Software Africa Newsletter - September 2016


It is beginning to look as if major changes will be made in many of our metros following the elections. This opens up a positive move into job creation and real competition in stopping corruption.  Let's hope that these new brooms truly sweep clean and remove the detritus that has halted progress.

Recently I have been evaluating my Toastmasters journey from newbie to where I am now.  I can only say that it is a very valuable journey.  I have not only improved my speaking and listening skills but I have learnt more about leadership than I could ever have imagined.  Toastmasters by-line is "Where Leaders are made" and nothing could be truer.  For the price of a large pizza a month, you can start a life changing and empowering journey.  You also come to meet amazing people and expand your network.  I can recommend it wholeheartedly.  Go to to find out more and find a club near you, or reply to this newsletter.

QuickBooks' New Support Move:

When you need QuickBooks Desktop support, get the support you need.

From September 1st, QuickBooks has completely remodelled QuickBooks Support to make it simpler and faster. This change saves you time, as well as a lot of frustration. This is what we are going to do:

         Compatibility Issues: The one law of computing is that operating computer systems change regularly. Replacing your computer or installing an update could mean that your trusty accounting software no longer does what it is meant to do. That is why we ask you to study the Knowledge Base to see if it is a software or an operating system issue. If you cannot find the answer, then request a consultation. This will be a TeamViewer consultation, which is charged at R75 for 30 minutes. If you need to upgrade and do so immediately, we will deduct the session price from the upgrade price.

         Data Support (VAT setup, refreshing of transactions, Data Fix, Upgrades): This will be charged at R350 per hour. If we cannot fix the problem, the Support Fee will be refunded.

         Password removal: R350

         Walk in Clients: R350 per hour

Quick Payroll Key Player Support is covered by an Annual License Fee as well as the EasyBiz FreshDesk Quick Payroll Knowledge base. However, there are some technical issues that customers may require help with, which are not covered by the Annual License Fee. These will be charged for.

Quick Payroll Key Player Technical Support Terms and Conditions

         Setups: Data received from a customer to do a Setup will be charged at R75 for 30 minutes and will be a TeamViewer consultation

         Walk in Clients: R350 per hour.

         Customizing Payslips and Reports: R150 per hour

         Setting up payroll on a network: R75 per 30 minutes.

Payment must be received before the support session will commence!

The link is here

This will make obtaining support far easier and also goes back further than has been the case recently.

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.

Green Tip

Not just a national water crisis, but a national sewage works crisis. Now is the time to put pressure on your local council, provincial and national Water Affairs and Sanitation officials. We require immediate action not baseless promises

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

On or near August 1st, Autodesk will offer 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 - thatís 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!

Excel Tip #147 -  Starting Excel 2016

On opening Excel 2016 for the first time, the first thing one notices is the recently-opened file list --which is blank, despite having been well populated in Excel 2010 (including various pinned files and folders).  Well done, Microsoft! You never miss a trick to make users' lives more difficult!

The only option on offer is "Open Other Workbooks".  Well, no, there may be some templates on offer on the right, including Blank Workbook.  Alternatively, you can press Esc to get a blank workbook.

Alongside on the right, we compare the File menus in Excel 2010 and 2016.  Most of the old items are still there, but rearranged to make your life more interesting. The notable omission is "Recent", which is now hidden under "Open".

Whereas "Open" in Excel 2010 immediately gave you a file explorer window to find your file, the submenu on the right interposes another layer between you and the file explorer, for which you have to use "Browse".  "This PC" seems to be a carefully selected list of folders and files you are least likely to want to use. "OneDrive" is Microsoft's cloud storage answer to Google Drive, which is not accessible, not even using "Add a Place".

"Info", the top choice on the Excel 2016 File menu, is broadly the same as "Info" lower down on the Excel 2010 File menu.  It has the (slightly renamed) options to protect the workbook, inspect the workbook and check for issues, add properties, and recover unsaved changes.

The "New" section is arguably better, displaying preview of the templates on offer, and allowing seamless searches of online templates.

"Save As" has the new layer with the same choices of places found in "Open".

"Print" is largely unchanged, giving a preview and access to the settings.

Excel 2010's "Save & Send" has been split in 2016 into "Share" and "Export".  The former allows sharing of the file via email or OneDrive. The latter lets create a PDF or XPS document, or save in various other file formats, a more extensive list of which can still be found under "Save As" > Browse.

"Publish" is a new option, saving to OneDrive and then publishing with Power BI (whatever that is).

"Options" are largely unchanged. "Exit" has disappeared, as has "Help": Part of Microsoft's project to make Help difficult to find and, once found, increasingly useless. The new item, "Account", provides the "About" information previously found on the "Help" tab.

Next time we will take a curmudgeonly look at the Excel 2016 interface.

Computius Say:

Ever noticed how you can have a three square metre desk, but the cat has to sit on the part directly in front of the screen, and preferably on the keyboard too?

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
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