How to Create a Sage 300 CRE Workers Comp Rate Report

Creating a Sage 300 CRE Workers Comp Rate Report can be quick and easy using the Report Writer App that comes with Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate software package.  Check out this quick video to learn how step-by-step.

 

 

 

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Finding Help Options in the Sage 300 CRE Desktop

Meandering through Sage.com to find answers to Sage 300CRE questions can be a trying experience.  The Sage website is a very large site, as it incorporates not only Sage 300 CRE (formerly Timberline Software), but also the many other software products they sell and support.  With the latest versions of the Sage 300 CRE Desktop, users have help options all in one location.

A quick glimpse of the desktop and you can see there is a menu item for Help.  Drop down the list and you will see a variety of options available.  A selection of any of the items from the internet will bring up the site in the viewing area of the desktop.  There is also a home button in the upper left of your pages to take you back to the home page of the site you are viewing.

Help Topics– Choose this option to search in the online software manuals.  Here you can use the Index to search on different areas of concern such as Setup Bank Accounts, etc.
Live Chat – Discuss your question with an online support rep from Sage.  You will need your client number and will be asked to enter a short description of your question at the beginning of your chat session.
Product Documents – Click here to find a listing of downloadable User Manuals for all Software by version.  This includes the Sage 300CRE Software User and Install Guides as well as Year End Procedures and Payroll Tax Release Notes.
Sage Service and Support – Choose this option to log onto the Sage Knowledgebase.  Ask questions to retrieve answers on this online support website that is consistently updated by the Sage Support department with issues and solutions.
Sage City – This is a one-stop location for really all support options on one page.  Choose from live chat, user forums, access the knowledgebase, read blogs and user input.  For the forums and blogs, you will be required to setup a user login.
The Users Group – Clicking here will take you to Tugweb.com.  “The Users Group” is not run by Sage, but is an independent support group for Sage 300CRE that has been around since Sage300CRE (then Timberline Software) was started back in the 70’s.   On this site, find how to join, access additional User Forums and read their blogs and newsletters.  They also attend and hold sessions at the yearly Sage User Group meetings.
Submit Enhancement Requests –  This takes you to a site where you can, using your user id, enter software enhancement requests.  Setup a request for a change in the software and see how many others would like to see the same enhancement.  This is really a great opportunity for software users to have valid input for what they would like to see changed and/or added in the software.

You can leave these sites open In your Sage desktop of close them using the “X” at the top of your Desktop viewing area.  Hopefully this helps you to put your software to work for you by using all of the options available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ledgerwood Legacy: From City to State to Continent

 by Joanie Hollabaugh 

If you ask Ed Ledgerwood about his 40 year span with Sage/Timberline, he tells his story in a framework that he’s the only dealer to ever own a distributorship, and that he grew the business from City to State to Continent on his journey. It’s also a great family and friends story, and it’s my pleasure to share it with you.

Portland, the City

On October 10, 1974, a young accounting professional was hired by the McGregor Fertilizer Company in Colfax, WA.

Evidently, McGregor’s “computer lady” had abruptly quit, so they directed young Ed Ledgerwood to the Burroughs “L8000” with a fresh roll of punch paper tape, and said, “We don’t know a THING about the computer, you have payroll for 120 employees due on Friday, and here’s the 800 number for Timberline – that’s the accounting software we use.”

And so it began in the city of Portland, Oregon.

Ed took his Timberline skills from McGregor to work for an accountant (briefly) when a good friend opened a retail “minicomputer” store. Ed went to work there, opting to sell software: Accpac for the retail vertical (now known as Sage 300 ERP), Timberline for construction (currently Sage 300 CRE), and RealWorld for general accounting. The programs for IBM were run “double floppy” systems; programs went in ‘A’ drive and data went into the ‘B’ drive. At that time, the Timberline modules for construction accounting included four basic modules: payroll, job cost, AP and AR.

After three or four years of selling Timberline in a retail environment, Ed went out on his own. From 1984-86 he grew the Timberline market in the Portland area, becoming one of the top dealers for the Northwest region.

In 1986, a rising architect from Denver, CO needed a Timberline demo for a project he was pitching in Hawaii. Ed volunteered and flew to Maui in July to do a demo at the local AIA meeting. By now, computer technology had progressed from a double-floppy system to an internal 10mg hard drive and Timberline had added additional models to the suite of products. The architect and Ed both won big – the project, a business opportunity, and a lifelong friendship!

Hawaii, the State

Ed decided to open an office in Honolulu, HI in August of 1986. Ed’s brother Pat had joined the company in the meantime and ran the office in Portland as “Ledgerwood Associates” had now expanded to two offices. Meanwhile in downtown Honolulu, Ed office-shared a space with an advertising agency. He sold enough Timberline software (DOS based, originally) in the first three months to hire his first sales help! A close childhood friend was recruited, sharing a two-bedroom apartment with Ed, and helped to grow the dealership selling both Accpac and Timberline. Eventually, Ed hired a dedicated Accpac salesperson and concentrated on Timberline and moved to a bigger office. About that time, Curtis Peltz (another Timberline/Sage long-timer) introduced Precision Estimating to the market – software that integrated with new technology hardware that changed the entire estimating world.

Digitizer Revolution

The introduction of the GTCO digitizer combined with “modern” estimating was an auspicious event for Hawaiian developers/builders and “green fill’ (virgin land) projects popping up everywhere. Ed took the opportunity to turn it into a double-down demo dream: what used to take two days to estimate manually could now be done in an hour using the digitizer plus the software! Engineers and architects were eager to purchase both.

As the Timberline product mix expanded, so did the Hawaiian Ledgerwood dealership. Ed now had to hire several new employees to keep up with business (in addition to the Portland office).

In 1987, Ed embarked on a digitizer/estimating roadshow in Honolulu. At that time, there were a few building/development companies from Australia and New Zealand who had done joint ventures with locals in the area. While demonstrating the product the companies bought the equipment and software on the spot! Ed saw a potential market opportunity in Australia, and engaged another friend (research consultant) to perform extensive market research in New Zealand (NZ) and Australia (AU).

In October of 1987, Ed and his researcher spent a month meeting and networking with the local AIA and homebuilders’ association. Armed with statistics and insights, they put together a comprehensive business plan. They had found out that one of the largest architect firms in Melbourne had previously purchased Timberline’s architect/engineering software product, and another major home builder had purchased Timberline estimating and accounting. With the thorough market research they had performed, they discovered there was absolutely no competition in AU or NZ – for sales or support.

By now, Timberline had separate software divisions: estimating, construction, property management, and architecture/engineering (AE was sold off in the late 90’s). Ed approached Timberline, presenting the business case to promote Timberline to a new continent. He was not immediately successful.

Australia, the Continent

In the meantime, Ed’s Accpac salesman was getting a promotion with a move to Australia. In March of the following year, Accpac invited Ledgerwood Hawaii (the geographically closest partner) to work a trade show in Australia. Already known by local homebuilders and associations, Ed argued to bring Timberline as well as Accpac to the Australian market. He was accepted conditionally: Ed was offered a job, an office, and a vehicle if worked for the Accpac dealership 50% of his time, selling and supporting the product. So he sold Accpac in the morning, and Timberline in the afternoon!

Again, Ed approached Timberline with a proposal to open an independent Timberline dealership and was rebuffed. Consequently, Ed moved in July of ‘88 from Honolulu to Sydney and split his days between promoting the two product lines. Ed’s brother Pat then moved from Portland to run the Hawaiian Ledgerwood office (and remains to this day!).

Bootstrapping at a construction trade show just a few months after relocating to Hawaii (literally borrowing the office furniture to place in a small booth on the back wall), prospects stood in line to see the digitizer being demonstrated. Ed knew from the success of Hawaii (demos) that he should become a digitizer dealer as well; the two companies happily cross-promoted each other – cornering this new market in AU.

During this time, Ed continued to network in the business community and he made it a point to become acquainted with accounting firms (Ernst & Young, Coopers & Lybrand, Price-Waterhouse, etc.) looking for a construction solution with Job Cost accounting.

Eventually, Ed was granted a dealership by Timberline. (In fact, they respected his rapid business growth so much he was consulted by Timberline management regarding the development of the OS2 version and Window products.)

The dealership continued to flourish, selling Accpac, Timberline accounting and estimating, the AE product, and property management. Ed’s sister, Martha moved to AU with her two young children to help administrate the business. There, she used her payroll expertise to work with developers to create an Australian version of payroll. The business grew, adding industry friends and competitors to the staff. After an on-site visit to a competitive estimating dealer, Timberline allowed Ed to become the Timberline distributor. He quickly set up other dealers (in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, and Sydney) and doing the promotions and marketing for all.

Olympic Success

In 1993, Australia was granted hosting privileges for the 2000 Olympic Games. No one caught the excitement more than Ledgerwood Associates in Australia! The construction potential was enormous – and construction companies needed software. Mirvac became one of Ledgerwood’s first customers for Australian Windows; and the 2000 Olympics Village became Mirvac’s biggest project using Timberline.

This truly became a seven year-long sales pipeline.

Martha went back to the States in 1995, while Ledgerwood Associates, Inc. moved to a larger office. Timberline and Estimating became the core products (Accpac sales were waning with Accpac selling directly to accounting firms); Ledgerwood eventually dropped Accpac altogether. The distributorship expanded, adding new dealers in New Zealand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia (Southeast Asia) for a total of ten dealers.

Ledgerwood Associates became the only independently owned dealership in the world.

In 1994, Ed started an Australian Users Group, supported by Timberline. The territory flourished, with more products geared to the market, helped with Ledgerwood sponsored tradeshows, seminars, and advertising campaigns.

Although the Olympics were awarded in 1993, the burst of construction building activity starting in 1995 – five years prior to the event. The Timberline Windows product was growing (competitors were still on DOS). Transfield Services became another key account client, building the “Airport Link” – an underground railway line from the airport to the city.

In a surprise announcement, Timberline decided to take over the distributorship in 1997. After serious negotiations Ed agreed to become a dealer in Sydney, where he was highly successful for several years.

Through the years, Ed and his girlfriend Kerri (now wife) met up regularly with (Timberline User Group) friends Kim and Craig McClure who owned a dealership in Arizona. Ed and Kerri invited Kim and Craig to join them in Australia for the Olympics in 2000. Once there, the pair tried to convince the Ledgerwoods to join their business in Scottsdale. Coincidentally, soon after the Olympics Ed was approached by his Operations Manager and his Accountant with an offer to purchase his dealership. As Kerri and Ed’s parents were advancing in age, and they had a standing offer to join an established partnership – they decided it was time to come back home.

Home Againlegacy-shakespeare-quote

By 2002, they had sold the Australian dealership (but flew back regularly for a year and a half) to help transition the business), and the McClures were able to add Property Management sales to their Timberline suite via Ed (Kerri was a Senior Consultant for PM). Ed and Kerri were married, they settled into a home in Scottsdale, and went to work for “CreativeWare.” In 2003, the Ledgerwoods bought into the partnership. Ed became the Operations Manager while actively selling Property Management. Kim did Professional Services, and Craig handled construction type sales. He bought into the dealership several months later and became part owner.

Together, the couples designed and built a stunning two-story building on two lots in Old Town Scottsdale. (Builders Guild, the GC, was a Timberline customer of CreativeWare’s – so the building was built literally by clients!) Built with expansion in mind, CreativeWare occupied the West half of the second story and the training center downstairs, and leased three separate suites.

Kim landed at Skyline Steel, a CreativeWare client where she had successfully implemented Timberline. She hired Tony Merry, Kerri’s son to manage the accounting department at Skyline. Tony dove right in and streamlined the AP process. He then went on to evaluate the receivables and the revenue side, which detoured him into the mechanical lien laws which led to the contracts/legal side of the business. This progression of costs, revenues, and legal proficiencies steered Tony into actually running the jobs, as he had the most (well-rounded) business and job knowledge. Part of the job evaluations included immersion not only into Timberline accounting, but estimating as well.

CreativeWare merged with MIS in 2006 and the Scottsdale office kept operations running as usual in sales and marketing, as well as consulting for the region. In 2009, MIS closed their doors.

The Ledgerwoods re-joined forces with Kim in 2009 to re-acquire the territory including AZ, NM and NV. Ultimately, perseverance, continued sales, and great customer support won the dealership back from Timberline (acquired by Sage in 2002). Joining forces with a Sage 300 CRE Colorado dealer and a Sage 100 Contractor dealer from Utah – Ledgerwood Associates evolved to become the entity it is today.

In 2012, Tony Merry joined the family business. As a power user and construction expert, Tony was a natural fit to run Ledgerwood’s Sales department. Kim retired from the business in 2015, and Tony has since become part owner. Kerri has retired from consulting and is currently the Operations Manager for the business.

Ed remains the patriarch and the heart of the company. Last year, he was honored at Sage North America headquarters for “40 years in the Timberline/ Sage family.”

He is still known in the Timberline/Sage world as “THAT Ed Ledgerwood!” He and Kerri are shown the red carpet on their visits ‘down under’ to the Sage headquarters in Sydney.

From city, to state, to continent – Ed’s story of business growth, loss, recovery, and success always contains a single, distinguishing element for doing ‘good’ business: Ed treats everyone like family.

Take Your General Ledger to Excel with Office Connector

officeconnector1

Bringing the standard Sage 300 CRE Current Ledger or YTD Ledger into Excel can be tricky.  Headings and descriptive details on reports that make them easier to read when printed to paper can make it difficult to bring a report into a columnar format like Excel.  There are many Sage 300 CRE clients who may have never ventured down to the last folder on your desktop called “Excel-Based Reporting – Office Connector”.   Getting your GL data easily and directly into GL is a reason to do so.

Office Connector is an add-in for Excel that allows you to easily turn Excel into a reporting and management tool for your Sage 300 CRE database.  Any purchase of Sage 300 CRE comes with the Office Connector Starter package including a dashboard, and a couple Construction and Property Management queries in addition to the General Ledger query.  This gives you an idea of what this product can do and provides you with the handy “Account Ledger with Detail” query.

To use the General Ledger “Account Ledger with Detail” query, open it up by clicking on it and, if needed, click on the macro option to enable content.  Click on the Admin tab to enter your desired dates and specific prefixes if you wish to narrow down your data.  Choose “Refresh Report” to start the query and display your report in Excel.  There is even a “Sample Values” tab to show you how to enter the prompts fields and narrow down your search.  If you wish to see more about this product, just choose the About Office Connector option under the “Excel-Based Reporting – Office Connector” folder.   There, you can review other uses and options available for this product as well as handy and easy tutorials about each query that comes with your Office Connector Starter product.

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It’s the Simple Things that Give You Piece of Mind About Your Business…..Like Backing up Your Data.

Sage 300 CRE is a mature software product that has been helping construction and property management companies grow and maintain their businesses for well over 30 years.  From mini computers to DOS, OS2 and windows, this product has seen it all and is as solid as they get when it comes to software stability.   Rarely, and oftentimes never for most clients, do you have to load a backup due to file corruption of some sort.  However, there is the possibility that for some reason you have to refer to backup from a prior date that should keep you from letting those backup procedures slide forever.

By following these backup recommendations, you will be prepared to restore your Sage 300 CRE data or application folder.  These recommendations are a guideline.  You may decide to backup more or less, depending on how much data you work with each day.

Daily
We recommend that you backup your data every day.  It is also recommended that you backup all files in your data folders each time you perform a backup and do not over write the previous daily backup. Make sure to date your backups and delete them after you have a good permanent month.

Safety Backup
You should also perform a safety data backup every time you perform a major procedure that affects your files such as performing an upgrade or moving data to history files.  Some users even backup before they post, as well as before such procedures as printing checks. Chances are, however, that you will be fine. If you have a solid backup from the evening before, you would only lose what you had worked on since then.

Month End
Make month end backups just prior to closing the month and use a permanent backup such as removable media of some type such as a portable hard drive.  It is also recommended that at month end, you backup your Sage 300 CRE application folder on your server or host computer as some of your sub-folders contain customization data such as payroll formulas, report formulas, custom fields, security and custom reports.

Quarter End
Make a quarter end backup just prior to closing the last month of the quarter and use a permanent backup, such as removable media that you will keep.

Year End
Prior to closing the last month of the year, make a year end backup that is also permanent (meaning not to be copied over by another backup) to removable media such as a portable hard drive.  You may wish to store your permanent data backups at an off site or secure location.

Other forms of backup and management of your data include having your entire software installation hosted on a cloud server.  Companies such as Trapp Online (www.trapponline.com) are familiar with and host many accounting software packages in the cloud, including all Sage products.  This option takes the entire backup issue as well as software upgrade procedures out of your hands for a monthly fee.

There are also other online backup products that will backup your server on a schedule and store it securely in the cloud for you to refer to if needed.  There are many companies that do this for a fee such as Carbonite.  Check them out at http://www.carbonite.com.

Hopefully, this helps you secure your business and piece of mind with some solid backup recommendations.  As always,  you can call on us at Ledgerwood Associates Hawaii, Inc. for any questions or assistance 808-265-1060 or send us a message at http://www.ledgerwoodhawaii.com/contact.

Property Management Intercompany Accounting – Simplified

cash rec snip

Intercompany accounting can be confusing…..sometimes, it just helps to step back, get a basic concept of what the software does, and think through what really happens manually before digging into the setup of this functionality in the software. The following situation would be one of the most common.  Consider the tenant, who has multiple units in different properties with separate bank accounts, that sends you one check monthly.   Since you will be depositing this check to one bank account, you can use the system to generate the receivable for the entities that did not receive the deposit and the payable for the entity that you deposited the payment to.

The “basic” operation of this function is that it checks for differences in bank account setup in Cash Management and in Property Management. ]

Default cash accounts or bank accounts are setup in Cash Management under “Setup Bank Account” and in Property Management on the “controls tab” and on the “deposits tab”.  If the tenant that you entered the payment to resides in a property with a different GL prefix than that on the CM bank account, you can generate intercompany accounting entries.  All in all, this is your guarantee that your bank accounts and your General Ledger stay in balance. Now, armed with the basics, you are ready to setup. The basic operation of this function is that when you enter a payment in PM, it asks you for a deposit bank account.  You then continue in the Cash Receipts program to finish out the payment(s) to this bank account by entering the tenant ID.  When you save the payment, the system looks at the  GL prefixes and accounts located on the property record for that tenant.  If the prefix or entity on the property record does not match that setup on the bank account that you entered in Cash Management, it will automatically create intercompany accounting entries for you.

Get a Head Start on Designing Your Cash Flow Statements in Sage 300 CRE

cash flow snipDesigning Cash Flow Statements in Sage 300 CRE Financial Statement Designer can be tricky.  However, you can get a  head start on your design by downloading one or both sample designs from the Sage Knowledgebase website.

Login to the Sage Knowledgebase and choose Sage 300 CRE as your software.  Type in Cash Flow Statements in the Search and choose the article “How do I create a cash flow statement.”  Download the zip file(s) of your choice.   There is one for the Construction Sample Data and one for the PM Sample data that you can unzip to your sample data folders (version 8.3 or higher) using your file tools.

You will then be able to review and use a sample as you build your own cash flow statement.  There are two samples included in the downloaded file.  One showing monthly totals for the year and another design that shows the current month and year to date totals.  If you wish to start with one of these designs in your company folder, you can then copy the .fsd file to your own folder.  Just remember that you will have to change and/or add accounts on each line of the statement in addition to adding any accumulators created for these designs.  Good Luck!