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The Peachtree Insider | JANUARY 2010

An Inside Look at Peachtree and Your Business

InsIde ThIs Issue

Feature Article: The "Goodbye 2009 & Hello 2010" Peachtree Guide Everyone's talking about "moving on" in 2010. Let us help you do just that with tips for closing out your 2009 accounting tasks and getting more from Peachtree in 2010. Page 2

Peachtree Tweet of the Month

The most popular @PeachtreebySage Twitter post of the past month: helping small biz in ATL hit by recent floods, free copies of Peachtree Accounting

10:45 AM Nov 17th

The Employer Corner ­ brought to you by HR411.com Your 2010 Employee Handbook Action Plan If creating or revising your employee handbook is not on your to-do list this year, it should be. And here are 12 tips for doing it right.

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Follow us to get daily tips and news about Peachtree, small business resources, and social media information.

The One Thing Search engine optimization is a science and a multi-billion dollar industry, but we have some suggestions for how you can start simple.

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Top Online Community Discussions

The most viewed discussions on the Peachtree Online Community over the past month:

1. "Peachtree is unable to connect to its database" message

Tip of the Month: Creating Archive Companies As part of your year-end procedures, purge unneeded data from your Peachtree company to make it faster and easier to work with.

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2. Peachtree 2010 for Mac OSX 3. Peachtree 2010 compatibility with Windows 7 4. "Printer not activated error code 30" message 5. Cannot open company

How To Purge Data From Your Peachtree Company We explain this month how to purge data for a leaner, cleaner Peachtree company. But what if you need the option of reporting on those detailed records? An Archive Company can help.

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The Peachtree Insider

feATURe ARTICLe: The "Goodbye 2009 & hello 2010" Peachtree Guide

The calendar may say 2010, but if you are like many financial managers, most of the items on your "to-do" list still belong to 2009. Who has time to even think about 2010 yet?!? We've assembled a list of reminders below to help you breeze through the final tasks of closing out 2009. And while you're focused on each area, we've identified a few new ideas you might consider implementing in 2010 that will help you be even more productive, using tools already available in Peachtree. Managing Employees & Payroll Goodbye, 2009! In case you missed it, the December edition of the Peachtree Insider had a helpful checklist for Payroll Year-End tasks. It's also time to update your payroll taxes and benefit information for the new year, using the update wizard. There is a video tutorial available, along with many other helpful tips in the Year-End Center.

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Q: During the Peachtree install, why does it tell me to turn off my anti-virus software but turn on my firewall? A: A major function of anti-virus software is to scan files on your

computer to look for known or suspected viruses based on specific signatures or patterns within the files. While these programs may certainly help protect your system from malicious attacks, they can also negatively affect its performance. To reduce the time needed to install Peachtree, we recommend turning off other programs including antivirus software until the installation is complete. A firewall is different from anti-virus software in that it typically monitors activity across a network, to or from the Internet. You can specify which files to allow or block access across your network. When you install Peachtree with your firewall on (and with firewall alerts enabled), you will be prompted to "allow" Peachtree files the access they need to run properly on your system. For more information about Peachtree and firewalls, including a list of Peachtree files that should be allowed access, please see our firewall page on Peachtree.com.

Hello, 2010! · Review all information for each employee to make sure it's current. Peachtree 2010 also allows you track additional information such as hiring data, emergency contacts and performance reviews. Set up alerts to remind you when it's time for each employee's review. · Set up Direct Deposit. Not only will it save you time and money, but it's so much more convenient for your employees. · Or, consider outsourcing your Payroll. Let Peachtree Managed Payroll service keep up with all the changes to tax laws and handle the time-consuming tasks of filing tax forms or 401k reporting.

Managing the Books Goodbye, 2009! Just follow these 7 steps in the Financial Year-End Checklist. If you run into any questions, we're here to help with extended support hours through January 17th.

Q: I've purchased one of the Peachtree Payroll solutions. How can I get the latest tax update? A: Once you've registered the payroll solution in Peachtree, you can see

if an update is available by going to the Services menu and selecting Check for Updates. On the Peachtree Online Update window, click "Check Now."

When a new update is available, you'll see it listed in a window like the one below.

Hello, 2010! · Sign up for the Peachtree Business Analytics service in Peachtree 2010 to find out how your business compares with others in your industry. You'll be able to see what areas you can focus on improving and help set goals for 2010. · Watch a quick video that shows you how to use the Cash Flow Manager found in Peachtree 2009 and 2010. Not only can you track the money you expect to come in and go out, but you can also create forecast scenarios and export them to Microsoft Excel, allowing you to better track how your business might perform down the road.

Managing Business Processes and Data Goodbye, 2009! Back up your company and purge all the old data out of Peachtree that you don't need anymore.

Hello, 2010! · Take a few minutes to think about one process in your business that always presents a challenge and set up the workflow statuses in Peachtree Quantum to track that process. If you aren't sure how to get started, contact Support or your local Peachtree Certified Consultant to help get you started. · Schedule your Peachtree backups to run automatically every day. Not only will it save you time, but you will have peace of mind that your data can be recovered in case of a hardware failure. Comment on this article

Click "Download" to get the update onto your computer. When you close Peachtree, an install wizard will appear and guide you through the tax update installation. At the end of the install, you'll be given the option to view information about the update. This Peachtree Tax Bulletin will list the changes included in the update. To register the payroll solution or verify your registration, follow the steps listed on the Install and Register Tax section of the Year End Center. For access to other top-requested Peachtree Knowledge Center articles, take a look at the Most Requested Support Articles page of our Year End Center.

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The Peachtree Insider

The eMPLOYeR CORNeR ­ BROUghT TO YOU BY hR411.COM Your 2010 employee handbook Action Plan

Without standardized policies or procedures, employees may not know what is and what is not considered acceptable conduct, managers may be unable to consistently administer company rules, and your staff may misinterpret the terms and conditions of their employment with the company. If an employee handbook is on your 2010 to-do list, follow this employee handbook action plan to ensure your business is appropriately protected this year: With your recordkeeping obligations in mind, we have compiled a list of 8 "golden rules" for maintaining employee records to help simplify your recordkeeping process and protect your business:

1. Assemble a team that will be involved in creating your employee handbook. Why: Although you'll probably want to assign someone at the management level as being chiefly responsible, including one or more individuals in the handbook creation process can help to contribute additional perspectives and viewpoints. This way, you'll be more likely to cover all your bases and have everyone on the same page, preventing costly re-writes down the road. Time to complete: One day 2. Set a target completion date and add "mini-goals" along the way Why: Doing so will help you stay on track. When setting a date, think realistically, adding some additional days to your timeline to account for unforeseen hiccups or other potential delays. Time to complete: Two days 3. Analyze your company to ensure that your handbook will appropriately reflect your business. Why: Drafting a handbook without direction is a surefire recipe for a handbook that will need to be rewritten. Spend time beforehand investigating your history and culture as well as the policies and practices that are most valued by the company. Time to complete: Two weeks 4.Review the law at the federal level as well as the state level. Why: Researching the labor laws that are applicable to your business will help you meet your state and federal compliance requirements and guard against liability. Time to complete: Two weeks 5. Protect the company with policies designed specifically to guard employers against liability. Why: You'll protect your business from unnecessary risk by including some of the "essentials." For instance, at-will policies are necessary for warding against breach of contract claims, and immigration law policies are critical for conveying the company's compliance with employment verification procedures. In addition, policies on non-disclosure and confidentiality are recommended for protecting company assets, trade secrets, and client information. Time to complete: Two weeks 6. Describe your benefits and let the handbook answer routine employee questions. Why: Your company benefits program is a valuable attraction and retention tool. Benefits-related policies will also help to save you valuable time, since employees will have a resource to go to before asking you basic questions about time off, health insurance, and the like. Time to complete: One week 7. Clearly communicate your expectations with regards to employee behavior. Why: When your employees know what's expected of them from the beginning, it eliminates confusion and negates the "I didn't know" excuse when it comes to disciplinary situations. Include policies relating to issues like attendance and punctuality, substance abuse, the use of company property, personal appearance, and workplace violence. Time to complete: One week 8. Publicize an at-will disclaimer to avoid "promises" of employment. Why: At-will disclaimers make it clear that nothing within the handbook is to be construed as a contract or promise of employment. The disclaimer should be prominently featured in the handbook and written in large boldface type. Time to complete: Four days 9. Review your word choice to avoid misinterpretations. Why: Proper word choice is crucial for ensuring your handbook isn't misinterpreted. Be sure your word choice is effective, your language is clear, and that the company is protected. Time to complete: Three days 10. Obtain employee acknowledgment to ensure accountability. Why: Acknowledgments hold your employees accountable for the policies included within the handbook by confirming employees have read, understand, and are prepared to comply with its contents. Once signed, keep acknowledgment forms in employee personnel files. Time to complete: Ongoing ­ once initially then as new employees join your company or updates are made to your handbook. 11. Update it regularly to ensure consistency with current company practices and compliance with changing labor laws. Why: Employee handbooks that are out-of-date and no longer consistent with company practices are useless--and may even leave the company susceptible to liability. Regularly updating your handbook will help to ensure that it remains compliant with applicable laws and that it is still meeting your needs. It's recommended that employers review their handbook at least every 12-18 months. Time to complete: Ongoing 12. Apply your policies consistently to demonstrate fairness. Why: Consistently-applied policies help deter claims of discrimination. It's important to train your managers to consistently respond to situations and to always follow company policy. Meet with company supervisors and educate them on the policies included within the handbook, the purpose behind each policy, and how the policies are to be enforced. Time to complete: Ongoing incredible savings! You know a formally published or updated employee handbook will protect your company and save you valuable time by answering many routine employee questions. With a plan of attack, it's easy to create an employee handbook that will serve your company in 2010 and beyond. Go Green and Save Green! 50% off Employee Handbook Wizard Happy New Year! Supercharge your 2010 Employee Handbook Action Plan with HR411's automated Employee Handbook WizardTM. Includes all the policies you need to protect your business -- plus, eliminate paper waste and save trees by quickly and easily managing, editing and providing electronic copies to your employees. Act now and save $200 instantly -only $199.95 for a limited time! Click here to order! Expires February 28, 2010 Get more information at www.employeehandbookwizard.com

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The Peachtree Insider

The ONe ThINg...

This month's One Thing: Get Listed ­ for Free! Now that you're online, how can you generate traffic to your Web site? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important, but it's time-consuming and you'll need a little help from your Web developer ­ topics for another month. Right now, just make sure you're listed on these sites ­ they're free and it's easy.

hOw TO: Purge data From Your Peachtree Company

The start of a new year is one of the best times to purge data from your Peachtree company. More specifically, the best time to purge is after you close the fiscal and/or payroll tax year. This is a healthy practice that reduces the size of files that make up your Peachtree company, and generally makes it easier to work with. The Purge Wizard will guide you through the purge process, letting you decide the type and age of records to be purged. During the Purge wizard, you will be required to make a backup before you begin purging. In fact, Peachtree recommends that you make two backups, one for current reference and one to be stored in a secure location for emergency needs. To begin the purge process, select Tasks from the Peachtree menu bar, then System > Purge Wizard. The Purge Wizard Welcome Screen will display and you will be guided through each step of the process. Note: The purge process gives you the ability to stop the purge at any time and to resume at the same point when time permits. However, if the process is stopped, some remaining transactions or maintenance records may not have been purged. When the purge process has been completed, you can click the Log button to verify what was purged. Comment on this article

· Google Maps. People use Google Maps to find Peachtree Product & Marketing Manager businesses and other places of interest, as well as to get driving directions. Make sure your business is listed accurately. You can attach coupons, photos and videos, and Google helps you learn where users are coming from and how they're searching for you. · Yelp. With features similar to Google Maps, Yelp organizes businesses by major city, then by category, neighborhood and surrounding town. Customers can write reviews and post ratings. The Business Owners Guide will show you how to get listed, give you tips on responding to reviews and help you track visitors to your page. · Bing Local Listing Center. Here's another free way to get your business in front of more potential customers. Bing is newer than the other two major search engines (Yahoo! and Google), but is growing thanks to the power of Microsoft. It has most of the same features as the other local listings, including customer reviews and rankings. · Yahoo! Local. Yahoo has three plans for businesses to get listed, but they're not all free. Business Basic is the place to start. It's free and offers you some flexibility. For example, you can choose up to five categories for your listing. There could be other online directories in your area, but these will give you a good start. Encourage your customers to post a review, even offering them a discount on their next product or service when they do. Set a reminder to check your listings every so often for accuracy, and monitor those customer reviews. A negative rating provides insight into how to make improvements and gives you a chance to turn around an unhappy customer. Comment on this article

by Shari Willman,

TIP Of The MONTh: Creating Archive Companies

As part of the purging process that often occurs around this time of year you make a backup in case you later need to access detailed records. Of course this presents some challenges. Backups take several steps to restore and you have to be careful where you place them on your network. Also, you can mistakenly modify data in a restored backup or make new entries that should be made in your live company file. Peachtree Premium Accounting and Peachtree Quantum offer an option that simplifies this process and eliminates the potential for mistakes: Archive Company. This function allows you to easily access and review data in an archived company by selecting File > Open Archived Company. The archive allows you to run reports, see detailed transactions, and get Financial Statements all based on the data as it was when you made the archive. What's more, you won't have to worry about erroneously modifying archive company data because archives can't be edited. To create an archive, select File > Archive Company or use the Archive option in the Year End Wizard. Comment on this article

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