December 2019 Newsletter
December: The power to choose technology — Part 2
- New! Monthly installments of new products, partners, and technology. Part Two of a new series.
- Procore: How do Contractors provide sustainable infrastructure solutions that don’t break the bank?
- Ruth S. says, “Not goodbye, but ‘See you later!’ “
- Sage Intacct: What’s new in Release 4.
- eSUB connects the field + office — webinar next week
- Awesome ‘Tips + Tricks’ for Accounting | Sage 300 CRE | Sage 100 CON | Sage Estimating
Power of Choice, Part Two
by Joanie Hollabaugh | LAI Sr. Director of Marketing
While we’re wrapping up 2019 and planning for 2020, let’s keep talking about choices.
Sage Intacct helps plan your future
If you’re considering Sage Intacct, let me reiterate that Intacct has SCHEDULED QUARTERLY releases. That means they’re ‘pushed’ right into your current system, with no hardware, consultants, or extra expenses. The November release just happened, so we included an article (below) to illustrate the depth/breadth of a typical release.
IMPORTANT: The Sage Intacct for Construction “early adopter” version is releasing in February at the same time as the version update. This will include standard core accounting modules: GL, AP, AR, purchasing, and billing. These are NOT ‘new’ modules; they have been around for years, and are systematically being ‘enhanced’ with construction features via each new release.
Also note that the Projects module has also been out for years and will be enriched with additional construction functionalities in controlled releases.
If you’ve been considering a move to the true cloud (not third-party hosted or hybrid solutions) from legacy systems, the pace for converting to Sage Intacct for Construction can be staged in strategically planned implementations. Roadmaps are generally available the quarter prior to the release, so you can align resources with capabilities.
2020 Release dates
- February 21
- May 15
- August 21
- November 13
Marketplace Partners (MPs)
Sage Intacct partners with more than 200 software solution providers! It’s easy to find the best functionality to meet your business operational needs.
LAI has been vetting out who we feel will add the most value to our clients’ businesses. The following MP is one of our front runners out of the gate!
workforce go! HCM
Workforce Go! HCM is a leading cloud-based Human Capital Management solution. It helps organizations manage payroll, people and time—from pre-hire through retirement. The software integrates seamlessly with Sage Intacct and works well with other general ledgers.
Watch this quick video for a general overview of the perfect accounting and HCM solution pairing. Workforce Go! HCM and Sage Intacct Integration (video, 1:12)
Great year end savings!
Optimize your Sage Estimating, 300 CRE or 100 CON to collaborate between the field + office!
- Save 5%* with 1 user license or module.
- Save 10%* with 2 user licenses or modules
- Save 15%* with 3 or more user or modules
Important Notice for updating 300 CRE
Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate Year End Update
For year-end 2019, Sage 300 CRE supports version 18. The year-end release of version 18.4 contains software changes that comply with government-related quarter-end and year-end reporting. The 2019 year-end update became available on Thursday, December 5th.
What this means to YOU
Any 300 CRE client with Payroll will need to install this before their first payroll checks are cut in 2020!
The Critical Role Contractors Play in Sustainable Infrastructure
Reprinted by permission from Procore Jobsite. | By Duane Craig | Posted on April 30, 2019 | Original blog here.
When midwestern floodwaters recently destroyed bridges and washed out 42 wastewater treatment plants, the heart of the nation felt the sting of an ongoing infrastructure challenge. More frequent and stronger weather events threaten infrastructure sustainability, forcing public budgets into cycles of repair and rebuild.
Contractors are on the leading edge of this challenge, tasked with providing sustainable solutions that don’t break the bank. Not surprisingly, research shows there is a big return on investment when infrastructure projects get built to a standard higher than many existing codes. However, it’s not about over-building, but smarter building.
Smart Investments = Create Big Returns
There is a lot at stake for public entities in stemming the total effects of severe weather on public investments. An independent study found that for every $3.5 billion spent mitigating the consequences of hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes, society would save $14 billion.
In the recent follow-up study, Natural Hazard Mitigation: 2018 Interim Report, the rewards of federal mitigation program grants returned a benefit of six dollars for every dollar invested. Meanwhile, adopting model codes for new construction returned a benefit of four dollars for every dollar invested. Research proves communities that consistently met newer codes improved infrastructure resilience.
They also added 30,000 jobs to the construction materials industry as well as increased domestic construction material use for each year of new construction. Even though public funding to mitigate natural hazards has dropped in recent years, contractors who understand the problems and solutions to infrastructure sustainability can still find opportunities in this market.
Build It Once
It’s obviously much cheaper to build a wastewater treatment facility or a bridge sustainably and then simply watch while it lasts through multiple extreme weather events. Especially, if it doesn’t necessitate repairing and rebuilding afterwards. And, exceeding the minimum code requirements for new public construction can often make a big difference in sustainability.
What about the already existing public infrastructure, though? What’s possible in changing the outcomes after severe natural events, and what are the benefits? The following examples tell the story:
Move It, Or Lose It
Contractors can often harden infrastructure by moving equipment out of the floodplain. For instance, using a federal grant from the Economic Adjustment Assistance program, Portsmouth, Virginia garnered a $112 million benefit to its wastewater treatment plant by spending $11.6 million in construction. In effect, the city saved $9.70 for every dollar spent when it relocated the electrical equipment for its Lake Kirby water treatment plant. What contractors did was to move the equipment from one foot below the 100-year floodplain to eight feet above the 500-year floodplain.
Columbus Junction, Iowa went a step further. It relocated an entire water treatment plant using the same grant assistance as Portsmouth. Contractors moved the plant from two feet below the 100-year floodplain to two feet higher than the 500-year floodplain. The result was $5.9 million in benefit for $4.6 million spent.
Often, the indirect costs of having an infrastructure facility down are overlooked in infrastructure considerations. For example, unworking bathrooms force business closures or increase spending on mitigation measures like renting portable toilets. Residents without water for showers and toilets are often forced to relocate temporarily.
These hidden costs all add to the savings when you build infrastructure more sustainably. Those are additional savings your public clients can use to justify sustainable infrastructure projects.
Bridging Severe Weather
When it comes to roadways and bridges, elevation can produce a sizeable return on investment. The folks in Iowa City, Iowa used an Economic Adjustment Assistance program grant to raise a road and reconstruct a bridge. In this case, the city got a $456 million benefit for $40.5 million in construction.
In 2014, New York State secured a FEMA grant to strengthen 20 bridges that had been at risk of having their foundations washed out in severe weather.
Making bridges more resistant to washout (scouring) greatly improves their sustainability. You can layer riprap, install cable-tied blocks, or install geobags. All of these improvements help to protect bridge abutments from washing out. For some bridges, like those in the New York case, engineers specified adding steel or concrete pile foundations.
Sometimes, you can change the activity of the water by increasing waterway openings to meet 100-year floodplain projections. Where ice forms in waterways, you can mitigate its effects by removing bridge piers causing ice dams that lead to localized flooding.
Most U.S. states report having moderate problems with bridge scouring. Some claim they’d have more scouring if it hadn’t been for countermeasures they’d used. Riprap was mentioned as the most widely used preventive measure, and it has a strong reputation for solving scouring problems.
Contractors who understand not just the challenges of severe weather on public infrastructure, but also the pros and cons of various solutions, position themselves as helpful resources to public entities. That little bit of extra knowledge can often tip a project in their direction.
It’s not goodbye – but see you later!
by Ruth Stockdale, LAI Director of PSG
We experience changes many times throughout our working lives. I have an upcoming change myself as I phase out of my role as Director of Professional Services at Ledgerwood Associates starting 1/1/2020.
I won’t be dropping out of sight immediately—this will be a phased process. I resist the word “retirement,” although others may call it that. I cannot visualize staying out of the software arena and am already committed to working at the 2020 TUG Conference.
But I do find I’m inclined to look both back and ahead at this point.
Most of my career has revolved around the software product we used to know as Timberline. I started with the company in 1980, working in Customer Support, managing that department, and overseeing the implementation of early Call Center technology. I moved on to working as an independent Sage Certified Consultant, then working full time for a Timberline user, and finally in 2016, taking on my current role at Ledgerwood Associates.
I first met Ed Ledgerwood in the early years when he was starting as a user, a consultant, and then a dealer for Timberline. Our paths have run parallel and intertwined since then. I also worked with Kerri Ledgerwood while I was still at Timberline, and I’ve known Tony Merry since I worked for a user and he was our Sales contact. We have a shared history.
In every aspect of this journey, I have been fortunate to work with remarkable people like the Ledgerwoods. Ed, Kerri, and I know many people who may have made temporary career changes, only to return to Sage 300 CRE and Sage 100 CON.
I’ve also met so many outstanding people in the user community! I worked with a fantastic product and learned more at every step. I’ve been exposed to specialty areas in Construction and Real Estate. And most recently I’ve seen the broader expanse of high-quality software products in Sage 100 CON and the treasure trove of integrated products. What a ride!
Every role I’ve had, I’ve left them in good hands and that is no exception here. We will have more details for you in 2020 but wanted to let you know about the beginning of an ending. Have you ever had someone say goodbye at a party and then not actually leave? It is a little like that, but I intend to make this process as smooth as possible for everyone. And for those of you who are newer to the industry or Sage products, I am confident that you will find continuity in the quality of the software and the people who support it.
Reprinted with permission from Sage Intacct | Written by Sandi Main, Director, Product Marketing | Posted December 2, 2019 | Original post here.
I’m pleased to announce that the latest version of our award-winning cloud financial management software—Sage Intacct 2019 Release 4—is now available.
Release 4 offers new capabilities to save users hours of time, reduce compliance and business risk, and gain new and deeper insights. A few highlights include:
- Forecast more accurately with visibility into draft contracts
- Save hours complying with ASC 606 for service-based variable consideration
- Control your project profitability with task-level visibility
- Get operational insights with over 60 out-of-box interactive reports
- Access budget context from your financial reports with a couple clicks
Let’s take a closer look at some of the new Release 4 capabilities:
Forecast more accurately with draft contracts
Sometimes when you enter a contract, you may not be ready to post it. You might need to do some research, have someone else review it, or get an approval first. Or you may want to generate a new contract to plan a renewal. In Release 4, you can create contracts, contract lines, and expenses in a draft state. You can save your progress without posting to the Contracts subledger or general ledger. That means you’re able to research, verify, or plan before you post. Draft contracts also provide visibility into what’s coming, allowing you to forecast more accurately.
Save hours complying with ASC 606 revenue timing rules for projects
For companies that use Sage Intacct to manage subscriptions and services together, Sage Intacct has been steadily enhancing how Sage Intacct manages contracts with projects. Organizations can leverage contracts and projects to estimate projects, defer revenue, and then bill and recognize revenue as the project progresses.
In Release 4, you can include estimated and deferred revenue for timesheet billings in multi-element arrangements associated to a contract. Instead of manually re-calculating revenue whenever a project is re-estimated, automatic re-calculation eliminates complex spreadsheet work and re-entry of the results into Sage Intacct, potentially saving hours of time. You also gain visibility into your entire booking when you create the obligation.
Remove barriers to project collections and accelerate cash
In Release 4, you can quickly and easily bill individually for multiple projects associated with a contract with unified invoice generation across contracts and projects. You can set your filter once, apply exceptions, and run. No filtering projects one by one. Now you have the flexibility to get some project bills out sooner or to bill according to your customer’s preference, removing barriers to collections and accelerating cash.
Control your project profitability with task-level visibility
Now you can analyze costs and profitability down to the task level. Expenses and revenues created across Sage Intacct—in General Ledger, Purchasing, Accounts Payable, and Accounts Receivable—can be associated to a task dimension. Associated tasks and attachments flow through to line items on the invoice. You get actionable insights and greater control of your project profitability. And, your customers have access to the billing details they need to inform their approvals, removing a barrier for payment.
Gain cash insights for your nonprofit with a click
The new, prebuilt Cash Analysis Dashboard provides instant and trusted cash metrics for nonprofit decision makers with the click of a mouse. It’s now part of all Nonprofit Quickstart templates. Whether you use the dashboard out-of-the-box or further tailor it to your needs, you potentially save hours of report and dashboard development time.
Get instant or accelerated value with over 60 new prebuilt, interactive reports
With over 60 prebuilt Interactive Customer Report Writer reports across all Sage Intacct application areas, you get instant, interactive insights. If you have the viewer subscription, you can view, pivot, drill, and filter the prebuilt reports to get transactional insights. Or, if you have the full builder subscription, you can use the reports as a starting point to accelerate your customizations, potentially saving hours of time.
Access budget planning assumptions from financials in a couple of clicks
When you review your budget versus actual performance inside Sage Intacct and want to know more about the budget assumptions, that insight is now just a couple of clicks away. With easy drill-down to budget preparation details, you can quickly understand performance and adjust course where needed.
Synchronize your budget to your financials in a couple of minutes
Budgets change frequently. If you have forecasts and other processes that rely on budget data, it’s important to keep your budget data up to date. But most budgeting solutions require you to export your data to a CSV file and re-import it into your financials. Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning connects directly to Sage Intacct, enabling you to push your budget data into your financials in just a couple minutes. And with Release 4, you have new, more flexible options. You can:
- Add to or replace an existing budget
- Synchronize your budget to financials at the top-level, specific entity, or consolidated budget for multi-entity, multi-currency companies
- Include budget comments for more context within your financials
These new options save time and provide the flexibility to help keep your downstream reports, forecasting, and analysis current.
Save time on transactions with new dimension flexibility and fixed allocation amounts
For transactions that have routine, predefined allocation splits across select dimensions, you can now assign values for remaining dimensions during transaction entry. Additionally, a new transaction allocation method handles over or under amounts after allocation. Any remaining amounts are applied to the transaction using the percentage allocation. These enhancements allow you to use your transaction allocation definitions more frequently, ensuring accuracy upfront for true real-time reporting.
To learn more
Sage Intacct 2019 Release 4 is available now. If you’re an existing customer, you can check out the Release 4 Release Notes or talk with your Customer Account Manager for more information.
Not yet using Sage Intacct? Attend a coffee break demo to learn more about how Sage Intacct helps you drive improved business performance—throughout your organization.
Subcontractors: Connect your field and office teams with eSUB + Sage
Free webinar, December 17, 11:00 am, MST
In your construction company, many people across departments need to work together to ensure that projects run smoothly. But when even one department or one person has insufficient tools to do their job, the entire project can run aground and cost you money—and lots of it. How can you drive better collaboration to ensure everyone is more productive?
How do you ensure the integrity of your data when working between different Accounting and Operations systems? Mobility!
Join eSUB and LAI as we show you how to improve field to office collaboration with testimony and case study from a large trade contractor. Learn more about Sage 300 CRE + eSUB, the leading field data collection and project management platform purpose-built for trade contractors.
You will learn how to:
- Capture jobsite activity from a mobile device to keep the office team up-to-date in real-time
- Integrate operations and financial systems to reduce manual data entry and increase accuracy
- Establish best practices to standardize operations and improve efficiency
eSUB is THE field data collection and operations platform designed specifically for subcontractors. Built on 30-plus years of expertise, eSUB’s mobile-first, cloud-based project management platform captures valuable project data to help self-performing contractors increase standardization, accountability, and productivity.
Our guest presenter Benny Baltrotsky is the Chief Strategy Officer of eSUB Construction Software. Because eSUB integrates with many different solutions including Sage 300 CRE, Benny is passionate about integrations. He is also founding member of the Construction Open Standards Alliance and Board Member of the Construction Progress Coalition, non-profit organizations dedicated to providing a framework to help develop open data standards in construction.
All registrants receive a recording of the webinar that can be viewed when convenient.
Lunch Box Talks for Sage 100 CON and Sage 300 CON
Ending soon! View on calendar – here
New and FREE! Get ready for Year End with these live events hosted by LAI Consultants
Cozy up to your computer, break out the PB + J sammy, and learn how the Consultants close the year in Sage 100 Construction. Classes will be held ONLINE, Thursdays at 11 AZ time.
*NOTE* – The “TICKETS” link sometimes does not work – a working url is in the body of the event
Missed any past events?
That’s OK. We recorded them for you and published them on the Ledgerwood Channel on You Tube. Watch (and follow, please) them here:
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.
The DOL announces final overtime rule impacting Arizona businesses
Submitted by BeachFleischman, CPAs
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a long-anticipated final ruling on September 24, 2019, which revises federal overtime regulations. Changes will be effective January 1, 2020, resulting in the eligibility of overtime pay for approximately 1.3 million workers.
As many business owners may recall, a similar overtime regulation update was initiated by the Obama Administration in 2016. However, a federal judge in Texas struck down the proposed Obama-era federal overtime rule, which would have made more than 4 million exempt employees eligible for overtime pay. As a result, the business community has cautiously anticipated this new 2019 overtime ruling.
Under this new 2019 DOL ruling, the standard salary threshold for exempt-level workers would increase to $35,568 per year or $684 per week. In comparison, the prior threshold was $23,660 per year and $455 per week.
The salary level increase may seem large to certain business owners. However, this change is far less extreme than the Obama-era proposed previously blocked by the federal court in Texas. By comparison, the Obama era change, slated to go into effect in 2016 would have doubled the minimum salary amount $47,476 annually or $913 per week. The total annual compensation level for highly compensated employees of $100,000 has been raised to $107,432 per year.
The Trump administration and the DOL have worked to revise regulations concerning overtime in this new proposal. Their work focused on several key topics:
- Whether to vary the salary threshold on a regional basis?
- Where the salary threshold should be?
- Whether the salary threshold should be updated automatically on an annual or multi-year basis?
The resulting 2019 DOL ruling does not vary on a regional basis. It also does not include a plan to automatically update the salary threshold and it does not alter the existing “duties test” regarding exempt level workers. However, the new ruling does allow employers to include commissions and bonuses to make up 10% or less of an employee’s total salary.
Lastly, the DOL is committed to reviewing this topic more frequently. However, any future modifications to the new salary threshold amount would be required to go through the same existing update process.
How the new ruling affects your business
Employers will be required to:
- Review the salary levels of all exempt level employees
- Calculate the cost of increasing the salary to the new threshold amount
Compare these new thresholds to the commensurate overtime expenses for hours worked in excess of 40 per week
For more information about the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule, please contact Larry Bailliere, chief executive officer – Contempo HCM, LLC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beach Fleischman 2201 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85016 | 602.265.7011 | http://beachfleischman.com | twitter: @BeachFleischman
Year End – the ‘Nice’ List
by Pam Schulz, Sage Senior Certified Consultant
Year end will be here before we know it, let’s make this list and check it twice
I have listed these items in the order they would typically need to be done. Some have deadlines!
The Basic List:
- Close/Archive 2019 payroll year — this is EXTREMELY time-sensitive; it MUST be done between the last payroll of 2019 and the first payroll of 2020
- Roll into next “accounting” period — this can be done whenever you “normally” roll the period each month
- Prepare Payroll Related Tax Forms including W-2 and ACA forms, be aware of deadlines (typically January 31)
- Prepare/Send 2019 Form 1099, be aware of January 31 deadlines.
- Get Ready for the CPA
Close/Archive 2019 payroll Year
- Process all 2019 pay records.
- Remember “special” entries
- “Shareholder health insurance”, etc
- Employer Health Insurance (if required for ACA)
- Remember “special” entries
- Payroll audit at option 5-3-7.
- Try “repair” first
- Fix errors
- Get help as needed
- Close Payroll Year (Database Administration on server)
- Archive 2019 Payroll Records
- Delete employees if desired
- Creates new 2020 Payroll Files
- Update Payroll Calcs at 5-3-1
- Update>Employees>Update Rates and Maximums>All Employees
- Maybe NOT Update Rates
- Example: 401k- new max not rates
- Maybe NOT Update all employees
- Example: Multi-state not all employees
- New Maximums:
- FICA- $137,700
- Check your state notices for rates and maximums
- Load software update
- Download update
- Watch for update from Sage in December
- When? After last 2019 payroll; before first 2020 payroll
- Not end of the world if timing varies a little
- Download update
- Roll into next “accounting” period
- Option 1-6; Change Period
- Calendar Year
- Period 1 of new year available when in period 12
- All new year’s periods available when in period 1
- Fiscal Year
- Simply change period as normal
- Prepare Payroll Related Tax Forms
- Prepare From Payroll Archive File
- Aatrix forms
- Federal Form 5-4-1
- State Forms 5-4-2
- Quarterly Reports
- State Quarterly
- Local forms?
- W2 and related forms
- File electronically with Aatrix
- Print or use Aatrix “Full” service
- Note due date- January 31
- ACA Compliance
- Update employee information at 5-2-1
- Run forms at option 5-4-1
- Prepare/Send 2016 Form 1099
- Initial Report
- Run/Check Forms
- Making Corrections
- Note Filing Dates – January 31
- Get Ready For the CPA
- Bank Reconciliations
- Clean UP accounts
- Special Reports/Entries
- Journal Entries
- Over/Under Report and Entry
- Trial Balance – Option 2-1
- Balance Sheet – Option 2-2
- Income Statement – Option 2-3
- Ledgers – Option 2-4
- Aging reports
- AR – Option 3-1-3
- AP – Option 4-1-3
- Lock the period
- Option 1-6; Manage Period Availability
- Unlock for Final CPA entries
- Relock for good
Of course, this does not cover EVERY detail- it is meant to guide you with at least the BASIC list of what needs to be done.
Need help from a certified Sage 100 Contractor Consultant? Just click, and we’ll contact you in a jiffy! It’s ‘No Big Deal, right?
Year-End 2019 — Critical Info
by Kyle Zeigler, Sage Senior Certified Consultant
In a drastic departure from prior years, Sage is only supporting one version of Sage 300 CRE with the year-end update to be released any day now. Users who have not yet upgraded to version 18 may face some challenges in 2020, particularly those who process payroll in their Sage software.
For this reason, users should be aware of the following with regard to version 18.4, which is the year-end update:
- Ensures compliance with Payroll year-end reporting and integration with Aatrix.
- For US Payroll, contains new fields in Payroll and other software changes that accommodate changes to Federal Form W4 effective 1/1/2020.
- For US Payroll, contains updates to the payroll tax calculator to accommodate changes to the Federal Form W4.
- Presently contains no planned software changes that relate to government forms processed in Accounts Payable or Property Management, or in the Canadian edition of Payroll.
- Regardless of the update, always perform the Aatrix forms update before processing any government-related forms.
- Does not contain any payroll tax update. Use Payroll > Tools Download Taxes to update payroll tax rates and tables.
- Contains new reports related to California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) compliance. These must be added using the Report Manager in the desired application.
- Estimates can now be imported into Project Management Change Requests from Sage Estimating (SQL) version 19.12.
- File Doctor can now detect text fields longer than allowed and can truncate the fields when fixed.
- If your present version is 16.1 or higher, you can upgrade directly to version 18.4. If your present version is lower than 16.1, see Knowledgebase article 23783.
- Sage 300 CRE version 18.4 is compatible with Sage Estimating (SQL) versions 18.12, 19.11 and 19.12, but is not compatible with any Pervasive version of Sage Estimating if both estimating and accounting software are on the same machine.
- Document Management is being retired as of 12/31/19, so there is no integration between Document Management and Sage 300 CRE version 18.4.
Helpful Knowledgebase articles include:
- 101944, 2019 Year-End Software FAQ
- 101789, Form W4 – Employee’s Withholding Certificate (video)
- 101838, FAQ: California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
- 23783, Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate and Sage Estimating (Pervasive) Upgrade Paths
- 101852, I won’t be able to install the year-end version 18.4 before printing U.S. payroll checks for 2020. What are my options?
To be notified when Sage software updates or payroll tax updates are available, subscribe to the Sage City forum Sage 300 CRE Announcements, News and Alerts. Also see Sage’s video regarding version 18.4 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=438&v=4BvQZj6m5Og&feature=emb_logo.
For assistance with upgrading your Sage software or installing the year-end update, please contact Ledgerwood Associates.