Sage Summit

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This year Sage Summit is headed to New Orleans for the annual gathering of Sage customers and partners which will take place July 27 – 30, 2015.

Recently-announced “Featured Speakers” Include:

  • Tony Hawk – Entrepreneur and Pro Skateboarder
  • Chad Hurley – Co-founder of YouTube
  • Jane Seymour – Award-winning Actress
  • Matthew Weiner – Executive Producer of Mad Men

Sage 300 Sessions and Agenda

Sage has also published conference sessions, product lessons, and deep-dive learning opportunities broken out by product categories. Click below to see what’s in store for you at Sage Summit 2015:

Browse Sage 300 (Accpac) Product Sessions >>>

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News You Can Use

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Calling All Customers!

Share Your Ideas

Did you know that Sage 300 ERP (Accpac) has an Ideas Portal where customers can submit ideas and new feature requests directly to Sage product management?

The Ideas Portal allows you to submit new ideas, vote on existing ideas from fellow customers, review new features that are planned for upcoming releases, and collectively help to shape the future of your Sage 300 ERP software.

As of the publishing of this newsletter, the Sage 300 Ideas Portal has over 1,700 new ideas, 18,000 votes on existing ideas, and 2,400 comments from customers like you.

Let Your Voice be Heard:

Visit the Sage 300 Ideas Portal Now!

Sage 300 ERP 2014

Product Update 3 (PU3) Now Available

Product Update 3 for Sage 300 ERP 2014 is now available   for download. In addition to the bug fixes that are typically included in product updates, PU3 also includes a number of new features and enhancements in Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Purchase Orders, and Inventory Control.

In particular, a new Optimize Inventory screen helps you calculate optimal inventory levels based on your sales and automatically updates item reorder quantities. Also, new options related to the Optimize Inventory screen have been added to other screens including an Optimizer tab on the Options screen and a Seasonal option on the Items screen.

Review the Full Release Notes for Product Update 3

Review All Available Sage 300 Product Updates

Windows Server 2003 R2

Support Ending July 14, 2015

As a reminder, Microsoft has announced they will no longer support Windows Server 2003 R2 beginning July 14, 2015.

Now is the time to start planning an upgrade to a supported version of Microsoft Windows.

Contact Us if you are still running Sage 300 ERP (Accpac) on Window Server 2003 R2 and want to       discuss migration options.

Spotlight On: HRMS

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Payroll Changes in Sage HRMS 2015

There were quite a few new features along with a collection of improvements added to the Payroll product in Sage HRMS 2015. Let’s take a look at these changes to both U.S. and Canadian payroll.

The Gross Up Calculator

Sage HRMS Payroll (both U.S. and Canadian versions) now offers a Gross-Up Calculator that can be accessed from the Quick Launch Toolbar.

After entering the Desired Net Pay, you can choose the   employee earnings, taxes, and deductions. Next you can override amounts as needed and the calculator determines the gross amount to pay. Once you have the right configuration, you can generate a time-card with the calculation to be used directly in your standard payroll processing.

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Extended Support for GL Segments

If you have selected to Use Cost Center Overrides in Payroll G/L Integration, the General Ledger segments can now post with six segments for earnings, deductions, and taxes set up with cost center override. Prior to this enhancement, only three segments could be assigned. This change means     payroll can use the segments from the employee-level setup or the time card if they use the Regular Expense account. In order for the segments to post to your G/L, you must select the check-box Cost Center Override Allocated Based on Calc Base on the Earning/Deduction or Tax code setup.

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Other Payroll Enhancements

  • New Earnings Distributions Notifications Onscreen (U.S.)
  • Update Local Taxes Audit Report (U.S.) – new option to audit and review a summary of tax changes.
  • New CPP/QPP and EI Balancing Report (Canadian)
  • New T4A and RL-2 Reporting Options for Earning/Deduction Codes (Canadian)
  • New T4A and RL-2 Summary Report (Canadian)

The payroll enhancements included in Sage HRMS 2015 make an already great product even more flexible so you can customize the system to handle payroll your way.

Contact us if you have questions about Sage HRMS or want to discuss an upgrade to Version 2015.

Sage HRMS Release Notes

Click to download the Sage HRMS 2015 Release Notes for the full collection of upgrades.

Spotlight On: Sage CRM

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How to Shorten Your Sales Cycle

With the recent release of Sage CRM Version 7.3, Sage rolled out a bunch of new tools and reports that can help you accelerate your sales cycle and make the most of every opportunity. Let’s take a look at these new sales accelerators.

New Management Dashboards

Two new ready-to-use Management Dashboards are available to provide owners, managers, and decision-makers with the insight and metrics to close more sales – faster. Each dashboard includes configurable gadgets that use Sage CRM data from across your entire organization.

Sales KPI for Managers displays key performance indicators (KPIs) to help you identify and measure your organization’s successful activities … as well as those that aren’t performing so well. Metrics include monthly sales trends, actual vs. target, opportunities pipeline, open activities, at-risk   opportunities, and closed deals leader board by sales rep.

Sales Metrics for Managers helps you measure progress   toward organizational goals. Metrics include leads generated by source, deals lost to competitors, won vs. lost deals, average deal close rate, cross-sell deals, and top open deals.

These new dashboards provide important visual queues that help you quickly spot areas that require your attention. Then you can take action or run more detailed analysis to close deals faster or save opportunities that are slipping.

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Quicker Quotes, Orders, and Workflow

The new Quick Sale Workflow is a predefined workflow with fewer stages than the standard ‘Opportunity Workflow’. It’s perfect for products that don’t require a complex sales cycle and can be sold in just a few simple steps. Your sales people can focus more on getting the deal done quickly and less on system setup and administration.

In addition, you can now generate Quick Quotes and Orders using a new default template that’s merged with details from an existing record. That way, you just pull in a quote or order from another similar opportunity and simply change a few details rather than starting from scratch.

Proactive Alerts and Escalation Rules

There are also new ready-to-use Alerts and Escalation Rules designed to notify your team of critical event triggers related to leads, quotas, or opportunities. These proactive alerts are sent to managers and/or sales users so your team can take quick and decisive action rather than waiting until after the fact when it may be too late to close or save a deal.

Together, this collection of new features will help you close sales faster and drive more revenue.

Ready to Upgrade?

Sage CRM 7.3 is integrated with Sage 300 ERP 2012 and 2014. In addition to a separate integration component, you may need to install a product patch or update depending on your version of Sage 300 ERP. Get details here.

Contact Us if you need help upgrading.

Sage 300 ERP Intelligence Reporting

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Answers to Your Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs)

The popularity of business intelligence (BI) reporting has been on the rise – and for good reason. The graphs, charts, and number-crunching power that BI tools provide help you get the upper hand on all that data stored in your ERP system so you can make “intelligent” business decisions.

Many of you have already made, or are planning to make, a transition from the older Financial Reporter (FR) over to the new Sage Intelligence Reporting in Sage 300 ERP (Accpac). So here’s a look at some of the frequently-asked questions about Sage Intelligence.

What Is Sage Intelligence Reporting?

It’s an Excel-based reporting tool that pulls data from across your entire Sage 300 ERP  system (any module) into a single location so you can slice, dice, and analyze the numbers in familiar spreadsheet environment.

Resource: Sage 300 Intelligence Brochure

How Does it Compare to FR?

When it comes to financial reporting, Sage Intelligence is comparable to Financial Reporter (FR) in functionality. But as the name suggests, FR is designed primarily for financial reporting on numbers in your GL.

Sage Intelligence, however, looks across your entire system so you can run Excel-based graphical reports on sales, inventory, customers, non-financial data, and so much more.

Do I Need to Build All New Reports?

No – Sage 300 Intelligence Reporting comes with a number of ready-to-use reports for finance, inventory, products, customers, sales, and more.

You can use the standard reports ‘as is’ to get up and running quickly for immediate insight into your business. Or customize these pre-built templates to your liking.

Resource: Sage 300 Standard Reports

Can I Convert My Existing FR Reports?

While FR report specifications are not natively   compatible with Sage Intelligence, a guide is available that walks you through the process of converting FR specs into Sage Intelligence Financial Report layouts.

Resource: FR to Sage Intelligence Conversion

Does Sage Intelligence Work with   Microsoft® Excel® 2003?

No – Sage Intelligence only works with Excel 2007 or higher because it uses embedded XML files, the Excel ribbon, and other functionality that’s not supported in version 2003.

Where Can I Learn More?

If you want to do some digging around and get to know Sage Intelligence a little better, head over to the Sage 300 Intelligence Online Community where you’ll find instructional videos, recorded webcasts, user guides, a discussion forum, and a wealth of helpful resources to set you in the right direction.

Sage 300 Intelligence Online Community

GWA News – TECH TRENDS SHAPING THE FUTURE OF SAGE 300

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The technology landscape is always changing. Every year we see new innovations promising to boost productivity, reduce costs, enable smarter decisions, and gain a competitive advantage. But with so many new trends, how is anyone expected to keep track of it all? In this article, we focus on just a handful of technologies that are shaping the future of Sage 300 ERP.

Mobile ERP – Business on the Go

Nowadays, employees are no longer tied to their desks. With the wide spread use of mobile phones and tablets, you can now take your ERP system with you anywhere. Mobile Technology gives your staff access to the information they need to drive sales, manage operations, keep customers happy, and stay productive in the office, on the road, or onsite with a customer.

New Technology makes it possible to access Sage 300 any where, anytime using the web or mobile device

New Technology makes it possible to access Sage 300 any where, anytime using the web or mobile device

As employees spend less time in the office, mobile technology like Sage Mobile Solutions becomes crucial for keeping you connected and productive. By updating Sage 300 ERP in real-time, mobile ERP guarantees that everyone is working with the most up-to-date information, improving collaboration across departments, and supporting better decision making.

With mobile apps such as Sage Mobile Sales and Sage Billing and Payment, Sage 300 ERP is keeping you ahead of this trend by providing your team with new ways and more options to access inventory, process orders, and take payments.

Rise of the “Hybrid Cloud”

For some companies, choosing between the cloud and an on-premises installation is an either/or decision. But not everyone trusts ALL of their critical financial and operational data to a cloud vendor for safe keeping – enter theHybrid Cloud.” By combining your on-premises ERP system with cloud-based applications, Hybrid Cloud technology gives you the best of both worlds. You get the flexibility and ease-of-access of the cloud while preserving your existing workflow, investment in training, and any customizations you’ve applied to your on-premises Sage 300 ERP installation.

In fact, Sage introduced us to this technology last year. Using the Sage Data Cloud, you can connect your Sage 300 ERP system to a whole new world of mobile applications, software, and services delivered from the cloud. This new technology enables data and transactions to flow freely, and synchronize, between the cloud and your on-premises Sage 300 accounting system.

Simple Design and Personal Experience

Today’s ERP systems are moving toward a simplified design that’s less cluttered and navigation that mimics internet browsing. So whether you’re using software on-premises or in the cloud, you get a user experience that’s more intuitive and familiar across applications and devices. Technology is also becoming more personalized around each user’s tasks, screens, and workflows.

Sage 300 ERP 2014 features a simplified desktop design and more personalized workflow.

Sage 300 ERP 2014 features a simplified desktop design and more personalized workflow.

Capitalizing on this trend, Sage 300 ERP Version 2014 introduced a completely redesigned interface with a modernized desktop, ribbon style menu, updated icons, and clutter-free screens. New personalization options also allow you to customize shortcuts, modify screens, and rearrange menus so it’s easier to find the tasks you use most often and personalize workflows around your specific role.

Want to Learn More?

Contact us at info@gwabiz.com or 416.410.4245 to learn more about these trends or to see a demo of the newest technology in Sage 300 ERP.

VarTech Teaches Innovation

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OK, by the looks of this picture, I had a great time at Vartech with my associate here in this picture, but Vartech was so much more than just fun.gail-vartech

Archie Manning gave an inspiring speech. Then we moved into technology:

  • Mobile is here to stay.
  • The “cloud” is becoming more a staple in the workplace. OK a hybrid cloud is (hybrid means some cloud and some on-premise).
  • Adaption of paperless solutions is starting to take place at long last. We are paperless overall for our Payables now. Love it. The new solution for document control that runs on the iPad is awesome. We can’t wait to start using it.

So much is changing and so quickly that it is hard to keep up unless you attend events such as I do to update all my followers.

Over the next few weeks I will be blogging on all the cool things I learned at Vartech that will help you and your business to compete in today’s techno world. I would love to hear your questions about mobile, cloud and paperless so email me at gail@gwabiz.com

New Study Reveals that changing to a “do it once” philosophy pays off!

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Companies that invest in new innovations grow total revenues at twice the rate of dinosaurs. IT in Canada Daily is a publication I subscribe to. I would have to agree with its findings overall regarding clients that embrace technology. Obviously there are exceptions, but using old processes and doing things more than once instead of putting in new systems (not just software – systems are processes) has been proven to increase revenue.

While change can be challenging, new innovations can cause revenue to rise. When “change” hits the income statement it is good. Teaching people to do things once is what I do. I believe that repetitive tasks not only wear you down but hit you where it counts (in the pocket). It is something easily changed with guidance. If you want to read their whole article, click here .

Identify your problems

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I am a member of a “quote of the a day” email service. Today I received such a good one that I had to share it. We all worry so much about the problems. Why don’t we all stop focusing on the problem and instead FIX IT.

This is from Tim Robbins: “Identify your problems, but give your power and energy to solutions”.

Touche!

 

Do you think you don’t owe sales tax?

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The best way to handle tax exempt sales

Think because you’re not a retailer you don’t have a sales tax obligation? Think again. Often, companies that don’t collect and remit sales tax actually have much more rigorous rules to follow for compliance. And when it comes to pleading your case to the state auditor, ignorance isn’t bliss.

Even if you don’t sell direct to consumers, you may still be part of the transaction through a supply chain. As such, it is your job to reassure the state that you are exempt from collecting tax. Not-for profit organizations and governments also need to prove exempt status. This proof is typically in the form of an Exemption Certificate, which can vary by type and requirements. Some certificates are limited to purchases of only certain items, others are limited to certain items used for the completion of a certain project; some certificates provide a fractional or percentage exemption, while others are date-sensitive.

Managing how your business handles exemption certificates, and understanding when you do and don’t owe sales or seller’s use tax, is critical to maintain compliance. It’s also incredibly difficult to do if you don’t have the right systems.

There are three primary pieces you need to properly manage exemption certificates:

  1. Exemption Certificate Management Software
  2. ERP System
  3. Tax Decision Software

All three are critical for minimizing non-taxed transaction audit exposure, increasing staff productivity and improving the exempt customer purchase experience. These three systems play an important role at each step of the exemption certificate lifecycle:

Initiation of certificate process – The first step begins with the customer and the ERP software because this is where sales and invoices originate. When customers are exempt from sales tax the seller needs to collect an exemption certificate from them. However, often times customers do not know what documentation to provide and those taking the order do not have the certificate expertise to know which documentation they need.

Ensuring accurate collection – In the automated Exemption Certificate Lifecycle, these issues are solved with intelligent exemption certificate management (ECM) software. Customer data is passed to the ECM software and requests for certificates are automatically sent to customers. Intelligent ECM software will track the status of requests and help ensure customers provide only valid certificate information for their transactions. Intelligent ECM software can retrieve and provide copies of certificates to auditors. In addition, ECM software serves as the “source of truth” for certificates and will manage certificates, including tracking certificate expirations and certificates that have been deemed invalid. The management of all certificate data plays a critical role in the tax decision software.

Communication with tax decision software – The ERP software interacts with the tax decision software because it needs to know what tax amount, if any, it needs to apply to invoices for customers. If the tax decision software has accurate certificate data, then customers who are exempt from sales tax will be billed correctly. If not, then not only will exempt customers be billed incorrectly but the seller is also increasing its audit exposure and risk.

Depending on your business, you may be responsible for both issuing and collecting certificates.

The proper application of each exemption to each sale is critical. Without proper documentation, auditors could determine that you understated or improperly exempted taxable sales and that could cost you.

Learn more about exemption certificates and common mistakes many businesses make, by reading the Exemption Certificate Survival Guide.

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