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Red Flags There’s an Accounting Problem

Posted by Nicole Temple on February 16, 2022
2022-RedFlags Accounting Problem-03

 

The month-end closing process is a very important practice for the accounting department at professional services firms. Part of the close process is to ensure that one can document and justify the balances on the financial reports. This involves either keeping spreadsheets and/or printing multiple reports and ‘ticking and tying’ the balances. These processes take time and increase the chance of errors.

To assist accounting departments at professional services firms with verifying commonly used balances, Deltek has created some useful tools. There are two such tools in Vantagepoint that accountants can use to monitor activity and know when to raise the red flag to address accounting problems. So, what do these tools look like and how do they benefit accounting?

Financial Analysis Report

The financial analysis report (Analysis/GL Reconciliation/File Reconciliation Report) provides a big picture of the general from the standpoint of the firm’s income statement and balance sheet vs. the supporting sub-ledger reports. Deltek Vantagepoint has implicit entries that happen automatically in transactions based on configurations as well as explicit entries which occur by user entry in the transactions.

For example, when entering an AP voucher, the user selects the expense account (explicit entry) for the voucher but does not select the Accounts Payable account (implicit entry) – the Accounts Payable account is captured in the AP Liability code (which is set Settings/Cash Management/Accounts Payable/Liability Accounts).

The areas covered in the Financial Analysis are:

  • Accounts Receivable Accounts (Set in Settings/Billing/Accounts Receivable) = Open Accounts Receivable (My Stuff/Reporting/AR Aged)
  • Accounts Payable Accounts (Set in Settings/Cash Management/Accounts Payable/Liability Accounts) = Open Vendor Balances (My Stuff/Reporting/Voucher Ledger)
  • Unbilled Revenue Accounts (Set in Settings/Accounting/Revenue) = Office Earnings Report or Project Earnings Report (My Stuff/Reporting/Office Earnings or Project Earnings)
  • YTD Revenue Accounts (Set in Accounts/Chart of Accounts/Type) = Office Earnings Report (My Stuff/Reporting/Office Earnings)
  • YTD Reimbursable/Direct Expense one report that can be used is the Project Detail to total direct and reimbursable expenses.
  • YTD Indirect Expenses one report that can be used is the Project Detail to total indirect and expenses.

The reports listed above can be run to verify the balances on the sub-ledger, and the Financial Analysis Report will provide a professional services firm with a quick snapshot to know if there is a problem immediately. It is recommended to review this report as part of month-end processing, although it can be reviewed at any time during the month.

 

Upon viewing this report for the first time, looking for the differences in AR, AP, revenue, and unbilled of when the out of balance initially began is the first step. There are several reasons an out of balance can occur - for example, making a journal entry directly to a GL account that is linked to an AP Liability Code. Once red-flagged by this report, working with a knowledgeable system consultant to determine which entries caused the out of balances and learning how to correct them is advisable.

Bank Reconciliation

Another critical month-end activity is reconciling the bank account. However, with phishing and echeck technology, it is recommended that bank reconciliations be performed at the very least weekly, if not daily. Vantagepoint allows a professional services firm to create ‘Bank Codes’ for every bank account used by the firm. Each ‘Bank Code’ is linked to a single general ledger account number to track and report transactions for the bank code.

The bank reconciliation process allows for the user to ‘clear’ transactions as they ‘clear’ in the bank. The transactions that show in the bank reconciliation are only those that are entered via a cash transaction type (Cash Receipt, AP Disbursement, Cash Disbursement, AP Vouchers, AP Payment Processing or Expense Payment Processing). The reviewer will know if the transaction type is a ‘cash’ transaction type as they will be asked for a ‘bank code.’              

Any transaction entered against a General Ledger account that is linked to a Bank Account code that is not a cash transaction, for example, a journal entry, will not be available in the Bank Reconciliation feature and could cause a difference from the reconciled bank balance to the general ledger account balance if not added to the misc. tab of the bank rec.

When working through the bank reconciliation process each accounting period it is recommended to compare the “reconciled GL balance” on the printout of the bank reconciliation to the balance sheet GL account that is tied to the bank code. The calculations on the bank reconciliation report are:

02-16-22 Red Flags Blog Image

 

If the reconciled GL balance does NOT tie to the trial balance, research is needed to find the entries that caused the out-of-balance and correct them. Here is another red flag that can help accounting address problems.

An out-of-balance between the reconciled GL and balance sheet can happen and can still show that the bank reconciliation ties to what was deposited and paid from the bank. This is because the reconciled GL is a calculated balance of cash transaction types and not a balance from all transactions being entered against the GL account. Internal processes should be set up so that all cash-related transactions are entered via a cash transaction type.

Close Efficiently and Effectively

Accounting departments at professional services firms need to have efficiency in their month-end closings. Justifying balances on financial documents is a crucial component of closing out the month. With both the Financial Analysis Report and Bank Reconciliation tools offered in Deltek Vantagepoint, accountants can quickly identify red flags in their accounting processes allowing for expedient and effective resolution of accounting problems.

CTA Bank Reconciliation

2021 Deltek Vantagepoint & Vision Year-End Advice

Posted by Nicole Temple on November 03, 2021

2021 year-end is rapidly approaching, and it is vital to begin your year-end processes to ensure a timely close. For some finance and accounting professionals, the year-end process can be a struggle and a daunting endeavor. However, Deltek Vantagepoint and Vision clients can breathe a sigh of relief with some handy suggestions.

Year-End 2022 Image

Below are some recommended areas and process to be sure to review to help complete a thorough year-end close. It is also recommended to develop deadlines for each area prior to opening the new year to help stay on track and minimize the stress around wrapping up year end.

Create a Year-End Checklist

The first step in the year-end process is to develop a personal list of processes by noting all modules owned in the system and compiling information from Deltek Vantagepoint or Vision as well. It is also wise to review the weekly and monthly deadlines in the checklists to be sure all items have been completed.

Additionally, be sure to visit the year-end info center in the Deltek Customer Care Portal. Here, Deltek clients can gather checklists and step-by-step procedures for getting Vantagepoint or Vision ready to close out the year and begin a new year. This is updated yearly and is an invaluable source of information for the necessary processes based on the modules owned by each firm.

Year-End Process Considerations

In addition to the items and recommendations found in the Deltek Customer Care Portal, outlined below are some standard tasks to complete when preparing for year-end.

  • Enter and complete posting of all 2021 transactions.
  • Review the fiscal year checklist prior to completing the calendar year closeout.
  • Complete all cash account and bank reconciliations and verify that the reconciled GL matches the GL balance.
  • Review and complete all credit card reconciliations. This will require getting the expenses into the expense reports and posted in the year they happened - this is important for both reconciliation and for invoicing.
  • Run the file reconciliation report and troubleshoot as well as correct any differences. Review the profit and lost statement and balance sheet to verify proper categorization in accounts.
  • Run the unposted labor report and address any timesheets that require posting. Complete an interactive billing cleanup of any outstanding WIP that will not be invoiced, or that has been invoiced and not removed from the billing module by marking to be deleted and accepting a zero-dollar invoice.
  • Make any projects dormant that are no longer active.
  • Be sure to review all terminated employees for a termination date and setting the admin level for timesheet and expense reports to staff. Review all active employees and set valid company domain email addresses, hours per day, and timesheet and expense admin levels.
  • Evaluate the 2021 budgets to determine if 2021 goals were met. Set goals for 2022 and gather GL budget information that needs to be entered into the system.
  • Set up new holidays for the upcoming year in the holiday configuration/settings. This allows the timesheet to show the new holidays as well as for the utilization ratios to correctly calculate each year.
  • Review employee vacation time reporting to send out notifications needed for employees who may lose vacation time in the cut over to the new year. Now is a good time to have employees decide what to do with approaching maxes, limits, and upcoming vacations.
  • Collect on past due invoices!
  • Pay all vendors due to be paid and initialize the 1099 process before opening a new year. Void outstanding checks that may have expired. Make sure to order 1099 preprinted forms NOW before it’s too late.
  • Save all audit reports as PDFs for info center/hub changes.

Close Out 2021 with Deltek Vantagepoint and Vision

Following the recommended steps by Deltek and trusted consultants, year-end should not only run in a timely manner, but can also run smoothly and with less stress for Vantagepoint and Vision clients. Developing a good process flow now makes each following year even smoother and allows some of the process to be delegated out with confidence that is will be completed in timely manner year after year. Help is just a click away! Use the image button below to find year-end resources available from Deltek.

Deltek Customer Care

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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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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