Year-End Tips author avatar

Want to avoid feeling overwhelmed during the year-end? Get ahead now by taking care of the following tasks, so you can cuddle up with hot cocoa by the fire this year.

Your main focus should be to have new charge codes and timesheet periods set up so employees can charge their time as soon as they are back to work in January. Before you can do this, you must first establish new task numbers to increment the option year on cost type contracts that continue beyond the end of the current fiscal year. (Indirect rates are specific to your fiscal year.) This allows you to maintain the billing rates by year, so you can use PROCAS to calculate rate adjustment invoices. 

Following this step, you should complete the billing setup for the new task numbers so employees are able to charge to these new-year tasks.

Next, you should add timesheet periods for the new year, prior to the start of that year to avoid disruption of time recording. To do so, you would go to the “System” menu, then “Time and Expense,” and then “Timesheet Periods.” From here you can click “Insert,” and then would type the timesheet period beginning and end date for all the periods in the up-coming year.

Another important task to get done is entering the new accounting year, along with the accounting periods for the new year. This can be done by going to the “System” menu, then “Accounting,” then “Accounting Years” and for periods, “Accounting Periods.” From here you will hit “Insert” and type in the new accounting year/accounting period code, along with the beginning and ending dates.

The two remaining tasks to complete are just as important as the ones listed above. The first is updating mileage reimbursement rates per your company’s policy. IRS and Federal Travel Regulations (FTR) mileage rates typically change effective the first day of the calendar year.

Lastly, you will want to order 1099-MISC forms (the official red scannable forms), so you are able to print these forms out of PROCAS.

If you would like more detailed information on the Year-End Processes, check out Chapter 16 of our User’s Manual, which explains every step for each task listed. The User’s Manual can be found in the Timekeeping System under the “Help” menu (top right-hand corner). In addition, we offer a webinar on Year-End best practices, and if you don’t already have access to these webinars, you can send an email to webinars@procas.com to request access.

Alert! ICE Submissions Due Next Week! author avatar

I’d like to imagine that this blog would fall on deaf ears. I’d like to think that in a perfect world, everyone is already in the process of reviewing their completed incurred cost submissions with the thought of freedom in the back of their minds. I’d like to visualize everyone packing away those spreadsheets for the summer, kicking back on a nice hammock somewhere overlooking the ocean.

However, as much as it pains me, this is not a perfect world. Not everyone has had the chance of getting a jump start on their ICE submissions. Not everyone has had the opportunity to compile all their costs to complete that monster of a spreadsheet. If you’re like me, then the thought may not have even crossed your mind! If you fall into one of these 3 categories, or you would like to double check your work, then I have the post for you!

For those that aren’t aware, incurred cost submissions are required if you have cost reimbursable contracts and some time and materials contracts if included in solicitation. They are essentially a compilation of various schedules of your costs, presented in a specific way, and submitted to the DCAA for their review and audit, which allows the government to verify that they are paying a fair price for the services that they receive. Most contractors are required to complete these submissions by June 30th of each year, hence my alert.

The above stated schedules can be found here:

http://www.dcaa.mil/ice_model.html

 

If you select the above link and download the ICE model as per the DCAA’s instructions, you will notice that completing the model is no easy feat. (You know you’re in for a long day when an Excel file comes with its own User’s Manual!) The ICE_Model spreadsheet contains a little more than 25 tabs, all of which require major brain power. To help with this, we’ve built some reports for specific schedules that are separated on each tab (although a couple cups of coffee wouldn’t hurt).

These reports can be found by going to Projects à Incurred Cost Submission Support within the accounting system. Once each report is printed, they can be exported to Excel using the white envelope at the top of the report, so that the data can be easily transferred to the ICE model.

Note: These reports will only give accurate numbers if…

  • Invoices are being billed out of the system
  • Costs are recorded correctly
  • Indirect rates have been calculated and applied for your fiscal year

For those interested, below is a description of each report as found in the PROCAS Users Manual. The screenshots taken are from a sample company as an example of what the reports look like.

 

 

Indirect Rate Support

Perhaps the most important, the indirect rate support reports contain the details of costs within each pool and base for the rate calculation most recently performed, regardless of the date range used when printing the reports. The reports should be used in the ICE Model Schedules A, B, C, D, and E and in PDF format as supporting documentation.

The indirect rate support reports are used to support the rate calculations performed for the year. The period date range used to run the reports are for information in the report header only and should coincide with the date range used for the most recent indirect rate calculation performed.

You should begin your ICE Model by inserting a new tab in the workbook, which will be used to copy your trial balance information. You should link information within the various schedules in the ICE Model to the trial balance tab where appropriate. This will leave less room for discrepancies between information in the ICE Model compared to information in your general ledger. If general ledger adjustments are needed after you have begun the ICE Model, you will only need to update the trial balance information on the trial balance tab.

  • Indirect rates must be calculated and applied before printing
  • There are 6 Reports – 1 for each of the following indirect rate types
    • Fringe – ICE_SUPPORT_6_FRINGE.RPT
    • Facilities – ICE_SUPPORT_7_FACILITIES.RPT
    • Overhead – ICE_SUPPORT_8_OH.RPT
    • General & Administrative (G&A) – ICE_SUPPORT_9_G&A.RPT
    • Material Handling – ICE_SUPPORT_M_MAT_HANDLING.RPT
    • Subcontract Admin. – ICE_SUPPORT_S_SUB_ADMIN.RPT

 

 

Schedule H

The ICE Model Schedule H is the “Schedule of Direct Costs by Contract/Subcontract and Indirect Expense Applied at Claimed Rates.” The standard Schedule H reports accommodate a consolidated overhead rate structure (SCHED_H_ONE_SITE) and a two worksite overhead rate structure (SCHED_H_TWO_SITE).

  • Indirect rates must be calculated and applied before printing
  • For the report to group the contracts by cost class, an Incurred Cost Class code must be established on the project records, receivable task records, and/or the revenue task records.
  • The report is available in four roll up levels: Project, Task, Subtask, and Cost Center
  • The report can be filtered by Department, Division, Location, Site

 

 

Schedule I

The ICE Model Schedule I is a “Schedule of Cumulative Direct and Indirect Costs Claimed and Billed by Contract and Subcontract.” The automated billing process records billed detail information in Invoice History which maintains the inception-to-date billed hours and amounts on contracts. By default, this report will display prior years settled total costs, prior year costs, and cumulative billed amounts, by contract, grouped by incurred cost class for the date range selected. The report displays the contract billed information in cost class order.

  • The Schedule I support report requires that the automated billing process is used to create invoices within the accounting system.
  • The Schedule I support report in the system requires invoice history.
  • The report is available in four roll up levels: Project, Task, Subtask, and Cost Center

 

 

Schedule K

The ICE Model Schedule K is a “Summary of Hours and Amounts on Time and Material/Labor Hour Contracts.” The automated billing process records billed detail information in Invoice History which maintains the inception-to-date billed hours and amounts on contracts. By default, this report will display the cumulative hours and amounts billed for the date range selected, regardless of the cost class. The report displays the contract billed information in cost class order. You can filter on a cost class code or a range of cost class codes to isolate the information needed.

  • The Schedule K support report requires that the automated billing process is used to create invoices within the accounting system.
  • The Schedule K support report in the system requires invoice history.
  • The report is available in four roll up levels: Project, Task, Subtask, and Cost Center

 

 

Schedule L

The ICE Model Schedule L is a “Reconciliation of Total Payroll per IRS form 941 to Total Labor Costs Distributions.” It is a reconciliation of the accrual basis labor cost per your general ledger to a cash basis labor cost per the IRS Form 941s. The Schedule L report will display the labor costs recorded in the general ledger, grouped by cost pool.

  • Performing a labor reconciliation separately before beginning the ICE Model will help to ensure the information in your general ledger is accurate.
  • The account field in the report parameters will automatically default to one greater than the account code for salaries payable box of the Default Accounts form.
  • The report does not include subtotals by pool. Those must be done in Excel.

 

If you’ve made it this far, I applaud your stamina! These reports can seem intense, however they lend a helping hand in completing the associated tabs of the ICE model. For additional help completing ICE submissions, please check out our Webinar on the subject by emailing webinars@procas.com. As mentioned above, additional explanations on the reports can also be found in the PROCAS Users Manual or by emailing consulting@procas.com.

 

Using Hotkeys in PROCAS Accounting author avatar

Do you ever get frustrated navigating through the accounting system with your mouse? Do you despise having to remove your hand from the keyboard to move your cursor while setting up contracts? Do you call PROCAS Support and wonder how they sometimes navigate the accounting system without moving the cursor? If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then this is the post for you!

Menu Selection Hotkeys

To start using hotkeys in the accounting system simply hit the “Alt” button on your keyboard. You will notice that the menu will look a little different now. The “File” menu will be selected by default, and all the menu options will have a letter underlined. This is what the menus will look like before and after hitting the “Alt” button:

By pressing any of the underlined letters on your keyboard, you will open the drop-down for that menu. Notice that the menu items for the drop-down also have letters underlined. By pressing the new underlined letters on your keyboard, you can continue to select more menu options. When you press the letter for a menu item that is not a drop-down menu, you will instead open that screen. Here is what your screen would look like if you hit “Alt”, “S”, and then “J” on your keyboard in that order:

** Note ** You can use the arrow keys to navigate the menus instead of letters if you would prefer.

 

Data Entry Hotkeys/Key Combinations

Hotkeys can also be used within a window to make data entry easier. There is a list of hotkeys on page 25 of the PROCAS Accounting User’s Manual version 3.01, but I am going to go through some of my favorite hotkeys and context for why you might like them. I will use the Billing Setup screen as an example, but these hotkeys can be used elsewhere as well.

Keyboard Shortcuts - PROCAS Users Manual v3.01.pdf (116.80 kb)

 

Honestly, if you are only going to use one hotkey in the accounting system, this is the one to use. If you are searching for a specific billing setup or transaction in the system, you can use this to find what you are looking for faster than sifting through records one by one. What is great about this is that you do not need to know the exact transaction you are looking for.

When searching for a value, you can use “..” as a wildcard if you only know part of what you are looking for. For example, if you are looking for a task under project 10005, but you cannot remember which one it is exactly, you can hit “F5” and type “10005..” into the search box. This will take you to the first record that starts with 10005. This can be used at the other end for finding transactions without typing the full transaction number. For example if you are pulling up L101985, you can hit “F5” and search for “..1985” saving you from typing any letters.

 

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When entering information into Billing Setup, or any screen with multiple tabs, it can feel a little tedious to take your hand off the keyboard and click on the next tab. This key combination takes you to the tab number that you type. This means when you finish filling out tab one of Billing Setup, you can hit “Alt” + “2” and you will be taken to tab two of Billing Setup.

This key combination is especially useful in Billing Setup because you can move back to tab one easily and then use “Page Up” or “Page Down” to move to another task. This is nice if you are modifying the billing setup for multiple tasks at once, or if you simply want to look at the setup on another task quickly.

 

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This key combination copies the previous record into the current box. If you are a fan of Excel then this is not a new shortcut for you. This can save you a lot of time when making entries with multiple lines that have similar information. You are most likely to find this useful when making a payroll entry so that you can copy the account from the previous line or maybe when entering purchase journals to copy the vendor code.

A place that you can use this combination that is not very intuitive is tab one of Billing Setup. On tab one this will copy the value from the billing setup of the previous task. When you are adding a new option year you can possibly copy the rollup and revenue accounts from the old task depending on how you want to set it up. Just be careful not to copy the revenue task.

 

So, you are adjusting the details of several transactions, and you need to click back in the header of the transaction after each adjustment so that you can navigate to the next one. Next time you want to move between the header and footer of a transaction, just hit “F4”. Once you are back in the header you can search for the next entry to be adjusted with “F5”, or use “Page Up” and “Page Down” to locate it manually.

 

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This opens the right-click menu. This might not seem like much, but this means you can hit the down arrow after doing so, and then hit enter to select the “Filter…” option. Filtering is great when you are looking through labor journals for a specific employee or purchase journals for a specific vendor. Just make sure that you DO NOT insert any transactions while you have a field filtered.

 

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You just learned how to filter and inserted a transaction while filtered before reading where I said not to, or maybe you have inserted a duplicate personnel record. Regardless of how you got to where you are, if you need to undo something you just created, use this key combination. This seems to be most useful when you have that coworker down the hall that creates personnel records without telling you, so now you are stuck with a duplicate record error on your screen.

 

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For one reason or another you need to create a manual labor journal transaction. You just want to type in two lines of detail, but first you need to fill out all those fields in the header. Save yourself the trouble, and use this combination to copy the current transaction you are on. Then you can modify data as needed instead of starting from scratch.

 

Popular Menu Keyboard Shortcuts

Here is a short list of some key combinations to open frequently accessed menu items after hitting the “Alt” key:

 

                Menu Item Name                            Key Combination

                Purchases Journal                            AAI

                Advanced Purchases Journal         AAD

                Automated Checks                           AAA

                Billing Setup                                       SJG

                General Journal                                 AGJ

                Receipts Journal                               ASJ

                Triggers Journal                                AGT

 

Show Off Your Skills

Now that you know how to use hotkeys in the system, what better use is there than showing off your skills? Enjoy the convenience as you are now able to save precious seconds while navigating the accounting system. Seriously though, these hotkeys will help you navigate the system much faster and save you a lot of time throughout the day.

Update to the PROCAS Budget Template author avatar

We recently made a change to our Budget Template that should make fringe projections more straightforward.

Originally, some of the fringe accounts were projected using productive labor hours and estimated days off instead of amounts. However, upon the request of multiple clients, we decided to make all of the fringe accounts accept a projected amount.

 

 

This new version of the fringe tab works similarly for us on the backend, however there are some noticeable changes for the end user:

  1. The fringe accounts are broken out into two different sections; Fringe Benefits – Time Off and Fringe Benefits Other. On the original budget template, the accounts listed in the Time Off section were automatically calculated based on a percentage of total labor and the time off days. While this ensured that the accounts were budgeted for, it didn’t allow the freedom for users to edit the amounts. Now, the amounts can be adjusted if you do not want them to be a factor of total employee labor (i.e. part-time employees do not receive the benefits), rather than having to back into percentages to force it to work.
  2. The manual amounts from Tab 3. Fringe should match the total listed at the bottom of the Time Off column in Tab 1. Labor. After entering your company’s totals for each fringe account, the excel file will compare your company’s numbers to the projected percentages from the labor tab to see if everything matches. If they do not, the following error message will appear:

 

Please be sure to have the Total Time Off amounts from Tab 1 and Tab 3 match so that your labor distribution projections match your fringe dollar projections for your fringe rate.

 

This most recent version of our budget template (and other documents) can be accessed from:

          PROCAS Time & Expense --> Help --> Downloads --> PROCAS Budget Template

Or if you’d like us to send you a copy, feel free to give our support line a call at (410) 730-4011 Ext.2 or shoot us an email at support@procas.com.