I have helped several clients implement Positive Pay reporting on their system. It is normally a situation of shooting in the dark, guess-work and trial-and-error that is, without exception, unnecessary. These problems are caused by a severe lack of communication skills from most banks.

Positive Pay, for the uninitiated, works like this: Your business prints checks (or uses ACH direct deposit or funds transfers) to pay bills. The Accounts Payable program generates a small text file that is uploaded to the bank with a list of valid checks that are to be honored. If a check is presented to be paid and it isn’t on the list the bank refuses to honor it and sends it back.

This is all to prevent fraud and it works. I have clients who, before implementing PP, had fraud attempts that were usually in the tens of thousands of dollars. Sometimes they were detected and stopped, but not always. Positive Pay stops it cold.

Downloading a file from Microsoft Update Catalog

I was stuck on this for quite a while, trying to directly download and install an out-of-band update to fix a problem that Microsoft caused with another  update. Specifically this is in regard to KB50000802 (or 802), which was fixed with KB5001567.  But try as I might, I couldn't find the correct technique to get this file to download.

Then it hit me: This is freaking Microsoft so they've undoubtedly done something they didn't document and is just slightly squirrelly. It occurred to me to try the download with Internet Explorer instead of Chrome. No, that didn't work either. But when I tried it using Microsoft Edge the download fired up and I was able to get the file into the Downloads folder and launch it.

Obviously they did something with ActiveX or .Net, and it's probably documented somewhere. But if downloading an *.msu file doesn't work, try it with Edge.

Then simply launch the file by double-clicking on it. Good luck.

 

 

Food Service Payroll

It's been a few years since I started selling a completely new (to me) product. Here's a brief synopsis of what this program does.

Most larger restaurants, banquet operations and hotels have swarms of workers. This is a labor-intensive type of business, and the management must deal with the problems that come with that. One of those problems is that of tips. There are a lot of pretty obscure tax issues that come along with the food service industry simply because tips must be reported as income.

Many of these businesses have farmed out their payroll operations in the back office to payroll service businesses. But this leaves most of the burden of accurately collecting the hours of each employee, splitting out the hours for each job worked, reporting tips, etc. all in the hands of the management. Then they feed the summarized information to the payroll service company who prints the check or makes the ACH deposit to the employee's bank, and also makes the Federal Tax Deposit and files the From 941.

So the management still must do the work, and be responsible for any mistakes, and the payroll service usually charges a hefty fee for handling the money end.

Passport Software response to COVID-19

A lot of companies have issued generic policy statements about the Corona Virus.

Passport Software is taking action.  This is the statement from John Miller, the company president. I'm all in. If you can help out here, call or email me on the contact page.

I have just offered to provide our manufacturing solution at no charge to any company trying to set up operations to contribute to the war against COVID-19.

 

 This is a link to a brief Youtube video.

COVID-19 Offer

How the KRACK attack on wireless WPA security affects you.

This issue just hit the news today, on every single computer blog and forum in existence. It does affect you, even if you're only using Wi-Fi in the nearest coffee shop or library hotspot.

Here are some reputable links if you want the technical details:

Tech Crunch

Naked Security

PC Magazine

To translate, it is possible for a bad actor to intercept any communication between your Wi-Fi device and nearly any wireless access point or hot-spot. You should act accordingly.  The researchers who found this apparently didn't give any heads-up to the device manufacturers, they just released full details of how the vulnerability works and how to duplicate their attack, and you can bet that there are people world wide who are using this attack as you read this. Believe me, anybody can do this and it takes very little technical skill, but they must be within range of your Wi-Fi router.