We are pleased to provide you with a summation of recent enhancements and new features in AccountAbility. If you would like any further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Scheduled Invoicing enhancements
Three enhancements have been made to the scheduled invoicing function:
This enables you to assign invoice ‘header’ notes for each of the scheduled invoices. Let’s say you schedule the estimate to be invoiced in 4 equal instalments at the end of November, December, January & February – first you would create each of the 4 scheduled invoice dates as usual–
then you might enter the following Invoice notes:
30/11/13 First scheduled instalment as agreed
31/12/13 Second scheduled instalment as agreed
31/01/14 Third scheduled instalment as agreed
At the point the scheduled invoice is created – the invoice header notes will be automatically populated with the notes you set up, rather than them being populated with the estimate header notes
Calculate percentages to by invoiced by entering amounts
Let’s say you have an estimate for $30,000 – you want to invoice $8.000 at the end of November, $10,000 at the end of December and $12,000. Previously you would had to calculate the percentages for each of these instalments – now you can check the box ‘Enter Amounts’ – enter
the 3 amounts, then when you save – the system will automatically create the relevant percentages for you.
Add selected number of months
We have enhanced the existing ‘Add 12 months’ feature, so that you can now enter any selected number of months and build the invoice schedule accordingly. Let’s say you want to invoice the estimate in 6 monthly instalments beginning on January 1. Enter ‘6’ in the number of months,
click ‘Go’ then enter the ‘first date’ of 01/01/14 and click OK – the system will schedule 6 invoices for each of the months from 1st January through 1st June
Revenue Tracker Add Months function
This allows you to quickly spread the revenue projection for the estimate over a selected number of months. Let’s say you want to spread the estimated revenue evenly over 6 months beginning on January 1. Click the ‘Add Months’ button, Enter ‘6’ in the number of months, enter the ‘first
date’ of 31/01/14 and click OK – the system will schedule one sixth of the revenue for each of the months from 1 January through June
Various Reports – option to Suppress Tax
This function allows you to suppress the ‘Tax’ line on the following specific reports (documents)
- Purchase Orders
- Production Invoices
- Sundry Invoices.
To suppress tax on one of these reports, go to Setup Files/ Report Setup/Report Settings
For each of these reports you can select one of the following settings for ‘Suppress Tax?’
- Leave it blank – meaning the Tax line will always appear, even if the transaction has a zero tax value
- Select ‘If Tax is zero’ – meaning the Tax line will be suppressed on transactions that have no tax value
- Select ‘Always’ – meaning the Tax line will never appear, even if the transaction has a tax value
We express caution in using the ‘Always’ setting in relation to client invoices (Production Invoices and Sundry Invoices) – we recommend a setting of ‘If Tax is zero’ for these transactions
Messages – mark as unread
If you have received and opened a message but want to keep it in your inbox, open the message and check the box at the top right ‘Mark message as unread’
• Aged Accrued Revenue Report – accessed from General Ledger / Accrued Revenue. Provides an aging of accrued revenue by job.
- Aged Deferred Revenue Report – accessed from General Ledger / Deferred Revenue. Provides an aging of deferred revenue by job.
Default Office Bank Account
This allows you to define the default bank account for each office. Open the Office (Set Up Files / Offices) and select the default Bank Account to be used for that office. Note that this is not compulsory – of no default Bank Account is assigned to an Office, when entering receipts or
payments for that Office, the system will behave the same way as it has in the past.
Once you have defined a default Bank Account for an Office, when you enter a Receipt or Payment for that Office, the Bank Account for the transaction will default accordingly – though you can still change it if required.
GL Account Office Restrictions
This allows you to define a GL Account as ‘belonging to’ one or more selected Offices – meaning that account can only be used on transactions which are assigned to the selected Office(s).
To set this up, go to General Ledger / General Ledger Accounts, find the Account, click on the Account No to open it up, then click the ‘Office Restrictions’ link and select the Office(s) it is to be restricted to.
Once that is set up, on any system screen where a GL Account can be selected (e.g. Payments, Receipts, PO’s, Supplier Invoices, Sundry Client Invoices, Journals etc.) two things will happen:
- The GL Account lookup will only show accounts which are not restricted for use on the Office that the transaction relates to.
- On entry of a GL Account number, the system will validate that the Account is not restricted for use on the Office that the transaction relates to.
A common use of this might be in regard ‘Bank’ GL Accounts, if you want to ensure a Bank GL Account can only be used for one or more selected Offices (but not all Offices) – set Office Restrictions against that GL Account accordingly.
It can though be used more broadly than just bank accounts, you might for example create an expense GL Account that is specific to or, or a group of Offices
Control access to the ‘Convert Draft’ Production Invoice function
Maybe you have a group of users that need to access the Production Invoices search function, but you don’t want them to be able to use the function that converts draft invoices to final invoices.
Open Setup Files / User Access Groups – open the relevant user group, then de-select the transaction type ‘Production Invoices – Convert Draft’
Pay Suppliers based on Due Date
Go to Master Files / Suppliers. Open a supplier – you’ll notice some additional information at the bottom of the page where you can set the default payment terms for the Suppliers.
By default these are set as ’30 Days from Invoice Date’ – but you have various choices here, for example you might assign:
- 1 Month from invoice added date – meaning the invoices for this supplier are due 1 month after the date you added it in AccountAbility, or
- 30 days from date EOM – meaning the invoices for this supplier are due 30 days from the end of the month of the invoice date – so if the invoice date was 16thNovember, the due date would be 30thDecember
When adding Supplier Invoices – you will see a new ‘Due Date’ field – this will default to the due date calculated based on the Supplier default payment terms – but you can change the due date if a specific invoice is to be treated differently than the default for the Supplier
When using the ‘Generate Batch’ payments function – you will see a new selection ‘Pay invoices with a Due Date up to:’ If you select this then the batch wizard will filter the available invoices according to the date you select. As you work through the batch wizard, each invoice’s Due Date
is displayed as a reference for you in deciding which invoices you will pay.
Open Setup Files / User Access Groups – open the relevant user group, then de-select the transaction type ‘Production Invoices – Convert Draft’
Resource Planning function enhanced
The Resource Planning function that gives your company an overview of:
- Planned Revenue by client (based on the Revenue Tracker data)
- Planned ‘Cost’ of the staff resources tasked to work on the client, based on current billable rates
In order to derive valuable management data from the function, your company would need to ensure the AccountAbility Revenue Tracker data is being maintained – if you are not yet using the Revenue Tracker, we would suggest you get this up and running first before you look at
The function is accessed under Time & Resources / Resource Planning
It is important to note this function is based on allocating resources (employees) by assigning the number of working days they are likely to spend on a client over the next 3 months – and what the value of that time looks like based on the revenue likely to be generated from the client. It
is not a function designed for the minute daily management of ‘who is available to work on a job today’
Let’s say you have a client ‘ABC manufacturing’ – the revenue tracker tells you the likely revenue from that client over the next 3 months is $25,000. You might then assign the following resources against the client over that period:
- Bill Smith – 30 working days
- Wendy Jenkins – 20 working days
The system will calculate the ‘planned cost; of that time at current billable rates – let’s say that comes out at $40,000 – we now have an indication that we are over resourced on that client compared to the estimated revenue in the revenue tracker.
The function now allows you to assign the resourcing at job level, and for the current month it also includes an analysis of the actual working days spent by each employee on the client (it gets this data from the employee timesheets.
The function also provides an Employee view of the resource allocation – so you can see how many working days each employee has been resourced, which Clients/Jobs they have been resourced against, and what their remaining available working days comes out at. It also takes into
account Employee Leave if your company is maintaining Leave data in AccountAbility.
Expense Claim enhancements
Summary of enhancements
- The ability for users to view, edit or create Expense Claims relating to other Employees
- A ‘Manager Approval’ function – enabling (optional) line manager approval of staff Expense Claims prior and in addition to the existing Finance Approval of claims
New Expense Claims Browse
Go to Time & Resources / Expense Claims
(See notes later in this document defining the Access Rights for this function – initially only members of the ‘Administrators’ user group will have access to this function until you make it available to other user access groups)
This is a new browse – by default it lists all Expense Claims that have not yet been ‘Finance Approved’ though the Supplier Invoices system. It serves the following purposes:
- Allows the review of all Expense Claims
- Facilitates the ‘Manager Approval’ (or rejection) of Expense Claims
- Facilitates the entry/creation of Expense Claims, where the claim needs to entered on behalf of another employee. Note that this does not change or replace the existing ‘My Expenses’ function – employees that are responsible for the creation/entry of their own expense
claims should continue to do this through the ‘My Expenses’ function.
The available filtering and information shown for each Expense Claim is self-explanatory – the process of ‘Manager Approval’ (or rejection) of claims which can be carried out here is explained later in this guide.
Each Expense Claim has a Status:
- Submitted – means it has been submitted for approval
- Manager Approved – means it has been approved by a manager authorized to do so
- Manager Rejected – means it has been rejected by a manager and needs to be revised and re-submitted
Creating new Expense Claims for another Employee
Firstly, users who have unrestricted access to this browse will be able to view, edit or create claims for all other employees – so care should be exercised in providing access to this page and the access level assigned. (But of course the normal ‘Office Restrictions’ apply – if an employee is
restricted to one or selected Offices, then they will only be able to see or create claims relating to Employees of those Offices.)
Let’s say you have a situation where you want to allow an employee (e.g. an admin assistant) to be able to access this page so they can enter expense claims for other employees. For example you have an employee ‘Steve Stone’ – maybe Steve is not a member of the ‘Administrator’ user
group – but Steve needs to be able to enter expense claims for the following people:
- Janet Allen
- Mike Gibbs
- Joe Jones
Here’s how you’d set Steve with the appropriate access:
Go to Master Files / Employees and search for Steve Stone – open his detail page. Firstly Steve must be assigned to a User Access Group which has rights to access Expense Claims – this is explained later in this document.
Now click ‘Staff Restrictions’ – and select Janet, Mike and Joe.
This means that when Steve Stone goes to the Expense Claims browse (Time & Resources / Expense Claims) he will only be able to see, or create claims for Janet Mike and Joe.
Creating Expense Claims from here is almost exactly the same as the ‘My Expenses’ function, the only difference is that when adding a new claim you need to select which Employee the claim relates to.
Expense Claim Manager Approval – setting up
If you wish to enforce the approval of claims prior to the Finance Approval stage, some set up tasks are required:
Turn on the function
Go to Setup Files/Approval Settings – check the box next to ‘Expense Claims’ – and Save. This indicates that your company requires ‘Manager Approval’ of claims.
Assign which ‘User Access Groups’ can access the Expense Claim Browse
Go to Set Up Files / User Access groups – for each group that need to be able to view/access or approve other employee’s claims – open that group and add the ‘Expense Claims’ transaction type to the ‘Selected’ list.
Note this is not required for the ‘Administrators’ user access group, as members of that group by default have access to all system functions
Assign Manager Approval Rights
By default, employees that have ‘Unrestricted’ approval rights will have the ability to ‘Manager Approve’ (or reject) expense claims for all employees, so you only need to do the following steps for ‘line managers’ – managers who you want to review and then approve/reject expense claims
for selected employees in their team.
Go to Master Files / Employees – search for the manager that you want to assign rights to and open their detail page.
Firstly, their ‘Approval Rights’ setting must be set to ‘Defined’ – if their approval rights are ‘Unrestricted’ or ‘None’ – then the following steps are irrelevant and unnecessary.
- Click the ‘Approval Rights’ at the top right of the Employee detail page.
- Check the ‘Approval Rights’ box for ‘Expense Claims’.
- Now you need to define their Approval Rights level for Expense Claims:
- a) Check ‘Company Level’ if you want this person (Manager) to be able to review Expense Claims for all employees.
- b) Check ‘Employee Level’ if you want this person to review Expense Claims for selected Employees. This is the recommended setting for the ‘Line Manager’ situation – and using this setting also facilitates the automatic sending of an AccountAbility message and
email when one of the employees this manager is responsible for submits an expense claim for approval. Now check the box at the far left next to ‘Expense Claims’, then click the ‘Employees’ link at top right and select the relevant employees this manager is
- c) Check ‘Office Level’ if you want this person to be able to review Expense Claims for one or more selected Offices. If you select this level, check the box at the far left next to Expense Claims’, then click the ‘Offices’ link at top right and select the relevant Office(s)
for this person.
The Expense Claim ‘Manager Approval’ Process
When an employee enters an expense claim using the ‘My Expenses’ function (or a user enters a claim on behalf of another employee using the new ‘Expense Claims’ browse) – they need to click ‘Submit’ – which changes the status of the claim to ‘Submitted’ – meaning it is now available
for Manager review and approval (or rejection).
When the claim is submitted, if one or more ‘Line Managers’ has been assigned to the Employee creating the claim in a) above, then two additional things will happen:
- An AccountAbility message will be sent to the Manager(s) of the employee the claim relates to advising the Manager that a claim has been submitted for their review
- An email will be with the same information. This email contains a link for the Manager to be able to open the claim, review it and approve or reject it. The Manager does not need to be logged into AccountAbility to access this linked page – for example if they open
the email on their cell phone and click the link – the browser on their phone will open the expense – and they can approve or reject it right there.
So there are two places a Manager can review and approve (or reject) expense claims, either from the link in the email notifying them the claim has been submitted – or simply by going to Time & Resources / Expense Claims and reviewing the list of submitted claims. Either way – the
Manager simply opens the Expense Claim, reviews the detail (and downloads any attached files such as receipts if they want to review those) and decides whether to approve the claim, or reject it.
- To approve it – click the ‘Approve’ button – the following things happen:
1) An AccountAbility message and email is sent to the employee advising them their expense claim has been approved
2) The status of the claim changes to ‘Manager Approved’ and it is now displayed/ available in the Supplier Invoices browse for Finance review/approval
- To reject it – click the ‘Reject’ button – this opens a pop up page where the manager can enter their reasons for rejecting the claim (for example they might enter a note like “Joe – can you please attach the receipts to this claim, then re-submit it for approval”). When
the claim is rejected the following things happen:
1) An AccountAbility message and email is sent to the employee advising them their claim has been rejected – including the comments the Manager entered on rejecting the claim
2) The status of the claim changes to ‘Manager Rejected’. This means that the claim cannot now be approved until it is revised and re-submitted for approval