Full Sail Partners Blog (2)

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

Why Deltek Vantagepoint CRM for Professional Services Firms

Posted by Ryan Felkel on October 27, 2021

The world of professional services firms revolves around clients and projects. It’s a daily process of finding new clients and pursuing them for new work with hopes that all this effort equates to a winning project. While some firms chose to treat this like a rat race, others have learned that it’s more efficient to be strategic and intentional with their tactics. The latter has also likely adopted Deltek Vantagepoint CRM. Which enables professional services firms to use data to make actionable decisions that generate profitable projects.

Deltek Vantagepoint logo

Use Deltek Vantagepoint CRM to Track Client Relationships

Touchpoints galore! That’s right, professional services firms have touchpoints with numerous people at client firms and the information gained during these interactions needs to be collected and stored in one common place. By having these insights stored in a centralized system, firm marketing and business development teams can identify new pipeline opportunities and nurture key relationships.

Additionally, Deltek Vantagepoint CRM is the only real project-based CRM and supports the “seller-doer” model. The “seller-doer” model is when project managers and/or consultants are responsible for providing their services as well as generating new work. With Vantagepoint, “seller-doers” can easily record client touchpoints since they are in the same system being used to deliver and manage projects and engagements.

Gain Insights into Client Interests

Creating the right messaging and keeping clients engaged is a daily battle for marketers. Each victory is one step closer to winning the war, or in this case, new work. In this modern-day business development warfare, insights into client behavior are the weapons to success. Marketing campaigns in Deltek Vantagepoint can be used to track and measure the success of particular marketing efforts. Initiatives such as email blasts, webinars, industry conference sponsorships and more can all be tracked in Vantagepoint marketing campaigns.

Using these insights, marketers can determine which techniques and messages are working best to keep clients engaged. Business development teams can identify firms and contacts that are demonstrating high levels of interest and know what is getting their attention. As a result, relationships can be nurtured, and proposals can be more tailored to address the unique needs of a client.

Identify Opportunities and Create Winning Proposals

Often, it’s not just about finding new work, but it’s also about picking which request for proposals (RFPs) to pursue. Let’s admit, proposals are time consuming and often require the involvement of staff from several departments. Furthermore, firms often lack a go/no go process that is based on actual data. However, that doesn’t need to be the case if firms are using Deltek Vantagepoint.

Vantagepoint is a single source of truth since it contains project pursuit and opportunity information. Prior to picking which RFPs to pursue, business development teams using Vantagepoint can:

  • Identify if internal resources are available to assist with the response.
  • Apply lessons learned from previous wins and losses.
  • Use quantifiable data to determine if an opportunity is financially beneficial for the firm.

After deciding which new RFPs to pursue, Vantagepoint remains a handy tool for the team responsible for preparing the proposal response. Being a project-focused CRM tool, the new pursuit stage begins by capturing project information in a new project. This allows the team to build an actual project plan with assigned resources, timelines, and budgets to ensure the final proposed project can be delivered in a profitable manner.

Additionally, past project information with descriptions, pictures, budgets and more can be included as reference project information. As is the same for resumes of employees that are identified as key resources for the project.

Automate Activities, Notifications and More with Workflows in Deltek Vantagepoint CRM

Updating data and maintaining clean accurate data is a daily struggle. More importantly, without taking the time to keep data up to date, it eventually becomes useless. Workflows are essential for automating repetitive tasks and notifying people about actions that need to be taken. In Deltek Vantagepoint workflows can:

  • Update a client record when a change to the client field is made in a user defined grid.
  • Provide an error notification with a user fails to update a required field or uses a wrong value.
  • Trigger follow-up reminders for predefined activities in a marketing campaign.
  • Automate the RFP go/no go process.

While these are just a few examples of workflows available in Vantagepoint, a Full Sail Partners’ consultant can help identify more workflows a firm can utilize to meet their unique needs. Click here to reach a crew member.

Win More Work with Deltek Vantagepoint CRM

Being that Deltek Vantagepoint is a project-centric CRM, it’s built and designed for the way professional services firms do business. Firms using Vantagepoint CRM gain a clear vision into their business development pipeline, nurture the right client relationships at the right time, and can propose competitive and reliable project bids. Now is the time to adopt Vantagepoint CRM and all its capabilities to win more business.

Watch demos of Deltek Vantagepoint now!

How to Set Digital Marketing Goals

Posted by Lindsay Diven on October 20, 2021

Without marketing goals, it’s nearly impossible to develop a marketing plan let alone know if the marketing effort is working. And without clear, actionable, and achievable metrics, how does an A/E/C marketing team know what they’re working towards? Setting goals for digital marketing programs should always be the priority.

In this third installment of the Driving Growth with Digital Marketing series, let’s learn how to begin goals setting, what SMART goals are, goal examples, and best practices.

Driving Growth with Digital Marketing series logo

Start with the Firm’s Goals

An A/E/C firm’s strategic or business goals is a critical place to start identifying digital marketing goals. The business goals of the firm give the marketing team a purpose and define exactly what they want to achieve.

The A/E/C firms that have strategic plans often have both long- and short-term goals. Some of those goals might not be relevant to the marketing team, but often they are. Some common strategic goals include:

  • Expand geographically – This includes opening new offices, pursuing new clients, or acquiring firms in new geographic regions.
  • Expand services – This includes adding new service offerings by acquiring firms, hiring new talent, or creating strategic partnerships.

Once the firm’s strategic goals are identified, the marketing team can begin to create digital marketing goals to align. This helps to ensure that the marketing efforts are contributing to the firm’s growth goals and gets buy-in for budget and resources.

Setting SMART Goals

Firms are most likely familiar with the “SMART” goal setting technique. This strategy is very popular to use in marketing and personal development goal setting. To apply these to digital marketing goals, be:

  • Specific: Marketing objectives should be well defined. Rather than simply saying ‘more website traffic’ be more specific such as ‘increase web traffic from Texas.’ Ideally the specificity will align with the firm’s strategic goals.
  • Measurable: To gauge the progress of the marketing effort, marketing teams need something to measure. This means the goal needs to be quantifiable. So, instead of ‘increase web traffic from Texas,’ the measurable goal would be ‘increase web traffic from Texas by 10%.’
  • Attainable: When firms begin a digital marketing program, it’s often hard to determine what goal is attainable. An example of a better attainable goal would be ‘increase web traffic from Texas by 10%’ instead of setting an increase of 30% or 50%. That much of an increase might not be attainable. Sometimes the marketing team needs to start with some number and adjust after a certain period. It’s more important for the firm to base the goal off the firm’s own data first and then adjust from there.
  • Relevant: The goals must be relevant to the firm’s strategic goals. For example, if the firm’s strategic goal is to expand into the Ohio transportation market, the Texas goal above would not be relevant.
  • Time bound: Giving the marketing goals a deadline ensures that a goal will be given the attention it needs to be successful. Often, when there is no deadline, a project or initiative flounders.

Every time the marketing department at an A/E/C firm sets out a new digital marketing campaign, the team should go through this goal setting exercise. Then once the goal is set, it should be clearly communicated with the firm’s leadership and stakeholders. This gives leadership the opportunity to ensure it’s aligned with business goals and for marketing to get buy-in as early as possible.

Common Digital Marketing Goals

Below are a few examples of digital marketing goals.

  • Acquire new leads or contacts. This is a common goal. Most firms cannot continue to grow without generating new leads, and eventually new clients and projects. Digital marketing can help attract new leads or contacts.
  • Activate leads and contacts. A/E/C firms often have leads or contacts in their databases that they haven’t worked in months, if not years. The firms can use digital marketing campaigns to encourage engagement, as well as remind the past contacts about the value the firm has provided to them and other similar clients. The digital marketing campaign can reactivate dormant leads and contacts and help keep your firm top of mind.
  • Cross-selling services. Acquiring new clients is often more expensive than getting repeat work from existing clients. And firms often provide many services to several different industries. Digital marketing campaigns can be used to educate existing clients on all the services the firm provides.
  • Increase website traffic. Digital marketing strategies can be used to increase website viewers, either to the entire website or to targeted landing pages.
  • Improve conversion rate. This is when a website visitor completes the webpage call-to-action. A popular example is when a website visitor completes a form on a website to get access to a white-paper or webinar, also known as gated content.

Digital Marketing Goal Setting Best Practices

Some digital marketing goal setting best practices are:

  • Don’t set too many goals. This could spread the marketing team too thin and risk not achieving any goal.
  • Begin with a pilot or test initiative. Identify one firm strategic goal and begin with that as a pilot initiative. Build the goals and a timeframe around that.
  • Clearly communicate the goals. When the marketing team communicates the goals, it creates a wider understanding of what your digital marketing efforts have set out to deliver and how those efforts align with the firm’s strategic plan.
  • Define who is accountable. Identify who is responsible for each goal. Making someone solely responsible for each goal makes it more likely to be achieved.

Don’t Skip Goal Setting

Setting goals can be intimidating when it’s the first time the firm is undertaking a digital marketing program. Don’t let that stop the marketing team from setting the goals. The goals will help keep the campaigns and marketing activities aligned towards achieving a common objective. They also help to set expectations and motivate the team.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the other articles in the Driving Growth with Digital Marketing series. Learn more about how A/E/C marketers and principals can develop a digital marketing program that is right for their firm. Sign up below to be notified when a new resource in the series becomes available.

New call-to-action

Skills Improvement Versus Corrective Action: Getting to the Root of Things

Posted by Tasia Grant, PHR on October 13, 2021

Professional services firm leaders are often inclined to immediately use discipline or use corrective action to address an ongoing performance issue. However, that would be like medicating based on symptoms, without getting to the root cause of the illness. Instead, slowing down and thoroughly evaluating the situation can shed light on possible solutions that are likely more beneficial to the employee and for the firm as a whole.

Employee meeting with supervisor

When to Use a Skills Improvement Plan

Behavioral concerns and non-compliance issues can usually be directly impacted by progressive discipline. On the contrary, skill deficiencies or job performance concerns are usually best addressed with skills improvement plans and that includes more than just the technical skills required to perform the functions of the position. They can also incorporate the other skills essential and critical to the overall scope of the job.

For example, a manager may be a high performer based on their knowledge level and ability to perform the job duties. Yet, they may struggle in the areas of interpersonal communication or may not have had prior management experience and may need to work on developing their leadership skills. Which are areas not related to behavioral or compliance concerns.

Therefore, these skills would be best addressed with coaching, guidance, and setting clear goals and expectations. Coaching can include suggested training, an outlined strategy for change, developed by both the manager and their director, as well as mediation between the manager and their reports. If there is a desire to thrive in the position the manager should be open to the plan laid out to help them improve. Usually, employees do accept and appreciate the assistance if they feel that the plan being presented is sincere and demonstrates that the company wants them to be successful.

When to Use a Corrective Action Plan

Sometimes firms have an employee that excels in their position but is also an employee that is consistently late to their shift, breaking company policy, or their behavior is causing disruption to the team or clients. In this case, a more targeted and direct approach needs to be applied for more immediate results. Cases like these are when corrective action needs to be taken using a progressive discipline plan. This technique provides the employee an opportunity to make improvements or adjustments while allowing the employer to implement corrective actions if there is no improvement.

Corrective actions can vary in severity and can include a verbal warning or a written warning as lighter punishments. Whereas suspending an employee or terminating them can be more severe. Furthermore, corrective action primarily addresses critical problems, recurring issues, and/or problems that endanger health or safety of others.

Employees are Investments

Remember that with both a skills improvement plan and a corrective action plan, the primary goal should be to identify the cause of the change and a solution that leads to positive results. Additionally, firm leaders and managers need to consider that an employee may have greatness in them and are an asset to the firm, but are apprehensive to reveal it for fear that it will set higher expectations of them that they aren’t confident they can achieve. These processes will reveal that and encourage them to embrace it and display it.

New call-to-action

Data Imports: No IT Required for Deltek Vantagepoint Users

Posted by Charlene Kerr on October 06, 2021

Data entry can be tedious and prone to errors. Convincing IT to upload data into software can be tricky, difficult, and hazardous to your health. Luckily for Deltek Vantagepoint users, there a better option: Data Imports. Found on the menu under Utilities, the Data Import function offers users an easy-to-use interface that can import a large amount of Hub or transactional data with ease, while maintaining the Vantagepoint business rules for data entry.

Man pointing at data import

Helpful for New Deltek Vantagepoint Clients

For new Deltek Vantagepoint clients, the Data Import module offers a simple method for uploading information from previous systems, regardless of its origin. Switching from FoxPro, Oracle, or using another system that allows the export of data into an Excel or CSV file? It can be uploaded into Vantagepoint.

Has your accounting information in one system and project information in another? No problem. Data Imports are structured so that general ledger detail and table information are uploaded separately. With just a little knowledge about the software configuration of Vantagepoint, preparing data files for import is relatively simple and requires little to no training.

Beneficial for Existing Deltek Vantagepoint Clients

Existing Deltek Vantagepoint customers can also use the data import process to add new data to their current Vantagepoint instance. Using the Data Import module, a firm can modify existing information in hub. One example of this would be when adding new functionality that was previously unused. If the data exists in an Excel file, it can easily be used to update existing hub fields with new information. Vantagepoint will also verify that the data in either type of upload follow existing business rules using a validation procedure and will not import data that does not follow the rules.

Transactional data can also be uploaded into Vantagepoint via the Data Import module. Many Vantagepoint clients use outside applications to gather information that must then be uploaded in order to post in Vantagepoint. Some clients have subconsultants that use different systems for gathering time or expense information that must be captured in their Vantagepoint system. Rather than having to do manual data entry, a CSV file can be used to upload the information using Data Imports. As with each Data Import, Vantagepoint checks to make sure that the data does not break any business rules prior to uploading the data into the Transaction Center, where users can post the data.

Need to Know Info About Deltek Vantagepoint Data Import

Regardless of whether it is new data being uploaded or existing records need amending, the process is basically the same. However, at this time the data import functionality is split between Vantagepoint’s web app and the desktop app. They will eventually be combined, as Deltek intends to do with all of Vantagepoint’s functions. But for now, users will need to know where to go for each type of import. The web app currently supports importing for Employees and Employee-related tables, Clients, Contacts, Generic Resources, and lists. All other imports, such as Projects, General Ledger and transactional data, can be imported via the desktop application.

Once the appropriate type data import is identified, the data need to be aligned with Vantagepoint’s data. The data mapping will need to be done prior to the system validating the data. Once the fields that need to be mapped have been identified, they will need to be matched with corresponding data in the import file. Then select “Import” and Vantagepoint performs the validation procedures. Any errors will be reported in a file and will not be imported. The import data can be validated as many times as necessary to make sure that the new data being imported into the Vantagepoint instance are good.

Import Data with Ease

Data Import in the Vantagepoint application does not require an extensive knowledge of databases or programming. It is, however, something that takes a little practice, and a little more perseverance. Full Sail Partners recommends that practicing on a test database when learning how to use the import feature. And for another level of comfort, Full Sail Partners is happy to provide training on how to master this unique and valuable tool.

Reach Full Sail Partners

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

A&E Finance Leaders Took Control in 2020 According to Deltek Clarity

Posted by Ryan Felkel on September 22, 2021

During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses across all industries were forced to make quick and decisive decisions. For A&E firms, determining the best plan to keep projects profitable and on schedule became the priority. While many departments were able to quickly adjust to working from home and figuring it out as they went, finance leaders had to determine how to maintain financial controls immediately. The 42nd Deltek A&E Clarity highlights the success of these efforts in addition to providing some insights on other key financial metrics.

Deltek Clarity Report logo

Numbers that Improved

Across the board, A&E firms of all sizes had increased utilization rates in comparison to the previous year. With small firms reporting a little over two percent increase and large firms showing over a one-percent increase. While this increase seems small, it’s actually significant when viewed as a change over a one-year period. Additionally, net revenue per employee also increased for A&E firms of all sizes. When looking back over the last year and comparing other relative information, it’s reasonable to link this improved utilization rate to the fact that firms had minimal growth of personnel. Meaning existing employees are being worked more and firms need to be aware of the negative effects of employee burnout. Make sure to learn about exception reporting and how this can help identify employees that are at risk of burnout.

The overhead rate for A&E firms dropped in comparison to last year which can be linked directly to the decrease in travel and other in-person related expenses. Obviously, this can be attributed to restrictions created by the pandemic, but it also leaves room to wonder if this can be maintained in the future as the world transitions to the “new normal.” Which itself is still unclear, many are predicting a hybrid variation of a remote and in-person work environment. This is even highlighted in the 42nd Deltek A&E Clarity report as something firms need to evaluate in the future.

The largest indicator of success is the firm’s earnings after all operating expenses are taken out which is referred to as the operating profit on net revenue. Unsurprisingly, A&E firms that responded to the Deltek A&E Clarity survey overwhelmingly indicated an increase with small firms reporting an eleven percent increase over the previous year. Looking back to overhead rate, the pandemic related changes firms were forced to make is a clear connection between these two numbers making it difficult to determine if this will be sustained in future years.

Numbers that Suffered

While success is easy to celebrate, shortcomings also need to be reviewed and given attention. Starting with the net labor multiplier, firms that responded to the 42nd Deltek A&E Clarity study reported a decline to a minimal increase. Which actually breaks a ten-year trend and reverted net labor multipliers being realized by firms to similar rates of five and six years ago.

An A&E firm’s most consistent indicator of operating performance is the total payroll multiplier. On face value, the total payroll multiplier remained unchanged from the previous year which seems like a win. And might as well be when considering the challenges firms were presented with as a result of the pandemic.

Future Financial Initiatives

Across the board, respondents to the 42nd A&E Deltek Clarity study stated their top priority is business process improvements which is a consistent leader year after year. Furthermore, this seems like a vague statement that lacks an actual plan action and is likely the yearly list leader for this reason. With all the adversity firms faced throughout the last year, it might be a good time to start implementing a business process improvement plan by first mapping out firm processes to see how these changes have impacted firm operations.

Further down the list of financial initiatives firms wish to address are better managing growth, organizational change, and increasing spending for talent acquisition and retention which are ranked fourth, fifth and sixth respectively. Lumped together, all of these are a component of human capital management. From an employee perspective, this is promising to know that A&E firms are realizing that their value proposition is their people.

Gain Financial Clarity

In the face of uncertainty, A&E financial leaders buckled down by tightening finance controls by embracing technology to keep teams connected. Similar to what other departments within the firm did which is detailed in the technology trends section of the A&E Deltek Clarity report. Further, it’s exciting and promising to see that A&E firms weathered the initial impact of the pandemic fairly well. While the future still has some uncertainties, A&E industry has once again proven to be resilient and capable of overcoming adversity.

Benchmark your firm! Use the link button below to download the 42nd Deltek A&E Clarity report and scorecard for free.

Link to download the 42nd Deltek A&E Clarity Report

The Best Deltek Vantagepoint Video Demos

Posted by Ryan Felkel on September 15, 2021

Finding helpful and insightful information just got easier for Deltek Vantagepoint clients. The Powering Project Success with Deltek Vantagepoint mini demonstration series is a growing library of video content for Vantagepoint users of all roles and skill levels. Each video is five to twenty minutes long and about a specific feature and function available in Vantagepoint that many are unaware exist or are unsure how to use.

Person watching demos on laptop

Projects Start with Business Development

Winning work is the first step to initiating a project and Deltek Vantagepoint helps business development (BD) professionals generate and close opportunities. Even on the go! With the mobile CRM functionality, BD team members can easily access and update client information from anywhere using a mobile device. Check out this demo to see how simple it is to review and update client information right on your mobile smart device.

In addition to the great benefits of mobile CRM, tracking Outlook emails and calendar appointments in Vantagepoint CRM is seamless with Deltek Vantagepoint Connect for Outlook. With a few simple clicks, BD team members can conduct typical CRM tasks directly in Outlook. Watch this demo to see how easy it is to create contacts, manage appointments and schedule meetings directly in Outlook.

Simplify Project Startup and Creation

Before work can begin, a client must pay a retainer fee. As simple as this sounds, there can be many parties involved throughout the process. During this mini demo, Vantagepoint accounting professionals can learn how to easily process retainers using cash receipts all while automatically keeping the project manager in the loop through the entire process. As simple as this sounds, it’s a favorite obscure feature for many accounting professionals.

Setting up new project and plan can be a time-consuming process that can be avoided using Vantagepoint Project Templates and Plan Settings. Instead of starting each project from scratch, Project Templates and Plan Settings allow firms to use pre-defined work breakdown structures to quickly set up complex projects. Essentially, simplifying the project creation process and ensuring consistency of project records. Watch this demo to see a project set up in less than 10 minutes.

Track Time for Timesheets Easier

Managing projects and clients is already a lot of work for billable employees. On top of that, they are required to track and update their timesheets on a regular basis. Deltek can’t create more time in a day, but Vantagepoint can make updating timesheets easier. Using the Calendar feature, users can track their billable time and add it to their timesheet with a few clicks. Check out this mini demo to see how.

Manage Talent Acquisition and Learning

Growing firms need to hire quickly and onboard new talent fast. Attracting and recruiting new talent requires getting the message out about new open employment opportunities. During this demo, human resources (HR) professionals will see how to post open positions across multiple job listing platforms with a simple click.

Once a new employee is hired, getting them started and setting up their training needs to be as simple as advertising for the position. In this demo, HR staff will learn how to set up the new hire onboarding process in an online environment. Additionally, the demo covers how employees can submit required paperwork and info as well as complete self-guided online training.

Get Paid Easier

Before billing a client, it’s important to make sure the invoice is correct. This internal back and forth process between project managers and accounting can become time and paper consuming. After watching this demo, accounting professionals and project managers will both be relieved once they see how easy it is to digitally markup invoices and resubmit them to accounting.

The ugly side of accounting is having to bill and collect interest from clients. Well, Deltek Vantagepoint can’t talk with clients about late payments, but it can make charging interest easier. Learn how to set up billing terms in Vantagepoint to make collecting and tracking past due balances easier in this demo.

Deltek Vantagepoint Provides Answers

Reports after report, Deltek Vantagepoint as them which is great. However, picking the right report can be confusing which is not Deltek’s intentions. In this demo, picking the right project planning related report is thoroughly explained along with the context about how each report is created. This demo is great for those tasked with forecasting project performance.

What seemed like a dream for project managers is a reality in Vantagepoint. With the combination of project planning and budgeting in one hub, project managers can quickly review project success based on both of these data inputs. The Project Review demo shows how Vantagepoints pulls from both these data sources to help ensure projects are profitable.  

Maximize the Benefits of Deltek Vantagepoint

Getting work done just got easier for Deltek Vantagepoint users! While these are just a few of the mini demos available in the Powering Project Success with Deltek Vantagepoint series, more are available using the link button below. Make sure to regularly check out the growing demo library for updates and share these with coworkers.

Watch demos of Deltek Vantagepoint now!

Define Your Personas to Guide Marketing Strategies

Posted by Lindsay Diven on September 08, 2021

Professional services firms don’t just make a product that one consumer is going to purchase. The services that the firms sell are complex and involve different decision makers who have different needs and goals. Successful firms don’t just know who those decision makers are, but rather, develop personas that guide their marketing strategies.

Driving Growth with Digital Marketing for A/E/C firms series logo

This article will dive deeper into what personas are, how to develop personas, and how they are used to help create marketing strategies This is the second article in the Driving Growth with Digital Marketing series.

What is a Persona?

According to HubSpot, a buyer persona is a fictional, generalized representation of an ideal client. The persona helps firms understand their clients and prospective clients better making it easier for them to develop content to the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of different groups.

Personas are based on insight gathered from existing clients and market research done by marketing, business development or outside resources. Due to the nature of project-based firms who pursue projects with multiple decision-makers, most firms will have multiple personas.

How to Create Personas

The first step in creating a persona is asking specific questions about current and ideal clients to find out as much as possible about who they are and how they interact with your firm. This can be completed through research, surveys, and interviews by a mix of clients, prospects, and those outside the CRM who might align with the target audience.

Potential methods for gathering information needed to develop personas are:

  • Look through the contacts database (CRM) to uncover trends about how certain clients find and consume marketing content.
  • Use form fields that capture persona information when creating website forms. For example, if the persona varies based agency role, ask each lead for information about their role at their agency on the website form.
  • Ask for feedback from the business development team about the leads and contacts they’re interacting with the most. What generalizations can they make about the different types of contacts served by the firm?
  • Ask for feedback from project managers and other project delivery teams. What generalizations can they make about the different types of client contacts they work with?
  • Interview clients and prospective clients to discover what they like about the services the firm offers.

Some example questions to ask during the information gathering phase:

  • What is their profession?
  • What does a typical day in their life look like?
  • Where do they go for information?
  • How do they prefer to obtain services?
  • What is important to them when choosing a firm?
  • What do they value most?
  • What are their goals?

Use this information to identify patterns and commonalities. Then the persona can begin to be recorded (written down!). This can include information such as:

  • Basic demographic information – Age? Income? Location? Gender identity?
  • Background – Job? Career path? Family? Lifestyle?
  • Identifiers – Communication preferences? Social media platforms?
  • Challenges – What does this person struggle in relation to meeting goals? What serves as a roadblock for this person’s success?
  • What can we do – To help this persona achieve their goals? To help this persona overcome their challenges?
  • Goals – Primary/secondary goals? Personal vs. professional goals? Role-related vs. company goals?

Once the persona is created share it with marketing, business development, executives, and operations to ensure the entire firm has the same view of the ideal client.

How are Personas Used to Guide Marketing Strategies?

Personas allow firms to personalize or target marketing for different segments. For example, instead of sending a monthly newsletter to all contacts in a CRM system, firms can segment by personas and tailor the newsletter content according to what is known about each persona.

Let’s say a firm called ACME Engineering has personas that include facilities directors, permitting coordinators, and prime architects. These personas have different specific needs, behaviors, and concerns, as one would assume. Sending a monthly newsletter that contains the same content to the entire list, wouldn’t be as well received as if ACME Engineering changed the newsletter content slightly that each project feature or blog article was written specifically with that persona in mind.

Other uses for personas for marketing include:

  • Building effective content marketing strategies by focusing on keyword research efforts.
  • Identifying and prioritizing the most relevant promotional activities.
  • Timing marketing campaigns for peak engagement rates.
  • Publishing content and advertisements on the channels (email, social media, etc.) most frequented by personas.
  • Personalizing marketing automation efforts.
  • Refining copywriting to reflect improved SEO strategies.

When the personas are used correctly, personas allow firms to produce highly targeted content that leads to better responses from new and repeat clients. And there is data to prove this. According to research from Single Grain, companies who used personas saw:

  • Websites were 2-5 times more effective.
  • Personalized emails had a 14% higher click-through rate (CRT).
  • Conversion rates* were 10% higher.

Using Personas Throughout the Firm

While this article focuses on the persona for marketing’s use, once the personas are defined, they can be used throughout the project lifecycle.

  • Business Development – Personas are valuable to anyone in the firm who is client facing. From crafting one-on-one message and building rapport to understanding the persona on a deeper level allows the business developer to be better prepared to address the client’s concerns.
  • Project Delivery – Just because the firm won the project, the firm shouldn’t stop building the relationship with the client. Because of this, involve project management team members in the persona development process so that it can be tailored to the project delivery process in your firm.

Persona is the Foundation for Driving Revenue Growth

Having a deep understanding of the personas is the foundation for building a digital marketing strategy. It’s critical to driving content creation, seeking out new clients and prospects, building relationships, delivering the projects, and really anything that relates to client acquisition and retention.

This is the second article in the Driving Growth with Digital Marketing series. In this series, marketers and principals will learn how to develop a digital marketing program that is right for their firm. Sign up below to be notified when a new resource in the series becomes available.

New call-to-action

*Conversion rates can mean that someone took an action on a call to action. This can be filling out a form, clicking a link, etc.

Solve Common Problems with Deltek Vantagepoint AP Voucher Lookup

Posted by Terri Agnew, CPA on September 01, 2021

For accounting professionals, the AP voucher is the single source of truth for tracking supplier invoices. An AP voucher has information from a supplier like the firm amount that is due, terms for payment, signatures of authorized firm representatives, and more. Keeping this information up to date and correct is critical, however, errors and other changes do occur.

  • Is there an invoice that was accidentally entered twice and one needs to be voided/reversed one?
  • Was tax, shipping or another amount missing on an invoice and now it is already posted?
  • Is an entered invoice amount incorrect and need to be corrected?

AP Voucher Review image

If this sounds familiar, it’s because these are all common issues that come up in the AP world. Typically, AP associates will enter a new voucher to correct these items and then reverse or add/subtract to the value of an original invoice. By doing this, two vouchers are entered for the same invoice number, often by adding a letter or number to the original invoice number. When the invoice is paid, the associate needs to remember to select both vouchers to pay the entire correct amount of the invoice. In the case of a duplicate invoice, there isn’t a “void voucher” option like there is void check or void client invoices.

However, there is a better solution - utilize “Voucher Lookup” to edit an AP voucher easily & smoothly!

Using Deltek Vantagepoint AP Voucher Lookup

Once an AP Voucher is posted Deltek Vantagepoint, it isn’t very evident that there is an option to edit the voucher. But there is! Voucher lookup is a great tool that is not as widely used as it should be.

When using AP Voucher lookup, Vantagepoint “attaches” the new voucher detail lines to the original voucher by utilizing the same voucher number and voucher header. When the corrected voucher is attached to the original there won’t be two vouchers for the same invoice to reconcile in vendor review or select in payment processing! As a result, vendor records are kept clean!

Examples of Deltek Vantagepoint AP Voucher Lookup:

Issue 1: Whoops! Two vouchers were entered for the same invoice and one of them needs to be reversed.

Deltek Vantagepoint AP Voucher Tips Solution: Enter a new AP transaction, use voucher lookup, and reverse the original lines. This AP entry will be linked or “attached” to the original voucher, not creating a new voucher but editing the original, making a zero-dollar total invoice. The steps are as follows:

  1. Go to Transaction Center > Transaction Entry > AP Vouchers. Either start a new batch (if using batches) or a new transaction (if using single transaction posting).
  2. Select the vendor. Don’t enter the rest of the header data!
  3. Go to the top right under “Other Actions” and select “Voucher Lookup”.
    1. A list of the vouchers for this vendor will appear.
    2. Select the original voucher for the invoice that needs to be edited.
    3. In the top of the list there is a search box that can be used to find an amount, voucher or invoice number and it will search for any matches from the existing vouchers.
  4. Next, select the voucher that requires editing. The voucher header information will populate from the original voucher… this is where the linking comes in.
  5. At this point, anything entered in the voucher details below will add to the original voucher line items. If the original entry had three lines and another it added, four lines will appear in the voucher review.
  6. In this example, the original voucher needs to be reversed entirely.
    1. To reverse lines, go back to “Other Actions”, select “Copy/Reverse Lines”.
    2. Check the box in the top header row to select all voucher detail lines.
    3. Click “Reverse All”.
    4. This selection will bring these lines into the voucher detail as a negative, using the same project coding. Which is simple, FAST, and does not require re-keying of line items!
    AP Voucher 2
  7. Post voucher as usual.
  8. In voucher review, the original line items and the additional link items entered during the Voucher Lookup will appear.
  9. In this example, the overall voucher is now zero and the total lines in the voucher are 12.

Deltek Vantagepoint AP Voucher Tips

Issue 2: Need to add an additional line for tax, shipping or other charges missed on original entry?

Solution: Do all steps from above, except line 6, don’t use the Copy/Reverse function. Simply add the lines needed to add to the voucher detail. Any lines that are added will link/attach to the original voucher and add/subtract to the original voucher amount.

Issue 3: Need to correct an amount in the original voucher?

Solution: Do everything above, including Copy/Reversing Lines. It is suggested to reverse the line(s) that were entered incorrectly and then enter the correct amount so there is a good audit trail. After reversing the line(s) that were entered in error, add the correct lines in the same voucher. Every line that is reversed and/or add will still link/attach to the original voucher and add/subtract to the original voucher amount.

Solve Common Accounting Challenges with Deltek Vantagepoint

Deltek Vantagepoint does more than making AP voucher corrections easy. Need to bill a client interest on a past due invoice? Check out this mini demonstration to learn how and make sure to explore all the free Vantagepoint content available on the Full Sail Partners’ website. Additionally, Full Sail Partners is dedicated to the success of its clients. Use the image link below to contact Full Sail Partners with questions about Vantagepoint.

Reach Full Sail Partners