April 2019 System Updates
We have some big updates to the system, some are behind the scenes, some more features for you!
One of the big changes is that the old Trial Balance expense entering system has been expanded and renamed for how more users prefer to enter data, as a Profit/Loss listing. If you currently had you expense entry preferences to use Trial Balance, you have been migrated into the Profit/Loss editor. All existing data stayed the same, it is just now instead of just expenses, you can now also enter revenue, costs of goods sold, and a few other non-calculated item (mainly to make it easier to import so you don’t have to strip out as much info or set values to be excluded).
Note, any Trial Balance entries that used to be of type “Credit”, have been moved over to revenue. You really need to review the inital entriles in that category to make sure that are where you want them to be!.
There is a new field labeled Use which lets you switch between which way the entry is being treated. Note that before, under the Type field there was the option to make a heading. This has now moved over to the Use field.
While you can enter revenue and cost of goods sold which will be used in reports (and with further expansion, in the calculators), only the expenses are uses to calculate your business costs. Also, just like before, you will be able to import data into this. Be sure that you grab a fresh copy of the import templates, the columns have slightly changed.
Now, if you use either the Questionnaire or Lump Sum method of entering expenses, that will remain the same. However, to allow you to also use the newer revenue and costs of goods sold, you will notice two new editors for each. These cannot be imported.
Something many people are coming to expect, and something we have wanted to implement for a while, is being able to just double click on a row of data, and have that row change to be an editor for that item right there, no pop-up editor. Currently this is now in place for the Allocations editors, that you can double click on a value in the Direct Labor Group columns to open the editor.
As we see how people like this and get feedback, we plan on rolling this out to other sections of the site to make the editing more streamlined.
The is a new menu section for Allocations. In the past, under Labor Groups, you can override the way the system divided up Overhead values (indirect workers’ comp., gross costs, employer share and benefits) between your Direct Labor Groups. We have taken this to a new level. You can now also allocate those values per employee in each Individual Labor Group (any not specifically set will use the ratios like before.)
Speaking of the Ratios, in the ratio editor you will see there are four tabs of Ratios, the above setting is labeled Indirect. You can also customize the ratios for Expenses, Revenue, and COGS. Just like indirect, you can set your ratios instead of going strictly off group hours, and you can set the ratios all the way down to the specific items for these three categories. For example, if you have an expense that would only exist in your company for one labor group, you could assign 100% of its costs to just that labor group.
Along with these additions, well not everyone will prefer to work the same, so we have some new preferences for you to customize your workflow in the Allocations section. Also, since the preferences has expanded more, we have taken all “sub preference” pages and put them under a main Preferences tab in the main menu, instead of going to preferences and then choosing which type.
Value Editing Style – When you go to edit individual items, sometimes it is easier to divide up real values instead of changing ratios. So here you can choose which one you will edit, either entering the actual value of the item or the ratio. You are free to switch this back and forth. Please note though, that in the end, the system will save it out as a ratio, so very small values for one group while other groups are larger may give a slight rounding difference as the system makes sure that the values (or ratios) across all the groups do add up to the full amount. Default: New accounts and existing after the update are set to edit actual ratios.
Empty Header Behavior – This really applies if you use the Profit/Loss expense input. As you may have headings that contain only one type of category (either expense, revenue, or COGS), when you are allocating a category, there will be nothing under that header. So, with this, you can have it hid any headings that do not have anything under them except the next heading. Default: New accounts and existing after the update are set to hide the empty headers.
Pop Up Editor Columns – When you use the pop-up editor (clicking the edit icon on the left column), we have more room to give you more values to help you see what your allocation changes do, and what defaults would have been. (See the section below for “Allocation Editor Explained”). You can adjust which of these helper columns you see. Default: New accounts and existing after the update are set to show all columns.
Category Ratios – Ok, so all these changes can be confusing, you may not need them all. (as you can skip doing any entry to the Allocations section to let everything just allocated to the Ratios set in the Labor Groups section. But then again, you may not want to mess with setting separate ratios for Indirect Overhead, COGs, Expenses and Revenue.) So here we allow you to go back to using just one main set of ratios like before, and all categories will use the same set. (You can still go allocate specific items). Default: New accounts and existing after the update are set to use separate sets of Ratios.
Allocation Editor Explained
This is mainly for the pop-up editor (clicking the edit icon on the left). This is what each column represents. Note. Under preferences you can now choose if you want to edit the value or the ratio. On this editor the “Active” columns are what you will edit.
Calculated Ratio – This is the raw ratios the system calculates per labor group based only on the number of hours assigned to employees in each group.
Labor Groups – This is the ratios you have set to use as the “default” on the ratio editor on the Labor Groups page. If you never customized these values, then they are going to show the same as the Calculated Ratio column (and thus, you may wish to use preferences and only show one of them)
Active – This is the active ratios being used to split the current item across the labor groups. If not set, it will show the same as you set under Labor Groups.
Locked – As in the other Ratio editor, locks the entered ratio for that group, then all other groups are automatically calculated (see below). There is also an Auto button so you don’t have to figure them out.
Calculated Values – This again uses raw ratios to divide the item’s value across the groups based only on the number of hours assigned to employees in each group.
Labor Groups – This uses the ratios you set in the Ratio Editor on the Labor Groups to divide the value up. Like the other column, if you didn’t customize ratios, this will show the same as Calculated Values.
Active – This value here this is what will be used to split the value across the groups.
Keep in mind how the ratios “fall back” onto more global values.
First priority is the ratios set for individual items. If there is nothing saved (witch a “locked” group), then it will use the ratios set in the Ratio Editor under the Labor Groups page. If nothing is set there, then it will default to using the raw ratios of the number of hours in each group divided by total hours.
Another note: Keep in mind that changing allocated hours and or /adding/removing labor groups from the system will affect any unlocked ratios. If you have an item (or the defaults) set to say 25% Locked, 25% Locked, and 50% Unlocked, if you add a fourth labor group, that 50% for the third group is not set, It will auto calculate new rations ad put them in place. Normally this is no big deal, but it is always something to keep in mind.
This is a lot!
There is a lot in this change and it can seem quite confusing. Please note that any new features, if you choose not to use them will give you the same system you were used to before.
As always, we welcome your input on our system and are here to help if you have questions or get stuck.
It will take a little time go get them made and edited, but we are working on videos to showcase the new features for you.