June 2017 Newsletter

Ready for a BLOCKBUSTER summer? Sage announces a HUGE release, a makeover, and more!

What we’re talking about in June:

  • The BIGGEST Sage release ever!
  • Leaving theaters soon : The Add Users + Modules Sale
  • Tony’s pick? anterraBI for dashboards, reports, KPIs, and mobility!
  • 10 ways your software can pay for itself
  • Sage Construction Project Center gets a HOT makeover
  • Webinar: Quickbooks CAN’T but Sage 100 Contractor CAN!
  • Awesome ‘Tips and Tricks’ for Sage 300 CRE | Sage 100 CON | Sage Estimating


Biggest Sage release in a decade!

by Joanie Hollabaugh

Announcing Sage Estimating SQL v17.11!

On May 30th, 2017 Sage Estimating SQL v17.11 was released to Sage 300CRE and S100 Contractor customers and became available to order for new customers.

Sage Estimating has been repackaged, including new functionality and modernized deployment—evolving and innovating to meet the demands of customers and the market. And now Estimating Standard customers have a clear migration path to SQL.

New features, functionality & repackaging include:

  • Modularization provides product packaging that provides choice, scale, and flexibility based on functional need and complexity.
  • Alternates give estimators the ability to filter and present estimates based upon the various ‘options’ that might be included in or excluded from the final approved project scope.
  • Data Connector delivers additional capabilities, enhancing Excel integration that allows estimators to quickly import or export Alternates or WBS values, and enables sharing of common WBS libraries and pre-fill of WBS lists.
  • Virtual Licensing eliminates the need for physical USB devices and product activation codes. (Note: Databases still require activation codes.)
  • Ribbon, Shortcut Menu Refinements offer improved look and feel and simplified (content specific) spreadsheet shortcut menu.
  • Sage 100 Contractor integration enables integration between Sage 100 Contractor (SQL) and Sage SQL Estimating.
  • And much more including WBS selection workflow, insert columns, non-unique estimate names

FREE Upgrade for existing clients (on plan)!

In an unprecedented move – Sage is not charging for the upgrade from Pervasive to SQL!

From the Sage CRE division in Beaverton, OR:

…there will be no module upgrade charge to existing on-plan Sage Estimating Standard users for migration to Sage Estimating CORE (version 17.11); there will also be no module upgrade charge to existing on-plan Sage Estimating Extended users for migration to Sage Estimating CORE Plus (version 17.11).

Why upgrade?

To be perfectly honest, Sage eventually will no longer support the Pervasive version.  Plus, being SQL-based, there’s more features and functionality available in this modern version. To that point, Sage created a nifty Pervasive versus SQL Feature Comparison matrix you can download here:  PERVASIVE -vs- SQL Feature Comparison Matrix

Additionally, there are new modules – “Crews,” “Models,” and “Advanced Reporting” that will make the solution more customizable.

’86’ the hardware!

Ding, dong the dongle’s dead! New customers will get to avoid the physical hardware requirement of the dreaded dongle, and further manage upgrades and releases via downloads.

Downloading version 17.11

Download the software from the Knowledgebase:

  1. Click the following link to access the download article for Sage Estimating (SQL) 17.11:
    Sage Estimating (SQL) 17.11
  2. If you are prompted to log on, enter your Customer Portal Username and Password, and then click Log on.


Tony’s Pick – anterraBI!

It DOES exist!

Do you or your staff spend significant time building reports and graphs for month end reporting or forecast meetings? Have you been thinking there has to be a better way?  

Tony’s found your dashboard and reporting solution — with KPIs to quickly analyze job risks, PLUS drill-through financial statements for month end! It’s Tony’s pick for the month…anterraBI!

And it’s also mobile!

This is the best of both worlds: select from pre-built dashboards and KPIs, or build your own with a simple drag-and-drop feature. And the best of the best — keep your workforce on the same page by sharing critical data via mobile devices.

See it in action

Want to take a closer look?  Tony recommends either the June 14th or June 27th webinar entitled, “A better way to do reporting.” Click the logo for a link to anterra’s calendar of upcoming webinars.

CLICK for scheduled webinars:


Add Users + Modules Sale = Ends this Month!

Can’t decide which module or additional license to pick to make your Sage Construct software enhanced?

There’s something for everyone! See some suggestions, below.

What do you need to work faster and smarter?

Available for Sage 300 CRE:

  • AP (includes Cash Management & Tax) | Accounts Receivable (includes Contracts) | Billings | Equipment Cost | General Ledger (Includes Financial Statement Designer) | Inventory | Job Cost | Payroll | Project Management | Purchasing | Report Designer | Inquiry Designer | My Assistant | Office Connector

Available for Sage 100 Contractor:

  • Estimating Basic | Service Receivables/Inventory | Document Control | Equipment Management Inventory | Sage Paperless

Available for Estimating:

  • Estimating Databases | eTakeoff

Click to send us an email. Sale ends June 30, 2017!


Ten Ways your Software Can Pay for Itself – Really!

Eliminate prolific spreadsheet errors

Close to 90% of spreadsheet documents contain errors, a 2008 analysis of multiple studies suggests. “Spreadsheets, even after careful development, contain errors in 1% or more of all formula cells,” writes Ray Panko, a professor of IT management at the University of Hawaii and an authority on bad spreadsheet practices. — Source: MarketWatch.com

Identify which parts of each job are profitable (and which aren’t)

If you manage jobs by just looking at the overall billing versus cost, you are probably leaving money on the table. The best estimating systems are based on prior job histories. If you don’t know what your costs and profitability are by item, how can you use them to estimate?

Implement an integrated purchasing system

Have you ever paid the same bill twice or paid more for an item than you contracted to pay? Only the estimator deals with the job at its lowest level. Since most purchasing is not done by the estimator, items are often missed or ordered incorrectly, resulting in employees running to the supplier to pick up the items that were missed. This means money wasted on unnecessary labor, higher prices, and more confusion on the job site.

Capture ALL change orders, know their cost, and bill for them

Change orders typically represent between 1 and 5 % of total construction costs on a job. Each change to scope also affects the productivity for the other aspects of the job. QuickBooks lumps all of the change orders together in one total amount. If you aren’t getting a signed Change Order approval for each change, you are not billing for your additional costs.

Capture ALL costs for a job when billing ‘Cost Plus’ or ‘Time and Materials’

T&M and Cost Plus are great if you know what they are, but if you’re not savvy, it’s easy to miss items. A Ledgerwood client said, “We were giving away tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars every year because of not tracking time and materials correctly. That in itself paid for all of the software and all of the computer upgrades necessary to get Master Builder up and running just in the first six months.”

Avoid costly equipment repairs with alerts for when service is due

Equipment Maintenance is a necessity, not a luxury. Missing fluid changes, scheduled overhauls, and filter changes not only shorten the life of your equipment, it can also increase the costs of your projects. How much have you spent on repairs that could have been prevented if your mechanic had been alerted to everything that needed to be serviced, and when?

Allocate Workers Compensation based on the correct classification

The difference between paying an employee’s workers compensation at the highest rate they work under, and paying that higher rate only for the time they actually perform that work (instead of the majority of work performed at a lower classification), will result in significant savings on the insurance premiums you pay! Allocate to the correct classification!

Eliminate time spent tracking information outside of your system

The probability of a data entry error ranges from 2% to 27% based on the person performing the data entry, and re-entering information in spreadsheets or a separate system DOUBLES the chance for error. Each hour spent re-entering information into another system or worksheet is an hour wasted. Time is money!

Protect against claims from subs failing to pay a supplier with joint check and lien release generations

Just one claim from a supplier that they haven’t been paid, may be enough to pay for your purchase of an integrated software system. Everyone knows that in a claims situation whoever has the most paperwork wins. Easily generate RFIs, Change Orders, Daily Log Reports, Lien Releases, Joint Checks, etc., without the extra effort.

Eliminate paying an accountant to review and compile monthly or quarterly financial statements

Looking at your financials on a quarterly basis is like looking in your rearview mirror one mile AFTER you passed your destination. Jobs may have started and finished in the time frame you are waiting for your accountant to tell you if your company is profitable or not. You might be out of business and not even know it!



Sage Construction Project Center gets a makeover!

New user interface, features

Launched on June 5th! With improved  usability, new features, and modernized GUI (graphics user interface) – “SCPC” is a stunner! Here’s a list of the major changes:

Enhanced change management

With real-time change order management, projects move forward fast and on time. This collaborative system creates contract and commitment change orders that support extras and quick adds. Change management incorporates workflows for change events and commitments.


Keep management apprised of your project’s financial health with accurate forecasting that projects cost of completion using real-time accounting data.

Connect anytime, anywhere

With the Sage Construction Project Center mobile app, teams can create, share, and edit daily reports using their iOS device in a simple, efficient, and secure manner. It also enables you to work offline and automatically sync when you get connectivity.

Workflow approval

Set up automated review and approval processes for submittals, commitments, and change orders, so that task owners get instant notifications when a document needs their attention.

Project specific reporting

Project-specific reports (PSRs) are now available to all users. This enhancement enables your team to have their reports and printouts customized at the project level.

Ready to see it, live? Click the button to request a demo!


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, June 15th from 2:00 – 3:00 PM



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



Upcoming LAI Online Training and Networking Events:

Excel-based project forecasting and WIP Reporting @ Online
Nov 12 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Online Webinar

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.




Bartering — the Good and the Bad

Submitted by Bryan Eto, CPA BeachFleischman

“I’ll do your family’s dental work for free if you build a deck onto my house.”

The art of the deal

If you’re in the construction industry, you’ve probably received an offer like this or made a similar offer to someone else in a different line of business. It’s a modern variation of the age-old practice of barter. What makes it especially intriguing in this day and age is the idea that you can exchange services or products with someone without exchanging money.

By bartering, you can trade away excess inventory, hang onto your cash, and run jobs during slow times. You may also find yourself bartering when a customer doesn’t have the money on hand to complete a transaction. In some cases, receiving the customer’s services in exchange is preferable to pursuing the matter through the courts.

Keep in mind, however, that there are tax consequences and the IRS often inquires about bartering when it conducts audits. Under the law, a barter transaction is generally subject to income tax even if the trade is relatively even. Each business must pay Uncle Sam based on the fair market value of the service or product received.

The exception: “Like-kind”

A transaction that qualifies as a “like-kind” exchange — for example, a trade of one commercial building for another.

Barterer beware!

Going back to the first example, let’s say that you would normally charge $25,000 to build your dentist’s deck and your family receives dental care that would have cost you $22,000 out of pocket. The law requires you to pay tax on the $25,000 as if you had actually received it.

Suppose you receive a promissory note from another business in exchange for your services. If the note is merely security for future payment of income, you don’t have to report the income until you start receiving it. However, if the note is a negotiable instrument, you must report the fair market value of the note in the year the note is received.

Keep in mind…

If you trade your product or service for a deductible product or service, then you have both taxable income and a tax deduction. The two items offset each other but both must be reported on your return.
Ask your tax adviser for more information.

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




Dear Pam, I’m Afraid to Upgrade!

by Pam Schulz, Sage Certified Consultant

This month, we address some of the concerns that clients have shared about converting to Sage 100 Contractor Version 20.

Dear Pam,

We were supposed to complete our upgrade next week. However, my IT person just let me know we need a new server! This was not in our time or money budget, and now our schedule will need to be pushed back. We had hoped to have this done before our busy season and now it will need to either happen in the middle of a busy time or be delayed until the fall. How could this happen?

Sounds like your IT company did not review the System Requirements at the beginning of your upgrade project.  First, I am sorry this happened to you — a careful review of system requirements is ALWAYS a good idea before installing new software and upgrades.

To make sure your installation goes smoothly from here on, please make sure to have your IT people review the requirements available in the Knowledgebase article referenced below. These are not just “suggestions”!  Your software may not run properly (or at all) if these requirements are not met.

Knowledgebase article ID 79790, available at https://support.na.sage.com/selfservice/viewdocument.do?externalId=79790.

Dear Pam,

My IT people seem confused. They say they are experts in loading Sage products but they cannot seem to get anything to work.  Help?

This is very important- not all Sage products are identical.  Just like not all Chevys are Corvettes, right?

Obtain the most current Installation Guides, Database Administration Guide and License Administration Guides  for Sage 100 Contractor.   We are even going to make this REALLY EASY, AND FREE!   Send an email to Carolyn Carter Carolyn@LedgerwoodUSA.com and request the “v20UPGRADERESOURCE” email.  You will receive the up-to-date Guides (as a link or attachments), as well as other checklists and helpful information too lengthy for a newsletter.  All this information is available on Sage websites, but this handy email will save you some time and energy.

This is too important for you to be anything less than super diligent!  Even when loading upgrades of the same program it is wise to review release notes and other documentation.

If you need technical help with the installation, contact Carolyn  We may refer you directly to the Installation Specialists at Sage Tech Support or have a consultant contact you.  (Note:  If you call Sage Tech Support directly, have your customer ID# handy.)

Dear Pam,

We upgraded to Version 20 and now get error messages when running some of our custom reports. We migrated the reports using the Database Administrator, what else do we need to do?

The Sage canned reports and most custom reports (written within the Sage 100 Contractor program’s Report writer) upgrade with no further modifications. There are formulas that were allowed in the older program versions that will not work with the new, more structured SQL requirements.  Most of these can be fixed with minor tweaks- sometimes adding or deleting extra spaces, sometimes adding language to formulas.

If you would like to have your reports checked and fixed quickly you can zip and send your Report Forms and Custom Reports folders in for a “Report Checkup.” For most clients, this takes around an hour.  If you have a lot of reports or very complicated reports, it could take a little longer.  If you have a single report that is not running, you can send that report file in to have it repaired as well (send the Form Design too- it may be the culprit).

Of course, the BEST time to do this is BEFORE you upgrade so that you are not surprised when a report does not run – at the worst possible moment. But, it can be done anytime, even after you have upgraded.

If you are still using version 19

  • Send your entire folder(s).
  • Locate the network drive where your Sage 100 Contractor data is stored.
  • Under the mb7 folder:
    • Right click on the “Report Forms” folder; press Send to>Compressed folder
    • Right click on the “Custom Reports” folder; press Send to>Compressed folder
  • You will see the zipped folders being created.

If you have already upgraded to version 20

  • Locate the drive on your server where your data is stored.
  • Under the Sage100Con/Common folder:
    • Right click on the “Report Forms” folder; press Send to>Compressed folder
    • Right click on the “Custom Reports” folder; press Send to>compressed folder
  • You will see the zipped folders being created.
  • To send individual reports, locate the report in the folders described above and send. (HINT: the report “name” is the 6 digit number representing the menu option where the report is run + the report # from that list. Example- a report run at option 3-1-2; report # 01 would be 03010201.)

Arrange to send files for either version

  • Contact Carolyn@ledgerwoodusa.com.
  • We will assign an expert to review and correct the designs.
  • If your files can be fixed within an hour, they will be fixed, sent back to you, and you will be billed for one hour.   If the situation is more extensive and likely to take longer, we will give you an estimate of the time required and discuss options with you.

Dear Pam,

Why do we need to do a “trial convert” of the data? Can’t I simply re-index like we have done in the past? This seems like a lot of work!

Safety first — that’s my motto!

The “Migrate Company Data” function in the Database Administrator does an amazing job of converting your data. With each program release it gets better. This program checks the data and “fixes” most issues. But what if the fix is something you did not want? Case in point— a client had deleted cost codes in version 19, hoping to phase them out over time by not using them.  They almost forgot all about them. The program, however, found records using these codes, and re-inserted the codes that had been deleted. Fortunately, this was discovered in a test conversion, so the client was able to locate those records and clean up the cost codes before the actual conversion.

What if the program does not fix your errors and you need some time to do it?  Not everyone will encounter something like this, but it is good to know what could happen — before your back is against the wall and you only have 15 minutes to finish payroll and everyone is breathing down your neck and you hate everything.  Allow yourself time in between the test and the live conversion.

Remember, your data is a valuable company asset!

Pam in closing:

It’s time to commit to upgrading to version 20!  Sage has announced the end of updates to version 19, but just as important are all the good things in version 20.  New features, better data integrity, and the benefits of SQL are reasons to be not only committed, but excited about your new software!

Our team is always here for you.  Need help with your Sage 100 CON conversion? Pam and Kelcie can help! Click below to request an appointment or call us at 480-423-8300.



IT Best Practices for Sage 300 CRE

by Kyle Zeigler, Sage Senior Certified Consultant

When worlds collide

It’s probably safe to say that accounting people and IT people operate in different worlds. You wouldn’t ask your IT person to prepare your month-end financial statements, and most companies wouldn’t ask their accounting manager to troubleshoot a problem with the mail server. These worlds often collide, however, when it comes to your Sage 300 CRE software.

Let the powers that be…be accounting!

One practice that often falls in a gray area is that of having IT manage the user privileges in Sage 300 CRE. Unless your IT person started life as an accounting professional, he or she probably wouldn’t know what Tasks, Setup, Reports, Inquiries or Tools your new AP clerk should be able to access, and many times users are not granted access to Common Tasks that all users should have or have access to Tools that only administrative users should have. Granting users the wrong privileges can be frustrating to the user and detrimental to your system, so this is best assigned to an accounting power user who understands your organization’s internal accounting control needs.

Separation of responsibilities

Here are some additional dos and don’ts to help further identify the areas of responsibility for IT and accounting personnel:

For IT professionals:

  • DO obtain a logon for access to the Sage Customer Portal at https://customers.sagenorthamerica.com to initiate and manage Sage Support cases, search the knowledgebase for solutions to error messages, browse Sage Community, and access download links for periodic software updates and annual version upgrades.
  • DO have the phone number for Sage Support (800-551-8307), as well as the company’s Sage customer number (a 9-digit number starting with 400).
  • DO have the contact information for the company’s Sage business partner and/or Sage consultant.
  • DO download, read and follow the instructions for installing both periodic updates (software patches) and version upgrades. Failed or incorrect installations are time-consuming to reverse and correct, and can require assistance from Sage Support.
  • DO review the minimum System Requirements for the server and workstations before installing updates or upgrading the system. It takes much less time on the front end than it does to try to uninstall and reinstall the software when you find out you didn’t meet the necessary prerequisites.
  • DO download the Release Notes for the update or upgrade being installed and provide them to all accounting personnel so that they can see how their world will be changed by the installation.
  • DO NOT install a software update or version upgrade without confirming that a File Tools backup has been obtained of the Sage system files and all Sage data folders. A File Tools backup of the data folders should only take a few minutes and is the only backup method supported by Sage if the system fails as a result of the installation.
  • DO NOT move the Sage 300 CRE system files or database to another server without following the proper migration procedures – you can lose the system customizations and affect the performance of the software. Instructions for migrating to a new server are available in the Sage knowledgebase, or you can contact the company’s Sage business partner for assistance.

For accounting professionals:

  • DO obtain a logon for access to the Sage Customer Portal at https://customers.sagenorthamerica.com to initiate and manage Sage Support cases, search the knowledgebase for solutions to error messages, browse Sage Community, and access download links for periodic software updates and annual version upgrades.
  • DO have the phone number for Sage Support (800-551-8307), as well as your company’s Sage customer number (a 9-digit number starting with 400).
  • DO have the contact information for your Sage business partner and/or Sage consultant.
  • DO confirm that a File Tools backup has been obtained of the Sage system files and all Sage data folders before a software update or version upgrade is installed. File Tools backups should be obtain whenever you receive the message, “Do you have a backup?” If you are unable to obtain a backup using File Tools for any reason, contact Sage Support or your Sage business partner to have the issue resolved. A File Tools backup of the data folders should only take a few minutes and is the only backup method supported by Sage if the system fails as a result of the installation.
  • DO review the Release Notes document that accompanies each software update and version upgrade and distribute to your accounting personnel.

These best practices can help define the roles and responsibilities of IT and accounting with regard to Sage 300 CRE, minimize risk to your accounting data, and provide a range of troubleshooting options when issues arise.

If you would like assistance implementing the use of data imports in your system, please contact Ledgerwood Associates at 480-423-8300 or click below!

Want help from importing data?



How to Install a Module in Sage Estimating

by Renee Mullen, Sage Marketing Manager

Did you just buy a license for a new module in Sage Estimating?

And maybe you forgot to include a module during the installation process? Well, I have some great information for you! Did you know that you can add additional modules to an existing Sage Estimating install using the Modify Install option?

Before you get started with the modified install, you will want to verify what version of Sage Estimating you currently have installed. To identify what version is installed, launch Estimating Tools (via Start > All Programs > Sage > Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate > Estimating  > Estimating Tools; the program menu may differ slightly depending on your versions of Windows and Sage). Then select Help > About Estimating Tools and make note of your version such as 13.1.0 Rev 7 Update 10.

  1. Locate the exact Sage Estimating install file for your current Estimating version (i.e. in this example, the 13.1 Revision 7 install files you have downloaded). Check with your IT professional if you are unsure.
  2. Run Setup.exe from \Install\MainTE\ or \Main\ folders and perform a Modify install
  3. Select the module(s) you wish to add.
  4. Enter activation codes as prompted.
  5. Complete the install and reboot as required.
  6. Log back into Windows as the same Windows user you used to perform the Modify install and let the install finalize.
  7. Locate the correct update(s) for Sage Estimating that was previously installed and any Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate (formerly Timberline Office), and apply it.
    • For example, in step 1, if Help > About shows a version of 13.1.0 Rev 7 Update 10, you will need to locate the Estimating 13.1 Update 10 executable file (1310estupdate10.exe) that was previously downloaded and applied, and re-apply it on this computer. If you are unsure, check with your IT professional.
  8. Launch the new module(s) to verify they work.

That is all there is to it! With these steps, you will be able to add additional modules to your existing Sage Estimating install.

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

For more information on this topic visit Knowledgebase Article 34212. You can find this information and more in the Sage Knowledgebase.

Also, join the conversation at Sage City, available 24/7, the online community is your gateway to many Sage resources.