Get ready. QuickBooks 2017 comes out this week

One of the more frequent questions we get is “should I upgrade my QuickBooks software?” The quick answer is a resounding yes. But so many do not upgrade until the very last and costly moment. The bottom line when it comes to upgrading any software; how far from the lifeguard do you wish to swim?   While we acknowledge the cost considerations of a software upgrade both in cash, learning curve and potential work flow disruption, the real money is lost not upgrading. The adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” comes to mind. When an old, out-of-date software fails, repair is usually more costly in comparison to its more recent version release. Many, if not most, failures can be prevented or at least more readily mitigated on the latest version of QuickBooks. As a matter of fact, the latest version of QuickBooks 2017 has many new features that help prevent mishaps. Plus, the workflow has  once again been improved quite nicely.   The basic considerations when upgrading QuickBooks to the latest version are the cost benefit of any new features along with any cost of failure staying on the old version. New features, such as the new automated report scheduling in version 2017, can be a compelling enough reason in and of itself. But for that take an “if it works don’t fix it” approach, here are 6 questions to ask yourself. The answers in red are for our QuickBooks here at Computrs, Inc.:  
  • How critical to daily operations is your QuickBooks software? VERY
  • What is the work flow impact if this application ceased to function? LOSS of REVENUE
  • Is there a fallback “manual” solution? NO
  • What will daily life be like if the application ceases to function? NEAR IMPOSSIBLE TO FUNCTION
  • Does the application feed other applications or processes? YES
  • Will the loss of use weaken other aspects of your business work flow? YES
  QuickBooks 2017 will be released this week. Let us take a look at the support timeline for the last four versions:  
  • All QuickBooks 2013: Discontinuation as of May 31, 2016 – No Support from Intuit
  • All QuickBooks 2014: Sunset as of June 1, 2016 – Support from Intuit until May 31, 2017
  • All QuickBooks 2015: Fully supported by Intuit
  • All QuickBooks 2016: Fully supported by Intuit
  Basically any version with an inception year older than 3 years ago is considered in discontinuation.   An upgrade of QuickBooks is required at least once every three (3) years if your business is connected to any QuickBooks add-on services such as QuickBooks payroll service, merchant services/credit card processing, online banking, bill pay and others.   Since QuickBooks 2017 Windows versions are to be released this week, we very much recommend our customers get ready to upgrade their QuickBooks to version 2017. Here’s a quick summary of the improvement highlights in all Windows versions of QuickBooks 2017 (Pro, Premier, Accountant, and Enterprise):
  • Scheduled Reports: The ability to automate sending reports via email at scheduled times.
  • Search Improvements: Locating the information that you need, quickly and efficiently, can be important if you have a large amount of information to work with in your QuickBooks file. A number of search and filter improvements have been implemented that may help you with this task.
  • Report Customization Improvements: You can now view and print information about what filters have been included in the report, as well as make multiple-record filter selections more easily.
  • Security Improvements:Intuit has changed what components are used by the program to improve security, as well as some other security-related issues.
  • Miscellaneous Improvements: There are a number of smaller improvements, some of which can be significant depending on your situation.
    • The Record Depositsicon shows the number of deposits that are available.
    • Cleared flag shows on cleared credit card charges.
    • If a User is deleted, the deleted user’s name will still show on the audit trail.
    • Your Company name will print on the deposit summary.
    • You can copy/paste detail lines on weekly timesheets.
    • There are improved notifications when you switch from multi-user mode to single user mode.
    • More features can be used in multi-user mode.
    • Support for high resolution monitors.
  • QuickBooks Enterprise Quality Improvements. There are a number of miscellaneous improvements limited to QuickBooks Enterprise.
  We hope you find this information useful. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions on this topic.   We look forward to being of service for all your Business Solution needs.   Bill Paschick VP Financial Systems Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Google email down for the count – 9-14-16

The US and UK experienced the loss of email from Google for a few hours today. Gmail down: Social media users freak out over service outage — RT Viral
Gmail down: Social media users freak out over service outage — RT Viral
Google say it’s investigating the outage reports and it appears the problem is affecting only Google for Work Gmail users, a subscription based service. Independent website Downdetector, which monitors service outages has received a flurry of reports, over the email service and its associated apps not working. The majority of problems reported are in relation to logging into email accounts and accessing messages, according to the site.
Google Apps has posted a suggested workaround to the issue - recommending users “Disable Gmail Service in Admin Console UI, save the changes, enable it , save the changes.” The issues have primarily hit users in the UK and US, sparking a furor on social media.

Windows updates for September 2016

September 2016 Patch Tuesday: Browser security takes center stage
The September 2016 Patch Tuesday release from Microsoft includes 14 total bulletins, seven of which were rated critical, but six of those bulletins all highlight issues of browser security in various forms. September 2016 Patch Tuesday: Browser security takes center stage
For September's Patch Tuesday release, experts said MS16-104 and MS16-105 are standard bulletins for Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Edge browsers, respectively, and should be prioritized because they include patches for remote code execution (RCE) vulnerabilities. But these bulletins do not stand alone because the web browser is a popular attack vector. Amol Sarwate, director of Vulnerability Labs at Qualys, Inc., noted that MS16-106, for the Microsoft Graphics Component, MS16-109, for Silverlight, and MS16-116, for the VBScript Scripting Engine, each remediate critical RCE flaws that can be exploited by coercing a victim to visit a malicious website. Additionally, MS16-117 contains critical fixes for Adobe Flash libraries contained in Internet Explorer 10 and 11 and Microsoft Edge. Lane Thames, security research and software development engineer at Tripwire, said enterprises should note MS16-116. "The catch here is that the vulnerability, identified by CVE-2016-3375, is not fully resolved until the Internet Explorer security updates in MS16-104 are applied."

Windows 7 updates not working – The fix is in

Many clients have reported issues with Windows 7 not completing the updates. Several Windows 7 users have reported that when they try to check for new updates using Windows Update, it keeps checking for updates for hours. The progress bar keeps showing progress animation which makes you think that Windows Update is doing something but even after waiting for hours, nothing happens. Windows Update just gets stuck at "Checking for updates" screen and Windows 7 doesn't download and install any update.
Windows_7_Checking_For_Updates_Problem.png It also affects overall system performance and if you check Task Manager, the Svchost.exe process occupies high CPU resources and memory usage. Most of the times this issue occurs after a fresh/clean installation of Windows 7. Many users have reported that they even waited for more than 24 hours but Windows Update just stuck at "Checking for updates" status and they couldn't install any update in their computers.
PROBLEM REASON:
The reason behind this irritating problem is a little bit funny! Actually Microsoft has released a few updates for the Windows Update client program. These updates upgrade the client program version and improve its functionality. It seems Microsoft has changed the way Windows Update client downloads and installs updates from Microsoft servers and only the new updated client is able to download updates from the servers, that's why the older versions of Windows Update client are unable to download updates from Microsoft servers. If the new updates which upgrade Windows Update client version, are not installed in a Windows 7 machine, it starts giving this annoying issue and the Windows Update program hangs at "Checking for updates" screen and never downloads updates from Microsoft servers.
PROBLEM SOLUTIONS:
There are a few working solutions to fix this problem. We are providing all these solutions below. You can follow these solutions one by one until your problem gets resolved:
SOLUTION 1: Install Required Updates for Windows Update Client Manually
This is the best and easiest solution to fix this problem! You just need to install the required updates manually which upgrade the Windows Update client program and once you install these updates, Windows Update will be able to download and install updates from Microsoft servers without any problem. Thanks to our readers David, Bill, TrollBytes and Steve for sharing the required updates list and providing their valuable inputs. You need to download and install following updates manually: These updates will upgrade the Windows Update client and will make some improvements to the client program. These updates are available for both 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) editions of Windows 7 operating system. You can know which edition of Windows 7 are you using with the help of System Properties window in Control Panel. UPDATE: Our reader "Dan" reported that you might also need to install following 2 updates to solve this issue: For your convenience, we are providing direct download links of these updates. You can download the updates quickly and easily from following links: