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: 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 which will allow you to do re-direction of IP for you by just remembering your URL, for example 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

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


  • 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.

  • 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

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 for Asia Hawk Pte Ltd), brandname (eg for MYOB accounting software but company is Asian Business Software Solutions Pte Ltd), or servicename (eg. 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), (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. instead of
  2. TLD extension that tells customer we are dealing in which region (eg which only deals with local market and 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

Monday, July 24, 2017

IT Setup for SMEs of about 5 employees

IT Setup for SMEs of about 5 to 10 employees

Let's discuss on how an SMEs of about 5 to 10 employees leverage on IT technology in their operations. We are talking about either an engineering, trading and services industry who serve other businesses (Business-to-business operations).

We are going to look into 5 key areas:

  1. Internet and IT infrastructure
  2. Email and Web Hosting
  3. Telephone Setup
  4. Software for business operations
    1. Accounting and Sales
    2. HR management
  5. Future possible expansion
We will break these 5 areas into 5 emails for easier discussion as our intention is to Simplify IT for you.

Starting from Internet and IT Infrastructure:

IT infrastructure is a jargon for bigger companies and normally would include a server room, server rack, cable management etc. However for an SMEs, we can consider simple setup with the following requirements:
  • Connectivity: Running category 5e or 6 network cables (easily available and is about $95 to $120 per point) for connectivity. Alternatively, you can consider going for wireless, however, nothing is as stable as cable.
  • Router: Usually provided by Internet Service Provider (Starhub, Singtel, M1 etc) when you sign up with a contractual plan of 24 months.
  • Internet Plan: You can subscribe to a fibre plan typically below $100 for 30Mbps and above. Do compare with Singtel, Starhub and other smaller players (like MyRepublic) for best deals if available, but do not compromise on stability and reliability.
  • Network Switch: You can go for 100 Mbps switch or 1 Gbps switch with either 8-port or 16 Port with POE (Power-Over-Ethernet) to compliment your telephony equipment and wireless Access Point for mobile devices.
  • File Server: You can consider NAS which you will need to learn how to maintain or administer or get SMESUITE which covers the services to administer and maintain it for you.
  • Backup: Buying a NAS with RAID is not equivalent to backup. You need a separate harddisk with similar capacity to backup your NAS. However if you choose to go for SMESUITE, all backup are taken care of.
  • Printer: Multi-function laser printer which acts as laster printer, scanner and fax should be good enough for most us. However, avoid copiers unless there is necessity to do mass printing. Attempt to discourage physical print copy if possible as not only it cost more to print physical paper with expensive ink, but also take up storage. 
Simple example of network setup

* Note: You may subscribe to Dropbox or equivalent of cloud storage (monthly subscription applies).

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

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Moneyworks Professional Payment Voucher

Moneyworks Professional Payment Voucher

You might have seen or received bank's payment voucher with detachable cheque for you to tear out and bank in, while payment voucher is for your filing and reference. Banks do sell them for about S$1 per cheque.

Sample payment voucher with attached cheque
This desired format does have benefits:

  • Automation in cheque printing without having separate cheque writer
  • Professional and error free as all handwriting is eliminated
  • Alignment of address ease you from writing on envelop
  • Faster in processing payment without repeat writing in envelopment, voucher and cheque
However, to buy from bank at $1 per cheque, is not really practical for cost conscious SMEs.

If you are using Moneyworks, we are prepared to share this simple hack. All you need to is get your printing company to cut some slots and with perforated line for tearing as shown in the youtube video:

This method may cost you a fraction of the cost charge by bank and your free cheques (for some corporate bank account) can still be presented in a very professional way!

Want more information? Contact us at:

William Tan
tel: +65 63477000

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Comparing MYOB vs Moneyworks

Compare MYOB vs MoneyWorks

Both MYOB and MoneyWorks belongs to the category of on-premise accounting solution with many similarities for sales, purchasing, operations, inventory and accounting for small businesses.

While MYOB has almost dominated the on-premise accounting software solutions among the SMEs, let us take some time to compare MYOB to MoneyWorks

You may ask why MoneyWorks? Both MYOB and MoneyWorks has great feature similarities in which both run on flat single file without database application (like SQL), and both sells in the price range of around S$1,000 for 1 user (MYOB Premier 1 User sells at S$1,297.20 and MoneyWorks GOLD sells for S$895) and less than S$3,000 for 3 users (MYOB Premier 3 User sells at S$2,119.63 and Moneyworks Datacentre sells for S$2,995). 

However, our comparison here is based on the differences between both MYOB and MoneyWorks, so we will not touch on individual functionality for now.

Here is the table of comparison of difference:

Realtime recording and editing
Post and Reverse Entry
Sharing Method
File and Folder sharing
File sharing through port (Datacentre)
Sharing Technology
Windows Workgroup Sharing
Bonjour technology
Network Type
Wired Networking only, slow on wireless (especially on bigger files)
Wired, wireless and internet capable
Workflow procedures
Workflow procedures
Forms Formatting
Form customizable with fixed data/field insertion
Form customizable with flexible data/field and formula insertion
Reports fixed and cannot be amended or customised
Reports are customizable with built-in report writer
Data Access
3 years report (Last year, this year and next year report)
7 years report and transactions
Transaction Access
Module Access for different transaction
One screen to view all transaction
Creating Transaction
New transaction through module section
All transactions can be selected within one screen
Upgrades Frequency
Upgrade almost every year
Upgrade almost every 3 years
Remote Access
Remote Access via terminal service
Direct connection
Companies Files
5 datafiles and pay extra for additional 5
Unlimited datafiles
Mac OR Windows only (via different version)
Both Window/Mac cross platform

We will not conclude which software is better based on this comparison difference, however, we can do some simple summary for each solution:

You will prefer MYOB because:
  1. Common software, easier to get help via employment or outsource
  2. Fixed software without much customisation and lesser functionality
  3. Suitable for older generation workers so is easier to learn
You will prefer MoneyWorks if:
  1. Need more functions and flexibility
  2. Users both Mac or Windows within the company
  3. Need to access remotely
  4. Needs integration (now or future) to third party applications like e-commerce, warehousing and even POS which allows integration
Want to know more? Do feel free to contact us!

William Tan
tel: +65 63477000

Monday, June 19, 2017

Comparing MYOB Singapore Edition of Accounting and Premier

Many might have forgotten about MYOB Accounting, as over the last few years, we have been selling mostly MYOB Premier in Singapore due to government grants. Most popular reason being since it is supported, most people would want to maximise the grant by buying the highest value solution in the market. Another reason is that MYOB Accounting is not an IRAS compliance accounting solution.

IRAS does not endorse or enforce any company to buy GST compliance software, but it does make GST reporting breeze (just by using the GST F5 return report in MYOB Premier).

However, since all the grants are no longer available for accounting and payroll, can users consider MYOB Accounting edition instead as it is definitely a cheaper edition?

We attempt to simplify this comparison for you to decide if you should consider between MYOB Accounting or MYOB Premier Edition.

Comparison Component
MYOB Accounting v24 Singapore Edition
MYOB Premier v19 Singapore Edition
Price Difference (with GST)
Work collaboration
Single User ONLY
Single or Multi-user (can add-on user license later)
GST Compliance
YES (with IAF and GST Return)
Single/Local ONLY
Inventory (location)
Single location
Multi-warehouse location
(Price Level)
Single selling price
Multi-price level and quantity breaks
Time Billing

The above is a quick comparison for fast decision, and therefore is not a complete comparison for full features. For full comparision, please refer to MYOB official website.

To all you to decide which version, just ask youself these 4 questions:
  1. Do you have multi-location warehouse?
  2. Do you deal with foreign currency?
  3. Do you bill customer based on time spent?
  4. Do you have more than one user accessing MYOB?
If your answer to the all above 4 questions is "NO", you may just buy MYOB Accounting. The table gives you a more comprehensive comparison if you want to cover more ground checks to be sure.

Still in doubt? Contact us for further clarifications.

William Tan
Tel: 6347 7000