Cogitate Inc Newsletters

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

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

September 2014 Newsletter

Outstanding Invoices

One of the conveniences in APPAY is being able to choose which invoices you want to pay. This could be for various reasons, and usually is a temporary situation. All invoices should be paid at some point; however, sometimes you end up with invoices that never seem to get paid. A good example of this may be an invoice for a vendor you rarely do business with. At some point, though, you need to rid the system of these invoices if they’re not going to be paid. First, we need to determine what APPOST Journal they were posted in.

Often the invoice date will give you a clue as to when it was posted. If you cannot find when the invoice was posted, you can go to Vender Maintenance and run a Vender History report to find the invoice. Just remember to use a date range large enough to include this invoice. Once you know what invoice to look for, you can go to that APPOST Journal, select that invoice and delete it only if it was posted in this fiscal year. Every effort should be made to clean up these unpaid invoices before closing your fiscal year. What happens if this invoice is in a prior fiscal year? In this case you would have to go through the process of changing the year start date and deleting the BF and CE Journals, delete the invoice, and rerun the Post Balances Forward program. Please keep in mind that doing this will change your year end reports for the prior fiscal year.

But what if these invoices go back 2 or 3 years, or more? First of all, TRY HARD not to let this happen, but we know on occasion that it does. To fix this, you could delete all the BF and CE journals back to the year in question, and then delete the invoice and rerun the Post Balances Forward program up to the current year.

Another solution would be to ‘PAY’ these invoices in the current year. This will post a debit to the Accounts Payable account, which you want, and a credit to your Cash account, which you don’t want. To correct this, you need to go to GLPOST, choose the SOE GLJ, and post a debit to your Cash account and a credit to your Fund Balance account. The credit needs to be posted to the Fund Balance account because, when you close your books at year end the expenses get closed to the Fund Balance account.

As you can see, it’s a lot easier to handle these open invoices as they happen.


Read Full September 2014 Newsletter

August 2014 Newsletter

Disaster Recovery 101—Have a Plan!

Whether it’s a storm knocking out your power lines, a computer virus disabling your software, or a fire, your operation can be disrupted by any number of threats. When that happens, a strong disaster recovery plan can make the difference between a brief hiccup in your operations and a costly blow to your organization.

Because your operation involves several connected parts, a number of elements will go into a good disaster recovery strategy.

How do you define a “disaster”? If you hear the word and immediately imagine an 8.5 magnitude earthquake or a category 5 hurricane, you’re correct – natural disasters are probably the most threatening types of disasters in terms of damage, potential loss of human life and disruption to operation operations. But the reality is that there are many other types of disasters that can cause significant operation disruptions. Savvy operation directors and managers should be prepared for disasters or disruptions, which come in many forms.

Some disasters are man-made, such as industrial accidents, nuclear accidents or terrorist attacks. Natural disasters range vastly from blizzards and hurricanes to lightening, fire, or flooding. Even technical failures like a malicious computer virus should be considered disasters because of how detrimental the downtime can be to your operation.

All of these scenarios, and many others, could create an immediate need for decision makers within your organization to flip the switch into recovery mode. Your disaster recovery plan should answer the questions “What do we do now?” and “What is the chain of command?”

The process of creating a disaster recovery plan should involve operation management who are fully committed in investing the necessary time and resources. A plan can be relatively simple, or you might hire an external consultant to guide the process. Regardless of its complexity, here are a few key components of the disaster recovery planning process:

  • Prioritizing internal functions – In the event of a disaster or operation disruption, which operation functions will need to be up and running first? For example, depending upon your industry or size, you may need to develop a plan for getting your accounting department’s technology up and running first, followed by other departments. Your plan should outline the IT resources that will be required to address the most time- sensitive operation functions.
  • Restoring data – Is your data stored at an alternate site? Are you backing up to a cloud or web-based backup system regularly? Your disaster recovery plan should clearly spell out how your data will be retrieved.
  • Minimizing downtime – What is your strategy for minimizing the amount of time your IT systems may be down? How long can you afford to be down? For some operations, the answer is “zero downtime.” If this is the case for your operation, your disaster recovery plan must include a strategy for backing up and restoring your IT systems, or running two synchronized systems, which is costly but sometimes necessary.

Now go and develop a plan that is right for your organization. The internet has many free tools that will help you along the way. Search for Disaster Recovery Plan and you should find lots of information to help you.


Read Full August 2014 Newsletter

July 2014 Newsletter

Budget Calc Updates

For those of you that are using the Budget Calc Reports, we have made a couple of changes to the program. The first change we made is to make the first column, usually used as the description column, to 250 characters. If the description ends up wider than the standard column width, it will now wrap to the next row.

The other change we have made is related to printing with bars. As many of you know, in the past you needed to access the parameters tab in the print screen to answer the question on whether to print with bars (which means shading every other line so it’s easier to follow numbers across the columns). We have now made an option under the EDIT TITLES area where you can check the box to keep the shading all the time. Once you click that box, you will also need to SAVE the regular file so the shading becomes permanent.

We have made a short video for you to see these changes. You can check it out in the training section of Pro Fund Accounting under Budgets.

If you have any additional suggestions for enhancing Budget Calc, please feel free to send them to Julie at


Read Full July 2014 Newsletter

June 2014 Newsletter

PFA Works June Update

We have been busy making enhancements to PFA Works which will help make the timecard process more efficient. Here are the enhancements that we made since last month’s newsletter:

  • We made the size of the Equipment and Inventory grids bigger, so the grids can hold more items.
  • On the Timecard Entry screen, we added the ability for PFA Works to automatically select the timecard information for an existing timecard.
  • When you add a timecard entry, PFA Works will now automatically select the entry you just added. So now you won’t have to add a timecard entry and then tap on it again before entering information for that entry.
  • We added the ability to enter mileage information for equipment. If this is something that you would like to use, the only requirement is that you setup a mileage preventive maintenance schedule in Pro Fund Accounting for each piece of equipment that you track mileage for. When the supervisor approves a timecard entry that includes mileage for an employee, the mileage information will be automatically added to the piece of equipment in Pro Fund Accounting.
  • On the Equipment and Inventory screens, if you try to add an item that was already added; PFA Works will now automatically highlight the added item. This makes it clearer that the item was already added to the timecard.

If you are interested in learning more about how PFA Works can streamline your road commission’s timecard entry process, please visit If you are interested in purchasing PFA Works, please contact George Loescher at


Read Full June 2014 Newsletter

May 2014 Newsletter

Setting Up New City/Township Budgets

Before you sit down to enter your new budget figures, run a BUDGET WORKSHEET report for your current budget. Pencil in your new budget amounts, and use this as your data entry document.

There are two ways for cities/townships to create a new budget in the ProFund Accounting software.

First, you can simply go to GLPOST, change your SOE to BGT, set your effective date to the first day of your new fiscal year, and enter each account number and budget amount. Remember, Revenues go in with a (-) sign

If you don’t want to enter all those account numbers, we have a utility for you.
To access the utility:
* On the left side, four down, you will find CREATE EMPTY BUDGET JOURNAL.
* Click on this, put a check mark in REV & EXP, set your fiscal year start date, and click OK.
* Next, go to GLPOST, change the SOE to BGT, and click on the folder next to the JOURNAL NBR field. The top journal should be highlighted. Click OK and OK.
* You will find a journal with all of your Revenue and Expense account numbers, with zero amounts. Click on the first account number, click on EDIT, enter the budget amount, and SAVE. Do this for all of your revenue and expense accounts.
* If there are numbers here that you don’t use, just click on them and select DEL IND.
* If you need additional numbers, click on NEW and set them up. It may be helpful to set up all GENERAL FUND accounts and get that to balance, before you move on to the FIRE FUND, ROAD FUND, WATER FUND, or whatever funds you may have.


Read Full May 2014 Newsletter

April 2014 Newsletter

Checkless Payments

Pro Fund Accounting offers checkless payment options for both Payroll and Accounts Payable.

In Payroll we have the Direct Deposit option, which create a text file for your bank. This file contains all the employee information necessary to transfer funds from your bank account to theirs. You can also provide your employees with a copy of their check electronically. All of the reports (PR JOURNAL, PR GROSS and NET, PR EFTPS, etc.) are still available.

To use the PR Direct Deposit you first have to contact your bank and get the program set up with them. Then, in PR Deductions Maintenance, set up a Deduction Code DD, with a name of Direct Deposit, a Calc Type 21, and a Calc Order 99. Finally, in Employee Maintenance, set up the Deduction Code DD for each employee in the program. Enter their Bank Account # in the Direct Deposit Acct# field, and their banks Routing # in the Direct Deposit Routing# field, with a C for checking or an S for savings. After the payroll is calculated, run the Payroll Direct Deposit program to create the file for your bank.

Accounts Payable is handled a little differently. We do not create a text file for your bank. Most banks have an eBill Pay option. Once you have this setup with your bank, it’s just a matter of checking the EFTP box in Vender Maintenance. This will flag the payments as being made electronically. You can generate reports for your venders notifying them that a payment has been made. The APPOST and APPAY procedures are not affected.


Read Full April 2014 Newsletter

March 2014 Newsletter

Customizing UtilAbility Central

As we discussed in a previous newsletter, the UtilAbility Central form is the gateway to your data within UtilAbility. From time to time we may spotlight some of the unique features available in the UtilAbility Central form. This month we will discuss the ability to customize the default look and layout of the data fields that are displayed within UtilAbility Central.

When you purchase UtilAbility, the UtilAbility Central form will default to display all the fields that are available on each tab. The column headings for the fields are the actual field names as they are defined within the database. The columns that we thought you might be most interested in are displayed first. Finally, the Sort/ Search Fields on each tab default to the field that we think you might most often want to search by. These are the defaults, but you can certainly change any of these to better suit your needs.

To customize any list, you can right-click on that list and choose Customize Grid Display or hit Ctrl-G when that list is displayed to open the Customize Grid form. This form lets you select which fields will be displayed in the list and the order in which they will appear. You can even change the column header for each field and the width that will be used for that field column. When you click OK, your settings will become the new defaults that will be used whenever the UtilAbility Central form is opened.

To change the default Sort/Search Field for any list, you can select the Search Field and Sort Order that you want by clicking the column header for any field. Subsequent clicks will reverse the Sort Order. Once you have it set the way you want, you can right-click on that list and choose Save Sort/Search Field as Default or hit Ctrl-S and your current Sort/Search Field will become the new default that will be used for that list whenever it is displayed.

Please note that these settings will not change your data in any way. They simply change the way you view your data in the UtilAbility Central form. So if you wish to make a change, go ahead and give it a try. As always, for additional information about Customizing UtilAbility Central, please see the UtilAbility Help Documentation or contact the Cogitate support staff.


Read Full March 2014 Newsletter

February 2014 Newsletter

Post Balances Forward

Since all postings in Pro Fund Accounting are date controlled, it isn’t necessary to close your books before posting in a new fiscal year. However, at some point you will run the Post Balances Forward program. The effect of this is to close all the Revenue and Expense accounts to the Fund Balance account, with an effective date of the last day of the old fiscal year. These are posted in journal CE. The program also brings the Asset, Liabilities, and Fund Balance accounts forward, with an effective date of the first day in the new fiscal year. These are posted in journal BF. It also sets the new fiscal year start date in the GL Constant record.

So, you’ve run the Post Balance Forward program, and you have to make a posting in the prior fiscal year, due to an audit adjustment, error correction, etc. What should you do?

Follow these instructions:
1. Go to General Ledger, GL Constant Maintenance, Settings, and then change the Fiscal Year Start Date to your previous Fiscal Year Start Date.
2. Next, go to GLPOST and find the Source of Entry (SOE) BF and load your most recent journal.
3. After you verify that the effective date is the first day of your current fiscal year, click on Delete All.
4. Now in GLPOST, find the Source of Entry (SOE) CE and load the most recent journal.
5. Verify that the effective date is the last day of the previous fiscal year and click on Delete All.

After you post your corrections or audit adjustments, rerun the Post Balances Forward program, and you will be back up to speed.

If you have any questions or need additional assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Read Full February 2014 Newsletter

January 2014 Newsletter

PFA Works and You!

We are very pleased to let you know our first version of PFA Works has made it to the Microsoft Store and is now available as a free download; however, this is only one part of the product. The other parts are still under review by our testers. Roscommon and Wexford County Road Commissions agreed to help us design and test PFA Works, so feel free to give them a call to see how it is going.

We wanted to fully release the product in 2013, but the holidays and year-end stuff have gobbled up the time; therefore, we will be hosting a webinar to showcase PFA Works in January 2014. You will all receive a special invitation to the webinar through email.

Finally, we would like to offer all of you the chance to help us. If you would like to start using PFA Works now, please contact George Loescher at 866-634-9991 extension 9.


Read Full January 2014 Newsletter

Contact Us

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Ypsilanti, MI 48198