August 2018 Newsletter

 

What we’re talking about in August:

  • Sage is retiring Document Management module for Sage 300 CRE
  • Sage Summer BLOWOUT Sale – something for everyone!
  • Announcing Sage Estimating SQL V.18.11
  • The Construction Technology survey is closing soon!
  • Ruth S. recommends the “Power of expanding software”
  • Report Designer online class is back! (find it in the Upcoming Events section)
  • Awesome ‘Tips and Tricks’ for Sage 300 CRE | Sage 100 CON | Sage Estimating

 


Document Management is going out to pasture…

Sage sent this email out to Sage 300 CRE clients in July regarding the “sunsetting” of the Document Management (an optional) module for Sage 300 CRE only:

Sage will be announcing our intention to discontinue the integration between Sage Document Management and Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate starting with version 19.1, estimated for release in the spring of 2019. This will be followed by the end of support for the product in December 2019.

Should customers choose to continue their use of Sage Document Management after upgrading to version 19.1, we recommend installing it on a standalone workstation that will not receive Windows updates. More information about setting this up can be found in KB91608.

Sage will continue to provide support for customers using Sage Document Management through December 2019. All maintenance and support contract renewals for the product will be prorated such that no customer will pay for these services after the end of 2019.

As a replacement for Sage Document Management, we are promoting Sage Paperless Construction. Customers with interest in migration from Sage Document Management to Sage Paperless Construction can take advantage of the current discount promotion. We encourage partners to reach out to Sage Document Management customers and offer this promotional price for Sage Paperless Construction.

How to tell if you have this module installed on your system

It’s almost exactly like how you add users or modules. Kyle Z. wrote a blog about this HERE. Here’s the abridged version:

For versions 15.1 and lower:

  1. From the server, launch Sage Desktop.
  2. Go to Tasks, Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate > Common Tasks > Tools > Change Registration and Uses.
  3. This will open installed modules in alphabetical order. If you don’t see “Document Management” you have no cause for concern
  4. If you DO see Document Management, you may want to take advantage of the HALF OFF Sage Paperless Construction promo going on NOW!

For versions 16.1 and later:

  1. From the server, launch Sage Desktop.
  2. Go to Common Tasks > Tools > Change Registration and Uses.
  3. This will open installed modules in alphabetical order. If you don’t see “Document Management” you have no cause for concern
  4. If you DO see Document Management, you may want to take advantage of the HALF OFF Sage Paperless Construction promo going on NOW!

Don’t worry – you have time and options!

Ledgerwood would never leave you hanging without helping you to make a great business decision with plenty of options, and up to HALF OFF savings!

However, it will take a few minutes to review your needs and volume requirements with VP, Tony Merry. Click the button below to shoot Tony an email to begin your Document Management transition.


Sage Summer BLOWOUT Sale*

Buy two get one FREE

  • Ready to add more users or modules to Sage 100 CON, 300 CRE or Estimating? Buy 2, get 1 FREE!
  • Estimating clients: Buy 2 licenses of eTakeoff and get the 3rd one FREE, PLUS ONE USE of Bridge for FREE!

Subscribe!

  • Want to go paperless AND mobile? 20% off when purchasing either Paperless APFlow or Premium (on premise) — OR save 30% when you add a subscription (eForms, eCapture, or ePortal).
  • Want to add Sage Service Operations? 10% discount on monthly subscriptions and 20% discount on annual subscriptions.

Trade UP

  • Want to replace your legacy estimating software? 30% off the new SQL Sage Estimating until the end of September!
  • Ready to quit Quickbooks? 20% off to trade up to Sage 100 Contractor.
CLICK THE PHOTO TO BEGIN!

 

* Promos end September 28, 2018. Some restrictions may apply.


Announcing Estimating SQL Version 18.11!

What’s new in this version?

Highlights of version 18.11 include:

  • Improved sort sequences and item sequences
  • Improved spreadsheet layouts
  • Metric unit conversion
  • Ability to copy standard databases and address books
  • Improved Report Manager

Version 18.11 also includes several additional enhancements and fixes. For detailed information about all the new features and fixes in this release, click the Release Notes.

Note: Depending on your purchase agreement, some features described here or in the Release Notes may not be available in your product.

Downloading version 18.11

Download the software from the Knowledgebase:

  1. Click the bolded link to access the download article for Sage Estimating (SQL) 18.11: Sage Estimating (SQL) 18.11
  2. If you are prompted to log on, enter your Customer Portal Username and Password, and then click Log on.

Need help updating?

It’s No Big Deal with LAI’s professional services group! Just click the button below to shoot Carolyn an email to set up some one-on-one time!

 


Take the 2018 ConTech Survey

Still open for a limited time!

The Annual ConTech Report powered by JBKnowledge helps the construction industry analyze trends, benchmarks, and better understand innovations in mobile technology, IT budgeting, BIM and more! Remember, you can even download previous years’ reports if you need a refresher on the helpful information the Annual ConTech Reports provide the industry.

It only takes 15 minutes! The survey takes approximately 15 minutes and directly contributes to the data they’ll use to create this year’s report. CLICK HERE

JBKnowledge partners with the CFMA, MCAA, NECA, Texas A & M University department of Construction Science, and Construction Dive to bring you this industry-leading report.

 


The Power of Expanding Software

By Ruth Stockdale, LAI Director of PSG

Integration: the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts

An application that fully and properly integrates with your primary data will expand your capabilities!

Think about your software and what was implemented first – General Ledger, Payroll, Accounts Payable, Job Cost. You might also have products for Equipment and Estimating that you started using at the same time. You can expand those by adding software with functions beyond the basics. You may hear the term add-on for this, but that is a misleading label. If the integration is smooth, you have done more than just add on.

What might you gain from this expansion?

  • Reduced errors — Automate entries or eliminate duplicate manual entries.
  • Expedited workflows – Send data or make it more readily available when people need it.
  • Improved data integrity – Allow entry or review of data by staff who know best what the content should be.
  • More effective use of information – Make locating and accessing critical data easier.
  • Proactive queries – Let the system communicate problems to you before you need to ask.
  • Cleaner archiving – Get better control of your document and data storage and retention.

So, embrace the power of expansion! For some additional thoughts and ideas, check out other articles in this month’s newsletter from LAI consultants on their favorites.

As always, if you have questions about any of these ideas, please let us know. It’s “No Big Deal” to reach support at LAI!

 


 

Follow LAI on Social Media for current construction and technology news!

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Check out the LAI YouTube channel – recordings of past webinars and training classes!

 


Upcoming LAI Online Training and Networking Events:

Dec
13
Thu
Sage 300 CRE Accounting Year End Preparation @ GoToTraining
Dec 13 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Closing procedures and 1099 forms

This 2-hour presentation will provide Sage 300 CRE users with step-by-step instructions and live demonstration of closing procedures for all modules except Payroll, including 1099 forms preparation.

Dec
27
Thu
Sage 100 CON Year-End Payroll
Dec 27 @ 3:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Covers payroll archiving to prepare for the new year. In this webinar you will be able the instructor will walk through the screens for this process and allow for Q&A time. You can run through the process on your own system during the webinar. The session is repeated multiple times—sign up for the one that is best for your schedule.

PREQUISITES — Make sure you have Database Administrator access and that you have backed up your files. Details will be provided after you enroll in the class. LENGTH — Approximately 30 minutes but may run longer due to the number of questions.

Dec
28
Fri
Sage 100 CON Year-End Payroll
Dec 28 @ 10:00 am – 10:30 am

Covers payroll archiving to prepare for the new year. In this webinar you will be able the instructor will walk through the screens for this process and allow for Q&A time. You can run through the process on your own system during the webinar. The session is repeated multiple times—sign up for the one that is best for your schedule.

PREQUISITES — Make sure you have Database Administrator access and that you have backed up your files. Details will be provided after you enroll in the class. LENGTH — Approximately 30 minutes but may run longer due to the number of questions.

Dec
31
Mon
Sage 100 CON Year-End Payroll
Dec 31 @ 11:00 am – 11:30 am

Covers payroll archiving to prepare for the new year. In this webinar you will be able the instructor will walk through the screens for this process and allow for Q&A time. You can run through the process on your own system during the webinar. The session is repeated multiple times—sign up for the one that is best for your schedule.

PREQUISITES — Make sure you have Database Administrator access and that you have backed up your files. Details will be provided after you enroll in the class. LENGTH — Approximately 30 minutes but may run longer due to the number of questions.

Jan
2
Wed
Sage 100 CON Year-End Payroll
Jan 2 @ 8:30 am – 9:00 am

Covers payroll archiving to prepare for the new year. In this webinar you will be able the instructor will walk through the screens for this process and allow for Q&A time. You can run through the process on your own system during the webinar. The session is repeated multiple times—sign up for the one that is best for your schedule.

PREQUISITES — Make sure you have Database Administrator access and that you have backed up your files. Details will be provided after you enroll in the class. LENGTH — Approximately 30 minutes but may run longer due to the number of questions.

Jan
3
Thu
Sage 100 CON Year-End Payroll
Jan 3 @ 2:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Covers payroll archiving to prepare for the new year. In this webinar you will be able the instructor will walk through the screens for this process and allow for Q&A time. You can run through the process on your own system during the webinar. The session is repeated multiple times—sign up for the one that is best for your schedule.

PREQUISITES — Make sure you have Database Administrator access and that you have backed up your files. Details will be provided after you enroll in the class. LENGTH — Approximately 30 minutes but may run longer due to the number of questions.

Jan
4
Fri
Sage 100 CON Year-End Payroll
Jan 4 @ 2:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Covers payroll archiving to prepare for the new year. In this webinar you will be able the instructor will walk through the screens for this process and allow for Q&A time. You can run through the process on your own system during the webinar. The session is repeated multiple times—sign up for the one that is best for your schedule.

PREQUISITES — Make sure you have Database Administrator access and that you have backed up your files. Details will be provided after you enroll in the class. LENGTH — Approximately 30 minutes but may run longer due to the number of questions.

Jan
10
Thu
Sage 100 CON Year-End Filing Reports W-2s
Jan 10 @ 10:00 am – 10:30 am

Lecture/demo of steps involved with filing using AAtrix.

PREREQUISITES — None. LENGTH — Approximately 30 minutes but may run longer due to the number of questions.

Jan
23
Wed
Sage 100 CON Year-End Filing Reports W-2s
Jan 23 @ 10:00 am – 10:30 am

Lecture/demo of steps involved with filing using AAtrix.

PREREQUISITES — None. LENGTH — Approximately 30 minutes but may run longer due to the number of questions.

 



Job Costing: 7 Tips to Make It Easier

Submitted by Bryan Eto, CPA BeachFleischman

Job costs are the lifeblood of your construction business and accurately estimating them will determine if a project will make money. Managing job costs across the life of the project will ensure that your firm makes money on every job. Moreover, those job-by-job profits make the office and your executive salary possible.

Despite this, some CFOs don’t take job costs seriously. Some see tracking those costs as more trouble than it is worth, while others think that the costs are so obvious that tracking them seems like extra, unnecessary work. Neither is true and both can limit your firm’s profitability. Here are seven tips that can make job cost tracking easier than you might think:

Tip #1: Set priorities at the top

Tracking job costs is a process that involves every level of your organization. All of your valued employees intuitively know the value of tracking costs by job. If you begin to place an emphasis on the accurate identification of every cost by job for every purchase, they will gladly join in and help identify jobs with enthusiasm.

Tip #2: Set up solid communication between the field and the office

Cost tracking starts in the field, where the materials are delivered, and the purchase decisions are made. Field people are well-placed to know which costs go with the jobs. The trick is making it easy for them to flag the job name or number so that the person entering the invoice, credit card or debit card charge into the computerized accounting system can follow the process of assigning the proper cost code.

Tip #3: Provide information to bookkeeping staff readily

Bookkeepers may be tempted to let it go when the job information isn’t available, promising to assign the proper job number later. This is the single most common source of errors. Making job information readily available to the bookkeeping staff is the best way to counteract this tendency for misinformation to cloud your reports.

Tip #4: Require purchase orders

Purchase orders are a good way to ensure the success of your job cost system, so have your accounting, finance or tax professional help you develop a good system. Purchase order systems work when the office must issue a unique order and all supplies must get purchase order numbers from field staff before providing materials to any job. An effective system helps ensure that no invoice will come to your office without a job identified on it.

Tip #5: Use caution handing out company credit cards

With credit and debit cards, there is usually no way to include a job name or number on the receipt. Provide cards only to responsible crew leaders. They should be required to send receipts right away to the office that identify the jobs. This can be done either by texting receipts as images, e-mailing scanned copies of receipts to the bookkeeping department, or dropping paper receipts off with the job name or number marked on them.

Tip #6: Clearly separate costs

Job costs differ from office and overhead costs by getting a job number that is distinct from the general ledger account number. The chart of accounts or general ledger can be a help or a hindrance depending on the skill of the accounting, finance or tax professional who develops your job cost system.

For example, general ledger expense codes typically start with the 5,000 series of account numbers. Job cost tracking then becomes easier for everyone if they are coded with 5,000 series numbers, while allocated costs are coded with 6,000 series numbers and office and overhead costs get 7,000 series account numbers.

If the chart of accounts and job cost ledger are set up professionally, cost allocations will become easier and more accurate and job cost reports will be more accurate and useful.

Tip #7: Follow best practices

The actual job number you assign should be carefully chosen following best practices. For example, a good job number is not just the next number in a haphazard sequence that starts with some arbitrary number and has three or four digits. A good job number always conveys information such as the year the project started, the specialty trade involved, and whether the expenditure was a material cost, equipment rental cost, labor cost, or subcontractor cost.

Consult with your accounting, finance, and tax professionals who are familiar with construction best practices. This will make your life easier down the road as well as more profitable.

Beach Fleischman 2201 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85016 | 602.265.7011 | http://beachfleischman.com | twitter: @BeachFleischman

 

 


 

Increase your profit with scheduling

by Pam Schulz, Sage Certified Consultant

Besides needing to spend less to cure your stress related headaches, good scheduling practices can add serious money to your profit. Here are a few ways:

  • Perform more work
  • Document changes to support Change Orders and other charges
  • Get better prices from subcontractors and suppliers

Perform more work

Let’s say your “average job” nets a gross profit of $10,000 and takes two months to complete. With your current crews, superintendents, equipment and overhead, you currently complete 120 jobs per year. That’s $1,200,000 gross profit.

If you could use good scheduling practices and tools to save simply ONE WEEK per job, you would be able to complete 12.5% more jobs per year (one week saved out of 8) per year with the same “fixed-type” costs. This just added $150,000 in gross profit without spending any more money.

How do you save that week? By carefully managing the job schedule — using the included Gantt chart and other tools to study, mitigate and schedule changes, and effectively keep management and resources updated.

Menu Option #10 is devoted to the scheduling module

  • Create a schedule for each job using the Company Task List. You can use templates for schedules if this is an appropriate option for you.
  • Assign resources and dates to the schedule.
  • Update the Schedule as needed and use reports to notify and update resources.
  • Assigning Predecessor Relationships to Tasks in the schedule allows easy updates when Schedule changes create “downstream effects.”
  • Predecessors from OTHER JOBS can be created if such a dependency exists – such as a crew or piece of equipment that can only be on one job at a time.
  • Use schedule constraints like Fixed datesNot before and Not after will create prompts if a schedule change creates a conflict with one of the constraints.

Every day you save (by scheduling time better) will cost you less in supervisory pay, managing temporary conditions, and a host of other costs, It also frees your resources to move to another profitable job. And all of these tools are easy to use!

Document changes to support Change Orders and other charges

The “Set Original Schedule” feature is useful to set a benchmark of the actual original schedule. This stores the original dates in a set of columns on the schedule separate from the current schedule dates. As changes are made, take advantage of the “notes column” on the grid to record reasons for changes.

There are two built in reports that address the original schedule — the Gantt chart can be printed with an “Original and Actual” view; and there is an “Original/Actual” date report that can be printed with notes. This documentation could be helpful in requesting both Change Order dollars, and days added.

Get better prices from subcontractors and suppliers

Everyone values their time — and your Subcontractors are no exception!

Suppose you could negotiate better pricing because you are easier to work with? Even a 1% savings on $1,000,000 is $10,000.

Using the Resource assignments, and Subcontractor notices can give your Subcontractors a “heads up” when they are needed and help not waste time if they are not.

Or, perhaps your scheduling problems cause you to pay more freight (or other rush costs) than necessary because of rush orders?

Adding ordering tasks will show when materials should be ordered to ensure that the job will not be delayed, but also minimize unnecessary costs.

How to get started

Menu Option #10 is devoted to the scheduling module.

  1. First, create a Task List. All schedules will use this master list for the schedule tasks.
  2. Create schedules for each job.
  3. Assign resources in the schedule and use reports.

A few minutes with the right planning tools will result in more efficiency, less stress, and more profit! Many users are able to begin building schedules with minimal training.

If you would need help with using the scheduling option, or training on how to get the most from your software, use the form below to request an appointment with a consultant.

 

YOUR assistant should be MyAssistant

by Kyle Zeigler, Sage Senior Certified Consultant

Everything but coffee…

How much more efficient could you be at work if you had an assistant? Could an assistant help you:

  • Get job cost reports to project managers to help them manage their jobs
  • Alert your project managers when specific jobs are approaching a budget threshold
  • Contact vendors when their insurances are expiring
  • Send statements or other correspondence to your customers or tenants
  • Send earnings statements, letters and other correspondence to all of your employees
  • Alert you when costs are posted to your suspense account in General Ledger
  • Alert you when something new is setup in your Sage 300 CRE system
  • Monitor your Sage 300 CRE software for about 300 other things and send emails to the appropriate parties to provide information and/or prompt for action, all according to criteria you define?

And what if your assistant could do all of this in the middle of the night while you’re enjoying a stress-free night’s sleep? This isn’t a new employee you’d have to hire, with the expense of a salary and benefits. This is a much more cost-friendly Sage software product that integrates with your Sage 300 CRE!

Your assistant would be MyAssistant, a software product designed to email parties both inside and outside your organization according to whatever needs you may have. MyAssistant comes with a set of pre-built tasks that can be activated as needed, but you can also create custom tasks. Tasks can be run on a schedule or on demand so that the information you want to convey is in the recipient’s email inbox when it needs to be. Tasks can include information embedded in the email or provided in one of the following types of attachments:

  • Sage 300 CRE report
  • Crystal Report
  • Word document
  • PDF document
  • Spreadsheet template
  • Other types of attachments

The full list of capabilities – bookmark this!

To get a list of the 300+ tasks MyAssistant that can save you time, increase efficiency and timeliness in reporting, expedite communications with vendors, customers, and employees, and maybe even help improve accountability and profitability, CLICK HERE!

 

How to change my Job Cost Information settings

by Renee Mullen, Sage Marketing Manager

Maybe you just purchased an upgrade to Sage 100 Contractor or Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate and now need to change the interface type in Estimating.

Estimating (Pervasive/Actian version)

  1. Open Estimating Tools and select Change Job Cost Information from the Setup menu.
  2. Open the database or estimate you wish to change:
    • If you want to setup the interface for the database, leave the Files of Type as Estimating Database and select the pei.dat file for database and click Open.
    • If you want to setup the interface for a specific estimate, change the Files of Type field to Estimate Estimating File. Select the estimate and click Open.
  3. In the Change Job Cost Information window change the Job cost interface type from ‘none’ to ‘one’ of the appropriate available options (i.e. “Sage Timberline Office” or “Sage 100 Contractor”).
  4. Click OK.
  5. Job Cost should now be available for selection from the Estimating Interface menu.

Sage Estimating (SQL version):

  1. Open the Estimating Management Console.
  2. Click the Standard DB tab.
  3. Select the database you want to setup.
  4. Scroll down to Job Cost Info.
  5. Select Sage 300 Construction from the Job cost system name drop down list.
  6. Click the Setup button, log in with your Sage 300 Construction credentials.
  7. Make selections in the “Sage 300 Construction Job Cost Integrator” screen and click OK.

Questions? Chat with Sage Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m.–8 p.m. ET.

For more information on this topic visit Knowledgebase article 27318. You can find this information and more in the Sage Knowledgebase.

Join the conversation at Sage City. Available 24/7, the online community is your gateway to many Sage resources.