Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My Forbes Column on Balanced Scorecard

My latest column about "balanced scorecards" can be found here

A QuickBooks Client thinks there is a problem with "Automatic Updates".

Everytime a QB’s client opens QuickBooks, he gets the option to install updates now or to install later. He thought he had turned automatic updates on when initially installing QB’s, but they don’t seem to be working.

If you get the update message when opening QB’s then the automatic updates feature is notworking properly.
To fix this go to: Help>Update QB’s.
This takes you to a 3 tabbed window:
Overview-should say automatic updates are “ON”.
Options- Automatice Update : if Yes, check No (and vice-versa)
Shared Downlod: if No, check Yes (and vice-versa)
Then recheck the correct answers: Yes to Auto Updates, No to Shared Download
“Mark All” updates, Save and Close. Close QB’s and re-open. This should trigger the Auto Updates. Should get an option to install current updates. If not go to the following website: and select “Support” then “Updates and Downloads”. Select the product and version. Go to Manual updates area of the screen and download the update file to your computer. “Save” it to the desktop (do not run from this screen.) Once it is saved, close the web browser, make sure QB’s is closed. Go to the desktop and click on the update icon you just saved and follow instructions for installation. If a message appears stating that all QB’s applications are not closed and they are. Rightt click on the bottom taskbar and choose “Task Manager”. In the “Processes” tab sort by Image name(Col 1) and scroll to the “Q”’s. Select any QB processes that are running and “End Process”. This should let the update utility file run.
The install process is slow at first , but it will eventually run. It may run up to 5 times. Once it is downloaded successfully. Restart your system.

Heat: Shutting Down Without Permission

A client asked this: We occasionally get the message “'Another user has logged in invalidating your session'. Is this serious or can we ignore it?

The message “Another user has logged in invalidating your session” can have several causes and cannot always be stopped. Some, however, are easy to control. See below for reasons that you might get this error:

* Make sure that users are closing Call Logging by clicking on File -> Exit instead of closing by the white X in the top right hand corner.

* Individual HEAT users will experience the above error message after the HEAT Administrator uses the "Reset" function within User Status of the HEAT Administration module to clear licenses. This can happen especially if a user is logged in on two different workstations.

* Have the user change their Heat password, just to be sure that no one else is logging in as the user. Going to unified login can also help with this problem.

If you make these changes and the problem persists or gets worse, contact your Heat support partner.

Heat: Stop the Prompts

A client asks: Why are there so many prompts in Heat? It slows down recording a ticket. Where do I go to shut these off?

There are several areas where you can turn off prompts. It depends on which you want to disable. Included below is a list of prompts and where they can be disabled.

At startup of Heat:
* Which database do you want to use: check box under datasource
* Always use this datasource: check the box to always use

When Heat opens:
* Call Logging Dashboard: User Preferences > Show Dashboard box
* Administrator Dashboard: System Defaults > View Dashboard

There a number of prompts in Call Logging under User Preferences:
* Automatically save calls without asking >> check to enable
* Automatically save journals without asking >> check to enable
* Automatically save assignments without asking >> check to enable
* Restore calls on startup >> check to skip

This is a good start. Keep looking for prompts that you do not need and speed up the ticket entry process.

Heat: Consistent Call Types

A client needed help with Call Types: We use both ATG and HSS. We allow users to define their call types, however, we always need to change it. Is there a better way than constantly changing call types?

What I would recommend is to make the Call Type the same on both HSS and ATG: “Defined by End User”. I would also make a call group that groups these tickets together by Call Type. I would then do the following:

* Add the “Defined by End User” to all Alert Monitor definitions
* Assign someone (or a group of staff) to monitor this Group
* Whenever a ticket is Defined by End User, an analyst will be notified
* The analyst will then change the call type and other incorrect fields

This method sets the HSS and ATG tickets apart from other tickets until they are reviewed by a Service Desk analyst. They are also not scattered throughout the other tickets with incorrect call types that might not get changed.

To set HSS and ATG to use this call type, see below:

In ATG, you would do the following:

* Open ATG > Select the tkt file
* Select Define Module with ATG turned off
* Select “Defined by End User”
* Save the change

Since ATG only allows one Call Type, you are finished.

* In HSS, you would do the following:
* Open the HSS Configuration Tool
* Select Edit > Preferences
* Select the Call Types tab > add “Defined by End User”
* Remove any other Call Types
* Click OK > Click File / Save

When an end user enters a call ticket through HSS, this will be the only call type available.

Heat: Reopen Without a Prompt

A client had this question: When reopening a ticket we can select to always force the solution to the Journal or be prompted for Yes or No. Is there anyway to never move the solution to the Journal without a prompt?

Yes, you have the option to set the Force Call Reopen right to NO, which would allow edits. If by default you are never going to push the previous closed data to the Journal, then you are leaving it up to the user to make the necessary edits, including changing CallStatus to ReOpen. You could also add a command button to move the solution to the Journal, giving the user the option.

To make this modification:

* Open Administrator > Select Security > Select User Roles
* Select the Role(s) that you want to give this option
* Select Rights > Scroll to Force Call Reopen > Select No
* Close Call Logging and log back to see the change

This will let you make modifications to a closed ticket without any prompts and without any record of the original solution in the Journal.

Heat: Surveying Calls by Date

A client recently asked: How do I create a call group that displays any ticket that ends in ‘0’ for the previous week? We want to survey every tenth ticket each week.

You would use the Date functions to get this group. There a couple of options that you could use:

The first option uses the DateAdjust() function and goes back exactly seven days. Create a call group and place the following in the expression area:

{CallLog.CallID} like '%0' AND {CallLog.CallStatus} <> 'Closed' AND {CallLog.RecvdDate} >= @DateAdjust( YY, MM, -7)

Save the group and open it. It should list every ticket last week that ends in zero. You can also adjust the number of days back (e.g. 14)

The second way would be to add a prompt so that you could go back any number of days or to a specific date:

{CallLog.CallID} like '%0' AND {CallLog.CallStatus} <> 'Closed' AND {CallLog.RecvdDate} >= @Prompt('Enter the start date (YYYY-MM-DD) AND {CallLog.RecvdDate} <= @Date()

This group will prompt you for the date to start from when opened and go back as far as you want (e.g. 1 year ago).

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

MSCRM: Modify Left Nav Bar using Javascript

A client had this question: Is there any other way to modify the left navigation bar other than changing the isv.config?

Yes, you can modify buttons, remove buttons and a lot more using client side javascript. To modify the text in a left navigation bar, the function below can be used in your CRM forms

ModifyNavigationEntry changes the text, tooltip or icon (or all of them). You need to know is the id of the item to change. The easiest way to find the id is to download the Internet Explorer Developers Tools (it’s a toolbar) and use the Select by Click function. Once you have the id (e.g. nav_accts for Accounts), you can modify the javascript below.

Specify null if you don't want to change a particular attribute. For instance ModifyNavigationEntry(the_id, "New Text", null, null) changes the text to "New Text" but leaves the tooltip and icon unchanged. If you specify a new icon, provide the file name relative to the _imgs directory.


function ModifyNavigationEntry(nav_accts, “Customers”, null, null) {

try {
var navigationBar = document.getElementById(navigationBarId);

if (navigationBar != null) {
if (newToolTip != null) {
navigationBar.title = newToolTip;

var iconArray = navigationBar.getElementsByTagName("IMG");
var textArray = navigationBar.getElementsByTagName("NOBR");

if (iconArray != null) {
for (i = 0; i < iconArray.length; i++) {
if (newIcon != null) {
iconArray[i].src = document.location.protocol + "//" + document.location.hostname + "/_imgs/" + newIcon;

if (newToolTip != null) {
iconArray[i].title = newToolTip;

if (textArray != null) {
for (i = 0; i < textArray.length; i++) {
if (newToolTip != null) {
textArray[i].title = newToolTip;

if (newText != null) {
textArray[i].innerText = newText;

catch(ex) {

The script above created a left nav bar item called Customers that rolls up Accounts and Contacts into one toolbar item called Customers. This can be expanded to see Accounts and Contacts.

You can use this script on any left side nav bar once you have the id.

MSCRM: Tracking Quotes in CRM and Excel

A client asked: Is there a report that shows how many quotes are turning into sales?

You can use the combination of MS CRM and Excel to see if your customers are buying. See the instructions below:

A. Use Advanced Find:
* Click Advanced Find > In Look for, select Quotes.
* Click Select > Select Status.
* Select Equals > Click Enter Value > Click Select button.
* In Select Values choose Active, Draft, and Won.
* Click OK > Click Find > Available quotes appear.

B. Export the list of quotes to a PivotTable:
* Click Export to an Excel worksheet
* Click Dynamic PivotTable > Click Select Columns.
* Select Owner, Potential Customer, Status, and Total Amount.
* Click Export > Click Open.

C. Add fields to the PivotTable
* Drag Status to the Drop Row Fields area.
* It now displays totals by owner and stage: draft, active, or won.
* Drag Owner to the Drop Page Fields area.
* It now displays quote totals by the user assigned to the quote.
* Drag Potential Customer on top and right of the Owner column
* It now displays all draft, active, and won quotes from last month.
* Drag Total Amount to the Drop Data Items area.
* It now displays a total of all draft, active, and won quotes.

Save the Excel worksheet and close it. Make some changes in the quotes in CRM. Open the Quotes worksheet and it will display the changes made because it is dynamically linked to CRM. Try using the drop-downs to view the pivot table in different views.

MSCRM: Starting at 200,000?

A client recently had this question: I started to add a new picklist item and it gave it the number 200,000. There are only two items in the list. Is this a bug?

No, this is by design. This is consistent with other Microsoft software such as NAV, AX, etc. This prevents conflicts with new system attributes that are added by Microsoft. To recreate this example, you can do the following:

* Select Settings > Select Customization > Select Customize Entities
* Select Attributes > Select a Picklist > Open the attributes
* Click Add > the dialog box will show 200,000 as the starting value
* Change the 200,000 to 200 and attempt to add the attribute label
* You should receive a error message box stating to enter a number
between 200,000 and 2,147,483,646 > Click OK
* Add the label > Save and Close > Publish

You should see your new picklist item in whatever field you modified.

MSCRM: Email Dates

A client recently asked: When an email is sent and saved to history, is there a way to include the date the email was sent?

Yes, you need to customize the email form to show the date:

* Select Settings > Select Customization > Select Customize Entities
* Select Email > Select Forms and Views > Select Main Application
* Click Add Fields > Select Actual End field > Modify label as desired
* Save and Close > Publish the customizations

When you send an email and it is saved, the date sent (actual end) will show in the field you added.

MSCRM: Pushing Data

A client recently asked: I have custom field data in my Lead form that I would like to automatically move to an Account when the Lead is converted to an Account.

You can do this using Relationships under the Customization section:

* Select Settings > Customization > Customize Entities
* Select the Lead entity > Select 1:N Relationships
* Select the Lead to Account relationship > Click Mappings
* Click New to create a mapping
* Select the Source custom field > Select the Target custom field
* Click OK > The mapping is generated
* Click Save and Close > Publish the changes

For this example, we created a field named “Custom Field” in both the Lead and Account forms. We mapped a Lead to Account attribute between the two fields.

To use it:

* Open or create a Lead > Enter information in Custom Field
* Save the Lead > Convert the Lead to an Account
* Open the Account and the information in Custom Field should have been pushed over when the Account was created.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

An Enterprise user asks: “Do I have to close my books at year end?”

You can choose whether to close your books at the end of the year or not. QuickBooks does not require you to do so.
Advantages to closing your books• Restricted access: You can set a password to restrict access to data from the prior accounting period, including the details of every transaction. Transactions can't be changed without your knowledge. To modify or delete a transaction in a closed period, a user must know the closing date password and have the appropriate permissions.
• Reporting: Any changes made after the closing date to transactions dated on or before the closing date will appear in the closing date exception report.
Advantages to NOT closing your books
• Detail: You always have easy access to last year's data, including the details of every transaction.
• Reporting: You can create comparative reports between this year and last year.
Year-end adjustments QuickBooks makes automaticallyQuickBooks performs certain year-end adjustments, based on your fiscal year start month.
• QuickBooks adjusts your income and expense accounts at year-end to zero them out. Therefore, you start your new fiscal year with a zero net income.
• QuickBooks makes an adjusting entry to your net income. For example, if your profit for the year was $12,000, on the last day of your fiscal year the equity section of your Balance Sheet would show a line for net income of $12,000.
• On the first day of the new fiscal year, QuickBooks increases your Retained Earnings equity account by the previous year's net income ($12,000 in this example) and decreases your net income by the same amount. This way, you start each new fiscal year with a net income of zero.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

GoldMine - SQL Query for records with no e-mail address

Most clients try to have e-mail addresses for all their contact records. Below is a query you can run which will return contact information for records with no e-mail address. You can then create a group from the SQL query and merge to a letter in word to request the client call you or you will call them to obtain their e-mail address to update your records!

* Go to Tools/Filters and Groups and click on the SQL Query Tab (in standard and corporate editions of GoldMine go to Lookup/SQL Queries)
* Copy and paste the following into the SQL Query box:


* Click on the Query button and it will return the contact and company name, address and phone information for contact records that do not have an e-mail address

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A QuickBooks Enterprise user wants to know if he is able to customize his Centers to show information important in his business.

The answer is “Yes”, you can customize the columns for primary center lists (Customers & Jobs, Vendors, and Employees lists), the transaction lists in the Centers, and general lists accessed from the Lists menu.
For each primary center list, you can customize both the normal list view and the expanded list view. Each view can have a distinct set of columns.
To do this task:
1. Display the list that has the columns you want to customize.
2. Right-click on the list and choose Customize Columns.
3. To add a column, select it in the left pane and click “Add”. To remove a column, select it in the right pane and click “Remove”.
4. If desired, you can change the order in which the columns are displayed by selecting a column in the right pane and clicking Move Up or Move Down.
5. When you're finished rearranging the columns, click OK.
You can click Default at any time to return to the preset columns for the list.
It is also possible to:
• Resize columns in a list
• Adjust the width of a center list
• Display different views of lists

GoldMine - Linking Folders to the Links Tab

This is a tip that was recently published, but warrants repeating since this month's focus is mainly on document management. Many clients wish to link to an entire folder of documents on the links tab rather than just the document. Follow the steps below.

* Go to the Links Tab
* Right click in an area on the Tab and select New
* Enter the name of the folder in the Document Name Field
* Browse out to the folder that you want to link and choose any file in the folder and click okay
* Edit the file name line to remove the file name and backslash so the path in the line is only to the folder
* Click on okay and now if you click on the link you will be take directly to the folder

Monday, April 21, 2008

GoldMine - Linking Documents using Drag and Drop

In an earlier tip we looked at manually linking documents or files into GoldMine. A quick and easy way to do this is to Drag and Drop documents.

* Open the contact record where you wish to link the document
* From Windows Explorer highlight the document you want to link
* Hold the left mouse button and drag the file to the open record in GoldMine and release the mouse button
* The Linked Document box will pop up
* Fill in the name of the document and any notes (the link information will already be populated)
* Click on okay

GoldMine - Contact Details

Sometimes clients would like to just write a quick letter to a client and do not have the need to merge to a Word template. There is an easy way to copy the contact details into a letter!

* Open the contact record who's details you wish to copy
* Go to Edit/Copy Contact Details
* The Copy Contact Info to Clipboard box will pop up with different options of contact details to choose from
* Check next to Name, Title, Address
* Click on Copy
* Open Word and click on Paste and the Contact name, title and address will be pasted into your document

Sunday, April 20, 2008

GoldMine - Linking a Document to a Contact Record

Many client create documents, excel spreadsheets, PDF's etc. and would like to link a copy to a contact record. This can be achieved on the Links tab.

* Go to the Links tab
* Right click and choose New
* A Link Document box will pop-up
* Enter the name of the document, the Document Owner, and any notes pertaining to the document
* Browse out to where the document is located and choose it and click on okay
* The document will now be listed on the Links tab
* If you double click on the document it will launch the program and open the document
* Remember, if you move the document you must manually change the location by editing the link; if you delete the document you will no longer be able to open the document

GoldMine - Merging a Filter or Group to a template

Many clients create filters or groups of contacts and wish to merge all the contacts to a particular template. This can easily be done.

* First activate the filter or group you wish to use to merge with the template
* In the Document Center highlight the document you want to use for your merge
* Click on the printer icon at the top of the page
* A Mail Merge properties box will pop up
* There are several choices for the merge - to this contact only, all contacts linked to this contact or all contacts in the following group or filter
* Choose all contacts in the following group or filter
* You also have the choice of merging the document to the primary contact or to also include the additional contacts
* If you have merge codes you can further filter who will receive the document by assigning a merge code
* Deliver is usually to the Printer and most often you do it immediately but you do have the option to queue the printing
* Choose Printer and click on okay
* Word will open and will merge all the contact records into the template
* You will have the option to send the documents directly to the printer or to view them first
* Choose to view your documents first and a history item will be created on each record at this time
* You can scroll through each document by clicking on the arrow(s) on the tool bar
* You can then print and save the document

GoldMine - Merging a Single Contact with A Template

Once you have created a document template in word you can now merge a single contact record by following the steps below:

* Open the contact record you wish to merge into the template
* Double click on the template you want to merge the contact information into
* Word will open and the fields will be populated with the information from the contact record
* You can edit the letter, save and print
* A history item will also be created showing that you created the letter on the particular date

GoldMine - Document Center

If a template you created is not listed in your document center follow the directions below to link it:

* Open the Document Center (click on the Write button)
* Right click on Letters, Memos, Faxes under Documents and choose New
* Name your document and browse out to where the document is located and link it
* If you want the template to be available for all users change the name under Document User to Public. If you will primarily be the user of the template you can keep the Document User as yourself
* Click on okay and an alert may pop-up telling you that you created a template
* Click on okay and the Mail Merge Properties box will pop-up (you just hit cancel until you are ready to actually merge the document)

GoldMine - Creating a Word Template

Once you have the Wordlink installed most clients require some assistance in getting started with setting up templates. Below are the steps to follow:

* Make sure GoldMine is open and open Word
* Go to the GoldMine menu across the top of Word
* Begin typing your document and choose Goldmine > Insert Goldmine Fields when you want to insert a GoldMine field into the document
* After you complete your document go back to the Goldmine menu and choose Save as a Goldmine Template
* Make sure you save it in the Goldmine Templates file in the Goldmine Directory and make sure the document type is Template. Change the document type at the bottom of the save window to template first. It will then change the directory to the Windows template directory. Browse to the GoldMine Template folder in your GoldMine folder and save the template there.
* You have now created a template that you can add to the GoldMine Document Center and merge to a single contact or a group of contacts

GoldMine - Installing the Word Link

Many clients ask how to install the link to Word. Below are the instructions and during the install it will also setup the link to Excel!

* Go to your GoldMine folder and find the GMLINKINSTALLER file.
* Close GoldMine, Word and Excel (and Outlook if it uses Word as it's e-mail editor)
* Run the installer file (occasionally it will ask where the GoldMine program executable file is located. Just point it back to where your executable file is in your GoldMine folder)
* During the install is will ask you to set a language - English is the default
* It will also ask you to set preferences. You can check "Auto refresh the fields list" and click on okay
* During the install it will also tell you that it is installing the link to Excel and the next time you open Excel you should see the GoldMine menu item across the top
* When it's finished you will see the GoldMine menu item in Word also

Since there are various versions of GoldMine and various versions of Word you may not always have a compatible version. If you have any problems contact the Marks Group and we can help you get the correct installer.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A QuickBooks user asks, “How do I use the Reminders list?”

Use the Reminders list to track all the QuickBooks tasks you need to do. It shows you all of the things that are due (such as bills) or that you need to act on (such as To Do notes). You can choose which tasks to be reminded of, and how and when you'll see the reminder.

The Reminders list also posts messages about any QuickBooks business services that need your attention and important Alerts.

To open the Reminders list, go to the Company menu and click Reminders.
Here's what you can do in the list:
• To see the set of tasks for a particular area of QuickBooks, click the bolded task heading.
• To open a transaction or perform the associated task (like paying a bill), double-click the transaction in the list.
• To change the amount of information you see, go to the bottom of the window and click:
o "Custom View" to return the display to the settings you specified in Preferences.
o "Collapse All" to summarize the list. For each section of the list, QuickBooks shows you the total amount of the transactions due. You'll see a summary for all activities, including those you've asked QuickBooks not to display.
o "Expand All" to show the details for each section. For each section of the list, QuickBooks lists the individual transactions that are due together with their amounts. (You'll see a list of all transactions, including those you've asked QuickBooks not to display.)

An Enterprise User wants to know how to customize a frequently used report and memorize it…

If you know the exact report you want, choose the type of report you want from “Reports” in the toolbar. If you select “Report Center” from the same drop down menu, the reports menu will be displayed in a more detailed format, explaining each report available and what the report contains.
Select the report you want to display. If the report does not show you precisely what you want to see you can modify the report by selecting “Modify Report.” This will display a 4 tabbed “Modify Report “ window. In the ”Display” tab, you select the report date range, basis, and other settings depending on the report you choose. In the “Filters” tab, you can choose to filter based on a list of filters available in the drop down. In some reports you can choose to show split detail (for balance sheet accounts, only). In the “Header/Footer” tab, you customize how you want specific header and footer info to be displayed. The final tab, “Fonts & Numbers” allows you to change fonts for specific areas of your report. Once you have customized the report, you can memorize the report by selecting the “Memorize” button. Give the report a unique name and a group location where you wish to save it. When you need to access the same report at a later date, select Reports>Memorized Reports and the group to which you saved it. You can also place the report in the Tool Bar for one click access. To do this, preview the report on the screen, select “View” from the toolbar and “Add Report to the Toolbar”. This report is now available directly from a toolbar icon.

Monday, April 7, 2008 quicker better wiser

My latest column on "handling charges" is here.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

An Enterprise client wants to know how to record an upfront deposit in QuickBooks...

A customer deposit should be recorded as a current liability. You therefore, need to set up a current liability account in your chart of accounts. Call it "Client Deposits" for example. Then set up a "Service" item in your item list, call it "Deposits" and link it to the current liability account you set up. To record the customer deposit go to Customers>Enter Sales receipts. Fill in the receipts window as you normally would. On the first line select the "Deposit" item you just set up. Save and Close the receipt. This will record the receipt of cash and set up the liability on the books. When it's time to invoice the customer, create the invoice and draw from the deposit balance. To do this, from the Customer drop down choose "Create Invoice", select the customer and on the first line of the invoice choose the Sales item, enter the quantity and rate as you normally would for any invoice. On the second line, however, choose the "Deposit" item and enter the same amount as a negative amount. This will result in a zero balance invoice. Save and close. The net result will have no affect on Accounts Receivable, but will reduce the Customer Deposit liability amount and recognize the Income on the sale.

Business Week Post

The Apps Small Business Needs - By Gene Marks - posted to Business Week Today.