Archive for August, 2014

Why plan the balance sheet? – cashflow!

August 5th, 2014

Most companies only plan the P&L, so why plan the balance sheet?

• Projected ratios for covenant purposes
• Asset/Liability planning for revenue and expense calculations (interest, depreciation, etc.)
• One of the main reasons is cash 

Companies that plan their Balance sheet often do it because they want to know their projected cash flow position in any given period (liquidity, solvency, need for additional borrowing, capital injection, etc.

Traditional Approach Methods
• Basic Data Entry
• Ratios

Direct Approach Methods
• Basic Data Entry
• Detailed bottom-up Cash Flow Approach

Problems with the traditional method
• The Balance Sheet is an afterthought
• No detailed explanation for changes in account balances and cash (i.e. no linkage between P&L and BS)
• Indirect Cash Flow Statement doesn’t provide much insight into operations
• No collection of data from operational areas of the company

Data Entry – Direct Approach
• Create 2 nd set of Direct Cash Flow Accounts that mimics P&L
• Have users enter P&L and Cash Flow Data by account
• Create calculation logic to drive balance sheet accounts (excess of revenue over cash receipts increases the A/R balance, excess of expenses over cash disbursements increases A/P balance)

Data Entry – Direct Approach 
• Provides greater linkage between P&L and BS
• Cash is no longer a plug but driven directly off cash flow inputs
• Inputs from operational areas of the company
• More calculation logic required to be set up and maintained
• Potentially large number of additional accounts are required
• Additional training and data entry effort required from end users
• Could be difficult for end users to track cash infows/outflows

History of Detailed Planning Manager
• Traditionally only used for Personnel Planning but expanded for more uses (CAPEX, Sales, etc.)
• Powerful calculation engine that allows you to model in a variety of ways
• And even more! You can incorporate BS and CF elements into your different models

Detailed Direct Approach
• Provides great linkage between P&L, BS and CF
• Easier for end-users to understand and less prone to errors (users just need to select payment terms
and selections are limited)
• Greater insight into data and ability for sensitivity analysis for better decision making
• More calculation logic required to be set up and maintained
• Potentially large number of additional accounts are required
• Additional effort required from Admin

Don’t necessarily have to pick a single approach, can use a combination – Not every account can be/needs to be planned using a direct approach (e.g. long term loans, share capital, prepaid expenses, or accounts that are centrally planned)

Payroll Fact Sheet – Dynamics Ax 2012 R3 – localised for U.A.E and G.C.C

August 4th, 2014

The Payroll module is customized within Dynamics Ax for Gulf countries and is fully integrated with Dynamics Ax Human Resources, Self Service Portal and Finance modules.

• Define employee payment details in recruitment module during offer letter
• Define entitlements: either for all employees, or for a group of employees
• For an individual employee define (annual leave days, carry forward days, air ticket frequency, number of tickets, gratuity rules, bonus rules)
• Define salary components for: either all employees, a group of employees, or for individual employee.
• Define each component in any currency and this can be a different currency for each component.
• Employees request/record leaves\vacations and absences with workflow approvals
• Loans and advances, and recoveries
• Pension/Gosi calculation
• Gratuity accrual/payment rules can be easily defined
• Labour law rules can be easily defined, e.g. days of sick leave fully paid in each service year
• Define Air ticket entitlement definition, accrual and payment
• Payroll calculation is based on a timesheet. Create a working time sheet based on shifts, leaves and absences
• Payroll ad-hoc additions\deductions can be uploaded from an Excel file
• Create payroll journals and post to finance module
• Reporting – Synergy’s ‘out of the box’ report pack for payroll reports .
• A cube for Power BI analysis
• Wage protection system (WPS) file generation if required (non-free zone U.A.E. companies. (The WPS requirement is expected to be introduced across the Gulf in future. These files can be encrypted.)
• Bank transfer file
• Close payroll period
• Standard features include export to Excel; ability to import from Excel file salary components (for example, company wide change of basic pay once in a year) or to import timesheet details, document attachments).
• Employees self-service to apply for leave and to see pay slips in enterprise portal
• HR Enhancements e.g.: Personal Identification documents details, Arabic fields, personnel thumbnails

Dynamics Ax 2012 R3 Payroll – localised for G.C.C. – Synergy Software Systems, Dubai

August 4th, 2014

Synergy Software Systems is the oldest Dynamics Ax partner in the region (since Ax version 2.5) and is the regional member for Ax Pact, and is also on the Microsoft Council.

We have provided advanced HR and Payroll solutions with integrated T@A across the region. Our Customers include mutli-nationals with complex shifts and payroll calculations in industries like: Oil and Gas, Retail, Construction, Hospitality.

In Dynamics Ax 2012 the AOS server license now included for the first time: HR modules the ESS portal, Timesheet booking, and Expense Management , Questionnaire module and Case management.

At the same time the cost of adding employee records was dropped and the development sdks for both X++and ESS are included., This is both a major cost reduction and increase in functionality for new customers or for those upgrading.

Dynamics Ax 2012 HR is now a cost effective, feature rich, compelling proposition either as part of an integrated erp solution or as a standalone system.

The HR module has also been more tightly integrated with Production shop floor control, and Project Accounting to support skill and calendar based employee scheduling.

Globally the statutory requirements for HR and Payroll differ widely e.g. taxation, visas, pension and gratuity rules. Company policies and practices also differ with incentives, bonuses and allowances.

Historically we have implemented specialist solutions integrated to Ax – partly for functionality, partly due to cost.

Previously few Ax consultants have had much exposure to HR modules because few customers felt the investment was worthwhile. Synergy however implemented Dynamics Ax HR for global companies in both Ax 4, and Ax 2009. We have also implemented stand alone specialist HR and Payroll solutions and advanced T@A solutions for more than a decade.

There are many Ax payroll solutions in the market (but few successfully implemented) so why Synergy Software Systems?

We have not based our solution on trying to rework a USA system . We have built it bottom up from long years of local experience of the requirements.

We have looked at many Ax partner offerings and they all lack what we consider essential features for this market, particularly for project based and shift based operations. Ash for example whether it supports multi-currency, or rostering. Our solution is built, and supported by seasoned professionals with around 6 man years of effort .

Contact Bikram for more information:


Dynamics Ax 2012 R3 Retail in action

August 3rd, 2014

See the powerful capabilities of the Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail solution in a live POS station environment

Watch walk through scenarios a retailer may experience day-to-day with customers. See:
- a touchscreen point of sale with a barcode scanner,
- a receipt printer, a line display,
- a cash drawer in action.

Many features of Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail demonstrated such as:

- Ability to locate inventory from the store no matter where the product is actually located.
- Process data on a global level and make it available to local retail stores
- Purchase and process gift cards
- Ability to track and manage purchases made by loyal customers
- Ability to manage customer returns

Dubai Construction – BIM mandate – Synergy Software Solutions, Dubai, has the answer

August 2nd, 2014

We introduced BIM to the region back in 2008.

Dubai Municipality has mandated the use of BIM for architectural and MEP works for :
According to this important document (number 196 – dated Nov 18, 2013), Dubai’s Municipality formally informs all design and construction companies operating in Dubai that it has decided to mandate/dictate BIM for architectural and MEP works for
(a) all buildings 40 stories or higher;
(b) facilities/buildings that are 300,000 sqft or larger;
(c) all hospitals, universities and other similarly specialized buildings; and
(d) all buildings that are being delivered by/through an international party.

The announcement also states that this decision to mandate BIM is based on the (proven) ability of BIM tools and workflows in improving construction quality, enabling collaboration between project participants across project phases, lowering costs, reducing time, unifying specifications/standards, facilitating QTO and cost planning.

It also stated that this decision is preliminary – stage 1 to come into force on January 1, 2014. Finally, the document states that consultants – architects, engineers and similar,( no mention of contractors) – are legally responsible to fulfil this dictate.

Dubai’s BIM mandate comes in the wake of increasing global adoption of BIM.
- – The EU made BIM a mandate in January 2014.
- In Singapore, BIM is mandatory for all public housing projects.
- IN U.K. government contracts will mandate BIM from 2016
- It has had widespread adoption in Scandinavia and the USA for many years.

Once International Construction companies adopt BIM in one country they will soon rollout to other countries and that factor will also force an increase adoption here by all contractors, architects etc.

Construction is one of the few industries where productivity has decreased almost year on year for the last 40 years. More congested cities. tighter planning and Health and Safety legislation may be contributing factors but the low adoption of enterprise IT relative to other industries is the major factor. This reflects an industry that often thinks on a project basis, and this has a high labour turnover which discourages long term investments and training. This e with longer term vision are reaping the rewards of BIM.

Design out mistakes before they reach site, integrate plans across the supply chain, and the savings are obvious yet BIM offers much more. Collaboration from the outset between all of the design disciplines – the client, contractor, specialists and suppliers – is fundamental to ensuring the best design, construction and operating solution and the BIM models and BIM workflows help to achieved this “right first time”.

According to the 2012 McGraw Hill North America BIM SmartMarket Report, the percentage of companies using BIM jumped from 17 per cent in 2007 to 49 per cent in 2009 and to 71 per cent in North America 2012 with 74 per cent of contractors now using BIM compared to 70 per cent of architects.

BIM solutions were used in iconic projects such as Shanghai Tower in China, Freedom Tower in New York. However BIM has also been successful in recent regional projects of various scale and size such as::
- the King Abdullah Sports City complex in Jeddah,
- Masdar’s headquarters at Masdar City,
- Al-Mafraq hospital in Abu Dhabi,
- the Midfield Terminal Building – Abu Dhabi International Airport (MTB-ADIA),
- the museum projects at Sadiyaat island

In all projects BIM adoption ensures that projects are completed more quickly, more accurately, more safely and at less cost than comparable non-BIM projects. A recent study from McGraw-Hill Construction found that BIM adoption is growing dramatically by contractors and that more investment is planned.

Two UK academics, Prof Nashwan Dawood and Dr Mohamad Kassem from Teesside University, have been awarded a grant of $940,000 to lead a research project aimed at developing “a whole life cycle information flow approach enabled by BIM protocols and technologies” for Qatar’s construction industry. The two UK academics will work with Qatar University and HOCHTIEF ViCon to deliver the project. The project research team has been collecting data and interviewing engineers and project managers on some of the major projects underway for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The project will seek to identify the root-causes of poor information flows and the approach undertaken will be industry and client-led. There is an ambition to develop Qatar as the centre of excellence in the Gulf for advances in the management of information in construction projects.

A recent NBS BIM survey, reveals that 95% of construction professionals are now aware of BIM and usage among those professionals will jump from 54% to 93% within three years. However a recent ITP BIM breakfast meeting few attendees were willing to raise their hands to indicate that they had a full understanding of BIM.

Contractors, who particularly benefit from BIM, are beginning to insist that their consultants — including architects — must also work with BIM. This trend will accelerate due to government pressure to reduce costs, and energy consumption and to improve health and safety, and on-time completion and competitive pressure will force smaller contractors to adopt BIM. Many of those contractors will similarly insist that their supply chains also use BIM.

There is the feeling in Dubai that after years of fairly lax regulation on project management – which had undoubtedly resulted in a large amount of substandard projects, not to mention delays and budget overspends – the use of BIM can only serve to benefit Dubai’s construction industry

Understandably many are put off BIM adoption because of the anticipated costs, or perceived complex technology issues and the culture change needed to maximise the benefits. So ask about our AEC Construction solution that is an end to end solution that also encompasses estimation tendering and operations as well as BIM and at an affordable price with fast deployment.

The Solution

1. The construction industry needs integrated system support for challenging processes from project bidding to completion and client billing with dynamic project cost and time analytics to support a timely, high quality, decision making process.
2. To take control of the project management and stabilize the business you need controls and accountability around the clock.
3. AEC Engineering Apps, integrated with: Auto CAD, STAAD Pro and Microsoft Project facilitates the full construction lifecycle: plan, estimate, budget, and schedule, design and execute your projects with works accounting.
4. Rapidly make world class Bar Bending Schedules and designs.
Don’t take our word for it try a LIVE Trial on any of our 11 modules at
5. AEC’s proven applications help you to undertake the key construction business functions: drawings, planning, budgeting, procurement, inventory, equipment management and operations.

Find out for yourself – call Yudhi – 0097143365589

Windows “Threshold”

August 2nd, 2014

A recent update on product Direction in the Redmond Channel partner site said that
“Threshold” is the internal code name for an update wave Microsoft is rumored to be developing for: Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox One.

Threshold is slated to have an April 2015 release

“If all goes according to early plans, Threshold will include updates to all three OS platforms (Xbox One, Windows and Windows Phone) that will advance them in a way to share even more common elements.”

Threshold is expected to have three SKUs.
•”Modern Consumer SKU: A frequently updated WinRT operating system supporting ‘modern’ or Windows Store Apps on but not focused on Win32 ‘legacy’ apps.

•”Traditional Consumer SKU: A frequently updated operating system optimized to support the use of a keyboard and mouse combination.

•”Traditional Enterprise SKU: A traditional desktop OS capable of running Windows Store Apps that will only be offered to organizations opting for volume licensing.”

It seems likely that Threshold will officially be called “Windows 9″ . We anticipate the return of the Start menu, and the ability to run Windows Store apps ( “Metro” apps) inside Windows on the desktop.