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Newsletters – July / August / September  2010

Click on a link to any of our recent newsletters, or just scroll down.  Every month there are valuable tips and hints on Microsoft Excel, Maximizer and more!  In Internet Explorer, you can search this page for keywords using Ctrl+F.  Below and on our home page you can search this entire web site.  Click here for the list of ALL Newsletters.

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Newsletter – July 2010

Editorial

The best World Cup ever, pity about the soccer!  So said a pundit on the Chris Gibbons Show on Monday 12th July.  Certainly South Africa has put itself and its hospitality firmly on the world map.  South Africans have done many amazing things, like the woman in Bloemfontein who put up five lost tourists and another family who wrapped tourists' unprotected children (summer clothing only) at a freezing event in blankets to keep them warm.  From the opening ceremony to the last fireworks display, we did ourselves and our visitors proud.  Now to build on that energy, boost our national self-confidence and become the winning nation that we can be.  We delivered, now let's deliver to ourselves!

The nine little Labradors are now safely with their puppy walkers and Wyvern is home again.  The SOUL Foundation's work is firmly on track to clean the Jukskei River and there will be breaking news on this front very soon!

Entrepreneur.co.za - looking at Webinars for communication

With King III coming into effect, the resources available in the Entrepreneur Club are vital for all SME owners.  In addition, there is a new level on membership giving members access to articles and presentations by leading business men and women.  If you are struggling with understanding corporate governance, then the weekly webinars will clarify this for you.  Interested?  Then click on this link and sign up

Labbie Asphalt in Released

Our Concrete and Soils Laboratory Management program (LIMS) Labbie has been released with the new extensions for Asphalt tests.  We cover calculations for Grading Curve, Binder Content, Maximum Theoretical Relative Density (Rice’s Method), Bulk Relative Density (BRD), Marshall Stability & Flow, and Indirect Tensile Strength (ITS).  Provision is made to store (but not calculate) the results of any other tests.  If you would like to try it out (free for a limited period), contact Rick.

dotPLOT 6004 released with HotPlot 2.4

The borehole- and core-logging program, dotPLOT, has been upgraded to help users who have not yet licensed the program for plaintext (dot6000 features).  If you use plaintext accidentally, dotPLOT now tells you which layer is causing it to drop to Demo, and does so only for that profile.  This does not affect users who are licensed for plaintext, who continue to enjoy the full benefits.

The Windows interface, HotPlot, has a new feature to check text files for block structure and plaintext. Visit the dotPLOT Setup page to get the latest version.

Green Tip

By joining the SOUL Foundation as a volunteer or individual donor member at an annual cost of R500 plus VAT, you can immediately assist in the creation of sustainable jobs on the Jukskei River!  Companies can also join as members, earning BBBEE points as well as carbon and water neutrality credits.  All donations are fully tax deductable.  Go to www.wet-africa.org to find out more.

Excel Tip #79 –  Excel 2007: Excel Options IV (Save)

We continue looking at the ("Hidden") Office Menu, activated by clicking the round MS Office logo at top left.  On this menu, click the "Excel Options" button at the bottom right.  The resulting dialog contains useful settings.  Today we will look at "Save ":

The AutoRecover part of the "Save" window was previously on the Tools > Options pop-up window, on the tab "Save".  The rest is new.

If you want compatibility with colleagues who have older versions of Excel (and have not installed the compatibility pack that allows them to read .XLSX files), you might like to save as .XLS instead.

AutoRecover is a useful feature to have on (ticked) if there is any chance that your PC can accidentally lose power.  The pause while Excel becomes unresponsive during an AutoSave is irritating, but not as much as losing your work.  Unless, of course, you just get into the habit of saving regularly!

You can now disable AutoRecover for specific workbooks.

The other options are somewhat esoteric and you are unlikely to need them.

We will look at more Excel Options, Advanced ones, next time.

QuickBooks 2010 - 60 day money back guarantee!

This is a really good release, with multicurrency back as well up to 30 users for Premier.  Reporting is much stronger.  The database engine has been upgraded and runs faster.  For more information, phone Khanya (011) 802-2685/6440.

In a Pickle - Accounting Help and new Software Africa Associate

90 % of businesses fail because of Cashflow

How to make sure this doesn’t happen to YOUU

As a Small Business Owner, you might have a full/part time bookkeeper doing your books, VAT Returns etc. or you might even be doing them yourself – is it good enough to protect your “baby”?

Because of the new Companies Act, your financial responsibilities have changed.  Here are some tips to protect you from bad bookkeeping practices:

With the new Companies Act coming into force on 1/10/2010, you have to be aware and make sure that your Financial Statements are correct.

All CC’s & Companies will now be governed by the new Act.

As a Director/ Member, you now have bigger responsibilities and are held more responsible for the accuracy of your financial practices..

Points to consider:

  • Is your Chart of Accounts set up correctly?

  • Do you have reliable Monthly Management Accounts to assist you in intelligent decision making?

  • Are your VAT & Statutory returns correct? Could these returns land you in hot water with SARS when the Financial Statements are submitted?

  • Do you need to apply for Finance? Are your Financial Statements an “asset” or “liability” to that application?

  • How accurate are your Financial Statements?

  • Is your Bookkeeper putting your business at risk?

80% of people I consult to have serious problems in more than 1 of these areas.

You need to understand the full implications and risks that you and your business could be exposed to.  Your dream of owning a successful business could be shattered by ignoring the insights & wisdom in the article below.

Click here for the full story.

To claim your FREE initial tele- consult, contact DEBBIE @ In a Pickle Bookkeepers on 082 775-9827, Monday to Friday between 9am and 4.30pm.

Tailpiece

Seen at SAGA (The SA Guide Dogs Association for the Blind):

Paddy meets his friend Shamus, who asks him what's new.

"Oim thinkin of buyin a dog, Shamus"

"That's great!  What breed ye gettin?"

"Oim thinkin of a Labrador."

"Begorrah, nay!  Ye dinna want a Labrador, Paddy!  Look how many of their owners go blind!"

Remember:  We can make your business run better by:―

  • Automating your in-house processes with a custom program or database..
  • Solving your Maximizer, Access, Excel, Word, Visual Basic, and even Lotus 123 problems.
  • Training your company on Maximizer, Excel, Word, Access and Windows (all levels from beginners to Programming).
  • Supplying software: We re-sell and support various CRM, accounting, timesheet, scheduling, and productivity programs.
  • Providing world-class programs for the Civil Engineer and Engineering Geologist.
  • Making your Civil Engineering Lab run smoother and more profitably with Labbie, our Data Retriever.
  • Promoting your corporate image with a set of templates on Word or Excel, linked to your address list.

All the Best from the team!
Judith and Rick

Members, Communication in Action CC t/a Software Africa
"Empowering African Business with custom PC programs, databases, and templates using Microsoft technologies"
Reg. 2009/007863/23 ~ VAT No 4500104387 ~ 126 Kelvin Drive, Morningside Manor, Sandton, 2191 South Africa.
Tel: 011 802-2685 / 011 802-6440/1 ~ Fax: 011 802-4576 and 086-635-7902/3 ~ Cell: 082 389-3481/2 ~ e-mail: info@softwareafrica.co.za

This entire newsletter is Copyright© 2010 Communication in Action.  Please share it with your friends or post it on your site as long as it is left intact with all links unchanged, and includes this notice.  To Subscribe to the newsletter, click here and SEND the resulting e-mail. Your data will not be provided to a third party without your permission.

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Newsletter – August 2010

Editorial

The last (we hope) of Winter has made its mark with temperatures going below zero once again!  With the SWC over, it is back to work with a passion in order to build business and sales before the Summer break.  The LeadSA campaign has been launched by that amazing company, Primedia, together with government and the major newspapers.  This campaign is looking at addressing the future of SA as a community effort.  Their (slight) misquote of Lao Tze is pertinent.  The change of beliefs and culture has to start with each one of us.  A place to start is with our daily driving habits.  How many of us regularly break the speed limit or cross barrier lines?  Talk on our cellphones whilst driving our expensive cars because buying hands free kits is too expensive?  Do you buckle up?

In fact, are you aware that 98% of collision fatalities are as a direct result of not wearing a seatbelt?  That child deaths happen when the child is sent like a bullet out of the vehicle because there is no child restraint?

Save money, obey the rules of the road.  You may never have had a fine as a result of your transgressions, but how much have you paid for panel beating when you rear ended the car you were tailgating?

Vacancies at Software Africa

We currently have two vacancies:

Software Sales Consultant

A software sales consultant is required to stimulate our QuickBooks and Maximizer sales.  Applicants must have a track record in selling software, which is verifiable.  They should have their own vehicle and be a self starter.  We are looking for someone who will fit the Wealth Dynamics "Deal Maker" profile.  On the job training will be given and there is potential to move into selling our entire product range over time, plus take the company to a new level.  Please send CV and proof of sales to Judith Taylor, judith@softwareafrica.co.za

Trainee Programmer

We also require a trainee programmer with knowledge of Visual Basic, SQL and Access.  This will be a growth position for the right candidate, as we wish to build a strong development team.  Please send your CV to Rick Raubenheimer, rick@softwareafrica.co.za, and he will send you our open book test for completion.  A 60% or higher pass is required for consideration to ask you for an interview.

Entrepreneur.co.za - looking at Webinars for communication

All the past webinars, as well as may interesting and useful CDs are a vast member resource on the site.  The members' area gives access to do business with many other SMEs, share ideas and form new business relationships.  Interested?  Then click on this link and sign up

dotPLOT 6005 released with HotPlot 2.5

dotPLOT, the software for fast top-notch borehole logs and soil profiles, has been upgraded this month to fix a problem that happened on Windows 7 PCs if the user closed the DOS window in the middle of a run (this caused the licence to be lost permanently, instead of it being recovered after 8 hours).  We now support all the Afrikaans accented characters (Windows as well as, previously, DOS).  Daar is nou 'n Afrikaanse voorbeeld grondprofiel.  The Windows interface, HotPlot, has a new feature to translate the accented characters from DOS to Windows and back. Visit the dotPLOT Setup page to get the latest version, free to existing users.

Do you have an overseas office that would like to do profiles in the vernacular?  Apart from English and Afrikaans, dotPLOT can communicate, accept input, and produce output in Portuguese, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Slovenian.  Other languages could be added.  Ask us!

Green Tip

The Gautrain is proving to be a regular commuter route from the East Rand to Sandton.  With safe parking at the stations, or by using the Gautrain shuttle bus from your nearest stop, you can cut not only travel time and costs, but also your stress levels!  The full route is timed to be opened on 26th March 2011, so Centurion and Pretoria people working in Sandton might well consider this solution and avoid traffic hazards on the N1!

Excel Tip #80 –  Excel 2007: Excel Options V (Advanced)

We continue looking at the ("Hidden") Office Menu, activated by clicking the round MS Office logo at top left.  On this menu, click the "Excel Options" button at the bottom right.  The resulting dialog contains useful settings.  Today we will look at "Advanced".  There are more options here than are visible on one screen, so we have made a collage to show them all:

The most important items here are:

  • Editing Options: Automatically insert a decimal point:  Intended to save you typing, this will do just what it says if you forget to put in the decimal.  You may seldom use it, but need to know about it in case someone else sets it on as a prank!
  • Other Editing Options: Most of these are ones you are used to, and worth having set as above.  Be aware that they can be turned off, and that you can have different decimal and thousands separator to the Windows settings (not recommended).
  • Display: Usefully, you can now show more than 9 recent documents in the File menu.
  • "Show formulas in cells instead of results" is useful to allow you to print your formulas.  Column widths change to suit.
  • "Zero in cells that have zero value" can be turned off to show blanks in zero cells (for just that worksheet).
  • Again, the Display and other settings shown above, which are also the defaults, are the best.
  • Notice the "at startup open" option, which lets you automatically open files you regularly work with, every time Excel starts.
  • For former 1-2-3 users, Microsoft has kindly kept the Lotus compatibility settings.

We will look at more Excel Options next time.

QuickBooks 2010 - 60 day money back guarantee!

This is a really good release, with multicurrency back as well up to 30 users for Premier.  Reporting is much stronger.  The database engine has been upgraded and runs faster.  For more information, phone Khanya (011) 802-2685/6440.

In a Pickle - Accounting Help

90 % of businesses fail because of Cashflow

How to make sure this doesn’t happen to YOU

As a Small Business Owner, you need to consider these points:

  • Is your Chart of Accounts set up correctly?

  • Do you have reliable Monthly Management Accounts to assist you in intelligent decision making?

  • Are your VAT & Statutory returns correct? Could these returns land you in hot water with SARS when the Financial Statements are submitted?

  • Do you need to apply for Finance? Are your Financial Statements an “asset” or “liability” to that application?

  • How accurate are your Financial Statements?

  • Is your Bookkeeper putting your business at risk?

80% of people I consult to have serious problems in more than 1 of these areas.

You need to understand the full implications and risks that you and your business could be exposed to.  Your dream of owning a successful business could be shattered by ignoring the insights & wisdom in the article below.

Click here for the full story.

To claim your FREE initial tele-consult, contact DEBBIE @ In a Pickle Bookkeepers on 082 775-9827, Monday to Friday between 9am and 4.30pm.

Tailpiece

A very literal-minded computer programmer was found dead in the shower.

Next to him, detectives found an empty shampoo bottle.

The directions read: "Apply. Lather. Rinse. Repeat".

Remember:  We can make your business run better by:

  • Automating your in-house processes with a custom program or database..
  • Solving your Maximizer, Access, Excel, Word, Visual Basic, and even Lotus 123 problems.
  • Training your company on Maximizer, Excel, Word, Access and Windows (all levels from beginners to Programming).
  • Supplying software: We re-sell and support various CRM, accounting, timesheet, scheduling, and productivity programs.
  • Providing world-class programs for the Civil Engineer and Engineering Geologist.
  • Making your Civil Engineering Lab run smoother and more profitably with Labbie, our Data Retriever.
  • Promoting your corporate image with a set of templates on Word or Excel, linked to your address list.

All the Best from the team!
Judith and Rick

Members, Communication in Action CC t/a Software Africa
"Empowering African Business with custom PC programs, databases, and templates using Microsoft technologies"
Reg. 2009/007863/23 ~ VAT No 4500104387 ~ 126 Kelvin Drive, Morningside Manor, Sandton, 2191 South Africa.
Tel: 011 802-2685 / 011 802-6440/1 ~ Fax: 011 802-4576 and 086-635-7902/3 ~ Cell: 082 389-3481/2 ~ e-mail: info@softwareafrica.co.za

This entire newsletter is Copyright© 2010 Communication in Action.  Please share it with your friends or post it on your site as long as it is left intact with all links unchanged, and includes this notice.  To Subscribe to the newsletter, click here and SEND the resulting e-mail. Your data will not be provided to a third party without your permission.

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Newsletter – September 2010

Editorial

Spring has sprung and the new ducklings are myriad on the Sandspruit.  It looks like the ducks have got their breeding season sorted out and most babies will be able to fend for themselves when the rains come.  Definitely hoping the latter will be soon!  We have a new family addition born 22nd September, Jack Winston du Toit, our second grandson.  His brother is over the moon with him.

So far this month has been hectic and October looks no easier.  We trust that your businesses are proving equally alive now as we end the third quarter of the year.

Vacancies at Software Africa

We currently have two vacancies:

Software Sales Consultant

A software sales consultant is required to stimulate our QuickBooks and Maximizer sales.  Applicants must have a verifiable track record in selling software.  They should have their own vehicle and be a self starter.  We are looking for someone who will fit the Wealth Dynamics "Deal Maker" profile.  On the job training will be given and there is potential to move into selling our entire product range over time, plus to take the company to a new level.  Please send CV and proof of sales to Judith Taylor, judith@softwareafrica.co.za

Trainee Programmer

We also require a trainee programmer with knowledge of Visual Basic, SQL and Access.  This will be a growth position for the right candidate, as we wish to build a strong development team.  Please send your CV to Rick Raubenheimer, rick@softwareafrica.co.za, and he will send you our open book test for completion.  A 60% or higher pass is required for consideration to ask you for an interview.

Entrepreneur.co.za - looking at Webinars for communication

All the past webinars, as well as may interesting and useful CDs are a vast member resource on the site.  The members' area gives access to do business with many other SMEs, share ideas and form new business relationships.  Interested?  Then click on this link and sign up

MaxPal 11.10.0 released for Pastel 11

MaxPal (for those who don't know) is our venerable software linking the Maximizer Customer Relationship Management package (CRM) with Pastel Accounting.  The idea is that your sales team starts by entering prospects into Maximizer.  When they become customers, you mark them.  Run MaxPal and it writes an import file for Pastel.  Your financial department does not need to be concerned with manually adding new customers, nor making changes of address and/or customers’ details: They will come into Pastel in the import.  MaxPal also has billing options that allow you to import monthly or annual invoices into a Pastel batch.  You can also quote and invoice ad hoc in Pastel based on codes you input in Maximizer.

Softline Pastel tends to change the Pastel files with each new release, and have done so again.  MaxPal 11.10 caters for the latest version of Pastel Partner, version 11 (2010) and can now be downloaded free to users on service contract.  New users can run it as a demo.

Green Tip

Judith went on the Gautrain on her way to Cape Town and thoroughly enjoyed the trip.  With safe parking at the stations, or by using the Gautrain shuttle bus from your nearest stop, you can cut not only travel time and costs, but also your stress levels!  The full route is timed to be opened on 26th March 2011, so Centurion and Pretoria people working in Sandton might well consider this solution and avoid traffic hazards on the N1!  However, she realised the glaring drawback, which she has communicated to them --trains don't cater for business people who are commuting by plane to Cape Town and Durban, as trains only start at 05:30 and finish at 19:30!  Gautrain lost R160 because of this, as she couldn't park at Marlboro and do a return trip as her plane back landed at 21:30.

Excel Tip #81 –  Excel 2007: Excel Options VI (Customize)

We continue looking at the ("Hidden") Office Menu, activated by clicking the round MS Office logo at top left.  On this menu, click the "Excel Options" button at the bottom right.

Today we will look at "Customize".  This is a small but powerful screen.

Here you can modify the Quick Access Toolbar.  That's the inconspicuous little toolbar that normally sits just on the right of the round MS Office logo at the top left of the screen.

Adding your most frequently used commands here may allow you to hide the ribbon and reclaim some of your screen from Microsoft.

All you do is to click a feature in the left-hand block and then either drag it to a position in the right-hand block, or click Add >>.  If it's in the wrong order, use the "up" and "down" buttons on the right.

The list at the top left (showing "Popular Commands" in the picture) lets you select which set of commands you want to choose from.

We will look at more Excel Options next time.

QuickBooks 2010 - 60 day money back guarantee!

This is a really good release, with multicurrency back as well up to 30 users for Premier.  Reporting is much stronger.  The database engine has been upgraded and runs faster.  For more information, phone Khanya on 011 802-2685 / 6440.

Tailpieth

The Norse thunder-god, riding his great stallion bareback, crests a rise and looks out on the valley beyond.  Raising his mighty hammer, he proclaims to the world, "I am Thor!"

An urchin playing nearby looks up and comments: "Of courthe you're thore, you're riding without a thaddle, thilly!".

(No, this doesn't appear to have anything to do with computers, though they can also be a pain)

Remember:  We can make your business run better by:

  • Automating your in-house processes with a custom program or database..
  • Solving your Maximizer, Access, Excel, Word, Visual Basic, and even Lotus 123 problems.
  • Training your company on Maximizer, Excel, Word, Access and Windows (all levels from beginners to Programming).
  • Supplying software: We re-sell and support various CRM, accounting, timesheet, scheduling, and productivity programs.
  • Providing world-class programs for the Civil Engineer and Engineering Geologist.
  • Making your Civil Engineering Lab run smoother and more profitably with Labbie, our Data Retriever.
  • Promoting your corporate image with a set of templates on Word or Excel, linked to your address list.

All the Best from the team!
Judith and Rick

Members, Communication in Action CC t/a Software Africa
"Empowering African Business with custom PC programs, databases, and templates using Microsoft technologies"
Reg. 2009/007863/23 ~ VAT No 4500104387 ~ 126 Kelvin Drive, Morningside Manor, Sandton, 2191 South Africa.
Tel: 011 802-2685 / 011 802-6440/1 ~ Fax: 011 802-4576 and 086-635-7902/3 ~ Cell: 082 389-3481/2 ~ e-mail: info@softwareafrica.co.za

P.S.  Visit our web site at http://www.softwareafrica.co.za where you can find all sorts of free stuff to download.

This entire newsletter is Copyright© 2010 Communication in Action.  Please share it with your friends or post it on your site as long as it is left intact with all links unchanged, and includes this notice.  To Subscribe to the newsletter, click here and SEND the resulting e-mail. Your data will not be provided to a third party without your permission.



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