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Your Privacy in Windows 10

POS SOFTWARE

Here is a famous picture of the Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg showing his Facebook likes here.

 Mark Zuckerberg

What happened is that when people blew up the picture where I put the arrow in what they found was this.

Mark Zuckerberg covering the camera and mic 

What he had done is put some tap over the camera and microphone of his laptop. Obviously despite having some of the best I am sure computer security professionals in the world, to check his computer he still feels he needs to do this too.

It is certainly the sign of the times as privacy has never been more under threat as it is now with computers and the internet. Although the Australian goverment with both sides approval has taken admirable action on private companies abusing people'e privacy, it certainly has expanded dramaticly the power of its own abuse of privacy again with both sides approval. 

Now if you're concerned what kind of data is collected by Microsoft in its latest Windows 10 at least there is something you can do to increase your privacy.

The problem is that Windows 10 requires to send information to Microsoft so that it can serve us better. Now where do we draw the line on what we are prepared to give will be different for everyone?

If you are concerned about this, I suggest that you download this free program and checkout the trade off between what you need and what information you are sending that you feel  goes too far. It is available here.

 

 

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Thinking of a website, what is the name?

POS SOFTWARE

Selecting a website name

With our POS Software, you can have an integrated website. That is a big plus.  Then what you will have is a shop that can take orders all the time. 

Now what you need to consider is a name for your online shop. Here are some points I recommend for an Australia shop.

1) Do not try and save a few dollars by selecting .NET, .BZ, .COM, .ORG, etc extension. Australians want to see your website with a .COM.AU extension. 

2) The shorter and easier it is to remember the name, the better. If it complex, it will be harder to find. 

3) Make it relevant to online. Say for example your name was Simon White and you owned a stationery shop in the suburb of Moorabbin.  If your business name was "White Stationery shop", how is that going to help your business? On the other hand, a name like "Moorabbin Stationery shop", would alert Google and Bings search engines that you sell stationery in the Moorabbin area. It would come up in people's searches. 

4) Keep it as short and simple as possible. I suggest that you pick a name that is easy to spell and simple to pronounce. 

5) Do not be too clever in your name eg haveagr8tday is not good nor is komputer.

6) Check your proposed name that you do not get in trouble eg if your name is McDonald and you open up a hamburger shop, there may be problems.

Bonus tip

For most SMB, I suggest looking at your location and what you do to make your name.  See point (3).

There are my tips, 

 

 

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Investment allowance and the elections

POS SOFTWARE

The tax writes off as it works for an SMB currently if it wanted to buy a point of sale system for $5,000.

Now it does not cost a business $5,000 as it can claim the GST. So 10% of this is GST which will be coming straight back, so the proposed cost is $4,545.45

- 100% of this would be allowed as depreciation

- If the company tax rate says 27.5%, which means the business will get back $1,250 in income tax credit.

 Which means that the business needs to fund this purchase in the first year needs $3,295.45 

Now the Labor proposal is to reduce the depreciation allowed to 20% if the asset is over $20,000 which this is not so 

- As the government does allow depreciation of computers now at  25% so most people would use that.

- If the company tax rate says 27.5%, which means the business will get back $312.50 in income tax credit.

Which means that the business needs to fund this purchase in the first year needs $4232.95

** Which means that the business needs to fund this purchase in the first year requires an extra $937.50 **

As the current government did not make the investment allowance permanent despite many requests to do so and it appears that the Labor party has indicated that it will be replacing it with their own scheme.  This may be your last chance to take advantage of this scheme.

If you want to take advantage of the instant asset write off, I suspect it is very dubious that you will get as good a deal as this later. So if you are looking to acquire or upgrade a point of sale system from us, NOW is the time.

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The new DSS Cashless Debit Card (CDC)

POS SOFTWARE

The controversial Department of Social Services Cashless debit cards is now moving to trial which we are involved in. 

Cashless_Welfare_Card

How it will work in a few months is that some people on social welfare are issued by the department of social security with a debit card. These cards look and work like a regular debit card except it restricts the purchase of some goods such as alcohol and some forms of gambling. It also does not allow the user to withdraw cash from the account.

From you the merchant view, if you are on the trial, you will need to mark all restricted items in your shop in your point of sale software. This includes items that you do not sell but potentially could sell. The list will be provided. Now the idea is that when you ring up a sale, your point of sale software at the time of purchase will signal to the EFTPOS unit that a restricted good is on the list. If it is a department of social security debit card, while attempting to process, you will get a message that the sale has been declined. You will not be told why.

Much still has to be determined which is yet to be determined how the social security department will handle it eg if you do not have a point of sale system, if you use a stand-alone EFTPOS unit, if you use stand-alone terminals to sell goods, if you sell many goods by a department, etc. 

How big will it go, who knows, currently it is aimed at what appears to me to be a small number of indigenous Australians who have no choice, they must go on it but as about 5 million Australians receive some money from the government potentially it could get that big. For all its worth, I have spoken to a few merchants in the areas who have seen first hand the problems of alcohol and gambling on the trial and they are all in favour of the plan. 

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How long does a lifetime software license last?

POS SOFTWARE

Just a quick question?

Say you brought some software with a lifetime licence, how long would you expect that this software will work for you? 

This question has been puzzling us since a client of ours brought it to our attention yesterday. They purchased some software over the net, subject to the laws of the "State of New York, USA" and paid extra for a lifetime warranty.  After six (6) years it has stopped working. 

When they argued with their supplier that they had a lifetime warranty and so it should still work, they were informed yes they purchased the item with a lifetime warranty and that the "End-User License Agreement" clearly stated

End-User License Agreement

so apparently their lifetime warranty on this software is six years. 

I have verified that this was the "End-User License Agreement" when they did buy it.

I decided to do some investigating on their behalf and discovered that the term *lifetime* in "lifetime warranty" has several different meaning 

It may mean

a) Forever

b) No matter how long the original purchaser owns the product.

c)  For how long that product can be reasonably expected to perform based on the way the buyer uses it.

d) The lifetime of the manufacturer

e) Three years

f) But this was the kicker; however, the seller defines it as long as he conspicuously discloses what ‘lifetime’ means. 

In some states in the US, I saw that could be something like as long as we sell that version of the software. For example, if they sell version (2) and now version (3) comes out, so they drop version (2), well version (2) lifetime is over and so is your warranty.

Note in Australia, under ACCC guidelines action can only be taken ten years maximum after purchase, which I suppose puts its own limit on the goods warranty.

I suppose like always remember the saying "Let the buyer beware."

 

 

 

 

 

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Instant Asset Write Off the plus and minus

POS SOFTWARE

$25K instant tax writeoff

The good news is that the instant asset write off has been extended for this financial year and even better has been increased from $20,000 to $25,000. This tax write off has saved heaps of money and cash flow for my clients.

Here is how it works

Say you were to buy a point of sale system for $5,000. The first point is to the ATO it does not cost $5,000 as 10% of this is GST which you will be getting straight back so the proposed cost is $4,500.

The system without the Instant Tax write off would allow only 15% of this would be allowed as depreciation, which works out to a tax deduction of $675

- As the company tax rate is say 27.5%, the business would get back $185.63 in income tax credits.

** This means the business needs to fund this purchase in the first year $4,314.38 **

However, with the Instant tax write off in place

- 100% of this would be allowed as depreciation

- If the company tax rate say 27.5%, which means the business will get back $1,237.50 in income tax credit.

** Which means that the business needs to fund this purchase in the first year $3,262.50 ** which is $1,051.88 less

This is a fairly substantial saving!

The bad news is that the government did not make it permanent and it appears that the Labor party if elected will not renew it, but replacing it with their own scheme which has some advantages but in this case only gives here a 20% write off. 

** Which means that the business needs to fund this purchase in the first year $5,252.50 ** which cost you $990 more.

If you want to take to take advantage of the instant asset write off it closes the 30th of June this year and if you miss out whether you can get as good a deal like this next year, I suspect is very dubious.

So if you are looking to get or upgrade a point of sale system from us, NOW is the time.

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Lottoland Australia still kicking

POS SOFTWARE

  The government outlawed betting on "synthetic lotteries" which are now in effect which we were told would effectively sign the death warrant for gambling companies like Lottoland in Australia, but Lottoland isn't going. I doubted they would as there is too much money involved.

Check out the lottoland site. Currently the US power at $571 million looks interesting, plus they have a new product "Jackpot betting." 

In April 2018, I wrote my personal views

-The medium to long-term for many of my clients on Lotto is worrying, and for point of sale suppliers like us, this is alarming. 

-The existing commissions from TABCORP are not enough?

-TABCORP continuing strategy is growing its digital business, and it is affecting my clients.

-The reality is that the Australian lotteries products in the days of the internet are now being outclassed.  My clients do not have access to many products that the internet offers, e.g.  $A571 million US Mega Millions jackpot here that the internet consumer does. 

-My clients have been hit by huge and unreasonable demands for shop fits. To support these shopfitting demands many have been presented with estimates of its benefits that I question.

Today I do not see despite what some claimed would happen once Lottoland was stopped from selling synthetic lotteries that my clients would be getting a share of the online sales, much better commisions and there would be a reduction in the demands for shop fits. 

Finally, I do not see that those of my clients that supported the move to ban Lottoland got much in exchange for their support. 

Note I am happy to take back all or any of these comments if someone can show that any are wrong.

 

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Law on issuing a receipt

POS SOFTWARE

Receipt_message.png

There seems some confusion over when a receipt must be issued. So I decided to check on behalf of our clients.

In some places eg Victoria under consumer law it states that a receipt must be issued if the transaction is over $75 EX GST, which is where people are getting confused.

So if someone purchased $80 worth of goods in Victoria, the merchant would probably be okay under Victorian consumer law not to issue a receipt.

However, if they purchased the same $80 worth of goods in QLD, the merchant is required under their consumer law to issue a receipt as it is over $75. 

However, in all of Australia, the retailer under ACCC it is required on all sales over $75 to issue a receipt

So I think that our software is right.

You need to issue a receipt is someone purchases an amount over $75.

Another point to consider here is that regardless of the amount all states consumer law and the ACCC agree that a receipt must be issued on any transaction if the customer demands one. 

Hope this clears up the confusion.

 

 

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Another court case over

POS SOFTWARE

 Although I do not want to name names, one of our clients, a small newsagent has finally settled with one of their old suppliers their case. The amount of money our client has recovered about a quarter of a million dollars which is not all their loss and they have to bear their costs which will make a substantial dent to the payout figure.  I will not be surprised if it is over half the payout amount.

So I think it is a good example to discuss the dangers of taking on agency sales in modern retail. 

An agency sale is a product for sale that a retailer markets on behalf of another organisation e.g. transport tickets,  bill payments, dry cleaning drop-offs, transport, lotteries, etc. Often the payout is seen partly in the number of customers coming to the shop to get these items. As the margins on these products tend to be low, to get a decent return you need a lot of sales which became the problem here as you will see. Say you make $20,000 at 2% margin you are looking at a million dollars of turnover. 

What happened here is that the supplier gave our client an electronic key once our client had signed the appropriate forms and also gave the supplier their bank account details. 

The problem is that someone else got a copy of my client's electronic key and soon they were trading on this account. As they were selling my client got billed for their trade. This other business did about $100,000 a year of trade in these goods and over time, the amount grew to about a quarter of a million dollars. 

This was only noticed by accident when an item was sold in this other business that my client had never traded. My client then immediately questioned this sale. Soon a stop was put on the account. Then my client requested as it was an error for a full refund of a quarter of a million dollars.

A dispute started.

No-one disputes that these trades were done by someone else.

However, the supplier stated that the only way for this key to have gone to this other business was if our client or people associated with our client had intentionally or otherwise given this electronic key to another business. So my client is at fault. My client does not feel that this happened. Also, my client's lawyers stated that even if this was true, it was the supplier's fault as their security is clearly not good enough as all a person had to do was copy an electronic key. 

Now you would think that it would be in everyone's interest to find out who this other business was? Well not really as it might establish who is at fault and if that other business did not have a quarter of a million dollars, then whoever is left with the blame and so probably the debt they would not be able to be recovered.

However, both sides did agree that my client was at fault for not having proper control over their accounts, something they are legally supposed to do. 

So began a three-year case which went on and on until finally, both sides came to a deal.

Here are some points that I think came out of this legal case

1) You need to audit your agency sales, your point of sale software needs to produce reports detailing your sales which you need to match up to the supplier's figures.

2) You need to ensure adequate security of your computer system. The supplier's argument that someone who knew what they were doing *could* get a copy of the electronic key given access to my client's computer system is valid. 

3) The authorities were not helpful, and the legalities are not straightforward.  Here is suited both parties interest not going to the police.

4) Agency sales even if they do not make much profit can generate a lot of turnover so giving a high risk.

 

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Lottoland stopped in Germany

POS SOFTWARE

lottoland.png

In a story that sounds very familiar to an Aussie, the German courts have ruled that Lottoland may not run in Germany and Lottoland may not accept German gamers. Apparently in Germany Lottoland is taking about 7% of the local lottery sales now.

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