Professional Computer Systems, Co.

August 2018, Newsletter Issue No. 38


  • 2018 UGM a Success!
  • PCS Completed SOC2 Type1 Exam
  • Powering Through BI with Shelley Lee
  • Marc's Insights
  • What's a Bullzip?
  • Connect with Angie
  • News Worthy Release Updates
  • Upcoming Webianrs

  • Upcoming Conferences:

    MMUA Summer Conference
    Alexandria, MN
    Aug. 20-22, 2018

    APA Annual Meeting
    Fairbanks, AK
    Aug. 21-24, 2018

    REMA Finance Managers Summer Conf.
    Duluth, MN
    Aug. 22-24, 2018

    SDREA Office Mgr & Accountants
    Mitchell, SD
    Aug. 29-30, 2018

    REMA CEO Fall Conference
    Ottertail, MN
    Sept. 5-6, 2018

    PMEA Annual conference
    State College, PA
    Sept. 12-14, 2018

    NRECA Region 5&6
    Minneapilis, MN
    Sept. 18-19, 2018

    NRECA Region 7&9
    Anchorage, AK
    Sept. 26-27, 2018

    Upcoming Webinars

    What Does Connect Have That You Don't
    Aug. 14, 2018 1:30 PM CDT
    (Click here to sign up.)

    Capital Credits Retirement Process
    Sept. 11, 2018 1:30 PM CDT
    (Click here to sign up.)

    Web Customer Service
    Sept. 20, 2018 1:30 PM CDT
    (Click here to sign up.)

    To view the 2018 class schedule and dates Click here

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    Phone: (888) 843-3106

    Welcome to the Newsletter

    2018 User Group Meeting a Success!

    The 31st Annual PCS User Group Meeting (UGM) was a success. The Microsoft Excel class presented by Spindustry back by popular demand received many positive comments. Last year's UGM was filled with announcements of new product offerings, Connect Web Customer Access (WCS), Mobile Service Orders (MSO), and this year many of the clients using the new offerings raved about the benefits. We even had a session that allowed everyone to put those modules through their paces. This year's enhancements were announced for Mobile Customer Access (MCA), Utilit-e Online, new statements, and additional notifications through Instant Messaging (IM) on the Connect side. The Insight team introduced Employee Portal enhancements along with Employee Requisitions and Workflow Management will be integrated throughout the enterprise. Our vendor partners did not disappoint as they were available to discuss their services and integrations with PCS software.

    For those interested in any of the materials that were handed out during the sessions, see the PCS website at, client area to download them.

    Thank you to all who participated in 31st Annual User Group Meeting and we look forward to next year. Dates for next year's meeting is June 3rd - 6th, 2019.

    If you have any suggestions or ideas on what you would like to see for next year's UGM, please submit them to Dana Ingerslev at or Nikki Coltrain at

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    PCS Completed SOC2 Type1 Exam

    PCS has completed a SOC2 Type1 examination which resulted in an unqualified opinion as of December 31, 2017. If you would like to request a copy, please email Danyel at

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    Powering through Business Intelligence with Shelley Lee

    There are several PCS clients using the BI Consumption Recap report. This BI report offers in depth drill down from the totals on the Consumption Recap. This has proven to be a very valuable tool for many utilities. Due to the volume of data gathered in the report for drill down purposes, PCS recommends running it for a single period, or single rate or revenue code if running for multiple periods. Our clients have expressed the need to cut / slice / dice consumption recap data for a year or more at a time. Therefore, PCS has developed a streamlined version of this report, while it doesn't have the full drill down, it can very efficiently gather 12 or more months of Consumption Recap data for further analysis.

    Contact if your utility is interested in implementing this new report.

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    Marc's Insights

    Calendar year-end is still 5 months away, but as the saying goes, time flies, so I'm going to take some time to talk about W-2 processing. For as long as I can remember, PCS has provided a report to print W-2's on a pre-printed form. PCS orders the forms, they are delivered to your office, and you print and mail the forms. Most years, this process goes smoothly. But there can be some challenges. One is when the IRS changes the layout of the form. This has not happened for several years, but when it does the report has to be edited to match the new layout. The other bigger and more common challenge is how the forms print on your printer. There have been several cases where someone uses the same exact printer as they used the year before, but it doesn't quite line up correctly on the form. That is normally because of either a Windows update or printer driver update that neither of us have control over. So, the report needs to be edited again, and go through a trial and error until it lines up correctly. Using a new or different printer almost always requires editing the report.

    So, starting with the 2018 tax year, PCS will be offering another W-2 filing option. For those of you that have filed the 1095 affordable care act forms, you will be familiar with this. PCS partners with a company called NELCO, who is an industry leader in tax forms and reporting. In fact, the pre-printed W-2 forms comes from one of their divisions called Broker Forms. NELCO offers an online filing service as well. The way this will work is that there will be a screen in PCS Insight payroll (pictured below) that will gather the W-2 data and upload it to a secure web site. From there, NELCO will print and mail the W-2 forms to your employees and will e-file the federal and state agencies. They also e-file the W-3. No more printing the forms, stuffing into envelopes, and mailing or handing them out. And you don't have to manually fill out and file the W-3. The employee can also get a link to go online and download a PDF copy of their W-2.

    NELCO requires that PCS go through a test procedure to make sure our data is compatible with the NELCO software. NELCO makes their tests available in the September/October timeframe. Once their tests are available, PCS will go through that process and will then be certified to offer this capability for the 2018 tax year. Note that this will require an updated PCS release, and this release should be available to any client that wants to use this method. PCS will still offer printing on pre-printed forms for the 2018 tax year for those that prefer to print their own forms as in the past.

    PCS will announce more information about this capability and pricing later in the year. This process will also be available for 1099's (including capital credits 1099's if you choose to do so) and quarterly 941's.

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    Microsoft Update

    PCS discovered an issue that was caused by a July Microsoft Windows update. Something in one of the updates caused a conflict with the F3 key in PCS software "grids". The picture below shows an example. The F3 in the Vendor ID in the document level of the screen works fine. The area of the screen called the grid is the bottom portion with rows and columns. Any field in a grid, as you press the tab or enter key and your cursor advances to that field, the F3 key should open the lookup screen. For example, as you tab out of the Sector ID field your cursor goes to the Account field and pressing F3 will load the list of GL accounts. The issue now is that the F3 key no longer works in that manor, at least not just by tabbing or entering the field. Now you must click your mouse in the field and then the F3 key will work. So, for now that is the workaround.

    PCS is researching the issue to come up with a fix. It's also possible Microsoft will fix this. That happened with something similar in the past year.

    As for whether you will experience this issue depends on whether the specific Windows update has been installed on the same server that PCS is on. And it also depends on the specific Windows version on that server.

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    What's a Bullzip?

    In the near future you may see a Bullzip PDF printer appear in your list of printers. A few of you may have already seen it. Please do not be alarmed. This is a PDF printer utility that the PCS team is installing.

    Hate to get technical on you but have to a little bit. PCS is continually managing and upgrading servers and deployment solutions within the Utilit-e Central hosting environment. One of the servers supporting Utilit-e Online & MCA, is in line to be upgraded. As a part of that process, PCS evaluates the big picture and looks for general items of improvement that can also be addressed and we found some.

    PCS uses Bullzip for utilities who do not have individual PDF's of their statements generated by a bill printer. Bottom line - to implement improvements for some clients we also had to address the presentation of the online statements a little differently. This results in the application server needing PDF capability installed on it. The Bullzip PDF Printer is a result of addressing that. It is used by internal processes when images are viewed to the screen.

    So, for all practical purposes, you can ignore it. We just wanted to let you know what it is and why it has suddenly appeared. If you have any questions please, contact PCS ITS team.

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    Connect with Angie

    PSN Announcement

    PSN sent an announcement to everyone recently, this is just a reminder if you are interested in adding your logo to the payment page.

    We Need Your Logo to Add to

    New PSN Website Design

    PSN is redesigning your customer's payment pages. With the new look, we can feature your company logo. Please read on for instructions.

    We're excited to announce that we are redesigning the PSN payment website! As part of the redesign, we are featuring your company logo prominently on the site. Don't worry, if you don't have a logo, we will display the PSN logo or you can create one (see Tips below). Because you are a valued current customer, there will not be a fee for featuring your logo or name. NOTE: If you have submitted your logo to PSN in the last 60 days, you don't have to send us one now.

    Instructions for Submitting Your Logo...

    Click here to learn more.

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    News Worthy Release Updates

    Moving forward in the newsletters, there will be a section on the application development that is in process at PCS. It will look something like the table below outlining recently released, currently in process and near future development efforts. The topics will be listed with the status and release it is anticipated to be in. Please be aware this is not an all-inclusive list but more so high-level topics and also topics are subject to change. This list is an effort to keep you, our users better informed on what PCS is working on and when it will be available. Please feel free to send in comments!

    Connect New Development List

    18.1.1 (July Development)

    Development Topic


    PSN Card Maintenance

    PCS and PSN is providing the ability for the customer to maintain their credit card(s) on file via Utilit-e Online and MCA. This will allow the customer to update the expiration date and/or zip code of the card billing address. In addition, the customer will be able to remove a saved card. This is in final stages of testing with the plan to deploy in late August or early September.

    Outage Call Handling Integration

    PCS has completed integration with the following Outage Management Systems (OMS): Star Energy and DataVoice. This provides the ability to enter an outage call in PCS Customer Service or MCA and have the system integrate seamlessly to the OMS provider. Integration with the following vendors is in process: CRC, Trimble and Milsoft.

    Outage Call Handling (OCH)

    PCS is adding the OCH capabilities that are available in the Customer Service module to the Web Customer Service module. Soon you will have the ability to report, view and close outage calls via the Web CS module. Completion of this project is in release 18.1.2 scheduled for general deployment in September.

    Net Metering - Banked detail

    The ability to create and retain detailed transactions for adding and removing excess generation to/from the bank has been developed. This will be going into beta deployment very soon. The functionality will be available for general release in 18.1.2 in September. This functionality may cause a utility to want to make some statement presentation changes as well which will be scheduled as identified.

    C & I Display in Utilit-e Online

    A new screen has been added toUtilit-e Online with commercial and industrial (C&I) accounts specifically in mind. This new screen automatically pulls a real-time reading from the AMI system every 15 minutes. Online in turn displays that usage and graphs the interval usage. This functionality will be available in release 18.1.2 in September.

    GL Report

    A new report is available in GL that shows any Insight batch (GL, AP, payroll, etc.). It shows who created the batch and when, and the last person to update the batch (normally posting) and when.

    18.1.2 (August Development)

    Development Topic



    A new screen and process has been added to calculate the taxable amount of life insurance over $50,000, and create an unposted timesheet batch.

    18.1.3 (September Development)

    Development Topic


    PO Requisitions (RQ)

    PCS has designed a new web application called PO Requisitions (abbreviated as RQ). This will allow employees across the organization to log on to a secure web portal via desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone. Employees will then be able to create purchase requisitions and route them around for approval, rejection, completion, or cancellation via PCS's newly developed workflow engine. The Requisitions web application is available now, and the next phase of this project is integration which will allow the creation of purchase orders from completed requisitions. This integration is scheduled for release in September.
    Click Here for a look.

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    Upcoming Webinars

    Upcoming PCS webinars April and May are listed below... click on the title to register

    What Does Connect Have That You Don't
    Aug. 14, 2018 1:30 PM CDT
    (Click here to sign up.)

    Capital Credits Retirement Process
    Sept. 11, 2018 1:30 PM CDT
    (Click here to sign up.)

    Web Customer Service
    Sept. 20, 2018 1:30 PM CDT
    (Click here to sign up.)

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