Validating the Balance Sheet

Dear AccountMate Clients,

As a mid-tier product, the AccountMate user base extends from (almost) mom-and-pop-lawn-mower-repair-shops up to (literally) divisions of Fortune 500 companies – so we have a huge variance in the accounting skill set among our clients.

In case you’re on the lower end of that spectrum, what knowledgeable accounting people know is how important it is to validate the Balance Sheet – because if that’s correct then you know the bottom line of your Income Statement is correct.  Sure, there might be some things miscategorized on the Income Statement, but you can be confident the last number on the last page accurately reflects your profit/loss.

“Validating the Balance Sheet” means to provide the detailed reports, generally from the subsidiary modules, which correspond to the applicable assets and liabilities.  Then, if the detailed reports are correct, that MUST be the value of the corresponding asset or liability – and if it’s not then a journal entry is required to MAKE the GL account match the report.

Ideally, the Balance Sheet is validated at the end of every fiscal period – but it’s critically important to validate at the end of your fiscal year as the tax implications are obviously a direct result of your reported income.

To assist in this process, we provide helpful “Period End Closing Outlines” so you know exactly what reports to print to validate the most common Balance Sheet accounts – which you can find here.  Note they’re in MS-Word format so you can edit them to suit exactly your installation.

One caveat to note is that the “as-of aging” reports aren’t always a good option.  As an example: If an AP invoice was entered on the 29th of the prior month, then voided on the 3rd of the current month – but that void was back-dated to the 29th of the prior month – then should (or shouldn’t?) that invoice be included on the “as of” report for the 30th of the prior month?  Gee… it was actually in the system as of that date… but then it was later voided with an effective date of the 29th…  To avoid such philosophical questions, it’s always best to do all reporting right AT month end – and many of our clients have standard procedures to create a month-end-company-snapshot from the automatic nightly backup for this purpose (which also validates the backup and restore procedures are working correctly).  If you don’t currently take this approach, then give us a call and we’ll discuss how simple it is.

We have several new clients, but those of you that have been around for a while know that it’s not the January edition of the NexLAN/AccountMate Newsline without The Four Things We Recommend You Do Right Now!

  1. Lock your January 2017 fiscal period!  Whether you’ve closed the fiscal year or not, now is the time when people typo the year in a transaction and accidentally post it 12 months in history.  So head to <Housekeeping><Posting Period Restrictions> in General Ledger and check the boxes for each module to restrict posting in that period.  You can also use this during the year to keep transactions from hitting periods that have already been audited and approved – and you can always unrestrict the period if you really do have to post back.
  2. Make a backup of your live company!  As discussed above, you’ll want detailed listings to validate your GL with – whether that’s an AR or AP Aging report or a Warehouse Quantity Listing – and while AccountMate provides “as of” reports for validating many of the Balance Sheet accounts, all too often someone back dates a transaction which you really didn’t want backdated and then it’s nearly impossible to create the validating report.  For AccountMate/SQL clients, if you have our NexSQLBack utility installed then this is only a few mouse clicks.  Details of that are here, and remember that it’s FREE for direct clients of NexLAN.  For AccountMate/LAN clients, look at the properties of your desktop shortcut then just make a “copy” of the entire directory (and subdirectories) that it’s pointing to – which I bet would fit on a USB drive you could put in your pocket for safekeeping at home for an extra level of protection against loss of your facility.
  3. Set your AP 1099 Year!  When you access the reports in the AP module for print 1099 reports and forms (which you’ll need to buy at your local office supply store) they will reference “Current 1099 Year” and “Prior 1099 Year” – without specifically saying what year each of those is.  To set that, hit <Housekeeping><AP Module Setup> and then access the “1099 Setup” tab to set the Current Year in the combo-box at the top.  The combo-box only shows three years at a time, so if you’re more than a year back, then you’ll need to set it to the latest year you can, hit <OK> at the bottom and then go back in again to advance it another year.
  4. Photocopy your wallet!  Just as you back up the important information on your computer systems, take five minutes to get all the cards out of your wallet, line them up face down on a photocopier and hit the button – then flip everything over and make a copy of the backs for the important “lost card” call-in info.  This five minutes will save hours of effort if you lose your wallet during the coming year and is a good opportunity to review for any expired or expiring cards too.

Finally, be sure to check out the Year-End Info and important Payroll Update information below – and Happy New Year to all and kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegaishimasu!


Kevin E. Stroud

Year-End Closing Procedures

If you’re looking for info on the year-end closing process, then here it all is!

Recorded Webinars – which you may need to provide your AccountMate Support ID to access (look under <Help><About AccountMate> in your system).

Year-End Documents

Above should get you off to a great start, but of course we’re always available for free phone and e-mail support if you need it.

Mandatory Payroll Updates!!!

This is a confusing topic to many because of the number of updates that have to be done this year – as there’s THREE!

  1. As you know, AccountMate passes payroll tax reporting data to a separate program called Aatrix when you hit <Reports><Tax Forms> – which then handles the form printing or, optionally, electronic filing.  Aatrix has made some major updates to their program this year, so there’s new runtime files that must be installed on every desktop PC which will be doing Payroll tax reporting.  If you’re getting an error that says “Unable to load vendor library” then this is why…
  2. Once in Aatrix, it will download program and report updates – lots of them! – but this should be automatic and smooth.
  3. There’s also important updates to the AccountMate tax tables used for calculating 2018 payroll taxes which will need to be installed to “the server” – but if you’re running multiple servers (everybody with terminal server farms for your numerous remote users raise your hand!) then it will need to be installed to all of them where payroll is ran regardless of whether tax reporting is done on all of them or not.

While you can delay the Aatrix updates until you start the tax reporting process (please don’t wait until January 31st for this!), you can’t run the first payroll of 2018 unless/until the AccountMate update has been installed so this part definitely has some immediacy and most clients have us/NexLAN do all of these update processes for them.

Vertical Solution Webinars

If you process customer credit card payments, then it’s worth looking at the MKT Credit Card plug-in to simplify that process – but if a significant number of your credit card payments are from “business class” credit cards the you REALLY need to check out the Level-3 functionality when implemented with American Payment Solutions as we’ve saved more than a dozen clients tens of thousands of dollars in credit card processing fees.  Check out the hour-long presentation of this dynamic duo by attending the webinar on Wednesday, January 24th, at noon CST.  Register by clicking here.

For a user friendly ad-hoc query and reporting tool which understands the AccountMate database architecture, the tool to beat is Stonefield Query – which will be holding an hour-long webinar on Wednesday, February 7th, also at noon CST.  Register by clicking here.

Core Product Training March 7-9, 2018

AccountMate regularly offers the Core Product Training class at their offices in Petaluma, California.  These are always HIGHLY rated by attendees, with the next one scheduled for Wednesday-Friday, March 7-9, 2018.

The three days of classroom training is applicable to both first-time and existing AccountMate users – and don’t forget that if you have an active Lifecycle Maintenance Plan, it includes one seat per year.

Contact us for additional information and see the course description here.

Tech Note: Understanding the Inventory Transaction Log

The Inventory Transaction Log report in AccountMate provides the complete story of your inventory items – tracking them from cradle to grave, so to speak.

This month we publish Article #1159: Understanding the Inventory Transaction Log which provides information about the report criteria and columns displayed in the report and enumerates all the Transaction Type codes (the transaction to which each code corresponds and the effects of these transactions on inventory cost and quantity).

Technical Tips

Version: AM10 for SQL and Express (MS1002 and higher)

Module: PR

TIP: Starting in AccountMate 10.2 for SQL and Express, the Deduction Maintenance function allows you to enter a deduction percentage rate up to four (4) decimal places. This capability addresses statutory deductions that have more than two (2) percentage decimal places like the New York City Family Medical Leave Act (i.e., 0.126%).

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Versions: AM10 for SQL and Express
AM9 for SQL, Express, and LAN
AM8 for SQL, Express, and LAN
AM7 for LAN

Module: GL

Q: I want to create a budget for the new fiscal year based on last year’s actual balances. How can I do this?

A: Perform the following to create a new budget record for the new fiscal year:

  1. Access the Budget Maintenance function.
  2. Enter the Budget ID, Description, and Budget Year.
  3. In the Multiple Account Update > Update Source area, select the Actual Balances option; then, select the appropriate year in the Actual Balance Year field.
  4. Click the Start Update button.
  5. Click OK on the message box that confirms the completion of budget calculation.
  6. Click Save to save the budget record.

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Versions: AM10 for SQL and Express
AM9 for SQL, Express, and LAN
AM8 for SQL, Express, and LAN
AM7 for LAN

Module: GL

Q: I have the GL module and several subsidiary modules. I have verified that I ran period-end closing up to the last period in all subsidiary modules. When I checked GL reports, it appears that last year’s balances were not forwarded to the new fiscal year. Why?

A: You may have closed each subsidiary modules’ last period for the fiscal year but you have not closed the fiscal year. To close the fiscal year, run the Fiscal Year-End Closing function from the General Ledger > Housekeeping menu. To verify your current fiscal year, access the GL Module Setup > General tab; then, check the year in the Year-End Closing > Current Year field.

CAUTION: Be sure to have a complete backup of the database and review the Year-End Closing Procedures document before you close the fiscal year.

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Versions: AM10 for SQL and Express
AM9 for SQL, Express, and LAN
AM8 for SQL, Express, and LAN
AM7 for LAN

Module: PR

Q: When I accessed the AccountMate main program immediately after installing the Payroll Tax Subscription Program, I encountered the message, “The FUTA Credit Reduction State of all states will be reset to zero. If you want to accrue and deposit the anticipated extra FUTA liability throughout the year, then manually update the state’s FUTA Credit Reduction Rate using the Federal Tax Tables Maintenance function.” What does this mean?

A: This message is displayed the first time you launch AccountMate after installing the Payroll Tax Subscription Program for the tax year. The program will reset the FUTA Credit Reduction Rate for all states to zero. If you want to accrue and deposit the anticipated extra FUTA liability throughout the tax year, then you must manually update the state’s FUTA Credit Reduction Rate in the Federal Tax Tables Maintenance > FUTA Credit Reduction State(s) grid; otherwise, AccountMate will calculate the FUTA tax based on the standard FUTA rate which is 0.60%.  For the IRS list of states which will then need to be edited, please see here.

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