Archive for 2012
Due to tax changes, the Year-End Updates for Payroll and payroll taxes are very important for every company using Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate (formerly Sage Timberline Office). Here’s some important information about year-end updates for Sage 300/Timberline Office:
2012 Year-End Update for Sage 300 CRE/Timberline Office
For details about your year-end update and installation instructions, click one of the links below:
- Sage Timberline Office 9.7 Update 13 – Software Notice
- Sage Timberline Office 9.8 Update 6.3 – Software Notice
Important: For all companies on version 9.8 there is an AMENDED update which is 6.3.
- BEFORE you print your 1099’s and W-2’s, check which update you are on by opening Help > About.
- If you have already updated to 6.0 or 6.1, you still need to run update 6.3.
- If you used Sage Installation Manager to install 9.8 Update 6.2 to your server and workstations–Sage Installation Manager may have installed 9.8 Update 6.1 on the workstations instead. If the version is not 9.8 Accounting Update 6.2 or 6.3, you must download and install 9.8 Accounting Update 6.3 to your server and workstations.
- If you have not already updated, run only update 6.3 to get all revisions.
2012 Tax Update for Sage 300 CRE/Timberline Office
Since the tax rate update isn’t available yet, right BEFORE you process your first payroll for 2013, be sure to update your taxes!
- From the menu in Payroll select Tools > Download Taxes
- Check the box to “Update Taxes when the download is complete”
- Remember also to review and update your FUTA and SUI rates
Please make sure you are aware of the timing and schedule your tax update after the last Payroll check run of 2012 and before the first check run of 2013.
Contact Ledgerwood Associates support and ask to schedule a consultant if you need assistance with these updates. If you have questions, call our office at 877-918-8301 and ask to speak to our Customer Care Manager, Michelle Jardine.
Expand functionality by adding the modules you’ve been wanting, including:
Work smarter as a team! Increase employee collaboration and improve client communication. Let more members of your team access Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate when you purchase additional user licenses.
*Don’t delay—take advantage of our limited-time year-end savings today!
5% savings on one application or user license
10% savings on two applications and/or user licenses
15% savings on three applications and/or user licenses
20% savings on four or more applications and/or user licenses
You’ll increase productivity and accuracy and gain better visibility into the management of your business.
Also new Sage customers get 0% Financing and a tax deduction* on Sage Job Ready solutions!
Sage 100 Contractor
Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate
*You may qualify for a Section 179 deduction and bonus depreciation on certain software. To take advantage of this deduction, your Section 179 qualified financing and your equipment/software must be in place on or before December 31, 2012. Consult your tax advisor for rules and applicability.
Order now! Call Ledgerwood Associates, your Sage Business Partner:
Every construction company owner and CEO knows that controlling costs and managing their people are keys to profitability. Ready access to financial and operational information are the foundation of effective control. Here’s a way to evaluate whether you are getting the information you need, from our friends at Sage CRE:
7 Questions to Test Your Construction Business Visibility
12/11/2012 at 12:31 pm by Deb Carpenter Beck, Sage Construction and Real Estate
You may feel you already have a clear view of your business from a financial and operations perspective. Or you may be struggling with getting a handle on just the basics, like understanding your job costs and preparing financial statements. To help you assess your firm’s business visibility – a key component to effective decision-making – I encourage you to take this short quiz. It’s fun, informative, and you’ll learn your percent of business visibility based on answers to these seven key questions and more:
- What do you do when a critical decision needs to be made during a highly condensed timeframe?
- How many KPIs are you tracking and monitoring on a regular basis?
- How do you determine what type of work is most profitable for you?
- How do you collect benchmarking data to compare your performance against similar construction companies?
- What do you do to predict the final profitability of a project or future impact of a decision?
- How do you access information from the job site?
- Do you conduct an annual business visibility audit?
For two years we have seen firsthand the benefits construction companies realize from adopting cloud technologies. Here are five benefits of cloud technology that your company can realize with very little up-front pain and expense.
1. Integration– For decades we’ve been hearing of the benefits of integrated accounting, financial, and operational applications. Efficiency is usually mentioned as the main benefit along with greater project visibility and control. Cloud technologies extend the benefits of integration into the field, home office, airplane, or even onto the beach.
The cross-platform capabilities of the Cloud integrate field operations with the back office and allow everyone to be on the same page regardless of their iPad, Android, Mac or Windows device. New technologies at the cloud server level also facilitate integration with CRM and other applications that go beyond the usual third-party vendor offerings such as TimberScan and Create-A-Check.
2. Efficiency– Cloud technology increases efficiency in all departments of construction and real estate companies. The primary driver of increased efficiency is greatly expanded access. Employees are more productive with faster response times and remote access. More people have access to company data and action can be taken more quickly.
Operational efficiencies, particularly in the IT department result from outsourcing IT infrastructure to the Cloud. Hosting services like TimberCloud reduce the initial investment in IT, total cost of ownership (TCO) and IT headaches. IT staff are freed from countless infrastructure problems, updates and fixes. New applications are implemented more rapidly and at lower cost. IT can more productively use their time on initiatives directly supporting company objectives.
3. Agility – Today’s construction environment demands that companies respond and adapt quickly. Planning for IT requirements 3-5 years in the future can be wasteful and futile as conditions change. Rapid, inexpensive, turnkey application implementation is facilitated by cloud hosting services such as TimberCloud. The speed of implementation and scalability of TimberCloud’s IT infrastructure fit today’s rapidly changing construction industry. Aging, on-site construction applications also get new life in the cloud.
4. Collaboration – Collaboration between internal and external project constituents is made easier with cloud-based technologies like Sage Construction Anywhere and hosting services like TimberCloud. New field applications to manage projects and personnel link on-site management to owners, vendors, architects and subcontractors, as well as HR and accounting departments. Hosting existing applications promotes collaboration with anytime, anywhere access for single and multi-site operations.
5. Security– Recently, a design-build company owner ran into his burning building to rescue his server. Emerging from the building unhurt with the company’s data in hand, his rescue mission ultimately failed when his IT manager later scrubbed the server and took the tapes.
The fact is that data is more secure and access is more reliable in the cloud than on-site. Controlled physical and virtual access, disaster recovery, redundant backups and 99.5% up-time mean there is no safer place to park your company’s critical data and to safeguard its future.
Ledgerwood Associates is an industry leader in cloud technology for the construction industry. For more information about our game-changing cloud technologies and consulting services please contact us.
Adapted from “Cloud Computing and the Construction Industry” by Sage Construction and Real Estate Solutions
The construction industry balances back office functions—billing, paying invoices, running financial reports, payroll, planning logistics—with the physical presence needed on the job site or in a client’s office. Today’s technological solutions must be able to serve users in both work settings.
As a result, making mission critical business applications available remotely is a hot topic these days. Remote access allows staff to work from any location without being tied to a specific physical location.
With the amount of consolidation, decentralization of offices, travel-based positions, and project work being done in different regions of the country or even internationally, being able to offer solid remote access technology to employees is critical for a construction company’s success. For many companies, solving this challenge means moving some of its applications to the cloud.
Collaboration between contractors, owners/clients
As a recent Constructech IT survey notes, “today’s construction professional also needs to be highly collaborative. The word ‘team’ has taken on a whole new meaning in the construction industry. Every team needs to obtain a high level of transparency and accountability for the property owner. Overall, construction companies will be more collaborative, using technology to connect all project team members- from subs to general contractors to owners- in one central location.”
Yet, it is highly unlikely that each of the project team members utilizes the same back office business management applications. So, as general contractors, subcontractors and owners individually look to the web to leverage its capabilities, it will be critical to look at ways that technology can ensure the secure and timely exchange of project information between them.
As noted in the survey, contractors will then take project information “out to the jobsite with mobile devices as well as applying a host of applications on these mobile devices.” As the survey reports, construction companies are reporting from the field as well as “carrying out project management, scheduling, punchlists, and time tracking tasks in the field today.”
This is evidenced by the growing momentum in the use of mobile technologies in the construction industry. Given the advances in and adoption of tablets such as Apple’s iPad, strong growth is anticipated in the use of these devices.
Given the fast moving area of mobility, today’s business management solutions need to support the highly mobile workforce of the construction industry today and into the future.
Does that mean that your construction company needs to scrap everything it’s using today for new cloud-based applications? In today’s economy, many companies are looking more towards extending the applications that they are using today into the cloud where it makes the most sense.
For a number of years Sage has provided field reporting, time tracking, and other web-based or mobile services through extensions to its Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate (formerly Sage Timberline Office) and Sage 100 Contractor (formerly Sage Master Builder) products.
With the release of Sage Construction Anywhere in 2012, Sage has further extended its cloud-based offering with web-based tools to help construction companies better manage their projects, communicate between team members and vendors, and deliver information whenever and wherever it’s needed—in the office, on the jobsite, at a client’s office.
With web-based tools for time capture, project management and service management, Sage Construction Anywhere delivers a comprehensive cloud –based solution to address the evolving construction management needs of customers. This new cloud-based offering is available now to the more than 20,000 construction and real estate companies who are using Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate today.
In the near future these tools will be available to Sage 100 Contractor users as well as those utilizing a non-Sage back-office business application but needing the operations management tools that construction companies need to meet today’s industry demands.
I like this practical advice from CBIZ and MHM about how to work well with your auditors:
We are often asked how construction companies can work with their auditor to ensure important deadlines are met. Adhering to deadlines is a priority for construction companies because relationships with banks and sureties depend on accurate and timely reports. Although final adjustments and issues are always possible, there are things that can be done to reduce the risk of surprises occurring: Read More >>
Here’s a great article from Sage CRE on building customer loyalty:
Building Customer Loyalty in Construction: Part 1 – Think Differently
11/14/2012 at 11:18 am by Dennis E Feldner,
Most construction contractors believe that having a core group of loyal customers who provide repeat business isn’t possible. There’s a strong feeling among contractors that customers lean one way: the contractor with the lowest bid gets the job. However, this isn’t necessarily true and can be overcome by consistently implementing a plan addressing sound customer service principles. Read full post>>
You have repeatedly told us in surveys of Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate users, (formerly Sage Timberline Office), that receiving timely and accurate time and attendance information from the field is a problem. This significant addition to the product should be well received.
The remote time entry capabilities in Sage Construction Anywhere will be rolled out in two phases with the first phase coming in January, 2013 and Phase Two to follow 3-4 months later.
Phase one will include a remote time entry app that facilitates both employee and job-centric entry of payroll data. Here are the details of both methods:
Employees enter their own time
- Automatic project recognition
- Displays only employee’s cost codes
- Supervisor or payroll manager review
- Data sent to the Payroll module
- Time sheets stored in Sage Construction Anywhere
- Employee access through a future employee portal
Job-centric data entry
- can enter a group of employees
- Project Manager reviews and submits to Sage 300 CRE
The above capabilities will be accessible from a smartphone or tablet but the app will actually be a browser wrapper that requires an active Internet connection (Wi-Fi or 3g/4g).
- Project Manager review
- Expense Tracking
- Equipment Time Tracking
- Productivity or Production Units
- Percentage Complete
If you can’t wait until January, we were told that companies could sign up for the Beta version and get three months free!
This is all great news for Sage 300 CRE users who have been waiting patiently for more cloud-based construction accounting capabilities. What’s coming further down the road? Pricing and forecasting were mentioned, but Sage is still gathering input. It may be a while (later next year?) before we see them.
Not familiar with Sage Construction Anywhere? Check out these posts:
For additional information on this and other topics contact Ledgerwood Associates.
The pace of Cloud adoption in the construction industry is accelerating. A 2012 survey found that 24% of construction companies planned some sort of cloud implementation this year. Indeed, we have seen a rapid increase in the number of companies implementing hosting for Timberline, or Sage 300 CRE, Sage 100 and other construction software on TimberCloud.
About one year ago, in a previous blog post on cloud computing, I talked about some of the commonly cited reasons to move to a hosted environment:
- Reduced investment – Someone else buys the servers
- Reduced IT costs – All you pay is a low monthly fee
- Reduced headaches – Someone else, the data center, does the backups and fixes problems
- Improved data security – It’s all encrypted and locked up
These are compelling reasons but, it gets better. We’ve been telling people that going on TimberCloud doesn’t change the way they work since applications look and operate just like before. Actually it does; it enhances the way they work, in at least two significant ways:
- Faster response times
- Vastly expanded access
Yes, you heard it here. Many TimberCloud hosting customers have seen response times improve from what they experienced on their own servers. That’s due to a couple of factors. First, the TimberCloud servers are up-to-date and very fast. Second, processing is more efficient than with the typical client-server setup. Occasionally, local bandwidth is a limiting factor but that can be corrected in most cases.
Secure access to your applications and data from anywhere with an Internet connection has always been a selling point for hosting, (if it’s done the right way). But the scope of remote access is continually expanding as more Internet-capable devices are used and as people think of more ways to use that access.
The “Freedom of the Cloud” is not just a metaphor. Use Timberline on a MAC? No problem. Run month-end reports from your iPad? Piece-of-cake. Check outstanding invoices on your new Microsoft Surface tablet? Let’s find out.
Hosting Timberline on TimberCloud helps you leverage the new technology to make you and your employees more productive. And there’s a great side benefit; it strengthens the argument for buying the latest device. Just tell your spouse, “Hey, I need it for work!”
Attend a TimberCloud webinar.
For more information on this and other topics contact Ledgerwood Associates.
Sage 300 CRE/Timberline Office users love the software, but often grumble about the stacks of paper that print out after clicking the “Finish” button at the end of common tasks. These entry and posting journals document the changes that were made in the current module and each interfacing application. Even the simple entry of a few invoices can result in several pages that chronicle the effects on Accounts Payable, Job Cost, General Ledger, Billing, etc.
Some users review the journals and then store or shred them, while others print them to an online “junk” file, never to give them a second thought. With Sage Timberline Office version 9.8 you can maintain easy access to your journals and never print them again!
Store journals in a way that fits the needs of your company with the Automatically Print Journal to File feature in Sage Timberline Office version 9.8. The setup is relatively simple and you can specify folders and assign the naming conventions you prefer. Do you want separate journal folders for each task within each application? How about for each user, or just each date? Would you like the files named by user, or by the task and date? It’s entirely up to you!
To access the feature to Automatically Print Journal to File:
- Go to the “Tools” menu of any Sage Timberline Office application.
- Select “Options”.
- Then click on the “Journals” tab.
- Click on the Help menu to get step-by-step instructions.
An additional tip: If you want to eliminate the possibility of overwriting journal files, add the date and time to the journal file name. Example: