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What’s New in Deltek Vantagepoint 4.5

Posted by Scott Gailhouse on September 29, 2021

With each new version of Deltek Vantagepoint, professional services firms are given more tools and features to deliver profitable projects. While version 4.0 mainly focused on supporting accounting functions, 4.5 addressed all the roles that support the success of project-based firms. Here are some of the top new enhancements and features Vantagepoint users can now begin to use.

Deltek Vantagepoint logo

Edit and Save with Ease in Deltek Vantagepoint

Editing and saving updated has been simplified. In Deltek Vantagepoint 4.5, the two saving modes, implicit saving (autosave) and explicit saving, have been combined. With this update, a “Save” and “Cancel” button will appear whenever a change or edit has been made to a field

Speaking of edits, Vantagepoint users will no longer need to click on a pencil icon in a field to make a change. Simply click anywhere in a field that needs to be updated to make the required changes.

Create Winning Proposals and Better Track Clients

In Deltek Vantagepoint 4.5, enhancements to proposal automation will help marketing professionals create formatted documents easier. First, Deltek has added the ability to link text elements, so text continues to flow from one page to the next similar to the functionality Adobe InDesign users are accustomed to. Additionally, Vantagepoint can now export proposals to PDFs and Word, and the proposal will retain the formatting established in Vantagepoint while creating the document.

Vantagepoint 4.5 now allows a contact to be associated to a project with a different firm that is linked to a contact in the Contacts hub. This is helpful for when a contact is a consultant for more than one firm or needs to be associated to a joint venture for a project.

A small but very helpful change also got added to the Mobile CRM. Before 4.5, when a user wanted to edit and open text field in the Mobile CRM app, it would take them to another screen that enlarged the text and the field. Now users can stay on the original screen to make changes without having to go to a new screen to make the changes, and then select done to return the entire record. This is a helpful for saving time.

Plan and Track Profitable Projects with Deltek Vantagepoint

Projects don’t always go to plan and Deltek realizes this issue. With the release of Deltek Vantagepoint 4.5, project managers can now go back and replace planned time with actual time, spread the difference if needed, or change planned hours all together. While some firms may not want employees to be able to do this, it is an option available in the security settings and can be turned on at the discretion of firm leadership.

Estimate at completion (EAC) values are critical in planning because it helps predict what a firm is going to spend at the end of a project. The problem today is that planning is job to date (JTD) as of today and estimate to completion (ETC) starts tomorrow. If one or more people have not updated their timesheet for any days before today, those hours are missing from the EAC. In Vantagepoint 4.5, JTD can be changed to pull from a specific day. For instance, the standard setting in Vantagepoint is to pull JTD from today, but now firms have the option to choose from yesterday or even the end of the week from the previous week.

Two small but convenient features have also been added for project managers. The first is the sharable search feature. Previously, users could create and save searches for themselves only. Now, saved and custom searches can now be shared with coworkers. Secondly, purchase orders with approvals have been add to the browser version of Vantagepoint. This allows the majority of project managers to work exclusively in the browser version.

Improved Invoice Approvals to Increase Draft Turn Around and New AR Reporting Enhancements

Deltek Vantagepoint 4.5 now allows for tracking invoices by billing client when the billing client changes during the life of the project. In Vantagepoint versions 4.0 or earlier, when the billing client changed for a project on the Accounting tab in the Projects hub, the change was applied to all existing invoices, cash receipts, voided invoices and credit memos. Obviously, this can create some confusion. Now, the change only applies to new invoices, voids and credit memos after the change takes place. Essentially allowing account receivables to track information separately for each billing client.

Draft invoice approvals also gained improved visibility into annotation and comment history when saved draft invoices are resubmitted. The process in 4.5 allows an approver to review a draft invoice, make changes and add comments as necessary. Now the change will apply to invoices, voids, and credit memos when a new billing client has been assigned. Essentially allowing you to track accounts receivable information separately for each billing client on a given project.

Start Using More Features in Deltek Vantagepoint 4.5

Deltek Vantagepoint 4.5 is one of the biggest releases ever to roll out since its inception. With that said, there are more improvements and enhancements that weren’t discussed in this article. For more information, checkout the Deltek Learning Zone and click the button link below for a free webinar detailing more features in Vantagepoint 4.5.

Link to Deltek Vantagepoint 4.5 features webinar

Accounting Made Easier for Project-based Firms with Deltek Vantagepoint 4.0

Posted by Scott Gailhouse on June 02, 2021

What is better than a purpose-built modern ERP with functionality to streamline and consolidate business processes? More features! With the latest release of Vantagepoint 4.0, Deltek offers even more features to make it easier for firms to deliver better projects, analyze business performance, and create more accurate invoices. Let’s check out some of these new features and see how they will be beneficial to Vantagepoint users.

Deltek Vantagepoint logo

Digital Markup of Draft Invoices

Clients have been asking for the ability to markup draft invoices for some time. Now with the latest Vantagepoint release, draft invoices can be digitally marked up. This allows the biller to view and edit annotations within interactive billing and markups are saved for future reference. As a result, the digital markup feature allows for improved collaboration between project managers and accounting.

Expanded Interactive Billing Capabilities

This newest version of Vantagepoint continues enhancing the user experience and ease of use. With enhanced interactive billing, you can view marked up drafts including comments from final invoices in prior periods. Also, when invoices are voided, Vantagepoint will keep a record of the void and the date the invoice was voided.

Store Final Invoices as PDFs in Vantagepoint

With Deltek Vantagepoint 4.0, final invoices can be stored as a PDF when they are accepted in interactive billing or final creation in batch billing. Since a PDF is created at the time of final invoice creation, you actually have a duplicate record of what you sent to the client originally. Now, with this enhancement, all invoices stored in Vantagepoint will exactly match the invoices that you sent to your client.

New Expense Report Screen Designer Capabilities

Deltek Vantagepoint 4.0 features now help with increasing expense report accuracy. Now, the Expense Report has a “lite” screen designer. This allows users to build in business rules within the expense report. Also, you can add additional columns or choose the columns you want to display on the expense report and change their descriptions. You can even make tool tips to help with accurate reporting by users. Additionally, screen designer changes apply to mobile expenses as well.

Expanded Expense Approval Features

The latest version of Vantagepoint focuses on increased usability. For expense report approvals, there is a new toggle to show all approval types or completed approvals. This gives the approver the ability to just see expense reports that need to be approved. Also, there is a new Print Lines Approval Report button for both timesheets and expense reports. This report gives the approver, at a glance, line items that still require approval.

Timesheet Status Update with Floor Checks

Vantagepoint 4.0 also helps with managing employee timesheet completion. If you are responsible for making sure employee time entry is completed on time, you can do a “floor check” to review the status of time entry for your employees for a specific timesheet period or day. This feature allows users to quickly see which employees still have outstanding timesheets and includes the ability to create a reminder email template to send to employees.

Mobile Enhancements Including Biometrics

In previous versions of Deltek Vantagepoint, users could upload receipts from a mobile device using Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR). With 4.0, users can now automatically match a line created from a receipt with a credit card charge. Biometric authentication has also been added to Time & Expense and CRM mobile capabilities. Using this new feature, users can now utilize fingerprint ID or face recognition to make it more convenient and more secure to access their Vantagepoint system. These new enhancements simplify the process making it easier for end users to complete their expense reports. Therefore, allowing for more accurate reports which benefits accounting.

Dashboard Enhancements for Clearer Insights

With Vantagepoint 4.0, Deltek continues to provide more improvements to filters, dashparts, and dashboards for ease of use for the end user. The latest release provides further visibility into project details and labor planning. One of those enhancements to dashparts is the ability to drilldown to the details to see unposted labor hours at cost and/or billing rates.

Always Looking Forward with Deltek Vantagepoint 4.0 

With each release of Vantagepoint, Deltek seeks to reimagine functionality and leverage innovation to provide usable and practical value for accounting. The latest release steps up with features that work on improving user experience, ease of use and accuracy. As always, the newest Vantagepoint 4.0 enhancements make managing and delivering projects that much better for all users and there are many more to come.

Link to webinar about Vantagepoint 4.0

Why Your Firm Should Be Using the Deltek Vision Payroll Module

Posted by Scott Gailhouse on February 21, 2018

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  

Year-End 2017 is Here!

Posted by Scott Gailhouse on November 22, 2017

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  

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

Posted by Scott Gailhouse on June 07, 2017

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

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

Posted by Scott Gailhouse on December 21, 2016

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 

Deltek Vision 7.6 is Full of Enhancements

Posted by Scott Gailhouse on July 20, 2016

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

Deltek Vision Multi-Company Just Got a lot Better!

Posted by Scott Gailhouse on January 27, 2016

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. 

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

Posted by Scott Gailhouse on October 21, 2015

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.

 

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Higher Utilization Yields Higher Revenues – Myth or Reality?

Posted by Scott Gailhouse on July 30, 2014

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. 

 

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