Using Security Groups to Establish Internal Controls author avatar

Taking the time to set up effective security groups is important for having good internal controls. These internal controls can make your accounting department more efficient when you have multiple people working in the same dataset.

 

Why Security Groups are Separate and Different than Server Logins

When you access the accounting system I am sure you have noticed you need to use two sets of credentials. You use your server credentials on the blue/green login screen and then your dataset credentials after selecting the company you are logging into (if you need to use the server credentials twice you can click the “remember my credentials” box or call PROCAS Support at 410-730-4011 extension 2).

There are two login screens because certain users have access to multiple company datasets. These users are typically 3rd parties that provide bookkeeping or CPA services. These users may have different levels of access depending on which company’s dataset they are working in. Because of this, access rights in a dataset are determined by your dataset credentials. These credentials are controlled by you, not by PROCAS, through the Security Groups and Users menu items under System > Company Setup.

 

To set up security groups you will want to open both the Security Groups and Users forms under the System menu. The Security Groups form is where you set up access rights for everyone in a group. The Users form is where you establish login credentials and assign them to a group.

 

How to Set Up Security Groups

On the Security Groups form, either navigate to an existing group that you want to modify, or insert a new group and start from scratch. The header information on this screen contains the code for the security group with the description next to it (Red 1). Most of the screen contains a list of forms on the left and the access rights for that form listed next to it (Purple 2).

 

For users that should have edit rights in all parts of the accounting system, you can use the default controller group. This group has access to most parts of the accounting system by default. If you want to establish a group with very restricted access, I recommend starting with a new group. First, find the menu items you want that group to have access to, and then reference Appendix B of the Accounting User’s Manual to find the code for that form. I will set up my Example group with access to everything in the AP menu of the accounting system to show how it works.

 

Appendix B is organized to match the menus in the accounting system. Once you find the menu you want, look for the code of that form in the appendix. Type the code in the form column of the Security Groups screen and select the type. The options are Edit, View, and None. Having a form not listed on the screen is equivalent to having the None option selected.

 

**Note** Access to the GROUPS and USERS forms should be very limited. Anyone with access to these can change access rights and thereby has access to everything in the accounting system.

 

Setting up User Logins

Now that you have established security groups for the different levels of access you want to give people, it is time to establish logins and passwords for your users. There are two ways that people usually set these up, and I will try to give the pros and cons of both. You can set up a separate login for each individual user, or you can set up one login for each access group.

Setting up each individual user with a separate username/password is slightly more work during implementation or employee onboarding. However, this makes it easier to manage changes in access rights and terminations without compromising data access rights. If someone is terminated and they did not have access to the Security Groups or Users screens, you only need to remove their user from the Users table.

Setting up one login for each level of access might seem easier during set up because you can give new employees the credentials for their department without requiring a change in the accounting system. However, this can cause a headache when employees are terminated. When there is a termination you should really change the credentials for that group, and that will inconvenience other users.

 

Third Party Security Groups

Setting up security groups for third parties is especially important. A lot of times, but not always, third parties are given access to most parts of the accounting system. It is possible to copy the default “controller” security group settings and remove the GROUPS and USERS forms from the list. This will allow people in this group to access most of the accounting system without seeing your company’s usernames and passwords. If your third party will be setting up new users for you, then they will need access to these screens.

Giving third parties a separate security group without access to credentials is important because it gives you control to modify their access as needed. Regardless of setting up these credentials, PROCAS Support should always be contacted when a third party no longer requires access to your dataset.

 

Additional Questions?

If you have additional questions about setting up security groups in the accounting system, you can either turn to the PROCAS Accounting User’s Manual, call PROCAS Support, or call your PROCAS Consultant. There is a pdf copy of the manual available under the help menu when you are logged into PROCAS Time & Expense. You can also call PROCAS Support at 410-730-4011 extension 2 or your consultant to discuss more specific questions you may have about this process.

Using Hotkeys in PROCAS Accounting author avatar

Do you ever get frustrated navigating through the accounting system with your mouse? Do you despise having to remove your hand from the keyboard to move your cursor while setting up contracts? Do you call PROCAS Support and wonder how they sometimes navigate the accounting system without moving the cursor? If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then this is the post for you!

Menu Selection Hotkeys

To start using hotkeys in the accounting system simply hit the “Alt” button on your keyboard. You will notice that the menu will look a little different now. The “File” menu will be selected by default, and all the menu options will have a letter underlined. This is what the menus will look like before and after hitting the “Alt” button:

By pressing any of the underlined letters on your keyboard, you will open the drop-down for that menu. Notice that the menu items for the drop-down also have letters underlined. By pressing the new underlined letters on your keyboard, you can continue to select more menu options. When you press the letter for a menu item that is not a drop-down menu, you will instead open that screen. Here is what your screen would look like if you hit “Alt”, “S”, and then “J” on your keyboard in that order:

** Note ** You can use the arrow keys to navigate the menus instead of letters if you would prefer.

 

Data Entry Hotkeys/Key Combinations

Hotkeys can also be used within a window to make data entry easier. There is a list of hotkeys on page 25 of the PROCAS Accounting User’s Manual version 3.01, but I am going to go through some of my favorite hotkeys and context for why you might like them. I will use the Billing Setup screen as an example, but these hotkeys can be used elsewhere as well.

Keyboard Shortcuts - PROCAS Users Manual v3.01.pdf (116.80 kb)

 

Honestly, if you are only going to use one hotkey in the accounting system, this is the one to use. If you are searching for a specific billing setup or transaction in the system, you can use this to find what you are looking for faster than sifting through records one by one. What is great about this is that you do not need to know the exact transaction you are looking for.

When searching for a value, you can use “..” as a wildcard if you only know part of what you are looking for. For example, if you are looking for a task under project 10005, but you cannot remember which one it is exactly, you can hit “F5” and type “10005..” into the search box. This will take you to the first record that starts with 10005. This can be used at the other end for finding transactions without typing the full transaction number. For example if you are pulling up L101985, you can hit “F5” and search for “..1985” saving you from typing any letters.

 

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When entering information into Billing Setup, or any screen with multiple tabs, it can feel a little tedious to take your hand off the keyboard and click on the next tab. This key combination takes you to the tab number that you type. This means when you finish filling out tab one of Billing Setup, you can hit “Alt” + “2” and you will be taken to tab two of Billing Setup.

This key combination is especially useful in Billing Setup because you can move back to tab one easily and then use “Page Up” or “Page Down” to move to another task. This is nice if you are modifying the billing setup for multiple tasks at once, or if you simply want to look at the setup on another task quickly.

 

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This key combination copies the previous record into the current box. If you are a fan of Excel then this is not a new shortcut for you. This can save you a lot of time when making entries with multiple lines that have similar information. You are most likely to find this useful when making a payroll entry so that you can copy the account from the previous line or maybe when entering purchase journals to copy the vendor code.

A place that you can use this combination that is not very intuitive is tab one of Billing Setup. On tab one this will copy the value from the billing setup of the previous task. When you are adding a new option year you can possibly copy the rollup and revenue accounts from the old task depending on how you want to set it up. Just be careful not to copy the revenue task.

 

So, you are adjusting the details of several transactions, and you need to click back in the header of the transaction after each adjustment so that you can navigate to the next one. Next time you want to move between the header and footer of a transaction, just hit “F4”. Once you are back in the header you can search for the next entry to be adjusted with “F5”, or use “Page Up” and “Page Down” to locate it manually.

 

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This opens the right-click menu. This might not seem like much, but this means you can hit the down arrow after doing so, and then hit enter to select the “Filter…” option. Filtering is great when you are looking through labor journals for a specific employee or purchase journals for a specific vendor. Just make sure that you DO NOT insert any transactions while you have a field filtered.

 

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You just learned how to filter and inserted a transaction while filtered before reading where I said not to, or maybe you have inserted a duplicate personnel record. Regardless of how you got to where you are, if you need to undo something you just created, use this key combination. This seems to be most useful when you have that coworker down the hall that creates personnel records without telling you, so now you are stuck with a duplicate record error on your screen.

 

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For one reason or another you need to create a manual labor journal transaction. You just want to type in two lines of detail, but first you need to fill out all those fields in the header. Save yourself the trouble, and use this combination to copy the current transaction you are on. Then you can modify data as needed instead of starting from scratch.

 

Popular Menu Keyboard Shortcuts

Here is a short list of some key combinations to open frequently accessed menu items after hitting the “Alt” key:

 

                Menu Item Name                            Key Combination

                Purchases Journal                            AAI

                Advanced Purchases Journal         AAD

                Automated Checks                           AAA

                Billing Setup                                       SJG

                General Journal                                 AGJ

                Receipts Journal                               ASJ

                Triggers Journal                                AGT

 

Show Off Your Skills

Now that you know how to use hotkeys in the system, what better use is there than showing off your skills? Enjoy the convenience as you are now able to save precious seconds while navigating the accounting system. Seriously though, these hotkeys will help you navigate the system much faster and save you a lot of time throughout the day.