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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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.


 











Friday, January 1, 2021

Advanced Accounting 8 r5 release

Release 5 in the Advanced Accounting 8 series is now available which includes recently announced 2021 federal withholding and other payroll module changes.   Advanced Accounting 8 was originally released in September of 2019.

While new releases in the Advanced Accounting series have typically not coincided with calendar year payroll changes, it just worked out that way this time.  

Some of the new features included in Adv 8 r5:

Sales order/quotes/inventory control/point-of-sale:

Special customer parts (price and customer part number) feature added to programs in five different modules:

AR-A (accounts receivable maintenance), IC-A (inventory maintenance), QC-A (quote entry), SO-A (sales order entry) and SO-I (recurring sales order), and POS-A (run POS register).

In AR-A and IC-A, there are new options for special customer pricing and customer part codes (see option "U" under the Customer options button in AR-A and the Inventory options button in IC-A.  Pricing logic as implemented in those options are then used in sales order entry, quotes, recurring sales orders and point-of-sale.

The purpose of these options are two-fold:  (1) despite the many existing pricing options that exist, provide a way to provide special customer pricing that is unique to that customer; and (2) provide a cross-reference to customer part codes.   


Enter/change customer part codes - Adv8 r5



While input on the same screen, the customer part code facility can be used without providing any special price to the customer (or vice versa): just leave the price and discount fields as zero.

An effective date and expiration date related to the special pricing can also be optionally used but those two dates can also be unassigned so that the pricing remains in effect until changed in this option.

Special customer prices (and a special discount can also be used) take precedence over any other pricing for a given product code relating to a specific customer.

The customer's part code can be looked up in either AR-A or IC-A under the "U" option.  A customer's special parts pricing can also be printed under that option in AR-A.


Customer part code list and lookup - Adv8 r5


General ledger:

GL-E-A - in the re-designed print detailed trial balance option, there was an issue with balance forwards on systems with non-calendar dates which has been resolved; progress bar enhancements added.

GL-K Bank reconciliation - if users attempt re-finalize a bank statement, the prior saved PDF version will not be overwritten and will be append by adding a, b, c, etc. at the end of the file name.

Bills of material:

BM-A enhancement to display/find components lacking an internal line number (mainly an issue with older systems that update to the newer versions)

Accounts payable:

AP-A - new electronic funds transfer (EFT) default flag; related changes to AP-D to default a vendor that is flagged as EFT to be paid electronically and warning in AP-F (print checks) if a check is attempted to be processed for an EFT flagged vendor

Payroll:

PR-G and SY-D changes for the new FICA max default and payroll tax table and related updates.

Existing Advanced Accounting 8 users should simply get in touch with us to arrange to have this update installed.