e-Newsletter, December 18, 2007

Roundtable Software Newsletter #52, December 18, 2007

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In this issue...

Patch 33 Released

This patch contains bug fixes, several major and minor enhancements and new features, some only for use in conjunction with the new Windows version of the software.

General Ledger Program 18, Financial Statements: Due to a complaint that financial statements produced by program 18 are hard to read with dollar signs on the front of the amounts we added the ability to set an operating system environment variable "NODOLLAR" that the program will read. If the variable is detected the dollar signs will be omitted from the text versions of the financial statement amount fields (there are also numeric versions which only print dollar signs at the user's preference).

General Ledger Program 23, Payroll Tax Forms: Updated for printing 2007 W-2s. We recommend that users not attempt to use W-2 formats updated by System Administrator program 7 as it does not move fields around for the updated format. If you have a company-specific PL file, please copy the current formats over to it from the new company 00 print layout file.

Payroll Program 25, Tax Returns: Updated the OASDI default limit to $102,000 for tax year 2008.

Payroll Program 26, Tax Forms: Updated for printing 2007 W-2s. We recommend that users not attempt to use W-2 formats updated by System Administrator program 7 as it does not move fields around for the updated format. If you have a company-specific PL file, please copy the current formats over to it from the new company 00 print layout file.

Added the ability to record Health Savings Account plans on W-2s. See article about HSAs later in this newsletter for more information.

Updated the default OASDI limit to $97,500 for tax year 2007.

The question "Add Contributions to State/Local Wages" on the Insurance Over $50,000 screen was being ignored by the program.

Payroll Program 58, Transfer Tax Tables: Tax tables were updated for 2008 for California, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Utah, North Carolina, New Mexico, Virginia and federal taxes. Undoubtedly there are more yet to come as many states don't make their decisions until the last, and sometimes well after the last, moment. Note that the updated tax tables are a separate download from the website--they are not included in the patch.

Special note for Maryland users: Alleghany County has switched from the 2.93% table to the 3.05% table.

Late Breaking News: Maryland is in the process of making additional changes; as of this writing we do not have the details but will make them available as soon as possible.

Inventory: More new data fields were added for the upcoming Windows product.

Inventory: New formats were added to the Print Layout file. The new formats apply only to the Windows version. If chosen in the DOS version an error will be displayed.

Inventory Program 31, Audit Trail: When child items are used in a production, the description of that activity has been changed to be more accurate.

Purchase Orders: Due to some dislike of a feature we changed in a previous patch, programs 9, 10 and 13 will now show both the Total Cost and Remaining Cost of the PO. These two pieces of data are stored in the Purchase Orders files so that they can be accessed by Report Generator, and have been added to the Status Report produced by program 14, Print POs. Since one of these fields is new, it will be initially set to zero but will be calculated as soon as you access the purchase order in program 9 or 10. Programs 11 and 53 were also changed to update these totals.

Purchase Orders Program 9, Post POs: Changed to allow for editing of the Group Number and Description Number fields of both inventory and non-inventory items. This feature had previously been removed, along with editing of Item Numbers. Item Numbers are still non-editable.

Purchase Orders Program 10, Post Items Received: The Delete Receipt option was resetting the backorder quantity incorrectly if a receipt was deleted that set the quantity received back to zero.

Purchase Orders Program 11, Auto-Create POs: The Full and Daily Minimum options were enhanced to ask for a default warehouse number for the created POs. Auto-created POs will still use the specific warehouse(s) checked if ordering based on below minimum warehouse quantities, but other minimum options will now use the default warehouse, not just warehouse 1 as it did before. In addition, a new prompt for Source Code was added--the entered source code will appear on all POs created by the process.

Purchase Orders Program 11, Auto-Create POs: No longer allow users to access the Minimum options if the Vendors feature is turned off in Inventory.

Point of Sale: Moved payment references on 40-column reports to print completely on the printable report; was partially hanging off the edge.

Point of Sale Program 3, Start Cash Drawer: The cash drawer functionality has been enhanced so that cash drawers no longer have to be on a "Y" cable with your printer. A new option, Setup Drawer, has been added to program 3 where you can define the numbered or named port on which the cash drawer is located. This port may be the same as your printer or different (this option has become especially important if you wish to use the Windows printer interface functionality of the software, which didn't allow for cash drawer codes).

Point of Sale Program 4, Full Invoicing: When changing the printer destination, it did not properly save the setting in Terminal Defaults if the transaction you were working on was an AR invoice.

Paid outs 'pinged' the printer as if it were going to print something, which it doesn't.

Fixed The Last Price Paid window which was inadvertently deactivated in the last patch.

The No Detail View toggle in the Select column on the second screen has been improved. First, when No Detail mode is selected there was some detail that was nevertheless displayed--this has been eliminated. Second, we simplified the toggle so that pressing "N" repeatedly would toggle the display mode, rather than having to use "I" to turn the display back on. Third, when the No Display option was selected the program would switch you from whatever retrieval method you had been using to retrieval by Item Number and wouldn't let you switch back while in No Display mode. This restriction has been removed--you can now have No Display active no matter what your item retrieval field.

Now handles delivery addresses. Delivery addresses can be turned on or off at your preference, and can pull from the AR Ship-To Addresses or be keyed in manually. Deliveries can also be categorized by type (types are setup in a new option in System Defaults) that control estimated delivery dates and special taxing procedures. A new report format has been added to the print layout file with all the delivery information formatted on the invoice. Note: Delivery address support is turned off by default. Turn it on in the new Point of Sale System Defaults Delivery option.

New field, Post Date, added to first screen. This field is automatically set to the terminal date when transactions are created. Unlike invoice dates, however, they are not updated each time an invoice is taken off of hold, so that you can retain the original date that the transaction was started. The field is editable.

The Lost Sales feature has been enhanced to automatically record not only the item number entered but also the posting date, login name, terminal number, invoice number (if assigned at the time), customer number, customer name, and salesperson number. Program 12, Lost Sales Analysis, has been enhanced with ranges on the Print and Clear functions, and the report has had all this data added to it.

Point of Sale Program 4, Full Invoicing, and 5, Quick Invoicing, now transfer AR customer's fax number and key contact from AR onto the Point of Sale invoices. Note: Thes new fields have been added to the Point of Sale invoice report formats. Most fields have been placed out past 80 columns on the formats, so in order to print the new information you will have to place them on the printable part of the reports.

The login name of the last person to work on an invoice is now stored in the Point of Sale invoice file and has been added to the invoices and to the Point of Sale Detail report. The field is updated each time the invoice is taken off of hold.

Point of Sale Program 5, Quick Invoicing: Was not remembering changed printers.

Point of Sale Program 13, Reprint Invoices: Did not properly print if using the separate subtotal department option that was added in a prior patch.

Point of Sale Program 11, End of Day Update: The Archive option was enhanced to archive the many new fields added in this patch (and a few fields from earlier changes that were missed).

Point of Sale Program 50, System Defaults: Under the Terminal option, the Default Item Type prompt has a No Default option that is supposed to make the clerk start every invoice by choosing how they wish to retrieve items (by Preset Number, Item Number, Group Number or Description). This option apparently hadn't been working for a very long time, if ever. We checked as far back as Premier, and it did nothing there. Now for what it's worth it does work as advertised. Obviously not a particularly popular feature...

Order Entry Program 1, Prepare Orders & Program 2, Print Orders: The Item Location for Inventory items has been added to the orders and reports printed by these programs.

File Fixer: The program was unable to perform a FastShrink on Inventory file 1 and General Ledger file 1 (the regular Shrink option, however, did work).

Data Export Tool: The program was unable to correctly export two fields from Inventory file 6 because their descriptions were identical. Change was made to the ADFMDATA.DAT file to take care of the problem; no program change.

Earth/Root: Changed to recognize print layouts that apply only to the Windows version of the product.

Earth/Root: Enhanced the "Invalid Environment Variable" message to print the specific path that is causing the problem. Should make troubleshooting simpler.

ADVMULTI: Changed to recognize when being called from the Windows version of RTS-Advantage. This change will allow you to use the Windows version of the program to launch the DOS version of most programs. For instance, if you select the AR Customer Master program in the Windows version, and that program doesn't (yet) exist, the program will automatically start a new DOS window, run RTS-Advantage and go to the AR Customer Master program. Note that each time this is done a new DOS window will be opened. The feature cannot be used to chain between programs within an already open DOS window. The Windows version will not take advantage of this new capability until the next round of patches.

System Administrator: Program 11, Modify Reports: Has new capabilities for defining bar codes to print on reports and for defining laser sheet label report formats. These printing capabilities will only be available in the Windows version of the product.

Click here to go to our Patches page where you can review the versions changed in this patch and download the patch file.

If you prefer, you can order a replacement CD from your dealer to get all the latest patches and ensure you are up to date.

UNIX Users: This patch is not available for download from our website. Please contact your dealer to order patch product.

General Ledger Number Formatting on Financial Statements
We are receiving many support calls on the changes recently made to the General Ledger financial statement reports. Users are complaining that the amounts printed no longer pay attention to the account display codes set up in program 1. The change, which occurred in patch 30, was not documented as informatively as it should have been.

The print layouts for the General Ledger financial statement programs (18, 20 and 21) all have two fields that print numbers. One is a text field (shown as Xs in System Administrator program 11, Modify Reports) and the other is numeric (shown as 9s). Most of you probably have financial statement formats that use the numeric version. These fields now no longer respond to the display codes--they only respond to display options set in SA program 11. The text versions, however, do still respond to display codes specified in GL program 1, Chart of Accounts. If this is what you prefer you will have to swap the fields (from 9s to Xs) in System Administrator program 11 for your formats. All detail and total sections on the report must be edited to get all numbers printing in the same manner.

If you have not customized your financial statements but are using a company-specific print layout file, just copy the current formats over from the 00 company PL. Those formats use the Xs by default.

Record Locking in Windows Vista Home Edition

It has come to our attention that Windows Vista Home Edition does not correctly handle network record locking in some circumstances. In some cases, rather than returning record locked messages the program will 'hover' (look like it is hung) until the other user relinquishes the record that is being requested. This is not a problem in the RTS-Advantage software--it is a bug in the Vista Home Edition operating system.

The dealer who reported this problem says that Microsoft is currently offering a 'hot fix' through their telephone support system. This usually means that a general release update will be forthcoming.

Please note that Windows Vista Business Edition does not seem to exhibit this problem. Users wishing to upgrade or install Vista in their office computers are encouraged to purchase the Business Edition which in general seems to have more robust network support.

Windows Printer Interface & Dot Matrix Printers
If you have switched over to using the Windows Printer Interface of RTS-Advantage and you are having trouble printing to your dot-matrix printers (printing garbage, printing only one page of a multi-page report, etc.) we have found in case after case that the printer driver is to blame. Many users installed their dot-matrix printers on their machines without bothering to load the manufacturer's printer drivers, using instead the default generic dot-matrix driver supplied by Microsoft. These drivers are seldom fully compatible with printers, even including industry standard printers such as Okidatas. If you are having trouble with your printer (dot-matrix or otherwise) your first step should always be to download and install the most current version of the driver from the printer manufacturer's website.

How To Implement Health Savings Accounts
Patch 33 adds support for reporting on the W-2 the employer contributions to an employee's Health Savings Account (HSA). The wording from the Federal government suggests that HSA contributions by the employer may or may not be tax exempt to the employee. Because there would be little benefit to the employee to set up an HSA when it would not be tax exempt, the following assumes that it IS tax exempt.
  1. Set up a pay type with an auto-deduction number to get the employer's contribution into each pay period's taxable wages. Make the pay type exempt from all Federal taxes (FWT, FICA, FUTA) and, if applicable, exempt from State and Local taxes. (Wisconsin does not allow the employer contribution to be tax exempt; all other states treat it the same as the Federal government.)

  2. Set up deductions that are used for both the employee and the employer contributions to the HSA. This may seem as if the employer portion is going in twice, but it isn't; the pay type in step one gets the contribution added into the taxable wages; these deductions are where the actual contributions will accrue and is where the W-2 will look for the total to print in box 12.

  3. At year-end, the fact that the pay type is exempt from the Federal taxes will keep it from adding into Federal wages on the W-2 (boxes 1, 3 & 5 in 2007). Depending on whether or not the pay was flagged as exempt from State and Local, the W2 will or will not add that pay into State/Local Wages.

  4. When printing W-2's for tax year 2007 (version 4.04 of Payroll program 26), there is a new prompt asking if you have HSA's. When you answer "Yes", you access a screen where you list the Deduction Numbers that represent HSA's (the ones created in step 2). The total of the employer contribution amounts to these deductions are listed separately in box 12 with a code of "W".

Our New Fax Number
Roundtable Software has a new fax number. It is 815-572-5446. Please begin using it immediately as the old number is no longer active.

Roundtable Software Holiday Schedule
Other than Christmas and New Year's Day, we will be maintaining our normal business hours this holiday season.

2007 eFile Prep To Be Released Soon

We expect to be releasing the 2007 edition of this module by the end of the month. There are some significant changes made by the government to the record formatting, so you should not attempt to submit files with previous versions.

As it was last year, this product is only available as a Windows-native module.

On The Ligher Side ...
This one was passed along to us by dealer Jim Williams:

A pilot was flying a small commuter plane in the great northwest when he lost all his electronics. Without instruments he became hopelessly lost in a thick fog. His passengers watched in horror as he flew toward, and then circled, a tall building.

As the pilot circled he saw a person at a window in one of the upper floors. He opened his cockpit window and yelled out, "Where am I?" The person shouted back, "You're in an airplane." The pilot nodded his thanks and moments later landed safely at an airport.

The passengers congratulated the pilot for landing them safely, but they all wanted to know how he did it. "It was the guy in the window," he said. "His answer to my question was technically correct but absolutely useless. I realized then that we had to be flying around Microsoft's customer support building, and it was easy to find the airport once I knew where I was."

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