Executive Service Club (“ESC”) Agreement and Policy Statement
- QuickBooks Support
To help lower costs to the ESC members, American Tax Professionals (“ATP”) purchases multiple user licenses; and ATP’s discount is passed on to the ESC Membership.
ATP supplies ESC members with resources: The desktop version of QuickBooks Platinum Enterprise Edition, QuickBooks Payroll, and a Hosted Business Environment Desktop (e.g. L5 Cloud Desktop); and a host of additional software, all at Cost. For Paying the Monthly Fees which:
The balance of the monthly ESC fees applies to the cost of annual tax return(s).
Therefore, ESC member Expectations (for support) should be as if they purchased QuickBooks (“QBs”). In other words, if QBs was purchased directly, the support available would be the QBs (Intuit) support that comes with the software license. That support applies to payroll as well. Keep in mind ATP provides the resources; but not free, QBs data entry, consulting, Training or Technical Support.
ATP’s support consists of:
- Reviewing Direct Support activity if necessary (e.g., Intuit (QBs) or Right Network support) because Direct Support is not the best solution for our ESC members or is limited.
- Maintenance of the Chart of Accounts (“COA”); to generate necessary reports (i.e., P&Ls, Balance Sheets, Tax Returns and etc.).
- Occasional Transactions (“OTs”). OTs are outside of the routine transactions.
The ratio is usually around, 90% routine (which the ESC member is responsible for) and 10% OTs (is DSC additional services. See below). This division of labor is designed to maintain quality control of the Books while lowering bookkeeping cost to the ESC membership, by minimizing ATP’s involvement.
ATP is the “safety net” in the process.
After the Setup period, there is a transition (phase-in) period. Once the ESC member become “familiar” with the resources and the self-help guides (which the length of time depends on the Setup “Service Agreement”) the QBs onboarding is complete. Thereafter, charges apply to the above (3) three types of activity and any other Data Systems Consultant (“DSC”) services. If there are additional exceptions, they are outlined in your Setup “Service Agreement.”
To facilitate lower support costs, the ESC members should access the different training and resources available to become proficient with QBs.
- https://quickbooks.intuit.com/enterprise/customer-resource-center/Training Videos
- QuickBooks Support/Payroll Support Call (866) 304-7237
- There is also QuickBooks Training on U Tube.
- Or Contract with ATP for DSC QuickBooks Training
- Computer Support
At the Data Center, where the Hosted Business Environment resides (the Desktop), the technicians are responsible for the servers, where applications are hosted; the techs maintain backups, security, and the connectivity at the servers. In other words, the DSC Cloud Technicians hardware, software, and connectivity support is centralized at the Data Center, as any other internet connection-like your e-mail account.
As with QBs support, there is an “Onboarding” transition period of “Computer” support. In other words, The Cloud Technicians make the necessary connection between your computer and your Hosted Business Environment (our servers); where QBs and your Cloud Desktop is located.
The Onboarding connection is created by first downloading and installing the Citrix application. Then your log on is verified by the Cloud Technician. The Citrix application “manages” your desktop directory and settings (e.g. a printer) at your location. At that point your Onboarding is complete. Therefore, any issue(s) which is at the ESC member’s local “machine(s),” which needs to be “fixed,” by the DSC Cloud Technicians, there may be DSC Charges for Computer Support Services done remotely.
Some examples of problems detected during the onboarding period are hardware and Software malfunctioning, outdated hardware (old computers, modems, switches, or firewalls) Software Updates are not current; outdated Drivers for Peripherals (e.g., printers); there may be Viruses and Malware that need to be purged. These are just a few examples of issues that can “corrupt” the ESC member’s local computer that has no bearing on the quality of the Hosted Business Environment, its Servers: and their working condition.
Additionally, Application Software may have their own internal “engineering” difficulties and limitations (e.g., security regulation changes that modify, or eliminate a function or feature). Again, this change has no relationship to the Hosted Business Environment, it Servers, and their working condition.
In these circumstances, it is at the discretion of the DSC whether there should be charges for consulting and support. An example would be consulting on a QBs payroll “Add On” and configuring the “Add On” to synchronize with QBs to provide the ESC member with the desire function or feature.
To help lower additional Computer Support Charges and involvement
- Be aware of Operating Software Update Schedules (e.g., Windows is every Tuesday evening). If, your local computer is trying to download an Update while you are trying to do your books, your machine may “lock up.” You may need to complete the download and reboot.
- Keep your local “machine” up to date: hardware and software; run a Systems diagnostics Software frequently, that you can download from the manufacture, e.g., Dell has the “Support Assistant” which will tell you if there are problems with your local “machine.” Then you can “trouble shoot” using the diagnostic software.
- Don’t let your modems, switches, or firewalls get too old. It is recommended that they are replaced every 5 years or so. When they go bad or are out of date, they can play havoc with your local system.
- Just rebooting your local system will fix many problems: sometimes a driver didn’t load correctly, as an example. When the system is rebooted most of the time the driver will then load correctly.
- Every 3 or 4 years get a new computer. This should be an inexpensive computer that has a good internet connection. You should be migrating to the cloud with all your files. That way you have a throw-a-way local computer, and all the expensive stuff is on the Cloud Server. Sometimes, it is cheaper to get a new local machine, than try to repair or “fix” the old one.
If problems arise at the local level, it is not the responsibility of the DSC Cloud Technicians. The Techs will verify the location of an issue(s). If the problem is at the Data Center, there will be no charge.
However, if a problem or issue is the ESC member’s local machine or equipment, the ESC member will be given the option of the DSC billing for fees to do the repair or the “fix.” If the DSC is given the go ahead, the DSC will invoice accordingly for the services.
Most of the time there are relatively few or no issues during the Onboarding period, or thereafter. The process is usually simple and seamless.
But, due to the variableness of computers, networks, the internet, and the end user’s competence with both QBs and computers; there are times an extra effort is needed and costs to make sure the ESC system is available to all. This Policy Statement is intended to fulfill the above objectives: and to be judicious to that end.
ESC Member Name (Print)
ESC Member Signature DATE
Additional Video and Training Resources:
- Mastering QuickBooks: https://quickbookstraining.com/self-paced-training?version=desktop&courses_for=new-users
- IRS Workshop for Small Business: https://www.irsvideos.gov/Business/SmallBusinessWeek/virtualworkshop
- IRS Video Portal For Businesses: https://www.irsvideos.gov/Business