Everything You Need to Know About GDPR

EditorM2M

 

Data breaches occur every day – and the EU have just increased the consequences of inadequate security… With only one month to go before General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) come into effect, many UK companies are still yet to achieve compliance.

GDPR is an important piece of legislation designed to make it easier for individuals to understand the data that is being held and used by businesses. Now, as the deadline emerges, it’s essential that you ask yourself… “Are there changes I need to make in order to comply?”

With the implementation date of 25th May drawing ever closer, now is the time to be proactive and protect the data you hold, encrypt it and always keep up to date with your security solutions.

So, if you’re not 100% sure whether you comply with the new GDP regulations, we’ve covered everything you need to know about GDPR, so you can get prepared, just be quick… firms who fail to comply with GDPR regulations will be subject to hefty penalties.

What is GDPR?

GDPR will replace the Data Protection Act 1998. It seeks to give people more control over how organisations use their personal data and to ensure that data protection law is almost identical across the EU.

The GDPR deems that any data which can be used to identify an individual is classed as personal data and brings a new set of “digital rights” for EU citizens to protect against the growing value of personal data in the digital economy.

What Does GDPR Consider to Be Personal Data?

The EU has expanded the definition of personal data to reflect the types of data businesses now collect about people, for example online identifiers such as IP addresses now qualify as personal data. Other data, like economic, cultural or mental health information, are also considered personally identifiable information.

Why was the GDPR drafted?

Essentially, the internet and the cloud enabled organisations to invent numerous methods to use (and misuse) people’s data, and GDPR aims to remedy this. Additionally, by making data protection law identical throughout member states, the EU trusts this will mutually save companies over 2 billion euros annually.

How Will Brexit Affect the GDPR?

With the new GDPR regulations to take affect from May 2018, potentially a year before we’re due to exit the EU, many UK based businesses believe they have nothing to worry about. The truth is however, the UK must still comply despite leaving the EU, as GDPR will take effect long before the legal consequences of the Brexit vote. Just as, if you’re handling EU resident’s data then you must comply whether you’re an Australian company, an American company, a UK company and so on.

What Happens to Companies Who Don’t Comply?

For those who do not comply to GDPR regulations, companies risk being subject to a hefty fine, particularly if they fail to provide adequate IT security to protect personal data. These tougher penalties against firms that are found to breach the rules, include a fine up to 4% of their annual turnover or 20 million Euros, whichever is the greater amount.

The Benefits of GDPR; Your rights
  • Under the aim of giving people more control over their information, GDPR ensures people can ask to access their data at “reasonable intervals”, with controllers having a month to comply with these requests
  • Both controllers and processors must be transparent about how they collect people’s information, what purposes they use it for, and the ways in which they process the data
  • People have the right to access any information a company holds on them, and the right to know why that data is being processed, how long it’s stored for, and who gets to see it
  • You can also ask for this data, if incorrect or incomplete, to be rectified
  • You have the right to have this data deleted if it’s no longer necessary to the purpose for which it was collected
  • You have the right to have ‘the right to be forgotten’ and any data held to be erased
  • Should you wish for data to be transferred elsewhere, a company must provide this information
M2M and your Data…

M2M have undertaken a ‘systems review’ and are in the process of implementing procedures which ensure that personal data is only stored where permission has been granted and directly relate to the nature of the business we have with our customers.

At M2M Technology, we will only use your data – where permission is granted – to help us advise you of key business news. In doing so, we will utilise robust and secure data processing procedures to protect your privacy

We won’t ever sell your data to third parties, store your data unnecessarily or bombard you with unnecessary communications. Should you have any questions about GDPR, or you wish for further information, please get in touch.

What Can Sage Business Cloud Financials Do for You?

EditorM2M

 

Choose the right accounting software package and you will save time and money, make fewer mistakes, and gain a better understanding of your business finances. But, what are you hoping to gain from your new accounting software, and how will you know when you’ve found the right one?

Considering both your needs and your accounting skills is a good start in finding the right software and completing a wish list can help. Your accountancy wish list could include a vast variety of considerations, from ‘heightening productivity amongst staff’, (which can be easily achieved through task automation) to other less-generic expectations such as ‘wanting access to other business apps’ for a more collaborative overview of your business.

Choosing the Right Accountancy Software

Selecting the right accountancy software can make many tasks easier, for starters, book-keeping is simplified and automated. But what about growing businesses looking for collaborative software, and searching for a single connected office on the cloud?

For businesses seeking accounting software that ticks all the boxes, you may have looked at Sage in the past, but perhaps decided against it because it’s too costly, or you weren’t 100% sure of its functionalities, or how it would benefit your business.

But, what about Sage Business Cloud Financials… have you considered what this flexible business software can do for you?

The Benefits of Sage Business Cloud Financials

Sage Financials is a completely agile business solution, ideal for managing all your business processes in one package. Built on the world’s number one Salesforce platform Sage Financials delivers an integrated system which connects seamlessly in real-time, providing up-to-date core financials and accounting data at a touch of a button, as well as much more.

For those of you looking to move away from your current software or perhaps having difficulty migrating your desktop software to the Cloud, we’ve put together a list of the advantages to be gained from Sage Business Cloud Financials below…

• The Latest Technology to Drive Growth

With the right accounting software, you can take care of manual financial processes automatically and help your business run smoothly using your laptop or mobile.

• Unified Data and Real-Time Insights

Transform your accounting into forward-looking forecasts with unified data and real-time insights to enable you to stay ahead.

• A Connected Eco System

Encourage alliances using a unified data set that allows you to get real-time business insights whether you’re in the office, working from home or on the road. And connect with your team and colleagues from any device.

• Significant Savings to be Made

Cover all of your accounting needs via suitable monthly subscription plans. This ensures a cost-effective solution, providing you with the potential to make significant savings.

• Enterprise Capabilities without the Complexity

Benefit from the multi-dimensional capabilities that Sage Financials brings. For example, you can look at your business in new and insightful ways across geographies, products, business units and more.

• In-Depth Reporting and a Scalable Platform

Enhance productivity in your workplace by discovering new insights that allow you to ask meaningful questions and answer them with the aid of real-time reports and dashboards. Then customise and configure changes so you can easily scale your business.

Thinking of Investing in Cloud Accounting Software?

At M2M, we consider Sage Financials to be a scalable and flexible solution tailored to provide a 360-degree view of your business. For more information about how it can help your organisation to grow, call us on 01245 494847, or email us.

Please note: Sage Live is now called Sage Financials, so why the change of name? Well, under a new name, Sage Business Cloud Financials gives you real-time insights and access to thousands of business apps through Salesforce. Find out more here.

The Benefits of Using a Credit Control Add-on for your Sage 200

EditorM2M, Sage, Sage Support

Why Working Capital is Central to your Business’s Success

It’s no secret that working capital is one of the most important elements of your business – I mean let’s face it – without it even the most profitable of companies can find themselves in difficulties. Put simply, working capital is the amount of cash that a business can easily get its hands on. As a rule, a business with plenty of working capital is more successful.

With money in the bank, a firm can invest, generate sales and grow the business. Without money in the bank, a business risks running out of cash… Short term, having no cash makes it difficult to pay suppliers on time or to pay staff wages. In the longer term, it means you can’t expand, invest in new equipment or take on more skilled people.

Managing working capital properly generates cash, helps improve profits and reduces risk. This is what makes the function of credit control a crucial component to your business’s operations. Your cash flow can be significantly improved if cash owed is collected faster. After all, getting paid for your product or service is essential to your business’s success.

By making credit control your number one priority, you can greatly increase the number of outstanding payments collected and the speed at which payments are made. Thereby ensuring there’s always enough money in the bank.

What Are the Biggest Credit Control Challenges for Businesses?
Cutting Costs

• Reducing waste
• Reducing staff overheads

Improving Cash Flow

• Getting paid faster – reducing debtor days
• Reducing long term overdue balances
• Improving access to working capital
• Resolving disputes quicker
• Removing reasons for non-payment

Reducing Risk

• Reducing dependency on external funding

The Solution…

As your business grows, it gets harder to stay on top of your finances. Unfortunately, when your accounts are managed inefficiently, an enormous amount of your time and energy is wasted on manual governing. Thankfully, Draycir Credit Hound provides an ideal solution to each of the challenges listed above.

Once integrated with Sage 200, Credit Hound shows you where your money is and who you need to chase. It is designed to automate and streamline the processes involved in good credit management. This quickly improves productivity and brings immediate cost savings to a number of key areas within your business.

The Benefits of Using a Credit Control Add-on for your Sage 200
Chase Payments with Ease

With all the information you need on screen to help you chase payments, you can record notes and schedule follow-up calls. And with greater automation of chasing procedures, it’s possible to chase as many as sixty customers in the same time it takes to chase six customers using manual methods.

Save Time & Money

Save time carrying out repetitive tasks by setting up rules and actions to automatically send chase letters, put accounts on stop and schedule phone calls. By e-mailing and faxing credit control correspondence, you can also dramatically reduce your costs, compared to manually printing and posting statements and letters.

Keep Track of Disputed Invoices

Dispute handling features help you keep track of disputed invoices and its comprehensive reporting system gives you a clear overview of your debtor situation.

M2M Technology Can Help

At M2M Technology, we want to help. This is why, if you try Credit Hound today, you’ll get our free 30 day trial and demonstration included. The free trial is a powerful tool which gives you an opportunity to use the software and see for yourself that Credit Hound can work wonders for your business’s credit control. Call 01245 494847 for more information, or email us here.

5 Benefits of Using a Sage Support Partner for Aftercare on your Products

EditorSage, Sage Support

 

As with any new software, there will always be uncertainties in the back of your mind that you simply can’t find the answers to. Whether you have a question about your software, want to find out about training or stay up to date with software and legislation changes, a Sage support partner will have it covered.

Support from experts who use software themselves is the best type of support you can gain, which is one of the reasons why choosing aftercare of your Sage products from a Sage support partner can prove invaluable.

What is a Sage Support Provider?

An official Sage partner markets, installs and trains people on Sage products, providing you with an array of advantages when it comes to your software aftercare. Here, we discuss these advantages in more detail…

The Advantages of Software Aftercare from a Sage Support Provider
1.     Fantastic Customer Service

The service and aftercare offered by a Sage support partner means for customers with often limited sources of help and advice and very often no IT department, you can gain prompt and accurate answers to pressing questions, providing you with the knowledge and confidence you need to persevere.

2.     Your Own Dedicated Account Manager

Benefit from a dedicated account manager when choosing a Sage partner for aftercare. This will provide you with everything you need to build a stronger relationship with your clients.

3.     Customised Support to Suit your Business Needs

The support you receive will be customised to match your individual business needs, as well as being quick, efficient and friendly. That way, when you need to call, your support team will be on hand to deal with your queries and technical issues effectively and professionally.

4.     Expert Training Sessions

Training should always be the number one priority when switching software, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Whether it is the tech help team of the new system that isn’t providing the right training, or management not having sufficient time to fully educate their employees, good training can be difficult to come by. Thankfully, with help from a Sage support partner, you’ll get access to expert training, and be able to book training sessions for your Sage products at your convenience.

5.     Emergency Assistance

Should disaster strike and your Sage system go down, this could result in significant data loss. A Sage support provider can help you in such an emergency. The assistance of a Sage support provider means that in a couple of hours, they can have your data recovered and your system completely restored. Problem solved.

The M2M Award Winning Support Team

The M2M award winning support team (Sage Circle of Excellence Award for customer service) supports businesses across the UK via dedicated Sage support desks.

We have been working with Sage software solutions for over 25 years, and all our team are Sage accredited with a wealth of experience in supporting businesses across all industries.

We understand that the smooth running of your Sage system is a key part in ensuring the continuity of your business. That’s why we take the time to get to know each of our customers personally, so we understand your individual business needs.

At M2M, we’re around not just for advice on how software works, but also for advice on how to get the most out of your system to enable you to achieve better business performance.

Get in Touch Today…

If you’d like to improve your business by adapting and extending your software environment to better meet your specific needs, contact us at M2M today.

Top 10 Benefits of Document Capture for Sage 200

EditorM2M

 

Harnessing the power of technology can work wonders for your business, particularly when you consider the vast amount of time spent fulfilling administrative tasks. Such tasks can often be minimised with the aid of helpful technologies, helping to free up your time for more strategic activities.

When you consider the rate at which business content is growing as a result of today’s mobile, social and cloud transformation, the demand for businesses to effectively capture and manage their data is crucial, making it a key area for technological enhancement.

For example, Document Capture can help to enhance the way you work and transform your document management processes by providing a simple, yet effective means to easily capture and electronically archive documents, replacing paper documents and dated administrative practices.

What is Document Capture?

Document Capture integrates with your software (i.e. Sage 200) to handle various types of incoming documents throughout your organisation. It works by electronically storing your documents, as an alternative to having vast volumes of paper using up valuable office space. What’s more, documents can be destroyed when scanned, enabling you to keep track of your important documents via an improved, automated structure.

How Can It Improve My Business?

With the help of Document Capture solutions, you can gain a competitive advantage over other businesses, with many benefits to gain from. For example, Document Capture allows you to capture, store, manage, view and deliver various types of content.

It automates and extracts data, whether from digital or paper sources, at the point of origination in order to move at the speed of your business, therefore providing a fast and efficient way to keep digital documents organised and safe.

What Are the Benefits of Document Capture?
  1. Improves Accuracy

You can find documents instantly, and reduce the chance of misfiling or losing them.

  1. Enhances Business Productivity

Real-time digitisation of document information helps improve productivity by speeding up traditionally administrative roles and offering significant time savings.

  1. Speeds Up Information Retrieval

With the click of a button you can view the information you require, be it the sales quote, purchase order, dispatch note, sales invoice or order query correspondence.

  1. Ensures HM Revenue & Customs Compliance

Spindle Document Capture helps to comply with HM Revenue & Customs regarding the storage of electronic invoices.

  1. Reduces Environment Impact

The amount of paper waste can be significantly reduced when using digital documents instead of paper, helping you to reduce your carbon footprint and lower your business paper costs.

  1. Streamlines Internal Processes

Batches of documents can be scanned in by any capture user, saving time in your accounts department.

  1. Lowers Number of Queries

By allowing access to view all documents across all departments, documents are much easier to find with instant access from other office locations, therefore helping to lower the usual number of queries made.

  1. Enables Faster Responses to Customers

Document capture accelerates business processes to enable faster responses to customers.

  1. Heightens File Organisation

You can simply tag documents to add a reference name or number to each image and associate it with a transaction in your system (i.e. Sage 200).

  1. Reduces Storage Space

By having an automated solution in place, your office can remain neat and tidy with a reduced requirement for paperwork, and therefore a reduced storage space.

Spindle Document Capture for Sage 200 Integration

Spindle Document Capture offers the key solution to help improve workflow and reduce the level of time and strain in searching for documents. It integrates directly with Sage 200, including sales order processing, purchase order processing, sales ledger, purchase ledger nominal ledger, cash book and project accounting. It features each of the benefits listed above, ensuring users can locate their required documents with ease.

How M2M Can Help…

If you’re interested in streamlining your practices, reducing your costs and improving your cash flow, Draycir’s innovative and award-winning products could help. Find out more about Spindle Document Capture by contacting us at M2M Technologies today on 01245 494 847 or get in touch via our Contact Us page.

Sage 50 vs. Sage 200: Choosing the Right Financial Software for your Business

EditorM2M

 

Are you having trouble choosing between Sage 50 and Sage 200? Sage 200 is the natural upgrade route for Sage 50 customers who find themselves necessitating a system that can manage more complex business processes and functionality.

Businesses commonly start with Sage 50 as their chosen finance software, and then as their business expands, they upgrade to Sage 200. This is largely due to Sage 50 being better suited to companies of up to 50 employees (and up to £10m turnover), and Sage 200 being better suited to companies of up to 200 staff members (and a £50m maximum turnover).

In this article, we’ll be considering the features of both Sage 50 and Sage 200 and comparing the functionalities of the two. This will help those of you on the cusp of making a decision between the two pieces of software by gaining a better understanding of the advantages of each.

SAGE 50 Software

With SAGE 50, you can keep track of your cash flow, and manage your payments. SAGE 50 assists in providing an accurate view of your cash position with easy bank reconciliation and e-banking. It enables you to manage and submit your payroll information to HMRC, communicate effectively with your accountant, set up a pension with ease or automatically calculate statutory payments.

Sage 50 provides a variety of unique system wide functionalities that differ to Sage 200, these include:

  • A ‘calculate net’ option in ALL data entry processes (Sage 200 offers this facility in common areas of use such as bank payments and receipts)
  • Memorising data entry form content, allowing you to complete a data entry form before saving it as a transaction, and then asking the system to memorise what has been entered and storing it as a named entry. This means you can complete the same data entry screen by recalling the memorised form rather than typing it in again – an ideal functionality when handling the same types of transaction frequently
  • Global data changes. In Sage 50 the user can set the same characteristic on all (all or a group) of customers, suppliers and stock items by altering one record and having the rest update rather than editing each record in turn
  • Portrait reports. Nearly all of the Sage 50 reports are portrait while with Sage 200 the standard layout of reports are landscape
  • Built in database backup and restore, giving you extra peace of mind (automated backups are now available for Sage 200 Extra Online)
  • Accountants Link. The user can send a copy of their data to their accountant and the accountant can make adjustments while the user keeps working on their copy of the data. The accountant then sends a file back to add their adjustments into the users system without losing what they have been doing
  • Audit preparation pack. A set of reports that allows the user to check data for the kind of anomalies that accountants and VAT inspectors look for so they can be addressed before the accountant or VAT inspector arrives
  • Event log. The user can configure the system to record whenever one of a nominated set of processes is run so later, the user can see what has been happening. The diary mimics the calendar in Outlook with import and export options for integration
  • Credit controller function
  • Batch reporting
  • VAT self-audit
SAGE 200 Software

For Small to Medium Businesses (SMEs), SAGE 200 provides complete visibility of information across your business via a full Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution. The software allows you to choose the modules and features that are right for your business with a fully customisable solution. It also enables you to manage your finances, customers and business insight all-in-one.

Sage 200 provides a variety of functionalities that Sage 50 does not, these include:

  • Currency; spot and period exchange rates; exchange rate history; support for euro triangulation
  • User definable workspaces
  • Choice of number of accounting periods per year
  • Control of length of accounting period
  • Ability to open/close/re-open a period
  • True transaction audit trail
  • Choice of invoice or movement date for intrastat prep
  • Separate create, amend and view forms
  • Integrated CRM
  • Integrated Business Intelligence
Sage 50 vs. Sage 200

A common misconception is that Sage 200 offers the same tools as Sage 50 but with more advanced features, yet this couldn’t be further from the truth. Both packages provide a great number of useful business functionalities, as you can see from the lists above. It’s just that the Sage 200 package is aimed at growing businesses, whilst Sage 50 is better suited to smaller businesses.

Which Software Suits your Business Best?

Ultimately when it comes down to Sage 200 vs Sage 50 – they are both equally effective and provide winning processes for businesses of all sizes. There is no winner or loser as such. There is only a right and wrong solution for your business.

If you’d like more information on choosing the right Sage solution for your business, contact us today.