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How To Do A General Ledger Year End In Spire

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How to Manage Accounts Receivable with Spire

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How to create a customer in Spire.

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Close more Sales with Spire.

One of the most effective tools found in Spire is the power of filters. If you aren’t using these yet, now is the time to start. Using Filters and User Defined Fields, you can create your own modified Sales Pipeline, giving you the opportunity to stay on top of your upcoming sales opportunities.

How to create a Sales Pipeline using Filters:

  • Open Sales Orders
  • Add a new User Defined tab to the Sales Orders with the following:
  • (see instructions here)
  • Once you are back into the Sales Module, click <Filters>
  • Choose “Type” =  Quote
  • Next, select columns you wish to see: (right click on a column header to choose)
    • Order No
    • Customer No
    • Customer Name
    • Customer Phone number
    • Order Date
    • Required Date (this can act as your projected closing date)
    • Total Ordered
    • User Defined file – Notes
    • User Defined File – Last Contacted
  • Click the down arrow beside <Filters> and then <Save Preset as…> and whether you want it to be just for yourself or for everyone in the company. Call it “Sales Pipeline” and check <Show in module list> and <Save column state>

Sort your column by required date, and see what sales are coming close to your projected sales date. By highlighting these customers and clicking Mail Merge you can remind them about your upcoming promotion that is about to end.

Export your filtered list to Excel and calculate how much you are expecting and when (remember we used the required date as a projection closing date).

There are endless ways of using the filters in Spire; this is just one!
Here are few more ideas to get you started:

  • Inventory requires ordering – Filter = ‘Suggested Qty” is not equal to 0
  • Inventory not sold in 2 years – _Filter = _“This Years Units” is 0 + “Last Years Units” is 0. Then set the “Match if” to All
  • AR over 120 days – Filter = “Over 120” is not 0
  • Sales Order with margin less than X – Filter = “GP %(Average) is less than X
  • Purchase orders received in full – _Filter – _ “Remaining Amount” is 0

For more information on Filters, contact us at support@tri-tech.com and we’ll be happy to help!

How to create email templates in Spire.

One of my favourite features of Spire is the ability to create email templates for various modules within Spire. The ease of creating something as simple as an email signature, or by creating a template that automatically adds the invoice number and contact name, is something that we definitely need during this time of contactless delivery and social distancing.

Watch this video, on how to create email templates in Spire and see how you can make your job more efficient by taking this simple step today.

If you still need some help, send us an email to support@tri-tech.com and we can help you get this setup right away!

Spire: Year End

What does a Year End look like in Spire?

Spire carries three open years at any given time:

  1. Last Year
  2. This Year
  3. Next Year

It is recommended to work within the “This Year” period, so that you have the ability to back date and post date transactions one year back or one year forward.  Once you have completed all of your transactions within a given year, you can close that year.  

TIP: If you wait until close to the end of “Next Year” to close “Last Year”, it will give the easiest access to past years transactions.  Once the end of “Next Year” comes, you will not be able to post until you perform the year end procedure on “Last Year” period.

When a year end is performed, it will move all GL transactions to the historical GL tables and will move the year forward; it will also reset the sales and purchase history year-to-date amounts in customers, vendors and inventory.

How to do a Year End in Spire:

  1. Backup database
  2. Make sure all journal entries necessary to close the year are completed.
    1. Examples: amortizations, dividends etc.
  3. Verify that the retained earnings account in company setup is configured correctly.
  4. Run year end reports including trial balances, income statements and balance sheets.
  5. User must have permission to run a year end.
  6. Log into the last day of “Last Year”. If you use the wrong date, you will get an error message.
  7. A pop-up will come up asking you to verify that you have completed steps 1-5.
  8. Then click “Proceed”. 
    1. TIP: if this button is grayed out, it means you have not ticked all boxes in step 7.
  9. All done!

Still need some help? No problem! Just email support@tri-tech.com and we would be happy to help!

User Defined: A hidden gem within Spire.

Struggling with communication within your business?

Spire has a few ways to improve communication, but today we will focus on a hidden gem within Spire, called User Defined Fields (UDF).

Ever since Spire added the UDF into the program, here at TriTech we have utilized it in many ways; one of which is creating a shared space where our Accounts Receivable (AR) team can communicate information that might be important and useful for each other to know.  For us, this could be the date we contacted a customer, or it could be a note to say that the customer missed an invoice in their recent payment and we have now emailed the missing invoice to them.   Another example of course, is everyone’s favourite “Cheque is in the mail”.  Each member of our team who has permission to see the UDF module can see and add information. 

Some of the main features of UDF in Spire are:

  • Custom fields can be added to different modules
  • Set as text fields, dropdown lists or checkboxes
  • Define mandatory fields
  • Print custom fields on forms and reports
  • Custom fields are indexed and searchable
  • Multiple word search of all custom records

How do you set up a User Defined field?

Continuing with our example of communicating within the aged AR, let’s learn how to setup your first user defined fields.

  • Open one of the customer’s in your AR list, and then click on the User Defined tab.
  • Once you have selected the tab above, next you will need to click the UDF Properties button.
  • First click the NEW PAGE and this will give your TAB a name. Name it AR NOTES.  
  • Next, click NEW FIELD and create a UDF text field that says NOTES and date field called CONTACT DATE and save & close.
  • Let’s test our new fields: Open up one of your customers in the AR module.  Then click on the User Defined tab, and add some notes into your new fields; then Save & Close. 
  • Go into your AR list again, right click on the column headers at the top of the list, and scroll all the way to the bottom where the newly created UDF fields will be listed. (Note: if they aren’t showing up right away, go into another module within Spire, and then go back into AR) 
  • Put a checkmark in your fields, and then go back to your AR list. 
  • Now whenever you update your fields with information such as “Cheque is in the mail”, anyone who has permission can see all the communication you have been doing and when you are expecting payment on the aged AR.  It is a great way to have automated communication between all departments within your business.

In one screen, you can see all of your notes and the last date they were contacted, on every customer who is showing up in your AR.

A few extra notes:

When creating new UDF Fields, there are eight different types of fields that are available:

  • Numeric
  • Text
  • Multi-line Text
  • Drop Down Lists
  • Check Boxes
  • Dates
  • Integer
  • Boolean

All of these fields can have a validation added. And can also be set to be a ‘required’ field, or not. If it is set to ‘required’, then the user will not be able to save & close if the field(s) are blank.

Have fun, be creative and think outside of the box!

Are you having trouble finding the UDF within your Spire? Or would you like some extra help to set it up? Just email the helpdesk at TriTech, and we can help you out!

Grow your Business with Integrated Business Management Software

The rapid pace of growth at many small and mid-sized businesses often leaves no time to consider how various software packages are supposed to work together. New software is added as needed, most of the time from entirely different vendors. Unfortunately, this siloed approach to software setup can lead to a lot of headaches down the road, including higher costs, lost productivity, and less insight into how well a business is actually performing.

The challenges of a siloed software system

The problem is that many small and mid-sized companies naturally revert to a collection of different software packages. They typically start out with basic accounting software, and then decide to add advanced software, such as inventory management or sales management software, on an as-needed approach.

This approach might work in the short-term, but over the longer term, this very inefficient silo architecture (in which the different software packages have a hard time integrating with each other) leads to a number of challenges, including wasted employee productivity, lack of real-time visibility into operating results, and extra costs (both in terms of time and financial resources) due to the need for integration.

Advantages of using an integrated business management software system

Now contrast this approach to that of an integrated business management software system, such as Spire. With an integrated system, you are able to streamline operations because all the various functionality is designed to work together. Instead of buying software on an a-la-carte basis, you are buying one integrated system that works great from the very start. As small and mid-sized firms are finding out, there are two big advantages of using an integrated business management software system.

First and most importantly, an integrated system enables much greater automation of routine business processes, everything from order management and fulfillment, to invoicing and expense approval. Data and information from one business function (such as sales management) can be very easily combined with data and information from another business function (such as inventory control). This makes things much easier for the team in accounting, which doesn’t have to worry about tracking down data across multiple software databases.

Secondly, an integrated software system improves visibility into the real-time operation of your business. In today’s real-time business environment, customers expect to know the current status of an order immediately, and members of the management team often want to put together reports on the fly. If you are using a siloed approach, this is almost impossible. But with an integrated system, you can quickly gain access to any key numbers or data that you need.

Grow your business with TriTech

At the end of the day, opting for an integrated business management software system like Spire is all about preparing your business for the next cycle of growth. Being able to manage business processes more efficiently can lead to lower costs, higher revenue and greater overall profitability.

Contact us today and ask how we can help you grow your business.

Don’t have Lot Control? You may be at Risk

Having greater visibility into your warehouse business operations is no longer a “nice-to-have” in the world of business – it’s now a “must-have.” In fact, not having lot control in your warehouse could be a huge risk, leading to increased costs, lower profitability, and unexpected breakdowns in your supply chain. If your business ever faces an emergency recall situation – such as a food product that has been contaminated and needs to be recalled, you’ll be glad that you have a software-based warehouse management system to find the exact product you need at exactly the right time to avoid any serious consequences.

The core feature of any warehouse management system is lot control. Every piece of inventory that has ever passed through your warehouses comes with a unique tracking ID code that assigns it to a lot. These identifying characteristics can include ingredients or materials in the product, or factors such as color, expiration date or place of origin. The more you know about each lot, the easier it is to track down exactly what you need. If you are currently doing this manually, then you are at a real disadvantage to your competitors who have automated the entire process and can check on the status of lots within minutes.

Another example where automated lot control is an advantage is if, for example, you are working in an industry where product expiration dates matter. The last thing you want is for older items to sit in a warehouse too long. With automated software, you can mitigate this problem, ensuring that older lots make their way into your distribution chain in a timely matter before it’s too late. This will impact your bottom line immediately.

And, finally, there’s the matter of product differentiation. In certain industries, lots are differentiated not by product expiration dates, but by factors like color, shape or size. You want to make sure that you are shipping the right colors (or shade of the right colors) to the right customers. This can prevent you from sending last year’s make or model to a new customer.

In dealing with these hypothetical situations, lot control in the warehouse is key. Lot control will give you greater visibility into your business operations, lower your costs, streamline your operations, and give you the ability to increase throughput in your supply chain. And the most effective path to reach these goals is a software-based warehouse management system with built-in lot control, such as Spire. In both everyday and emergency recall situations, lot control will give you the peace of mind of knowing that any situation in your warehouse can be handled quickly and efficiently.

Protecting your small business from fraud

For many small business owners, fraud has become an increasingly important issue, from both a risk management and legal perspective. By failing to take the right steps to secure your business from both internal and external threats, small business owners could be exposing themselves to both financial and legal risk.

Internal Threats

Although it can be hard to imagine, there are plenty of ways that your own employees can commit fraud without you even realizing it. One of the most popular ways is by padding employee expense reports. A lack of receipts accompanying an expense report could be a red flag that costs have been artificially inflated, with employees pocketing the difference between the real costs and the reported costs. As a result, be sure to put into place a way to monitor employee expense reports.

The same logic applies to vendor invoices. Business fraud experts warn that some employees may collude with vendors to submit falsified invoices in the hopes of splitting any profits from paid invoices. And some employees might take this type of fraud a step further by completely making up a “false vendor” and making sure that any vendor payments go to bank accounts that they control.

It is important to set apart your employee’s duties.  As an example, the person responsible for collecting cash, should not also be responsible for reconciling the receipts.  As a business owner, your accounting software should make it easy for you to spot check your accounting processes.  Spire allows you to do this by running a quick report, or by instantly viewing your entire GL at a glance.

External Threats

With the fastest-growing type of external threat being ransomware, it is important to secure your IT infrastructure. In the classic ransomware attack, an email sent to employees at your business will encourage them to open up an attachment or click on a malicious link. Once the link is opened, malware will get installed on the computer and spread to the network and the company will receive a ransom letter demanding that a payment be made or the data will be deleted forever.

Many of the most common fraud threats can be avoided with these steps:

  1. To prevent phishing attacks, employees should be told to check the source of incoming emails to make sure they are legitimate. That’s because many hackers try to “spoof” the name or identity of a legitimate business in order to get people to open their emails.
  2. Make sure all of your computers are up to date with the latest version of the operating software.
  3. Use reliable antivirus products
  4. Make sure all passwords are at least 15 characters using numbers, upper and lower case letters and symbols.
  5. Clear internet temp files on a regular basis.
  6. If you are connecting through an RDP connection, make sure it is through a gateway.

Despite all precautions, nothing is guaranteed.  It is best to be prepared by having automated backup in place so that you can essentially “reboot” your system from data stored in a third-party location.

If you have been an unfortunate victim of fraud, it needs to be reported.  To find out how, please visit the Canadian Office of Consumer Affairs.  For help in recovering your data, the Tri Tech service department can do their best to assist you.

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