Indirect Rate Calculation Setup – Mysteries Unveiled author avatar

Have you ever wondered how to set up your indirect rate structure in PROCAS? The good news is, if you’re a new contractor, and you don’t have a rate structure yet, the system already has a default setup that works for most of our clients. It’s a standard 3-tiered structure with (1) fringe, (2) overhead applied to direct labor plus fringe, and (3) G&A.

If you are more experienced, you may want to make changes to your rate structure from one year to the next but don’t know what options to pick in the system. One nice thing about how it works in PROCAS is that it is easy to use our ‘point and click’ setup to make changes and then test the calculation.

There are 2 basic setup elements the system needs to calculate the rates—(1) selections on the Rate Calculation Setup form and (2) the Cost Pool assigned to each expense account in the Chart of Accounts. Generally, your selections determine how many rates you have, what intermediate rate allocations are made, and what makes up the bases for each rate. Every expense account you use is assigned to a cost pool on the Chart of Accounts form. The Cost Pool assigned determines what type of expenses is being accumulated in that account.

Since the default chart of accounts already has appropriate cost pools established for each expense account, I will focus on the options on the Rate Calculation Setup form.

Rate Calculation Setup form – Tab 1: Establishes defaults used when calculating rates.

Date Range – we recommend selecting Accounting Year since you must calculate your indirect rates for the accounting year-to-date for DCAA compliance. Management may want to see rates by Accounting Period but that should be for internal purposes only.

Costs to include in Pools – we suggest using Allowable Only as your default. This selection will exclude unallowable costs from the pools for calculating your claimed rates. When Allowable & Unallowable is selected, you are calculating your full rates which include all your costs. While you need to know your full rate to make informed business decisions, you cannot claim your full rate for reimbursement from the government.

Transactions to include – using Posted & Unposted transactions as your default will ensure everything recorded in the general ledger is included when you calculate your rates. Choosing Posted Only will ignore any transactions that are not posted within the period and could be misleading.

Rate Calculation Setup form – Tab 2: Determines how many rates you have for each cost pool.

We always recommend keeping your rate structure as simple as you possibly can, for as long as you can. Using all consolidated rates means you have only one rate per cost pool. However, at some point, you may need to make some changes. This tab gives you the flexibility of establishing rates by division, location, and/or work site, in any combination.

Most often, we see clients moving from a consolidated Overhead rate (pictured above) to Overhead calculated by Site. This allows for more than one overhead rate—typically one for company site and one for client site. Keep in mind, that you will have to track your costs at whatever level you select. Since switching to a 2 Overhead rate structure is common, we start our clients off on day one by tracking direct and overhead expenses by company site (e.g., 100 cost center) and client site (e.g., 105 cost center). This makes the transition to the 2 Overhead rate structure seamless. All you have to do is select the Site checkbox in the Overhead row and you are ready to go.

Rate Calculation Setup form – Tab 3: Determines whether you have a dollar or hour/unit base for each cost pool.

Most commonly, we see clients using a $ Base for each cost pool. Using a dollar base is simplest. It does not require any additional work on your part. The system will just need the amounts you’ve already recorded in the general ledger.

However, quite frequently we see Facilities with an Hour/Unit Base. In many cases, it makes sense to use square footage or head count as the base for Facilities rather than dollars. Note that if this is your selection, you will also need a Triggers Journal entry dated the first day of your accounting year, so the system knows how many units to use and how to allocate the office-related costs to Overhead and G&A. We have special accounts already established in the default Chart of Accounts to use for this purpose.

Rate Calculation Setup form – Tab 4: Determines what pool to put your Material Handling and Subcontract Administration costs in.

In PROCAS, you can track your Material Handling (MH) and Subcontract Administration (SA) costs in your general ledger separately by account while keeping the costs in either the Overhead Pool or G&A Pool for rate calculation purposes. Tracking the costs will provide management with valuable cost information and have you set up to easily transition to a Value-Added G&A rate.

The selections in the screenshot above are a great place to start. Keep the material handling and subcontract administration costs in your G&A pool for now. If you ever need it, you can easily change it.

Rate Calculation Setup form – Tab 5: Determines what makes up your Facilities base and what to include in your Overhead Pool and Base.

There’s a lot more to the options on this screen so let’s tackle them one at a time.

Facilities

Include Employee Labor in Facilities Base – if selected, productive employee company site labor is your base. If you selected a $ Base on Tab 3, the system will use the total employee labor dollars. If you selected Units/Hours Base, the system will use the total employee labor hours.

Include Contract Labor in Facilities Base – I don’t see this often, but if you have contractors that use your facilities, you can include those labor costs in the base to bear some of the facilities burden. Again, the $ or Units/Hours base selected on Tab 3 is a factor in the calculation.

Include Non Labor Facilities Base in Facilities Base – if selected, you must also have the Units/Hours base selected on Tab 3. This means you are using something like square footage, head count, or some other percentage to allocate the facilities costs to Overhead and G&A. You also must create a Triggers Journal transaction dated the first day of the year to record the unit allocations.

Overhead

Include Fringe Benefits on Direct Labor in Overhead Pool – if selected, you have a 2-tier rate structure—overhead and G&A. Fringe is an intermediate rate and is not stated separately on invoices to your clients.

Include Facilities Costs Related to Direct Costs in Overhead Pool – if selected, the facilities costs allocated to direct company site labor are allocated in the Overhead Pool. This is the most common selection.

Include Direct Labor in Overhead Base – this option should always be selected. Direct labor is the standard overhead base.

Include Contract Labor in Overhead Base – this option is rare, but if you have contractors that use your company’s contract support resources, you can include those labor costs in the base to bear some of the overhead burden.

Include Fringe Benefits on Direct Labor in Overhead Base – this option should be selected if you have a 3-tier rate as described in the beginning of this article. Fringe is stated separately on invoices to your clients and overhead is applied to direct labor plus the allocated fringe. If this option is not selected, you also have a 3-tier rate. Fringe is stated separately on invoices to your clients, but overhead is only applied to the direct labor costs.

Rate Calculation Setup form – Tab 6: G&A Base options

As you can see in the screenshot above, there are several selections to choose from for your G&A base.

Total Cost Input Base – this is the most common selection. Select this when all your costs (excluding G&A) are the G&A base. What you get with this option is all your direct costs plus the allocated facilities, fringe and overhead costs as your G&A base.

Value Added – No Materials – if your rate structure includes a separate Material Handling rate (Material Handling Pool option is selected on Tab 4), you must select this option. This will exclude the direct materials from the G&A base. Instead, the direct materials are the base for the MH rate.

Value Added – No Subcontracts – if your rate structure includes a separate Subcontract Administration rate (Subcontract Admin. Pool option is selected on Tab 4), you must select this option. This will exclude direct subcontract costs from the G&A base. Instead, the direct subcontract costs are the base for the SA rate.

Total Direct Cost – I can honestly say that I have never seen a client select this option. That doesn’t mean it’s not right. It’s there if you need it. Only direct costs will be your G&A base. This means that you don’t have a separately stated fringe or overhead rate. Basically, everything ends up in the G&A pool with this option.

Direct Labor Base – I have seen this option selected one time in my career. Again, it could make sense in certain circumstances.

The default chart of accounts is already set up with the appropriate Cost Pools for each expense account. This is how the system knows what type of cost each account contains (direct, fringe, facilities, overhead, G&A, material handling, subcontract administration, etc.). That, along with the selections on the Rate Calculation Setup form, informs the system of where each amount goes in the various pools and bases when the rates are calculated.

I cannot stress enough how important it is for DCAA compliance to be consistent with how you accumulate and allocate your costs. The way you bill the government for reimbursement of your direct and indirect costs must match how your rates are calculated. If you are ever unsure of what selections to make, please reach out to one of our PROCAS consultants for help.

Real-Time Reports in PROCAS Time author avatar

PROCAS Time & Expense has a wide variety of reports to offer. These reports span from showing who has requested PTO, to checking if employees are logging their time daily, to direct labor utilization. The four reports we receive calls asking about the most are the labor utilization, PTO authorization, labor hour summary, and floor check reports. All these reports can be accessed through the Administration or Approvals menus in PROCAS Time.

Labor Utilization Report

The labor utilization report is a great way to see what portion of employees’ time is going to direct work. To run this report, look under the Administration or Approvals menus --> Timesheet section --> Reports subsection --> “Labor Utilization Report.”

You can select date ranges, tasks, accounts, or even employee approval groups to search by from the parameter screen. At the bottom of the parameters are options labelled “Direct hours/Total hours” and “User defined base hours.” If you select “Direct hours/Total hours”, the report will show a direct utilization percentage that is calculated by dividing the number of direct hours an employee worked in the selected time period by the total amount of hours worked in that period. The user-defined base hours selection defaults to 2080 hours (the total standard work hours in a year) but can be changed to a custom amount. This selection will calculate the direct utilization percentage by dividing the direct hours worked by the base hours entered.

PTO Authorization

A great place to find out how much PTO the employees of your company have is through the PTO authorization report. It can be accessed through the Administration or Approvals menus --> Paid Time Off Request section --> Reports subsection --> “PTO Authorization.” You can select what date to run the report through as well as task, account, and approval group.

Once you’ve run the report, you can see each employee, organized by approval group, and all their information regarding PTO including budgeted hours, PTO hours used, and PTO hours remaining. This report also has the option of being exported to a .csv file on the parameters screen.

Labor Hour Summary Report

It can be tough to keep track of employees working overtime in periods that aren’t exactly one week. This report can be run on any date range (up to three months), and can include data from multiple pay periods. To find the report, go to the Administration or Approvals menus --> Timesheet section --> Reports subsection --> “Labor Hours Summary Report.”

This report has similar parameters to the previous ones, but there is an additional “Hours Threshold” option. In this field, enter the number of hours you expect employees to work during the range of time selected. When the report is created, any employee that worked over the threshold value will be shown. The variance column will show how many overtime hours these employees worked. You can choose to View Details for more information about their time charges.

Floor Check Report

As FAR policy states, employees must log their time daily. A good way to check if employees are, in fact, filling out their timesheets each day is to run the floor check report. This report will show you which employees haven’t filled out time for a specific date chosen. You will find the report under the Administration or Approvals menus -->Timesheet section --> Reports subsection --> “Floor Check Report.”

Select the date you would like to perform the floor check for and fill out other optional search parameters. On the next screen, you will see each employee that has not yet filled out time on the chosen day. The report will also show the PTO status if they have submitted a PTO Request for that date (pending approval, approved, disapproved, or blank).

There is also a check box next to each employee that, if checked, will send an email notification to the employee reminding them to fill out their timesheet for the day.

These are just a few of the many helpful reports PROCAS Time features. Should you have any questions about specific reports you see, or are wondering if there is a report for a function you need, please contact us via email at support@procas.com or by phone at (410) 730-4011 option 2.

Using the Project Status Report (PSR) to Catch Billing Issues author avatar

The Project Status Report (PSR) is a helpful and informative tool that can be used to view amounts earned on a contract. The report compares the amount earned to the amount funded in order to show how much funding remains on a contract, also referred to as contract backlog.

The PSR gives you a good idea of what to expect on your current period invoice. We recommend running the PSR during your normal invoicing process. The report can be found under Projects → Project Status Report. Occasionally, you may come across a situation where the current amount on your PSR does not match your current period invoice. Read on to find out what the cause of this difference may be.

By default, the PSR looks at transactions that are both posted and unposted. When calculating an invoice, the system only looks at transactions that are posted. If your PSR is not matching your invoice, first check to make sure all transactions through the current period have been posted (locked). After verifying that all previous and current period transactions are posted, try running your PSR and invoice again. If the 2 reports still do not match, there is most likely a prior period adjustment being applied to your invoice that is not being picked up on the PSR.

The PSR takes current period actual direct hours and costs in the general ledger and applies billing setup information to calculate Current Period, Current Year and Inception to Date values. The invoice calculation process also takes current period actual direct hours and costs in the general ledger and applies billing setup. Next, the system applies year-to-date invoice history transactions to come up with the bottom line amount displayed on the invoice. If there was a change in prior period direct hours or costs, the effect of the change will be incorporated in the current period invoice. The effect will not be incorporated on the PSR since the PSR only looks at current period direct costs/hours applied to live billing setup.

In the example below, we are calculating for the period 03/01/2018 – 03/31/2018. Our current amount earned per the PSR is $37,018.72 with current hours of 576. Our current amount due per the invoice is $39,663.52 with current hours of 616.

To verify that the difference in the PSR and invoice is coming from a prior period adjustment, try running your invoice for the previous period. If all is well, your current period invoice should display $0 since the invoice has already been finalized. If you see an amount on your prior period invoice, there must be a change in direct hours or costs that impacts revenue for the prior period. This can be due to a change in labor hours, labor category, travel costs, billing setup, etc. Let’s run the invoice for prior period (02/01/2018 – 02/28/18) to see if there are any unbilled costs.

You can also run the template INVOICE_MAPPING.RPT for the current period to get transaction level detail of what is being incorporated in the invoice amount. If you see a transaction with a prior period date and current amount, this indicates that a prior period adjustment is being applied.

Although it may be an added step to run the Project Status Report during your normal invoicing process, there is a great benefit to knowing what the amount on your invoice means. After all, no one wants to have their invoice denied by a contracting officer over an issue that could have easily been resolved. Feel free to reach out to us at 410-730-4011 if you need any assistance running the PSR. For troubleshooting invoice errors, refer to Appendix C of the User’s Manual “Client Invoice Troubleshooting Quick Reference.”

How to Resolve Locked Journal Errors author avatar

If you work in the system with multiple users or tend to open several screens at a time you may run into a loop of error messages as you try to add, change, or edit something in a journal. Read on to find out what the messages mean and how to get them to go away so you can continue working (and prevent them from occurring in the future).

Do the following loop of error messages look familiar to you?

 

 

If so, then what’s important is identifying which type of error (out of the two possibilities) you are receiving. To troubleshoot the cause of the error, you should click "OK" on image 1, which then brings you to image 2. From here press the highlighted arrow that is shown on image 2, which will take you to one of the following two screens that provides the reason for your session being locked.

 

Option 1: Record already locked by this session

 

When it reads “Record already locked by this session,” it tells us that you (the user) are trying to edit the same transaction twice. You essentially have locked yourself out. When you are attempting to edit a transaction that is already open, the system doesn’t know where to look.

To resolve:

To get yourself unlocked, you must log out completely by using the start menu at the bottom left hand corner. This is the only way to log off of the server completely (see our previous blog post “How to Properly Log Off the PROCAS Server, and the Benefits of Doing it Properly”). Hitting either of the “X’s” at the top of the screen will not work, as it just disconnects you for the time being. Once you get logged back in, the transaction you were editing may or may not have saved your changes. We have found in most cases that the journal is left how it was, and it may be sitting out of balance.  

 

Option 2: Record already locked by user

 

If it reads “File is locked” then this tells us that a different user has the same transaction open. Line two of the message on image 4 will let you know which user is attempting to edit the same entry.

To resolve:

In this case, logging out wont fix the issue. To get unlocked you will need to have the user listed on the screen close down the window you are trying to access. So in this instance,  I would ask “smartin,” the user listed on image 4, to close the window that is locking me up, as we both shouldn’t be editing the same entry at the same time. Once they have finished what they are doing and have closed their window, you shouldn’t have a problem accessing the journal.

The Update We Didn’t Know We Needed author avatar

The PROCAS team is ecstatic to announce that our Time & Expense system has received an update! We have added several features that will make using the system significantly easier and more efficient for you and your employees.

An Updated Administration Menu

We’ve been taking note of what our clients use the most through the admin menu. In the new update, you will notice that there are now eight options in the top “Administration” section. Some of these items are simply a relocation of previously available functions. However, there are now two new functions added into this section: “Establish Default Timesheet Charge Codes (By Person)” and “Establish Default Timesheet Charge Codes (By Task).”

The addition of these items to the “Administration” section will save you precious time and improve the overall efficiency of our Time & Expense system.

Establish Default Timesheet Charge Codes

Employees are no longer the only ones who can choose which charge codes show up on their timesheets by default. Admins are now able to establish the codes and it can be done either by person or by task.

Another great feature being added is a default charge code capacity of 100. This ensures the timesheet rendering runs smoothly every time.

Charge Codes by Person

This new function works best when you add a new employee to your staff. It makes it much simpler for onboarding the new member.

From the “Administration” section, press the “Go” button next to “Establish Default Timesheet Charge Codes (By Person).”

From this screen, you’re able to select which employee you’d like to choose the default codes for using the “Employee:” drop down menu. You are even able to sort the employees by approval group if needed.

Once an employee is selected, press the “Search” button and a list of all the charge codes assigned to the employee will be generated, similar to the one you can view for yourself when establishing your own defaults. Select the checkboxes for the charge codes you want to show on the employee’s timesheets by default and press “Save.”

Note: As you check/uncheck the charge codes, the “Total Selected:” counter will increase/decrease accordingly. Once you go over the 100 charge code limit, the counter will turn red, and the warning message, shown below, will appear. You will not be able to save the changes you’ve made to the employee’s charge codes until you return to a selection under the capacity. A “Save successful” message will appear on the top of the page if performed correctly.

Charge Codes by Task

Establishing default codes by task works very similar to by person, but it allows you to select codes for multiple employees at a time. This function can be best utilized when you receive a new contact and have new tasks that apply to a portion of your staff. It also works great for the end of the year when it’s time to update your Holiday and PTO task numbers for tracking.

Once you’ve selected the “Establish Default Charge Codes (By Task)” function, you will see a set of parameters you can set to search for tasks and employees. Input the search criteria you desire and press “Search.” A list of charge codes and employees will be generated and codes can be selected.

Once the default charge codes are selected, scroll back to the top and press “Save.”

Note: The 100 code limit applies to this function as well. If you select over 100 codes for any employee, the message below will appear:

By clicking on the black, “here” you can see which employees are over the code capacity.

Be aware, the system will let you save these changes even with employees over the limit. However, when the employees who are over the limit log in, they will be automatically directed to their “Establish Default Chare Codes” screen and must update their selections before they can access their timesheets.

Expanded “Select a Period” Window

Over the years, computer screens have been getting larger and larger. The new update is taking that into account and will save you from scrolling through long lists of dates. The “Select a Period” window has now been expanded from six periods shown at a time to 25.

“Exported” Check Boxes Added

Ever run into the issue of forgetting if a timesheet period has been exported into the accounting software? Now, when you go into the “Export Timesheets by Period to Accounting System” tab, you will know. The previous periods will all appear and you will now see (non-editable) check boxes labeled as “exported” next to the periods that have already been sent over to the accounting system.  

We hope these updates to our Time & Expense system will make your jobs just that much easier. If you run into any issues or have any questions about the changes, feel free to contact us between 9AM and 5PM EST, and a member of our dedicated support team will be happy to help. 

Last Call! 1099s Must Be Sent by 01/31/18! author avatar

For those unaware, vendor payment information can be printed from our software onto 1099-MISC forms for the year 2017. To do so, please proceed with the following steps:

 

  • Obtain legal 1099-MISC forms
    • Can be purchased from most office supply retailors such as Amazon, Staples, etc.
    • Do NOT print the forms directly from the .pdf online

 

  • Determine which vendors/subcontractors should receive a 1099-MISC
    • Run a GL for the year 2017 on account 1000 grouped by vendor for transactions D - G
      • Any vendor that is not taxed as a corporation should be considered
      • Follow all applicable IRS regulations to determine which of these vendors should receive a 1099-MISC

 

 

  • Mark each applicable vendor as Y on Tab 2 of their Vendor Record
    • By default, the amounts for each vendor will print onto Box 7 – Non-employee compensation of the form
    • If the amounts for a vendor should print onto a different box of the form, place that box number into the “Business Code” field of the vendor record for that vendor (i.e. Rents – 1, Royalties – 2, Other income – 3, etc.).

 

 

  • Select the proper vendors to print from the 1099/1096 Menu
    • In the bottom left hand corner, please select the “Select” button, enter the proper Reporting Period dates (01/01/17 – 12/31/17), and hit “OK.”
    • Once the menu has updated, select the “Report” button to see if all the vendors listed match your list of vendors from Step 2 to receive 1099s.
      • Unmark any vendors that have received less than $600!
    • If they all match, select “1099s” to print your 1099s!
    • Repeat these steps for all forms (1099-MISC A,B,1,2,C).

 

  • After 1099s have been sent and reconciled, print the associated 1096 form
    • Can be printed following the same process as Step 3, replacing the “1099s” button with the “1096” button

Notes:

  • If the values from the 1099s and 1096 reports do not completely align with your forms, please email support@procas.com with a copy of a printed 1099/1096, and we can adjust where the values print.
  • We only support 1099-MISC and 1096 forms.
  • Follow the instructions on the IRS website to determine where and when each 1099 form needs to be sent (1099-MISC forms A,B,1,2,C).
  • For additional information related to printing 1099s and 1096s from our software, please read pages 299-301 of our Accounting User’s Manual.

Setting up PROCAS for SCA Employees author avatar

Do you have contracts that require you to pay service employees according to the area wage determinations (AWD) as outlined in the Service Contract Act (SCA)?

OR

Do you have personnel that are paid different hourly rates depending on the work they are doing?

If so, you can use the AWD capabilities in PROCAS to automatically record the proper hourly wage rate as well as fringe benefits per hour.

Here’s how:

1. Add AWD fringe accounts to your Chart of Accounts. (Go to >System, >Accounting, >Chart of Accounts)

You will only need to do this if the SCA employees receive a dollar amount per hour worked for fringe. When the labor journal transaction is recorded, it will add a line with an AWD fringe expense account along with its associated direct task. The cost center for the fringe account must match the cost center of the direct task. So, you will need to add a fringe account for each appropriate cost center.  The chart of accounts in PROCAS includes AWD Fringe Expense accounts 6600000, 6600100, and 6600105 by default. These accounts are used by the system to record the earned fringe expense in the labor journal.

When SCA employees also earn fringe per hour on paid leave hours (i.e., holiday, vacation), you will need to add paid leave accounts for each cost center, as shown in the screenshot below. The reason for this will become evident later on in the setup.

 

2. Add the new fringe accounts to the AWD Fringe Accounts (Go to >System, >Accounting, >AWD Fringe Accounts)

If you added AWD Fringe Expense accounts in step 1, you will need to set up those accounts by department. The system uses the account setup from the AWD Fringe Accounts form to know where to record the fringe expense in the labor journals.

 

3. Add the AWD information to Billing Setup on the appropriate tasks. (Go to >Projects, >Billing Setup)

  • First, locate the task that your SCA employees use to record their time, and then click on Bill Rate by LC/FP Item
  • Next, for each SCA labor category, type in the minimum AWD hourly wage to be paid to the employee in the AWD Base $/Hr. When the system creates the labor journal transaction, it will compare the minimum rate for the labor category in the Billing Setup, to the employee’s hourly pay rate in their Personnel record. The system will use whichever rate is higher to record the amount due to the employee.
  • If you are also paying employees an amount for fringe per hour worked, type in the appropriate fringe dollar amount in the AWD Fringe $/Hr. box for the labor category (see the screenshot below.) When the system creates the labor journal transaction, it will add a line of detail to record the fringe expense to the accounts you set up in Step 2.

 

4. Update employee work authorizations. (Go to >Projects, >Work Authorization by Task)

Setting up the direct work authorization for a SCA charge code is no different than setting one up for a non-SCA charge code. However, if the SCA employees also earn a fringe amount on their paid leave hours, there is a specific setup required for the system to include the fringe earned on those hours in the labor journal transaction.

Notice in the screenshot below, Sarah Porter has a standard direct charge code for task 10003.001.00.105 using the 5000105 account and AA labor category. In addition, Sarah has a paid leave charge code for the same task and labor category. This is where the fringe account you set up in Step 1 is needed. Since the task uses cost center 105, the fringe account also needs cost center 105. So, instead of using the 6100000 account that non-SCA employees use, Sarah will be using the 6100105 account.

 

Here's what Sarah’s timesheet looks like after recording her time to the SCA direct charge code we set up for her. She only needs to record the hours worked.

 

And the screenshot below shows what Sarah’s labor journal transaction looks like. Lines 1 and 2 are for the 88 hours of direct work that Sarah recorded on her timesheet. Note that while her regular pay rate is $10/hour (as highlighted in the header), the system recorded the $12 hourly rate from the AWD information in the billing setup. The system also added the last 2 lines of detail to record the $3.80/hour fringe expense earned for the 88 hours worked and the associated liability. Since the system will record the fringe automatically, there’s no need for Sarah to record her AWD fringe “hours” on her timesheet.

 

Although there are several steps, the AWD setup is not difficult. Once that part is done, then the system will do the rest whether you are creating the labor journal transactions automatically, or manually creating them.

 

How to Properly Log Off the PROCAS Server, and the Benefits of Doing it Properly author avatar

There are correct and incorrect ways to end your PROCAS accounting session. Often, users will click the white X at the top middle of their PROCAS session. This is called disconnecting from the server. Disconnecting from the server is different from logging off the server.

When you disconnect from the PROCAS server, any reports and forms that you may have had open will continue to remain open, even though you are not actively connected to the server. This is a lot like your computer going into “sleep” mode when left inactive, leaving applications running in the background. If you log in within ten minutes of disconnecting, everything will be as you had left it. Disconnecting from the server is beneficial if you are changing computers or just stepping away for a few minutes. If you happen to leave your computer idle for two hours, the system will automatically disconnect your session. If you do not log back in within ten minutes of being disconnected, the system will then automatically log you off the server.

Disconnecting from the server may be problematic if your company has other accounting users that are working in the software. Disconnecting from the program will keep all reports and forms open. This will place a lock on all open records, which will prevent other users from editing any information while you have the files open. A build-up of locked files can also create a misalignment between the data tables, which will require a re-index to continue working.

If your company has multiple accounting users that share a server license, disconnecting from the server can give unauthorized users access to forms and reports they are not supposed to access. To prevent these types of issues, we recommend logging off the server instead of simply disconnecting.

Properly logging off the server is a lot like shutting down your computer. Any forms or reports that were open will be closed and password protected when you log off. To get back into the software, you will need to open the application and sign in. To best safeguard your assets, it is imperative that you limit access to your data to authorized users only. This prevents anyone else from being able to access and modify your data without permission. Logging off the server ensures that all records are saved and all locks on the data tables are cleared.

To maximize the security of your data, we encourage you to log off or disconnect when stepping away from your computer.

There are four ways to log off PROCAS Accounting:

  • Start by closing all open forms and reports. (Closing your open forms will guarantee that any newly added information is validated)

*This step should be followed regardless of which method of logging off is used.

 

Option 1: Click on the Start button in the lower left-hand corner of your remote desktop session, then click LOG OFF.

Option 2: Click File in the upper left-hand corner of the window then click Exit.

Option 3: Click on the red X in the upper-right hand corner of the Remote Desktop Connection window

Option 4: On the PROCAS Main Menu, click on the red X on the upper-right hand of the pop-up window. When asked “Are you finished with this program?”, click YES.

To disconnect from the PROCAS server:

  • Click on the X that appears on the blue bar, located in the upper-middle portion of the Remote Desktop Connection window.

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.

Creating New Tasks for New Billing Rates author avatar

Fiscal Year 2018 is right around the corner! Do you have your new task(s) set up to reflect the option year of your contract? Or perhaps you have modifications to bill rates or provisional rates for a current contract, have you already set up the new task to reflect this change? No matter what your situation may be, we at PROCAS want to make sure you have all the information necessary to properly set up your contracts. This article will provide some guidance and tips on setting up new tasks.

The general steps for setting up a new task for an option year include:

  1. Insert a new task record incrementing the subtask field.
  2. Create the billing setup for the new task.
  3. Update the work authorization for employees who will be working on the new task.
  4. Establish project approvers for the new task, if necessary.

Before we begin, let’s make sure we are on the same page. In PROCAS, the term task has two meanings. A task is a 13-digit string of numbers and possibly letters. In the example below, the base year task is: 10003.001.00.105. The term task also refers to the first set of three digits (001). Typically, when using the term task, we are referring to the full 13-digit string numbers (and letters).

You can reference our PROCAS Implementation Guide (v 2.50) or reach out to our consulting team for a more in-depth explanation of the 13-digit task breakdown. Below is a brief overview:

10003 – Project

A project represents the contract.

001 – Task

The task represents a work order or CLIN within the contract.

00 – Subtask

                The subtask represents the year of the contract.

105 – Cost Center

                1 – Division        

                0 – Location

                5 – Work Site

The subtask segment of a task allows you to further break down your work order. We recommend beginning each subtask with 00 to represent the base year. As new option years are awarded, you can increment the subtask field to correspond with the option year.

In our example, the Operations Support task for the base year is: 10003.001.00.105. The period of performance is from 10/01/2016 – 09/30/2017. Our company was just awarded its first option year for the contract. The period of performance for option year 1 is 10/01/2017 – 09/30/2018. We will insert a new task record for the option year coded: 10003.001.01.105. The subtask field is used to indicate the option year. New tasks can be set up under Projects --> Tasks.

The first digit of the subtask can be used to mark contract modifications. For example, if there is a change in bill rates for a labor category or a change in provisional rates, insert a new 13-digit task using the first digit of the subtask to indicate the modification.

10003.001.00.105 – Base Year

10003.001.01.105 – Option Year 1

10003.001.11.105 – Option Year 1, change in bill rates.

After setting up the new task, proceed to the Billing Setup form under Projects --> Billing Setup. If cumulative amounts and hours billed from the base year task should be displayed on the invoice for the option year task, be sure to set the Receivable Task on Tab 1 to be the same as the Receivable Task for the base year. One way to establish a receivable task is to insert a task record with the project number followed by all zeros (for example: 10003.000.00.000). This way all work orders, CLINS, option years, and mods can be shown on the same invoice, if this is what your client requires.

If the cost center (last three digits of the full task string) of the option year matches the cost center of the base year, you can copy the Billing Setup from the base year to the option year by clicking the Copy button. This feature can be used on tabs 2 and 3 of Billing Setup. Labor Category descriptions on Tab 2 can be updated at any time.

If the new option year brings new labor categories, be sure to first create the new labor categories under Accounting --> Personnel --> Labor Categories/Fixed Priced Items before adding them to the Billing Setup.

Fixed-Price contracts should have Billing Rates on Tab 2 only. Cost-Plus contracts should have Provisional Rates added to Tab 3 of the Billing Setup. T&M contracts should have Billing Rates for labor on Tab 2 of Billing Setup and Provisional Rates for materials on Tab 3.

Before beginning to invoice out of PROCAS, you should verify the Billing Rates for each labor category or the Provisional Rates. Once the Billing Rates or Provisional Rates have been established and invoices have been finalized, you cannot change the Billing Setup without impact. A change in Billing Setup after invoicing has already begun will result in the system retroactively applying the new billing setup to any prior period invoices for that task. The lump sum adjustment will be shown on the next invoice to be calculated in addition to any current period costs at the new rates.

Companies that have Cost-Plus contracts can use the Billing Setup in PROCAS to calculate adjustment invoices for them. If you know your rates are going to change in the next year, but you are not quite sure what the new rates will be, still set up a new task as discussed. Complete the Billing Setup with your current provisional rates. Generate your invoices using the new task. Once you receive the new rates, update the rates in the Billing Setup of the new task. The next invoice generated will calculate an adjustment for the difference between the old and new rates for the prior period invoices. Going forward, the new rates will be applied. This procedure can be used for T&M contracts as well.

The next step in setting up the new option year is to update the Work Authorization form. The new task needs to be added to the list of authorized charged codes for any personnel working on the project. This can be done under System --> Time and Expense --> Work Authorization by Person OR System --> Time and Expense --> Work Authorization by Task.  Both forms are the same information, just displayed differently based on your preference and ease of access. You only need to add the new charge code to one of the Work Authorization forms.

*A helpful shortcut on the Work Authorization forms is the keyboard combination Ctrl + D. This allows you to copy down from the line above. This can be used in fields that will be the same for all employees such as Pay Code, Account, etc. This shortcut works throughout several PROCAS Accounting forms and journals.*

When updating the Work Authorizations, you will need to decide when the new task should be made active and the old task inactive. Once the new charge code is set up, marked off as active, and imported into the timekeeping website, employees will immediately have access to record time against it. If the old charge code is also active, employees can charge against both tasks at the same time. Unfortunately, there is always that one employee who charges to the old task even though you sent out an email reminding everyone of the new charge code. You can reference our blog post from last month for help troubleshooting the common error message received when employees try to move time from the old inactive charge code to the new active charge code (see “Fixing a ‘You are not authorized to charge’ Error” article published 8/24/2017).

You may find it helpful to add Authorized Start and End Dates and/or Budgeted Hours to employee work authorizations. These fields are optional and informational. Entering an Authorized Start and End Date or Budgeted Hours will not prevent an employee from charging time to the task outside of the constraints. DCAA requires employees to record all time worked on a contract regardless of these restrictions.

If your company has project managers assigned to approve time that employees charge to a specific task, you will need to establish their access to employee timesheets under System --> Time and Expense --> Project Approvers.

Whether your company follows the government fiscal year or any other period of performance, you can follow the steps provided to create new tasks as necessary. As always, feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or feedback.