April 2015 Newsletter

If you’re a Jetsons fan…

…like me, you’ll remember George Jetson getting stuck going round and round on Astro’s dog-walk.  George was a bit technology challenged, wasn’t he? Everything he touched blew up, went backwards, or backfired on him. (Thank goodness for Rosie saving his bacon every time!)

We are slowing entering George’s world of the future.

Flying cars, FDA approval for construction drones, 3-D printed concrete, artificial intelligence – this isn’t a Jetson’s rerun; it’s here and now and it’s coming to a construction site near YOU!

What We’re Talking About in April:

  • The 3rd Annual Construction Technology Report by CFMA, JBKnowledge, and Texas A &M
  • Why CRM makes sense for Construction companies
  • “Fifty Shades of Sage” – FREE Sage/LAI/Vendor event in Scottsdale, AZ
  • Tips and Tricks for Sage 100 C and Sage 300 CRE


The 3rd Annual Construction Technology Report

…is Analogical to its Findings

Now in its third year, a partnership between JBKnowledge, the CFMA, and the Texas A&M University Department of Construction Science has helped to make this report an important standard for industry adoption.

It’s very much like the growth they reported for the adoption of technology in construction. Ironic, right?

It’s our pleasure to pick out some nuggets from the report to share with you. The entire report (downloadable here) covers IT budgets and staff, cloud security, mobile technology; current software usage, and emerging technologies.

IT Departments

In a word, when it comes to construction companies’ budget for IT staff and development – notsomuch. Construction companies, large and small, don’t staff or budget for IT the same as they do for other business units. Over 30% reported that IT budget as a percentage of income revenue IS LESS THAN 1%! Quite surprising for large companies – they did not scale the budget to their sales volume.

Cloud Security

Two words for companies using cloud servers: not secured. It’s not as scary as that sounds, as the major of companies using the cloud allow field data in the cloud, but not accounting software. The reluctance for keeping financials on premise may be justified, as security policies and practices do not seem to be developed or implemented by 40% of the organizations surveyed.


Less risky software like Invitation to Bid/Plan Rooms and Project Management constitute the majority of data that companies allow in the cloud:


Mobile Technology

This is a tricky one. Asked “Is mobile technology Very/Important/Not Very” the responses remain consistent year-over-year for “very” while the “not very” has significantly decreased in two years.

Again, “safer” software like field collection data, BIM, and CRM are most frequently used on smart devices. And Apple (ios) dominates the device used. The survey authors adroitly point out the juxtaposition of User versus Corporate preference – people use Apple, and companies use MS Windows.


Accounting Software

The great news is twofold: Sage continues to dominate for Construction Accounting software, and spreadsheets are on the decline!


The authors elected to include a quote from a respondent who protested that IT and operations are adopting technology at a faster rate than accounting department. While that may be true in core platforms, Sage has skyrocketed in the last two years, adding technology-forward products to their Construction Accounting suites – for eTakeoff, mobile payment solutions, service management, reporting dashboards, and more!


We say keep those annual Construction Technology Reports coming, JBKnowledge, CFMA, and Texas A&M Department of Construction Science! Can’t wait to see the reports on 3-D printing, virtual and augmented realities, drones, etc., in the future!


 CRM Software for Construction Growth

Did you know that only 11% of contractors are using CRM to build new business?

“Not surprising, estimating and bidding software top the list of technology that contractors use to obtain new business.

A far second is CRM technology (11% usage). FMI’s studies have also shown that few contractors make effective use of CRM systems in the construction industry. Those who do use CRM software effectively are finding an edge in making their sales and marketing efforts more successful.“*

Watch how Lincoln Waste eliminated over 500 individual spreadsheets and grew their business 35%!


*Source: Sage Construction and Real Estate Information technology trends with analysis by the construction consulting firm, FMI.


An Afternoon Affair – 50 Shades of “Sage”50-shades-of-sage

Join us on April 30th from 3 – 6 pm to network with LAI consultants and friends, Sage people, and integration Business Partners!

Get “tied up” for an afternoon of good, CLEAN FUN with Ledgerwood Associates!


How do you take your business to the next level with your Sage Software?

Mingle, munch, and sip while you network and pick some brains! Appetizers, beer and wine, and soft beverages will be offered on the patio (weather permitting).

Mini-sessions will be held on both levels of the LAI headquarters, where you can explore whatever grabs your interest. Sessions will start on the half hour, with interactive content driven by YOUR questions and Sage software experiences.

See the sessions and get more info here.


Upcoming LAI Online Training and Networking Events:

Excel-based project forecasting and WIP Reporting @ Online
Nov 12 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Online Webinar

The construction season is fast approaching!

Join us for this informative presentation and learn how you can gain greater control over your projects, better communication between the field and office and higher confidence from your Surety by creating integrated project cost forecasting that backs up your Work in Progress reporting using Sage Office Connector.


Accountants and Bookkeepers Exclusive: The Story of an Inventory Error

Submitted by Walt Mathieson, Certified Sage 100 Consultant

Recent tips have been geared toward general topics about Sage 100 Contractor.  This one is just for the accountants and bookkeepers out there.

Users of the Inventory module know that the system will not let the quantity on hand for any inventory item go below zero.  Recently, a client called with the following scenario:

  • They found that a payable invoice for two inventory items had been entered erroneously on Monday through the use of menu 12-4 Purchase Order Receipts.
  • Tuesday, an inventory allocation had been entered and shipped to move one of these inventory items to a job.
  • Wednesday, it was discovered that the second inventory item entered on Monday had not been received and was instead backordered.  When error in the entry of the invoice on Monday was discovered, the client tried to void and re-enter the invoice correctly.  However, the system would not permit the client to void Monday’s erroneous entry because there was not sufficient inventory quantity on hand of the one item to absorb the quantity that would be subtracted from inventory with the voiding of that invoice – it would have caused the quantity on hand for that item to go below zero.
  • When they called for help on Thursday, I suggested the following steps to correct the erroneously entered invoice:
    • Copy the erroneous AP Invoice record that was entered on Monday in menu 4-2.
    • Paste the copied invoice to a new record in 4-2 and modify the entry to the way it should have been entered with the item that was received and not the item that was backordered.
    • Save this new 4-2 AP Invoice record.
    • This will increase the quantity on hand for the first inventory items involved in the correction and the Tuesday inventory allocation.
    • Then go find the erroneously entered AP Invoice and void it.  This takes the backordered item out of inventory and adjusts the quantity on hand of the item actually received on Monday and partially shipped out on Tuesday to the correct amount.
    • The order in which these entries are recorded is a little counter intuitive, but when you follow it through, checking the recorded inventory quantities on hand at each step, you can see how it works.

For more help with inventory issues, don’t hesitate to call your friendly Certified Consultant!

More about Sage 100 Contractor here. Call Ledgerwood Associates at 877-918-8301 today and we’ll match your needs to the best solution. Email Walt at walt@mathiesonconsulting.com.

Cheatsheet! Sage 300 CRE Shortcuts and Function Keys

Submitted by Kyle Zeigler, Sage Senior Certified Consultant

These apply to most applications:

 Function keys

[F1] Displays a Help window.

[F2] Accept entered information (Save and Exit).

[F3] Exits a window or command.

[F4] Displays a list of choices.

[F5] Displays selection criteria/conditions for an operation.

[F6] Select a range of records.

[F7] Go to the previous record or window.

[F8] Go to the next record or window.

[F9] Add a note or link a file to a record.


[TAB/ENTER] Go to the next field.

[SHIFT + TAB] Go to a previous field.

[CTRL + TAB] Within a record – go to the next tab.

 Function keys and shortcuts in Purchase Order/Inventory (PO/IV) are as follows:

[F1] Displays a Help window.

[F2] Accepts entered information, saves, or edits.

[F3] Exits a window or command.

[F4] Displays a list of choices.

[F5] Displays an item tree search when in the item code field.

[F6] Brings up Additional Information detail, where available.

[F7] Goes to the previous record or window.

[F8] Goes to the next record or window.

[F9] Adds a note or attaches a file to a record.

[F11] Creates a new requisition, order, change order, return authority, receipt or invoice.

 On any date field requiring input, when using the calendar, you can click on the year or month to select a different date.

 PO Shortcut

From the Inquiry menu, select Order. On the Orders tab, you can double-click in any field on the grid that appears in the right pane to bring up Purchase Order Detail information for viewing.

 IV shortcut

From the Tasks menu, select Enter Stock Receipts, Enter Stock Issues, or Enter Stock Transfers, right-click anywhere in the window and select Edit Batch Header. Change the Header information for the Batch Date, Accounting Date, or Description fields. In Enter Stock Transfers, the Operator, Batch Value, or Number of Entries Header information can also be changed.

Important Tax Figures for 2015

Submitted by Bryan Eto, CPA

Creating a formal debt management plan, rather than borrowing haphazardly, can save your firm thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in interest.

Following certain best practices and using a structured approach to your company’s debt plan is part of an effective construction finance, accounting and tax strategy. First, create a table that lists all current debt, including working capital lines of credit, loans of any kind, any interest bearing notes or other financial obligations. Do not include Accounts Payable. For example:


Debt Management Snapshot as of (Current Date and Year)
Debt SourceCurrent BalanceInterestUtility
Term loan with bank$186,0004.2%Good
Loan from Ed Simmons$24,0000.0%Excellent
Supply house credit card$31,00028.4%Unacceptable
Working capital credit line$119,0009.9%Mediocre
Restructuring loan, prior business$422,00014.1%Poor


Beach Fleischman
2201 E. Camelback Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85016

Allocater, Gator!

Submitted by Jim Hoeppner, Certified Sage Consultant

Contractors that are not open-book, often want to spread their indirects across their direct cost items. The Sage Estimating Standard/Extended versions allow you to do that in many different ways. You can allocate your indirects such as profit, contingency, tax, etc over all the direct cost items, or just one category in the direct items or target to a specific phase or location, etc. The allocation feature is turned on in the Totals Page on each add-on. You can see the results of the allocation prorating calculation in the spreadsheet if you turn on the Total Amount, Add-on Amount and Grand Total Columns. You can also right click in the Add-on Amount column to see Add-on Detail.

The real power of the allocation feature comes in to action in the reports. If you turn on the allocation option in the Report Options, then the allocated items will be distributed, pro-rated in the report as you have directed on their add-ons. For example, you could allocate or bury a profit add-on, but keep another profit add-on visible to the client. The software consists of thousands of enhancement requests such as these, which have been made over the life of the product.


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