Byte Me Article 278 – Tax Time Business Computing

Networking PC’s Vital for Business

As we approach the end of another financial year we are seeing lots of businesses wanting an invoice for computers or computer upgrades before June 30.  It is a time of the year when we pick up many new business customers and I am often left aghast at how their computers have not been setup in the past.

The big mistake that we often see is when an a business starts out with just one PC – usually looking after their MYOB or Reckon accounting file and over subsequent years they add further PC’s to the network.  During this course of events it often occurs that no one sits back and looks at the overall operation of the entire network.

As a result of the above we come across sometimes as many as 5 or 6 PC’s that are not ‘properly’ networked.  In these cases every PC has its own separate set of documents, spreadsheets, templates and photos which is often not backed up.  Sometimes every PC has its own separate printer and even worse sometimes even a separate Internet connection.

Adding to the above chaos we find PC’s that don’t have virus scanners and are riddled with Malware and also different versions of Microsoft Office and the resulting document compatibility problems.  We even find people emailing documents to one another when their computers are sitting side by side – total unplanned, unmanaged mayhem!

One of the other big mistakes is buying an Apple Mac PC to run a version of Windows because your core business software only runs on Windows.  This is akin to buying a semi-trailer to carry a furniture van to transport furniture?  In this instance you have two operating systems, two lots of updating, two anti-virus programs and more than the equivalent of two lots of trouble due to the extreme complexity of the situation.

Business owners often need to get over the belief that any computer is the same as the next computer, which leads them to make impulse purchase decisions when walking through a chain store and seeing a PC on the ‘special’.  It may seem like a black box of smoke and mirrors but there are reasons why a ‘computer’ can range in price from $400 to $4000.

If any of the above rings true then consider dumping your current IT ‘fix it man’ who will charge you for fixing problems once changes or purchases have been made.  Instead look for an IT support company that can guide you through changes or purchases to avoid the problems that the fix it man would be needed for.

The IT equipment for a business does not necessarily have to cost more than the IT equipment for home use but there are subtle differences in some of the specifications and in particular in the setup.

Once last important point to consider.  If your current IT help has not talked to you about a backup system then they need to be dismissed – without question.  If they do not quickly check on the operation of this backup system every time they visit then I would also look further afield. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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