September 2016 Newsletter
- The Ledgerwood Legacy – over 40 years in the making
- Ending this month: the B2G1 Free promotion for Sage 300 CRE, Sage 100 CON, & Sage Estimating
- Coolness alert: AHS (Autonomous Haulage Systems) construction trucks that drive themselves
- Plan your SQL conversion for Sage 100 Contractor
- Take the fear out of… Report Designer and Crystal reports
- Do you use Timberscan? Learn about the new upgrades and improvements (FREE webinar)!
- Epic Tips and Tricks for Sage 100 CON | Sage 300 CRE | Sage Estimating | Construction Accounting.
The Ledgerwood Legacy: From City to State to Continent
by Joanie Hollabaugh
If you ask Ed Ledgerwood about his 40 year span with Sage/Timberline, he tells his story in a framework that he’s the only dealer to ever own a distributorship, and that he grew the business from City to State to Continent on his journey. It’s also a great family and friends story, and it’s my pleasure to share it with you.
Portland, the City
On October 10, 1974, a young accounting professional was hired by the McGregor Fertilizer Company in Colfax, WA.
Evidently, McGregor’s “computer lady” had abruptly quit, so they directed young Ed Ledgerwood to the Burroughs “L8000” with a fresh roll of punch paper tape, and said, “We don’t know a THING about the computer, you have payroll for 120 employees due on Friday, and here’s the 800 number for Timberline – that’s the accounting software we use.”
And so it began in the city of Portland, Oregon.
Ed took his Timberline skills from McGregor to work for an accountant (briefly) when a good friend opened a retail “minicomputer” store. Ed went to work there, opting to sell software: Accpac for the retail vertical (now known as Sage 300 ERP), Timberline for construction (currently Sage 300 CRE), and RealWorld for general accounting. The programs for IBM were run “double floppy” systems; programs went in ‘A’ drive and data went into the ‘B’ drive. At that time, the Timberline modules for construction accounting included four basic modules: payroll, job cost, AP and AR.
After three or four years of selling Timberline in a retail environment, Ed went out on his own. From 1984-86 he grew the Timberline market in the Portland area, becoming one of the top dealers for the Northwest region.
In 1986, a rising architect from Denver, CO needed a Timberline demo for a project he was pitching in Hawaii. Ed volunteered and flew to Maui in July to do a demo at the local AIA meeting. By now, computer technology had progressed from a double-floppy system to an internal 10mg hard drive and Timberline had added additional models to the suite of products. The architect and Ed both won big – the project, a business opportunity, and a lifelong friendship!
Hawaii, the State
Ed decided to open an office in Honolulu, HI in August of 1986. Ed’s brother Pat had joined the company in the meantime and ran the office in Portland as “Ledgerwood Associates” had now expanded to two offices. Meanwhile in downtown Honolulu, Ed office-shared a space with an advertising agency. He sold enough Timberline software (DOS based, originally) in the first three months to hire his first sales help! A close childhood friend was recruited, sharing a two-bedroom apartment with Ed, and helped to grow the dealership selling both Accpac and Timberline. Eventually, Ed hired a dedicated Accpac salesperson and concentrated on Timberline and moved to a bigger office. About that time, Curtis Peltz (another Timberline/Sage long-timer) introduced Precision Estimating to the market – software that integrated with new technology hardware that changed the entire estimating world.
The introduction of the GTCO digitizer combined with “modern” estimating was an auspicious event for Hawaiian developers/builders and “green fill’ (virgin land) projects popping up everywhere. Ed took the opportunity to turn it into a double-down demo dream: what used to take two days to estimate manually could now be done in an hour using the digitizer plus the software! Engineers and architects were eager to purchase both.
As the Timberline product mix expanded, so did the Hawaiian Ledgerwood dealership. Ed now had to hire several new employees to keep up with business (in addition to the Portland office).
In 1987, Ed embarked on a digitizer/estimating roadshow in Honolulu. At that time, there were a few building/development companies from Australia and New Zealand who had done joint ventures with locals in the area. While demonstrating the product the companies bought the equipment and software on the spot! Ed saw a potential market opportunity in Australia, and engaged another friend (research consultant) to perform extensive market research in New Zealand (NZ) and Australia (AU).
In October of 1987, Ed and his researcher spent a month meeting and networking with the local AIA and homebuilders’ association. Armed with statistics and insights, they put together a comprehensive business plan. They had found out that one of the largest architect firms in Melbourne had previously purchased Timberline’s architect/engineering software product, and another major home builder had purchased Timberline estimating and accounting. With the thorough market research they had performed, they discovered there was absolutely no competition in AU or NZ – for sales or support.
By now, Timberline had separate software divisions: estimating, construction, property management, and architecture/engineering (AE was sold off in the late 90’s). Ed approached Timberline, presenting the business case to promote Timberline to a new continent. He was not immediately successful.
Australia, the Continent
In the meantime, Ed’s Accpac salesman was getting a promotion with a move to Australia. In March of the following year, Accpac invited Ledgerwood Hawaii (the geographically closest partner) to work a trade show in Australia. Already known by local homebuilders and associations, Ed argued to bring Timberline as well as Accpac to the Australian market. He was accepted conditionally: Ed was offered a job, an office, and a vehicle if worked for the Accpac dealership 50% of his time, selling and supporting the product. So he sold Accpac in the morning, and Timberline in the afternoon!
Again, Ed approached Timberline with a proposal to open an independent Timberline dealership and was rebuffed. Consequently, Ed moved in July of ‘88 from Honolulu to Sydney and split his days between promoting the two product lines. Ed’s brother Pat then moved from Portland to run the Hawaiian Ledgerwood office (and remains to this day!).
Bootstrapping at a construction trade show just a few months after relocating to Hawaii (literally borrowing the office furniture to place in a small booth on the back wall), prospects stood in line to see the digitizer being demonstrated. Ed knew from the success of Hawaii (demos) that he should become a digitizer dealer as well; the two companies happily cross-promoted each other – cornering this new market in AU.
During this time, Ed continued to network in the business community and he made it a point to become acquainted with accounting firms (Ernst & Young, Coopers & Lybrand, Price-Waterhouse, etc.) looking for a construction solution with Job Cost accounting.
Eventually, Ed was granted a dealership by Timberline. (In fact, they respected his rapid business growth so much he was consulted by Timberline management regarding the development of the OS2 version and Window products.)
The dealership continued to flourish, selling Accpac, Timberline accounting and estimating, the AE product, and property management. Ed’s sister, Martha moved to AU with her two young children to help administrate the business. There, she used her payroll expertise to work with developers to create an Australian version of payroll. The business grew, adding industry friends and competitors to the staff. After an on-site visit to a competitive estimating dealer, Timberline allowed Ed to become the Timberline distributor. He quickly set up other dealers (in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, and Sydney) and doing the promotions and marketing for all.
In 1993, Australia was granted hosting privileges for the 2000 Olympic Games. No one caught the excitement more than Ledgerwood Associates in Australia! The construction potential was enormous – and construction companies needed software. Mirvac became one of Ledgerwood’s first customers for Australian Windows; and the 2000 Olympics Village became Mirvac’s biggest project using Timberline.
This truly became a seven year-long sales pipeline.
Martha went back to the States in 1995, while Ledgerwood Associates, Inc. moved to a larger office. Timberline and Estimating became the core products (Accpac sales were waning with Accpac selling directly to accounting firms); Ledgerwood eventually dropped Accpac altogether. The distributorship expanded, adding new dealers in New Zealand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia (Southeast Asia) for a total of ten dealers.
Ledgerwood Associates became the only independently owned dealership in the world.
In 1994, Ed started an Australian Users Group, supported by Timberline. The territory flourished, with more products geared to the market, helped with Ledgerwood sponsored tradeshows, seminars, and advertising campaigns.
Although the Olympics were awarded in 1993, the burst of construction building activity starting in 1995 – five years prior to the event. The Timberline Windows product was growing (competitors were still on DOS). Transfield Services became another key account client, building the “Airport Link” – an underground railway line from the airport to the city.
In a surprise announcement, Timberline decided to take over the distributorship in 1997. After serious negotiations Ed agreed to become a dealer in Sydney, where he was highly successful for several years.
Through the years, Ed and his girlfriend Kerri (now wife) met up regularly with (Timberline User Group) friends Kim and Craig McClure who owned a dealership in Arizona. Ed and Kerri invited Kim and Craig to join them in Australia for the Olympics in 2000. Once there, the pair tried to convince the Ledgerwoods to join their business in Scottsdale. Coincidentally, soon after the Olympics Ed was approached by his Operations Manager and his Accountant with an offer to purchase his dealership. As Kerri and Ed’s parents were advancing in age, and they had a standing offer to join an established partnership – they decided it was time to come back home.
By 2002, they had sold the Australian dealership (but flew back regularly for a year and a half) to help transition the business), and the McClures were able to add Property Management sales to their Timberline suite via Ed (Kerri was a Senior Consultant for PM). Ed and Kerri were married, they settled into a home in Scottsdale, and went to work for “CreativeWare.” In 2003, the Ledgerwoods bought into the partnership. Ed became the Operations Manager while actively selling Property Management. Kim did Professional Services, and Craig handled construction type sales. He bought into the dealership several months later and became part owner.
Together, the couples designed and built a stunning two-story building on two lots in Old Town Scottsdale. (Builders Guild, the GC, was a Timberline customer of CreativeWare’s – so the building was built literally by clients!) Built with expansion in mind, CreativeWare occupied the West half of the second story and the training center downstairs, and leased three separate suites.
Kim landed at Skyline Steel, a CreativeWare client where she had successfully implemented Timberline. She hired Tony Merry, Kerri’s son to manage the accounting department at Skyline. Tony dove right in and streamlined the AP process. He then went on to evaluate the receivables and the revenue side, which detoured him into the mechanical lien laws which led to the contracts/legal side of the business. This progression of costs, revenues, and legal proficiencies steered Tony into actually running the jobs, as he had the most (well-rounded) business and job knowledge. Part of the job evaluations included immersion not only into Timberline accounting, but estimating as well.
CreativeWare merged with MIS in 2006 and the Scottsdale office kept operations running as usual in sales and marketing, as well as consulting for the region. In 2009, MIS closed their doors.
The Ledgerwoods re-joined forces with Kim in 2009 to re-acquire the territory including AZ, NM and NV. Ultimately, perseverance, continued sales, and great customer support won the dealership back from Timberline (acquired by Sage in 2002). Joining forces with a Sage 300 CRE Colorado dealer and a Sage 100 Contractor dealer from Utah – Ledgerwood Associates evolved to become the entity it is today.
In 2012, Tony Merry joined the family business. As a power user and construction expert, Tony was a natural fit to run Ledgerwood’s Sales department. Kim retired from the business in 2015, and Tony has since become part owner. Kerri has retired from consulting and is currently the Operations Manager for the business.
Ed remains the patriarch and the heart of the company. Last year, he was honored at Sage North America headquarters for “40 years in the Timberline/ Sage family.”
He is still known in the Timberline/Sage world as “THAT Ed Ledgerwood!” He and Kerri are shown the red carpet on their visits ‘down under’ to the Sage headquarters in Sydney.
From city, to state, to continent – Ed’s story of business growth, loss, recovery, and success always contains a single, distinguishing element for doing ‘good’ business: Ed treats everyone like family.
Ending SEPTEMBER 28th – Add Users & Modules for Sage 100 CON, 300 CRE or Estimating
Purchase any two Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate, Sage 100 Contractor or Sage Estimating modules or user licenses by 9/28/2016 and get the third module or user license of equal or lesser value, for free!
Discount only applies to additional Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate, Sage 100 Contractor or Sage Estimating modules or user licenses, not to be combined with other offers or promotions.
Also includes these 3 favorites:
- My Assistant | eTakeoff | Additional Sage Paperless users
Don’t miss out!! Now is the time to add additional uses of: AP | AR | Job Cost | Service Management | Purchasing | and more!
Look Ma, no hands!
by Joanie Hollabaugh
I have a serious car crush on Tesla. From its sleek lines, to its energy-consciousness, to its almost-autonomous ability, the Model S fires up all my cylinders (bad pun intended)! Which got me to thinking – has the construction industry developed and deployed any (sexy) driverless equipment?
Leaders of the Pack
AHS by Komatsu and Modular Mining Systems, Inc.
Autonomous Haulage System (AHS) are already in use as fleet vehicles for mining. Dump trucks guided by GPS are virtually controlled by computers and can be run 24/7 – increasing productivity and minimizing risks. A true win-win, CONNEXPO-CON/AGG did a write up on autonomous vehicles in April:
Information on target course and speed is sent wirelessly from the supervisory computer to the driverless dump trucks, while the GPS is used to ascertain their position. When loading, the dump trucks are automatically guided to the loading spot after computing the position of the bucket of the GPS-fitted hydraulic excavator or wheel loader. The supervisory computer also sends information on a specific course to the dumping spot.
The AHS also offers safety advantages. For example, the fleet-control system prevents collisions with other dump trucks, service vehicles, or other equipment. In case an obstacle detection system detects another vehicle or person inside the hauling course under the AHS operation, the vehicles will reduce speed or stop immediately, making the system extremely safe and reliable.
In addition, the AHS enables stable operation under grueling conditions such as at high altitudes or in sparsely populated, arid desert areas. At the same time, by optimizing operations, the system contributes to reducing maintenance costs, conserving energy, and curbing CO2 emissions.
One of the world’s largest working mining companies is pioneering AHS in a Western Australian ore mining site, in the eponymous project “Rio Tinto’s Mine of the Future.” Todd Gurela, senior director of Cisco’s Internet of Everything division, has worked closely with Rio Tinto to enable automation at its Pilbara iron ore mines in Western Australia:*
Rio Tinto is on the leading edge of optimizing efficiency in its mining operations,” explains Gurela, who says Rio Tinto first outfitted its mining fleet with diagnostic sensors so it could monitor its assets’ performance; leveraging the data it collected, it then looked for opportunities to do things better, faster, smarter, and safer using automated equipment. For instance, Rio Tinto currently has 69 autonomous dump trucks—manufactured by Tokyo-based Komatsu—operating at its Pilbara sites, each of which leverages GPS to move high-grade ore without a driver. It is also developing and testing an autonomous heavy-haul long-distance railway system, and has deployed an automated blast-hole drill system that allows a single operator to remotely control multiple drill rigs.
These driverless vehicles deliver their loads more efficiently, minimizing delays and fuel use, and are controlled remotely by operators who exert more control over their environment and ensure greater operational safety,” Rio Tinto says of its Autonomous Haulage System, adding of its Autonomous Drilling System, “It is much safer for the operators and it maximizes precision and equipment utilization.
Pros and Cons
The CONEXPO-CON/AGG article cites Jerry Ullman, senior research engineer and program manager at Texas A&M University’s Transportation Institute, describing the advantages for construction adoption:
Ullman says Komatsu’s AHS system is an example of addressing staffing challenges through automation. He adds a mining site is the ideal location to use the technology. “Locations and jobs where there is a lot of room onsite and little interference with people, equipment, or other vehicles, such as a mining operation, will certainly be able to embrace and utilize this technology,” Ullman points out.
The AHS, however, may not be well suited for all jobsites, he says. “Risks of using this technology in these applications are lower than they will be for other fields such as a vertical construction or road construction where space is more constrained. I suspect the incremental cost for the technology relative to the total cost of those vehicles is less as well, which probably makes it an easier decision for contractors.”
Plan your SQL Upgrade for Sage 100 Contractor
Unless you have a dedicated IT person at your company, you most likely will need help with your SQL conversion (and Sage 100 version upgrade to Version 19.7). In general, a smooth set up and conversion generally takes our consultants about four hours to complete.
Why You Need Help
Why is this conversion/upgrade so difficult? This is a change at your server level. Meaning you are literally changing the “language” on which your entire database operates with.
Here are the issues our clients have had us help with:
- Choosing SQL versions
- Loading SQL
- Connecting third-party additions
- Report conversion
- Estimating integration
- Data conversion – MUST BE ON SAGE 100 VERSION 19.7!
- Security setup
Notice: Sage is only supporting 19.7 and SQL 7 for Year End – so if you’ve been waiting to upgrade, the time is now!
As we covered in our July and August newsletters, there’s a ton of great reasons to change now. Your programs will run faster, easier, and the reporting will get ridiculously better!! We are scheduling consultant “blocks” on a first-come-first-served basis. Click or call 480-423-8300 to reserve time to plan and execute a smooth SQL conversion!
Promo runs through Sept. 30th. Call Tony at 480-423-8300!
Are you a Timberscan user? Learn the latest Upgrades & Improvements!
eForms, AIM and Upcoming Mobile (psst…Sage 100 CON coming soon!)
Free Webinar, September 21 at 11:00 AM
Timberscan is the ONLY Enterprise Content Management (ECM) System designed specifically for Sage 300 CRE (formerly Timberline)!
Join us for a live webinar and learn how you can automate and simplify your A/P approval process. Here’s what other construction companies are saying about Timberscan:
“We love TimberScan! The main reason we purchased TimberScan was the accessibility of invoices to everyone. From the project managers to the President everyone is experiencing increased efficiencies with the ability to quickly see scanned images. Our COO can monitor outstanding invoices and it’s a fantastic management tool. And at the end of the month, we know who’s holding us up. The purchase has paid for itself in 2 to 3 months.”
This session will show you how your company can benefit from a highly automated paper-free approval system that is easy to use and designed specifically for Timberline.
If you haven’t looked at Timberscan lately, you’re missing all the improvements and enhancements! Read about them in our LinkedIn article here.
Need a Great Reason to Finally Buy CRM for Your Construction Business?
How about an Integrator that syncs with your Sage 300CRE?
Leverage Sage CRM to provide a better customer experience with Sage CRE 300!
Join Cornerstone Solutions and LAI as they present CRM4CRE — an Integrator between Sage 300 CRE and Sage CRM — which keeps your business software all “in the family.”
CRM4CRE Integrator automatically syncs (from Sage 300 CRE):
- Address book
- Service Management
- Property Management
Ledgerwood is growing and hiring!
We are getting busy! And in order to serve you best, we need to add to our team. Research shows that the majority of successful hiring comes via networking — so we are asking if you know someone who is looking to join a casual, flexible, and BUSY company, please send them our way.
Thanks for helping us to grow and continue to serve YOU!
Taking the Fear Out of…Crystal Reports!
Back by popular demand, Take the Fear Out of…Crystal Reports meets five times, starting September 22nd.
Still priced super-reasonably at $249 and $349 respectively, these live classes are led by Kyle Zeigler, Sage Certified Senior Consultant.
Course materials are provided, the sessions are recorded for your later reference, and there’s even tests! Now that’s SCARY!
Checkout details and registration links for Crystal Reports HERE.
Follow LAI on Social Media for immediate construction and technology news!
Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn LAI Page | LAI Sage 300 CRE Users Group
Upcoming LAI Online Training and Networking Events:
Archiving Best Practices
This 2-hour presentation will provide Sage 300 CRE users with step-by-step instructions and live demonstration of procedures used to archive data in all modules, including the creation of separate archive folders for GL and JC.
Automate your reporting with Alerts and Scheduled Reports
Did you know that you can AUTOMATICALLY send reports and alerts using simple “built-in” tools in Sage 100 Contractor? You can choose between using SCHEDULED REPORTS and ALERTS to automate your reporting purposes.
- Created and managed at menu option 7-9 (Utilities>Alerts Manager
- Choose between:
- Using “canned” alerts
- Create your own alerts
- Schedule to email the alert or send to a “dashboard”
- The output is “simple”- no graphics or report formatting
- Existing Canned and Custom reports are “scheduled” to run automatically- this is set up in the report menu and managed in menu option 7-7 (Scheduled Reports Manager)
- The report is attached as a pdf file to an email, or printed (it can even be faxed!)-the format is the same as if the report were run “normally.”
How do I choose which to use?
- Alerts are good for “simple” lists- no “math”. Since the Scheduled Reports are simply existing Sage reports, anything that can be done in a report (including formulas) can be used for a Scheduled Report.
- Alerts can be sent via email, or sent to a Dashboard. Scheduled Reports can be emailed, faxed, or sent to a printer.
- Alerts have a very basic “format”- nothing fancy. Scheduled Reports are formatted the same as the report, which means they can look as fancy as you wish.
How do I get started?
Alerts are setup and managed at menu option 7-9; “Alerts Manager.”
Choosing an existing Alert
You can import certain alerts from a list of “Sample Alerts” in Sage. The list is in the screen shot below. To do this, at option 7-9, choose the “Import” button in the main window. You will see a list of Sample Alerts to choose- highlight the one you want and press “import.”
Once you select the Alert, the “Wizard” opens and you can make modifications to the Alert Content and Selection Criteria before scheduling:
The final step is to create the Output and Schedule requirements- choose a Dashboard (your own or someone else’s), or email, and set up the frequency:
Another “pre-built” list features “program warning subscriptions.” These are useful, for example, to get a list of when users by-passed a program warning, such as transaction periods and dates not matching. To activate these, click the tab labeled “Program Warning Subscriptions” and choose from the list. These items are pre-built and cannot be changed.
Creating a New Alert
In addition to scheduling the existing Alerts and Warnings, you can use the “Wizard” to create a new custom Alert. At menu option 7-9; Alerts Manager, press the “new” button. The wizard shown above appears, giving you a step-by-step way to create your new alert.
Once you are proficient with the Alerts you can copy to create new alerts and edit the alerts you have created.
Schedule Reports are simply an existing report that has been “scheduled” to run on a recurring basis. Many reports can be scheduled- the main thing to remember is that if the report has “selection criteria” you must deal with that (either write it into your report, OR set up the printing defaults). To schedule a report initially, navigate to the window where you normally run the report and select the “report scheduler” button as shown below:
The Report Scheduler window opens and you can select the output type (print or email), the frequency, time to run and the email message as appropriate.
Using the Alerts and Scheduled Reports will automate the delivery of information to yourself and others. You do not need to manually run, or wait for, the reports to be run.
Think about the many uses for this-
- Advising PMs each day of the POs issued for their jobs the day before
- Advising PMs when their jobs are approaching the budget
- Advising AR when a client invoice is overdue
- Advising when cash balances reach a threshold
- And more
The power of automating this delivery will be realized when you have more time to actually deal with what is being reported rather than remembering (or not) to run the report!
Learn more about Sage 100 Contractor here. Or, call Ledgerwood Associates at 877-918-8301 today and we’ll match your needs to the best solution.
Part Two of a Three Part Series: The ‘Send’ Feature
Submitted by Kyle Zeigler, Sage Senior Certified Consultant
Send a Report from Sage 300 CRE through Email using Microsoft Outlook
This article is the second of three in a series about setting up your Sage 300 CRE software so that you can use the Send feature to email reports directly from your Sage software. Using this feature, reports are converted to .pdf files which are then attached to email messages. The first article in our September newsletter provided details about which versions of Microsoft Outlook are compatible with the different versions of Sage 300 CRE. This article explains how to set up Sage 300 CRE to use a compatible version of Microsoft Outlook to send reports.
To complete the setup, first verify from TS Main or Sage Desktop is not set to use SMTP settings. If this setting is on, Sage 300 CRE will ignore Microsoft Office.
- To review and/or modify the SMTP settings:
- From TS Main, select Tools > Options.
- From Sage Desktop for versions 15.1 and earlier, select Common Tasks > Tools > Options.
- From Sage Desktop for versions 16.1 and later, select Applications > Common Tasks > Tools > Options.
- Select the Mail Settings
- Verify the Use SMTP to send mail selection is unchecked. Uncheck if necessary and click OK. Close this window.
After verifying the SMTP settings, run and Send a test report to test the setup.
- Run and preview a report of your choice, from a module of your choice, but do not click the Start
- In the Print Selection window, click Send.
- Click the binoculars icon to the right of the Recipient field, select the desired Company or Person Contact and click OK. Note: These are Address Book contacts set up using AB > Setup > Company or Person or PJ > Setup > Company or Person.
- Verify the Send Method is set to Email. Note: If the Email option is not available, a compatible version of Microsoft Outlook is not installed on the workstation.
- Click …> to the right of the Destination field, type the recipients email address, and then click OK.
- Click Send and then click Start.
- Microsoft has a security feature which will prompt you to click Allow in order to send the email. You must click Allow for the message to send.
Note: The report will not send until the Start button is clicked in the Print selection window.
Next month: Method 2 – How to set up SMTP settings to send reports from Sage 300 CRE without using Microsoft Outlook. In the meantime, if you would like more information or need any assistance with your Sage 300 CRE software, please contact Ledgerwood Associates.
If you need helping installing an update or upgrade, one of our skilled consultants at Ledgerwood Associates would be happy to assist you. Call us at 480-423-8300, and ask for Carolyn!
Employee or Contractor
Submitted by Bryan Eto, CPA
Hiring someone on an independent contractor basis can have many advantages for employers. For example, independent contractors can:
- Be hired on a per-project basis and let go when the project is completed.
- Be more experienced workers who want to maintain a degree of independence. In other words, they don’t require the supervision that is necessary with employees.
And you don’t have to pay fringe benefits or workers’ compensation for independent contractors.
Or do you? Although most companies are aware of the problems of misclassifying employees as independent contractors, potentially expensive situations still arise. Misclassifying someone can lead to back taxes, penalties and fines. So it pays to know the difference.
Generally, the degree of control you exercise over the worker determines whether he or she is an employee or independent contractor. For example, an employer would probably provide a workers’ materials and tools, while independent contractors usually provide their own. An employer sets an employee’s work hours while an independent contractor usually has the right to set his or her own schedule. In addition, the more “integrated” or central a job is to a company’s operations, the more likely the worker is to be considered an employee.
The chart below can help you determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. Unfortunately, no single factor determines a worker’s status. The IRS and other government agencies, as well as courts that hear related cases, examine a variety of factors.
To protect your organization, you can request documents from an independent contractor that will help you prove his or her status in the event the IRS or other government agencies ask for it. These include copies of advertising or directory listings, business name statements, an Employer Identification Number (if he or she has employees) and business licenses or professional licenses.
If you’re still unsure whether a worker qualifies as an independent contractor, your CPA or counsel can help you make this determination.
Button, Button, Who’s got the (Undo) Button?
Submitted by Darren Pierce, Field Sales Engineer – Estimating
Have you ever had a situation where you entered an incorrect number into the Sage Estimating Spreadsheet? Of course it can happen, after all we are human. Because we are an autosave-to-disc solution that number is there to stay without any way to reversing the entry. Now we have to remember/recreate how we came up with the original entry. A waste of time, right?
SQL to the Rescue
Well, not anymore because that has all changed in the SQL version of estimating. Because of the SQL platform we can now reverse those errantly entered mistakes with just a click of the button. Now that’s a huge time saver!
If you are interested in or have questions regarding the other benefits the Sage Estimating SQL version can offer please contact us at 480.423.8300.
Want more info on Estimating? Click the button below to set up a Sage Estimating Demo from Tony!