Deltek Vision 7.0; Yes! Smart data entry screens!
Hats off Deltek, you sure made me a happy client with this upgrade and that’s a high bar. As a user for 25+ years, lately I have wondered why it took so long to dig in and make what are the coolest operational changes in a long time. Last time I checked the Vision transaction screens I found the all-time bummer of the repeat button having been removed :-)! And, in interactive billing, one could delete an issued invoice!
There is good stuff in 7.0. including a few show stoppers that caught my eye quickly.
All transaction entry screens got a face-lift. I never liked the standard order of the columns. For instance, the cash receipt screen just seemed illogical to me and obviously others felt the same. Deltek has re-engineered the screens in transaction entry to shuffle the order of columns and pin them in place as you scroll. If your cup of tea is to enter the amount of a cash receipt first, then select the project, then the invoice, you shuffle and pin and your columns in that screen so it meets your liking. This small change will allow for more effective and faster entry, thank you, thank you.
PIN the Grid View is now available on some other grid views so you do not scroll away a critical column(s) that need to remain in view. This makes most sense when you apply it! Excel users will love it.
Billing Credit Memos are here, welcome to the new millennium and another essential operational change in 7.0. The credit memo feature can initiate and create full or partial credit memos from interactive billing for posted invoices. No more rigging units or add-ons or creating negative invoices - nice!
Email EFT and direct deposit remittances. Yes, that’s correct: email employee expense, vendors and payroll, finally. This should help communicate to employees when their payments have been processed, alleviating their need to ask or even look it up (although not real hard) and vendor calls should be fewer, yes!
New Contract management Tab. Under Project Info Center, it will remain to be seen if clients use this, but good effort at organizing contract and change order management and sales reporting.
Display Settings in User Options. Again, I’m not sure users will jump on this one, but now in Vision forms, menus, grids, and navigation can be set up to match your personal requirements. So each user can have their screens look unique in regards to color, font, text, etc. from the default. I think this could be a challenge for support staff!
Checkout Deltek Defect Fix list and Database changes. Loads of defects have been corrected since 6.2 sp4 and prior, yours may have been addressed. And of course new known issues exist such as Mobile Time OS compatibility.
Login and Checkout your customer care account url https://deltek.custhelp.com/ci/fattach/get/821174/1348072285/redirect/1/filename/DeltekVision70ReleaseNotes.pdf
We at DMC upgrade our Deltek Vision as soon as we can from a new release. Not only do we use it to operate our business, but more importantly we want to be among the first to brave the “new” and “fixed”. Clients ask us about it and we need to know! This upgrade went smoothly for us thanks to our hard working staff. http://www.dmcsystems.com/
Deltek Vision Profit Planning + Revenue Recognition: got the Hatter Shakes
My hands are shaking drafting this note.* While consulting yesterday on Deltek Vision I felt it was time for me to own up. Certain features in Vision just drive you blubbering nuts to get working.
Check this one out:
It’s fair to say that 20% (tops 30%) of Deltek Vision clients use the Revenue Recognition feature for measuring project effort and percent complete. Of those, 2% are using the project info center compensation field fee to synchronize with the Profit Plan module compensation field (FYI the old budget worksheet just did this).
Vision has an option to enhance/ease revenue recognition: the user synchronizes profit plan fees with project info center fees to avoid double input and reduce errors. The idea is that as a firm’s project manager updates his/her plans and at the same time accounting gets updated. Revenue recognition on fee compensation jobs as a percent complete is more accurate. Great.
There are three key tick boxes spread across several info center tabs, help info and configuration screens that need addressing to get it working. Herein lies the challenge. I am shaking again…get me some chamomile tea…!
One needs to tick one of two boxes in the profit planning configuration screen. Of those two boxes one is pretty clear how it works, sort of. ”Synchronize fees from plan to project”, tick that box and the fees from the plan will sync with the fees/compensation field in the project info center when the plan is saved. The second tick box is scarily labeled “compensation values by row by period,” where if you dig into the help screen deeply you find that you must enter the phase/task fees on the labor tab of the project plan.
Should you tick this box, a new action toggle shows up on the project plan that must be pressed to manually refresh the plan fee to project fee/compensation field. Sometimes the fields are labeled fee and sometimes they are labeled compensation – depending on where you are in the software. I can visualize project managers pressing an accounting action button! :-[)
Oh, one more thing is you have to make sure “not” to tick a box in the accounting configuration screen that contradicts your choice or drive the sync in the other direction. I never found the box that you are not supposed to tick. I did find help instructions in 6.2 sp1 that explained about tabs that don’t exist in the project info center. Not sure what do about that. Whew! Almost there…no laughing, more tea!
Thought I was set, but not yet. I needed to locate on the profit planning labor tab the phase/task fee field to fill out phase fee. Grrr… more digging. So I found the missing boxes, which reside under configuration\planning\planning grids, and you can again tick the compensation fields for the labor tabs to show. At the same time I clicked all the summary tick boxes too, couldn’t hurt. There is a feature to accordion the planning view, I totally understand why that it there.
Not ticking the appropriate boxes is pretty ugly. Correctly I suppose, Vision zeros out the fees at the task level or project level if you miss any of these steps, thus revenue is wrong. My job is often to redo all the missing or mis-ticked boxes.
A “tick,” excuse the pun, is more like the “shakes”.
*Author note: To remove the fur from animal pelts the earliest manufacturers of hats, as the tale goes, found that the mercury concentrate in a worker’s urine made the process more efficient. Poor ventilation, thus inhalation and general exposure to the mercury based solution resulted in poisoning. The medical symptom became commonly known as the hatter shakes and produced delirious rants by its victims (think Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland).
Raising the Bar: Deltek Vision Multi-Company
Raising the Bar: Deltek Vision Multi-Company
Life is good for DMC. Our team is increasingly sought after for both the accounting + technology solutions that we provide. When founding DMC over 15 years ago, it took a significant amount of time and collaboration to develop our imprint on the professional services community. Now, in 2012, our current and prospective clients understand what we offer and the value that we bring. The result has been growth and our future looks bright.
As a service based firm DMC thinks a lot about why clients return to us and refer us. Despite the gloom and doom of economics we continue to survive, frankly pretty darn well, even in the midst of naysayers. Why? I’m not super sure, except I know that we are willing to push the knowledge we have and expand in areas others avoid. Case in point, this spring, in the midst of the newest solar flare scare/ world-is-coming-to-an-end reports and continued terrorism, DMC was busy working on two consecutive Multi-company upgrades from Deltek Advantage to Vision plus Vision to Multi-company for a 5.2 to 6.2 Vision user.
We are operational accountants…we know general ledger and billing, are fearless on job cost work break down execution and are not afraid of the technical side. We do not shy away from pushing the configuration of standard Vision reports and are willing to develop custom reports and workflows to make the Deltek investment pay off for long time users.
Multi-Company came naturally to us; our clients firms are growing and have new needs; we know general ledger and projects, all of which equals a perfect DMC fit. Configuring the multi-company needs, mapping and/or consolidating growing client databases fit naturally within in our skill set.
For any service firm, here’s some advice: just push your skill set to meet the client need. Continue to change and evolve. No solar flare will disrupt you.