Beginning of Year Checklist

In Backups, Year End by Kevin Stroud

Dear AccountMate Clients,

I’m a very “to do list” driven person.  I really like to have checklists and then check stuff off of them for a great feeling of accomplishment.  But, most importantly, it keeps things organized so there’s no steps missed.

So, here’s the annual NexLAN list of “Things We Recommend You Do at the Beginning of the Year!“, slightly revised and updated.

  1. Lock your January 2018 fiscal period!  Whether you’ve closed the fiscal year or not, now is the time when people typo the year in a transaction and accidentally post it 12 months in history. So head to <Housekeeping><Posting Period Restrictions> in General Ledger and check the boxes for each module to restrict posting in that period. You can also use this during the year to keep transactions from hitting periods that have already been audited and approved–and you can always unrestrict the period if you really do have to post back.
  2. Make a backup of your live company!  You’ll want detailed listings to validate your Balance Sheet with—whether that’s an AR or AP Aging report or a Warehouse Quantity Listing—and while AccountMate provides “as of” reports for validating many of the Balance Sheet accounts, all too often someone backdates a transaction which you really didn’t want backdated and then it’s nearly impossible to create the validating report. For AccountMate/SQL clients, if you have our NexSQLBack utility installed then this is only a few mouse clicks. Details of that are here, and remember that it’s FREE for direct clients of NexLAN. For AccountMate/LAN clients, look at the properties of your desktop shortcut then just make a “copy” of the entire directory (and sub-directories) that it’s pointing to—which I bet would fit on a USB drive you could put in your pocket for safekeeping at home for an extra level of protection against loss of your facility.
  3. Check your Database Maintenance Plan Directory!  For our AccountMate/SQL clients, and LAN clients using the Payroll module, we always put a SQL “database maintenance plan” in place which runs nightly to re-index data files (to improve performance), truncate the log files (so the database files don’t grow to consume the entire drive), and backup the database to flat files (where we can easily access it for quick restoration and so that “simple” file backup programs can capture the data). Those backups are usually setup to be “rolling five days,” keeping the most recent five days and overwriting the oldest, and when we set up that database maintenance plan we provided the directory path of the directory those files will be written to so you can be sure they’re backed up by your IT department with offsite storage.  That should all still be running, but if the account it runs under has been disabled or the password expired then it’s possible it’s NOT.  Of course, it’s always worth confirming your backups are happening—so check out that directory to make sure the date/time stamp on the files is recent, as “after you need it” is a bad time to find out otherwise.  If you don’t recall where that directory is, you know how to reach us.
  4. Set your AP 1099 Year!  When you print 1099 reports and forms (which you’ll need to buy at your local office supply store, see below) they will reference “Current 1099 Year” and “Prior 1099 Year”—without specifically saying what year each of those is. To set that, hit <Housekeeping><AP Module Setup> and then access the “1099 Setup” tab to set the Current Year in the combo-box at the top. The combo-box only shows three years at a time, so if you’re more than a year back, then you’ll need to set it to the latest year you can hit <OK> at the bottom and then go back in again to advance it another year.
  5. Photocopy your wallet!  Some clients laugh when I include this here, but just as you back up the important information on your computer systems, take five minutes to get all the cards out of your wallet, line them up face down on a photocopier and hit the button—then flip everything over and make a copy of the backs for the important “lost card” call-in info.  This five minutes will save hours of effort if you lose your wallet during the coming year and is a good opportunity to review for any expired or expiring cards too.

If you haven’t closed your fiscal year yet, no problem—just keep in mind that you won’t have beginning balances in your Balance Sheet accounts until you do—and when you’re ready, check out the Tech Notes and MORE Tech Notes for tips below.

Still have a question not covered above? Hit us for a healthy holiday helping of free telephone and e-mail support!

Regards,

Kevin E. Stroud
NexLAN, LLC
https://nexlan.com

Core AM/SQL Product Training March 20-22, 2019 

The next Core Product Training class at AccountMate’s headquarters in Petaluma, California, is scheduled for Wednesday-Friday, March 20-22, 2019.

The three days of classroom training is applicable to both first-time and existing AccountMate users—and don’t forget that if you have an active Lifecycle Maintenance Plan, it includes one seat per year so your only cost would be travel expenses.
Contact us for additional information and see the course description here.

What Year-End Paper Forms Do I Need?

As much as us geeks would love the world to be completely paperless, if you’re printing Payroll W-2/W-3 or Vendor 1099-MISC or ACA forms then you’ll need special paper—but what special paper? Here’s the list:

  • W-2 for Federal Filing: Print 2-up on plain paper
  • W-2 for Employer, Employee & State Copies: Print on 4-up plain perforated paper (or, use your handy office “guillotine” paper cutter with one eye closed and your tongue sticking out of the corner of your mouth to be EXACT)
  • W-3 for Federal Filing with W-2s: Print on single sheet plain paper
  • 1099-MISC for Federal Filing: Print on 2-up RED pre-printed forms available at your local office supply store—we got ours at Wal-Mart
  • 1099-MISC for Payer, Recipient & State Copies: Print on 2-up BLACK pre-printed forms—will be in the packet you get from local office supply store
  • 1096 for Federal Filing with 1099s: Print on RED pre-printed form—will be a few in your packet of 1099s
  • ACA 1094 & 1095: Federal filing and Employer & Employee copies all print on plain paper

Also, please be aware that as of May 1st, 2018, the Aatrix Payroll Tax Form Printing and Filing plug-in no longer supports Windows XP or Windows Server 2003!


Tech Notes and MORE Tech Notes for Year-End

Here’s all the Tech Notes we could put our hands on for year-end closing:


Technical Tips

Versions: AM10 for SQL and Express
AM9 for SQL, Express, and LAN
AM8 for SQL, Express, and LAN

Module: All Modules

TIP: It is important to remember that closing the last period of the fiscal year in subsidiary modules must be done only when the company is ready to close the fiscal year in the General Ledger module. Closing the last period of the fiscal year in subsidiary modules will advance the current period to the first period of the next fiscal year. Any module with a current period that is in a different fiscal year compared with the current fiscal year in GL will not allow recording of transactions that post journal entries (e.g., AP Invoice Transactions, Ship SO, Print Check, etc.). The validation message, “Cannot continue with this function. General Ledger is in a different year,” is displayed each time you access the applicable Transactions function.

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Versions: AM10 for SQL and Express
AM9 for SQL, Express, and LAN
AM8 for SQL, Express, and LAN

Module: AP, PR

Q: I need to refund an employee garnishment amount without affecting the employee’s net pay. How do I record this in AccountMate? 

A: Post an AP invoice for a one-time vendor to record the transaction in AccountMate. To do this, perform these steps:

  1. Access the AP Invoice Transactions function.
  2. Click the One-Time Vendor button beside the Vendor # Lookup button.
  3. Select Yes when prompted to create a one-time vendor record.
  4. In the Company field, enter the employee name.
  5. Enter other information in the remaining fields (e.g., Address, AP Invoice #, Invoice Date, etc.).
  6. Enter the garnishment amount in the Invoice Amt field.
  7. Be sure to populate the Apply Amt field with an amount equal to the Invoice Amt.
  8. Click Save.
  9. Click Print Check in the Post AP Invoice window to display the Print Computer Check window.
  10. Enter the Check # and Check Date. Then, click Print Check(s).

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Versions: AM10 for SQL and Express
AM9 for SQL, Express, and LAN
AM8 for SQL, Express, and LAN

Modules: AR, SO

Q: I noticed that each time a non-stock item is shipped, the Special… field in the Ship Sales Order function or the Create Invoice function shows “SN.” Why is a non-stock item considered a serialized item?

A: A non-stock item does not have an item record; thus, AccountMate does not know whether it is a serialized item. You are not required to enter a serial number to save the transaction; however, you have the option to enter a serial number if in case the non-stock item happens to have a serial number.

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Versions: AM10 for SQL and Express
AM9 for SQL, Express, and LAN
AM8 for SQL, Express, and LAN

Module: PR

Q: I imported the employee time cards, but now need to change some of the employees’ earnings and deduction amounts. How can I do this?

A: You can amend the time card employees’ earnings (e.g., delete or add an earning code, amend hours, rate, or amount) using the Time Card/Piece Work > Amend Time Card function. The deductions amounts can be amended when you apply payroll for Time Cards in the second Apply Payroll/Payment > Earnings/Deductions > Deductions > Amt/Pct/Rate field.


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