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Underused Accounting Features of Deltek Vantagepoint

Posted by Scott Gailhouse on April 27, 2022

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Believe it or not, but there are several applications in Deltek Vantagepoint that go unused simply because end users really don’t understand the concepts behind them. Labor Cross Charge, Consultant Accruals and Overhead Allocation are a few of those applications. This high-level overview is intended to make the user more informed about useful accounting features within Deltek Vantagepoint. These features are designed to provide the user the best view of a project’s overall health as well as the health of the professional services firm as a whole. 

Consultant Accruals

When invoicing clients each month on percent complete or lump sum type projects, oftentimes the percent complete billed on behalf of subconsultants does not really reflect what the subconsultants have actually invoiced the project. Consultant Accruals is a way to account for the differences. The Consultant Accruals account shows the difference between what the prime firm has billed the client versus what the subconsultant has billed the prime firm on the balance sheet. 

Consultant Accruals uses either the Project Budgeting Worksheet or Project Plan as the budget source to calculate accruals. The user must complete the Expense Costs tab of the Project Budget Worksheet for each subconsultant at the lowest level of the WBS. When the user receives an invoice from the subconsultant, it is entered in the Transaction Center, AP Vouchers using the same expense chart of account number and WBS level that is set up on the Project Budget Worksheet.  

When posted, the user will see a debit for the voucher amount to the expense chart of account (COA) number and a debit to a COA number called “Accrued Consultant”. Prior to running Consultant Accruals, enter the percent complete for each vendor on the Expense Costs tab of the Project Budget Worksheet or the ETC or EAC percent if using the project plan to calculate the accrual. 

Once Consultant Accruals is run, Deltek Vantagepoint will adjust the original posting to the expense COA number if there is a difference between the percent complete entered in the project budget worksheet and the amount entered in AP for that subconsultant. An adjustment will also be made to the Accrued Consultant COA number with an offset entry to the Consultant Liability account. The “Accrued Consultant” account will show the difference between the percent billed on their behalf and the amount the subconsultant billed the firm.  

Usually running the Consultant Accruals routine is part of the month end processes. 

Overhead Allocation    

Professional services firms have a variety of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) used to closely manage a firm’s financial and operational performance, and profit margin should be one of them. The Overhead Allocation utility in Deltek Vantagepoint is used to assign indirect costs to regular, revenue producing projects to measure net profitability. 

Overhead Allocation must be configured in a firm’s Vantagepoint database and should be run on a timely basis – usually after timesheets are posted or at month end. Overhead Allocation can give the user a true understanding of a project’s profitability. 

There are two options for applying overhead to projects – multiplier or proration. Overhead can be applied to a project’s revenue or direct labor. 

The multiplier method applies a multiplier that is determined to every dollar of direct labor spent on a project. The proration method uses a firm’s actual, year-to-date indirect expenses. Firms generally prefer the multiplier method because of its consistency. Project managers always know how much overhead is being applied to their projects. The proration method, because it is based on actual indirect expenses, will change month to month. Deltek Vantagepoint uses total overhead expense divided by total direct labor to determine the multiplier used when Overhead Allocation is run. 

There are a number of reports including the Project Progress, Office Earnings and Project Summary report 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. 

Overhead allocation can be run anytime as it is used for reporting purposes only. 

Labor Cross Charge 

Firms using organizations within Deltek Vantagepoint, may want to consider using the Labor Cross Charge utility. A cross charge occurs when an employee in one organization works on a project owned by another organization. The professional services firm can choose a revenue share, where the borrowing organization is charged revenue based on an agreed upon price by the loaning organization. In this scenario, the loaning company would see an increase in revenue and the borrowing organization would see a reduction in revenue.  

A firm may also choose to bill the borrowing organization indirect cost reducing the loaning organization’s direct/indirect expenses and increasing the borrowing organization’s direct/indirect expenses. By default, when time is posted, the labor cost follows the project’s organization. The user may choose to have the labor cost transferred back to the employee’s organization during the labor cross charge process. 

Labor Cross Charge can be used on Regular type projects or both Regular and Overhead type projects. Labor Cross Charge is run as part of the month end process after billing to clients has been completed. Having a clear understanding of how these applications work in Deltek Vantagepoint will help the firm decide if it could benefit from their use. 


Get the Most out of Deltek Vantagepoint 

Deltek Vantagepoint was designed with project-based users in mind. So, it is important for users to be knowledgeable about all the helpful accounting features within Vantagepoint that can provide them with an overall picture of firm projects. For professional services firms seeking guidance on how to get the most out of their investment, Full Sail Partners offers a complete Navigational Analysis. Click the image below to learn more.  

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A Few of My Favorite Things About Deltek Vantagepoint Reporting

Posted by Terri Agnew, CPA on April 06, 2022

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In my prior experience as a Controller of Architecture and Engineering (A&E) firms, I was often the “go-to” person for creating reports for PMs and Executives using Deltek Vision. Over time, I learned exactly which tab(s) the options were on for the various reports, which navigation menu item to choose to find the report base I needed, and even which color names were my favorites to use for the group headings.  Now with Deltek Vantagepoint, report creation has been made even easier with a few excellent enhancements. So, with the musical the Sound of Music in mind, let’s highlight the Deltek Vantagepoint report upgrades as “A few of my favorite things” …about reporting!  Feel free to “sing” along. 

Favorite Thing #1 - Organization of Reporting Menu

My first “favorite thing” may not be as pretty as “raindrops on roses” but it sure will save time!  Unlike Deltek Vision, Vantagepoint has only one Reporting option on the Navigation menu. All the standard base reports are now found on one “Reports” tab within Reporting. Likewise, all Saved Global/Personal reports will be listed on one “Favorites” tab. Instead of navigating through a dozen + menu items to find the report needed, now simply search for the report by name on either tab or filter by the type of report if you choose.    

For example:  Don’t scroll through the full list searching for the Time Analysis Report. Using the name of the report, start typing “time” in the search bar and “voila”, the report will populate.   

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Just even knowing the type of report rather than the name of the report, it can be filtered based on report type and list just those reports. This filter is like navigating the reporting menu tree in Vision.  

Graphical user interface, text, application, email

Description automatically generatedFavorite Thing #2 – No more than 4 Option Tabs!   

Unlike the many “whiskers on kittens”, there are no more than four tabs to review for reporting options.  In Deltek Vision, some reports had two tabs, and some had up to seven! In Deltek Vantagepoint, at most there are only four tabs. 

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Columns & Groups:   Always start by deciding how the report should be grouped/sorted and which columns are wanted on the report. Keep in mind the headings of the columns can still be changed just like as in Deltek Vision but now there is only one header, not a header line 1 and line 2.   

Options:  This tab contains all “other” options for the report selected. Time selections, activity options, budget options, financial detail options – if the report has the option, this is where to find them all!  Having all the options consolidated to one tab makes it easier when creating a report as the user can simply skim through the options available from top to bottom.  There is no need to go from tab to tab any longer! 

Chart:  Not all reports have the ability to utilize charts, so this tab is not always an option. However, if the report data makes sense to also be shown in a bar, pie or line chart, this is the tab to set it up. 

Layout:  This is the tab with the choice to override the report defaults for report layout (portrait vs landscape), paper size, font, borders, headings & footers.  Advanced tip:  If a user has special options for a report, consider adding the options selected as a note in the footer for a reference as needed. 

Favorite Thing #3 – Easy Searching for Columns & Groups  

My third “favorite thing” is how easy the column and group options can now be selected in Deltek Vantagepoint. This may seem basic but having one quick and easy selection area is as satisfying as some “crisp apple strudels” with my coffee. 

Does the user want to know part or all of the name of the column or to add YTD data columns only? Does the user want all columns for hours? Use the filter! It will save time as there is no need to scroll through the long list of column options. 

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Favorite Thing #4 – Colors for Grouping & Headers, now Actual Colors not Words!!   

Let’s face it, sometimes data is boring and can be hard to read if there is too much of it on one page!  Adding some color to grouping labels can help the eye focus in on a particular detail.  The new color selections in groupings & headers are related to my favorite thing #2Want a blue like “blue satin sashes”? In Deltek Vision, to figure out if that blue was cornflower blue or light steel blue, the user had to select the color by name, preview the report and decide if it was the color desired. Now the color selection actually shows the true color visually! 

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Another great place to use colors to brighten up a report is in the Column Heading. This option can be found on the “Layout” tab of reporting. Use a nice bright color to liven up what used to be a basic black & white report. Better yet… does the firm have an approved color palette? Find out the color codes for the firm’s colors and type in the code of the color to use in reports. Now reports will match the company branding. The user doesn’t have to be limited to the 140 colors shown in this grid. Here is a website that shows more color options:  Color Hex Color Codes (color-hex.com). Select a favorite color or the company’s brand color to liven up those reports! 

Favorite Thing #5 – Select Report Options, Records and Save the Report - All from One Screen! 

My last favorite thing about Deltek Vantagepoint reporting reminds me of “brown paper packages tied up with strings”. Deltek took three areas from Vision reporting and combined them to one page. In Deltek Vision, users had to go to one screen for Options, go back to the main reporting page and navigate to a second screen for the records selection, navigate again to the main reporting page and go to a third screen to save the favorite report. In Deltek Vantagepoint, all three of these reporting functions are executed from this main reporting screen! 

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Two more quick reporting tips… (1) don’t miss that the report title can be changed directly from this screen as well! Simply click on “Project Earnings” and rename this report to whatever makes sense for the organization.  (2) Users can also email the report directly from this main screen from the “Other Actions” options. 

Enjoy the Enhancements of Deltek Vantagepoint 

While Deltek Vantagepoint users cannot all sing with the voice of Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music, they can certainly benefit from this list of “my favorite things.” In fact, users may discover more to add to this list! In the meantime, let these Deltek Vantagepoint enhancements make reporting a lot easier because like Maria said when feeling sad, “I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel so bad.”   

 


Click the image below to learn how to add the powerful, feature-rich ERP to your toolbox and get your team working on the same page of the same book.

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Seeking Perfection in an Imperfect World - Optimizing the Accounting Calendar

Posted by Rick Childs on March 02, 2022

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In a perfect world for project-based firms, as soon as a task is performed for a client, money would appear in the firm’s bank account. After all, the firm is contracted to provide services for a fee, and services were performed. End of story, right?  

Well, my bad! In the real world, that performance of services requires a good bit of help along the way, in order to get that payment in the bank. So, the story needs to expand a little to reach this ideal end game. That’s when having and implementing a good accounting calendar becomes a necessity. This routine cadence of work and accounting functions helps firms be able to rely on a regular schedule of deposits for work performed. 

A Good Accounting Calendar is a Necessity

Over the past 30 years, I have worn many hats and filled many roles involved in every step of the revenue process, including being a manager and being managed. I have learned that one of the greatest necessities is a good “Accounting Calendar” because it is essential to control the process and to have a schedule for the activities involved. Furthermore, for this to work, there must be planning, knowledge and “buy-in” by every level and department in the company from executive to “boots on the ground.” There also must be an individual overseeing the activities. That responsibility generally falls within the duties of the controller. 

Venturing back to my “perfect world,” or a reasonable facsimile thereof, if professional services firms setup and work within a good accounting calendar, they can achieve success, lower overhead, reduce billing time and collect payment for services quickly. Moreover, getting the team to follow a schedule is not a “dream.” It can, has been and is being done every day.  


Overview of the Evolution of Revenue

Below is what I call the “Evolution of Revenue.” It walks through from when the work has been performed through money in the bank. The evolution steps include:  

  • Performed Services = Unrecorded Time 
  • Recorded Time = Unapproved Time 
  • Approved Time = Unrecognized Revenue 
  • Recognized Revenue = Unbilled Revenue 
  • Billed Revenue = Uncollected Revenue 
  • Collected Revenue = Money in the Bank 
  • Money in the Bank = Gives the firm options for expansion and compensation… and that’s a whole other story! 

As the “Evolution of Revenue” shows above, it all starts with work being performed and work being recorded. The first tool to be used is a weekly timesheet. Why weekly, you may ask? Weeks don’t coincide with months or years, and firms publish monthly, quarterly, and annually! Granted, but firms are talking about scheduling, efficiency and supervision, therefore, weekly timesheets work the best. Believe me, I have tried them all, and firms can still publish monthly financials. So, let’s look at a sample schedule based on the weekly timesheet: 

  • Work Week is Monday through Sunday. 
  • All time is to be recorded daily. This provides the project manager the opportunity to review, approve and report on work as it is performed – up to the minute budget vs. actual. 
  • Monday - All time for the previous week must be inputted and submitted for approval by noon on Monday. 
  • Noon on Tuesday - The project manager and managerial review of time must be completed by noon on Tuesday. 
  • Close of Business Tuesday - The accounting and human resources review for overhead, benefits, OT, etc. must be completed by close of business on Tuesday. 
  • Wednesday Morning - Time is posted Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning. 

So now the firm has time in and posted each week. What then? Well, for one thing, if the firm is using Revenue Recognition – which it should be – it can publish Revenue figures for the previous week on Wednesday morning, along with Employee Utilization figures and Project Management Reports. 

Next Steps in the Evolution

So far, we have covered the first four steps in the Evolution and moved from Performed Services to Unbilled Revenue. Given that, let’s fast forward to Month-End where the Revenue evolves from Unbilled to Billed. Let’s review a couple of thoughts surrounding managing receivables. 

Let’s make the following assumptions:  

  • The billing month-end is the last Friday of the month. 
  • The accounting month end is the last day of the month. 
  • Preferred payroll is bi-weekly. 

Below is a sample of how this schedule lays out on a calendar in Q1 of 2022, spanning 2 weeks and 10 business days. This model has been used successfully with the buy in of project management, billing and accounting and provides principals with revenue by week and for the month on the Wednesday following the last Friday of the month. 

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Once the invoices have gone out, the responsibilities for follow-up vary by client and role. For clients that are being billed for the first time, the billing department follows up three days after bills are emailed to ensure that the proper individual received the invoice and to see if there are any changes that need to be made to the delivery instructions. For existing clients, billing is responsible for follow-up on accounts receivable (AR) up to 60 days past due, project management is responsible for AR up to 120 days and departmental management gets involved after that. All responsible parties receive auto-generated AR emails weekly so that all are on the same page as to who is on task.

Optimize the Accounting Calendar to Realize the Dream

As John Lennon once said, “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” Having a solid billing and accounting calendar is not a dream, it is a necessary and doable reality. Every firm has a plan and the thing that generally separates the dream from the reality is taking on the responsibility of enforcing the schedule and the deadlines. No one should be exempted from completing their assigned tasks at the time.  

Click the image below to find more accounting and finance resources. 

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Red Flags There’s an Accounting Problem

Posted by Nicole Temple on February 16, 2022
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The month-end closing process is a very important practice for the accounting department at professional services firms. Part of the close process is to ensure that one can document and justify the balances on the financial reports. This involves either keeping spreadsheets and/or printing multiple reports and ‘ticking and tying’ the balances. These processes take time and increase the chance of errors.

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

Financial Analysis Report

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

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

The areas covered in the Financial Analysis are:

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

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

 

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

Bank Reconciliation

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

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

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

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

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

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

Close Efficiently and Effectively

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

CTA Bank Reconciliation

Outgrowing QuickBooks – 5 Reasons Professional Services Firms Need More

Posted by Joel Slater on January 26, 2022

QuickBooks serves as a logical starting point for SMB professional services firms. For good reason - it’s affordable, popular, and easy to use accounting software. Though, on the downside, it provides very little flexibility and accommodation for how a business actually needs to run 

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Simply put, QuickBooks isn’t designed for project-based companies. It’s an entry-level accounting system, with purposefully generic functionality, intended to serve a diverse client base that spans various industry types. Consequently, the basic and straightforward nature of the product, which perhaps is viewed as a positive, can quickly become the opposite. Many professional services firms will eventually reach a point where the limitations of QuickBooks can hinder future growth. 

When might a firm reach that point? Below are 5 top reasons clients are choosing to trade in QuickBooks for an industry specific ERP that is purpose-built to meet the needs of a growing project-based business.     

Cumbersome Invoice Creation 

For a project-focused professional services firm, getting client invoices created and out the door can be considered one of the most critical functions. This process may have once been easy, but as the business has grown, projects have likely become more complex. With that means more complicated, multi-part, client invoice requirements.  

What used to take a couple of hours is now taking over a week, and accounting staff is burdened with cobbling together invoice-supporting data from various disconnected, error-prone sources. Not to mention the challenges of even getting the project management team to complete their timesheets in the first place. Once those bills have finally been painstakingly created and issued to clients, they still may not be correct.   

Incorrect invoices going out the door can slowly erode the trust of clients and lead to unnecessary, time-consuming, back-and-forth. On the other hand, accurate invoices, which are processed and paid quickly by clients, can provide various benefits to include reduction in DSO (days sales outstanding) and increased cash flow.  

Limited Visibility into Project Reporting

Do Project Managers and professional services firm leaders have a consistent and reliable source of truth to monitor the overall health and status of projects? For many who rely on QuickBooks, the answer is no. Just like on the invoice creation side, the necessary data to support project reporting is scattered among various spreadsheets. Answering what should be a simple question related to project status could take days to assemble a response. By the time of that response – odds are, the data is already out-of-date, and often irrelevant. The thought of any ‘real time’ project status, to include capturing data such as committed costs, may likely seem impossible when operating within these sorts of system-related confines.  

Not having a proper visibility into project timeline, budget, and other KPIs has consequences. It can quickly eat into profit margin and limit a professional services firm’s ability to make informed decisions in support of its projects and business.   

QuickBooks Lacks Support for the Entire Project Lifecycle 

Everyone needs an accounting system. However, even a relatively small, basic operation may quickly find that it needs more tools at its disposal. There are obvious functions like time keeping & employee expense reports, providing the ability to seamlessly allocate those costs to projects in support of invoice creation and project reporting. Additionally, perhaps there is a need to link the front and back-office operations to better manage the complete ‘project lifecycle’ (from initial lead pursuit through to project close-out). This includes a CRM (customer relationship management) module, or the ability to do more detailed project planning and resource scheduling.  

These are all areas and functions that a professional services firm is undoubtedly already actively performing, but just manually and “offline,” using spreadsheets and email to manage. The purpose of an ERP is to combine multiple functions within a single fully integrated solution that spans the entire business. More specifically, a project-based ERP is designed to do the same, but with functionality specifically geared towards a project-oriented company. 

Sure, QuickBooks capabilities can be expanded using external and 3rd party add-on tools that make initial claims around 'integration'. Yet, the result for many who go down that path can be a clunky, frustrating software experience – leaving many wishing they instead invested their time and resources into the lower-risk approach of just implementing a Deltek product.   

QuickBooks Can Limit the Ability to Pursue Projects

For many of the reasons already stated, professional services firms shy away from pursuing new projects they fear may be too taxing and burdensome on their existing accounting system. Simply stated, they don’t have the tools in place to responsibly graduate to the next level. Passing up new business opportunities can be painful, but unfortunately necessary, for those firms who are not equipped with the internal systems to support growth. 

Take WBS (work breakdown structure) requirements, for example. This means breaking down a more complex project into smaller components and deliverables. Many times projects require an invoice to reflect the way the project was bid. Providing a WBS ensures the estimate is managed and billed the way it was proposed. Unfortunately, QuickBooks limits the ability to pursue projects with more advanced requirements because it cannot easily track efforts in this manner. For many professional services firms, this is essential functionality needed to initially price/propose, manage, deliver, and invoice these projects.   

QuickBooks Hinders Growth 

The idea of a more ‘open ended’ system experience that can truly conform and adapt to evolving business requirements becomes more appealing. Those cascading menu options, check boxes, and configuration screens that may have once been viewed as intimidating and inaccessible may quickly start to make more sense. Deltek can easily accommodate growing firms. This is why 80% of AEC firms use Deltek. It has all the utilities, under the hood to handle the needs of future growth. As a professional services firm grows, its bookkeeping system should be able to scale and enable that progress, versus introducing hurdles and limitations.  

Grow Quicker with Deltek 

To reiterate, there is nothing inherently wrong with QuickBooks. If there were, it probably wouldn’t be the widest-deployed entry-level accounting system in the market. But the unique requirements of a professional services firm can still quickly create situations where to bring a firm to the next level, it needs to be re-tooled with industry specific solutions.  

ERP is not just for the ‘big guys’ anymore. The introduction of cloud-based applications (relieving clients of internal IT requirements), and also packaging and implementations catering to small firms, has opened many doors over the last several years. In fact, a majority of current day Deltek clients could be considered SMBs, who previously came from QuickBooks.  

Have additional questions? Full Sail Partners and Deltek got it covered. Deltek Vantagepoint is an industry-leading project-based ERP designed to support the entire project lifecycle. Having extensive experience with new system implementations (to include data migration, system configuration, and product training), Full Sail Partners has helped hundreds of clients graduate from QuickBooks. Please contact us to start a discussion.  

Image button link to the Project Lifecycle of Deltek Vantagepoint webinar

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.

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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

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

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

 

 

5 Ways Deltek Vantagepoint Simplifies Billing, Time, Expense, and Transaction Entries

Posted by Theresa Depew on July 21, 2021

Why do project-based firms struggle with billing, time, expense, and transaction entries? Simply stated, firms lack the systems to support the unique challenges of professional services firms. Accounting professionals at project-based firms depend on the timely billing of their projects for the success of their firms’ bottom line. By streamlining accounting processes with Deltek Vantagepoint, project-based firms can increase cash flow and profitability.

Deltek Vantagepoint logo

1. Efficient Entering of Timesheets and Expense Reports

Using Deltek Vantagepoint, project-based firms can reduce the time it takes for employees to enter timesheets and expense reports using the Time & Expense Mobile App. Using the Vantagepoint Time & Expense App, employees can submit timesheets and expense reports while travelling. As a result, there is no more waiting until employees are back in the office to scan receipts; just snap a picture on a mobile device and the app will use intelligent character recognition (ICR) to start the expense line. Now, submitting and approving time and expenses on the go is simple which reduces the burden for employees as they enter time and expenses. Ultimately, this improves the process of client invoicing.

2. Improved Firm Cash Flow with Document Management

Project-based firms can improve their cash flow with Deltek Vantagepoint by speeding up the invoice process with document management. Within Vantagepoint, users can utilize the database to store receipts and AP Invoices by attaching them to each transaction. Additionally, they can utilize billing terms to include back-up documentation with the client invoice which greatly reduces the time it takes for billers to search and copy all supporting documentation that needs to be sent to the client.

Another added bonus of a virtual document management solution within Deltek Vantagepoint is that there are no more piles of papers needing to be recycled. If receiving AP invoices electronically or journal entry requests via email, there is no need to print; simply save and attach in Vantagepoint. Documents can be attached in AP vouchers, expense reports, units and journal entries. Vantagepoint is bringing firms a lot closer to a paperless and remote-working world!

3. Digitized Client Invoices Speed Up Billing Process

The interactive and batch billing tools in Deltek Vantagepoint digitize the client invoice process which speeds up the billing process and shortens average collection time. Vantagepoint allows billers to submit draft invoices electronically and use saved searches in batch billing to group invoice by project manager, principal, or by invoice approver. The billing tools notify invoice approvers electronically that a draft is ready for review, and approvers can use the draft invoice approval feature to mark-up and enter comments using the new PDF editor function.

Approvals also happen electronically with no more paper approval or emails to keep track of any longer. The system will keep an approval audit trail, and billers can see all comments and mark-ups made to drafts in Interactive Billing. Billers make the changes and produce the final invoice in either Batch or Interactive Billing. Ensuring all firms have a billing contact, invoices can be emailed, with back-up attached, directly to the billing contact out of the database.

4. Reduced Manual Data Entry with Workflows and Approvals

With Deltek Vantagepoint, leveraging workflows and approvals streamline transaction processing, and reduce manual data entry. Vantagepoint users can utilize electronic approvals for timesheets and expense reports. Furthermore, approval workflows are flexible and can accommodate many steps if needed, and approvers can approve timesheets and expense reports anywhere by using the mobile app. The accounts payable workflow provides an electronic approval audit trail and document management within the database leaving no stacks of papers. Even more, the absence request workflow allows managers to keep track of each employee’s schedule which helps with ensuring coverage on projects when needed.

5. Streamlined Repetitive Tasks Using Recurring Transactions

Recurring transaction entries can be done to streamline repetitive tasks for Deltek Vantagepoint users. Utilizing recurring transactions in Deltek Vantagepoint will reduce the time it takes each month to enter the same transaction. Additionally, using transactional imports for multi-line transactions will ensure accuracy and allow more time for other tasks.

Save Time, Save Paper, Save Money with Deltek Vantagepoint  

Interactive billing, automation, and leveraging workflows means less wasted time and more time to focus on the bottom line. These features are all available with Deltek Vantagepoint, and with this intuitive solution, managing billing, time, expense, and transaction entries becomes that much easier saving firms lots of money. Not to mention so many trees! Don’t forget to check out the other features offered to users by Deltek Vantagepoint.

Link to webinar about Vantagepoint 4.0

 

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

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