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Ryan Felkel

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Do More with the Deltek Learning Zone

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, Mar 13, 2019 @ 05:17 PM

Deltek Learning Zone If you’re a Deltek user, you know how robust the products are. As such, it can be a daunting task to learn how to use all the capabilities that Deltek products offer. Well, it doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as you would think. The Deltek Learning Zone (DLZ) can help Deltek users get the most out of their Deltek product.

What is the Deltek Learning Zone?

The DLZ is a one-stop-shop that provides Deltek users with opportunities to learn from experts about Deltek products. More specifically, the DLZ contains numerous flexible educational options that allow you to learn at your own pace and in your own learning style. There are virtual live classes, self-paced learning classes, support videos, workflow and process infographics, as well as quick reference guides. Even more, Deltek has added a new hands-on training lab that allows Deltek users to practice in a test database.

What Are the Benefits of the Deltek Learning Zone?

There are a variety of benefits to using the DLZ:

  • Offers a user-friendly interface that allows users to minimize clicks to launch an online learning platform which is in a secure environment and tracks your progress automatically.
  • Provides an extensive content library that offers users a comprehensive collection of current content created by the people who design and build Deltek products.
  • Allows Deltek users 24/7 access to learn in their preferred style at their convenience using online training techniques.
  • Earns Deltek solution certifications proving you have mastered a Deltek product.

Maximize Your Deltek Investment

Start maximizing your firm’s investment in Deltek products with the DLZ. Using the DLZ, you too can become a Deltek expert and increase your ability to more effectively use Deltek products. Additionally, as new Deltek products are brought to bear like Vantagepoint, resources will be made available in the DLZ so there is no hiatus in learning. Let’s get learning!

Deltek Learning Zone  

Topics: Support, Technology Solutions, Deltek Vision, Deltek Vantagepoint

Email Marketing: The Truth Revealed

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, Feb 13, 2019 @ 05:02 PM

 

Email Marketing Blog 2.13.19Digital marketing, which includes email marketing, is a very effective strategy to growing your business. Most significantly, email marketing and outreach allows you to gain valuable insights into what information and messaging is important to your prospective and current clients. With each email sent, marketers can see open and click rates, and who opened and clicked on a link in the email. As a result, prospects can be easily identified, and messaging modified to grab the attention of other targets.

Email Marketing is Alive and Well

For many people, mainly the non-marketing folks, understanding how email marketing is effective can be difficult. In fact, many believe that email marketing is ineffective since they get so much spam and find it to be an annoyance. However, this is not the case. Email marketing actually has a very positive impact on your business. Here some are staggering facts about email marketing:

  • There are 3.7 billion email users in the world and that will increase to 4.1 billion by 2021 (Statista)
  • Email marketing has a 28.5% ROI compared to snail mail which has a 7% ROI on average (Chief Marketer)
  • 59% of marketers agree that email marketing generates their biggest source of ROI (Emma)
  • Email marketing is 40 times more effective at acquiring new clients than Facebook or Twitter (McKinsey)
  • 72% of people prefer to receive promotional information via email compared to 17% who prefer social media channels (MarketingSherpa)
  • Email marketing is 6 times more likely to result in a click-through than a tweet (Campaign Monitor)
  • 90% of people said they will opt-in to receive a newsletter to obtain updates about a company while 10% elected Facebook (Nielsen Norman Group)
  • 70% of B2B marketers agree that increasing their email list quality is their top priority (Delivra)
  • The average office employee checks their email 30 times per hour (Marketing Insider Group)
  • Checking email is the number 1 activity on the internet (Marketo)
  • Companies in the United States will spend more than $350 million dollars on email marketing in 2019 (Statista)
  • Email marketing drives on average $44 for every $1 spent (Campaign Monitor)

Email Marketing has a Bright Future

With all of these facts about email marketing, it is evident that the strategy works. While your firm is probably using email marketing as part of your overall digital marketing strategy, are you seeing the ROI and maximizing the benefits? Learn more about tracking and measuring email marketing success rates here!

New Call-to-action 

Topics: Building Business, Marketing, Technology Solutions

Top Reasons to Automate the Accounts Payable Process

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, Dec 05, 2018 @ 11:47 AM

 

AP AutomationOne of the most time-consuming processes for accounting is accounts payable (AP). In fact, the entire process from receiving and reviewing invoices to paying the vendor is riddled with opportunities for errors. To make matters worse, 77% of invoices received by companies are in a manual format such as hard copies, PDFs and emails, and the average cost to process one invoice is $34. There is, however, a way to put an end to these ever-present accounting woes – automate the AP process.

Reasons to Automate the AP Process

Let’s look at the benefits of automation:

  • Save Time – Using optical character recognition (OCR) technology, AP automation software reduces the need for manually inputting information from an invoice into your firm’s accounting system
  • Eliminate Errors – With less reliance on manual input, the element of human error is greatly reduced
  • Faster Processing – AP automation software allows for faster approval since the software will flag invoices that have inaccurate information
  • Reduce Double Payments – AP automation software will flag a duplicate invoice when on the rare occasion a company accidentally sends two or more of the same invoices
  • Gain Greater Insight – With invoices in one system, firm leaders and the entire accounting staff can quickly evaluate spending using easy to read dashboards
  • Improved Relationships with Vendors – By paying invoices faster, your firm will have a better relationship with vendors and even possibly get an early payment discount
  • Better Staff Utilization – Instead of having accounting experts processing AP, they can work on more important accounting tasks

AP Automation Solution for Deltek Vision & Vantagepoint Users

For Deltek Vision and Vantagepoint, SAP Concur integrates with these ERP systems utilizing the Blackbox Connector integration. When you begin using Concur, you can have all your vendors email invoices to one specific email address. Concur will then use OCR technology to collect the information contained in the invoice which can be reviewed by a member of the accounting staff to approve or deny payment. Once approval has been given, a check or ACH payment can be made.

It’s important to note that Concur then uses Expense Types to link all invoices to the correct GL account. This information is then extracted on a nightly basis into your Deltek system keeping it up-to-date. See, it is actually quite simple. Let Concur AP automation work for your firm!

AP Automation  

Topics: Accounting, Technology Solutions, Professional Services

Things We Learned at Deltek Insight 2018

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Fri, Nov 16, 2018 @ 11:44 AM

Deltek Insight 2018

It’s important to keep in mind that Deltek Insight is about much more than just Deltek and its products. This annual networking event always offers so much to those who attend - from what’s new with accounting standards to inspiring stories from keynote speakers to opportunities to exchange ideas with colleagues. For those who didn’t have the opportunity to attend Deltek Insight 2018, here are some interesting things we learned this year.

Fun Facts Learned at Deltek Insight 2018

  • FASB ASC 606 impacts must be taken against retained earnings in 2018.
  • Deltek Vision will continue to be supported through at least 2022.
  • Deltek products are evolving and one new enhancement is “Hey Deltek” - the natural language processing and interaction creation like Siri and Alexa.
  • Johnny Cupcakes doesn’t actually sell cupcakes but t-shirts. So many people love his creative branding and messaging.
  • “Failures are just experiences. Experimenting is how we grow,” according to Johnny Cupcakes who started 16 companies before he was 16. Most people think they might fail so they don’t even get started. His advice? Take more chances and fail faster. When we fail, we learn, and failure helps us redefine priorities in life allowing us to be successful.
  • B2B and B2C are old fashioned concepts. You should now think H2H (human to human connection). How is your role and work impacting lives and making them better? This human connection is what brings us closer and builds memories.
  • Johnny Cupcakes also suggested “do more of what makes you happy,” which reinforces that human touch. Life is too short. Your clients have the same needs as you. Doing more of what makes you happy in return makes those around you happy.

Deltek Insight is Always Full of Information

As always, this year’s conference provided much value to those who attended. If you want to know more about attending Deltek Insight in the future or have any questions about this year’s conference, reach out to us using the link below. We hope to see you at Deltek Insight 2019 in Orlando, Florida.

Reach Full Sail!  

Topics: Professional Services, Deltek Insight

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: Accounting, 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

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: Project Management, Accounting, Professional Services

Preparing Your Firm for the Future with Succession Planning

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, Aug 22, 2018 @ 03:09 PM

 

Succession Planning Change is inevitable but planning for change can certainly alleviate its impact. If you’re the owner or leader of a professional services firm, you know that senior level personnel are eventually going to retire or might simply move on to new challenges. With this in mind, your firm can be prepared by having a succession plan in place for when employees leave.

What is Succession Planning?

Stated simply, succession planning is the process whereby an organization ensures that all key roles can be replaced by competent new employees. As part of the succession plan, employees that are going to eventually fill these high-level vacancies will participate in a training and mentoring program to prepare them to become future firm leaders. The succession plan should also include replacing lower level employees as they move to higher positions within the firm.  

The succession plan should be presented to employees as a professional development and training opportunity. It should provide a map to employees on where the firm believes their individual skills will benefit the organization in the future. In an effort to plan for staff leaving, the process actually encourages retention of other high-quality employees.

Developing a Succession Plan

Creating a succession plan requires firm leaders to take a hard and honest look at their current financial situation and where they predict themselves to be in the future. Additionally, they will need to determine when certain employees will retire, and which employees are appropriate to develop as future replacements. Each role no matter where it is in the firm will require a different training program that includes a mix of activities to ensure the skills required to be successful are learned in advance of any departure.

Common Challenges of a Quality Succession Plan

Creating and maintaining a quality succession plan is challenging. Here are some common issues firms face with succession planning that must be considered:

  • Smaller firms have fewer positions which makes it difficult for advancement
  • Tapped succession employees may leave for better salaries at other firms
  • Project-based firms can experience ups and downs to the number of contracts/jobs they manage and deliver which affects staffing
  • Senior leaders may stay in their position rather than leave when planned
  • Chosen succession employees may lack motivation to advance
  • Plan falters due to poor communication or the lack of clear development and training taking place

Investing into the Future of Your Firm

A succession plan is an investment into the future of your firm. The time and effort required for a successful succession plan is costly, but the plan can also create future savings. Having a great succession plan in place will encourage retention since employees will feel valued, but it will also prevent the negative impact of change if someone unexpectedly leaves.

Succession Planning  

Topics: Professional Services, HR

Top Characteristics of Powerful Key Performance Indicators

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, Aug 15, 2018 @ 05:52 PM

KPIs Almost all businesses utilize key performance indicators (KPIs) to identify trends and to measure performance against set goals. KPIs can fall into one of two categories: drivers and outcomes. Drivers measure current and future activity whereas outcomes measure the success of past activity. Furthermore, powerful KPIs should have some key characteristics to ensure they are clear and easily measurable.

Characteristics of Powerful Key Performance Indicators

  1. Simple – KPIs should be simple to understand and to measure. It is extremely important that employees know what a KPI is measuring and how it is being calculated. KPIs should also be concise so that are manageable and do not overwhelm employees with too much information.
  2. Relevant – KPIs need to be relevant to the organization. This can be done by making the KPIs for employees relate to the strategic goals and objectives of the company.
  3. Measurable – Employees need to be able to analyze their performance which is the goal of using KPIs. Therefore, KPIs must be measurable but not all will have a quantitative goal.
  4. Actionable – KPIs should prompt decisions and not create more questions. In other words, KPIs cannot be effective if employees are unsure of what to do with the information.
  5. Timely – KPIs should be reported frequently enough to allow employees to make timely decisions. However, avoid having the reporting too frequent as this can overwhelm employees with too much information.
  6. Visible – KPIs should be visible across the entire organization. This allows employees to see how their work is helping achieve the goals of the entire organization. It also provides incentives to employees to work harder and be more productive.

Using Key Performance Indicators to Drive Success

For a business to be successful, it must have goals it wants to achieve. These goals are a way to measure the performance of the company and its employees. Lastly and most importantly, a KPI is useless if the objective and the result cannot be reported on. Thus, KPIs must be meaningful to be powerful.

Blackbox Connector for Informer 5 and Deltek Vision 

Topics: Project Management, Professional Services

Revenue Recognition Impacts from FASB ASC 606

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, Aug 01, 2018 @ 02:37 PM

FASB ASC 606 On May 28th, 2014 the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) jointly issued the Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers. At the end of 2018, the way professional services firms recognize revenue from contracts with customers will be significantly impacted. ASC 606 will require firms to recognize revenue when goods or services are transferred to the customer in an amount that is equivalent to the goods or services delivered at that point. Let’s break this down into layman’s terms.

Basics to Revenue Recognition

The revenue recognition principle is an accounting guideline that requires revenue to be shown on the income statement in the period in which it is earned and not in the period when payment is collected. Furthermore, payment can be received prior to or after the delivery of a good or service, but the income statement must reflect the payment for the period in which it was billed. This is part of the accrual accounting basis as opposed to cash basis of accounting.

Impacts of FASB ASC 606

When FASB ASC 606 rolls out, professional services firms that are subject to audit will be required to apply this new standard. The new guideline establishes a five-step process to govern contract revenue reporting:

  1. Identify contract(s) with a customer
  2. Identify performance milestones in the contract
  3. Determine the transaction price
  4. Allocate the transaction price to the performance milestones
  5. Recognize revenue when the performance milestone has been met

Additionally, if a professional services firm is still utilizing an outdated accounting system or an internally created system, these systems may not be capable of supporting the ASC 606 guideline.

Using the Right Accounting System for ASC 606

Fortunately, Deltek Vision and Deltek for Professional Services users have the right system to accommodate the changes brought on by ASC 606. Since these are project-based ERPs, revenue generation is easily recognized by using the project management tools that are part of these systems. As a result, firms can recognize revenue when milestones are achieved. This is done by using basic revenue generation factors like:

  • Job to date spent
  • Percentage of completion
  • Milestones or deliverables being met

Get Your Firm Ready for ASC 606

Good news! Your firm still has time to prepare for these changes. In most cases, applying the five steps mentioned above will bring your firm into compliance. However, these steps may not apply to all your contracts or for all professional services firms. If you are unsure if your firm is compliant, reach out to Full Sail Partners for more information.

Get Prepared for ASC 606 

Topics: Project Management, Accounting, FASB 606