VISUAL NEWSLETTER – JAN 2004           

 


GOVERNMENT AUDITS

 

More and more often now auditors from the CCRA or Ministry of Finance are requesting or demanding accounting data in electronic form for audits. This they can use to validate your returns much more easily than digging through mountains of paper. This has the added advantage to the business owner of getting the auditor out of your offices for the major portion of the audit process.

 

Exporting data from Libra to ASCII or Excel is relatively easy to do, providing we have the historical data available. This means that we must keep full fiscal years of accounting data in each module and create annual backups or historical databases before closing a year and throwing away the valuable data. Failure to do so will ultimately mean that the auditor spends the entire audit at your office digging through paperwork and taking up time which you must provide to avoid severe penalties.

 

The problem for many Libra users is that they have often developed routines that delete data on a monthly basis. Libra provided these routines back when computers were slow and lacked storage capacity. Today’s high speed PC’s have more than enough speed and storage to retain many years of data. Therefore, keeping the mandatory seven years of data is easy.

 

To do this you must eliminate running the Period-End Closings at the end of the month on most modules. This includes Accounts Payable & Accounts Receivable primarily, but other modules may be involved as well.

 

You will still need to run year-end closings at the appropriate time and you can remove any older data from the database at that time. Before the year-end closing you must make backups of all databases on CD or other media. On-line historical backups are recommended and are easily created.

 

AD-WARE THE NEW VIRUS

 

Ad-ware is becoming more and more aggressive lately with built in routines to make uninstalling them very difficult. Once you have installed the seemingly innocent utility from the internet, you may be required to fill out extensive questionnaires before the program will uninstall. Some programs do not even provide for their removal. Others claim files are missing and that they cannot be uninstalled. Still others activate automatic update routines that re-install the software every time that you reboot your computer.

 

Of course the best way to avoid these problems is to avoid installing any software that you are not absolutely sure about. In a prior newsletter I discussed a number of programs that can be installed without fear of infection from ad-ware demons. Some programs that were fairly free of these nasty add-ons are now in bed with the ad-ware companies. Products like Kazaa and Real Player now come loaded with ad-ware items causing your computer to pop-up ads like crazy. Some web-sites do support themselves with pop-up ads but products like Gain, Gator, Savenow, Safesurf, etc will pop-up ads no matter where you are.

 

Legislation is pending to make it tougher for companies to infect your computer without your approval but children, in particular are susceptible to the sorts of messages that pop-up and often blindly click ok. Messages such as “Your computer may be infected with a virus, click ok to check” or “Make your computer faster, click ok for more information” are easily interpreted as beneficial to your computer. In most cases they are not and only require you to click the ok button for them to install their software infecting your computer. Products such as Spy Bot can help remove ad-ware infections but the best defence is to close almost every window that ever pops up on the internet.