Software Africa Newsletter - September 2018

Green Tip ~ Online Business Tip ~ Excel Tip


If you, like I did, froze on Sunday, well we were joined by some surprised elephants and giraffes in the Karoo. This is climate change hitting South Africa. We also are in recession as well, so things could get much colder on all fronts. What do we do about this? Find ways to up wages and spread what is available, pressurise government to cut ministers' salaries and perks. Hold them accountable for failures like the Bank of Lisbon fire.

Green Tip

Please help this initiative that's cleaning up our oceans.

ArCADia Software

There are three products available - ArCADia LT, ArCADia 10 and ArCADia 10 Plus. They also have a full BIM solution and we can supply you with the brochure setting out exactly how it operates. Getting down to specifics, you can look at ArCADia for Architects, Distribution Boards, Electrical installations and so on. For more about them use this link. Prices are in Euros but they are perpetual licences, not annual.

Please contact Judith for more information and quotes.

Activating your Autodesk Software

Please note that your new Autodesk software has to be activated using your account logon within 30 days. Thereafter, please log onto your account monthly to receive the latest updates, so that your software stays current. You can use your account to access training videos and support via AVA as well. If AVA can't solve your problem, it can be escalated to Autodesk Support who will phone you to sort it out. This is an exceptional development as it makes problem solving so much faster than previously.

As an Autodesk customer, you matter to them as well as to your reseller. More and more solutions are sitting on your customer account - please explore them!

You can also now receive support from the Distributor, contact Nathalie for this. Her email is and she will make sure that the technical people sort you out ASAP!

Autodesk Developments.

Next year, maintenance renewal fees will increase by 20% from May. Please consider renewals changing to subscriptions this year because your cost will be fixed at a far lower rate for three years. Moving to the Collections also offers great savings.

All you need to understand Building Information Modelling (BIM)

This link takes you to an eBook on the subject:

On-Line Business Tip #20: "Google My Business"

Last month we suggested that you create an account on Google (or find out if you have an existing account). If you did not do it then, click here to do it now. You need an account on Google in order to list your business on Google My Business –free, of course!

Let's look on Google to see what information it has on your business.  In your favourite browser (Google Chrome works well, and is free), call up

In the search box, type in the name of your business, for example “Software Africa” and press Enter or click [Google Search].  Despite the domain, it searches worldwide, so you might want to add “south africa” or your town, to narrow the search.

If Google has information on your company, it should appear in a box on the right of the screen.  There should be contact details, opening hours, a link to your website, directions, and more.

There should also be a link “Are You the Business Owner?” (if no-one has claimed the business) or “Edit your business information” (if you have already claimed it).  Choose the appropriate link, and update any details that need changing (there is a verification process to follow if you are claiming a business that Google has added on its own.

What if your business does not appear in a box on the right?  We’ll look at this next time.

[This tip first appeared in the Megaplex newsletter, "Doing Business in Sandton" (July 2018). Sign up here for monthly business tips.]

QuickBooks in the Cloud

Please contact Judith for a full overview and pricing. Having just done month-end using the direct download from FNB into QBO (QuickBooks Online), I can only state that it made it so much easier to complete.

Still working on my exam as I have been overwhelmed by the amount of learning that I am doing!

Also look at the QuickPerks site for connections to your desktop.

To give the pros and cons, just stop to read this:

QuickBooks Online vs. QuickBooks Desktop

So what’s the big fuss about QuickBooks Online and how does it compare to its desktop counterparts? Well first off, QuickBooks Online makes daily tasks easier, meaning less work for small businesses.

Maximizer CRM in the Cloud!

Maximizer has been our customer relationship management for over twenty years. It has been a source of staying on the ball and creating increasing sales.  Maximizer is now in the Cloud! If you would like to obtain more information, please click this link.

This tool has been a great way of working over the last 25 years, driving our business and serving our customers as well.


Excel Tip #169 -- What's New in Excel 2016 for Windows?  New Pivot Chart (IV) -- Introducing Pivot Charts

We are looking at what is new in Excel 2016 for Windows Desktop, compared with Excel 2010.  On the Insert ribbon, in the Charts group, there is a new button for PivotChartsEarlier, we created a Pivot Table and modified it to look like this:

Sum of Amount Column Labels      
Row Labels East North South West Grand Total
Cape Town R116,000   R166,600   R282,600
East London     R244,000 R261,100 R505,100
Kimberley   R152,400 R95,800   R248,200
Pretoria R373,500       R373,500
Grand Total R489,500 R152,400 R506,400 R261,100 R1,409,400

Last time we looked at how to create a Pivot Chart from the Pivot Table.  Start by selecting the Pivot Table. The right-hand sidebar will appear. Ignore it. On the Insert ribbon, click the Pivot Chart button. The "Insert Chart" dialog will pop up. On the left, the Column type of chart is selected.

Across the top we see seven variations of column charts: Clustered Column, Stacked Column, 100% Stacked Column, 3-D Clustered Column, 3-D Stacked Column, 3-D 100% Stacked Column, and 3-D Column. Click on Clustered Column. 

Repeat the process, but choose 3-D Column.  When you have added a title, your two charts should look like this:

Clustered Column, 3-D Clustered Column, and 3-D Column all show a freestanding bar for each Sum cell in the Pivot Table. This allows us to compare individual sums with each other.

Next time, we will look at the 100% Stacked Column, and 3-D Stacked Column Pivot Charts.

Computius Say:

There were computers in Biblical times. Eve had an Apple (look at the trouble it caused!)

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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