Linking Transactions in PROCAS author avatar

Transaction linking is a process unique to PROCAS. Think of it as telling a story through accounting transactions. Linking occurs when transactions become and, if necessary, remain associated with one another. Linking can be seen throughout the accounting system. Some of the most common areas include: the Receipts Journal and the Disbursements Journal. In addition, linking can (at least it should) be seen in reversing entries.

Linking can be difficult to understand at first, but putting in the time and effort to implement proper linking can help you avoid having unsightly reports that look like this:

 

When looking at the financial journals in PROCAS, you may have noticed they each have a column called “Trans.” This is the column where linking is done.

 

Typically, when inserting a new transaction, all lines of detail will autofill the “Trans” column as the specific transaction number. For example, in the transaction below, lines 1 and 2 have G100265 in the “Trans” column, which is the same as the transaction number. This is fine in many cases, but if the transaction needs to be linked to another entry, the “Trans” column will need to be adjusted.

 

A transaction is entered into the accounting system in order to establish an event. Some events are one-time occurrences that do not come up again in the future. Therefore, no future transactions need to be linked to it. In other instances, the initial transaction is only the beginning. The initial transaction establishes the event, but future transactions will be associated with it. To keep the story of the event connected through all transactions that are affected, future transactions need to be linked to the original entry.

It may be difficult to understand the process when reading about it, so let’s use an example.

Say you just calculated an invoice for last month. The current period amounts are perfect; the cumulative amounts are perfect. You print the invoice and click “Create Sales Journal Transactions.” A sales journal entry is created to establish a receivable for the amount the client owes your company (debit) and to recognize revenue earned during the period (credit). You will notice when the sales journal entry is created, the “Trans” column in each line of detail is the same as the transaction number. This is correct because the sales journal is the initial event. No further action is required.

 

Next, let’s say your client receives the invoice and pays your company the amount owed. When the payment is received, you open the receipts journal to record it. You debit the cash account and credit the accounts receivable account. The “Trans” column on the accounts receivable line should be linked to the sales journal that the payment is being applied towards. This allows you to keep the sales journal associated with the payment. See the below example.

In receipts journal entries, it is also important to include the task and client code on the accounts receivable line. The information on the receipts journal should match the sales journal entry in order to be properly linked.

 

Linking the receipts journal to the sales journal will allow you to easily follow the story of events from beginning to end: an invoice is generated and submitted to the client for payment. Payment is remitted.

Linking the receipts journal to the sales journal will also relieve the accounts receivable balance associated with the specific invoice. This will clear the sales journal from your Accounts Receivable Aging reports.

In the above receipt transaction, you will notice the “Trans” column on the cash line is referencing itself. This is correct. No linking is required on the cash line. The receipts transaction is the initial event for the cash account; therefore, it is correct to leave the “Trans” column as the receipt transaction number. You cannot link the cash account line to the sales journal transaction, because the cash account does not exist on the sales journal transaction.

One important thing to remember when linking transactions is that they must be linked in the proper order. Transactions should typically be linked forward. In this case, the AR account makes its first appearance on the sales journal. For this reason, the receipts journal transaction (a subsequent event) should be linked to the sales journal transaction (the initial event) and not vice versa. You cannot link the AR account on the sales journal to the receipts journal transaction because the AR account does not exist independently without the sales journal. Think of the story of events here. You cannot start the story with the payment. The story starts with the invoice (sales journal), so all subsequent events should be linked to the sales journal.

Still doesn’t make sense? That’s okay, let’s use another example.

You just received an invoice from what is hopefully one of your favorite vendors, PROCAS. The amount invoiced is $790 and payment is due within 15 days. You open the purchases journal to put the invoice in line for payment. You fill out the header information on the purchase journal such as transaction date, vendor, invoice date, amount due, etc. Next, you go down into the details to debit the appropriate expense account and credit accounts payable. You will notice that the “Trans” column on both lines of detail will autofill as the purchase journal transaction number. This is correct since the event starts here. In other words, no linking is involved on the purchase journal transaction because this is the beginning of the story.

 

The following week, you are getting ready to cut checks. You go through the automated checks process to print a check payable to PROCAS. A disbursement journal transaction is automatically created. When you go to the disbursements journal, you will notice there are 2 lines of detail. The first line is a debit to accounts payable. The second line is a credit to cash.

 

The AP account was established in the purchases journal when you input the invoice into the system. Upon paying the invoice, the AP account should be relieved now that the liability has been resolved. In other words, the AP account on the disbursements journal should be linked to the purchases journal transaction that established the liability.

 

You will notice the “Trans” column on the accounts payable line references the purchase transaction for the specific PROCAS invoice. The story begins with the purchase of PROCAS software access. The invoice for the purchase is recorded in the purchases journal. The story ends with the payment to vendor PROCAS on the disbursements transaction. The payment is recorded in the disbursements journal. Linking the disbursement journal transaction to the purchase journal transaction will relieve the liability to PROCAS.

Now that we have gone over linking techniques, try running your AR and AP reports in PROCAS. If you notice there are any vendors and/or clients with a lengthy history showing up on the report, check to verify associated journal entries have been properly linked. If a payment has been made or received, but there are still transaction details on the report, this is a sign there is a problem with linking.

You are always able to go back to prior period entries and correct the linking. This will not have any impact on your financial statements. Linking prior period transactions will only affect the display of the vendors and/or clients on your reports, not any general ledger balance details.

If unposting prior period transactions is not an option for you, linking can also be fixed by inserting current period journal entries to associate transactions with one another. For more in depth training on linking, feel free to reach out to our Consulting Team.

 

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.

Update to the PROCAS Budget Template author avatar

We recently made a change to our Budget Template that should make fringe projections more straightforward.

Originally, some of the fringe accounts were projected using productive labor hours and estimated days off instead of amounts. However, upon the request of multiple clients, we decided to make all of the fringe accounts accept a projected amount.

 

 

This new version of the fringe tab works similarly for us on the backend, however there are some noticeable changes for the end user:

  1. The fringe accounts are broken out into two different sections; Fringe Benefits – Time Off and Fringe Benefits Other. On the original budget template, the accounts listed in the Time Off section were automatically calculated based on a percentage of total labor and the time off days. While this ensured that the accounts were budgeted for, it didn’t allow the freedom for users to edit the amounts. Now, the amounts can be adjusted if you do not want them to be a factor of total employee labor (i.e. part-time employees do not receive the benefits), rather than having to back into percentages to force it to work.
  2. The manual amounts from Tab 3. Fringe should match the total listed at the bottom of the Time Off column in Tab 1. Labor. After entering your company’s totals for each fringe account, the excel file will compare your company’s numbers to the projected percentages from the labor tab to see if everything matches. If they do not, the following error message will appear:

 

Please be sure to have the Total Time Off amounts from Tab 1 and Tab 3 match so that your labor distribution projections match your fringe dollar projections for your fringe rate.

 

This most recent version of our budget template (and other documents) can be accessed from:

          PROCAS Time & Expense --> Help --> Downloads --> PROCAS Budget Template

Or if you’d like us to send you a copy, feel free to give our support line a call at (410) 730-4011 Ext.2 or shoot us an email at support@procas.com.

Welcome to the PROCAS Blog! author avatar

As many of you are aware, we try to be as open and honest with our clients as possible, so we thought, “Why not provide another means to improve the client experience?” Through our new blog and social media accounts, we aspire to foster a learning environment as well as provide a look into our everyday lives. Our intentions for this network are to provide tips for navigating our system, address common errors using our software, advise on potential roadblocks within the government contracting industry, and last, but not least, build better relationships with our clients and the people that support them.

Ultimately, our experienced team hopes to make your life a little easier!

 

Our Values         

PROCAS’s core principles are encompassed in a term we like to call ORBIT. We aim to instill these values in every article, comment, and post created on this blog.

  • Openness – share information freely
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As our staff provides content, we expect any users that wish to participate in the discussion to follow our core principles.

 

Meet the Team

This network will be monitored and administrated by our Support Team. When we are not answering the phones, we focus on a variety of different issues in the accounting, government contracting, and technical worlds. Based on our experiences of diving through the ins and outs of the software, we hope to provide some insight on how to utilize it to your advantage!

Get to know our team a little better:

  Ben

  • PROCAS Employee since October 2013
  • Towson University Graduate – B.S. Accounting – December 2014
  • Avid Rock Climber, Expert Whistler, Breakfast Enthusiast
  • Commonly Mistaken For: Ron Weasley

Ché 

  • PROCAS Employee since April 2015
  • University of Baltimore Graduate – B.S. Accounting – May 2015
  • Record Collector, Horror Movie Aficionado, Proud Dog Owner
  • Commonly Mistaken For: Princess Tiana

 LJ

  • PROCAS Employee since October 2014
  • Towson University Graduate – B.S. Accounting – May 2015
  • Baltimore Sports Fanatic, Devoted Gym Goer, Music Junkie (Slappin’ Da Bass!)
  • Commonly Mistaken For: Drew Carey

Taylor  

  • PROCAS Employee since June 2015
  • Towson University Student – Currently enrolled in the Accounting Program
  • Former Cheerleader, Chocolate Lover, Running Machine
  • Commonly Mistaken For: Taylor Swift

 

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