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 www.addsuminc.com. Call us at 800-648-6258 or 801-277-9240. We also maintain www.advancedaccounting.us so that older Business Tools users in particular have a greater chance to find us.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Advanced Accounting 8 release 10

Since the Advanced Accounting 8 r9 release, the following updates have been made to the system:

AR-C - Record Payments/Credits

Maximum number of invoices per payment session updated (was not recognizing that value set in SY-A-B)

In a negative payment situation, the amount remaining could be set to zero when not applied to anything and depending on which type option was chosen and the sequence edits.


Export paths

Based on our observations of users struggling with where to place export files and since the usual preference is the user's desktop, the default path for export files has been changed in numerous options including:

AR-F - Print Aging

AR-H - Print Cust General Info 

GL-E-C - GL Account Summary View with Drill Down

GL-Q - Export GL Transactions

IC-I - Print Price Matrix

UT-J - Export

UT-J-B  - Inventory values export (analysis and web suboptions)

UT-J-C -   Export customer e-mail address


AP-D - Pick Vouch/Inv to Pay

Prevent user from pressing the up arrow beyond the first field entry on the E-transfer screen

AP-M - Enter Recurring Vouchers

Clarify option C and new option O added:

C - Manual Check (or ACH/Paypal/etc.)

O - A/P Voucher Other Vendor is Payee

AP-M: revised option C



AP-M: new option O

AP-M new screen related to new option O

AP-N - Generate Recurring Vouchers

Adding the Recurring AP vouchers report that already existed in AP-M to this option

New enter check/payment screen for option C (manual check/ACH/other) type recurring vouchers. When choosing the bank account, it now defaults to the account set in AP-M.  After entering the check/reference number additional validation.  It also no longer defaults to the next check number associated with the checking/bank account number (set in AP-M), nor does it update the next check number field.

Other vendor is payee logic corresponding to option O in AP-M implemented.


AP-N screen when entering a recurring payment (type C in AP-M)


SO-A Enter/Change Sales Orders

Past due logic changes for cash accounts when the SY-A-B "S/O Past Due Acct Notify" option is selected.

SY-M Credit Card Setup

New option to disable pre-authorization processing in SO-A (for users of the integrated credit card interface)

E-mail

Attachment path setting issue in the event user had specific a fully qualified path for attachments resolved.

Encrypted e-mail

Spaces in passwords as well as in other options are now being handled appropriately

Customer/vendor/inventory lookups (AR, AP, IC, PO modules):

The hide/unhide inactive items when looking up inventory items was not working as intended (resolved).

Customer/product queries set focus back to the grid, and resolved problem of clearing the query when the "hide" option was in effect for customers or products.

Global file lookup (under File) now follows the same setting for hiding or unhiding inventory items as in the standard inventory lookups (previously it was also set to hide inactive items)

SO-I - Recurring S/O Entry

Show the date last generated and clarify that the order date is the start date.  Cosmetic screen changes plus add the customer order number field. Report updated to include last generation date

SO-J - Generate Recurring S/O

This option is now recording the date last generated  (which is now shown in SO-I on screen and on the expiring SO report).

PR-D - Print Payroll Checks

Additional checking for potentially duplicate check numbers.

POS-H - Post cash out transactions

AP vouchers were still being created with the old logic in terms of saving the GL distributions associated with the vouchers.

UT-G  - Addsum utilities

Accounts receivable section:

Unpost AR payment -    extensive additions to handle undoing payments with discounts, and adding warning if the payment being reversed involves cash terms and the related invoice has been unposted (since if it has,  the payment has already been reversed and does not need to unposted).

Adding two additional utilities one of which cross-checks payroll master values with payroll history (under new Payroll section), and another used in special support circumstances to restore missing line items under Sales Invoices.

General ledger section:

Balance AP and AR to detail option updated for type "C" (Credits) logic relating to respect to AP aging


Help file formats have been updated.


Abbreviation Legend

AR= Accounts receivable

IC= Inventory control

SO= Sales order

POS=Point of sale

PR = Payroll

SY = System maintenance

UT = Utilities








Friday, October 14, 2022

Splwow64.exe bad image error when printing

A long-time Advanced Accounting 7i user today experienced the following Windows error message when trying to print (immediately after a Windows 10 update):




This error message was triggered when trying to print any report (including sometimes when generating a report screen preview before trying to even output the report to a printer). This error causes the application to halt, forcing use of the task manager to end the running instance.

Prior to the Windows update (which caused a forced reboot), the user was printing to the same printer without error.  The user reported having to update his Epson print drivers as well, as part of the Windows update.

The same error occurred when trying to print text out of Notepad, i.e. it was not specific to the accounting software application.

This is not a Windows error message that we have previously encountered, but apparently is one that has been around since the 64-bit versions of Windows 7 through to the present.  As outlined here by Microsoft with respect to 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and Window Server 2008 R2:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/splwow64-exe-process-doesn-t-end-after-a-print-job-finishes-in-the-64-bit-version-of-windows-7-or-windows-server-2008-r2-c6a0c299-66d2-7d8c-0877-6ced0836269b

Splwow64.exe is "used to translate the [print] driver model of a 64-bit operating system and a 32-bit program."

The cause of the error as earlier reported by Microsoft was that splwow64.exe was staying in memory longer to increase system performance after the print job had finished.  But that was not the case here. The user had rebooted his PC more than once, yet the error persisted.  It was not a case of splwow64.exe remaining in memory after a print job.

Checking the user's installed printers, we noted that a second identical printer referencing the same Epson model was present (but oddly named, as if installed by something automatically). The user had not noticed it before.  We switched the default printer to this other/duplicate installed printer driver, and everything started to work again. It was as if the update had corrupted the drivers of the printer that was previously the default.

There are various potential solutions to fix this problem should it arise in your environment.  The first one to try (and even though we did not use it, nor were we aware of it until today) is to determine whether the Windows 10 (or 11) printer/printing troubleshooter will fix the problem. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run box and type: 

ms-settings:troubleshoot

and click on OK.   Then click on Printer, and run the troubleshooter. Select your printer from the list, and wait for the scan to complete. If it shows up after the scan, click on "Apply this Fix" and then restart your PC.

If that doesn't fix the problem, there are other possible solutions including updating the printer driver or uninstalling/reinstalling the printer driver; rolling back the last update may be another temporary solution.  If the message pops up after a print job (which wasn't the case in this situation), restarting the print spooler under Services and/or adding a registry key for the splwow64.exe timeout value may help eliminate the error.  

The error message received today by our customer included the unfortunate (and highly confusing) instruction to "install the program again" yet this issue had nothing to do with the accounting software program nor its internal report designer.  Never attempt to reinstall or restore our software without contacting us first.


Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Advanced Accounting 8 release 9

We are pleased to announce the availability of release 9 in the Advanced Accounting 8 series as we continue to develop, support, and enhance programs included in this software package.  In addition, we have recently updated and enhanced its signature capture capabilities.

Some of the updates include (see legend at end):

AR-E statements: resolved issue involving batches when using non-encrypted settings and adding troubleshooting information in the send e-mail program for non-encrypted e-mail.

AR-J Print customer labels: resolved issue when specifying dollar thresholds

Consistent handling of type "C" vendor credits in AP-B, AP-D and in the Addsum synch customer/vendor transactions utility

New IC-B-B customer special prices report option.  (Print price list is now IC-B-A.)

IC-J global price changes - add support for also changing special prices plus record locking improvements

PO-B print PO's - when saving preferences, the preview option wasn't being set if changed, resolved

Multiple PO prepayment handling in AP-B and PO-D (which now can handle multiple prepayments per a single invoice received in PO-D) improved

POS-J  configuration:  clerk list wasn't refreshing when new clerk added; resolved

PR-D payroll check posting has an additional validation to prevent duplicate check  numbers from being processed  

Direct deposit (PR module) enhancements (standard support included in the program but requires some special setup); e-mail notification program updated

SO-A improving price matrix decimal precision regardless of end user settings (same issue addressed in IC-A)

SO-F/N print invoice - multiple copies (with different invoice header verbiage that is user defined) and also e-mailing at the same time is now possible

SO-F/N print/reprint nvoices - new option to show tax rate

SO-I recurring SO entry - adding support for a recurring order generated every 3 months  (SO-J not required to be updated to support this change )

The help file formats have all been updated (PDF version is now 614 pages long).


Legend for module abbreviations above:

AR = Accounts receivable

IC = Inventory control

SO = Sales order

PO = Purchase order

POS = Point-of-sale

PR = payroll

In addition, and building on some past work incorporating signature capture in the POS module, we have integrated this option into the SO module (not as a standard feature inasmuch as it requires a separate hardware purchase plus both our software and software from the manufacturer of the device).   

 

Topaz Advanced Accounting interface
Topaz T-LBK462-HSB-R and our interface via the SO module of Advanced Accounting


Signatures are associated with invoice numbers and can be retrieved via SO-N invoice reprints.



Friday, December 31, 2021

Adv 8 year end updates and introducing Adv 9

In our August 2021 blog post, we mentioned proposed IRS regulations that would lower e-filing requirements for W-2/W-3 forms and a possible aggregate approach involving other forms including 1099-NEC.  Those proposed changes have not been finalized, and so the pre-existing rules still apply for 2021.  Nonetheless, the writing is on the wall as to a continued reduction in e-filing thresholds coupled with the fact that many states have very low minimum requirements making it more convenient to simply file W-2/W-3 forms electronically at both the federal and state (where required) levels.  Submission in this manner is generally more secure and it also allows your employees to potentially file their personal returns quicker.

Meanwhile we have remained very busy updating both the Advanced Accounting 8 version (and now 9 - see below) as well as with custom programming work.

By August we had completed Adv 8 releases 6 and 7 (almost none of which related to payroll issues).  Rel. 6 included further enhancements to customer product cross-references first introduced in release 5 (at the end of 2020) and many other system-wide changes.  Release 7 included the integrated report designer and some 20+ report layouts that end users are able to directly modify (via a new Utilities option R, i.e. UT-R).   In Adv 8 release 8 that has just been completed, we have provided the changes for the new 3-part 1099-NEC as mentioned in the earlier blog but also a new load sheet option from both the sales orders and point-of-sale modules, a new remittance option when making e-payments from the pick to pay program (AP-D),  and more.  Plus, Adv 8 rel. 8 (released today) includes the federal tax table update for 2022.   As state changes are announced and as we go through the states that make 2022 changes, further updates will be made in the next release which will be made available on an advance basis for anyone that needs them and that has Adv 8 r8 (or Adv 9 r1) installed.  We have fairly extensively tested those rate changes and for most people, they will result in at least slightly lower federal withholding, although the potential number of combinations for any given employee has become fairly complex as a result of the January 2020 federal changes.  We have also completed the required W-2 e-filing testing, and the Addsum-Nelco portal will be available for federal and state e-filings as of January 10, 2022.

In addition and as also indicated in an earlier blog, we have expanded employee "other deductions" (UOD) that allow for either pre- or post-tax options from six to nine, which overall increases the number of available employee deductions from eight to eleven per employee overall.  This change ended up being so significant to the payroll module affecting almost every option (over 26 individual program changes plus a new data file and four restructured data files and seven report layout modifications) and because most Adv 8 users are happy with the current number of deductions or may not use the payroll module, that we decided to preliminarily make the expanded payroll deduction the starting point for Advanced Accounting 9.  Eventually we plan to move all users to the Adv 9 version, but for now we will continue to develop both versions simultaneously so that they will have have the same overall features and since the payroll changes can be fairly well isolated, and because both versions are otherwise highly compatible.

We look forward to working with our new and long-term customers in the new year as we all continue to do the best we can under less than ideal circumstances.















Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Year end expected 2021 changes (and planned AP/PR module enhancements)

In IRS regulations proposed on July 23, 2021 (see Federal Register publication), e-filing thresholds for W-2 filings have been recommended to be reduced from the longstanding 250 count down to 100 effective this year (i.e. early 2022 filing for 2021).   For 2022 (filings in early 2023), the threshold is proposed to decrease to 10.

There is currently a comment period to the proposed changes that will end on September 21 and it is expected that thereafter, this change will be implemented in final regulations.

Many states have already had requirements of much less than 100 state income tax forms and some are already at 10 (plus a few that require e-filings only).  It makes sense to finally streamline some of these requirements so that the federal threshold is at a similar lower level and that should provide for much more efficient processing.

In determining the 100 (and soon 10) thresholds, note that the proposed regulations now for the first time requires that you aggregate ALL of certain forms you will be filing (1042-S, 1094 series, 1095-B, 1095-C, 1098, 1098-E, 1098-T, 1099 series, 5498 series, 8027, W-2G, W-2, 499R-2/W-2PR, W-2VI, W-2GU, W-2AS, 1098-C, 1098-Q, 3921, 3922, 1097-BTC) in determining whether the threshold has been met, with possible fines for non-compliance.

So for most accounting software users, the forms that will factor into the threshold determination is the combination of 1099-NEC and W-2 forms.  These forms are often prepared by different departments or individuals within the same organization.  Form 1099-NEC are for non-employees (which last year replaced prior 1099-MISC reporting), i.e. your  service type vendors or similar outside consultants and the like.  You do not issue a 1099-NEC to an employee.  Accounts payable transactions are often handled by a different person than the staff member handling payroll within a given organization.  There will have to be communication between these staff or between different departments to see if the threshold is met, especially this year, rather than considering them as separate, standalone filings.   As the threshold then drops in the future, companies should just plan on e-filing going forward even if their state doesn't have an e-filing requirement because it is faster and easier than ever, and because it may offer greater security, and because if you are in a state that does require filings, chances are that you may need to e-file to meet those requirements anyway.

The 2021 1099-NEC form has also changed to a 3 parts per page form rather than a 2-up form.  For those still planning on printing these in 2021, we will be accordingly updating the "Print 1099 Forms" program in Advanced Accounting.  These forms will be available from our forms supplier (Dynamic Systems800-782-2946) who also supplies compatible Advanced Accounting check and other forms.

We already have had a solution for the past several years with respect to the e-filing of W-2 and related forms (both for IRS and for all states that require them).   We are looking at adding 941 and 1099-NEC e-filings as well, through a common interface involving the same integration partner and through a similar web site interface.

In addition we are planning on expanding the number of employee deductions in the payroll (PR) module from the current limit of eight (six of those global as established in the enter/change payroll GL interface, i.e. SY-D) to eleven (nine global).




















Saturday, July 17, 2021

Windows 11 is coming: what you need to know

As announced in late June, Windows 11 is expected to be released later this year (possibly as early as October, 2021) .

Meanwhile, Windows 10 support is scheduled to end in October of 2025 (which has always been the planned life cycle end date by Microsoft for Windows 10).

The interface is similar to Windows 10 involving a mashup of Chrome OS and Mac OS in appearance.

Windows 11


The important thing about this update however is not aesthetics nor new "app" options but rather a significant shift in how security is handled, i.e. hardware enforced security.  But that's where currently there are questions in what will be supported and whether your current PC may be able to update to this newer operating system.  (Updates from Windows 10 to Windows 11 on compatible PC's are expected to be free.)

General requirements are outlined as follows:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-11-specifications.

The critical consideration is what type of chip is installed in your computer. The new hardware enforced security relies on trusted platform modules (TPM).   New PC's purchased since 2016 should have some TPM version included.  However Windows 11 may require a high level of TPM that has only been included with even more recently purchased new PC's.   In essence, Intel's 8th generation processors  that didn't start to be generally be available until late in 2017 may represent the minimum for upgradeable PC's (although that could change by the time Windows 11 is released).

Supported processors are outlined here: 

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/design/minimum/supported/windows-11-supported-intel-processors

So for example, if you acquired a Surface Pro in 2017, it most likely has a 7th generation chip that won't be compatible.

PC's however with generation 6, 7 or 8 processors running Windows 10 may nonethless be able to take advantage of the new security features as along as they have been fully updated to the October 2020 Windows 10 update.  On those devices, you simply need to turn device security on in the BIOS, and you will have the same enhanced hardware security features offered by Windows 11, and so you won't have to worry about Windows 11 compatibility (until October 2025 when Windows 10 support ends) even if it has an older CPU.

For PC's with even older processors running Windows 10, add-on chips for desktop PC's may be available to support the hardware enforced security.

Your new PC purchases going forward should involve the latest generation of CPU processors to ensure potential compatibility with Windows 11 (and also until the dust settles as to what exactly will and won't be supported). 

Note that Windows 11 only supports 64-bit processors.  If you are running a PC with a 32-bit processor (as some of our users are to support legacy applications), you will not be able to upgrade your current PC to Windows 11.  Note also however that 32-bit applications are all still expected to run under Windows 11 exactly as they have been running under Windows 10 with 64-bit processors (by far the most common configuration).   Accordingly we are not expecting any problems with TAS Professional 6, TAS Professional 7, TAS Premier 7i nor the recently released 7ix runtime systems, including applications based on those versions (Advanced Accounting 6, 7i and 8 for example) to have any problems migrating ultimately to Windows 11.  Our preference however is always to wait until the first major update of any new operating system before planning a migration to that new version.










Saturday, July 10, 2021

TAS Premier 7ix release 16 published

We are pleased to announce the next release in the TAS Premier 7i series.

This release perhaps could have been referenced as TAS Premier "8" but that would have led to changes in executable names, documentation files, etc. and so for simplicity and to make it easier for users to update to this next release, we decided to retain the existing executable names, icons, help files, etc. referring to this instead as release 16 in the TAS Premier 7i series.  In light of some of the significant features relating to exporting data and other enhancements, however, we are also now referring to development system as the TAS Premier 7ix version.

Releases 14 and 15 both came out in 2019.   Not long after the October 31, 2019 publication of release 15, we added support for QR codes, first in a private/custom standalone executable where it was needed but then we added it to the development system/runtime environment and since then we have continued to make changes and updates to the system that are finally now being released.

The new QRCODE() function can create images (which can then be picked up on the fly in reports, for example, as with any image file).  QR code technology was first developed in 1994 but widespread use came much later.   We first looked at generating them in 2012 but did not have anyone expressing a need for them; that did not happen until late in 2019.   Because of how much information that can be stored in a QR code compared to say a conventional bar code, they seemingly could be used in many inventory type applications.

A QR code PNG image with 13 characters (byte size:  204) generated by the 7ix version


There are different versions of QR codes.  The most standard type, Module or Version 2, is what we are supporting starting with the TAS Premier 7ix release 16.  The amount of information that can be included depends on the type of characters (string vs. numeric) and also based on the margin and pixel size of the generated image.  While some sources indicate that they can hold  up to roughly 4,000 characters of text, or about 7,000 numeric characters, in our tests we were able to generate a maximum size of 2,930 characters using a margin size of 4 with a pixel size of 75.  Readability of the code and the intended distance from which it may be read are other factors to consider in the design of a QR code.  If the code will be read by a smart phone, the code should be limited to fewer overall characters (under 300).   For smart phone readability, they should not be smaller than 1" x 1" and equal to at least 1/10th the desired scanning distance.


A QR code PNG image with 2,930 characters (byte size: 6,259) generated by the 7ix version



More recently we have added export features such as EXPORTGRID() that exports current visible rows of the TTASDataGrid object (a string grid descendant) into a great number of other file types including XLSX.  This feature has been added to the Maintain Database and Maintain Data DIctionary options as well.

Two new utilities include an option that can Read XLS or XLSX files into a string grid that also includes a number of output options similar to EXPORTGRID() as well as a utility option that can load a delimited text file into a string grid and that also has the same export output capabilities.  These utilities can be used in runtime environments even though they are not currently embedded into the runtime engine.  The Read XLS/XLSX option can even be used to automatically convert and XLS files to the XLSX format without end user interaction. We intend to add more options like these in future releases.  We have also been using custom modified versions of these tools to meet specific customer requests.

Some 14 pages of additional documentation have been added (the PDF version of the help file is now up to 794 pages) in connection with both new and existing capabilities of the development system.  The report designer now has a separate end user document tied to it which can be substituted with a similarly named PDF  allowing it to be branded/customized for use with a specific runtime system.  The provided PDF however contains information that may help end users in making with aesthetic changes to reports and/or may be of interest to developers, and is in addition to the normal help files provided with the development system.

See the "Addsum Premier 7i features" under the topic "What's new in TAS Premier 7i" in the help files for more information as to all of the updates provided in this release.

Future releases of Advanced Accounting 8 will use the 7ix runtime.