Archive for July, 2017

Microsoft 365 – August 2017 – ask Synergy Software Systems, Dubai

July 31st, 2017

At Inspire, earlier this month Satya Nadella unveiled Microsoft 365, which brings together Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security, delivering a complete, intelligent and secure solution to empower employees. It represents a fundamental shift in how we will design, build and go to market to address our customers’ needs for a modern workplace.

Microsoft introduced Enterprise and Business editions. It’s in public preview on 2nd August 2017, and will. generally available in autumn 2017, priced at $20 per user per month.

– Enterprise edition replaces Secure Productive Enterprise and will be available as an E3 or E5 plan from 1st August 2017.

– Business edition is new, and is aimed at organizations with less than 300 users who want Office 365 Business Premium with security/management features from Windows 10 and EMS, as well as some new applications such as Microsoft Connections.

The workplace is transforming—from changing employee expectations, to more diverse and globally distributed teams, to an increasingly complex threat landscape. A new culture of work emerging as companies look to empower their people with innovative technology. Think of Dubai’s ‘smart government” and trends like SMAC and BYOD.

Think also of the challenges for security in this ‘brave new world’ of organised ransomware and phishing attacks. With more than 100 million commercial monthly active users of Office 365, and more than 500 million Windows 10 devices in use, Microsoft 365 helps companies to empower their employees, to unlock business growth and innovation, while keeping the enterprise secure.

1, 2017.

Microsoft 365 Enterprise is built on the foundation of the highly successful Secure Productive Enterprise, which grew seats by triple digits in the last year.

Microsoft 365 Business is designed for small- to medium-sized businesses with up to 300 users and integrates Office 365 Business Premium with tailored security and management features from Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security. It offers services to empower employees, safeguard the business and simplify IT management.

Microsoft 365 Business:
• Helps companies achieve more together by better connecting employees, customers and suppliers.
• Empowers employees to get work done from anywhere, on any device.
• Protects company data across devices with always-on security.
•Simplifies the set-up and management of employee devices and services with a single

Dynamics 365 (CRM) what’s new July 2017 – our favourites

July 22nd, 2017

A few of our favourite new features:

CAFM for hotels – what’s new in SynergyMMS version 3.7.5

July 22nd, 2017

New to SynergyMMS Desktop:

Event type: Defect or Request (optional)
A defect is when something is wrong or missing, and a request is something a guest asks for or wants extra. (Example: When a guest asks for an extra pillow, that is a request. If the guest asks for a pillow because there was not one in the room, that is a defect.)

Pooling: New “Circular” mode
Assigns an equal number of work items to users in a given pool based on order of devices, and then circular.

Snagging/Punch List Inspection Reports
“Snags” now have status icons in the reports, Excel spreadsheet layout has been improved, and you can now view any attached images in the Excel report as well.

JAWS (for vision impaired users)
It is now easier to select custom views and the tabbing order has been improved. Shift+Ctrl+L= Custom View drop down

Guest Information

New to SynergyMMS Mobile:
Auto-Logout

Properties can set the time period of inactivity before a device is logged out automatically. This will also manage those who may have forgotten to log out of their device at the end of the day.

Guest Information
Guest information is now visible on the mobile app! This will help employees be able to serve guests better.

Snagging/Punch List Inspection
The snag work request view shows specific snag information, and when a snag item is corrected the corresponding work order previously created will close out.

Other Improvements
- Mobile will remember your filter settings and how the user wants to see the data.
- The “Sync” button will now turn green and red indicating whether the app has synchronised yet, or whether its waiting for a better signal.
- “Not Connected” and other in-app notifications will be suppressed and will retry before displaying.

New to SynergyMMS Enterprise Voice:
Event Type: Defect or Request (optional)
As mentioned above, the option to select defect or request is available in Voice as well, thus making reporting more organized and conclusive.
Equipment
Now able to create a work request for a specific piece of equipment from the voice menu.
Voice Prompts
Voice prompts have been re-ordered to flow smoother and make more sense.

New to PerfectRoom:
“Due in” is now available
With an HTNG compliant PMS, PerfectRoom can now receive “Due in’s”, or they can be done manually by right clicking.
Green Status
Green Status rooms can now be set in the desktop.
Supervisors can Update Room Condition
Supervisors, or those with proper user rights, can now update room conditions manually on the PerfectRoom desktop by right clicking.

VAT for the U.A.E. some updates – July 2017

July 15th, 2017

Any taxable person must retain VAT invoices issued and received for a minimum of 5 years.

Imports
The place of supply will determine whether a supply is made within the UAE (in which case the UAE VAT law will apply), or outside the UAE for VAT purposes. For a supply of goods, the place of supply should be the location of goods when the supply takes place – with special rules for certain categories of supplies (e.g. water and energy, cross border supplies).

For the supply of services, the place of supply should be where the supplier is established – (with special rules for certain categories of supplies e.g. cross border supplies between businesses).

VAT shall be payable in addition to the custom duties paid by the importer of the goods and cannot be deducted against. VAT shall be computed on the value that includes the customs duties.

Some goods that are imported may be exempt from customs duties but be subject to VAT.

VAT is due on the goods and services purchased from abroad. In case the recipient in the State is a registered person with the Federal Tax Authority for VAT purposes, the VAT would be due on that import using a reverse charge mechanism. In case the recipient in the State is a non-registered person for VAT purposes, VAT would be paid on import of goods from a place outside the GCC. Such VAT will typically be required to be paid before the goods are released to the person.

Exempt and zero rate
- The VAT treatment of real estate will depend on whether it is a commercial or residential property.
Supplies (including sales or leases) of commercial properties will be taxable at the standard VAT rate (i.e 5%).
- Supplies of residential properties will generally be exempt from VAT to ensure that VAT does not constitute an irrecoverable cost to persons who buy their own properties. To ensure that real estate developers can recover VAT on construction of residential properties, the first supply of residential properties within 3 years from their completion will be zero-rated.

There is a difference between exempt goods and zero rate. (for example zero rate might be raised in future).
VAT will be charged at 0% in respect of the following main categories of supplies:
• Exports of goods and services to outside the GCC;
• International transportation, and related supplies;
• Supplies of certain sea, air and land means of transportation (such as aircrafts and ships);
• Certain investment grade precious metals (e.g. gold, silver, of 99% purity);
• Newly constructed residential properties, that are supplied for the first time within 3 years of their construction ;
• Supply of certain education services, and supply of relevant goods and services;
• Supply of certain Healthcare services, and supply of relevant goods and services.

The following categories of supplies will be exempt from VAT:
• The supply of some financial services (clarified in VAT legislation);
• Residential properties;
• Bare land;
• Local passenger transport

Financial Services
It is expected that fee based financial services will be taxed but margin based products are likely to be exempt.
Generally, insurance (vehicle, medical, etc) will be taxable.
Life insurance, we understand will be treated as an exempt financial service

The VAT treatment of standard financial services and Islamic finance products, the treatment of Islamic finance products will be aligned with the treatment of similar standard financial services

Businesses that meet requirements the Legislation (such as being resident in the UAE and being related/associated parties) will be able to register as a VAT group. For some businesses, VAT grouping will be a useful tool to simplify accounting for VAT.

Offsetting VAT.
VAT registered businesses will be able to reduce their output tax liability by the amount of VAT that relates to bad debt which has been written off by the VAT registered business. The legislation will include the conditions and limitations concerning the use of this relief.

A scheme will be introduced to allow a UAE national who is not registered for VAT to reclaim VAT paid on goods and services relating to constructing a new residence which will be privately used by the person and his family. This will allow the recovery of VAT on such expenses as contractor’s services and building materials.

To avoid double taxation (where second hand goods are acquired by a registered person from an unregistered person for the purpose of resale), the VAT-registered person will be able to account for VAT on sales of second hand goods with reference to: the difference between the purchase price of the goods, and the selling price of the goods (that is, the profit margin).

The VAT which must be accounted for by the registered person, will be included in the profit margin. The legislation will include the details of the conditions to be met in order to apply this mechanism.

VAT on expenses
A VAT registered person incurs input tax on its business expenses, and this input tax can be recovered in full when it relates to a taxable supply that was made, or intended to be made, by the registered person. In contrast, where the expense relates to a non-taxable supply (e.g. exempt supplies), then the registered person may not recover the input tax paid.

VAT will not be deductible in respect of expenses incurred for making non-taxable supplies. Furthermore, input tax cannot be deducted when it is incurred in respect of specific expenses such as entertainment expenses e.g. for employee entertainment.

VAT on expenses that were incurred by a business can be deducted in the following circumstances:
• The business must be a taxable person (the end consumer cannot claim any input tax refund).
• VAT should have been charged correctly (i.e. unduly charged VAT is not recoverable).
• The business must hold documentation showing the VAT paid (e.g. valid tax invoice).
• The goods or services acquired are used or intended to be used for making taxable supplies.
• VAT input tax refund can be claimed only on the amount paid or intended to be paid before the expiration of 6 months after the agreed date for the payment of the supply.

In certain situations, an expense may relate to both taxable and non-taxable supplies made by the registered person (such as activities of the banking sector). In these circumstances, the registered person would need to apportion input tax between the taxable and non-taxable (exempt) supplies.

Businesses will be expected to use input tax (ratio of recoverable to total) as a basis for apportionment in the first instance – (there will be the facility to use other methods where those are fair and agreed with the Federal Tax Authority).

Compliance and returns
Penalties will be imposed for non-compliance. Examples of actions and omissions that may give raise to penalties include:
• A person failing to register when required to do so;
• A person failing to submit a tax return or make a payment within the required period;
• A person failing to keep the records required under the issued tax legislation;
• Tax evasion offences where a person performs a deliberate act or omission with the intention of violating the provisions of the issued tax legislation.

No special rules are planned for small or medium sized enterprises. The FTA will provide materials and resources available for these entities to assist them in their enquiries.

A supplier registered or required to be registered for VAT must issue a valid VAT invoice for the supply. To be considered as a valid VAT invoice, the document must follow a specific format as mentioned in the legislation. In certain situations the supplier may be able to issue a simplified VAT invoice.

Government entities
Supplies made by government entities will typically be subject to VAT. This will ensure that government entities are not unfairly advantaged as compared to private businesses. Certain supplies made by government entities will, however, be excluded from the scope of VAT if they are not in competition with the private sector or where the entity is the sole provider of such supplies. It is likely certain government entities will be entitled to VAT refunds – this is designed to avoid budgeting issues and provide a level playing field between outsourced and insourced activities. For the supplies provided for government entities, the treatment of such supplies shall depend on the same supply and not on the recipient of the supply. Therefore, if the supply is subject to the standard tax rate, the treatment would remain the same even if it is provided to a government entity.

Transitional rules
Special rules will be provided to deal with various situations that may arise in respect of supplies that span the introduction of VAT. For example:
• Where a payment is received in respect of a supply of goods before the introduction of VAT, but the goods are actually delivered after the introduction of VAT. This means that VAT will have to be charged on such supplies. Likewise, special rules will apply with regards to supplies of services spanning the introduction of VAT.
• Where a contract is concluded prior to the introduction of VAT in respect of a supply, which is wholly or partly made after the introduction of VAT, and the contract does not contain clauses relating to the VAT treatment of the supply, then consideration for the supply will be treated as inclusive of VAT.

There will, however, be special provisions to allow suppliers to charge VAT in situations where their recipient is able to recover their VAT but where there is no VAT clause.

Payments and claims
Note that VAT will be payable in full not after netting off input tax which will then have to be claimed. This is more of a challenge for cash flow and business risk, especially given the penalties for late payments.
Refunds will be made after the receipt of the application and will be subject to verification checks, with a particular focus to avoid fraud.

The FTA may provide its views on various matters in the law. Taxpayers may choose to challenge these views. However, penalties may be imposed on taxpayers who are found to violate any tax laws and regulations.

Other Emirates
It is expected that businesses will need to complete additional information on their VAT returns to report revenues earned in each Emirate. Guidance will be provided to businesses with regards to this. It is expected that the rules will be relatively straightforward for most businesses and will be based, for example, for B2C transactions, on the location of the transaction (e.g. in a retail environment, the location of the shop).

Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations -July 2017 update – huge enhancements – ask Synergy Software Systems, Dubai

July 15th, 2017

In addition to the name change, and the release of an on-premise version there are significant improvements in many areas.
• A new attribute framework is extended to support configuration-driven development for customer and sales order entities – add new fields without coding.

• New tools and templates are released to speed up implementation, and to reduce possibility of and thus to also reduce risk

• Many new code extension capabilities to support the move from over-layering.

• Many new Power BI content packs – Power bi is now pervasive and licenses for use in Ax are now free for Ax users using out of the box Power BI content. here some examples for Sales.

• Sales mobile app – View sales order details, sales order lines, status, customer contact information, order taker contact information, and historical shipping transactions. This app will empower salespeople to gain valuable insights into customer information and sales orders at any time and in any place.

• Expense management mobile app and greatly enhanced features for Expense management.

• Many, many functional enhancements. For example a new data validation workspace e.g. Credit control workspace with many new credit control features, Cost Accounting -many new features. And much, much, more in retail, master planning, Project Accounting, Vendor Collaboration …….. .

The Prospect to cash integration capabilities deliver first party integration between Dynamics 365 for Operations and Dynamics 365. This solution leverages the strengths of the individual Dynamics 365 components and connects them via Common Data Service. While the data is flowing seamlessly between Dynamics 365 for Operations and Dynamics 365 for Sales, customers can carry out sales and marketing activities in Dynamics 365 for Sales and handle the order fulfillment with inventory management in Dynamics 365 for Operations.

If you are considering Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations then take another look – it keeps getting better and better.

To learn more about Synergy Software and its more than 15 year’s of experience in implementing Dynamics Ax (since version 2.5) call 00971 4 3365589

Please note that our Dynamics Ax 365 for Operations and Finance modules for localised GCC HR and Payroll are also now available.

Connect Office 365 to on-premise deployments

July 9th, 2017

Office 365 applications often need to connect o on premise data.Microsoft has recently introduced an on-premise data gateway. Customers can now connect on premise data like SharePoint lists or SQL rows to e.g. PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, Logic Apps, Power BI.

The on-premises data gateway acts as a bridge to provide a quick and secure connection between on premise data and Office 365 apps. Currently supported on premise applications are SharePoint 2016 and SQL 2016 (Both Enterprise and Express editions).

Use a single gateway to connect multiple on premise applications to multiple Office 365 applications at the same time and it is dependent on the account with which you sign in, which can be either your work or school, or personal Microsoft account.

Prophix read what the analysts say – budgets, forecast, planning, staff planning -Ask Synergy Software Systems

July 4th, 2017

A Strong Ranking for Prophix in BPM Partners Latest Market Survey

BPM Partners recently published their latest CPM (aka BPM) market survey, “The Pulse of Performance Management 2017: The Next Generation of Solutions for Budgeting, Forecasting, Consolidation, Reporting, and Analytics”.

The author and BPM Partners CEO, Craig Schiff, brings to that analysis his considerable experience and focus on analytic applications, BI, and BPM.

‘BPM Partner’ emphasizes its role as a vendor-neutral advisory services firm that helps clients address their performance management challenges. To that end, their report carries with it a high level of credibility and objectivity. With that in mind, we are pleased to see that PROPHIX received a solid 5th ranking in this year’s report. and was also the vendor with the largest increase in ranking year over year – something .

Additionally, the report pointed to PROPHIX’ particular strengths including: “ease of use, low total cost of ownership, powerful modeling, detailed salary planning, collaboration and ability to address ‘Beyond Finance’ requirements.” This last point is important A key conclusions of the report is that “the next generation of performance management solutions needs to support initiatives that are company-wide…enables the successful execution of strategic, financial, and operational plans.” PROPHIX is well positioned to address that very need.

The report is based on input from earlier in the year, and since that time PROPHIX has continued to roll-out significant enhancements.

Also recently published is the Dresner market study. “The report examined user perceptions, intentions, and realities associated with enterprise planning. It uses a trademark, 33-criteria, vendor performance measurement system. 2017. ….The survey base provides a cross-section of data across geographies, functions, organization size, and vertical industries.”

The report states: “A leader in both Customer Experience and Vendor Credibility models, Prophix is best in class for a wide variety of measures including sales professionalism, product knowledge, responsiveness, business practices, contractual terms and conditions, follow up after the sale, value, product completeness of functionality, integration of components within product, ease of administration, customization and extensibility, technical support product knowledge, responsiveness, consulting professionalism, and overall integrity.
It maintains a perfect recommend score.”

“To be recognized as a leader for the third consecutive year, is a huge win for Prophix,” said Alok Ajmera, President & COO, Prophix Software. “The study represents the voice of the customer, the people who know and are using the product frequently, there is no better endorsement.”

To learn more contact Synergy software Systems the certified MEA implementation partner for Prophix.

VAT in Dubai starts 1 Jan 2018 – summary

July 4th, 2017

Date of implementation: January 1, 2018
• VAT rate: 5%
• What are exempted: 100 types of staple food, and other essential service sectors such as healthcare and education
• What are not: Electronics, smart phones, cars, jewellery and watches, eating out and entertainments
• Inflation : Experience in other markets says there will be some impact on both inflation and GDP.
Given the low start rate it will have less impact here.
• While the impact of tax on property transactions will impact those above upper middle income group, there may well be a knock on effect to rents, and its likely that the cost of related financial services will hit everyone.
• VAT will also have an effect on the buying power of tourists who may alos have to pay duty tax again on certain goods in their country of origin

There will be a number of items that will be VAT-exempt. Younis Al Khouri, undersecretary at the Ministry of Finance, has said that GCC states had already agreed to exempt about 94 food products, as well as the healthcare and education sectors. . A new law, however, has yet to be released to specify which items are non-taxable.

Expect electronics, clothes, home furnishings, cars etc shall I expect to cost more once VAT is implemented
If you want to own a brand-new mobile phone that costs Dh2,600, for instance, prepare to pay an extra Dh130. In some cases for white goods, manufacturers may absorb some of the 5 per cent, to keep their products competitive but in other countries VAT has often resulted in prices being rounded up. Also non VTA items tend to look more cost favourable and that often leads to retailers pushing up prices on those goods.

Since the VAT law is not out yet, we don’t known the impact on air tickets. The VAT implementation in other countries, for instance in the UK as well as in Singapore (where VAT is called GST), passenger transport carries VAT at zero percent. Increases will likely hit tourism.

Tourism spending is a major source of revenue for the UAE and goods purchased by visitors will not be exempted at the point of sale. Anyone buying perfumes, make-up, luxury bags and big-ticket items in the UAE can expect to pay an additional 5 per cent of the sale price. The Ministry of Economy, however, assured that the tax rate is “deliberately low so that VAT is a limited burden on all consumers.” It also remains to be seen whether tourists will be given the option to obtain a tax refund at some point, as observed in other countries it appears not because the relative number of tourists to residents is pzrticulzrly high here.

The UAE is not discounting the possibility of collecting other forms of tax. “As per global best practice, the UAE is exploring other tax options as well. However, these are still being analysed and it is unlikely that they will be introduced in the near future. The UAE is not currently considering personal income taxes, however,” said the Ministry of Finance.

Businesses are encouraged to implement the new tax system, initial indications are that there will be swingeing penalties for late or incorrect returns. Those with annual turnover of more than AED375,000 (approximately US$100,000) are mandated to register.

Not all businesses in the UAE will need to go through the tedious process of registering for the value-added tax. The Ministry of Finance issued an announcement that states that businesses with a turnover of AED375,000 are required to register for value-added tax (VAT) which will be implemented in the UAE on 1 January 2018.

The ministry has announced that those with revenue below AED375000 but over AED187500 will have an option to register. Which means that they may if they like, register under VAT. But if they don’t then they do not have to collect VAT from their customers.

This number however, if it is an annual number, appears to be very low and it may bring a lot of small businesses within the scope of VAT. It of course also means a lot of registration fees, with the likelihood of annual renewal. This with multi companies and trade licenses need to be clear how many VAT registrations they need.

Group companies that undertake intercompany trading also need to think about the impact of VAA on such cross company sales and what tax will be payable and reclaimable by each company in what timescales.

Some may prefer to register even if they are exempt because if they don’t, they may not be able to claim back the VAT paid on their purchases.

As announced recently, the registration will be open three months before the go-live date. Companies will have the option to register online. Businesses can probably start registering for VAT from 1st October 2017.

For most businesses, VAT returns should be filed every three months. Filing of returns can also be done online using the government’s eServices.

According to the Ministry of Finance, businesses may need to change their core operations, financial management and book-keeping, technology and human resource mix in order to prepare for VAT. “It is essential that businesses try to understand the implications of VAT now and once the legislation is issued, make every effort to align their business model to government reporting and compliance requirements.”

Businesses are also strongly advised to ensure that in all the commercial contracts they enter into, they include a clause that spells out that the VAT burden can be passed on to the consumer.

“Once the law is out, businesses would first have to figure out whether their products/services are taxable or not and if yes, they would have to ensure that their billing or invoicing process is capable of adding a VAT charge to all taxable products. The easiest way to do this is to alter your IT systems to automatically calculate and add VAT to the invoices,” said Pardasani.

Hiring new staff that will enable businesses prepare for and implement the new tax policy should be done at this point in time. “Companies should have started to think about the additional resources they would need to ensure VAT compliance. Depending on how tedious / frequent the process is, companies would need resources based on the complexity of their operations. But one thing to bear in mind is that VAT is not only a finance issue,” said Pardasani. “It flows through all operational departments of the company. This is because wherever a company acquires products or services, it may pay VAT and it would need to capture all the documentation relating to VAT paid, in order to claim refunds