Dear AccountMate Clients,
We have clients coast-to-coast, but it’s usually our Gulf and South Atlantic coast clients who are most concerned with disaster preparedness. Unfortunately, our clients in the Northeastern States – especially New York and New Jersey – are now just as sensitive to the topic.
Of course the very first line of defense is having a good backup; but there’s several options available with different positives/negatives to them which I’ll discuss here. And, those who are used to me providing “lists” of options know that I always save the best for last! <grin>
Hot Backup: This entails having an offsite server, to which your in-house system backups/replicates in real-time and can be switched over to in, typically, 30 minutes or less. This is a very expensive option and usually only justifiable by clients who are super-sensitive to downtime or required by some regulatory mandate.
Cold Backup: This is probably what you have in place now – a backup of data to removable physical media which, if you’re smart, is regularly rotated offsite. It’s inexpensive since a reasonable backup application is built-in to Windows Servers – and, yes, you can recover using this approach. The negative is this is very hardware-dependent as the restoration of the complete backup expects a nearly identical server as that which was backed up – so downtime to get replacement hardware is significant (a week or more) and, even then, often only data files are recovered as system configuration items such as your Active-Directory security still aren’t easily restored.
Lukewarm Backup: Better than a cold backup, this approach includes the decision that, in the event of a catastrophic failure only the operational data will be restored – and the Active-Directory will just have to be rebuilt. It’s implemented by backing up only data files – with the “best practice” approach to be via the Internet to an off-site backup service. Online backup options abound these days – and it’s a relatively inexpensive option for protecting your AccountMate and other (MS-Word, Excel, AutoCAD, etc.) files. By including the online backup approach, even if your business is without power the restoration can be to an offsite/virtual server which your staff would then connect remotely to. Note, however, restoration is a labor-intensive effort to spin up a server, restore the data, set up the remote security/logins, etc. – so the recovery time is typically a day or two even to an outside/hosted server and longer in-house if you have to acquire server hardware.
Warm Backup: We’ve recently been working with an amazing Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) appliance that does a “bare metal backup” (which is hardware-agnostic, and un-tethered from the exact server hardware) and also replicates off-site. In the event of a server failure, the appliance itself can be spun up as a complete temporary server in about an hour. But the best part is: if there is a fire/flood/hurricane/etc. that renders your office untenable, then the server image, including all data and security, can be spun up on a virtual server offsite in just a handful of hours! Contact us for complete details/pricing on this option as it really does combine the best of all possible options at a reasonable cost – especially compared to the cost of being down!!!
As I mentioned, some of our clients have just suffered more than a week of downtime – and sorely wish they’d considered not only a backup plan, but a recovery plan as well. Hopefully the options above help you to frame your plan now, while it’s not an emergency, and the best cost/benefit option can be selected without the pressure of being down!
Kevin E. Stroud
NexLAN Holiday Schedule
Our offices will be closed on December 25, 2012 in observance of the Christmas Holiday; and January 1, 2013 in observance of the New Year.
As always, we are available in case of an emergency and if you don’t already have an emergency call list, please contact us at 877.2NexLAN or email@example.com to request one.
Year End Preparation Webinars
Every year AccountMate holds webinars to help you plan for year-end closing. For a hassle-free closing process, please sign up for the following session in early December.
Closing the Period in AccountMate 8 – This webinar will present the recommended procedures for closing the period in the AccountMate 8 subsidiary modules. Some common issues that may be encountered during closing will also be identified and tips on how to resolve these issues will be provided. This webinar will be held on December 4, 2012 (Tuesday), 12:00 to 1:00pm, CST.
Closing the Payroll Tax Year in AccountMate 8 – This webinar will discuss the procedures for closing the Payroll tax year in AccountMate 8. The reports that will be affected by the tax year closing process will also be identified. This webinar will be held on December 5, 2012 (Wednesday), 12:00 to 1:00pm (CST).
Year End Closing in AccountMate 8 – This webinar will focus on the requirements and procedures for closing the fiscal year in the AccountMate 8 General Ledger module. It will also provide some tips to help effectively perform year-end closing. This webinar will be held on December 6, 2012 (Thursday), 12:00 to 1:00pm (CST).
If you are interested in attending any of these webinars, please hit reply to this e-mail or call us at 877.2NEXLAN and we will be glad to register you!
BizNet: Excel-Based Reporting & Analytics Webinar
Are you struggling with your reporting in AccountMate? Why not use what a substantial amount of companies already utilize today – EXCEL! BizNet’s Excel Business Information Suite is the next generation reporting solution and was designed by accounting professionals.
A FREE webinar will be held on December 12th, 1pm to 2pm (CST). If you are interested in attending this webinar, please hit reply to this email or call us at 877.2NexLAN and we will be glad to register you!
Payroll Tax Subscriptions
It is AccountMate’s 2013 Payroll Tax Subscription season with subscription options of Federal plus a single State, five States or all 50 States (plus PR & DC). Also available is the 2013 Federal W-2 Electronic Filing Generator (formerly MagMedia).
If you use AccountMate’s Payroll, we should have already contacted you with details for your specific installation, but if somehow we missed you then please contact us as soon as possible!
AccountMateForms.com: HR & 2012 Tax Forms
We encourage our clients to order their check stock and tax forms from AccountMateForms.com; and to help you get ready for the 2012 Tax Season, your tax forms are now available at https://www.accountmateforms.com/.
AccountMateForms.com also offers posters and forms for the most current labor laws and regulations (state and federal) that are a mandatory requirement for all businesses in the United States. It is important to know that penalties are normally imposed on those businesses that do not properly display the most up to date labor law notification posters in the workplace.
AccountMateForms.com has these HR posters, forms and required content to keep your business in full compliance and avoid government fines.
To order either call 800-499-2022, fax order to 800-261-1499 or go to the website at https://www.accountmateforms.com/.
Application Improvements Released
Application improvements are regularly released, but we’ve honestly wrestled with the best means of notifying you about them. Since many installations are customized, installation sometimes requires integration of the updates with customizations already in place; and many issues being addressed occur only in very narrow circumstances (such as when multi-currency is configured, or other such esoteric conditions) so we’re hesitant to make everyone think every patch even has to be installed.
So, with those caveats, we’d like to make you aware that AccountMate has recently released program amendments to address the following possible issues in AM SQL/Express 8. These application improvements are available to clients with an active AccountMate Software Maintenance Plan and we’re happy to provide them to you directly, or to install/integrate them (which would be a billable event).
AM SQL/Express V8
Enhancement: Warehouse Inventory Transfer of FIFO item causes data problems when 2 of same items are transferred.
Problem: Apply Payroll/Payment displays error, “VFP52: No table is open…” when GL Distribution is deleted.
Tech Note: Year End Information
This month we feature Technical Notes that are relevant to the three-session year-end preparation webinars scheduled next week (December 4-6, 2012). We recommend that you go through these articles prior to attending the webinar sessions. Click on each article’s title below to access the document
Article 1254: Reports Affected by the W-2 1099 Year-End Closing and Period-End Closing for the Last Period of the Current Fiscal Year in AM6.5
Article 1255: Reports Affected by the W-2 1099 Year-End Closing and Period-End Closing for the Last Period of the Current Fiscal Year in AM7 and AM8
Article 1256: Period-End Closing Procedures in AM6.5
Article 1257: Period-End CLosing Procedures in AM7 and AM8
Article 1258: Common Closing Errors
Article 1259: Performing W-2/1099 Year-End Closing in AM6.5 when the Company’s Fiscal Year is not the Calendar Year
Article 1260: Performing W-2/1099 Year-End Closing in AM7 and 8 when the Company’s Fiscal Year is not the Calendar Year
Article 1261: Year-End Closing Procedures
Article 1262: Year-End Closing Tech Tips
Article 1263: Reconciling Inventory Balances with Physical Count Results
Article 1264: Reports Needed when Revaluing Foreign Currency Denominated Receivable and Payable Balances
Article 1265: Consolidated Ledger Closing Procedures
Article 1266: How Budget Statements are affected by Transfer Data to GL, Period-End Closing and Year-End Closing
Tech Note: How AccountMate Calculates and Validates Customer Credit Limit
The Sales Order and Accounts Receivable modules offer a feature that allows you to configure whether sales order or invoice transactions will be allowed for customers who exceed their credit limit. There is also an option to include in the credit limit validation the sales order shipments that are not yet invoiced. This provides optimum flexibility to enforce customer credit policies. You need to fully understand how AccountMate calculates and validates the customer credit limit to maximize this feature’s use.
This month we present a Technical Note that explains how the Credit Available balance is calculated. The article also enumerates the transactions that affect the calculation and their effects on the Accounts Receivable, Open Order, Un-invoiced Shipments, and Credit Available balances. Click on the article’s title below to access the PDF document.
Article 1319: How AccountMate Calculates and Validates Customer Credit Limit
Tech Note: AccountMate Function Keys and Hot Keys
AccountMate is equipped with functions keys and hot keys which allow users to perform tasks quickly. This technical note provide a quick reference to these hot keys.
Article 1138: AccountMate Function Keys and Hot Keys
Versions: AM8 for SQL and Express
AM7 for SQL and Express
AM6.5 or LAN using Upgraded Payroll
Q: How can I post an employee’s wage gross amount in the Post Employee Beginning Balance ► Fed W/H tab? The field is grayed and disabled.
A: You can enter the wage amounts in the Post Employee Beginning Balance ► Earning Code tab. The Fed W/H tab ► Gross Amount field will be automatically populated with the total wage amount that you entered for each earning code in the Earning Code tab.
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Versions: AM8 for SQL and Express (AM8.3 or higher)
Module: SO, IC
Tip: Mark the Include Received In-Transit Inventory checkbox if you want to include the received serialized item quantities in the Inventory Serial Number Report. The checkbox is available only when the Inventory Acceptance feature is activated in the Sales Order module.
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Versions: AM8 for SQL and Express (AM8.3 or higher)
Tip: You can view the un-invoiced shipment transactions by generating the Un-invoiced Shipment Cost Report. When the Inventory Acceptance feature is activated in SO Module Setup and the line items are set up for acceptance conflrmation, the un-invoiced shipment transactions will appear in the report only after the inventory acceptance transaction is recorded.
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