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.

 

Linking Transactions in PROCAS author avatar

Transaction linking is a process unique to PROCAS. Think of it as telling a story through accounting transactions. Linking occurs when transactions become and, if necessary, remain associated with one another. Linking can be seen throughout the accounting system. Some of the most common areas include: the Receipts Journal and the Disbursements Journal. In addition, linking can (at least it should) be seen in reversing entries.

Linking can be difficult to understand at first, but putting in the time and effort to implement proper linking can help you avoid having unsightly reports that look like this:

 

When looking at the financial journals in PROCAS, you may have noticed they each have a column called “Trans.” This is the column where linking is done.

 

Typically, when inserting a new transaction, all lines of detail will autofill the “Trans” column as the specific transaction number. For example, in the transaction below, lines 1 and 2 have G100265 in the “Trans” column, which is the same as the transaction number. This is fine in many cases, but if the transaction needs to be linked to another entry, the “Trans” column will need to be adjusted.

 

A transaction is entered into the accounting system in order to establish an event. Some events are one-time occurrences that do not come up again in the future. Therefore, no future transactions need to be linked to it. In other instances, the initial transaction is only the beginning. The initial transaction establishes the event, but future transactions will be associated with it. To keep the story of the event connected through all transactions that are affected, future transactions need to be linked to the original entry.

It may be difficult to understand the process when reading about it, so let’s use an example.

Say you just calculated an invoice for last month. The current period amounts are perfect; the cumulative amounts are perfect. You print the invoice and click “Create Sales Journal Transactions.” A sales journal entry is created to establish a receivable for the amount the client owes your company (debit) and to recognize revenue earned during the period (credit). You will notice when the sales journal entry is created, the “Trans” column in each line of detail is the same as the transaction number. This is correct because the sales journal is the initial event. No further action is required.

 

Next, let’s say your client receives the invoice and pays your company the amount owed. When the payment is received, you open the receipts journal to record it. You debit the cash account and credit the accounts receivable account. The “Trans” column on the accounts receivable line should be linked to the sales journal that the payment is being applied towards. This allows you to keep the sales journal associated with the payment. See the below example.

In receipts journal entries, it is also important to include the task and client code on the accounts receivable line. The information on the receipts journal should match the sales journal entry in order to be properly linked.

 

Linking the receipts journal to the sales journal will allow you to easily follow the story of events from beginning to end: an invoice is generated and submitted to the client for payment. Payment is remitted.

Linking the receipts journal to the sales journal will also relieve the accounts receivable balance associated with the specific invoice. This will clear the sales journal from your Accounts Receivable Aging reports.

In the above receipt transaction, you will notice the “Trans” column on the cash line is referencing itself. This is correct. No linking is required on the cash line. The receipts transaction is the initial event for the cash account; therefore, it is correct to leave the “Trans” column as the receipt transaction number. You cannot link the cash account line to the sales journal transaction, because the cash account does not exist on the sales journal transaction.

One important thing to remember when linking transactions is that they must be linked in the proper order. Transactions should typically be linked forward. In this case, the AR account makes its first appearance on the sales journal. For this reason, the receipts journal transaction (a subsequent event) should be linked to the sales journal transaction (the initial event) and not vice versa. You cannot link the AR account on the sales journal to the receipts journal transaction because the AR account does not exist independently without the sales journal. Think of the story of events here. You cannot start the story with the payment. The story starts with the invoice (sales journal), so all subsequent events should be linked to the sales journal.

Still doesn’t make sense? That’s okay, let’s use another example.

You just received an invoice from what is hopefully one of your favorite vendors, PROCAS. The amount invoiced is $790 and payment is due within 15 days. You open the purchases journal to put the invoice in line for payment. You fill out the header information on the purchase journal such as transaction date, vendor, invoice date, amount due, etc. Next, you go down into the details to debit the appropriate expense account and credit accounts payable. You will notice that the “Trans” column on both lines of detail will autofill as the purchase journal transaction number. This is correct since the event starts here. In other words, no linking is involved on the purchase journal transaction because this is the beginning of the story.

 

The following week, you are getting ready to cut checks. You go through the automated checks process to print a check payable to PROCAS. A disbursement journal transaction is automatically created. When you go to the disbursements journal, you will notice there are 2 lines of detail. The first line is a debit to accounts payable. The second line is a credit to cash.

 

The AP account was established in the purchases journal when you input the invoice into the system. Upon paying the invoice, the AP account should be relieved now that the liability has been resolved. In other words, the AP account on the disbursements journal should be linked to the purchases journal transaction that established the liability.

 

You will notice the “Trans” column on the accounts payable line references the purchase transaction for the specific PROCAS invoice. The story begins with the purchase of PROCAS software access. The invoice for the purchase is recorded in the purchases journal. The story ends with the payment to vendor PROCAS on the disbursements transaction. The payment is recorded in the disbursements journal. Linking the disbursement journal transaction to the purchase journal transaction will relieve the liability to PROCAS.

Now that we have gone over linking techniques, try running your AR and AP reports in PROCAS. If you notice there are any vendors and/or clients with a lengthy history showing up on the report, check to verify associated journal entries have been properly linked. If a payment has been made or received, but there are still transaction details on the report, this is a sign there is a problem with linking.

You are always able to go back to prior period entries and correct the linking. This will not have any impact on your financial statements. Linking prior period transactions will only affect the display of the vendors and/or clients on your reports, not any general ledger balance details.

If unposting prior period transactions is not an option for you, linking can also be fixed by inserting current period journal entries to associate transactions with one another. For more in depth training on linking, feel free to reach out to our Consulting Team.

 

Using Hotkeys in PROCAS Accounting author avatar

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

Menu Selection Hotkeys

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

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

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

 

Data Entry Hotkeys/Key Combinations

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Popular Menu Keyboard Shortcuts

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

 

                Menu Item Name                            Key Combination

                Purchases Journal                            AAI

                Advanced Purchases Journal         AAD

                Automated Checks                           AAA

                Billing Setup                                       SJG

                General Journal                                 AGJ

                Receipts Journal                               ASJ

                Triggers Journal                                AGT

 

Show Off Your Skills

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

Update to the PROCAS Budget Template author avatar

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

Welcome to the PROCAS Blog! author avatar

As many of you are aware, we try to be as open and honest with our clients as possible, so we thought, “Why not provide another means to improve the client experience?” Through our new blog and social media accounts, we aspire to foster a learning environment as well as provide a look into our everyday lives. Our intentions for this network are to provide tips for navigating our system, address common errors using our software, advise on potential roadblocks within the government contracting industry, and last, but not least, build better relationships with our clients and the people that support them.

Ultimately, our experienced team hopes to make your life a little easier!

 

Our Values         

PROCAS’s core principles are encompassed in a term we like to call ORBIT. We aim to instill these values in every article, comment, and post created on this blog.

  • Openness – share information freely
  • Respect – treat each other with care and consideration
  • Balance – strive for stability and vitality in our personal and professional lives (productive and fun)
  • Integrity – act in a manner consistent with our words and beliefs (sincere and straightforward)
  • Teamwork – support each other in achieving our common goals

As our staff provides content, we expect any users that wish to participate in the discussion to follow our core principles.

 

Meet the Team

This network will be monitored and administrated by our Support Team. When we are not answering the phones, we focus on a variety of different issues in the accounting, government contracting, and technical worlds. Based on our experiences of diving through the ins and outs of the software, we hope to provide some insight on how to utilize it to your advantage!

Get to know our team a little better:

  Ben

  • PROCAS Employee since October 2013
  • Towson University Graduate – B.S. Accounting – December 2014
  • Avid Rock Climber, Expert Whistler, Breakfast Enthusiast
  • Commonly Mistaken For: Ron Weasley

Ché 

  • PROCAS Employee since April 2015
  • University of Baltimore Graduate – B.S. Accounting – May 2015
  • Record Collector, Horror Movie Aficionado, Proud Dog Owner
  • Commonly Mistaken For: Princess Tiana

 LJ

  • PROCAS Employee since October 2014
  • Towson University Graduate – B.S. Accounting – May 2015
  • Baltimore Sports Fanatic, Devoted Gym Goer, Music Junkie (Slappin’ Da Bass!)
  • Commonly Mistaken For: Drew Carey

Taylor  

  • PROCAS Employee since June 2015
  • Towson University Student – Currently enrolled in the Accounting Program
  • Former Cheerleader, Chocolate Lover, Running Machine
  • Commonly Mistaken For: Taylor Swift

 

If you would like to be up to date with all our latest posts, pics, and tweets, please follow us on twitter @procasllc.