Addsum web site and general info

Postings here will focus mainly on Advanced Accounting software updates, tips, and related topics. They will also include general comments relating to troubleshooting PC/Windows/network problems and may also include reference to our other software products and projects including any of our various utilities, or to the TAS Premier programming language. We considered setting up separate blogs for different topics so that users/others could subscribe to topics mostly aligned with their interests, but decided that it would be better to keep things simple since some topics cross over into others. We would nonetheless welcome your feedback/input in this regard. Our web site URL is Call us at 800-648-6258 or 801-277-9240. We also maintain so that older Business Tools users in particular have a greater chance to find us.


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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Missouri, North Dakota, Oregon . . who's next?

Just in the past week or so, we've become aware of three more states that have made 2018 state income tax withholding changes:


Missouri was one of several states that initially deferred making any first of year changes for 2018. 

Missouri has since made sweeping changes without any accompanying explanation other than that the changes were made as a result of the federal tax reform bill signed on December 22, 2017.  The state further indicates that if the IRS makes additional calculation adjustments, more changes could follow.

Missouri essentially doubled standard deductions (four different types including a distinction for married individuals depending on whether the spouse works or not; only one other state to our knowledge makes that distinction) but also completely eliminated any deduction for personal allowances.  They also lowered the top incremental rate from 6.0% to 5.9%.  In one sense this is logical if a state's view is to mimick what the federal system does and is trying follow what the law says (since personal exemptions are going to be eliminated at the federal level), yet it also really doesn't (since the federal withholding formula is still taking them into account).   What it basically means is that now in Missouri, and unlike the federal withholding tax logic, additional allowances basically mean nothing in that the state withholding tax calculations are essentially identical regardless of the number of allowances claimed.  So if you analyze some of the tax tables the state has now published, the difference in tax calculations for Single, Married (see more below) or Head of Household, whether an employee claims 0 exemptions or 10 exemptions, the withholding amounts are all almost exactly the same.  This is a result that normally would be completely unexpected for any state where employees can claim state withholding allowances, and is therefore somewhat unprecedented.

Missouri's updated MO W-4 form (some states have their own withholding form, some just use the federal form) still asks for the number of additional allowances for dependents and a separate line for other allowances.   But it appears that those answers mean very little in terms of MO withholding calculations.

With respect to the two Missouri "married" types:  if both spouses work, the status in Advanced Accounting should be identified as a "B" versus an "M" if the spouse does not work.  There are big differences in the calculation between MO state income tax withholding for a "B" status as compared to an "M" status, although the calculation is of course identical for federal income taxes (where a "B" simply becomes an "M").  It is on line 2 of the MO W-4 where an employee indicates whether a spouse works or not.  But it asks the employee to enter a "1" if a spouse does not work as if it is an allowance.  That really doesn't make any sense because the critical distinction for the two types has nothing to do with "allowances" per se, but rather puts the employee into an entirely different category.

Advanced Accounting has been updated internally both for the significant logic and other changes along with an accompanying tax table update that is also required.   Missouri payroll users will need to contact us to obtain this update.

Missouri has a fairly helpful on-line withholding tax calculator that we wish all states had, and their web site indicates that it has been updated for these recent changes.  We have used it fairly extensively to test changes we made in Advanced Accounting to ensure that our computations were matching theirs.  Something that is odd about the calculator, however, is that it asks for the computed federal income tax withholding (FIT).   Yet the Missouri formula in effect does not consider FIT, and we have found we can input almost any value in the calculator for the federal tax amount and it usually makes little to no difference in their calculation, which is very confusing.

MO employer reference page:

North Dakota:

North Dakota on Jannary 3, 2018 had indicated that it was going to delay releasing its 2018 income tax withholding, and it put out that notice since it is a state that normally publishes changes every year.  At some point after the release of the updated IRS Publication 15 aka Circular E (which came out on January 25), North Dakota revised their rates which also included a revision of their supplemental wage rate (involves some internal logic, not a table change).  North Dakota's logic is fairly simple.  They are one of many states that still have a standard deduction similar to the federal amount which was raised, accompanied by some tax table changes.  Advanced Accounting users in North Dakota will need an update from us to handle two of these changes even though the biggest changes relate to user maintainable table limits/rates.

ND employer reference pagge:


Oregon was off the radar in terms of making 2018 changes, but made changes effective February 1, 2018.

Oregon has one of the more complex and difficult to follow formulas which is really very much unlike any in the country (although there are some other states that fall into this category as well), and there are many inconsistencies in the explanation of the formula.   Since we have long supported the Oregon formula in Advanced Accounting, the changes should have been fairly easy to implement, even though there were a great number of changes to rates and amounts.

We realized however in trying to test withholding amounts that despite having spent a significant amount of time trying to implement the formula in the past and despite how the Oregon instructions are presented, a single employee with 3 or more allowances receive the same base and other logic "as if" married.   No other state has logic like this that we are aware of, and this came out in testing.  After making preliminary changes, we were getting the same results as some of Oregon's tables for a status of Single or Married with 0, 1 or 2 allowances (which all produce different, matching results as expected).  But for 3 or more, the distinction supposedly goes away (but yet it doesn't).  And Oregon's published tax tables reinforce that concept by having an unusual presentation for 3 to 14 allowances, with the amounts in those pre-calculated tables shown as the same for single or married.  BUT:  the Oregon formula specifically includes consideration of the FIT computed for a given pay period.   And the federal calculation continues to be DIFFERENT for employees with a status of Single versus Married and has no concept like Oregon's in that respect. Therefore, the pre-calculated amounts cannot possibly be the same for a Single status with 3 or more allowances as someone with a Married status with 3 or more allowances, contrary to how they are portrayed in the tax tables. The "computer formula" that Oregon outlines should resolve that problem as most Oregon employers are probably not manually still looking up withholding amounts from tables.  But this causes considerable confusion in trying to interpret the formula that is presented and verifying results, which is already far more complicated than it needs to be.

The Oregon withholding amounts are completely logic driven and do not, and really cannot, easily rely on normal withholding tables which is why there are no "OR" tax tables under Advanced Accounting's PR-K "Maintain tax tables" option. 

A 2018 payroll update for Advanced Accounting is available for Oregon, and Oregon users will need to get in touch with us to obtain that update.

OR employer reference page:


A state like Mississippi has not made any 2018 changes because their withholding formula doesn't rely on a federal income tax computation.  Nor does Montana, and others.   Utah would be another example where rates have not changed (since 2008) except for one big glaring discrepancy:  Utah's actual individual income tax filing, but not withholding, includes an adjustment for federal income tax paid during the year.   So unless it makes some changes, they will be discrepancies in amounts withheld compared to amounts owed (more so than normal) in 2018.

Unless it is required by a state's statute (although statutes can be changed), is nonsensical for states to include in their withholding formulas any amount that relates to the federal income tax.   Why? These are completely unrelated and disparate systems.  Surely state legislators and tax commissions, in those states which have state income tax (and most do), could easily come up with formulas based on projected/needed revenues that do not in any way need to rely on, nor include consideration of, projected nor actual federal individual income tax amounts. These are archaic approaches that need to be changed not only to simplify calculations that will still lead to the same tax payments/revenue but would avoid the needless chaos, confusion, and cost that arises just because of back and forth swings in federal income tax calculations.  This is not a state vs. federal issue, simply that the two taxes are completely separate and unrelated, and one should not in any way rely on the other.  The elimination of any reliance on federal changes includes both (a) standard deduction amounts (many states still use an amount that parallels the federal amount) and (b) federal income tax calculation/projections. 

Why put your state into the position of having to revise your formulas every year just because of some federal change?  

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Louisiana releases updated withholding tables

On Feburary 15, 2018, the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) announced updated tax tables and formulas that were effective February 16, 2018.   The changes were made to make adjustments in light of changes in federal income tax laws that will impact 2018 income tax returns.

Louisiana's withholding methodology is unique and, like a number of states that have state income tax withholding (most do), it requires special programming logic.

In reviewing our existing Louisiana state income tax logic, we realized that it needed to be completely changed to not only correctly accommodate the recent changes but also to more accurately compute the required withholding.

A description of the logic taken from the recently published tables is contained below:

A link to the full 2018 LDR document is referenced below:

Unlike withholding at the federal level and most other states (although there are exceptions), Louisiana separates dependency "credits" from "personal exemptions."  In most states, there is a single number for state allowances ("or exemptions") and often the number claimed by employees is the same as the federal amount.  Those allowances are usually indicated under "St" in the Advanced Accounting PR-A employee maintenance screen.

For Lousiana however the "St" value will now be used only for dependency credits. This is the number contained on Block B of Louisiana form R-4.   This is the number of dependents (as defined by IRS code) the employee will be claiming on their Louisiana tax return other than the employee or a spouse.  Personal exemptions should be entered under SSEx with these possible values:  0-none 1-employee 2-employee and spouse (i.e. the Block A value on form R-4). A value of 2 can only be entered as a personal exemption if the employee's marital status is "M" (married); a single employee can only claim 0 or 1.    A married employee can also claim 0 or 1, but one of the unusual aspects of the LDR logic is that in that event, the state income tax logic reverts to being the same as if a single employee.  

The 0 or 1 personal exemption election falls then into a different logic flow than a claim of 2 personal exemptions.    If the employee claims no personal exemptions but does claim dependency credits, the LDR's tax tables do not provide guidance as to the amount to withhold, but Advanced Accounting will nonetheless calculate the tax based on the formula logic.   Each additional state withholding allowance reduces, on an annualized basis, the tax withheld by $21. The selection of a personal exemption of 1 or 2 however then starts the calculation at a lower level, with some different rates and tax bracket logic applying to different wage bracket tiers.

In order to verify that the rewritten logic implemented in Advanced Accounting's PR-B was accurate, we had to modify the FIT/SIT calculator recently introduced in the software to take into account the separation of the dependency credits from the personal exemptions as outlined below.

In order to compare the withholding formula results to the tax tables provided by LDR, use the wages in any given bracket that is the average of the min. and max. values.  So for the bracket 18,501 to 18,900, in the calculator use 18,700.  For an employee claiming no personal exemptions (regardless then of marital status) and no dependency credits (i.e. state allowances on the screen above), the Louisiana state income tax is $504.30 (annualized) which exactly matches the table amount for that bracket. Changing the personal exemption to 1 reduces the calculation to $409.80.  Adding one state allowance (dependency credit) results in a value $21 less or $388.80. Changing the marital status to M and claiming 2 personal exemptions and no state allowances results in a calculation of $222.40.  Adding a dependency credit reduces that amount by $21 to $201.40.

We have further tested the updated program using salaries in all ranges that the LDR tax logic impacts, and with both 0, 1 and 2 personal exemptions in those ranges to verify accuracy.

A software update for Louisiana users is now available which includes an update to both Advanced Accounting's PR-A and PR-B program options.  Existing users will, after installing the new update, need to check each employee to ensure that the "St" value now only contains values representing Block B elections and the Block A election amounts are moved to the SSEx field for employees who belong to a division with a state code of LA.

In states like Louisiana where different types of allowances or exemptions may apply, this means that both the state L-4 and the federal W-4 will need to be completed by employees.  And since the recent federal tax law changes have eliminated personal exemptions, confusion and questions will likely follow.


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Why it isn't just about the browser

There is a lot of confusion about terms such as "cloud-based" and "web-based" software.

Most users probably are thinking of a web browser when they think of these terms.   Even the term "tech" in the software industry tends to be linked to some product or service that involves a web browser.  Misguided approaches that focus on teaching children how to be "coders" often translates really to "how to format and upload a web page" with a few added scripts sprinkled in for good measure, which is really more "formatting" then programming, and in any event tends to focus on processes and tools that "live" solely within the constraints of a web browser. 

(Children should be taught how to read books, how to think and interact with others, how to do things with their hands, how to play a musical instrument, how to hold a pencil and write with it, how to spell, how to use mathematical principles in their daily lives, how to appreciate and care for the natural world, etc. long before any consideration towards using a computer much less than "coding" which should not be thought of as anything ultimately other than a tool to enhance other endeavors and knowledge, and not as an end in and of itself.)

While the definitions depend on who you ask, a web-based application is not necessarily accessed via a web browser (although in most cases, perhaps).

And cloud-based applications aren't necessarily accessed through a web browser either. In fact, very often they are not.

And "clouds" might be privately hosted (which further blurs the distinction of what has been commonly referred to as a locally run application or in more recent jargon, "on premises" application). A public cloud is hosted by a third party such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services but there are companies now that will host your private cloud which blurs the distinction even more.

The browser remains a relatively poor substitute for programmatic control and validation; and integrated development environments (IDE's) are still light years behind what has been available for the desktop PC now for decades.

Most companies are using at least some Internet or web services and in this respect we have been living in a hybrid world for some time as personal computers morphed into performing a number of chores for which they were not originally designed (they were not designed at first even to network to each other locally, much less to far off destinations).  They were after all "personal" computers. Whether the programs reside on a computer that you own and maintain or whether it is on a computer that someone else owns and maintains is increasingly becoming a meaningless distinction.  Either system could involve accessing programs "from the cloud." A more critical distinction might be whether an application requires a web browser to access it, and also relating to the transportability of that system (can you only access it from the provider's computers, or do you have the ability to run it from a backup copy or a copy placed somewhere else)?

Increasingly users are opting for software that they don't even have the ability to run anywhere but from the provider's publicly hosted computers. In some sense this is like always always being forced to drive someone else's custom built car as your sole source of transportation (and each time having to ask to borrow the keys to use it).  There can be advantages in that approach, but also disadvantages.

For many companies concerned with security and the flexibility, the hybrid approach to both local and sometimes occasional access to external resources using a web browser will remain a preferred way of doing business.

Some key considerations include:

(a) Within 18 months, will you have paid more in monthly fees than you could have paid to have access to your own licensed copy of the software, regardless of whether you are continuing to pay a monthly fee or not?

(b) Will all of these monthly fees that you start to pay for anything and everything in fact start to pile up and break the bank despite the allure of nothing up front?

(c) Do you really have incredibly good and constant raw Internet access from all your PC's and from all locations?

(d) If you temporarily do not have Internet access or if the provider who is hosting your application has a problem with a server that goes down, what then?

(e) Even if you have a copy of your data, how would you access that data if the provider goes out of business, or denies access due to non-payment (or due to an accounting error on their part)?

(f) If a software company is advertising their wares as being completely browser-based, are they really? Many things simply can't be accomplished by a web browser and will require the installation of local components. The statement many companies make that their software is "all web-based" (with again the problem of what 'web-based' means) and that no locally installed software is required is often really not true.

(g) Browser incompatibilities are ongoing, rampant problems. Maintaining cross-browser compatibility is a nightmare. You may be forced to use a particular browser and a browser update could at any time "break" the system. Using a web browser doesn't increase reliability/stability nor shield one from problems of future updates.

(h) The devastating malware and other threats that are out there are not somehow removed by using cloud-based systems - in fact in some ways they are even greater. Many of our customers are justified in not putting their accounting systems "on-line" i.e. available from outside of their wired, local network system. In terms of threats from the outside world, there is no better security (other than not turning your computer on at all!) than making them unavailable from outside, "Internet" access. And yes that may be far too dire of solution for many depending on the business and its needs, but it is a decision based on the reality of today's world.  It is through browsers or browser-based systems, that users often are at the greatest security risk (in addition to locally installed software that brings in e-mail with potentially lethal attachments, all via Internet access).

A web browser is great for being able to interactively and quickly view documents and images from more or less anywhere (although this can also be accomplished without a web browser); it is less than ideal for heavy data input nor validating that input nor for complicated reporting and related data analysis nor necessarily handling the needs of complex, integrated multi-user systems.

Browser-based capabilities continue to greatly improve and most of us will continue to use those resources to access information and communicate with others. But they are in no way the "one" piece of software that is required.  They are not effective "runtime environments" that were designed to be universal in scope, and they lack the power and capabilities of true programming languages that were designed to run programs at a machine language level on today's computers as well as all connected devices.  It was no one's intention to some day do everything from a web browser. To do that will require something much better than what we have today, and will involve some thinking outside of  the browser box.

Meanwhile, we believe that hybrid systems (locally run programs with the capability to access certain Internet services as required) will continue to prove to be very attractive for many businesses, both small and large, or in combination with browser-based systems that are designed to interface with desktop, i.e. local, systems.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Impact of 2018 federal income tax withholding tables: what will they mean for your employees?

Starting by February 15, U.S. businesses should be implementing the new federal income tax withholding tables while continuing to use the 2017 tables for January (see our January 11, 2018 blog post for more information).

Accordingly, a payroll update for 2018 for Advanced Accounting users is now available. Our 2018 update is now available that includes implementation of the new federal tax tables discussed below plus changes for about 10 states along with the new federal supplemental wage rate, some 941 related changes, and a new payroll tax calculator option.  

More information:  Advanced Accounting year end and latest payroll information

Because several of our accounting software end users attempted to initially implement the tables prior to our releasing an update for them (Advanced Accounting has the ability to enter federal and state tax table changes directly, although typically there may be other computational changes that require an update for certain states), prior to releasing our 2018 payroll tax update, we decided that because of reported difficulties two users had plus in light of all of the publicity surrounding the new rate changes, it would be prudent to analyze what the changes actually can be expected to mean, and to also determine the relative impacts of martial status and dependents with respect to a range of wage amounts.

Our analysis (embedded below; an external link to the document is contained below the embed) focused on monthly wage amounts simply because most household budgets are month oriented.  The monthly wages assume that they are net taxable wages.  We then made a comparison of what the monthly withholding amounts were for the same wage and marital status for a range of monthly wages with withholding allowances ranging from zero to four.   We then computed the monthly increase and the percent reduction in comparing 2018 to 2017.   And we then also took an average increase and percent reduction for wages in the $2000/mo. to $7000/mo. range for each marital status and exemption combination.   All withholding calculations were made by Advanced Accounting's payroll tax calculator.

Results:  employees will see a fairly significant reduction in their federal income tax withholding once the new tables are implemented.   For employees in the $2K to $7K range, the reduction will be typically in the roughly 18% range in most cases.

While the percentage reductions are fairly consistent across most wage limits and regardless of marital status, Single status results in higher monthly savings (on average in the $35 to $40 month range for the $2K to $7K ranges) because of the higher withholding amounts assessed to employees with that status.

We noticed some odd/inconsistent results in comparing Single status withholding differences in higher monthly income ranges (i.e. with nominal differences compared to all others analyzed).

2017 to 2018 FIT comparison document link 

Commentary:  the new tables use the same sort of withholding allowance logic as in the past.  Yet personal exemptions have been eliminated for year end individual federal income tax filings.  More changes may be coming as the year proceeds and we would advise all employees to review their tax withholding status by the end of the third quarter of this year to see how close the new withholding will be approximating their tax liability.  Many states have made changes and more will likely do so.   Some states that have not made changes are realizing that the change while not impacting current withholding tax logic will in fact change individual tax liability for year end filings, causing more taxes to be payable than last year (Utah is one example) or there may be some where the reverse could be true.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

2018 early release notice 1036

An early release notice was published by the IRS on January 9, 2018 providing an initial look at the upcoming federal income tax withholding rate changes.

Notice 1036: Early Release Copies of the 2018 Percentage Method Tables for Income Tax Withholding

These are not the official tax tables.  Publication 15/Circular E has not yet been released.

In a related updated 2018 statement, the IRS has indicated that:

Employers should begin using the 2018 withholding tables as soon as possible, but not later than Feb. 15, 2018. They should continue to use the 2017 withholding tables until implementing the 2018 withholding tables.

Some initial changes besides those outlined in a prior recent blog post include:

The annualized withholding allowance is now $4,150 (it was $4,050). This corresponds to the Advanced Accounting US0 tax code that users will need to update in due course.

The supplemental wage withholding is now 22% (was 25%). This is the first year that rate has changed in quite some time. This change is not end user configurable but will be available in our 2018 payroll updates that will be released later this month as the dust continues to settle.


A curious aspect of these tables relate to withholding allowances.  Since personal exemptions have been eliminated, why then are there still withholding allowances?

While we have not yet seen a specific answer to this question, because the IRS wanted to allow employers to continue to use existing W-4 forms and due to the last minute nature of the new law, the rate calculations are presumably attempting to take the elimination of personal exemptions somehow into account.  It is hard to see however how well that will work by year's end, at least for some employees.

Other miscellany:

A new form W-4 will ultimately be forthcoming but existing W-4 forms can continue to be used.

Yesterday we made some changes to the 941 worksheet option to synchronize it with the numbered lines on the IRS 941 form including the currently released draft form for 2018.  That update will be included in the payroll updates to be released later this month for Advanced Accounting.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Preliminary 2018 payroll tax changes and 2017 year end

As another calendar year end approaches, some preliminary payroll related information is outlined below:


There are no W-2 nor 1099-MISC changes for 2017. It is not too late to order W-2/W-3 and other tax forms from Dynamic Systems.

We plan to have W-2/W-3 federal and state e-filing testing phases completed within the next few days, and that option will again be available for Advanced Accounting 7i users.

(Postscript:  our annual W-2/W-3 federal/state e-filing interface testing was completed successfully on Dec. 27, 2017.)


Social security including OASDI rates and limits:

The new social security wage maximum for 2018 is $128,400 (not $128,700 per some initial reports). The 6.2% and 1.45% rates remain unchanged.



There are no FUTA changes:  the wage limit remains at $7,000 with a net rate for most employers of 0.6%.  The quarterly deposit threshold of $500 also remains the same.

California and Virgin Islands were both expected to have increased FUTA taxes for 2017, resulting in an additional 2.1% tax increase over the normal 0.6% net rate.


Many states will have SUTA wage base increases.  SUTA rates typically vary based on experience.  You should have hopefully received notification of your state's new wage base and your new rate if it applies.  Those changes need to be implemented in the Advanced Accounting software after your final 2017 payrolls are processed and before your first 2018 payroll (see recommendations).

Federal income tax withholding:

The IRS initially indicated on Dec. 13, 2017 that payroll withholding guidance for the coming year would necessarily be delayed and that taxpayers would not begin to start seeing any changes until early February. In short, Congress waited far too late in the year for anyone to expect a smooth transition into the beginning of a new year. On Dec. 26 the IRS updated their prior statement to indicate basically the same thing, that guidance was forthcoming in January and that they were "encouraging" employers and payroll service providers to implement those changes in February. While there were some other reports indicating that form W-4 might change, the IRS is now clarifying that no W-4 changes are expected.


Accordingly, end users should not yet fret about making federal tax withholding changes:  use the same tables that are already in place for your upcoming January 2018 payrolls.

State income tax withholding:

Because many state income tax withholding formulas are in part based on federal amounts withheld, we expect to see more states than usual making state withholding tax changes in 2018.  In fact, we are already aware of ten (10) states that have published withholding tax tables effective January 1, 2018, plus Washington, D.C.   Since we expect even more to follow, it is premature to put out any updated tax tables just yet so we plan to wait to update those tables and also provide any required program updates once the federal changes become fully implemented and related "guidance" is provided. Most jurisdictions have implementing language that indicate end users are to implement tax table changes "as soon as practical."   We believe the unusual current circumstances justify delaying implementing changes until all of the new rules are fully known and at a time when changes can be smoothly implemented on both a state and federal basis.  Income tax withholding is after all a game of rough estimation.  If you have, however, received a formal notification of a state income tax withholding change, see our recommendations below.


Remember that year end routines and payroll year end processing are different and mostly not connected: they are only connected in that your year end routine needs to be run before you will be able to process payroll checks into the new year but ONLY if your fiscal year is based on the calendar year.

Use the PR option G "Clear employees/process W-2s later option.  This MUST be done before you start processing 2018 payroll checks.  Order forms that you expect to need now.  You do not, however, need to rush and print your W-2's before your first 2018 payroll as long as you use this option.

Enter the new social security tax wage limit in SY option D either before your first 2018 payroll or by sometime in January.

Make any required SUTA changes that go into effect on January 1 based on notices you may have received from your state in SY option D before your first 2018 payroll.

Withhold federal income taxes in January 2018 based on the same tables you are currently using.

Implement state withholding income tax changes in PR option K if you have received a specific notification from your state that clearly indicate the changes are effective January 1, 2018.

Watch our year end payroll update link for more information and which will be updated for new developments:

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

New credit card interface now available for Advanced Accounting

A new fully integrated credit card option is now available for Advanced Accounting.  This new update replaces the previous interface that has long existed in the software and involves a new company that we have partnered with that we believe will, in addition to providing more competitive discounts rate and fees, also provide better sales and end user support.


We first added a credit card interface to Advanced Accounting 5.1 in the year 2000. That interface worked with an off the shelf credit card processing package called PCAuthorize, and for its era, worked well.   As additional regulations and changes in technology evolved, however, the generic card authorizing packages such as PCAuthorize, ICVerify, PC Charge and others began to vanish.  These products were either acquired (PCAuthorize was purchased by the maker of ICVerify) and/or have since had end of life cycle announcements and have been discontinued.

By mid-2006, we had developed a replacement for our PCAuthorize interface, integrating with X-Charge.  That interface was initially available for Advanced Accounting 6.1, but there was also a version for Advanced Accounting 5.1 and another legacy program. Since 2006, the X-Charge interface has remained actively in use. An equivalent interface was also made available for Advanced Accounting 7i.   

Because of a continuous change in corporate ownership of the X-Charge product and other changes including the fact that the X-Charge product is nearing obsolescence, we have over the past several years been analyzing various alternatives.  X-Charge will still be supported for Advanced Accounting 7i users who are currently using it, but new users of Advanced Accounting 7i (and for future releases and updates in the Advanced Accounting series) will instead want to use the new interface that we have now developed working with ChargeItPro and which is now available.

Unlike the early 5.1 interface that relied on an external call to an executable (one that we developed in another language), neither the X-Charge interface nor now the ChargeItPro interfaces rely on having to call any executable files which tend to be blocked and in general can create processing delays. The ChargeItPro interface, largely developed last month, makes completely internally native calls written in the same underlying language upon which the accounting software runs, and using newer techniques that we have developed over the past year.

Advantages of the new interface:

In addition to providing more responsive sales and support and better rates and fees, the new interface supports a wealth of external devices for those users who are swiping cards including support for EMV, and for processing debit cards (without having to process them as credit cards; debit cards in that respect were not supported in the prior interface).  And, as a result of making a tighter integration, we are also now providing a new integrated card/non-check return option which previously did not exist (and which can even be used by users in future releases who aren't necessarily using the integrated interface).    The new interface also records every transaction in a new transaction database in part so that the same card can be used again (in a completely PCI compliant way; the new interface is fully PCI DSS compliant).   Every transaction is also saved in the ChargeItPro web portal.

But I'm already processing credit cards on a standalone basis through another provider.  Why use an integrated approach?

The benefits of an integrated approach are huge and involve savings of time and expense that can be overlooked in making a full analysis.  An integrated approach leads to fewer errors, faster processing and overall better workflow.  It eliminates the double entries that have to be made when cards are processed "outside" of the accounting system.  And processing cards outside of the accounting system leads to not only extra work but also security concerns.   In short, to best meet PCI compliance responsibilities as well as to implement "best practices" in terms of financial and internal accounting controls, integrated credit card processing represents the optimal solution.
More information is available (with more to be added soon) at: 

Feel free to contact us at any time for more information by calling us at 800-648-6258, by sending us an e-mail, or by chatting with us on our web site.