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The 41st Annual A&E Deltek Clarity Report: Financial Statements

Posted by Nicole Temple on November 11, 2020

Deltek Clarity 41st

Financial statement data is vital for leadership teams. This data is the basis for measuring firm performance and influencing decisions regarding the firm’s future. There are several financial metrics that businesses track and rely on. Based on the findings of the 41st Annual Deltek Clarity A&E Report, operating profit on net revenue has increased for ten years consecutively to 15.8%. This is a 1.4-point jump year-over-year. A variety of other important metrics were addressed in this year’s Clarity report as well. The Clarity report reveals where things measured up for 2019.

Top Financial Challenges

The financial challenges have remained similar year-over-year. This year the trend is towards challenges with increasing profitability, finding and retaining qualified staff, and managing firm growth. Although, finding qualified personnel and keeping turnover low is second to increasing profitability. It is also noteworthy that qualified staff is at the top of the list for greater than half of the respondents. Cash flow is floating in the ranks, but it seems that firms are managing it better than in years past. The unpredictable spending environment was only at 11% for 2019, though that is likely to change given the challenges many firms faced in 2020.

Building on Success

While there is economic uncertainty in the year 2020, the results show that firms strengthened their operations in 2019. Operating profit continues to rise steadily, as it has over the last decade. Of note, small businesses saw a strong increase, rising to 15.9% operating profit, up 3.5% from the prior year. The net labor multiplier has seen a minor increase as well, reaching 3.03 last year. That’s the highest multiplier measured for the industry in ten years.

Another significant metric tracked by firms is the utilization rate. It is calculated as cost of labor charged divided by total labor cost. This metric remained steady with the prior two years, except for Architecture firms that showed an increase of 2.3% points year-over-year. Employee retention is a factor within this metric. Firms with higher utilization also tend to show lower turnover rates as well as higher net revenue by employee. Does this show us that working employees are happy employees? Findings will show that investments in technology and training can keep employees engaged and productive in producing revenue.

Net revenue per employee is yet another metric to see a positive increase. This could be attributed again to the investment in technology and training, an already high productivity amongst employees, increased rates, or possibly better efficiency driving projects to completion. Since obtaining qualified staff remains difficult, firms are working with existing teams to accomplish more. Burn-out should be a consideration and cutting associated costs or wages could be disadvantageous.

With employee cost being a possible factor in retention it is important to track trends and analyze total employee cost as a metric. This is calculated as the sum of total labor and other labor related costs, (such as fringe benefits and taxes but excluding bonuses) divided by the average number of employees during a year. This returned data shows that there was not an overall noticeable change. Payroll expenses and employee numbers increased at higher percentages which in turn drove the decrease in overall cost. Where the year prior it had showed a small decline, we may see a more drastic change in 2020.

The average collection period calculation divides accounts receivable by annual total revenue, multiplied by 365. This is an important metric for cash flow stability and deserves a great deal of attention. There has been small improvement or decline in average days amongst all firms. In comparison, small businesses and high performers stand out as having notably improved. It is important to stay on top of the outstanding accounts receivable to maintain cash flow performance stability.

Preparing for the Future 

A&E firms have largely agreed that business process improvements and project management training have a strong impact on a firm’s financial health. In addition to those areas, better forecasting should continue to be a top focus area. Addressing and improving these key components can be the key to continued success, even in difficult and uncertain economic times. To read more about financial statement findings, visit the full Clarity report. 

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Preparing to Upgrade to Deltek Vantagepoint

Posted by Nicole Temple on June 12, 2019

Deltek VantagepointGreat news! Deltek Vantagepoint is continuing to expand its capabilities and more Deltek Vision users are able to upgrade from Vision to Vantagepoint. However, it seems some are either unaware of what Vantagepoint is or they’re hesitant to accepting change. Therefore, let’s take a moment to inform people about what Vantagepoint is and why you should be extremely excited about transitioning to Vantagepoint in the near future.

What is Deltek Vantagepoint?

In short, Deltek Vantagepoint is a Vision reimagined with several enhancements. When using Vantagepoint, users will find its new functionality easy to navigate. As a result, managing projects and driving business development will be much easier with more streamlined processes and workflows. With Vantagepoint, project-based business will see an increase in efficiency in all aspects of their business.

New Look and Feel

Deltek Vantagepoint is a web-browser based ERP that is built on the iAccess for Deltek Vision platform. When Deltek was creating Vantagepoint, a top consideration for them was creating a product that has a great user interface (UI). Studies have found that software products with an intuitive UI have a significant increase in user adoption. Therefore, Deltek knew that having a high-quality UI was essential, but they took it one step further.

“Hey Deltek”

Deltek is taking simple functionality to the next step. In today’s world, hey…Siri, Google, and Alexa are common features we use to access information from our smart device or the internet. Well, Deltek has created “Hey Deltek” to help users search through their database using voice commands. “Hey Deltek” utilizes natural language commands to help locate, open or create a new hub record, log activities and create reminders using a common phrase. Keep in mind, this product is still in development and the capabilities of “Hey Deltek” will continue to grow and allow users to update timesheets, expenses and more using voice commands. 

Improved Dashboards and Dashparts

Start seeing the information that is important for your role in colorful graphs and charts right on your dashboards. With an improved UI, Vantagepoint users can easily setup dashparts that allow them to make actionable decisions faster. Furthermore, they can select how they want to see the information. Now there are several ways to see your data. Users can select from different types of graphs and bar charts and tables to better visualize data.   

Get Prepared for Deltek Vantagepoint

While change can be scary, it shouldn’t be the case when upgrading to Deltek Vantagepoint. Deltek has taken very meticulous steps to ensure Vantagepoint is a vastly improved ERP product that is focused completely on helping project-based businesses improve their performance. If you’re a current Vision user, it is highly recommended that you start using iAccess (if your firm has it enabled) to get yourself comfortable with navigating around Vantagepoint as these are similar interfaces.   

Deltek Vantagepoint

Using Multicurrency in Deltek Vision

Posted by Nicole Temple on March 08, 2017

Deltek Vision MulticurrencyDoes your firm work internationally and deal with multiple currencies? Did you know there is a way to automate the tracking and conversion data? Within Deltek Vision is the Multicurrency function which holds the key to simplifying this process for your firm.

Vision Multicurrency allows you to:

  • Manage multiple currencies for transactions, accounting and financial reporting
  • Enter and manage exchange rates which can be done manually or can be automated to pull in exchange rates (XE.com has an auto feed subscription for this)
  • Support daily and periodic exchange rate changes
  • Revalue foreign currency accounts and automatically identify a gain or loss due to currency fluctuations

Considerations when Using Deltek Vision Multicurrency

With any changes to your standard accounting practices, there are always some items that need to be taken into consideration:

Revenue Considerations: Revenue generation will now use the billing currency fields in the project info center.

Project Considerations: Once you set a project to a currency and the project has data on it, the currency code cannot be changed on the project. It is very important to set the project to the correct currency upon initial setup. All lower levels of the work breakdown structure (WBS) must also be set to the same currency as the project. Optionally, a billing currency can be set differently than the project currency, but all lower levels will need to match.

General Ledger Account Considerations: In Vision Multicurrency accounts can be left without a specific currency or set to a single currency. In some situations, the company might set a bank account to a specific functional currency. For example, a bank account is set to USD for use by only the USD company. You might leave other accounts open to be used across companies with different currencies. Once an account is set to a currency that is different than the functional currency, it is then considered a foreign denominated account.

Unit Considerations: You must specify both a project and billing currency.

Vendor Considerations: Vendor records are stored in the functional currency of the active company. Additionally, there are several details to note for vendor records:

  • Functional Currency – the home currency or the currency in which the company operates
  • Transactional Currency – the currency in which a transaction is entered into Vision
  • Presentation Currency - used in reporting to generate a report with all amounts expressed in a single currency
  • Billing Currency - the currency used to generate invoices and billing reports for specific projects and their WBS
  • Project Currency – the currency in which the project is managed which can be different than the functional currency when needed (this currency should be used for all project management purposes including reporting)
  • Payment Currency – the currency in which the payments are made
  • Consolidated Reporting Currency – only available in a Multicompany environment and is used to create consolidated financial statements for multiple companies that are using different functional currencies
  • Account Currencies – each account setup for use as a bank account and mapped to a GL code can be set to a specific currency directly through the account setup of the GL (if you specify an account currency that is different from the company’s functional currency, the account is then considered a foreign-denominated account)
  • Tax Currency – if tax auditing is enabled then a currency must be set for each tax code (this is generally the currency in which you report and pay the tax amounts to the proper tax authority)

Generally Accepted Accounting Practices in Deltek Vision Multicurrency

Deltek Vision Multicurrency is in accordance with the Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) sections ASC-830-10-55-10 and 11. In section 55-10, the guideline states that it is acceptable to use averages or other methods of approximation. Accordingly, it is recommended to use a weighted average of the exchange rate for a period rather than applying actual day-to-day fluctuations.

Furthermore, section 55-11 states that average rates used shall be appropriately weighted by the volume of functional currency transactions occurring during an accounting period. In other words, to translate revenue and expense accounts for an annual period, individual revenue and expense accounts for each quarter or month may be translated at that quarter's or that month's average rate. The translated amounts for each quarter or month should then be combined for the annual totals.

Why Use Multicurrency in Deltek Vision?

Multicurrency can be used for tracking currency exchange gains and losses. Having foreign-denominated accounts creates the need to track gains and losses based on fluctuating exchange rates. For example, if a European company has a bank account denominated in United States dollars and the value of the euro rises against the United States dollar, the value in euros of that bank account balance drops. This results in an unrealized loss to the European company. Using Multicurrency allows you to use the Gains/Losses and Revaluations process in Vision to calculate and post these types of currency exchange gains and losses. As a result, they appear on your financial statements per the generally accepted accounting practices under which you operate.

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Approval Workflows in Deltek Vision 7.6

Posted by Nicole Temple on August 31, 2016

Deltek Vision 7.6 Approval Workflows Deltek introduced approval workflows in Vision 7.4 for purchasing and inventory records. Since then, Vision clients have asked for more. Well Deltek listened and began adding approval workflows to each new version of Vision. Let’s take a look at the benefits of approval workflows and what’s been added to Vision 7.6.

Intro Into Approval Workflows

Since some readers might be new to approval workflows, let’s review the functions of approval workflows in Vision:

  • Multi-tiered Approvals – Allows approval workflows to have the ability to assign one person or multiple people with approval responsibilities for a specific request.
  • Flexible Assignments – Instead of assigning the approval to a person, make the approval assignment to a specific role or function within the organization.
  • Reassignments – Quickly reassign an action to add additional approvers or reassign the approval assignment to another person.
  • Conditional Assignments – Allows for the use of a threshold for when an approval is required, such as a dollar amount for an expense.
  • Flexible Actions – Send and receive notifications of an approval request by email, a dashboard alert, or by a user-defined error message.
  • Workflow Failure Notifications – Workflows are smart! They will notify the approval administrator if a terminated employee or a role with no employees has been assigned approval responsibilities.

Additionally, these functions are the foundation for all future approvals in Vision. As a result, approvals are flexible so they can meet the unique requirements of different organizations.   

Applications That Have Approval Workflows

In previous versions of Deltek Vision, several applications have gained the ability to utilize approval workflows. Here’s the applications that received approval workflows in version 7.4:

  • Purchase Requisitions
  • Request for Price Quotes
  • Purchase Orders (PO’s, Change Orders, and Releases)
  • Inventory Item Requests

In version 7.5, these applications gained approval workflow capabilities:

  • Absence Requests
  • AP Invoice Approvals
  • General Ledger Budgets

With the release of Vision 7.6, Deltek has added Expense Report and Expense Line approval workflows.

Expense Report and Expense Line Approval Workflows Overview

In the existing Vision Employee Expense Applications, users can easily create expense reports and easily add credit card expenses to the report using the Vision Credit Card feature. With the addition of approva workflowl capabilities to the Expense Report and Expense Line approvals, users are further able to embrace the power of Deltek Vision. Some benefits of enabling Expense Approval Workflows include:

  • Approval Workflows that are multi-step and based on specific parameters to align the approval process with your organization’s operations.
  • Send approval requests to specific employees or roles within your organization.
  • Approve all lines of an expense report or just approve a specific line.
  • Setup notifications to alert people about the status of the approval process and let the approver know a request is pending.  

Are you ready to enable Expense Report and Expense line approvals? Not sure, here are some things to think about.

  • Does your organization have a defined process for expense approvals?
  • Which roles and individuals need approval assignments?
  • What dollar amount should require an approval?
  • What steps are required to ensure employees follow Expense Report policies?

Now that Deltek has added approval workflows to the Employee Expense process in Vision 7.6, users now have more tools to streamline internal business processes. Find out about other new features in Vision 7.6 here! Additionally, let us know which improvements you want to see in the next version of Deltek Vision

Deltek Vision 7.6 

Inventory Management and Fixed Asset Management – One and the Same?

Posted by Nicole Temple on January 06, 2016

Asset ManagementProfessional service firms don’t traditionally sell products; rather they sell their time and expertise. Increasingly, they ARE selling products and time, and are spending a great deal of capital on tools to deliver both.

A common problem is that many firms can easily see the profits generated from their services, but overlook the contribution (or lack thereof) of the inventory AND fixed assets used to deliver the service by not managing both.  Even worse, they frequently manage and track them in the same manner.

Inventory management and fixed asset management are not one and the same. Read on to learn the difference between the two and understand the importance of utilizing proper accounting for fixed asset management.

Inventory Management

In the professional services world, inventory management is only slightly different from the retail and the production world. Inventory assets represent the items sold or the materials used to create a final product that will be sold. Inventory assets in professional services firms represent the intangible or intangible assets sold along with the service. This could include software or equipment. This is not to be confused with immaterial items, which are usually expensed as overhead. For most professional service firms, the inventory asset is a relatively small percentage of total firm assets.

Most importantly, unsold inventory appears on the balance sheet as an inventory asset and sold inventory appears in the Cost of Goods Sold on the income statement. This is an important standard of Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (GAAP).

Chances are, if you are selling goods as a part of your service offering, you are likely following the standards and hopefully using the Vision Purchasing module for tracking and control. But what about Fixed Assets?

Fixed Asset Management

Like Inventory, fixed assets exist and have specific accounting treatments for professional services firms, retailers, and other types of businesses.

Fixed assets are purchased assets of the firm for long-term use to support ongoing business operations. For example, fixed assets are laptops, desks, software, and vehicles, just to name a few. Since fixed assets are transferable within the company and will be used for multiple projects and multiple accounting periods, GAAP dictates a different accounting treatment than would be used for inventory management. More importantly, fixed assets in professional services firms are typically a large percentage of the total firm assets. In today’s world, the computer, machine, and installed software are the main tools used in delivering the services and often are given the least attention in the firm.

Why Is This Important?

Inventory management is a relatively simple task, but fixed asset management presents several challenges such as:

  • Knowing the location of an asset to ensure you can deliver your projects on time
  • Maximizing the usage of an asset to ensure the maximum ROI is gained from the asset
  • Knowing the history of similar assets to make informed about purchases of new assets
  • Tracking the depreciated value of an asset for tax and insurance purposes
  • Keeping the Balance Sheet clean and free of historical errors to provide accurate ROI and other metrics

Overcoming these challenges doesn’t have to be difficult and can be easily accomplished by deploying an asset management tracking system. When choosing to implement an asset tracking system, it’s important that the system is integrated with your project management, purchasing, and accounting systems to ensure information about the asset is accurately maintained and easily accessible. 

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Eleven Reasons Deltek Vision’s Project Accounting Software is Right for Your SMB Firm

Posted by Nicole Temple on June 11, 2014

Project accounting softwareHow do you know when to move to a Project Accounting Software? There are many factors to consider in your decision. Although you may have looked at Deltek Vision in the past, you might be surprised at all of its new capabilities. Not to mention Deltek Vision's cloud pricing and out of box options can't be beat by any of its competitors. Outlined below are eleven important items to think about when looking at new project accounting software for your business. 

1) Work Breakdown Structure

Project accounting software becomes a must have for firms that want to track detailed information around deliverables. How do you know if it is right for your firm? Your firm may need the ability to: 

  • Break down a project into manageable work elements by separating out the deliverables for the project
  • Identify start and end time of each deliverable
  • Define the overall budget for the deliverables as well as the entire project
  • Attach key persons to the project for reporting
  • Set-up work breakdown structures to show effort required to achieve an objective

By having the right software for your firm, you gain the ability to track detailed cost estimating and provide guidance for future development and controls. The ability to break a project into manageable work elements, and track the elements, allows firms to better estimate future projects while maintaining the projects that exist today. 

2) Accrual and Cash Capabilities

Many firms want the ability to run cash books alongside the accrual books to get the most accurate view of where the business stands with income and debts. Income and expense tracking is integral to a project accounting software. While cash basis may give you a better idea of where the firm stands with actual cash, the accrual method can show the ebb and flow of the overall business income and debts for the most accurate view of the overall organization and long term profitability. 

3) Robust Reporting

To get the most out of your software,  you need the ability to report on the data for your firm. Your software should be able to pull the data you have entered to allow you to analyze the overall business performance, and plan for future engagements (with data to back your decisions). Reporting should have the capability and flexibility of pulling the data you need without requiring customization from a programmer, and should be visible to key players in the firm. 

4) Mobile Access

If you have employees that work in the field, and have little access to computers, you may want to be able to give them access through non-traditional means. Mobile access becomes valuable, and keeps data flowing in the system to quickly and accurately maintain the data in the system on a real-time basis. Access via Touch Time, Touch Expense, Touch CRM, and Navigator are available with Vision and they allow remote employees to enter their time and expense data right from their phone or tablet rather than having to get on a computer and access the system directly. 

5) Flexibility

What core modules are available to you when you purchase? Do you have the flexibility to configure the software for your needs? Do you need User Defined fields for tracking? Are you currently tracking outside information in excel? Vision allows the flexibility to add new fields for tracking and to create fields directly in the software to pull data in from outside sources such as Excel. 

The advantage of Vision as a high end solution is the flexibility to configure for company specific processes and exact business processes, pulling all data into the system without the need for multiple solutions. 

6) Automation

Workflows, streamline processes…A good project accounting software will give you the ability to automate many of the processes and functions on a daily, weekly, monthly, or as needed basis. Vision has the ability to create workflows directly through the front end to send emails, alerts, update fields, and run processes or reports automatically. In addition, stored procedures can be customized to automate non-standard processes on the back-end. 

7) Real-Time Data

Project Managers need to plan, manage, and monitor their projects. Without real time data Project Managers are not getting the data they need to manage their projects.  Real-time data allows your marketing team to accurately evaluate business development efforts to ensure the firm is pursuing the right kind of work by measuring marketing effectiveness.   

8) Audit Trail

Many firms require modifications that fit their project-based firm. In QuickBooks and other software, excel workarounds with manual manipulation are required outside of the software. This can impact the firm’s audit trail. Vision has the capability of running reports for changes made in key records as well as the ability to see the financial audit trail, which is important for the firm to be compliant for GAAP, IFRS/FASB, or any other requirements. 

9) Security

Security is one of the most important features of a program because it either allows, or restricts, employees from seeing sensitive information such as costs or other employee sensitive information. Your firm will need to be able to provide access to the system for many roles in the company to work holistically with the organization’s needs. Without this ability there is no visibility, and management of the system and processes becomes very difficult. It is important for all players to have access to the information they require to manage their duties and keep the business running smoothly. 

10) Low IT Maintenance

Cloud based software is a new industry buzzword. The reason for this is that by having your software on the cloud it is maintained by the hosting agency and updated following the testing of new versions and updates. Without requiring an internal IT team to manage Vision, your team is freed up to do more important business tasks. 

11) Integration

Many firms have data silos with disparate systems. This separation between team members can increase inefficiencies and keep the firm from reporting on one truth for the company. Since Deltek Vision’s cloud software comes bundled with 5 Customer Relationship Management, Custom Proposals, SF330 License and Resource Planning license, firms can work as a team and build upon each other's data to gain a holistic view of the company and processes. 

Best Project-based ERP Software for SMBs

If it's been a year or two or even more since you've looked at Deltek Vision. It's time to talk to a partner like Full Sail Partners to see why SMBs are turning to Deltek Vision's cloud option. Even if you’re a 10-person firm, Deltek Vision is the best project accounting software for project-based firms because of its flexibility and economical price. 

Deltek Vision ERP