Thursday, December 7, 2017

Ransomware is REAL, are you prepared?

How prepared are you for RANSOMEWARE?

I may have spoken to many of you, and also written articles to explain about Ransomeware, but we still receive many emergency disaster recovery request. Especially those who did not adopt our SMESUITE solutions. Those on SMESUITE server, I can leave you out of this message as you are quite well protected. We have not got into any trouble, because we have got you protected all these while.

Refer to business times article dated 1st Aug 2017, 

A third of Singapore SMEs hit by ransomware last year


Survey publish on The Business Time
This email is to remind you to prepare yourself or your company to guard against ransomware attack.

Refer to my 2015 blog: http://amcgroupsg.blogspot.sg/2015/09/backup-your-myob-data-against-ransomware.html for more information. Old blog, but concept still valid.

For a quick summary, here is what I would suggest:
1. Educate everyone in the office not to open emails which are suspicious
2. Plan back-up strategy: main working copy > local backup > remote copy
3. Use proper file sharing devices (if you are not on SMESUITE), try to get NAS (we recommend QNAP as they do have strategy for protecting your data against Ransomware.

For more information on backup devices and strategy, please feel free to contact us at 63477000.

Hope this article helps you to be more prepared.

William Tan


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Recent hot buys from SMEs to clear PIC budget

Recent Hot Purchases by SMEs

This is the first time we blog about hardware purchase as this is really the best time for some who are clearing their budget before PIC ends. It applies to those whose year end coincide with calendar year end as PIC ends YA2018 or FY2017.

From IRAS website:
The PIC scheme will expire after YA 2018. Businesses who wish to elect for cash payout option on qualifying expenditure must incur the expenditure by the last day of their basis period for YA 2018.

Here are the hot buys from our sales desk:

HP Prodesk 400 Desktop PC
This obviously is the basic office machine which SMEs would buy to replace their existing machine. This corporate machine is usually stable and would hold a 3 yrs on-site warranty. Coupled with HP's reputation on their service and reliability on corporate series machine, this has no doubt been a hot seller for us this season.

Grandstream IP PBX

Grandstream IP Phone GXP1625
This is the new generation of PABX or key phone system which replaces our old series of Panasonic key phone systems coupled with new SIP phone accounts that saves up some telco subscription.

For more information about these hot sellers, please feel free to contact us at 63477000.

Hope this simple trend buying helps you in your infrastructure spending.

William Tan

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