Dear Clients,

Are you covering your cost of out-bound shipping with what you bill to your customers? If you’re not folding your in-bound freight costs into your inventory value with Landed Cost, exactly how much margin is your in-bound shipping costing you?

These are hard questions to answer if you’re not tracking your revenue and costs appropriately—particularly since freight costs are now in a bullwhip scenario similar to that of inventory just a few years ago.

Freight costs increased substantially four years ago during the global supply chain upheaval with shipboard containers backing up at ports and prices increasing 500% in just a few months. Two years later, based on a yo-yo of consumer shipping demand and numerous cartage companies overbuilding capacity, pricing crashes resulted in the demise of several major transport companies including the third largest LTL carrier in the US, Yellow Freight. Now, as the pendulum swings, freight costs are once again up significantly—particularly ocean containers from Asia to Europe as ships avoid the Suez Canal and attacks in the Red Sea, and from Asia to the east cost of the U.S. as a drought in Panama has limited passage through the canal to half normal.

So, how have YOU been managing the freight cost swings in your business? If it’s been a challenge, we have a suggestion to help, which requires three GL accounts.

  1. The first is a GL revenue account labelled “Outbound Freight Revenue” for the freight price you bill to your customers, separate from any product or service billing.
  2. The second is a GL COGS account labelled “Outbound Freight Cost” for only the cost of those shipments as billed by your shipper for shipping FROM YOU TO YOUR CUSTOMER. In the simplest scenario, you configure your AR Freight Codes to book the revenue to the dedicated income account and manually post your vendor AP invoices for only that outgoing freight to the Outbound Freight COGS. This will give at least a gross margin for your customer freight billings. But for a step beyondAcumatica has built-in integration to UPS/FedEx and AccountMate enjoys integration to ShipIt, both of which will record freight cost on a per-customer-invoice level for much improved analytical ability.
  3. The third is a GL COGS account labelled “Inbound Freight Cost” for only the cost of shipping goods TO YOU—being careful to keep this separate from your “Outbound Freight Cost” if you’re doing this manually via AP invoice entry. Of course, there’s always the option to implement the built-in Landed Cost functionality and fold your Inbound Freight Cost directly into the item cost itself—which many of our clients with significant shipping costs elect to do.

In summary, the rise/fall/rise of freight costs in the last few years has been a challenge for many of our clients. We want to be sure you’re aware of the existing system processes to provide the management focus that this now requires.

And, of course, we’re always standing by in the cornfields to chat!

Regards,

Kevin E. Stroud
kestrou@nexlan.com
NexLAN, LLC
https://nexlan.com

The New Acumatica 2024 R1: Video Training Event April 9 and 11

Twice a year Acumatica releases a new version, and 2024 R1 came out on March 20. As usual there are hundreds of large and small improvements across Acumatica and its industry editions.

The best way to get an overview of what’s new—and get inspired to start using some of the new features yourself—is to register for the one-hour video trainings for a “CliffNotes” version of the new features and benefits. The sessions will highlight key new features by providing a short intro to the context and workflow, then explain how the feature makes that process work better, followed by live Q&A.

If you can’t attend a session at the appointed hour, register and you’ll receive a link to the recording.

  • Core Features: April 9 11:00 CDT 
  • Retail Edition: April 9 12:00 CDT
  • Distribution Edition: April 9 1:00am CDT
  • Manufacturing Edition: April 11 12:00 CDT

To register, go here and click “Watch 2024 R1 Feature Review”

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Acumatica’s site has a list of Key New Features of 2024 R1. And here are just three of the many smaller-but-still-handy new things that caught our eye as well: You can now require approval and rejection reasons on additional finance-related forms such as Bills and Adjustments, Checks and Payments, and several more. For sales tax processing, you can use the new Avalara-integrated Exemption Certificate Management feature from within Acumatica for your customers’ tax exemptions. And when you receive credit card payments, you can now include Level 2 purchase data for your credit card processor, to reduce the Level 1 interchange rate that you’re paying.

If you’re on Acumatica’s Always Current Program, your system will upgrade to the new version within 60 days. Otherwise, we’ll be in touch about your next upgrade or you can reach out to us.

With Acumatica Attributes, It’s Easy to Add Custom Fields

Do you know about attributes? They are custom fields added to any of 100+ data-entry forms throughout the system, letting you capture and track something additional that’s specific or unique to your business.

Your Acumatica system certainly has attributes already, as we routinely add multiple fields during new system implementations. For example, an insurance company client has an added field named Loss Type with choices like Water Damage, to help them manage claims.

More attribute examples:

  • You might want to add yes/no checkboxes to mark which of your vendors are veteran-owned or minority-owned businesses to prioritize your purchases.
  • You could add an attribute to a group of your inventory items to select an item’s property such as color or finish, so that you can later run reports to assess which are best-sellers vs. poor sellers.
  • You may want a field that displays the warranty expiration date for a purchased item, so that your customer service reps can see this date instantly when discussing a warranty service request.

You choose the default value and the type of information for each attribute. You can even include combinations, allowing users to either pick from a list or type text; or select multiple options not just one. Attributes can be made optional or mandatory for the users who enter data into the form.

And attributes can be used for reporting, generic inquiries, and even on your dashboards for at-a-glance knowledge about your business.

No coding required

A user who’s been assigned the Customizer role will be capable of adding and managing attributes for your company. We can walk you through it, including some variations that depend upon which data entry form is selected.

Or NexLAN can set up a new attribute for you anytime, of course.

The point is, it’s not a daunting project to leverage this flexibility. You can feel empowered and encouraged to think about new custom fields to add to your Acumatica system, so that you can start tracking attribute data that will help your company better manage information specific to your business.

AccountMate’s Sales Order Configurator—It Might Blow Your Mind

Do you sell made-to-order products that give your customers numerous configurable options, like materials, sizes, add-on accessories, custom imprints, compatible parts, service contract term lengths, and more? You may have tens or hundreds of thousands of possible valid combinations across your product lines.

If so, the Sales Order Configurator Module will walk your customer service person or sales person through the available options during order entry, enforcing your ordering rules and pricing, so that ONLY VALID QUOTES AND ORDERS can be entered.

If you’ve been configuring these types of orders manually, the benefits of this automation can be mind-blowing!

  1. You’ll be able to quickly train new people to enter accurate orders. They won’t need years of experience to learn what can and cannot be built.
  2. You can enter and fulfill orders faster, without having to ask your engineers or product managers to review them to confirm that they’re valid.
  3. All of your pricing rules will be applied automatically to each configuration based on the options selected, also incorporating pricing factors like size, weight, and flat fees.
  4. You’ll stop having to tell customers that you made a mistake and you can’t build the version they asked for after all, or you quoted them the wrong price.

For example, an office furniture company might offer an L-shaped desk with an option to add two side-by-side filing cabinets for desks five feet or longer. But only one filing cabinet will fit under shorter desks. The Sales Order Configurator won’t display an option for two cabinets when a shorter desk is selected.

If your items have multiple-choice or complex configurations, then explore the capabilities of this module further:

Last Call: AccountMate Manufacturing Module Training—April 24-25

    You still have time to get in on the annual Manufacturing Module Training class being held at the end of this month. Master this module to add to your skills, and discover more features of the module that your company could apply to improve your workflow.

    Course Overview   |   Course Outline   |   Course Schedule

    The class is live, not prerecorded, held online for a three-hour session both days.

    To register, contact NexLAN.

    AccountMate Tech Notes: Recording Customer NSF Checks

    There are times when banks return customer checks, and do not honor them to pay off obligations to vendors, due to insufficient funds.

    These NSF (Not Sufficient Funds) checks require adjustments to bring the company’s customer accounts, vendor accounts, and other GL Account IDs to their correct balances. The steps to record these adjustments in AccountMate vary depending on the circumstances under which you receive information about the NSF check.

    Article #1103: How to Record Accounts Receivable Customer NSF Checks covers the different procedures for recording customer NSF checks.

    Article #1105: How to Record Accounts Payable NSF Checks covers—you guessed it— the different procedures for recording AP NSF checks in AccountMate.

    AccountMate Tech Note: Effects of Holding a Payment or Check in AccountMate

    The Accounts Payable (AP) module provides options for users to put a payment or check on hold. Holding a payment means that you cannot apply payment and you can neither print a computer check nor record a handwritten check transaction in AccountMate for an invoice. Holding a check labels the check transaction with an “on-hold check” status which you can later remove using the Release On-Hold Check function. The “on-hold check” status means that the check is still physically on hand though the check transaction is already recorded.

    Article #1121: Effects of Holding a Payment or Check in AccountMate explains how the different hold payment and hold check options affect the related Accounts Payable and Bank Reconciliation (BR) functions and the vendor balances. It also lists the reports that can be generated after holding payments or checks. 

    Acumatica Technical Tips

    Some Payments Aren’t Available for Bank Deposit

    Q: When I am trying to record my bank deposit on the Bank Deposits form, some of my payments are missing when I select Add Payment to Deposit on the screen. Why?

    A: There are two reasons why you may not see a payment available for your deposit. Your date range may not be large enough to display all available payments, or your payments have not been released. 

    You can expand the date range in the Payments tab in Add Payment to Deposit, by selecting Start Date and End Date and changing the dates. To release any payments, in the Receivables workspace, select Release AR Documents and release the payments you would like to record in your bank deposit.

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    Changing a Number’s Format in the Report Designer

    Q: I am creating a custom report using the Report Designer and would like to round the numbers to whole numbers and remove the decimals. How can I do that?

    A: In your formatting string you can replace ###,###,##0.00 with ###,###,##0.  This will round the numbers and remove the display of decimals. 

    The Acumatica Report Designer supports Microsoft .NET format syntax. If you want more details on available options for number formatting, see Microsoft’s online help, using custom numeric format strings.

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    How to Reclassify an Expense to a Different Project or Task

    Q: Is there a way to reclassify expenses (an AP bill) to a different project or task, without having to reverse the bill and re-enter it? For instance, we have an AP bill that was booked to Project ABC Task 123 and now need to move it to Task 456 or perhaps to Project DEF Task 123.

    A: Yes. The Project Transaction form allows you to reclassify an expense from one project or task to another. Use a negative transaction amount on the current project and a positive transaction amount on the new project. Leave the GL Debit and GL Credit accounts blank. Thus, this entry will not change the bill or the general ledger; it will change the project and task balances.

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    Send Invoices Automatically to More Than One Customer Contact

    Q. We have a business event that sends our customers a notification email when an invoice is created. One customer wants a duplicate email sent to a second person in their organization. How can we do this?

    A. For a single invoice, you can add multiple recipients to the To field in the email template attached to the business event. Or if the email will always go to the same two people for the customer’s invoices going forward, you can add multiple email addresses separated by semicolons (;) in the Email field on the customer’s Bill-To Info in the Billing tab.

    AccountMate Technical Tips

    What File Types Can I Use to Import a Physical Count?

    Versions: AM10 for SQL and Express (and higher versions)
    AccountMate 9 for LAN (and higher versions)

    Module: IC

    Q: What are the supported file types when you import physical counts?

    A: The Import Physical Count function supports the following file types:
    *.XLS/XLSX
    *.TXT (Encoding should be UTF-8)
    *.CSV (Comma delimited option)
    *.DBF (Database file)

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    What Are the “Adjusted Begin Balance” Entries That I’m Seeing in the GL Listing Report?

    Versions: AM10 for SQL and Express (and higher versions)
    AM 9 for LAN (and higher versions)

    Module: GL

    Q: Why am I seeing multiple entries in the General Ledger Listing report with a description of Adjusted Begin.Balance for XXXX (XXXX being the year)?

    A: The Adjusted Begin Balance for XXXX entries are the adjusting entries automatically created by AccountMate when you post transactions dated in the prior year. These entries were created to adjust the beginning balance recorded at the time fiscal year-end closing was performed to bring it to the true beginning balance considering the prior year’s entries.

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    Employee Maintenance Information Cannot Be Edited in These Conditions

    Versions: AM10 for SQL and Express (and higher versions)
    AM 9 for LAN (and higher versions)

    Module: PR

    TIP: AccountMate will not allow you to edit any employee information in the Employee Maintenance function if any of the following conditions is met:

    • You are currently recording an Apply Payroll/Payment transaction for the employee.
    • You are printing payroll checks using the Print Payroll Check function. The validation (lock) starts when the 2nd Print Payroll Check window is displayed.
    • You are posting After-the-Fact Payroll for the employee.
    • The current year W-2 information for the employee was updated using either the Current-Year W-2 Information Update or the W-2 Information Batch Update function.

    Notes:

    • If the current year W-2 was updated and saved, it must be deleted. To do so, access the Current-Year W-2 Information Update function, enter the Employee # for whom you must delete the W-2, and click Delete.
    • Update the employee’s W-2 only after all payroll transactions for the applicable tax year have been recorded or immediately before you print the W-2 forms.

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    Changing the Average Cost of an Inventory Item That’s Not Set to Update On-Hand

    Versions: AM10 for SQL and Express (and higher versions)

    Modules: AR, IC, MI, SO, PO, RA, RV

    Q: I want to change the average cost of an item that is not set to update on-hand quantity and for which the cost method is average. How can I do this?

    A: You can change the average cost of an inventory item not set to update on-hand using either of these options:

    Option 1: Through the Inventory Maintenance function (click the first screenshot below), amend the average cost value in the Inventory Maintenance ► Settings (1) ► Average Cost field. Click the Update button to save your changes.

    Option 2: Through the Inventory Adjustment function (click the second screenshot below).

    If this option is selected, perform the following:

    1. Access the Inventory Adjustment function in Maintenance.
    2. Enter the Item #.
    3. Enter the new unit cost in the Unit Cost ► Adjustment field (the default unit cost is the existing average cost).
    4. Enter a Remark and click Save.

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