Are You Prepared For A Data Disaster?

A data disaster can occur through a number of unfortunate events. Hardware failure, physical theft and fire are common knowledge, however a more likely data disaster can occur through a specific kind of malware infection called ransomware.

What Is Ransomware?

Ransomware, commonly branded as Cryptolocker or CryptoWall, is delivered using infected email attachments or web links. When activated, the malware encrypts certain types of files stored on local and mounted network drives which requires a key to decrypt. The malware then displays a message which offers to decrypt the data if a payment is made by a stated deadline.

Although CryptoLocker itself can be removed, the files remain encrypted in a way which researchers consider infeasible to break. In the event of an infection that bypasses your security, a data backup is almost always required to restore access to the encrypted files.

Importance Of Data Backup

Creating a system backup is critical to prevent data loss in the event of a disaster. There are many different types of backup applications available to consumers.

We recommend commercial grade products, as well as verifying the integrity of your backups on a regular basis. If you cannot be assured that all your files are backed up without error, you do not have an adequate backup solution.

Choosing A Backup Provider

Our cloud hosting provider, Ajasent can provide the same offsite data backup and disaster recovery services used by our company to all Newton by Agency Systems customers.

Understanding the Ajasent Advantage:

  • The on-boarding experience is completely managed by qualified Ajasent engineers.
  • Pro-active monitoring is included and vital to securing your ability to recover anything.
  • Restoration and disaster recovery phone support is available if something goes wrong.
  • Even a backup plan should have a backup plan. Ajasent backups offer the ability to have one copy onsite and one copy offsite.
Are You Prepared For A Data Disaster?

If you have any questions about your current setup, please review our backup information guide below or contact our technical support.

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User Preferences and Customizations

The Newton by Agency Systems design focuses on anticipating what users might need to do, and ensures that the interface has elements that are easy to access, understand, and use to facilitate those actions. Even with an intuitive user interface, it is important to provide a flexible list of options based on the unique needs of each user.

With the latest release of Newton, there are a number of new user preferences which can be modified to work best with the unique workflows that each user follows every day. The new expanded user preferences were designed to improve flexibility and accessibility for our diverse range of customers.

How do I access the user preferences?

Each user can modify a number of options specific to their Newton operator code. Select Other -> Preferences from the main menu.

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Can I expand the contacts or policies client bands by default?

Yes. Default band settings are available for the Client Dashboard on the User Options tab. Selected types will automatically expand when the Client Dashboard is loaded.

Policy Express and the Diary interface previously opened as a window instead of a tab. Can this be changed?

Yes. Both the Policy Express and the Diary screens are available as either a full screen top tab, or as a classic pop up window. Select the User Options tab, then select either the Policy Express or Diary screen drop-downs and choose the Tabbed or Windows.

How do I increase the font size within Newton?

There are a number of ways to increase the font size within Newton. Select User Options -> Band font size to increase the font used by the information bands on the Dashboard Tab (User), Client Tab, Management Tab, Company Tab, and more.

For additional font and usability options, see: Usability Options for Agency Systems.

Are there additional options not outlined above?

Yes. The user favorites list is available on the Dashboard Tab, and is specific to the current operator. Additional user preferences are also outlined on the Newton Wiki.

My preferences does not list all of the options pictured above. Do I need an update?

Yes. The options above are included in the latest release of Newton.

I need help understanding some of the new options. Can I schedule a training session?

Yes. Ongoing education with Newton is provided at no charge.

Reconcile Payables – Batch Processing FAQ

Newton contains batch processing options for both Company Payables and Producer Payables. This feature is designed to save the accounting operator time by searching all profiles for any outstanding invoices in a single step.

The batch process will search all companies or producers in the date range specified, saving a reconcile in progress for each individual code.

What is the difference between pay trust amount and pay full amount?

Pay trust amount will only pay a percentage of the amount due based on the amount received from a client (agency bill), or from a company (direct bill). Paying trust amount is common for producer payables to ensure you only pay on invoices which have been paid by the client (agency bill), or company (direct bill) .

Pay full amount will pay the full company payable balance for agency bill invoices, regardless of the client balance. It will also pay the full remaining producer payable balance if the invoice has been paid in part or in full by the client (agency bill), or company (direct bill).

Will the payable checks be created without review?

No. The batch create reconcile screen will simply search for all outstanding invoices based on the selected filters. Once found, the results will be displayed for review prior to processing.

Can the batch process be used without creating the checks in a batch?

Yes. Reconcile payables batch can be used to only find the invoices if desired. It is recommended to use the Reconcile Payables batch interface to start your monthly reconciles, even if they will be processed individually. Instead of searching for outstanding invoices for each code individually, the Batch Create Reconciles screen will search all profiles automatically.

Once found, individual payables can be reviewed and adjusted using the same standard reconcile payables interface. The standard reconcile screen can be accessed from the batch process reconcile screen, or by resuming a saved reconcile in progress (Other -> Reconcile Payables -> Load a reconcile in progress).

What is the difference between the Producer Statement and Reconcile Producer Payables?

Newton can handle both balance forward and open-item accounting. The producer statement is a balance forward report, while reconcile producer payables is an open-item accounting report.

In a balance forward accounting system, all payments and invoices are applied against the total balance owed on the account. In balance forward accounting, you make no attempt to specifically pay the individual invoices. The payments simply reduce the total balance owed by the amount paid.

In an open-item accounting system, all payments are recorded against specific invoices. Reconcile Producer Payables will only show invoices still due to the producer, where the client has paid or the company has paid in full, or in part. Reconcile Producer Payables can be used to pay the trust amount, or only a portion of the total amount due, based on the receivable balance. All payments are applied directly to invoices, allowing the agency more specific reporting and control.

Ongoing Education With Newton Is Provided At No Charge

Our support and training staff are here to ensure you are using Newton to its fullest, including training on the latest features added in each release. This training and ongoing education with Newton is provided to you at no charge as a part of our service commitment to you.

Some agencies continue to pay My Newton Education (MNE) monthly as an ongoing education resource. While you are free to continue using MNE, please know that they do not have training on new releases and cannot keep you up to speed on the numerous new features that have been added to Newton.

Newton customers NEVER pay for training – we are here for your success!

Please contact Support for additional information.

Windows 10 Compatibility

Windows 10

WINDOWS 10 Officially Released…

On July 29th Windows 10 was officially released and made available as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8 users.

Regarding COMPATIBILITY with Newton…

Most software that was previously compatible with Windows 8 will pass Windows 10 compatibility tests. Newton by Agency Systems does not currently have any known issues with Windows 10, as long as the required version of the Pervasive database is installed. Based on past experiences, Pervasive v11.3 will pass Windows 10 compatibility tests.

Any offices licensed for an older version of Pervasive will require an upgrade for Windows 10 compatibility. Click here to see the full Pervasive compatibility chart.

BE SURE all your other applications are Compatible…

Before upgrading, first verify that other mission-critical software passes Windows 10 compatibility tests. This can include rating software, download managers, printer drivers, scanning software, company websites and more.

Consider WAITING if you can…

With all new operating system releases, it is best to wait before deploying a brand new operating system in your business environment. Windows 10 was originally scheduled to be released in October 2015, with many pieces removed to hit the earlier date of July 29th. Over the next few months, hundreds of updates will be released by Microsoft, fixing bugs and adding the missing features. The free upgrade should be available through July 2016, allowing you to delay your adoption of Windows 10.

Microsoft Has Ended Windows Server 2003 Support

Microsoft has ended Windows Server 2003 support. Support ended on July 14, 2015 for all versions of Windows Server 2003.

What does end of support mean for you?

Microsoft will no longer issue security updates for any version of Windows Server 2003. If you are still running Windows Server 2003 in your agency, you need to take steps now to plan and execute a migration strategy to protect your infrastructure.

What are my options?

Our support staff is available to answer any questions regarding your migration strategy to a new server, including compatibility and data migration. Upgrading from Windows Server 2003 may require an upgraded pervasive database with the purchase of a new server.

NewtonWikiLogo Visit the Newton Wiki for additional details

What about cloud hosting?

Companies depend on secure servers to run their mission-critical business processes. A business class server must be managed, monitored, upgraded, replaced, and repaired. As a business owner, you can now decide between managing your own business class server in-house, or moving your applications and data to a virtual server in a Data Center.

Virtual hosting eliminates the capital expense and administrative hassle of owning in-house servers. Instead, you run your business using secure off-site servers dedicated to your company and managed by a trusted third-party service provider.

Click here for additional details

Dashboard Tab – User Favorites List

The user Dashboard Tab was introduced with the July 2013 update to Newton by Agency Systems. The Dashboard Tab was designed to allow the user to work “To Do” items and perform policy service from one central location. All items contained on a user’s Dashboard Tab are specific to the current operator, providing a focused experience without the requirement of running traditional printed reports.

The Dashboard Tab has been enhanced with each release to provide additional features and functionality. The latest version of the user Dashboard Tab includes the enhanced tabbed interface. The new interface includes a fully customizable user favorites list for common reports such as the balance sheet, or other menu items such as reconcile receivables or payables.

Dashboard Tab Favorites

Adding items to the user favorites list is easy.

  1. Select Favorites -> Edit List to choose the desired menu options.
  2. Double-click on each menu to add it to the user favorites list on the left.
  3. Highlight a specific item and select Up or Down to update the order of the list.
  4. When finished, select Save.

Dashboard Tab Edit Favorites

The customized user favorites list is now available from the user Dashboard Tab, providing an even better user-focused method for working within your management system.

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Enhanced Tabbed Interface

Newton by Agency Systems now features an enhanced tabbed interface providing additional customization, flexibility, and control for the primary data dashboards.

The primary navigation for Newton by Agency Systems has contained a number of static navigation tabs for many years. Over time the capabilities for each of the tabs have been enhanced, but the same static number of tabs has remained constant.

Many tabs contained sub-tabs to separate different data views, such as expired policies, accounting, attachments, and download. The sub-tabs have been located at the bottom of the primary tabs, and have often displayed information in a more basic list view compared to the comprehensive band view available on the primary tabs.

Customized Tab Count

The enhanced tabbed interface provides users with the ability to control the number of active tabs, similar to tabs in a web browser. In addition to the Client and Company Tab changes, the new Policy Express dashboard and Diary windows now open as full screen tabs.


More than four Client Tabs can now be opened simultaneously, or closed entirely when finished.


The updated Company Tab can be opened and closed just like the Client Tab, with multiple company tabs allowed at once for the first time.


A new Vendor Tab is also available for the first time, with the same customization options available to the Company and Client Tabs.


Easier to Access Sub-Tabs

The Client, Policy Express, Company, Vendor and Management Tabs each contain sub-tabs that are now easier to access. The sub-tabs have been moved universally to the top of the screen, providing a consistent and efficient way to switch between the different data categories.


A new consolidated Vendor sub-tab is now available within the Management Tab.


NewtonWikiLogo Visit the Newton Wiki for additional details

Introducing Voucher Invoices

Expense accounting with Newton by Agency Systems has been revamped this year by introducing voucher invoices – a simple and user-friendly way to track and pay a variety of agency bills and expenditures.

Creating a Voucher

A voucher is a non-policy related invoice with expense distributions, typically recorded to the “vendor payable” general ledger account. Entering the distributions for a vendor payable invoice has never been easier. The universal drop-down lists used to select general ledger accounts do not require any knowledge of existing general ledger codes. Simply enter the name of the account, and the drop-down list will automatically filter and display the items with partial or complete matches.


Paying a Voucher

Voucher invoices are created when an expense is received, and can be paid immediately or at a later date.


Since the payment is now separated from the expense entry, multiple voucher invoices can be paid with a single EFT or printable check. This enables an unlimited number of expense distributions and voucher invoice descriptions to be included with a single entry.


Using a Voucher Template

Voucher templates simplify recurring expense entries, and are now more efficient and easier to update on-the-fly. After a template has been created, just enter a vendor code and select the saved voucher template from the next drop-down list.


After selecting the template, all of the stored general ledger distributions and amounts will display. To update a value, simply change the dollar amount – no need to re-enter any of the values for that expense.

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Daily Bank Deposit With Cash On-Hand Account

This video outlines the day-to-day process of accepting cash and check transactions, and creating a single daily bank deposit in Newton by Agency Systems.

Any cash and check transactions received in person are entered into a cash on-hand bank account. The bank account represents any money received by the agency that has not been deposited at the bank. Any electronic funds (EFT) are automatically posted directly to the operating bank account.

NewtonWikiLogo Visit the Newton Wiki for additional details