January 2019 Newsletter

What we’re talking about in January:

  • Procore’s “Jobsite” article on Top 5 construction trends for 2019
  • Bundle up and save up to 20% on Sage Service Ops and Field Ops mobile apps
  • Still working on YE? Visit the Sage Year End Center – all the links you need
  • It’s Trade Show Season! See you at WOC and IBS?!
  • What’s old is new again: Relevant trends repeat in 2019 by Ruth S.
  • Awesome ‘Tips and Tricks’ for Sage 300 CRE | Sage 100 CON | Sage Estimating


New trends for the New Year

by Joanie Hollabaugh

Is it just human nature to make predictions for the future? Everything from Chinese zodiac animals to farm futures, from weather almanacs to economic trends, people like (and sometimes depend) on guessing what the next year will bring.

So, what will 2019 bring for the construction industry? Procore’s “Jobsite” blog published an excellent article, reprinted, below.

5 Top Construction Trends to Watch in 2019

Trends that will impact construction businesses in 2019 continue developing in the political and economic spheres. But, certain project types are also trending among investors and owners.

From a macroeconomic view, you can expect rising interest rates, according to Goldman Sachs. Coupled with the “fading fiscal stimulus,” the economy will probably decelerate in 2019, going from 3.5 percent to 1.75 percent growth. Rising inflation is also a trend expected to hit 2.25 percent by the end of next year.

Construction’s trajectory toward better production will speed up as more owners and contractors recognize doing business in the same old ways is no longer an option. Innovation will lead to transformation, and the companies that set and maintain a course toward improving efficiencies will be better positioned to weather expected lower volumes of work.

“The key word for real estate’s future performance is transformation—in technology, in generational choices, in a reconfiguration of preferences by geography and by property type, and in the potential for new investors in the asset class.” PwC’s Emerging Trends in Real Estate® 2019

1. Residential Growth

PwC’s 2019 real estate report blamed the rising costs of land, financing, and materials for a topsy-turvy housing market. The upper end of the market gets served while the middle-to-lower end loses out on affordable living spaces. Even though it appears millennials have gotten the homeownership bug, the shortage of labor, fueled by immigration policies adds to housing’s woes.

There are 1.3 million housing starts predicted for 2019. However, that volume of starts won’t completely serve the 1.5 million new households expected next year. As demand rises, so do the prices. Unfortunately, that’s going to price many more people out of not just single-family ownership, but rentals as well. While high-end apartments have performed well in recent years, 68 percent of PwC’s survey respondents now say that the market is already overpriced.

Prime categories for further development in 2019 include senior housing and moderate-income apartments. Growing demand for moderately-priced single-family homes and masterplanned communities also increase the development prospects for those two sectors, along with multifamily condos and manufactured home communities. As land prices restrict development in 2019, you can also expect to see more vertical projects.

Another residential growth trend will be remodeling. In fact, the Joint Center for Housing Studies predictsseven percent growth. Rising home values are putting more equity into the hands of homeowners. Larger gains could be in store if housing starts catch up to demand.

2. Construction Tech Adoption

Look for a potential doubling in the number of contractors adopting technologies like drones, equipment monitoring, wearable technology, augmented reality, digital services, and virtual reality. The impetus is coming from the need to improve productivity in the face of labor and skills shortages. In the Q4 2018 USG Corporation + U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index report, 74 percent of surveyed contractors expect to adopt new technologies over the next three years.

74 percent of surveyed contractors expect to adopt new technologies over the next three years.

3. Smart Buildings 

The contractor backlog dropped to 10 months late this year, down from 10.3 in the third quarter. Shorter backlogs hint at lower construction volumes in the future. However, there are some mixed signals because contractor confidence has increased even though contractors expect their revenues to level off in the coming months.

Mixed-use properties are expected to attract more investment, according to Deloitte’s 2019 Commercial Real Estate Outlook. Projects get more investment interest when they offer flexible leases and flexible spaces. The trendsetters in the commercial space will still adhere to the concept of location, location, location, but they will spend more effort in re-imagining how spaces can serve people better. Chief among their tactics is incorporating technology into buildings that improve the user experience while offering stimulating ambiance, open seating, amenities and networking options.

4. Libraries and Museums 

Office projects in some cities, transportation projects, highways, streets, bridges, water projects, libraries, museums, and amusement projects top the list of fastest growing construction categories for 2019. However, the same wildcard trends that affect other construction categories will remain at work here. Labor shortages, rising interest rates, and growing input costs will all conspire to moderate growth next year.

5. Prefab and Modular Units

You should expect to see more prefabrication and modular units on projects. The labor shortage, materials prices, and interest rate increases will cause developers to look for ways to remove risk and speed up projects. Building information modeling (BIM) is on a growth trend with 5D building information leading the charge. By incorporating time and cost factors into building models, contractors will reap new efficiencies as they get deeper views into costs, productivity, and schedules.

Contractors will also look for ways to control the costs of business. They will use software technologies to improve project management and document handling. Moreover, early adopters will start using more data collection and analysis to make better decisions more quickly. Another trend is the expected continued growth in construction equipment investment, with more focus on leasing.

If you enjoyed this article, click here to learn about the construction lifecycle and how to make it work for your business. For many more informative eBooks visit this page.   

To learn more about which construction technology trends to look out for in 2019, be sure to check out this webinar.

Sage Sales Flash

Bundle up and save on mobile apps!

Been thinking of adding Sage Sales Operations (SSO) or Sage Field Operations (SFO) to your Sage Construct solution? Now you can save up to 20% on subscriptions!

  • Save 10% on 5 – 9 users
  • Save 15% on 10 -14 users
  • Save 20% pm 15+ users

No obligation, no big deal!

About Sage Service Operations (SSO)

Sage Service Operations bridges the gap between the field and office staff by bringing Service Management to the field. Core functionality provides Work Order (WO) processing, service site history, sales opportunity creation, and mobile Purchase Order (PO) creation. SSO works with BOTH Sage 100 CON and Sage 300 CRE!

With Sage Service Operations, managers and technicians have access to real-time information anytime, anywhere. Increase the efficiency of your service operations with the ability to track critical items in the field including assignments, work orders, quotes, preventative maintenance, purchase orders, customer equipment, site history, refrigerant, notes, and time worked.

Sage Service Operations has been designed to support most mobile platforms, including the Android and iOS. Provide your customers with accurate, real-time information on service requests, history, equipment and more.

About Sage Field Operations (SFO)

Sage Service Operations provides field technicians with the critical information they need while office teams receive real-time updates from the field, resulting in higher quality work, improved efficiency, and maximum profitability of your service operations. Integrated with Sage 100 Contractor and Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate, Sage Service Operations helps you deliver excellent customer service anywhere, anytime — so you retain your clients today and win new clients tomorrow.


Sage Year End last minute help

Sage links & resources

Closing the books for 2018? We’re here to help.

  • Join industry peers, certified partners, and Sage pros online 24/7 for fast answers at the busiest time of year. Visit the Sage Year-end Center to find:
  • Forums: Join the Sage community to share product tips and help.
  • Articles: Browse year-end-specific topics, checklists, and guides.
  • Product Information: Review the latest news on product enhancements and tax updates.
  • Training: Register for courses specifically geared to help manage year-end tasks.
  • Live Chat: Get online assistance from knowledgeable analysts on the chat enabled products.
  • To keep up with the latest year-end tips, updates and information, bookmark the below URL today: www.sagecity.com/yearend


We’re here to help! Contact LAI, visit Sage City to join product discussions or search articles in the Sage Knowledgebase.


LAI Resource collection

Bookmark your page by clicking on the Sage product you use. 

Lucky you! LAI has created a landing page with resources from Sage and from us!  There’s blogs, links, and advice — aplenty! And we add more as we go, or get new info. (And check out all the training options, below.)





It’s trade show season! Are you going?

Two great shows for the construction industry are coming to LVCC this winter, and we hope to see you at both!

World of Concrete – January 21 – 25, Las Vegas Convention Center

Visit Sage & LAI in Booth N1463

WOC was introduced to the commercial construction industry in Houston, Texas in 1975, and boasts more than 1,500 exhibiting companies and 58,000 registered industry professionals in more than 745,000 net square feet of exhibit space.

Seminars start on Monday January 21st and carry on throughout the show. Exhibition begins on Tuesday, the 22nd through Thursday until noon.

Not sure you should go? Read this fun blog on the History of Concrete and Ten reasons to attend World of Concrete this year.

Register here

NAHB International Builders Show – February 19 -21, Las Vegas Convention Center

Visit Sage & LAI in IBS Booth #SU224

One of the best shows to network, learn, and see the latest in in home innovation and the newest products. Emmy Award-winning actor and comedian Dana Carvey will headline the Design & Construction Week® Opening Ceremonies. What else can you expect? Keep reading below for highlights, or go to the official show blog, here for more.

New products and hot tech!

Discover the latest products on the industry’s largest exhibit floor featuring 1,500+ top manufacturers and suppliers, PLUS access to the exhibits of the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show®(KBIS), as part of Design & Construction Week®.

Top trends!

Select from 130+ IBS Education sessions with 3-day access to the industry’s best speakers and knowledge in topics covering 7 industry-specific tracks. PLUS, a full-year’s subscription to IBS Education On Demand.

Learn tips + tricks

See construction demos led by industry experts showcasing the latest in building science in the High Performance Building Zone and tap into the knowledge of the people, products and processes that are transforming the future of our industry in IBS Live.

Register here

Not so New Year?

Reprise: business trends for 2019

by Ruth Stockdale, Director of Professional Services

Last year at this time, we listed some common trends for the upcoming year of in the January 2018 Newsletter. As we start fresh in 2019, it seems that some topics are always relevant.

Evolving IT offerings

  • The evolution of technology is a series of events—small and large. Plan on reviewing this every year.
  • Demand for mobile access to information in the field continues to grow. Those who track statistics generally find a large gap between the number of companies who want mobile access and those who implement it. Perhaps this is your year to try it.
  • SQL – what is it and why should you care? Because SQL is a growing part of most data structures it can impact how you approach reporting, data integration and security. You should understand enough basic definitions and concepts to converse with your IT people and consultants.

Labor Market and Workforce Needs

  • Ask your HR group if any data can help with development and retention — payroll labor tasks or hours; job pay history; Sage training completion.
  • A tried and true option is to cross train and develop accounting staff. Based on a commonly quoted definition, training helps you do your current job and development helps you expand to do other jobs. Both are options for Sage users using LAI and Sage resources.
  • Streamline workflows to enhance cross training, ensure that processes are easier for new people to be trained on, allow use of personnel for other responsibilities.

Process Improvements

  • Some experts make a living predicting whether demand for your business will increase or decrease in 2019. We don’t presume to know that, but we do know that in either case your data systems are critical to business performance.
  • Reports need to be complete, accurate and timely. Look at your normal scheduled reports and verify that the designs are current and accommodate any data or format changes.
  • Aggressively use exception reports or alerts to keep you informed about potential data issues.
  • Efficiency always matters. Re-evaluate workflows to see if steps can be combined or automated, or if any steps need to be separate for security reasons.
As always, let us know if we can help you.  It’s REALLY ‘No Big Deal!’



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

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


Upcoming LAI Online Training and Networking Events:


Go it alone!

Submitted by Bryan Eto, CPA BeachFleischman

The solo 401(k) plan

If your business is essentially a one-person operation, there’s an option to help you save more money for retirement: The Solo 401(k) plan.

Tax Year

2019 limit on elective deferral contributions

2019 limit on combined elective deferral and employer contributions

Under Age 50



Over Age 50



Traditional vs Solo – rock those earnings!

Ordinarily, traditional defined contribution retirement plans allow annual contributions that are limited to either 25% of salary if you’re employed by your own S or C corporation or 20% of self-employment income if you operate as a sole proprietor or single member LLC. Also, traditional profit sharing plans, Keogh or SEP plans are subject to a $56,000 cap on contributions to your account for 2019 (up from $55,000 in 2018).

Not bad, but with a Solo 401(k) plan, you can probably make substantially larger contributions that lower your tax bill and generate more tax-deferred earnings for retirement.

The upticks

A Solo 401(k) is made up of two separate parts. Together, the two parts make the plan advantageous:

  1. Elective deferral contribution. As much as 100% of the first $19,000 of your 2019 salary or self-employment income can be put into an account (up from $18,500 in 2018). That amount increases to $25,000 if you are 50-years-old or older at year end.
  2. Additional employer contribution. Your employer (your company or you personally, if you are self employed) can contribute an additional 25% of your salary or 20% of your self-employment income.

The sum of the two parts is capped at 100% of your annual employee compensation or self-employment income, or $56,000 in 2019, whichever is smaller (up from $55,000 in 2018). However, the dollar cap is increased to $62,000 for people age 50 or older.

A Solo 401(k) doesn’t force you to contribute more than you can comfortably afford: The plan lets you rack up major tax savings in good years, by making maximum contributions, but gives you the option of contributing less — or even nothing — in lean years when you need to conserve cash.

Plus, you generally get the benefits of traditional 401(k) plans, such as the ability to borrow from your account.

Establishing and operating any 401(k) plan means some up-front paperwork and ongoing administrative effort. With a Solo 401(k), however, the administrative work is simplified since you are the only participant.

The caveats

  • If you earn a very high income and are younger than 50, the Solo 401(k) may not permit larger contributions than a traditional plan because of the dollar cap on annual contributions to $56,000 for 2019 ($55,000 in 2018). In general, you should only set one up if it allows significantly larger contributions because a Solo 401(k) costs more to operate.
  • If you have employees, you may also have to contribute to their accounts. In this case, you have a regular 401(k) plan that is subject to some complex rules.

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



The 2018 year-end tax and product update


  • Do not install this update until you have computed and posted all payroll records with check dates in 2018.
  • If you use third-party products that integrate with Sage 100 Contractor, check with your software vendors before upgrading to ensure their products are fully compatible with this release.

Supported versions

For year-end 2018, Sage is providing payroll tax tables for Sage 100 Contractor (SQL). You must be using v20 or higher to install and use the 2018 year-end tax update. Sage no longer provides updates for v19.8 and earlier versions.

Review the system requirements and release notes before upgrading:

Download and install version 21.3

Read How do I upgrade my software and my company data to the most current version of Sage 100 Contractor SQL? for steps on installing the software.

Download the update from the Sage Knowledgebase:

  1. Click the link below to download and install the update:

Download Sage 100 Contractor 2018 (SQL) version 21  [KB 91309]

  1. If you are prompted to log on, enter your Customer Portal Username and Password, and then click Log on.

Get critical software updates in Sage City

by Kyle Zeigler, Sage Senior Certified Consultant

Subscribe to get Announcements, News & Alerts

Ledgerwood Associates know how annoying it can be to get unsolicited email! Still, we want to be sure you’re not missing out on critical Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate product updates and other timely announcements about Sage 300 CRE. Since Sage knows that their emails can end up in your spam or junk folders and never be seen, they’ve designed a way for you to be in control of the emails you receive about your software. Very soon, Sage City will be the only place to obtain news of product updates, including payroll tax and year-end updates. By subscribing to the Sage City Announcements, News and Alerts forum, you can be sure you’ll be alerted when important information is posted to this forum.

Never heard of Sage City? According to Sage:

Sage City is the official community of Sage and the best place to get the latest product news. It also happens to be a great resource for connecting with industry peers, certified partners, and Sage pros to ask questions as well as share product tips and tricks.

And the best part is that it’s available online 24/7.

Benefits of Sage City for your company

  • Everyone in your organization can create an account and subscribe to as many forums as they want—no more forwarding emails to everyone in the company!
  • You can visit the product release forum whenever you want to see the latest information about product releases and updates.
  • You can explore and join other forums where you can post questions, make comments, share information, and collaborate with others in your industry.

How to subscribe

  1. Go to Sage City at www.SageCity.com.
  2. Click the outline of a person in the upper right-hand corner.
  3. If you are already signed in, your profile picture displays instead of an outline. Skip to step 4.
  4. If you are not signed in and you already have a portal account or Sage City account, enter your user name and password, then click Sign in. Skip to step 4.
  5. If you do not have an existing portal account or Sage City account, select Join here, then fill out the requested information, and click Join now.
  6. Hover over Support Groups and select your country.
  7. Select the Sage Construction and Real Estate product.
  8. Select Forums>Sage 300 CRE Announcements, News, and Alerts.
  9. Click More on the right-hand side, then select Turn Forum notifications on.

How to configure settings

When you subscribe to a forum, you’ll receive an email notification when a new post is created. But that’s not all! You can adjust the settings on which types of notifications you want to receive by email by doing the following:

  1. Select More on the right-hand side, then click Manage Subscriptions.
  2. Select Notifications.
  3. Select the types of email notifications that you want to receive. Clear the types of email notifications that you do not want to receive.

Important note

Leave ‘Creates threads’ selected in the forums where you are subscribed if you want to receive an email notification when a new product release forum post is created.

Beyond subscribing to Sage’s announcements, news and alerts, we encourage you to explore the Sage City website and Year-End Center, and truly become part of the active Sage Community.


RSMeans databases for 2019 are here!

from Sage CRE

Available versions

The RSMeans databases have been updated with the latest industry-standard pricing information which will ensure your estimates are as accurate as possible. The updated RSMeans 2019 databases as well as the Commercial and Residential Knowledgebases are available now for the following Sage Estimating versions:

  • Sage Estimating (Pervasive) 17.1.8
  • Sage Estimating (SQL) 17.12 and higher

Alert! Beginning next year with RSMeans 2020, only Sage Estimating (SQL) will be supported.

Changes Sage made to RSMeans delivery this year

  • RSMeans books are no longer provided free with a database purchase
  • Go to www.RSMeans.com to purchase RSMeans books
  • There are no renewal pricing options for RSMeans 2019 databases
  • There is roughly a 5% price increase across all RSMeans offerings

Note: There is a known issue with city cost index updates in the integration between RSMeans and Sage Estimating SQL. For more information please see Sage Knowledge base article KB 95075.

For more details about RSMeans 2019, please see KB 95004.