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Sage Accountants Network

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January 2013

Inside This Issue Features Update from Jennifer Warawa Business intelligence—the importance of user ideas and feedback Product How to handle year-end file copies from clients Excel© Tips and Tricks: custom view Get your complimentary “50 Excel Tips and Tricks” e-book! Training Opportunities Explore Sage E-marketing complimentary webcast and license Sage Accountants Network complimentary webcasts Sage 50 Business Intelligence complimentary webcasts Presentation skills workshop—live in Irvine, CA Newsworthy Sage E-marketing—The economics of email marketing Watch the video—Game changers for the accounting profession First-time penalty abatement—use this often-overlooked IRS waiver to help your clients Take a Break Social media for accountants—How do I get followers on Twitter? The best careers for your zodiac sign Want to be a guest columnist in the Partner Pulse?

Update from Jennifer Warawa Welcome to 2013—a new year and a fresh opportunity to take your firm to the next level and achieve your business ambition! While your firm may be in year-end mode, helping your clients prepare for tax filing, you should also take time to give serious thought regarding what you want to do differently in 2013. Below are some New Year’s resolutions we believe every firm should consider to take their firm to the next level and attract new clients in 2013.

Business intelligence —The importance of user ideas and feedback One of the most important priorities in my role as a product manager is continually ensuring our company understands what our global community of customers and partners need and want in business intelligence software. Our software is deployed alongside ERP and accounting systems in many different countries around the world; each of these markets can be very different in terms of what is important when discussing business intelligence needs. If our goal is to always provide the most value to our customers, we need to be carefully listening to and understanding the unique dynamics of each market.

• Build your brand—Your firm’s brand is more than your logo. It is everything you do, and it must be consistent. Start this year by drafting a brand promise, vision, and principles that drive everything you do, from the font you use in emails to the look and feel of your Facebook page.

We’ve learned very early on that there is no secret formula for providing a single great business intelligence product for every market in the world; if you want to be the best provider of BI software, you need to be the best listener, too.

• Time management and prioritization—Be responsive and timely with clients without overworking yourself or your employees and determine a definition for “urgent.”

User feedback is our chance to listen to our users’ opinions, which are used to improve our existing products in numerous ways; even though we have specialists in the field of BI continuously providing great advice into our product development cycles, we are always prepared for the reality that an internal design concept just might not be what our customers actually need. This is exactly why we make great efforts to stay close to voice of our users and keep them involved from as early on in our product life-cycles as possible.

• Evaluate your current clients—Identify your best clients by creating a grading system to qualify A and B clients. For any clients that don’t make the A or B grade, think about how you could elevate them to become a top client or mull over firing them altogether. • Increase prices—If you haven’t implemented a price increase in a while, consider doing so in 2013. Remember that how you communicate this to your clients is everything, and you should put a plan in place to handle push back. • Engage with your clients—Interact with your clients on a regular basis and not just during tax season; check in on them periodically and determine how you can best help them be successful. You are a valued business partner to your clients, and they will appreciate your proactive approach. • Sell an experience—Focus on creating a flawless client experience, no matter the time of year or level of interaction. Be there for your clients, show your value as a business partner, and they will reward you. • Ensure your business can be found online—Invest in search engine optimization for your website. This will go a long way in helping potential clients find you. Now more than ever, smartphones and tablets are being used to access the web, so make sure your site is optimized for these devices. More information on how Sage can help you make progress with all of these resolutions will be available early this year, in the new Sage Accountants Network “Fundamentals of High-Performing Firms” curriculum, which I look forward to sharing the details on in the coming months. At Sage, we look forward to working with you in 2013 to help you take your firm to the next level, and we’ll be reaching out to you later this month to get your feedback on where you think we can best help.

We don’t like to set an inflexible concrete plan way ahead of time about what we are going to deliver to market because we know very well our market’s needs change, so we have developed the ability and agility to respond to this change as it occurs. Through increased customer collaboration at many points during the development of new product releases, we are able to effect change in our business and software to avoid delivering lower value releases and thus avoid making costly mistakes. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the Ideas portals for Sage 50 Accounting—U.S. Edition, Sage 100 ERP, Sage 300 ERP, and Sage 500 ERP—this a great way for anyone to contribute ideas and feedback to our Sage Intelligence line of business products. Follow Michael on Twitter @Sage_MichaelB

Solving inventory purchases with MRP Managing inventory can be a real pain for a manufacturing business. Just keeping track of what is in stock is hard enough, especially when you consider raw materials, finished goods, and work in process. Add to that the conflict between having enough inventory on hand to fulfill customer orders with the opposite goal of keeping inventory as low as possible. Spreadsheets are helpful but become unwieldy and are error-prone. MRP solves all that.

Make it a great year and set your sights goals high!

What is MRP?

Happy New Year,

Material Requirements Planning (MRP) is a system that enables a manufacturer to plan its purchasing and production activities and, when necessary, create the required purchase orders and production orders in time to meet customer commitments. MRP takes the guess work out of managing inventory purchases and scheduling production.

Jennifer Warawa Vice President, Partner Programs & Channel Sales Sage North America, Twitter: @jenniferwarawa Page 4

SAN Partner Pulse January 2013

Solving inventory purchases with MRP (continued)

How to handle year-end file copies from clients

How does MRP work?

Many accountants will be receiving files from their clients for year-end entries. When receiving copies, there are a few key items to remember to avoid any possible errors or file issues:

At the most basic level, MRP software determines the material you need based on customer orders and can incorporate forecasts of seasonal demand. More simply: • What do I need to buy and make to fill customer orders and anticipated demand? (A) • What stock do I already have on hand? (B) • What stock do I have on order that is yet to be delivered? (C) • What have I already committed to production? (D) Applying the formula A-B-C+D is a rough estimate of what you need to order. It gets really complex when you consider items that have tens or hundreds of parts that go into each unit. Master Production Schedules complete MRP systems. Would you buy something or build something before you needed it? Probably not. Most manufacturers need to carefully manage their finite resources—cash, shop floor capacity, warehouse space. You can only do that if you can identify exactly when you need to buy materials or build items. Utilizing a Master Production Schedule gives you that ability with a time-phased MRP. Think about the time variables that a manufacturer has to take into consideration:

1. You must restore or open the customer file in the same version that the customer is using. This means if they send you the file using Sage Peachtree Pro Accounting 2012, use your 2012 accountants copy and open the file using Sage Peachtree Pro Accounting. Otherwise, this will convert the file to a newer version, and the file will no longer open in the client’s older version. 2. If a client provides you with a backup copy (one file with the extension .CAB) on a USB, CD, or by email, copy the file off the media and on to the local hard drive, then select to “restore backup” and browse to the file saved on the local drive. Continue through the wizard to fully restore the file. The file should not be extracted using other programs or by double-clicking to open then simply copying the files out of the CAB—restoring is the proper method. 3. If a client sends you the full file, you will have both the SAI (logo) file and the SAJ folder on media such as USB, CD, or email. As with the backup, copy the files (both) to your local machine and select to open an existing company file then browse to the file on the local machine to open.

Excel© Tips and Tricks: custom view

• How long it takes vendors to deliver materials. • How long it takes to make or assemble items at each stage of the operation. • How long it takes outside processors (painting, bronzing, and so on) to complete their work. Without a Master Production Schedule, it is very, very difficult to meet deadlines and keep inventory levels low. Sage 50 Quantum Manufacturing Edition solves the pain. Over three years ago the management at Sage 50 recognized that many customers needed the production and inventory management tools that were available in MISys Manufacturing. The bundled product, Sage 50 Quantum Manufacturing Edition, provides true time-phased MRP, including a powerful Master Production Schedule. More than 250 Sage 50 customers use Quantum Manufacturing to reduce inventory levels and meet customer deadlines by knowing what to buy and when to buy it as well as what to build and when to build it. No more guesswork. If you have a customer who is struggling with managing their manufacturing inventory, consider the advantages of using Sage 50 Quantum Manufacturing Edition.

Do you intend setting up different views on how you would like your worksheet to appear? Then the custom view is the solution to your problem. You can use a custom view to save specific display settings (such as column widths, row heights, hidden rows and columns, cell selections, filter settings, and window settings) and print settings (such as page settings, margins, headers and footers, and sheet settings) for a worksheet so that you can quickly apply these settings to that worksheet when needed. In the example below we are going to apply filters for each branch and then save each branch filter as a custom view.

Excel© Tips and Tricks: Custom View (continued)

Explore Sage E-marketing complimentary webcast and license

Applies to: MS Excel 2003, 2007, and 2010 1. Select as per screen shot below:

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2. Select the Add button. 3. Enter the name of the Custom View as Default. 4. Select OK. 5. Select Filter under the Data tab. 6. Filter the data by the East Coast branch. 7. Repeat steps one to three but enter the name of the custom view as East Coast. 8. Select OK. 9. Filter the data by the West Coast branch. 10. Repeat steps one to three but enter the name of the custom view as West Coast. 11. Select OK. 12. Filter the data by the North Coast branch. 13. Repeat steps one to three but enter the name of the custom view as North Coast.

Sage E-marketing allows you to create, send, and track email communication to your potential and existing customers. Learn how email marketing can help grow your business. We’ve included custom-designed templates for the Sage Accountants Network that will help you stay in touch with your clients. Sage E-marketing is made available to members of the Sage Accountants Network at no additional cost. You’ll be able to: • Nurture potential clients with less effort. • Identify your most interested respondents. Understand the needs of your clients. • Put your Sage client list together quickly. • Customize and create your own professional email messages.

Join us for a live webcast and get Sage E-marketing working for you.

14. Select OK.

Date: January 22, 2012, Time: 11 a.m. PT

15. Filter the data by the South Coast branch.

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16. Repeat steps one to three but enter the name of the custom view as South Coast. 17. Select OK. 18. Repeat step one. The screen shot below is displayed:

Sage Accountants Network complimentary webcasts Take advantage of the complimentary webcast Sage Training and Education is offering to all partners and earn CPE credits! Date

To display a custom view, select from the list and select the show button.

Get your complimentary 50 Excel Tips and Tricks e-book! The useful e-book provides 50 Microsoft Excel tips and tricks to improve your Excel report writing and help you use Excel to its full potential. It’s a handy reference guide to all the Excel Tips and Tricks. Get your e-book today!

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Thursday, February 21, 2013


The Top Ten Things Every Business Owner Should Know About Payroll

1 p.m. – 2 p.m. ET Register Now

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Sage 50 Managed Payroll Business Partner Program

1 p.m.– 2:30 p.m. ET Register Now

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Understanding Check Fraud

1 p.m. – 2 p.m. ET Register Now

SAN Partner Pulse January 2013

Get Certified in 2013

Presentation skills workshop—Live in Irvine, CA

All SAN members who wish to take their Sage 50 Accounting—U.S. Edition product knowledge to the next level can become certified. Once you are enrolled for the Certified Premier Advisor certification:

Are you responsible for training colleagues or customers? Do you conduct presentations to peers or management? Attend this two-day in-person workshop to enhance your presentation skills. You will learn how to deliver effectively in various environments and what taboos to avoid that most presenters are unaware they do. The course is very interactive, enabling you to build confidence whenever and wherever you are presenting. This course is a prerequisite for Sage Partners enrolling in the Certified Trainer Program.

• You have access to the 26-hour Sage 50 Comprehensive Anytime Learning course containing over 120+ topics/classes located on Sage University. • You have access to purchase additional training and a host of other benefits. In order to become a Certified Premier Advisor, you should:

Tuesday February 5, 2013, and Wednesday February 6, 2013, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. PT

• Complete the 26-hour Sage 50 Comprehensive Anytime Learning course at your own pace. • Study and review all related product resource topics and material listed on Sage University. • Register on Sage University and successfully pass the Product Certification Assessment.

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To maintain your certification, you must pass the Product Recertification exam each year, encompassing topics from the new release as well as existing product.

The economics of email marketaing Sage 50 Business Intelligence complimentary webcasts

The economic climate today might lead you to wonder if email marketing is truly still worth the time and expense. We’ve been doing a little research and have some insight for you on the economics of email marketing.

These webcasts will provide information you can use now! With Intelligence Reporting you have customized reports, on demand, without having to manually update any spreadsheets. In these sessions the presenter will be showcasing the features and benefits of this powerful reporting tool. Date


Start Time

Easy steps to get started on Sage 50—U.S. Edition Business Intelligence Thursday, January 24, 2012

In this webcast you will see how to activate the module and immediately get value from the standard reports, available on demand, without having to manually update any spreadsheets.

3 p.m.– 4 p.m. ET Register Now

1. Opportunity Cost: The Direct Marketing Association shows an ROI of $40.56 for every $1 invested in 2011. It projects that the figure will drop to $39.40 this year, when email will account for $67.8 billion in sales (source). Email marketing proves itself year after year with incredible returns on investment. If email marketing has been on the chopping block for your organization, we suggest you rethink your budget allocation or risk missing out on your cut of this year’s $67. 8 billion pie. If you need some help calculating your ROI, check out this ROI calculator from Bplans. 2. Law of Demand: Email is the preferred method of commercial communication by 74% of all online adults according to a study done by Merkle (source). A survey conducted by Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and Lithium discovered that 65% of consumers send an email when they want to communicate with a brand (source). This fell above website forms and customer service calls. Your customers want to hear from you by email, and they want to talk to you by email. In study after study, consumers reveal that basic fact. If they want email, give them email. 3. Law of Supply: 68% of small businesses surveyed in mid-2011 by Pitney Bowes listed email as their preferred marketing channel (source). 60% of business leaders plan to increase their email marketing budget this year according to a survey conducted by StrongMail and Zoomerang (source). Your competitors have listened to the people, are increasing their email marketing budgets, and are delivering emails to their inboxes. Now is not the time to abandon the email marketing ship.

The economics of email marketing (continued) 4. Long-Term Economic Growth: Email marketing is experiencing a tremendous amount of growth. A recent report from Epsilon found that email volumes increased 41% in the last quarter of 2011. Some of this can be attributed to holiday mailing, but the growth was still quite significant. In its 2010 Digital Marketing Fact Book, MarketingProfs reported that email has been used by nearly 90% of consumers since 2005 (source). Email is the main channel of communication for a majority of consumers; therefore, we should be using email to reach our customer bases. 5. Investment Return Potential: Other marketing mediums such as direct mail simply can’t become part of our mobile and social world. When was the last time you carried a postcard with you to work, took a picture of it, and shared it with your social networks? Email marketing easily breaks the traditional marketing barriers and goes far beyond the walls of an inbox. By using social sharing within email campaigns, emails can quickly become part of social network conversations. Recipients can check their emails on the go with their mobile devices. In fact, 27% of all emails are being opened on mobile devices according to Knotice (source). Email marketing is central to current and future marketing efforts as social and mobile marketing continue their steady climb. The state of the email marketing economy is excellent. The bottom line is that email marketing works. It has been proven time and again and will continue to be proven effective. Email Marketing Reports says email marketing works because: • It allows targeting. • It’s data driven. • It drives direct sales. • It builds relationships, loyalty, and trust. • It supports sales through other channels (source). Now is not the time to pull out of the email marketing economy. Now is the time to invest and invest big.

Game changers for the accounting profession At their annual Meet the Editors dinner in New York, industry experts share their thoughts on what change will have the biggest effect on the accounting profession over the next five years.

First-time penalty abatement—use this often-overlooked IRS waiver to help your clients In 2011, the IRS assessed 38.6 million penalties to taxpayers, totaling almost $31 billion. According to the IRS, the purpose of penalties is to deter noncompliance, not to raise revenues. Certain penalties can be waived or abated if the taxpayer has a past history of compliant behavior. In effect, the IRS rewards taxpayers with a history of compliant behavior with a one-time penalty amnesty. For individuals, this relief applies to two of the most common penalties: failure to file (delinquency) and failure to pay. For businesses, this relief also applies to the failure-to-deposit penalty for payroll taxes. Read this entire article

Being social How do I get followers on Twitter? Like Facebook, it helps to get followers by telling people you are on Twitter. Make sure your website has your Twitter name @YourAccountingFirm clearly stated, as well as the link to your Twitter profile. Include this information on newsletters, marketing materials, invoices; anywhere your clients or prospects may view it. Then you need to tweet. You should tweet about tips or information you’d like to share. You can ask questions and brainstorm ideas. Share a joke. Tweet as often as you’d like, but don’t overdo it. Some professional surveys have found about six tweets per day is recommended for businesses with less than 100 followers. Increase as you see fit. Tip: Watch your followers count. If you notice you are losing followers (in other words, you had 80 and now you have 70), try adjusting how much you tweet or what the content you are tweeting is. Tweeting can be a challenge initially as you learn to navigate your way through sharing information in less than 140 characters. You’ll figure out pretty quickly that providing links is key, as is speaking in a short-hand Twitter jargon. Here are a few things to know to help you post and read tweets. What’s with all the symbols? @ Symbol—On Twitter, the @ symbol represents a person’s/business’s Twitter name or “handle.” Example: the Sage Accountants Network is on Twitter. This is viewed in a tweet or referred to as “@SageAccountants.” # Hashtag—On Twitter, the hashtag represents a keyword or trending topic. Hashtags are not to be abused or used too often, but it can be a good way in a tweet to highlight what the tweet is about and to share it with people who share that interest. Example: Join @SageAccountants on Thursday in Chicago. We’re giving away free #Excel books. Ask us how to get one!

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SAN Partner Pulse January 2013

Being social (continued)

Key contacts

A few additional tips for being active on Twitter: • When people follow you, follow them back if appropriate. You don’t have to, but it’s a courtesy and makes sense when building relationships. You want to share your content, and in return you want to see your followers’ tweets as well. • Post links to your website for “more information.” • Remember your tone. It’s okay to share a joke. • It’s not all about you! Remember, Twitter is about networking and learning. If all you do is talk about your firm and your services, you’re going to lose followers pretty quickly. Share information and tips. Retweet thought leaders. • Ask questions. Twitter can be interactive. Ask a question and wait to see what your followers respond. For more social media information go to the Sage Social Media Guide for Accountants.

Sage Accountant Network—Networking Interested in connecting with Sage Accountant Network members in your area? One of the most beneficial relationships you can have is connecting with peers through local regularly scheduled meetings. We are committed to supporting these connections and want to involve as many community members as possible. If you are interested in organizing or attending a local meeting in your community, contact for details.

Want to be a guest columnist in the Partner Pulse? You can submit your 500-word article or send us your article idea or feedback: Submissions may be published at the discretion of Sage. Any ideas or feedback submitted may be used by Sage at its discretion.

Dedicated Account Management Team As part of the Sage Accountants Network, you have access to a team of individuals who will be happy to take care of all of your needs. Your Customer Care (866-565-2726) team is here to help you join the program, take care of your renewals, and purchase additional Sage libraries. Your Accountant Advocate (800-801-4476, Option 2) team is here to help you grow your business and make sure that you get the most out of your membership. When you have a question, feel free to call or write any time—we’re always happy to hear from you! Key Web Resources:

Calendar of events

The best careers for your zodiac sign (This article is for entertainment purposes only) Capricorn (December 22 – January 19) Key traits: Ambitious, resourceful, patient, and authoritarian. Driven and competitive, any project you take on, you’ll do whatever it takes to be the best. Best careers: Finance, business development/management, doctor, trainer. Careers to avoid: A financially risky job or a career where there is no room for advancement.

Looking for training? Regional partner meetings? Conferences? Webcasts? Check out the Sage Accountants Network Calendar of Events If you are hosting a Regional Partner Meeting, we can add your event to the SAN Calendar of Events. Just email your request to

Aquarius (January 20 – February 18) Key traits: Analytical, clever, inventive, and obstinate. Friendly and autonomous, you get along with most people, yet you have no problems voicing a divergent opinion. Best careers: Apps developer, veterinarian, scientist, engineer, alternative care practitioner. Careers to avoid: Any conventional job that discourages independent thinking or differing opinions.

©2013 Sage Software, Inc. All rights reserved. Sage, the Sage logos, and the Sage product and service names mentioned herein are registered trademarks or trademarks of Sage Software, Inc., or its affiliated entities. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. SPK 12-02724 01/13

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