Strategic Focus FAQs

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FAQs sf

In Strategic Focus, compared models have dates in unsorted order

Routine to fix date order in compared model



This routine will fix it. Get it from here.

Here is how to use it:

  • In Strategic Focus, make a copy of the model to keep (just in case).
  • Close Strategic Focus.
  • In Windows Explorer, copy the attached file into the problem Strategic Focus model.
  • Double-click the exe file to run it. It will either say all is OK, or do the fix automatically.
  • It says Done when finished.
  • Open the model in Strategic Focus and check that the data is OK.
  • All should now work correctly.

How do I import fixed assets and depreciation lines into Strategic Focus?


Use the Import / Export data option under the File menu, Import / Export. Choose Financial statements and then import the data. Here is an example Excel spreadsheet that shows the format.
Download example Excel spreadsheet below

There is one file to download. Right-click on the link below. Then choose: Save target as:

Important: use the right-click on your mouse, not the left-click!

Right-click here to get module File name is: testFA.xls

Create a new model in Strategic Focus, then import this sample file.

General FAQs

FAQs general

New Zealand Sales and Support

Sales and support in New Zealand is available locally.

To place an order, or for support, please contact your local office below.


New Zealand sales and support

If you are in New Zealand, please talk to Steve on (04) 479 3039
or email him:

Destination drive during install

Question: When installing software, the Remaining Disk Space is negative.

An invalid drive has been selected. Or the mapping is not recognized.



If you are on a Windows 7 or Vista PC, see: Windows 7 and Vista drive mapping


If you are on an ealier version of Windows: change the drive to a valid drive. If it is a mapped drive, check that the drive is accessible in Windows Explorer.



Network users – speed of processing

Network versus PC performance

Network versus PC performance

For normal data entry (i.e. when you enter data into the software), you won’t notice much difference between running the software on a PC or over a network.

However, when the data is activated, the speed of the network becomes a factor. You will see this because the same model will often take longer to activate over the network than on a PC. The speed of software operation is a function of the speed of your network. Also, your virus checker can have a significant influence (see below).


Suggestions for speeding up performance

 Citrix /  Terminal server

If your network is Citrix or Terminal server, the speed of activation will usually be as good as on a PC, and often better (because usually one has better hardware on such a server).


For other servers, here are some suggestions:

1. Turn off indexing of the folder on the server

If the server is running Windows, turn off indexing of the VCF8 folder.

For example, for Windows server 2008, in Windows Explorer, find the VCF8 folder, right click on the folder and select Properties. This is what you see:

VCF8 folder

Click Advanced.

Make sure “Index this folder for faster searching” is unticked. Click OK twice.

VCF8 folder index faster searching




2. Temporary file location

During activation the software does a lot of processing and needs to work with a lot of data. That is why on a slow network it may take a while. Also, if TEMP files are configured to a network share, everything will be slow.

You can speed things up by telling it to put its working files onto a local drive. That should speed up processing because some of the data is used on the fast local C drive rather than the slower network drive.

How to tell the software to put its working files onto the local drive

Do this:

  • Create a new folder on the local C drive.
  • Call it say c:\work (or c:\temp)
  • Open config.fpw with notepad. This file is in the application folder (e.g. VCF8 for Visual Cash Focus).
  • Near the top change TMPFILES, for example:

* Temporary file location:
* Can change this to a faster drive. Example: TMPFILES=C:\temp


If the folder you are using contains spaces, then put it in quotes, example

TMPFILES=”C:\steve work area”

Don’t leave spaces around the equal sign, and remove the asterisk in front of TMPFILES (if it exists) as shown in the example above.


All user must have this directory.

If on a network, all users must have the working directory. In the example above c:\work must exist on all the workstations.

This technique should speed it up. However, one can never expect the same fast speed as when operating the software on a local drive, as the speed of moving data over the network is limited by the speed of the network itself.


Where are the temporary files being stored?

Right-click here
for a program that can be used to show the current location of the temporary files. Then choose Save target as or Save link as to download the file showt.exe.

Note: Using Windows Explorer, put showt.exe into your VCF8 folder and then run it. If you change config.fpw, you can run it again to check the temporary folder location.


3. Speed of hard disk and speed of network

The network speed and server hard disk performance are performance factors. You want the fastest hard disk you can get.

Also the network itself can often be the bottleneck. The (GigaBit) LAN device and hard disk speed on the server should be as good as possible for optimum performance.

4. Virus checking

During activation a lot of data is processed, and your virus checker can cause a significant slow down. To speed it up, these are some options:

Tell it to exclude the VCF8 folder, and all its subdirectories.

Alternatively, tell it to exclude checking of the following files:

  1. *.DBF
  2. *.FPT
  3. *.CDX
  4. *.IDX
  5. *.DBC
  6. *.DCX
  7. *.DCT


Also, tell your virus checker not to check any files in the temp folder (E.g. in c:\work as discussed above). This has been reported to result in a significant speed improvement.

Peer to peer network

If you have a peer to peer network rather than a real server, with one of the clients holding the data, then such a setup is inherently slow at data processing. It is fine for data entry or word processing applications, but for data activation it will be slower. The techniques described here will help, but if you work with large models, then running the software locally instead of over the network may be a good solution for you.

5. Other suggestions

If you have big models, and want better performance, then consider running them on your local PC. For backup purposes, you can then zip the models and store the zipped files on your network if required.


The techniques discussed above should help you achieve better performance.



Allowed user count exceed message

When the software is installed on a server, the software counts the number of users currently logged on.

To assist you to keep within the number of licences you have purchased,the software alerts you if the number of users exceeds the number of licences purchased.




Please ask us for a licence for additional users if you see this message.



Tip: Occasionally the number of users reported will be incorrect. This can happen if a user exits the software abnormally. This is usually self correcting, as the next time the user logs in, when he exits his user flag will be released normally.


If you wish to reset the flags, do this:

  1. Exit the software. Important: do not use the re-login button for this. 
  2. Start the software and Log in as Supervisor with the Supervisor password. 
  3. Open a model (or start a new one if none are available to choose). 
  4. Go to the menu option shown below to reset the users.


Reset users


Help file problem: The topics on the left display, but the contents on the right page does not display


When you open the help file this is what happens: – the help file comes up with all topics in the tree on the left, but a Page Not found or Operation Aborted or Action cancelled message shows on the right.

Visual Cash Focus users who have at least version 8: Your solution is here:

For the other software packages, read on.

Why this is happening: Microsoft recently released a security patch that prevents viewing help files (CHM format) that are stored on a network drive.

The security patch and its effects are fully described on Microsoft’s web site at and


Comment: The fixes and workarounds that Microsoft suggests are not for the novice. Here is a work-around you may prefer:

Our recommendation:


For Visual Cash Focus users, try this: rename the file vcfhelp.chm to: zvcfhelp.chm.

If that does not work, read on:


The problem only exists when the help file is installed on a network drive. You can copy the help file to your desktop. To do this: copy the file vcfhelp.chm from the vcf7 folder in your network drive onto your desktop. Double-click the file on your desktop to open it. You should now be able to read the help file without problem. Unfortunately this does not maintain the links between the software and the help file, but at least you can read it.>


Other options are mentioned here:
One of the suggestions there is:
The simplest method is to RIGHT-CLICK on the file, select PROPERTIES and UNBLOCK.


This security patch affects many major programs – personally, we are going to see if Microsoft releases a more user-friendly solution before applying their recommended patch.


For advanced technicians only:


If you have access to technical resources, you can ask them to fix it the Microsoft way.


Important: Make comprehensive backups of everything before doing any of this, just in case.


This note might be useful:


If you trust all the computers on your LAN or intranet (and the people using them), you can lower the restrictions on the Local Intranet zone to allow CHM files to be displayed with the following steps:


1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
2. Locate and then click the following subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\HTMLHelp\1.x\ItssRestrictions
If this registry subkey does not exist, create it.
3. Right-click the ItssRestrictions subkey, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
4. Type MaxAllowedZone, and then press Enter.
5. Right-click the MaxAllowedZone value, and then click Modify.
6. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.
7. Quit Registry Editor.



If this solution does not work for you, please see and for alternatives.

OLE error, class not registered


These messages occur when the software libraries have been overwritten by other software installations. The easiest way to fix them is to re-install the software from the original CD, using the following procedure:

The example below is for Visual Cash Focus.
If the software is installed on the local C drive (see below for network installations).

Rename the c:vcf6 folder to something else, for example c:\vcf6now.
Install the software from the CD into the c:\vcf6 folder.
Delete the c:\vcf6 folder. This step may surprise you – during step 2 all the libraries that are required by the software were installed. Deleting the vcf6 folder does not delete those libraries, which we wanted to install.
Rename the folder you created in step 1 (for example c:\vcf6now) to c:\vcf6.

All should now work OK.

If not, it may be a rights issue. You may have to repeat the installation as administrator.
If the software is installed on the network:

Run the net.exe file from Windows explorer, which is in F:\vcf6\net\ (assuming F is the network drive). Be sure to change the directory suggested from C: to F: (assuming F is the network drive – change to the appropriate letter for your installation).
Note: If that does not solve it, update your net.exe from this page. Then repeat the step above.

Error on starting or installing the software

a) Cannot communicate with Machnm1.exe!

b)  c:\windows\system32\autoexec.nt. The system file is not suitable for running MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows applications.

c) Can’t run 16-bit Windows program


The latest versions of our software tools are all 32 bit applications. One or two users have reported the above error when starting the software.

An internet search on the above phrase shows that it is common in a wide range of situations and there are several suggested solutions.

How to fix:

Note: We use C:\WINDOWS in the notes below, but on some systems the folder may be called C:\WINNT. Substitute as necessary when following these instructions.

Solution 1: Firstly, see if you have the following files in your C:\WINDOWS\system32 directory.





If these files are missing:


Right-click on the link below. Then choose: Save target as (or Save Link as):

Important: use the right-click on your mouse, not the left-click!

Right-click here to get file File name is:

Save this file into a temporary folder. Then unzip it and copy the two files: Machnm32.sys and Machnm64.sys into your C:\WINDOWS\system32 directory.

Start the software. The problem should be resolved. If not, reboot your PC, then start the software. The problem should now be resolved.

If there is still the same problem, read on for further solutions.


Solution 2: Microsoft has a fix for it.

Research on this issue on the Microsoft site and other places suggests the following solutions.

Reason for error: A file (Autoexec.nt) in your operating system is faulty or missing.

Easy fix:

1. Look at the C:\ WINDOWS\System32 directory. If there is a file called Autoexec.nt here, rename it to something else.

2. Look in the C:\ WINDOWS\Repair directory. You will probably find that Windows had automatically made a backup copy of Autoexec.nt, so just copy this file into your C:\WINDOWS\System32 directory. The problem will now probably be fixed. (You should reboot and then start the software again).


Alternative solutions:

Note: If you can’t find a copy of the missing file (Autoexec.nt) in your Repair directory, use your original Windows CDROM to get the missing files. (You may also be able to get it from another PC running the same operating system).

At the command prompt type the following commands:

expand e:\i386\autoexec.nt_ c:/windows/system32/autoexec.nt


Substitute “e:\” for your CD-ROM driver letter, and “c:\windows” for where your OS is located.

Microsoft’s solution:

Microsoft has a fix for this issue. Here is a link to Microsoft’s fix:-;en-us;324767

Other comments found on the internet that may be useful:-

Comment 1:

The autoexec.nt file needs to be replaced. You can copy this file from your Windows XP CDROM. Go to a command prompt (Start/Run/cmd), making sure your CDROM is in the drive. Then type in:

expand d:\i386\autoexec.nt c:\windows\system32\ (note that I am assuming your cd drive is “d”, if not then substitute with the correct drive letter, also note that there is a space before c:\…..)

Press enter after you type in the command and you should see the file being copied.

If it does not copy, try this command:

expand c:\windows\repair\autoexec.nt c:\windows\system32\autoexec.nt

Press enter. Hope that helps!

Comment 2:

Customer is getting a message when he tries to open MYOB “C:\windows\system32\autoexec.nt

The system file is not suitable for running MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows applications.

Choose close to exit. Tried this: Copied C:\windows\repair\autoexec.nt to C:\windows\system32 Re-ran Application and was able to get in and everything looked ok.

Comment 3:

Try replacing autoexec.nt again, but this time, right click autoexec.nt, select properties, and select “read only”, click ok.

Comment 4:

It’s because one of the following files is missing from \WINNT\System32:

      • Config.nt
      • Autoexec.nt


Check to see that these files are there. If not, expand them from the install CD and copy them to \WINNT\System32 They’ll be in the \I386 folder as Config.nt_ autoexec.nt_ command.co_ From a command prompt window, type Expand /? to get instructions for using Expand


Cannot delete a model

Why can’t I delete the model?

If a model has been created with a Windows reserved word, then Windows will not allow you to delete the model.

Windows does not like folders to be named with reserved words. For example, do not use directories that contain these:

      • \COM1, \COM2 or \COM3
      • \LPT1, \LPT2 or \LPT3
      • \PRN, \PRN1, \PRN2 or \PRN3
      • \AUX, \CON, \NUL, \CLOCK$


Say you inadvertently create a model called CON. How do you delete it?


Step 1: In Windows Explorer, delete all the files in the CON folder.

Step 2: Rename the folder CON. (See below for instructions on how to do this).


Windows Explorer won’t allow you to delete the folder called CON. It also won’t allow you to rename it. To be able to delete the folder CON, it must be renamed. Here is how to do it:-


Example: c:\vcf7\Models\Con 

Note: The notes below refer to the example above. You should change the commands below to your own situation:


In Windows, choose Start, Run.


Type cmd and click OK.


Type the following:

c: (press enter)

cd\vcf7\models (press enter)


ren con xxx1 (press enter)




(There should be no messages from any of the above three commands).


Close the command window.


Now using Windows Explorer, delete the xxx1 folder you created above.


The job is done.

Number of files in zipped file archive compared to model folder

When I Zip a model, there are fewer files in the Zip archive than in the model folder. Why?


The Zip archive contains everything that is needed to re-make the entire model.

When you use the Zip option within the software:


The zip routine is quite clever – it extracts just what it needs to re-create a model. Some of the files are only required when the program is run, so there is no need to include them in the zip archive, as they will automatically be re-made. This enables the zip file to be quite small, which is convenient when emailing a model to someone.

So if you unzip a model, and run the software, you will find that the entire model is there.

Printer issue (printer prints garbage)

Printer prints garbage. Instead of words, it prints symbols or Greek characters.


This is a function of your printer. We use Crystal Reports for reporting, and this requires that the printer used supports Unicode. Almost all recent (5 years) printers do. You should check with the printer suppliers to see if your printer supports Unicode and how to activate it. If not you should use a different printer.

Here is a reference to this issue on the Crystal web site.

This is what they say:

Printing from Crystal Reports 9 displays cryptic symbols: This will occur if the printer driver does not support Unicode. CR 9 uses Unicode functions to print. Previous versions of CR did not use Unicode. To determine if your printer driver supports Unicode, see the printer driver manufacturer’s support website.

Note: Most modern printers do have drivers that support Unicode. Contact the printer supplier to ask them. For example, Kyocera Mita originally had a driver that did not support Unicode, but they brought out a revised driver that does. So the solution was to get the latest driver.

If you contact the printer company and are advised they do not have a UNICODE print driver, we suggest you find another printer that does. An alternative could be to use emulation mode for your printer. For example one of our clients found that one of the HP LaserJet drivers worked for their printer. You may have to install a few HP printer drivers until you find one that works.

Printer issue (export reports)

When attempting to export a Crystal report, the following error message appears: Export DLL cannot be found

This scenario occurs on a computer with a Citrix Server or Terminal Server environment when working with Crystal Reports.

Other error messages that may be applicable: “No Database DLLs Found…”



On the Crystal Reports web site, there is an article called “Citrix Server and Windows Terminal Server” that describes this error.

Steps to Resolve:

To resolve these issues, copy files from the Crystal directory to the Citrix Server’s or Terminal Server’s System directory.

This means that you should copy files from c:\program files\Common Files\CrystalDecisions\2.0\bin to C:\WINNT\SYSTEM32\

CAUTION Do not delete the c:\program files\Common Files\CrystalDecisions\2.0\bin directory. Other Business Objects products may require this directory.

With the DLLs in the System directory, the User Path Variable will be able to locate them. The error messages should be resolved and exporting should be successful.

Printer issue (crystal reports not loaded)

Cannot open report ….Filename.rpt. Try again?

Applies to: Visual Cash Focus when run on some non-English Windows platforms. Does not occur on English Windows.

Download technical support module below


There is one file to download. Right-click on the link below. Then choose: Save target as (or Save Link as):

Important: use the right-click on your mouse, not the left-click!

Right-click here to get module    File name is: CrystalDo.exe    10.5 mb

Save this file into a temporary folder. Then run it and follow the instructions on the screen.

Mapped drives and Windows

Note: This file is for use by Cash Focus software clients only.

Question: When installing software onto a Windows PC, the mapped drives cannot be selected.


Unfortunately some versions of Windows do not find the drive mappings when install programs are run.



This implements the solution mentioned in Microsoft’s KB937624. Download and run the file below. After installation a reboot is required.



Download setup program for Windows drive mapping

Here is where to get the setup program. There is one file to download. Right-click on the link below. Then choose: Save target as:

Important: use the right-click on your mouse, not the left-click!

Right-click here to get the map setup fix    File name is: setupMap.exe   1.3 mb


(Instructions are below)




Note: Close the installation program you were busy with.

1. Download the file above into a temporary directory.

2. Run the program setupMap.exe to install the map setup fix.

3. It will ask you to reboot. Do so, then run the normal install program. Your mapped drives should now be found.


Note: if the drive mappings are still not available, restart your computer one more time.




Install programs automatically elevate your rights so that files can be installed. Windows 10, 8, 7 and Vista require the drive mappings to be redone or made available. The setup program provided here sets a system policy registration key entry for “EnableLinkedConnections”, as per Microsoft Knowledge Base Article KB937624 available here:


Reg virus

Support file to fix REG virus – only run when advised by customer support Support


How to re-install the software, and then transfer the models into the new installation

Re-install the software
How to re-install

This assumes that the existing location will be the same after the re-install.

Visual Cash Focus example (other software is similar):

If Visual Cash Focus is installed in C:\VCF8, then rename this folder. E.g rename to C:\VCF8_old.
Install the software from the CD or setup program that was supplied initially.
Start the software and register as normal. Close the software.
Copy the models: copy all the folders under C:\VCF8_old\Models to C:\VCF8\Models
In C:\VCF8_old\Data there are 3 files that are called Model, namely model.dbf, model.fpt, model.cdx. Copy these three files into C:\VCF8\Data.
Start the software.
Open a model and get to the map.
Run the option: Check shared tables. It is under the Utilities menu, under Technical utilities.