Issue # 8 Winter 2008 T h e m a g a z I n e f o r pa s T e l e v o l u T I o n c u s T o m e r s
Tips and tricks • New features with Evolution version 5.01
Harley-Davidson case study • Pastel People
editor’s note WITh The mId-year mark fast approach-
ing, 2008 has been a year of growth for most IcT
schools program, taking place in grades 10, 11
and 12, pastel aims to take you and your business
companies in south africa. pastel has been no beyond accounting.
exception. our growth rate continues to hold
strong at 35% per annum – a figure that trans- The success of our software is highly dependent on
lates into the physical sale of more than 2 000 our support team, who recently received the Best
accounting and 500 payroll packages each month. customer service award in the 2007 Business
process enabling south africa (Bpesa) awards. In
after 18 years in the game, we can proudly call the spirit of what they do, the team has compiled
more than 180 000 small and medium enter- a set of handy keyboard shortcuts (page 10) and
prises (smes) in 52 countries on five continents, 3 pages of tips and tricks (page 7), which we are
our customers. We believe that this is strong tes- certain you will find useful.
timony to the fact that pastel understands the
sme space. What’s more, we continually strive We’re also excited to announce that we’ve started
to update and improve our products in order to a recruitment division, known as pastel people.
assist with the growth of your business. find out all about it on page 26. and lastly, our
performance management story on page 24 will
on that note, in this eighth issue of Solutions, guide you through the process of keeping your
we showcase, amongst other things, some of the staff productive.
newest developments, products and exciting fea-
tures customers can look forward to in the next I trust that you enjoy this jam-packed issue of
pastel evolution upgrade (page 13). Whether it is Solutions, and will continue to rely on us to help
pastel auditor – an application designed specifi- make 2008 your best year ever.
cally to save auditors time and money (page 2),
pastel IronTree – a back-up product that aims All the best,
to ensure you don’t lose any information with all Shelley Segal
the power outages (page 4), or even the certified Editor
JHB: 011 304 3000 • CT: 021 680 9000 • DBN: 031 566 3670
Pastel Evolution Support Line: 011 304 3300 / 0860 PASTEL • email@example.com • Sales: 011 304 3530 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Pastel Evolution Payroll Support Line: 011 304 4360 • Sales: 011 304 4100 • email@example.com
Websites: www.pastel.co.za • www.pastelpayroll.co.za
00 s o l u T I o n s m a g a z I n e
Sub editor: Taryn Blumberg • Designed and produced by Tenaka’s Tribe
Solutions Issue # 8 Winter 2008
01 Focusing on the positive
02 Making life easier for auditors
03 New debtors management software – one of a kind
04 Pastel IronTree makes online back-up available to customers
05 Customers vote Pastel contact centre best in SA
06 Meet the Support team
07 Tips and tricks – saving you time and maximising your business
10 Dash through your ‘to-do’ list with our super-speedy shortcuts
11 Harley-Davidson dealer cruises on Pastel Evolution
13 New features in Evolution version 5.01
16 Are your payroll and accounting packages a match made in heaven?
17 Purchase Order Procurement add-on module
18 Job Costing add-on module
19 Five minutes with … Steven Cohen
20 SP Toolkit – addressing your specific business software needs
21 Prestigious status – meet ZS Consulting and Preferred Solutions
23 Intrepid trainer gets 1 000 educators teaching school accounting with Pastel
24 Pastel makes performance management easy for SMEs
25 Evolving business – Hummel Africa
26 Pastel People – we’ll recruit your Pastel skills for you
27 Business travel trips by kulula.com
28 Africa – continent of opportunity, not despair
soluTIons magazIne 00
Steven Cohen, Softline Pastel MD
focusing on the positive
as ThIs fIrsT Issue of Solutions goes I would therefore like to encourage you to be as evolution an even more superb business tool,
out for 2008, I would like to start by wishing all positive as possible, and position yourselves at and one that you can rely on to be with you
of our evolution customers the very best for the a point of readiness for such occurrences. every step of the way towards creating a suc-
year ahead. cessful business.
new year, new features
The upside of darkness still focusing on the positives, we believe that strength to strength
I know that 2008 has started off with a few frus- 2008 is going to be an exciting year for pastel and just to update you quickly on how we are
trations due to power outages etc., but pastel evolution. version 5 has been shipped with doing as a company, we now have more than
hopes to make your lives more productive with some great functionality, including: 350 employees in our ranks. currently, we
some great new features in pastel evolution. • Batch input for Suppliers and Customers; employ over 150 people in our support call
• Per user access to period processing; centre, and we have a healthy staff complement
I’ve always been aware that one can look at • Business Intelligence dashboards; in our durban and cape Town branches.
situations from two different perspectives, • Flexible settlement discounts;
namely is the ‘glass half full’ or ‘half empty’? • Bulk e-mailing of customer documents; no prizes for the person who guesses what
The good news about the power outages is that • Enhanced inventory costing methods; software every single person at pastel uses
eskom has committed to spending in the region • Costings per inventory warehouse; and every day – obviously, it’s pastel evolution.
of r800 billion over the next 10 years to get • Integration to Pastel Auditor.
the country’s electricity supply working the way an interesting fact is that we no longer classify
it should. This version includes hundreds of enhance- pastel evolution as an accounting package –
ments – far too many to list here. feel free to we prefer to refer to it as a Business software
We could focus on the fact that this will take contact us or your channel partner for a com- solution. after all, it incorporates all the
another 10 years to come to fruition, or we prehensive overview. accounting functionality you would expect,
could focus on the positive impact this spend plus operational features, to make the running
is going to have on the economy. Into the future of your business even smoother.
looking beyond evolution version 5, we have
since a coal-fired power station costs in the some great features in the pipeline for its suc- liberate your business with pastel evolution.
region of r85 billion to build, I’m convinced cessor, namely 5.01. features to look forward It’s beyond accounting!
that any area where such a station is to be built to include alternate units of measure, and pro-
will experience an economic boom. and there curement with workflows, to name just two. as
will, from the sounds of things, be quite a few always, you can rest assured that our develop-
of them going up between now and 2018. ment teams are hard at work to make pastel
01 s o l u T I o n s m a g a z I n e
making life easier
until now, there haven’t been many business
software options for auditors serving the sme
market. This will all change with the launch of
pastel auditor version 2 in august 2008 which
will integrate with pastel evolution version 5.01.
“developIng a producT for auditors was a natural step in auditor is easy to use and focuses on facilitating the activities of audi-
the evolution of our product set, and of our strategic determination tors of small and medium-sized enterprises (smes).
to go beyond accounting,” says softline pastel managing director,
steven cohen. “having provided accounting solutions for most “In essence, we’ve taken auditing best practices as they apply to
industries during the past 18 years, we were already in possession of smes and automated them – allowing auditors to give priority time
the technology tools that auditors would find helpful in extracting and to thinking about their clients’ businesses rather than collecting their
analysing information from a set of financial accounts. clients’ data,” cohen says.
“The automated, integrated processes that our accounting solutions pastel will also establish a pastel auditor website to keep users up to
deliver are ideally suited to the modern approach to auditing that date on regulatory changes. Templates, updates and other material
focuses on analytical review – identifying trends and then auditing by applicable to specific industries will also be made available.
exception,” cohen says.
pastel auditor offers valuable features
getting the big picture quickly pastel auditor features include the ability to edit the financial state-
“so, we designed pastel auditor to give auditors an immediate over- ment template to suit the particulars of each client. The changes are
view of the status of a business – enabling them to get a grip on the then ‘remembered’ by pastel auditor for the subsequent year’s audit.
underlying issues very quickly. a graphical view of a client’s business
allows auditors to see the wood for the trees instantly.” Trend analysis can be done at general ledger (gl) level, with prior
and current year balances available at the click of a button. drill-down
In fact, the whole process of drawing up working papers and extract- facilities allow access to month-by-month transactions.
ing information from the business is effectively reduced from days or
weeks to minutes or hours. notes to the financial statements are generated automatically by pastel
auditor, and can be interrogated further by clicking on the relevant
“auditors can then use very comprehensive report and drill-down item to reveal the detail behind the note.
capabilities to examine the transactions behind the issues. again, this
speeds up the audit process. We believe that pastel auditor saves a full set of lead schedules can be extracted by clicking on the item
auditors 15 minutes in every audit hour,” comments cohen. in the financial statements. a transactional-level drill-down facility is
pastel auditor intuitively draws information from pastel accounting
products, and journal entries passed in pastel auditor can seamlessly pastel auditor roadshows
be updated back into those products. audit information in pastel The product was launched during september 2007 in Johannesburg,
auditor is displayed in an excel format, which can be customised. pretoria, cape Town, durban, Bloemfontein, port elizabeth, east
london and nelspruit, at roadshows that were timed to be exactly
“a particular advantage is that once you have extracted information one hour. This demonstrated to auditors just how time-saving pastel
from a pastel accounting package into pastel auditor, you can work on auditor can be for them. several copies of the product were sold then
the spreadsheets without being connected to the source of the infor- and there, with comments like “this is what we need” and “this will
mation,” cohen explains. “In other words, you have absolute flexibility make us much more efficient”.
about where and how you perform the audit. you can even do it from
your deck chair on your annual holiday.” Contact us
Tel: JHB 011 304 3550 • CT 021 680 9000
created specifically for auditors • DBN 031 566 3670
serving the sme market E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
designed in conjunction with a firm of chartered accountants, pastel Web: www.pastel.co.za
soluTIons magazIne 02
T h I r d p a r T y a p p l I c aT I o n s
New debtors management software –
one of a kind
many businesses make the common mistake of growing their sales at the expense of their cashflow.
consider this: if your profit margin is 10% of turnover, and you collect 90% of your debtors, you
have not generated any free cashflow at all. To help solve this problem, profusion software
solutions has developed a debtors and cashflow management product, known as cashcode.
cashcode Is unIque in terms of automating hands-on, daily con- In other words, all the activities surrounding debtors and cashflow man-
trol of the debtors book – saving businesses tens of thousands of rands agement that are normally handled manually – and very often on a hit-and-
annually. In addition, cashcode saves management time and eliminates miss basis – are automated. This reduces collection time and prevents
the frustration associated with managing the debtors book. as a third party write-offs, thereby reducing the risk of bad debts and mismanagement of
application, it also integrates seamlessly into pastel accounting software. the debtors book.
overdue debtors of say r100 000 costs a business r13 500 a year – and and if cashcode prevents even one invoice being written off, it has paid
with interest rates climbing, that cost is going to get more onerous and for itself.
constitute an ever-greater risk to the business. Ideally, then, you would
want collections to happen faster and more efficiently, so that you’re cashcode is designed to integrate seamlessly with pastel partner or pastel
always guaranteed to have cash on hand. evolution, and is entirely plug-and-play. no user intervention is required to
get it up and running within an established pastel set-up.
The problem with most debtors management systems is that they only
work on a macro level, based on rather big assumptions – such as the It is suitable for any business with a fair volume of invoices that seeks to
average age of debtors and the average sales you might expect in a year. optimise its collection process, and is applicable in any industry.
also, they tend to look a long way forward. none of this helps you actually
to bring the cash in. The software is easy to use. It’s based on a sql database, and automati-
cally generates reports in crystal. so data entry is quick, and there’s no
The new cashcode software offers the conventional projections, but it also need to use excel spreadsheets.
provides you with the day-to-day detail that enables you to improve cash-
flow proactively and very quickly. In comparison with other debtors management products, it’s not only
operationally more efficient in terms of the way that critical data is stored,
developed by chartered accountants and financial directors, cashcode analysed and reported on, but it actually makes you money. It’s a revenue-
stratifies all outstanding invoices into clear reports, stipulating why each driving tool.
invoice is outstanding, when it is due to be paid, what has been done
to collect it, and what actions are still to be taken. It then quantifies that
information into up-to-date, accurate financial and cashflow reports that CasHCoDe CaN Help you:
save management and the debtors department time in understanding the • achieve and maintain a clean and transparent debtors book
current situation. • easily keep track of all overdue invoices: cashcode will tell you
why they are outstanding, what actions have been taken to
It also automatically provides instant reconciliations of invoices outstand- collect them, and the expected date of payment
ing per aging category per debtor, calculates actual days outstanding per • automatically e-mail a clean list of overdue invoices to
invoice, tracks payment history, and tracks all calls made to debtors and the customer
promises made, as well as generating daily callback reports and action • diminish the risk of non-collectable debt and associated write-offs
lists for follow-up. • Improve your cashflow
Tel: 011 786 2512
03 s o l u T I o n s m a g a z I n e
pastel IronTree makes
available to customers
softline pastel is now offering all customers
the ability to back-up their data online
to an independent, mirrored data centre
The facIlITy, known as pastel IronTree, automates the full back-up
process, thereby eliminating human error. It provides a cost-effective way
for smes to ensure that their data is current, secure and accessible 24
hours a day, anywhere in the world.
“given that load-shedding is set to continue in the long term, the vast
majority of smes in south africa are vulnerable to data loss and, therefore,
to regulatory, governance and operational crises. It has therefore become
essential for businesses to back-up their data regularly, as erratic power
supply can easily cause data corruption and hardware failure,” says far less costly than trying to acquire and then manage hardware, software
softline pastel managing director, steven cohen. and processes in-house.”
“research shows that while up to 91% of south african smes do have The pastel online back-up facility works over adsl and other broadband
offline back-up facilities, more than 80% of those facilities are either networks, ensuring that back-up is ‘always on’ and that data can be
inadequate or used incorrectly,” says cohen. retrieved 24/7/365.
“What we’ve done, by making an online option available, is give smes “We’ve brought this capability to the market now, because many smes
access to best practice data storage and business continuity processes have some form of broadband connectivity in order to be competitive,”
and procedures – at the click of a button, and at affordable prices.” cohen says. “There are currently 260 000 adsl users in south africa,
with Telkom expecting that figure to increase by 11 000 a month from
The pastel IronTree online back-up service automates the regularity and now on. That sort of rapid growth is also bringing down the cost of adsl
frequency of back-ups, ensuring that data is always current. sequential connectivity. a 4 megabit per second line is now r413, which is less than
copies of data are stored, ensuring that it is possible to roll back further a 512 kilobyte per second line cost two years ago.
than a single day or month. consequently, where corrupt data has
unwittingly been backed up, it’s possible to restore to a version of the data “so, it’s easier and cheaper than ever before to use a hosted back-up
that was backed up before the corruption occurred. facility. given the enormous advantages of online back-up versus the
usually haphazard methods currently being applied off-line and in-house,
data security, which used to be a concern when sending mission-critical it’s counterintuitive to keep going with off-line methods.”
information over the Internet, has been addressed. The online back-up
facility, for instance, applies three-layer encryption before transmitting an online back-up installation wizard that is downloaded as part of the
data to the remote server. once there, the data can be ‘unlocked’ – but registration process will include a default setting for pastel users. users
only with a unique data encryption key. also, because the data is stored whose data is not in the default location can easily modify the default
off-site at a secure facility, when pcs, servers or cds at the customer’s settings to accommodate their specific situation. future pastel releases
organisation are stolen, damaged, lost or corrupted for some or other will include a ‘back-up now’ button, which will automatically locate the
reason, the data is not lost with them. relevant data and upload the correct settings to the back-up application
software and data storage platform.
“for many smes, following the full, correct processes and procedures for
backing up data feels too onerous – and the disk or tape drives and other pastel IronTree’s new online back-up facility is applicable in all industries.
hardware necessary to make on-site data back-up happen correctly are
often too expensive and need too much maintenance and management,” Contact us
cohen says. Tel: 0861 112 429
“online, off-site back-up, as we’ve set it up, is just so much easier – and Web: www.pastelirontree.co.za
soluTIons magazIne 04
aWa r d s
pastel contact centre best in sa
softline pastel’s support contact centre, with 150 agents taking over 50 000 service calls a
month, received the Best customer service award in the 2007 Business process enabling south
africa (Bpesa) awards. This achievement is particularly gratifying given pastel’s ongoing focus on
and investment in our contact centre to deliver outstanding service to our valued customers.
leFT: support director Tanya Miranda (left) and support manager Tamsin Bradford (right) with the coveted award for Best Customer service
Centre in south africa. RIGHT: The pastel support centre team leaders celebrate their success.
‘The ImporTance of this award is that ate about our contact centre staff, and so they years ago. Two years ago, the number of agents
the final decision was made by customer votes,’ are passionate about our customers. They feel was doubled to ensure the correct ratio of agents
says Tanya miranda, pastel support director. good about themselves, and pass on that posi- to customers – and optimise agent initiative. In
‘so, although our contact centre is comparatively tive energy to customers in the form of relevant, august 2007, the call centre was moved – with
small compared to the other companies – such rapid resolution of their calls.’ the rest of the organisation – into new premises
as liberty life, medscheme, sanlam and cell in sandton, where the latest technologies have
c – also short-listed by Bpesa, the level and pastel contact centre agents receive a high order been deployed to ensure continuous improve-
quality of service we offer has been considered of personal mentoring by team leaders, who ment in the service provided to customers.
superior by the people who actually make use sit with them as they answer calls and teach
of contact centre services.’ them to look back through customer records to ‘But contact centres are not primarily about
identify and pre-empt unresolved issues. ‘We technology,’ miranda says. ‘The way you deal
customers were involved in the survey leading track all customer contacts and if, for instance, with people, and the way the team is run, is
up to the awards for the first time this year. They we see that a customer has phoned five times what makes you the best in the industry.’
were asked to rate the contact centres not only in a given period about the same issue, we
on the professionalism of the agents, but also call them to see what can be done about it,’ Contact us
on the impression the contact centres conveyed miranda says. ‘We don’t wait for them to call Tel: 011 304 3300
of the companies they represent. back a sixth time. E-mail: email@example.com
‘These days, contact centres aren’t just tools by ‘We also incentivise our staff on customer re-
which a company makes contact with its cus- tention. so they proactively analyse the way
tomers,’ miranda says. ‘They also have a pro- they work to see if they could have serviced the
found influence on the way customers perceive customer better in any way.’ DID you KNoW? Softline
the company overall – and are therefore one of Pastel has once again been nominated
the most important marketing tools a company unusually, pastel contact centre agents are for the Europe, Middle East and Africa
can employ. encouraged to resolve calls by visiting customer (EMEA) Contact Centre World Awards.
businesses. miranda says it’s the best way to It is the only company to receive
‘In that context, we understand that agents who develop a sense of urgency about customer nominations in multiple categories
don’t feel good about the company they repre- calls. ‘When you’ve seen for yourself the risks including Best in Customer Service, Best
sent can’t possibly market the company well. businesses face through downtime on software, Outbound Campaign (Outbound Sales),
something as simple as tone of voice has the you have a fresh appreciation for the difference Best Community Spirit and Best Contact
power to put a caller off the company. so, the you can make to that business.’ The pastel call Centre (51-249 agents).
reason we succeed is because we are passion- centre has trebled in size since inception nine
05 s o l u T I o n s m a g a z I n e
meet the ever wondered about the person on the other end of
the phone line? now you can put a face to the voice.
our support department consists of 150 consultants
and is divided into various teams, each with its
own area of expertise and set of customers. pastel
evolution has its own dedicated team of 15 people,
committed to improving the business of our pastel
evolution customers. In this article, we meet Bennie
pienaar, the pastel evolution support team leader.
What do you enjoy most about your job? my favourite thing is the gratitude Which products does your team focus on supporting?
expressed by my clients, since it makes me feel really appreciated. I take We focus on pastel evolution and related add-on modules,
pleasure in being in a position where I can provide an exceptionally high pastel evolution Business Intelligence centre, Brilliant for
standard of support to our customers, as reflected by the pastel contact centre Windows, Brilliant for dos, legal Write and pastel premier.
being voted as the best centre in south africa in 2007. I also take pride in Besides telephonic support, we also provide e-mail query
realising that, indirectly, we contribute to the country’s economy, as indicated in support, do monthly customer courtesy calls, and consult
the exceptional growth of the contact centre. with walk-in customers on an ad hoc basis.
What are the combined years of pastel contact centre What training have you and your team undergone? We try, as much as
experience in your team? all together, the team has 35 possible, to instil a culture of continuous learning in the pastel evolution
years of experience. support team. This practice ensures we always provide the best possible
service to our clients. my team has attended an induction training
course, as well as being trained in various new pastel evolution version
release courses, excel on steroids, advanced BIc for evolution, basic
What is the team’s overall customer satisfaction rating average sql scripting, year end procedures, evolution retail management
for the previous 12 months? It’s pretty impressive – 96%. systems (rms), and other product-related courses.
How many evolution customers does your team look after, and how
many calls do you handle on average? We support in the region of 3 700
quick tips from Bennie pienaar’s team evolution customers, and 101 Business partners that make use of the
If the toolbar at the top of any evolution grid window (e.g. the evolution support contact centre. The average number of calls per month is
add, edit, Delete etc. buttons on top of the Customer grid between 2 500 and 3 000, and this figure can increase to 4 000 - 4 500 over
window) has been removed, it can be quickly replaced. the annual year end season (end of february to end of april).
This is done by right clicking on the grid window and selecting
the option called ‘reset form defaults’. after this, press f5 to
refresh the screen, and the missing toolbar should be back.
When printing a customer or supplier document, e.g. invoice
or GRV, the document prints correctly, but also prints an
extra blank page afterwards. How do you stop this from
on the relevant document e.g. customer Invoices process-
ing screen, select print / print options / print options Invoice /
printer options tab. ensure that the ‘duplex’ drop-down is set
to ‘none’ (not ‘horizontal’ or ‘vertical’).
How to get the Item Maintenance price lists available on
the Tax Invoice layout.
They are available, but you have to do the following first:
• On the Inventory / Sales Order Invoice, open the Invoice Print
• Unselect the option Exclude the Default Price List Prices.
• Open the Invoice Design screen, and notice the following
three variables on the ‘plInventory’ data pipeline: expr1, BaCK, l-R: eddie Thebe, zakariyya Carrim, Gordon Makoanyane, Mauritz pieterse,
Marius potgieter, Isaac Muranganwa, Jose De sousa FRoNT, l-R: Thato Molotsane,
expr2, expr3 (or the Inpr1-3 fields).
pieter pretorius, Bennie pienaar (team leader), Grace Nkosi, yasmine Moses
soluTIons magazIne 06
TIps and TrIcks
saving you time
and maximising your business
Pastel Evolution is a business software solution developed to help you manage
your business in the most profitable and effective way.
To assist you in using your pastel evolution version 5 upgrade to its maxi-
mum capacity, we have provided some of the latest tips and tricks for
your software. This will enable you to get the most value from your soft-
ware, save you time and assist you in being more productive.
date range filter on enquiry grids
users can now filter on a start and end date range on the enquiry grid
windows of the following modules:
• accounts payable • accounts receivable • general ledger
• Inventory • order entry
at the top right of the enquiry window, notice the from and To date
These allow the user to define the enquiry search by first defining the
exact date range. To do the enquiry, select the View button at the top
left of the screen, and only transactions within the specified date range
e. If you enter a valid date and click on oK, the following message is displayed
purging of inventory transactions to confirm that the purging of stock transactions will occur (select yes):
new functionality called Inventory purge Transactions allows you to
remove all inventory transaction history before a specified date. This
could be helpful to reduce the size of your company database, which will
increase the overall speed in the company.
To do this:
a. Back-up the company
b. go to Inventory and then select Maintenance
c. click on purge Transactions
f. you will get the following message when the purge is successfully
The purge Inventory Transactions window allows you to filter specific in- completed:
ventory items, Inventory groups, Warehouses, active or Inactive items, as
well as transactions before a certain date.
d. The date specified in the purge all Transactions Before This Date
field cannot be in the current year. This is a safety feature to ensure that
your current year’s inventory transactions history is not deleted.
07 s o l u T I o n s m a g a z I n e
TIps and TrIcks
please note that you cannot delete a stock item, even after purging all
transactions posted against the item (unlike when purging customer and
This is because of a purging transaction entry that is posted on the
affected inventory items during the purge, as can be seen in the following
pastel evolution support director
c. Differences between the two selections:
(i) Cost per Inventory Item (default option) – nothing has
changed from the previous versions on the Inventory Item
maintenance Warehouse tab. Inventory costing will be done
on the inventory item, and will apply to all warehouses.
Inventory costing per Warehouse
one of the new version 5 Inventory costing functionalities is the ability
to valuate inventory items per warehouse. In previous pastel evolution
versions, all costings were only calculated on the inventory item, and
price differences (due to transport costs, etc.) could not be taken into
account. With this feature, you can specify the inventory cost per item
let’s look at the various steps and aspects to consider when wanting to
achieve the above:
a. Back-up the company. changing to Inventory Costing per Warehouse
is irreversible. please ensure that you have a reliable back-up of your
data before continuing.
b. Inventory Defaults. The option to switch from Cost per Inventory Item
(the only option in previous versions) to Cost per Warehouse is made on
the Inventory defaults window, on the Costing tab.
(ii) Inventory Cost per Warehouse – When this option is
selected on Inventory defaults, the following warning
message is displayed:
soluTIons magazIne 08
TIps and TrIcks
select yes to accept and re-open the Inventory defaults. after accept-
ing this, the Inventory Item costing option is greyed out and cannot
When creating a new inventory item (Maintenance / Inventory / Inventory
Items) and you go to the Warehouse tab, you can now enter an average
unit Cost on the newly-available costs sub-tab per item per warehouse.
after creating the item, this option is greyed out and maintained auto- go to the pricing tab on an Inventory Item and set it to manual cost
matically when you process grvs. (as shown above). The Warehouse cost screen will be updated accordingly:
also, notice that the Costs sub-tab is the only one without
the use Item Defaults option box, as the values below are
directly linked to the warehouse selected.
• enabling Warehousing on a non-warehouse Item. By de-
fault, all warehouses linked to an item will have exactly the
same average unit cost (the same average unit cost as the
item). for example, if you have two warehouses, namely
‘Washington’ and ‘los angeles’ for item ‘vIcTor’, both will
have a R100 average unit cost when the warehouses are
linked to the item. however, all new grvs done will only up-
date the average unit cost for the relevant warehouse.
Tel: 0860 pasTel / 011 304 3300
To elaborate on the above, when the first grv is done for r250
on this item for the Boston warehouse, the average unit cost
for this item for the Boston warehouse will be r250.
d. Changing between Weighted average, latest Cost or
Manual Cost. Manual Cost is a new feature in version 5. With
this method, you specify the cost for an item, and the system
will always use this cost. The system posts a transaction to the
stock variance account, in order to keep the general ledger
stock account in balance with the stock reports.
The three above-mentioned options are found on the pricing
tab of the Inventory Item maintenance window. all three options
are still available when editing an Inventory Item, regardless of
whether Cost per Item or Cost per Warehouse is selected.
When changing the above-mentioned options, the Warehouse
cost tab on the item is updated accordingly.
09 s o l u T I o n s m a g a z I n e
dash through your ‘to do’ list with our
Did you know that Pastel has keyboard shortcuts to perform your most common
operations quickly? Here’s a list of what the function keys can do for you.
PASTEL EvOLuTION HAS a wide range of keyboard shortcuts clipboard. You can then paste the value you cut anywhere else, even
that can enhance your working experience and increase the efficiency into another programme (the highlighted value is not deleted).
of your business. For example, instead of using your mouse, you could
press the F7 key to access the Notes facility. paste: <Ctrl> + <V>
use this to paste a value you have copied or cut previously. If you paste
Below are the most prominent keyboard shortcut functions. (For more invalid data, such as text into a numeric field, the system will not allow
keyboard shortcuts, simply use the Evolution Help File’s search option, you to paste.
and search for shortcuts).
select all: <Ctrl> + <a>
Journal and Cashbooks use this to select the whole field prior to cutting or copying it. This is
particularly useful if you have a large field such as a multi-line text box
B aT C H o p T I o N s
sHoRTCuT Key FuNCTIoN
<shift> + <Ctrl> + <Del> clear batch GeNeRal
<Ctrl> + <l> validate batch sHoRTCuT Key FuNCTIoN
<F9> post batch <F1> Invokes the online help
<Ctrl> + <p> print batch <F5> refresh the current form
<Ctrl> + <s> save batch <F7> notes function
<Ctrl> + <shift> + <s> save batch and close <F9> process in Transactions
<alt> + <x> close window <alt> + <x> exit (close) window
<alt> + <F10> view batch properties <Ctrl> + <N> opens a new explorer window
lINe opTIoNs System Tree navigation
sHoRTCuT Key FuNCTIoN
sHoRTCuT Key FuNCTIoN
<Ctrl> + <N> new line
<Ctrl> + <Home> moves to the top of the system Tree
<shift> + <Ctrl> + <C> copy line
<Ctrl> + <end> moves to the end of the system Tree
<Ctrl> + <Del> delete line
<page up> moves up a screen at a time
<alt> + <a> copy account
<page Down> moves down a screen at a time
<Ctrl> + <R> copy reference
<up arrow> moves up a node at a time
<Ctrl> + <D> copy description
<Down arrow> moves down a node at a time
<Ctrl> + <T> calculate tax
<alt> + <left arrow> scrolls backward through the list of
<alt> + <s> split line
functions you used this session
<shift> + <alt> + <s> remove split
<alt> + <Right arrow> scrolls forward through the list of
<F6> Toggle view forward
functions you used this session
<shift> + <F6> Toggle view back
Sales and Purchase documents
General shortcuts when entering data on sHoRTCuT Key FuNCTIoN
any screen in Pastel Evolution <Ctrl> + <B> explodes a bill of materials
undo: <Ctrl> + <z> <Ctrl> + <o> open the document store
use this if you have made a change and wish to revert to the original <Ctrl> + <s> save document / process order
field contents. Any changes you made are lost. <F9> process document
<alt> + <N> line note
<Ctrl> + <N> new line
<alt> + <Insert> Insert a new line above the current line
Once you select a value, or part of a value, you can delete it by using
<Ctrl> + <Del> delete line
<shift> + <Ctrl> + <C> copy line
<shift> + <Ctrl> + <x> cut line
Cut: <Ctrl> + <x>
<shift> + <Ctrl> + <V> paste line – will overwrite existing information
Once you select a value, or part of a value, you can copy it to the
<shift> + <alt> + <V> paste as new line
clipboard and delete it at the same time (this will delete the selected <F2> gives the focus to a list in the lines table
value). You can then paste the value you cut anywhere else, even into once you move onto it
another programme. <Ctrl> + <alt> + <Down arrow> opens the list box
<Ctrl> + <F5> Toggle inclusive/exclusive
Copy: <Ctrl> + <C> <shift> + <Ctrl> + <M> confirm maximum
Once you select a value, or part of a value, you can copy it to the <alt> + <s> assign serial numbers
soluTIons magazIne 10
on pastel evolution
soaring eagle distributors, the only harley-davidson dealer
in the pretoria region and one of the biggest in gauteng,
uses pastel evolution to ensure that operations are
streamlined and service to customers is enhanced.
11 s o l u T I o n s m a g a z I n e
“many BusInesses say it, but we really “When the customer has such a strong own- eagle distributors staff had no difficulty adapt-
do build long-term relationships with our clients – ership ethic, the implementation always goes ing to evolution, because most of them are
because harley-davidson is that kind of a spe- much more smoothly,” says about IT’s manag- young and highly computer literate, and are
cial brand,” says dealer principle, Jos Joubert. ing director, roux crafford. used to Windows-based applications.”
“apart from the fact that we host the harley
owners group for this region, and arrange and “It helped that I had had previous experience The modules of evolution implemented for
participate in the breakfast runs and other family of pastel products,” Joubert says, “but the soft- soaring eagle distributors’ 10 users include Bill
events, people who buy the bikes spend at least ware is so logically designed and so easy to use of materials (for the clothing/accessory kits),
three months selecting their bikes and acces- that we were able to save on implementation Job costing (for the service and maintenance
sories before they take delivery. costs by doing a lot of it ourselves. centre), multi-Warehousing (for portioning of
stock between service and store), point of sale
“so we have got to know our 650 existing mem- “In fact, from a business point of view, the (for sale of peripheral and clothing lines), serial
bers very well indeed, and it is vital that we main- change to pastel was fairly radical in that its Tracking (tracking of motorcycles), resolve
tain our contact with them in ways that are relevant previous system had been old technology, with- crm (tracking of incident history against
to them. at the same time, we need to be able to out graphics or Internet capability. But soaring clients, as well as workflows for automating
service the nearly 400 new customers we processes), and Business Intelligence
attract every year, in a more targeted way. centre (for reporting financials, as well as
“We therefore wanted a solution that would
give us superior customer relationship “It’s a very powerful tool,” Joubert says. “you
management (crm) facilities along with can basically do what you want with it.”
enterprise resource management capabili-
ties that would automatically integrate with softline pastel managing director, steven
our administrative and accounting require- cohen, says that evolution’s ability to fit
ments – at a price that would be affordable the needs of just about every mid-market
for a single, independent dealership.” business with minimal or no customisation
is because it is supported by pastel’s 18-
pastel evolution met all of soaring eagle year history as south africa’s main supplier
distributors’ functionality requirements at of accounting and payroll software to small
30-40% less cost than competitor prod- and medium-sized enterprises (smes).
ucts. and no customisation was neces- “We understand smes inside out, and
sary, even though they were introducing a we’ve always designed solutions for their
web store that would allow customers to very specific needs.
browse stock and parts online.
“so, any upgrades or innovations we bring
an additional advantage that pastel evolution to market are built on a well-established
offered, was that Joubert and his internal foundation, both intellectual and opera-
information technology specialists could tional, that can easily be adapted or
undertake much of the implementation extended to enable new functionality
once their pastel Business partner, about as it evolves. and that’s why we can be
IT, had helped them with mapping and re- as cost-effective as we are, while still
engineering their business processes and providing the full spectrum of features
creating stock codes. and capabilities.”
From left: lenny Naidoo (pastel evolution, Divisional Director), Gerrit olivier (about IT, Ceo), Jos Joubert Jnr (Harley Davidson),
Roux Crafford (about IT, MD)
soluTIons magazIne 12
We look forward to launching Pastel Evolution version 5.01 in
August 2008. Each upgrade has great new features, developed
in response to our customers’ needs. As a loyal Evolution
customer, you receive these upgrades at no additional cost,
and we trust that the exciting new benefits in Evolution 5.01
will make a real difference to your business and its growth. We
look at some of the new and enhanced functionalities that our
customers have requested.
units of Measure multiple branch accounts, using the segmented
Managing stock levels can be challenging for general ledger account structure. They now have
many businesses today. Since many businesses the ability to manage entities with separate vAT
purchase inventory items in bulk and then sell numbers within the same general ledger, by
these in smaller units, there is often complexity setting up multiple vAT control accounts against
surrounding the movement of inventory from customer and supplier group codes.
time of purchase to the time it is sold, not to
mention what quantities are left, and how many Home Currency Indicator
more units are required in order to restock. Businesses that have multiple entities using dif-
ferent trading currencies can now specify the
With the new units of measure features built into default home currency per company database,
the inventory module of 5.01, users will be able dramatically simplifying things.
to specify a buying unit and selling unit for each
inventory item, and specify which will be used Warehousing –
to account for inventory on hand, also known as Inter-branch Transfers (IBT)
the base unit. The controlling of inventory between locations is
critical, especially where stock transfers can take
Thus, whenever a purchase order is processed a couple of days to reach their destination.
against a particular inventory item, the program
will default to the buying unit and price. When This new feature allows for the control of
selling the item, it will default to the selling unit, inventory to be accounted for, in the time span
with the relevant price. it takes for them to reach the relevant branch.
The feature has been designed so that users
Multiple vAT Control Accounts will be able to transfer items from the issuing
There is good news for companies that manage warehouse directly into a ‘goods in transit’ (GIT)
13 s o l u T I o n s m a g a z I n e
n e W f e aT u r e s
order (po) requisitions to be channelled through will be the account code, vaT code, ledger
the authorisation and procurement process. description and general ledger or customer and
Whether or not this will be electronic or through supplier code. The end result is that recurring
the printing of a requisition document is up to the transactions in the months to follow will be
customer. coded automatically for all eight fields of the
pastel evolution cashbook. In the following
once the requisition has been confirmed, it is months, the user will only have to code new
converted to a po, which once again needs transactions.
to be authorised by the relevant manager.
different levels of authorisations can be set advantages of using this module include the
up, based on configurable values. This means fact that processing and coding happens
that while some users are authorised to sign off instantaneously once the initial process of
requisitions of up to r10 000 in value, others assigning recurring coding has taken place
may well be authorised to approve requisitions (something that effects a 95% saving in
up to r50 000. processing time). additionally, the process of
reconciliation and account coding is virtually
pos are linked to Workflows (resolve) and guaranteed, since human error is largely
linked to Incidents (resolve). from an incident, eliminated.
a user can view a po.
for transactions where the codes have been
users who have access will be able to view assigned as per the relevant accounts, codes
approved/unapproved and rejected pos. need not be assigned a second time – only new
Mohammed Mosam – transactions have to be coded in the months
divisional director, pastel evolution lastly, there is a general ledger budget valida- to follow.
tion option available to verify that general led-
ger accounts are within budget. Information alerts
warehouse. The inventory will remain in this (add-on module)
virtual warehouse until the receiving warehouse Bank statement manager To cater for the move by many businesses to
does a receipt from the gIT warehouse. (add-on module) increase staff productivity and become more
The Bank statement manager for pastel efficient, the Information alerts module is
Based on the system design, inventory items will evolution is considered to be one of the most designed to streamline key roles within the
not be allowed to be purchased or sold from the powerful and reliable tools for processing large business. The module allows key users to
gIT warehouse (since they are in transit) – this volumes of transactions within the cashbook. receive notifications based on a set of predefined
feature can only be used to transfer goods. criteria, and take on a more proactive stance in
This module allows for the cashbook to be dealing with exceptions in the business.
The IBT process will also have two additional electronically populated when a bank statement
warehouses created by the program: a damaged is imported. once verified, the information can Information alerts can be configured to send
goods warehouse and variance warehouse. This be updated to the general ledger. notifications to relevant users via e-mail or
will allow the user to allocate and account for resolve (crm) incidents. These notifications
the receipt of inventory items by allocating them The bank statements are acquired by using a can, furthermore, be set up to notify users at
into the receiving warehouse. additional costs download facility. This facility is provided by time-based intervals – daily, weekly or monthly.
are catered for when receiving goods at a ware- each of the four major banks in south africa
house. security has been improved to cater for (aBsa, first national Bank, standard Bank The module comes with predefined methods,
multiple warehouses per user. and nedbank). supported formats include ofc, which the business can utilise to define which
csv and ascii. criteria it would like to set up. These criteria
any items not accounted for will either be can include scenarios such as a client reaching
allocated to the damaged goods warehouse or evolution processes the downloaded file and their credit limit. The reaction to this criterion
variance warehouse, where reconciliations can assigns the different fields for the cashbook could well be a notification being generated
later be processed. electronically. fields comprise of the period, and sent to the financial manager, who will be
date (gl, ar, ap), account number, reference, responsible for taking further action. another
documentation is printed through the various description, tax and amount fields. example might be an Inventory Item reaching
stages to accompany the delivery of goods, and its minimum level. The reaction to this could
reports can be printed to indicate the location of after the first data download, the base account well be for the system to notify the stock
stock at any given time within the system. coding must be assigned by the user to trans- controller, so that the relevant items can be
actions that recur from month to month. To do reordered timeously.
purchase order procurement this, the user attaches a unique description
(add-on module) to either specific or related transactions. This The module currently supports accounts
designed to work with resolve crm, the procure- information is automatically stored. receivable and payables, Inventory and Job
ment module will allow primarily for purchase linked to this unique or general description, costing modules.
soluTIons magazIne 14
are your payroll and
accounting packages a
Tax and payroll are our business, not yours. We
get our heads around tax and payroll legislation
for you, so you have loads more time to focus on
whatever you fancy doing around payday.
DID YOu KNOW? Medical aid capped amounts increased to ❑ Pastel Evolution Payroll is easy to use and accurate, and
R570 per person for the main member and first dependant, and ships with pre-defined sets of transactions. You can get your
to R345 per person for each additional dependant in the 2008/9 business up and running in minutes.
budget. If you are a Pastel Evolution Payroll user, this does not
concern you, seeing that our software does it all for you. ❑ Real-time processing updates employees’ payslip figures
dynamically, without having to perform a payroll run to see the
Pastel Evolution Payroll goes with Pastel Evolution Account- effects of changes made.
ing like salt goes with pepper. With Pastel Evolution Payroll’s
enhanced functionality and MS SQL database, processing your ❑ The ‘F1’ Help Facility is context-sensitive, and is avail-
payroll will take on a new dimension. It is a powerful and legally able with detailed explanations of each function or field –
compliant payroll package with Report Writer functionality and effective help is just the press of a button away.
Business Intelligence capabilities, making it a must for the se-
rious payroll administrator. The full integration into the Pastel ❑ Pastel Evolution Payroll’s Employee Self Service Module,
Evolution Accounting system, together with the look and feel known as ESS, is a web-based self-service tool enabling
to which you have become accustomed, ensures a hassle-free employees to manage and maintain their personal information
transition to Pastel Evolution Payroll. An absolute dream, just online, with a user-friendly means of streamlining payroll and
like your Pastel Evolution Accounting package – which really HR administration. ESS enables employees to make online
means there couldn’t be a better match. applications for leave, view their payslips, update personal
information, submit travel claims, download HR-related
If your current payroll system does not offer you the following documentation and so much more, on a real-time basis from
features, then it is time to move to Pastel Evolution Payroll … anywhere in the world.
and see just how quick and easy payroll processing can be.
❑ Free unlimited nationwide telephonic and e-mail sup-
Tick if applicable: port, as well as legislative updates and product upgrades.
❑ Processes your payroll on a stable MS SQL database.
❑ Optional Modules available include Skills & Equity
❑ Security: Password-protected access control to specified Reporting, MIBFA Industrial Council Compliance and BI
functionality per user. Payroll – Excel Reporting.
❑ Flexible, fully customisable reporting functionality.
❑ Comprehensive Business Intelligence capabilities. pastel evolution customers receive a 20% discount when
purchasing pastel evolution payroll within the first 60
❑ Fast, easy and cost effective initial set-up and maintenance. days of registering their pastel accounting software.
❑ Technologically advanced (true 32-Bit Windows application).
With Pastel Evolution Payroll you can print in Microsoft® Word or Contact us
Excel format, and e-mail password-protected payslips to individual Make the move to sa’s best-selling payroll solution today
employees or groups of employees in a secure PDF format. and follow the mainstream.
Tel: JHB 011 304 4100 • CpT 021 680 9000
❑ Payroll Job Costing allocations that is seamlessly and • DBN 031 566 3670
completely integrated with Pastel Evolution Accounting’s Job e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Costing module. Web: www.pastelpayroll.co.za
soluTIons magazIne 16
procurement add-on module
Businesses or organisations with a formal request process of purchasing inventory and other
consumables, require that the relevant documentation and authorisations be approved, so
that purchasing permission can be granted. pastel evolution’s procurement module does
exactly this and much more, based on rules and processes that can be configured.
The procuremenT module is a three-tiered process that allows sations required automatically. escalation rules are also configurable,
organisations to manage all purchase orders precisely, and keep control ensuring that requisitions or purchase orders are actioned on time or
of purchases either for internal purposes or specific projects. This module escalated to the available people who can grant authorisations.
integrates seamlessly with the purchase order and crm modules within
pastel evolution. any purchase orders due for authorisations automatically appear within
the relevant users’ incidents to action. crm incidents that are linked
Three tiers to purchase orders allow the purchase order be viewed from within the
The first tier is the requisition process, where a user can request the incident screen.
purchase of an item or consumable. The requisition can be printed and
routed to a manager or head of department for authorisation.
once the requisition is confirmed, the second tier of the system allows
the purchase order to be generated. Based on configurable rules,
different levels of authorisations can be set up and be administered by
The procurement process validates all purchases against budgets set up
in the general ledger, and can be configured to deny further processing
should the budget be exceeded.
The final, third tier allows the purchase order to be converted into a goods
received voucher to receipt the inventory items.
standard reports allow users to list all outstanding requisitions with values
The procurement module works in conjunction with the resolve crm and linked purchase orders to specific requisitions. screen enquiries
module, and is seamlessly integrated into pastel evolution. allow users to view requisitions and associated transactions at a glance,
with drill-down functionality.
Throughout the span of a requisition to po completion, all movements
or comments are logged against incidents. Workflows are configurable to The purchase order procurement module is a new add-on module,
different levels, and allow the relevant users to acknowledge any authori- and will be released in august 2008.
17 s o l u T I o n s m a g a z I n e
If you’re running a service-focused business, seldom working with static cost of stock
items, and with variable fees depending on the skills required for the job and what
materials are used, this module is for you.
The JoB cosTIng add-on module allows inventory items, service track of everything manually. With it, you can enter all activity into the job
items, supplier transactions and general ledger transactions such as over- card, and invoice the customer multiple times from the same job card.
head costs to be allocated against customer accounts, and invoiced out at This is also helpful when referring back to the job in future.
different interim periods.
verticals that will benefit include engineering works, motor vehicle ser-
vices and repair workshops, equipment repairs and servicing outlets and
control of manufacturing operations, as well as businesses that need to
allocate time and material to clients.
Two models supported
The module caters for two mainstream accounting methodologies for the
posting of transactions in the general ledger – the percentage of com-
pleted contract or completed contract methods.
These work as follows:
Method: percentage of completed contract
How it works: This is the normal method. The system posts entries, fully integrated
and as you invoice the customer – fully or partially – the system posts Job cards integrate seamlessly with the resolve crm module within
sales, cost of sales and inventory entries into the general ledger. pastel evolution. here, all related incidents to the job card are recorded
and comments logged. This gives you complete control on administering
Method: completed contract and monitoring the job, resulting in a vastly improved level of service.
How it works: The system posts general ledger sales values whenever
you invoice, including partial invoicing. until you complete the job,
the system does not update the cost of sales or inventory values.
These latter values update in full when the job completes.
you can choose the method to use for each job card individually. a fun-
damental difference with Job costing invoices versus standard Inventory
invoices, is that all transactions that are not yet invoiced, update the gen-
eral ledger Work in progress account.
follows the job’s workflow
Jobs have specific stages. In the initial stage, no financial activity takes
place. When a job becomes active, the system debits the values on that
line to the Work in progress account. It also reserves inventory quantities
if you disallow negative inventory. once you invoice the line, the system
credits the value out of work in progress into the actual accounts. Contact us
Tel: 011 304 3530
a strength of the Job costing module is that you can invoice a job partially. E-mail: email@example.com
Without this module, you would issue separate invoices and then keep Web: www.pastel.co.za
soluTIons magazIne 18
FIvE MINuTES WITH...
posITIoN: myself: “If there’s so much information out
managing director, softline pastel there, how does one find it?” I wish I’d had
the balls to do something about it!
DaTe aND plaCe oF BIRTH:
3 march 1962, Johannesburg, south africa MaNaGeMeNT sTyle: urgent, informal
and stimulating. I believe in a hands-on
eDuCaTIoN: I attended greenside high approach and motivating, guiding and
school and eden college. I went on to educating the staff at pastel.
attend the university of Witwatersrand,
where I studied and majored in WHaT Do you BelIeVe eVeRy
accounting and Business Information sMe oWNeR sHoulD HaVe?
systems. I have a Bcom, Bacc, ca(sa). guts, determination and the ability to say
yes and no at the right time.
at kessel feinstein, as an articled clerk. peRsoN WHo Has HaD THe BIGGesT
INFlueNCe oN youR lIFe:
CaReeR HIsToRy pRIoR To CuRReNT my seven-year-old son, matthew.
posITIoN: Working at softline was my
first job after my accountancy articles. WHICH THRee people, DeaD oR
alIVe, WoulD you INVITe To DINNeR?
sIze oF FIRsT pay paCKeT: r250.00 nelson mandela – I have met him once
before, but it would be an honour to
FIRsT JoB WITH pReseNT GRoup: do so again. I would also invite Warren
1990, financial director, Brilliant Buffett, and any one of the great greek
Business systems. philosophers.
DesCRIBe youR CuRReNT JoB: pHIlosopHy oF lIFe aND BusINess?
as managing director of softline pastel, I ‘less is more’ and ‘your customers and your
am responsible for maintaining a motivated employees are more important than you are’.
workforce and keeping an environment
where people feel that what they think and FaVouRITe ReaDING: New Yorker
say makes a difference to the way the Magazine and The Economist.
business is run. I make sure that everyone
knows where the business is headed, and FaVouRITe TV pRoGRaMMe:
that our product strategy is in line with what Seinfeld, the BBc cooking channel
our customers expect. I keep an eye on and the history channel.
the technology horizon to ensure that we
develop products that are both practical FaVouRITe MusIC:
and relevant to the marketplace. van morrison, dave matthews, Bob dylan,
radiohead and Bruce springsteen.
peRsoNal BesT aCHIeVeMeNT:
running pastel successfully since 2003. HoBBIes: chess, gardening, reading,
at the time, there were 150 employees, history, philosophy, playing the guitar
and now there are 350 – so we are doing and listening to music.
our bit for the economy!
CaR: BmW gs1200 motorcycle
THe MosT exCITING pRoDuCT pasTel
Has ReCeNTly BRouGHT ouT? MaRRIeD:
pastel auditor and the newly-released raine Brenner, 13 august 1989
pastel my Business product, which I
think will be a unique effort in making CHIlDReN:
accounting software easy for non- matthew, seven, and sabrina, one year
THe GaDGeT you CaN’T lIVe
peRsoN WHo Has HaD THe BIGGesT WITHouT? my ipod
INFlueNCe oN youR CaReeR:
Ivan epstein, one of the co-founders of Hope FoR THe FuTuRe:
the softline group. That the african continent lives up to and
maintains its true potential, and that the
WHICH TeCHNoloGICal ReVelaTIoN leaders think more of the citizens they are
Do you WIsH you HaD INVeNTeD? governing than they do about themselves –
I predicted in 1996 that ‘search’ would the same theory can and should be
19 s o l u T I o n s m a g a z I n e be the big thing on the Internet. I said to applied to business.
adverTorIal: sp ToolkIT
addressing your specific
business software needs
small and medium-sized businesses are becoming more niche in their focus and, with that,
beginning to demand more customised functionality from their business software. Through
support for third party modules by pastel evolution, spnet software solutions has developed
add-on modules that provide added functionality to its select set of customers.
To meeT The demands of a changing signment notes, dispatch labels and e-mailing This can be carried out via user defined
market, pastel made a software development of advance shipment notification to be quickly templates (created in ms Word), and can
kit available for its evolution line of solutions and efficiently generated (dispatch module). include printed documents and e-mail.
some time ago.
Inventory management Incidents within the evolution crm module can
What has resulted from that is a strong arsenal next, the Toolkit’s inventory management also be updated to record documents sent to
of third party add-ons and customisations, and features added functionality, such as: customers.
evidence that evolution continues to be the plat- • The ability to orchestrate an inventory reorder
form on which the majority of small and medium- process easily (reorder module), and the ability still to come
sized organisations run their business processes. for the reorder quantity to be automatically cal- “overall, we’ve catered well for the functionality
culated, based on minimum stock levels and/or required in these three disciplines,” says eric
spToolkit from spnet software solutions is just the previous month’s sales. doctor, managing director at spnet software
one example of what that decision has enabled. • All relevant information to assist with the reor- solutions.
spToolkit is a set of add-on modules that bring der process is available on-screen to allow the
additional functionality to evolution in the ware- purchasing officer to make an informed deci- “over the coming months, we plan to further
housing, inventory management and crm sion. extend the functionality of these modules, as
spaces. • Existing stock on hand, as well as incoming well as introduce new modules to streamline
purchase orders, can be selected and automat- the inventory purchasing, warehousing and
Warehouse management ically allocated to customer sales orders and sales process.
starting with the warehouse management fea- back orders (order allocation module).
tures, spToolkit enriches evolution with added • Multiple purchase orders can be combined “The spToolkit modules, together with our
functionality, including: into a single import shipment, and user defined spnet e-commerce solution, all provide practi-
• The ability for stock to be scanned at the point of costs can be apportioned over the shipment by cal solutions and real benefits in time and ef-
receipt into a warehouse (scan receive module). value, quantity, weight, volume or percentage ficiency for the evolution user.”
• Control of inventory to be maintained as it (Import cost module).
flows between warehouses (Branch Transfer) Contact SPNet
• Stock to be easily located, picked and crm assist Tel: +61 2 9317 4411
dispatched to customers (scan pack). lastly the spToolkit features a crm assist Fax: +61 2 9317 4414
• The documentation required for the dispatch- module, which can be used for bulk marketing E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
ing of inventory from a warehouse, such as con- and communication to customers and contacts. Web: www.spnet.com.au
soluTIons magazIne 20
status ATCs offer professional
training and consulting
at pastel accounting, we encourage
customers to take advantage of accredited
pastel Training, which goes a long way
towards ensuring that you are able to use our
products to their maximum capability. This,
in turn, ensures that companies get the best
returns from their investment in pastel.
21 s o l u T I o n s m a g a z I n e
g training cent
zs Consultin preferred solutions tra
WITh over 526 authorised Training centres and then enhancing this with number of ‘short- the number one value added reseller in the
(aTcs) across the country, it’s no wonder that over cuts’ within each add-on module. This ensures Western cape region for pastel partner and
20 000 south african customers benefit from our that each staff member brings increased profi- payroll in 2007.
training every year. By training at an aTc, you will ciency and efficiency to the workplace.
receive the most professional training available The Preferred Solutions philosophy
on the latest version of pastel software. here, we as registered dealers/resellers of pastel partner, is simple:
showcase two of our alliance partner aTcs – zs evolution and payroll in south africa and ‘To give training because we believe that the
consulting and preferred solutions. internationally, zs’s training lessons are strongly main contributor to a company’s bottom line
supported by relevant and practical examples business is the individual. an organisation’s
meet two of our aTcs drawn from experience gained through on-site success is based on individual accountability,
These are fully-fledged business partners, and consulting across a broad range of industries. a positive attitude and a positive approach.
all of their trainers hold both technical and That is why you have to address the individual’s
training-focused qualifications, enabling them founding member, mark zuhlsdorff, believes goals before you address the company goals.
to achieve this superior status. that his company’s success in returning profi- By addressing positive attitude you empower
cient and efficient trainees back to the account- your employee to make positive contributions
They are therefore able to offer additional support ing workplace is based on three key factors: to companies. attitude becomes the key to
services to delegates, and have to apply annually his company’s passion for the management success and successful relationships inside
for this prestigious status. This helps us to main- accounting function, its international on-site and outside the corporate world.
tain quality in our channel, and ensure that consulting experience with evolution, and its
customers are getting the ultimate in service. long association with the software through its ‘This empowering approach helps the individual
development phases. to recognise that they can stimulate, and impact
zs consulting With this heritage, zs consulting has been on, positive responses. Thus teaching them to be
Well known for the regularity of its training well placed to identify client-specific software proactive’. Its goal with training is thus to provide
courses on pastel evolution, conducted at improvements and feed these requests and companies with people who are suitably trained
both clients premises and at its own training suggestions back to pastel. some of these im- in their area of choice, and to apply the expertise
facility, zs consulting’s service offering revolves provements have since been implemented in and skills they achieved proactively to the
around a comprehensive four-day Basic new releases. mutual benefit of all involved.
evolution training course. The course is aug-
mented in a flexible manner to complement To date, zs consulting has assisted with several preferred solutions recently upgraded its train-
each of the client’s individual needs as their multinational installations and associated ing centre in Bellville to create an environment
business grows. staff training. utilising pastel recommended where delegates feel at home and enjoy the
training materials and methods, the company experience but, above all, can leave and make
This is accomplished through tailored training empowers staff on the ground, which in turn a difference with the knowledge they have
on evolution’s numerous add-on modules, as ensures minimal post-implementation queries gained. additionally, the company believes that
and when the client requires them, to achieve related to standard features and functionality. its trainers don’t just know the theory – they
ever-greater functionality. most popular in this have experienced pastel as users, accountants,
bracket are the BIc (Business Intelligence preferred solutions consultants, trainees and trainers.
centre) and fixed assets courses, which zs preferred solutions has lived, eaten, drunk,
consulting runs bimonthly. slept and even dreamt pastel since 1991. Contact us
Tel: 011 304 3670
The company’s approach focuses on users The company is committed to giving its Fax: 011 304 3671
learning the basic flexibility of pastel evolution, customers exceptional service, and was named e-mail: email@example.com
soluTIons magazIne 22
Intrepid trainer gets 1 000 educators teaching
In 2007, pastel kicked off a certified school program (csp) focused on providing
schoolgoers in grades 10, 11 and 12 with the tools and skills in computerised
accounting that are relevant to the modern workplace.
leFT: learners at pule leeuw High school are just some of the many students
In oTher Words, we’re ensuring that involved in the pastel Certified school program (Csp).
learners get computer-based training founded RIGHT: employee of the year, perdick Mzizi, with managing director, steven Cohen.
on south africa’s most popular accounting
software. This equips them to find jobs as
soon as they leave school – and expands the
accounting and bookkeeper talent pool for south leader for the Bellville, Western cape district, consequently, even when perdick is able to un-
africa as a whole. says: ‘Because of my experience on other edu- pack and assemble them, he’s not always been
cational accounting software that had proved to able to get them running efficiently.
The pastel csp is fully aligned with the depart- be unreliable and difficult to use, I had resisted
ment of education’s accounting curriculum working with the csp. But once I saw that the Where computers have already been installed
– and includes free teacher training, as well software has been designed by educators for and used, they’re often riddled with computer
as free software. during the 2007 school educators and was going to make my job – and viruses. and, in some really awkward situations,
year, pastel’s perdick mzizi criss-crossed four the learning process – easier, I was sold.’ protocol or administrative issues have been
provinces, visiting some fairly far-flung places – stumbling blocks.
including mount fletcher, springbok, kuruman as a former teacher himself, perdick is abso-
and gariep – in order to train more than 160 lutely passionate about the csp. and this is a fortunately, perdick is a man of action and he
district officials and 1 000 teachers. very good thing, since getting the programme invariably resolves the situation, either through
up and running – even in relatively urbanised ar- the original donors, the good offices of pastel or
all the educators have been very quick to see eas such as soweto – has not been easy! the relevant education departments.
that the programme can help them meet their
own objectives of delivering young south africans most schools don’t have information technology for this reason – and because he successfully
with marketable skills to the workplace and the departments or staff members who are computer keeps up a punishing schedule, with three or
world at large. literate so, where computers have been donated, four days of training in one region before moving
they’ve often not been taken out of the boxes, on relentlessly to another – perdick was pastel’s
as marietha de villiers, head of department much less installed. In those cases, the comput- employee of the year in 2007. go perdick! keep
of accounting at northlink college and cluster ers and their operating systems are out of date. up the great work.
23 s o l u T I o n s m a g a z I n e
easy for smes
We believe that performance management, normally the
preserve of the human resources departments of large
corporates, is an essential growth-enabling tool for smes.
‘empoWermenT and performance it works in an extremely limited way and has no mance management, a manager or a business
management are a continuum,’ says pastel power to retain real talent. owner is an ‘empowerer’, offering employees
managing director, steven cohen. ‘Without every opportunity for self-actualisation and
empowerment of staff, even the smallest of ‘performance management, on the other hand, making a long-term positive impact on their
businesses will struggle for sustainability. and is when an organisation agrees on expected lives.’
the only way to empower staff truly is through levels of performance with an employee, then
performance management – helping people ensures that the employee has every possible In deavall’s words, performance management
identify and fulfil their potential. resource to help him or her reach the agreed is essentially a ‘soft’ discipline. But, as cohen
levels of performance and, when those levels points out, ‘it’s the soft issues that differentiate
‘realising that many of our customers think are reached, rewards the performance beyond one business from another.
that performance management is a complex, the agreed salary.
time-consuming and expensive discipline that ‘That’s why we at pastel always go beyond ac-
they simply can’t fit into their normal working ‘a reward is not an incentive. an incentive is counting – to help our customers do better and
day, we decided to show them just how easy it something you work towards, like a salary. you grow their businesses. and that’s why we part-
really is – and just how much it would benefit know you’re going to get it and it relates directly nered with merit Business Institute to show our
their organisations.’ to specific deliverables. a reward, however, is customers how to go beyond delivery manage-
something you’re not expecting. and it comes ment to performance enablement and the prof-
In a series of seminars late last year, hosted only when, because of the pride you take in itability and growth that flows from it.’
by pastel and presented nationwide by what you do, you have delivered more than
mark deavall, managing director of merit you were asked to do, and the employer says smes attending the seminars were given per-
Business Institute, smes were shown the ‘thank you!’. formance management manuals, showing
difference between ‘delivery management’ and them – step by step – how to achieve optimum
‘performance man-agement’, and how much ‘In other words, true performance management results. see what you missed!
more effective the latter is in terms of enabling is based on getting people not just to do a par-
the achievement of business strategy and ticular job but to express their creativity, initiative To see what training and seminars are avail-
objectives. and determination fully in order to be the best able, visit our website and click on Training and
people they can. an automatic outcome of that select seminars.
‘What most organisations do is agree on spe- is a job executed well beyond expectations and,
cific deliverables with their employees, then therefore, profit and growth for the business. Contact us
monitor them to see if they deliver as agreed Tel: 011 304 4390
and, if they do, pay them the agreed salary,’ ‘In delivery management, a manager is essen- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
deavall says. ‘That’s delivery management, and tially a policeman with a big stick. In perfor- Web: www.pastel.co.za
soluTIons magazIne 24
hummel south africa, an independent licensee of the global sports and leisurewear organisation,
has implemented pastel evolution to achieve an integrated view of its operations, thereby
improving value to investors.
“evoluTIon helped us see, for
instance, that our sponsorship of the apparel and
accessories for the south african proteas playing
at the 2007 cricket World cup in the West Indies
was a good investment. evolution assisted us in
evaluating any risks in the project, and provided
us with a better view for the upcoming 20twenty
World cup happening,” says hummel chief
financial manager, shamiel Jeena.
“Because evolution enables us to segment l-R: ashley pillay (pastel evolution), stephen Corrigan (accountMate africa (pty) ltd), shamiel
our stock by project, and also automatically Jeena (Hummel africa), aldeeno Govender (senior evolution Consultant and evolution peCI)
integrates our inventory management with our
financials, we could very easily compare the
cost of manufacture for the World cup with “In other words, evolution solved all our prob- as to ensure that our coding would be correct
its related sales and, consequently, accurately lems in a single package, as well as giving us for use in evolution.”
establish our profit and loss ratio. perhaps additional functionality options we haven’t had
more importantly, we got the information in time to explore yet.” sean revans, senior consultant for accountmate
real time, so that we had no delays in making a africa, believes that evolution is an ideal fit for an
decision regarding sponsorship of the 20twenty as a former auditor who had worked with pastel organisation like hummel – which buys its stock
World cup.” xpress and pastel partner, Jeena did not look at ready-made from factories – because it massively
competitive products before choosing evolution. increases control of inventory and drastically
The reporting capabilities of hummel’s pre- “for me, pastel is the ideal accounting package, reduces losses. “It also enables multiple price
vious system were extremely limited. It so as soon as I heard that evolution had an lists per customer as well as multiple warehouses,
couldn’t customise reports based on the inventory segmentation module, I knew that it significantly improving an organisation’s ability to
specific information wanted at a given time. would meet all our requirements.” manage suppliers and improve service to and
The Business Intelligence centre in evolution, therefore relationships with customers.”
however, allowed for customisation of reports at The implementation of evolution for hummel
the touch of a button. took around four weeks. This is a little longer pastel evolution has proven to be popular with both
than usual, because data from the previous users and resellers precisely because it is flexible
“In addition, the old system could be over- dos-based system had to be recaptured man- and scalable without being confusing to set up. It
ridden by individual members of staff – causing ually into evolution, and all hummel’s existing is easy to implement and use, without sacrificing
extensive corruption of data. By contrast, stock had to be recoded to fit the evolution seg- sophistication of functionality. This specifically ca-
evolution imposes access restrictions down to mentation format. ters for the operational requirements of most mid-
all levels of staff, making the system secure market organisations without customisation – and
without creating unnecessary rigidity, either in “But,” Jeena says, “our implementation part- where more specialised or niche functionality
using the system or in our business processes ner, accountmate africa, went the extra mile – is needed, add-on modules exist or can be
overall. even helping us to customise our stocktake so easily developed.
25 s o l u T I o n s m a g a z I n e
We’re therefore better placed than most
recruitment agencies to ensure that our cus-
tomers get the right person for their bookkeep-
ing or accounting job.
‘In addition, recruitment agencies rarely have
the in-house knowledge and experience to be
able to test pastel skills accurately.
‘for all of these reasons, and in the best
Tamsin Bradford, head of pastel people, the new pastel recruitment division interests of our customers, we’ve decided to
undertake recruitment – and, where necessary,
training – of suitable candidates for them.’
We’ll recruit however, according to Bradford, pastel people
does not see itself as a competitor in the gen-
eral recruitment industry.
your pastel skills for you ‘We see recruitment as only one of our support
services to our customers. so we’ll be applying
our own unique techniques and criteria to the
sit back and relax. In response to customers repeatedly asking recruitment process – and charging less than the
industry rate for placement of the relevant skills.
us to help them find suitable people and train them to work with
pastel products, we’ve started a recruitment division. ‘specifically, our customers will be given signifi-
cant discounts on placement fees.’
The discounts and lower fees will not compro-
We’ll Be sourcing pastel skills for ourselves knowledge of the software. a quick glance at mise the quality of pastel’s recruitment process,
and our business partners as well as for you. the recruitment pages leaves no doubt. however. ‘our requirements of people applying
through the pastel people division for jobs with
Tamsin Bradford, head of the new pastel ‘While the right skills are critical, we believe pastel, our customers, or our business partners
people division, says: “The number of start-up that culture fit is more important than cer- will be extremely stringent,’ Bradford says.
smes has accelerated sharply. one in six adult tificates. If you have someone with the right
south africans is now self-employed and up- attitude, he or she will be able to learn the ‘There’s absolutely no point in going to the
wards of 122 000 close corporations have been necessary software and accounting skills. If trouble of starting a recruitment division if we
registered every year for the past six. they have the qualifications you’re looking cannot guarantee that our customers will get
for but don’t fit into the organisation, they’re the very best pastel skills this country has to
‘at the same time, sales of pastel software of no use to you. and our new pastel people offer. after all, it’s in our interest…’
have been growing at more than 35% per division will be based on principles like these.
annum, with 2 000 accounting packages alone Contact us
being sold every month. all of which means ‘as creators of the software, we’re in very Tel: 011 304 3200
that demand is outstripping the availability of close touch with our customers and under- E-mail: email@example.com
bookkeepers and accountants with in-depth stand sme business culture extremely well. Web: www.pastelpeople.co.za
soluTIons magazIne 26
The last thing you need when travelling on business is
to arrive at your meeting flustered and harried. These
tips will help to keep you cool, calm and collected
when you travel. you never know, they could add just
the extra oomph you need to close that deal!
leave for the airport really early, it in. If you are travelling interna-
and give yourself ample time to tionally, remember to adhere to the
find parking and check in. Work liquids aerosols and gels (lags)
leisure made easy with the
some contingency time into your policy – only 100ml is allowed to kulula.com travel portal
itinerary to get your hired car be carried in your hand luggage,
when you arrive (and possibly get and it must be in a clear plas- A balanced lifestyle involves working hard and playing hard.
lost if you’re driving with a map in tic bag for easy screening at the kulula.com has made it really easy through its online
an unfamiliar city). airport. travel portal.
Baggage odds and ends The portal is an enhanced website for the airline offering
Travel as light as you can. you can remember to check the electri- a comprehensive, real-time gateway to domestic and
save yourself the wait for checked cal voltages and plug types for regional travel and tourism. So you are able to source and
baggage if you carry hand luggage different countries, and take the book all aspects of your holidays and business trips
only. remember to check the appropriate equipment and adap- through one website.
maximum dimensions allowed for tors with you. The last thing you
hand luggage, as these vary from need is to be without that all- Apart from offering a selection of over 200 hotels, there
airline to airline. check with the important presentation because are thousands of holiday packages to destinations around
airline you are travelling on how your battery’s died. Back-up the southern Africa and Mauritius currently available, with even
many pieces of hand luggage you documents that you will need on more options in the pipeline.
are allowed. never leave valuables your trip on a memory stick, just
in your checked luggage – not in case. remember to switch off Check out the full range of holiday packages available at
even your laptop. as always, lock your cellphone during the flight, www.kulula.com or call one of the friendly helpers on
your bags. as an extra security even if it’s a smart phone with an 0861 Kulula (585852), who will be happy to give
precaution, have your baggage ‘in-flight’ mode – these are still you the scoop.
plastic wrapped before you check prohibited on local flights.
pasTel eVoluTIoN BeNeFIT: free kulula.com ticket
you will receive a complimentary return air ticket on kulula.com each time you renew your evolution annual subscription.
For more information on this great benefit, visit the Customer zone on www.pastel.co.za.
27 s o l u T I o n s m a g a z I n e
I n T e r n aT I o n a l
continent of opportunity, not despair
Daryl Blundell – International
business unit manager
IT Was recenTly reported that the econ- looking at the political and social challenges faced by african
omies of most sub-saharan african countries states during the last year, it might seem that the continent
were experiencing the best period of sustained
growth in africa since their independence. is doomed. yet, over the past few years, there has been
increasing evidence that africa’s tide of despair is turning.
for proof, look no further than the numbers.
analysts reported that, in 2005, the african
continent grew by 5.7%. projected growth for entrepreneurs is taking the lead. It’s clear that out, but provides customers with swifter time
2008 is 6.8%. their desire is to get ahead and compete, not to market, thereby increasing their competitive
only in africa but also in the global economy. advantage.
a contributing factor to this growth lies in
Information communication Technology (IcT). for these entrepreneurs to take on global giants, opportunities for all
africa was rated fourth for broadband expan- they will need to rely on business enablers The success of evolution and the growth that is
sion, ahead of latin america and asia pacific, such as the sage pastel evolution business taking place across africa has also resulted in
among six regions that were sampled by The management application. significant growth for the pastel channel. many
economist’s Intelligence unit in 2007. of our business partners have made substantial
The evolution application has been developed investments in setting up a support structure,
Burgeoning growth with the sme customer in mind. The numerous which not only ensures successful implemen-
The opportunities that exist in africa are explo- add-on modules that are available – including tation for their clients, but also supports the
sive. as an example, consider nigeria and its crm, BIc and manufacturing – go well beyond growth of pastel evolution internationally.
population of approximately 140 million people. providing sound accounting principles.
sage pastel International does not believe it is
In 2000, the country had no mobile phone for the sme all doom and gloom for africa, but rather that
users. In 2005, the number of mobile phone The fact that evolution has been developed from the rest of the world has finally taken note of
users was estimated to be 19.8 million people the ground up, to be an sme business solution, what the continent is capable of achieving.
(141 users per 1 000 people). The success is one of the key reasons that the application is
of mobile operator, mTn nigeria, has spurred having so much success across africa. The opportunities are ripe for the picking.
global businesses to view africa as a real
potential marketplace. another reason is the return on investment that Contact us
customers gain from implementing evolution. a Tel: 011 304 3400
next-gen thinking full implementation of the application can take Fax: 011 304 3038
It’s not just big business that’s driving the growth a mere 19 days. This not only cuts down on e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
– a new generation of free-thinking african the costs normally associated with such a roll- Web: www.sagepastel.com
soluTIons magazIne 28
DCG Computing.FH11 2/12/08 8:55 AM Page 1
C M Y CM MY CY CMY K
• Sales 2a Du Plessis Street
• Support Edenglen, 1610, Edenvale
• Installations P O Box 2262
• Conversions Edenvale, 1610
Tel 011 452 8610
Fax 086 509 7106
Cell 082 652 3600
DESH BUSINESS SYSTEMS cc
Fi�a�cia� S�ftware E�gi�eers
AHH Financial Services cc
• Pastel System Design Tel: 011 476 6254
• Sales, Support & Implementation
Fax: 011 476 6746
• Data Conversions Cell: 083 271 0579 (André)
• BIC Report Customisation
• Pastel E-Business Cell: 072 227 9173 (Deon)
• Network Design
• Support Contracts
• Data Recovery website: www.ibsholdings.co.za
THE ALL IN ONE DATA MIGRATION/
With My Data from Jayess
Software you can:
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For more information:
Tel: (011) 802 3177
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Time & Inter
OUR SERVICES INCLUDE Experienced
Consultants Sales & Implementation Consulting Services
3rd Party Development Training
Hardware & Network Support Report Writing
Writers Pastel Premier
CONTACT 0861 101 616
Tel: +27 11 475 1561 | Fax: +27 11 475 1562 | Email: email@example.com
Web: www.trew.co.za | MSN: firstname.lastname@example.org | Skype: email@example.com