February 2017 Newsletter
What we’re talking about in February:
- Are you still in love with your software? Five ways to fan the flame!
- FINALLY! Sage add User/Modules sale
- Want to tie time and scheduling to the job?
- Quickbooks CAN’T but Sage 100 Contractor CAN!
- It’s a “triennial” event: CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017
- Conquer your inner scaredy-cat with online Report Designer classes!
- Awesome ‘Tips and Tricks’ for Sage 300 CRE | Sage 100 CON | Sage Estimating
How to fall in love with your Accounting Software
by Joanie Hollabaugh
Love the one you’re with…
We all get frustrated by technology. And most likely, 90% of your work day is spent using technology (or at least it seems that way). So it would make sense to love the software programs we work in right? Seeing how we’re in the Valentines’ season, we are sharing ways to renew the relationship you have with your Sage solution.
64% is rarely or never used!
A study done by the Standish Group of the ‘usage factor’ in enterprise software showed that only 7% of the potential was “always” used; 13% was “often” used; and 16% was “occasionally” used. That’s crazy, when you think about the upfront investment — plus implementation, training, and annual maintenance costs!
Chances are when your system was implemented, you learned the basics to keep the business going, promising yourself you would learn more down the road. You’re not alone!
Five ways to fall in love with your Sage system:
1. Speed date!
If your legacy system is running slowly, it’s time to crank up the speed. Our consultants have great tips and tricks for making Sage 300 CRE run faster (click the links to read the full articles):
2. Give your system a ‘Significant Other’
Could you use someone who routes emails, creates alerts, and sends the right report at the same time every week? Then MyAssistant is for you. This ‘Gal-Monday-through-Friday’ can assign and track the most important “actionable” tasks to employees in priority order with the help of MyCommunicator. Plus, MyAssistant is much cheaper than hiring a FTE! Isn’t that worth getting your own coffee?
Another great option is TimberScan. Eliminate tedious paper clutter, automate your AP process, and make your Sage 300 CRE perform to a new level! Watch how TimberScan can reduce burdens and add time and savings back into your business. Made to seamlessly integrate with (Timberline) Sage 300 CRE. Sign up for a one-hour webinar HERE.
3. Share the love
Chances are, everyone using the software has their own tips and tricks. Why not share them at a company-paid communal lunch once a month? People love to share what their good at; plus it’s great for team-building and training new hires. Assign a different department or employee each month to ‘wow’ their peers with their prowess.
4. Become a power user
If you haven’t joined “TUG” (Timberline Users Group) you’re missing a terrific resource! With newsletters, and online bulletin board, local chapters, monthly training webinars, local events, and a national convention — TUG is the ultimate go-to place when you want expert user help.
And lastly, take advantage of LAI’s online training – we’re reinstating the online Report Designer class this month. In 3 weeks, you can conquer your fear of creating reports with Report Designer! More here.
5. Become an advocate
If your company is just getting out of the post-recession slump, petition to get back on plan, or upgraded to the latest version release. Use the current release notes to make your business case, citing improvements, new features, and fixes. Your boss may appreciate your personal interest in leveraging value out of his investment in the accounting software.
Speaking of love…
Purchase Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate, Sage 100 Contractor, or Sage Estimating modules or user licenses by 3/31/2017 and receive the following discounts based off number of add uses/modules:
BUY MORE, SAVE MORE!
Add 2 Users or Modules, save 10% add 3, save 15%, add 4 or more, save 20%!
Promotion is valid for Sage on-schedule products and select OEMs (My Assistant, Office Connector, eTakeoff, and Sage Paperless Construction). RS Means, SAP Crystal Reports, Document Management, and On Screen Takeoff not included.
Send an email or call 480-423-8300 and mention you saw it in the newsletter!
Quickbooks CAN’T — but Sage 100 Contractor CAN!
Outgrown QB and need Accounting software based on the JOB??
Let’s face it, QuickBooks Contractor is great for a small startup company; it shows the expected financials and has an easy learning curve. However, it was NOT designed with job-specific financial information that contractors, specialty contractors, subcontractors, GCs and commercial or residential builders need most. The focus of Sage 100 Contractor (formerly MasterBuilder) is based around the JOB.
The Sage 100 CON dashboard shows all of the same financials that QB does. However, it takes functionality to the next level with critical information of the JOB: cash flow by job, under/over billings by job, job contract budget and cost to date, job uncommitted billing, etc.
For example, the Job Contract, Budget and Cost to Date Status report in Sage 100 CON shows the contract, change orders to the budget, percent complete, and estimated profit on a job. Another exclusive feature in Sage 100 CON is the Committed Costs snapshot that lists standard Cost Codes separate from the parts list. QB combines those codes and locks them into one item category.
FREE Webinar: Thursday, February 23 from 11:30 – 12:30
Scheduling with Job Cost Codes? Yes, please.
Sage Service Operations – track time and equipment, create field reports and work orders – in the field!
This is what you’ve been waiting for – full scheduling capability that ties to your Sage 100 Contractor or Sage 300 CRE accounting system! Anywhere you can access the web, you can manage from the field.
- Track equipment and subcontractors
- Manage time entries (punch in/out, assign to jobs, multiple entries) with geo-stamping
- Attach photos and videos from the job into the system
- Create daily field reports on change orders, safety violations, RFIs (plus custom reports)
- View jobs and crew assignments on a calendar by day, week, or month
- Track travel and payroll time (with breaks and lunch times)
Playback this 40-minute video “Gain greater efficiency in the field with Sage Service Operations for Construction” or fill out this form to schedule a private demo:
When: March 7, 2017 – March 11, 2017
Where: Las Vegas Convention Center | twitter: @conexpoconagg
Catch LAI in Sage Booth S64057!
It only happens every three years: where every major construction industry is represented amongst 2,500+ exhibitors over 2,500,000 square feet and more than 150 education sessions including asphalt, aggregates, concrete, earthmoving, lifting, mining, utilities and more. From contractors to dealers & distributors, service providers, engineers and producers, CONEXPO-CON/AGG brings construction professionals from across all disciplines. No other show’s attendees represent more sectors of the construction industry than CONEXPO-CON/AGG.
You can still get 20% when you register in advance!
Pssst…dont’ forget to ask Tony Merry for the “show specials” when you visit the Sage booth.
Take the Fear out of Report Designer
Don’t let it scare you! For Sage 300 CRE users:
Want the basics on reporting in Sage 300 CRE (Timberline)? This class, led by Sage Certified Consultant Kyle Zeigler, will give you the confidence you need to create reports right in your software! These are 2 hour sessions, scheduled three weeks consecutively.
FEE – $249. These progressive, two-hour classes start with the (mandatory) basics:
- Data Structure Concepts, so you get a great foundation for in-depth training.
- The next class, Plan, Design & Create a Basic Report will walk you through the fundamentals of Report Designer.
- Finally, class three will teach you how to Create Formulas, Use Functions & Manage a Custom Report – with total confidence!
Interact real-time with Kyle Zeigler, Certified Sage Consultant, and your peers through a GoToTraining environment, where you can ask questions, receive assignments, and take a “final” – which guarantees you will be up-to-speed on the capabilities of Sage 300 CRE reports.
All classes will be recorded and available online for 90 days after the session has ended.
Follow LAI on Social Media for current construction and technology news!
Upcoming LAI Online Training and Networking Events:
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.
Important Tax Figures for 2017
Submitted by Bryan Eto, CPA BeachFleischman
The following table provides some important federal tax information for 2017, as compared with 2016. Many of the dollar amounts are unchanged or have changed only slightly due to low inflation. Other amounts are changing due to legislation.
Beach Fleischman 2201 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85016 602.265.7011 | http://beachfleischman.com | twitter: @BeachFleischman
Track vendor liens in Sage 100 CON
by Kelcie Jensen, Sage Certified Consultant
Don’t waste time in Excel!
Have you been tracking liens in an Excel spreadsheet? Did you know that you can log that information in Sage to directly track vendor liens?
Tracking lien rights can be an important function of any Construction office. Whether it is tracking pre-liens from subcontractors and vendors or sending your own pre-lien notices, Sage 100 Contractor can help with streamlining this process.
To track liens from vendors
- Open the 3-5 Jobs (Accounts Receivable) window.
- Using the data control, select the job.
- On the Options menu, click Lien Waivers.
- In the Pre-lien# text box, enter the pre-lien number. (Note: The pre-lien number is a reference number provided by the vendor.)
- In the Vendor text box, enter the vendor number of the vendor who sent the pre-lien.
- If the pre-lien includes a second vendor, enter the vendor number in the Second Vendor text box.
- In the Received text box, type Yes if you received a pre-lien from the vendor.
- In the Date Received text box, enter the date of when you received the pre-lien.
- In the First Date text box, enter the date when the vendor first appeared on the job.
- In the Last Date text box, enter the date when the vendor finished the job.
- In the Lien Rights text box, type Yes if the vendor has lien rights.
- In the Joint Check text box, type Yes if the vendor is paid with a joint check.
- In the Final Waiver text box, type Yes if you have received the final lien waiver from the vendor.
- In the Final Date text box, enter the date when the final lien waiver was received.
Repeat the steps for each pre-lien you receive, then click File and Save.
To auto-generate and send pre-liens
- Open the 3-5 Jobs (accounts Receivable) window.
- Using the data control, select the job.
- On the Options menu, click Pre-Lien Information.
- There, depending on the nature of your project and your company’s needs, you can fill out the information needed.
- Print the pre-lien from 3-1-10 Pre-Lien Notices.
This information can be modified to match your company’s needs. Contact Ledgerwood if you need assistance with these modifications.
Need help with your Sage 100 CON reports? Pam and Kelcie can help! Click below to request an appointment.
Financial Reporting for Prior Years
Submitted by Kyle Zeigler, Sage Senior Certified Consultant
How to create a report that goes back more than 2 years
What some users view as one of the shortcomings of Sage 300 CRE is the inability to print financial statements for periods more than two years in the past. When printing a balance sheet, income statement or trial balance from GL > Reports > Financial Statements, users have the ability to “roll back” the statement from the current period to any period in the current fiscal year, or any period in the immediate prior fiscal year. Producing financial statements for fiscal years more than two years in the past is possible by creating special financial statement designs in the FS (Financial Statement) module. However, users can also preserve the ability to print prior year financial statements for up to ten years if the recommended year-end closing procedures have been followed.
When running the General Ledger Close Fiscal Year task, the user is asked, “Have you backed up the Master file and the transaction files?” This question does not refer to nightly backups using a third party backup system, but instead refers to the use of File Tools from within Sage 300 CRE to back up either the GL files or the entire data folder. If these backups have been obtained prior to closing the year, the GL files alone can be restored to an archive folder for prior year financial statement reporting purposes.
6 steps for creating a GL archive folder:
- Locate the .tsZip or .tsZip2 backup file created just prior to running the Close Fiscal Year task.
- Use Common Tasks > Tools > File Tools to Restore the GL files only to a new folder in the same location on your server as your other Sage 300 CRE data folder(s). The files to restore are the Master.glm, Current.glt and History.glt, and ts.ctl, and the folder to contain the files can be created during the restore process. Be sure to determine a folder naming convention that clearly identifies the contents, such as “GL Archive 2015-2016, to let others users know that this folder can be used to print financial statements for the two years specified.
- Once the files are restored, use File > Company > Open Company and the Specify Folders button on the Open Company window to navigate to the new folder location and add it to the company list. Because the GL archive folder and the original live data folder will temporarily have the same company name, be sure to enter the GL archive folder name in the folder description when prompted to do so. This will help distinguish this folder from the live folder until the next step is completed.
- Select the GL archive folder from the Open Company selection list. With this company open, use Common Tasks > File > Company Settings > General to rename the company to the GL archive folder name. Hint: If you put a “z” or “x” in front of the company name, this will place it at the bottom of the list of companies in the Open Company selection list. Be sure to save the changes.
- To use the same financial statements that you use in your live data folder, use File > Company Settings > File Locations to enter the UNC path to your live data folder for the four File Types with the FS designation. Be sure to save the changes.
- Repeat these steps for any .tsZip or .tsZip2 file you have for prior years.
You should now be able to print financial statements for the year just closed and the immediate prior year, as well as for any other prior years also restored to additional archive folders.
Want help from a Certified Sage Consultant with your Year End?
How to prepare if your top estimator walks out the door
Reprinted with permission from Sage | Written by Deb Carpenter Beck
Over the years I’ve heard stories of top-notch estimators whose knowledge and strong bid-hit ratios went with them when they left a company. For those left behind, finding and training another estimator took time—something many contractors don’t have when they’re trying to keep a pipeline full.
One way many contractors prepare for this type of situation is to standardize their estimating processes. This allows them to capture estimating best practices and more easily share them with existing and new estimators. In fact, according to construction estimating software research and reviews company Software Advice, process standardization is one of the top benefits of deploying construction estimating software say respondents to a 2013 Software Advice survey.
Along with standardization, making sure your estimating system is easy to use will minimize the learning curve for new employees and get them up to speed quicker. Here are a few things to consider when evaluating your current or a new system.
- What does the user interface look like? A lot of estimators use every-day spreadsheets for their estimates and are comfortable with that format. How does the software’s interface compare to that experience? Will it be a big leap for them to use a new estimating tool?
- Does your system work the way an estimator does? A good estimating system shouldn’t force estimators to do things out of the norm; it should accomodate their personal estimating style while also supporting standardization.
- How quickly can a first bid be created? When a new estimator comes on board, how soon can they produce an estimate that reflects your company’s estimating methodology? How easy is it to access items, up-to-date costs, formulas, productivity, and conversion factors to put together a reliable estimate?
Of course, if you want to change your estimating software, these questions will also apply to assure your current estimators get up to speed quickly on the new system. Estimators don’t have time to mess around with software that doesn’t make sense. Giving them easy-to-use tools that capture their collective knowledge can raise the overall level of estimating in your company and reduce your risk when you need to hire a new estimator.