Happy New Year from all of us at AccountAbility, and welcome to the first edition of ‘On the Inside’ for 2019 detailing some very exciting exciting new development, as well as regular enhancements and updates to AccountAbility over the past couple of months.
As always, we’d really appreciate if you would forward this email to any staff who will benefit from these developments. We’d also love to hear from you if you’ve got anything you’d like to discuss with our team.
Incoming Supplier Invoices function
The objectives of this new function are:
- To streamline the management and data entry of supplier invoices for your agency, and
- Eliminate the use of ‘paper’ invoices.
- Save you time and effort in data entry
Set up the function
Most agencies already have a specific email address for suppliers to send their invoices to – e.g. ‘email@example.com’. If you don’t already have an email address for this purpose, you can create one.
You should then set an ‘auto forward’ on that email address so that all emails received to it are also auto forwarded to ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’.
Now log into AccountAbility, go to SET UP FILES / OFFICES /SEARCH OFFICES.
Open the detail page for your office and assign your email address (e.g. email@example.com) into the field ‘INCOMING SUPPLIER INVOICE EMAIL ADDRESS’. When you click ‘Save’ AccountAbility will send a security token to verify you own that email address.
You should notify your suppliers/vendors that you want them to send their invoices to your specified email address in future, and that they should send a single invoice pdf on each email (the function does not work if your supplier sends multiple invoices attached to a single email)
It also helps if you assign the Supplier email addresses to your Supplier set up in AccountAbility, though this is not compulsory – it helps a lot because when AccountAbility receives the invoice it knows automatically which supplier the invoice relates to and saves you having to assign that.
Using the function
Once you have set that up, AccountAbility runs a scan every 15 minutes to see if there any new supplier invoices that have been emailed to your agency email address.
For each invoice / email received, it creates a record for you to review and code:
Go to ACCOUNTING / PAYABLES / SUPPLIER INVOICES / SEARCH SUPPLIER INVOICES and click the link ‘Incoming Supplier Invoices’
This is like your ‘in tray’ for supplier invoices – see the example below, there is a section created for each supplier invoice. Note the following:
- AccountAbility will attempt to scan the supplier invoice pdf and assign the supplier invoice number for you – you can check that is correct and assign or change it if we couldn’t read it correctly
- The Supplier will already be assigned if AccountAbility matches the supplier email address on the incoming email to the email address assigned to the supplier contact in AccountAbility
- Only 10 invoices are shown on each page – once you complete each invoice and clear them the next batch of 10 invoices will load
- Click on the ‘Eye’ symbol to see the supplier invoice pdf
- Once you have coded the invoice(s) and entered the amount etc. check the completed invoice(s) – then you have 3 choices:
- If your agency requires a ‘Manager Approval’ of supplier invoices – click the ‘SUBMIT’ button, if not
- If you have full approval rights for Supplier Invoices – click the ‘APPROVE’ button, or
- Click the ‘CREATE SUPPLIER INVOICES’ button – this will create an unapproved supplier invoice
Here’s a video that explains the function in more detail https://youtu.be/TgOhod5sm1A
Multiple Quantities on Estimates
This new function enables you to set up different pricing options for an estimate – useful for example in a case where you are doing a print job for your client, and want to provide estimated costs based on the number/quantity of the print run.
It’s simple to use. Create your Estimate in AccountAbility as usual. Now let’s say you want to offer the client pricing options on 3 different print run quantities:
- 10,000 copies
- 20,000 copies
- 30,000 copies
On the main estimate screen – assign the costs/units based on 10,000 copies. Now click the ‘Quantities’ link at the top of the page…
First, check/tick each of the Quantity Options you want to use at the top of the page – in addition to the ‘default’ quantity you can select up to 4 additional options, giving you 5 options in total including the default. In the above example we have just selected 3 options including the default.
Enter a description for each of the Quantities in the relevant columns (e.g. 10,000 copies, 20,000 copies, 30,000 copies)
Now, check/tick the lines that will vary based on the different quantities. In the example above we have checked just the ‘Printing’ and ‘Freight’ lines – because the other cost lines (the creative costs in this case) will not vary regardless of the print run quantity. For each option – enter the units and rates for the variable rows – for example below we have entered 20,000 units and 30,000 units for Printing with a slightly different rate for each, and a different rate for Freight based on the quantity options.
Click ‘Preview’ link at the top right of the page to preview the report in pdf form, or click the ‘Email’ link to send the report to your client as a hyperlink.
Let’s say the client comes back later and decides to go with the 20,000 copies option – check the ‘SET AS DEFAULT’ box above that option and ‘SAVE’. That will update the main estimate units and rates with the values from that option – now you can approve your estimate as you normally would.
Task Financial Summary
This is a new ‘drill down’ based screen that enable you to see the history of amounts estimated, costs incurred and amounts billed by Task Type. This might be handy in a situation where you want to quickly go research the history of amounts estimated for Printing or some other task. Go to JOBS / JOB SUMMARIES / TASK SUMMARIES. You’ll see a single row with the history of estimated, cost and billed amounts by task type code. You can set filters as usual (for example you might want to filter on one specific client to see the data just for that client).
You can click on a task type to drill down to see the history of activity of that task by Job, then further drill down by clicking on the Job to see the actual transactions for that task/job
GL ‘Statistics’ function
Let’s say you want to display some non-monetary values on your financial statements – a common example might be you want to display the number of employees, or ‘headcount’ on your P&L actuals and budgets.
First, go to ACCOUNTING / GENERAL LEDGER / GENERAL LEDGER ACCOUNTS. Create ‘GL report Groups’ for any statistical categories you require. For example you might create a ‘Headcount’ GL Report group – then assign that report to the report types (P&L Reports or Balance Sheets) that you want the statistics to appear on.
Now you can create a GL account for each statistic you want to record. For example a GL account for ‘Admin Staff’ and another for ‘General Staff’ to record the headcount into those categories. Create each one as a GL account and assign them to the GL account type ‘STATISTICS’
Now you can enter the statistical data for each account
- Actual data – just enter a Journal entry for each month to record your statistics. Note that the journals to ‘statistics’ accounts do not need to balance (you would just enter a debit amount for each statistical value but don’t need a balancing credit line)
- Budget data – just enter the budget values for each month through the ‘Expense Budgets’ area (whether those statistics are related to expenses or not they are all entered through
The statistical data will appear at the bottom all ‘Profit & Loss’ and ‘Balance Sheet Reports’ (depending on the report type assigned to the GL Report Groups created for the statistics accounts). And of course you can add these to your own Financial Statement format reports
Coding Journals etc. to WIP’ accounts
We have removed the restrictions relating to entry of transactions such as Journals, Receipts, Payments etc. directly to system control ‘WIP’ accounts. Just ensure when you do this that you assign a Job Number and a Task Type to such entries (the system will validate you have done so on approval of the transaction’
Supplier Bids Function
This new function facilitates the process of obtaining ‘Bids’ from Suppliers for work from your agency. This is an entire workflow encompassing:
- Your agency requesting bids from one or more suppliers
- The suppliers submitting their bid responses to the agency online
- The agency reviewing submitted bids and selecting the preferred supplier, and
- The agency issuing a purchase order to the preferred supplier
The process starts from your estimate detail screen in AccountAbility. Let’s say you are preparing an Estimate for a print job for your client and you would like to get bids/prices from one or more suppliers to carry out the printing. Note that if you want the supplier(s) to bid/quote for multiple quantities you should create those quantities in the estimate before proceeding to set up the supplier bids.
Add the lines to your Estimate as usual – then check/select the estimate line(s) you want to have suppliers bid on – you might for example want them to provide bids/prices for both ‘Printing’ and ‘Freight’ – so check both of those lines if that is the case, then click the ‘CREATE BID’ button
On this page (shown below) you can:
- Enter the Date that Responses are Required By
- Click ‘ADD SUPPLIER’ to select/add the Suppliers you want to request to bid – in the example below we are requesting bids from two Suppliers
- Click the ‘Contact’ link on the Suppliers to ensure the correct contact is assigned for the bidding Suppliers
- Add any Notes you wish to convey to the Suppliers you will request bids from
- When all that is set up, select/check each of the Suppliers and click the ‘SEND REQUEST BUTTON’
This will trigger an email to each of the suppliers with a pdf ‘Supplier Bid Request’ report pdf attached to the email. (Note that you can assign email default text and disclaimers for the report as you can with all external AccountAbility reports using SET UP FILES / REPORT SETUP / REPORT DISCLAIMERS.) AccountAbility will c.c. you on each of the emails sent so you have a record/copy of the request emails within your email inbox.
When your supplier receives the ‘Supplier Bid Request’ which details the job and tasks you are asking them to bid for – it includes a button ‘CREATE RESPONSE’
The Supplier simply clicks the ‘CREATE RESPONSE’ button – which loads a web page for the Supplier to provide their bid response:
So that your supplier’s response is official, they are required to upload their company logo file. After completing the response information, the supplier just clicks the ‘SEND RESPONSE’ button which will trigger:
- An email alert to the agency employee who requested the bid notifying them that the supplier has responded
- An update in the supplier bid screen in AccountAbility showing the bid details/amounts from the supplier – as well as a link to view the actual bid response report generated when the supplier responded
Back on the supplier bid screen in AccountAbility – we can see the amounts/details of bids provided from the suppliers, and
- Reject the bids we are not accepting
- Assign the selected supplier as ‘Preferred’ by checking it and clicking the ‘PREFER’ button. This action will also give you the option of updating the estimate with the bid values provided by the preferred supplier.
The last step in the workflow, once you are ready for the preferred supplier to commence work is to click the ‘CREATE PO’ button to generate the PO for the supplier. Note the PO will be issued for the ‘Default’ quantity/pricing – if you wish to change the default quantity you are proceeding with you can do that within the estimate ‘Quantities’ window.
Importantly – this function provides your agency with documentary evidence that you have requested and received competitive bids from Suppliers, which is something that many clients require of agencies.
Recapping the workflow:
- Create the Estimate as usual
- Add Quantities to the Estimate if applicable
- Create Bids
- Suppliers respond to the bids
- Reject the unsuccessful Supplier Bids, mark the selected Supplier as ‘PREFERRED’
- Create the PO for the Preferred Supplier (note your agency workflow rules may require you to approve the estimate before this step)
Note that you can search the history of all bids and responses under the menu choice ‘JOBS / SUPPLIER BIDS’