Archive for the ‘2011 Year-End’ Category

How to Avoid Mistakes Loading the Sage Timberline Office 2011 Year-End Update

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“What could go wrong?” I ask. Three hours, two do-overs, and a desperate appeal to the software gods later I get the answer. I didn’t carefully read all of the instructions and supporting material and guessed wrong when I wasn’t sure.

InstructionsI’m the kind of person who frequently gets into trouble when following instructions. Assembling household items rarely goes right for me the first time. Often it’s because I fail to clarify a vague or confusing instruction. Other times I simply assume that I know what I’m doing and find out later that I don’t.

Even though I’m not an expert on Sage Timberline Office, I’d like to help you avoid unnecessary pain and suffering. Judging by the complexity of the “9.8.0 Update 2” instructions, here’s what I would probably do wrong:

Make an incorrect assumption - I assume that Update 1 is a prerequisite to Update 2. Later I read the “Release Notes for 9.8 Updates” and find out that I could have skipped Update 1. That’s a few hours of my life that I will never get back.

Do it the hard way - After spending 7 hours updating the 14 workstations in the office, I go back and read the “Notes” near the top of the page and find: “you can use Sage Installation Manager to streamline the installation of updates on your Accounting server and workstations.” Arrrgh!

Misinterpret the big warning - Instruction 4 clearly states “Double-click 980AccUpdate2.exe only once.” In spite of the warning, I start the update application twice, either because the server is set to use single-click, or by realizing too late that the note to instruction 6 is a repeat of the instruction 4 warning.

Not allow enough time - Things would go wrong then I wouldn’t get the software back up before it’s needed by others.

No one likes to experience problems with an update. Here are three things you can do to avoid making mistakes like the above:

    1. Read all of the instructions and notes before you begin. Just like in the sixth grade exercise where the last instruction tells you to do only the first of several complex instructions, reading everything is probably the best way to avoid pain and embarrassment.
    2. Ask for clarification of vague instructions (even if you are male).
    3. Don’t blindly follow someone else. Ask why a colleague or support person’s directions differ from the written instructions and be sure you are doing it correctly before proceeding.

If you still get into trouble, call Sage Support or one of Ledgerwood’s excellent consultants
who have many years of experience with the software behind them.

Good luck with the Update.

What do you do to avoid these kinds of problems with an update?

Will Tax Law Changes Help or Hurt My Construction Company?

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Last week I traveled the 120 miles from Phoenix to Tucson to attend the CFMA 2011 Tax Update presented by Beach Fleischman, a Tucson accounting firm. Although taxes are important, I have to admit I wasn’t crazy about the topic.  Tax seminars are comically used as an example of dull and uninteresting, but to my liking, the session was engaging and informative.  I was amazed by the volumes of information construction companies are expected to know about taxes.

TruckKim Paskal, the presenter from Beach Fleischman, covered more than 60 changes in the tax code including tax credits for employees hired in 2010; 2011 expense rules for SUV’s, Trucks and Vans; and an increase in the Social Security wage base for 2012; all of which  could impact a construction company’s bottom line.

Personally, I found the lengthy discussion on cancellation of real property business debt to be very helpful, having experienced my share of real estate investments gone South.

Ms. Paskal was well prepared and knowledgeable.   Having been a business owner myself, I know that relying on a tax expert like Kim is essential, especially if you are in a complex industry like construction.  It could mean real savings in your tax bill.

Talk to your tax advisor to get more details about how recent tax law changes might affect your business. If you need a good tax accountant I recommend calling Beach Fleischman.

For more information on this topic contact Ledgerwood Associates, the #1 Sage Timberline Business Partner in the Southwest!

Escape to the Cloud to Avert the Coming Budget Crisis

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The boss is glaring at you, the controller, and says, “Cut the IT budget for next year or we’re out of business!” “How in the world am I going to cut IT costs and worse, tell the boss he needs new servers?” you say under your breath.

Don’t despair. There IS a way to reduce your IT budget AND avoid the costly server upgrade. It’s called “Hosting”, a variation of Cloud computing. Hosting is where you put your construction software and data offsite on another company’s servers and access it from anywhere you have an internet connection. Moving your software and data to the Cloud by hosting is like using other people’s money, only it’s other people’s servers.

With hosting, you get the benefits of new servers without the big investment and ongoing costs of server maintenance. You don’t change software. There is no costly conversion. There is nothing new to learn.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

  • Reduced investment – Someone else buys the servers
  • Reduced IT costs – All you pay is a low monthly fee
  • Reduced Headaches – Someone else does the backups and fixes problems

Here’s what a local design-build company told me after moving their software and data to the Cloud.

“Putting our Timberline applications on the cloud saves us money and eliminates all of the usual IT problems… [and] the data security of the cloud means I can sleep at night.”

The construction company owner above once ran into a burning building to rescue his server. Now his software and data are housed in a secure data center.

Moving your applications and data to the Cloud with hosting can be done at any time. Just make sure it gets into the budget for next year. The benefits, lower IT costs and fewer headaches, make it a no-brainer. And, you can be a hero:

Budgeting Hero Checklist

  • Do I need to upgrade my servers next year?
  • Do I want to reduce my total IT costs?
  • Do I want fewer IT headaches so I can focus more on what I do best?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, hosting can solve the boss’s budget crisis and make you a budgeting hero.

Click here for more information about Timberline Hosting, or call Ledgerwood Associates, at 480-423-8300.

I want to know what you think. What are some of your concerns about hosting?

Upgrade to Sage Master Builder Version 17 to get Year-End Forms and Tax Tables

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Version 17 of Sage Master Builder was shipped to users just a couple of months ago. If you haven’t done so already, here’s a good reason to upgrade. Sage announced that you must upgrade to the latest version, “Release 17,” to get all of the updated tax tables and forms for government filings for the year-end 2011. Version 17 is considered to be a stable release with no reported problems.

For more information on this topic contact Ledgerwood Associates, the #1 Sage Timberline Business Partner in the Southwest!

September 20th, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Planning for 2011 Year-End Processing on Sage Timberline Office

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Helpful information for Sage Timberline Office users to get you through the coming 2011 year-end closing.

For the 2011 year-end release, Sage is supporting the two most recent major versions for Sage Timberline Office, versions 9.7.0 and 9.8.0 only. In order to complete 2011 year-end processing, you will need to upgrade to 9.7.0 or 9.8.0. Sage Timberline Office 9.8.0 is scheduled to ship in Fall 2011.

Follow this schedule to be ready for Year-End:

October

Contact Ledgerwood Associates for assistance with upgrading to 9.7.0 or 9.8.0 now; then schedule an appointment later in the year with your consultant for any assistance with year-end processing.

Learn more about eFiling with Aatrix or order your 2011 year-end tax forms.

November
Review your 2011 Year-End Procedures Guide (available in early November).

December
Attend the Year-end Procedures Class in Scottsdale, AZ on December 14 or 15th.  Install the 2011 year-end update (available for download in early December).

January 2012
After you have installed the 2011 year-end update and run your final payroll for the year, download the payroll tax updates for 2012.

For more information on this topic contact Ledgerwood Associates, the #1 Sage Timberline Business Partner in the Southwest!