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:
- Insert a new task record incrementing the subtask field.
- Create the billing setup for the new task.
- Update the work authorization for employees who will be working on the new task.
- 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.