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2020 Year-End Processing in Deltek

Posted by Rick Childs on Wed, Dec 02, 2020 @ 11:35 AM

2020 year end

2020 has been quite a year, to say the least! If you are like most of the people I talk with, you are looking forward to the new year. But, hold on a minute! Those of us in accounting roles generally dread year-end processing and, therefore, year-end itself! Either way, time marches on and we will find a way to deal with it! After all, that’s our job, right?! So, let’s talk about what we can do to make year-end as painless as possible!

Get Your Calendar and List Ready

The first thing to do is to make a good list of what needs to be done, when it needs to be done and what it is going to take in time and resources to accomplish! When I think of this type of endeavor, my mind always goes to my Accounting Calendar. That calendar is my guide throughout the year and contains all of the relevant milestones – timesheets and expense report due dates, payroll processing, AP processing, billing, month-end close, etc. My calendar helps me to keep everything in balance throughout the year, rather than waiting until year-end to take it all on.

At year-end, we need to add some items to that list – benefit year initialization, 1099’s, and W-2’s to name a few. Additionally, the tax accountants and auditors (if applicable) will be asking for substantiation (sub-ledgers) for the primary account balances – cash, AR, fixed assets, AP, revenue, for example – on an accrual basis and cash-basis, if needed. Whew! It is a good thing we got to work from home this year! Not having to commute to work freed up plenty of time to get everything done, right?!

Ok, back to the job at hand – year-end close! As mentioned earlier, the accounting calendar will be a big help. One other item, that you should be checking on a regular basis, is the File Reconciliation Report in Deltek (Utilities, Advanced Utilities, File Reconciliation). This report lets you know if you have possibly mis-coded any revenue, direct, reimbursable or indirect expenses. Additionally, it will let you know if your AR, AP and/or unbilled services accounts agree with the sub-ledgers. Remember, the auditors are on their way. Therefore, your Full Sail Partners consultant can help you troubleshoot and correct any issues that this report might point out, as well as helping you run the best reports to troubleshoot any other issues you may find in your assets, liabilities, capital and/or income statement balances.

Other Key Year-End Notes

What about those special year-end items I mentioned, you might ask? Let’s address those now, before another year has come and gone.

Benefit Accrual Year-End 

  1. Validate that you have run all necessary accruals for the benefit year. Remember, accruals may be made at or around timesheet end dates, payroll dates, month-end, etc. But they are not reliant on those dates. Your benefit year has a life of its own and you, as the administrator, just need to be sure that you accrued the proper number of hours for each employee for each benefit.
  2. Validate that employees have recorded all benefit hour usage for the year on their timesheets. If you are using weekly timesheets and your benefit year ends on December 31st, you may not have all benefit hour usage recorded into the system until early January. That is not a problem, you just need to make sure everything is recorded.
  3. Run – and print to PDF/Excel - an Accrued Time Report for each accrued benefit code to document the balances validated in steps 1 and 2 above.
  4. Run the “Open New Benefit Year” Utility.
  5. Run – and Print to PDF/Excel - an Accrued Time Report for each accrued benefit code to document the new balances after the new-year initialization. This is necessary to be sure that all carry-over rules and pre-accrual rules are applied properly and that each employee is starting the new year with the hours that they deserve.
  6. Don’t Panic! Any issues found in the above process can be remedied via accrual adjustments and/or benefit accrual history loading.

Accounts Payable 1099 Initialization and Printing 

  1. Let all appropriate personnel know the last date that AP checks & disbursements will be issued to vendors. Also, let everyone know when the first check run for the new year will be run. Yes, I know, everything changes at year end, but, with a plan, you can work with the changes.
  2. Once all 2020 payments have been processed, and before any 2021 payments are processed, run the 1099 Initialization Utility. This utility modifies two fields in the Vendor Info Center Firms (Vision) or Hub (Vantagepoint) – paid this year and paid last year. The utility moves the paid this year amount to paid last year and zeroes-out the Paid This Year Amount. Now you are ready to cut checks in the new year.
  3. Run a Vendor Ledger Report for all 1099 vendors and validate the Paid Last Year Amount. Once validated, you can then run 1099’s prior to January 31st.
  4. Don’t Panic! If you find discrepancies between the Paid Last Year amount and the Vendor Ledger Report, you can validate the proper amount and modify the field in the Vendor/Firm setup, then generate/regenerate the work file in 1099 processing (accounting, accounts payable) and process your 1099s.
  5. Keep an eye out for a Cumulative Update in the mid-December, 2020 to mid-January, 2021 range that will include an update to 1099 Processing to include the 1099-NEC form for Vision 7.6 and Vantagepoint 3.0 and above. If you haven't done so yet, please be sure to subscribe to Knowledge Base Article #39799 – Master Hot Fix List for Vision.

New Fiscal Year Initialization 

  1. This time, I am going to start with “Don’t Panic!” Although this one seems like a huge deal, opening a new year does not close out the old year. Changes will be made to the previous year balances throughout the year-end close, tax season and audit season. So, just plan to open the new year as soon as feasible.
  2. The primary consideration for opening the new fiscal year is that this process resets the Year-to-Date “tracking mechanism” in all overhead projects. Because of this, you might reserve the morning of January 2nd for finishing up the postings of 2020 items (AP invoices, etc.) that might have come in during the holidays and then open the new year so that you can record new cash receipts that also might have arrived.

Don’t Panic about Year-End

As you might have noted, the overall theme is “Don’t Panic!” Year-end does not need to be stressful! And, if you take advantage of the processing options available in Deltek Vantagepoint or Vision, you can save yourself a lot of time and money come year-end, tax-time and audit-time. How? By maintaining and following a good Accounting Calendar and by setting up General Ledger Account Groupings to present your financials in the formats that your CPA and auditors prefer. Don’t wait for them to ask for sub-ledgers to prove AR, AP and Revenue, have them ready and balanced all year.

Additionally, Deltek’s Recurring Transactions can help to make it easy to take care of accruals and depreciation, etc. on a monthly basis. As always, if you have any questions or need assistance with any of the setup, processing or recording discussed here, just send an email to Consulting@FullSailPartners.com. Furthermore, Deltek has several resources available through the Deltek Customer Care portal including:

  • Year-End Resources such as knowledgebase articles, videos and documentation
  • The Deltek Community which allows users to connect with peers to ask questions and exchange knowledge and ideas
  • Live Chat with a customer care analyst to get answers regarding year-end

This may not have been the happiest of years, but at least now, year-end does not have to be stressful! Happy New Year!

Deltek Customer Care

The Value of Vantagepoint for Accounting

Posted by Theresa Depew on Wed, Nov 25, 2020 @ 11:35 AM

Value for Accounting

Accounting teams are typically some of the most engaged users of Deltek software having extensively worked with Vision and now Vantagepoint. With its cohesive environment, accounting teams can benefit so much from Deltek Vantagepoint, and if utilized properly, it can streamline accounting processes and promote transparency throughout the system. Let’s take a look at the value of Vantagepoint for accounting.

Creating Value for Your Team

Deltek Vantagepoint offers meaningful dashboards that give independence to executives and project managers alike. In doing so, this allows for accounting data to be viewed in real time, without the need to process reports and send to project staff. Some of the benefits that result from streamlined processes include:

  • Approval workflows keep business processes moving
    • Using approval workflows to automate daily tasks can reduce the time it takes to send final client invoices and process vendor payments. Vantagepoint allows for streamlined approvals on most functions in the system – timesheets, expense reports, accounts payable and client invoicing.
  • Intuitive search functionality allows for more timely record retrieval
    • Vantagepoint makes finding information quicker. Using Find on the menu allows you to quickly access a hub or area in the system.
    • When searching in hubs or reporting, simply type part of the field name and get a list of everything containing that name.
  • Financial statements and reports are available for timely and informed decisions
    • Dashboards are a great way to get a quick snapshot of your business regularly. Vantagepoint dashboards are intuitive and easy to create. Also, Vantagepoint is preloaded with the most common dashboards by role.
  • Firms in one location (clients and vendors are consolidated) allows accounting to view one record and understand the bigger picture.
    • The Firms hub in Vantagepoint allows you to view all clients and vendors in one hub. Clients and Vendors are linked in one record, allowing users to view client invoicing and vendor payments in one area. The records can be kept separate for reporting, if needed.

Bringing Teams Together

Tracking down employees to submit timesheets is typically an endless story that firms experience. With mobile time and expense, teams can get excited about more timely submissions because employees can use this to enter and submit timesheets and expense reports from anywhere. Receipts can even be uploaded from a mobile device, and an expense line can be created using Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR). With Vantagepoint, submitting timesheets and expense reports is not such a daunting task after all.

Another way that Vantagepoint brings teams together is streamlining and expediting the invoice review process. Accounting can quickly and easily issue draft invoices, and project managers can mark them up promptly. This clean process keeps the invoice cycle moving along. Other benefits include:

  • Automate bank reconciliation

    • Downloading transactions from the bank and importing into the Bank Reconciliation in Vantagepoint greatly reduces the time it takes to reconcile the bank. Setting up the import is quick and only needs to be done once.

  • Billing Made Easy
     
    • Use Batch Billing to run draft invoices and email directly to project staff for approval. In batch billing, once all options are selected, they can be saved to use for future batch runs. Example, if billing is run by project manager, Options can be saved by PM.
    • Streamlining of the invoice approval process, all approvals can be done within Vantagepoint. Project staff can view, make changes, view invoices after changes and approve all in Draft Invoice Approvals in Project Hub.
    • Flexible Billing Terms can be based on the project contract. Vantagepoint allows creation of the fee billing grid at the top level of the project but linked to each level. When you have a mixed project, Fee Based and Hourly, use sublevel terms to set up billing at different project levels.

  • Transaction Entry
     
    • In Vantagepoint, transactions are created and posted in the same area. Batch processing is no loner necessary. All transactions can be viewed in one screen, using the filter option to easily search.

Simplify Processes with Deltek Vantagepoint

Deltek Vantagepoint offers the tools and functionality to streamline processes between groups in an organization. The improved accessibility and collaborative features break down process silos and allow for a continual flow of information. Since invoices must be sent to receive payment, the streamlined process can shorten the billing cycle and keep cash flow in check.

Deltek Vantagepoint Visuals

The 41st Annual A&E Deltek Clarity Report: Financial Statements

Posted by Nicole Temple on Wed, Nov 11, 2020 @ 11:35 AM

Deltek Clarity 41st

Financial statement data is vital for leadership teams. This data is the basis for measuring firm performance and influencing decisions regarding the firm’s future. There are several financial metrics that businesses track and rely on. Based on the findings of the 41st Annual Deltek Clarity A&E Report, operating profit on net revenue has increased for ten years consecutively to 15.8%. This is a 1.4-point jump year-over-year. A variety of other important metrics were addressed in this year’s Clarity report as well. The Clarity report reveals where things measured up for 2019.

Top Financial Challenges

The financial challenges have remained similar year-over-year. This year the trend is towards challenges with increasing profitability, finding and retaining qualified staff, and managing firm growth. Although, finding qualified personnel and keeping turnover low is second to increasing profitability. It is also noteworthy that qualified staff is at the top of the list for greater than half of the respondents. Cash flow is floating in the ranks, but it seems that firms are managing it better than in years past. The unpredictable spending environment was only at 11% for 2019, though that is likely to change given the challenges many firms faced in 2020.

Building on Success

While there is economic uncertainty in the year 2020, the results show that firms strengthened their operations in 2019. Operating profit continues to rise steadily, as it has over the last decade. Of note, small businesses saw a strong increase, rising to 15.9% operating profit, up 3.5% from the prior year. The net labor multiplier has seen a minor increase as well, reaching 3.03 last year. That’s the highest multiplier measured for the industry in ten years.

Another significant metric tracked by firms is the utilization rate. It is calculated as cost of labor charged divided by total labor cost. This metric remained steady with the prior two years, except for Architecture firms that showed an increase of 2.3% points year-over-year. Employee retention is a factor within this metric. Firms with higher utilization also tend to show lower turnover rates as well as higher net revenue by employee. Does this show us that working employees are happy employees? Findings will show that investments in technology and training can keep employees engaged and productive in producing revenue.

Net revenue per employee is yet another metric to see a positive increase. This could be attributed again to the investment in technology and training, an already high productivity amongst employees, increased rates, or possibly better efficiency driving projects to completion. Since obtaining qualified staff remains difficult, firms are working with existing teams to accomplish more. Burn-out should be a consideration and cutting associated costs or wages could be disadvantageous.

With employee cost being a possible factor in retention it is important to track trends and analyze total employee cost as a metric. This is calculated as the sum of total labor and other labor related costs, (such as fringe benefits and taxes but excluding bonuses) divided by the average number of employees during a year. This returned data shows that there was not an overall noticeable change. Payroll expenses and employee numbers increased at higher percentages which in turn drove the decrease in overall cost. Where the year prior it had showed a small decline, we may see a more drastic change in 2020.

The average collection period calculation divides accounts receivable by annual total revenue, multiplied by 365. This is an important metric for cash flow stability and deserves a great deal of attention. There has been small improvement or decline in average days amongst all firms. In comparison, small businesses and high performers stand out as having notably improved. It is important to stay on top of the outstanding accounts receivable to maintain cash flow performance stability.

Preparing for the Future 

A&E firms have largely agreed that business process improvements and project management training have a strong impact on a firm’s financial health. In addition to those areas, better forecasting should continue to be a top focus area. Addressing and improving these key components can be the key to continued success, even in difficult and uncertain economic times. To read more about financial statement findings, visit the full Clarity report. 

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The Value of Vantagepoint for Executives

Posted by Sarah Gonnella on Wed, Nov 04, 2020 @ 11:35 AM

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

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