Sunday, June 19th – Father’s Day.. It has got me thinking about all business ideas and philosophies I learned from my entrepreneurial father. He was quite the business man. He had apartment buildings, a food brokerage firm and a couple of manufacturing companies. But somewhere along the way he lost his mind. No, I mean he literally lost his mind. You see my father has Alzheimer’s. So what does this have to do with Visual ERP and Costing tools?
Well, my Dad’s favorite number – 7. So I thought as I tribute to him, I would provide my top 7 questions about Costing Tools. He does get a kick out of it when I mention him in my blogs. His name is Ted. You could have seen him as one of thea characters in some of my blogs. So here you go Dad.
7. Costing What?
When I ask my clients “Do you run Costing Tools?” I sometimes get the response, “We run Costing Utilities every day.” I have to reply, that is great but there is another program in Visual ERP called “Costing Tools”. If you are not running it, you should be. It plays an important role for costing, inventory and WIP reconciliations.
6. What Does Costing Tools Do?
Costing Tools compares the values from the manufacturing side to the amounts posted to the General Ledger. The purpose is to keep the 2 sides in sync.
5. How often should I run Costing Tools?
I would recommend running the Cost Analysis Tools, which is the main screen of Costing Tools, at least once per month. Run it a day or 2 before month-end so that you can identify and eliminate exceptions before the month-end crunch.
4. How do I run Costing Tools?
Go to Admin, Costing Tools. The main screen will show Purchases.
A. Ensure the date is the current month.
B. Click on Run (2nd icon)
C. Once you have the list – send to Excel by going to File – Send to MS Excel.
D. A first step is to set the Posting Candidate to Y and rerun Costing Utilities. This may eliminate the exceptions but depending on the situation. If the exception is not eliminated there is more work to be done. But I will save this for another day.
E. Repeat for each journal type. WIP, FG, Shipments, Adjustments, Indirect Labor & WIP Balance.
3. Does the Costing Tools Window do anything else?
This window is full of cool stuff. There are reports and utilities. The reports shows the FIFO layers behind customer orders &/or parts. The utilities can fix WIP & Inventory Balance Reports as well as the FIFO layers. There is even a utility to update standard costs.
2. Costing Tools sounds scary. Can I do any harm?
There are couple of cautions.
If you have not run them before you might be fixing old problems that you weren’t aware of. I would recommend that you run these tools and fixes in a copy of the database before you run in your live database. This provides the benefits of:
· It gives you an opportunity to become more familiar with the fix tools without messing up your live environment.
· You will have an idea of the expected financial impact. And
· You will be able to assess the amount of time it will take to run the fix tools & costing utilities. (Had a client recently run a fix and then costing ran for over a day. Thank goodness it wasn’t month-end.)
The other caution is using the Prep Journal button. If the manufacturing journals have already been created for the current month then you can use it. If the journals have not been created, using this Prep Journal button will can end up eliminating eliminate some of the records from the WIP Balance & Inventory Balance reports.
1. We have been running Visual ERP for many years and now it takes a LOOOOONG time to run Costing Tools. Is there any way to stop Visual from looking at the old transactions?
There is no beginning date setting for Costing Tools, however if you use sequential order numbers there is a way. Put in a beginning order ID that is 6 months to a year old. You can find this by running the Inventory Transactions for each Order Type (Purchases, Work Order and Customer Orders). For adjustment, obtain the transaction ID from about a year ago. But Put these numbers in the beginning order or transaction ID. Then click on the run button and Visual will only be looking at more recent orders and transactions. This should cut down the time significantly.
So this weekend, don’t spend your time running Costing Tools. Spend your time with your father.
Happy Father’s Day Dad.