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Going Paperless with Deltek Vantagepoint

Posted by Terri Agnew, CPA on January 12, 2023
2023_Going Paperless with DVP_BannerAs we kick off the New Year, many people make resolutions. Some people create personal resolutions like exercising more or saving money for a vacation and some create professional resolutions such as striving for a promotion. Many firms also set organizational resolutions, usually called goals. Common goals are to improve profitability or implement more efficient processes. One goal that can both improve profitability and create efficiencies in an organization is to go paperless in your accounting department.   

Does your firm have a goal to go paperless? Going paperless or at least striving to significantly reduce paper in your organization can benefit a firm in the following ways: 

  • Cost reductions – One obvious item is the reduced expense of the paper itself, but other items could include a reduction of printer ink, file folders, file cabinets, and storage rental to save records. If going paperless includes paying vendors by EFT, as discussed below, the expense reduction can also include the cost of check stock, envelopes, and postage to mail checks.   
  • Efficiencies gained – Many firms spend time printing reports, invoices, and checks and then have to manage to distribute these items and sometimes track that items have been returned. Eliminating printing these items and allowing the system to “manage the distribution” will streamline the process.   

Here are some examples of how Deltek Vantagepoint can help you get your firm to go paperless! 

Utilize Deltek’s AP Approval Process  

One of the first tools you can utilize to assist your firm in going paperless is to implement the AP Approval process. If your firm is currently routing invoices around the office in a file folder and tracking which invoices are “out for approval,” the AP approval will significantly help your firm! The AP Approval process allows firms to approve consultant or trade invoices within the system based on your firm’s approval philosophy. The approval workflow is very flexible, meaning you can route invoices based on a variety of options such as the vendor, project being charged, purchase order criteria if used, or to a specific employee. The workflow can also have multiple steps, such as having secondary approvals based on the dollar amount of the voucher.   

The first step of the AP Approval process is to attach the invoice electronically to the voucher. Therefore, it is recommended that the firm requests all invoices be sent to an email box, eliminating paper invoices even coming in the door! The system will track which step each approval is at, at any given time, so your AP staff will not have to track which invoices have been approved or which ones they need to track down. The AP Approval process is the first step to getting the accounts payable process to be paperless. 

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Pay Vendors by ACH/EFT 

Paying vendors electronically by ACH/EFT is the most efficient method of payment processing. Electronic payments will eliminate the need for check stock, envelopes, copies of checks, and file cabinets for storage, not to mention adding efficiency to the payment process.  It is best practice to request banking information as well as a contact to email the payment remittance from all vendors. This information is then saved in the Vendor Hub. When processing payments, no checks or check copies will need to be printed. Instead of mailing the check and remittance to the vendor, the system can email the remittance to the email address entered in the Vendor Hub. The EFT file can then be saved directly from the payment screen and uploaded to your bank.   

If your current process is to print checks, print check copies, attach invoice backup to checks, sign checks, mail checks, and file the backup in file cabinets then implementing electronic AP payments will significantly reduce the time needed for your AP payment processing. Your new process would be something like this:

  • Process automatic payment run,
  • Email remittances to vendors,
  • Process EFT file, and
  • Upload to the bank website. 

Easy and fast!  

There are some “pro-check people” that say they like to physically sign a paper check to ensure the invoice and payment are accurate and they want to see all the approvals. The answer to that is to first put in place the AP Approval process as mentioned above, and if the check signer would like to approve the actual invoices, that person could be a step in the AP Approval workflow. Additionally, the “former” check signer can review the payments through the Payment Review screen prior to uploading the ACH/EFT file to the bank. The Payment Review screen will allow the approver to see each payment made, click on the vouchers, and drill into Voucher Review to view the documents and approvals as they wish. 

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Implement Billing Approval Process  

Another process that allows firms to go paperless is to implement the Billing Approval process to invoice your clients. Many firms print draft invoices and give them to the PM or Principals to markup and approve by passing around folders. How long has the PM had to approve the invoices? Who has not given the biller the folder back? Did they give the biller all the draft invoices back that were in the folder, to begin with? Stop this manual process and start using the Billing Approval process in the system  

The Billing Approval process allows firms to route the invoice to the approver within the Deltek Vantagepoint system, markup and approve the invoice electronically and route the invoice back to the biller for final review. The biller will always know which invoices are approved or still “in process.” There is also a report that can be produced to show how many days it took from the submittal of the invoice to final approval. Additionally, Deltek Vantagepoint has the ability to email the client the invoice directly from the system, so the invoice never has to be printed.   

How much paper would your firm save by not printing any draft invoices month after month!?!  It could be reams of paper, so it adds up fast! 

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Consider Going Paperless as a Goal for New Year  

After you close out 2022, evaluate your firm’s 2023 goals. Consider adding “Going Paperless” to your 2023 agenda and utilizing some of these tools. Not only will you reduce paper, but your processes will also be more efficient! Cheers to a successful and profitable 2023! 

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Top 5 Deltek Vantagepoint Mini Demos from 2022

Posted by Evan Creech-Pritchett on January 05, 2023
2022-Top 5 Mini Demos_BannerAs we begin a new year, it’s important to look back and reflect on the past. What better way to do that than to watch the top 5 Deltek Vantagepoint mini demos from last year? 2022 was a bit of a grab bag, so this list includes everything from features that have been in Vantagepoint for a while to add-ons for the programs we use every day. Without further ado, here are the top 5 Deltek Vantagepoint mini demos of 2022!  

#5: Utilizing the Search Functionality 

The search functionality is one of the most overlooked features in Deltek Vantagepoint. There are categories of searches: standard searches, my searches, shared searches, and legacy searches. Standard search has a few different types of searches, such as the selection and active search, and generally apply to a variety of the hubs throughout Vantagepoint. My searches are your personal searches that you have saved for future use. Shared searches are ones that have been shared with you by your administrator or other power users in your firm and serve to create a standardization in your searches. The last type of search, legacy searches, is one that only applies to firms that made the switch from Deltek Vision to Deltek Vantagepoint. These are read only, so they will need to be rebuilt in order to modify them. 

Want to learn how to make and utilize these different types of searches effectively? Take a look at our demo here: Utilizing the Search Functionality. 

#4: Redistribute Planned Project Hours 

More often than not, a project’s budget and schedule change throughout its life cycle. Luckily, Deltek Vantagepoint allows users to easily adjust a project’s plan to fit their needs. The first step in this process is to change the dates for the project. After the dates are in order, the planned hours for the project should be changed. Some extra columns like contract and planned billing might be needed to determine the amount to adjust the planned hours by, so make sure to enable them when doing this step. 

This function is easy to use and saves a huge amount of time for everyone! For a step by step walkthrough on redistributing planned project hours, check out our demo here: Redistribute Planned Project Hours

#3: A Small, but Mighty Enhancement with Saved Views 

In previous iterations, Deltek Vantagepoint would save the last list view that you were in when you exited the program. Then when you re-opened Vantagepoint you would be returned to that same list view. In the Vantagepoint 5.5 update, a new feature has been added that allows multiple list views to be saved. This enhancement is useful in many areas such as hubs, expense reports and even interactive billing. Take a look around and find where saved views can help you! 

For a more in-depth look at how to create these lists and put them to use, watch our demo here: A Small, but Mighty Enhancement with Saved Views

#2: Introduction to Contract Management 

 The contract management tool in Deltek Vantagepoint is a fan favorite. It is useful for taking all the guesswork out of compensation with detailed breakdowns of how the total amount came to be. To get the absolute most out of this feature, it is imperative that the “Project Entering Method” is set to “Lowest Level Only” and “Synchronize Contract Values to Project Compensation” is set to “Yes.” Contract Type and Contract Status should also be configured in labels and list area. 

There are many more features and functions in the Contract Management tab. To hear about them all be sure to tune into our demo here: Introduction to Contract Management. 

#1: CRM Contact Accessibility Directly with Outlook 

Having to flip between two applications to find a contact is tedious and tiresome. Instead of wasting time trying to track someone down, connect Deltek Vantagepoint to your Outlook inbox. With this enhancement, Outlook will provide information from Vantagepoint on the contact, as well as information on related contacts. If there is no contact in the system, Vantagepoint will give the option to create a new contact and fill out the relevant fields. Projects can even be created from Outlook! 

There’s more than meets the eye with this upgrade. Watch our demo to see what you’re missing out on and how it works here: CRM Contact Accessibility Directly with Outlook. 

What’s Up Next? 

We hope you’ve enjoyed our blogs, Deltek Vantagepoint mini demos, and other content this past year! We’ve been cooking up a bunch of new content for 2023, so keep an eye on our social media accounts for more announcements. Looking forward to another productive year with you! 

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Know the Real Facts About Upgrading from Deltek Vision to Deltek Vantagepoint: Dispelling the Misconceptions

Posted by Sarah Gonnella on December 21, 2022
2022-DV to DVP Upgrade the Facts_BannerAs a Deltek representative, we have heard all kinds of misconceptions about Deltek Vantagepoint. Despite our monthly newsletters, webinar series, and continued communication, we are still speaking to firms that are confused or have been advised incorrect information about transitioning from Vision to Vantagepoint. Most are honest mistakes conveyed by all kinds of people. However, many of these "untruths" come from competitors spreading incorrect rumors so they can take advantage of your firm and convince you to leave Deltek. 

 

We need your help! Please send this blog to everyone at your firm. Share it with user groups you are involved with and other firms that you know use Deltek Vision. Below are the real facts about upgrading from Deltek Vision to Deltek Vantagepoint. Please help us to dispel the misconceptions.

What is Deltek Vantagepoint?

  • Deltek's reimagined flagship project-based solution, the next version of Deltek Vision for architects, engineers, and other professional services businesses. 
  • Designed to help you manage the entire project lifecycle better than before. 
  • Based on feedback from Deltek customers over the past 10 years. 
  • An intuitive, powerful solution that puts your people and projects at the center of your business so you can be more efficient, productive, and profitable

For executives or employees wanting to view the upcoming changes, we recommend checking out our hour-long monthly Deltek Vantagepoint demonstration. Additionally, our team has put together tons of resources to help firms including our Deltek Vantagepoint mini demonstrations. In each of these demos, viewers will see how Deltek Vantagepoint empowers the different roles within your firm. Each demo goes into detail on a specific feature of Vantagepoint, with each video being 4-20 minutes long. 

Dispelling the Misconceptions about Deltek Vantagepoint

Q: Is Deltek Vantagepoint a new product?

A: It is a continuation of the Vision product. Think Vision 10!

Q: Will our firm need to repurchase to move to Deltek Vantagepoint?

A: No! If you are current on maintenance, it is free. This does not mean upgrading to Vantagepoint should be done without a strategic plan in mind.

Q: How long will Deltek Vision continue to be supported?

A: The short answer is Deltek hasn't set a date.   

The long answer is that under the Deltek Support Assurance program, Deltek provides three distinct phases and levels of support: Active, Maintenance, and Sustaining. Even when the product moves to Maintenance and Sustaining Support, your firm is still supported and will have plenty of time to upgrade. The product is currently under Active Support, which means that software enhancements, hot fixes and service packs are supported. Maintenance Support still receives hot fixes for severity 1 issues and tax, legal and regulatory updates and lasts 12 months. Sustaining Support is where you still have access to all of the pervious fixes and service packs. Additionally, Deltek has stated they will give us at least a year's notice before moving it to Maintenance Support. So, that provides your firm plenty of time. 

Q: To get Deltek Vantagepoint, do I have to move to the cloud?

A: No! However, it might make sense, so reach out to your account manager if you are interested.

Q: Will Deltek Vantagepoint be available on-premise?

A: Yes!

Q: Will Deltek Vantagepoint require me to migrate my data?

A: No! Your data will move over. There are considerations due to the way that Vantagepoint handles data differently than Vision, especially if you have repurposed any info centers.  

Q: Will all of my user-defined fields and user-defined info centers move over?

A:  Yes!

Q: Will Vantagepoint contain the exact functionality as Vision 7.6?

A: No. The product is being reimagined and improved. There are certain areas that will not move forward. Please read on for more details.

Q: Can my firm request to upgrade to Deltek Vantagepoint and move next week?

A: We do not recommend that. There are considerations that need to be made. We highly recommend starting with reviewing Deltek and Full Sail Partners’ resources and requesting a Vantagepoint Upgrade Consultation

What Are My Options for Getting a Vantagepoint Test Environment?

For firms that are seeking to obtain a Vantagepoint test environment, the answer to this question depends on your current deployment method. Below are the options: 

My firm is hosted by Deltek Cloud or On-Premise: Visit the Vantagepoint Upgrade Resources page on the Deltek website, and scroll about three-quarters of the way down the page to the “Get Preview Environment” section of the page. 

My firm is hosted by Full Sail Partners: If your firm is hosted by Full Sail Partners, email your Account Manager or hosting@fullsailpartners.com. 

My firm is hosted by an external hosting provider: If your firm is hosted by an external hosting provider, request that your provider set up a test environment. If they have not set up a Vantagepoint environment before, then we recommend you reach out to Full Sail Partners or your partner of record. It might make sense to consider moving to Deltek's cloud, hosting permanently with Full Sail Partners, or utilizing Full Sail Partners' transition hosting service. Contact us if you are interested in any of these options. 

Keep in mind, the upgrade to Deltek Vantagepoint requires a new install and has new installment requirements. For on-premise clients, please check out our past webinar: Is Your Firm Technically Prepared for Deltek Vantagepoint? 

Who Do I Contact?

If your firm is seeking assistance with upgrading to Vantagepoint, our team is here to help. Request a Vantagepoint Upgrade Consultation. Additionally, here are other resources to know.     

Deltek Vantagepoint Resources Page: Please click here to check it out, and to clarify some distinct areas on this page, please read below: 

What is the Customer Assistance Program (CAP)? 

CAP is focused on helping Vision customers prepare for their upgrade to Vantagepoint. This is a complementary program for Deltek Vision customers. It runs for eight weeks, and you can have as many people as you want from your company participate. This program will cover specific upgrade topics and best practices. You will also be able to join live sessions with the experts to ask questions. You can register here for any of the sessions. The next sessions from Deltek in 2023 will be session 14 starting January 25, 2023, and session 15 starting April 19, 2023. 

What is the Vantagepoint Readiness Portal? 

The Vantagepoint Readiness Portal is your go-to resource for all things Vantagepoint. This portal includes videos, demonstrations, and presentations by Deltek experts to give you a perspective of how things have changed from Vision to Vantagepoint. This is the first step on your journey toward understanding Vantagepoint. There are also resources specifically for administrators including details about preview environments. The Portal has info about CAP too. To access the portal, just follow these simple steps: 

  1. Log into the Deltek Learning Zone (DLZ) platform with your DLZ account credentials. 
  2. On the opening Dashboard screen, use the “Enter Search keyword” feature to search for the “Readiness Portal.” 
  3. The “Deltek Vantagepoint Readiness Portal” will come up as the top result for all Vision and Vantagepoint product users, and you can simply click to enroll and launch the portal. 
  4. Once enrolled, you can access the portal at any time from your personal Learning Profile where it will appear on your “Courses” list. 

Deltek Vantagepoint Resources

Make sure to check out our webinar series about preparing for the upgrade to Deltek Vantagepoint. In this series, our team of consultants covers a variety of topics such as technical requirements, resource planning, and project management, new CRM functions, and the improved accounting interface. This webinar series page also includes demonstrations of Deltek Vantagepoint. If you prefer to read about the enhancements, check out all the articles we have posted about the enhancements Vantagepoint offers to firms that upgrade from Vision! 

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10 Tips and Tricks for Deltek Vantagepoint Users

Posted by Lindsay Diven on December 14, 2022

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Deltek Vantagepoint is a powerful tool with many capabilities to ensure the success of project-based firms. Despite the availability, many users often don’t use the system to its full capacity or simply overlook some of the features of Vantagepoint that will make their jobs easier. In this article, I’ll just scratch the surface of Vantagepoint’s capabilities by sharing 10 tips and tricks. Hopefully one or two of these will help you get more out of your system.  

#1 – Use the Application Finder to Get to Your Information Faster 

As part of its re-imagination process, Deltek took the redesign of the user interface seriously. This means getting the information you need faster and more streamlined. One way they did this was by adding an Application Finder or search bar to the left-hand navigation. You can use this application finder to type in a few characters of what hub you want to open. For example, if you want to open a project record, you can begin typing “Pro...” and it will display all the areas with the word project in it.  

And, with Vantagepoint 5.5, you’ll find little stars next to each sub-menu and you can click to fill in the star and make it available in the favorite menu. To toggle between the favorites menu and the normal menu, use icons directly below the find application and above the menus. Find application is active no matter which icon is selected. See below for an example. 

1 - Navigation

#2 – Personalize Vantagepoint in My Preferences 

While the Deltek admin can configure the settings for the company, security roles, and even specific users, you can personalize some of the Vantagepoint experience just for you! By clicking on the gear in the top right corner, then selecting “My Preferences,” there are some ways that you can personalize your experience. Some of those include:  

  • Set your preferred project search sort order. You can choose to sort the project lists by Project Name or Project Number.  
  • Choose whether you select saved searches or records when running a report. 
  • Choose whether you want to default to an accounting period or be prompted to select an accounting period upon initial log-on to Vantagepoint.  
  • If your firm has turned on the Contact Qualification settings, you can choose the default Qualified status as either New Lead or Qualified Lead.  
  • You can set your default Country for all addresses in the system.  
  • You can choose what you want to load initially when you log into Vantagepoint. Options include the Application last used, the default Welcome Page, or you can select a specific application.    

2 - my preferences

#3 – Access Vantagepoint from Your Phone 

This is often one of the most overlooked features of Vantagepoint – the mobile apps! Deltek has created two mobile apps specifically for Vantagepoint. One is for time and expense and one is specifically for CRM. Both are available for both iPhone and Android users. Stop what you’re doing right now, open your phone, go to your app store, and then search and download at least the Deltek T&E for Vantagepoint 

The Deltek T&E for Vantagepoint allows you to complete and submit your timesheet on the go! And, with Vantagepoint 5.5, Deltek improved the navigation menu and usability to make completing your timesheet even easier. The T&E app also allows you to submit expenses from your phone too. It utilizes ICR so that you can snap a photo of a receipt and the app intelligently reads text and handwriting to populate the form using machine learning.  

Please note that you’ll need the CRM license to access the Deltek CRM for the Vantagepoint app. With this app, you’ll be able to view, add and edit records including firms, contacts, projects, and activities. And, with Vantagepoint 5.5 or later, you can snap a photo of a business card, and using the same ICR technology, it will either add or update the contact information.  

#4 – Don’t Miss an Important Alert or Assignment 

The notification center allows you to instantly see how many outstanding action items and notifications you have. You’ll know you have an important notification when a red number appears in the top right corner of Vantagepoint. This notification center is organized by Action Items and Notifications. The Action Items area includes activities, approval assignments, and past-due timesheets. The Notifications area includes workflow notifications, alerts, and failed and completed process server jobs. 

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#5 – Use List View to See and Update Many Records at Once 

Every Hub area in Vantagepoint has the ability to show one record at a time or multiple records at once using List View. No matter what Hub you’re in, to toggle between record and list view, click the button with the three lines just to the right of the record numbers (see screenshot below). 

4 - list view

When you go into List View, you’ll see all of the records you have opened based on your search criteria. And, once you’re in List View, you can do a few different things. Below are just a few of the list view functions.  

  • Quickly sort and filter the records by clicking the little funnel icon on the right-hand side.  
  • Choose which columns (or fields) you want to see in list view by clicking the gear just above the list of records
  • Update the information in each cell by clicking in it.  
  • Download the records as they currently appear on the screen by clicking the down arrow just above the list of records. 
  • Save the view so you can apply it again or save different views based on the task for that session.   

5 - list view

#6 – Stop Wasting Time Searching for Your Information 

If you find yourself constantly looking for the same records or the same type of records over and over again, I encourage you to create a saved search. You can create saved searches for yourself or for others (based on your security settings) to quickly find the records you need. Some popular saved searches include: 

  • Projects where I am the Project Manager (or Principal or Marketing Manager), 
  • Contacts located in a certain city or state,  
  • Clients where I am the client manager, and 
  • Active pursuits which can be a list of projects in certain stages. 

Watch this mini-demo to learn more about searching and saving frequently used searches. 

#7 – Set Up Projects Faster Using Project Templates  

With Deltek Vantagepoint, there are most likely going to be more people creating new project records. This includes marketing, business development, project managers, and accounting. This differs from other ERP systems, including Deltek’s previous Vision system, where mostly finance or accounting open new projects. Because of Vantagepoint’s streamlined project lifecycle, you only need to open one project record that will be used from pursuit to project delivery.  

Make the project creation process faster and more consistent by utilizing project templates. When you create a project from either another project or a project template with a structure already determined, Vantagepoint will build that new project with that same structure and/or allow you to choose to edit the structure during the project creation process.    

6 - project creation

Through this process, you can choose the levels of the project that you want to use as well as add additional levels and edit values as needed before saving.  

#8 – Use the Calendar to Complete Your Timesheet 

If you’re like me and find visual displays easier to read than line-item displays, then the Calendar is for you! The calendar feature is found under My Stuff and allows you to create, edit, and schedule events and activities as well as their associated tasks and timesheet entries. You can use the Calendar Timesheet Pane to add timesheet entries. In this view, you can see recent projects and upcoming assignments and drag these items to the calendar.  

7 - calendar timesheet

#9 – Share Vantagepoint Records Easily 

Because Deltek Vantagepoint is a web browser-based application, each record or screen has its own URL that is specific to your Vantagepoint instance. You can save your Vantagepoint URLs to specific applications, Hubs, or records similar to how you save other favorite websites, or you can share them with your coworkers.  

See the screenshot below, specifically the URL at the top of the image. I can copy and paste that URL link to send in a Teams Chat or email to one of my coworkers. When they click on the link, they will be prompted to log into Vantagepoint but then be taken directly to that project record.  

8 - project url

#10 – Get the Right Help, When You Need It 

Another part of Deltek’s reimagining was the help or support portal for Vantagepoint. No matter where you are in the system, you can click on the question mark in the top right corner and the Help options will change dynamically based on what Hub or application area you’re currently in. The example below shows project-related information including links to Online Help, Learning Aids, Information Center, and more.  

9 - online help 

If you find yourself not knowing what a specific record or application does, what to do next, or if you want to learn more, make sure the next step is to click the question mark in the top right corner.   

Do More with Deltek Vantagepoint 

These are just 10 tips and tricks to help you get more value from Deltek Vantagepoint. To see these and others in action, please click the image below to view our mini-demo series – Powering Project Success with Deltek Vantagepoint. Each mini-demo is less than 15 minutes and will show you how Vantagepoint empowers the different roles in your firm.  

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Deltek ProjectCon 2022 In Review

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on December 07, 2022

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This year’s Deltek ProjectCon, formerly known as Insight, was a successful return to an in-person conference after two years of being virtual. With great anticipation, Deltek users converged in Nashville at the Gaylord Opryland November 15-17th. Choosing from over 390 sessions across 11 tracks, all Deltek users were able to discover many tips and identify actionable items to help their firms maximize business performance and revenue while also figuring out how to use their Deltek solutions in innovative ways. 

Deltek Vantagepoint and Vision users had the opportunity to learn all about the latest product enhancements as well as network with peers during the various educational sessions offered. The sessions that Full Sail Partners’ team members attended varied from finance to resource planning to marketing and business development. Also, seven experts from Full Sail Partners presented at a few sessions this year. Here is a recap of some of the exciting things that were taken away from ProjectCon 2022.

Single Source of Truth Between Deltek Vantagepoint and ADP 

Full Sail Partners’ very own Rick Childs, Principal Consultant, Jennifer Wilson, SQL Developer, and Scott Seal, VP of Consulting, shared details on the newest Blackbox Connector offering at ProjectCon. Attendees here learned how Deltek Vantagepoint and ADP could work together to enhance the payroll experience. They saw how this new Blackbox Connector securely and seamlessly integrates the ADP platform with Vantagepoint and how the Vantagepoint Payroll Interface allows firms to efficiently move Vantagepoint project hours to ADP payroll hours based on business rules. Furthermore, attendees discovered that employee data can now be integrated between ADP Workforce Now and Vantagepoint with a single point of entry upon the employee hiring process. 

From this session, attendees took away the following: 

  • Understood approaches between Deltek Vantagepoint and ADP Workforce Now for employee PTO accruals and PTO requests & approvals 
  • Found out how to automatically provision a Vantagepoint User ID & Role based on a hiring event in ADP Workforce Now  
  • Saw how a GL Payroll Distribution Journal Entry seamlessly returns to Vantagepoint as a reviewable and postable file 

New and Improved Deltek Vantagepoint Accounting Features to Automate Business 

Here, Terri Agnew, Principal Consultant, and Theresa DePew, Senior Consultant, with the Full Sail Partners’ team reviewed ways to use Vantagepoint to automate accounting departments at project-based firms. Attendees familiarized themselves with improved features in Vantagepoint and discovered the latest and greatest features including approvals, billing, AR, reporting, and dashboard features. Moreover, having spent more than 1,000 hours helping more than 100 companies upgrade from Vision to Vantagepoint, these two consultants provided expert advice to those financial teams in attendance. 

Create a More Collaborative and Efficient Team with Deltek Vantagepoint 

In a third presentation by members of the Full Sail Partners’ team, Amanda Roussel, Senior Consultant, and Rana Blair, Principal Consultant, helped to show ProjectCon attendees how to create a more collaborative and efficient team environment with Deltek Vantagepoint using one firm’s story. Professional services firms strive to efficiently manage project lifecycles and attendees here got to see how one firm created a more cohesive and streamlined method for operating their project-based business.  

JCJ Architecture took attendees on a journey through their new project lifecycle and saw how their team reimagined their processes from pursuit identification to final project execution, resulting in a more collaborative team environment. Having better data provided better analysis, which resulted in better decision-making. Attendees furthermore discovered ways to bring teams together and gain knowledge about the visibility Vantagepoint brings. 

Better Vantagepoint CRM and Business Development Dashboards 

Amanda Roussel, a Full Sail Partners’ Senior Consultant, found a lot of value in this session. She learned tips for marketing and business development leaders to use and adjust CRM dashboards in Deltek Vantagepoint. Pre-defined dashboards for CRM provide insights for active pursuits, previous quarter pursuits and other significant CRM data. To discover more, simply make minor adjustments. 

Attendees explored additional configuration options like calculated and user-defined fields and workflows, so data is captured and used to chart historical trends for key business development metrics. No more need for Excel! Amanda additionally felt that the session did a great job of teaching how to focus on filters and confirmed the best practice of always copying a dashboard/part before editing. Furthermore, Amanda felt that attendees gained great insight into tracking stage changes. 

CRM and Business Development Dashboards 

Amanda Roussel, Senior Consultant, also attended this session which reminded attendees that most business development activity happens outside of the office. With Deltek Vantagepoint CRM, business development activities can be managed from wherever. Attendees of this session learned how Vantagepoint Connect for Outlook or Gmail and Mobile CRM help nurture client relationships, firms remain competitive, and ensure that the right projects are being managed while on the road. Moreover, attendees reviewed the critical tools for business development and tips to best leverage those tools to maximize marketing and BD efforts. Amanda noted that most of the session focused on Outlook which showcased its fluid functionality with the bidirectional sync with Outlook and Vantagepoint.  

What’s New and Coming in Financial Management 

Theresa DePew, Senior Consultant with Full Sail Partners, attended this session. Here attendees learned exciting enhancements focused on improving the experience of the finance team. This included ways to streamline the current billing process with the use of email templates as well as having further support for the billing client changing over the life of the project. Finance teams can also improve the collection process with AR dashboards and can automate manual processes with automatic bank feed. 

Attendees at this session: 

  • Were able to identify new features and enhancements for more efficient financial management in Deltek Vantagepoint 4.5, 5.0 and 5.5 2 
  • Saw a sneak peek of upcoming releases 
  • Understood how to prepare and take advantage of the best features for the finance team 

Resource Management and Planning – It's Not Just for Staffing 

For those interested in Deltek Vantagepoint Resource Planning, this session was a great opportunity to hear another firm’s story with using it. Attendees here learned about Kahler Slater’s 14-year experience having implemented Resource Planning in 2008. The firm uses it for staffing, but it is also an integral part of the firm’s culture and processes. The firm’s process begins with a plan for nearly every project with all staff having access to resource management. This empowers teams to better manage resource allocation. To ensure project resource needs are managed, project managers and staffing advocates meet weekly. Using a staffing advocate bridges the requirements of staff career development, passion, and wellness with the needs of a project. Immediately after creating a plan, firm leaders access staffing, revenue forecasting and project probability which helps to ensure project success. 

Key takeaways for attendees at this session: 

  • Pinpointed how to identify the right personnel to work toward achieving firm objectives 
  • Discovered how to create more accurate revenue recognition 
  • Learned how to maintain and produce a backlog through revenue forecast 

Save the Date for ProjectCon 2023 

With all that Deltek users learned at the conference this year, 2023 should continue to be a stellar year for project-based firms. Deltek has already announced dates for next year’s ProjectCon which will be in Orlando, October 16-19, 2023, at the Gaylord Palms. Don’t forget to mark your calendars!

 

  

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New Features in Deltek Vantagepoint 5.5

Posted by Cate Phillips on November 30, 2022

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The new features in Deltek Vantagepoint 5.5 enhance usability, increase personalization for individual users and streamline project management and accounting workflows. It’s easier than ever for professional services firms to access the right information and complete common tasks quickly. Here’s an overview of what’s new.

Schedule Dependencies

Users with the Resource Planning Module can create dependencies in the Gantt chart and manage a project’s critical path. Project managers can quickly visualize and modify the project schedule, work breakdown structure elements and the relationship between those elements. When an update is made at one level, all of the dependent levels are automatically updated.

Dependencies are also accessible in the Project Planning report. Users can view information about dependency relationships between work breakdown structure elements, projects and associated labor codes.

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Drill-Down Paths

Help users access the right information quickly with drill-down paths. Users can determine which information is shown when they drill down into key summary metrics on a chart or table. For example, when a user clicks on a column displaying outstanding accounts receivable data, Deltek Vantagepoint can be configured to show them a dashpart with AR invoice detail.

DVP55_BlogScreenshots_2Personal Dashboards

Users can now create their own personalized dashboards without engaging an administrator or manager. This added flexibility will help expand adoption and free up administrator time since users can customize more of their experience with Deltek Vantagepoint.

Update Percent Complete from the Dashboard

With Deltek Vantagepoint 5.5, project managers can easily manage percent complete with fewer clicks, ultimately improving reporting and billing accuracy. There are new columns in the project dashpart base for Weighted Percent Complete and Weighted Percent Complete Cost. Users can see and modify the percentage of completion per project billing or cost amount right from the dashboard.

DVP55_BlogScreenshots_4Streamlined Purchasing

Deltek Vantagepoint 5.5 enables staff to perform purchase requisitions and process approvals within any browser. Purchasing Requisitions, Purchase Orders, Items and Items Master are now accessible in the navigation pane of the browser application.

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Other Purchasing Updates

Additional purchasing updates in Deltek Vantagepoint 5.5 include: 

  • New layout for suggested vendors
  • Ability to add a vendor on the fly
  • Ability to attach documents of any status
  • Ability to view purchasing reports
  • Redesigned interface for the purchase requisition form

Accounting Updates

Deltek Vantagepoint 5.5 offers several new features that streamline accounting processes. Users can now post cash receipts that were created in bank reconciliation. This option is available for those that have rights granted to their role in the Accounting tab from Settings >Security> Role. The Transaction Center Approval option must also be set to “No” in Settings and Accounting Transactions.

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Other Accounting Updates

The other accounting updates in Deltek Vantagepoint 5.5 include: 

  • Expanded reporting in timesheets and billing
  • Print capability for Billing Category Rate Table reports
  • New overtime premium calculation that uses the cost rate in the Billing Labor Override Table instead of the Cost Rate in the Employee Hub for the employee

Email Templates

To help support digital payment processes, Deltek Vantagepoint 5.5 allows users to use email templates when sending electronic payment remittances by email. Templates can be configured to reuse standard information, such as regular text or database fields. Email templates are available in the Vendor Payments, Employee Payments and Payroll Payments applications. Users can save templates for personal use, for all users with the same role, or for all users within the firm.

DVP55_BlogScreenshots_7Approval Center Updates

Users can restart approvals for timesheets and expense reports. This process removes all approved history and comments that are associated with the record and begins the process from the first step, no matter where the record is in the approval process.

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General Usability Updates

Deltek Vantagepoint 5.5 also comes with a number of usability updates:

  • See notifications immediately instead of every five minutes with real-time alerts.
  • See all users viewing a record.
  • Set favorites in navigation to find commonly viewed applications with ease.
  • Set minimum/maximum and default values for standard numeric fields.
  • Use predefined searches within Advanced Search.
  • Print timesheet reports from the Floor Check dialogue box.
  • Access Labor Planning videos in Online Help.

Learn More About the New Features in Deltek Vantagepoint 5.5

This is just a high-level overview of the many new features in Vantagepoint 5.5. To learn more about what Vantagepoint has to offer, watch What’s New in Deltek Vantagepoint 5.5 on demand.

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Top Technology Trends from the 43rd Deltek A&E Clarity Study

Posted by Heath Harris on November 16, 2022

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The net revenue growth forecast for A&E firms is the highest it’s been in 10 years. Based on the findings from the 43rd Deltek A&E Clarity Study, the industry has rebounded from the pandemic with full pipelines and an optimistic future outlook. Meeting that demand comes with serious challenges, with labor shortages and rising costs being most prominent.    

Firms are turning to technology to empower their teams and improve project delivery. They’re prioritizing the right investments over simply purchasing the newest technology. Here are the top insights from the study and some guidance for ensuring that technology investments deliver positive ROI. 

Top Technology Challenges for A&E Firms 

The top technology challenge professional services firms are facing is the inability to invest time in learning. With full project pipelines, firms are dedicating resources to completing client work, limiting the time they can spend on learning new technologies. Small firms struggle with this issue the most, though it’s a prominent issue for medium and large firms as well.  

Technology costs, which topped the list in last year’s report, was the second most commonly cited challenge. Firms are also struggling with prioritizing which trends apply to their organization. With so much technology to choose from, many firms are understandably unsure which trends to pursue. Finding the right fit, whether it be data science tools or digital twins—for the firm and for their client base—isn’t easy.  

Other challenges include educating employees and clients about trends, lack of champions to drive technology adoption and limited corporate openness to emerging technologies.  

A&E Firms Are Focused on Getting it Right 

Firms are honing in on the initiatives that enable them to take a pragmatic approach to technology adoption and integration.   

When asked about their top three technology initiatives:  

  • 64% said creating strategic technology implementation plans.  
  • 47% said educating staff on technology trends. 
  • 46% said identifying and developing technology subject matter experts. 

This pragmatic approach is a good way to enter into digital transformation. However, firm leaders should be careful not to get stuck in a cycle of endless planning. One way to cautiously approach technology is to look for ways to expand usage of current tools. This can provide quick wins and competitive advantages without requiring significant investment or onboarding time.  

Internal Champions Can Take on Challenges and Lead Key Initiatives 

To take on technology challenges in the short term, firms should engage tech-savvy employees as internal technology champions. Technology champions can help improve the ROI of technology in the following ways:  

  • Fill current skill gaps by leading the charge to incorporate technology into project execution.  
  • Promote and expand adoption of existing technologies throughout the business.  
  • Identify the most viable technology investments and trends for the firm.  

Only 36% of firms ranked this as one of their top three initiatives, meaning that many are missing an opportunity to address current gaps in technology planning and adoption.  

Which Technologies Should A&E Firms Focus On? 

To help guide technology planning, A&E firms should look at technology as falling into two buckets. Technology that supports project delivery, such as smart infrastructure and digital twins help firms remain competitive and address common challenges in the building process. Business-optimizing technologies, like data science and next-level project management tools can be used to automate repetitive tasks, empower workers to make more informed decisions, and ultimately improve client satisfaction.  

For more insight into which technology areas A&E firms should focus on, watch the webinar 

Focusing on these areas will enable firms to address some of their biggest concerns: 

  • Attract and retain talent by appealing to the next generation of employees, who want to work with companies that give them access to the latest technology.  
  • Prepare for disruption. As innovation continues to transform the A&E industry, the right technology will help firms future proof their businesses.  
  • Increase revenue streams by identifying the ideal services and delivery methods that lead to competitive advantages and higher profits.  

Dive Deeper Into the Technology Insights from the Deltek Clarity Study 

Firms aren’t investing in technology for technology’s sake. They’re focused on making the right investments that will enable them to increase productivity and compete for projects and talent. With the right guidance, they can take on the opportunities and challenges ahead. For more technology insights, download the full report.  

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"Keeping Up with the Contracts" Using Deltek Vantagepoint's Contract Management

Posted by Cate Phillips on November 09, 2022

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I have to admit that I have never once watched an episode of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” nor really any reality TV shows except my one-time foray into one of those “Housewives” shows while I was in a hospital recouping from a surgery. I would categorize these types of shows as guilty pleasures. There are people I know and respect that watch reality TV, and I too have my own guilty pleasure - I like to read People magazine, and occasionally I’ll even dip into a US Magazine in the check-out line. However, despite my interest in what’s happening in the world of celebrities, my biggest concern with reality TV is my general disgust for the million-dollar contracts involved. Yet contracts are necessities, right?   

Making a strange leap from reality TV to contract management in the architecture and engineering (A&E) industry, let’s talk more about the necessity of managing contracts. Contracts and agreements are imperative in almost all business interactions, even the simplest things these days. For those of us in the A&E industry, there could be any variety of risks that are mitigated by a contract. Not only are some of the A&E contracts protective in nature, helping to ensure compliance, safety, etc., but there are also project-related contracts that dictate important financial amounts related to the lifecycle of the project itself. 

First Off, Deltek Vantagepoint Drives Efficiencies 

The good news here is that Deltek Vantagepoint, out of the box, helps you manage contracts directly in the Projects hub. In fact, the Deltek Vantagepoint knowledge base states: “The primary overall benefits of the contract management feature in Vantagepoint are that it helps you coordinate the contract process, keep everyone up to date on its current status, and ensure that the compensation amounts that will be billed and received as you execute the project are in sync with the amounts spelled out in the contract.”  

This is such a valuable piece of functionality that Full Sail Partners’ Principal Consultant, Rana Blair, has done two different mini demos on the subject. In an introductory mini-demo, Rana shares an overview of contract management - it covers configuration considerations, contract document columns and entry, and the use of the 'Synchronize Contracts to Fees' feature. One of the main takeaways from this important twelve-minute video is that firms that leverage the Project hub tool Contract Management can enjoy benefits in the measurement of revenue and backlog as well as identify risks.  

Contract Management is Integral to Successful Projects 

A big part of why reality TV is so darn successful is pure drama. Whether it’s learning “secrets” or seeing inside the lives of others, at the root of it all is transparency. The exact same is true for projects and their contracts. If you can’t determine the health and status of your project, how can you predict the financials of your firm? Project based firms must rely on exposing the differences between contract amounts and expected compensation. Deltek Vantagepoint can help you control these amounts (both the contracted total and the compensation amounts) as well as how they matter to the project work breakdown structure. This type of transparency, at any point in the life cycle of a project, sets your firm up to avoid surprises. 

Solid Contract Management is Story Telling 

Yes, reality TV shows tell stories. Are their stories worth the thousands and millions of dollar contracts? I personally don’t think so, but I know many of our clients’ contracts are indeed worth that much. A good story not only conveys a message that needs to be told, but it also usually has a happy ending. Despite reality TV, in the real world of projects, mutually beneficial success derived from all parties feeling they received value is the happily ever after. Using Deltek Vantagepoint Contract Management, these happy endings can be ensured. 

All About the Money 

Deltek Vantagepoint’s Contract Management reporting capabilities can help your firm not only stay informed on the status of a project, but you can also adjust upward or downward (but let’s be real, most of the time it’s add-on work) as the scope changes. This helps firms scope better in the future. Contract management can even help salespeople and seller doers get their credit or reward for winning the deal. Just like how a reality TV show can spin out one small situation into a million different possibilities for viewer consumption, Deltek Vantagepoint allows you to audit your own contracts by a variety of filters such as Type, Status, or Date. 

What About the People?  

Reality TV about famous people like the Kardashians pulls in the revenue. Similarly, a People Magazine story about Brad and Angelina most likely would catch my eye. It’s all about the people, and project-based firms’ client projects at their core are all about the people involved. 

Contract Management inside of Deltek Vantagepoint allows for workflows to be arranged so that stakeholders and project managers can be alerted when important contract-related events happen. Vantagepoint can even automatically fill in fields based on the stages of a particular contract.  

Learn More about Advanced Features 

While Contract Management in Deltek Vantagepoint may not have the pizzaz as some of the weird stuff on TV or in the magazines in the check-out line, to those of us in the AEC industry, I think it might warrant a little bit of “geeking out” because of the great benefits to project-based firms. Taking what we have learned about reality TV, let’s leverage terrific tools for the AEC industry to bring in even more revenue by telling real stories of real projects in real time through the power of Deltek Vantagepoint. For more about the Advanced Features of Deltek Vantagepoint Contract Management, check out Rana Blair’s second min-demo on Contract Management. This one goes a little deeper than the introductory one.  

 

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Deltek Vision and Vantagepoint Year-End 2022

Posted by Scott Gailhouse on November 02, 2022

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Year-end is the final accounting process to close “the books” at the end of each year. With 2023 just around the corner, it is never too early to plan for your year-end close. Planning and organization on your part can make the year-end process less challenging for the entire accounting staff.   

Take the Time to Document and Get Organized 

As always, you should take the time to document your year-end procedures. Not only the tasks performed in Deltek Vantagepoint and Vision, but all accounting tasks you perform should be documented so that you have a comprehensive guide that you can refer to every year. It is also vital that you create an accounting calendar.  

The accounting calendar is not just for year-end, but for month-end and quarter-end tasks as well. This calendar is a schedule of anticipated dates for financial activities. You should also develop a year-end checklist to make sure you don’t miss anything. One other tip to make this process go smoothly is to make sure that you are performing your month end reconciliations on a timely basis. 

Common Year-End Tasks 

Some of the more common year-end tasks for most companies are: 

  • Reconcile All Cash Accounts - Verify all transactions have been posted into Deltek Vantagepoint/Vision to ensure your general ledger balances match your bank statements. Make adjustments as required. 
  • Credit Card Reconciliations – In order to ensure all credit card transactions are captured, make sure all expense reports are entered and posted. 
  • File Reconciliation Report – This report should be run at month-end and at year-end. This report identifies discrepancies between the GL and the subledger reports. 
  • Final Invoicing – Process all client invoices for the fiscal year. 
  • Review Outstanding Accounts Receivables - Follow up with clients who have outstanding accounts receivable beyond 30 days. Send past due statements and/or simply give them a call. Enter the results of your collection efforts in the comments section of Vision Invoice Review. Year-end is an excellent time to collect your outstanding receivables. If you determine there is uncollectable AR, be sure to write those invoices off. 
  • Review Unbilled Detail - Time and expense transactions that cannot be invoiced to clients should be written off at this time. 
  • Fixed Assets – Fixed Assets are larger purchases that are made throughout the year (i.e., equipment, automobiles, furniture, computers, etc.). Check to see if all fixed assets reported on the balance sheet are still owned. If not, record the sale or disposal of these fixed assets. Verify the depreciation on your fixed assets as well. Then make any necessary adjustments. 
  • Employee Expenses and Accounts Payable - Verify that all accounts payable vouchers have been recorded in Deltek Vision/Vantagepoint. Make your 401(k), SEP IRA, and Simple IRA contributions, if you have not done so. Try and pay all your vendors and employee expense reports by year-end. 
  • Notes Payable - Verify notes payable (i.e., loans) amounts on your balance sheet match the statements from your lenders. Then make adjustments if necessary. 
  • 1099 Forms – Order 1099 forms. Make sure all W-9 forms from your vendors and/or contractors that are paid $600 or more throughout the year are on file in the Firms Hub in Vantagepoint or the Vendor Info Center. Don’t forget 1099s should be mailed by January 31st. 
  • W-2s – Order W-2 forms if you run payroll in Vantagepoint/Vision. W-2s should be mailed by January 31st. 
  • Budget for Next Year - Create your GL budget for the new year. 

Be Prepared to Close Out the Year 

In Deltek Vantagepoint and Vision, opening the 1st period of your fiscal year also opens the new fiscal year. Depending on your security rights, you can still process in the prior fiscal year if needed. 

There are several initialization utilities that need to be performed. For example, Open New Period (fiscal year), Open New Benefit Year, 1099 Initialization and Open a New W-2 Quarter/year if you are using the payroll module. Deltek Vantagepoint and Vision will generate a posting log for the initialization utilities. If your Vantagepoint or Vision database is configured for Multicompany, the initialization utilities need to be run in each company. The only exception is the Open New Period utility, which opens for all companies at once. 

Deltek will issue a Year-End update at the end of December containing tax updates for payroll users. Also, be on the lookout for Deltek’s Vision and Vantagepoint Year-End guide for more detailed information on year-end closing. 

 

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Uncovering Top Trends in Financial Management

Posted by Scott Seal on October 26, 2022

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The data from the 43rd Deltek A&E Clarity Study shows that the opportunity outlook for A&E firms is bright. However, there are significant challenges to seizing that growth. Although net revenue growth is forecasted to grow to 17.6%, operating profit on net revenue is down by 6%. Recruiting and retention challenges loom large over firms, undermining their ability to meet demand and extract profits.  

Here are the top takeaways from the study, along with guidance for navigating the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Labor Challenges and Growing Pains Are Top Stressors 

Labor challenges are front and center for A&E firms, as finding and retaining qualified staff ranked as the top financial challenge. Forty-four percent of respondents said it was their top challenge, a sharp increase from last year. In this highly competitive job market, A&E firms have more open positions, and the cost to acquire new employees has increased. To win over candidates who have plenty of options to choose from, firms are offering increasingly attractive (and often costly) compensation packages.  

Managing growth was the second most commonly cited challenge. Demand is high, leading to an 18% growth in estimated net revenues. But with rising demand comes new challenges. Professional services firms are challenged with bidding competitively and ensuring the timely completion of work. Labor issues are a contributor to this challenge since firms need to fulfill staffing needs to meet current and future demands. 

With inflation and labor costs cutting into profit margins, A&E firms also said increasing profitability is a top concern. Collection periods increased by nearly two weeks this year, and many firms must work diligently to complete work on time, invoice quickly and collect payment as soon as possible. Encountering delays at any point in the process threatens profits and their ability to grow.  

Staffing Challenges Impact Key Metrics 

Persistent staffing challenges aren’t just keeping firm leaders up at night—they’re impacting financial performance. Here are some of the most notable metrics: 

  • Operating profit on net revenue dropped to 12.8%, a level last seen in 2015.

  • Overhead rates increased to 160%, a 14% increase. 

  • Utilization rates dropped to 58.5%, the lowest level of the last 10 years. 

After rising steadily over the past 10 years, operating profit on net revenue dropped significantly. This is largely driven by an increase in overhead rates. As firms face longer project ramp times and non-billable periods while backfilling roles, overhead rates rise. Higher employee turnover is also a contributing factor to lower utilization rates.  

Performing the Backlog Balancing Act 

Backlogs increased by more than three weeks year-over-year. It’s an indication that, while firms are in demand, they need to perform a delicate balancing act to complete projects on time. Bidding, scheduling, and labor planning must be precise, otherwise, increased activity can hinder project delivery, which only reduces client satisfaction in the long run. Firms that can effectively manage expectations will be able to reduce their backlog to sustainable levels. 

Growing backlogs are influencing the average collection period, which increased by 13 days. Firms wait for nearly 77 days, on average, to receive payments on accounts receivable. This is a return to the average collection period seen in 2012 and 2013. Back then, firms were able to lower this rate in the following years. To reduce the average collection period now, they may want to look at returning to those previous strategies.  

For a deeper dive into the key financial metrics from the study, watch the webinar 

Looking Ahead 

Financial leaders of A&E firms are focused on meeting day-to-day challenges. When asked about their financial priorities for next year, firms selected training project managers on financial management and improving business processes as their top two choices. This is in line with the results from last year. Notably, firms are less concerned with better forecasting, better growth management, and organizational changes and realignment than they were last year. This indicates that they’re focused on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of daily processes. 

The most successful firms will position themselves for success by also focusing on the HR challenges they face. Unconventional benefits, loyalty rewards, and engagement programs can help companies attract and retain the employees they need for the years ahead. Forty-one percent of firms said that they plan to make talent acquisition and retention investments one of their top priorities next year. Those that make the right decisions will stand out from the pack.  

Get More Financial Management Insights 

Despite the challenges A&E firms face, it’s possible to seize the opportunities ahead. By looking back to previously proven strategies and preparing for future demand, financial leaders can make the most of the market. For more financial management insights, click below to download the full report.  

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