The next 2 pages contain tools, tips and resources to help you get a jump start on closing the year out smoothly. As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly with specific questions or to request assistance with your Sage Accpac system.
General Recommendations & Tips
Check Data Retention Settings – The number of years that Sage Accpac retains in historical data will vary based on the edition you are running. Plus, each company can be configured to retain fewer years than the maximum allowed. So it’s a good idea to double check the settings for all company databases so you don’t lose important data when creating a new fiscal year.
Create a New Fiscal Calendar – Remember, Accpac allows you to begin entering transactions for the new year without having to close the current year. But you must first create a new fiscal calendar in Common Services before you can begin entering transactions. Since you can create a new fiscal calendar at any time, it’s a good idea to set it up early so you’re ready to go when it’s time to enter transactions in the new year.
Data Management – Year end is a good opportunity to “clean house” and determine whether it makes sense to purge old data you no longer need, create archive databases, or expand your storage capacity. And be sure to contact us if you’d like assistance in creating a data maintenance plan.
When will the next Sage ERP Accpac Payroll Update be released?
The January tax update is usually released in mid-December and will include the updated tax tables you’ll need for next year, as well as everything you will need for filing your taxes this year.
Sage will provide more information as we get closer to the release date, but here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
You don’t have to close the year.
We recommended that you install the tax update as soon as possible and preferably prior to the end of 2010.
You have to install AND activate the tax update. Before activating, be sure to make a backup.
TIP: Regardless of your fiscal year, you’ll still need to close out payroll for this Calendar year.
Reporting and Inquiries
Sometimes it’s a challenge to get data out of Accpac and into a report or inquiry in the exact way that you want to see it. If you find that Crystal Reports is too complex to use on your own (without IT support), then you’ll love the new Adhoc Query in Accpac 6. This simple yet powerful tool allows you to choose, sort, and sum the exact data you want without technical knowledge or Crystal Report training.
Back Up Your Data
The first thing you should do before beginning any year end processing task is to execute a complete back up of your Sage Accpac data. This point cannot be emphasized enough. You should also test the back up to ensure it was successful and the data is readable. Without a reliable back up, there is no way to restore your system to its original state should you need to undo a significant year end processing mistake. It’s also a good idea to make another back up after you successfully complete the year end close.
1099 Processing – The Debate Rages On
The recently-enacted U.S. healthcare bill included a provision requiring businesses to file 1099 forms for any transactions with suppliers that are cumulatively worth $600 or more over the course of a year. This includes previously-exempted purchase of goods and services (like office supplies purchased from Staples for instance) which will dramatically increase the administrative burden and volume of 1099s that will be processed by all small businesses. However the debate rages on over the original intent of the provision vs. the ultimate impact on business. In fact, several politicians plan to introduce legislation to kill the new 1099 provision. Stay tuned for changes regarding this important debate throughout 2011. In the meantime, rest assured that your Sage Accpac system will be updated to ensure compliance, whichever way things go.
New Customer Support Portal
Earlier this year, Sage completely revamped their online support website for Accpac customers which is now located at https://customers.sagenorthamerica.com. The customer portal is your one-stop-shop for product updates, a support knowledgebase, and detailed documents to assist you in closing out the year.
You should have also received a new login and password for the site. If you didn’t get the new login, you can reach the Portal Support Team by phone at (877) 828-6372 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sage Accpac Online Community
At Sage Spark, you’ll find free business tools, resources, and a vibrant community where entrepreneurs network and connect with one another. When you register at Sage Spark (which is FREE), you’ll get access to free online invoicing tools, industry articles and business tips, a free job board, and so many other useful tips and resources to help you start or grow your small business.
The Sage Accpac Online Community allows you to connect online with Sage support experts, developers, and other Accpac customers just like you. You also get access to a wealth of information to guide you through the year end closing process including User Guides, Technical Documents, Product Updates, and training videos. Go to http://community.sageaccpac.com to sign up and participate in the conversation!
Important Deadlines and Tax Info (U.S.)
January 31, 2011 – Deadline to issue W-2, 1098, and 1099 forms to employees and independent contractors AND deadline for filing quarterly payroll & annual sales tax returns.
Depreciation and Section 179 Expense – The Small Business Jobs Act (SBJA) of 2010 increases the Section 179 deduction to $500,000. The definition of “Qualifying Property” has also been expanded under the act. Click here for details.
Standard Mileage Rate – Beginning on January 1, 2010, the standard mileage rate for operating an automobile for business use is 50 cents per mile.
HIRE Act – The HIRE act of 2010 provides tax benefits to small businesses directly related to hiring employees and writing off investments in equipment. Click here for details about payroll processing and tax implications for year end.
Notice for Accpac Version 5.4 Customers
January 2011 Will be the final tax update
Earlier this year, Sage notified all Payroll Update Plan (PUP) subscribers that after the 2010 tax year, Sage ERP Accpac Version 5.4 will no longer be supported. This is particularly important because it means no additional tax updates will be made available after 2010.
The last Accpac 5.4 Payroll Tax Update for Canadian Payroll and US Payroll will be January 1st, 2011. Based on recent customer feedback, this will be a full update that includes updated forms as well as tax table changes provided for 2010 tax filing. Due to “last minute” updates issued from certain US tax authorities towards the end of the 2010 calendar year, there is a possibility for a January 31st, 2011 Tax Update or hot fix for the 5.4 US Payroll Tax Update only.
Contact us if you’d like to discuss an upgrade to Sage Accpac Version 5.5 or higher in order to continue receiving full support and product updates for your system.