First Option Newsletter      


March 2012      


In This Issue
Modernization of Financial Software
Help Desk Rollout
WebCheck has a New Look!
FOI Financial Software Suite Upgrades
Compliance Corner
First Option has a lot of exciting news this month! We are in the process of Modernizing the Financial Software, have rolled out a new Help Desk and Support System, Updated WebCheck with a new look and will be opening an additional Hosting site in Virginia. Details on this New Site and our Hosting product will be in our next newsletter. Stay tuned!
Modernization of Financial Software
software services

First Option partnered with Looksoftware in November 2011 in order to modernize the former Daprex application software. Our programming staff has been working diligently over the past few months and we are at the point where we are ready for a first look.


Looksoftware has been providing dynamic application modernization and integration solutions for customers and application vendors for over 15 years. Their architecture automates the modernization process, providing multi-channel front-end access, requiring no changes to your back-end IBM i, System i, AS/400, iSeries and System z applications.


Looksoftware's toolset enables programmers to seamlessly blend application modernization with development of new applications. This can be achieved using leading technologies like Open Access for RPG, Microsoft's .NET and Java, and provides a practical, long-term strategic path forward for all IBM i, System i, iSeries or AS/400 application investments.


First Option has been developing application software for the iSeries for 17 years and we are excited about this new venture. We have begun modernization on the former Daprex software and are ready to roll out the test version to a select group of users.   


We will begin setting up roundtable discussions with a test group of customers within the next few weeks to go over the new changes to the software and get additional direction as to improving enhancements and the overall flow of the applications.   


What does this mean for you?

  • The software will have a new GUI interface that is still in the format you are accustomed to.
  • Desktop Integration is a big part of Phase one. You will be able to download reports to Excel.
  • GL Upload will also be included as part of the enhancement.

For those of you on maintenance support the new enhanced software will be available to you as an upgrade. There will be a one-time charge for the initial license fee and a small annual maintenance fee to use the tool itself.


Stay tuned for exciting developments.....    


Help Desk Rollout
IT Services

First Option introduced the new Help Desk System on January 25, 2012 via webinar.


The new Help Desk System is feature rich and includes the ability to enter your own tickets and utilize a robust Knowledgebase.  A News feature is also included to get quick updates from First Option regarding upgrades, and other information pertinent to the software. Future enhancements will include Live Chat and a Troubleshooting tool.


Based on the survey we conducted last July we discovered many of you were looking for application training and better training resources and materials.   


The new Help Desk has what is called a "Knowledgebase" which features documented instructions on day to day activities. We have documented all of the calls that have come in over the past eight months and created Knowledgebase entries from the ones that we felt would benefit everyone. (And believe me it has been a lot of calls!) The Knowledgebase is broken out by application and can be searched on by query or by entering your ticket information.   We have also captured year end procedures that are done on a one time basis and usually require a series of steps that are hard to remember if not documented someplace.


The Help Desk also lets you enter your own tickets into the system and attach supporting documentation at the same time. This enables the Help Desk to better respond to your issue without having to call you back for supporting documentation or to get further details regarding your problem. It also provides First Option with trending information that we can use to hold training webinars regarding a particular topic.


For example: At year end many had questions regarding which options to use for 1099's. This year we are going to hold a training webinar as to how to run your 1099's and the Knowledgebase now has detailed instructions on 1099's and the various options that need to be run.   


The manuals have also been updated to include a table of contents that links to each section. You can now just scan the table of contents, pick your topic and click on it. This should help for day to day activities and year end procedures.  The manuals are located under each specific application as well as a separate category called Manuals in the Knowledgebase.   


If you have not had a chance to look at the training materials regarding the Help Desk features I have included information below. I encourage you to give it a try - I think you'll like it!


Help Desk Training  


or Go to and Click on Help Desk Demo   



WebCheck has a New Look!

WebCheck has a New Look!


We have replaced the old template with the First Option template used on all our websites.


Go to and click on Webcheck New Template Demo.


The functionality has not changed; the only changes made are to the design.   


For those of you who are not familiar with WebCheck it is one of our Software Services on the Web products that we offer. WebCheck by First Option is an internet based software service that allows employees to view up to two years of pay check information. With WebCheck by First Option employees can log on to a secure internal website to view and/or print their check information.


Reasons you may want to use WebCheck:

  • Go Green by not consuming paper, check stock and envelopes.
  • Save money by not having to purchase check stock, envelopes, paper and printer toner.
  • Save money by not having to mail paychecks/and or direct deposit remittances. The cost of postage is now .45 and is possibly going up to .50 cents.  Example: 100 checks per week at .45 is $2340 a year.
  • Cut down on the number of calls to your payroll department for lost checks or questions regarding prior checks.
For more information contact sales at sales@1stoption.comArrow



FOI Financial Software Suite Upgrades


The financial software upgrades have been completed for all customers.  There are a few of you left who have not scheduled a time for the upgrade. Please do so in the next few weeks.  


If you are not upgraded on the latest version you will not be eligible for the new software enhancement roll out that we are currently working on.  

See below for information regarding the new upgrade process. 


First Option is 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  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.  


Compliance Corner
software services
The Employee FICA rate will remain at 4.2% for the remainder of the year.

Click for More Info

The 1099 Reporting Requirement was repealed April, 2011


On April 14, 2011, President Obama signed into law the Comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act of 2011.

Under this Act, businesses are no longer required to issue a Form 1099-MISC to corporations and non-corporate entities concerning the purchase of goods and services for any person or company to whom they paid more than $600 in a tax year. It also repeals a requirement for individuals to report rental income on Form 1099-MISC.

In order to offset lost revenue, the law requires individuals who receive excessive tax subsidies for state health care to pay back a larger amount than formerly required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of Heath Care Reform.


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