What to know about the Windows 10 update

Submitted by Will on December 17, 2015

Windows 10 is the latest version of Windows and there is a lot to like about it.  They have reintroduced a lot of functions back into the start menu, have made the operation system more secure, and introduced a new web browser to replace Internet Explorer.  The purpose of this article is not to extol the virtues of Windows 10, but to make you aware of Microsoft’s upgrade strategy. 

Windows 10 is a free upgrade to most every computer running Windows 7, 8 or 8.1.  What this means is that you can download and install the software for free.  In fact, Windows has made it so easy that they will download the update on to your computer and then prompt you to install it.  You are told that you can roll back to your old Windows within 30 days and then it is off to the races.  Seems pretty straight forward right? Well, like most things in life, stuff can happen.  We recommend planning for your upgrade.  Consider the following before pressing that button and installing the update:

  • What versions of QuickBooks are you using?  I am not aware of any problems running QuickBooks Point of Sale Desktop V12 and Windows 10.  I have several clients using it today.  We have had a couple of clients where we needed to reinstall the software after the upgrade as it seemed that some files were damaged.  An un-install and reinstall fixed the problem.
  • For QuickBooks Financial Desktop, we are recommending only using QuickBooks 2015 and 2016 or Enterprise 15 or 16.  Keep in mind that QuickBooks comes hardwired to use Internet Explorer for a number of features and if Internet Explorer (IE) is not enabled, you might run into some problems.  IE can be enabled under programs and features if needed.
  • Consider what hardware you are using.  Older printers may not have Windows 10 drivers and therefore will need to be replaced.
  • Consider what other software you are using.  Check with those vendors to ensure they are Windows 10 compatible.

So in short, investigate before upgrading and upgrade with caution assuming that Murphy’s Law is still alive and well.  I certainly wouldn’t consider upgrading in the morning before opening for business.  If you have multiple machines consider upgrading the least critical and then going from there. Additionally, while Windows is supposed to make a backup of the complete system before upgrading, I would go into Windows backup and make another copy just to make sure.  For help or more information -on any of this, contact our office. 877-467-0451 | info@englishmgmt.com

Author: English, William S., President of English Management Solutions, Inc. December 2015

QBPOS 12.0 Pro R5 Patch

Submitted by Will on December 16, 2015

The QuickBooks POS 12.0 Pro R5 Patch was just released online:


What's important about Release 5?


  • Updated sign up/sign in flows at all points where an Intuit service is accessed.
  • If client workstations are open when accessing Company Operations from the file menu on the server, a message will now advise that other workstations are still connected to the currently open data file.

Merchant Services/Payments

  • Voice Authorization numbers have been updated to reflect the change to Chase Paymentech.

Sales, Purchasing and Items

  • The number of credit card transactions will now be displayed on the credit button in the 'Make a Sale' screen.
  • Group and Assembly items can now be edited.
  • Search results while searching in Inventory List will now be retained after sorting search results.
  • When scanning an item while on the Home Page and placing it on a Sales Receipt, the cursor will now return to the 'scan and enter items' field so that additional items can be added to the receipt.
  • Point of Sale will no longer hang when settled transactions are being reversed.
  • Items that are ready to be reordered will now show correctly in the Reminders and Suggested POS lists.
  • Non-Inventory item quantities can now be changed in list edit.
  • Point of Sale will now auto-complete the Vendor's name when adding new Vendors by looking up Vendors in the D & B database.
  • Point of Sale now has a new Company Preference available to disallow customers from returning the same items on a sales receipt multiple times.
  • "List index out of bounds" error will no longer be returned when updating the discount, freights or fee on a Receiving Voucher.

Adding a New Employee in QBPOS

Submitted by Will on December 14, 2015

Adding a new employee as a user in QuickBooks Point of Sale (QBPOS) is a simple process. Once you add their information, you can set the user permissions.

  • Sign in as Admin
  • Go to the top tool bar and choose Employees
  • New Employee






If you don't know how to sign into POS or have forgotten your password, follow this link to reset your Administrator password:

Important QuickBooks Holiday Reminders

Submitted by Will on December 03, 2015

Christmas is here! The shopping frenzy has begun. Consumers are looking for deals and speedy service especially at the check-out. There are a couple of things we’d like to point out:


You don't want to upset customers! Do everything that you can to make it an enjoyable shopping experience!

1. We say this every year but it’s a message that retailers need to hear: Stock up on your Point of Sale supplies! Don’t wait until the last minute and have to pay for expedited shipping or worst, run out before your shipment arrives! Imagine the nightmare of running out of receipt paper while ringing up sales? Or your shipment of items arrives and you’re excited to get everything onto the sales floor but you run out of pricing labels or clothing hang tags?  You can still ring up sales but it will be much more inefficient and time consuming. Contact Us or you may contact our Preferred Supply Vendor directly.

2. Make sure your gift card program is in place before you get swamped. Gift cards are always a popular gift item. And make sure you don’t run out of those either. Contact your Merchant Service Provider to place an order.

3. Is your store ready for the new EMV credit and debit cards? Will wrote a great article explaining what EMV is and what it means to be compliant. Read it here.
For the Intuit Merchant Service/Payments customers: Intuit is extending the EMV liability shift by six months for its QuickBooks Payments customers. This means that Intuit will assume liability for the fraud until March 31, 2016 if you’re not EMV compliant. This “grace period” will allow you more time to upgrade your desktop software and purchase new card swipes/pin pads. Being a QuickBooks Payments customer, if you unknowingly accept a counterfeit EMV card using your magnetic stripe reader, Intuit will assume your liability for the fraud until March 31, 2016.  Intuit payments customers may contact us to purchase the EMV compliant Pin Pad Card Reader. If you are with another merchant provider, you need to contact them for a compliant device.

4. Maybe you’ve decided it's time to change the way you ring up sales today, or maybe you're a new retailer looking to select a system for the first time.  We’ve helped hundreds of companies select the appropriate QuickBooks software and services for their business needs. QuickBooks Point of Sale and QuickBooks Accounting software. In a recent blog article, William English outlines some key points to consider when selecting a Point of Sale (POS) system. Read it here.  It’s important to know ahead of time what to look for and what to expect when shopping around. You want to work with a trusted advisor and a reputable company.

How to Select a POS System

Submitted by Will on December 03, 2015

How to select a POS system:
So you have decided it is time to change the way you ring up sales today, or maybe you are a new retailer looking to select a system for the first time.  We have helped hundreds of retailers select systems throughout the years and wanted to help point you in the right direction. Of course, we represent various systems and would be thrilled to make a sale, but at the end of the day, this is a large investment both in time and money and the system you choose has to fit your business and your budget.

The most important thing is to focus on your specific needs.  To do this, the sales consultant should ask questions about your business and your sales process.  If they want to skip to the demo without gaining an understanding of your business, be careful.  Anyone can make their software shine during a demo, but unless they understand what you truly need, you could end up disappointed in the outcome.

Examples of questions a consultant should ask you:
• Walk me thru the process of how are you ring up sale today
• Do you have orders or special orders in your business
• What do you like best about your current system
• What do you like the least (this is an important question)
• How do you want to track your inventory
• Are you selling off the web?  How do you get these orders into your current system?
• Are you using a loyalty program?

These questions are designed to help you think about your business.  Keep in mind that choosing off the shelf software is a balance between what you need, would like, can afford and what the software can do. Once you understand your needs then you can make an informed decision.

At the heart of any good POS system is inventory management, so fair amount of time should be spent on your inventory needs.  A lot of systems in the marketplace today fail to provide the inventory tracking required.  Whether you sell apparel with sizes or shoes with sizes and color and widths, make sure you understands your specific needs and if the system that you are looking at can handle it.  Of course, you may decide to choose software that is not as fully featured – just make sure you understand what you are giving up.

Next thing to consider is the POS hardware.   Whatever software under consideration will have its specific hardware requirements. Tablet and iDevice based solutions are becoming mainstream and there is a lot to be said for the clean look of those solutions.  It can present a very modern looking system that appeals to younger sales clerks who have grown up on smart phones.  But a slick look will not make up for a system that cannot process sales or track inventory the way you need.  It has been many a retailers’ experience that bad inventory information is worst that no information at all as it may cause you to overbuy or buy the wrong mix of product.

Of course, Windows machines are still the #1 choice for retail POS.  Make sure you understands the minimum requirements for the software that is being presented and ask a quote for hardware that exceeds that. Depending on your environment you may want to consider investing in Retail Grade Equipment.  This is hardware that is designed to work in a more “hostile” environment.  There is a big difference between getting hardware that will run in a woman’s high end boutique and equipment that will operate in an outdoor retail space or warehouse.  Sun, dirt, dust, and water in a retail environment will affect the system.  Ruggedized hardware is more expensive, but generally comes with better warranties and support.  If you can’t ring up sales because the system you bought at a big box retailer failed, you will be hand writing tickets and losing sales, so don’t skimp on the hardware.

Lastly, but probably the most important and over looked component is who will be implementing the software.  Are you going to do it yourself?  What experience do you have?  Does the vendor have online videos that you can view?  Even if there is lots of on line training available, consider getting a POS expert to help you implement the system.  Avoid the mindset that says you can do it yourself.  Also be careful of the general purpose IT company that thinks that since it just software, they can install and train you.  Without a deep understanding of the software you are buying, you or an inexperienced consultant will setup the system up incorrectly, miss key features of the software and make decisions that have unintended consequences.  Consider your health care provider.  Do you really want your general practitioner doing your heart surgery or someone who does the procedure all of the time?  We have done our share of cleanup’s from the do it yourselfers or consultants who don’t have a retail focus.  This is a huge decision for your business, be sure to get it done right!!

Author: English, William S., President of English Management Solutions, Inc. September 2015

Conference Season is Over

Submitted by Will on December 02, 2015

Conference season is over.

So we had the opportunity to attend the last Sleeter Conference (SleeterCon). Earlier this year, Doug and Sherril Sleeter sold their company to Diversified Communication, who acquired Accountex a few months back and now SleeterCon will be known as Accountex, USA.  I have been honored to have attended 10 of Doug’s conferences, having presented at 4.  I always learn valuable information, renew business relationships, as well as introducing our company to attendees who can benefit from our range of services.  Since over 40% of attendees were brand new this year, there was lots of opportunity for networking both with new and old. Additionally, SleeterCon provides me an understanding of the accounting technology landscape.  While our practice is Intuit Product centric, it is always great to see what other companies are doing.  Additionally, a number of the vendors work cross platform so it is good to know who works with what and who is upcoming in the market.

Additionally, SleeterCon gives you a wide range of topics to choose from with a very condensed time period so you can get exposure to a lot of topics quickly. I attended sessions as wide ranging as the Internet of Things, a fascinating look at the future when our appliances can talk to the Internet to using tables in Excel. On the Internet of Things (IOT), I am already seeing this trend with our local utility company offering special discounts for installing a smart thermostat.  If you allow them to suggest how hot or cool to keep your home, you can earn discounts on your bill.  While it can seem a little big brother, I have no problem with saving money.  Additionally, imagine a world where your lights come on at exactly 10 minutes after sunset, your sprinklers do not water your lawn on the days when rain is forecast and the IOT will help make our lives better in the same way that Google Maps makes getting lost almost impossible.

While we were at QBConnect, we met a company called SalesPad, a multi-channel cloud based Inventory management platform.  We continued the conversation at SleeterCon and have been invited to work with their team to ensure that the retail offering is a robust solution as well as working with them on the core offering.  More about that in the future.

So as 2015 draws to a close, we are grateful for all of the clients and their accountants that we have been able to help throughout this last year.  We are also excited to have joined the Intuit Writer/Trainer network with our partnering with Steve Green and Leslie Capachietti to refresh the QuickBooks Point of Sale Desktop certification. Additionally, we started the year learning the new QuickBooks Point of Sale Powered by Revel product and end the year getting ready to be trained on the backend administration part that will allow us to better assist our QBPOS Revel clients.  For 2016, I am looking forward to developing or refreshing our training content around the retail space including posting videos to our web site.

Author: English, William S., President of English Management Solutions, Inc. December 2015

Credit Card Fraud and EMV

Submitted by Will on August 12, 2015

There is a new revolution in payment technology underway and all retailers need to be aware of how it will impact them and their customers.  We have come a long way from our local merchant extending credit over the barrel to those clients who they knew well.  In the 50’s Diner’s Club, American Express and Visa started issuing general purpose cards, meaning that the card holder could use the card at multiple stores. Next up was Bank of America issuing their card and licensing it to other banks, and finally in 1976, what we know as Visa came into existence.

Now you can mark Oct. 1, 2015 on your calendars. MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover expect that come October 2015, if a customer presents a retailer with an EMV chip-based card, they are supposed to be able to process it on an EMV device.

So, what is EMV?EMV stands for “EuroPay, MasterCard and Visa” — and it’s not new! The rest of the world has been using EMV cards for almost a decade.

An EMV card is different because of the small metallic square embedded into the card. That square is actually a computer chip, and that is what sets these cards apart. If you have gotten a new card within the last 6 months or so, you now have a chip card.

The way it works today is you swipe a magnetic strip on your credit card through a magnetic swipe reader to pay for a purchase via debit or credit. The information on the magnetic strip is sent to the processor who sends back an approval code assuming that you have enough credit on the card and it has not be reported as comprised. However, the information on the strip never changes and contains all of the data needed to clone a card. A cloned card can be used just like your card and can have anyone’s name on the front.  It is the data that is swiped that tells the credit processor who owns the card.

Each time an EMV card is used, it is inserted (called card dipping) and the small metallic computer chip is used to create a unique transaction code. That new code is written to a computer chip, changing the card every time you shop. So, unlike your magnetic stripe cards whose data never changes, every time an EMV card is used, the data on the card changes and can only be used once, never to be used again.

Less Fraud, But There Is A Cost

Credit card fraud rates in countries that have adopted EMV are a fraction of what the U.S. is currently experiencing. In fact, half of all credit card fraud in the world now occurs in the U.S. That, along with the massive breaches that have occurred in the last few years, has prompted the credit card companies to draw a line in the sand.

Think about what happened at Target. Data from 70 million magnetic strips was stolen. If, instead, EMV cards had been used, the thieves might have still broken into the system, but the stolen information would not have done them any good. The information they were stealing could not be used. The only transaction numbers to which they would have had access would have been unusable, and any attempted fraudulent transactions would simply be declined.

Credit card fraud is how we got here. So, what is it going to cost?

The cost is going to vary greatly by retailer. At a minimum, retailers will need the EMV terminal or device for every POS station, including if they have mobile devices.  Intuit is currently in the process of switching out older terminals for the IPP350 which is EMV compliant.  Lastly, they are also switching Merchant Service Platforms; therefore, a retailer will need the IPP350 that is programmed for the new platform. They may also need to upgrade their computers. Are they still running XP? XP is a big NO NO as those computers are not PCI compliant.

The bigger issue is that retailers may need to upgrade their version of POS. Lots of retailers do not stay on the current version of POS and while the merchant service processing will work on the older versions, it most likely will not be made EMV compliant, especially the non-supported version (V10 and earlier). 

How to Know If You, as a Retailer, Are Ready?

Educate yourself on the new requirements and know your options.  You should also know that if you call September 30th and want to upgrade, it will take time to get the software, install it, etc.  If you are on a very old version, your installer may need to stair step the file to get it to V12.

What happens if a retailer can’t take an EMV card on Oct. 1, 2015? Nothing. They can still use the magnetic strip to verify the card, get an approval code and get paid. But — and this “but” is big — if the consumer presented a chip card and the retailer didn’t process it on an EMV device, and it is a fraudulent transaction, the merchant is totally responsible for the losses, not the bank!

The burden of credit card fraud is, in essence, being moved from the banks to the retailers. It’s a titanic shift, and every retailer needs to be prepared. To protect themselves and their customers, every retailer needs to become EMV compliant as quickly as possible. Of course, they could always skip EMV and stop taking credit cards and go back to managing accounts over the cracker barrel… NOT!

Old Cards Will Still Work

On a positive note, magnetic strip cards will continue to be used for quite a while. EMV chip-based cards will have both the chip and a magnetic strip so customers can use their cards everywhere. The credit card companies want to insure your ability to use their product, but retailers will need to be prepared to know what to do when presented with an EMV card so that they don’t swipe when they should dip.

Author: English, William S., President of English Management Solutions, Inc. August 2015

RetailNOW® 2015

Submitted by Will on July 30, 2015

It’s time for the annual RetailNOW trade show hosted by RSPA. As an expert in the Point of Sale industry, Will English is looking forward to attending for the education and networking.
RSPA stands for Retail Solutions Providers Association and they’ve been in existence for over 60 years. RetailNOW® 2015 is the premier trade show event for the retail technology and point of sale industry. Through educational sessions, valuable networking opportunities, and access to the resources of RSPA and its industry partners, attendees will walk away with a fresh new perspective that will pay dividends for them and their business.

“We are the only association connecting the Point of Sale technology ecosystem. Our members include resellers, distributors, hardware manufacturers, software developers, consultants and service providers who bring retail technology solutions to the marketplace. Our mission is to accelerate the success of our members by providing knowledge and connections.”
Learn more.

The Dangers of Purchasing Pirated Software

Submitted by Will on July 06, 2015

Due to a recent conversation with the business owner of a service-based company, I find it important to write about the dangers of purchasing a pirated copy of QuickBooks software. That means you are purchasing software from a secondary source that is not an authorized Intuit Reseller or from Intuit directly, and the software has been duplicated and distributed without authorization.

Some people make a conscious decision to purchase this type of software while others buy it unknowingly, believing that they’re purchasing a legitimate copy. Piracy or copyright infringement is illegal activity.

Some dangers of purchasing illegal copies of the Intuit QuickBooks software are:

  • Intuit will discover this and disable your license. They are generous in notifying you and giving you a certain amount of days to purchase a legal copy before they disable your illegal copy.
  • Pirated software may be loaded with malware (malicious software) or viruses.
  • It may be defective so it won’t work properly.
  • Pirated software may be used to collect personal information from your computer without your knowledge like credit card and bank account numbers, passwords, address books, etc.
  • Counterfeit software will not get the legitimate software updates that is necessary to prevent cyber thieves.

When you purchase QuickBooks software from an Authorized Dealer or Channel, the software downloads come directly from the Intuit servers. At English Management Solutions, Inc., we maintain the status of an Intuit Premier Reseller. The Premier level is the top tier within the Intuit Reseller Program and is designed for members with consistent and robust sales who provide the highest level of customer service. Premier Resellers have expertise in technology and solutions integration for small-to-medium sized businesses. They are certified to resell, implement, and support QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions, QuickBooks Point of Sale, and other Intuit and third-party products.

Before purchasing through any Intuit Authorized Reseller, you can contact Intuit directly to verify you are buying from a trusted source.

A legal way to get a copy of someone else’s QuickBooks software is to transfer ownership. If QuickBooks software is going to change hands from one business owner to another, Intuit will ask for the seller to complete a Transfer of Ownership form. They will review the details to determine whether a transfer of the license to the purchaser will be approved or denied. This the only way that an Intuit license can be transferred.

Our customer’s story:
The customer explained that his computer crashed so he had to purchase a new one. He sent the new computer to an IT company who was supposed to load his existing software onto the new computer and transfer the necessary data. Sometime during this process, he upgraded his QuickBooks Point of Sale (QBPOS) software. He received a license number and product code for it, and was able to login to his online QB account. Everything seemed fine. He used the QBPOS for quite a while when all of a sudden he started receiving a message each time he opened the software, which was daily, warning him that he had a certain number of days to register the software or upgrade it before it would be disabled. What? He thought that was already done and didn’t understand this so he called Intuit. Since so much time had passed from the software installation, he couldn’t remember where he purchased it and couldn’t find record of it. Each Intuit representative he spoke with confirmed that he did not purchase directly from them or an Authorized Reseller so they requested that he provide proof of purchase. Unfortunately, this customer couldn’t do so. You can imagine the shock he felt knowing that without proof of purchase or purchasing a new licnese, his QBPOS would be disabled and how that would drastically affect his day-to-day business transactions. He purchased the QBPOS software upgrade from us and is now using a legal copy of the software.

You can see from his story and the reasons listed above why it’s imperative that you purchase QuickBooks software form an Authorized Reseller or Intuit directly. This applies to any commercial software.

Being Environmentally Friendly

Submitted by Will on April 24, 2015

April 22nd is when Earth Day is usually celebrated. It is a good to time to think about the changes that we can all make to more environmentally friendly. Here are some of the things we have put into practice:

Email invoices instead of mailing them. The only time we don’t use email is if a client specifically requests the snail mail option, and we only have one client who has made that request.

Save emailed information in an electronic format instead of printing the pages.

If and when you mistakenly print one sided pages, or you don’t need every page that was printed, mark the printed side to indicate that it is trash. Then, reuse that paper when you need to print internal documents. Just print on the blank back side.

Recycle as many items as allowed. Here is a link to the Waste Management website page What Can I Recycle? We have more options than we’re probably aware of. Disclaimer: we are in no way affiliated with Waste Management and are not endorsing their company. This site has been provided as a resource only.

Turn lights off when leaving a room, unless that means putting your boss or co-worker in the dark! : ) In that case, you may want to leave the light on. If you have a window that brings in ample light, use desk lamps instead of overhead lighting and lamps.

The QuickBooks software is offered as a download which offers a quick and easy installation. There’s nothing to mail, so no packaging and waste.