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What’s New in 4castplus – April 11 – May 02, 2016

In addition to numerous enhancements and updates of current modules, we’ve added key new features including:

  1. Flex Codes
  2. Offline version of the Daily Jobsite Timesheet
  3. A new Services resource database
  4. Contracts area in Procurement
  5. Vendor Rate Tables
  6. Taxes and Expenses updated

That’s just a few of the new features – please keep reading to discover more and learn how to find these new & enhanced capabilities. As always, we’re eager to hear your feedback so feel free to contact us to discuss any of these updates.

AREA: Cost Codes

NEW: Flex Codes

The new Flex Codes feature enables you to pre-configure a look-up table of code values that can be selected from at the time of entry for any timesheet transaction. A flex code is a special type of cost code that can be configured as part of your Cost Breakdown Structure. Unlike other codes however, a flex code’s value is not entered as part of the CBS – instead, it’s selected later when the user is entering time, equipment, materials or other expenses into one of the timesheet modules. You can think of Flex Codes as being a dynamic coding method as compared to regular cost codes as being static.
Click on the screenshot to the right for location and a glimpse into the configuration flex codes.
Project codes for controls

AREA: Procurement

NEW: Contracts

There is now a Contracts area in Procurement which enables you to create term-based contracts such as Master Service Agreements you have with vendors. You can set a start/end date for the contract, upload documents associated to the contract, and attach the vendor’s rate table. Once you have a contract established for a vendor, you can associate that contract with one or more purchase orders.
Click on the screenshot to the right for location and a glimpse into the configuration flex codes.
Procurement Contracts

NEW: Vendor Rate Tables

You can now create one or more rate tables associated to a vendor. These rate tables are used by the contracts area in procurement to set the standard rates for that contract.
The next phase of this feature will include the ability to associate Vendor Rate Tables with the existing Third Party expenses entry.

NEW: Vendor Resources

You can now configure a full suite of labor, equipment, materials, expenses and subcontractor resources for each vendor. Each resource can also be assigned a resource class. The end purpose for this capability will be to enable users to track vendor daily costs by named resource. This feature has no impact on use of vendor labor resources as “Contacts”, as used in procurement.
Vendor Resource libraries

AREA: Construction Management

New Desktop Version of the Daily Jobsite Timesheet for Disconnected Workers

There is now a desktop version of the Jobsite Timesheet that enables users to capture daily field costs & activities in a ‘disconnected’ mode, to be synchronized later when an internet connection is available. This desktop version provides all the same functionality and similar interface to the cloud version, but includes extra administration tools for reserving, checking-out and synchronizing the data. Site personnel can still produce a Daily Field Report. To coincide with this, there is additionally a scheduling tool under the Project Management tab that allows office users to assign and reserve the Jobsite Timesheet to site users.

AREA: Financial

Taxes and Expenses Enhancement

Tax Types have been updated to allow you to indicate whether a Tax Type is a ‘reimbursable’ tax type (and not included in project cost) or is non-reimbursable (and included in project cost). Similarly, the Expense entry module has been updated to allow you to indicate if an Expense resource is ‘taxable’. If taxable, when creating your Expense Timesheet, you will be able to enter in the Pre-Tax value of your Expense, select the applicable Tax Type to apply to your Expense entry and have the system handle the allocation of any portion of tax to your Project Cost. The Expense Report has been updated to provide clear visibility and coding into your full Expense cost, including Taxes.

Enhanced Data Controls

For those customers wishing to apply strong data controls: Business Dimension, Project Type and Project Geography now have optional ‘mandatory’ data content controls added.  Additionally, Internal Comments can now be configured with the mandatory setting as well.  Ensure that your projects are consistently captured with required data fields by enabling the mandatory setting in Configuration > Manage Codes & Fields.

Enhanced Period Close Financial Control

This release includes an enhancement to Period Close to allow the Close of a Timesheet while Approvals are still in progress (My Timesheet and Jobsite Timesheet).

Enhanced Vendor Invoice Matching & Adjustments

  1. Labor Contractor entries created in Adjustments are now available for selection in Vendor Invoice Matching
  2. Asset Tag has been added to the ‘New’ Equipment feature in Adjustments

Enhancements to Approvals

My Timesheet Approvals now have the ability to edit both Internal and External Comments, rather than Rejecting and sending back to the timesheet owner for edit, or Approving and editing in Administration.

AREA: Reporting

NEW: Resource Variance Report

Another high demand request, we are pleased to release the Resource Variance Report. This report provides additional detailed perspective of your project variances by resource class. This is a canned report that enables you to view your overall project and work package variances, but also includes the resource-level variances beneath the workpackage. Available in projects currently, but soon to also be available in Business Intelligence – which will allow you to view variances across all or specific projects, customers, vendors, etc. This is an Excel-based report. See the screenshot to the right for location of the report.
Project variance report

Enhancement to Jobsite LEM Report Designer

The LEM Report designer allows you to customize your Daily Field Report to be tailored to your exact requirements. The following reporting enhancements have been added to the Jobsite LEM Designer:

  • Print Preview templates and Share with one or more projects
  • Adjustment transactions (Original, Reversal and final Adjustment) have been re-labelled
  • Updates to the Progress Section to show Daily Quantity
  • Addition of Day Total for selection as a report field
  • Fix of display issue when cell content is wrapped
  • Suppression of Labor Expense Billable Value and/or Rate when = $.00
  • Ability to edit Section Level Total labels
  • Addition of WBS # as a field in LEM, Expenses, Third Party and Progress sections

Business Intelligence Reporting enhancements

  • Internal Comments have now been added to Business Intelligence All Project Details
  • The Business Intelligence License Profile has been updated to include the ability to configure Cost, Revenue and/or Hour Views accordingly in all Detail Reports
  • Asset Tag has been added to the Billing AR Transactions columns and Custom Reports > Billing Transactions datasets

More New Data Fields and Reports

  • Internal Comments have been added to Project Details report and the Comments column renamed to External Comments
  • Discount & Surcharge data fields have been added to Custom Billing Transaction Reports for you to include on your Invoicing Templates
  • Cost Code column is now available in Jobsite Timesheet > Field Receiving
  • Services-related Vendors that were formerly in the Labor database have now been relocated to the Services Resources database

NEW: Service Resources

This release introduces a new resource type – Services. A Service is a special resource type that enables you to store, classify and manage commonly used services that you contract out to vendors. Previously managed as part of the Labor resource type database, this resource type is managed separately in Configuration. While there is no change in how Services are selected for inclusion in Procurement, Jobsite Third Party or Vendor Third Party, Services can now be estimated separately in Project Estimating. You can define services in configuration (see screenshot to the right), or in Procurement and in Estimating.
Contracted Services

Usability Improvements

  • The Project tree search field has been expanded to allow you to search not just by Project Name and/or Code, but by Program Name and Program Code as well. It has also been updated to provide for a ‘contains’ search.
  • The Timesheet Type filter in Approvals > Timesheet Administration and the Estimate > Resource Report now have ‘sticky’ functionality to remember your last selection
  • The Resource Class selection workflow in Configuration > Resources > Services has been updated to allow for mass selection of Resource Classes
  • A ‘Show/Hide Reversal’ option has been provided in Project Details & BI > All Project Details to allow you to suppress the display of Original and Reversal entries, with only the final Adjustment entry displayed

New Downloads Area

The 4castplus Live Link applications for MS Project and QuickBooks, as well as the download to the new Offline Jobsite Timesheet, have been relocated in a new Downloads area in the upper right hand corner of the 4castplus interface.

If you want to learn more about this software upgrade and more – and we hope you do – please feel free to email us at info@4castplus.com. Or, if you’ve landed on this page and you’re not already a customer, here’s where you can sign up for a free live demo of 4castplus.