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.

Fixing a "You are not authorized to charge" Error author avatar

Have your timekeeping users ever received an error message in timekeeping that says they’re not authorized to charge time, when you know they should be? The error looks like this:

This error message can come up when adding a new charge code or when adding time to a charge code listed on your timesheet that you have already charged time to. This is a common error many timekeeping users receive. To allow them to charge against a certain charge code, you must make sure that they’re set up correctly in the accounting system. Sometimes charge codes can be deleted, changed, or made inactive during an active timesheet period. An example of this is shown below.

It is the end of the day on Friday the 18th, and Cindy, a timekeeping user, must enter her time so she can submit her timesheet.

 

When trying to add two hours to Operations Support OY2, the “You are not authorized to charge” error has appeared. She has come to you confused as to why she is receiving this error when she had entered time to this charge code the previous day.

This is because on her work authorization in the accounting system, the Operations Support OY2 line was deleted, modified, or unchecked in the Active column. Someone then imported in timekeeping, which brought this change over. The Operations Support OY2 line is still visible on the timesheet since Cindy had previously charged time to this charge code before the change.

 

Authorizing timekeeping users to charge

To verify that they are authorized to charge to a specific charge code, open “Work Authorization by Person.”

 

You can either hit F5 to search for their employee ID, in this example Cindy’s is 100008, or page down until you get to their work authorization, which should have their employee code and username listed at the top of the screen. Once you get to this screen, you should verify that the charge code is on the work authorization. Since we know they are receiving this error, it most likely is not and will need to be added.

 

Scenario #1:

You may notice that the line is listed, but the box is just unchecked in the Active column. In this case, all you will need to do is check the box then import.

 

Scenario #2:

If any part of the charge code is changed, such as the task, labor category, or pay code, the original charge code will no longer exist, causing the timekeeping user to receive the error. For example, the screen below illustrates Cindy’s work authorization before a change was made (what it should look like).

 

However, the following day, she is trying to enter time on her timesheet against the Operations Support OY2 charge code (associated with task 10003.001.02.105), and she is receiving the error. When looking at her work authorization now, we can see that the pay code has been changed (from “R” to “O”), creating a new charge code, and making the original one nonexistent (as if it was deleted).

 

If this was done accidentally then all you need to do is change the pay code from “O” back to “R”, and then import. If Cindy needed a similar charge code but with a different pay code, a new line should have been inserted to create this new charge code with the different pay code. Once the pay code is changed back to what it should be, or recreated, you may import.

 

Scenario #3:

In the picture below we can see that the Operations Support OY2 line does not exist on Cindy’s work authorization, so it will need to be added back in for her.

 

To start, you will hit "Insert” and enter in the correct account, which is highlighted in yellow below (the highlighted fields mean they are required fields). You can hit F6 to see a list of the options you may pick from. Next, you should verify the task, which is highlighted in pink below, if there is one, as well as the labor category and pay code. It is also very important that the box is checked in the “Active” column because simply leaving this unchecked will make the charge code inactive, which in effect will not let the timekeeping user charge to this code (back to scenario #1).

Once the charge code has been re-entered, as you see below, you may import.

 

 

Importing the changes to timekeeping

To import in timekeeping, from the “Administration” menu, choose the first option by clicking “Go” next to “Import Data from the Accounting System.”

 

Once you click “Import” you will see the status of the import above the Import button you just clicked. Once the status says “Import Successful,” the charge code(s) that were added should now be available for Cindy.

Although this error may seem difficult, if you follow these steps, the timekeeping user will be authorized to charge again in no time! Just remember, there are three different possible scenarios: (1) either the “Active” box was unchecked for this charge code, (2) a piece of the charge code was changed, or (3) the charge code line was deleted completely. The fix for these are straightforward. Once in work authorization, check to make sure the line exists, and if it does, that the “Active” box is checked. Lastly, verify that all pieces of the charge code are correct because one piece being changed overwrites that original charge code (creating a new one). Once everything looks good in the work authorization, you’re ready to import, and the timekeeping user will again be able to charge time to the charge code with no errors.

Using Security Groups to Establish Internal Controls author avatar

Taking the time to set up effective security groups is important for having good internal controls. These internal controls can make your accounting department more efficient when you have multiple people working in the same dataset.

 

Why Security Groups are Separate and Different than Server Logins

When you access the accounting system I am sure you have noticed you need to use two sets of credentials. You use your server credentials on the blue/green login screen and then your dataset credentials after selecting the company you are logging into (if you need to use the server credentials twice you can click the “remember my credentials” box or call PROCAS Support at 410-730-4011 extension 2).

There are two login screens because certain users have access to multiple company datasets. These users are typically 3rd parties that provide bookkeeping or CPA services. These users may have different levels of access depending on which company’s dataset they are working in. Because of this, access rights in a dataset are determined by your dataset credentials. These credentials are controlled by you, not by PROCAS, through the Security Groups and Users menu items under System > Company Setup.

 

To set up security groups you will want to open both the Security Groups and Users forms under the System menu. The Security Groups form is where you set up access rights for everyone in a group. The Users form is where you establish login credentials and assign them to a group.

 

How to Set Up Security Groups

On the Security Groups form, either navigate to an existing group that you want to modify, or insert a new group and start from scratch. The header information on this screen contains the code for the security group with the description next to it (Red 1). Most of the screen contains a list of forms on the left and the access rights for that form listed next to it (Purple 2).

 

For users that should have edit rights in all parts of the accounting system, you can use the default controller group. This group has access to most parts of the accounting system by default. If you want to establish a group with very restricted access, I recommend starting with a new group. First, find the menu items you want that group to have access to, and then reference Appendix B of the Accounting User’s Manual to find the code for that form. I will set up my Example group with access to everything in the AP menu of the accounting system to show how it works.

 

Appendix B is organized to match the menus in the accounting system. Once you find the menu you want, look for the code of that form in the appendix. Type the code in the form column of the Security Groups screen and select the type. The options are Edit, View, and None. Having a form not listed on the screen is equivalent to having the None option selected.

 

**Note** Access to the GROUPS and USERS forms should be very limited. Anyone with access to these can change access rights and thereby has access to everything in the accounting system.

 

Setting up User Logins

Now that you have established security groups for the different levels of access you want to give people, it is time to establish logins and passwords for your users. There are two ways that people usually set these up, and I will try to give the pros and cons of both. You can set up a separate login for each individual user, or you can set up one login for each access group.

Setting up each individual user with a separate username/password is slightly more work during implementation or employee onboarding. However, this makes it easier to manage changes in access rights and terminations without compromising data access rights. If someone is terminated and they did not have access to the Security Groups or Users screens, you only need to remove their user from the Users table.

Setting up one login for each level of access might seem easier during set up because you can give new employees the credentials for their department without requiring a change in the accounting system. However, this can cause a headache when employees are terminated. When there is a termination you should really change the credentials for that group, and that will inconvenience other users.

 

Third Party Security Groups

Setting up security groups for third parties is especially important. A lot of times, but not always, third parties are given access to most parts of the accounting system. It is possible to copy the default “controller” security group settings and remove the GROUPS and USERS forms from the list. This will allow people in this group to access most of the accounting system without seeing your company’s usernames and passwords. If your third party will be setting up new users for you, then they will need access to these screens.

Giving third parties a separate security group without access to credentials is important because it gives you control to modify their access as needed. Regardless of setting up these credentials, PROCAS Support should always be contacted when a third party no longer requires access to your dataset.

 

Additional Questions?

If you have additional questions about setting up security groups in the accounting system, you can either turn to the PROCAS Accounting User’s Manual, call PROCAS Support, or call your PROCAS Consultant. There is a pdf copy of the manual available under the help menu when you are logged into PROCAS Time & Expense. You can also call PROCAS Support at 410-730-4011 extension 2 or your consultant to discuss more specific questions you may have about this process.

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.