Software Africa Newsletter - November 2016

Editorial

We have the strangest things going on currently.  Brexit, Trump, what next?  This makes us, as entrepreneurs, challenged to smash through the constraints that surround us. This is where creativity comes in.  On-line business is one idea.  One of the outstanding people assisting people in doing this is Peter Carruthers. We have worked with him for many years.  You might want to check out his new website, Academy of Small Business, and his on-line course, How to Build a Lifetime Business Online.  It is a solid twelve-hour course designed to kick-start your on-line earning, and costs just US$99.  Some of the lessons are free "Review" samplers.

Peter says of his course, "Starting out online differs from starting a firm offline. Testing an online start-up costs nothing. Each new step proves itself first. That takes away all the risk.  Your first efforts in your online venture are invisible. You cannot fail. You either learn or you earn. Both outcomes offer progress. Both guide you towards your online future."

QuickBooks - 2016

QuickBooks 2016 comes in three flavours - Pro, Premier and Premier Accountant.  QuickBooks have rationalised their pricing and now only support the 2015 versions as well as 2016.  We advise people to upgrade to 2016, not only because it works better than 2015, but because the cost is the same.

If you run QuickBooks on a server, as we do, please make sure that the server is running the Database Manager.  Otherwise, you will have problems accessing multi-user mode.

If you are upgrading to Windows 10, please note that earlier versions of QuickBooks do not work on it.  You will have to upgrade to 2016.

Online Business Tip #1 - Advertise Free with a "Google My Business" Page

This is a start of a new series of tips to help grow your business.  Some of them are culled from a Peter Carruthers course.

  1. In your browser, open www.google.co.za (it makes a good home page, by the way).
  2. In the Search box, type the name of your company, possibly with a suburb if necessary: e.g. Software Africa sandton. Press Enter.
  3. On the right-hand side of the screen you should see what Google knows about your business.
  4. Do you see a link "Own this business?"? Click it (in future there will be an "Edit Information" link).  Tick the checkbox "I am authorized to manage this business and I agree to the Terms of Service".  Click the Continue button to create a Google My Business Page for your business.
  5. Add as much pertinent information as you can (you have to click an "Edit" button, or a picture of a pencil, to change data). Remember to click "Submit" to save your changes. It's free advertising!

QuickBooks 2017

This is going to be released very soon. Anyone who upgrades to 2016 will automatically be upgraded to 2017 for free

Quick Payroll

The original Quick Payroll is being retired as of now. QuickBooks advises the following:

...please upgrade to the new Quick Payroll

Key Player as soon as possible

Just like old trains, software moves on. To move forward with the times we launched Quick Payroll Key Player earlier this year. This means that when your current Quick Payroll license expires, we will not be able to re-activate that version of Quick Payroll. This means that you will not be able to work on Quick Payroll anymore which is the last thing we want you to experience so we need you to upgrade and convert sooner, rather than later.

To make this process as convenient as possible for you, you will get the upgrade to Quick Payroll Key Player as well as the conversion of your company file for FREE. However, we know that moving away from your existing software will, no doubt, put you under a certain amount of stress, which is why we ask you to do the following before upgrading and converting:·      

Move to the new software after you have completed a month end.

Then send your company file to us. Please remember that you need to give us some time to do the conversion. To be safe, approximately a week.  We want the conversion to be accurate, as we always try to give our customers a memorable experience.

We look forward to having you as a Quick Payroll Key Player user and we will do our utmost to make the transition from the old Quick Payroll, as painless as possible. Please contact renewals@quickbooks.co.za for assistance with this.

Please contact Judith for the new KeyPlayer software and assistance in getting your data file to QuickBooks for conversion.

Green Tip

Johannesburg Water is threatening water rationing if we do not improve our 10% water savings to 15%. Rationing is now a reality in Ekurhuleni and parts of Tshwane.

We have been using a bowl to collect our cold water from the shower so that we can water some of our plants. My partner, who is more steady on his feet than I am, also stands in the bowl and collects all of his water from the shower.  I have started having a strip wash using about a litre of water instead of showering every day.  We have cut our consumption markedly.

Autodesk updates

Please note that from 1st February 2016, all maintenance subscriptions must be renewed promptly!

The Subscription Options

From the 1st February, only subscription offerings are available.  These are as follows:

AutoCAD LT subscriptions only come with Advanced Support!

The range of Suites is being totally replaced on 1 August by the Autodesk Industry Collections, an exciting brand new, value-driven
offering.

Autodesk now offers a convenient path to switch plans which will enable Suites subscribers to easily move to an Industry Collection if they so choose.

If you have bought perpetual Suites on a maintenance plan - that’s good too! You can continue to renew the maintenance plan for your Suite as long as
you want.

You can pause your subscription if you do not want to renew at the end of the period. The downside is that you actually have to purchase a brand new subscription. This requires downloading the new software again.

Big Drop in AutoCAD pricing

This is great news - the price of AutoCAD subscriptions has been slashed.  The Annual one by over R3 000!  So now is the time to go for it and be one jump ahead!  However, the Trump triumph in the US election could change all this, so place your orders and pay for them now!

Autodesk AutoCAD 360 Pro

Introducing a powerful mobile app for CAD—Autodesk® AutoCAD® 360 Pro—which gives you essential tools for on-the-go work. Be more productive by easily viewing, creating, editing, and sharing CAD drawings on your tablet or smartphone—no need to bring printed drawings to job sites or client visits. Access your DWG files from many cloud storage services. View every aspect of your drawings, measure accurately, redline, add comments, make changes, and even create new drawings on the fly. Your updates are easily shared with team members and accessible in AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT® improving collaboration, accelerating project timelines, and avoiding costly mistakes.

Excel Tip #149 - Does Excel 2016 have any advantages over earlier versions?

We haven't noticed any.

We even tried a search (in the new "Tell me what you want to do" box) for "What's new in Excel 2016?". All that came up was "Share - to collaborate with others, save your file to an online location as a .xlsx file". This was because typing there and pressing Enter selects the top item on the menu instead of, as one would expect, doing a search on the text.  What one has to do, in fact, is choose a menu item lower down --either "Get Help on..." or "Smart Lookup".  Yet another counter-intuitive or obstructive feature.

One thing we found is that Microsoft is now rolling (mostly minor) changes into its products on a regular basis, which the cynical could say means that new bugs will be constantly introduced, and the products will never be stable.  Here's one we did find in the July 2016 Updates:

"No warnings when saving a CSV file

"Remember this warning? "This file may contain features that are not compatible with CSV..."  Well, you asked for it! We will no longer show this when saving a CSV file."

Well --yippee!  We hope that makes upgrading to Excel 2016 worth all the drawbacks.

Computius Say:

Paperless office about as likely as paperless bathroom, and as convenient.

Remember:  We can make your business run better by:

All the Best from the team!
Judith and Rick

Members, Communication in Action cc trading as Software Africa
"Empowering African Business with standard and custom PC programs, databases, and templates using Microsoft technologies"
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