Hot Dogs and Physical Inventory Counts

In Inventory Control, Payroll by Kevin Stroud

Superhero in red cape and mask says see your inventory like you have x-ray vision!Dear AccountMate Clients,

Mid-October is when two questions always start popping up: “Are you going to be the hot dog man again?” and “How do we do our annual Physical Inventory Count?”  Fortunately answers to both are easy…

For 24 years now, as I write this, instead of handing out Halloween candy I set up the grill in my driveway and cook hot dogs for the kids, so they get some solid food in their tummies instead of just 100% candy. Of course I have juice boxes for them and adult beverages for the grown-ups, plus tables and chairs so everyone can sit down for a while. I usually serve more than 200 hot dogs and it’s become a neighborhood institution as people that don’t know me personally call me “the hot dog man”—so OF COURSE I was serving last night.

Although there’s a few more steps involved than just showing up for your dog and a beer, the Physical Inventory Count process is just as easy and is the best way to do a mass update of your inventory item onhand counts—to ensure you have an accurate Warehouse Quantity Listing report for validating your inventory asset GL account(s).  Here’s an overview of each step, available in the Inventory Control module under <Transactions> and <Reports> menus.

  1. Freeze Inventory: Can be all items or subsets based on ranges of item numbers, warehouse, bins, class and product.  Contrary to the label, this doesn’t actually prevent transactions from being entered, so it IS possible to continue operations (receiving POs, posting manufacturing, shipping Sales Orders, etc.) but it’s tricky to do it right so please give us a call to chat through those tricks. What this does is write a “snapshot” of the then-current inventory quantities into an underlying table that the adjustments will be based on.
  2. Physical Count Worksheet Report: Provides the paperwork for your warehouse staff to pencil-whip the onhand counts with. Can be printed either with or without the current onhand count, depending on if you want to provide the counters the current quantity.
  3. Input Physical Count: Here’s where you manually enter the correct count, and can also be done for subsets in case some counters finish faster than others and you’d like to get started on a subset of items.  Pay attention the FIRST time you enter this screen, when you’ll be prompted “Use Current Onhand Count as Counted Quantity?”  Answering <Yes> means the input grid will be populated with the pre-existing quantity, so you won’t have to type it (if it’s the same)—but answering <No> means the counted quantity will be set to zero in the grid and you WILL have to type every quantity (and any you don’t enter will be set to zero). The easiest way to inadvertently zero your entire inventory is to answer <No> to the question and then post all those zeroes… and then you call us and we have to reverse all those transactions…
    ==> Import Physical Count: Some clients find it easier to type counts into an Excel spreadsheet—and once upon a time we/NexLAN would then have to roll up our sleeves and import to the underlying tables, but that’s now built-in functionality so you might want to use this instead.
  4. Physical Count Variance Report: Once you’ve entered the counts, this report lets you see where the previous and current counts differ. Recent versions of AccountMate allow you to print the report only for items with variance, and ordered by item average cost or total item cost variance so you can easily identify the important items to focus on in case you need to do some recounting.
    ==> After printing this report, it’s common to then have to go back to the warehouse and re-count a few items then enter the new counts in step #3 and re-print the report here in step #4. You’ll count, input physical counts, and print the variance report until you’re confident the current count is correct.
  5. Update Physical Count: Again can be done for all inventory or a subset, and this does the actual posting of the entered values—which is actually posting the “difference” in the count between the quantity frozen in step #1 and that entered/imported in step #3/4. So, if the original count was 10, then you input a count of 7, this will post a transaction of -3. Newer versions of AccountMate include an option for you to specify a special GL account for the financial impact of this process so you can easily see this separately in your financials. This posting clears the items out of the “Frozen” state.
  6. Clear Frozen Inventory: Normally, you don’t need this option because, if you’ve done the “Update” process then there’s nothing still frozen. So what is this for? I always explain it as the “I give up” option. If you’ve frozen inventory, entered counts, have huge variance, re-counted, and still aren’t happy with your variance but have to get the business back in operation and don’t have time right now to figure out the situation—then this is the “punt” button so you can come back later and try again.

As always, we’re standing by for free telephone and e-mail support on the process, so don’t hesitate to contact us toll-free at 877-2NEXLAN (877-263-9426).

Finally, if you use the AccountMate Payroll module, you’ll save 10% on the 2020 Payroll Tax Subscription if you pay by November 29, 2019—and you should have an invoice in hand from us already to facilitate that savings. Some of our “extra early bird” clients have already paid and crossed that item off their to-do lists, but if you haven’t then don’t miss out on the savings! Rachel will be in touch in early December to schedule the payroll tax update installation, which has to be AFTER your last payroll of 2019 and BEFORE your first payroll of 2020. For those brave souls installing the update in-house, we expect its release during the last week of December and will forward it at that time.


Kevin E. Stroud

Microsoft Extended Support for Windows 7 & Windows Server 2008 R2 Ends January 14, 2020

Please be aware that Microsoft Extended Support for Windows 7 (for desktop PCs) and Windows Server 2008 are ending in a month and a half—see the official links here and here. Running your accounting and financial information on systems with no security updates and patches is a dangerous place to be—so please chat with your IT support regarding getting systems updated.

The next important end-of-support date is for Microsoft SQL Server 2012, for which support ends July 12th, 2022—so here’s your 2 1/2 year notice on that!

Webinar Recording: New Features in AccountMate V11.1 SQL/Express

Last month’s webinar covering the major new features and changes introduced in AccountMate 11.1 for SQL/Express is now available for you to watch in the Webcasts On-Demand area when you log into AccountMate’s website. Click here for a highlights list of the new AccountMate V11.1 features.

Let us know if you have a question or if you’re ready to schedule getting your system upgraded to the new release.

November 20-22 AccountMate Core Product Training

The next 3-day Core Product Training class for AccountMate SQL and Express is scheduled for Wednesday-Friday, November 20-22, 2019 (the week before Thanksgiving in the US) at AccountMate’s headquarters in Petaluma, CA.

Users who attend consistently report that it was time well spent. Attendees gain insights they can directly apply in their work, and learn how much more they can do within the AccountMate system than they realized—no matter how long they’ve been using AccountMate.

See the course description here and tuition is $2,000 per attendee but you receive one seat per year with your Lifecycle subscription. Might as well use it so you don’t use it, on this last class of the year! Contact us to register.

Tech Note: How to Post Employee Additional Earnings

There may be times when your company must pay employees additional earnings such as bonuses, commissions and other earnings. You may be paying these additional earnings to your employees as part of their regular paycheck or paying them in a separate check. AccountMate provides the flexibility to use either of these two methods.

You may also apply withholding taxes and personal deductions to additional earnings as needed. And, you can generate a separate report that tracks those additional earnings.

This week we publish Article # 1182: How to Post Employee Additional Earnings. This Technical Note covers the procedure to post payment of additional earnings for each method, as well as the procedures to apply withholding taxes and personal deductions to these additional earnings. Samples are included that illustrate the appropriate use of each method.

Tech Note: Understanding the Import Bank Transactions Feature

Banks may provide data that can be downloaded from their website or may send files via emails and other electronic transfer methods, or you may have generated these files outside the AccountMate application. Rather than manually recording bank transactions one by one, you may import the file using the Import Bank Transactions function. It allows you to import bank transaction data from an Excel, CSV, TXT, or DBF source file.

Article # 1345: Understanding the Import Bank Transactions Feature provides you with tips to successfully import bank transactions, and discusses the procedures for importing bank transactions. It also lists the reports that show the imported bank transactions.

Tech Note: How to Set Up Search Criteria for Each User

When recording transactions in AccountMate, it is often necessary to look for a customer, vendor, inventory item, or another particular record from among a multitude of records. To facilitate your search, AccountMate allows each user to customize the Search window criteria to suit the user’s specific needs and to optimize their use of the Search feature.

A number of handy options are provided—for example, perhaps you want to automatically exclude inactive GL Account IDs and inventory items records when searching.

Article # 1119: How to Set Up Search Criteria for Each User explains the procedures for setting up the Search window criteria for each user.

Technical Tips

Versions: AM10 for SQL, Express, and LAN
AM9 for SQL, Express, and LAN
AM8 for LAN

Module: AP

Q: When I post an AP invoice, I notice that I can enter only the vendor # in the AP Invoice Transactions function. We have hundreds of vendors and we can remember best the vendor’s company name rather than the vendor #. Is there a way to set up AccountMate so that I can enter the vendor’s company name instead of the vendor # in the AP Invoice Transactions function?

A. To enter the vendor’s company name in the AP Invoice Transactions ► Vendor # field, perform the following procedures:

1. Set up a new macro in the Vendor # Search window by performing these steps:

  1. Click the Lookup button beside the Vendor # field to display the Vendor # Search window.
  2. Click the List Box button beside the Search By field, and select the Company option.
  3. Click the Save button beside the Macro field to display the Save Macro As window. Alternatively, you may click the List Box button beside the Macro field Save button, and choose the Save As option.
  4. Enter the macro name in the Save Macro As window, and click Save.
  5. Click again the List Box button beside the Macro field Save button, and select the Set as Default option.
  6. Click OK to save the settings, and close the Vendor # Search window.

2. Exit the AP Invoice Transactions function, and access it again. Enter the vendor’s company name in the AP Invoice Transactions ► Vendor # field, and press the Enter key to display the Vendor # Search window.

Note: The Vendor # field accepts up to ten (10) characters by default. If, for example, the vendor’s company name is “Aero Furniture Factory” you can enter only “AERO FURNI” in the Vendor # field.

3. While the cursor is on the Company field, press the Enter key again. AccountMate displays in the grid the applicable vendors. If there is only one vendor in the grid (e.g., there is only one vendor for which the company name starts with “AERO FURNI”), you can immediately press the Enter key again; then, proceed to post the invoice. If there are two or more vendors displayed in the grid, choose the correct vendor before you press the Enter key.

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Versions: AM11 for SQL and Express
AM10 for SQL, Express, and LAN
AM9 for SQL, Express, and LAN
AM8 for LAN

Module: SO

Q: We recently updated the Unit Price of most inventory items. Will AccountMate use the new Unit Price when we ship or invoice sales orders that were created prior to the Unit Price update?

A: No; the Unit Price that the Ship Sales Order function will use is the Unit Price that was entered and saved when the sales orders were created. Similarly, when invoices are generated from shipment, it will use the Unit Price from the sales order. If the sales orders are not yet shipped, then you can amend the sales orders and manually enter the new Unit Price before you ship them.

Note: The default Unit Price when creating sales orders is subject to AccountMate’s pricing hierarchy.

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Versions: AM11 for SQL and Express
AM10 for SQL, Express, and LAN
AM9 for SQL, Express, and LAN
AM8 for LAN

Module: PR

Q: Each time I apply payroll/payment to an employee, the small Amend Applied/Payroll Payment window is displayed, showing the Applied Amt among other information with the option to Continue, Next Employee, or Prev Employee. Why?

A: The small Applied/Payroll Payment window is displayed when you apply payroll/payment to an employee who has an existing applied payroll/payment record that remains to be paid. This window will disappear once you pay the applied payroll/payment through Print Check or Post Handwritten Check or you void the applied payroll/payment transaction.

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Versions: AM11 for SQL and Express
AM10 for SQL, Express, and LAN
AM9 for SQL, Express, and LAN
AM8 for LAN

Module: AP

Q: We have an AP invoice that was created two fiscal years ago. The invoice was partially paid. We want to close the invoice (i.e., zero-out the balance) without recording any payment. What is the best way to do it?

A: You can close the invoice by posting an adjustment with these steps:

  1. Access the Post Handwritten Check function; then, enter the Vendor #.
  2. Select the invoice in the grid; then, enter the balance in the Apply Adj field. Verify that the Unapply Balance field shows zero (0.00).
  3. Click Save; then, select the Non-Check Transaction option in the second Post Handwritten Check window.
  4. Enter the Reference # for the transaction and click the Save Check button to commit the transaction.

This transaction creates the following journal entries:

  1. DR: Accounts Payable (from the AP Invoice Transactions ► GL Distribution ► Accounts Payable field)
  2. CR: Payment Adjustment (from the AP Module Setup ► GL Accounts ►Liability Account ► Payment Adjustment field)

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