Our Holiday Hours & QuickBooks Support

Submitted by Will on December 24, 2015
Season's greetings to you and yours!
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a joyful New Year! 
We value our clients and appreciate you entrusting us with your business needs.
Please see our Holiday Hours below. 
Start off the New Year right!
  • Don't miss this months QB promotions!
  • Implement the QuickBooks system
  • Upgrade to the newest version
  • Have your staff trained so they're using the system correctly
  • Enhance productivity and have accurate records by taking an inventory count
  • Let us review your data to see if there are areas of improvement and to clean up your data file
Our Holiday Hours:

Dec. 24th: close at 3pmPST for Christmas Eve
Dec. 25th: closed for Christmas
Dec. 31: close at 3pmPST for New Year's Eve
Jan.1: closed for New Year's Day
*VERY IMPORTANT: Customer Service Requests: QuickBooks customers who require technical assistance or have an emergency during our office closures may do one of the following:

CONTACT US: by emailing us at info@englishmgmt.com, call our office at 858-467-0400 and press 5, or complete the Contact Us form . Our billable rate will apply. 
*For non-emergencies, we will reply the following business day.  
* Point of Sale: 1-800-4INTUIT (800-446-8848)
* Enterprise Solutions: 866-340-7237
* Merchant Services: 800-558-9558  
Will, Sofia, and Anita

877-467-0451 | 858-467-0400

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

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

Holiday Office Hours

Submitted by Will on November 24, 2015




We hope your holiday season is filled with hope, joy and fun!  

Our Holiday Office Closures:

Nov. 26th: closed for Thanksgiving

Dec. 24th: close at 3pmPST for Christmas Eve

Dec. 25th: closed for Christmas

Dec. 31: close at 3pmPST for New Year's Eve

Jan.1: closed for New Year's Day

Customer Service Requests: QuickBooks customers who require technical assistance or have an emergency during our office closures may do one of the following:
CONTACT US: by emailing us at info@englishmgmt.com, call our office at 858-467-0400 and press 5, or complete the Contact Us form here. Our billable rate will apply. 

*For non-emergencies, we will reply the following business day.  

* Point of Sale: 1-800-4INTUIT (800-446-8848)
* Enterprise Solutions: 866-340-7237
* Merchant Services: 800-558-9558   

QuickBooks Connect 2015 Conference

Submitted by Will on November 13, 2015

Will attended the 2nd annual Intuit QuickBooks Connect Conference and here are his impressions of the week:








What an amazing week! QuickBooks (QB) Connect is an Intuit sponsored event that brings accountants, business owners and software developers together in a mashup of training, inspirational speakers and just plain fun.  Last year was the first year and while it was a great event, this year was even better and I can’t wait for next year. 

First of all, we brought Sofia, our Ace bookkeeper for advanced training in QuickBooks Online (QBO), Intuit’s cloud based accounting package.  I sat in on a number of the classes as well as being invited to help with the concierge desk.  The desk was designed to help the attendees maximize their time at the trade show.  We got to speak to attendees, learn about their business needs and direct them to vendors that might be a good fit for their needs.  While I knew a number of vendors there, I was excited to meet new vendors and find out all of the great things that are happening to make QBO the platform of the future for small businesses as well as helping accounting firms become firms of the future.

In addition, there was a great line up of speakers in the main hall.  In the morning we heard from Jessica Alba who talked about the challenges of a celebrity trying to build a worthwhile company that made a difference.  The highlight was when she said that everyone told her that she just should do a perfume like all of the others, but her vision was to create a company (The Honest Company) in which she could be proud of the products she sold as well as making a difference in her customer’s lives.  Afterwards, Robert Herjavec of Shark Tank fame spoke about the importance of not just being good enough.  As he was getting started, he heard from a prospect that their current provider was “Good enough” which caused Robert to pivot and change his offering to differentiate himself from the rest.  There were some juicy tidbits from the set of Shark Tank, and he closed with a touching story about his dad with the thought that in spite of all of the money and fame he has acquired, he does it to take care of the ones he loves, a thought that resonated with me.  To close out the event was Oprah, yes Oprah.  To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to be moved as much as I was.  She talked about intention acts as well how she never wanted to be used by any guests, using as an example of having a skinhead use her show to espouse their hate.  It was inspiring and moved me.

Next up was the Reseller Connect, our reseller trade show.  I received advanced training in QuickBooks Point of Sale Powered by Revel.  I have now mastered the setup of the Quick Serve and table service restaurants.  Server based POS systems are so last century. I have spoken to several people who have many years in this industry and they see the huge shift in the industry.  Aloha and Micro are so limited with their back office hardware requirements and large upfront and ongoing costs.  QBPOS Revel gives you the ease of operation on the front end and all of the features needed as well as integration with QuickBooks Accounting.  Very compelling value proposition for the customer.

At the conference, we (English Management Solutions, Inc.) were also recognized for our sales achievement.  We were one of 39 out of 240 Premier Resellers who were in the 100k club, meaning they sold at least 100k in Intuit Product and Service Revenue in their fiscal year.  While we were honored to be among this select group, it is our customers who deserve the honor.  By placing your trust and faith in us, we are humbled to be your reseller of choice and I thank you and look forward to many more years of faithful service.

QBPOS Exempt Categories & Assemblies

Submitted by Will on November 03, 2015

Will English co-authored a QuickBooks Point of Sale (POS) Store Operations Handbook, which is a step-by-step guide with screenshot tips for QuickBooks POS. Bookkeepers, retailers, accountants and consultants find it very helpful in performing many of the daily POS tasks.

A consumer who runs a stone and landscaping yard stated that their inventory was never properly set-up in QBPOS. She had the following questions after reading through the handbook.

Client wrote:
Mr. English,
I run a stone and landscaping yard and we use the POS and QBF software. Inventory was never set up correctly and I have purchased your book in assisting me in many areas which need attention. However, I have two issues I couldn’t find discussed in the book.
1. Tax Exempt sales leaving a penny or two in the QBFS to be deposited
2. Our Inventory consist of stone and soil and we have multiple units of measure’s in which we use. I use a 5 gallon bucket as the base unit for the soils (there are 34.8 – 5 gallon buckets to a cubic yard) and pounds for all stone sales. (Two thousand pounds per ton). Would you recommend assemblies for the blends and if so what would you recommend for waste? Also, do you think POS is the software in which I should be using or recommend?

Will’s reply: First of all, thanks for buying our book and glad you have found it a help. There is a problem with using the exempt category built in to the program and for this reason, we recommend creating a Sale Tax Location for each of your exempt categories and use those. That should correct that problem.

As for the assemblies, you can do assemblies but in this case a better solution would be to do a zero dollar receiving voucher. To do that, minus (-) each of the buckets that make up a blend and then plus (+) the blend item. In this way, you can handle the waste issue and as long as the dollar value of the voucher is zero, you have properly costed the blend. If you have any more questions, call the office and we can set an appointment to step you through it.

877-467-0451 or contact Anita, our Marketing and Sales Coordinator at achilton@englishmgmt.com


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