New Partnership for Deltek Vision and Deltek Professional Services consulting

I am excited to announce the official launch of Version X Solutions!

Version X Solutions is a new partnership that brings together a combined 30 years of Deltek Vision knowledge and experience under one umbrella.

We offer a wide and practical range of products and services including custom modules, custom reports, and even a cloud hosting service.

We’ve put together the beginnings of an inventory, and will continue to add to it as we come up with new ideas and do more interesting work for clients. If you have an extension we need, we’d love to hear about it!

Of course we still offer hourly consulting for nebulous or “figure it out as we go” projects.

You can read more about us and our current offering here.

What does this mean for existing customers?

Our new partnership will not adversely affect the existing relationships I have built with you over the years.

You will continue to get the same great friendly, responsive and most importantly, knowledgeable consulting services you have come to rely on from me.

Thank you for your continued business and I look forward to working with you in the near future.

From now on, please refer to the Version X Solutions site for information about products and services offered.

 

 

 

Deltek Vision: How to calculate WIP (work in process)

WIP is defined as the billable value of work you haven’t billed for yet.  Some companies will include this in their revenue calculations. Vision even has a feature where you can have it “generate revenue” based on this number.

This is great, but what if you are operating under the following conditions?

1. 95% of your projects are fixed fee projects that last several weeks or months
2. Presently you don’t have a project management tool that gathers percent complete data enterprise wide, thus Vision doesn’t know about percent complete on any particular project.
3. Since you don’t bill by the hour much, the possibility of calculating WIP by looking at the “billing value” of your unbilled labor is well… useless (also because you never know how one project will perform as compared to another when it comes to hours vs. estimated hours or actual labor billing vs. estimated labor billing).

Well you can find me, Loren Saunders, to come up with a round about way of calculating your WIP based on some basic assumptions which are as follows:

1. Projects on average will “spend” hours at the same rate as compared to % complete on that project (remember, we’re talking about the life of the entire project here. It’s understood that the spend rate will vary throughout the life… but in general we’re going to homogenize the rate for simplicity).
2. Your project managers report actual % complete on the project, and that’s what’s being billed for when invoices are produced. If your % billed vs. % complete is completely out of whack then this formula won’t work.
3. Your billing terms and Compensation amount field in projects are in synch. Meaning, for any given part of your project, the amount shown in “Compensation” is the sum of the fees in billing terms.

To calculate the WIP for fixed fee projects under these kinds of conditions you can use the following formula:

Find your % billed:
% Billed = Total Billed / Total Compensation

Come up with an EAC hours from % billed:
EAC Hours = 1 / % billed * Total Hours Billed

Figure out what the unbilled hours represent as compared to EAC Hours:
WIP Hours % = Unbilled Hours / EAC Hours

Multiply WIP Hours % by Total Compensation:
WIP Value = WIP Hours % * Total Compensation

There you have it. It’s rough, but it’s an OK estimation when you’re dealing with a limited information environment.

If you would like a SQL script that will do this for you, or perhaps a report to get this, get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.

Deltek Vision: Understanding Backlog

Recently I’ve been involved with stabilizing a Deltek Vision implementation for a client in NYC. By “stabilization” I mean getting to the point where we can print out an income statement and balance sheet and they make sense, seem to represent a picture of what’s really going on in the firm. For a while there things were out of adjustment to put it mildly, and now things are back in alignment.

However, there was this one annoying thing that came up… it’s called backlog. It’s a number that appears on the Firm Metrics report under reporting/executive/Firm Metrics. The backlog number in our case was something like 967 Million Dollars… for a firm that does about 30M in revenue… seemed kinda high right?

So I went about understanding exactly what is “backlog” according to Deltek Vision, how is it calculated, and what to do if it just doesn’t seem like it’s right?

Here’s what I found out in two parts:

1. Backlog is defined as Compensation – JTD Revenue
a. This number ignores project status… so making projects dormant does not remove them from the backlog calculation.
b. This only applies to regular projects (not overhead or promo projects).
c. The number can be negative as well as positive.

2. To clean it up you need to align the JTD Revenue number with the Compensation number, but take into consideration what you’ve got going on in your billing terms.

In order to both clean up this number AND keep it in synch with something like reality, I wrote a stored procedure which adjusts a project’s compensation when either of two things happen:
1. billing terms get changed
2. status is changed from Active to Inactive or Dormant

For this particular client, most of their projects are fixed fee. This means the stored procedure needs to take into account the different types of fee billing possibilities, as well as take into account unit billing or cost plus (time and materials) projects. Since there are hundreds and hundreds of projects in this particular Vision database, it didn’t make sense for the client’s staff to go through every project and check the Fee amount, then enter that into compensation. It also doesn’t make sense for them to maintain that field manually on an ongoing basis.  Things happen fast in NYC. Automation is key.

What’s more, many of their projects have phases with their own fee amounts, as well as a fee table (at the top level) with the checkbox “enable posting by billing phase” checked. So here is what this nifty little stored procedure does:

1. For fee projects (or phases or tasks), it sets the compensation value at each phase (or task) to what is set in billing terms.
2. For any other kind of project, it sets compensation to JTD Revenue (unless the user wants to enter a different value, then the adjuster ignores it)
3. Unless the project has been made inactive or dormant, in which case it sets the compensation value equal to JTD Revenue… because it really shouldn’t be counted in backlog.

Sorry I don’t have any good pictures of the Deltek Vision interface for this one… there wasn’t really a good reason for it.  Instead, here’s a picture of my daughter and I on a recent trip to REI.

20150607_125602

SCG – Custom Tools for Deltek Vision – in beta

What is the “Reversal Tool” built by Saunders Consulting Group for Deltek Vision?  (versions 7.x)

Good morning!

I just wanted to let you know about another little gem that has come out of a pretty extensive Vision stabilization project I’ve been working on. This particular firm had a couple years’ worth of accounting transactions they needed to correct because of incorrect entries, use of general ledger accounts or other issues.  Since the idea of un-posting and re-posting all these entries (in order to re-class items) or even generating re-classing entries for each file is rather daunting… I developed a very useful tool to help us through the process. It’s called at the moment the “reversal tool”.

What does it do? It allows you to:
1. See a list of posted files for any period. (currently only journal entries or cash disbursements)
2. Choose from the list which ones you want to “reverse”
3. Click a workflow button and autogenerate reversing files (journal entries or cash disbursements) for those posted files.

Why is this useful?

Rather than just unposting files (which has its own merit) sometimes it’s better to leave a transaction trail of “what happened” and add additional entries to correct errors that were made.  This is the whole idea behind journal entries in the first place. Thus, the reversal tool allows you to “reverse” any Deltek Vision standard journal entry or cash disbursement you’ve posted, by generating a matching file which reverses the debits and credits to the same accounts. This allows you to leave the original file there in case you need to refer back to it.

Some of the cool features:
1. You don’t have to remember any file name, period or posting sequence… it provides you with a list of what’s been posted

2. It re-creates the file if the file was not archived… (What?  It re-creates the file?  Yes… it does.) This means it works for recurring transactions where Vision doesn’t actually store each file. (annoying)

3. It’s easy peazy, and of course, has a good log to show you what you’ve already done.

Interested in providing this power tool to your accounting department using Deltek Vision?

Get in touch.  I’d love to hear from you.  See screen shot below to see an example in action… as always names have been blocked out to protect the guilty.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

SCG_reversal_tool

Custom ASJC Process completed – Link to “how to” documentation

Today I completed the first implementation of my custom ASJC process, which uses Labor Adjustments to re-align labor costs with actual payroll costs in Vision. This custom process is very robust, and can be un-done and re-processed at any time, even for periods way back in time in previous years.

If you would like to read the documentation I drafted today which explains how it works you can find that here:

Custom ASJC documentation

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1h_iFD6fX_Z_6LpH2U_1xaqw9FeiVnK4_asYDJJdwpBk/edit?usp=sharing

If you would like this implemented on your Vision implementation for your organization please contact me.

ASJC: Adjust Salaried Job Cost – a re-write for Deltek Vision

Previously, I wrote about Deltek Vision’s process Adjust Salaried Job Costing or ASJC which reconciles the cash paid out to employees with the amount of labor cost assigned to projects. This process when running correctly should “zero out” your Labor Cost Variance account.

You can find that piece here:
https://saundersconsultinggroup.com/2011/03/08/deltek-vision-adjust-salaried-job-costing/

However, in order for the standard, built in ASJC process to work in Vision there are some annoying and weird conditions, and I might add; a couple flaws.
1. It has to be run at a certain time during the period, after all timesheets are posted.

2. It has to be synchronized with your pay periods

3. Setting up the job cost rates in Vision in the employees infocenter can be confusing

4. It doesn’t support running the process for previous time periods… like for instance if you’re in July and want to run it for May, unless your employee pay rates have NOT changed at all.  In fact, it just doesn’t have any support for handling changing pay rates over time.

5. Besides the weird conditions above, one fundamental flaw is that it actually changes the pay rates assigned to labor in the original transaction tables.

6. Lastly, and most importantly, the most egregious part about Vision’s built in ASJC process, is that you can’t reverse it, undo it, or otherwise correct a bad run and start over!!

So I re-wrote it.

I have a client who does not synchronize their processing with payroll periods and things come in a little more organically during the fiscal period. Kind of like in real life. They still needed some sort of ASJC process for Vision because they have a lot of salaried employees working overtime.

Here are some features of the re-write:
1. It requires a custom grid in the employee infocenter which stores salary history. Most companies already have this, but if yours doesn’t then it’s time to create it, and yes this can be done during installation of my custom ASJC process.

2. Since it uses salary history for rates, you can run my custom ASJC process for any period you want, at any time you want. If you feel like running it for some period back in 2013, no problem.

3. It doesn’t care about when you pay your employees, just how much they are paid per week.

4. It does NOT alter the original data in the LD table, because it uses labor adjustments instead.

5. You can review the changes BEFORE they are applied.

6. Best of all.  YOU CAN UNDO IT, REVERSE IT, AND TRY AGAIN !

If you’re interested in implementing the SCG Custom ASJC process on your Vision implementation, let me know.

Thank you!

Credit card transaction import module finished

I have been remiss on posting to my site/blog. I have been swamped, buried in work.

The credit card import module has been completed and running now for 1 week in a production environment with no bugs yet.

Here are the basic functions of the module..

1. User downloads credit card transaction detail from Chase as a CSV file, then drops file into designated directory. User can name file whatever they want.

2. Module imports csv data, archives file and renames it. All imported data is linked back to that specific file so user can look up individual transactions with ease, all the way back to original csv data. If user imports the same file several times or if there are duplicate transactions the process cleans it up.

3. Module processes imported transactions into employee expense reports, adding transactions to appropriate open expense report or creating a new one if needed. Transactions will be added to either the appropriate report based on transaction date, or in current expense report if the appropriate one has been submitted.

4. Employees open their automagically created expense reports and add project number information as well as account for each detail, adding descriptions if needed.

5. User runs a report which shows any import errors, employee expense entry errors or missed imported transactions.

6. When expense reports have been completed, they are posted using normal Vision procedures.

7. When a payment is made to the credit card company, user locates payment serial number in imported data (all transactions are imported, even chargebacks and payments) and processes that payment using a workflow. The workflow creates journal entry files to allocate the cash effect to all projects based upon which details were paid by that payment, and where the employees assigned them. This shows cash flow on a per project basis when that credit card payment is made.

8. Journal entry file can then be posted through normal Vision procedures.

If you would like more information about this module please contact me.