on-demand data access has led to cloud BI. There are many benefits of a cloud BI solution. It is easy to install because it is an internet-based software, adding new users is a simple and the cost is low. Cloud BI is an option for companies of all sizes within an industry that provides an instant way to assess KPIs.

Being Proactive with Business Intelligence

All firms strive to be successful and creating KPIs allows them to measure success and avoid potential negative outcomes. Using a BI solution, firms can be proactive by visually seeing KPIs and making quick decisions based upon critical information. The two go hand in hand and together they help firms make sense of it all.

Key Performance Indicators  

Topics: Technology Solutions, Professional Services

Benefits of Having Clean Company Data

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, Sep 26, 2018 @ 03:41 PM

 

Clean Company DataYou’ve probably heard the saying, “bad data in – bad data out.” Well, bad data is outdated, incorrect, incomplete or duplicated information, and according to the Harvard Business Review, workers waste 50% of their time dealing with it. Now ask yourself, when was the last time someone at your firm took a deep dive into the data in your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system?  While the process of cleaning company data is time consuming, it is something all firms should do on regular basis. Businesses can achieve numerous benefits by fixing bad data. Here’s a look at some of the top benefits.

Improves Employee Productivity

Spending the day combing through a bunch of bad data is tedious work and a major time waster. Furthermore, the result of this extensive effort might be little to no actionable information. Also, with finding inaccurate information, employees may be led down the wrong path and not towards the goal. However, with clean company data, businesses can be sure employees are making the best use of their work hours and accomplishing goals.

Improves Marketing Efficiency

Building a pipeline of new revenue requires having accurate data about customers you want to target for your marketing efforts. Having the correct email address, mailing address and phone number is critical to ensure the highest rate of return for your marketing efforts. Regularly cleaning customer data ensures information is up-to-date and marketers can realize a higher return on investment and a larger pipeline of new opportunities.

Improves Decision-Making

Effective decision-making is critical to the success of a firm and requires having accurate data. Business intelligence (BI) is a hot topic in all industries right now. For your firm to be able to jump on the BI bandwagon, the data you are using to make decisions must be accurate. Having clean data can support better analytics and improve your firm’s decision-making process.

Prevents Fraud and Billing Mistakes

Having clean company data can also reduce fraud and billing mistakes. In many cases, vendors may send multiple invoices for the same service to encourage firms to pay them faster and more often. They are not trying to be malicious. Accurately tracking invoices to see which ones have been paid will reduce double paying vendors.

Get Your Firm’s Data Clean

The task of going through your firm’s data can be daunting, but the benefits of clean company data are worth it. To begin the cleaning process, you’ll want to define goals and assign ownership to the different steps required to obtain your goals. You can also automate several of these steps using the different software solutions, or you can seek help from a trusted outside company that is familiar with the ERP system your firm uses.

Blackbox Connector for Informer 5 and Deltek Vision 

Topics: Client Relationships, CRM, ERP

How to Reap the Benefits of Employee Engagement

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Sep 19, 2018 @ 01:37 PM

Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is the extent to which individuals are personally involved in the success of a business. Interestingly enough, it does not mean employee satisfaction. Employees can be satisfied in their jobs, but still not be engaged. The fact is engaged employees are invested in their company, and they have an emotional commitment to the organization and its goals, so they will go the extra mile for their firm.

Benefits of Employee Engagement

Gallup firm research shows that 68.5% of U.S. employees are not engaged in their current roles. This lack of engagement costs U.S. companies between $450-550 billion in lost productivity a year. When employees are engaged by their work, however, there are higher levels of productivity, a boost in the company’s bottom line, better retention rates, an increased sense of health and well-being and happier customers.

It is important that businesses create the conditions to engage employees. Doing so provides valuable loyalty inspiring experiences which will in the end drive profits. The best business leaders realize that an engaged workforce can propel innovation, increase performance, and grow the organization.

9 Key Areas of an Employee Engagement Strategy

  1. Purpose – This is the thing that drives the firm forward. A sense of purpose is crucial to creating the emotional bond between employees and their work. With a specific mission and clear company values, employees will become engaged.
  2. Communication – The emotional component of communication speaks to the basic human need to feel valued. When employees receive proper, frequent and constructive communication, they feel in the loop which establishes trust. It is critical to not rely too heavily on email in communication.
  3. Health and wellness – A Gallup study found 62% of engaged employees felt work positively affected their physical health. Established health and wellness campaigns play a role in creating emotional connections. Again, these emotional connections engage employees.
  4. Workspace and environment – How companies set up employee workspaces determines the feel of the environment. With functional and inspirational workspaces, a sense of pride is created along with a desire for employees to be there. Wanting to be at work increases performance.
  5. Well-defined roles – Defining roles connects the company’s mission with its employees’ daily activities. Firms must show how each employee’s efforts contribute to the overall mission. This identifies how each individual employee is thus responsible for the ultimate success of the firm.
  6. Relationship with colleagues – Numerous studies have shown that firms where friendships are common have more engaged employees and better business. Gallup research even found that people with a self-described best friend at work are seven times more likely to be fully engaged. Relationships create another emotional connection to the firm.
  7. Recognition and incentives – The act of being recognized for individual efforts makes employees feel like valued team members and creates another emotional connection. Also, certain monetary incentives like profit sharing activate an emotional response with a vested interest in making a profit. Engaged employees will financially benefit from their hard work.
  8. Buy-in from managers – According to SHRM, employees who trust their managers appear to have more pride in their firm. They are more likely to feel that they are applying their talents for both their own success and that of the organization. Management buy-in to encourage employee engagement is a necessity which goes hand in hand with frequent communication.
  9. Personal growth and development – Personal growth and development is the final emotional component that will support employee engagement. Employees need to know that they can advance in their firm, and they want opportunities for education and training. Seeing how they can progress in their contribution to the firm’s mission will also help maintain engagement. 

Benchmarking Employee Engagement

Having engaged employees is essential to a successful business. Creating and implementing an effective employee engagement strategy is crucial as well. What’s left to consider is how to benchmark the employee engagement. Using an employee engagement survey, firms can determine the types of activities employees want to participate in as well as their thoughts on the state of the workplace. Listening to the voices of your employees and sharing what you have learned will continue to encourage employee engagement and let your firm reap its benefits.

Employee Engagement  

Topics: Employees, HR

Reasons Why You Should Attend Deltek Insight

Posted by Madeline O'Connor on Wed, Sep 12, 2018 @ 01:40 PM

Deltek Insight 2018Deltek Insight 2018 is fast approaching­! Have you thought about attending? This year it will be in Dallas, Texas from November 5th to the 8th at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center. If you are not sure yet about attending Deltek Insight this year, here’s a look at some reasons to make it worth your while.

Learn More at Sessions Led by Experts

Deltek products can do so much for your business. At Insight, there are multiple sessions with Deltek experts where you can learn things you might have never known. These educational sessions are provided to Deltek users, so they can utilize their Deltek products successfully.

Additionally, experts from Full Sail Partners will be on-site leading other sessions. Rick Childs along with Tim Burns will be demonstrating how to speed up your accounts payable process through automation. If you are struggling with workflows, join Kelly Duquette as she shows how you can use standard workflows to automate repetitive tasks. Check out the whole list of Full Sail Partners’ led sessions here.

There is also a great lineup of keynotes at Insight. The list includes Mike Robbins, The Four Oarsmen, and Johnny Cupcakes. These sought-after speakers will provide inspirational stories and talk about their achievements. Learn more about the educational opportunities at Insight 2018 here

Meet Other Deltek Users

Insight is the largest gathering of Deltek users. Attending this conference gives you the opportunity to connect with Deltek users from around the world that you would normally not be able to meet. You will be able to speak with others in your industry about common issues and how they use their Deltek products. With so many Deltek users in one spot, you can get answers to questions that you have or give feedback to those struggling with an obstacle that you have overcome.

Have Fun While You Work

Deltek Insight will kick off Monday, November 5th with a general session where attendees can mingle while learning what will be going on throughout the four days of Insight. Then at the welcome reception, everyone will enjoy snacks and beverages provided by Deltek. Make sure to stop by our booth and see what we have been doing this year to improve our customer experience!

Finally, Celebrate Insight which is the last night of the conference will be held at the world-famous Gilley’s in downtown Dallas. Attendees will be dancing through the decades with six decade-inspired rooms including the 60’s Revolution, a 70’s disco, I Love the 80’s, Smells like 90’s Spirit, and Y2K Tech Nerds. Food and beverages will be provided in each room, and if that’s not enough, the legendary Kool & The Gang will be performing their iconic hits. This Celebrate Insight is something you’ll not want to miss.

Register Now for Deltek Insight 2018

With all these amazing events that are going on this year, you are going to want to sign up right away! From the networking, to the learning experiences, to the fun, it is worth the effort to attend. See you there!

Deltek Insight 2018 

Topics: Deltek Insight

Introducing Deltek Vantagepoint

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, Sep 05, 2018 @ 03:13 PM

 

Deltek VantagepointWhen Deltek for Professional Services (DPS) 2.0 is released, it will have a new name - Deltek Vantagepoint. In addition to the name change, there will be several enhancements to improve the user experience for both back office and front office users. Here is a sneak peek of how Deltek plans to take the breadth and depth of the Vantagepoint solution to the next level.

Say Goodbye to the Smart Client

With the release of Vantagepoint 2.0, Deltek will begin to push users away from the smart client and direct them to the web browser version. Using this version, they will be able to access Vantagepoint from any device that is connected to the internet using any browser they desire. Think of it this way - Vision is the smart client and iAccess is the web-based version. Keep in mind that if your firm is still using Vision, you may want to consider using iAccess more to get comfortable with the look and feel of Vantagepoint.

Proposals Engine

The proposals engine is now being introduced to Vantagepoint, and it is a great feature. For marketing, the proposal process can be extremely time consuming. With the proposals engine, a person creating a proposal can go through and check off boxes based on the requirements of the RFP, and Vantagepoint will automatically create the proposal. It can include images and pictures, employee resumes, past work examples, references and more.

Combined Opportunities and Projects

The opportunities hub is going away and is now being combined with projects. This has a huge upside for business development. By tracking an opportunity as a project, time and associated costs can be captured to help determine the price of pursuing new work. Additionally, a timeline with milestones and reminders can be developed to ensure business development is staying on top of winning the opportunity.

Simplified Transactions

Moving forward, transactions will be managed within a single location. Users will go to one place within Vantagepoint to enter, edit, report, post and approve transactions. Additionally, you will have the option to enter transactions without files and to post on entry. The line item detailed view will still be available.

Project Information Management Integration  

Deltek Project Information Management (PIM) will now be integrated with Vantagepoint. It will be easy to find since it will be a tab in the project record. By using PIM, firms can easily share project related documents and information within one platform.

Expanded Dashpart Designer

The new improved dashpart designer allows users to create custom dashboards with information that is important to them. They can select bar and line graphs, pie charts, or other graphics as part of their dashboards. Additionally, users will have enhanced control for grouping, sorting, filtering and totaling data all within the dashpart.

Improved Reporting

The reporting screen will now have a preview menu. When users create a report, the multiple clicks required in the past will be eliminated. The reporting tool will also include charts and graphs.

What Deltek Vantagepoint 2.0 Means to Your Firm

One thing is for sure - 2018 to 2019 will be a transitional time for Deltek Vantagepoint. As Deltek continues to further develop Vantagepoint, more features will be added to further enhance this solution. The most important take away for users is that they need to be aware of the changes coming and they need to be ready to embrace them.

Reach Full Sail!  

Topics: Professional Services, Project Management, Accounting

Theresa DePew Joins Full Sail Partners as Finance Consultant

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Tue, Sep 04, 2018 @ 11:35 AM

Theresa Depew Full Sail Partners is pleased to welcome Theresa DePew to our consulting team. As a Finance Consultant, she will be supporting Full Sail Partners’ clients across the United States regarding Deltek Vision and Deltek for Professional Services. Additionally, Theresa will be responsible for the implementation of Concur Expense & Invoice for those clients who choose this add on service.

Theresa has fifteen years of experience working in corporate accounting both as a Project Accountant and in accounts payable. Her past industry experience includes working with project managers and other staff to ensure projects are in budget and closed in a timely manner. Theresa has also previously assisted in the implementation of both Deltek Vision and Concur Expense software.

“Having been a Deltek Vision and Concur client on the firm side, I am so excited to work as part of the Full Sail Partners’ consulting team. Using my prior experience in corporate accounting, I feel like I can really understand the needs of Full Sail Partners’ clients,” said Theresa DePew.

With both Vision and Concur experience under her belt, Theresa will be able to immediately fill in our increasing Vision consulting services as well as be a Concur implementation expert. More and more Full Sail Partners’ clients are choosing to not only get the most out of their Deltek Vision systems, but also to streamline their processes with the Deltek Vision to Concur Blackbox Connector. It is an exciting time, and Theresa will fill a vital role in keeping up with client needs. 

“With our ever-increasing client requests for Deltek Vision consulting services and Blackbox Connector offerings, we were looking for a champion who could take on these efforts. In Theresa, we have found the perfect skill set with her knowledge of and experience with both Deltek Vision and Concur Expense. We are thrilled for her to be part of the consulting team at Full Sail Partners,” stated Scott Seal, VP of Consulting.

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

Topics: Press Release

Deltek PIM Changes the Way Professional Services Firms Manage Information

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Aug 29, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Deltek PIM

Firms in the professional services industry often have a difficult time managing the large volumes of information that come with each project. Having access to all project information from emails to drawings to contracts is important and vital for effective project management. With information silos, disorganized yellow folders and different systems per team, there is a greater chance for a less than successful outcome on firm projects. Deltek Project Information Management, or PIM, changes the way professional services firms manage information.

PIM Challenges the Norm

Many professional services firms believe that using yellow folders to store project documentation is the best option. While they are certainly easy to create, these folder structures offer no options for controlling access to the most up to date project information. Critical project data can easily be missed, and uninformed decisions can be made without a central place to view all current documents like offered with PIM. 

Email Communication is Valuable Information

One of the biggest mistakes that project-based businesses make is not considering email communication valuable project information. Emails and their attachments have significant details that help keep track of the project progression. Issues crop up in email correspondence that are essential for project members to see. For the project to run smoothly, these emails must be stored appropriately as PIM provides. 

Benefits of Using Deltek PIM 

  • Organized project files improve efficiency – Users can store, manage, retrieve and share documents in a central hub
  • Better collaboration – Project communication is improved when all team members can see all the relevant information
  • Quickly find critical data – All key project information is available to monitor project progress and make better decisions
  • Protecting the firm – Risk can be reduced with greater visibility into project data
  • Mobile connection – Enables on-the-go field work where photos can be taken, or drawings can be viewed on site
  • Integration with Deltek ERP– Every critical piece of project information is in one location to manage budgets, schedules and resources for every project in Deltek 

Goodbye Yellow Folders, Hello Deltek PIM 

Deltek PIM offers a cohesive information management system which ensures that the correct knowledge is always available to all project team members. By implementing PIM, professional services firms can store, catalog and retrieve all essential project management documents from one place. If your firm is still managing project information using yellow folders or keeping information silos, the best decisions are not being made. PIM can help make better ones.

Deltek PIM  

Topics: Professional Services, HR, Project Information Management (PIM)

Full Sail Partners Announces the Hire of Joel Slater as Product Sales Manager

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Tue, Aug 28, 2018 @ 11:35 AM

Joel Slater Full Sail Partners, a Concur and Deltek Platinum Partner, is excited to announce that Joel Slater has joined the firm as Product Sales Manager. In this newly created role, he will oversee all Full Sail Partners’ product sales. The firm’s product offerings include Deltek Vision, Deltek for Professional Services and Blackbox Connector solutions which integrate multiple best of breed software applications like Entrinsik Informer 5 business intelligence and Concur Expense and Invoice.

Joel comes to Full Sail Partners with more than ten years of experience selling ERP and finance-related software applications to project-based firms. Also, having been a Sales Executive for both Concur and Deltek, Joel has ample knowledge of Full Sail Partners’ product offerings. With this exceptional background, he will be able to ensure Full Sail Partners’ clients are provided with the right tools within their stated budget to help them streamline their operations. 

“I’m excited to continue my career working with project-oriented firms, and with a continued focus on a product set which I truly believe in,” stated Joel Slater. “This new role provides an ideal setting for utilizing my past experience to help our clients advance successfully into the future.” 

As Product Sales Manager, Joel will work with clients directly on any Full Sail Partners’ product offering, but he will also be available to assist the account management and the Blackbox Connector sales teams. Our account management and Blackbox Connector sales teams are located across the country allowing us to provide better service to clients throughout the United States. Joel will be a great asset in working with them to offer the solution that best fits the individual client’s needs.   

“Joel is a highly-regarded sales person in the Deltek and Concur ecosystem. We are thrilled to have him join the Full Sail Partners’ team as our new Product Sales Manager,” stated Sarah Gonnella, VP of Marketing & Sales. “In addition to his strong selling background, Joel is known for mentoring other sales colleagues. As a growing sales group, this is vital to our firm’s success and we look forward to his knowledge and expertise to grow the company.”

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

Topics: Press Release