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Frequently Asked Questions. Last Update 01/09/99.

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All answers relate to Rimaccounts Standard System only.

All questions must be e-mail directed via support contract, and may be edited for length/spelling. Only the body of the e-mail is used, which must not contain names or addresses.

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Q. How fast must my modem be to use Rimaccounts?

A. Rimaccounts will run on modem speeds as low as 9.6K, but you will need a reasonable response via your ISP. At low speeds, it is best to use a local storage area for your .gifs etc., such as your C: drive or a drive on your LAN(See :Main Menu in Fonts/Screen Layouts). Rimaccounts will take all graphics/plugins/etc. from that address by default except where a specific path is provided for individual elements.

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Q. When running encrypted on bureau-1 I constantly get messages warning me that unsecure documents have been requested even though they are coming from my own C: drive. How do I get round this?

A. Some browsers cannot differentiate between data coming from remote servers and data coming from your own C: drive or LAN. As these sources are not encrypted, the browser is warning you about this. As we cannot mess about with your browser/PC, we can only suggest a work-around such as taking all non-Rimsco images etc. from your interface including changing your default path in :Main Menu to spaces then all your data will come encrypted from the bureau, or running your own encrypting server either on your own PC or somewhere on your LAN and taking your own data from that. Of course, you could always change your browser to one which works properly.

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Q. Why not let users enter their PIN number rather than choosing one? I can't see why a choice is offered.

A. If the user wants a PIN to enter, simply stick it on the end of the password. The choice mechanism is just one of the features introduced to provide a check against password-flexing robots. There are other mechanisms incorporated and available to you if you have a problem, but they will be supplied to you by e-mail if you make a request under your contract number.

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Q. My FD wants to know if Rimaccounts will be acceptable to our auditors. Who has audited Rimaccounts previously?

A. We cannot disclose any information about bureau users. We do know that three separate UK accountancy practices have audited companies using Rimaccounts including one of the largest practices, but nothing is known outside UK. Suggest you ask your auditors, or show them the system and ask if they can audit it. We have had no complaints so far, so it would seem to be complete.

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Q. After we have been using Rimaccounts for some time, there will be considerable information in the system which we can't afford to lose. What is to stop Rimsco from suddenly increasing charges?

A. Once an account is opened, charges are guaranteed not to rise by more than the rate of inflation of the currency in which they are paid. New accounts are charged at a rate published at the time of opening the account. Rimsco guarantees that existing account charges will be reduced to be no greater than new account charges should rates decrease (as they are expected to do with improved telecommunication and hardware costs).

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Q. Why are supplier account identifiers numeric? Our existing system is alphameric and we want to use the same codes.

A. You only need to use supplier/customer numbers when setting up a new supplier/customer, every other use is provided with alphamatching. Standard Rimaccounts uses upto 7 digits plus a two digit sub-code (to identify suppliers/customers belonging to the same group). This is more than sufficient for all current users, but can be extended and be alphanumeric in tailored versions, it is only a system parameter setting. However, the short numeric form used is very handy in report layouts.

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Q. I understand that a transaction log is available for all users for any period upto a week ago. How do I get this?

A. Transaction logs for particular users are in html text form and are only released to the account overseer by written request. This is a chargeable service. Logs can be made available for any date in the past by prior special arrangement. Each log covers one day for one user, so you must consult the Overseer's Usage Report to ascertain which users and which days are required. The charge for a null (empty) log is the same as the charge for a full one. You will need a text-handling tool to deal with the log, PFE is recommended.

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Q. If we run our accounts in £Sterling, can we run another company in Euros?

A. No. Each Master Account can only run in a single base currency. You must open a separate Euro account.

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Q. If we run our accounts in Euros treating £ as a foreign currency, how can we do our VAT reports in £?

A. You can only produce accounting reports in the base currency. If Customs and Excise won't accept them in Euros write to your MP.

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Q. I lost my connection to Rimaccounts when my ISP cut me off (I think). I couldn't log back in, my password was "unacceptable". I tried again later on, and it was OK. Why?

A. . Bureau services doesn't know you have been cut off, and is still waiting for your next request. Eventually, it times out (depending on your password timeout parameter). Until then, your password is "in use". Even if you manage to re-establish connection through the same identifier, the bureau will cut you off if your connection through your ISP has a different IP Address to the previous one (i.e. your ISP assigns a new address for your new ISP connection).

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Q. I know the Report function only works if I use "Go Back" on my browser to return to Rimaccounts after displaying or downloading a report, but even if I "Go Back" to some other previous screen I still finish up in the same one. If I "Go Back" in the main system, I get a message "multithreading disabled". What does this mean?

A. After generating a report Rimaccounts always returns to the last Rimaccounts screen used. This is also true for Fonts and Help functions. You have to go back to where you were when you issued the request. Rimaccounts works rather like following a street map in a city. You can only go anyplace by starting from where you are. If you want to be in two different places at the same time, you need to be two people, i.e. have two passwords with two identities. Of course, if you have multiple passwords you can invoke your browser several times and be in several different places in Rimaccounts simultaneously. As far as the bureau is concerned, you are several different people. But each password will timeout if not used for some time, and you can get very confused especially if different windows are in different companies. Using the same password in two different places (multithreading) is not allowed for security purposes except in special circumstances such as splitting off into the Help facilities. Incidentally, the on-line help is meant for brief visits - if you want a general fumble about in the Help system you can access a server outside Rimaccounts and browse the help files (in directory EN in English, other XX directories when translated) at your leisure without charge.

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Q. How many different currencies can we use?

A. Rimaccounts could handle hundreds of currencies, but we only know of less than a hundred. If you mean how many can be supported as a base currency for a Master Account, only one but it can be any one. If you mean how many in, say, a Sales Ledger Customer Account, then there is no limit. You can enter sales invoices on any account in as many currencies as you have defined, and accept payment or part-payment for them in any mix of currencies for which you have set up a bank account.

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Q. If we open an office in Italy, can the user interface be in Italian? We know we can change every bit of text individually to Italian, but this is out of the question.

A. When setting up a user password, you can stipulate any language you like provided it is set-up in your Account. You can then opt for the standard interface in that language rather than inheriting the setting-up password interface. However, having said that, Italian is one of the languages we have not yet provided a translation for, and you may have to wait until we have a sponsoring franchisee in Italy who will undertake a proper translation. Our attempts at mechanical translation are apparently causing some merriment. Please accept our apologies for this unsatisfactory answer.

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Q. When I generate a balance sheet, I would like it to be available to the accountant. How can I pass it across to him? How many reports can I keep on my password?

A. Reports are only available to the password which generates them. Either tell him how to generate his own, or e-mail yours to him. Rimaccounts allows 50 reports per password at any one time, any extra are liable to summary deletion not necessarily in any discernible sequence. Keep an eye on proliferating reports- if you want to keep them, download them and keep them at your end, delete them from your password account. Don't over-run or you may find that your latest and most complex reports are being deleted before you have chance to read them.

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Q. We have spent some time improving the presentation of most of Rimaccounts, and can pass this on to new passwords. However, some parts such as the FAQ are outside our control and seem very spartan. This does not impress our clients. When will this be addressed?**EDITED FOR GRAMMAR/SPELLING**

A. Rimsco is straining every muscle to provide more facilities for Rimaccounts, such as the new Bank Reconciliation facilities. Any extra effort is going towards new modules such as Stock/MRP/Ordering/Receiving etc., where we are under great pressure to provide. Regrettably, the under-strength beauticians can only follow on behind at this stage, but we expect the situation to improve. Your comments about the disorganised presentation of FAQs has also been taken on board, and we will be indexing and putting them in some sort of order when resources allow.

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Q. When will the Stock Module be released?

A. No releases are expected until late 2000, Stock is scheduled for beta Summer 2000, so is Inventory/Job Costing. No plans yet for Payroll, Fixed Assets, or any other of the 500 things deemed "absolutely essential" by Sales.

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Q. When I find my responses getting slow, I hit the send a few times and then get back some very strange messages. Are these from Rimaccounts?

A. Can't tell without seeing them, how about a bit more detail? Generally, if responses are getting slow, check out responses on other web sites on the Internet. If they are slow as well, it is almost certainly the fault of your ISP, who has sold/given away far too much bandwidth (taken on too many new users) for his capacity. If you send a screen again before receiving a response, the messages may be crossing on the Internet, and/or you might be getting a mixture of two messages arriving at the same time. Wait for a response before re-sending, if it takes too long check out the other Internet responses before deciding who to complain to. If it's us, we need the time (GMT) and what you were doing, your user name (NOT your password!) and your contract number must be in the e-mail Subject.

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Q. One of our client companies has ceased trading, but we still need to keep the accounts available. What should we do?

A. Master Accounts are kept open for three months after an order for time is placed, providing the invoice has been paid. If the invoice is not paid within 30 days, then the order is deemed cancelled, and the previous order becomes the last order. All time must be used within three months of order, so the Account would not be available for log-on after 3 months unless a further order is placed. After 6 months, the Account is removed from the server, and can only be re-instated by payment of a re-connection charge of £1000 or 1500 Euros. As the minimum order is 10 hours, you could theoretically keep the Account open by placing an order for 10 hours every six months, but, long-term, reconnection may be better.

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Q. What happens if our server is down or otherwise out of action?

A. Rimsco uses several servers, not all in the UK. Rimsco reserves the right to support your Account from any suitable server. Your information is copied on a periodic basis, at least once a week and usually every day. In some cases, information is mirrored onto other servers. Rimsco only provides time on bureau servers, and refuses any responsibilty for information, data or content except normal reasonable care and attention.

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Q. Why doesn't my password work from my home machine?

A. Your Account Overseer set it up to function only from your place of work. Apparently, you have another password which works from your laptop, so suggest you use laptop at home, or get another password explicitly for home use.

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Q. Before using Rimaccounts on the Internet Bureau Service, we were told by several salespeople from software houses that ledgers couldn't be run over the Internet except by terminal emulation or by "Wintrix" or something which runs Windows remotely. Apparently these methods need high bandwidth and don't work very well over existing modems, but Rimaccounts seems slick enough over our 56K modems. How does Rimaccounts work?

A. Presumably you are referring to the mechanisms by which data is transferred between your PC and the bureau server. Using terminal emulation or remote PC screen requires that every keystroke be sent up and down the Internet between the PC and the server. This of course does wonders for your response times. Rimaccounts works by generating html strings (they look like small html documents to your browser) in which are embedded references to required objects such as images, plug-ins, etc. When your browser displays the html document, the images/etc. are pulled in from wherever they reside (perhaps on the bureau server, your PC disk drive, or somewhere on your LAN if you are on one), and incorporated into the screen display whilst performing any music/speech synthesis incorporated and executing any plug-ins.(Bear in mind that the Standard System comes with only images, you must incorporate your own music/speech/plug-ins/XML/etc. as required.) You then fill in the screen data presented as a form by your browser, and it is submitted as a transaction back to the server all in one go. The server receives it, works out who sent it and whereabouts you were in Rimaccounts, and resurrects the appropriate thread. The information you sent is processed as a single transaction, giving rise to the generation of a further string of html which is directed back to your browser. The thread then goes to sleep until invoked again either by you or someone else. Normally, all the data sent and received is encrypted. Obviously, we cannot object if competitive salespeople state as a generalisation that remote PC screen is inappropriate for your intended use, but we would be very interested to hear of any case where a competitor's salesperson has stated as fact that Rimaccounts Bureau Services uses either remote PC screen or terminal emulation. We are sick and tired of the FUD and lies being thrown at us by certain people, and would be extremely pleased to nail one of them. We welcome competition, but it's got to be fair!

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Q. A friend of mine says he has looked at Rimaccounts since we started using it, but it isn't as fast as his existing PC system, or as cheap as upgrading it taken over a two-year period.

A. If he is in a single-user situation, he is probably right. Rimaccounts over the Internet cannot compete with a single-user PC, and it may not even compete with a small local multi-user LAN, it depends on what facilities he needs (multi-company, multi-currency, multi-lingual, Euro handling, etc.). However, if he wants to outsource his accounting and/or IT function due to a shortage of in-house resource, or if he wants to run from multiple locations, the situation is reversed. Have a look at Economic Considerations in Help.

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Q. Does Rimsco do outsourcing? We are a small company and cannot seem to retain IT/accounts staff. We would like to get our accounting function off our network as it keeps falling over. *EDITED FOR LENGTH*

A. Sorry, no. Try asking your auditors to run your accounts on the Bureau, whilst retaining the entry of purchase and sales invoices in house. You will only need a PC/Browser for each user connected to the Internet, and many ISPs will provide a single line (e.g. ISDN) with a router on the end and help you plug-in your PCs to it. No worries about network traffic, backing-up, upgrading, maintenance, etc. If you want to go this way, there are many companies providing Internet connectivity and many accounting practices who would run your accounts. Unfortunately we cannot make any recommendations, as your e-mail gives no address for your company. Suggest you e-mail our Sales Department to enquire about opening an account, see mainhelp.html on any Rimsco server. Do not e-mail Support again, as your e-mail will not get past our spamscreen without a contract number - this e-mail was only picked up during a despamming test.

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Q. A senior manager (who insisted on having a high-level password though he doesn't need one) has accidentally used the "Nail Shut" facility to permanently close last year's accounts in one of our companies. We need to post some transactions to that year. How can we re-open the accounts?

A. You can't, and neither can we. Nailed-Shut accounts are held in a different form, and are just about impossible to unscramble even if they are not encrypted. You could go back to a copy of your Master Account from just before he did it, if you know when this was, but this would be chargeable and you would lose all data input since then on the entire Account. We can only suggest that you manually change your year-end reports and enter journals to correct this-years brought-forwards, with appropriate narratives. Meanwhile, remove the facility to Nail-Shut Accounts from every password, leaving only the Overseer Master Password with that ability. While you are at it, remove all system type facilities from every password that doesn't actually need them, in accordance with the advice given in Password Help.

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Q. How many passwords can we have?

A. Standard system allows upto ten thousand, but you should delete every obsolete one. If you are going to have more simultaneous users than you stated as a maximum at account set-up, you should warn us at Support under your contract number, as it may be necessary to transfer your account to a more powerful server. You should ensure that more time is ordered on your account if more users are present.

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Q. My company has been taken over, and I need to transfer the accounts from Rimsco Bureau to the system used by our new parent company. How can I do this?

A. Easiest way is to produce reports showing all the data you need for your new system. (if there is any data you need that you can't get at this way, we would very much like to hear about it, and will provide assistance). Download the reports into PFE or similar, and put them out to disk. Subsequently, you can use a report data extractor (we like Monarch from DATAWATCH, but we can't actually recommend anything) to extract the data and stuff it into the form the new system wants. Alternatively, you can spend hours loading XML commands into the report facilities you use (although its officially still in beta, it does work), and download XML if your browser can handle it and XML standards have actually been agreed. Or you can pay us lots of money to do the whole job for you and provide the data in a standard database form or as tab-delimited spreadsheet files.

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Q. Since moving house, I have started work with a new company in charge of the Purchase Ledger. I have tried to persuade them to use Rimaccounts as we did at my previous company, but my boss says he wants his data here on the computer in the office where he can see it. I'm having great problems trying to work out who to pay and when, as my assistant has left. I'd like to show him Rimaccounts but your Sales people will not set-up an account for me as I am not a senior officer of the company.

A. Sorry, can't help you. You should not use your previous company's contract number to contact Support, please don't do it again. If you want to get your boss to look at Rimaccounts, try showing him articles in the computer press about Application Hosting, but he has probably closed his mind to it. We are hoping to start a user-group community on the Internet, which may give you examples of other companies you can show to him, but for the time being Rimsco policy is non-disclosure of client names. Perhaps you could get him to talk to your previous employer?

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Q. When will the Rimaccounts User Group be available? There has been no recent mention of it.

A. Rimsco is undecided what form the user group should take. Should it be national (only UK companies use Rimaccounts at present) or industry-type related? Should there be a separate group for organisations that use the bureau to provide a service to their clients, like accountancy practices? As we have no idea at present what the average user profile will look like next year, we have adopted the usual strategy of doing nothing for the time being. There may be some truth in the rumour that nobody here can be persuaded to take responsibility for it, so we may be looking for a customer to volunteer if the current paranoia about disclosure of client names can be overcome.

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Q. Where can we get a Rimaccounts training course for the staff at our new office?

A. We are currently negotiating about a training franchise, but nothing is expected to develop until 4th. Quarter 1999. We will put the information here as soon as we have something definite. Meanwhile, advice and guidance is available under your support contract number.

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Q. We run our accounts in UK pounds. If we want to change to Euros sometime in the future, will Rimsco convert them?

A. No. You should set up a new Master Account for Euros and journal in your opening balances at the start of a financial year (just as you did when you set up your Sterling Ledgers), then run in parallel for a time, treating Sterling as a foreign currency. Your suppliers and customers won't see any difference, as you can accept Sterling invoices as well as Euro ones, and issue Sterling sales invoices as well as Euro ones. You can reconcile any balance sheet differences at the end of the year with appropriate journals to currency gain/loss, and switch over to Euros as your "official" ledgers at any time. The same mechanism gets you back to Sterling ledgers if necessary, or dollars.

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Q. My company is growing rapidly, and we are planning to open new companies in Europe. What is the limitation on companies and users for Rimaccounts?

A. The standard system caters for 90 plus companies on one Master Account and upto 10,000 users. However, server limitations come into play long before this, so you must let us know about large expected increases by updating your "maximum" and "expected average" use figures in good time, whereupon we may transfer you to a more powerful server.

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Q. Supplier records created in the Purchase Invoice Register appear on the Sales Register as well. Why is this?

A. Rimaccounts treats Supplier/Customer Master Records as being either a supplier or a customer or both, so they are visible from either register. However, depending on password parameters, they only appear on the Purchase Ledger if they have a purchase ledger account and on the Sales Ledger if they have a sales ledger account.

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Q. One of our customers has taken over another customer. How do we transfer the company to the same group as the new owner?

A. You can't transfer companies, you must start another entry for them and flag the original as "**Do not use!**". They are actually a new company now, and if you have ongoing business with them it should be journaled out of the old company sales ledger account and into the new. This can be done as a single balance, or as individual journals retaining the accounting date for each outstanding amount. Or you can let the old one wind down and put all new business to the new one, depending on what suits the circumstances.

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