Timac Inc purchases Parkinson Accounting Systems

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Timac Inc purchased Parkinson Accounting systems in January 2016 and we are now happy to share the news of a full and successful integration of Parkinson Accounting Systems. Jon Parkinson brings a good sized client base and a wealth of experience in the Sage 100 product line. Jon has been selling and supporting Sage 100 for more than 20 years and we are delighted to have Jon on board. There are multiple synergies and opportunities that the integration of Jon’s business presents, including an office and presence in Northern California, as well as additional services and expertise for these clients in terms of hosting Sage 100, Sage 100 add-ons, and customized programming.

 

Tips For Reporting Using Microsoft Excel

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Sage Intelligence allows you to connect to any databases and render it in Excel. You can also connect to Excel as a data source. See: https://www.sageintelligence.com/tips-and-tricks/2017/10/using-microsoft-excel-data-source-sage-intelligence/ Excel reporting is useful and hugely intuitive for creating charts and tables and visualizing data, and these tips and tricks will introduce you to some effective Excel reporting tools:

  • Design meaningful Dashboard Reports catering to your audience’s requirements and goals following Dashboard design best practice. Dashboards are great for visualization of the key features of large data sets. Knowing what your users expect is key – and dashboards are a way to highlight those aspects of the data that are most relevant to your audience.
  • Create an interactive dashboard and dynamic data models which will serve as the back-end of your dashboard using advanced functions and formula.
    • Users should be able to interact with the data in the dashboard to explore and make sense of it in a personalized way. This gives the user a clearer picture and sense of control over the data.
    • You can create dynamic ranges using the OFFSET () function. Using Named Ranges can reduce a lot of extra effort and make your data easier to understand: “=Customer Transactions” instead of “=$A$1-$B$4” can make your spreadsheet more user-friendly and give you a stronger dashboard.
    • Visuals in the Dashboard can be useful but make sure to keep it relevant and usable – visuals should not come in the way of the efficiency of the dashboard
  • Create Pivot Tables and Pivot Charts to summarize your data instead of creating formulas all over your spreadsheet to keep the complexity of your spreadsheet at a minimal.
  • Use Pivot Tables to handle the data on your dashboard and use sheets liberally – create as many sheets as you’d like in a single file so you can visualize each level of your data individually and cohesively – take advantage of Excel’s visualization capabilities and do not crowd your data and calculations into a single page!
  • Explore alternative visualization techniques like sparklines and conditional formatting for at-a-glance analysis
  • Creating advanced and custom charts can be useful but sometimes going over-the-top with charts can take away some of the simplicity and easy usability of the spreadsheet. Often tables are the most effective visualization tool for datasets.

 

Timac Adds Sage Live

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Timac Business Systems has recently added Sage Live to its product offering: http://www.timacinc.com/products/sage/sagelive/

Sage Live fits in well for the small growing businesses looking for a pure cloud solution, and works well on the Salesforce platform. Sage Live provides a single holistic view of your business through a real time integrated cloud accounting system. It helps you to connect your front and back office by allowing transparency and access to accurate information across all your teams.

Dashboards
One of Sage Live’s main strength lies in its ability to very quickly build out dashboards to support different roles within the organization. There are many dashboard types that can be configured to give you a high level graphical management report that you can drill down into to see the detail behind the report.

Dimensions
Data can also be easily segmented by adding dimensions, which can account for segmented data across all transaction types. This is a move away from building out segments in the chart of accounts, and we are seeing this feature in Sage’s newer acquisition of Intacct as well. This is a powerful tool enabling customization’s to easily include segments for analysis across all the data. A typical example where this is often used is to add a dimension for projects.

Alerts and scheduling
Sage Live has built-in abilities to email documents and reports, configure alerts on exceptions to the data, and schedule those alerts and reports, helping to make your processes and decision-making real-time.

Sage Live has some exciting new features for the smaller and growing clients looking to take advantage of the above-mentioned features. However, there are still limitations in regard to customizing this newer product, that are more easily done in Sage 100 or Sage 300 where you would still own and have access to the database. For those companies requiring more detailed customizations, Sage 100 and Sage 300 may still be a better fit for now.

 

Year End Closing Procedures

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CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING BEFORE DOING A YEAR END CLOSING

1. Backup Your Data: One of the most important things you can do before closing the books is to backup the database.  Check and test the backup to ensure it was successfully executed. Often, the best and easiest way to recover from unwanted errors is to restore data from a backup.

2. Follow the Module Closing sequence (bottom up): The execution of one module closing can write data to another module, so closing modules in the proper sequence is important to maintain the integrity of the data.

3. Seek Help When Needed!  Be sure to Contact Us if you have any questions. We can guide in the process and advise you in best practice procedures with regard to year end closing procedures.

Specific Year End Considerations:

1. General Ledger Module can stay openIt is common practice to keep the General ledger open for an extended period of time until the audit and final year-end adjustments are complete.  This will not affect your ability to stay current with the other subsidiary ledgers that should be closed on a more real-time basis, ensuring that the day-to-day operational transactions are posted in a timely manner to the correct period.

2. Payroll Closings – Note that all W‐2’s and quarterly reports must be printed before processing the first payroll for the new year, so you will need to close out the payroll module at the end of the calendar year, in a timely manner. It would probably be a good idea to start reconciling your payroll tax reports to the general ledger in early December.

3. Update All Transactions – Be sure to update all transactions across all modules still in data entry and not yet updated. You cannot perform a year end closing while transactions remain un-posted in a module.

3. Master Console (user’s logged in) – All users should be logged out of the system before initiating a year end closing. The master can help you identify users still logged into the system, and if need be, they can be terminated from the master console by a user with sufficient permissions. You can also broadcast a message to all users from the master console, which should be done, before terminating user sessions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can we print financial statements for the most recent year end if we have not closed the periods for the year end?
The short answer to this is yes. In a much older version of Sage, being to run financial statements was dependent on having been up to date on period end closings so that the retained earning account was correctly update with the Income Statement. That concept has not applied for some time now. You can freely print an accurate set of financial statements that will accumulate retained earning correctly, irrespective of the last year that was closed.

After executing a year end closing, can we delete accounts that we will no longer use?
No, it is not recommended that you do this. These accounts may still be needed for running prior year financial statements, or when running trend or comparative financial reports. Rather set the account to inactive. That will prevent users from posting to these accounts, but still retain historical data for reporting.

Can I open a closed fiscal year to make General Ledger postings/adjustments?
Yes, you can reopen a prior period in module setup to make an adjustment to a prior period. remember to close the period again after making your adjustment. But if your company has been audited, it is unlikely that you will need to reopen a period, unless in the rare situation where the financial statements have been restated, and in most cases that will be a prior year adjustment which does not require to reopen a prior period.

 

Sage 100c – new subscription software

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Effective January 1, 2017, Sage 100c, the new premium version of Sage 100 will be the only option available to new customers and certain existing customers.

What does the “c” stand for in Sage 100c?

The “c” stands for subscription which means that it is sold to Sage 100 under a traditional perpetual license. Sage 100c is sold differently and also has a new redesigned and modernized web interface. It also offers an advanced manufacturing suite, inventory optimization bundle, and built‐in Sage Intelligence Reporting. Other than these differences, the two products maintain the same functionality and workflow. Many people still refer to the “classic” version of the software as MAS 90 or MAS 200.

What is Changing?

From January 1, 2017, Sage 100c will be the only product available for new customers to purchase. Companies not already using the software will no longer be able to purchase the classic version of Sage 100 (perpetual license) after December 31, 2016. If your company already owns the classic version of Sage 100, however, and you go off plan for more than 3 months, Sage 100c will be the only option available to you to reinstate your plan.

How does this affect CURRENT Sage 100 On‐plan Customers?

Active on‐plan customers can continue to use the classic version of Sage 100 as a perpetual license beyond January 1, 2017 and also purchase additional modules and licenses. They will also have the option to convert to Sage 100c.

QUESTIONS? Get in touch and we’ll help you determine whether this change affects your particular situation or current software license.

 

Cloud Accounting – to do or not to do?

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With the rise in cloud computing, there still remains a lot of uncertainty or hesitation in putting your sensitive financial data into cloud accounting software.

It really still remains a personal or company preference. Either way, we have the solution that fits all with Sage 100. We have clients that we host entirely in the cloud at our data-center, and we still support many clients that prefer to host their data on their own servers. Many of the newer module add-ons in Sage are being developed for the cloud, such as credit card processing, mobile sales, and mobile service, so that you can also have a hybrid with your Sage both on premise and in the cloud. In this way you can still manage your more sensitive data on premise where you can feel more comfortable about controlling the security and access to this data, as well as have easy access to cloud apps for remote and field workers.

Cloud based accounting software are often ideal for small to medium sized businesses, but the decision to switch over to cloud-based accounting can seem daunting. Cloud based versions of accounting tools like Quickbooks may give you slightly different functionality compared with the desktop versions, but it is argued that cloud accounting makes up for this with versatility and long-term viability. Here are some benefits of cloud-based accounting worth considering:

  • Cloud-based accounting platforms connect remote servers on an online network with centralized data storage. This means that all your data is accessible anywhere and anytime by everyone in your team. The easy flow of real time information can improve business communication and transparency to keep everyone on the same page.
  • These software offer real time access for accountants and bookkeepers so they can support you and guide you easily.
  • Some key features:
    • Store files and documents on the cloud platform that can be easily accessed and downloaded by everyone with access to the platform.
    • Works seamlessly regardless of what device or operating system you’re using.
    • Easily search for and retrieve all receipts, invoices, images.

 

Software Upgrades

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Software upgrades include changing the version of an current ERP or CRM system, or installing a newer software system. Whatever the reason, upgrading should translate into a favorable ROI (return on investment), that can be supported by projected growth in revenues, or a decrease in costs.

Most base mid-market accounting software solutions conform to industry standards, however, almost all businesses have some uniqueness about their business compared to industry standards. There are also many 3rd party add-ons that have already been developed to cater for specific variations of standard type industry setups. See some of our popular custom add-ons.

It is good to keep up-to-date with the latest enhancements and features so that you can remain competitive with regard to your business software technology needs. Falling too far behind in version upgrades can be more costly in the long run, as it becomes more difficult to get back onto the latest software version. Upgrades are usually done annually, while smaller patches can be installed as needed. Most software companies usually only support their last 3 versions, so if you fall too far behind you run the risk of using software that is unsupported.

What is the difference between software updates and software upgrades?

The difference between and upgrade and an update, is that an upgrade will be a new version of the software, whereas an update usually refers to a patch or fix to the software.

 

SAGE 100 2017 NEW FEATURES

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Released in late October, Sage 100 2017 introduces the ability to collect customer payments using ACH, enhanced credit card verification for corporate purchases, improved lookup and search features, and a collection of other updates throughout the software. Here’s a look at what’s new.

GENERAL

Customer Payment Processing: You can now offer your customers the ability to pay invoices electronically using new ACH (Automated Clearing House) payment processing in A/R Invoice Data Entry, Cash Receipts Entry, Repetitive Invoice Entry, Sales Order Entry, and S/O Invoice Data Entry. Not only does ACH improve cash flow through faster and more immediate payment processing, it also eliminates fees associated with credit card payments. In addition, customers that pay by credit card will be happy to learn that Sage 100 2017 also delivers enhanced verification for corporate cards and purchase cards, adding extra security and peace of mind.

Improved Lookups and Searches: With enhanced auto‐complete, your search criteria is compared with all words within the  searched fields, not just the beginning of the text as it functioned in previous versions.  As an example, if you have a customer named Allen’s Appliance Repair and a customer named Appliance Services, typing “Appl” in the Customer No. field results in a list that includes both customers. In addition, a Full Text option has been added to the Search list in Lookup windows. With this option, your search criteria is compared with the data in all columns available in the Lookup window. Lastly, you can now search for fields that do not contain a value (empty fields) in Lookup windows. After selecting a field from the Search list, select Is Empty from the operand list, then click Find.

Sage Intelligence: new downloadable templates increase reporting flexibility.

User Experience: improvements to reporting fonts, easier file‐based navigation, and ribbon‐style  search capabilities all combine to make Sage 100 2017 easier to use than ever.

Read more about the new features in our December newsletter.

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