Month-end for any financial professional is the most stressful period, and the finance department of any ad agency is no exception. Especially if it works in an agency that’s part of one of the networks that has tight deadlines to meet. The team has to:
- Chase missing timesheets and expenses
- Register all the AP invoices
- Accrue costs for invoices that are not received
And this is all before they start to recognize revenue. This is typically done manually, which is time-consuming and inefficient when agencies are not using a software like Deltek WorkBook.
We call every month-end hour a “golden hour.” This is because an hour saved during month-end can be the difference between meeting the reporting deadline or not.
Enter WorkBook by Deltek
With the above in mind, let’s have a look at month-end best practices using Deltek WorkBook. These are best practices for any ad agency, whether it uses Deltek’s agency management system or not. It just happens that this is all neatly managed in the software to make it fast and efficient. Let’s look at the main parts of the process.
Managing time & expenses in Deltek WorkBook
The first thing that the finance team does is try and make sure that all time & expenses are registered so that they can ensure that WIP is correct, and that revenue can be recognized properly. The best way to manage that is to ensure that staff complete timesheets regularly, preferably daily. This video will show you how easy it is to enter time in WorkBook.
WorkBook will send regular reminders to users who have not completed timesheets to facilitate this. It makes it super easy for the users to enter time directly in the reminder without having to go to the timesheet itself.
If the agency is super strict about timesheet completion, they can even configure the system to prevent the users from doing anything until they have completed their timesheet!
Similar notifications are sent to users and approvers of incomplete expense sheets and mileage reimbursement sheets.
Finally, the finance department also has complete visibility of outstanding time and expenses so that they can chase up any stragglers.
Purchase Orders (POs) & AP invoices in WorkBook
Many agencies are reluctant to use POs because they feel that they are an unnecessary administrative task. They don’t think that it adds a lot of value, but that’s probably because they are not using a software solution that’s designed specifically for ad agencies.
For example, using a tool like WorkBook it is possible to:
- Generate the PO directly from the client estimate. This means that the PM or the account manager has immediate visibility of the expected costs as well as actual costs.
- Use online approvals to make sure that the right person approves the PO. No more chasing documents around the office.
- Enter AP invoices against the PO so that they are prepopulated with the PO details. This saves time and reduces data entry errors.
- Review open POs at the end of the month and accrue them if necessary. The agency can decide if this is done manually or automatically.
As far as AP invoices are concerned, these can also be imported from an email address together with the attachment, so data entry is accelerated. WorkBook can also be easily configured to import invoices from 3rd party tools.
Revenue Recognition in WorkBook
Let’s face it, this is one of the biggest challenges for the finance department of any ad agency. That’s because the only people that really can tell you the percentage of completion of a project are the project managers. The problem is that it’s difficult to get time with them to run through their projects at the end of the month, right?
Not with Deltek’s WorkBook. The system can be configured to run the “Monthly WIP Adjustments.” This is a list of all the projects with their estimates, the time and expenses posted to them, and a suggested percentage of completion. The system creates a notification to go to all the project managers with a list of their projects so that they can adjust the percentages as needed. Like timesheets and other notifications, this is all done in the notification.
The system even has approval hierarchies to prevent any unapproved major write-ups or write-downs.
Every agency has (or should have) a checklist to make sure that nothing has been missed in the month-end process. That is usually a spreadsheet that’s managed “offline.”
That’s not the case in WorkBook. The agency creates a standard template checklist in WorkBook. The finance team then generates a new checklist every month and they work through it in the system. All relevant documentation is stored with each item as it’s ticked off so it is easy to refer to and can be audited. The team works on the list together and everyone is working on the same document, so nothing is missed.
The importance of agency software
Hopefully, you are starting to see why it’s so important to have a software solution designed specifically for ad agencies. Every agency must do all the above, but the question is do they do it in the system or on spreadsheets?
We have just scratched with the above because we have not covered
- Bank reconciliations
- Billing Schedules
- Closing old “overdue” projects
- Reporting & Forecasting
This is all done in WorkBook.
Your agency’s month-end can be quick and efficient if you are using the right software. It will save many of those golden hours that were mentioned above.
That means less stress for the finance team, and fewer long days during the month-end. More importantly, it means that they can spend time doing the true value-added work of analyzing the agency’s performance.
Ad Agency software solutions: Best of Breed vs All in One
The market of project management tools for agencies has exploded and there are now a lot of choices.
Why do we say WorkBook is built for Agencies?
We created AgencySoft because we wanted to source the best software solutions for advertising agencies. That’s because we saw that a lot of solutions that
The agency ‘holy grail’ – profitably estimating projects
Let’s face it, one of the biggest challenges agencies face is profitably estimating projects. Clients are demanding more work for less and the days of