April 2019 Newsletter
What’s blooming this April:
- 5 Financial Reports EVERY business should be running
- Never stop learning! 6 ways to keep reelevant from Ruth S.
- Two SAVE THE DATES – upcoming learning webinars
- LAI presentations at the 2019 Annual TUG Conference!
- Awesome ‘Tips and Tricks’ for Accounting | Sage 300 CRE | Sage 100 CON | Sage Estimating
5 Financial Reports every business should be running
Reprinted with permission from Sage Intacct – original post HERE.
BY AVI SUCHAREVSKI, PROJECT MANAGER AT LIMELIGHT SOFTWARE | MARCH 21, 2019
Can financial reporting analysis really help your business grow? Absolutely! To employ a data-driven finance approach, CFOs need to move finance functions up the analytic value chain to offer more detailed analyses, better forecasting, and increasingly granular information on products, suppliers, customers, and more. In turn, their analyses inform the business, increase corporate agility, and point the way to cost savings.
Here are the 5 Financial Reports businesses can start analyzing to make better business decisions.
1. Income Statement
The income statement indicates the profit and loss of a company over a period of time. It essentially takes all your income, revenue, or sales, and subtracts your expenses. In standard practice, you would want to see actuals for the month, quarter-to-date, year-to-date versus the budgeted or forecasted values or amounts from the prior two years. For best practice, you can have a rolling 12 month income statement, which would give you a stronger indication of how your company’s sales and expenses are changing over the past year. While it is often delivered as a quarterly statement, the income statement should ideally be issued monthly.
Having your income statement available on a daily basis will allow your CEO to know what your results are overall before month-end. Generally speaking, most expenses are in the same ballpark range, so reviewing the income statement two to three days before month-end should give your CEO and CFO a good idea of your company’s profit. Key indicators to analyze within the income statement include margins, expenses as a percentage of sales and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA).
2. Balance Sheet
The balance sheet shows your company’s assets, liabilities, and equity at a point in time. By comparing your balance sheet year-over-year, you can see how these key aspects have changed, indicating whether or not the financial health of your company has improved or declined during this time frame.
More specifically, the level of liquidity of an item impacts where it is placed in the balance sheet, with more liquid assets (for example, trade debtors, inventory cash) called current assets, being classified separately from less liquid assets in the assets section. Similarly, current liabilities are also classified separately from long term liabilities in the liabilities section.
The balance sheet provides key financial ratios that analysts and banks use to assess the health of your company, including:
- Liquidity – This reflects the ratio of current assets over current liabilities. It refers to your company’s ability to meet its obligations in the short term.
- Leverage – The debt to equity ratio shows the financial risk of your company.
Here is a good resource which expands on the different values and ratios a balance sheet can provide.
3. Cash Flow Statement
The cash flow statement is one of the most vital reports for a business but many businesses do not prepare or perform cash flow forecasting due to resource constraints or simply not knowing how to even start. The cash flow statement shows you how much cash was generated and how it was used. There are three core sections to a cash flow statement – operating activities, investing activities, and financing activities. Comparing these activities will allow you to see how well your company is managing its operations.
The cash flow statement shows you the actual movement of your dollars. This is where the income statement and cash flow differ. Your income statement could show a very rosy number for revenue but if most of that was contributed via credit sales, cash flow would not reflect this. Hence the phrase, cash is reality.
There are two main methods for preparing a cash flow statement – direct and indirect. Many ERP systems can be configured to provide data to enable the preparation of a cash flow statement using the direct method. However – it does take discipline.
The indirect method is more common as it takes information from the income statement and balance sheet. Numbers can then be easily linked between these three financial statements.
So how do you build a cash flow statement? Here is our white paper that explains how you can create a cash flow statement for your company.
4. Working Capital Report
While the income statement, balance sheet and cash flow reports form the three key financial statements, they are prepared on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. This creates what we call a “black hole” for the CEO during the course of a month.
Why is this? For example – major expense items such as salaries and rent are paid at the end of the month. Thus, an income statement would show a healthy profit for the entire duration of the month and a sudden drop when all the expenses are booked.
Another example would be that of managing cash on a day-to-day basis. The CEO and CFO should be alerted in advance if a certain payment is due and there is insufficient cash to cover it.
The working capital report can help to partially offset these concerns. Working capital is money available to the company for day-to-day operations, which is current assets – current liabilities.
Many organizations prepare it on a weekly basis by collecting key information such as receivables, payables, inventory, bank position, bank limit, top 10 supplies payments due, and top 10 debtors. The working capital report should be able to quickly identify if a company is unable to meet its short term obligations and trigger the CEO or CFO to look for ways to mitigate that risk such as extending credit and focusing on debt collections.
In addition to this, the working capital report can also address whether or not the company is utilizing its loans and overdrafts effectively, allowing its finance teams to quickly identify underutilization or overutilization and thus prevent it from becoming an ongoing problem.
5. Sales Analysis Report
The sales analysis report is the one report we recommend companies to review on a daily basis. This is because sales is a very important number – when sales is performing on target, all other items will fall into place. It should contain more granular information on sales than reported in the other reports mentioned above.
For example, the report could show sales data by major product lines, customer segments, or sales reps. It can also highlight quantities sold and post-discount prices to provide the average selling price for the day or month-to-date. These numbers can then be compared to the company’s sales targets to offer a solid perspective on how sales has performed over a specific period of time.
Looking at the amount of sales achieved in the sales analysis report would allow the CEO and CFO to assess the company’s financial position on a daily basis. In turn, they would be able to identify areas where volume of sales or average price is dropping or sales are higher or lower than expected, and review production and purchasing plans to fix the issue or take advantage of the opportunity.
With these five reports in hand, you can equip your executive team with the financial information they need to make smarter business decisions for your organization. Together, they give your executive team a holistic perspective on how the business is doing and where they should put their focus to benefit the company the most.
Learn More About These Five Reports
Opportunities for learning
by Ruth Stockdale, LAI Director of PSG
Six ways to ‘keep on keeping on’
Accounting tasks are predictable and cyclical. Year-end, quart-end, payroll period end — there is a set time for everything. I always think of this time of year for the task of planning for learning options. Whether it is for CPE credit, cross-training for your staff, or just expanding your areas of knowledge, there are many options available. Some are predictable and some may be new to you. Here are some possibilities for your Springtime learning.
The 2019 Annual Users Conference is scheduled for May 14th – 17th in San Antonio, with a robust agenda of workshops for Sage 300 CRE, Sage 100 contractor and Sage Estimating. Available CPE credit. Check out the main TUG website here and the conference website here.
2. LAI live training webinars
3. LAI Professional Services
Schedule one-on-one training with a consultant for customized learning. A truly effective way to best use this time is to compile a list of questions or topics from your staff prior to your appointment. That way, you will be confident that your key issues are covered in an organized and thorough way.
4. Sage City
This is the place to go for all things related to Sage. You can connect to knowledge base articles and tap into the community discussions. Bookmark Sage City here.
5. Sponsored product webinars
These may surprise you. Sage, LAI, and Sage-approved ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) often offer periodic product demo webinars. These are short and focus on single applications or products that complement the core products (think document management or remote timekeeping). They are developed as high-level overviews to introduce you to a new efficiency or function, or for you to learn about emerging technologies and products. Free, frequent, no obligation—they are worth checking out! Again, find them on the LAI upcoming events webpage.
6. Industry organizations
Professional groups, such as CFMA, the AGCA, etc., offer resources and education options. These range from short topics at monthly meetings to full-scale conferences and workshops. Most have CPE credit.
As always, let us know if we can assist you with more information about any of these options.
Don’t miss LAI presentations at TUG
Kyle Z. and Pam S. are rocking it!
You know these LAI Consultants either personally or from the Tips & Tricks in this and every newsletter for Sage 300 CRE and Sage 100 CON, respectively.
They have FULL agendas, published below. These Sage Certified consultants have years of experience, so pick their brains in person!
Save the Dates!
Want to stay sharp on the latest cloud & mobile products? Here are two opportunities to make a move to the NOW!
Core Cloud Systems from TimberScan
Special online event, April 24th
Core Cloud Systems (CCS) gives businesses complete control over dedicated information streams for a connected, more convenient data management experience. With this single system you can:
- Design business forms
- Collect employee or contractor data
- Create customized portals
- Analyze financial data, and more!
CCS, from Core Associates, lets you build and deploy custom form applications and more, all from a single platform. An easy to use wizard walks you through it, plus it has seven solutions pre-built to get you going, including:
- CCS Daily is a solution for submitting and collecting daily production reports.
- CCS Time is a time management solution for tracking hours worked.
- CCS Credit Card is a credit card reconciliation solution for balancing paid and outstanding credit charges.
- CCS PO is a purchase order management module for producing and tracking work order documentation.
- CCS Inv-Control is an inventory control module that alerts users to excess or low level stock thresholds.CCS Bid lets you track bid submittal progress from start to finish in a single, mobile module.
- CCS Sub is a subcontractor portal that allows organizations to standardize how they collaborate with vendors using powerful, custom controls.
The power of two: Sage + Procore
Special online event, May 1st
Let us introduce you to Procore, the all-in-one construction management software built to help you finish quality projects—safely, on time, and within budget.
Procore Account Executive, Alex Choquette, will walk through the platform and showcase how Procore can integrate to your Sage 300 CRE or 100 Contractor solution.
What will be covered:
- Introduction to Procore
- High level product demo
- Sage + Procore integration
- Open Q & A
Follow LAI on Social Media for current construction and technology news!
Beware – I-9 audits on the rise
Submitted by Bryan Eto, CPA BeachFleischman
Audits of I-9 records quadrupled in 2018 over the prior year (the federal fiscal year). That means nearly 6,000 employers were audited, which led to several dozen civil and criminal convictions. The agency involved — Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) — “is carrying out its commitment to increase the number of I-9 audits in an effort to create a culture of compliance among employers,” it stated upon releasing audit statistics. To accommodate the increase, HSI is beefing up its army of auditors.
Most employers don’t intentionally falsify I-9 forms or knowingly accept falsified ones from employees. They simply make honest mistakes. And that’s what lets them get by with only a civil conviction instead of a criminal one. But, as the saying goes, ignorance of the law is no excuse. A civil offense conviction and its associated penalties still cost money and generate bad publicity. How can you avoid slipping up? With a quick review of basic I-9 employment eligibility verification requirements and common errors.
Timing is everything
First, be sure you’re using an up-to-date Form I-9. They’re easy to pull from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website. The most current version expires on Aug. 31. New employees must complete their part of the form (Sec. 1) when hired. You need to complete the rest of it within three days of the employee’s start date.
Note the word “employee.” You don’t need to worry about independent contractors — unless you happen to know of any that aren’t authorized to work in the United States. Knowingly engaging such a person could expose you to serious legal sanctions.
That three-day deadline coincides with the deadline for employees to give you the documentation you need to complete Part 2. You must “physically examine each original document the employee presents to determine if the document reasonably appears to be genuine and relates to the person presenting it,” according to USCIS. And the employee you’re hiring needs to give you his or her documents personally, not anyone else.
The USCIS “E-Verify” system has been around a long time, but its use is voluntary for most employers. Federal rules, however, do require it for certain employers, and a handful of southern states require its use for all employers. Other states require it only for employers doing business with the state in question.
If anyone you hire isn’t a U.S. citizen and is here on a visa that expires, it’s up to you to reverify that the employee’s work authorization has been renewed before the original visa expires.
You might be tempted to avoid hiring someone whose legal employment eligibility, such as having only temporary resident status, appears more complicated than you want to deal with. But employment antidiscrimination rules come into play here. Specifically, “citizenship status discrimination” is illegal. So too are “unfair documentary practices” (selectively asking people for more documents than are required) and “national origin discrimination.”
You need to hang on to those I-9s as long as employees are with you, and a bit longer. Specifically, you need to retain them for three years from the date of hire, or one year after the employee leaves you, whichever is longer. In other words, if an employee only stayed with you one year, you’d need to retain that I-9 for two additional years. You can retain the forms electronically using USCIS-approved formats.
The USCIS is quite particular when auditing I-9s. The agency has posted a list of “common mistakes” on its website. Most often, the errors involve omissions of basic information, such as the employee’s middle initial, job title, and date of hire.
Also posted on the website is a list of general tips for filling out the form, including the following:
- Ensure that the date of hire on the form matches payroll records.
- Write legibly.
- Use only commonly known abbreviations.
- Complete all applicable sections.
If you fall short of compliance and are audited, you could face penalties for each mistake on each form. Penalties per mistake range from around $200 to around $2,000. That means that, if you consistently made the same mistake on each form, a penalty can grow exponentially.
Play it safe
Don’t gamble with the important task of properly completing, submitting and retaining Forms I-9 for your employees. Work with your CPA and attorney to answer any questions that come up. Getting it right is too important to roll the dice.
Beach Fleischman 2201 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85016 | 602.265.7011 | http://beachfleischman.com | twitter: @BeachFleischman
Saving Custom Reports and Forms — Shared, Private or Company?
by Pam Schulz, Sage Certified Consultant
Knowing these options takes your reporting options to the next level!
One of the options when saving a custom Report or Form Design is whether to save as a Shared, Private, or Company file. Know the differences and impacts of each:
This is the most common choice. All users will have access to the report or form (subject to security). If there are no special circumstances causing you to use another method, this is the best choice.
Only the user creating the report or form will have access to this report. If an identically named report or form exists as a SHARED form, the private version will override it for that user. This option must be used with great care, as you might imagine, since different users can actually have different versions of a report or form. In the last update, Sage has included a designation in a report menu name for the category of the report (Shared, Private, Company-Specific.)
Save as a company-specific report
This option is handy for multi-company setups where different forms (usually logos) are needed. The company specific forms and reports are available only when logged into the specified company.
Until recently this could be confusing and quite elusive to find, since it was possible to have a private report and a shared report with the same file name. Note the report type designation below in the printing menu. (If you do not see this, you need to update to a current version of Sage 100 CON.)
Determining whether a Private, Shared or Company FORM DESIGN is being used can be a little trickier. If you “Edit Form Design” and then SAVE, a design that has previously been saved will typically default to the same type as the original save. (Sometimes determining the issue may involve finding the files through Windows Explorer or My Computer.)
- Shared Report Forms are saved under Sage100Con/Common/Report Forms
- Private Report Forms are saved under Sage100Con/Common/User Data; each user then has a folder with their custom files
- Company Specific Report Forms are saved under Sage100Con/Company/(your company)/Files.You may need to manually delete forms that have been saved erroneously.
These options, used properly, can make reporting even easier than before – company logos being only one example. Just remember to use with care, based on the hierarchy:
- Shared options are the first “default”
- These are over-ridden by Company Specific options
- Private options are the final override for a particular user
Get more from your Sage 100 Contractor software by using simple options in the Report Writer and Form Designer. Both allow full customization of Forms and Reports using text, fields and SQL queries.
Need help from a certified Sage 100 Contractor Consultant? Just click, and we’ll contact you in a jiff! It’s no big deal, right?
YOU can be the voice of the future!
by Kyle Zeigler, Sage Senior Certified Consultant
Submit product improvements and ideas
The Sage 300 CRE suite of applications remains one of the most versatile and easily customizable accounting solutions available to construction companies today. Companies love that the software is adaptable to nearly any specialty industry and unique financial reporting need. But even with this flexibility, many users often wish Sage would change some aspect of the software to make life even better. What most users don’t know is that you have the power to affect these changes!
In Sage Desktop > Help is a selection to Submit Product Idea. For long-time Sage 300 CRE (Timberline) users, this used to be called Submit Enhancement Request. The redesigned feature is much cooler now and gives you instant access to what other users would like to see changed.
You can vote on specific topics and even submit your own idea for other users to vote on. Ideas are grouped in categories on the right side of the window, as well as by Latest, Hot, Top, and Completed in tabs in the center of the window. Navigation is easy, and it’s so satisfying to find a topic that’s near and dear to your everyday use of the software!
The most votes win!
Sage tells us that the topics with the most votes get the highest priority for future development. So, let the Sage development team know your brilliant idea — and don’t forget to vote for others’ suggestions, too.
Need help from a certified Sage 300 CRE Consultant? Just click, and we’ll contact you in a jiff! It’s no big deal, right?