Disaster Recovery 101—Have a Plan!

Whether it’s a storm knocking out your power lines, a computer virus disabling your software, or a fire, your operation can be disrupted by any number of threats. When that happens, a strong disaster recovery plan can make the difference between a brief hiccup in your operations and a costly blow to your organization.

Because your operation involves several connected parts, a number of elements will go into a good disaster recovery strategy.

How do you define a “disaster”? If you hear the word and immediately imagine an 8.5 magnitude earthquake or a category 5 hurricane, you’re correct – natural disasters are probably the most threatening types of disasters in terms of damage, potential loss of human life and disruption to operation operations. But the reality is that there are many other types of disasters that can cause significant operation disruptions. Savvy operation directors and managers should be prepared for disasters or disruptions, which come in many forms.

Some disasters are man-made, such as industrial accidents, nuclear accidents or terrorist attacks. Natural disasters range vastly from blizzards and hurricanes to lightening, fire, or flooding. Even technical failures like a malicious computer virus should be considered disasters because of how detrimental the downtime can be to your operation.
All of these scenarios, and many others, could create an immediate need for decision makers within your organization to flip the switch into recovery mode. Your disaster recovery plan should answer the questions “What do we do now?” and “What is the chain of command?”

The process of creating a disaster recovery plan should involve operation management who are fully committed in investing the necessary time and resources. A plan can be relatively simple, or you might hire an external consultant to guide the process. Regardless of its complexity, here are a few key components of the disaster recovery planning process:

  • Prioritizing internal functions – In the event of a disaster or operation disruption, which operation functions will need to be up and running first? For example, depending upon your industry or size, you may need to develop a plan for getting your accounting department’s technology up and running first, followed by other departments. Your plan should outline the IT resources that will be required to address the most time- sensitive operation functions.
  • Restoring data – Is your data stored at an alternate site? Are you backing up to a cloud or web-based backup system regularly? Your disaster recovery plan should clearly spell out how your data will be retrieved.
  • Minimizing downtime – What is your strategy for minimizing the amount of time your IT systems may be down? How long can you afford to be down? For some operations, the answer is “zero downtime.” If this is the case for your operation, your disaster recovery plan must include a strategy for backing up and restoring your IT systems, or running two synchronized systems, which is costly but sometimes necessary.

Now go and develop a plan that is right for your organization.  The internet has many free tools that will help you along the way. Search for Disaster Recovery Plan and you should find lots of information to help you.

Pro Fund Accounting Version 7002 Available!

We have recently released version 7002 of Pro Fund Accounting, our government accounting software! Please go to Help and click on Check for Updates to update Pro Fund Accounting to version 7002.

In this release there is a management utility which requires the Microsoft .NET 4.5 Framework to be installed.
The Pro Fund Accounting downloads page has a direct link to the Microsoft .NET 4.5 Framework: http://www.profundaccounting.com/downloads.html

Please note that .Net 4.5 cannot be installed on Windows XP or lower.

If you are interested in learning more about our government accounting software, Pro Fund Accounting, please visit http://www.profundaccounting.com.

Show your love for Pro Fund Accounting!

Do you absolutely love working with Pro Fund Accounting?
Is Pro Fund Accounting critical to your organization?

If so, we would love to hear how Pro Fund Accounting benefits your organization. You can use the following form to submit a testimonial on how Pro Fund Accounting has benefited your organization. Your testimonial will then be sent to our webmaster and will also appear on the Pro Fund Accounting testimonials page at: www.profundaccounting.com/testimonials.html

We always love hearing about how Pro Fund Accounting makes a difference with our customers.

Thank you for sending us a testimonial on how Pro Fund Accounting makes a difference in your organization.

If you don’t know what Pro Fund Accounting is, please feel free to check out our website at www.profundaccounting.com.

PFA Works Preview Site Updated!

I know it has been a while since we updated our PFA Works Preview site, but we have been working hard on adding functionality to PFA Works.

Now that PFA Works is getting closer and closer to being released, I thought it would be a good idea to share with you some of the screens that are mostly completed.

The desgin work on these screens has been completed on these screens, but there are a still a few bugs that need to be worked out. There shouldn’t be any more major design changes to the screens that you see posted on the PFA Works Preview site though.

Check out the PFA Works Preview site and see all of the hard work we have been doing to bring PFA Works closer to a finished product.

You can find the PFA Works Preview site here: http://www.profundaccounting.com/pfaworks

 

Pro Fund Accounting v. 7000 Available Now!

It seems we all have to make changes in life that seem strange and unfair. Cogitate’s development team has had to go back and change the way we do things in order to properly support Windows 8 and beyond.

While we were learning the new way of doing things we added in a few extras. We are pleased to announce the release of the next update to the Pro Fund Accounting package.

“What is all the hoopla about?” you may be asking. One of the many things that have changed is the output file management in PFA – things like where the direct deposit file is located or where the state trunkline file is placed have all been reworked to add flexibility to the fund accounting software.

Another large change is the new Crystal Reports system which allows printing reports on the latest hardware. We added a new installation and a program update monitoring system that automatically checks for updates. This release also added support for photos of equipment, inventory, and personnel.

The Pro Fund Accounting software was updated to operate correctly on multiple monitors. We added a program to export paystubs and email them to employees. And last, but not least, we combined our voter registration software into the Pro Fund Accounting Municipal suite.

This release will come to you differently; a representative from Cogitate will contact you to schedule the update to Pro Fund Accounting, version 7000. If you have any questions or if you would like the update sooner, then you may contact George at 866-634-9991 (ext. 9) to be at the front of the line.

Help needed for our Pro Fund Accounting website!

Over the last few months, we have been trying to draw more traffic to our Pro Fund Accounting website. One of the best ways to draw traffic is to have a high trust rating with the trust company Web of Trust. That is where we need help, Web of Trust has a rating system for websites that rely on ratings from the people who visit the website. It is completely free of charge to post a rating and you don’t even need to sign in to the Web of Trust if you have downloaded their free toolbar. Otherwise you will need a free account with them to rate a website.
We would appreciate it if you would visit www.profundaccounting.com and then head over to the Web of Trust link below to rate profundaccounting.com.
Here is the Web of Trust link for profundaccounting.com: http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/profundaccounting.com

Thank you for your help in making profundaccounting.com a valuable and trustworthy website.

How to Report Healthcare Costs on Your W2s Using Pro Fund Accounting

We’re ready for the mandated health care costs that are to be reported on your employees W-2s.
You can get your Pro Fund Accounting software ready, too, by following these steps and watching a short video on how to make the changes. The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/IMdBJvjzvCo

Changing the Health Insurance Deduction Codes

  • Under Payroll/Payroll Constants, open Deduction Types and locate your health care deduction code(s)
  • Edit them to remove the information in the W2 Info box and change the Tax Code box from “Box 14” to DD
  • On the Parameter Titles page, in Parameter Title 5, enter “CMP AMT” (stands for Company Amount); this is to hold the amount the employer pays for the employee’s health care

Reflecting the new Deduction Code Requirements in Employee Maintenance

  • In Employee Maintenance, go to the Deductions tab and in the Select Code column, locate the deduction code for the health care deduction(s) that you made in Deduction Maintenance and click it.
  • To “catch up the year” to reflect the amounts paid on the employee’s behalf for the payrolls already paid during 2013, click EDIT, then enter the TOTAL YTD HEALTH CARE paid by the employer in the CMP AMT box before running your next payroll.
  • After the payroll is finished, repeat step 1 in this section, then enter the normal amount paid on the employee’s behalf. If the employee’s status changes during the year, change the amount in this box to the new amount the employer pays.

What is printed on the W-2s

The Health Care Cost and the Tax Code, DD, will be printed in one of the “Box 12″ boxes (there are 4 boxes available and, usually, deferred compensation or retirement is printed in the boxes). The amount printed will be a combination of the amounts your employees paid toward their health insurance and the amounts you, as the employer, paid. These two figures, added together, should equal the total amount paid to the insurance company(ies) for health insurance during the year

Health Insurance Paid in-full by Employer; no health insurance deduction code

After calculating your W-2s for 2013, you will need to edit each W-2 to reflect the amount you, as the employer, paid for each employee’s health insurance.

Explain to your Employees what this is all about

The amount reported does not affect tax liability, as the value of the employer excludible contribution to health coverage continues to be excludible from an employee’s income, and it is not taxable. This reporting is for informational purposes only, to show employees the value of their health care benefits.

You can learn more about Pro Fund Accounting at http://www.profundaccounting.com. If you found this post helpful, please feel free to leave a comment below.