Empowering your Decisions and Leveraging your PROCAS Data – Part 1 author avatar

Power BI

The following two blog posts have been guest written by our great partners over at OPSPro, LLC. Cathy Goin, Tricia Santos, and their team have been instrumental in helping us develop the ability to connect PROCAS data to Business Intelligence systems via an API. Part 1 describes the relationship between API and BI, and Part 2 discusses how you can leverage your PROCAS data using this resource.


API and BI – Where acronyms meet

Data analytics and business intelligence used to only be available to large corporations. These large enterprises had massive amounts of data to consume that Business intelligence had to become ingrained in their reporting tools. The goal of these tools was always an easy interpretation of vast and sometimes unstructured data.

In recent years, these tools have evolved to where a small business is no longer left behind. Whether your company is big or small, or you are the CEO or an employee, the tools available have progressed so you can access and make use of the same interactive reports. You no longer need large databases and dedicated analysis to retrieve your information in a meaningful way. These tools let users consume data in tailor-fit solutions that provide them with up-to-date information with a modern look and immersive feel.  


Right now, you may have processes in place where you pull and export data from Procas into excel. Each time the data is pulled you or an employee may have to waste time updating formulas, reselecting chart areas, filtering and removing columns, but now there is a new way. 


Microsoft defines Power BI (Business Intelligence) as a “collection of software services, apps, and connectors that work together to turn your unrelated sources of data into coherent, visually immersive, and interactive insights. Your data may be an Excel spreadsheet, or a collection of cloud-based and on-premises hybrid data warehouses. Power BI lets you easily connect to your data sources, visualize and discover what's important, and share that with anyone or everyone you want.”

An API, Application Program Interface, is a set of programming instructions.  These instructions enable computer programs to communicate with each other. These programs allow a software-to-software interface which allows the programs to communicate with each other without any user intervention. The API lets Microsoft’s Power BI Application communicate and exchange details with the Procas server. The API provides us with the data and the Power BI Application gives us the tools to export, transform, and refresh the data without repeating or reconfiguring steps or formulas.


What do you need to visualize and discover? What’s important to you?

Our clients look at a vast array of items from their project profitably, their resource management, to employee timesheets, and income statement details. These and more could be at your fingertips.


Follow along in the series to see detailed examples of how OPSPro and Procas used each powerful application to help create an easy-to-consume report. 



What is Power BI? - Power BI | Microsoft Docs, 9/23/2020, website

Empowering your Decisions and Leveraging your PROCAS Data – Part 2 author avatar

PROCAS Reporting PowerBI API Report

The blog post been guest written by our great partners over at OPSPro, LLC. Cathy Goin, Tricia Santos, and their team have been instrumental in helping us develop the ability to connect PROCAS data to Business Intelligence systems via an API. To learn more about the relationship between API and BI, click here for Part 1.


Download - OPSPro Demo of PROCAS Data Using PowerBI.pdf (1.19 mb)

Connect and Transform PROCAS Data - Power Query in Excel

Once you have Procas API access setup, there are a few things you will need to do. You will need to connect using Power Query in Excel or connect to Power BI. Power Query in Excel is a lighter version of the Power BI desktop application. 

With Power Query, you can: 

  • Connect to the data  
  • Merge with other data sources  
  • Transform pivot or unpivot  
  • Remove or add columns  
  • Apply custom formula’s 
  • And so much more 

With the shaped data, it can be loaded into your excel file as a table. This method will provide you with an introduction to many of the data mining methods used in Power BI but in a format, you might be more familiar with. 

Reasons to Explore the Power Query in Excel:  

  • Provides a great way to validate data in a macro table view. You can apply custom cell formatting to make data that does not validate correctly appear in bright red. 
  • Gets you out of the cell method and into the column method. Rather than focusing on the formula of a single cell and then replicating either across or down. Power Query is all Column-based logic. 
  • Using Power Query's column-based logic it can be easier for you to check your math and reduce formula errors.  
  • You can refresh the data when you open the file. It will keep all your steps and transformations. 
  • You can apply Pivots and charts. 
  • Combine and merge data from other sources such as; SharePoint, Excel, and hundreds more.

Some limitations:

  • Not all connectors are available. 
  • The data must be refreshed manually. 
  • Changes made to any cells inside a table loaded from Power Query will be reset to reflect what is in the data source on refresh. 


Upgrading your Reports

Power BI Desktop application and Power BI Service are the true powerhouses behind this self-service reporting tool. Not only does it provide a way to format and clean your data, but it also delivers these engaging, interactive visualizations to tell a story or highlight critical decision-making information.

In addition to all the Power Query features in Excel, there are additional connectors and additional methods to handling formulas:

  • Using DAX formulas to create calculated columns, measures, and dynamic formatting.  
  • Bookmarks and interactive buttons 
  • Customizable visuals and a visual marketplace 
  • Custom slicers and hierarchies  
  • Custom report pages and dashboards 
  • Change the interaction between visuals. 
  • Schedule refresh with the Power BI service. 
  • Restrict access using Row-level security or RLS.

Tips and Tricks: 

  • You can copy your query steps between both systems naturally because they all use the M Query language.  
  • Many Excel formulas have equivalent formulas in DAX.  
  • Have a goal or question you want answered before beginning a report or data set. Start off narrow and simple and build the report up in pieces. 


Leveraging PROCAS Data via the API

Data mining and cleaning your data can be daunting. OPSPro can help. OPSPro has experience connecting and combining many different types of data sources including SharePoint lists, SharePoint Files, OneDrive files, Office 365 Admin Centers, Trello, Jira, Excel, and many more.

OPSPro can also design custom export solutions using Microsoft Flows and SharePoint. OPSPro received some of the earliest access to the Procas API so we are ready to help you navigate. Our services range from consulting to full outsourcing services.

Contact OPSPro, LLC to schedule a demo today!

Download - OPSPro Demo of PROCAS Data Using PowerBI.pdf (1.19 mb)



Getting started - Power BI Microsoft Docs

Introduction to DAX - Power BI Microsoft Docs

Power Query M Reference - PowerQuery M | Microsoft Docs

Power Query - Overview and Learning

10 Reasons Why to Choose PROCAS author avatar

When purchasing new software, people always want to make sure they are making the right decision for their business. Naturally, comparative search terms are commonplace when researching what's available.

Phrases such as PROCAS vs Deltek, DCAA Compliant Quickbooks, PROCAS vs Unanet, Top DCAA Approved Accounting Systems, Unanet vs Deltek, Quickbooks vs Costpoint, etc. will generate mixed results, many of which can be outdated or inaccurate.

At PROCAS, we do not feel it is our place to rank or attack competing software packages. Rather, we would prefer to stand proud in what sets us apart as a premiere government contract accounting solution.

Therefore, this post's focus will be expanding upon the Top 10 Reasons Why to Choose PROCAS, and what makes us different. These reasons are broken down in detail below:

1) No long-term contracts or license purchases and consistent and transparent pricing for all clients

PROCAS vs Deltek

PROCAS is a subscription-based software that can be implemented or discontinued at any time. We do not require any long-term contracts or license purchases, meaning you are not stuck if there are future changes to your staff or business. Our clients are billed monthly, based on current levels of employee access.

In addition to no long-term contracts, our monthly SaaS pricing model is the same for all clients. We want our clients to know exactly what to expect to be billed, with no hidden costs. This includes software support and maintenance, which are factored into the base price.

Therefore, you do not have to worry about the added pressure of bargaining with a member of our sales team when exploring software options. The price is the price.


2) No cost upgrades and standard system improvements

PROCAS vs CostPoint

We routinely perform updates to the software which include new features, menus, reports, interfaces, etc. There are no added costs for these standard system improvements because we genuinely believe in improving the lives of our clients and do not want to hinder this.

For example, we are currently going through the process of migrating our longstanding clients from an older version of our software to our most up-to-date version at no added cost. We do not believe in the idea of raising the maintenance costs for an older version of our product to drive clients to a newer one.


3) Ability to scale users and modules up/down as needed so the pricing scales with your needs

DCAA Compliant Quickbooks

In accordance with no license purchases, if your company adds or terminates staff due to workflow, you can easily scale up or down the level of employee access you need in the software. By activating or deactivating personnel records, our monthly billing process will automatically pick up the changes and adjust your invoice to align with the new employee counts. This same logic applies for changing employees' levels of modular access in the system.


4) PROCAS Quick Start offers the most efficient implementation process, saving you up to 80% of implementation costs charged by competing software companies

Unanet vs Deltek

One of the most daunting parts of purchasing new software is the implementation process. Typical implementations can range from five to even six figure costs and can take months, if not years, to complete.

With over 20+ years of government contract accounting experience, we believe we have built the most efficient and cost-effective implementation experience for our clients. On average, you should not have to spend more than 24 cumulative hours with a PROCAS consultant, which would cost you less than $5,000 to complete

You may be wondering, how have we accomplished this?

Rather than relying on implementation as a revenue stream, we have simplified the process to benefit the client. Our PROCAS Quick Start program has many out-of-the-box standards and procedures that are easy to implement and customize for your organization.

The common idea of building your company's system from the ground up is outdated in today's tech landscape, which only still exists to get more money out of the paying customer.


5) Our consulting team is focused on creating positive experiences and establishing confidence in using PROCAS, rather than meeting a billable hour quota

Unanet vs CostPoint

In accordance with having the best implementation process, our consulting team's motivation is not to draw out client work to meet a billable quota, but to help our clients out in the most efficient and effective ways possible. It is not in our business interest to nickel and dime our clients for work performed.

Our goal is to properly train and inspire our clients to be well versed in our software.


6) Implementation staff, sales, and software support team members are all degreed accountants and employees of PROCAS

Quickbooks vs Deltek

Founded by a CPA in 1997, PROCAS has always emphasized the importance of having proper accounting knowledge in positions of providing expertise. All client facing roles, from consulting, to support, to sales, have the education needed to decipher your issues and truly understand the concepts being discussed. We believe that our strong knowledge in the accounting field is a competitive advantage of our organization. 

If you are calling into our support phone lines, you are guaranteed to reach an employee of PROCAS, with a background in accounting, located in the United States.


7) Implementation staff is experienced in government contract accounting and DCAA Compliance

Deltek Costpoint Unanet PROCAS

Our implementation consultants have on average over 10+ years of experience working with government contractors. Our software is built around the concept of being DCAA compliant, which our team heavily emphasizes during the implementation process and ongoing engagements. Our tested knowledge of the FAR, Cost Principles, GAAP, and DCAA's requirements assures our clients that they are in the right hands.


8) Software support staff are trained specifically to work with government contractors

Unanet vs PROCAS

As mentioned previously, our software support staff are all degreed accountants trained to work with government contractors. Our team works hand-in-hand with our consulting staff, often assisting in projects that require additional help. Through these training exercises, our support staff learns what's important to government contractors by helping solve real world issues.

That being said, our support team does not claim to be experts in all areas of government contracting. In situations that require more expertise, our support staff is trained to get you in touch with the right person for the job.


9) Clear communication between our Operations, Development, and Infrastructure departments

Top DCAA Approved Accounting Systems

While most of this post has addressed the client facing side of the company, we also hold our development and infrastructure departments to a very high standard. Constantly building new features, fixing system bugs, and improving the overall client experience, our development and IT teams play a major role in the success of our organization.

Most importantly, we are extremely proud of the open communication between these departments internally. Our turnaround time from a client reporting an issue, to our consultants conveying that issue, to our DEV team fixing the issue, and finally the consultant relaying that fix back to the client, is streamlined in the most efficient way possible to better the client experience.


10) SOC 2 Type 2 infrastructure equipment is owned by PROCAS and supported by experienced PROCAS IT professionals

Top DCAA Compliant Accounting Systems

Our infrastructure is audited each year by an independent third party, which is known as a SOC audit. We have passed Types 1 and 2 for calendar year 2019, with ongoing engagements planned for 2020 and beyond.

Because our infrastructure is owned by us and not an outside vendor, we are able to make sure the proper security measures are taken to ensure our clients' systems are in accordance with government contracting standards.


Decision Process

As you make your decision to purchase DCAA compliant accounting software, remember to keep these 10 items in mind.

Search results from Deltek vs PROCAS, DCAA Compliant QuickBooks, Unanet vs PROCAS, Top DCAA Compliant Accounting Systems, Alternates to Deltek, Unanet vs CostPoint, Deltek vs. JAMIS Software, Deltek vs Unanet, QuickBooks vs Deltek... will often only focus on the system specs, and not the company that supports them.

System requirements are very important, however the business practices supporting them will always factor into the overall client experience.

For more information, see how PROCAS addresses the requirements of the SF1408 and the products we offer!

PROCAS has Achieved a SOC 2 Type 2 Report author avatar

PROCAS invests in establishing and maintaining currently recommended security practices to make sure your data stays safe. Today, we’re excited to share a milestone achievement in our continuous improvement process! PROCAS has achieved the AICPA Service Organization Controls (SOC) 2 Type 2 report with an unqualified audit opinion.

In addition to our SOC 2 Type 2 report, we also have a SOC 3 Type 2 report available for download from our website. The SOC 3 report provides a summary of the SOC 2 Type 2 report.

Current clients can access a copy of the PROCAS SOC 2 Type 2 report after signing a nondisclosure agreement. For more information related to this report, please reach out to your PROCAS consultant.

What is SOC Compliance?

Businesses are increasing the outsourcing of basic functions such as data storage and access to applications to Software as a Service (SaaS) providers and other service organizations. The importance of having a standard assessment and reporting process for internal controls has become increasingly important.

For many, SOC 2 is considered the benchmark for security compliance for Software as a Service (SaaS) companies in the US. SOC 2 requires companies to establish and follow strict information security policies and procedures, encompassing the secure protection of customer data.

Our Focus on Your Security

Our 2019 SOC reports provide assurance that PROCAS is complying with the standards of the AICPA guidelines. To achieve the unqualified opinions of our SOC reports, PROCAS has implemented and maintains policies, procedures and processes to comply with these security controls to protect the important data that our clients have entrusted to us. The audit demonstrates that the controls are defined adequately, and they are operating effectively.

These controls cover the topics and operational practices like logical and physical access management, data storage and recovery, encryption, change management, vendor management, incident management, detection and response, security and privacy awareness training, organizational management, and personnel security.

We’re proud of this milestone, but we recognize that security is an ongoing effort. Our information security program is constantly focused on providing the highest level of delivery for PROCAS Accounting Solutions Software.

How PROCAS Addresses the SF1408 for Government Contractors author avatar

One of the biggest challenges government contractors face is putting together a compliant system that passes DCAA requirements. As most know, developing a DCAA compliant accounting system is a little more complicated than just purchasing accounting software. It is the total incorporation of a company’s best practices, policies, and procedures into a system that allows contractors to be consistent and appropriate in their tracking of costs.

This can be very daunting for the new contractor, who not only is worried about landing their first government contract, but also has to establish those company policies and procedures. The below post will identify the preaward audit process and how PROCAS meets the requirements of the SF1408 form.


Preaward Audit Process

Before being awarded a cost type contract, the DCAA is going to want to verify that the appropriate measures were taken in order to prove the contractor’s ability to adequately track the costs for that proposed contract. This process is known as the preaward audit or preaward survey.

Typically, an auditor will meet with the contractor first to review the established system and procedures, and then again in the future to make sure that system is being followed consistently (post award audit). However, before that takes place, the contracting officer on the proposed contract will require that Standard Form 1408 be completed. This form will be submitted to the DCAA when they request the initial audit of your system. This piece is very important because it gets the entire process started.

Standard Form 1408 is the Preaward Survey of Prospector Accounting System used by the DCAA as an evaluation checklist to determine if your system is sufficient in supporting the proposed contract(s). According to the DCAA, the audit scope will consist of understanding the design of the contractor’s prospective accounting system as well as the procedures essential to reach an informed opinion if that system is acceptable in accumulating and generating required cost information. Having an accurately completed SF1408 is the first step in conquering this audit scope.

For DCAA’s official explanation of the preaward process, please click here.


PROCAS Addresses Standard Form 1408

Below are our answers for how PROCAS addresses the standards that the auditor will be concerned about when evaluating your prospective accounting system. All SF1408 requirements are broken down in detail.

A downloadable version of the below sample SF1408 can be found here.


1. Except as stated in Section I Narrative, is the accounting system in accord with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles applicable in the circumstances?


The PROCAS project accounting software (PROCAS Accounting) is designed to be operated in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), including maintaining the books of record on the accrual basis of accounting.


2. Accounting system provides for:


a. Proper segregation of direct costs from indirect costs.

In PROCAS Accounting, expense accounts in the chart of accounts are identified as either direct or indirect, which provides for the proper segregation of direct costs from indirect costs. Additionally, PROCAS assigns specific account types to further segregate these costs.

b. Identification and accumulation of direct costs by contract.

In PROCAS Accounting, the identification and accumulation of direct costs requires the assignment of direct costs to a corresponding project code. The project code corresponds to a contract.

c. A logical and consistent method for the allocation of indirect costs to intermediate and final cost objectives. (A contract is a final cost objective.)

PROCAS Accounting provides logical and consistent methods for the allocation of indirect costs to intermediate and final cost objectives. Indirect rates can be calculated automatically for Fringe Benefits, Facilities, Material Handling, Subcontract Administration, Overhead and G&A. Bid and proposal and internal research and development costs are also treated appropriately. The indirect rates can be further segregated by division, location and work-site. Indirect rates are automatically applied to contracts in direct correlation/proportion to the respective allocation base.

d. Accumulation of costs under general ledger control.

PROCAS Accounting accumulates costs directly to the general ledger, which is the basis for financial and job cost reports.

e. A timekeeping system that identifies employees’ labor by intermediate or final cost objectives.

PROCAS provides online timesheet software (PROCAS Time) in which employees record their time to intermediate or final cost objectives. Employees are assigned appropriate intermediate and/or final cost objectives for recording their time and can only record their time to their authorized work assignments.

f. A labor distribution system that charges direct and indirect labor to the appropriate cost objectives.

In PROCAS Accounting, the distribution of direct and indirect labor costs are recorded automatically from the employee timesheets created in PROCAS Time to the appropriate cost objectives. PROCAS Accounting supports the calculation of effective hourly rates associated with total time accounting.

g. Interim (at least monthly) determination of costs charged to a contract through routine posting of books of account.

In PROCAS Accounting, direct costs are posted in the general ledger and job cost ledger in real time and do not require the use of batch processing or summary entries. Indirect rates can be automatically calculated and applied at any time.

h. Exclusion from costs charged to government contracts of amounts which are not allowable in terms of FAR 31, Contract Cost Principles and Procedures, or other contract provisions.

In PROCAS Accounting, expense accounts are identified as being either allowable or unallowable. Unallowable expenses are excluded from indirect cost pools when automatically calculating and applying indirect rates.

i. Identification of costs by contract line item and by units (as if each unit or line item were a separate contract) if required by the proposed contract.

PROCAS Accounting has the capability to incorporate logical project assignments that will track costs by unit and/or line item.

j. Segregation of preproduction costs from production costs.

In PROCAS Accounting, pre-production costs are segregated from production costs through the use of project assignments and/or separate expense accounts.


3.Accounting system provides financial information:


a. Required by contract clauses concerning limitation of cost (FAR 52.232-20 and 21) or limitation on payments (FAR 52.216-16).

In PROCAS Accounting, reports are available to assist with managing the limitation of costs and/or limitation of payments.

b. Required to support requests for progress payments.

PROCAS Accounting supports cost type, time and materials and fixed price invoices which are generated automatically from the accounting records. Requests for progress payments can be generated for interim time periods, by percentage of completion or by deliverables as specified by the contract.


 4. Is the accounting system designed, and are the records maintained in such a manner that adequate, reliable data are developed for use in pricing follow-on acquisitions?


Yes. In PROCAS Accounting, records are designed to be maintained so that adequate, reliable data can be developed for use in pricing follow-on acquisitions.