First Option Newsletter


September 2011  


In This Issue
FOI/DAPREX Survey Results
FOI Hosted Customers - Firewall Upgrade
FOI Financial Software Suite Upgrades
FOI Has Gone Social!
Compliance Corner
Quick Links
FOI/DAPREX Survey Results
software services

I want to thank everyone who participated in our recent survey.  The results are attached below.

 Survey Results


The survey's goal was to better understand your business needs and to enhance our level of service to you.  At the next meeting/webinar First Option will review the survey in further detail and discuss some of the areas we can improve upon, and further analyze software enhancements that will aid you in your day to day responsibilities.


Read More 

FOI Hosted Environment Firewall Upgrade - Thursday September 8th
software services

As part of an on-going effort to improve the FOI hosted infrastructure, we are moving into production a new firewall at 8:00PM EST on Thursday, September 8th.   You should have been contacted by the help desk with the new IP address and pre-shared key.  If you have not been contacted, please send an email to [email protected].  


Should you need any assistance with the changes, please let us know prior to September 8th. Friday September 9th we will be monitoring the system and addressing any issues that you may have.



FOI Financial Software Suite Upgrades

It's hard to believe that the summer is over and upgrade season is upon us!  As part of the First Option's (FOI) webinar, I discussed that FOI will be implementing a new upgrade/PTF process.  Our intention is to provide a command that can detect that an upgrade/PTF is required, send the upgrade/PTF to the customer iSeries, and email upgrade instructions.  


After a detailed review of the DAPREX upgrade/PTF process, the rollout requires that we complete two tasks.  The first is to get all existing customers on the latest version of the application software using the old upgrade method.  You should have already been contacted by the help desk to schedule an installation date.  If not, please send an email to [email protected] .  The second is to install two new libraries and a new folder in the IFS for the new upgrade/ PTF java programs.  There is a minimum operating system requirement of V5R4 and Java Developer Kit 5.0 license program.  Both of these tasks will be completed in this upgrade and the first customer installation should be completed in early September!


As with any software upgrade, the number of non DAPREX customer created programs can impact the cost of your upgrade implementation.  In some cases, it may be more cost effective to determine the nature of the customer created programs and if there is an opportunity to use the base functionality.  If you would like First Option to provide this type of analysis, please contact the help desk and we will provide a quote for the effort.


Please check out our website and blog for updates on the upgrades!



First Option Has Gone Social!

For the next couple newsletters, we are going to highlight each of the social media outlets and how First Option is using them to better communicate with our customers.  This month's topic is The Blog.


The First Option blog is located at  


Our goal for the blog is to communicate news, events, and product updates.  Information pertaining to upgrades and backups will also be included. We will also archive our newsletters here. A category called "Financial Software" has been set up for all updates that pertain to the financial product suite.  We will also set up a category for "Hosted Customers" and "WebCheck Customers".  All other information will be categorized according to topic.


For you savvy social media people you can add our blog to your feed in Google Reader so you can get timely updates as they occur.  Sign in to Google Reader and click on the "Add a subscription button" on the upper left side of the page. Copy our blog address and then click on the "Add" button.   


If you do not have a Google Reader account you can sign up for one at:  and create an account. There is no cost involved and the registration is simple and quick. Once you have your account you can add the blogs you would like to follow and you are now using social media!


If there is any information you would like to see on our blog please email [email protected].



Compliance Corner
IT Services


Effective July 1, 2011 the FUTA tax rate was reduced from 0.8 percent to 0.6 percent for all employers who pay FUTA liabilities.  Payrolls with check dates prior to July 1, 2011 will pay the 0.8 percent and payrolls after this date will be calculated at the new 0.6 percent.  (Note: the new 2011 940 form is not yet available from the IRS).

For 2011, employers are required to make a quarterly deposit if tax exceeds

$500.00 otherwise it is paid at the end of the year.


For further detail see link below.  (Page 28)  


How to Change FUTA Rate  


Form 8109 (federal tax deposit coupon)

Effective January 1, 2011, the IRS will discontinue accepting Form 8109 deposits.

You will need to register your business and make payments electronically


Exception: if liability is $2,500.00 or less for the quarter a check can be mailed with return.


1099 Repeal - H.R.4:  This bill repeals the 1099 requirements for good and services over six hundred dollars that was part of Health Care Reform.

See below for details.


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