Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summerfest App

I just heard on the radio that Summerfest has a free iPhone and Android App that includes the schedule and grounds map. If are planning to go to Summerfest and have an iPhone or Android, you may want to download the app.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sage releases Product Update 6 for MAS 90 / MAS 200 ERP

Sage released Product Update 6 today for Sage MAS 90 and MAS 2000 ERP.  'PU6' is a collection of new product additions and program fixes in various modules.

New features that were previously added in 'PU5':
  • New multi-company A/P report
  • Multiple G/L account 'table' available in A/P invoice data entry, manual check entry, etc.

Sage MAS 90 and 200 Product Retirements

Sage's policy on the MAS 90 / MAS 200 product is to support one current and one prior version of the software. As of this writing, here are the support expiration dates for each version:

Versions 3.71 and prior
  • All support ended 9/30/2010
Versions 4.00 - 4.10 and MAS 200 SQL 3.7x

  • General support ends 9/30/2011
  • Support for quarterly and year end updates (tax tables, 941 forms, etc.) ended 12/31/2010
Version 4.20, 4.45 SQL, and EES 1.4
  • General support and year end updates end 9/30/2012
Version 4.30

  • General support and year end updates end 9/30/2013
Version 4.40

  • General support and year end updates end 9/30/2014
If you have a version of MAS 90 or MAS 200 that is no longer supported by Sage, or one that is nearing support retirement, please contact C&G Consulting to discuss upgrading your software.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Selecting a new ERP/CRM system (part 4 of 4)

How to select a new ERP/CRM system (Part 4) – In Part 3, we discussed preparing for and conducting product demonstrations and in this final Part 4, we discuss finalizing the selection and implementing the new solution.

-Finalize Selection — After the demos, you will usually find one system that clearly meets your needs over the others. Finalize the cost and timeline, including software, implementation, training, hardware and annual ongoing costs to fully understand your commitment of resources (cost and people).

-Implement —Selecting the right software is one thing, implementing it is another. Software is only a tool that takes proper training, resources (people) and procedures to be utilized for its intended needs. A proper implementation plan will continue you down the road toward success.

While companies with proper resources can perform these searches on their own following these steps, many choose to hire an outside facilitator with the experience, tools and templates to set a realistic timeline and provide expertise about vendors. Sometimes, solutions look good on paper and in a demonstration, but in practice, some companies offer much more in customer support and implementation after the sale is made.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Ten Immutable Laws Of Security

I found this intersting article from Microsoft while reviewing patches this month.

The Ten Laws
  1. If a bad guy can persuade you to run his program on your computer, it's not solely your computer anymore.
  2. If a bad guy can alter the operating system on your computer, it's not your computer anymore.
  3. If a bad guy has unrestricted physical access to your computer, it's not your computer anymore.
  4. If you allow a bad guy to run active content in your website, it's not your website any more.
  5. Weak passwords trump strong security.
  6. A computer is only as secure as the administrator is trustworthy.
  7. Encrypted data is only as secure as its decryption key.
  8. An out-of-date antimalware scanner is only marginally better than no scanner at all.
  9. Absolute anonymity isn't practically achievable, online or offline.
  10. Technology is not a panacea.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Selecting a new Accounting/ERP system (Part 3 of 4)

How to select a new Accounting/ERP system (Part 3) – In Part 2 we discussed researching possible solutions and creating the request for information. In Part 3, we discuss preparing for and conducting product demonstrations.

-Demo Script — Now that you have your top two options based on the requirements, prepare a demo script which outlines your key requirements within a demo focused on your functional areas (invoicing/payroll/etc). You will dictate the items the vendor is to cover during the demo in a flow that most resembles your business (for example, enter the customer order, create the purchase order, receive goods, ship to customer, complete invoice, etc.)

-Conduct the demo — Using your demo script, schedule vendors for half-day or full-day demos so they can prove to you that they can deliver on what they have promised, allowing an apples-to-apples comparison of possible solutions.

In the final part 4, we discuss finalizing the selection and implementation.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sage MAS 90/200 Product Update 5

If you are a MAS 90 or MAS 200 user, have you upgraded your 4.40 system to Product Update 5 yet? This update was released March 28th, 2011. It includes the following feature enhancements, in addition to bug fixes:
  • Inactive Item Designations - flag inventory items as "inactive" so they can no longer be purchased or sold, while retaining the item's history
  • Physical Count with Count Cards - Conduct a physical using count card information and check for missing count cards.
  • Enhanced Security for Item Costing and Vendors - Improve security for inventory items by restricting user roles from accessing standard cost or vendor information (including receipts).
  • Multiple Company Aged Invoice Report - Print the A/P aging for multiple company codes at once. Vendors across multiple companies can be combined.
  • Expense Distribution Tables - Pre-define the default G/L account for A/P invoice data entry to not one, but multiple accounts.
  • A/P Check Sorting Options - Now sort checks by vendor name in addition to by vendor ID.
  • Company-specific Background Colors - Allows for different company codes to have different background colors across the entire system.
Product Update 5 can be applied to any MAS 90 or 200 system that either has no third party enhancements or enhancements that are compatible with this release. Please contact us if you are interested in applying this update to your system.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sage MAS 500 v7.4 Scheduled for June 2011 Release

Sage MAS 500 version 7.4 is scheduled to begin shipping later this month. Both new and existing customers will benefit from the new technologies in addition to the usability, scalability and performance improvements offered in this release. Notable enhancements are included in Advanced Manufacturing, Business Insights, Core Financials and Distribution modules.

v7.4 continues with Sage's initiative introduced in v7.3 to assist them in driving the direction of the product and to reduce the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). v7.3 introduced the "Sage Advisor" which provides the ability to collect platform and operating system information, tracks usage data on the local client installation, provides reportable statistics on most used tasks and provides a framework for future usability and TCO improvements. v7.4 introduces "Smart Updates" which is designed to simplify software updates and upgrades, reduce the risk and cost of updates and protect software customizations. Phase 1 of the Smart Updates rollout incorporates client side improvements to detect current updates applied, install only those objects changed since the last update was applied and to alert the user and report on customizations that exist. Phase 2 will be incorpated into future releases and will extend the client side detection capabilites to the server side.
Contact us for more information on this release or Sage MAS 500 in general.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sage Peachtree Business Intelligence

If you are a Peachtree user, this is the reporting solution you've been waiting for: Sage Peachtree Business Intelligence.
Get customizable Microsoft® Excel®-based business reports, automatically updated with real-time data, so you can access the information you need to make swift, confident decisions. No manual exporting, consolidating, or cutting and pasting data. No broken formulas to fix. No need to reformat the same report month after month.

Critical Information Made Visible
Sage Peachtree Business Intelligence gives you customized reports, on-demand, without having to manually update any spreadsheets. It pulls real-time information directly from your Sage Peachtree Accounting system—and even other databases—into any Sage Peachtree Business Intelligence report template you've saved. Drill-down for more detail, slice and dice to find the answers you want, and make informed decisions with confidence.
Spreadsheet Based Reporting Inside your Sage Peachtree Accounting Software
Sage Peachtree Business Intelligence is ready to launch from within your Sage Peachtree Complete Accounting 2012, Sage Peachtree Premium Accounting 2012 and Sage Peachtree Quantum 2012; no separate installation required. It's Microsoft® Excel® based, so the tools and features may already feel familiar and intuitive, and it comes with powerful and useful standard reports you can produce right away:

· Company Dashboard
· Sales Analysis
· Top 10 Customers
· Purchasing Analysis
· Financial Reports
· Income Statement - Comparative Financial Report - Actual vs. Budget
· Income Statement - Comparative Financial Report - Actual vs. Prior
· Income Statement - Comparative Financial Report – Current Period vs. YTD vs. Prior Year
· Balance Sheet - Comparative Financial Report - Actual vs. Prior
· Balance Sheet - Monthly, Quarterly and YTD Financial Report

If you would like more information about Sage Peachtree Business Intelligence, please contact C&G Consulting.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Road Ahead for Sage MAS 90 and MAS 200, Part 2

Sage released a preliminary road map for the next two years of the Sage MAS 90 and MAS 200 product. Being preliminary, all information presented in the road map is assumed to be a guideline, and this information can change at any time.

That being said, this is on the horizon for 4th Quarter 2011:

Sage MAS 90 / MAS 200 Version 4.5

  • SageCRM 7.1 Integration - one free SageCRM license for all customers
  • Ability to migrate to Microsoft SQL Server database (business framework modules only)
  • New functionality in the payroll module including deduction recalculation in data entry
  • New functionality in sales order, including auto-generation of purchase orders from sales orders, price level by customer/product line, item pricing by total quantity, and lot/serial distribution from sales order
SageCRM 7.1 Release
  • Sage eMarketing for SageCRM - fully integrated e-marketing module to create custom, personalized, e-mail marketing campaigns with over 90 templates out of the box, and analysis of the results (low monthly subscription fee)
  • SageCRM Communications Management - integration with Microsoft Exchange for calendar and communications management.
  • SageCRM Total Campaign Management - multi-channel campaign management, out of the box graphical marketing campaign workflow
  • SageCRM for the iPhone
  • SageCRM for Twitter
  • SageCRM Interactive Dashboard - manage key accounts and working day from a single screen

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Road Ahead for Sage MAS 90 and MAS 200, Part 1

Sage released a preliminary road map for the next two years of the Sage MAS 90 and MAS 200 product. Being preliminary, all information presented in the road map is assumed to be a guideline, and this information can change at any time.
That being said, the immediate news for 2011 includes the following:

July 2011 - MAS 90/200 4.40 Product Update 6
  • A new feature for printer settings saved by workstation and form code or report setting.
Second Half of 2011 - Sage MAS 90 / MAS 200 in the "Cloud"

  • Cloud deployment hosted by Sage
  • Aimed at customers with a short implementation timeframe and limited IT staff or budget
  • Low per-user monthly pricing
  • No upfront software costs
  • All business framework modules available
  • Seamless migration to on-premise when the business grows
  • Hosting provided by the second largest data center in the world (QTS Atlanta Metro)
  • 99.784% recorded uptime for 2010
Contact C&G with questions.  We'll post more details in the future.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What is Positive Pay?

Positive Pay is an anti-fraud service offered by virtually all commercial banks to help prevent unauthorized checks from clearing your checking account. Positive Pay is designed for businesses that want to prevent check fraud and want their financial institution to help monitor against suspicious check activity.

This is how it works: Your company will be required to send a file of issued checks to your financial institution each day checks are written by your company. Your financial institution will provide you with the file format requirements needed to submit the checks. This file will then be imported into your bank’s computer system. When those issued checks are presented for payment at your bank, they are compared electronically against the list of transmitted checks. The bank will match the account number, check number, and dollar amount of each check transmitted for payment, and all three components of the check must match or it will not be paid. If a check presented to the bank is not found or the amounts do not match, your bank will mark the check as an 'exception' and not clear the check through your account. Many banks offer you the opportunity to review the daily exceptions, as some exceptions may be legitimate.

If you want to prevent unauthorized checks from clearing your checking account, contact C&G Consulting for more information on how to implement Positive Pay in your business.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Selecting a new Accounting/ERP System (Part 2 of 4)

How to select a new Accounting/ERP system (Part 2) – In part 1 we discussed creating a selection committee and documenting needs and in Part 2 we discuss researching solutions and creating the request for information.

-Research possible solutions —Sage (Peachtree, ACCPAC, MAS 90/200 and MAS 500), Microsoft Business Solutions(Dynamics GP, NV and AX) and Intuit (QuickBooks) dominate the general software marketplace but you may need to look at specific (vertical) solutions for construction, manufacturing, retail, service, etc.

-Request for Information — This step involves sending vendors your key requirements and asking them to reply with their ability to meet your needs and the approximate cost for software and implementation for the user count you provide them. Once all replies are received, you will be able to easily narrow the field to the two top candidates.

In Part 3, we will discuss preparing for and conducting product demonstrations.