April 2020

AccountAbility continues to develop to meet the ever evolving needs of our clients. We are pleased to now inform you of our recent upgrade that has many new features, functionality and enhancements. Please contact support@accountabilityaccess.com if you have any questions.

Search & Help Files Function

Click the ‘?’ symbol in the main menu, then select ‘Search’

Enter the topic or key word you wish to search – then click the SEARCH button, results will be displayed in 3 groups:

  • Menu Results – any system menu containing the key word you entered will be displayed, click the link to open that function
  • Help Results – a system help file subject containing the key word will be listed, click the link to open the detail help file for that topic
  • Data Results – any system data that contains the topic or key word you wish to search will be displayed, click the link to open the related data page

 

Consolidation Reporting of Minority Interests

The purpose of this function is to only include a defined percentage of a business/interest where your company does not own 100% of that business.

Let’s say you have a business that you set up as an office in your AccountAbility database that you only own 45% of the shares in that business. Open each such office, assign the ‘OWNERSHIP %’ as 45.00% (by default this is defined as 100% for existing or new offices unless you override it).

Now when you are running a financial statement (all of the Profit & Loss and Balance Sheet reports in AccountAbility have this capability) – you can elect to only include that ownership % in the report. On the financial report selection page, if you check the option box ‘APPLY OWNERSHIP %?’ then only 45% of the P&L values for that office will be included in the report.

This option is available whether you are running the financial reports for each individual office or consolidating multiple offices into a single report. So even if you owned 100% of some offices, 45% of some offices and 10% of other offices – you could run a single P&L or Balance sheet reflecting only those percentages your company owns.

Resource Tracker

The Resource Tracker is designed to allow your agency to predict the level and timing (by month) of staff resources (by Title (role) and Department) that are required to service client jobs/projects and retainers.

Coupled with the new Payroll Budgets feature described below, and the AccountAbility Revenue Tracker – the Resource Tracker function then provides rich reporting around expected required resources and current/planned resources.

This is not designed for micro resource management (who needs to do what and when) – rather it is a broad planning tool enabling the agency to look closely at the coming months or the rest of the year to identify where the level of agency staff resources is not matching the expected level of resources required to service clients and projects.

This is particularly pertinent in respect of retainers – whilst a client retainer might be billed in equal monthly instalments, the resourcing of that retainer may not be evenly spread – it may be that for example the creative resources being billed under a 12 month retainer might be applied very heavily in the first few months of the retainer period. It is often not adequate to say “OK – according to our current retainers we need 4 Copywriters for the year”, when it may be that 6 Copywriters are required over the next few months and only two in the last quarter of the year.

Some set up work is required to properly utilize the Resource Tracker function.

  • For each task type (Master Files / Task Types) that your agency uses to assign estimated time/fee amounts to – link that task type to an employee title. For example, you might link a task type ‘Junior Copywriter’ to the employee title ‘Junior Copywriter’ – in other words what type of person (title) usually performs that work
  • For each employee (Master Files / Employees) that is a billable resource – check that the employee is assigned to an appropriate Title and Department
  • For each defined employee title (Master Files / Employees – click the ‘Titles’ link at top right – link that title to the appropriate department. For example, the ‘Junior Copywriter’ title might be linked to the ‘Creative’ department

To create and maintain Resource Tracker data, open the estimate (Jobs / Estimates / Search Estimates) then click the ‘Resource Tracker’ link at the top of the page. Here you can define the key information for the estimate – when the job/retainer will start, the probability/likelihood of it going ahead, then for each estimate line you can define the number of hours for that task across each month of the project/retainer.

You can choose to view this data based on Hours (number of hours) or Full Time Employees (FTE’s). Note that data must be entered in hours and should match the total number of hours for each line from the estimate. To view the Resource Tracker position for the entire agency – and to run various reports and analysis, go to Jobs / Resource Tracker. Set the filters to define the range of dates you want to see – and other options such as whether top display the values as ‘Hours’ or ‘Full Time Employees’ – and you can also opt whether to view the total estimated hours/FTE’s – or see these values ‘weighted’ according to the source estimate’s probability weightings.

You can optionally filter the data to just see data related to a specific department only, or a specific title.

This page displays client totals, for each month you can see the Actual resources (from timesheet data in the actual months), the Estimated resources (from the Resource Tracker data) and the variance between actual and estimated.

Click on the Client link to drill into the summary of that client resourcing by department – now you can drill further into each department to see the values by Title (role)

Various reports utilizing the resource tracker data can be run using the links at the top right of the page:

  • Client Servicing Summary
  • Client Utilization Reports
  • Client Servicing & Cost Summary

Client Servicing Summary Report

This purpose of this report (Jobs / Resource Tracker – click the link ‘Client Servicing Summary) is to compare, by department:

  • Actual Full Time Employees (FTE’s) – this data comes from the Timesheet data – and is expressed as FTE’s.
  • Agreed Full Time FTE’s – this data comes from the Resource Tracker data – the number of hours agreed expressed as FTE’s.
  • The Variance between Actual & Agreed

The report content (range of dates, filters etc.) is controlled by the filters set on the Resource Tracker Client Summary (Jobs / Resource Tracker)

Client Utilization Reports

This is a series of reports (Jobs / Resource Tracker – click the link ‘Client Utilization Reports) – whose purpose is to compare, by department and title (i.e. role):

  • Full Time Employees (FTE’s) as per the Payroll – this data comes from the Payroll data (both actual and budget depending on the range of months being reported and the budget version selected – and is expressed as FTE’s.
  • Full Time FTE’s as per the Resource Tracker – this data comes from the Resource Tracker data – the number of hours agreed expressed as FTE’s.
  • The Variance between Payroll FTE’s and Resource Tracker FTE’s

There are 3 different report options

  • Department Summary
  • Department & Title Summary
  • Monthly Summary

 

Client Servicing & Cost Report

To access this report, go to (Accounting / GL / GL Reports / Profitability Reports – click the link ‘Client Servicing & Cost Summary) – its purpose is to detail for each client, by employee the cost of time (i.e. payroll cost) spent on the client’s account – then compare that cost to the revenue that the agency should generate in the report period based on the resource tracker:

The report can be run at summary level – which just shows the totals by department, or at employee details level.

There is an option to hide cost calculation summaries for situations where the report is to be shared with people that should not have access to the payroll/cost information for individual employees.

Several variables can be set at the point of running the report which impact the cost calculations:

  • Payroll on Costs % to be added to the payroll cost for ancillary payroll costs of employment
  • Overhead % to be added to the payroll cost to cover non payroll expenses
  • Profit Margin % to be added to Payroll On Costs to arrive at a total cost for each employee inclusive of profit margin target

There are 3 options in regard the way the Revenue as per the resource tracker is calculated:

  • Selected Months – the calculated revenue from the resource tracker of all of the months of the report period – note if the user selects a specific date in the box ‘Only include data up to’ – than the final month will only include the pro-rata revenue amount – for example if the report was run from January to June, but only for data up to June 15 – then only 50% (15 days out of 30) of the resource tracker revenue would be calculated for the June month
  • Full 12 Months – regardless of the report period – include the total fee for the year being reported
  • Fixed Amount – allows the user to enter a specific fixed revenue amount to be applied instead of using the revenue calculated by the resource tracker

Payroll Budgets

Payroll Budgets are a sub-function of Expense Budgets. Go to Accounting / Budgets / Payroll Budgets.

There is some set up work required – go to Accounting / General Ledger / General Ledger Accounts / Search General Ledger Accounts. For each ‘expense’ account that your company identifies as a ‘payroll’ expense account, open that account and check/select the option ‘PAYROLL ACCOUNT’. This tells the payroll budget function that ‘actual’ amounts posted to these accounts are payroll amounts, and it also makes that account an allowable account for creating payroll budget entries.

Like expense budget data, the payroll budgets are organized by Accounting Year and Budget Version. The data is displayed by month – and a combination of ‘Actual’ months and ‘Budget’ months are displayed according to the structure of the budget version you are filtered on.

The ‘Actual’ month columns will display journal amounts that have been posted to GL Accounts which you have assigned as a ‘PAYROLL’ account as described above. If your actual payroll data entries (journals, payments etc. were assigned to individual employees – then the actual month data will display by employee. We strongly recommend that agencies utilizing the Payroll Budgets function adopt the practice of assigning actual payroll amounts to employees, though it is not compulsory.

Payroll Budget data can be created or updated in a number of ways

  • Use the ‘Import’ function to import the payroll data from an Excel spreadsheet.
  • Click the button ‘CREATE A NEW PAYROLL BUDGET’ to manually add budget entries
  • Check/tick an existing line to make the amounts editable for each of the ‘Budget’ months’ – note that if you entered an ‘Annual Amount’ for an employee budget line – then you can select the ‘CALC FROM ANNUAL AMT’ button to calculate each budget month amount based on one twelfth of the annual amount.

You may wish to budget a total amount for each employee title (e.g. Account Directors) rather than budget at an individual employee level – but we recommend that you budget at the more detailed ‘employee’ level.

Payroll data is sensitive – you may wish to create separate user access group rights for payroll budgets, for example you may wish to allow user access group to have rights to expense budgets, but not payroll budgets.

Job Cash Summaries

The purpose of this function (Jobs / Job Summaries / Job Cash Summary) is to detail for each job the cash flow position of the job, specially the following values:

  • Billed to client
  • Received from client (amounts the client has paid)
  • Invoiced by suppliers
  • Paid to suppliers (amounts the agency has paid to suppliers)
  • Net Cash (Received from client minus paid to suppliers)

By default, the data only includes the amounts billed and amounts received in relation to external costs – however if you would like to also include internal/revenue amounts (e.g. fees) then check the filter option ‘INCLUDE INTERNAL (REVENUE’

The summary page shows the totals for each job – according to any filters you have set – click the Job No. to drill down to see the details of all of the transactions on the job and their cash impact

A ‘List Export’ hyperlink is available on both the Job Cash Summary and Job Cash Details pages to export the data to excel

Job WIP Summaries

The purpose of this function (Jobs / Job Summaries / Job WIP Summaries) is to detail for each job the WIP/Advance position for clients and jobs.

The Client Summary shows the following information (total for each client):

  • WIP Balance (ties to the GL control account balance as at the selected/filtered accounting month)
  • The aging of the WIP Balance
    • Current Month
    • 1 Month
    • 2 Months
    • 3 Months
    • 4+ Month

From the Client Summary page – click the Client Name to drill down to see the Jobs that make up these balances

The Job Summary page shows the total for each job – it shows all of the same columns as the Client Summary, as well as

  • The Job Number and Description
  • The Estimate amount (excluding internal/fee amounts)
  • The Cost amount (amounts invoiced by suppliers)
  • The Billed amount (amounts invoiced excluding internal/fee amounts)
  • Amounts taken up (WIP balances taken up or written off)
  • Unmatched PO’s (Purchase orders issued that have not yet been invoiced by suppliers)
  • Various other information relating to the job such as the Client Manager, Job Manager, date the job was opened, the date of the most recent activity on the job (last activity)

Click the ‘COLUMNS’ button to customize which columns are displayed or hidden, the column order and data sort orders

From the Job Summary page – click the Job No to drill down to see the individual transactions for the job

A ‘List Export’ hyperlink is available on both the Job Cash Summary and Job Cash Details pages to export the data to excel

Monthly General Ledger Summary Report

The purpose of this report (Accounting / General Ledger / General Ledger Reports / Trial Balance & Summary Reports) – is to allow the user to build a summary of monthly GL data into defined groupings.

Let’s say you wanted to get a summary report by month summarizing Billings by GL Account and then By Job: On the report selection page, select the accounting year and range of months to be reported, then in the ‘GROUPING OPTION 1’ drop down select ‘GL Account’, in the GROUPING OPTION 2 drop down select ‘Job’

Now you might only want to include data for the ‘Billings’ GL Accounts – so set a filter on the ‘GL ACCOUNTS’ tab to only include those accounts. Now click ‘PREVIEW’ to run the report or EXECL to export the report data.

There are up to 3 grouping options that can be selected for one report – and you can choose to group by many different variables such as:

  • Office
  • GL Account
  • GL Account Type
  • Client
  • Master Client
  • Client Type
  • Product
  • Job
  • Job Type
  • Task Type
  • Supplier
  • Master Supplier
  • Supplier Type
  • Transaction Type
  • Department
  • Employee

By default, the amounts will be displayed in each month according to their accounting value – e.g. debit minus credit. But let’s say you wanted to analyze the amounts posted to revenue amounts (which are normally credit/negative accounting postings to the GL) – you can select the option ‘GL ACCOUNT TYPE NATURE’ – that way a credit amount posted to a negative nature GL account (e.g. Liabilities, Revenue, Shareholders Funds) will display as a positive amount on the report.

Client Billings Report

The purpose of this report (Accounting / General Ledger / General Ledger Reports / Client Billings & Revenue Reports) – is to analyze billing data for a selected range of months – with various options for the level of detail to be reported:

  • Client Totals Only
  • Client & Budget Category Totals
  • Client, Budget Category & GL Account Totals
  • Client, Budget Category, GL Account Totals with Transaction Details

FastPay Integration

This feature is designed primarily for media agencies in the US who use Strata and AccountAbility for their media financial management and accounting, to facilitate payment to media vendors. If you are interested in finding out more about FastPay contact AccountAbility support or go to https://gofastpay.com/

Revenue Recognition

This function automates the accrual or deferral of revenue – based on the actual time (hours) spent on a job. Go to Accounting / General Ledger / Revenue Tools / Revenue Recognition. Define using the filters the Accounting Year and Month as the point where you want to adjust the amount of revenue recognized

This page displays, for each active job – according to the filters you set on the page, various information for each job for all months up to and including the accounting year and month filtered:

  • A) ESTIMATED REVENUE – the estimated billable value of ‘Time’ charges
  • B) BILLABLE REVENUE – the billable value of actual timesheet recorded
  • C) BILLED REVENUE – the value of ‘Time’ charges billed/invoiced to the client
  • D) BILLABLE LESS BILLED – Billable Revenue Minus Billed Revenue
  • E) PREVIOUSLY ACCRUED / DEFERRED – the amount of ‘Time’ Revenue already accrued (or deferred)
  • F) BALANCE TO ACCRUE DEFER – (D minus E)

To see the details which make up these calculations for each job, click the JOB NO link to drill down into that detail

For those jobs that you want to proceed to now adjust the revenue recognition for – tick/check those jobs – then click the button ‘CREATE ACCRUALS / DEFERRALS’ – the following will occur

  • Based on the value in column ‘BALANCE TO ACCRUE’ – if this is a positive value (the value of billable time on the job is greater than the amount of time recognized as revenue to date) the system will create, in the selected accounting month, a revenue accrual for that amount, if ‘BALANCE TO ACCRUE’ is a negative value the system will create a revenue deferral for that amount
  • Accruals / Deferrals created above will then be reversed into the following accounting month (if you select that option when prompted)

Import Multiple Journals

This function allows the importing of multiple Journals from a single Excel worksheet. Go to Accounting / General Ledger / Journals / Search Journals. Click the ‘Import’ link at the top right of the page, then click the ‘Download Template’ link.

Populate the template with all of the journal line details. When importing, AccountAbility will create a separate Journal header for each different journal description in the file. For example, if there were 50 lines with the journal description ‘March Accruals’ and 50 lines with the description ‘April Accruals’ – the import routine would create 2 separate journal headers.

General Ledger Account User Restrictions

This function allows you to restrict access to data for selected GL Accounts to specific employees/users. Let’s say for example you have some finance accounting users that do have access to see general ledger transaction data – but you don’t want those users to see transaction data for other accounts, such as payroll.

Go to Accounting / General Ledger / General Ledger Accounts – search for the account(s) you want to restrict access to. Open each account then click the link ‘User Restrictions’ at top right – check the box to apply restrictions, then select the employees/users who should be allowed to see data for this account – move it to the right side ‘Access To’ box, then Save.

Note that any user who does not have access to this account will not be able to:

  • Run a detailed transaction report nor drill down which shows them the detailed contents of that account (e.g. they could not see the individual journals or payments assigned to the payroll account)
  • Enter data (journals, payments etc. to this account)
  • Find the account in any system search (such as search general accounts) which would allow the user to see the details of entries to the account or change the access rights for the account

Users who don’t have access to an account, but do have access to ‘summary’ level reports such as Profit & Loss Reports – will still see the total posted to these restricted accounts, they just can’t ever see the details of the actual transactions posted to these accounts.

Supplier Invoice Reconciliation Function

This is an optional function which prevents a Supplier Invoice being paid unless it has been flagged as reconciled.

To invoke this option, go to Set Up Files / Set Up Options – under the ‘ACCOUNTING OPTIONS’ section check the option ‘Supplier invoices must be reconciled before payment’

To mark invoices as reconciled, go to Accounting / Payables / Supplier Invoices / Search Supplier Invoices.

When an invoice or invoices have been reconciled (normally by comparing them to the supplier statement) – check/tick the invoice(s) that have been reconciled and click the ‘RECONCILE’ button.

Note that you can filter your search of supplier invoices according to their reconciled status:

  • Reconciled and Unreconciled
  • Unreconciled Only
  • Reconciled Only

If you intend to use this function, you may wish to use the COLUMNS feature on the Search Supplier Invoices screen so that you can easily see the reconciled status of each invoice, as this column is hidden by default

Once this option is switched on, only supplier invoices that are ‘reconciled’ are available when creating individual payments or generating a batch of payments.

Supplier Code Range Filter

This feature allows filtering of supplier data to only include records/data for supplier’s whose code is in a range.

Let’s say for example your agency divides the supplier management between different staff – say one employee manages suppliers in the range A-M and another manages suppliers in the range N-Z. Each of those employees can set their supplier code range accordingly – for example in Search Supplier Invoices the first employee would enter ‘A-M’ in the filter search box ‘SUPPLIER CODE RANGE’

1) ‘A-E’ then get all suppliers where the first character of the code is in A, B, C, D, E

2) ‘AA-AE’ then get all suppliers where the first characters of the code are in AA, AE

3) ‘ABC’ or ‘ABC-‘ then get all suppliers where the first characters of the code are >=ABC

4) ‘-EFG’ then get all suppliers where the first chars of the code are<=EFG

This filter option is available in several locations:

  • Accounting / Payables / Supplier Invoices / Search Supplier Invoices
  • Accounting / Payables / Supplier Invoices / Search Supplier Invoices / Incoming Supplier Invoices
  • Accounting / Payables / Payments / Search Payments
  • Accounting / Payables / Payments / generate a Batch of Payments
  • Accounting / Payables / Payables Reports
    • Supplier Invoice Report
    • Talent Payment Report
    • Payments Report
    • Payables Aging Report
  • Master Files / Suppliers / Search Suppliers