Professional Software Newsletter - September 2013 Newsletter


Professional Software, a Sage North America business partner specializing in the sales, installation and support of Sage 100 ERP, has earned the prestigious Sage Eagle Award for the third year in a row for consistently delivering extraordinary customer experiences. Professional Software was also named a 2012 Sage Customer Excellence Award Recipient.
 

The Sage Eagle Award, part of the Sage Partner Advantage Awards that acknowledges partners for top performance and excellence, honors one Sage business partner each year for demonstrating the highest level of extraordinary customer experience as measured by top renewal rates and Net Promoter Scores achieved in the Customer Loyalty Program.

“For three consecutive years, Professional Software has shined, placing customer needs as a top priority and creating experiences for Sage customers to be successful and confident in their business decisions,” said Joe Langner, executive vice president, general manager of mid-market solutions, Sage North America. “We are excited to honor the entire team at Professional Software with the Sage Eagle Award. Congratulations!”

Doug Jenkins, President of Professional Software, said, “The one thing we regard most highly at PSI is the relationship with our customer. Sage North America continues to honor our staff for our commitment to this effort. Sage is a great partner when it comes to providing high quality business applications to the mid-level business market. We rely on their vision and investment to keep our customers up to date with meaningful software solutions.”

Winners were recognized at the President’s Circle Awards event at the Sage Summit 2013 Conference, July 21, 2013 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
 

Since 1983, Professional Software has been a technology industry leader providing integrated business software solutions for the small to mid-size business community. Professional Software has been a Sage Business Partner and Development Partner for Sage 100 ERP since 1989. Professional Software was also awarded the 2010 and 2011 Sage Eagle Awards and was named the Wichita Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year in 2010.


The Windows 8.1 release date is October 17. It will be available to existing Windows 8 users for free on Windows update and may be purchased retail on October 18. The big news for this release is the return of the Start button, although it still goes to the Start screen rather than the Start menu. There’s more integration between the desktop and the Start screen which, according to experts, makes the interface feel more consistent and easier to learn. 

Other changes with this release include:

• More colors and backgrounds for the Start screen including some with motion.

• Your desktop background can be chosen as your Start screen background.

• Now tiles can be moved and rearranged with press and hold.   

• Files can be saved directly to SkyDrive and are available even when offline.

• Updated PC settings give you access to all of your settings without going to the Control Panel.

• Internet Explorer 11 will ship with Windows 8.1 with better performance.

• Changes to the Start ‘tip’ and Start button and improvements to the Desktop.

Since the release date is still a few weeks out, we haven’t actually seen the changes in action. We’ll keep you posted.


By Mary Mays 

We continue to see an increase of email link malware, particularly referencing missed shipments or package delivery problems via email from FedEx, UPS, or the USPS that look very official. Many companies have accounts with shippers, so the user doesn’t think twice about clicking the link.  

To the right is an example of an email I recently received – it’s a complete fraud. The best thing to do is NEVER click the link inside the email, but go directly to your shipping account web site to log in and check your shipments. And, of course, please delete the email after forwarding it to the appropriate party. I forwarded the email pictured to the right to abuse@fedex.com. UPS  requests that you forward to fraud@ups.com. The United States Postal Service asks that you forward any bogus emails to spam@uspis.gov.  


Read more about these common scams:

Information from FedEx about the fraudulent email alert
- http://www.fedex.com/us/update2.html


Information from UPS - http://www.ups.com/content/us/en/about/news/service_updates/20110330_fraud.html


Information from United States Postal Service - https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/radDocs/consumer/SpamAlert.pdf


A good resource about all type of scams and how to avoid them - http://www.usa.gov/topics/consumer/scams-fraud.shtml


By Brad Sweet

The phone call came into PSI around 4:00 on a Friday afternoon. Our client had auditors coming to their office the following week, wanting to see Sage 100 invoice history for the last several years. The exact details of what they wanted wasn’t defined just yet, but we did know that our client’s Sage 100 program contained several million Sales Order Invoice Detail records. The records would likely need to be summarized several different ways. Our client didn’t know how to get the data in a summarized useful format without printing hundreds of pages and reentering subtotals into Excel—and that could take days or weeks and tie up the staff.

Pivot Tables To The Rescue

We quickly built an Excel Pivot Table and linked it to the Sage 100 Invoice History tables. A pivot table is an indexed copy of the table or tables it is connected to. A copy of the data tables are internal to the Excel document and when saved the data is saved with it. A connection to Sage 100 or another data source is only needed when the data tables need to be refreshed. From the pivot table design page in Excel there is an unlimited number of reports and summaries that can be produced with subtotals by months, quarters, years, sales people, item code, item type, taxable/non-taxable, etc. The subtotals could be counts, a summary of quantity sold, dollar amount sold, average dollar sales, amount of discounts, etc. In addition, every number in the pivot table is an active cell, double-click the number and the underlying detail transactions will be displayed on the screen. The intended purpose of Pivot tables is to give the customer a means of creating reports dynamically without any help from PSI. Best of all, summarizing millions of transactions can be done in seconds. So on that Friday afternoon, we validated the grand total of several million records summarized in the Pivot table to quarterly amounts reported earlier to the auditors. The Pivot table totals tied to the penny.

The Results

Pivot tables using Sage 100 data can be one of the most powerful analysis tools ever. As powerful as they are, they are still very easy to use and change by the end user. Pivot tables can work with all Sage 100 tables including inventory, accounts receivable, sales, payroll, general ledger, etc.  

If you have a need to quickly analyze your Sage 100 data in an almost endless variety of combinations, give us a call. We can talk about how you want to summarize your accounting data and may have some ideas for analysis that you haven’t even thought of yet.

 

By Mary Mays 


April 8, 2014 will be the last day Microsoft will release patches for Windows XP.  This means that after that date there will be no more fixes for any of the security vulnerabilities that are the cause of many malware and virus infections for Windows XP.  Due to the number of computers still running XP, it will remain a target for attack.  Although many of the major antivirus manufacturers still plan to support XP for another 2 years, without regular Microsoft updates, criminals will take advantage of the large XP user base and it will not be safe to continue to run it.  XP users already aren’t able to upgrade to the safer Internet Explorer browser versions 9 or 10.

Businesses should plan now to purchase new workstations with either Windows 7 or Windows 8.  Windows 7 will be available at least through the end of 2013.  Since Windows Vista came out in 2007 and Windows 7 in 2009, Windows XP workstations are well over 5 years old and we don’t recommend upgrading these older workstations to newer Windows versions.


With the rebranding of MAS 90 and 200 to Sage 100 ERP, many of you may be wondering, “What in the world does ERP stand for”? It’s actually an acronym for Enterprise Resource Planning which is a business strategy that organizes the business processes of a company. As the back office business software model grew from just accounting functionality into more operational areas such as distribution, manufacturing, project accounting and field service, software developers needed a better term to describe these all-encompassing systems and ERP was born. Oh, and its pronounced E-R-P, not Earp, like Wyatt Earp.



The focus at the July Sage Summit in Washington, DC was all about mobile solutions and the Cloud.  Sales of tablets and smartphones have out-paced PC sales and have drastically changed the need for mobile solutions, especially for sales teams in the field. Three new Sage Apps (see below) running on Windows Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform, were previewed at Summit. These will all come together in the Sage Marketplace in version 2014.  

We also were given a glimpse into the future with a demo of a voice-to-text application in which users can use voice-activated mobile technology to interface with ERP systems on mobile devices. It’s somewhat like Siri, but within the context of the business process, such as searching for customers or inventory items.
 


Sage Mobile Sales 

This iPad application provides manufacturers, distributors and retailers with a mobile solution that gives sales reps all the information needed in the field. This includes anytime, anywhere access to customer order history, product availability and an online product catalog. Through a real-time cloud connection to the Sage ERP data, sales reps can process quotes and orders in the field, take payments and collect signatures on their iPad.


Sage Mobile Service

With this iPhone app, field service technicians can schedule work, view completed orders, invoice and process payments all from their smartphones. Techs will have anytime, anywhere access to customers’ Sage ERP information.

Sage Billing and Payment 

This subscription-based service is accessed through a web browser that streamlines and automates the accounts receivable process. Billing and Payments enables the Sage 100 ERP user to send invoices to the customer via HTML formatted email – the invoice is not an attachment, but is displayed in the body of the email message. Embedded in the invoice is a Click To Pay link which integrates with Sage Payment Solutions to provide a way for customers to pay their invoice on-line. The service accepts electronic payments from credit cards or ACH reducing the time it takes to receive funds and automates the receipt delivery by sending electronic receipts. This will be fully integrated with the latest Sage ERP solutions. This can be used as a standalone component or in conjunction with the mobile apps.



Scheduled for the end of 2013, this version release will include a number of infrastructure improvements, as well as support for the Sage mobile initiatives highlighted in the accompanying article. The following enhancements are promised:

Improved integrations with Sage CRM, Sage Intelligence and other Sage platforms

Customer-requested enhancements, including:

o Flashlight lookup for invoices in A/P

o Auto complete functionality for customers, vendors, and inventory items with defaults customized by user for each entity

o Ability to leave print window open for GL Financial Reports and Custom Reports

Sage Intelligence will be auto-installed and available from within Sage 100 tasks menu

Payroll enhancements to include:

o Ability to select up to 16 Box 12 codes

o Additional mapping of earnings and deductions codes for Puerto Rico

o Improvements to eFiling and Reporting

The following enhancements are being considered for the 2015 release:

Longer fields for vendor names

Field in PO and SO to display creator’s name

Additional Visual Process Flows

Alternating line colors in data entry grids

Voice to text feature for mobile apps

Improved user-interface for invoice payment selection

As previously reported, the tax forms within the software are being retired and replaced with those from Aatrix within the eFiling and Reporting tools in Sage 100 ERP.  Users will print the forms – W-2, 1099 and 941 – and optionally submit their reports to the government through the eFiling and Reporting tools. Sage will provide a yearend update for the 2013 tax filings (W-2, 1099 and Electronic Reporting) for version 4.4 and above, but that will be the last yearend update (see related article). 

More information regarding the Sage 100 ERP 2014 version will be available as we get closer to the release date toward the end of the year.  


Beginning with the 2014 tax year Sage will no longer provide updates to the standard printing of the W2, 941, and 1099 Forms. Through the end of the 2013 tax year (12/31/13), Sage will provide yearend updates for these tasks, but after that date the standard tasks will still be accessible but will not be updated with any tax changes.

The Federal and State eFiling and Reporting powered by Aatrix option on your Payroll Period End Processing menu will replace these standard tasks. This option will enable you to eFile and/or print your payroll tax and 1099 forms.   

The Federal and State eFiling option is a separate installation process and is done at the workstation that will be using the eFiling procedures. We have installation instructions available if you want to install this yourself.

In Sage 100 ERP version 2013, the standard W2, 941 and 1099 tasks are hidden and are not listed on the standard menus, but can be brought back to the menus by running a utility program.  Within Sage 100 go to File/Run and in the Program field enter *UNHIDETAXFORMS  to bring these features back into the menus. 

As reported earlier, since Sage is no longer supporting version 4.3, there will be no Yearend Updates or Tax Table Updates for this version. The last Product Updates, Yearend Update and Tax Table Update for version 4.4 will be the 12/31/13 updates. 


Page Setup in Crystal Reports

By Tom McElroy


To change your Crystal Report to landscape style rather than the default portrait style, perform the following steps: 


1. Select File/Page Setup from the Main Menu. 

2. Select Legal (8.5 X 14 in.) from the Size Dropdown Box under Paper. 

3. Under the Orientation Box, click the Button for Landscape to change your page orientation printing option. 

4. Click Okay. 

6. Now Preview your report and you will see that your design workspace and report preview have both changed to landscape style.


If you are experiencing problems with your margins, you might want to check your print driver’s default margins. The print driver’s default margins will override all other margins.


Purchase Agent version 2013 has been released and has been enhanced with the option to include Sage 100 Work Order demand. 

Purchase Agent by JobOps is a stand-alone module for Sage 100 ERP that does not require JobOps. This module analyzes your supply and demand to help you buy the right products at the right time. By analyzing orders, minimum stock requirements, current supply, quantities on purchase orders, and optional MRP projections, Purchase Agent creates a to-do list of the -materials that need to be purchased. Purchase Agent will even generate Purchase Orders with the click of a button. 

Purchase Agent with Work Order integration will evaluate items being made from work orders and work order component requirements.  Items with a procurement type of Buy are the only items that are evaluated in the data generation process.  The Sage 100 ERP Work Order module is required for this feature.  

For more information on Purchase Agent or to see a product demonstration, call Gil Ponte at our office.