VISUAL NEWSLETTER – DEC 2006                         

 


2006/2007 REMINDERS

 

We hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday and would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. Just a reminder for those clients using Payroll or any other system that has a December Year-End, you may need to do a year-end closing before processing 2007 data. If in doubt give us a call.

 

If you are using Payroll and have copied the 2007 Tax Tables make sure that your 2007 rates appear correct. The CPP maximum for 2007 should be $1989.90 and for E.I. it should be $720.00. If these rates are not updated give us a call since the odd update disk experienced a minor data problem.

 

The payroll program automatically creates a 2006 database that you can access for final adjustments and T4 printing at a later time. As always, companies have until February 28th to distribute T4’s and Releve 1 forms to their employees. If you have employees within the province of Quebec review QPIP tax rates as well.

 

COMPETITION FROM ASIA

 

This year, like every other, will bring us new challenges to overcome. North American Manufacturing continues to feel the affect of lower cost products coming out of China and other parts of Asia. As China enters the automotive sector, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler will continue to feel intense competitive pressure. All manufacturing companies will need to maintain high quality and efficient operations.

 

North American companies have certain definite advantages over their Asian counterparts but these advantages need to be fully exploited to help offset the obviously lower Asian labour costs. Our proximity to the end user, our infrastructure and close customer relations can be used to our advantage. All things being equal most people would prefer to buy products produced locally but quality and cost must be reasonably close to remain competitive.

 

While it may take a few years to happen, economic and environmental factors should slowly begin to even the world’s playing field.

 

WINDOWS VISTA

 

As Windows Vista’s launch approaches we want people to remember the problems encountered when Windows XP first hit the market. Many older Windows Based programs had varying degrees of compatibility issues some of which took a year or two to iron out. Surprisingly Libra had no really significant problems but some minor adjustments were required. For this reason it may be prudent to order any new computers with Windows XP at least until the end of the year. By then we should have a better idea of the ultimate impact that Windows Vista will have on the computing world.

 

It’s also likely that with the new introduction of Windows Vista that Microsoft will drop technical support for Windows 2000 just as they have for Windows 95, 98, ME & NT. Other major software manufacturers will likely follow suit, as they prefer to support as few versions as possible.

 

While not yet confirmed it seems likely that Microsoft will drop support for Novell Netware interfaces at that time. There has been a worldwide trend to Microsoft Windows Server products and they may feel that this is the time to push the last generation Novell server products out of the marketplace. At some point converting to a Windows Server is going to make sense. Give us a call whenever to think this makes sense.

 

Windows Vista will end the reign of Microsoft’s best operating system to date. Sales will likely continue until the end of the year however. In that case six years doesn’t seem too bad. Microsoft and other companies are becoming aware of the fact that companies require more time to migrate to new technologies. Changing systems too often causes unnecessary pain with too little gain for most companies. Companies have responded by adopting in house standards to minimize impact.

 

The continued availability of used equipment, older software programs and technical support can forestall the need to fully upgrade systems until it is absolutely necessary or it becomes truly advantageous. In either case 2007 promises to be an interesting year technologically. Here’s hoping it will be a positive one for everyone.