Full Sail Partners Blog

Scott Gailhouse

Recent Posts

Why Your Firm Should Be Using the Deltek Vision Payroll Module

Posted by Scott Gailhouse on Wed, Feb 21, 2018 @ 11:05 AM

Payroll It is amazing that so many people aren’t even aware of the numerous benefits of using the Deltek Vision Payroll module. For starters, the Payroll module in Vision is a robust application that gives you control over your payroll process that you otherwise wouldn’t have if you used an outside payroll company. It allows you to meet the increasingly complex regulatory requirements by defining taxable wages based on any withholding codes that you create. You can also define how other pay wages impact a withholding calculation. All of this can be done from Payroll Withholding Setup. 

How the Deltek Vision Payroll Module Works

If your firm is using the Payroll module to process your payroll, Deltek Vision will use information from the Employee Info Center, the Project Info Center, the Transaction Center, and Accounting Cost/Pay Rate tables to process payroll.

Some of the main features of the Vision Payroll module are:

  • 2 overtime multipliers – There are some firms that are required to pay overtime (OT) to hourly employees. For example, you may have to pay time and a half for some OT hours worked and maybe double time for other OT hours worked. Vision can be configured to accomplish this. For added flexibility, you also have the option to bill these overtime hours at a higher billing rate in billing terms.
  • User-defined other pay fields – In addition to an employee’s regular salary, you can also add payments for other items. Some firms will use these fields to record bonus payments, moving allowance payments, allowances for fitness club memberships, public transit passes, etc.
  • Contribution codes – If you make payments on behalf of your employees, i.e. state unemployment or 401k matches, you can track those payments using contribution codes. Contribution codes can record those amounts by employee. Vision will also post the entry to the balance sheet liability account.
  • Withholding codes – In addition to the standard federal, FICA, and state withholding codes, users can create their own user-defined withholding codes to suite your firm’s needs. You can create withholding codes for medical insurance, cafeteria plans, wage garnishments and Roth IRA plans to name a few.
  • Direct deposit – Vision supports the direct deposit of funds directly into an employee’s bank account(s).
  • Payroll types – Most payroll runs processed in Vision are for your regular weekly, biweekly or semimonthly or monthly payrolls. You can also process adjustment payrolls to make changes to a payroll that has already been processed. Furthermore, you can use this feature to adjust pay, withholdings, regular, overtime, and secondary overtime pay hours, and accrued benefit hours. A bonus payroll run automates the process of giving your employees bonuses.
  • Payroll reporting – Using Vision payroll reporting, you can generate worksheets that help you fill out state unemployment insurance reports, quarterly state income tax reports, and federal Forms 940 and 941.
  • W-2 forms - The Payroll module prints a W-2 for each employee who was paid during the calendar year. You can print W-2s on W-2 forms that are specially designed for use on computer printers.

Integrate with Outside Payroll Companies

If, however, you decide that your firm would rather use an outside payroll company to process payroll, despite the benefits of using the Deltek Vision Payroll Module, Vision offers an interface option that can export timesheet data to most large payroll companies including ADP, Paychex and Ceridian. With this integration, a third party will be able to manage the complex areas of payroll processing such as tax withholdings.

Do More with the Deltek Vision Payroll Module

It should now be evident to most people that the Deltek Vision Payroll module is an extremely flexible tool that can be used to help your firm streamline the payroll process. The Payroll module additionally provides a wide-range of detailed reports based on the information stored in your Vision database. So, start realizing the benefits of using the Vision Payroll module and improve your firm’s payroll process today.

Deltek Vision Navigational Analysis  

Topics: Deltek Vision, Accounting

Year-End 2017 is Here!

Posted by Scott Gailhouse on Wed, Nov 22, 2017 @ 11:05 AM

Year-End Ready or not, here year-end comes. With some organization and planning, however, it doesn’t have to be stressful. Let’s look at some critical tasks your firm should complete as part of the year-end process.

Preparing to Close 2017

First off, the most important task is to document your year-end procedures. Not only those performed in your Deltek system, but all of them so that you have a comprehensive guide to refer to on a year to year basis. You should also create a calendar and develop a year-end checklist as part of your year-end procedures.

Some of the more common year-end tasks for most companies are:

  • Reconcile all cash accounts - Verify all transactions have been posted into Vision/DPS to ensure your general ledger balance matches your bank statements adjusting as required.
  • Final invoicing – Process all client invoices for the fiscal year.
  • Review outstanding accounts receivable - Follow up with clients who have outstanding accounts receivable beyond 30 days. Send past due statements and give them a call. Enter the results of your collection efforts in the comments section of Deltek Vision or Deltek for Professional Services (DPS) invoice review. Year-end is an excellent time to collect your outstanding receivables. If you determine there is uncollectable accounts receivable, be sure to write those invoices off.
  • Review unbilled detail - Time and expense transactions that cannot be invoiced to clients should be written off at this time.
  • Fixed assets – Fixed assets are larger purchases that are made throughout the year (i.e. equipment, automobiles, furniture, computers, etc.). Are all fixed assets reported on the balance sheet still owned? If not, record the sale or disposal of these fixed assets. Additionally, verify the depreciation on your fixed assets and make any necessary adjustments.
  • Employee expenses and accounts payable - Verify that all accounts payable vouchers have been recorded in Vision or DPS. Make your 401(k), SEP IRA, and simple IRA contributions, if you have not done so. Also, try to pay all your vendors and employee expense reports by year-end.
  • Notes payable - Verify notes payable (i.e. loans) amounts on your balance sheet match the statements from your lenders adjusting if necessary.
  • W-9s – Order 1099 forms and make sure all W-9s from your vendors and/or contractors that are paid $600 or more throughout the year are on file. Don’t forget, 1099s should be mailed on January 31st. 1099 forms can be purchased from most office supply stores or you can order them for free from the IRS (gov).
  • W-2s –If you run payroll in Vision or DPS, you’ll need to order W-2 forms which can be purchased from most office supply stores. W-2s should be mailed by January 31st.
  • Budget for next year - Create your general ledger budget for 2018.

As part of the year-end process, a new benefit year will need to be opened to roll over any PTO or vacation time into the next year and to start accruals for the new benefit year. 

Initialization Utilities in Deltek Vision and Deltek for Professional Services

There are numerous initialization utilities that need to be performed in Deltek Vision and DPS. Take note that these utilities need to be completed once per fiscal year. Vision and DPS will generate a posting log for the initialization utilities which is available in the transaction center under the posting review report. If your Vision or DPS database is set up with multi-company functionality, the initialization utilities need to run in each company. Make sure to watch this video for more information.

In Vision and DPS, opening the 1st period of your fiscal year also opens the new fiscal year. Depending on your security rights, you can still process in the prior fiscal year if needed.

Is Your Firm Ready for 2018?

Efficiently complete the tasks required for 2017 year-end, and you will be ready. If your firm is having any difficulties performing year-end tasks in Deltek Vision or DPS, Full Sail Partners can be of assistance! Also, remember to check out the new Deltek Customer Care portal for numerous resources available to you.

 Deltek Customer Care  

Topics: Accounting, Deltek Vision

Know a Project’s True Profit with Deltek Vision Overhead Allocation Utility

Posted by Scott Gailhouse on Wed, Jun 07, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

Overhead Allocation One of the main responsibilities of a project manager is managing the profitability of his projects. It is easy to look at hours charged to a project at billing rates minus the value of those hours at cost to see the gross profit of a project, but gross profit doesn’t give a true picture of profitability. Most firms prefer to look at net profit to measure the financial success of projects with net profit being hours at billing rates minus cost plus overhead.

Luckily, Deltek Vision has a utility to accomplish just that – calculating net profitability on projects.

Overhead at a Glance

What is overhead? Overhead is an accounting term that refers to ongoing general business expenses, not including direct labor or expenses that are reimbursed to firms by clients. For example, business expenses like rent, health insurance and indirect labor are types of overhead expenses.

Overhead allocation must be configured in Vision and the utility must be run on a timely basis – usually at month end. Overhead allocation can give a true understanding of a project’s profitability.

Preparing Deltek Vision for Overhead Allocation

There are several decisions that need to be made during the configuration phase of setting up overhead allocation in Deltek Vision depending on the current configuration. First, the allocation scope needs to be determined. If the firm uses profit centers, additional configuration decisions will have to be considered. For example, if the firm has a “corporate” profit center, overhead may need to be distributed from the corporate profit center to the revenue producing profit centers.

Next, Vision offers two choices for the basis of applying overhead to projects - direct labor or the proration method. The direct labor method applies a multiplier that is used to determine every dollar of direct labor spent on a project. Vision uses the total overhead expense divided by total direct labor to determine the multiplier used when overhead allocation is run.

The multiplier method remains consistent if the same multiplier is in effect. Firms generally prefer the multiplier method because of its consistency. Additionally, project managers always know how much overhead is being applied to their projects. On the other hand, the proration method uses the firm’s actual, year-to-date indirect expenses. Since this method is based on actual indirect expenses, it will change month to month.

The Benefit of Using Overhead Allocation in Deltek Vision

Once overhead allocation has been run, there are several reports, including the project progress, office earnings and project summary, that when run at cost, will display overhead. Running the overhead allocation process will return a report detailing the amount of overhead applied to projects and the actual overhead rate of the firm. Not only does overhead allocation provide a clear understanding of the profitability of the firm’s projects, it also gives an indication of the firm’s overhead costs and the tools needed to increase profits.

Deltek Vision Navigational Analysis

Topics: Deltek Vision, Accounting

Getting Your Firm and Deltek Vision Ready for Year-End 2016

Posted by Scott Gailhouse on Wed, Dec 21, 2016 @ 11:05 AM

Is your firm ready for the inevitable year-end process? Sure, year-end is always a stressful time. However, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you make a plan, document your actions and prepare Deltek Vision.

Setting-up for a Successful Year-End

Year End 2017Don’t be a headless chicken running around trying to get through the year-end process. Let’s review some considerations and tips to make your year-end close just a little easier.

Communication | Communicate with the rest of the firm that year-end is approaching and provide the important dates that they should be aware of, such as final timesheet due date, final expense report due date, etc.

Create a Calendar | Develop a calendar noting key items you need to complete before the year-end. Your calendar should contain all of your year-end deadlines, such as:

  • Final AP check run
  • Final timesheet due date
  • Final bank reconciliation

Develop a Year-End Checklist | Given that year-end procedures change very little from year to year, you should create a checklist. In addition to your firm’s specific year-end tasks, you may want include these steps in your list:

  • Review the unbilled detail report and make sure the allowance for doubtful accounts is current
  • Reconcile all sub-ledgers to the general ledger
  • Update accrued vacation
  • Calculate depreciation
  • Complete bank reconciliations
  • Create a budget for the new fiscal year

Reconcile Monthly | Stay on top of your monthly reconciliations. Nothing adds to the stress of year-end more than having to perform several months of reconciliations that could be have been done monthly.

Recurring Transaction Files | If there are yearly JE’s or other transactions that you only post once a year, consider creating a recurring transaction file. Each year those files will already be in place so you don’t have to re-create them from year to year.

Order Year-end Forms Early | Why wait until the last minute to order your 1099 and W-2 forms? By ordering your forms in advance, you know they are on hand when you are ready to use them.

Prepare Deltek Vision for 2017

In Vision, opening the 1st period of your fiscal year also opens the new fiscal year. If your security role permits, you can still process in the prior fiscal year if needed.

There are a number of Initialization Utilities that need to be performed in Vision. Take note that these utilities need to be completed once per fiscal year. Vision will generate a posting log for the initialization utilities, which are available in the Transaction Center under the Posting Review Report. If your Vision Database is set up with Multi-company functionality, the Initialization Utilities need to run in each company.

There are also tax forms that will need to be processed in Vision:

  • W-2s if you use Vision Payroll
  • 1099s for vendors that require a 1099 form

As part of the year-end process, a new benefit year will need to be opened to roll over any PTO or vacation time into the next year and to start accruals for the new benefit year.

In addition to the information above, you can view the 2016 Year-End Vision guide in the Deltek Customer Care Connect Portal here.

Take note that Vision Year-End updates in 2016 will be provided for versions 7.4, 7.5 and 7.6. If your firm is running Vision 7.3 or older, you must upgrade to a supported version to receive a 2016 year-end update. Please refer to the Support Assurance Product Lifecycle for maintenance phase descriptions.

Is Your Firm Prepared for 2017?

Following the suggestions above should make for an efficient completion of the tasks required for 2016 year-end. Don’t forget to make sure your firm is using the latest version of Deltek Vision - 7.6. If you need any assistance with completing your year-end or moving your firm to version 7.6, just let us know!

 Deltek Vision 7.6 

Topics: Accounting, Deltek Vision

Deltek Vision 7.6 is Full of Enhancements

Posted by Scott Gailhouse on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

Deltek Vision 7.6You asked and Deltek listened. There are a number of new and exciting updates and features in Vision Version 7.6. Let’s see how Deltek Vision just got better!

Employee Expense Approval

In addition to Purchase Requisitions, Request for Price Quotes, Purchase Orders, Inventory Item Requests, Absence Requests, AP Invoice Approvals and General Ledger Budgets, Employee Expense Reports are now included in Approval Work Flows. Approval workflows are user designed for specific applications in Vision. All lines of the expense report can be set up for approval and/or just specific line items in a given report can be set up for approval. The workflow defines the approval process, approvers, allowable actions and alerts for a record.

Purchasing

Vendor Response enhancements were made in purchasing. As a result, Vision can be configured with up to 10 user-defined labels. When you are in RFQ or Purchase Requisition by line item, you can select from one of the user-defined labels and apply a response to that label.

For RFQ’s and purchase requisitions, you have the option to Show Suggested Vendors and Show Vendor Responses. The new Bid Evaluation report gives you the selected vendors for comparison purposes.

Also new in purchasing is a new Comments tab in Purchases Orders. The comments are for internal use only. Comments can be added even after the PO has been finalized and printed. These notes can be included on the Purchase Order Detail Report.

A PO column has been added to Vendor Review. Once you select a voucher, you can see the PO Number column on the Voucher Line Items grid. You can drill down on the PO number to display the PO and add notes if you choose to.

Benefit Accrual

Deltek didn’t forget about Benefit Accruals enhancements. Sick and vacation time can now be calculated on hours worked. This enhancement is in response to states that require firms to earn 1 hour of sick time for each 30 hours worked.

Billing

Deltek added a Retainer Ledger Report. This new report displays complete details associated with retainers by either project and/or by client. General options for this report can be set to display retainer amounts for specific time frames, i.e. last year, first quarter.

Invoices and the invoice backup report can now display the Labor Category description, Title, Labor Code description and timesheet detail.

AR Statements just got a little more personal. Similar to invoice templates created in the Invoice Template Editor, you can now add your firm’s logo to AR Statements. Margins can be defined for information printed in the heading and the Project Long Name can now be used.

Deltek also streamlined the Invoice Approval process. In the past, invoices submitted for approval would have to be un-submitted one invoice at a time. In version 7.6, invoices can now be un-submitted in batch.

Billing Invoices and Backup Reports are more flexible. On the Invoice and billing backup reports, the employee name can now be replaced with the Labor Category Description, Labor Code Description or Title while displaying the date and comments. These selections have been added to the Labor tab and the Billing Backup tab in Billing Terms.

Also new in Billing is a feature that allows you to show Fee Total and Add-on on the Final and Draft Invoice Backup Report. This selection is also available on the Billing Backup tab in Billing Terms.

Another useful feature in billing is the ability to show expenses in the billing backup report on draft invoices. The selection for this option has been added to the Billing Backup tab in Billing Terms.

Breakdown compensation in User Defined Revenue Methods. Currently in Deltek Vision, Direct Labor, Direct Expenses, Direct Consultant, Reimbursable Expense and Reimbursable Consultant can break out by compensation. In version 7.6, there are now fields available for the compensation breakout to be used in the User Defined Revenue Methods.

Credit Cards

In Credit Card Review, you can now see the Expense Report, Voucher and Chart of Account Number in the Credit Card Transactions grid. You can also perform a search by Expense Report and/or Voucher.

The User Defined Fields that are created in credit card configuration can also can also be displayed on the Credit Card Review, Credit Card Transactions tab and the Credit Card Statement Reconciliation, and the Credit Card Charges tab.

In version 7.6, you can now add employee paid credit cards. Charges paid by the employee can be marked as “Add to Expense Report” so that the employee will be reimbursed. Charges can also be marked as personal. Personal charges will not be included on the expense report.

There is also a new credit card mapping available in credit card configuration that will map the description of the credit card statement to the employee’s expense report.

Info Center Attachments

The Info Centers have a new tab called “Attachments”. Instead of entering a link in the Info Centers referencing the path where documents are stored, you can now load an actual image of the document. Info Center Attachments use the same technology as the Transaction Document Management feature.

Once uploaded, documents can be viewed by simply clicking on the view button on the attachments tab of the info center record.

Are You Excited about Deltek Vision 7.6?

Deltek Vision continues to improve with every new version, and with these enhancements, lives are made easier and firms are able make smarter decisions. What enhancements can help you and your firm? Contact us and let us know!

Deltek Vision 7.6

Topics: Deltek Vision, New Features, Technology Solutions

Deltek Vision Multi-Company Just Got a lot Better!

Posted by Scott Gailhouse on Wed, Jan 27, 2016 @ 09:34 AM

Multi-Company_7.5.pngSometimes it’s the simple things in life that excite me, but the improvements to the Multi-company feature in Deltek Vision 7.5 are exciting. If you’re not familiar with Vision Multi-company, let me provide you some background and here’s a link for more information. Multi-company is part of the Vision Core Financial Application. Vision Multi-company allows a firm to manage more than one company in a single database and streamlines the process of managing accounting functions between companies when resources are shared. By utilizing Multi-company, each company operates as a separate entity, but data sources such as clients and contacts can be shared across the enterprise.

However, employee data was managed differently in prior versions of Vision. If an employee belonged to one company and moved to another company, a new employee record with a unique employee number would need to be created and assigned to each company the employee was associated with. This made record keeping and reporting cumbersome and time consuming. The good news is that with version 7.5 this is no longer the case!

What Changed in Deltek Vision 7.5?

In version 7.5, a single employee record can now be associated with multiple companies. As a result, associating an employee record to other companies in the enterprise is now easier with the addition of the “Associate with New Company” option in “New” dropdown on the toolbar of the employee info center.

How Does This Work?

When a new employee record is created, the employee is assigned to a home company, which is the current active company. You can then associate the employee record with other companies. There are a number of fields in the employee record that are company specific and can be modified on a company-by-company basis. For example, an employee may have a different cost rate, pay rate or may accrue PTO hours at a different rate in each company. Additionally, you can change the home company and the status of an employee if they transfer to a new company and terminate in another.

There are also fields that are non-company specific such as the employee’s name, licenses, experience, and resumes – just to name a few. Therefore, this information is shared across all companies and can be used by the CRM and Proposal functions within Vision.

Even more, a list of companies the employee is associated will display after an employee’s user name and password is entered. The employee can then select the company they will be working in at the time of log in. If an employee is associated with more than one company, timesheet and expense reports can be processed for the active company. If an employee needs to complete a timesheet and expense report for another company, they can switch between companies under Utilities by selecting “Change Company.”

Why Is This So Great?

Aside from the additional functionality of Multi-company, employee reporting is now easier in version 7.5. Prior to Employee Multi-company, reports for one employee would have to be run by selecting all of a single employee’s records across the enterprise. This is no longer the case in version 7.5. In addition to running reports for an employee in a single company, like the accrued time report or time analysis report, an employee record for multiple companies can also be selected. When sorted by company, the data can be displayed on the report by company. Furthermore, Deltek also added additional operator filters to reporting to reduce customization for unique reporting needs.

Sometimes just making life simpler is exciting and the new features in Vision 7.5 are designed to increase productivity and make your life simpler! This just happens to be one of my favorites. 

New Call-to-action

Topics: Tips, New Features, Deltek Vision

Preparing for a Merger or Acquisition with Deltek Vision Multi-Company

Posted by Scott Gailhouse on Wed, Oct 21, 2015 @ 11:00 AM

DELTEK MULTICOMPANYAccording to PWC, “M&A activity accelerated sharply in the second quarter of 2015 with substantial increases relative to the prior quarter in both volume and value of transactions.” As consultants assisting firms with merging their databases, we have seen this up tick too and firms involved in mergers or acquisitions are finding great value out of Deltek Vision’s Multi-Company feature. Some firms don’t know that Multi-Company is included with their Vision Core Finance application. It just needs to be enabled and configured when your firm is ready to add another
company to your current Vision database. 

What is Multi-Company?

Vision Multi-Company allows a firm to manage multiple legal entities in a single Vision database.  There is no limit to the number of companies that can be maintained in Vision. Multi-Company streamlines the process of managing accounting functions between companies when resources are shared. Once Multi-Company is enabled, it is easy to switch between companies. Just like changing periods in Vision, a simple utility selection will move you between companies. 

Each company operates as a separate entity. Info Center records, such as clients and contacts, can be shared across the enterprise (the “enterprise” encompasses all companies managed in Vision). However, other Info Center records, such as employees, are company specific. Projects and phases can be owned by a single company or set up so that individual phases can be owned by different companies.  

Before Enabling Multi-Company

There are several factors to consider before enabling the Multi-Company feature.  One primary factor to consider is how your companies will interact with one another. When resources are shared, how will the company loaning their staff or paying expense on behalf of another company be compensated? This is done through intercompany billing. 

Definition: Intercompany billing is defined as, internal transactions between two associated companies who file a consolidated tax return or financial statement. 

There are several approaches to intercompany billing that should be a part of the planning discussion during the implementation process. These and other questions should be addressed during the planning process and will help you determine if Multi-Company is a good fit for your firm. 

Considerations When Setting Up a New Company in Deltek Vision

When acquiring a company to be added to your Vision database as a separate company, there are a number of enterprise-wide requirements to consider. For example, the fiscal calendar, work breakdown structure and organization structure must be the same across all companies, as well as, key formats such as project numbers, vendor numbers, employee numbers, etc. All of these items must be consistent across all companies.

After the initial planning meeting, if your firm determines that Multi-Company is not an option, you can always explore the alternative of using Organization reporting within Vision. Organization reporting gives you the ability to manage separate business units within a single company environment. The “maintain separate balance sheets” feature in Vision could also be used if needed, as well as, the labor cross charge feature to move revenue, labor and cost between organizations.

Final Thoughts

A well thought out, carefully planned implementation is essential to a successful Multi-Company implementation. Once the final implementation plan is in place, the creation of a test Multi-Company environment before the final configuration in your live Vision database will go a long way in preparing your finance staff and the rest of your employees for the new Multi-Company environment and all of the new features a Multi-Company database has to offer. For more information on Multi-Company check out this previous blog on how it works.

 

New Call-to-action

Topics: Deltek Vision

Higher Utilization Yields Higher Revenues – Myth or Reality?

Posted by Scott Gailhouse on Wed, Jul 30, 2014 @ 10:30 AM

Myth or Reality: Higher utilization yields higher revenues? Well, both actually.  But before I explain, I’m going to start with this quote from Zig Zigler,

“Success is the maximum utilization of the ability that you have.”

This is the perfect quote to start our discussion regarding utilization, because it specifies that success (i.e. defined by higher revenues for most companies) comes from utilization of ability and NOT from a higher utilization of time.  

The time utilization myth

describe the imageToo many professional services firms looking to improve revenue and profit numbers are chasing this goal a bit myopically.  Their logic sounds reasonable but comes up against a “theory vs. reality” wall:  more money comes from higher utilization of resources, i.e. their consultants.  So they put into place incentive programs that encourage their consultants to work more.  Consequently, these consultants put in high numbers per week leading, too often, to burnout and turnover coupled with the often very ugly effect of lowering customer satisfaction, because the consultant has lower motivation for solving and higher interest in billing.  

The balance with reality

Luckily, these days, more and more professional services firms are wise to this “higher utilization brings higher dollars” fallacy.  They understand that chasing the utilization dollar by itself is a delusion.  Here are the steps of the real logic:

  1. Greater financial rewards for companies come from happy, prepared, challenged and respected employees, because
  2. These employees do what’s best for their customer, while still balancing the number of hours it took to solve their customer’s problem, and
  3. Then, customers who have had previous problems solved, use your company’s consultants again thereby generating even more revenue.   

This brings us back to our initial quote –business success comes from utilizing employees’ abilities and not just their time. 

But how?  How does a company go from making employees focus on utilization to their being self-motivated to be happy and work more, successfully?  Here are three suggestions.

  1. Know, really know, where your consultants strengths are.  Why is that important to utilization, you ask?  For two reasons:  1) it’s not the number of consultants you use; it’s the right consultants, and 2) happy employees who are on project they are good at work harder simply because they are happy.  A circular logic that is, indeed, true.  If you know what your consultants are good at and organize projects accordingly, your happy employees will continuously work a) harder because they enjoy it and b) smarter because they are good at it. 
  2. Get rid of “high utilization” numbers as the sole focus of employee incentive plans.  Sure, it’s okay to keep a facet of utilization in the verbiage of their incentive programs, but balance that with another positively motivating focus like customer satisfaction, so that employees get the message that they need to work hard to solve customer issues and not just bill high numbers.
  3. Better utilization comes from better processes. Take a close look at the work your consultants are doing.  Are they overwhelmed with administrative and/or manual processes (e.g. filling out project planning forms, expense reimbursement processes, or dealing with emails/directives which constantly impact work week schedules)?  Now, take a close look at how many of these could be automated or even switched to a different employee whose job is NOT consulting with customers.

Utilization is not just about improving your professional services firm’s revenue and profit numbers; it’s really about

  • Automating processes to make not only your consultants but also your entire company more efficient
  • Shifting administrative work to non-utilization based employees
  • Balancing utilization incentives with more employee and/or customer focused incentives
  • Focusing on your consultants’ strengths

But you don’t have to do this alone.  Reach out to us to take a look at your utilization and see, first hand, how making these small changes will yield big results. 

 

New Call-to-action

Topics: Accounting

To Adjust Salary Job Cost or Not...the Debate Rages On

Posted by Scott Gailhouse on Tue, Jul 23, 2013 @ 10:04 AM

Adjust Salary Job CostEveryone seems to have an opinion on how labor cost should be charged to projects. In Vision, there are two ways to charge labor cost to your projects. Some firms prefer to load an hourly rate for both hourly and salaried employees. And some firms prefer to load a salary rate for salaried employees and an hourly rate for hourly employees and use the Adjust Salary Job Cost utility (ASJC) in Vision.

The Adjust Salary Job Cost utility is Vision's way of taking the employee’s salary rate and calculating a cost rate based on the hours worked (instead of standard hours in a period). The ASJC utility is run after timesheets are posted and adjusts the posting so that the costs posted agrees to what is being paid to the employee.

So what does this mean?

First, let’s discuss those firms that load an hourly rate for salaried employees.  Assume that this firm has bi-weekly timesheet and pay periods. Let's look at an example without ASJC:

Example: Mike Jones is a salaried employee and is paid $3,000.00 bi-weekly, and he has an hourly cost rate in the Employee Info center of $37.50/hour ($3,000.00/80 hours). When timesheets are posted, Vision multiplies the actual number of hours worked by the hourly rate from the employee info center record. Vision will post a debit to the direct and/or indirect labor account and credit the Job Cost Variance (JCV) account. Mike’s hours are applied at a cost rate of $37.50 for every hour he works regardless of how many hours he works.  

When payroll is posted, we would see a debit to the JCV account for Mike’s bi-weekly salary - $3,000.00. If Mike had worked 85 hours in an 80 hour timesheet period, the JCV account would be ($187.50) because the credit posted to JCV was $3,187.50 at the time of timesheet posting and the debit posted for payroll is $3,000.00. If Mike had only worked 75 hours during the timesheet period, the JCV account would be a positive $187.00.

Now let’s talk about those firms that load a salary amount in the Employee Info Center. We will use the same bi-weekly timesheet and pay period frequencies as in the first example. When a salaried employee works more or less than 80 hours, Vision handles the cost exactly the same way it does as if an hourly rate was loaded in the Employee Info Center at the time of time sheet posting. To get the cost rate, Vision looks at the salary rate in the employee info center, divides that by the frequency (in this case 80 hours) and multiplies that by the number of hours on the timesheet.

This is where Adjust Salary Job Cost comes into play. Once run, AJSC takes the salary rate and divides it by actual number of hours worked and multiplies the number of hours worked.

Example:  Mary Smith has a bi-weekly salary of $3,000.00 and she has 85 hours on her timesheet. When timesheets are posted, Vision takes her salary rate and divides it by 80 (bi-weekly frequency) and multiplies the result by the actual number of hours on her timesheet.  You would see a debit to direct/indirect labor account and a credit to the JCV account for $3,187.50. Just like the firm using an hourly rate in the employee info center.

Now when ASJC is run, Vision takes the salary rate, divides it by the actual number of hours worked ($3,000.00/85 = $35.29411) and applies the result to the actual number of hours worked ($35.29411 * 85 = $3,000.00). Vision makes an adjustment to the original timesheet posting to credit the direct/indirect labor account and to debit the JCV account in the amount of $187.50.  Since Mary is paid $3,000.00 per pay period, the JCV account would not show a balance when payroll is posted.

How cost rates are loaded in Vision affects the way labor costs are reported on the projects and the General Ledger. Here are some of the differences:

    • Load Hourly Rate in Employee Info Center:

      • Time posts to projects at hours worked at standard hourly rate.
      • No additional steps by accounting.
      • Costs posted to direct projects are not consistent with actual payroll paid when employees work more/less than standard hours.  Over/Under balances are carried in the JCV project.
      • Project managers have stable costs to track project performance.
      • General Ledger carries a balance in the JCV account that is reflective of the amount paid to employees over/under the actual hours worked.
         
    • Load Salary Rate in Employee Info Center and use ASJC:
      • Time posts to projects at hours worked at variable hourly rates for Salaried employees (hourly rate changes on hours worked in any given period).
      • Accounting must run the ASJC utility after time sheet postings for salary job costing to occur.
      • Costs posted to direct projects are consistent with actual payroll paid when employees work more/less than standard hours.  No balances are carried in the JCV project.
      • Project managers have to manage variable costs over which they have no control.
      • General Ledger does not carry in the JCV account that is reflective of the amount paid to employees over/under the actual hours worked.

As you can see, both choices have pros and cons, but having a clear understanding of how the ASJC utility works in Vision will help you make the right choice for your firm. Ready to learn more? Empower yourself and your firm by conducting a Navigational Analysis.

Discovery How a Navigational Analysis Can Empower Your Firm. 

Topics: Tips, Accounting, Deltek Vision

Confessions of a Timesheet Procrastinator

Posted by Scott Gailhouse on Fri, Mar 29, 2013 @ 11:01 AM

 

Okay, here goes…I actually love doing my timesheet on a daily basis.  There, I said it and I feel so much better. But hold on, let me back up a little.  Maybe “love” is too strong.  Let’s go with “like”.  I actually like doing my timesheet on a daily basis.

However this was not always the case.  Like most of you, the idea of filling out a timesheet was akin to having a root canal, but only worse.  In our firm, timesheets are due on a semi-monthly basis, but we have a policy that timesheets must to be completed daily.  I know, right?

This policy was easy to ignore until one day, much to my surprise, I received an e-mail alert that my timesheet had not been completed the day before.  AN ALERT!  It turns out that not only did I receive an alert, but a notation was made in my Employee Info Center record of my violation.  The powers that be had sunk to a new low and now I’m faced with two options; continue ignoring the policy and get an annoying alert on a daily basis, or start doing my timesheet every day.

Being the flexible guy that I am (this is sarcasm for those of you who don’t know me), I started doing my timesheet after each completed task.  And much to my chagrin (read surprise), it wasn’t that bad!  First of all my utilization went up.  Some of those short, billable items that fell through the cracks when I was doing my timesheet at the last minute were now being captured. 

Another plus to filling out my timesheet daily is that my comments are more descriptive.  No longer am I putting “call with so-and-so” in the comments field.  I am actually able to put what was discussed in the comment.  This has made reviewing my draft invoices so much easier because I am no longer second guessing the hours I billed to my projects or having to go back to e-mails hoping I find some clue about what was discussed. 

Also, my projects are easier to manage.  I know at any given time how many hours have been charged to my projects so there are no surprises when it comes time to review my draft invoices.

I am also amazed at how little time it takes.  What seemed like hours before, my timesheet now just takes a few minutes each day to complete.

And as if it couldn’t get any better, there is now a timesheet app for iPhone, iPad, Android and other smart devices.  Now I can do my timesheet on the go.  This has come in handy on many occasions when I’m out of the office but still conducting business.

I think the key here is that my timesheet is always up on my desktop.  Even if I open it up in another window, I always have access to it so that I can record my time as soon as I complete a task.

I challenge anyone to give this a shot!  You’ll save time and alerts popping up on your dashboard or in your e-mail box will become a thing of the past.

Interested in learning more about how firms are getting their employees to submit timesheets daily? Click here.

Are you a Deltek Vision user? Check out the newest custom solution from Full Sail Partners and start getting your staff to complete timesheets daily:

Topics: Project Management, Accounting, Deltek Vision, Mobile