September 2018 Newsletter
What we’re talking about in September:
- Drumroll, please: we’ve teamed up with … !
- Sage Roadshow is coming to LAI’s Scottsdale HQ, THIS WEEK!
- Sage Summer promos ending 9/28, if you need Users or Modules, hurry!
- Ruth S. says, “Time flies!” — start planning for Year End – NOW
- ICYMI: Ledgerwood has a You Tube channel for YOU
- Awesome ‘Tips and Tricks’ for Sage 300 CRE | Sage 100 CON | Sage Estimating
LAI is excited to announce that we are now an authorized…
Procore is a leading provider of cloud-based solutions that help construction professionals manage risk and deliver quality projects safely, on time, and within budget through their unified platform.
Procore joins the long list of industry-leading technology solutions that Ledgerwood is pleased to offer our customers to help drive growth and profitability.
Procore & Sage recently announced a formalized partnership, allowing shared customers to sync Procore with Sage 300 CRE to provide project and accounting teams with a single source of truth and access to the most up to date cost and project data.
Both companies have also committed to providing the market with another highly requested integration between Procore and Sage 100 Contractor. The plans to develop the integration are currently underway.
Reach out to our team today to learn more about how Procore and the Sage partnership can help your teams maximize profit margins and minimize risk during the course of construction.
See it in action!
With a Procore + Sage 300 CRE integration, you can:
- Save time and money by connecting accounting-to-project team workflows
- Leverage one-click access to real-time job costing data from anywhere
- Mitigate risk by eliminating manual double entry
- Much more!
CLICK HERE for a demo!
Sage Roadshow on Thursday, September 13th – still time to sign up!
‘REV UP’ with LAI to get the most miles out of your software investment!
Live event in Scottsdale, AZ for Sage 100 CON & Sage 300 CRE users
Learn more about what’s new with your Sage product and get an in-depth look at the Sage Paperless product and the mobile apps that will connect your field team members with the office via phone, tablet or computer!
- Updates on Sage product roadmap
- Sage Paperless
- Mobile apps for document captures & approvals
- Document management migration path
- Peer-to-peer networking
When: September 13, 2018 @ 8:00 am – 9:30 am
Where: LAI Training Center | 7440 East Sixth Avenue, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Sage promos ending 9/28
Buy two get one FREE
- Ready to add more users or modules to Sage 100 CON, 300 CRE or Estimating? Buy 2, get 1 FREE!
- Estimating clients: Buy 2 licenses of eTakeoff and get the 3rd one FREE, PLUS ONE USE of Bridge for FREE!
- Want to go paperless AND mobile? 20% off when purchasing either Paperless APFlow or Premium (on premise) — OR save 30% when you add a subscription (eForms, eCapture, or ePortal).
- Want to add Sage Service Operations? 10% discount on monthly subscriptions and 20% discount on annual subscriptions.
- Want to replace your legacy estimating software? 30% off the new SQL Sage Estimating until the end of September!
- Ready to quit Quickbooks? 20% off to trade up to Sage 100 Contractor. CLICK THE PHOTO TO BEGIN!
* Promos end September 28, 2018. Some restrictions may apply.
Another Year End – Already?!
by Ruth Stockdale, Director of Professional Services
Time flies! Start now, in September…
It happens every year — we get to September, wondering how the time passed so quickly! So, once again, it is time to plan for Year End. Whether you are an experienced user with set year-end procedures, or a new user going through year-end with your Sage software for the first time, planning and anticipating are key.
Recommendations for your YE strategy
- Schedule, schedule, schedule
- Set windows of time for tasks. This could be for you, your staff, your consultant, your IT people, or your CPA. Be sure to block times when people are not available, such as the holidays or scheduled vacations. Keep in mind that your Ledgerwood consultant, your CPA and your outside IT people probably all fill up their schedules quickly during the 4th quarter and beginning of the new year.
- Establish your checklist for this year
- Model it based on existing lists from multiple sources: your own from previous years, Sage documents, Ledgerwood Associates newsletter, your consultant, TUG. Watch for more examples as we get closer to December.
- Identify critical events
- What needs to happen before 12/31? Immediately on 1/1/19? Later in January? Typical events would be PPL or vacation payouts according to your company policies, internal review of quarterly payroll information to anticipate YTD totals, pre-closing session with your CPA, and software updates.
- Confirm software upgrade or update
- The requirements are specific to your situation. You may only need a minor tax update for 2019 or you may need a significant version upgrade to produce year-end forms. Both Sage and Ledgerwood Associates routinely send information about current supported versions but contact us if you are uncertain about your situation.
- Stock up
- Do you need additional software or licenses? (Take advantage of the Sage promotion NOW before the month ends! Details in this newsletter.)
- Perhaps new or additional computer equipment? Consider this now, either for 2018 purchase or to budget and plan for 2019.
- Most forms (W-2s, 1099s) are handled digitally now. But if you are using any paper-based forms, be sure to confirm what you need and know the deadlines for ordering.
We all know that every year-end cycle brings surprises by the time the books are closed, and the New Year is no longer new. But it is possible to minimize the impact of those surprises if you start planning now.
Have you checked out the LAI You Tube channel?
We are all about giving you training resources, new Sage product enhancements or versions, and information on integration business solutions. So, we put all of our good stuff up on You Tube! SUBSCRIBE HERE.
Worth your time watching:Love construction but hate timekeeping? Watch hh2 Remote payroll webinar
- Say good bye to data entry! Check out: Eliminate data entry with Core Cloud Services
- Interested in the new SQL version of Sage Estimating? Tony Merry walks you through it here: Estimating SQL Webinar
- Looking for a cloud hosted solution? We love Swizznet, and here’s why: An Exclusive Look at LAI’s Success with Sage CRE + Swizznet
- Job based accounting. That’s the difference: QuickBooks CAN’T but Sage 100 Con CAN
- And yes, we love to help you with Year End! Here’s Kyle Z.’s “cheatsheet” for Sage 300 CRE: Year End Preparation Checklist
If you like what you’ve seen, let us know with a ‘thumbs up’ and hit the ‘share’ button to help promote us on social media. That way, we’ll know you’re watching, and we will keep adding content that’s relevant to YOU!
Follow LAI on Social Media for current construction and technology news!
Upcoming LAI Online Training and Networking Events:
Qualified Business Income (QBI) deduction regulations
Submitted by Bryan Eto, CPA BeachFleischman
The IRS has finally issued eagerly awaited regulations addressing the new deduction for up to 20% of qualified business income (QBI) from pass-through entities. The QBI deduction was a major piece of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was signed into law last December.
The deduction is available to eligible owners of pass-through entities for tax years beginning in 2018 through 2025. The deduction will sunset after 2025 unless Congress extends it.
For QBI deduction purposes, the term “pass-through” entities refers to:
- Sole proprietorships,
- Single-member (one owner) limited liability companies (LLCs) that are treated as sole proprietorships for tax purposes,
- LLCs that are treated as partnerships for tax purposes, and
- S corporations.
The QBI deduction is only available to individuals, estates and trusts with income from eligible pass-through entities. The new proposed regs refer to all three as “individuals.” We will follow that terminology to stay consistent with the proposed regs.
In defining what constitutes a business for QBI deduction eligibility purposes, the IRS references Section 162 of the Internal Revenue Code. Unfortunately, this section of the tax code doesn’t explicitly define the terms “trade” or “business.” However, case law and administrative guidance based on Sec. 162 generally characterize a trade or business as an activity engaged in with continuity and regularity — and with an income or profit motive. Rather than relying on bright-line rules, Sec. 162 identifies a trade or business based on an examination of the facts in each case.
At this time, it’s still not entirely clear when a rental activity can qualify as a Sec. 162 trade or business for QBI deduction purposes. That said, the proposed regs specify that a rental activity can qualify as a trade or business under a special exception: When the rental or licensing of tangible or intangible property doesn’t rise to the level of a Sec. 162 trade or business, the rental or licensing activity is still treated as a trade or business for QBI deduction purposes — if the property is rented or licensed to a trade or business that’s commonly controlled.
For example, the common-control exception would apply when an individual owns a single-member LLC that owns an intangible asset and licenses it to a corporation that’s owned at least 50% by the same individual. The single-member LLC’s licensing income would count as QBI that’s passed through to the LLC’s owner. (This assumes the single-member LLC is treated as the owner’s sole proprietorship for tax purposes.)
When final QBI regs are issued, they may include safe-harbor rules that taxpayers can rely on for classifying activities as businesses (or not) for QBI deduction purposes.
Income from the trade or business of being an employee doesn’t count as QBI. Reasonable salary received by an S corporation shareholder-employee and guaranteed payments received by a partner (or an LLC member treated as a partner for tax purposes) for services rendered to a partnership (LLC) are also excluded from QBI.
Close-Up on Limitations
If you’ve read previous articles on the QBI deduction, you already know that the deduction is subject to numerous rules and limitations. The limitations begin to phase in when the individual’s taxable income (calculated before any QBI deduction) exceeds $157,500, or $315,000 for married people who file jointly.
The limitations are fully phased in once taxable income exceeds $207,500 for unmarried people, or $415,000 for married people who file jointly. After it’s fully phased in, the QBI deduction is limited to the greater of:
- The individual’s share of 50% of W-2 wages paid to employees and properly allocable to QBI during the tax year, or
- The sum of the individual’s share of 25% of such W-2 wages plus the individual’s share of 2.5% of the unadjusted basis immediately after acquisition (UBIA) of qualified property.
The QBI deduction can never exceed the lesser of:
- 20% of QBI, or
- 20% of the individual’s taxable income calculated before 1) any QBI deduction, and 2) any net capital gain amount (net long-term capital gains in excess of net short-term capital losses plus qualified dividends).
The proposed regs explain how to calculate a business’s W-2 wages for purposes of applying the QBI deduction limitations. A business’s UBIA of qualified property generally equals the original cost. Qualified property means depreciable tangible property (including real estate) that:
- Is owned by a qualified business as of its tax year end,
- Is used by that business at any point during the tax year for the production of QBI, and
- Hasn’t reached the end of its depreciable period by the tax year end.
By aggregating (combining) businesses, an individual with taxable income that’s high enough to be affected by the limitations based on W-2 wages and the UBIA of qualified property may be able to claim a bigger QBI deduction than if the businesses were considered separately.
For instance, say a high-income individual owns an interest in a business with substantial QBI but little or no W-2 wages and an interest in a second business with minimal QBI but significant W-2 wages. Aggregating the two businesses can result in a higher QBI deduction than if the deduction were separately calculated for each business based on that business’s W-2 wages and UBIA of qualified property.
The proposed regs set forth tests to determine whether the aggregation of businesses is allowed. The rules for aggregating businesses for purposes of the QBI deduction are notrelated, in any way, to how they might be aggregated for other tax-law purposes (such as the passive activity loss rules) and vice versa.
Service Trades or Businesses
Under the proposed regs, a specified service trade or business (SSTB) can’t be aggregated with any other business. Status as an SSTB (or not) is important, because QBI deductions based on SSTB income begin to be phased out when an owner’s taxable income (calculated before any QBI deduction) exceeds $157,500, or $315,000 for a married couple who files jointly. Phaseout is complete when taxable income exceeds $207,500, or $415,000 for a married couple who files jointly. At that point, no QBI deduction based on SSTB income is allowed.
The term “SSTB” refers to any trade or business involving the performance of services in one or more of the following fields:
- Accounting (and actuarial science),
- Financial, brokerage, investing, and investment management services,
- Investment trading,
- Dealing in securities, partnership interests, or commodities,
- Athletics and performing arts, and
- Any trade or business where the principal asset is the reputation or skill of one or more of its employees or owners.
Before the proposed regs were released, there was concern that the last item on the list could snare unsuspecting businesses, such as restaurants with well-known chefs. Fortunately, the proposed regs limit the definition to trades or businesses that receive fees, compensation, or other income for:
- Endorsing products or services,
- Using an individual’s image, likeness, name, signature, voice, trademark or any other symbol associated with that individual’s identity, and/or
- Appearing at an event or on a media format (such as a radio or television appearance).
Note: Architecture and engineering firms aren’t considered SSTBs.
The proposed guidance also includes an antiabuse rule intended to prevent service business owners from separating out parts of what would otherwise be an integrated SSTB, such as an optometry practice’s retail sales of vision-care items, to make income from the separated (nonservice) segment eligible for the QBI deduction.
This article only scratches the surface of the proposed regs. Your tax advisor can help you sort through the details to get the most from the QBI deduction based on your specific circumstances.
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
Start in September for a January 1, 2019 live launch
by Pam Schulz, Sage Certified Consultant
Fall is here, and NOW is the time to get started if you are planning to purchase new Sage 100 Contractor software and be live by the start of the New Year.
Follow this ten-step timeline:
1. Purchase the software by September 15
Allow a little time for paperwork and orders to process. Make sure your hardware and operating systems meet requirements.
2. Install software by September 20
Installing locally or hosted on the Cloud? Depending on what resources need to be scheduled this can take a few days or more.
3. Discovery, plan workflows, learn basics by October 5
Learn a few basics and understand the overall information flows in the program. This will help in the Basic Master file setup; knowing what fields and features are available make it easier to take advantage of more when you are setting up the new files.
4. Set up Master files by October 15
After you learn a few basics, you will begin setting up your Master files- the Chart of Accounts, Cost Codes, Vendors, Jobs, Customers, Employers and more. Many items can be imported from Excel worksheets to speed up the process.
5. Learn and refine workflows through November 15
After the basic files are started, you will be developing and learning all the workflows in detail:
- Payable invoice processing and payments
- Customer Invoicing and Deposit entry
- Payroll Processing and more.
Now is the time to understand and practice everything so that the go-live time is smooth.
6. Engage other apps, third-party, etc., through November 15
Using SSO, Paperless, or other apps such as timekeeping programs? Time is needed to coordinate the training and setup for these.
7. Ensure readiness by December 1
Check yourself on program knowledge, necessary reports and forms.
Review processes; make sure everyone understands what they will be doing. Are your check forms, invoices and other documents designed and ready to go?
8. Schedule your go-live data by December 15
A January 1 go-live is “as of” January 1st, so your actual inputting/importing data could be before or after January 1st. PLAN AHEAD — especially if you need to schedule import or internal resources. What date will you have your invoices ready for import? What date do you need to begin writing checks? These factors affect the actual date you do the work.
9. Input or import data by the last week of December to the first week of January
As of your go-live date, you will be either inputting or importing certain items:
- Open Payable invoices
- Open Receivable invoices
- Opening Bank Reconciliation items
- Trial Balance for December 31
- Whatever job cost and billing history is desired
Depending on the volume of data you can choose to input these items, or take advantage of importing services provided by Ledgerwood Associates consultants.
10. Now you are live! — January 1
The “go-live” date is when you are processing your transactions live in the program, and not using your old software anymore. January 1 is a popular date since it is the beginning of the year for many companies. Planning your conversion for January 1st go-live is also the easiest payroll conversion date. Plan ahead and be ready by mid-December and have a smooth conversion!
The good news is that you have plenty of resources to help.
Need help implementing your software? It’s ‘no big deal’ getting support from LAI — just click the form below.
Customizing Sage 300 CRE
by Kyle Zeigler, Sage Senior Certified Consultant
We humans like to personalize and customize our lives. We buy custom t-shirts, key chains and coffee mugs, sometimes custom paint our cars, and often decorate our office space with personal photos, witty posters and an assortment of keepsakes and tchotchkes. We spend about 24% of our time at work, so those of us who spend that time in Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate like to customize that too!
Where you can make custom changes:
- Common Tasks > Tools > Customize: Use this window to make changes to the settings for your computer that control printing, data folder usage, toolbar, and status bar options. These settings affect only your computer (but check with your IT provider if you log on to a remote computer to access Sage 300 CRE, as other users logging on to that same computer may be affected).
- Common Tasks > Tools > Options: Use this window to select and store default settings that determine how applications process and report information, such as:
- The date format used by the system
- Default margins for reports and cover page option
- Letterhead and company logo options
- Default email settings
- Automatically print processing journals to print files (we love this feature!)
As with any default value, you can override these options when necessary.
Caution: These options affect other Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate users and applications.
- Customize Data Entry Grids: Use these tools to create custom data entry views if the default views provided by Sage include fields you don’t use or exclude fields you would like available for data entry.
- Accounts Receivable > Tools > Customize Entry
- Cash Receipts
- Equipment Cost > Tools > Customize Entry
- Misc Entry
- Job Cost > Tools > Customize Misc Worksheets
- You can set up both cost code and category views in this window.
- NOTE: Some field names may be different if field names were customized when your Sage 300 CRE software was first implemented.
- Payroll > Tools > Customize Time Entry
You probably already know that you can create and add custom reports to your Sage 300 CRE report menus, but you can also use each application’s Report Manager to change the names and order of reports listed in the application’s sub-menus, as well as the names and orders of the sub-menus themselves. You also have the ability to add fields to some Setup windows and data entry Tasks by enabling fields that may be disabled in your particular data setup.
If you have questions about customizing your Sage 300 CRE software or would like assistance, please call 480.423.8300, or click below:
WBS codes not showing up in SQL estimate!
by Renee Mullen, Sage Marketing Manager
The fix in 7 steps
You have just finished setting up your WBS Codes and values in your database, but when you open a new estimate you can see the WBS Codes, but not the WBS values. Luckily, we have an easy way to add all the values to that code.
- Open ‘Estimate WBS Settings’ window:
- On the ribbon, click the Data > WBS > Estimate radio Button
- In classic view, click Database > WBS> Estimate radio Button
- Click on the WBS Name
- Select Edit Values
- On the right, under Import and Export button select Database.
- Select all items in the list.
- Click OK
- Select Edit Values (The values are now on the estimate)
Now on the estimate, the WBS list will show the drop down!
Questions? Chat with Sage Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m.–8 p.m. ET.
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