Tips and Tricks for Using NewViews

New tips and tricks are added on a regular basis – please check back often!

NewViews is advancing at a rapid pace. Since the release of NV2 in 2005 over 100 new features have been added! All new changes and features are listed in Appendix “A” of the manual.

Speeding up your Export from NV1

Exporting NV1 data for import into NV2 (i.e. creating the NV1_NV2 file) requires a special trick… after starting the export if you examine the task manager you will notice that the NV1 program is given something less than 5 percent of the CPU. Now rest a stapler or something similar on the [Ctrl] key to hold it down and watch in the task manager that the CPU jumps close to 100 percent. Without this trick a 4 hour export can take 80 hours, or longer.

Adjusting Presentation Quality Layout

Reports can be printed using the command Print > Presentation Quality

The print prompt on row 8 links to a Template Style Sheet called report_style_sheet.html that can be edited to adjust the indent, margins, font style, etc.

This file can be found in the C:\nv\print_templates\html_reports\ directory.

Sample – Template Style Sheet

If some of the html codes shown below are not present in your style sheet file, you can add them.

report_style_sheet

row   7   margin-left:100px; controls the indent or left margin of the report
row   8   width:575px; controls the overall width of the report
row 20   font-weight:bold; makes the first amount column bold
row 21   width:300px; controls the width of the description column

Increasing the values above will make the respective columns wider. Conversely, decreasing the values will narrow the columns.

You can download the above report_style_sheet.html here. The file will download as a .txt file, you will need to change the file extension to .html

When editing the values on the style sheet, remember the ; at the end of the px characters. There are separate style sheets for 3 and 4 amount column reports.

"--- loading ---" Alert and Sluggish Scrolling on Tables

Slow table updates in multi-user mode may be caused by tables with dozens, if not hundreds, of extra columns (added on purpose or inadvertently).

On a typical system, a blue accounts table should load in under 2 seconds for 40+ rows. In multi-user mode, a 24 column multiple Period Analysis range, for example, can change the load time to 20 seconds or longer.

The presence of a horizontal scroll bar at the bottom of a window pane indicates that the current window size is smaller than the width of the table.

scroll_bar_1

This scroll bar represents the full range (overall width) of all the columns in the account window. The thumb on the left of the scrollbar represents the portion of the columns that are currently visible. You can scroll horizontally through the full contents of the window by clicking one of the scroll arrows, or by clicking the area in the shaded shaft, or by dragging the thumb.

In the example below, the area marked in red is the thumb of the scroll bar.
About 80% of the table would be visible, 20% would not fit in the current window.

scroll_bar_1_r

The narrower the thumb, the smaller the portion of the window that is visible.
In this example, 20% or less of the table would be visible, and 80+% would not fit in the window.
This is a sign of many columns.

scroll_bar_2_r

Shown below is an accounts payable table without a horizontal scroll bar. The full width of the blue table is visible, and there are no hidden columns.

slow_scroll_bar_1

In this example (below), we see an accounts payable table with a horizontal scroll bar. The full width of the blue table is not visible, meaning there are additional columns to the right of the “Balance” column. The size of the thumb indicates that about a third of the blue table is not visible (i.e. does not fit in the window).

slow_scroll_bar_2

In this last example (below), the size of the thumb on the scroll bar indicates about 80% of the window is not visible – a sign of many columns to the right of the “Balance” column.

slow_scroll_bar_3

The illustration above is a good example of a case in which too many columns have been added to the table. If you are experiencing a “—loading—” alert and sluggish scrolling, check to see if additional (and possibly unnecessary) columns have been added to the table. If so, these extra columns can be deleted to improve performance.

Purchase Journal - Behavior Change

A change was made in version 2.19 that altered the behavior of purchase journal transactions.

For non-profit organizations, the introduction of the HST in Ontario and B.C. has made recording expenses subject to GST / HST tricky.

Most businesses in Canada can take the entire GST / HST charge on an expense and enter is as an Input Tax Credit. However, most non-profit organizations may only claim 50% of the Federal portion of the HST and 82% of the Provincial portion.

When manually editing the calculated tax amounts on the purchase journal prior to 2.19 the “Total” amount of the invoice would change. If a vendor presented an invoice produced by a spreadsheet there could be penny rounding issues. Some invoices just don’t add up properly. However the vendor expects you to pay the Total of the invoice.

Below are four sample purchase journals with various tax settings.

The tax calculation behavior for all these purchase journals is consistent. The example invoice is $113.–
The expense from the vendor is for $100.– plus 13% H.S.T. for a total of $113.–

tips_pi_settings

The tax settings on the journals above match the transactions below.

  • Lines 1 115 – Old style pre H.S.T. journal that calculates 5% G.S.T. and 8% P.S.T.
  • Lines 2 114 – Standard H.S.T. journal that simply calculates the 13% H.S.T.
  • Lines 3 113 – H.S.T. journal that calculates a split 5% H.S.T. (Federal) and 8% H.S.T. (Provincial)
  • Lines 4 112 – Calculates 5% H.S.T. with a 50% rebate and also 8% H.S.T. with a 82% rebate.

When entering $100.– in the “Amount” field, the journal will extend the taxes and the “Total” will be $113.– If you enter $113.– in the “Total” field, the journals will extract the taxes and post the results below.

tips_pi_trans

The fun starts when the tax amount extended by the journal does not match the tax amount charged by the vendor. See the examples below.

tips_pi_trans_2

For example instead of $5.– H.S.T. the vendor charges $4.99, simply edit the tax amount, the total of the invoice will not change. The difference is added or subtracted from the expense. The design of the purchase journals is to enter the Gross (total) amount of the vendor’s invoice in the “Item Total” field. The journal extracts the taxes as per the tax settings, then edit the tax amounts if necessary.

For convenience we suggest that you change the order of the columns on the journal detail’s window.
Use the combination [Ctrl] key and [left cursor] key to move the “Item Total” column three positions to the left.

tips_pi_details

Windows 7 - released Oct, 2009

When installing NewViews on computers with Vista or Windows 7, it is recommended that NewViews be installed using the “Run as administrator” command.

For NewViews to function it required full read / write access to it’s installation directory and the “temp” directory of the operating system.

  • NewViews 2 for Windows runs on both 32 and 64 bit versions of Vista and Windows 7
  • NewViews 1 for DOS only runs on 32 bit versions of Vista and Windows 7

Wireless Computers & Laptops

This tip applies to you if you are using NewViews in multi-user mode with Windows XP, and using a computer or laptop with a wireless connection.

Windows’ XP “Wireless Zero Configuration” service periodically drops and restarts wireless connections in a misguided attempt to check for a “better” access point to connect with.

Windows XP’s “zero configuration WiFi” also defaults to the almost-never-useful mode of connecting to non access point WiFi devices in so-called “Ad Hoc” mode. This has potentially serious data integrity consequences. This is also an insecure and unstable default which should be changed on every XP-based WiFi machine. Simply follow the steps below to disable this incorrect default setting in XP:

  • Right-Click the tray’s wireless adapter icon, then choose “View Available Wireless Networks”.
  • Then under “Related Tasks” (on the left) click “Change advanced settings”.
    Click the “Advanced” button at the lower right.
  • Change the default “Any available network” setting to “Access point”.
    You should also be sure that “Automatically connection to non-preferred networks is NOT checked.

Note : If possible, it is recommended that a standard wired connection be used.

File Backup & File Save

The most important mouse click of the day.

The built in File>Backup command will backup your books while you are using NewViews. No need to close the books first. This backup was specifically created for multi-user operation. There is no need to tell users to close down NewViews in order to create a backup file of your books.

The File>Backup command saves the current NewViews file to a backup file that has an automatically generated file name. By default, the backup is created in the same folder as the database, but this default can be overridden.

We do not recommend the use of disk imaging or file differential backup software when NewViews server is running with open NewViews databases.

The File>Save command saves changes to disk for the current file.

The File>Save All command saves changes to disk for files currently open. If issued anywhere on a workstation, all files you have open on that workstation are saved. If issued anywhere on a server, all files that the server currently has open, i.e. that users have open through that server, are saved.

Although NewViews saves information to disk automatically as work is performed, for efficiency purposes the changes are saved during background processing, i.e. when NewViews is idle. NewViews may not be idle very often when many users are simultaneously making changes in a multi-user environment, and the information lost by a system crash can increase accordingly. The File>Save and File>Save All commands force all changes to disk, ensuring that they will not be lost in the event of a system crash.

Show X (cross account) not GOX

All journal explorers display both the credit and debit side of a transaction.

In addition, on any journal, when viewing the details of a transaction you may open a third window pane by clicking on the maximize/restore  expand_button  button.

The red arrow below is pointing at the maximize/restore button that will expose the third window pane. The third window pane observes the position of the cursor position in the middle pane.

In this example the middle window pane is displaying the details of the $14,628.90 deposit. Line one is the Olson account’s $9,628.90 deposit paying invoices 1203 and 1208. The bottom green window pane displays the ledger of the Olson account (in real time) with automatic highlighting of the bank deposit posting.

showx_r

Access Denied?

Hey, this is my computer, what gives.

In the good old days, Windows 95, 98, and 2000 most users had full access to all the files and folders on their computer.

Now with networks, Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7, Microsoft and the IT department, have decided they know better than to give users full access to their computers. By default, many files and folders are restricted.

To install and operate NewViews, you will need full read/write access to the folder in which you install NewViews, (default is C:\NV) and to %WINDIR%\Temp.

We also recommend that you have read/write access to a shared folder on the network dedicated to NewViews data where your data can be backed up, create a download directory for upgrades and a printing directory to share printing templates.

Bookmarks

toolbar

Just like the Internet, save your favorite positions, and navigate with the forward and backward buttons.

The toolbar is located near the top of your application window, just below the menu bar. The toolbar has navigation buttons (Back, Forward and Forward End) and a Bookmarks button.

The Bookmarks button allows you to bookmark (called “Favorites” in Internet Explorer) a position, view or window arrangement that you can return to at any time.

Check the NewViews manual for a full description with screen shots under “Toolbar navigation buttons” in the Operating Newviews chapter. The manual is accessed by clicking on the Help > Manual command in the main menu.

Budgeting

NewViews for Windows is not restricted to monthly history ranges like the old NV1. NV2 has full history and reporting on a daily basis. Budgets can be done yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly even daily.

There are two methods of entering a budget.

  1. Directly on a report set to the Budget view.
  2. From the Budget Journal

Method 1 is covered in the NewViews manual in a dedicated chapter called “Budgeting”.

An alternate is method 2, entering the budget directly from a budget journal.

budget_journal

We assume you are entering an annual budget to be used with monthly reports.

This can be accomplished in four easy steps.

  1. Navigate to the Budget journal. The journal is located in the General Journal folder.
    NewViews/Journal/General/Budget
  2. In the Transactions view, if your year end is March 31, create an entry dated April 1. In the Cr Account column enter the “BUDGET_BALANCE” account name. Now expand into the detail window with [F6] to the “Details” view.
  3. In the [Dr Account] column start posting to all the accounts for which you have a budget. These will be monthly budget amounts. Enter negative values for Credit normal balance accounts. Enter positive values for Debit normal balance accounts.

    If you have annual budget numbers you may enter them as follows, lets say the budget is $60,000 for the year, simply type 60000/12 in the amount column and press enter. The value displayed will be the result of the calculation 60000/12=5000 (see line 3 above in the sample screen shot)

  4. Once all the monthly amounts have been entered, press [F4] to contract back to the top window. Position on the header of the transaction (line 1 in this example) and run the command Tools > Create Transactions > Post Dated. You may now copy the single monthly entry 11 more times to create the annual budget.

The idea is to create budget entries for the smallest date range you will be reporting with, monthly in the above example. Then simply duplicate the transaction for as many months as you wish.

If some of the monthly budget amounts are variable over the year, use “Show X” (see Tips) to view an account in budget mode and adjust the appropriate amounts directly in the ledger below.

Split the Amount column into individual Dr and Cr columns

On any account ledger the default view is a single Amount column beside the running balance (Amount Total) column.

Using the menu View command click on the [Amounts Only – Dr/Cr Split] command to split the left Amount column into individual Debit and Credit columns.

You can return to the original single Amount column with the same menu View command and click on the [Amounts Only] command.

Standby - Save Power and possibly damage your data

Most new computers come with power saving settings. e.g. turning of the computer monitor after a set amount of time. This is not a problem.

A prominent method of saving power (the green movement) is with the “power” section in the computer’s display settings.

In the “power” section many users activate the “system standby” option. This allows an idle computer to go to (sleep) after a set amount of time. This is fine if there are no running applications that rely on external links. However, NewViews when running in multi-user mode is connected to a server machine that is active.

If NewViews is active on your desktop in multi-user mode, i.e. your NewViews data is on another machine, you must not allow your computer to go into standby mode.

Going “standby” with NewViews running as a real-time application with data synchronized from other computers is the same as pulling the power plug out of the back of the computer.

Your data may appear fine after restarting, but at some point serious damage may occur to your data.

Edit Printing Templates then rename the File

Have you ever lost your modified printing template after updating to a new version of NewViews?

With the NewViews installation, over 100 printing templates in the form of .xls files are installed on your computer.

Templates by nature are designed to be modified by you the user. Most of us have some knowledge with Excel and find it easy to modify the printing templates for Checks, Invoices, Statements, payroll reports, etc.

When you first open a template to modify, please immediately do a Save As command and rename the template with a new name.
Suggested names are; prepend the name with your company name, or your own first name or the printer name.

This will guarantee that after you have modified the new template it has a unique name and will not be overwritten with the next upgrade.

Note: we recommend that you create a new directory as a shared folder and name it “printing templates”. Copy to this new folder any and all .xls files you use as templates. Most users use less than a dozen templates. This will make it easier to find the template you are looking for. Instead of looking at a list of 100 files there will only be the dozen or so you use.

The traditional Trial Balance view

Looking for a report with two columns, one for debits, one for credits with no negative values?

Any report can have a Trial Balance Tab added. The Trial Balance Tab (or view) is unique, it has dedicated columns for Debits and Credits. No negative values are shown, if a Debit normal balance “goes” negative, the amount will jump to the Credit column and vice-versa.

We recommend that this only be added to reports that have a Total account at the bottom that sums to zero. This would be reports such as a Trial Balance or General Ledger. But this view may be useful on any report where all the debit and credit accounts sum to zero.

The command “Create Trial Balance” in available on the Report Desktop Menu. To access the Report desktop menu position on a report, and right click on the title bar immediately above the report tabs. The title bar should start with text such as /REPORT/(name of report). With the Report Desktop Menu open, expand the Tools item to display the “Create Trial Balance”

This is not all, you can add two more columns (debit/credit) and set them for the prior year. How nice to give out the trial balance with the current period and the prior period. If you wish you can add as many pairs of columns as you wish and each pair can be a different date.

Semiloops may be slowing you down

The graph below is a semiloop. There are two paths from D to A, one through B and one through C.

semiloop

A semiloop in the total-to structure means that one account is totaling to another more than once. This does not result in duplicate postings in the account that is totaled to more than once. NewViews automatically ensures that each posting appears only once in any account. So, for example, semiloops will not typically cause a set of books to go out of balance.
Semiloops were allowed in NewViews 1.XX and to ease conversion, NewViews 2 continued to allow semiloops.

In the latter versions of NV2, a warning was presented upon completion of the conversion process from NewViews 1.XX if semiloops where present.

We strongly suggest that you remove semiloops if present in NewViews 2. For more detailed information on semiloops, please check the NewViews manual under “Setting Up The Books”, “Semiloops in NewViews Totalto Structure”

Version 2.15 can re-total accounts close to the speed of NewViews 1.XX when no semiloops are present.