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Using Multicurrency in Deltek Vantagepoint

Posted by Scott Gailhouse on June 13, 2024

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With Vantagepoint Multicurrency, transactions like employee expenses or accounts payable vouchers can be entered in any selected currency regardless of the company’s functional currency. Your firm can provide invoices to clients in foreign currencies as well. In a multicompany database, any company in the enterprise can be maintained in any currency. Deltek Vantagepoint holds the key to simplifying this process for your firm.

Vantagepoint Multicurrency allows you to:

  • Manage multiple currencies for transactions, accounting, and financial reporting
  • Enter and manage exchange rates, which can be done manually or can be automated to update daily exchange rates using an auto-feed subscription provided by XE.com.
  • Support daily, period, and period-end exchange rate changes
  • Revalue foreign currency accounts and automatically identify realized and unrealized gains or losses due to currency fluctuations

Considerations when Using Deltek Vantagepoint Multicurrency

With any changes to your standard accounting practices, there are always some items that need to be taken into consideration:

Revenue Considerations: Revenue generation will now use the billing currency fields in the project hub.

Project Considerations: Once you set a project’s currency and the project has transactions posted to it, the currency code cannot be changed on the project. It is very important to set the project to the correct currency upon initial setup. All lower levels of the work breakdown structure (WBS) will follow the currency codes set at the project level. A project’s currency can be set up to manage the project in one currency and a different billing currency can be used to invoice your client.

General Ledger Account Considerations: In Vantagepoint Multicurrency accounts can be left without a specific currency or set to a single currency. For example, a company with a functional currency of USD may have a checking account in Canadian dollars (CAD). In this example, the chart of account numbers associated with the Canadian Bank Code would need to be set up with a currency code of CAD. Once an account is set up in a currency that is different than the functional currency of the company, it is then considered a foreign-denominated account and will be included in the revaluation process.

Unit Considerations: You must specify both a project and billing currency.

Vendor Considerations: Vendor records are stored in the functional currency of the active company. There are several details to note for vendor records:

  • Functional Currency – the home currency or the currency in which the company operates
  • Transactional Currency – the currency in which a transaction is entered into Vantagepoint
  • Presentation Currency - used in reporting to generate a report with all amounts expressed in a single currency
  • Billing Currency - the currency used to generate invoices and billing reports for specific projects and their WBS
  • Project Currency – the currency in which the project is managed which can be different than the functional currency when needed (this currency should be used for all project management purposes including reporting)
  • Payment Currency – the currency in which the payments are made
  • Consolidated Reporting Currency – only available in a Multicompany environment and is used to create consolidated financial statements for multiple companies that are using different functional currencies currency directly through the account setup of the GL (if you specify an account currency that is different from the company’s functional currency, the account is then considered a foreign-denominated account)
  • Account Currencies – each account set for use as a bank account and mapped to a GL code can be set to a specific
  • Tax Currency – if tax auditing is enabled then a currency must be set for each tax code (this is generally the currency in which you report and pay the tax amounts to the proper tax authority)

Generally Accepted Accounting Practices in Deltek Vantagepoint Multicurrency

Deltek Vantagepoint Multicurrency complies with the Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) sections ASC-830-10-55-10 and 11. In section 55-10, the guideline states that it is acceptable to use averages or other methods of approximation. Accordingly, it is recommended to use a weighted average of the exchange rate for a period rather than applying actual day-to-day fluctuations.

Furthermore, section 55-11 states that the average rates used shall be appropriately weighted by the volume of functional currency transactions occurring during an accounting period. In other words, to translate revenue and expense accounts for an annual period, individual revenue and expense accounts for each quarter or month may be translated at that quarter's or that month's average rate. The translated amounts for each quarter or month should then be combined with the annual totals.

Why Use Multicurrency in Deltek Vantagepoint?

Multicurrency can be used for tracking currency exchange gains and losses. Having foreign-denominated accounts creates the need to track gains and losses based on fluctuating exchange rates. For example, if a European company has a bank account denominated in United States dollars and the value of the euro rises against the United States dollar, the value in euros of that bank account balance drops. This results in an unrealized loss to the European company. Using Multicurrency allows you to use the Gains/Losses and Revaluations process in Vantagepoint to calculate and post these currency exchange gains and losses. As a result, they appear on your financial statements per the generally accepted accounting practices under which you operate.

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What's New in Vantagepoint 7.0?

Posted by Evan Creech-Pritchett on June 06, 2024

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Deltek Vantagepoint 7.0 is finally here, and it brings a bunch of new features and enhancements aimed at improving automation, efficiency, and the general user experience. With a focus on providing better data visibility, integrating artificial intelligence, and enhancing the overall user interface, this update promises to change the way professional services firms manage their projects, finances, and resources. Let’s look at a brief overview of the things that’ll get you excited to jump into Deltek Vantagepoint 7.0!

Simplify PTO Updates for Plans

This update ensures more accurate project plans by automating absence requests and making staff availability more visible. This automation helps to improve resource management, allowing project managers to anticipate and plan for workload gaps effectively. The result is enhanced project delivery with fewer disruptions and more predictable outcomes.

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Streamlined Financial Processes

One of the standout features of Vantagepoint 7.0 is the automation of financial processes. This includes streamlining the procure-to-pay process and automating time-consuming billing processes. By eliminating manual, error-prone tasks, finance teams can focus on more value-adding activities, improving efficiency and accuracy in financial management.

Enhanced User Experience and Adoption

Next up on the list of improvements is the intuitive user interface with enhanced navigation menus, keyboard shortcuts, and fly-out menus. These improvements are designed to boost user adoption by making the platform easier to navigate and use. With features like explicit save in list view and bulk update capabilities, users can perform tasks more efficiently, leading to improved data quality and user satisfaction.

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Empowered Business Intelligence and Flexibility

Deltek Vantagepoint now supports stand-alone Analysis Cubes, allowing users to create and utilize multi-dimensional cubes for business intelligence and advanced reporting. This feature provides the power of cubes without the need for visualization tools like Tableau, enabling connections from various BI tools, like Excel. This flexibility empowers users to leverage their data more effectively for strategic decision-making.

Modernized User Interface

The updated user interface maximizes your screen real estate and simplifies navigation. With a redesigned navigation menu, fly-out menus, and an updated color scheme, users can access information quickly and efficiently. The ability to track new records and improve navigation among them will further enhance the user experience.

Advanced Usability Enhancements

Usability improvements include explicit save in list view, bulk update capabilities, and advanced WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) search. These features allow users to update multiple fields for multiple records simultaneously and simplify data imports. Additionally, defined hubs and mobile capabilities for Time & Expense (T&E), absence requests, and CRM touchpoints make the platform more versatile and user-friendly.

Project Smart Summaries™

Leveraging generative AI, new Project Smart Summaries™ transform project information into actionable intelligence. Users can generate concise summaries that highlight project financial health, recent activities, and plan status. This feature reduces the time spent on data review and enhances the ability to make informed decisions quickly.

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Timesheet Assist

This feature streamlines timesheet entry by suggesting projects based on user activity and resource assignments. By analyzing past timesheets, project plan assignments, and timesheet reminders, Timesheet Assist helps users complete their timesheets more accurately and efficiently.

Enhanced Accounts Payable Insights

Vantagepoint 7.0 delivers greater visibility into accounts payable (AP) details on dashboards. Finance leaders can quickly identify cash flow requirements, exception reporting, and company purchases. The ability to view details for pay-when-paid (PWP) and outstanding AP balances by the vendor on a single dashboard provides a clear insight into key AP metrics.

Streamlined Billing Terms Creation

New to Deltek Vantagepoint 7.0 is the ability to automate the creation of fee-based phase billing terms, making it easier to establish terms from the project work breakdown structure and compensation values. This automation improves the accuracy and efficiency of billing processes, reducing administrative overhead.

Opt-In Features for Controlled Rollout

Administrators have the option to enable a subset of new features for additional testing before full production deployment. This controlled rollout ensures a smooth transition and allows organizations to adapt to new functionalities at their own pace.

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Introducing Dela, Deltek's Digital Assistant

The newest and probably the most anticipated part of the 7.0 release is Deltek Dela – Deltek’s AI-powered Intelligent Business Companion. Dela is allowing those natural language interactions and prompts for users to take those and interrogate that data more intelligently, they can get answers without running reports. They don't have to dig through multiple dashboards, they don't have to open specific records.

You can have a conversation with Dela like you would with other AI software like ChatGPT. But it’s only your data, only your projects, only your clients so this data becomes much more relevant to your users, much easier to access, and gives your users that ability to interrogate and dig a little bit deeper when they just may not know where to go to get that information.

Today the focus of this is projects including project, financial details, employees, firms, contacts, and activities.

What else is new in Deltek Vantagepoint 7.0?

Deltek Vantagepoint 7.0 is set to revolutionize project management and business operations with its comprehensive enhancements and new features. By focusing on automation, efficiency, and improved user experience, this update promises to deliver significant benefits to users. From more accurate project planning and financial processes to advanced business intelligence capabilities and a modernized user interface, Vantagepoint 7.0 is a game-changer for professional services firms looking to enhance their project management and operational efficiency!

Want to see more on this update? We’ve got a webinar all about it! Click below to see What’s New in Deltek Vantagepoint 7.0!

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Navigating the Upgrade to Deltek Vantagepoint

Posted by Cate Phillips on May 30, 2024

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As dedicated navigators in the vast ocean of Deltek Vantagepoint, we, at Full Sail Partners, are helping our seaworthy clients say a proper goodbye to Deltek Vision 7.6 which served us well for many sun cycles. Luckily, you don’t have to go on this journey alone, nor do you have to be a stowaway on someone else’s cruise. We have many flotation devices to help you stay above water and personally assist you on this upcoming adventure as you swiftly make your way to Deltek Vantagepoint.

At the start of your maiden voyage, the critical role Full Sail Partners will play is to amplify Deltek’s open communication, ensuring that you’re well-informed and prepared for any changes so that new users won’t be left adrift at sea. Our mutual crews can work collaboratively to clean up your Vision databases, map out the current ones plus dream up the future of your firm’s Vantagepoint instance. We also ensure confidence in the new data and the way of operating to launch successfully, and you can look forward to smooth sailing.

Maneuver Easily Using Deltek’s Resources

Consider Deltek’s Customer Assistance Program (CAP)

Embarking on the journey of upgrading to Vantagepoint, consider the CAP ready to steer you through the initial tides of the process. Deltek has meticulously mapped out the voyage for the entire year of 2024 presenting a comprehensive four-week program; a program that’s both a breeze and one that is easy to embark upon.

Click here to learn more about CAP. 

Take Advantage of the Readiness Portal and DLZ

As you endeavor to set sail, the Vantagepoint Readiness Portal is available for each Deltek client. This grants you and your crew an expansive view of the forthcoming advancements with Vantagepoint. This portal is brimming with navigational aids to guide you through the upgrade odyssey, spotlighting the innovative features and enhancements that set Vantagepoint apart from Vision. Should you find yourself off-course, and in need of DLZ access to enter your Readiness Portal, fear not. Signal your trusty first mate at Full Sail Partners (your Account Manager) or drop a message in a bottle to DeltekUniversity@dlz.Deltek.com, and they’ll chart a path to clearer waters.

Take Time to View Further Functionality of Vantagepoint

Furthermore, as with viewing a magnificent rainbow over a seashore, you can align with Deltek or Full Sail Partners to witness Vantagepoint in its full splendor. The array of demos, videos, webinars, and additional resources serve as beacons along the coast, casting light on the system’s functionality and benefits. These guiding lights are designed to help you sail through the newly discovered Vantagepoint sea with poise and assurance.

Strategies for Smooth Sailing in Your Vantagepoint Upgrade

Choose Your Crew Wisely and Clearly Communicate

Assembling an appropriate crew for the upgrade voyage to Vantagepoint is akin to gathering a seasoned team of sailors, each skilled in navigating the different bodies of water of Finance, Marketing/Sales, Operations, and Project Management. Such a diverse crew is a necessity for a successful journey, ensuring a well-rounded perspective as you and your mates chart the course ahead. Furthermore, a clear communication plan like a captain’s orders is essential: articulating concerns, spotlighting benefits, and setting expectations to align every member of the crew on the nautical adventure that awaits.

Map Out Your Pre-Upgrade Operations

Before hoisting the sails and embarking on this grand expedition to a new horizon, it’s paramount to chart your current navigational routes. This cartography of your present workflow is the key to understanding the winds and currents that have brought you this far and preparing for the transition to new waters. Even if you’re enlisting the expertise of a consultant, possessing a detailed map of your current operations is like having the stars to guide you: indispensable for steering the upgrade process in the right direction.

Listen to Feedback and Seek Insight

Feedback loops are the compass for your voyage, essential for maintaining the right course by listening to the feedback from throughout your entire organization. Whether it’s through tailored learning adventures, mentorship from seasoned sailors, or gamified training regattas, engaging your crew in creative and immersive ways is crucial to success. These methods are like the constellations in the night sky, guiding you in gathering insights that are needed for a triumphant transition to Vantagepoint.

Ready for Your Journey to Deltek Vantagepoint?

With the maps, guides and compass needed on your voyage to Deltek Vantagepoint, you and your crew are ready to embark. The upgrade from Vision to Vantagepoint process is not merely a passage from one point to another; it’s an opportunity to set forth on a journey of discovery, to explore uncharted territories in the realm of powering project success. The future awaits, and with Vantagepoint, you’re well-equipped. Get started today by requesting a Vantagepoint upgrade consultation. Click the image below to embark.

 

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7 Fundamentals for Success When Approaching Software Customization

Posted by Peter Nuffer on May 23, 2024

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When considering an ERP system, a key challenge is ensuring that the chosen product not only supports your existing business processes but also offers enough extensibility to adapt to your evolving needs. Deltek Vantagepoint's open architecture provides a solution to this challenge by allowing you to effortlessly add fields to existing information sets in the native Hubs or create unique sets of records through User Defined Hubs with just a click of a button.

Moreover, the RESTful API offers easy access points for integration with other systems, while the consistency of the database design ensures that changes are made with stability in mind. Furthermore, the ability to schedule or trigger actions as simple as a column change or email alert, or as advanced as a stored procedure to manipulate data locally or webhook to an external application's webservice enabled platform, are all available within the Deltek Workflow engine.

With all the potential that Deltek Vantagepoint unlocks, when it comes to extending functionality through customized aspects, it's essential to build your project on a solid foundation for success. There are seven critical elements for approaching software customization to maximize your Deltek Vantagepoint system. Let’s delve into them here.

#1 Determine Whether There is a Need for Customization

It's the first thing to ask - do we really need this, or even better, is there a way to accomplish what we need natively in the Deltek Vantagepoint environment? Working with your Full Sail Partners consultant will help identify all the possibilities and leverage Deltek's existing features to their fullest potential.

#2 Gather Key Stakeholders

Making a software customization change for your business needs can often feel like venturing into the unknown. Your key project stakeholders are your ultimate end users – identify, cultivate, and leverage their needs and expectations. Identifying priorities early on enables your development team to create an actionable plan that has the most impact on the organization.

#3 Assign a Project Owner

Identifying a primary project owner is crucial for guiding your project to success. Be a “Leader of Change” in your organization by appointing the right captain to steer your ship on the correct course. The project owner acts as a representative for the overall stakeholders, providing visibility into day-to-day developments. Increased visibility helps identify and solve impediments quickly and fosters understanding between developers and stakeholders.

#4 Document Requirements

For many software customization projects, subject matter experts may not fully understand how extending the functionality of your Deltek system can benefit them, while your development and technology team needs to know what to deliver. Overcoming the technology-subject matter communications gap is essential. User stories complement business analysis techniques, making it easier to identify project requirements without adding extra effort. Focus on stakeholder requirements, needs, and goals for the solution, avoiding the trap of defining technical specifications.

#5 Define a Minimally Viable Product (MVP)

Identify the features you must have to see a return on investment. List out the must-haves from your requirements gathering and user stories to establish what is necessary to get organizational buy-in to the solution. Don’t be afraid to rough things up a bit – your end users won’t hesitate to critique the new system. Think outside the box and approach your solution from every possible angle. End users do unpredictable things, so it’s essential to anticipate their needs.

#6 Get to Work Stage Testing

Before releasing development efforts, your software customization should undergo a thorough testing process to ensure it works as intended. There are four main stages of testing: unit testing, integration testing, system testing, and acceptance testing. Keeping key stakeholders active and engaged during testing is crucial for detecting and fixing bugs, resulting in higher-quality software. Allow for internal testing to identify bugs and system flaws as early as possible from real-world usage.

#7 Plan the Release and Set Testing Guidelines

A successful software customization project requires careful planning for the release. Define a clear roadmap that outlines the timeline, milestones, and dependencies for the deployment of the customized solution. Ensure that all stakeholders are informed about the release plan and understand their roles and responsibilities. Regularly communicate progress updates and address any concerns to maintain alignment and momentum toward the release date.

Squeeze More Functionality out of Your Deltek Vantagepoint System

Now that you have reviewed the seven critical elements for approaching software customization to maximize your Deltek Vantagepoint system, are you ready to proceed? Full Sail Partners’ consultants are available to evaluate and discuss your needs. We can leverage our expertise in Blackbox Connector and our pre-built custom solutions to help you achieve your goals. Let us bridge the gap between what Deltek Vantagepoint offers and what you want your system to do.

 

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Mergers and Acquisitions: Harness the (Data Integration) Beast

Posted by Lisa Ahearn on May 16, 2024

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Mergers and acquisitions have become commonplace in the professional services industry.  When firms join forces, they are typically hoping that 1 + 1 = more than 2!  By leveraging the best that each firm has to offer in terms of talent, diverse market penetration, client/contact lists, and means and methods of success, goals can include forming a stronger company that continues to successfully execute projects, attracting top talent, and growing in revenue and profitability.   

During the merger/acquisition process there are of course many things to consider.  Change management around topics such as corporate cultures and people management, branding, client loyalty, processes and procedures, and systems must be included in those considerations! 

Full Sail has helped many firms going through mergers and acquisitions with the integration of their ERP systems, when at least one company is using Deltek Vision or Vantagepoint.  While an exhaustive list of lessons learned would be too long for anyone to compile or read, we’d like to share some of the top things we recommend. 

Get the Right People at the Table 

Make sure that management/decision makers, system administrators/power users, and data consumers from all firms involved are represented in the discussions around data integration.  Sometimes the best intentions of management have unintended consequences for the day-to-day users, and sometimes the day-to-day users are not yet aware of intended changes in policies and procedures.  In the cases of acquisition to a greater extent, and especially in the beginning, some of the users may feel too intimidated to speak up and indicate that the consequences of decisions would have a negative impact on their day-to-day activities or ability to report on crucial data.  Getting a thorough understanding of how each firm uses their system(s) and data to achieve its goals, and what they would like to be able to do better, are important when making decisions about how to set up the new single system.  Invite CRM, finance, project management, and HR representatives to participate.  In our project-based environments it is important that PM’s have input along with the marketing and accounting/finance teams! 

Consider involving a third party such as Full Sail Partners, to help facilitate the conversations.  There are many aspects of system setup that can easily be overlooked or may not have been used before.  A neutral third party can also contribute ideas and best practices that can help combine currently-disparate methods into workable solutions to move forward.  Additionally, having someone to help the firms involved stay on task and accountable for timelines can prove to be valuable during a time when there are many conflicting priorities.  Full Sail consultants in finance and CRM can help explain system functionality.  Full Sail’s human resources consultant can help identify the most appropriate HR policies from each firm.  And a data migration specialist can help streamline gathering data from one system (Deltek or not!) and get it set up for, and then imported into, Deltek Vision / Vantagepoint. 

Decide how the new Company will be Added 

There are several options for adding a new company to Vision / Vantagepoint.  Many firms will use the multicompany function.  Some companies will enable or expand an organization structure.  Others will incorporate the additional company’s data directly with their own.  It is critical to think through how you will need/want to report on and analyze financial aspects of the companies, and configure the system to meet those goals. 

Another aspect to consider is the currencies in which the companies operate.  Vision / Vantagepoint can be configured to handle transactions for multicurrency operations. 

Examine and Align the Data 

Data migration specialists work with firms to identify and ready the data.  In order to make sure all the necessary data is brought into the new single system, it is important to identify all the systems the merging or acquired firm uses currently to hold data.  Is there one ERP?  Is there an accounting system, a marketing system, an HRIS system, and some spreadsheets?  Deciding which data will be incorporated into the new system is an important first step and is also necessary to scope/estimate the migration effort.  This will start to lay a clear groundwork for the migration process. 
 
The firms will also need to decide how much data will be brought into the combined system.  Do you plan to bring everything from day one of business, a certain number of years, or only GL balances?  If not bringing in historical data, where will that data be kept and how will it be accessed for operational needs or potential audits?  Address how redundant data will be handled.  If both companies have some of the same clients and contacts, how will you identify what should be kept from each?   

Assigning “data owners” is recommended so the data migration specialist knows who to ask when questions arise.  These data owners would also be responsible for participating in meetings about the data, developing a comprehensive test plan for users, and then reviewing and testing the migrated data. 
 
After identifying the higher-level parameters, consideration must be given to the details.  Decide on code formats and systems for numbering records such as the chart of accounts, employees, firms, and projects.  Alignment is needed for the chart of accounts, so mapping the new company’s accounts to the existing “like” accounts and identifying any new accounts that are needed is often one of the first steps.  Project numbering and work breakdown structure (WBS) will need to be carefully reviewed.   Keep in mind that not all systems have the same type of WBS, and even if both companies are using Vision / Vantagepoint they may be using the WBS differently.  Labor categories, labor codes, billing terms, accounting periods, and even the overhead projects all need to be given consideration.  For example, if the new company’s existing system does not use an equivalent to labor categories, and the Vantagepoint environment requires them, how will that be handled?  Will overhead time be loaded, and do the companies have the same overhead projects, will more need to be created, or will some need to be combined?    

Staff Training and Communications 

Staff at both companies will need training and communication about the changes.  Training and communication should not be an afterthought!  Employ sound change management throughout the process.  Those on the M&A team may forget that the rest of the staff don’t know the decisions being made.  The employees at both firms may be nervous or anxious about the changes.  Giving employees the information they are allowed to know in a clear, concise, and timely manner can help. Offer the info in easy-to-consume bits, but don’t overwhelm them with too many separate communications. Even something as simple as a list of who can be contacted for questions in specific areas will be helpful!   

Training is critical, even if both firms use the same system.  There are as many ways to use Vision / Vantagepoint as there are firms that use it!  Be sure to cover new processes, nuances in the database such as user-defined items, and add-on products.  Prepare a training plan and send the training session invites well in advance.  Have a leader from each firm in the sessions (in case any employees start asking the trainer questions on decisions), in addition to your top-notch trainer(s) or Full Sail consultant and someone in an equivalent training-type role from the other firm that can help “translate” questions that may be asked in company-specific lingo.  Record the training sessions so those that cannot attend can catch up and those that would like to re-watch can do so.  Consider incorporating “cheat sheets” and infographics so people can have a handy reference the first few times they go through a new process.  Make sure back-office staff are comfortable doing their jobs in the new system.   

Company growth is both exciting and challenging.  Involve the correct people, carefully consider processes, procedures, and data, and communicate with your staff.  Reach out to the Full Sail team for guidance.  We love to see our clients succeed! 

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What You Need to Know About OCR and ICR Technologies

Posted by Evan Creech-Pritchett on April 25, 2024

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Without efficient document management, project-based firms would fall to pieces. The advent of advanced technologies, particularly in scanning and document processing, helped firms streamline this crucial aspect of their operations. Traditional scanning methods often fall short, only capturing document images without extracting crucial metadata such as client names, dates, or invoice amounts, unless manually inputted by associates.

What is OCR?

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, also referred to as optical character reader, plays a pivotal role in modern document management systems. It involves the conversion of images containing typed, handwritten, or printed text into machine-encoded text. Various sources can be converted such as scanned documents, photographs of documents, scene photos capturing text on signs or billboards, or even subtitled text overlaid on images from television broadcasts.

OCR technology was developed by Emanuel Goldberg, making its debut in 1914. Initially, it was developed to aid the visually impaired in reading characters. Over time, OCR capabilities have evolved significantly, becoming useful in various everyday applications such as airport processes, mail handling, and banking.

Early iterations of OCR systems required training with images of individual characters and were limited to working with one font at a time. However, advancements in technology, and most notably in AI, have led to the development of sophisticated systems capable of achieving high accuracy across a wide range of fonts. Modern OCR systems can support various image file formats as inputs, enhancing their versatility and applicability.

Some OCR systems can even reproduce formatted output closely resembling the original document layout, including images, columns, and other non-textual components. This capability ensures that the digitized documents retain their visual integrity and readability, further enhancing the utility of OCR in document management and data processing tasks.

OCR engines have evolved into specialized software applications tailored to specific subjects such as receipts, invoices, checks, and legal billing documents. These applications offer a multitude of functionalities, including:

  • Entering data for business documents like checks, invoices, and receipts
  • Extracting business card information and integrating it into contact lists
  • Creating digital versions of printed documents
  • Enhancing document searchability by converting scanned documents into searchable PDFs

These applications show off the versatility and significance of OCR technology in modern-day document management. The adoption of OCR solutions is poised to become increasingly integral to firms’ operational workflows, driving efficiency, accuracy, and overall productivity.

What is ICR?

Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) software goes a step further than OCR, recognizing various fonts and handwriting styles. This distinction is crucial for grasping the nuances of modern document processing. ICR swiftly extracts information from scanned paper documents, digitally storing it for analytical reporting and seamless integration into business processes. Its self-learning systems continuously update recognition databases, achieving accuracy rates exceeding 97% for structured forms.

An important application is Automated Forms Processing, pioneered in 1993, streamlining data extraction from real-world forms. While OCR focuses on machine-printed text, ICR excels in deciphering hand-printed characters, though it faces some challenges with cursive handwriting. As businesses embrace digital transformation, ICR's adoption promises enhanced efficiency and accuracy in document management, revolutionizing data processing workflows.

Benefits of ICR

While OCR remains a cost-effective solution for basic document management needs, ICR offers advanced features tailored to the requirements of project-based firms. Not only does the ability to decipher handwritten notes and diverse fonts expand its utility beyond OCR, but the automatic retrieval of relevant data mitigates the risk of human input errors, a common challenge with manual data entry processes.

ICR in Accounting

In the realm of accounting, ICR proves particularly invaluable, streamlining the processing of various financial documents such as accounts payable, invoices, purchase orders, and payroll forms. For larger firms handling a high volume of documents monthly, ICR significantly reduces the time and effort expended on manual data entry tasks, thereby enhancing operational efficiency.

Mobile Expense Retrieval with Deltek Vantagepoint

Leading ERP systems provider Deltek has embraced ICR technology within its flagship solution, Deltek Vantagepoint. Leveraging ICR capabilities, Vantagepoint's mobile expense feature enables users to capture receipts via photographs, with the software automatically extracting relevant text and populating fields. This eliminates the need for manual data entry, empowering accounting teams to track project budgets seamlessly throughout the project lifecycle.

Looking Ahead

As technology continues to evolve, Deltek remains at the forefront of innovation, exploring additional applications of ICR to further streamline business operations. Stay updated as Deltek continues to test and integrate ICR capabilities into various facets of its ERP system, promising even greater efficiency gains for project-based firms.

 

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Simplifying Project Budgeting in Deltek Vantagepoint: A Comprehensive Overview

Posted by Terri Agnew, CPA on April 18, 2024

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In today’s world of project management, monitoring project costs incurred & projected, as well as forecasting project profitability, are crucial for the success of any project. Deltek Vantagepoint, a leading project management software, offers a robust solution for this by integrating contract management, project budgeting, and project planning tools. This article provides a comprehensive overview to help project managers and consultants effectively leverage this robust project management tool.

Contract Management, Project Budget, and Planning Integration

Deltek Vantagepoint stands out by allowing users to view and manage contract values, budget, and planning information simultaneously. This seamless integration is visible in the Project Review form, where important data such as contractual fees, budgeted estimated costs at completion (EAC), planned costs (ETC), and projected profits are displayed comprehensively. Users can drill down to the details in the work breakdown structure (WBS), allowing budget management from a high-level overview or down to any of the specific phases or tasks.

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Detailed Budgeting Process

The project budget tool in Deltek Vantagepoint enables detailed budget entries at the lowest WBS levels, facilitating accurate labor, expense, and consultant budgeting. This granularity ensures that every aspect of a project, from concept design to completion, is budgeted for. Users can switch between cost and billing views for reporting, accommodating different project management needs. Budgets are entered at the labor code level for labor hours. For expenses, budgets are entered into GL accounts for the expense and can be detailed out to the vendor, such as a subconsultant.

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Planning Tool and Baseline Budgets

Vantagepoint's project planning tool allows for establishing baseline plans reflective of the original contract. Project managers can update estimates to complete (ETC) based on real-time project developments, such as changes to the schedule, staff availability, and scope changes, ensuring that the resource plan reflects current project realities. This dynamic approach to project management allows for timely adjustments and re-forecasting, essential for maintaining project profitability.

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Analyzing Project Performance

The integration of budget and planning tools within the Project Review view facilitates a comprehensive analysis of project performance. At the bottom of the Project Review form, there are several key performance indicators (KPIs) such as effective multiplier, % expended, % earned, and profit margins which are automatically updated based on the latest budget and planning data. This real-time feedback enables project managers to identify deviations from the budget early and take corrective actions, such as requesting additional services or revising estimates.

Comprehensive Project Overview

By returning to the project review screen, users can evaluate the overall financial health, including profit margins, effective multipliers, % expended, % earned, and overhead. The system provides insights into how actual spending and planning adjustments impact project profitability, offering a complete picture of the project's financial status. This holistic view and real-time feedback enable project managers to identify deviations from the budget early and take corrective actions quickly to avoid major budget overruns, ensuring the project remains on track financially.

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Mastering Project Finances with Deltek Vantagepoint

Vantagepoint offers a powerful suite of tools for simplifying project budgeting and planning. By integrating these processes, project managers can maintain tight control over budgets, adjust plans in real-time, assist in decision-making, and ensure project success. For project managers and consultants looking to optimize their budgeting and planning processes, Deltek Vantagepoint provides a comprehensive solution. Click the image below to see how these tools are used effectively to manage project finances efficiently in a 15-minute demo.

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When Should a Firm Using Deltek Vantagepoint Consider a Business Intelligence or Outside Reporting Tool?

Posted by Timothy Burns on March 28, 2024

03-28-24 BI and Reporting Tool - Banner

In today's data-driven business environment, project-based firms face unique challenges that require comprehensive and flexible analytical capabilities. While Deltek Vantagepoint provides robust dashboards and visualizations, there are instances where the depth and breadth of analysis needed by firms surpass what's available out of the box. This is where the integration of a Business Intelligence (BI) tool, such as Informer, becomes not just beneficial but necessary.

Navigating Complex Data Landscapes

Project-based firms often deal with multifaceted data that sprawls across various Vantagepoint tables or hubs. When the task at hand involves pulling, analyzing, and comparing this data to unearth actionable insights, Informer steps in with its advanced visualization capabilities.

For instance, constructing a dashboard that integrates financial performance data from one table with project timelines from another can reveal insights into project profitability that might not be apparent from isolated datasets.

Informer BI Screenshot

When your firm requires the integration and comparison of data across various Vantagepoint tables or Hubs, a BI tool like Informer BI Solution can provide the enhanced capability needed. This ability to build detailed visualizations using diverse database tables ensures a more comprehensive understanding of your firm's operations and project landscapes.

Merging External and Internal Data Streams

In many scenarios, the data residing within Vantagepoint needs to be enriched with information from external sources to provide a complete picture. This might include integrating information from a payroll provider, client satisfaction surveys, or external financial benchmarks. Informer allows for such integration, offering a unified platform where all data - internal and external - can be visualized and analyzed together. This holistic view is crucial for strategic decision-making, enabling firms to position themselves more competitively in the market.

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Tailoring Reports to Specific Needs

Custom reports stand as a cornerstone for firms seeking in-depth analysis tailored to their specific needs. Unlike standard Vantagepoint reports, custom reporting tools allow for the creation of highly specialized reports that dive into the nuances of your firm's data. This bespoke approach ensures that firms can extract precise insights relevant to their unique projects and operational questions, facilitating strategic decisions rooted in comprehensive data analysis.

Leveraging Merge Templates for Consistency and Efficiency

Firms might consider adopting a BI tool like Informer if they seek to enhance document creation processes. Informer Templates automate and simplify the generation of crucial documents, such as invoices and fee proposals, by allowing non-technical users to apply conditional logic to smart forms. This capability highlights a firm's need for a BI tool when existing systems like Deltek Vantagepoint require extended functionality for efficient, error-free document production. Integrating BI tools ensures consistency and leverages a unified data source for generating key firm documents, indicating a strategic move toward operational efficiency.

Analyzing Scenarios and Forecasting 

Project-based firms thrive on their ability to anticipate and adapt to future scenarios. Informer's BI capabilities extend to advanced scenario analysis and forecasting, allowing firms to model various future states based on current and historical data. Whether it's forecasting cash flow, assessing the impact of potential market changes on project viability, or analyzing risk, these insights are invaluable for proactive management and strategic planning.

Reviewing Data Just-In-Time for Agile Decision-Making 

In a fast-paced project environment, the ability to make quick, informed decisions is crucial. Informer offers data visualization on your schedule, enabling firms to monitor key metrics and performance indicators as they happen. This just-in-time capability ensures that decision-makers have the most current information on your schedule, whether it's tracking project budgets, assessing resource allocations, or monitoring project milestones against deadlines.

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Boosting Collaboration with Secure, Accessible Data

Data is most powerful when it's shared and accessible to those who need it. Informer elevates data sharing and collaboration, offering intuitive dashboards and reports accessible anytime, anywhere, ensuring a unified data approach among all team members. This seamless integration is enhanced by the Blackbox Connector for Informer, which aligns with Deltek Vantagepoint’s security protocols. It mirrors your organization's existing hierarchy and roles, simplifying user access management directly within Vantagepoint.

Power Your Projects: Elevate Your Business with Deltek Vantagepoint and Informer

In the world of project management, where data reigns supreme, the partnership between Deltek Vantagepoint and Informer emerges as your key to success. This powerful combination not only merges internal with external data for a comprehensive view but also tailors reporting to your unique needs and delivers insights in real time.

Elevate your project intelligence, streamline operations, and gain a competitive edge. Click on the image below to discover how Deltek Vantagepoint and Informer can transform your business, taking you from mere project management to powering your projects with unparalleled intelligence.

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Handling Write-Offs the Right Way

Posted by Lisa Ahearn on February 15, 2024

02-15-24 Handling Write-Offs - Banner

In a perfect world, professional services firms could invoice their clients for every charge to every project, and the clients would pay every invoice. However, in reality, nearly all professional services firms have write-offs. Write-offs can occur when your firm and your client agree that they don’t have to pay an invoice, when the client is unable to or refuses to pay an invoice, or when your firm is unable to bill all project charges to the client.

While writing-off charges is necessary sometimes, the good news is that each of these types of write-offs can be easily handled in Deltek Vantagepoint. Since write-offs impact the firm’s financial statements, it is crucial to have clear guidelines as to the accounting period in which they should be created/posted. In this blog, let’s talk a little bit about how to handle write-offs the “right” way to make the process as painless as possible.

Firm and Client Agree to a Reduction in an Invoice Amount

Did you accidentally invoice the client too much?  Did you send an invoice for a change order before it was fully approved? Or did the client argue about a portion of the invoice, and you agreed to a reduction in the invoice amount? 

When the client does not require a revised invoice, you may choose to do an invoice adjustment through the transaction center. It is recommended to use the original invoice number and date, and the WBS2/3 level from the original invoice. Doing so will result in the adjustment being applied to the original invoice, making receipt more efficient. One thing to consider when using this method is that if you keep invoices on file, the PDF invoice stored on the project will not show the adjustment. If the PDF invoice was later needed, it could be confusing that the total no longer matches the invoice amount that shows in the system.

If the client requires a revised invoice, or if you prefer to make sure the invoice on file matches the amount the system shows as billed, you may instead choose to void and reissue the invoice through Interactive Billing in Deltek Vantagepoint. Voiding an invoice reinstates the charges that were included with the invoice (which allows you the option to hold or write-off charges) and you would issue an invoice for the new amount. When voiding an invoice, it is best to post the void before running the revised one.

It is important to note that voiding an invoice will affect the financial statements, so be sure to void in a current, open accounting period. Another consideration with issuing a revised invoice is what invoice date to use. If it is agreed that the payment terms can start on the date of the original invoice, you can change the invoice date in the billing session options.

A Client is Unable to or Refuses to Pay an Invoice

Did your client go out of business? Did a portion of your work fail to meet expectations? And, did it result in the client refusing to pay?

Many professional services firms track an Allowance for Bad Debts against Accounts Receivable. When a client cannot or will not pay an invoice, it is likely that you will want to put the write-off against the allowance. The most efficient way to do this is to process a zero-dollar cash receipt. Select the invoice as though you are paying it, then enter an additional line in the cash receipt and select either the bad debt contra-asset or expense account.

Many firms use an indirect account for a bad debt expense. But, if your firm prefers bad debt expense to be a direct expense, you could set up a project as a regular charge type and a direct expense account to be used exclusively for recording bad debt.

If your firm reports on a cash basis, and you do not want to show any revenue or expense, Deltek Vantagepoint can accommodate that as well. In AR Mapping accounts, set up your Allowance for Bad Debts as an invoicing account (leave all other fields blank unless you also want a separate AR column). Then when you need to write off an AR invoice, process a negative invoice transaction using the original invoice number, WBS level(s), invoice section(s), and the Allowance for Bad Debts account.

If you do not have a bad debt allowance, you can void the invoice as explained previously and write off the transactions (explained in the next section). You could also choose to do a credit memo. The credit memo function reverses the invoice but does not reinstate the charges to Interactive Billing.

The Firm is Unable to Bill All Project Charges to the Client

There are several reasons you may not be able to bill all the charges on a project to the client including inefficiencies during work performance, going over budget, training new staff, and resource turnover. GAAP guidelines indicate that potential losses are to be recognized as soon as known. When it is known that charges cannot be billed to the client, use the write-off function in Interactive Billing.

This function will cause the items to be excluded from invoicing, thereby not recording revenue. If your professional services firm uses revenue generation, then to exclude write-offs, make sure the formula is set up accordingly. Using the write-off function for charges will not remove the charges from project reporting, except in cases where you choose to exclude charges to be written off such as on the Unbilled Summary report.

On reports where you can select to show the billing status of charges, items that have been marked for write-off have a status of W, and items that have been written-off have a status of X. If tracking/reporting of write-offs is desired, you could choose to use the project detail report. Then on the options tab, only include charges with the X or W status.

Visibility Around Write-Off Amounts

Using Deltek Vantagepoint, there is visibility around write-offs. As mentioned, to see the specific items written off, you can use a report such as a project detail and include only items with the X or W status. Since typically no revenue is recognized for written-off items, there are other areas that you can see write-offs and their impact as well:

  • As negative profit on the Project Earnings and Office Earnings reports when run at cost
  • As a negative variance on the Project Earnings and Office Earnings reports when run at billing
  • In Project Review at cost and billing in the profit/variance box

Use Deltek Vantagepoint to Manage Write-Offs

As discussed, there are several reasons that professional services firms experience write-offs. When write-offs are necessary, know that Deltek Vantagepoint can be set up and used to process them the “right” way, while also providing visibility so that your firm has a handle on its financial statements. If your professional services firm needs assistance in this area, don’t hesitate to contact us for more details.

 

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Improve Project Planning with Deltek Vantagepoint

Posted by Rana Blair on February 08, 2024

02-08-24 Improve Project Planning with DVP-Banner

For professional services firms, having a reliable project planning tool is critical to ensuring projects are profitable. In a competitive landscape, successful project execution hinges on the effectiveness of project planning, driving the need for firms to invest in tools that not only meet but exceed expectations. Therefore, a project planning tool needs to be intuitive for users and must improve project scheduling and resource planning.

With Deltek Vantagepoint, project planning has been taken to the next level with a focus on the features and functionality that project managers need. This advanced tool is carefully crafted to specifically cater to the distinct needs of project managers, making sure it not only meets, but also anticipates their requirements. Here are some key features of Vantagepoint that will assist project managers with delivering successful and profitable projects.

Start Early with Templates

Getting a project off to a good start needs a bit of an early boost. Luckily, Deltek Vantagepoint helps out by offering practical ways to help plan things out early. Here’s what you need to know to get a head start.

  • Successful Delivery: This starts long before contracts are signed so consider creating the plan when the project is first entered in a Pursuit Stage. Vantagepoint offers a variety of methods that can be used to efficiently create a preliminary plan.
  • Project Templates: Firms can create multiple templates for use in creating new project records or when adding structure to a project. Using Project Templates allows users to quickly add the phases of work that are typical for the projects.
  • Projects Used as Templates: Firms can create Project records that can serve as templates for creating new records. These records can hold typical Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) elements like Project Templates but can do much more. The records can serve as a plan template that will allow the user to instantly create a plan with Schedule Durations, Generic Resources, and Planned Hours.

Aside from the ease of creating a project plan, planning the project in advance allows professional services firms to proactively manage pricing and resourcing.

Keep the Schedule Updated

Keeping the project schedule updated is a pivotal aspect of effective project management, and Deltek Vantagepoint equips users with powerful tools for this purpose. The plan Gantt charts are a great tool for managing the dates in a plan. The Schedule Tab allows planners to visually manage dates, durations, and dependencies for project delivery phases. Users can also adjust the project schedule from any level of the project by simply dragging and dropping the timeline bars and reviewing the Critical Path on demand, ensuring a clear understanding of key project dependencies.

Beyond the convenience of schedule management, the real-world impact of keeping the schedule updated becomes evident in staffing discussions. Maintaining an accurate and current schedule is a crucial reference point for conversations surrounding short- and long-term staffing availability. By staying on top of the schedule, project managers can better address staffing needs, optimize resource allocation, and enhance overall project efficiency.

Anticipate Resource Usage Curve

The keystone of true resource planning is predicting resource demands as they will likely occur. All project delivery phases have a ‘curve’ that should be reflected in the resource plan. Deltek Vantagepoint’s Project Planning allows users to plan the hours differently in specific time frames. With the Distribute Hours feature, users can take a more precise approach to planning resource hours over specific date ranges by using hours or percentages per day.

This level of granularity in resource planning is not just about meeting requirements; it's a strategic move to decrease the chance of resource clashes. Understanding the intensity of resource usage during different phases of a project becomes a proactive measure to minimize conflicts and optimize resource allocation. By anticipating resource usage, project managers can navigate the intricacies of resource planning with precision, ensuring easy and efficient workflows that align with project objectives.

Review Performance Against the Baseline

The Baseline serves as the bedrock, outlining the assumptions upon which the scope, schedule, and budget of the entire plan are built. Saving the Baseline at the right time allows users to review the deviations and project the final outcomes.

Deltek Vantagepoint not only facilitates this review but also enhances it by allowing users to compare Baseline values with Estimate at Completion (EAC) values. This comparative analysis can be conducted seamlessly across various platforms, including the Plan, Dashboards, and the Project Review feature. This multi-faceted approach to reviewing performance against the Baseline ensures a complete understanding of how the project is progressing in relation to its initial assumptions.

Take Control of Your Project with Deltek Vantagepoint 

Deltek Vantagepoint Planning and Resource Management allows professional services firms to collaborate and analyze project performance from the pursuit through closeout. Maintaining the plan throughout the life of the project improves financial performance and enhances communication around schedules and resource needs. Furthermore, by using this advanced tool, project managers can proactively minimize resource clashes by anticipating resource usage and ensuring project objectives are met. Take control of your projects today!

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