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Year End Backup in Pastel V17

Pastel Version 17 is upon us and development enhanced some of the regularly used features. One of these changes, affects the backup procedure when processing the year end. Let’s take a look at how this changed:

Backup regularly

Now as we know, making regular backups of your Pastel data is vital for any business. This doesn’t only help yourself when restoring a backup, but also provides your Pastel consultant with more information, should they have to do a data-fix.

Year End Backup V17

The year end procedure hasn’t changed much. The only difference comes in when you decide not to create a new company.

Do not copy company Backup

A backup screen will pop up, prompting for a backup before the year end process starts. Here you can backup like you normally would.

Yearend Backup

Should you exit the backup window you’ll be presented with a notification window of the implications when not creating a backup.

Warning Backup

When clicking yes, you will be taken back to the backup window. Should you click no, an entry will be captured in the System Changes Audit Trail under the Backup Parameter Category.

System Changes Audit Trail Backup

Xpress Start-Up V17

Please note: Xpress Start-Up packages only allows you to create one company. Therefore it is absolutely vital to make a backup before processing a year end, since you won’t be able to create a copy company.

Apart from making a backup at year end, I cannot emphasize how important it is, to make regular backups. Even if you make use of an automatic backup system like Irontree, please still make your own backups at year end. Backups make data fixing so much easier for your Pastel consultant.

Should you have any queries or need assistance with any Pastel related query, you can log a support incident on our website by clicking here.

Looking forward to hear from you

2016 Sage Pastel BP of the year

After a complex and uncertain business year that was filled with many challenges End 2 End Business Solutions has won the Sage Pastel BP of the year award for the Western Cape for the second time in 4 years! (Sage Pastel Business Partner of the year)

Sage Pastel BP of the year

Congratulations to everyone involved and a big thank you to all our customers that have supported E2E during this time.  Without our Customers support or our consultants dedication to their work this achievement would not have been possible.

Our upgraded support logging infrastructure and full time support desks have been well received.  This has directly assisted with improvements on service delivery turn around times.  Something that we will continue to work on for 2017.

The economic trend towards a more digital environment affords everyone many exciting new options for the future.  Sages improved and integrated service offerings are helping SMME’s bridge the gab between traditional trading methods and new and innovative solutions whilst still remaining affordable.

As a leader in our industry we endeavour to remain up to date with these improved service offerings.  It is our aim to pass on as many of these new solutions as possible.  The express purpose is to improve our clients efficiency and hopefully profitability.

In closing, an award is only as good as the competition and we have great competition.  Well done to all the other resellers.  Congratulations again to the Sage Pastel Accounting department of End 2 End Business Solutions. You guys rock!

Brian
General Manager

2016 Sage Pastel BP of the year

Pastel Partner Forms Designer V17

Editing forms in Sage Pastel has always been tricky, however, now with Pastel Partner Forms Designer V17 following a few of these easy steps your forms can look unique and professional:

Pastel Partner Forms Designer V17 Made Easy

Border Color, Fill Color and Rounded Corners on Boxes

Customize your documents by changing the border colors and the colors of the boxes on the documents. You can change the boxes from square corners to rounded corners to enhance the look of your documents.

forms-designer-1

Convert all Text and Fields to Individual Font:

Change the header and footer fonts on individual forms. This selection will then ignore the font settings selected in the Pastel Font Setup from the menu bar.

Currently all text fields are predefined (either as Main or Title) you cannot change the font or size, however changing it to individual you can. Selecting convert will change all text fields and you don’t have to select one by one.

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Convert to Greyscale:

Convert your document to greyscale to ensure that the document is not printed in color on a color printer.

forms-designer-6

The form will then look like this:

forms-designer-5

Color Replacement Tool and Select all Same Color:

Select a color and replace the selected color with a new color throughout the document. This option selects all items in the form that are the same color and you can reformat these selected items.

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Inserting a logo is not that difficult however for some reason the logo sometimes disappears, Now with Pastel Partner Forms Designer V17 the Image file is automatically stored in the company folder.

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Images are sized according to available space and no longer change their aspect ratio (This can be overwritten by selecting no)

Images automatically resize when added to a document.

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The form in short would then look like this:

New Forms Designer V17

If you require any assistance,  please call our call center:
+27 21 447 9565

Alternatively, click here to log a support incident via our website,  and a support consultant will contact you:

Sage Pastel My Customers Zone

What is Sage Pastel My Customers Zone? It’s an add-on providing your customers with an online profile to access their invoices and statements.

Ever wanted a web based solution where your customers can log in, view their invoices & statements and make payments online, right there and then? Now you can do just that with Sage Pastel My Customers Zone. Pastel introduced this fantastic feature some time ago and underwent a few updates and changes to enhance user experience. Let’s take a look at the features available in this add-on:

Sage Pastel My Customers Zone

There are two parts of the Sage Pastel My Customers Zone, namely: Customer Console and Admin Console.

Customer Console:

When a customer logs in on Sage Pastel My Customers Zone, a homepage displays where they can view the last invoice which was invoiced to their account, the last payment they made, the terms linked to their account as well as their credit limit.

Customer Login - Sage Pastel My Customers Zone

The Accounts menu, grants them access to view their statements or to see which transactions are still outstanding on their account. From here they can also print, save or pay (Sage Pay account needed) their outstanding invoices by a click of a button.

Statement - Sage Pastel My Customers Zone Outstanding Transactions - Sage Pastel My Customers Zone

 

Admin Console:

When logging in on the Sage Pastel My Customers Zone, a nifty dashboard displays, where you can view how many payments were made to you, the total Rand value of those payments and how many documents were paid. These payments appear on a nice graph which can be viewed in weekly, monthly or yearly format.

Admin Login - Sage Pastel My Customers Zone

The Settings menu consists of options to set up site branding and store additional branding images. Also link your cash customers or send invitation emails to ‘on account’ customers. This email contains a link for them to create their online profile on Sage Pastel My Customers Zone.

Branding - Sage Pastel My Customers Zone

Cash Accounts - Sage Pastel My Customers Zone

Communications - Sage Pastel My Customers Zone

Store Images - Sage Pastel My Customers Zone

The Documents Menu gives you access to view all documents, like invoices and credit notes, processed on Pastel. Use the search function to locate a specific document. You can also upload and attach additional documents to the online documents. This Documents report can also be exported to Excel.

Documents - Sage Pastel My Customers Zone

After linking your Sage Pay Account under the Sage Pay menu, you can view all payments made to you. Both successful and failed.

Sage Pay Payments - Sage Pastel My Customers Zone

Lastly you have access to an Authorization Report which displays who logged in & when. There’s also a Document Views Report which displays which documents were viewed by your customers. Both these reports also include the search function and can be exported to Excel.

Authorization Report - Sage Pastel My Customers Zone Document Views - Sage Pastel My Customers Zone

Need help setting up Sage Pastel My Customers Zone? Log a support request on our website by clicking here

Sage Pastel Mobility

Do you know what Sage Pastel Mobility is?  Think of it this way: Desktop Accounting meets Cloud

Have you ever wanted a mobile solution to your Accounting package where you can transact via your smart phone or tablet? Now, you can do just that with “Sage Pastel Mobility”. Pastel introduced this fantastic feature some time ago and underwent a few updates and changes to enhance user experience. Let’s take a look at the features available in this add-on:

Sage Pastel Mobility

With Sage Pastel Mobility, your sales reps will be able to process quotes, sales orders and invoices with this amazing app which interlinks with your desktop accounting software.

Pastel Mobility Quote

You can access your stock levels and pricing at any given time.

Pastel Mobility Stock Level Pastel Mobility Stock Price

Get customer information with a touch of a button, straight on your mobile device.

Pastel Mobility Customer Information

Like when selecting a customer address, it opens up your GPS app (like Google Maps) on your mobile device and locates the address on the map. Now just click on go and your app directs you to the customer.

Pastel Mobility GPS

Or when selecting a contact number, it automatically inputs the number on your dial pad.

Pastel Mobility Dail Screen

Or when you select an email address, it automatically opens up a new email with the selected email address.

Pastel Mobility Email

When processing an invoice, quote or sales order on Sage Pastel Mobility, it creates a document with a W prefix in an open batch on the selected user’s profile. WI for invoice, WW for Sales Order and WQ for Quote.

Have more than one company to transact on? No problem. Simply set up the Sage pastel Mobility users in each company and you will be able to open the different companies on your mobile app once logged in.

Pastel Mobility Company List

If you need any help setting up Sage Pastel Mobility, please log a request on our website by clicking here

Correcting your POS slip printer

As a Pastel Point of Sale (POS) user you may have noticed that your POS slip printer isn’t quite printing your POS slip with all the entries aligned correctly.  Now this might be a small point but if you’re like me, it’s an issue.  Read further below to see how you can do something about it.

As a Point of Sale user,  you may be experiencing issues with text that is not aligned when using a slip printer.  This is due to the Font that is being used.

Here’s an example of what the normal slip layout might be giving you.

Non aligned slip printer

If this is what your slip is looking like, then you might want to do something about it.  Studies have shown that even the smallest of changes to how one interacts with ones clients can have even a subliminal effect on future business.  Now not everyone looks at their POS slips, most of them hit the bin behind the counter, but for those clients that take it away with them it’s a way for you to leave a reminder to the client that your store is a point of convenience that they should return too.  When they look at your slip and it’s messy, it doesn’t really give a good “please return to us” kind of message does it?  Ensure your POS slip printer is printing a neat slip with your basic contact information and even if it makes a 0.01% difference to your annual client returns, it’s something.  Besides, at the very least it’ll look good!

Here are the steps you can follow,  to correct the alignment, when printing your till slip to a slip printer:

1.   Select Shortcut Functions | Printer font Setup
3 Printer Fonts button for slip printer
2.   Set the Main Font and Title Font to Courier New
4 Fonts Settings for slip printer
3.   Click OK
4.   Reprint the slip and you should see that the fields are now aligned as shown below.
5 Aligned Slip Printer

 

Good Luck!!

Steve Billington

Sage Pastel Clients: SARS Personal Tax Season is Open

Dear E2E Followers,

We want to wish you all the best and plenty of returns on your hard earned and deducted PAYE. The deadline dates for your convenience:

  • Manual or postal submissions : 30 September 2015
  • E-filing submissions : 27 November 2015
  • @ a SARS Branch : 27 November 2015
  • E-filing for provisional tax payers : 29 January 2016

We would like to hear from you on your 2015 Personal Tax submission experience. Are you the early bird in submitting your Personal Tax Return to SARS for that much wanted winter refund? Contact me directly: Francois@e2e.co.za

You can now be Tax Smart with SARS’ Top Tax Tips:

Tax Tip #1: Don’t file a tax return if you don’t need to

You don’t need to file if your total salary earned during 1 March 2014 – 28 February 2015 for the 2015 tax year is not more than R350 000 (before tax), provided:

  • You only have one employer (but remember if you have two employers or income sources e.g. late spouse / partner pension income, exam markings income, moonlighting income etc you do need to file even if the total is still under R350 000) or
  • You have no car allowance or other income (e.g. interest or rent) or
  • You are not claiming tax related deductions (e.g. medical expenses, retirement etc) or
  • You received interest from a source in South Africa not exceeding –
    • R23 800 if you are below the age of 65 years; or
    • R34 500 if you aged 65 years or older or
  • Dividends were paid to you and you were a non-resident during the 2015 year of assessment.

If you are still unsure if you need to file a tax return, click here.

Top tip: Trusts are required to submit an annual Income Tax Return (IT12TR), as well.

Tax Tip #2: Looking for your tax number?

Your income tax reference number is a unique 10-digit number issued by SARS to a taxpayer on registration.

If you are registered, you can find your tax number on your:

  • Notice of registration from SARS
  • Employee Tax Certificate (IRP5/IT3(a))
  • Income Tax Workpage on eFiling, if you’re a registered eFiler.

Top tip: What else to do if you need your tax number?

Tax Tip #3: No login details. No problem

Forgot your eFiling username and password? Follow these easy steps:

  • Visit www.sarsefiling.co.za
  • Click on Login
  • Click on the question mark icon
  • Request your login details
  • We’ll send it to your SARS registered email address or cellphone number

Still stuck? Call us on 0800 00 7277 or get more tips here if you have forgotten your eFiling login details.

Top tip: If you’re not registered yet for eFiling, follow our simple and easy steps to register.

Tax Tip #4: Make accurate claims

To avoid penalties, make sure you have the correct documentation and proof for every claim you make.

  • Only use info and figures that reflect on your supporting documents
  • Use ONLY the amounts reflected on your contribution certificates from your retirement annuity fund, income protection scheme, medical aid etc.
  • Make sure you keep an accurate logbook and do not fabricate kilometres travelled
  • Don’t inflate the value of your vehicle.

Tax Tip #5: Don’t lie on your tax return

Overstating the number of dependants or expenses for medical claims is a criminal offence.

  • Only claim for the actual number of dependants registered on your medical aid
  • Don’t overstate your out-of-pocket medical expenses because SARS will ask for your receipts
  • Medication that has not been prescribed may not be claimed for.

For more info on Medical rebates, click here.

Tax Tip #6: Don’t hide it. We’ll find it!

We are closing in on undeclared income and overstated expenses.

  • Declare all income you received during the year of assessment like rent, interest and income from your part-time job
  • If a deduction does not exist – do not claim for it!

Tax Tip #7: Be prepared

Have the applicable documents on hand to complete your tax return, such as:

  • IRP5 or IT3(a) certifcates from your employer or pension fund
  • Financial statements (e.g. business income)
  • Medical aid certificates and receipts
  • Retirement annuity fund contribution certificates
  • Tax certificates for investment income (IT3(b))
  • Completed confirmation of diagnosis of disability form (ITR-DD)
  • Information relating to capital gain transactions
  • Travel logbook

Remember, if you’re filing at a SARS branch you must bring all the listed documents applicable to you, plus original proof of identity (ID, temporary ID, passport or driver’s licence).

Tax Tip #8: Don’t fall for scams

Don’t be fooled by emails asking for your personal info

  • SARS will never request your banking details or personal details in any communication that you receive by post, email, phone or SMS
  • SARS will also not send you any hyperlinks to other websites – even those of banks
  • There are no links to any bank on this website.

Tax Tip #9: Be ‘tax smart’ and eFile

eFiling is the quickest and easiest wayto submit your return

  • Visit eFiling to register and submit your return online
  • If you’re an eFiler download the eFiling app and submit your return via your smartphone or tablet
  • Need help? Click on the Help-You-eFile icon on eFiling (when filing from your computer) and follow the prompts to get access to a friendly SARS Contact Centre agent.

Need help?

Sage Pastel Partner/Xpress – Status 30

Sage Pastel Partner/Xpress – Status 30 – Files in your Company database cannot be accessed.

With winter around the corner the usual bout of colds and flu viruses can only be expected, computer viruses however tend to take us by surprise.

One particular Ransomware virus known as ‘Cryptowall’ has been doing the rounds as of late, affecting networks both locally and internationally.

This mean bug encrypts your data and holds it to ransom.  Ransom takes the form of payment via bit-coin only and apparently your data is unlocked on receipt of payment.

The only other solution is a restore.

As this is not a Sage Pastel issue, if you have received this error or you find that your software is not working as it previously did, we can only suggest asking your IT Administrator to check the entire network.

Many of my clients have been receiving this particular error when working with Inventory:

Status 30 – (One or more files in your Company database cannot be accessed.  Please contact your local support centre or distributor for assistance) File 45 (Adjust Inventory – accbsj.000(user))

Sage Pastel Partner/Xpress – Status 30 – Files in your Company database cannot be accessed

 

After much troubleshooting and discussions with the Sage Pastel Technical Team, this is the “cure” I received:

The virus takes the form of a file left in the Sage Pastel folder or a company folder. If you open the folder is says “how to decrypt 3.0”. The errors that they have picked up are random.  

A format of the machine is required to completely get rid of the virus and thereafter one needs to restore a backup from a viable external source that was not affected by the virus.

You can attempt to delete all files with .00* extensions including defaults and controls. And thereafter try again.

Usually, when one deletes the batch file in question, the virus recreates it and it and goes on in an endless loop.

Should the deleting of the .00* files not work, the only other option is to restore a reliable backup.

 

Like any condition, prevention is better than a cure. One of the recommended applications to use to prevent an attack can be found here:
http://labs.bitdefender.com/projects/cryptowall-vaccine-2/bitdefender-offers-cryptowall-vaccine/

Before installing this, make sure that it is approved by your IT Administrator.

Please be vigilant and do not open any attachments that you are not certain about.

I sincerely hope you survive the winter without getting bogged down by this bug!

All the best,

Steve

Error Upgrading SI Metabase

If you have recently upgraded to Sage Partner or Sage Xpress Version 14,  with Sage Intelligence  and you keep receiving the message “Error Upgrading SI Metabase” I have the solution.

Error Upgrading SI Metabase

Error Upgrading SI Metabase

Here is the solution to correct the “Error Upgrading SI Metabase” issue:

It is a registry setting that needs to change.  See below.  The server “Path” needs to change from C:Pastel14 to P:,  or the Mapped drive letter that is being used to map to your Pastel14 folder on the server.

You will find this key in the following location:

Click START – RUN and type in regedit
Browse to: Computer HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareWow6432NodeSoftlinePastel Partner 14

Registry Entry

Registry Key Entry

“Right Click” on Path,  and select Modify 

Modify Registry Entry

Modify Registry Entry

In the “Value data:” field,  change the path.  Select the mapped drive that has been used on your workstation.

Modify Value Data

Modify Value Data

 

NB!  If you are not comfortable with editing registry keys, ask your IT Administrator to assist with this.

Until next time..

Steve

 

 

Partner V14 Automatic Bank Feeds

Sage Pastel Partner Version 14 is due for release this month.  I would like to talk about one the exciting new features in this release, namely Automatic Bank Feeds 

Bank Manager has now been taken to a new level with Automatic Bank Feeds. What this means is,  is that there is NO MORE downloading and importing your Bank Statement into Bank Manager. Through Automatic Bank Feeds, Your Bank statement is imported directly into Bank Manager. You are still able to continue working in Pastel, whilst the  Feeds populate.  Also,  the mapping that you have already configured,  will still be applied.  This means that 80% of your work will have been done for you.

In order to take advantage of this new feature,  you will need a couple of things in place:

An active Business Care Licence
Bank Manager
You will need to create a “Read Only” account in your Internet Banking

For peace of mind, Automatic Bank Feeds make use of internationally recognised 3rd party software called Yodlee.  You can read more about this software by visiting www.yodlee.com.

How to use Automatic Bank Feeds:

Select your Bank.

Bank Feeds 1

Enter your online banking details. (Please note: this info WILL NOT be stored anywhere in Pastel.)

Bank Feeds 2a

Select your Cash Book.

3

Select the Bank Account linked to the Cash Book.

4

Request Bank Feeds. (Please note: You can only submit one Automatic Bank Feed per day)

5

Select Automatic Bank Feeds as the Statement Provider in Bank Manager.

6

The rest of the processing in Bank Manager is now the same as it was before.

Until next time,  enjoy the time saved.

Steve