Common questions with answers for basic account procedures
Q. Why is the bank balance I see when I go to write a check not the correct balance for that checking account?
|Check Entry bank balance display.|
A. The balance seen on the check or deposit entry screen is a quick "snapshot" based on all cleared/uncleared entries for the current year. Unlike bank balances in reports like the Bank Account Summary, Check Register, Trial Balance or Balance Sheet this value is not a calculated from accounting transactions. In effect, it's the "tail of the dog," not the "dog" itself.
|Changing Bank Account Display|
If this value ever gets off, it's easy to correct. Run a one of the reports above through the last entry date for the year, then go to Setup | Accounting | Ledger Accounts and find the appropriate bank ledger account. Highlight it and click Change. You will see the bottom field that says current bank balance. Type in the correct bank balance then click OK and Save. Emphasizing again, this will not affect ledger bank balances; this is a display value only.
Q. I am getting a lot of run time errors when I try to run reports or save entries. What is causing the issue and what should I do about it?
First close completely out of FBS and your computer. This will close out files, even those running in the background that you can't see running. Then restart your computer and FBS, and in FBS go to Utilities | Recover Bad Data. That will correct any data base errors in FBS.
These steps will "fix" the errors/issues most of the time, but if you have tried this and continue to have run time errors while in FBS it could be something more, and it is best to contact FBS support to try and find the unique cause of your run time errors.
Q. Every time I go to input a check I get a message that says I don't have my ledger accounts set up for A/P or A/R. I don't have Accounts Payable or Accounts Receivabl modules so why am I getting this message, and how do I get it to go away?
A. If you're not using either the A/P or A/R modules then you can click OK and ignore this message without affecting your data or the entries. To completely shut this message off go to Set Preferences and scroll down until you find the lines labeled "TA+ Disable A/P" and "TA+ Disable A/R." In the column type in Y and click on the Save button.
|Preference setting to remove A/P and A/R warning message.|
Q. My Norton Internet Security quarantined some of my FBS files when I scanned my computer, and now I get a Runtime 53 error when I select certain FBS modules. Is my FBS software infected with a virus? How do I fix the problem so I can run FBS?
A. Several users have experienced an issue with their security software quarantining FBS files. It seems that recent updates to Norton Internet Security, Norton 360 and other virus protection programs are looking for files with similar naming formats to the FBS program files. While FBS itself is not infected, but there is a known virus that is named or mimics FBS and other programs, so to err on the side of caution the security software programs are quarantining these files.
The fix for this issue will vary depending on the version of security software system installed; therefore, we can't provide specific help in this process. However, the general goal is to exclude the FBSWIN program file folder from future security scans. If you don't know how to do this, call your security software's customer support line for assistance. Once the FBS program files are excluded from the virus scan they will need to be repaired. Insert the latest FBS CD, and run it like you would to install your yearly upgrades. This will replace any files that were quarantined and removed during the scan. Once that is done FBS should be up and running
Q. I've noticed that when I run reports for past years and drill down to look at the checks and deposits that the entries are changing the bank account that they are written to.
Q. How do I record a debit card or ACH purchase?
A. It's very easy--just record it like a check.
Input | General | Check and click Add. Select the correct bank account and then in the Check Number field enter "Debit Card," "ACH," or "EFT" plus the date of the entry in numeric format (i.e. "062511" to represent June 25, 2011). Then complete the remaining fields just like a check. This entry will be show up as a check on the Check Register/Reconciliation report and the Clear Checks and Depositscreen.
**Note that this process can also be used with Accounts Payable payments as an alternative to printing checks.
Q. How do I get my primary checking account to be the "default"account for checks and deposits? Also is there a way that I can keep my savings accounts from being included with the list of checking accounts?
- The "default" bank account on the data entry screen is normally the bank account that is first numerically on the Ledger Account Setup. So one way to move a bank account to the top of the selection list is to simply change its number so it's the first on the list. (FBS permits on-the-fly account relabeling without disturbing historical transactions.)
- The second way to set a specific bank account as the default is to go to Utilities | Set Preferences and find the TA+ Entry Bank Account line. In the Value column enter the desired bank account number and click Save.
|Default Bank Account Preference|
Savings accounts will appear on the list of bank accounts if they are set to Type M. If you never write checks or drafts from the savings account, change it to Type A (Standard). You can use a journal entry to record deposits and withdrawals.
Otherwise number it with a higher number than the bank accounts so it's displayed on the bottom of the pick list.
Q. I recently got a check from my crop insurance. From the claim they took out 2011's premiums, so how do I record this so that it properly records the expense and the income?
- For the amount of the deposit, enter the net amount of the check you received.
- Then enter the total amount of this year's premium to an expense account. (You can split that value between one or more crop centers here if you like.)
- Finally, enter the total income from last year's claim (which can also be split between crop centers is appropriate).
- The amount to balance will change to $0 and you can save the entry. Now you've recorded the crop insurance income and the expense in just one entry!
Q. What's the best way to void checks?
A. There are two ways to void a check in TransAction Plus.
- If you want to keep a record within your general ledger that the check was written, then voided, go to the original check and remove the amount and put "Void" in the Description. You can also change the vendor to "Void" if you don't want to keep track of which vendor the check was originally written to.
- The other way to void a check is simple to delete the original check. TransAction Plus maintains a full audit trail of all deleted entries including the Date Deleted. Just go to Accounting Other Reports | Deleted Entries to view
Q. What’s the best way to reconcile my checking accounts at the end of the month?
A. You can reconcile checks a couple of different ways depending on whether you clear your checks as you write them or clear them when the statement comes.
If you clear the checks as you write them the best report to run to reconcile is the Check Register/Check Reconciliation Report. This is straight-forward report asks for dates and account, but the biggest influence of what you get is the box that says “Date range uses check date.”
If you check the box it will show all checks written during the time period selected; any checks that fall outside the date range will either be reflected in the Beginning Balance or the Cleared After lines. This will give you a chronological list of cleared and un-cleared checks during the date range selected. If you choose not to check the box you will see just the checks that cleared during the date range, even though some these checks were likely written prior to the date range selected. Then at the bottom of the report you will see a list of all un-cleared checks. If you are clearing the checks as you write them then it really doesn't matter which way you run the report since the dates will be the same.
If you choose to wait until the account statement comes from your financial institution, then go to Input and select Clear Checks and Deposits and put in the date cleared for all checks and deposits on the statement. Now when you run the Check Register/Check Reconciliation Report you will see a difference in the two options for running the report. Either date range option can be used to reconcile your accounts, but running by Date Cleared (not checking the box) will give you all the transaction in the order you see them on your bank account statement along with a list of what still hasn't cleared. This makes it very easy to reconcile your statement.
Q. What is the best way to handle credit cards in FBS?
A. This can be handled a couple different ways. The method we will explain here--the simplest approach--will be managing the credit card as a liability bank account. We will be using it as a line of credit from which you can post expenses. Create a ledger account for each credit card as follows:
1. Define the account as Class 4 (Liability) and Type M (Bank Account).
2. Record expenses charged to the card through the Check input screen, using the credit card as the bank account and the retailer/business as the Vendor. Interest and fees can be expensed to the card in the same manner.
3. To record payments to the credit card account, use the Journal Entry screen to transfer money from a bank ledger accounts into the credit card ledger account.*
Through this process you can:
- Track unlimited credit cards (just set up a new liability account for each).
- Code expenses directly to the originating vendor and the appropriate expense account, center and division.
- Monitor credit card balances.
- Record (but not post) on-line payments from your conventional bank accounts.
*The only limitation to this approach is that you can't print a check directly out of FBS; however, you can record the check number in the Entry Number field.