December 2015 Newsletter
What we’re talking about in December:
- Sage 100 Contractor is getting some well-deserved attention
- $15.96!! That’s about how much does paper-based AP processes are costing you! (AvidXchange FREE Webinar)
- It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Sage 5% – 10% – 15% discounts
- ACA training for S300CREin January
- Tips and Tricks for Sage 100 & 300CRE, CON, Estimating and Accounting
Sage 100 Contractor Gets Some Love
Over the last few years, developers that previously supported Sage 300CRE have expanded their market to include Sage 100 Contractor. Sage 100 CON offers an API to handle the writing of information from outside products into Sage 100, just as if the information had been entered by hand. This API insures that all rules for data are followed, for example date fields are structured properly, vendors exist, etc. As the development community has embraced this, the add-on stream has begun to build.
With the new SQL release for the Sage 100 database on the horizon, integration to Sage 100 will become even more popular! Sage North America (as the publisher) is firmly on the Sage 100 CON integration bandwagon. Recently, they have added reporting, service ops, and bid and project management modules that make the accounting software modern, effective, and affordable for GCs and subs.
Here’s a look at what’s currently available for Sage 100C – with four new products just in 2015! (Click on product names for links to more info!)
New Sage Modules for Sage 100 Con
Sage Service Operations -manage field ops from mobile devices
Sage Intelligence – financial reporting for S100
Sage Bid Management – collaborate with estimators, subs & suppliers
Sage Paperless Construction – store, retrieve and route documents
Sage Approved Integrators
Core Associates’ TimberScan (coming in 2016)
AvidXchange (formerly Piracle) – electronic payments for Sage
Want to increase your Sage 100 Contractor’s power? Email Mark Jensen for more core modules (on the Sage Special) or to add integration products!
Guest post from AvidXchange
How much are paper-based AP processes REALLY costing the construction industry?
It’s no secret that the construction industry is paper-intensive although it’s getting harder and harder to fathom why. Accounts Payable is especially an area of operations that can become more efficient and cost-effective with the use of automation. In Ardent Partners’ State of ePayables 2015 Report they cited that Best-in-Class organizations are paying on average $2.94 to process an invoice by utilizing automation, while other companies are paying on average $15.96 to process an invoice in a paper-based environment.
On the payments side, the Association of Financial Professionals recently cited that over 50% of business-to-business payments are still made by paper check. Processing a paper check can cost upwards of $7.00.* Best-in-class solutions payment automation solutions can process the same payment for less than a dollar. In addition, electronic methods, such as Virtual Credit Card (Merchant Accounts), create the opportunity for companies to not only save money, but actually make money, on payments through rebates.
While it’s difficult to imagine how paper can be so persistent, one of the main reasons why payments remain in mailboxes is vendor adoption. It takes time and energy to reach out to vendors to obtain their payment information and pose new payment options to them, which is very difficult to do with your existing employees that have full time jobs. However, AvidXchange has an entire service team that is dedicated to vendor conversion. What are the results? 45% adoption of electronic payments.
In addition to the monetary savings, automation adds significant value to accounts payable, including real-time visibility into performance and financial status, increased accuracy, and better compliance with tax laws and industry regulations. AvidXchange has assisted companies transition from paper-based to automated processes for the last 15 years and has a complete solution that facilitates an entirely automated process from invoice receipt through vendor payment. AvidXchange is integrated to Sage 100 Contractor and Sage 300 CRE and offers a blend of solutions to meet companies where they are on their journey toward a paperless AP process.
It isn’t hard to do the math on how much automation would save your company based on the industry stats provided, but if you’d like to see exactly how much your company could save, check out AvidXchange’s ROI Calculator.
*Aberdeen Research ePayables Report
FREE Webinar: Top 5 Reasons Construction Companies are Eliminating Paper Checks
Join Ledgerwood and AvidXchange on January 20th, 11am – Noon (Arizona Time)
Join us for this 30-minute exclusive webinar as our partner, AvidXchange, addresses the top 5 reasons construction companies are choosing to expedite their electronic payment process.
The top 5 reasons include:
- Eliminate the signing, stuffing, and mailing of paper checks
- Reduce operating costs of 60% or more
- Improve control over your payment process
- Gain 24/7 visibility into payment status and approvals
- Have dedicated services teams to do the manual work you don’t want to do
Learn how your company can go paperless to increase efficiency!
Get Yourself Something Shiny! The Annual 5/10/15% Sage Sale!
Have a little budget wiggle room at the end of the year? Give your company the gift of saving time, money, and risk mitigation. Add Users and Modules to Sage 100 Contractor or Sage 300 CRE!
- Add one user/module save 5%
- Add two users/modules save 10%
- Add three users/modules save 15%
Offer applies to Sage “on schedule” modules and MyAssistant only!
Ready to order or get pricing? Click here or call 480-423-8300 and ask for Tony (tell him you saw it in the Newsletter).
Breakfast Club: ACA & Sage 300CRE
Join us on January 21st for breakfast at our Old Town Scottsdale training center from 7:30 to 11:30.
Jared will discuss the ACA from the accounting perspective, i.e., additional indirect costs, burdens, etc., and Kathy will show you how to implement ACA requirements and reporting in your Sage 300 CRE software. Don’t miss this important discussion and demo!
Sign up here to get the dish on the ACA requirements!
Don’t forget to forward your newsletter to a friend, and follow LAI on Social Media for immediate construction and technology news!
Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn LAI Page | LAI Sage 300 CRE Users Group
Upcoming LAI Online Training and Networking Events:
Estimating Reports Webinar
Join us for an informative presentation of the top reporting tool available for Sage Estimating, SQL Edition.
Learn how to:
- Create itemized proposals in Excel
- Explore your spreadsheet
- Create a summary of your group cost codes
- Drill into the details including subcontractor and supplier details
- View interactive estimate
- Excel-based view of the estimate sheet for Sage Estimating
- Utilize Excel capability for functions, filter, sort, subtotal, copy/paste and more
In addition to the reports on the Liberty Reports LaunchPad, learn how you can design your own Excel-based report.
Estimating Buyout Webinar
Sage is excited to announce “Buyout for SQL Estimating.”
See how the new Buyout module works allowing you to “buyout” your estimate to different vendors and then create Purchase Orders and Subcontracts for those items.
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.
Closing Out the Year
Submitted by Walt Mathieson, Certified Sage 100 Consultant
With the introduction of multiyear general ledger functionality in version 19 of Sage 100 Contractor, year-end closings have become much more relaxed. No longer do we have to worry about closing the general ledger before we can record any transactions relating to the new fiscal year, and no longer do we have to understand how Period 0 postings work.
However, let’s not get too relaxed…. The Payroll Year must still be closed and a 2015 Payroll Archive must still be created! Fortunately, this is not a terribly difficult or time consuming process, but you have to time it correctly.
- Ensure that you have the latest version of the program, currently version 19.6.54, installed.
- Ensure that your employee names, addresses and social security numbers are up-to-date.
- Determine with your tax advisor or benefits administrator whether you will be required to file forms 1094-C and 1095-C to comply with the Affordable Care Act. If so, ensure that the monthly data is present and up to date on the ACA Tab of the 5-2-1 Employees records. Doing this before the Close Payroll Year process will help you avoid making entries twice.
- Run 5-3-7 Payroll Audit regularly and ensure that any audit errors are corrected.
- Be aware that you may receive information from payers of Third Party Sick Pay that can affect your payroll tax reporting. Ensure that any notices received have been properly reflected in your payroll records.
- Determine with your tax advisor that all amounts that should be reported on W-2 forms have been included, including taxable vehicle allowances and certain taxable benefits for owners. Also review which payroll calculation amounts may have to be reflected on the W-2 forms.
After the Last 2015 Payroll is Processed and Before Any 2016 Payroll Records are Entered:
- Run 5-3-7 Payroll Audit and ensure that there are no audit errors.
- Make a complete backup of the current company’s data folder.
- Decide ahead of the closing how you will name the 2015 Payroll Archive folder.
- Decide ahead of the closing whether you want to remove employee records for workers that have left the company.
- Log into the current company as Supervisor with Exclusive Access.
- Run 5-3-8 Close Payroll Year and follow the prompts and instructions carefully. It’s really rather simple!
Remember – prepare your 4th quarter payroll returns and your W-2 and W-3 forms from your 2015 Payroll Archive company.
Contact your Sage Certified Consultant for additional information or assistance with closing your payroll year.
Current Version Information
The latest version of Sage 100 Contractor is version 19.6.54, the release of which was announced on October 1, 2015. In addition to getting the most up to date tax tables, there are changes to the program to accommodate compliance with the Affordable Care Act.
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 email@example.com.
Sage Support for 2015 Year End
Submitted by Kyle Zeigler, Sage Senior Certified Consultant
In case you have not seen the recent notifications from Sage regarding your Sage 300 CRE (Timberline) software, I wanted to make sure you are aware of Sage’s support policy for year-end 2015. With the recent release of version 15.1, Sage has announced that only versions 14.1 and 15.1 will be supported in the 2015 year-end update. Therefore, if you are presently running version 13.1 or any earlier version, you will need to upgrade your software to at least version 14.1 in order to receive the year-end update. This is particularly important if you use the Payroll or Accounts Payable module.
However, if you use the Purchasing or Inventory modules, you may want to consider only upgrading to version 14.1. Sage is working to resolve the issue described below, and there is a work-around, so you can still use PO/IV with version 15.1, but you should be aware of the work-around described in the following notification before making your version upgrade decision. (Click image to go to the Sage Knowledgebase.)
For more information on other changes and fixes in versions 13.1, 14.1 or 15.1, or for assistance upgrading to a newer version, contact us at 480-423-8300.
Also, be sure to check our Upcoming Events Calendar for online Year-End preparation classes coming soon!
Avoid Buyer’s Remorse!
Submitted by Bryan Eto, CPA
Know the True Cost of New Equipment
All construction companies store equipment, from a garage full of tools, to a scissor lift, from something as simple as an auto trailer, to something as complex as a hightower crane.
These items represent costs that must be recouped or they simply absorb cash every time you call a mechanic, or they sap net profit whenever you get that depreciation deduction at year end.
The cost of your equipment is not just its price or the cost of fuel to operate it or the payroll of the operator on site. To gain perspective on the financial burden of owning equipment, ask your accountant to calculate a table similar this:
Know Your Hourly Cost For Equipment Use
The chart shows the basis for hourly and per-job calculations on a piece of specialized equipment. Here the insurance and maintenance costs add $17.67 an hour, which is about $700 a week, plus fuel costs to operate it, along with the payroll and transportation costs needed to get the machinery to the job and back. And the payroll of the men who operate it all week long. Don’t forget to code those to the job!
All costs should be considered when forging your hourly cost allocations for equipment, even if these are for internal job cost accounting purposes. And whenever these costs have not taken place yet, call upon your accounting, finance or tax professional to make sure they are estimated with precision by someone with knowledge of construction industry best practices.
Many business owners consider equipment as simply a capital outlay — they just want to spend the money once and get it over with. CFOs may view a purchase as a pure balance sheet transaction: another debt payment on a financing plan.
In reality, the price of a fixed equipment asset has a job cost component to it as well. This is true even if the actual payments are booked to the asset or liability, and there is no general ledger expense account involved.
If you are not expecting your jobs to carry the initial and ongoing cost of the equipment you own, you are shortchanging yourself on profitability by not aiming to recoup costs.
Bill for Your Use of Equipment, Even If You Own It
Never mistake the fact that your equipment is costing you to use it, even if you already own it. Your customers really rent the equipment from you for short periods of time on their jobs. As with a tenant, you need to set a rate for them to pay to use the equipment. The rate should not be arbitrary.
In fact, you can put an “equipment rental” line item and a number of hours on your bids and invoices. Customers need not know you own the gear. Just be certain you know exactly what the equipment costs to run per hour, per day, or per week.
If you are not sure, consult with a professional for a one-time analysis. Running equipment purchases by your accounting or tax adviser beforehand to produce something like this can put you in the driver’s seat rather than looking back knowing that hindsight vision is always 20/20.
Using the Right Tools for the Job
Submitted by Jim Hoeppner, Sage Senior Enterprise Managing Consultant
In the Sage Estimating Pervasive SQL version, the user can easily corrupt file if they try to use Windows Explorer to backup, copy, move or rename files. File tools are meant to be used for these action. The File Tools are found in the main estimating application under File. If the user wants to move, rename or copy the estimate that they are in, then they would need to exit the estimate. If they would want to backup, copy or move the database, then they would need to exit from the program.
Then a user may ask, “How would I use File Tools if I am out of the main program?” There is a module that is rarely used but very important to know. It is Estimating Tools. It installs automatically with the program. Any user can go directly to Estimating Tools within the Sage umbrella of product groupings. Once launched, the user will find File Tools under File menu in the module. The wizard of file tools guides the user through the necessary steps without damaging the files as can happen within Windows Explorer.
Aside from File Tools within Estimating Tools, you can also Merge Database, Protect or serialize your database to the registration name of the owner (to prevent use of the database if someone took it to another company that uses Sage Timberline Estimating) or create passwords to block or have read-only access on your information. The Help system in Sage Estimating is very good and will explain these topics further.
There are other features found under Setup such as: Change Phase Code Suffix, Change Job Cost Information, Change crew Price Method, Adjust DB Phase Spacing, Change Currency Type and Assembly Guide. Many of these won’t apply to the user, if they don’t export job cost information or use the crew feature. However, most people will use assemblies. Assembly Guide allows the users to transform the formulas within the assemblies into html format. Why would this be important? Many times a user is trying to change a formula or find all occurrences of a certain variable in the many formulas within an assembly. Assembly Guide explodes the formulas so that you can see what they consist of. This saves a lot of time, instead of trying to search for variables in all the different formulas.