First Option Newsletter

December 2016

It's that time of year again and we have put together a newsletter that reflects some of the changes going on. 

On the First Option side, the upgrade to 7.3 has been completed and went as planned. This year has seen a big uptick in our application hosting services and we expect more in 2017 as people look more to the Cloud. We have also welcomed back a number of former Daprex customers who left the software for a new system but found the Daprex system much more robust with better database capabilities. 

As of the writing of this newsletter there are no programming changes necessary for the 1099's. (Box 11 and 12 for Foreign tax paid are blank and no longer used on this form) Instructions for running 1099's are listed below for your convenience. 

Also, as of this year there are new deadlines for filing W-2s and 1099s, please see below for more information regarding this. 

On the IBM front, IBM will no longer provide maintenance for the Power 5 Systems as of January 2019. IBM also is no longer supporting Client Access on Windows 10. If you are on Windows 10 you will need to install Access Client  Solutions and we have provided the instructions. 

For year end, we have some sample knowledge base entries that you may find helpful and have added our holiday schedule for 2017.

And lastly, some important news from the Department of Labor regarding the Overtime Rule that was set to take effect December 1st, 2016.

Have a wonderful holiday season and don't forget about our "Refer a Friend" Program!

January 31st Deadline for W-2s and 1099 Misc
The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, enacted last December, includes a new deadline for employers filing W-2s. Businesses are now required to file their copies of  Form W-2, submitted to the Social Security Administration, by Jan. 31st. 
The new Jan. 31 filing deadline also applies to Form 1099-MISC reporting non-employee compensation. 
  KB2Knowledgebase Entries
Year End Knowledge Base Entries

What options do I use to print 1099's?
Note: As of the writing of this newsletter there are no programming changes required for the 2016 1099's. Click link below for printing instructions. 

Accounting Period Open/Close
How do I change the G/L accounting period open/closed flags if I have already cloned them from a previous year?
To access and change the Valid for General Ledger fields in the Accounting file, and if you have cloned the accounting period and therefore copied the Closed period fields;
Use #14-Update Accounting Period Flags on the G/L  Supervisor menu.  
Enter the Corp# and year that need to be changed and press ENTER.  In the column 'Valid for G/L' key a 'Y' to allow entries to be posted into the period or an 'N' to prevent entries from being posted.  

Accounting Period Open/Close (cont.)

For more information about accounting periods, cloning and re-setting values go to the General Ledger Manual page 25 & 126.

Open New Year

How do I open a New Year for Accounts Payable and General Ledger?

Create the accounting period for each Corp/Fund for the new year. (this example is from 2016 to New Year 2017)
You can easily clone from one year to the next using Option 18 - Clone Accounting Periods , from the  General Ledger File Maintenance  menu.
You will need to key in the Corp/Fund and the "from" year 2016, then the same Corp/Fund and the 'To" year 2017, at the copy period closed area, key in a "N" and the following fields will appear.

From Corp# : 2 To Corp# : 2 

From Year : 2016 To Year : 2017

Copy Period Closed Data . . . .: N (Y,N) 

Set 12 months to Yes or No 
Valid For GL . . . . . : Y 
A/P Closed . . . . . . : N 
A/R Closed . . . . . . : N 

Set the Valid for GL, AP Closed, and AR Closed as shown above. You will need to do this for all Corps/Funds.

IBM End of Support for Power 5 Systems
As many of you already know, IBM plans to discontinue Hardware Support for Power 5 Systems as well as any older systems. The date is scheduled for January 31 2019*.

Now is a great time to think about some of the options available to you. 

One option is to go with First Option's shared hosting service. In the long run, you will save money and be able to allocate time to other business critical needs.  Most of our customers have been on hosting for over ten years and have never looked back. Come join us in the Cloud! 
For more information contact

Another option is to obtain 3rd party maintenance. There are a number of companies who offer 3rd party maintenance but there can be an issue with getting parts which could delay your down time. 

Or you can buy a new system which is costly and will create a certain amount of upheaval within your organization. Three to seven years later you will be upgrading again. Why not get rid of the hassle and cost, be on a current IBM system with 24/7 monitoring in a SSAE-16 Compliant data center.

* Dates and models 
January 31, 2019  9406-520 or 9407-515 
January 31, 2020  9406-170 or 720 
October 31, 2020  820, 830, 840, 250, 270, 525, 570, 595, 800 or 810
IBM i Access Client Solutions and Windows 10
IBM is not supporting Client Access on Windows 10 and is requiring you to use IBM i Access Client Solutions when upgrading to Windows 10.

IBM i Access Client Solutions, a Java-based client, includes 5250 emulation, data transfer, printer output, console support, and more.

Features include:
  • 5250 display and printer emulation based on IBM's Host-on-Demand
  • 5250 Session Manager support modeled after IBM Personal Communications Session Manager
  • Multiple language support for concurrent 5250 emulation sessions on the same client
  • Data Transfer similar to IBM i Access for Windows Data Transfer plus support for OpenDocument spreadsheet (*.ods), Excel Workbook (*.xlsx), and other file formats
  • Data Transfer integration with Excel and OpenOffice
  • Simplified SSL Configuration
  • Download and viewing of spool files
  • IBM i Virtual Control Panel for LAN and HMC consoles
  • 5250 emulation for LAN and HMC consoles
  • Consolidation of hardware management interface configurations, including ASMI, IVM, and HMC

Please see instructions for installing Access Client Solutions.  Both products can be installed on a PC.  

DOL Overtime Law Delayed
A federal court issued a preliminary injunction to temporarily block the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing and enforcing its Final Overtime Rule. The rule was set to take effect December 1st. For more information click on the link below. 

2017 Holiday Schedule
Click the link below for our 2017 Holiday Schedule.

If you would like to receive reminders, please Subscribe to our News section via the Helpdesk. 

Refer a Friend Program
referRefer a Friend

First Option's "refer a friend" program.

For each company, you refer to Hosting, that becomes a First Option customer, we will give you one month of hosting free! The referral can be for the GUI hosted financial package or hosting other iSeries applications. 

Make sure they use your name when contacting us or send us an email with the referrals contact information. 

Here is link to more information regarding Hosting with First Option!

First Option