Posts in QA Updates
Escape Online 5 v15.03 Preview

Online Resources, How-Tos, Tutorials and Attachments just got even better!

Escape Online 5 has some pretty handy features that I like to use on a regular basis.  The fact that I can open up a How-To document or a detailed tutorial that explains everything about the activity I’m in without needing to leave the activity itself is pretty darn cool. With just two clicks, I’m there: one click on the Tools menu to access the drop-down menu, then another click on the How-To or the Tutorial option, whichever best suits my needs at that moment.  I can then toggle between the activity and the training documents, putting what I’m learning to use immediately!  But wouldn’t it be even better if I could have that tutorial or How-To open right next to my activity, so that instead of having to toggle between pages I can just shift my eyeballs back and forth?  Well get ready to be excited, because we are bringing you that functionality in the next Escape Online 5 release, v15.03! 

This screen shows how I have the How-To open next to the Escape Online 5 activity I need help with, and how I’m able to work in Escape Online 5 and still refer to the How-To.  For users with two or more screens, you can have Escape Online 5 open on one screen and the How-To or Tutorial open on the other.

This screen shows how I have the How-To open next to the Escape Online 5 activity I need help with, and how I’m able to work in Escape Online 5 and still refer to the How-To.  For users with two or more screens, you can have Escape Online 5 open on one screen and the How-To or Tutorial open on the other.

And we didn’t stop at How-Tos and Tutorials.  Now when you access any of the links under the Online Resources module those will be opened in your default browser, outside of Escape!  So you can browse Friday Features, learn while being entertained by our own Terri Hammond by watching past webinars, see what fun webinar topics are forthcoming, access our newly designed website, newsletters – you name it – all without leaving the activity you were working in!

This all came about because at least one of you had requested a specific enhancement to the attachment functionality.  While you appreciated that you could view a document that someone had attached to a requisition, you needed to be able to view that attachment and the line items page at the same time, to verify the items ordered matched what had been submitted on paper by a non-Escape Online 5 user.  In addition, you needed to be able to edit those line items or add one that may have been missed, using the attachment as a guide.  Right now you have to either have a photographic memory or you have to print the attachment.  But with the introduction of v15.3, when you open any attachment in any document it will be launched in the default program for that file type; typically Excel for .xlsx or .csv, Word for .docx or .rtf, or Adobe Reader for .pdf, etc.  (Where possible, the documents are opened read-only or require the user to do a ‘save as’ if they were able to edit the document.  This helps cut down on confusion since most users don’t know where, or have access to, the server on which the attachment file is stored.)  This leaves Escape Online 5 unimpeded, so you can view the document and update those line items if you need to!

So thanks to a seemingly simple (yet brilliant) request by you, our wonderful customers, Escape Online 5 has become a much more powerful tool to get you through your busy work day!




Check99 Gets Some Enhancements

I've just completed testing some changes we made to the Check snapshot (Check99) and I thought someone out there might be interested in what will be released in v13.3. There were a couple of reported issues that were addressed with the integrated report. First, the option to search by fund (FD) was only looking at the check data, which contains just one fund code. We've switched it so that it looks at the accounts that are stored in the associated payments, thereby ensuring your requested check will be on the report even if it was comprised of payments using various funds.

Second, there were some complaints that when the report was run for all orgs, it sometimes timed out before the data could be retrieved and presented. An increase to the report timeout setting in v13.1 addressed part of that issue, but I was still able to get the report to time out when I asked for monumental amounts of data. I'm happy to say that with the new changes I've been unable to get the report to error. In fact, it's been dutifully grinding out thousands of pages in mere minutes! For example, I just asked for all checks printed for the first two months of last fiscal year for all orgs and I had the information in just about two minutes.

There were some bonus changes made as well. FD, Batch Id and Check# now allow the inclusion of wildcards. And the UserId, BatchId, and Scheduled Date range fields are used as qualifiers, not filters, so that means when you ask for checks with, for example, a specific Batch Id, the report will show you all the payments for that check, not just the payments that match the value you searched for.

Check99And here's my favorite change of all:  when testing the AP Checks activity I'd always get frustrated by the fact that when I clicked on a Vendor Payroll check I'd be presented with a blank report. Well, no longer! The report now displays the address information and the amount, along with a message that this is a payroll vendor check. (The integrated Check99 report still only prints AP checks.)

I've tested a patch for Check99 so if anyone is interested in getting these changes sooner than the proposed November release date of 13.3 feel free to contact your Escape Customer Care Representative.




Stale Dating is Surprisingly Prevalent

I worked in the banking industry for several years before I came to Escape, so I am very familiar with the term, “Stale Date”.  However, a recently implemented new feature at the request of some of our customers makes me think that their customers, recipients of checks from those districts, do not understand that what they have in their hands has a very short life. Definition of a stale dated check:  A check presented to the paying bank/location six months or more after the original issue date or after an expiration date specified on the check.  Banks are not required by the Uniform Commerical Code to honor stale-dated checks.

In plain English, it means that the check has passed its cashing prime.  It has expired.  You cannot go to a bank and trade it for money.  You cannot pass Go and collect $200.  Basically, it is just a piece of scrap paper you can use in your next papier-mâché project.

I understand that there’s the occasional person out there who may put the check somewhere and then lose it or forget about it for six months or more.  But our new activity will allow counties and districts to stale date a large batch of checks at once – up to 200 at a time!  It boggles my mind that there are so many folks out there not cashing their checks that an entire activity needed to be created to handle the stale dating of them!

StaleDate
StaleDate

The activity is available under Finance-AP for SYSMGR roles or by user permission.  The software automatically searches for checks in the Printed status, which you can further define by various criteria, like check number or Vendor ID.  When your list is presented, the default action is Stale Date.  You can defer any of the items on the list.  When your list is perfect, simply choose the task to change the status to stale and the checks will be updated accordingly.

Of course, for those customers whose check recipients are like me and deposit their checks so fast their bank accounts catch fire, the ability to stale date in the AP Checks activity is still in place for stale dating checks one-by-one.

For a live demo of this new Stale Date Checks activity, tune in to Terri’s 13.2 Release Review on Thursday, June 6th.




13.02 - Your Ticket to Leave Balance Payoff and More!

vacation It’s release time again!  13.02 will be available to install early next week.  Like all of our releases, 13.02 is full of great features but it also includes many year end enhancements.

One particular enhancement included in 13.02, that I hear some customers have been patiently waiting to receive, is the ability to payoff leave balances.  Leave balance payoff works just like leave docks, but instead of a negative adjustment, it’s a positive one.  The setup is pretty simple, you define the addon that you want to use for payoffs in the Organization record and any Leave Balance that should payoff is defined in the Leave Balance Profile setup.  Now, when leaves are posted, a payoff will occur on the employee's last earning period of the fiscal year.  A payroll adjustment is automatically created using the defined addon and a leave adjustment is created to bring the leave balance to zero.

There are lots of other goodies in the release, over 110 in fact!  The whole Escape family worked long and hard to get version 13.02 ready and in the hands of our customers in time for year end tasks.  The 13.02 Release Review with Terri Hammond is scheduled for June 6th.  Invitations will be going out soon, make sure you sign up!