The Period End and Politics..


H

hywel

Our company operates Sage Line 50, with three people providing input -
me: payroll and Job Costing, the MD: sales invoices and our
book-keeper: purchase invoices, nominal and cash.
Our book-keeper - a lady in her late 50s - keeps separate books
containing every transaction ever made and her month end
reconciliation is a masterpiece of detail to the point of obsessive
compulsion... This process usually takes between two and three weeks
to complete.
Part of this compulsion results in her not allowing the posting of any
of the following months transactions until she has finished her opus.
This did not used to cause any problems before we became fully
computerised but is now providing endless hassles.
How can we persuade her that a new months transactions will have
little or no effect on her beloved Period End? Being nice middle-class
males, we are trying to avoid conflict and tears - so any suggested
responses should not involve the F word.

Thanks for your help.

David
(no names no pack drill, she might read this - and yes, I am a mouse)
 
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E

Edward Cowling London UK

hywel said:
computerised but is now providing endless hassles.
How can we persuade her that a new months transactions will have
little or no effect on her beloved Period End? Being nice middle-class
males, we are trying to avoid conflict and tears - so any suggested
responses should not involve the F word.
There is only one solution ! New more flexible accounting person !

By the sound of it you already know this.
 
J

John Blake

Our company operates Sage Line 50, with three people providing input -
me: payroll and Job Costing, the MD: sales invoices and our
book-keeper: purchase invoices, nominal and cash.
Our book-keeper - a lady in her late 50s - keeps separate books
containing every transaction ever made and her month end
reconciliation is a masterpiece of detail to the point of obsessive
compulsion... This process usually takes between two and three weeks
to complete.
Part of this compulsion results in her not allowing the posting of any
of the following months transactions until she has finished her opus.
This did not used to cause any problems before we became fully
computerised but is now providing endless hassles.
How can we persuade her that a new months transactions will have
little or no effect on her beloved Period End? Being nice middle-class
males, we are trying to avoid conflict and tears - so any suggested
responses should not involve the F word.
Still taking weeks AFTER computerisation? Seeing as a month only runs
4 and a bit weeks you don't have weeks to wait for her to finish.

At the end of the day, month, quarter, year, the data being gathered
in SAGE is for information purposes. On a month to month basis, you
just need to know that business activity is generally heading in the
direction expected. Quarterly you need it fairly tight for VAT and
PAYE (assuming small company limits apply as the MD is doing accounts
type work). Annually you need accurate data for the statutory
reporting. So her being overly protective EVERY month is being
unreasonable.

A compromise should be reached assuming that the areas you and the MD
work on are unavailable whilst she does her bit. 2 out of every 3
months the accounts should be closed off and complete within a week
and every quarter she could have an extra week.

Having said that, I don't know Sage Line 50. I have used older Sage
products where you could close different parts of the system when they
were complete. In your scenario closing the payroll, costing and sales
/ order processing sections should be do-able early enough so that you
two can get on and she can take as long as she needs to do what she
needs to do. Transactions then get stored until she is ready to post
them into the new month.
 
P

Peter Saxton

Our company operates Sage Line 50, with three people providing input -
me: payroll and Job Costing, the MD: sales invoices and our
book-keeper: purchase invoices, nominal and cash.
Our book-keeper - a lady in her late 50s - keeps separate books
containing every transaction ever made and her month end
reconciliation is a masterpiece of detail to the point of obsessive
compulsion... This process usually takes between two and three weeks
to complete.
What are the separate books?

Why does it take a long time to reconcile?
Part of this compulsion results in her not allowing the posting of any
of the following months transactions until she has finished her opus.
What is her reason for not allowing following month postings?
This did not used to cause any problems before we became fully
computerised but is now providing endless hassles.
How can we persuade her that a new months transactions will have
little or no effect on her beloved Period End? Being nice middle-class
males, we are trying to avoid conflict and tears - so any suggested
responses should not involve the F word.

Thanks for your help.

David
(no names no pack drill, she might read this - and yes, I am a mouse)
If she can't justify her attitude get ride of her.



(e-mail address removed)
 
H

hywel

Thanks, chaps, you are probably right. But on the basis that she can
be saved, how do I persude her that the new months figures will not
affect the previous month or the sanctity of her reconciliation? (As
far as she is concerned, once the reconciliation is done - nothing can
be posted back to that month.)

I assume that every transaction is date related and therefore month
related. So a July transaction date will always be part of the July
reports that form the basis of the rec. What happens to a late June
supplier invoice? If the reports are date related then it would mess
up her reconciliation wouldn't it? Would she apply a July date to it
to avoid affecting June's figures? How do you do it?

Thanks you for your patience in dealing with a non-accountant!

David
 
H

hywel

Ignore my last message!

Our accountant, someone with whom she the highest respect, has
persuaded her that she is wrong. What a way with words he has! She
said yes without noticing..

Thanks for your help.

David
 
P

Peter Saxton

Ignore my last message!

Our accountant, someone with whom she the highest respect, has
persuaded her that she is wrong. What a way with words he has! She
said yes without noticing..

Thanks for your help.

David
Congratulations!

I'm still wondering what reconciliations she is doing. I get by with
only reconciling the bank accounts regularly. Most other accounts can
be verified without very much work required.

Is it possible to explain what work is done at the month end to enable
people to give their views?



(e-mail address removed)
 
H

hywel

Sorry I didn't get back to you - I was out celebrating!!

She reconciles sales and purchase invoices, the bank, petty cash, VAT
and all journals. She essentially reconciles the differences between
her book, which she regards as sacrosanct, against entries in Sage. So
hers is a double check on the accuracy of data entry.

In fairness to her, two of us are now also inputting into Line 50 via
Sage Job Costing and a CIS (construction tax) program called JNC Tax
Manager 50. These two programs both have their strange ways - Job
Costing invoices don't hit the sales invoicing system in Line 50 or
update the invoice number, but do create an invoice transaction and
JNC does hit sales invoicing but only applies a restrictive view of
invoice details. These two programs have encouraged her to rely even
more heavily on her manual books, so the whole process is very long
winded!

I have been using computers - and account systems (Pegasus) - since
1984 and even I am conscious of the horrendous problems they can
sometimes cause. Although I feel her approach is over the top, it is
nice to know it is all being written down somewhere!

David
 
A

Andy Pandy

Yes On Mon, 21 Jul 2003 17:44:02 +0100, Peter Saxton

I agree peter. i use Line 50 and only need to recconcile the Bank.

I usually only do the month end P&L etc once i have entered all the
relevant transactions for that month but this is more to do with the
fact that it is tidier and above all I have the luxury of that choice.

Andy







I c
 
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H

hywel

I agree with you both, her method seems very long winded and
superfluous. If I were in charge I would tell her to spend her time
doing something more useful. But I'm not and I can't!
As to Sage Job Costing; IMHO it is a very good system, let down by
several odd features - the one I've already mentioned, the inability
to allow personalised cost categories (eg Bought Out Materials etc)
and the inability to backup Line 50 without asking everyone to come
out of Job Costing! Reporting, although good, also has some strange
quirks. (You can't add brought forward costs onto a current cost
transaction report)
I used to sell a better Job Costing systems myself (Resource 32000
from Mondas) and we looked at systems right up to 45k (Evision; a
version of Navision) but the Sage offering was, we felt, simple and
well-finished. The fact that it was £35k cheaper was also noted!
My view is that a lot of mid-range suppliers are obsessed with
customising and adding to their products at the expense of useability.
You may not like Sage Job Costing, Peter, but I think you will agree
that it is easy to use.

Regards
David
 
P

Peter Saxton

I agree with you both, her method seems very long winded and
superfluous. If I were in charge I would tell her to spend her time
doing something more useful. But I'm not and I can't!
As to Sage Job Costing; IMHO it is a very good system, let down by
several odd features - the one I've already mentioned, the inability
to allow personalised cost categories (eg Bought Out Materials etc)
and the inability to backup Line 50 without asking everyone to come
out of Job Costing! Reporting, although good, also has some strange
quirks. (You can't add brought forward costs onto a current cost
transaction report)
I used to sell a better Job Costing systems myself (Resource 32000
from Mondas) and we looked at systems right up to 45k (Evision; a
version of Navision) but the Sage offering was, we felt, simple and
well-finished. The fact that it was £35k cheaper was also noted!
My view is that a lot of mid-range suppliers are obsessed with
customising and adding to their products at the expense of useability.
You may not like Sage Job Costing, Peter, but I think you will agree
that it is easy to use.

Regards
David
It's easy to use. But have you tried preparing an estimate or quote
and then raising purchase orders from the estimate and matching them
with supplier invoices? It certainly didn't do that a few years ago.



(e-mail address removed)
 
G

GoldenGun

Peter Saxton said:
It's easy to use. But have you tried preparing an estimate or quote
and then raising purchase orders from the estimate and matching them
with supplier invoices? It certainly didn't do that a few years ago.
Have you tried riding an upside-down bicycle backwards down a
drain-pipe Peter, or driving a wet helicopter through an acre of
spinache?
 
H

hywel

Peter Saxton said:
It's easy to use. But have you tried preparing an estimate or quote
and then raising purchase orders from the estimate and matching them
with supplier invoices? It certainly didn't do that a few years ago.



(e-mail address removed)
You're right. There is no relationship between estimating (we use a
separate program for estimating) and Job Costing - I simply use the
estimate to populate the cost budget against the job - it takes 5
minutes.
As to POs - we are just starting to enter them against the job. They
show on cost reports as committments until the invoice arrives when
they become costs. So, yes, you can match POs to invoices. An order is
never accrued on Line 50 - it doesn't post anything to Line 50 at
order level - which is fine by me - we just need to know expected
costs so we can charge the clients!

David
 
P

Peter Saxton

You're right. There is no relationship between estimating (we use a
separate program for estimating) and Job Costing - I simply use the
estimate to populate the cost budget against the job - it takes 5
minutes.
As to POs - we are just starting to enter them against the job. They
show on cost reports as committments until the invoice arrives when
they become costs. So, yes, you can match POs to invoices. An order is
never accrued on Line 50 - it doesn't post anything to Line 50 at
order level - which is fine by me - we just need to know expected
costs so we can charge the clients!

David
Isn't it best to link invoices and purchase orders? I couldn't do that
when using Job Costing as well.



(e-mail address removed)
 
H

hywel

Isn't it best to link invoices and purchase orders? I couldn't do that
when using Job Costing as well.



(e-mail address removed)
They are linked. The process is as follows:
1.The PO is issued (in Job Costing)creating a committment on the job.
(No effect on Line 50)
2.The delivery note comes in and is matched against the order.
3.The invoice comes in and is matched against the order in Job
Costing, moving the committment on the job to a cost and raising the
invoice/credit in Line 50.
I haven't checked, but I am sure you can then show orders with their
related delivery notes and invoice numbers in Job Costing.
Cleverer software, like the one I used to sell, can show an accrual on
delivery and include order values against 'Goods Awaiting Invoice'
codes, but we are quite happy with the simple Sage solution.
It's pretty good.

David
 
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P

Peter Saxton

They are linked. The process is as follows:
1.The PO is issued (in Job Costing)creating a committment on the job.
(No effect on Line 50)
2.The delivery note comes in and is matched against the order.
3.The invoice comes in and is matched against the order in Job
Costing, moving the committment on the job to a cost and raising the
invoice/credit in Line 50.
I haven't checked, but I am sure you can then show orders with their
related delivery notes and invoice numbers in Job Costing.
Cleverer software, like the one I used to sell, can show an accrual on
delivery and include order values against 'Goods Awaiting Invoice'
codes, but we are quite happy with the simple Sage solution.
It's pretty good.

David
When I looked at Job Costing you couldnt go from PO to PI via Job
Costing I think. You could do various combinations but not all three.


(e-mail address removed)
 

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