e-Newsletter, December 21, 2004

Roundtable Software E-Mail Newsletter Issue #26, December 21, 2004

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In this issue...

2004 Tax Forms Are Ready!
The changes necessary for printing 2004 W2 and 1099-MISC forms are now available as a patch; click here to review and download. This patch includes program changes for General Ledger and Payroll to be installed with the DeltaDOS utility as well as updated print layout files for the General Ledger, Payroll, Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable modules. It also contains new Payroll tax table files for 2005. The program patch is installed as you would any other patch.

To install the updated print layout files and tax table files, after you have decompressed the PATCH9.ZIP file, copy ADPRTAX1.DAT, ADPRTAX2.DAT and all the company 00 PL data files contained therein to your AFILES directory (usually ADV\SYS), allowing it to overwrite the existing files. Then go into RTS-Advantage, go to System Administrator program 11, Modify Reports, and copy the new 1099 and W2 report formats from the 00 company to your company-specific PL files. It is not necessary--but strongly recommended--that you delete the old formats after copying the new ones to avoid inadvertently using the old forms.

Patch 9 also includes updated tax tables for 2005 for Arizona, California, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont, FWT and FICA. We also added tax tables for New York City and the City of Yonkers.

To activate the new tax tables follow these steps:

Go to Payroll program 3 and jot down the table codes assigned to each of the affected deductions. For example, if you have 3 different state withholding deductions, take note of the table assigned to each, such as table 4, SWT Married, table 5, SWT Single, table 6, SWT Head of Household.

Go to program 2 and delete those tables.

Go to Payroll program 58 and transfer the new tables into to the old numbers, being certain to choose the correct table. In our example, you'd want to be careful that the new SWT Married table is transferred to table 4; the new SWT Single table is transferred to table 5 and so on.

Note that Tax Transfer 1 accesses the Federal tables and the tables for the states in the first part of the alphabet while Tax Transfer 2 accesses the state tables for states in the latter part of the alphabet.

Tips For Printing W2/1099 Forms
A few pointers for printing W2s and 1099s:

* The Windows Printer option may be used but we cannot predict your results. When RTS-Advantage uses your printer's Windows driver we lose much of our control over the exact placement of text on the page. Since every printer is a little bit different you may find that the information prints perfectly on the forms, or that the formatting is way off. Everything depends on a combination of the font used, the point sized used, the form offsets and the quirks of your particular printer. All of these options can be controlled in the Windows Printing Utility (except the last, of course), but if you have a printer that can be accessed the 'old' way through the regular printing capability, you may find it more convenient to do things the old reliable way.

For instance, our in-house testing determined that our HP laser printers printed W2s perfectly without having to make a single adjustment, but every other printer we tried needed at least some minor changes to either the Windows Print Utility settings or moving fields around in System Administrator program 11.

* We provide two W2 report formats for laser printers--one for those set to 66 lines per page, one for printers set to 60 lines per page. Although both will work reasonably well, we recommend the 60 line format because it usually lines up the best with W2 forms. Your hardware tech can assist you in switching your laser printer between 60 line and 66 line modes.

* All of our forms are tested with the preprinted forms available from Forms-R-Us, our forms supplier partner. If you would like to order from them call (866) 816-3676.

* Inkjet printers are wonderful and inexpensive, but many of them are incapable of printing W2 forms. Many inkjet printers have very large bottom margins, so deep that they can't print to some of the lowest fields on the laser W2 forms. We recommend that you use a laser or dot matrix printer for printing your W2s.

* Double-wide dot-matrix W2 forms got a major redesign this year, and now the left-hand forms are extremely tight on space. In order to conform with this new standard, we had to eliminate Address Lines 3 and 4 of the employer's address from the format. If you only use the first two lines, then no problem. Otherwise you need to either edit your company address information (in System Administrator program 6, Info option) or monkey around with the format to jam the extra lines onto it (we don't know where you'll find the room though). The extra two address lines are still available on the format--you can move them back into the printable area with System Administrator program 11.

* Always be sure to make a permanent backup of your Payroll data files at the end of the year. Otherwise there's no way to rerun W2s and other forms once you start processing for the next year. We like to make an annual copy of Pyaroll files that can be accessed as needed. To do this make a copy of your Payroll company data files at the end of the year substituting the year for the regular company number. For instance, our company number is "RT". At the end of each year we make a copy of the Payroll RT files, substituting the year for our company number. For instance, this year we will go to our AUSER directory and issue the DOS copy command:


This makes a complete copy of the Payroll as of the end of 2004 which we can access in RTS-Advantage simply by switching to company 04. It's simple and a great way to save a lot of historical information without having to maintain it in your live data.

You might also want to restrict access to the backup company through the Security setup in System Administrator program 4 to help avoid accidentally processing in the wrong company.

Magnetic Media For Tax Year 2004
If you have to submit 250 or more W2 or 1099 forms, you are required to submit the information to the government via magnetic media or electronic file transfer. Roundtable Software's Magnetic Media Reporting package generates the necessary files for you to submit to the government. Each year Roundtable Software conducts a thorough review of the specifications for file submission and produces a new version of Magnetic Media in compliance with the current rules. Magnetic Media for Tax Year 2004 is now available, and retails for $395 which includes the software and an updated manual. The Unix version retails for $995. The 2004 edition of Magnetic Media is compatible only with version 4 of the RTS-Advantage system--it will not work with earlier versions.

Tech Tip: How To Quickly Zero Quantities Before Entering Inventory Counts
When you do a physical inventory, a popular activity at this time of the year, do you like to zero out your inventory quantities and then add the quantities back based on physical counts? If you do, we have a new shortcut for you in version 4.

To quickly and easily set all of your inventory items to a quantity of zero you can use the new Inventory program, Shrinkage/Spoilage (program 36). To set all quantities to zero select the Range option. You can limit the items to be affected through the ranges if you wish. At the bottom of the screen enter 'Z' at the Shrink By Pct/To Zero prompt then select OK in the Do you want to PROCEED? box. This will change the quantity to zero for all items in the specified ranges and create entries in the audit trail reflecting this event. This works whether you are on FIFO/LIFO or average costing. The Shrinkage/Spoilage program DOES NOT affect serialized quantities so those items must be dealt with manually. Because you are not recording actual inventory reductions you should not allow the program to send entries to General Ledger--if the General Ledger link is active in Inventory be sure to disable it in program 50 before doing this procedure.

A couple of notes: Zeroing out your inventory is a convenient way to start fresh from a physical count, but be sure when posting receipts of the items in Inventory to record the proper costs of the items (usually this is done by referring to a cost report that you print beforehand). It is all well and good to get your counts correct, but if your costs are wrong you are just creating a new problem. Also, when your physical inventory is complete, be sure to compare the total cost on hand before and after the count so that you can make adjusting entries in General Ledger reflecting any inventory losses.

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