Wednesday, October 11, 2017

PIC Ending Soon - Do you have plans to spend IT wisely?

PIC Expiring YA2018

Do you know PIC is expiring YA2018? With reference to IRAS website on PIC expiry, what does this means?

YA 2018 means your accounting period year financial year (FY) ending 2017. For those whose FY 2017 has closed, means your PIC has already ended. Only those whose year end falls in November or December 2017 is still eligible. For those company FY 2017 has ended, please remember to claim your PIC for the last time. Means all PIC eligible expenses, you may claim 40% cash rebate (or 60% if eligible expenses was incurred before 1 August 2016) from IRAS or tax deduction of 400%. Again, please refer to IRAS website on this.

A reminder for those who wants to claim cash reimbursement from IRAS, you need to have at least 3 local staff with CPF contribution (shareholders are not included). For tax deduction, please refer to your tax agent for assistance.

Since this is the last round, for the benefit of those who are still eligible to spend PIC eligible expenses, here are quick guidelines:

  1. Spend wisely on solutions you need
  2. Avoid cash rebate or "special deals" arrangements with your vendors
  3. Avoid last minute purchase to prevent delivery delays
  4. Do not try to be creative with things, spend on what you need
Please refer to 6 categories of expenses you can consider in IRAS website. 

Meanwhile the most common category applicable to all companies are:
Acquisition and Leasing of PIC IT and Automation Equipment is common among SMEs especially we will use this to acquire our machines, PCs and laptop for operation uses. Please replace your equipment if they are old, out of warranty or getting cranky. Else the maintenance plus future replacement will be at full cost. Another possible option is to source for software solutions that can automate or speed up your work processes or operations. 

Training of Employees
Do send treasured human capital for some useful training so that they can be a more future proof workforce for you. Note that training for both local or foreign employees are eligible for PIC which most training grant does not cover foreign employees.

Here are some quick items to consider:
  1. PC, laptops, printers, servers and other IT hardware equipment 
  2. Machines that help automate your production or processes
  3. Software solutions including accounting software, HR software, CRM, E-commcerce, Point-of-sales and ERP solutions
  4. Telephony system for office (they must be IP PBX systems, not traditional PABX)
Hope this article helps you decide how you can spend wisely to upgrade your organisation as a whole.

Call us for more information.

William Tan

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

IT Setup for SMEs of about 5 employees (Part 4-2)

IT Setup for SMEs - HR Management System

While company of 5 employees are simple to managed. Most SMEs of this size start without any system. They will use manually file employees CV in random places (drawers or cabinets), keep salary records in computer as excel files, most time do not even have place to record leave of absence. 

What is the implications to employees:

  1. Fear of miscalculation of their leave or pay as bosses process records manually
  2. Uncertain of their entitlement and pass usage
  3. HR records accidentally view by co-workers
  4. Uncertain of approval of leave due to availability and fairness due to favouritism
  5. Uncertain if pay calculation is not to their advantage
How about implications to employers:
  1. Wrong calculation of pay causes employees to lodge complain directly to authorities
  2. Abuse of leave system without knowing due to not keeping proper records
  3. Lack of confidentiality can cause employees morale if they happen to chance upon other's salary and/or biodata
So what kind of system should we have?
  • SMESUITE - Covers eHR, eLeave, ePayroll and eClaims which is what is simple business would need. Employees has full control over leave usage and knowledge of proper record, proper payroll system that comply with authorities, secure HR records, simple claims process
  • Payroll Oncloud -  Covers just payroll and leave process, allows employers to even outsource the payroll process and leave management to external dedicated team take care of non-core business activities from management at a very affordable rate.
Here are the 4 main core modules of HR System:
  • HR - Manages employees bio-data within the portal or system
  • Payroll - Process pay according to authorities (MOM, CPF and IRAS for Singapore context)
  • Leave - Manages leave approval processes and historical records
  • Claims - Process expenses claim for employees

HR Management System can be simple and affordable.

Call us for more information.

William Tan

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Convert your On-Premise MYOB Premier into OnCloud

How to access MYOB Premier remotely

How do we turn our MYOB Premier software with 3 user into cloud platform so that you can access even when you are out of office, anywhere, anytime?

Let me assume you currently share MYOB from one of your computer via folder sharing service with 2 other users in your same network. In order to share out to internet, you can either use one of the least utilised PC or QNAP NAS

Why QNAP NAS? QNAP NAS has a virtualisation function whereby you can install Microsoft OS into the NAS and access the NAS like a computer via remote desktop connection. After setting up the NAS, you should purchase Microsoft Windows 10 Professional (recommended) and preferably with additional RAM. You can then purchase terminal service software with 3 user license from us, we will set up the rest for you. Next subscribe to dynamic DNS service from dyndns.org which will allow you to do re-direction of IP for you by just remembering your URL, for example yourcompany.dyndns.org. This would cost you about USD60/yr but would at least save you SGD100 yearly (but having static IP broadband connection). Once you have that settled, you will have to configure the dynamic DNS on either your NAS or router, and have to do port forwarding configuration on your router.

With this setup, you can access to your office via internet using remote desktop connection client on laptop, PC or mobile devices from home or anyway, and anytime as below:

Remote Desktop Application

Remote screen with MYOB in background
IT solution can be simple and affordable.

Call us for more information.

William Tan

Monday, August 28, 2017

IT Setup for SMEs of about 5 employees (Part 4-1)

IT Setup for SMEs (Selecting Accounting and Sales Solutions)


We are active advocate of accounting solutions (including MYOB, Moneyworks and Xero) as most of the time we want control over our business. And the most important control is in the area of finance. However, many businesses believe that their focus is in sales, and finance should be left to accountants who will be engaged for year end for statutory tax reporting purposes. This also means most SME bosses will know real results of their business at the end of the year. What then can you do if you find your results are bad at the end of the year?


Fortunately the new era accounting solutions has evolved into simple operations software. Instead of you keying in MS Excel or MS Word to generate your invoice or purchase orders, you are using accounting software to enter those as it will help you remember customer and supplier details and simplify your administrative task. 

What are the selection criteria when you look for a business solution that solves your accounting and sales problems? Some of the important considerations when choosing such solutions include:


  1. Easy of use - try out to see if you understand by just clicking around
  2. Specific needs - inventory with multi-warehouse, multi-currency trading, serial number tracking, project costing and departmental costing etc
  3. On-premise or On-cloud - choose to pay once or subscribe monthly
  4. Future extension - allow integration with other solutions
We do have articles written for you with regards to On-premise or On-cloud and also comparison between MYOB and Moneyworks which will help you understand the differences.

Below are top 5 simple reasons we have gathered from our customers on why they are looking for accounting solutions:
  1. We want to know at any point of time (not just year-end or month-end) our cash and performance position to make important and on-going strategic business decisions
  2. We want to track our projects to know if each project is profitable
  3. We need to track our profit and loss every month so that we will not be late to be notified
  4. Our business has grown and is hard to track via Excel formulas
  5. Our existing accounting software cannot track batch or serial number, but is statutory requirements in our trade (common among pharmaceutical and mobile phone trade)
We should start planning to reinvest and/or re-align our business with relevant software solutions that will bring us to the next level in this digital age.

We hope this helps simplify your thoughts on considering accounting and sales solutions.

For further clarifications and assistance, please feel free to contact us now.


William Tan

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Moneyworks Hack - Landing Cost Calculation


Many will want to know our product's real cost to calculate the product profit margin accurately. For that to happen, you will need to include landing cost, however we know it is quite troublesome to spread our freight cost to each item's pricing.

We may need to calculate every item cost as a fraction to the total and spread the freight cost to the purchase price. This is massive exercise and tedious, and we secretly hope the accounting software we are using can automate this function.

We are fascinated by MoneyWorks scripting capability and that helps us with this special mundane task.

Here is the video I have created so that you can see how easy it can be automated:


This video is based on MoneyWorks GOLD feature.

Should you have any questions, do feel free to comment or contact us for further clarifications.

We definitely hope this article simplify and speed up some of your work.


William Tan
Advanced Micro Control Pte Ltd
Tel: +65 6347 7000
email: sales@amc.com.sg

Monday, August 7, 2017

IT Setup for SMEs of about 5 employees (Part 3)

IT Setup for SMEs of about 5 employees (Business Phone System)

Telephone has been and will remain important communication tools among businesses. So naturally, we have to start looking at phone system setup.

We shall look at 3 options for phone systems to consider:

Option 1: Traditional PABX (or key phone systems)

Most common brands used in Singapore should be Panasonic or NEC.

Pros: Reliable and should last many years

Cons:

  • Limited to system configuration eg Panasonic KXTA824 basic system is limited to 3 incoming/outgoing physical line and 8 extension, but purchase option to scale up
  • Limited to physical location for your extension
  • Limited features like interactive voice response, voice mail and phone recording is not available
  • Have to purchase proprietary phone, and require experience engineer to program
  • Have to run physical phone cabling
Option 2: IP PBX (VoIP Systems)



Getting popular as technology and internet bandwidth advances. SMEs can consider Grandstream for a low end start.

Pros:
  • Expandable up to 30 extension without add-on
  • Can self manage to configure without engineer
  • Not limited to physical location (can bring hone the phones)
  • More features including voice mail, phone recording and interactive voice response
  • Can purchase any brand of SIP phone or use software application like x-lite or gwave
  • Can use a single network cable for both phone and PC/laptop
Cons: Not as reliable, if internet or network is down, all phone will be down

Option 3: Hosted IP PBX (bizphone)

Option 3 will have the same pros and cons as option 2 except you do not need to invest in PBX. Just purchase SIP phone or use software to run your phone by subscribing to a reliable provider will do.


Compare phone solutions
Above table is a quick summary, but not comprehensive enough to cover all brands and solutions. However, it should be generic enough for a quick glance of the 3 solutions highlighted.

Should you have any questions, do feel free to comment or contact us for further clarifications.

We definitely hope this article helps simplify the understanding for SMEs to make sound choices.


William Tan
Advanced Micro Control Pte Ltd
Tel: +65 6347 7000
email: sales@amc.com.sg


Friday, August 4, 2017

IT Setup for SMEs of about 5 employees (Part 2)

IT Setup for SMEs of about 5 employees (Email & Web Hosting)

Email and Web hosting is the next essential thing to work on when you start up a business. Web and email hosting becomes essential because all corporate image starts from a nice website and easily remembered domain. Gone are the days of yellow pages advertising and greenbook advertising whereby most customers will flip directories to search for your service or products.

Domain selection determines how your customer look at you and therefore how your position your company is important. Names can be the services, brand or company. 

Domain name has 2 parts: 
  • Part 1: Name: You can name your domain by companyname (eg asiahawk.com for Asia Hawk Pte Ltd), brandname (eg myob.com.sg for MYOB accounting software but company is Asian Business Software Solutions Pte Ltd), or servicename (eg. bookkeeper.asia for Bookkeepers-On-Wheels LLP). 
  • Part 2: TLD: Top level domain which is after the name represents your market or industry. Most commonly used is .com (International market), .net (internet businesses), .com.sg (Singapore businesses), .sg (also Singapore businesses), .asia (Asia market). 
So you will need to select based on 2 simple conditions:
  1. Easy to remember and communicate to your customer (eg. amc.com.sg instead of advancedmicrocontrol.com.sg)
  2. TLD extension that tells customer we are dealing in which region (eg amc.sg which only deals with local market and bookkeepers.asia which handles Asia market)
Hosting of email and website is the next thing you have to consider carefully. Hosting can be very affordable on international or US service provider as the have the economy of scale to provide a very low cost service. Looking at Bluehost pricing, you will not know how to compare to Simplehost pricing which is much more expensive. However, it is important to know that Simplehost has a local number which you can call in the event of emergency compared to calling US number which you would likely avoid due to operation hours and IDD charges. Do note that both would have some differences especially coming from the point of storage and quality of hosting.

With affordable hosting, some of you might need local service provider to assist you as these hosting service may not provide you with on-site services or getting it done for you. Services to setup email accounts and configuring on your laptop, PC or mobile devices would be available by service company like ours (Advanced Micro Control Pte Ltd), however web design may need to look for web design company to assist you.

Please feel free to contact us for assistance or clarifications.


We seek to help making IT simple for SMEs.

William Tan
Advanced Micro Control Pte Ltd
Tel: +65 6347 7000
email: sales@amc.com.sg