Full Sail Partners Blog

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: Deltek Insight, Professional Services

Resources to Achieve Maximum Efficiency

Posted by Madeline O'Connor on Wed, Oct 31, 2018 @ 11:30 AM

BrainFull Sail Partners is dedicated to helping businesses be the best they can be. Therefore, we consistently provide a variety of resources offering much insight to our clients. These can be found on the resources tab of our website. From webinars and webcasts to whitepapers and events, we want to ensure our clients run at maximum efficiency. Let’s check these resources out.

FSP Webinars & Webcasts

With our webinars and past webcasts, you gain insight on valuable information from leaders and industry experts. Our webinars focus on many relevant topics providing you the tools needed to move your firm forward. If you missed a webinar, we have an archive page with all our past webinars. Just request the video and a PDF of the presentation you are interested in by filling out the form to the right. Some of our most recent past webinars include; Talent Solution Speed Session: Career Paths, and What to Measure, How to Measure, and Making Sense of it All. Don’t hesitate to find a webinar that will help you! 

Events & User Groups

Full Sail Partners conducts virtual user group meetings to help our clients learn more about Deltek products. We encourage you to contact your area representative to meet and network locally while viewing our virtual presentation as a group! The largest networking event for Deltek users is Deltek Insight, and this year it is November 5th-8th in Dallas, TX. The Full Sail Partners’ team will be presenting at Deltek Insight and topics include DPS (Vantagepoint), workflows, accounts payable process, and functional database. If you want to attend these classes at Deltek Insight 2018, you can register here. Interested in a Full Sail Partners’ speaker for one of your events? Fill out the form to the right of the Events & User Groups’ page and specify your company, topic, and how many people! 

Whitepapers

Full Sail Partners provides complimentary whitepapers as a part of an ongoing effort to provide information about the newest technology and industry standards. These resources can help your business stay ahead of the competition. There are many to choose from to learn about solutions for your project-focused business. Some of these include: Benefits of an Enterprise Resource Planning System, Growth and Transition, and Top 10 Recruiting Metrics HR Should Care About. Be sure to check out all of the amazing whitepapers we have to offer. 

eBooks by Deltek

To ensure users get the most out of their systems, Deltek has published a Dummies eBook series that addresses the importance of several tools and industry best practices. If you are interested in downloading a copy of an eBook, simply fill out the survey including your name and email. Some of the eBooks we have to offer include: Talent Management for Dummies, Resource Planning for Dummies, and Planning a Great Project for Dummies. Whatever topic you are struggling with, there is an eBook to help. 

Keep Learning! 

The more knowledge firms have, the more smoothly they will run. Full Sail Partners strives to continuously provide information to our clients that helps them achieve maximum efficiency and stay ahead of the competition. Keep an eye out for more resources as they come available!

Deltek Vision Navigational Analysis 

Topics: Professional Services, Technology Solutions, Tips

Reasons to Have a Project-Based ERP System

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Oct 24, 2018 @ 11:30 AM

 

Project-based ERPThe goal of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is to integrate all aspects of a business from finance to CRM to HR. To have and maintain a successful business operation, accurate and timely information must flow between all the different business functions. With an ERP in place, there is visibility into operations which provides greater control over the business. However, while all businesses benefit from an ERP system, one size does not fit all. Project-based companies are distinct and thus require ERPs suited for their needs.

Unique Financials

Unlike firms just selling products to be shipped, project-based firms have financials reflecting more specific details. Project-based financials are focused on resources, projects and clients. Project-based firms are concerned with billing and time and materials needed per project which is vastly different than a firm that simply tracks inventory. Since project-based financials are so particular, project-based firms should have ERP systems that are equally so.

Deeper Function of Resource Management

Resource management for project-based firms is also a lot more involved. Project-based firms must manage both clients and projects matching the scope of a project to delivery. More than just people, resources here mean skills needed in a project and determining when certain skills are to be used. CRM with projects is built around proposals and recurring client interaction. With the intricate nature of running projects, project-based firms require ERP systems set up to manage resources in this more complex way.

Designed for Different Roles in the Firm

Executives, accountants and project managers all have different focal points. Executives want to see that the business is financially sound and that customers are satisfied. Accounting needs to be able to make sure billing is being completed on time. Project managers must collaborate with everyone to make sure the work is getting done and that people are being utilized by tracking workers as they come off a job. Project-based ERPs are specifically built for all these key roles ensuring efficiency in operation.

Complete Visibility into Business

With project-based ERP systems, every transaction is tied to an account, organization and project. The general ledger account describes expenses, the organization describes who is doing the work and the project is the source of revenue. With these elements linked, financial reports, invoices, payroll and project status reports are all available to show the whole picture of the business providing complete visibility.

Match the ERP to Firm Needs

With a project-based ERP in place, project-based firms will be able to make proactive decisions with current, real-time data. Generic ERP solutions do not meet the needs of project-based companies. Project-based ERPs are specifically designed to ensure that all aspects of project management are tied together to provide an accurate view of project profitability and company health.

Reach Full Sail!  

Topics: Professional Services, ERP, Technology Solutions

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