Thursday, January 28, 2010

More Peachtree User Problems Solved: January

Much as your teachers in high school or university probably made accounting sound insanely simple ("just double check your work and make sure the two balances on either side are the same"), life is not always so simple. When you are using a comprehensive, complete business solution-type product like Peachtree Quantum as your Sage accounting software, it can help. It seems that many people often encounter the same problems at around the same time, so today we are looking at some of the issues in the Peachtree software user community that have cropped over the month of January.
Problem: Dynazip Error #18 shows up when a user tries to perform the year end backup.
As frustrating as an error on this sort of critical task can be, there is usually a simple solution. In most cases it is a file permission problem. The user often doesn’t have the correct permissions to edit the protected backup document. Alternatively, you can run the inbuilt data checker in Peachtree, and fixing any existing data corruption that has occurred may correct the problem.
Remember that always running Peachtree software with the recommended system requirements (rather than the minimum ones) will help stop data corruption an the need for Peachtree support.
Problem: After upgrading to a wireless network, Peachtree data is inaccessible.
Peachtree software can be installed on the server, and installed on the laptop, but the computer will freeze when you try to access either the sample company data (during setup), or your own data after setup via a wired connection. This is usually a problem with the speed or quality of the wireless connection. Peachtree needs quite a modern system to run, and processes are stored on the wireless network. If it is not fast enough, freezing will occur.
Problem: Delinquent local taxes sometimes have garnishment orders applied. Setting these up in Peachtree software has required some users to edit every employee so that the Default box is unchecked when they calculated the garnishment, though the Calculate box wasn't checked.
This frustrating problem has a simple answer -- the default is set to Calculate, so only un-defaulted users are not calculated!
Problem: Remote Desktop does not work when upgrading to Peachtree 2006
Yes, there are still plenty of people upgrading only to version 2006 nowadays. This is not a program-wide issue -- some users are able to use Remote Desktop. You can either use third party tools like GoToMyPC or LogMeIn, or simply try the following in Windows. In the Remote Desktop management, disable Fast User Switching. Every user must completely log off for this to work. You can access this through Control Panel > User Accounts.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Should I Use a Bookeeping Service or Do My Books In-House?

This is one of the questions that almost all small businesses face. Large businesses have a much easier time deciding -- when there is plenty of work to do and the cash flow to keep somebody employed, it is always cheaper to do your books in house. The issue is not usually about retaining control over your information -- in most cases you can have your Sage accounting software installed on your own computers and have somebody come into your office and do your bookkeeping. The solution is much more dependent on your individual business setup. We look at the advantages and disadvantages on either side.
Cost difference
While bookkeeping services are fairly turnkey for most outsourcing companies, and therefore quite reasonable priced, it will still cost more to have a bookkeeping service take care of you in the long term than hiring an employee. Cost wise, here are some things to consider:
  • If you are a sole trader and bookkeeping would detract greatly from your earning time, having a bookkeeping service do the inputs for your Sage accounting software is a wise choice.
  • In fact, if you earn more in an hour than you would pay a bookkeeper, you should hire one!
  • If your company may not be in existence for very long, you should hire a bookkeeper rather than making the investment in training etc.
  • If you are going to run the same accounting software and expect to have a steady client base and income for years, it will be more cost effective to train somebody and have them do the books in-house.
Expertise difference
Unless you are fairly familiar with tax law, you might actually get a few more deductions than otherwise by using a bookkeeping service. They may be able to point out areas where, if you keep financial records, it may have tax implications at the end of the fiscal year.
The in-depth knowledge of what is happening with your money week-to-week can also be very powerful in your business. Knowing where you are at financially empowers you to make decisions in light of what is really happening with your business … no assumptions or guesses.
Peace of mind and reduced stress
If you aren't of the financial persuasion (and there is only a small segment of the population that are!), you probably find doing the books very stressful. There is quite a lot to know; if everything is going well, you'll be right. If a small error in your Sage accounting software crops up, there could be major time lost in trying to fix it. Nobody needs extra stress!

Peachtree User Problems Solved: January

We usually find that as certain times of year roll around, or as software upgrades (including those outside the Peachtree software family, like MS Office and Windows updates) are released, many people start experiencing the same problems concurrently. It's sort of like an epidemic of Peachtree illnesses! Today we explore some of the most popular problems experienced with Peachtree software products over the past month.
Problem: Around Christmas time, a lot of employee loans go out. These are relatively easy to administer, but not everybody knows how to set up a repayment in Peachtree products.
There are a couple of approaches to this problem. You could either set up a unique account and simply withhold to that account (called Employee Advances, and the type should be Other Current Assets). Or you could set up a receivable named rcvbl/employeeloan -- as the employee repays the receivable, the amount would be reduced to zero. Just remember to take the deduction from her net pay, not the gross.
Problem: Users upgrading to Peachtree 2008 in conjuction with the start of the calendar year have sometimes found that the purged records from Peachtree 2005 or 2007 are still in the Select for Deposit area.
This is a normal issue. You should select all the lines that are labelled with Purged Transaction, and enter a reference such as Purge and Save. You can also check the Deposit box. Before doing any of this, make sure you have a current backup of the data in your Peachtree software.
Problem: With a new year, many people are cleaning out old records. Users might need to delete invoices from 2005 to 2007, but are currently running either 2008 or 2010 version of their Peachtree software.
You can only delete an invoice of that year is open. You can restore the backup of that year to a new location and delete the invoice, then print the financials after voiding it. Use the new financials to compare to the beginning balances for that period in your current company, making changes as necessary.