Cogitate Inc Newsletters

Here you can find archives of our newsletters and other important information.

November 2016 Newsletter

Rounded Meters in UtilAbility

When you setup metered services for your accounts, you need to setup and assign a meter to each of those services. While services can share meters, you need to have at least one meter for each account. This allows you to post your readings to the proper meters, services and accounts so the information can be saved appropriately.

The meters contain information such as the Serial Number, Book Number and Read Sequence (for your meter routes), and various other optional information.

Meters can also share common characteristics. Rather than repeating that common information in each meter, you would setup various meter types and assign those to your meters. Meter types can be assigned to any meters that share their characteristics. These would include the size, the maximum number of digits (for determining when meters roll over), the factor, and again, various other optional information.

The factor is important for your bills to be calculated correctly, because your readings may be gathered from various types of rounded meters. For example, you may gather and post some of your readings in single units with a factor of 1 such as in gallons and some of them in multiple units with a factor of 1000 such as in thousands of gallons (i.e. 5000 or 5 can mean the same thing when multiplied by the appropriate factor). This allows UtilAbility to use the same meter rate tables when calculating your bills regardless of how your meter readings are rounded.

When you print your bills, the readings are displayed the way they were gathered and posted and the factored usage (the gathered usage multiplied by the factor) is displayed the way it was used when calculating the bills. Typically this is the actual usage.

If you have different types of meters that may round their readings differently and need more help setting up various meter types with the appropriate factors, please see our UtilAbility help documentation or contact our support staff for more information.

Read Full November 2016 Newsletter

October 2016 Newsletter

Grouping Late Charges

One of the nice features within UtilAbility is the ability to setup multiple Late Charge Services. Late Charges are setup in the Service Types Maintenance form, like any other service and you can setup as many of them as you wish.

There are a few differences to consider when setting up Late Charges as compared to other services however. It’s important to use Calculation Type 3 as this is the Calculation Type UtilAbility reserves for Late Charges. Calculation Type 3 Services use the Late Charge Types Table designated by each customers Account Information record when determining the amount to bill for their Late Charges. Once your Late Charge Services are setup, you can add them to your customers. You can even add multiple Late Charges to each customer.

So how does UtilAbility know which Late Charge service to use when a customer pays late if that customer has multiple Late Charges? This is handled by grouping your late Charges. Grouping Late Charges in UtilAbility is easy. When you create a Late Charge Service in Service Types Maintenance and set it to Calculation Type 3, you can then enter its unique Late Charge Group ID. Then, when setting up your other services, you can specify which Late Charge Group ID they belong to. This is helpful because it allows you to split your Late Charges up by individual services or groups of services if you wish. They will also be itemized individually on your invoices and other various reports so you can keep track of them.

If you would like more information about multiple Late Charges or Grouping Late Charges, please see our UtilAbility help documentation or contact our support staff.

Read Full October 2016 Newsletter

September 2016 Newsletter

Employee Types In Pro Fund Accounting

Pro Fund Accounting provides a very useful way to group employees in the Payroll system. So why would this be useful you might ask? For example, suppose your Township’s or Road Commission’s board members receive a stipend and there are also a few employees who work in the office and receive a salary.

You just finished your normal payroll that includes all employees and board members. Now you need to see how much just the office workers received. This is where the power of grouping your employees comes in. If we group our employees by office workers and board members, we can now run reports that show us exactly how much our office workers received during this pay period by excluding the board member group.

You can see a list of the reports that support employee grouping below:

  • Equivalent Overtime PR Break Down
  • PR Break Down By Day PR Earnings
  • PR Gross PR Gross And Net
  • PR Gross For Retirement PR Pension Report
  • PR Retro Earnings By Pct PR Third Party Pay And Taxes

Please see our Pro Fund Accounting knowledgebase at: to learn how to start grouping your employees in Pro Fund Accounting payroll.

You can also contact our support team for help in getting started with grouping your employees.

Read Full September 2016 Newsletter

August 2016 Newsletter

Major Call Log Maintenance Feature Added!

We have added a major feature to the Call Log Maintenance portion of Pro Fund Accounting. Call Log Maintenance now gives you the ability to email call log item alerts to employees.

You will be able to email a notification of each call log that you create to the employee that is setup as the call log resolver. These email alerts will be sent automatically to the call log resolver for all call logs that are marked as Urgent or Extremely Urgent. Otherwise there is an email button that will send out a call log alert email to the call log resolver for the currently selected call log.

Under Preferences, there is an option where you can disable the call log item alerts from being automatically sent for the Urgent or Extremely Urgent call logs.

We hope you enjoy the ability to email call log item alerts from Call Log Maintenance. If you need any help with setting up the Call Log Maintenance program to email call log item alerts, please feel free to give our support staff a call at 866-634-9991 x2.

Read Full August 2016 Newsletter

July 2016 Newsletter

Pursuit Of Maintenance


A little bit ago we were working on the development of the new inventory and work order/preventative maintenance program.
One of the road commissions supervisors asked us to look at the VMRS.

VMRS? What is that you may ask like we did. It is an industry standard used for vehicle maintenance developed and maintained by the ATA (American Trucking Association), but let them describe the system better.

Developed by the American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC), the leading voice on industry best practices, VMRS™ is the universal language of maintenance reporting—the vital link between the shop floor and management.

ATA’s VMRS helps you create a single process to:

  • Simplify, Clarify and Unify with ATA’s Technology & Maintenance Council Vehicle Maintenance Reporting Standards
  • Create a Single Concise Method to Manage Fleet Assets and Analyze Maintenance Operations and Costs
  • Document when, why, and how maintenance is performed on equipment.
  • Improve equipment and parts inventory control.
  • Identify where money is spent.
  • Help control costs and create greater efficiency.
  • Manage a wide variety of equipment, including trucks of all types cars, buses, vans, construction equipment, and more.

We would like to fully embrace the methods and codes that this system entails.

But before we spend any more time, is this what the maintenance and inventory people want?

So please check out the VMRS system and let us know, via email to, what you think.
George Loescher, President


Read Full July 2016 Newsletter

June 2016 Newsletter



Are you a newer person to your organization? Or, did something unexpected happen to one of your staff and now you find yourself trying to handle their job while they are away?


Being the new kid on the block, or being thrown into someone else’s job in a pinch, can be very stressful. Cogitate would like to help alleviate some of that stress!


We have put together lots of “how to” videos to help you. Please check them out in the Training Section of our website at:


As you take a moment to check these out, please give us your feedback. Are these videos helpful? What additional videos would you like to see? Please contact Julie at or 866-634-9991, extension 12 to give your feedback and offer additional suggestions.




Read Full June 2016 Newsletter

May 2016 Newsletter



If you accidentally make a mistake while posting cash receipts, there a few simple ways you can correct them. Below are some common mistakes and how to correct them.


One of the more common mistakes is posting your receipts using the incorrect effective date. As you may know we suggest separating your receipt dates into separate journals since the journal title is automatically created based on the date of your first entry. If you discover that you are using the wrong effective date while you are still posting cash receipts, rather than changing the effective date and having multiple dates within the same journal, go ahead and continue posting the rest of them using the same date. After you are finished and have closed your journal, you can run the Change Various Journal Values utility to change the effective date for all the receipts within the journal along with the title of the journal to reflect the corrected effective date.


Another common mistake is posting an incorrect amount. If you post an incorrect amount to an account and you catch it right way while you are still in your post session, you can simply undo the posting for that account and then repost it. Please note that this will remove any postings to that account within that journal. If you have already closed your journal, you can simply modify the incorrect receipt transaction(s) within Transaction Maintenance.


Finally, you may have accidentally posted the receipt to the incorrect account. If you catch that right away while you are still in your post session, you can simply undo the posting for that account and then post the receipt to the correct account. If you have already closed your journal, you can simply delete the incorrect receipt transaction(s) within Transaction Maintenance. You can locate any transaction using UtilAbility Central. You can then reopen the Post Cash Receipts utility and post the receipt to the correct account. While this will be posted in a separate journal, you can still group your receipts by date to include the corrected receipt with the other ones from the original journal when running reports.


UtilAbility allows you to easily correct mistakes; however, if you have any problems or questions please review our UtilAbility help documentation or give us a call and we will be happy to help you.


Read Full May 2016 Newsletter

April 2016 Newsletter

Pro Fund Accounting Evolution


I was at the coffee shop and was surprised to see how young many of the patrons were. Looking around the place and observing the next generation interacting with their devices, I wondered about the lack of person to person contact that is missing.


As I was finishing my large overpriced coffee and remarking to myself ‘I just don’t get it’, I remembered when my father would say that about me when I would play the Atari videogames on the TV for hours.
Since the generations have evolved, we are beginning the evolution of the entire Pro Fund Accounting software. The last few months many of the changes we made have been related to the ‘insides’ to enable the software to gradually evolve.


A key component of the changes will be the input we get from our customers. I know you are all very busy and do not want a lot of change in your life. With this in mind, we will be evolving small pieces of Pro Fund Accounting. Communication with you will be through email, webinars, real phone calls and yes, even text messages, about each piece that will be changed.


We want to allow you time to share your thoughts so we can factor those into the software before we change it. This brings me to the first part we will evolve and that is security.


We will be sending out more information soon, so be ready.



Read Full April 2016 Newsletter

March 2016 Newsletter

The Windows 10 Free Upgrade Is Nearing Its End!

Windows 10 was released on July 29, 2015 and is a highly recommended operating system upgrade. Microsoft is currently helping out by giving Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 users the chance to upgrade to Windows 10 for FREE until July 2016.


With that being said, there is a limitation to this upgrade offer: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows RT, and all Enterprise versions of Windows are not included in this upgrade offer. Where does Cogitate stand on this? We recommend that if you are looking for new hardware in the near future to purchase new PCs with Windows 10 already installed. For those of us who are not looking for new hardware, if you are running Windows 7 then we recommend performing the Windows 10 upgrade as soon as possible so that you can take advantage of Microsoft’s great offer if you qualify.


All of our current software including the PFA Works Timecard application is supported on Windows 10. If you would like to learn more about Windows 10 and the FREE upgrade offer, please take a look at the following link: https://


Read Full March 2016 Newsletter

January 2016 Newsletter

Changing Service Codes


UtilAbility provides several utilities for various tasks that aren’t necessarily part of your typical day to day operations. We have talked about some of these utilities before. Many of them were designed to allow you to make changes to several records at once, where it would otherwise be difficult or time consuming to perform these changes manually.

Today we are going to discuss the Change Service Code utility. This utility does exactly what its title says. However, this isn’t necessarily as simple as it sounds…

Have you ever thought about changing the code you use for a particular service? Maybe the code isn’t working very well for some reason or you were never happy with the one that was setup in the first place and you simply want to use another one. You may have thought about changing such a code, and then decided that it’s not worth the trouble.

To make a change like this you would have to change a lot of records from many different tables. In fact, changing a service code currently affects as many as nine different tables within the UtilAbility database and some of these may include thousands of records that would be affected by your change. Fortunately, UtilAbility does all this for you. You don’t have to think about tables and records let alone make any manual changes.

You simply supply the old service code and the new one. UtilAbility will change all references from the old code to the new one in every table and every record as necessary.

You can find the Change Service Code utility and other helpful utilities under Tools|Utilities from the menu on the main screen in UtilAbility. Please take a look at these as they may save you a lot of time and effort. If you have any questions about Changing Service Codes or any of the other utilities, please see the UtilAbility help documentation or contact our support staff for more information.

Read Full January 2016 Newsletter

December 2015 Newsletter

Helpful Reminders for 1099-MISC Forms


It is the last month of 2015, and that means that soon 1099 MISC forms will need to be filled out and submitted to the IRS. A Form 1099-MISC needs to be filed for each person to whom you have paid, during the year, in the course of your business, at least $600 in rents, services, (including attorney fees) other income payments, medical and health care payments.


Payments for which a Form 1099-MISC is NOT required include all of the following:
1. Generally, payments to a corporation. (See below)
2. Payments for merchandise, telegrams, telephone, freight, storage, and similar items.
3. Wages paid to an employee (report on Form W-2).
4. Business travel allowances paid to employees.
5. Distributions from Pensions, Annuities, Retirement Plans, IRA’s etc.


Here are some examples of what goes in the most common boxes:
Real estate rentals paid for office space.
Machine rentals. If the machine rental is part of a contract that includes both the use of the and operator, prorate the rental between the rent of the machine (box 1) and the operator’s wages(box7)


Enter payments of $600 or more made to each physician or other supplier or provider of medical or health care services. Include payments made by medical or health care insurers under health, accident, and sickness insurance programs. You are not required to report payments to pharmacies for prescription drugs. The exemption from issuing Form 1099-MISC to a corporation does not apply to payments for medical or health care services provided by corporations, including professional corporations.


If the following four conditions are met, you must generally report a payment as non-employee compensation:
You made the payment to someone who is not your employee
You made the payment for services in the course of your business
You made the payment to an individual, partnership, estate, or, in some cases, a corporation
You made payments of at least $600 during the year.
Attorney fees of $600 or more paid in the course of your business are reportable in box 7. The term attorney includes a law firm or other provider of legal services. The exemption from issuing Form 1099-MISC to a corporation does not apply to payments for legal services. Therefore, you must report attorney fees paid to corporations that provide legal services.
General instructions for Form 1099-MISC, and the rest of the boxes, are available at

Read Full December 2015 Newsletter

November 2015 Newsletter

Cogitate Staff Holiday Schedule


We here at Cogitate Inc. would like to let you know of our upcoming Holiday schedule. The following days our office will be closed and instead of working, we will spending this time off with our families.

Thanksgiving Holiday: Closed Wednesday, November 25, 2015 through Sunday, November 29, 2015.

Christmas Holiday: Closed Thursday, December 24, 2015 through Sunday, December 27, 2015.

New Year’s Holiday: Closed Thursday December 31, 2015 through Sunday, January 3, 2016


Best Wishes To You And Your Families During The Upcoming Holiday Season!

Read Full November 2015 Newsletter

Contact Us

PO Box 980685
Ypsilanti, MI 48198