Every business person would agree that effective management of receivables is vital to the successful operation of any business. Our powerful and comprehensive Accounts Receivable module provides you with the information necessary to accurately monitor accounts and maintain steady cash flow.
To meet the various needs of our clients, our Accounts Receivable module supports both balance-forward and open-item accounts. Both methods can be used on the system at the same time; balance-forward for some account customers and open-item for others.
Account customers may be accessed by any of three different lookup methods:
Customer code, name (any portion, e.g. first, last, middle) or telephone number. In addition to the usual customer identification information, space is provided in the customer maintenance area for a user defined customer category code, contact name, up to six telephone and fax numbers, ship via information, terms information, credit limit, high balance, Creditel information, tax numbers, flags for statement generation, finance charge calculation, P.O. required, date account opened, date of last purchase and date of last payment, etc. The Customer Master also contains a "salutation" which is used for generating actual letters in conjunction with Word Processing / Mail Merge functions.
Account type is also defined, allowing you to specify the type of orders for this customer, e.g. cash only, C.O.D., or preferred (meaning they cannot go "on-hold" - see Security at the end of this section).
Another field contains additional notes of a more generic basis, e.g. business hours, "after hours" phone numbers, subsidiaries, or other associated companies which you service, etc. Date/time stamped customer memos are also retained to facilitate contact management.
Tickler dates (review dates) can also be entered. This allows you to generate Aged Trial Balance reports for customer accounts requiring review or simply a follow up.
Customers can be set up to use different currencies. This allows you to quote amounts and maintain accounts using your customer's currency. E.g. a Japanese customer's account is maintained in Yen. When they get a statement, showing an outstanding amount of 10,000 Yen, they can simply process a cheque for 10,000 Yen. No exchange calculations are required. The program will calculate the exchange.
The Accounts Receivable module allows interactive entry of sales, credit memos, debit memos and finance charges. The sales fields entered are sales, miscellaneous, freight, sales taxes and cost. Sales taxes can be automatically calculated by the system, with a provision for user override. Sales may be distributed to many different general ledger accounts. Capabilities for edit reporting, a sales journal and posting to the open item file are provided, with a full paper audit trail.
If the comprehensive Sales Analysis Module is functional, full invoice details are accessible within the A/R Inquiry program. When a customer's invoices are listed on the screen, you can hit the key and the full invoice will be displayed, showing all items, prices and taxes.
The system has a provision for recurring fees that is used to bill fees that occur on a regular basis, e.g. monthly. It maintains all relevant customer information, thus eliminating the need to re-enter the information each billing period. Not only does this feature save time and reduce errors, but it prevents billings from being overlooked.
Invoices can be generated within the Accounts Receivable module or can be generated within the POS module along with small cash receipts if required. Company names can be preprinted on your forms or printed by the computer.
Open Item: Cash received may be distributed to outstanding invoices during cash receipts entry. Once the customer number and document number are entered for an open-item customer, a list of this customer's invoices will appear. Using the "point and shoot" method, you can select any invoice for payment as desired. If invoice numbers are not known, payments can simply be applied to the account.
Balance Forward: Payments are simply applied to the account. The system will internally apply the payment to the oldest invoices to accommodate aging on inquiries and statements.
Cash receipts can also be entered within POS if that module is functional. This allows the sales clerks to receive "payments on account" as well as processing charge and cash sales.
Finance charges are handled by the A/R module in a very logical fashion. The user defines the percentage to charge for overdue accounts as well as the minimum charge amount, helping to avoid situations where finance charges amounting to a couple of cents show up on customers' accounts. You can adjust finance charges to apply to all delinquent accounts or request that specific groups or types of clients be exempted.
Aged Trial Balance Report
The Aged Trial Balance report is very flexible. It allows you to tailor reports to the specific requirements of the firm, so that they are meaningful to the particular business situation. Reports can be printed in four manners:
- In detail (includes each invoice amount)
- In summary (includes aged totals for each customer)
- Delinquent accounts only
- An aged grand total of all outstanding amounts
Four aging periods can be used which may be aged by number of months or number of days from either the invoice date or the due date. The report may be sorted by customer number order, customer name or by salesman number.
Sales analysis information can be derived directly from the Accounts Receivable module, showing profitability of each customer or each salesperson on a per-month or a year-to-date basis.
Fast and Easy Account Inquiry
The powerful Accounts Receivable inquiry mode is accessed directly from the terminal, making it easy to answer customer telephone inquiries. Inquiries may include sales history if the Point of Sale / Order Entry module is in operation. It shows full account detail with aging and immediately notifies you if the account is over its credit limit or delinquent. If desired, invoice details can also be displayed. Account inquiry may be quickly accessed by customer name, number or by running a scan to pull up specific groups of customers. Reprinting of specific invoices is extremely simple and the optional faxing feature is also available.
The Accounts Receivable module produces statements that are designed for stuffing into a window envelope. Statements are "date sensitive", allowing you to continue processing the next month's transactions even though you have not completed the month end just finished.
Statement selection is extremely versatile. Statements can be printed by customer code, name, salesperson, and/or category code ranges. Options exist to suppress printing zero balance statements, print only accounts with current activity, or print only delinquent accounts. There are also options to automatically print standard or dunning messages, based on the aging of the account. Statement can be faxed directly if desired.
Mailing labels may be generated by customer name, customer code, customer category or salesperson.
They can also be selected based on account balances or last purchase date, e.g. print labels for all customers with balances over $500 (for collection purposes) or for all customers with purchases in the last 3 months (for the new flyer or promotion, etc.).
The Accounts Receivable module is fully integrated with the POS, Inventory, Service Dispatch and Work Order Processing, General Ledger and Sales Analysis modules.
In particular, for the POS module, the Customer Master allows you to preset:
- The inventory price levels along with applicable customer discounts
- Multiple ship-to addresses for customers that require them
- Messages for display to order entry or shipping clerks >
Activant Silk's custom menu design allows you to control which menu options are available to each staff member. This allows you to restrict access to any or all of the Accounts Receivable programs.
For example, you can prevent access to A/R completely for the Accounts Payable clerk, or you can allow another staff member to print out Aged Trial Balance's and statements but restrict them from performing any postings or updating of accounts.
Accounts "On Hold"
The POS module calculates account aging and credit limits when entering new sales. Sales clerks are notified immediately if a customer's account is overdue or over their credit limit. New orders can not be created under this condition unless approved by someone with the authorization to override the "on-hold" status.