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Keystroke POS Helpful Hints of the Month

Welcome to Helpful Hints for Keystroke POS, a communication service from Specialized Business Solutions (SBS).

Year End Procedures

Like most of our customers, the developer and publisher of Keystroke POS software (SBS) is also a small business, which helps us understand the challenges of making ends meet year after year. With the transition to a new year approaching, we offer the following information and our best wishes for your business to continue in its growth and success. As always, we encourage you to utilize the services available through your local Authorized Keystroke POS Dealer and our Software Maintenance Service plans.

Data Backup

Perhaps the most important task you should perform annually is to review your normal data backup process. This should include reviewing that proper procedures are regularly being followed to create backup copies of your system data, verifying that the hardware and media being used are functioning properly, and making an additional copy of your Keystroke system and data - using a different computer or media than used for your normal routine backups, and storing it separately (off-site) from your other backup copies.

When a hard-drive fails, about the only thing worse than not having a backup copy of your data files is discovering that what you thought was a reliable backup is not readable or is otherwise unusable. Unfortunately, this has happened to all too many Keystroke customers, and while a hardware failure is always a problem, it's much less devastating if a recent and usable data backup is available.

If you do not already have a regular backup procedure in place, now is the time to start.

Inventory Quantities

The Keystroke system maintains inventory on a real-time basis, which enables you to always know exactly how many of each item is in stock. However, there are issues you must periodically address when using a real-time perpetual inventory system.

If you need to know the value of your inventory on a particular date such as the last day of the year, you will need to make a record of the inventory levels on that date. To do this, you can print a totals report (in Report Manager, Inventory menu, Database report), or make a copy of your Keystroke data that you can easily access to run end-of-year reports at a later time.

Also, inventory levels in Keystroke do not reflect unrecorded changes due to theft, damage, spoilage, entry errors, etc. To record these changes, use the Variance function in the Keystroke Database Manager. While New Year's Eve is probably not when you want to count your entire inventory, the Variance function can also be used to quickly take a snap shot of inventory levels on that day.

Accounts Receivable

Accounts Receivable balances in Keystroke are also real-time, just like inventory levels. The easiest way to record your year end Accounts Receivable balances is to print a Receivables report before you start the new year. Making a copy of your Keystroke data that can later be accessed is another way of ensuring you have this information as of the year end.

Reset/Clear Cumulative Data Fields

Similar to Inventory Quantities and Customer Amount Due, there are a few other data fields in Keystroke that are perpetually updated. These include Total Sold, Total Received, and Total Purchased in Inventory; and Total Purchases in the Customer and Contact databases. If you never edit these fields, they represent totals since you first started using the Keystroke system, which can be misleading. While that may be desirable depending on how or whether you use this information, you may wish to periodically reset or clear any or all of these fields in order to define them to represent year to date (YTD) or other limited values.

Keep in mind that you can also run specific reports in Keystroke to determine most of these data values; however, resetting them will provide access to YTD values (for example) that can be used in report filters and viewed immediately on database records. The easiest way to reset any of these values is to use the Search & Replace function on the Find menu in the Database Manager. As the name implies, this is a two part function. Search is used to define whether you want to affect all records or only records which satisfy certain criteria. Replace is where you define how you want the records to be affected, such as to zero or delete the Total Purchased field. You can find more help by pressing [F1] from either the Search or Replace screen.

Warning: If you are careless, the Search & Replace function has the potential to cause significant data loss. This is yet another reason to be sure you have a complete and working data backup system.

Sales Tax Rates

January 1 is often the date when new sales tax rates take effect. In Keystroke, sales tax rates can be set up to automatically change at a prescheduled time, so there is no reason to wait when you receive notifications of pending rate changes.

If you have a sales tax rate that is scheduled to change, go to the Configuration Manager, Tables menu, Tax function. Select the Tax District, and set the End Date of any Formula to the last effective date of that rate. Then press the [Ins] or [F2] key to add a new Tax Formula for the new rate. Use the same Tax Code (and other settings), but set the Start Date to the day the new rate is to become effective. Leave the End Date set far in the future (e.g., 12/31/2030).

Updating Your Keystroke POS Software is Easy

Throughout the year, SBS has made many improvements to Keystroke POS software and its now easier than ever to update. The end of the year, or first thing in the new year, is also a good time to update to the latest version of Keystroke software.

If you're on a version prior to v8.00 or if you're not yet using the integrated and PCI compliant Keystroke Payment Module (aka, KeyPay), we highly recommend you consider updating to the latest version of Keystroke software.

There is no cost to update if you subscribe to a Software Maintenance plan.

If you have questions, please contact your local Authorized Keystroke POS Dealer or call SBS at 800.275.4727 (weekdays 8am - 6pm mountain time).

If your business does not currently subscribe to a Software Maintenance Service plan, you're missing out on our personal assistance and potentially important software updates. At SBS we understand how technology is often underutilized by small businesses, and are eager to provide you with prompt and friendly service at reasonable cost. Click the link above or call to learn more!

Helpful Hints Archive

Variance Helpful Hints

Tax Rate Helpful Hints

To request more information or to share a Helpful Hint, email us at eSupport@KeystrokePOS.com or call 800.275.4727.

Brought to you by Specialized Business Solutions, developer and publisher of Keystroke POS.

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