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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

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.

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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.

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The form will then look like this:

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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

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 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

Multiple Email Addresses

Multiple Email Addresses in Pastel Xpress Partner

By now you are probably all familiar with New features and functionality in Version 12, and all the wonderful new features like Tax Manager,  the Automatic Updates and Multiple Company Conversions.  As innovative as these features are,  it’s a couple of other features I want to talk about.  The first feature for this week is the option to save Multiple Email Addresses.

EMAILING DOCUMENTS AND STATEMENTS

As you are well aware,  you are able to email your customers their Documents and Statements.  One of the frustrations that many users have experienced in the past,  is that invoices need to be sent to one person,  and statements to another.  This was possible,  but required a “workaround” ie: Editing the Customer Account before sending off invoices,  or before sending off statements.

The Processing Tab has now been enhanced to accommodate this.  You now have the option to specify a different contact person and email address for documents and statements.

Edit Cust Acc

 

Doc State Email

TIP:        If you are going to select different email/contact details for invoices and statements,  be sure to clear the email address on the Contacts Tab.  Failing to do so will result in a Status 6 Error.  (In other words,  you will break it!!)

Have a great week!!

Steve.