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Sage Accountants Network

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February 2013


Inside This Issue Features Update from Jennifer Warawa Product Prefer fewer emails? Did you know there is a Message Centre within Sage 50 Accounting—Canadian Edition? How do you set up sales taxes (GST/HST, PST, or QST) in Sage 50? Business intelligence tip of the month: Using a Microsoft Excel® workbook as a data source Get your complimentary 50 Excel Tips and Tricks e-book! Training Opportunities Sage Accountants Network complimentary webcasts Sage 50 Business Intelligence complimentary webcasts Newsworthy Mobile device trends and how they can make or break your email marketing campaigns How cash transactions can be rounded to the nearest 5 cents Take a Break Social media for accountants—engaging in social media Sage is giving away $30,000 in prizes to help new startup businesses! The best careers for your zodiac sign Want to be a guest columnist in the Partner Pulse?


Update from Jennifer Warawa I know February has many of our Sage Accountants Network members deep in tax season with little bandwidth for much else, but I wanted to pull you away from tax for a few moments to talk to you about the most important part of your business— your clients! I heard an accountant say the other day, “From now through April, I can only think about tax!” If you’ve heard yourself saying something similar, I challenge you to change the way you think. I’m sure you’d agree you aren’t really about tax, but more about helping your clients. In July of last year we welcomed our new executive vice president of customer experience, Brad Smith, to Sage North America. Brad brings over 18 years of related experience to his new role, most recently working at Yahoo! to design programs that support a “customer first” culture. I want to share a few things I’ve learned while working with Brad and his team over the last seven months because I think the same lessons can apply to your firm. • First, it’s about the journey. Your clients just want to get from point A to point B, but the journey they take with your business to get from point A to point B is critical. Customer experience is not just about how you treat your customers or clients. People often think if they provide good service to their customers, they will keep coming back, but that is no longer the case. In order to build an effective customer experience strategy, you need to look at every touch point your clients have with your business (their journey) and honestly evaluate how you measure up in each area. These touch points include their experience when they call or come visit your business; how things go while they are working with you; your forms, systems, and processes they encounter; the invoicing process; and even the payment process. • Second, setting clear expectations is critical. In business, things are often left to interpretation. When people call, when will you get back to them? How quickly will you turn around their taxes? How frequently do you commit to meeting with your clients? If you haven’t clearly communicated your own service level commitment to your clients, there is room for interpretation and in turn, a client feeling you didn’t live up to expectations. Make sure your clients clearly understand the services you provide and how and when you provide them so expectations are clear right from the beginning. • Third, how easy are you to do business with? One of my favorite quotes from Brad is, “If we can’t get the simple to be simple and do the “Brilliant Basics” right every day—it doesn’t matter how many “Magic Moments” there are—our actions betray our intentions and focus.” I have this quote written on my white board so it’s always in front of me—it’s just that important! Sometimes in business, we are so busy trying to create outstanding moments or “wow” our customers, that we completely miss doing the “brilliant basics” right. Before you build a strategy to wow your clients, evaluate all the basics they expect when working with you to ensure you’re delivering excellence there first.

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Update from Jennifer Warawa (continued) As you’re immersed in tax season, remember that your business really is all about your clients, not just about tax. Best wishes for a successful February!

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

Prefer fewer emails? Did you know there is a Message Centre within Sage 50 Accounting— Canadian Edition? There is a Message Centre within your software that allows you to directly receive messages from Sage. It is important that you are aware of this communication tool, as we will be using it more in the future to keep you up to date on product updates, software tips, and so on. Please keep watch for any pop-up messages that appear in the lower right-hand corner of your screen. If you close a pop-up message and wish to read the message at a later time, simply click the envelope in the lower right-hand task bar. The Message Centre will appear, and you can manage your messages as you like.

Message Centre


SAN Partner Pulse February 2013

How do you set up sales taxes (GST/HST, PST, or QST) in Sage 50?

Sage 50—Business Intelligence tip of the month: Using a Microsoft Excel® workbook as a data source (continued)

1. From the main menu of Sage 50, click Setup, Settings, Company, Sales Taxes. 2. Select the Taxes option to put in tax information, for example: GST. 3. Complete all fields as they apply for your company/region. 4. Select your tax Paid on Purchases account for Acct to track tax paid on purchases. 5. Select your tax Charged on Sales account for Acct to track tax charged on revenues. 6. For Report on taxes select Yes if you would like Sage 50 to generate accurate Tax reports. 7. Select the Tax Codes option on the left pane. 8. Click in the Code Column and add up to two letters for the code you are creating, for example: G for GST or GI for GST included. 9. After you have entered the code, double-click on the Code (that is, G) or hit the Enter key on your keyboard. This will open up the Tax Code Details window. 10. Under the Tax Column double-click and select the appropriate tax. 11. Ensure your status is correct. • Taxable: The tax is calculated and charged. • Nontaxable: No tax calculated, but amounts are reported. • Exempt: No tax calculated, but amounts are reported. 12. Enter the rate of your tax in the Rate Column. No percent sign is needed. 13. Included in price should be set to No if the tax is to be charged on top of the current price. 14. Is Refundable should be set to Yes if you want the tax to be tracked in its own account. 15. Select OK to save the Tax code Details. 16. Select OK again to close Sales tax information screen.

This range will now be available for selection when you add new data containers within the Connector module. Creating a new connection A new connection type has been added to the Administrator tool for connecting to Microsoft Excel workbooks as the source data through an ODBC connection. To add a new data connection to a Microsoft Excel workbook, you will need to ensure that you have selected the applicable data in and have named the range prior to adding the connection within the Administrator tool. 1. Open the Connector. 2. Select the ODBC driver for Microsoft Excel.

Note: To modify the existing tax rate, go back to Setup–Settings– Company–Sales Taxes–Tax Codes, double click on the Code, and change the rate in the Tax Code Details screen.

Sage 50—Business Intelligence tip of the month: Using a Microsoft Excel® workbook as a data source In order to use an existing Microsoft Excel workbook as a data source for a report, the data needs to be organized into named ranges. Method Naming the Data Ranges 1. Open the workbook in Microsoft Excel.

2. Click the Add Icon

2. Make sure that the data is stored with accurate headings so that when expressions are added, the data remains meaningful.

3. Name the connection and specify the Microsoft Excel workbook that you will be accessing. If the workbook has been protected, you will need to add the relevant user ID and correct password.

3. Select the data required for report writing purposes by highlighting it. 4. Select Formulas, Define Name.

, which will display the Connection Info window.


Sage 50—Business Intelligence tip of the month: Using a Microsoft Excel® workbook as a data source (continued)

Sage 50 Business Intelligence complimentary webcasts These webcasts will provide information you can use now! With Business Intelligence 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

Description

Start Time

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Experience the power of the Connector Module Come and experience the power behind the Sage Intelligence Connector Module, which gives you the ability to connect to disparate databases and/ or companies. This webcast highlights how to create SQL Query and SQL Join Type Containers using the Connector.

10 a.m.–11 a.m. ET Register Now

Recorded Webcast

Sage 50 Business Intelligence—What’s new? Sage 50 Business Intelligence gives you customized reports, on demand, without having to manually update any spreadsheets.

Anytime recording View Now

4. Click Add. Test the connection by clicking the Check/Test button or by right-clicking the mouse and selecting Check/Test. Subscribe here to get biweekly Sage Intelligence Tips and Tricks.

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!

Sage Accountant Network—Networking Interested in connecting with Sage Accountant Network members in your area?

Sage Accountants Network complimentary webcasts Sage 50 Accounting—tips and tricks In this live webcast, you will learn time-saving tips and tricks including about: • Payroll management. • Inventory management. • Accessing information and backing up. Date

Time

Register

Monday, February 11, 2013

10 a.m.–11 a.m. PT

Register Now

Monday, February 18, 2013

1 p.m.– 2 p.m. PT

Register Now

Friday, February 22, 2013

9 a.m.–10 a.m. PT

Register Now

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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 Mark.Hubbard@Sage.com for details.


SAN Partner Pulse February 2013

Mobile device trends and how they can make or break your email marketing campaigns

Start Now

As most of you know, the sales and abilities of smartphones have increased drastically in recent years. The growth trends of mobile devices have been examined in numerous studies. “Smartphone sales across the globe will grow 46% to 687.9 million units this year and will touch 1.05 billion units in 2014,” states an article from Reuters.

How cash transactions can be rounded to the nearest 5 cents The distribution of pennies from the mint and financial institutions will stop as of February 4, 2013. On this date, businesses will be encouraged to stop using pennies for cash transactions and begin rounding such transactions to the nearest 5 cents. However, the penny will continue to be legal tender like all other Canadian coins, and businesses may accept the coin as a means of payment if they so choose. Please click the following links from the Government of Canada website for more info about rounding guidelines and FAQ: Phasing Out the Penny: http://www.budget.gc.ca/2012/themes/theme2-eng.html Frequently Asked Questions for Businesses: http://www.budget.gc.ca/2012/themes/theme2-fs-fi-2-eng.html

So in the near future one out of eight people worldwide will have a smartphone, but what does that have to do with email marketing? Email Marketing Reports says, “An April 2011 study sponsored by Google showed that 82% of smartphone users check and send email with their device.” No matter what industry you’re in, mobile devices are undoubtedly affecting your email marketing efforts. The good news is that making your emails “mobile-friendly” is not as difficult as you may think. Here are a few tips that will help you easily and effectively adapt your emails to be successful in this increasingly mobile environment: • Tailor layout for viewing on a 4-inch screen—600 pixel width, 17-22-point font size • Keep your content brief and precise—Begin with important messages and call to action • Enable quick and efficient navigation—Limit number of links; use one-column layout • Design for touching, not clicking—Spread out links, call to action at least 40×40 pixels • Pick images wisely—Fast loading content, alt text for every image It is also important to do a mobile evaluation of the webpages that your emails are linked to. A survey conducted by Compuware Corporation found, “nearly 60% of web users say they expect a website to load on their mobile device in three seconds or less, and 74% are only willing to wait five seconds or less for a single webpage to load before leaving the site.” Mobile devices already account for more email opens than desktops and webmail (as shown in the chart below from Litmus), which has made mobile-optimization one of the most significant determining factors in the success of your email marketing initiatives.

Sage 50 Accounting Obsolescence Policy As a reminder we would like to bring your attention to the Sage 50 Obsolescence Policy for previous versions of Sage Simply Accounting and for the current version of Sage 50 Accounting. Please ensure you are familiar with the current policy. It is important to note that as of June 1, 2013, Sage 50 Accounting 2013 will be the only product eligible to receive the most current payroll tax updates and customer support.

Being social Engaging in Social Media Participating in social media is a fun, relevant way to connect with friends, clients, colleagues, and prospects. Your firm should invest in a Facebook and Twitter account right away. It is a great way to get your brand out there and connect with followers. The benefits of social media are vast and can be far reaching. The casual atmosphere of Twitter and Facebook remove the “marketing” element from the interactions, and you can connect and give advice to clients and prospects without all the pressure to buy. Plus, the question now is, “how can you not be on social media?” Managing your brand and staying aware of your competition and detractors is critical. If you upset a client, chances are he may express it online. Be where the clients are and act proactively to mend fences and monitor your brand. It benefits your clients who can interact with you on their terms and on their time, and it benefits you and your brand to be out there connecting, monitoring, and interacting. For more social media information go to the Sage Social Media Guide for Accountants.


Sage is giving away $30,000 in prizes to help new startup businesses!

Key contacts

There are a lot of challenges that face new businesses—From accounting and HR to marketing and sales. For over 25 years, Sage has been helping startup owners meet those challenges. Right now, Sage is giving away over $30,000 in prizes to help startup businesses get the help they need.

Sage Accountant Network Contact Information:

From now through April, Sage is giving away a $1,250 Business startup package each week. Winners will receive:

Key Web Resources:

• Five consultation sessions with experts from Small Business BC on legal matters, branding, social media, accounting, and human resources.

Call: 1-866-665-2559 All Sage Accountants Network members are entitled to free, unlimited priority technical support with a second-level support representative.

www.Sage50Accounting.ca http://Partners.SageNorthAmerica.com www.SageU.com

• Their own business website, hosted for a year, from CityMax.com. • Sage 50 Pro Accounting 2013—Canadian Edition (formerly Sage Simply Accounting Pro) set up on their computer by a member of the Sage Accountants Network. If you know someone who is thinking of setting up a new small business or has just started a new small business, they can enter for a chance to win a Business startup package!

Calendar of events 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 Editor.PartnerPulse@Sage.com

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: Editor.PartnerPulse@Sage.com Submissions may be published at the discretion of Sage. Any ideas or feedback submitted may be used by Sage at its discretion.

The best careers for your zodiac sign (This article is for entertainment purposes only) 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. Pisces (February 19–March 20) Key traits: Compassionate, intuitive, flexible, and overly sensitive. A visionary like Albert Einstein and Dr. Seuss, you work best in a situation where you can actualize what you see in your imagination. Best careers: Artist, designer, psychologist, entertainment, charitable foundations, dog walker. Careers to avoid: Any job that has a physically or psychologically grueling schedule or deals with the harsh realities of life.

©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 13-02772 02/13

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