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Good afternoon, everybody. My name's Perri Lafferty and I am your host today for our Free Training Friday.
What we're talking about today is the most exciting part of the Abacus Accounting program: journal entries. I'm sure you all will agree that journal entries are just so much fun. You've probably been sitting on the edge of your seat all week waiting to get to this presentation, so here we go. Basically, I'm hoping what you see on my screen is a little message that, when I logged in just a few moments ago it let me know that I had some recurring journal entries already set up in the system, and it's wanting to know if I would like to go ahead and merge them now. This message will automatically appear, if we do a couple of setup steps, if you do in fact set up some recurring journal entries.
Now, what am I talking about? What's a recurring journal entry? Well, we know how much fun it is to have to go in and put these things in every month. Journal entries will take care of things that we don't normally handle with a check writer or the client payment screen. Obviously we have a couple of different check writers in our accounts payable system as well as a place under the Billing drop-down menu to enter client payment.
But what we're talking about today are the financial transactions that happen outside of those two areas, so things that automatically are withdrawn from the company bank account every month. I could give a couple of examples here. How about bank service charges? That's not something we technically write checks for. That is something that the bank just reaches in and takes out every month. And of course, I'm sure if you've ever tried to balance your bank account and you're out of balance by the amount of that bank service charge, that's a little irritating. What I'm proposing here is a way to set these up so at the beginning of every month Abacus will simply merge them into our posting area for journal entries and we don't have to physically think about setting them up each time. All we do is post them.
I'm going to go kind of behind the scenes here and show you how this happens. I'm not going to utilize this option right now because I want you to see how this is done. I'm going to say no right here, and of course, now I'm going to go show you how we do this.
We’re under the GL, General Ledger, drop-down menu. Normally, if we did not use a recurring journal entry, we would have to come in through post-journal entries and set them up ourselves. So just to take a look here so we know what I'm talking about, this is the posting area for journal entries, so through the normal posting functions we have on the right here. We would have to go through, add, and set this up, putting in our debit accounts, putting in our credit accounts, saving it, and then waiting to post it.
Well, what I'm saying is that Abacus can kind of help you along with this, because journal entries are such a pain in the hiney, if we can set them up ahead of time it's a good thing. I'm going to come in here and show you where we go to do that, under Recurring Journal Entries, we open this up, and I've actually set up a couple beforehand so that they're already here, so that you don't have to watch me type all day. What we see here is the place where we set them up. I'm going to take one of these, let's say a monthly health insurance premium. I know when I was working in the real world, the company I worked for, the bank came in and took out ... or I should say the health insurance company came in and got the money out of our account each month without me ever writing a check. So to record that into your General Ledger, this is where we're setting it up.
Let's look and see what we do. Basically, the type of entry, general's fine, or you can use cash receipt or cash disbursement. They all go to all the same places in the GL, then, the date that it's happening. The program will increment each month for you. You can see this is back in April, that's when I actually put this one in, but every time it merges, it merges with the new current month. Of course, the dollar amount, a nice description of what we're doing, and then one time, and just one time, we have to set up the debit and credit account.
Now, this is where Abacus support or any training that you have with Abacus can help you with this if you do have questions. But think about it, we set it up once, then the Abacus program will take care of it for us each month, even if the amount changes, and we'll be able to use this feature. So here you can see I'm debiting my health insurance expense account, and I'm crediting my operating account. That's what has to be set up.
Now, once this is finished they'll be remaining in this section here waiting to be merged. Now, you can do this manually, which is what I'm going to do. Otherwise, that message that just popped up when you came into the webinar today and we saw it said, "You have four recurring journal entries to be merged. Do you want to merge them now?" This is what Abacus does. Abacus comes in, we don't have to do this, and I'm going to do this for September since we're still in September. It puts in the current month, it puts in the current year, it selects them, and it merges them. Well, that's not good.
Let's see what it's going to do there. Okay, let's see if it came through for us. Okay. Well, you know what? Let's try this again. I'm going to set up a brand new one and go for this. Let's see here. Click on Add, pretend this is for a line of credit, put this in with today's date, let's say it's $500 a month for line of credit. All right. Go to our debit account, we're paying off the line of credit, so of course we need to have that set up on our chart of accounts. Let's see if I've got one in here for this. Okay, let's see. Line of credit, right there. All right, and the dollar amount. So I'm setting this one up from scratch. The others I already had set up, but Abacus is being a little persnickety today, so let's see if I can do this on the fly. And done.
Okay, so now when these are to be merged we should be able to come in, select them, and merge them. Okay, it's not liking that. Let me try this and just make it a nine, see if that's the little problem I seem to be having here. I'll take this out and just put in September. Okay, try that one more time. Okay. Well, this is great, very interesting. Basically, it should have taken those and placed them right in here for us so then now all we'd have to do is hit the post button. Oh, don't you love it when everything just flies apart right when you need it to work?
Okay, so basically they're going to come in here, and then you're not stuck with having to set up the debits and the credits every month. So it would be like they were already in here, and then we would actually post them. So let me just show you, without actually being able to use that feature, how this works, one more time. Let's find our line of credit account. Let me open this up. Of course, we can just type that in there and that will actually find it a little quicker for us. Okay, and let's see here. This is the operating account. Okay, let's see if this will save it for me here. Okay, so what you do is you'd have them all set up in here.
Now, I need to make the point that if there is something that is a variable, in other words, every month it changes, like, perhaps, bank service charges. Maybe you get charged on the number of cleared items that you have, or deposits that you have, something like that. Well, in that case we would set it up originally under the recurring with a penny. All right? Just set it up that the amount is a penny. Then, when it merges like it's supposed to into this little bucket here, we actually can edit it by highlighting it and clicking on the Edit button, and coming in and changing the dollar amount to what it has to be for that month. So we just set it up one time.
If you do set it up with a penny I think it catches your eye a little better so you can see, "Oh, my goodness. That's a penny. What the heck is that? Nothing costs a penny anymore." So you'd know that you need to edit that and change it to be the correct amount to what it should be. You do it here on the Amount tab, you do it on the Debit tab, and then you do it on the Credit tab.
There we are. All right. Now, from here, now the user takes over and decides if they want to post this and when they want to post it. Obviously, this is set up with today's date. The program will merge all of your recurring payables with the current month and the current year so that they're in here and can be merged. Obviously, the last step would be to take this and post it, and then of course it is in your general ledger, it's affecting all of your financial statements as well as all the places in the program that it needs to be, in your bank rec, it will be there for you to clear. That is to take away some of the work that's behind setting up journal entries.
I'm going to try one more thing here because this is just befuddling me. I'm actually going to come over here and I'm going to close my program and reenter it and see if I can do that. Okay, let me go back here, and let's come in here from Abacus Law and see if I can, maybe by kick-starting it, it will go through the process for me. I appreciate your patience with this. I guess it's been one of those days; one of those days for Abacus. But let's see what we can do here.
Of course, while this is happening, booting up here, I want to make sure we understand that you could, if you wanted to, put these entries through, say, the demand check writer and mark it as a non-check, something that was done kind of like the online transactions that we do. You could do it that way. But then you are having to do all that work every month. You have to go in and put them in each time. That's why I'm suggesting we use the recurring journal entries.
Here's the one for recurring payables, so let's see if that's going to play nice with us today. It merged my recurring payables, which is a little different topic. Let's see if it will now merge my recurring journal entries. Okay, there's an issue going on in here somewhere. But I can give you kind of the idea here, recurring payables is kind of the same thing, except we use it for payables themselves, so it's the same function, it's just set up under AP. So this is basically, you would come in here and set up payables, things you do write checks for every month. Then, when you merge them, when you tell it, "Yes, go ahead and merge them," it pops it into entering post payables so that you still can edit it. Remember, these are payables, what we were supposed to see today were journal entries, but that little ... it's giving me problems here.
In the same light, it's still a posting function. It merges into the bucket, if y'all have had any training classes with me you've heard me talking about buckets, all the posting buckets in Abacus. Then of course you can highlight them, edit them, and make changes here. That is the fluidity behind the actual function itself. But I do apologize that my program's a little persnickety today and is not letting me get to those recurring journal entries to post them. But that's the theory behind it.
And as I did mention, if you wanted to go through the demand check writer and enter those recurring journal entries one at a time, you could do that. But you would want to check this box so that when you got to the print screen you're not using a real check number. Abacus will give it a transaction number and it will appear that way throughout the system. In other words, in the bank rec, and throughout the GL it will have a transaction number that ends in an A if you do it through here. If you do it through journal entries the system assigns it a journal entry number and will display it as that in the bank reconciliation. So they look a little different depending on the place that they originate from.
Q & A
What about weekly recurring payments?
If you did have weekly, or maybe even bi-monthly situations where there's more than one journal entry, or even payable, because we're kind of stretching over to the payable side as well today, when you set them up you can set up multiples. I do have something in here, I think the first one I set up here was for the payroll. This, by the way, is normally the way Abacus is now directing you to enter your payroll since there's not a direct payroll module attached here. This would be a great place to go ahead and set up a journal entry for payroll, and then of course you can edit the amount each month.
But getting back to the question, what you want to do is, simply with the dates, the date really referring to the day of the month, okay, not so much the month or the year, but the date, you'd put one in for the first week of the month, and one in for the second week of the month, and it would identify itself through the date itself. So, the first week of September, the second week of September, you would simply add journal entries using that date.
Then, when they merge you will have four if you put up one for each week, and actually, when we go through training for payroll I tell people, "Actually, set up five because there's two months of the year where there's five weeks if you get paid on a weekly basis, and if you merge them into the bucket so they all five come over here, you can simply delete the one that is not necessarily if it happens to be a four-week month. In other situations, not just payroll, if you're setting up three whatever it might be, and only two happen, when they get into the bucket we still have the ability to delete. So you definitely can highlight it and delete it if it's not proper for that specific month. I hope that answered that question.
Do you have any recommendations on a payroll service?
There are a lot out there. I don't know that Abacus advises you to use one over another. At this point we cannot import that information into the system, that's why I'm stressing to set up a journal entry, and let's just look at this journal entry since we kind of mentioned payroll. You can see when you're in here, this is kind of why you want to set it up one time, you're going to have lots of accounts that are going to be on the debit side, and several different accounts that are going to be on the credit side as well. So it's really ... I'm not going to suggest one payroll service after another, obviously I would talk to them. The volume that you have will make a difference with them, but they should be able to give you a form that shows you exactly what happens so that you can make this journal entry simply. It's not rocket science to set this up.
Here again, if you get this and you want somebody to help you to set it up at Abacus, we're happy to. That's why we have our support staff, and that's why I do trainings on this, so that we can set up specifically what works for your firm as far as the debits and credits, but I really can't give you the name of just one, there are lots out there.
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