INITIAL VS. CURRENT BUDGET
ARMS tracks 2 sets of budget numbers (Initial and Current). Why does ARMS track 2 budgets? The Initial Budget reflects the original or agreed upon budget for the year. Once this amount is agreed upon, we “LOCK” the Initial Budget so it cannot be altered. This way it always reflects the agreed upon annual budget. However, you CAN modify the Current Budget as plans for the year change. Reports in ARMS can then be run using the Initial or Current Budget.
Does the Annual SOW submission and Individual Tactical submissions pull the information from the same Budget field? No, the Annual SOW submission pulls the budget from the Initial Budget while the Individual tactical estimate submissions pull data from the Current Budget.
Once the Initial Budget is locked, can it be “Unlocked”? Yes, the Initial Budget can be unlocked but we need the OK of the Client and the understanding that the formerly agreed upon Blanket PO or Annual Budget will be changing. Please contact WMS if you need the Annual SOW resubmitted and we will unlock the Initial Budget.
Assuming we have followed the process and have been modifying the Current Budget. It is now time to Resubmit a New Annual SOW so the Annual PO can be altered. Is there a quick way to make the Initial Budget = the Current Budget or do I have to do it person by person, one tactic at a time? Yes, please contact WMS. We have a way to quickly change the Initial Budget to be exactly the same as the Current Budget with the click of a button. But it is not an action we take lightly. So please give us a call to make sure this is the desired action.
Can I compare the Initial Budget vs. the Current Budget? Yes, just go to the Reporting section in ARMS and run an Initial Budget vs. Current Budget report.
What do I do if the Current Budget is greater than the Initial Budget? At Submission of the Annual SOW, the Initial and Current Budgets will be identical. In time, the Current budget will change as you revise the Current Budgets to reflect reality. If you do not get an increase in the Annual Budget, then you need to go into ARMS and reduce the Current Budget of some projects, in order to bring the Current Budget in Line with the Initial Budget. “Robbing Peter to pay Paul”.
DATA CAPTURED IN ARMS
What data is captured in ARMS? In addition to the Initial and Current Budgets, we also capture Actual Hours ($) by person, OOP $ by Project and Invoiced $.
How do we get the actuals into ARMS? The actuals are provided to Wanamaker as Excel files (Hours, OOPs, Invoice $) or PDF Invoices. We then upload the files into ARMS. If the Invoices are provided as PDFs to us, then those are added in manually.
Who supplies the actuals and where do they come from?
ANNUAL SOW vs. INDIVIDUAL TACTICAL ESTIMATE SUBMISSIONS
What is the difference between an Annual SOW and an Individual Tactical Estimate submission? The Annual SOW is a compilation of all the planned tactics for the fiscal year. Typically they comprise 20 – 30 tactics or more. In essence, all jobs that will impact the annual fiscal year budget.
Will the Project Owner be notified of the submission? Yes, the Project Owner will be notified via email automatically once you submit the Annual SOW or Individual Tactical Estimate.
Can I attach an additional file to the submission? Yes, but only as a PDF file.
Will I be notified once the Project Owner Approves or Not Approves the submission? If you are the Agency Submitter, then you will be notified automatically via email when the Client Project Owner takes an action on the submission. Keep in mind, that at any point you can go into ARMS and review the status of ALL submissions.
Does Approval in ARMS mean you now have an Approved Purchase Order from the client? No, the client will use the submission from ARMS as the documentation to open a Purchase Order in their respective financial system.
If we submit an Annual SOW, do we still need to submit Individual Tactical Estimate Submissions? Yes, even though you have submitted the Annual SOW (and it is approved) you are still required to submit each individual tactical estimate. The budget amount may be exactly the same at the time of submission of the Annual SOW, it may be different or even totally new.
The roles (titles) and rates in ARMS should be identical to those in our Agency Cost Accounting System. How do I find out if the roles and rates are the same? Go to the Personnel/Summary tab in ARMS. You can view all the roles/rates and effective dates of the rates.
The Agency personnel in ARMS should be assigned to the same role/rate as in our Agency Cost Accounting System. How do I find out if the Agency personnel are assigned to the correct role/rate? Go to the Personnel/Agency Staff tab in ARMS. You can now view the role/rate that each employee is assigned to.
If an Agency employee leaves the Agency, can they be deleted from the system or some other mechanism so they do not appear as a choice in the staffing list? ARMS will not allow you to delete a person if they are assigned to any projects. That is a precaution to prevent the elimination of any budget or actual data. However, the person can be inactivated. This way their data is preserved but going forward, they will not appear as an option in the Agency Staff list. Simply click on the Edit checkmark for that employee (Personnel/Agency Staff), then click Inactive and Update.
If an Agency employee changes roles, how is that handled in ARMS? This is a little more complicated only because the timing needs to be correct. It is best to contact Wanamaker and we will take care of it.
If the rates per role change, how is that handled in ARMS? You do not have the capability to modify the rates in ARMS. However, we at Wanamaker can do so very easily. We need to be informed of the new rates for each role and their respective effective dates. We also need to approval of the Client.
If an Agency Employee was mistakenly assigned to a wrong role is there a way to “Swap” all the hours (budget and actuals) for the Employee into the correct role? If you were to do this you would have to do it one project at a time. Very time consuming. We have a Staff Replacement Capability that allows us to do a wholesale swap of one person for another for all or some of the projects. So if this is needed, please contact us.
Can an Agency Employee be assigned to 2 different roles/rates? Typically, NO. Unless you have different Employee IDs for the same person in the different roles.
If we have a new Agency Employee, how are they added into ARMS? Simply go into ARMS (Personnel/Agency Staff), find the role from the drop down, type in their Name and Employee ID and click ADD.
What is the process for adding a new role/rate into ARMS? Inform us of the New role/rate with the approval of the client we can add into ARMS.
Can I paste the Agency Staff list into Excel? To copy this list into Excel, highlight the area, then Copy – Paste Special into Excel
Is there a way to DELETE an existing Project Estimate? Yes there is. However, that is not a capability we allow for the Agency or Project Owners. We at Wanamaker can delete a job once we have verified that it does not have a Submitted Estimate, Initial Budget or any actuals.
Can a submitted estimate or Annual SOW be altered? No, the system makes an image of the submission at that point in time. It cannot be altered. But revised estimates or Annual SOWs can be submitted.
If I inadvertently submit an Estimate, can it be removed from the system? Yes, we at Wanamaker can delete a submitted estimate. But we need to talk to you to verify why this needs to be done. Sometimes the Agency submitter inadvertently submits the same estimate twice.
Is there a way to easily change the Current Budget to reflect the Actuals once the job is finished? Yes, but care needs to be taken that we at Wanamaker have received all the final billed data and have entered that information into ARMS. The purpose of this action is to make the Current Budget identical to the Actuals (across years). This action should ONLY be done if instructed by the client and for those jobs in which ALL actual hours and OOPs have been entered into ARMS.