Archive for the ‘payroll’ Category
(Test drive iPads and other mobile devices on April 4th at Ledgerwood Associates’ Technology Day, in Scottsdale, AZ).
It’s no surprise that when the Engineering News Record polled its readers last year, Apple’s iPad and iPhone were among the top 10 technology and software products contractors are interested in using most. We talked about that in our blog last March -Contractors Pick Apple iPad, iPhone and iCloud.
With so many contractors interested in using iPads and iPhones, here are five great ways to use mobile technology to expand the capabilities of your construction office in a truck.
1. Record Time and Attendance
“Time,” the IOS or Android App in Sage Construction Anywhere, enables employees and supervisors to:
- Replace paper timesheets with a smartphone or tablet
- Rapidly enter and submit employee time worked on their iPad or iPhone
- Link time-worked to project cost codes
- Review and approve employee hours worked
2. Read Project Documents
“Project Files” in Sage Construction Anywhere makes it easy to access the details you need to make sure the work is done right the first time!
- Access and share project documents on your iPad
- Pull up contracts and files immediately
- Retrieve the most recent version of documents or drawings
3. Check Subcontractor Compliance
Use “Project Reports” in Sage Construction Anywhere, or TimberCloud hosting to access compliance data through your iPad. Take action while the sub is standing right in front of you!
Compliance features in Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate help you to take a more proactive approach towards lien waivers, permits, punch list completion, and insurance.
4. Check Important Details on Photos and Plans
The New iPad’s Retina Display is 2048 x 1536 pixels, more than your HDTV at home! Apple’s iPad 3, Why do I Want One in Construction?
Field-friendly features on the new iPad:
- Photos and plans look much sharper
- Important details are harder to miss
- Zooming in reveals more
- Digital plans can be changed at the site (with iPad blueprint apps)
5. Analyze with Excel (Yes, Excel on your iPad)
With TimberCloud hosting, all of the features of your construction software, and anything else you do on your Windows desktop, are available on your iPad. And, since Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate lets you easily export an inquiry to Excel, you can easily click and copy your inquiry results, including headings, directly to Excel for analysis—on your iPad.
This list is not exhaustive. Innovators and early adopters always find ways to benefit from new technology that were not originally contemplated. 5 Reasons to be the First on the Block
What are some of the ways you use your iPad at the construction site? We’d like to know.
(See check fraud prevention technology live and up close at Ledgerwood Associates’ first annual Technology Day, April 4th in Scottsdale, AZ.)
Stay one step ahead of the criminals by understanding check fraud and the fraud prevention technology available today. Your organization’s bottom line can be negatively impacted by this still prevalent crime.
Check fraud is on the rise even though check volume is declining. Checks remain the most vulnerable payment mechanism targeted by fraudsters. The reality is that without preventive measures in place to deter criminals, your firm is extremely susceptible to check fraud.
Am I Personally at Risk?
Recent changes in the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) have placed the burden on the party who is most negligent in the process. This could be you. Historically, financial institutions were on the hook when criminals took advantage of an unsuspecting business. This is no longer the case.
Losses Are Substantial
The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimates that organizations in the US lose about 7% of their revenue to fraud. The American Bankers Association and FBI have estimated between 5.5 and 13 billion dollars are lost yearly due to check fraud.
Three ways criminals use checks fraudulently:
- Lost, stolen, or counterfeit employee paychecks
- Counterfeit checks showing one company’s MICR line with another company’s name
- Payee name is altered on the issued checks
Fraud Prevention Measures
Implementing preventative measures will significantly reduce your firm’s liability related to these crimes. Here are some safeguards you can put in place to limit your exposure:
- Eliminate preprinted check stock. It’s easy for criminals and employees to take checks without notice when several different checks with preprinted information are lying around.
a. Purchase software to print checks on blank check stock from your computer.
b. Use a single type of check stock to print checks from different bank accounts on behalf of multiple clients.
- Add security features to your checks. Security features empower the payee to verify that their check has not been tampered with.
a. Heat sensitive ink that will cause a symbol to fade then reappear when you rub between two fingers
b. A microprint border that, when photocopied, will appear as an obvious broken line
c. Chemical reactive paper that will appear to be stained if a chemical alteration is attempted
d. Watermarks that cannot be photocopied
- Close the payment loop. Standard Positive Pay and the new Payee Positive Pay electronically send your bank the information that should be on the check they are cashing. If the dollar amount, payee name, date, check number, or routing code are changed the bank will refuse payment.
- Implement the proper internal controls. Set up the appropriate structure in your organization to ensure that the correct people in firm have approved payments when they are made.
Technology to Prevent Check Fraud
When you realize what is at stake, taking action becomes a necessity. Fortunately there are solutions that address these measures.
Piracle has created a software package, Create-A-Check, that seamlessly integrates with your current accounting application. For many years they have worked constantly to stay one step ahead of the people whose goal is to defraud your company. Their software and security enhanced blank check stock address all of these issues and more.
Learn more about check fraud prevention technology at Ledgerwood Associates’ first annual Technology Day, April 4th in Scottsdale, AZ.
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.
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.
When R&J Construction was looking for a way to reduce labor costs they became early adopters of an emerging, cost saving technology that would soon be requested by their peer organizations nationwide - “mobile data collection”.
Employees of R&J Construction recorded their time on paper timesheets that were unverifiable and required manual data entry into back office time/labor, payroll and accounting packages. Controller Paula Wiens decided to “tighten the ship” by eliminating the costly paper processes. She implemented a solution that allows employees to clock in and out of job sites using their mobile phones.
With the new mobile “apps”, R&J gained better insight into billable versus non-billable time and improved their management of mobile workers with real time GPS, time and job tracking. The solution allowed R&J to process payroll and bill clients more quickly and more accurately. It also turned the gathering of critical data for time and billing into a “paperless” process, reducing errors and saving time.
After a few weeks, Wiens began using the application’s reporting features to look for trends and to identify ways to manage job costs. If an employee took six hours to complete a job which should normally take three hours, Wiens checked in with the project superintendent to find out what happened to increase the labor hours.
An area where R&J saw immediate savings was in fuel costs. The mobile data collection application automatically captures GPS data and calculates miles driven. A mileage report allows Weins to audit and compare the employees’ fuel expenses with actual use to uncover any abuse or mistakes. R&J saved $6,000 the first month, when employees were notified that the GPS system was in place, and about $10,000 a month since.
Adding up the savings from paperless time reporting, jobs trends analysis and automatic mileage reporting, mobile data collection helps R&J save about $200,000 per year! The company also does more accurate job costing for clients. In addition, the data collected on mobile apps is seamlessly integrated into R&J’s Sage accounting application and their ADP payroll solution.
R&J Construction understands the power of mobile data collection to save time and money. It is. It does. It saves.
Contact us to see how you can integrate mobile technologies with your existing Sage Timberline applications.
How to Reduce Construction Labor Costs without Reducing Your Labor Force by Using Mobile Data Collection
According to Joseph Contomo, author of an American Payroll Association study on timekeeping – “The Incredible Time Machines: Taking Time Clocks Out of the Dark Ages, “ payroll clerks, timekeepers, department managers and millions of employees have viewed the recording of time as a constant source of error and problems almost since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.”
These problems equate to elevated labor costs as a result of manual timekeeping due to:
- The time it takes to manually compute hours worked per employee.
- Errors made in manually computing time.
- Lost time – also known as time theft.
Note: Robert Half Associates conducts an annual survey of theft of
time and estimates that the average worker “steals” four hours and 18
minutes of time – or more than one half a day’s pay – per week.
Advancements in mobile technology allow employees to record time either in real time or via after the fact allocation all-the-while tracking employee whereabouts with GPS. From standard feature phones to PDAs, iPads and Netbooks, these devices may be enabled as GPS enabled tamperproof timeclocks to collect data from the field such as employee arrival at job sites to job transfers, phases, codes, quantities and even equipment time tracking.
Furthermore, data may be automatically exchanged via TimberCloud or a pre-built server connector which allows administrators to enter data once – into Timberline – and make it viewable and accessible without dual entry via the mobile app.
Contact us to see how you can integrate mobile technologies with your existing Sage Timberlline applications.
Adapted from an article published at www.constuctech.com March 28, 2012
Mobile technology is a game changer for the construction industry, which relies on communication and collaboration among many invested parties within the lifecycle of a build. As the industry continues to adopt technology solutions, going mobile is a natural extension for many construction professionals looking to take their investment to the next level.
For that reason, a number of construction-technology providers are expanding their product portfolios to include mobile capabilities.
One solution for AEC (architectural, engineering, and construction) firms offers a complete system for capturing and managing project information from the field to the back office. By keeping project team members accountable for cost, scope, and schedule, the solution helps adopters deliver
Construction professionals can access construction field-management functionalities from mobile devices such as the iPad and those that run the Microsoft Windows mobile platform. The app allows field staffs to view and manage project information such as punch lists, inspections, and daily
construction reports in real-time. Data collected in the field is automatically synced with data back in the office.
Another company also offers a mobile component to its software solution as part of the company’s enhancement to its cloud-based construction program-management software. The app extends the functionalities of its enterprise software into the field, therefore increasing project teams’ productivity and improving project delivery quality. The solution gives access to project data in real-time, giving project managers more freedom to act on issues immediately. All actions are synced for project members to see and the app can be used on Apple devices such as the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.
As smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices become more ubiquitous in today’s society, these devices are following professionals to work. On the construction jobsite, mobile components of
construction project-management solutions offer the ability to improve communication and collaboration among team members, while reducing costs and contributing to faster project delivery.
How are you using mobile technology in your business?
Ledgerwood Associates Consultants can help you sort out the technology options and help you improve all of your business processes.
A Free Learning Opportunity…
Client Skill Savor Luncheon
Sage Timberline Office 9.8 Release Training
Who: If you are looking to stay up-to-date on Sage Timberline Office, here’s an opportunity to sharpen your skills while you savor a tasty meal (a free lunch no less).
What: Learn about the changes and enhancements in Sage Timberline Office Version 9.8 that will affect most users.
Cost: Tuition is free, but space is limited. Sign up early!
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Date: November 16, 2011
Where: Ledgerwood Associates Training Facility in Scottsdale, AZ
Changes and enhancements in Sage Timberline Office Version 9.8
Credit Card Management – Do you make purchases or pay open invoices with credit cards? With this release, credit card management has been streamlined into a smooth process that will save you loads of time. Now it’s easier to enter and reconcile credit card payments and statements. Plus you can record an open invoice as paid via electronic funds transfer.
Workforce Management – You asked for enhancements that would improve the way you manage workers. You got them. This release includes 70 customizable human resources forms to help manage hiring, discipline, evaluations, and more.
Software Performance – Applications and tasks start up significantly faster. Added stability across Sage Timberline Office will help keep your system running at peak performance.
Usability and Administration – Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference for your organization. This release includes loads of these “little things,” including a live support chat link, improved upgrade process for Document Management, Estimating line item attachments, a server migration tool, journal auto-filing and optimized printing, installation improvements, enhanced inquiries,
Summary materials will be emailed to participants after the luncheon. Don’t miss this opportunity to network with other Timberline clients and consultants.
For more information on this topic contact Ledgerwood Associates, the #1 Sage Timberline Business Partner in the Southwest!
The exempt, on-hold and join check status no longer displays in Enter Invoices or Change Invoices
What You Really Need To Know:
Sage Timberline knows about the issue and will soon issue a fix. Be assured that the issue is isolated to the display itself. The Exempt, On-Hold and Joint Options are working just as they always have.
Why’s it doing that?
The addition of distribution grid lines adjusted the items that will display in the Enter Invoices and Change Invoices screens.
The format you added to the phone number field is not retained after saving the employee.
How To Fix It:
If you imported your employee phone number using ODBC and there is no formatting, retype the whole number, or use Cut and Paste, and then add the format.
Why’s it doing that?
Payroll automatically adds formatting to employee phone numbers (xxx)xxx-xxxx when setting up a new employee. However, if you import the employee information using ODBC, the employee phone number may not be formatted correctly and adding the formatting will not be recognized without changing the number.
You’re getting an Error 1904 message.
What it means:
This means the install failed to register multiple dlls.
How To Fix It:
Uninstall and reinstall Pervasive on the server or the affected workstation.
Why’s it doing that?
Pervasive was not correctly installed on the computer.
The Property Management Comparative Occupancy Analysis does not run for February.
How To Fix It:
Go in and change the design formula named “Test on February” from Month-As of Date (Design Formula) = 2
to Month-As of Date (Design Formula) >= 2
Hope this helps!