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To Vantagepoint or Not to Vantagepoint, that is the Question...

Posted by Cate Phillips on March 30, 2022

03-30-22 ERP Banner

Project-based firms have many options when it comes to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) packages, albeit difficult choices to make. In his well-known play Hamlet, Shakespeare delivered us a Hamlet who was contemplating a major decision in his famous soliloquy. So, are the decisions around life and death that Hamlet considered at all comparable to that of choosing an ERP? Well, let’s have some fun here with Shakespeare and try to make a case for it. 

Avoid the Old Bait and Switch

In the Shakespeare play, Hamlet has all these murderous plans and ways to avenge the death of his father. The famous quote “the lady doth protest too much, methinks” isn’t so much about how fickle women can be (even though everyone knows fickleness has no gender), but rather it’s said as part of a trap to see if Claudius will reveal his guilt. What can be learned from these homicidal maniacs, other than to bring back the word ‘methinks’, one may ask? 

When selecting an ERP, project-based firms must consider the entire cost of the product to avoid feeling trapped. No one likes to feel taken advantage of or stuck in a situation that isn’t meeting expectations. When clients come from other ERPs on the market, one of the main complaints is typically that they felt like their ERP provider or consultants were constantly after more fees. They were sold a product that could do a ton, but the investment necessary to get to all those great features was hidden. The result is feeling like a bait and switch has trapped the firm into pouring more into a system which was thought to be ready for full operation.  

Deltek Vantagepoint is sold as a highly configurable project-based ERP system. Full Sail Partners’ expert Vantagepoint consultants approach sales and implementations with eyes that are wide open to balance cost with efficiencies. Vantagepoint works best when it meets each firm’s business needs, and it does take configuration and therefore an investment, to get there, but it’s well worth it. So, if project-based firms have the right expectations going in, they shouldn’t be feeling trapped. 


Wrap Some CRM/RP Rigor Around the Madness

Some of the most significant and best changes from Deltek Vision to Vantagepoint are happening in the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Resource Planning Management (RP) modules. These are complete game changers in the market and none of the competition invested as much as Deltek has into fine-tuning these glorious pieces of functionalities. Deltek has been listening to client feedback for more than a decade and continues to listen as they expand Vantagepoint’s capabilities.  

So going back to the play, Polonius responds to Hamlet at one point by saying “Though this be madness, yet there is method in ’t.” Running a professional services or consulting firm can feel insane some days. Clients can pop up out of nowhere with additional needs, and suddenly, the entire day’s schedule has been turned into something else. Deltek Vantagepoint helps wrap some rigor around the “madness” in a user-friendly way that will actually increase user adoption in project-based firms.  

Keeping the madness at bay, Full Sail Partners has now helped more than 200 firms go from Deltek Vision to Deltek Vantagepoint. The number one reason why system usage increases with Vantagepoint is because of its ability to manage the entire project lifecycle, from a prospect that knows nothing of what it’s like to work with the firm to managing the resources and how the work is delivered. Vantagepoint also offers the type of visibility into finances, operations and performance that firms need to grow. The number two reason usage increases with Vantagepoint is because the CRM makes life easier for marketers, seller-doers, project managers, and leadership. Opportunities are no longer separate files from projects, so it’s all one record in Vantagepoint.  

Additionally, with the Deltek Vantagepoint Outlook Connect and Gmail for business connect, users can see the interaction history between contacts, clients, and projects as well as quickly log emails into Vantagepoint. This feature allows users to bring Vantagepoint into their email inboxes. And this tool comes with other features like the ability to synchronize calendars and schedule meetings while saving them in Vantagepoint at the same time. To learn more about the Vantagepoint Outlook Connect, check out this mini demo. 

 

Keep that New ERP Feeling Longer  

To put it lightly, in the play, Hamlet was worried about the “afterlife” in that other famous soliloquy when he said, “to die, to sleep – to sleep, perchance to dream.”  This is similar to how many of our clients are worried about their “aftercare,” with continuously improving their processes with Vantagepoint once they’ve made the leap to get there. A Full Sail Partners’ service becoming more popular with clients recently is the Navigational Analysis for Vantagepoint. A firm’s entire system is scanned, and current processes are evaluated to discover how well they are serving the firm. It’s like an annual physical exam by a physician that results in a complete work-up on the health of your system.  

It’s important to develop a plan for aftercare that includes regular data clean-up, optimizing processes, increasing efficiencies and overall continuous improvement. A consultant isn’t necessary to keep a firm’s ERP fresh; it’s like anything else. If experts are needed to bring their knowledge and best practices to the table, it can be outsourced, or a firm can do it itself.  

Exit Stage Right   

In review, it is certainly interesting to see how much Shakespeare’s characters in Hamlet seem to have reflected upon similar issues like with the tribulations of project-based firms regarding choosing an ERP. So perhaps they are comparable? However, the answer to Vantagepoint or Not to Vantagepoint appears to be evident. To Vantagepoint!  


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

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Red Flags There’s an Accounting Problem

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

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

Financial Analysis Report

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

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

The areas covered in the Financial Analysis are:

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

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

 

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

Bank Reconciliation

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

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

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

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

02-16-22 Red Flags Blog Image

 

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

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

Close Efficiently and Effectively

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

CTA Bank Reconciliation

Outgrowing QuickBooks – 5 Reasons Professional Services Firms Need More

Posted by Joel Slater on January 26, 2022

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

Having difficulty looking at accounting report

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

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

Cumbersome Invoice Creation 

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

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

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

Limited Visibility into Project Reporting

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

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

QuickBooks Lacks Support for the Entire Project Lifecycle 

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

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

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

QuickBooks Can Limit the Ability to Pursue Projects

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

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

QuickBooks Hinders Growth 

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

Grow Quicker with Deltek 

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

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

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

Image button link to the Project Lifecycle of Deltek Vantagepoint webinar

New Year's Resolutions for Project-based Firms

Posted by Amanda Roussel on January 13, 2021

A new year often brings new goals to set and work toward and doing so helps you focus and improve behaviors to better yourself. Personal goals are a must – health, organization, time, etc. – the list can go on and on. However, professional goals have great importance as well. There are always areas we can work to improve upon in the workplace. These can be personal, for a team, or even for the firm as a whole. Let’s take a look at some new year’s resolutions that project-based firms may consider in 2021.

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New Year’s Resolutions for Professionals

1. Use technology more efficiently

Firms may have numerous software options available, various calendars, and maybe a plethora of tracking files. Try consolidating and mastering a different resource, one at a time. Master it, share with your team, and promote a wider usage for consistency. By focusing on one new tool each quarter, four cleaner processes may be established by one employee alone!

2. Make technology accessible by all

The last year has taught us the value of being able to work from anywhere. Some IT groups were ready to roll, and others had to pull together additional resources to get employees the access needed for business continuity. If your firm has not invested in accessibility, this is the time.

There are numerous cloud options that firms can consider to be more accessible by all. There may have been IT projects put on hold, but perhaps moving forward with them will see a greater outcome once complete.

3. Be adaptable

There may have been some frustrating moments in 2020 when plans suddenly had to change. With many scenarios out of our individual control, our reactions make a huge impact on the future. Therefore, being adaptable and open to change can actually lead to great things for firms. It allows us to change the narrative instead of using the workplace curse words of, “This is how we’ve always done it.” I never liked hearing those words anyway.

Being adaptable allows employees to have a quicker rebound, with less downtime as they try to figure out each little detail. Modifications can be made along the way as needed. Also, try to see things from another’s perspective. We all have our own challenges and can work together for effective solutions.

4. Promote employee growth

Don’t forget about training, mentoring, and collaborating. Executives, managers, and employees alike should have opportunities for learning and growth regardless of what the office looks like. Employees can still be paired with a more senior position to continue learning, executives can collaborate and check in on teams, and managers can continue training on a virtual platform. This goal will always be important for a firm’s success.

5. Support local communities

Communities need each other. Find ways to use local businesses and support community-based organizations. By doing this, more money can stay within the community and help other small businesses and families directly in your area.

6. Adopt a new habit as a team

There are many tools at our fingertips that can help teams communicate and collaborate. As new information or details emerge about opportunities or projects, do yourself and your colleagues a favor and record them properly. Think of the new information as a shared company resource and use technology to make it accessible to others. I encourage you to collaborate with your colleagues to modify some professional processes for a more streamlined workday. New year = new technology habits.

7. Time management

Be intentional with how your time is spent. We can all get caught up in mundane tasks but identifying important professional tasks can keep us on track. Block time off on your calendar for various projects to ensure chunks of time are available to focus on independent work. This helps protect your own work time while working efficiently for clients too.

8. Keep learning and add value

Let’s face it – we know a lot, but we do not know everything. Even an expert in a particular field has more to learn and room to grow. Step out of your comfort zone and dive into something new. It can be a new hobby, a new skill, or sharpening and fine tuning a skill you are already promoting. There are ways to add value to your life and to your work. Allow yourself to be inspired and empower others to learn and grow. Personal development expands your horizons and what you have to offer!

Keep Pressing On

A new year does not necessarily equal a new you. Instead, it welcomes the opportunity for improvements over time. Our work is never complete and that’s part of the fun. Our personal and professional lives can be so intertwined. Improvements in one area may bring success to the other as well. Best of luck with your resolutions – you can do this!

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Deltek Vantagepoint – A New Era for Project-based Professional Services Firms

Posted by Sarah Gonnella on December 30, 2020

As 2020 draws closer to the end, we reflect on the past and think about the future. A two-decade era of Deltek Vision is winding down. As a result, we are encouraging firms to make the move to Vantagepoint when it's right for them. Additionally, Deltek will continue to support Vision beyond 2023, with no end of life yet determined by Deltek. Its legacy will continue under a new name - Deltek Vantagepoint. Just like Vision, Vantagepoint will continue to help your people manage your projects from start to finish, but with a reimagined, intuitive interface focused on efficiency. Throughout 2020, our firm has communicated with more than 250 firms about their plans to upgrade from Vision to Vantagepoint. In 2021, we look forward to continuing the conversation with many more firms and demonstrating why Deltek Vantagepoint is the gold standard for project-based firms.

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Available Resources at Your Fingertips

As the Deltek Vision product continues to evolve to Deltek Vantagepoint, clients are looking for answers and clarification on how the change will impact them. The foundation of this new solution is based on Vision with enhanced features and capabilities that users should be aware of before they upgrade. Full Sail Partners has dedicated two years to providing firms with resources to help answer questions and simplify the upgrade process. If you are just starting this journey, be sure to review these resources:

In 2021, we plan to continue educating firms about the latest features as new versions are released. Be sure to sign-up for two webinars focused on the latest release of version 3.5. Both of these webinars will be an hour long and experts will be available to answer your questions.

Preparing for Success

For firms that are ready to jump into 2021 with a plan in hand, we recommend checking out our webinar Preparing for a Successful Move from Vision to Vantagepoint and our Vantagepoint Transition Services to learn more about our 3-step process. Full Sail Partners is helping firms navigate through the upgrade process to deliver a smoother result. Our process reveals the “sins” over the years that might need to be addressed and helps answer the questions of where to start. We have dedicated resources ready to help you outline a plan, train your staff on new features, and make the process more efficient.

Bringing Everything and Everyone Together

Deltek Vantagepoint is designed for the needs of everyone throughout the project lifecycle. The solution was built specifically for professional services firms to improve productivity, boost collaboration, and increase profitability. Suffice to say it was purpose-built with people and projects in mind, bringing all critical business processes into one unified platform. Deltek Vantagepoint brings value to all roles within your firm:

The Future is Deltek Vantagepoint

We understand there are other products that your firm may consider, but we suspect none of them will match the superior levels of project intelligence, management and collaboration needed to grow your business. In 2021, we look forward to helping existing and new project-based businesses better understand the power of Deltek Vantagepoint. Wherever you may be in your Deltek journey, let Full Sail Partners help you navigate your way!

Vantagepoint Transition Services Webinar

The Value of Vantagepoint for Executives

Posted by Sarah Gonnella on November 04, 2020

Vantagepoint Value  for Executives

As an Executive, we carry a lot on our minds and plates these days to ensure our companies are running smoothly. Unifying our teams and simplifying our business processes is a key challenge all executives are looking to resolve. When searching for tools to help staff, it is important to find systems that will grow with your business. This is why thousands of firms rely on Deltek products. For professional services firms, executives are turning to Deltek Vantagepoint to track growth, performance, and profits throughout the project lifecycle. Let’s explore the value of Vantagepoint for executives.

Creating Value for Your Team

Deltek Vantagepoint provides 360-degree visibility into your projects to drive business success. Creating value is not done magically. It requires thinking about the end users’ experience and understanding their business. With Deltek Vantagepoint, much of that work has been done for you. Deltek Vantagepoint was designed by thinking about how each person within your firm will interact within their role and creating efficiency around their interaction with the solution.

Some of the key benefits important to executives include:  

  • Sharing mission-critical data easily across your team while eliminating roadblocks and redundancies
  • Creating a collaborative systematic business process to ensure teams are able to quickly share information across the company
  • Visibility into your team resources company-wide to determine how best to avoid missed milestones
  • Driving home accountability to help maximize productivity and improve efficiency
  • Streamlining cash flow management by capturing timely expenses and captured billable hours with targeted alerts and accurate invoices
  • Simplifying and protecting work in the cloud with a secure, sophisticated infrastructure

Perfect Fit for All Sizes of Project-Based Firms

Deltek Vantagepoint is perfect for project-based firms of all sizes. Interestingly, the majority of firms Full Sail Partners serves are under 50 employees (57%) which coincides with the typical size of project-based firms across the United States. So, as your firm continues to grow, the solution should grow with you. What is most important is choosing a solution that fits your staff’s needs and provides leaders the information necessary to make business decisions about your firm’s growth plans. For firms that have more complex needs, the solution also includes robust features like multi-currency, multi-company, multi-language capabilities and much more that can be enabled.

Modern, Intuitive and User Friendly

Vantagepoint is an intuitive, powerful solution that puts your people and projects at the center of your business. It is designed to help you manage the entire project lifecycle better than before. One of the focal points when the solution was created was to ensure the interface was modern, intuitive and user friendly. It is purpose-built to allow firms to access the solution from any device or browser. As Deltek looks to add new features, they include finding ways for users to utilize the solution more easily. Here are a handful of the cool, modern features within Deltek Vantagepoint:

  • Role-based Dashboards – Quickly access pre-built dashboards designed specifically for the different roles which users are involved in within the company.
  • Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) – Provides users the ability to translate text from handwritten or typed format back into the solution. For example, taking a picture of a receipt and auto filling an expense report.
  • Outlook Add-in – Proactively manage client relationships from within Outlook and synchronize data between both solutions.
  • Calendar Synchronization – Synchronize your personal calendar to easily create touchpoints and timesheet entries.
  • Hey Deltek – Use a personal assistant to help locate, open or create new records.

Built for All Users

In addition to providing executives an at-a-glance look at the health of their business, Vantagepoint is also focused on each role within the firm down to individual employees. The solution was designed with the needs of every employee in mind which ultimately helps executives manage the company. The role Vantagepoint plays in other roles will be discussed in future blogs. Suffice it to say that Deltek Vantagepoint can do it all.

Bringing Everything and Everyone Together

Not only does the solution encourage a collaborative environment, but it brings all your firm’s critical business processes into one unified platform to ensure executives get value from their investment. All employees from project managers to finance to marketing and business development can benefit using Deltek Vantagepoint. Be sure to check out our entire Deltek Vantagepoint mini-series to see how the product can help your employees and firm.

Deltek Vantagepoint Visuals

Reasons to Have a Project-Based ERP System

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on October 24, 2018

 

Project-based ERPThe goal of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is to integrate all aspects of a business from finance to CRM to HR. To have and maintain a successful business operation, accurate and timely information must flow between all the different business functions. With an ERP in place, there is visibility into operations which provides greater control over the business. However, while all businesses benefit from an ERP system, one size does not fit all. Project-based companies are distinct and thus require ERPs suited for their needs.

Unique Financials

Unlike firms just selling products to be shipped, project-based firms have financials reflecting more specific details. Project-based financials are focused on resources, projects and clients. Project-based firms are concerned with billing and time and materials needed per project which is vastly different than a firm that simply tracks inventory. Since project-based financials are so particular, project-based firms should have ERP systems that are equally so.

Deeper Function of Resource Management

Resource management for project-based firms is also a lot more involved. Project-based firms must manage both clients and projects matching the scope of a project to delivery. More than just people, resources here mean skills needed in a project and determining when certain skills are to be used. CRM with projects is built around proposals and recurring client interaction. With the intricate nature of running projects, project-based firms require ERP systems set up to manage resources in this more complex way.

Designed for Different Roles in the Firm

Executives, accountants and project managers all have different focal points. Executives want to see that the business is financially sound and that customers are satisfied. Accounting needs to be able to make sure billing is being completed on time. Project managers must collaborate with everyone to make sure the work is getting done and that people are being utilized by tracking workers as they come off a job. Project-based ERPs are specifically built for all these key roles ensuring efficiency in operation.

Complete Visibility into Business

With project-based ERP systems, every transaction is tied to an account, organization and project. The general ledger account describes expenses, the organization describes who is doing the work and the project is the source of revenue. With these elements linked, financial reports, invoices, payroll and project status reports are all available to show the whole picture of the business providing complete visibility.

Match the ERP to Firm Needs

With a project-based ERP in place, project-based firms will be able to make proactive decisions with current, real-time data. Generic ERP solutions do not meet the needs of project-based companies. Project-based ERPs are specifically designed to ensure that all aspects of project management are tied together to provide an accurate view of project profitability and company health.

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Benefits of Having Clean Company Data

Posted by Ryan Felkel on September 26, 2018

 

Clean Company DataYou’ve probably heard the saying, “bad data in – bad data out.” Well, bad data is outdated, incorrect, incomplete or duplicated information, and according to the Harvard Business Review, workers waste 50% of their time dealing with it. Now ask yourself, when was the last time someone at your firm took a deep dive into the data in your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system?  While the process of cleaning company data is time consuming, it is something all firms should do on regular basis. Businesses can achieve numerous benefits by fixing bad data. Here’s a look at some of the top benefits.

Improves Employee Productivity

Spending the day combing through a bunch of bad data is tedious work and a major time waster. Furthermore, the result of this extensive effort might be little to no actionable information. Also, with finding inaccurate information, employees may be led down the wrong path and not towards the goal. However, with clean company data, businesses can be sure employees are making the best use of their work hours and accomplishing goals.

Improves Marketing Efficiency

Building a pipeline of new revenue requires having accurate data about customers you want to target for your marketing efforts. Having the correct email address, mailing address and phone number is critical to ensure the highest rate of return for your marketing efforts. Regularly cleaning customer data ensures information is up-to-date and marketers can realize a higher return on investment and a larger pipeline of new opportunities.

Improves Decision-Making

Effective decision-making is critical to the success of a firm and requires having accurate data. Business intelligence (BI) is a hot topic in all industries right now. For your firm to be able to jump on the BI bandwagon, the data you are using to make decisions must be accurate. Having clean data can support better analytics and improve your firm’s decision-making process.

Prevents Fraud and Billing Mistakes

Having clean company data can also reduce fraud and billing mistakes. In many cases, vendors may send multiple invoices for the same service to encourage firms to pay them faster and more often. They are not trying to be malicious. Accurately tracking invoices to see which ones have been paid will reduce double paying vendors.

Get Your Firm’s Data Clean

The task of going through your firm’s data can be daunting, but the benefits of clean company data are worth it. To begin the cleaning process, you’ll want to define goals and assign ownership to the different steps required to obtain your goals. You can also automate several of these steps using the different software solutions, or you can seek help from a trusted outside company that is familiar with the ERP system your firm uses.

Blackbox Connector for Informer 5 and Deltek Vision 

Hot Service Offerings for Deltek Users in 2017

Posted by Amy Balassone on December 20, 2017

Deltek Logo2017 was a banner year for Deltek users with so many amazing new service offerings coming available. Each of these solutions was designed with users in mind to create a more streamlined business operation. From improved user interfaces to near instantaneous data transfers, Deltek users now have an array of options to get their work done faster and more efficiently.

Let’s take a look at these hot service offerings from 2017.

Deltek for Professional Services

Deltek for Professional Services (DPS) is the newest cloud-based professional services automation (PSA) enterprise software solution designed by Deltek and launched this year. DPS is based on Vision with an improved user interface like that of iAccess for Vision. Deltek for Professional Services integrates and automates your firm’s business processes allowing better control over your business and your projects. Designed to meet the needs of the A&E industry, DPS manages the project throughout the entire lifecycle including business development, project management, resource management, collaboration and financial management.

Deltek Talent

Deltek Talent helps businesses maximize their strongest and most distinctive resource, their people. It simplifies the entire employee lifecycle, enabling companies to seamlessly recruit, on–board, develop, compensate, and track their employees. Maximizing your Talent with Deltek Talent allows you to keep skills and competencies at the forefront of your strategy providing the competitive edge you need to stay ahead in the ongoing war for talent.  

Deltek Project Information Management

Deltek Project Information Management (PIM) provides project management and collaboration tools designed to help employees access critical project information to stay connected throughout the entire project lifecycle. With PIM you will avoid lost files and duplicate information saving hours of manpower. You can see all versions of the project documents, tag documents across multiple related locations, and review new designs and drawings instantly. Organized files across all aspects of business in one centralized location provides companies the intelligence to more effectively run their business.

Blackbox Connector

The Blackbox Connector is a no-code, low cost connector offering an interface between Deltek Vision and other third party business applications. With the Blackbox Connector, you will significantly reduce integration time and duplicate efforts in the entry and maintenance of data. The Blackbox Connector provides easy to implement solutions focused on connecting your Deltek Vision system to Concur, Client Feedback Tool, Constant Contact and Mail Chimp. Connectors for both HubSpot and Informer will be released soon. The Blackbox Connector eliminates data silos by providing a better and more formidable way to connect to Deltek Vision.

Do More with Deltek in 2018

Whether your firm is looking for ways to retain top talent or help to expedite completing expense reports, there is a solution for you. Are you ready to take advantage of these time saving services?

Reach Full Sail!

Understanding and Effectively Using Cross Charge in Deltek Vision

Posted by Michael Kessler, PMP on March 01, 2017

Cross Charge BlogIn a previous blog, we reviewed multi-company functionality in Deltek Vision and learned how it serves as a tool for sharing and accounting for resources across the companies within an enterprise. Cross charge capabilities in Vision are based on similar theories as multi-company, but are focused on the interaction within a company and its organizational breakdown structure (OBS). Before we dive deeper, here are some links to blogs about multi-company functionality and OBS in case you are unfamiliar with these topics.

High Level Insight into Cross Charge in Deltek Vision 

It is important to understand that cross charging is a financial tool and is based on the general ledger. It is not an attribute of project reporting since time charged to a project remains on the project for billing and reporting purposes. Cross charge is labor focused and occurs after the timesheet is posted. 

By default, Vision is built to be project centric, which simply means that the process of entering and posting timesheets determines where the labor charges are assigned. If the cross charge process is not configured or run, the cost will remain on the “books” of the organization where the project is assigned. 

Why Use Cross Charge? 

As financial and operational managers, we must always remember that revenue can only be earned once and a cost incurred once. For this reason, cross charge allows businesses to move these elements in and out of various “buckets” within their organization. When a combined income statement is run, all cross charge entries will zero out and the original revenue and cost will remain. 

The cross charge process is used when firms loan and borrow labor at the lowest OBS level, which could be: 

  • Office
  • Department
  • Discipline
  • Market Sector 

A good example is a civil engineer where projects live in the various disciplines. The survey department would loan their staff to the engineering projects and cross charge would be the financial component to drive and manage the accounting for the labor. 

There are two internal pricing options to choose from when configuring cross charge: 

  1. Project Centric – This is when labor remains on the books of the organization where the project resides. A multiplier is then used to account for some portion of operational/overhead (OH) costs. This factor could be limited to a fringe benefit rate, could represent a breakeven OH rate or even include some profit. The purpose is to ensure that the loaning organization has an incentive to keep their staff busy, but they also need to be careful as to not over extend their resources. 
  1. Employee Centric – This works by adjusting labor back to the employee’s organization. Using typical billing rates, although a multiplier can be used, the revenue is moved from the projects to the employee’s organization. The purpose again is to ensure the loaning organization doesn’t lose the ability to show a profit by sharing their staff. 

Real-life Application of Cross Charge in Deltek Vision 

Here is a success story where the operational process and projects are built on the premise that fee and scope drives work breakdown structure (WBS) in a clients’ Deltek Vision database. Under this model, high accountability becomes the first option where phases and tasks within a project are assigned to different organizations based on the portion of the work. Employees then charge the phase/task that is assigned to the organization they “live” in. This results in more closely managed projects because the profit accountability is shifted back to the organization supplying the labor. This process eliminates the need for cross charge. 

But wait…realizing that in order to run successful projects, there is a necessity to anticipate unplanned needs. This means that the firm must have the ability to borrow an employee from another department for a short-term assignment or a last minute need. For example, the base building studio decides it needs input from the interiors studio. In this scenario, the client falls back on the project centric method noted above as a mechanism to facilitate resource sharing and not impede project progress. Furthermore, this is a prime example of a need for cross charge. 

Gain Control of Resources with Cross Charge 

Whether your current OBS is solid or you are considering a change, cross charge can provide the functionality required to ensure an open and smooth process of resource sharing. With a thorough understanding and effective implementation, cross charge can provide another dimension in managing your business.

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