Saturday, April 30, 2011

QuickBooks: Properly Pay Liabilities

First time users / payroll users are often confused how to pay the liabilities. I recently responded to the following questions: "Can you tell me how to pay my payroll liabilities? I think I use "write checks" and then hit the appropriate accounts, but I am not sure."

The answer is no…. do not use write checks! In order to properly clear the liability, you need to pay payroll liabilities with a liability check instead of a regular check.

Employees > Payroll Taxes and Liabilities > Pay Scheduled Liabilities

As a side note, sales tax liabilities also need to be paid with a liability check

Vendors > Sales Tax > Pay Sales Tax.

QuickBooks: Bill Payment Stubs

It is not uncommon to pay more invoices for a specific vendor than will fit on the check stub. This is very true in the construction industry… there could be 50 invoices that are paid at the end of the month, but the check stub only fits about 17 lines. The business wants to send something with the check to the vendor to show the specific invoices paid – especially if they are not paying everything on the vendor statements.

The best way to do this is to print a Bill Payment Stub.

File > Print Forms > Bill Payment Stubs

This will open the dialog box called Select Bill Payment Stubs to Print. Select the correct bank account and date range. The Bill Payments made will appear in the list. Select the vendors(s) by placing a check mark next to the specific vendor(s) and say OK. The bill payment stub will include the vendor name and each invoice that had been paid, the date, check number and amount.

QuickBooks: How to Enter a Joint Check

A QuickBooks Pro client wanted to know to proper way to enter a joint check. Here is the scenario. She created an invoice for the customer for material from a vendor, but she will just sign the check over to the vendor when it is received rather than depositing it and issuing her own check. Her concern was how to clear the invoice.

Here is a simple solution by using a clearing bank:
• Go to the Chart of Accounts (List > Chart of Accounts) and create a clearing bank account.
• Then receive the invoice payment (Customers > Receive Payments).
• Deposit the check (Banking > Make Deposits) to the clearing account.
• Then pay the vendor bill using the same bank clearing account.

If done correctly, the balance in the bank clearing account will be zero.

QuickBooks: Changing the Customer for a Payment that has been Deposited

A new QuickBooks user realized that she applied payment to an incorrect customer after it had already been recorded as deposited in the bank register. This payment was one of several that had been deposited on one slip. She wondered how to change the incorrect customer. She tried changing the customer on the payment, and got the following error message: "You need to delete this payment from the deposit before you can edit its name or amount
This is a common problem and there are two solutions.

Solution 1:
• Delete the entire deposit which will put it back into record deposits.
• Go to the incorrect customer payment and delete it.
• Receive payment for the correct customer
• Go to the record deposits window and reenter the correct customer with the others to make the total deposit. Be sure to reenter the correct date.

Solution 2:
• Go to the deposit and delete the line for this specific incorrect payment (highlight the line and press CTRL + Delete).
• Add an additional line with the correct customer using A/R as the account.
• Then open the invoice it should be applied to and select Apply Credits.
• Lastly, delete the original incorrect payment so it's no longer shown in Undeposited Funds.

QuickBooks: How to Enter Credits on a Daily Sales Receipt

A client recently asked the following question:
“I have a deposit that does not equal the breakdown entered as sales receipts due to a "credit" on the deposit slip. I receive a direct deposit for a certain amount, in this case $500. I have 4 different clients listed on the accompanying statement. The breakdown entered on one sales receipt is:
• Client A- $250
• Client B- $250
• Client C- $250
• Client D- negative $250

As a result, the sales receipts for clients A-C total $750, but the actual amount deposited is only $500. How do I enter this? The clients are not invoiced, so I cannot enter a credit.”

Since this client is entering one sales receipt for multiple clients, they are using a generic customer and not capturing any customer detail. In this case, they can enter the negative $250 right on the sales receipt.

For those of you who enter separate sales receipts for each client you would select client A-C’s payments from undeposited funds and then add an additional line on the deposit for client D with negative $250.

In both cases, the deposit will total $500.

GoldMine : Recently viewed GoldMine contacts

One of the nicest things about the new GoldMine is the list of recently viewed contacts on the upper left hand side. However, by default, it only tracks five. To increase this number;

Yes, you can set them to show up to 99 contacts:

Select Tools | Options | System tab
Under Navigation | increase Recent items shown
Logout and log back into Goldmine
Open the Contact Search | select/open Contacts

You will see the Recently Viewed items list increase as you open new contacts.

GoldMine : Using conditional colors

There an easy way to change labels and data fields based on the contents.

See the example below. It changes the KEY1 label and data field based on the contents. To use it:

* Right click on the Goldmine form > select Screen Design
* Double click on the KEY1 field > select the Color tab
* Enter the following expression in both the label and data areas:

IIF(KEY1='First', 139, IIF(KEY1='Second', 10526303, IIF(KEY1='Third', 25600, 0)))

Change the sample data (First, Second, Third) to your KEY1 data and you have an easy way to track fields by color.

GoldMine : Using comments in picklists

Most of you have populated your GoldMine field "picklists" with special codes relevant to your business. But how do you remind end-users of which codes mean what?

The answer is easy; simply insert a comment beside the value in the picklist.

So, when creating a new picklist item (for example) with a code of "LVM" for "Left Voice Mail", just append it with "// Voice Mail".

So your entire picklist line will look like this:

LVM // Left Voice Mail

When the end user selects this item, everything after the "//" is ignored. Try it!

GoldMine : Logging field changes in history

Once a GoldMine installation has been customized, fields added, and everything made perfect; nothing is more frustrating than watching the precious values in your custom fields become missing or wrong. So, if you'd like to keep a careful eye on who is changing which field to what, simply enable the history change log for the field in question.

To do this, you must be a MASTER user.

Go into "Screen Design Mode", by right-clicking on the contact record and selecting "Screen Design".

Double click on the field you want to track.

Go to the "Security" tab.

Click the box labeled "Log Changes in History".

Keep in mind this setting is system wide; so the very next time the field is changed for a contact record, you will get a resulting history item that tracks the last value and the current value.

GoldMine : Viewing two records at once

The new "tabbed" interface of GoldMine Premium makes for a much "cleaner" workspace, however; it sometimes makes users forget that they can look at more than one record at once.

To do this, simply select Window | New Contact Window. (Older versions of GoldMine will have this under View | New Contact Window)

This will bring up a new "Contact Search" tab. Simply search for the contact you wish to view. You'll now have two separate tabs, each looking at a different contact record.

Crystal Reports : Viewing the selection criteria on the report

When the Selection Criteria becomes very complex for any given report, I often find it helpful to display the whole Selection Criteria right on the report.
To do this, you need to insert a "Special Field" from the Field Explorer.
Select Insert | Special Field.
Drop down the Special Fields list.
The field we want to insert is Record Selection Formula.
You will also notice that the Group Selection Formula is also available here.

Crystal Reports : Formatting percentages

When creating a formula that should return a percentage value, you will need to format the field correctly to get the "%" sign to properly show.
Right-click on the field in question, select Format Field.
Click the "Display Currency Symbol" checkbox.
Click the "Customize" button.
Click the "Currency Symbol" tab.
Change your currency symbol from "$" to "%".
Then change the "Position" to "-123%".
This forces the percentage symbol to appear at the end of the numerical value.
This will give you percentages thus: "87.22%".

Crystal Reports : Using a parameter with multiple values

When creating a parameter field that should allow the user to select multiple values, make sure to check the Allow Multiple Values checkbox in the field properties window. This way you can still use the equals operator (=) in your Select Expert, yet test for multiple values.

Crystal Reports : Displaying the starting and ending dates within a Range

If you are using a date parameter that is Ranged (i.e. a single parameter field that prompts for a starting and ending date), you will probably want to display these dates on the report. This helps prevent confusion as to what data is included in the report. To do this, we will need to create two formula fields, one for the starting date and one for the ending date. The formula fields will use the Minimum and Maximum Crystal functions.

For this example, our parameter field is called {?DateRange}

Formula field #1 (Starting Date) : Minimum({?DateRange})
(Pulls out the minimum value of our range)

Formula field #2 (Ending Date) : Maximum({?DateRange})
(Pulls out the maximum value of our range)

Crystal Reports : Alternating background color

To make a report easier to read, you can alternate the background color to help different lines stand out. (Think of the old green and white striped paper you used to put in your tractor printer years ago)

To make this happen, we will need to format the Details Section of our report.

Step #1 : From the top-level menu, select Format Section.
Step #2 : Select the "Detail" section on the left hand side.
Step #3 : Click on the "Color" tab on the right hand side.
Step #4 : Click the [formula] button with the "x-2"on it to bring up the formula editor.
Step #5 : Paste in the following : if RecordNumber mod 2 = 0 then crSilver else crNoColor

This will alternate a white and silver background for each row printed.

Pro Tip : To alternate color for Group rows, paste the following into the Group section color formula: if GroupNumber mod 2 = 0 then crSilver else crNoColor

Friday, April 29, 2011

HEAT sending email via POP/SMTP directly from within HEAT Call Logging

You can use POP/SMTP Mail systems to send and receive email messages in SupportMail.

POP/SMTP functionality must be enabled and configured in Call Logging User Preferences before it can be viewed in the SupportMail tab.

To Set POP/SMTP Preferences:

1 Select Edit>User Preferences, then click the POP/SMTP tab.

2 In the POP (Incoming Server) section:

a) In the Server Name field, type the name of the POP mail server.

b) Select the SSL check box if utilizing the Secure Socket Layer protocol.

c) Type the User Name and Password for the POP account in the appropriate fields (this is the login required to access the POP mail system).

3 In the SMTP (Outgoing Server) section:

a) In the Email Address (Default From) field, you can type an email address that will be used in SupportMail as the email sender.

b) In the Reply To field, you can type an email address that will be used in SupportMail as the email address to which the recipient can reply.

c) In the Server Name field, type the name of the SMTP mail server.

d) Select the SSL check box if utilizing the Secure Socket Layer protocol.

e) Select the Use SMTP Authentication check box.

f) Type the User Name and Password for the SMTP account in the appropriate fields.

4 To enable POP/SMTP functionality, clear the Disable check box.

5 Click OK. POP/SMTP functionality is now available in SupportMail. POP/SMTP folders appear in the SupportMail tab.

HEAT Call Logging - Call Map Preferences

You can manipulate the content and appearance of the InfoCenter Call Map. The system administrator determines which categories are available, but you can tailor the display to your needs.

To Set Call Map Preferences:

1 Select Edit>User Preferences, then click the Call Map tab.

2 To specify which categories to display, click a category in the Available list, then click Add to move it to the Selected list. To add all available categories to the Call Map, click Add All. Categories include:

• Call Info - Displays call information such as Call Type and priority.

• Customer - Displays customer information such as CustID and address.

• Assignment - Displays Assignment information such as due date.

• Journal - Displays the number of Journals available for the selected Call Record.

• Call Attachments - Displays Call Record attachments on the Call Map.

• Global Attachments - Displays Global attachments on the Call Map.

• Profile Attachments - Displays Customer Record attachments on the Call Map.

3 To remove a category from display, select the category in the Selected list, then click Remove to move it back to the Available list. To remove all categories from display, click Remove All.

4 To define the order in which categories appear in the Call Map, select a category, then click Move Up or Move Down.

5 In the Show/Hide section, select:

• Show Call Info Field Name - Under the Call Info category, displays the field name in addition to the value for that field. If you do not select this check box, only the field value appears.

• Show Cust Info Field Name - Under the Customer category, displays the field name in addition to the value for that field. If you do not select this check box, only the field value appears.

• Show Assignment Field Name - Under the Assignment category, displays the field name in addition to the value for that field. If you do not select this check box, only the field value appears.

• Show Journal Field Name - Under the Journal category, displays the field name in addition to the value for that field. If you do not select this check box, only the field value appears.

• Show Assignment Count - Displays the number of Assignments for the Call Record immediately after the Assignments category.

• Show Journal Count - Displays the number of Journal entries for the Call Record immediately after the Journal category.

6 Click OK.

HEAT Call Logging - Setting HEATBoard Preferences

Although the system administrator defines security rights for the InfoCenter HEATBoard, you can set preferences governing its display.

To Set HEATBoard Preferences:

1 Select Edit>User Preferences, then click the HEATBoard tab.

2 In the HEATBoard Issue Sorting section, select how you want to sort HEATBoard issues:

• Posted By - Sorts issues by the person posting the issue.

• Posted date/time - Sorts issues by the date and time the issue was posted.

• Last modified date/time - Sorts issues by the date and time the issue was last modified.

• Expiration date/time - Sorts issues by the expiration date and time.

3 In the Direction section, select:

• Ascending - Displays issues from oldest to newest.

• Descending - Displays issues from newest to oldest.

4 In the Team Selection section, select the team(s) you want displayed on the HEATBoard. Click Move Up or Move Down to alter the display order.

5 In the Team Consolidation section, determine how you want teams grouped:

• Show selected teams separately - Places team issues under specific team title bars.

• Combine selected teams - Displays all issues, regardless of team ownership, under a single title bar.

• Combine selected teams except global - Displays team issues under a single title bar, and displays all Global issues under a Global title bar.

6 Click OK.

HEAT Call Logging - Using HEAT Alert Monitor for high priority tickets

A client recently asked if it’s possible to be notified when a priority 1 ticket is logged.

Other than email notifications, users can create HEAT Alerts.

  1. In HEAT create a group (if it does not already exist) for Priority 1 tickets

    The filter can be based on any number of criteria. In this example we will use all tickets that are not closed and has a priority “1” –

    Creating a group for priority 1 calls
  • In Heat
  • Click on Group
  • Click on New call group
  • Name the call group: Priority 1 tickets
  • Enter the following in the Expression text field: 
    ({CallLog.CallStatus} <> 'closed' and {CallLog.Priority} = '1')

       Open Group in Alert Monitor 
  • Open Alert monitor
  • Click on New Alert definition.
  • Click on File new
  • Type in a name of the definition – eg priority 1 tickets
  • Browse to the group you created
  • Double click on the group name
  • Click on OK
  • Click on Exit
  • Click on File, Save As
  • Save the Alert
  • Click on the traffic light to start the polling (Starting the polling can be automated under OPTIONS; USER Preferences; Click on “Automatically Start Polling
In order to be alerted to urgent calls your Alert Monitor must be open and Start/stop polling must be green

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

MSCRM 2011: Enhanced Form Layout

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 includes a flexible framework for laying out forms. The following are the components of the new enhanced Microsoft Dynamics form layout:

  • Fields: Fields are added to the header, body and footer of forms.

  • Controls: Controls can be added to forms in the header,body, footer, and navigation areas. These include navigation links, Web resources, Iframes, spacers and Sub-Grids.

  • Navigation Pane: The Navigation pane ison the left-hand side of the form. This area can be customized by moving and renaming sections, by moving navigation links between sections, and by creating custom navigation links.

  • Header and Footer: The header and footer are available on every form. These areas can be customized with fields and components that are always visible on the form regardless of which tab or related list is being shown.

  • Body: The body of a form is where all of the data entry is performed. Fields and components can be added to the body. The body of the form can be configured to be further subdivided as follows:

  • Tabs:Tabs enable users to rapidly navigare within a form. For every tab that is added to a form, a link is added to the Navigationpane to allow users to rapidly navigate to the tab.

  • Sections: Tabs are made up of one or more sections. If a tab has two columns, then sections can be placed in each of the two columns. Sections can have from one to four columns to further control how information is presented on the form.

MSCRM 4.0: Customizing Closing Dialog Boxes

Closing Dialog boxes are a special case you need to consider when you are customizing entity attributes. A closing dialog box is a dialog box that appears when a user does any of the following:

  • Closes an activity such as a Phone Call

  • Converts a Lead

  • Closes an Opportunity

  • Resolves a Case

When a user initiates one of these actions, a closing dialog box prompts the user to specify how he or she wants to close the entity.It might not be obvious where you should customize the closing dialog picklist values because these closing dialog boes are not entity forms, but they do display attributes of the entity. To edit the closing dialog box picklist values, you must modify the statuscode attribute (Status Reason display name) of the entity you are closing.The following steps will describe how to edit the phone call closing dialog box:

  1. Go to the Customization section of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and click Customize Entities.

  2. Double-Click the Phone Call entity.

  3. In the navigation pane, click Attributes, and then double-click the statuscode field. The attribute editor is displayed.

  4. In the Status drop-down list, select Completed. The picklist values change from the Open value (“Open”) to the Completed values (“Made”, “Received”).

  5. Click Add and then type Left Message in the Label field.Click OK.

  6. In the Status drop-down, click Canceled. Then, click Add, and type Wrong Number in the Label field. Click OK. You will see that the “Wrong Number” picklist value is added under the “Canceled” value.

  7. Click Save, and then click Close on the attribute editor toolbar.

  8. Click Actions on the Phone Call entity editor menu bar and then click Publish.

Now when you close a Phone Call activity, you will see the new statuses in the Closing Dialog Box.

    MSCRM 4.0: Cleaning up Workflows in a Wait State

    The first step in the process is to create an Advanced find view that returns all System Jobs where the Status Reason = Waiting, Waiting for Resources, Pausing, In Progress. Add the columns Error Code and Message to the result columns for additional information. Jobs can fail or be in a Wait state for one of the following reasons:

    • The system is not able to execute a Send E-mail step.

    • The entity record containing the e-mail address information did not have an e-mail address.

    • The user sending an email in the workflow is disabled.

    • The record used to populate the Regarding field of the e-mail is not a valid record for this use.

    • The record the workflow was trying to update was in a 'Read Only' state.

    Workflows can be re-designed so that they check some of these conditions and and better handle some of the scenarios described above. Some improvements could include:

    • Adding a Check Condition step that checks to ensure the e-mail address field contains data before all Send E-mail steps.

    • Send a notification to an internal user if the e-mail address field of the record does not contain data. The notification instructs the user to update the record with the e-mail address and run the workflow again.

    • Add a Cancel Workflow step that follows the Send E-mail notification to the internal user.This ensures that the System Job is canceled when it is not able to complete and does not continue to run.

    • Put a check in the workflow that ensures that the user sending the email is enabled.

    • Ensure all Regarding fields of E-mails generated from the System were updated with valid record types: Contacts, Accounts, Leads, Opportunities, Quotes, etc. are all valid record types. The step will fail if you try set the Regarding field to another Activity type like E-mail, Service Activity, etc.

    • Add a Check Condition step that checks the record status to ensure it can be updated before the Update step.

    • Add a Cancel Workflow stepif the record is in a Read-Only state.

    Just these few extra steps in your workflow will decrease the number of workflows in a “Wait” status and is a good practice to employ.

      Monday, April 25, 2011

      My NYT Post This Week

      This Week in Small Business: The Ratings Go Down, But Will the Ceiling Go Up?  Read more.

      I Apologize To My BlackBerry

      My Forbes blog this week:  The problem isn't the BlackBerry. It's me. I'm like those users who complain about technology without really understanding it.  Read more.