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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, October 31, 2020

Advanced Accounting 8 releases 3 and 4

Since its initial release in late September of 2019, there have been three additional Advanced Accounting 8 releases.  Release 2 in part dealt with the rather significant payroll changes that went into effect in January of 2020, but also included all of the updates made to the software since the initial release.   Release 3 was completed by mid-May of this year and several of its features were mentioned in a pre-release blog published in March.  Release 4 is being officially released today, October 31, 2020.

Here are some of the new features and enhancements included in releases 3 and 4:

  • Support for new IRS form 1099-NEC and the revised form 1096 as previously announced (with a related update to vendor maintenance, i.e. AP option A; rel 3)
  • Inclusion of a report editor (new option UT-R) allowing end users to edit certain report layouts (more details below) with changes to all programs where end user report editing is now possible (rel 3)
  • Related in part to the above, the print AP checks program (AP-F) includes support for MICR encoded check printing with the ability to have different custom modified check formats for each company that has been established (rel 3)
  • Allowing more flexibility in some commonly used options to allow other programs to be topmost (rel 3)
  • New Salesperson Payment Detail Report (PR-I-B) which provides the details behind receipts for a given salesperson both currently assigned or when invoiced and for any desired data range including an outline of issues associated with receipt tracking (rel 3)
  • Dashboard and SY-A changes to allow for monitoring of inventory balances
  • Encrypted e-mail send enhancements (rel 3: if e-mail failed to send, wasn't providing an end user response in the Adv 8 version and then also allowing for a second attempt; rel 4: updated for newer underlying components, and also overcoming an issue whereby if an ISP stops supporting TLS 1.0 the next supported server SSL protocol is then used, otherwise a STAT DISCONNECTED could result)
  • Sending encrypted e-mail involving customer codes with illegal file creation characters such as a slash could create GPF's when creating the RTF file (resolved, rel 4)
  • Cancel button in the backup option changes to "exit" when complete (rel 3)
  • Zero amount checks were being printed if discounts/credits were involved in creating the zero amount (this has been the case in every prior version until now - rel 4)
  • Sort option H (Product code/Ship City/Order Date) under print open S/O list (SO-B) wasn't allowing access to the from/thru product code ranges as it was in the last Adv 7i releases (rel 4 - resolved)
  • New feature in part documented under UT-F (Global Startup Options) allowing you to use an environment variable to load a company on startup so that you can have different users startup with different companies with a single installation of the software; the software now supports four different startup methods (rel 4)
  • New Transfer Cust Balance option (AR-K) added and available for the first time which allows for easy transferring of invoices or credits from one customer to another (rel 4) (somewhat similar to the option to transfer vendor balances that has existed in the software for many years)
  • Implemented a restriction that already existed in the sales order quick report (SO-M) into the sales invoice reprint option (SO-N) option based on the security permission SY-C-C for sales orders entitled "Allow user to print reports showing other salesperson numbers?" which has also been clarified in the SY-C-C Maintain User Permissions option (rel 4)
  • Added the optional Emp/Slsp # associated with user logon codes in the SY-C-D Security Permissions Report (rel 4)
  • List salesperson issues in AR-A and SO-A resolved (rel 4)
  • New Open/Save/Paste Text option under Tools along the top menu bar (rel 4); while the existing "Clip" option has a somewhat similar function, this new option also allows you to directly open and save text files and also provides the ability to change the font size
  • In the generic export (UT-J-A), allow older style type V overlay fields to be exported; screen enhancements re: key field from/thru ranges (rel 4):
  • In the export option under Print Customer General Information (AR-H), add customer class (start date and last date were added in rel 2) and improve the export output (rel 4)
  • The full details of an AR voucher (AR-B) can now be viewed from the Customer options button and then Vouchers in Enter/Change Customers (AR-A)
  •  All three help format files updated throughout the course of releases 3 and 4 - the PDF version now consists of 611 pages

New UT-R Report Designer option (rel 3):

No prior version of Advanced Accounting has allowed for end user modification of report layouts.  Custom modifications relating to report layouts were typically provided by us or a third party developer.  Prior to the Windows versions, custom formats could only be changed by also changing the source code.  The ability to provide an integrated report designer option that could be used to modify report layouts in standard menu options wasn't possible until we added that capability to the underlying development system in September of 2005 (TAS Premier Rel. 1).   The report designer is the same tool that is used in the development system itself.  There were a number of reasons why however we still did not include it with the accounting software.   One reason related to the fact that we encrypt report (and screen) layouts, and we had to come up with a solution for that (which we have).  Another reason is because we had users who did not want the software to be capable of being changed from outside of the software (which it can't be without our encryption tools).  Another reason related to being able to more flexibly deal with custom report layouts in a way that they would not conflict with future updates (that issue we dealt with long ago in provide custom report layout changes, but only as directly controlled by us).  And more.

At the same time, users may want to on their own initiative delete non-essential language or add their own or change the way labels or other text appears on certain business essential documents.  Or add include images, or make position changes, etc.  

Starting with release 3, there are some 26 report formats relating to 12 different options that can be modified by end users including all of the essential types of documents that fall into the category of the most likely layout that users might want to change including sales orders, sales invoices, quotes, AR statements, point-of-sale tickets, AP checks, purchase orders and pack slips. As additional options are identified, they will be added.

Adv 8 r3's UT-R Report Designer interface

Documentation for use of this option is included in the updated help files, but we would encourage users to contact us so that we can jump on your system and provide some additional guidance. 

Previously too when custom report changes were made, those changes would be in effect for all companies established in that installation yet often in multi-company situations, the desired change was really intended only for one of those companies.   Further, also for the first time in standard Advanced Accounting, we support MICR encoded checks which have to be specific to one company.  So not only do we rename the standard report layout to a different name (in part to resolve any chance of a future update conflict) but we also place that layout in your company's data folder where related programs using the layouts currently available for modification now look, so that any changes will only apply to that company.   Previously changed layouts can be edited/updated or even deleted at any time but only by users with assigned access rights to the new UT-R option.  The software remains protected from edits made from outside of the accounting program.

Depending on interest and demand, we may provide additional training materials specific to this option in the future.

Advanced Accounting updates are installed in succession and each builds on the last.  So a system on release 2 would first have release 3 installed and then release 4.  For standard system users and those we have modified, we install these updates remotely and at no additional charge.

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