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Software Licence Agreement

Your right to use the software (in object code only) and its associated printed and electronic documentation (Product) is subject to the
terms and conditions set out in this licence agreement (Agreement).

Breaking the seal to open the DVD case, installing the software, or, using any part of the electronic or printed material accompanying the
product, signifies your acceptance of the terms and conditions set out below.

Therefore, please read them carefully before breaking the seal or using the materials provided. If you do not agree to be bound by the terms
and conditions of this Agreement, you should promptly return the unopened DVD together with all packaging and associated documentation
unused and in good condition to your reseller for a refund under the terms of its refund policy (if you purchased from your reseller), or to us
within 10 days of purchase (if you purchased direct from Sage Pastel).

Prior to returning the product, you should telephone Sage Pastel on + 27 11 304-3000 and request a reference number to be sent with your
return so that it can be identified. Provided that you promptly follow our returns procedure we shall refund the price paid by you direct to us
for the Product.

1. In this Agreement:
1.1. Use means to load, execute, store, transmit, display, (for the purposes of loading, execution, storage, transmission or display)
or otherwise utilise the Product for your legitimate business purposes; and

1.2. us, we and our means Sage Pastel of Sage (Pty) Ltd. and you and your mean the person, business or company
purchasing the Licence.

1.3. the headings are for convenience only and shall not affect its construction or interpretation;

1.4. including and includes shall be understood to mean including without limitation and includes without limitation respectively;
and,

1.5. words of a technical nature shall be construed in accordance with general trade usage in the computer industry of South Africa.

2. Our Licence to you


2.1. In consideration of your acceptance of the terms of this Agreement, we grant you an annual non-exclusive, non-assignable right
to Use the Product for which you have paid the relevant annual licence fee (Licence). The Product is activated using an
activation key. The Product will alert you of the need for an activation key and this can be obtained from us free of charge. In
order to produce such an activation key we will require information from you. You acknowledge that without such data we cannot
provide the necessary activation key. Upon payment of the annual Licence Fee, Sage may elect, in its sole discretion, to renew
the Licence for successive periods of one (1) year in duration. Any such renewal will be subject to the terms and conditions of this
Agreement

2.2. You may Use the Product


2.2.1. on a single personal computer or laptop (but not on both, unless you have purchased a Second Copy Licence for Use by the
same single user with the same data as is installed on the main installation) if you have purchased a Single User Licence; or

2.2.2. on a single local area network or Virtual Private Network (VPN) (which is under your control and used by your group of companies
or businesses and not relating to any other third party use of the Product) with up to the specified maximum number of
concurrent users, if you have purchased a Network User Licence; and

2.2.3. in connection with a single set of data only, such data being your data only, whether this is for a company or business unless you
have purchased a licence to allow you to work with multiple sets of data up to a specific number which shall not be exceeded
(such multiple sets of data being data of your group of companies or businesses and not relating to any other third parties) and
the Product is used on one system and only at your premises if you have purchased a Multi-Company Licence. For the
avoidance of doubt, a Multi Company Licence does not alter or amend the maximum number of concurrent users Licensed
under this Licence; or

2.2.4. on a bureau basis as an independent contractor (and for use by your staff only up to the specified maximum number of
concurrent users and not by third parties) either at your premises or externally on your laptops, on behalf of and in relation to the
data of the number of companies or businesses for which you have purchased a licence, if you have purchased a Bureau
Licence.

2.3. In relation to clauses 2.2.1 and 2.2.2 above you may transfer each licensed copy of the Product from one computer to another
owned by you within a single location, provided it is not Used on more computers at any one time than your licence permits.
Please see clause 2.1 regarding the need for an activation key in order to do this. For the avoidance of doubt, you may not
continue to Use the Product on the computer from which you have transferred the Product.
2.4. In relation to clauses 2.2.3 and 2.2.4 above, the total number of companies or businesses whose data may be processed by the
software is limited to the number of companies or businesses for which the software is licensed to you. In particular, such number
may not be exceeded by the loading of the data of any further companies or businesses in replacement of the data of the number
of unique/discreet companies or businesses for which you have purchased your licence.

2.5. If you wish to use the Product otherwise than as provided for by the type of Licence you have purchased, you must purchase the
appropriate type of licence or additional licences (and associated activation key) prior to commencing any such Use.

2.6. Other than as permitted under this Agreement you shall not and shall not allow anyone else to:

2.6.1. Use, copy, transfer, sell, sub-licence, lease, mortgage, rent, loan, publish, distribute or otherwise make the Product (or any part of
it) available to any other person, whether or not for commercial gain;

2.6.2. Use the Product (or any part of it) for the provision of any remote hosting or ASP services or in any other configuration that
permits a third party to use the Product other than under the provisions of a valid licence with us;

2.6.3. disable any licensing or control features of the product;

2.6.4. Use the demonstration or free-for-trial evaluation version of the Product (or any part of it) for any purposes other than feature
and functionality evaluation purposes. For the sake of clarity only, use of the demonstration version of the Product for
commercial gain either for training purposes or for the delivery of any service other than product evaluation, is specifically
prohibited;

2.6.5. other than to the extent permitted by law, alter, adapt, merge, modify, translate, reverse engineer or de-compile, disassemble,
create derivative works of the Product (or any part of it), except with our prior written consent; nor

2.6.6. remove, change or obscure any of our or any third party proprietary notices, labels or marks associated with the Product.

2.7. You acknowledge that you own only the media on which the Product is supplied and that we shall retain ownership of the
intellectual property rights in and to the Product and any amendments made to it by us regardless of form, including any back up
copies that you make, and, subject to the Licence, you shall not have any right to use them.

3. How this Licence can be terminated


3.1. We may terminate the Licence without refund:

3.1.1. if you fail to make payment within our payment terms from the date the purchase was made or any other contract with Us or any
international or local subsidiary of Sage Plc.; or

3.1.2. immediately if we are notified that any finance arrangement you have made with a third party for the payment of the licence fee for
the Product has ended for any reason.

3.2. Your Licence to Use the Product will terminate automatically if you fail to comply with any term of this Agreement, you become
bankrupt, go into liquidation, suffer or make any winding up petition, make an arrangement with your creditors, have an
administrator, administrative receiver or other receiver appointed, or if you suffer or file any similar action in consequence of debt.

3.3. Within ten working days of the termination of the Licence for any reason you shall uninstall the Product and return it to us
(including any copies you have made of the Product (or any part of it)) and provide a certificate signed by your duly authorised
representative to confirm compliance with this clause 3.3.

4. Our warranties to you


4.1. We warrant that the Product, when used in accordance with our operating instructions, will provide the functions and facilities
and will perform substantially as described in the associated documentation supplied to you as part of the Product.

4.2. We warrant that during the free Cover period:

4.2.1. we shall provide technical advice, assistance and support by telephone fax and e-mail during our normal business hours (this
does not apply to updates or upgrades of the software);

4.2.2. the media on which the Product is recorded will be free from defects in material and workmanship under normal conditions of
use; and
4.2.3. we shall correct any errors in the Product by patching or replacing (at our sole discretion) any Product not meeting the warranties
given above and if we are unable to rectify any errors in the Product, we will terminate this Agreement and refund your purchase
price, together with the cost of postage, after having received the Product (including any copies you have made) and all
packaging in good condition within the relevant free Cover period. This warranty excludes defects caused by accidents, abuse,
poor storage or handling or any act referred to in clause 2.6.

4.3. The warranties set out in this clause 4 are in lieu of all other warranties, representations or conditions, express or implied,
statutory or otherwise, including any implied warranties of satisfactory quality and fitness for a particular purpose. We do not
warrant that the Product will meet your requirements, or that the operation of it will be uninterrupted or error free. We do not
warrant or make any representation regarding the use of the Product or the results of such use in terms of correctness, accuracy,
reliability or otherwise. No oral or written communications by or on our behalf shall create a warranty or in any way increase the
scope of the warranties we have given.

4.4. Our entire liability and your exclusive remedy under the warranties given in this clause 4 will be, at our option either to:

4.4.1. repair or replace the Product or encryption medium which does not conform with the warranty; or

4.4.2. refund the price paid for the Product and terminate the Licence.

5. Disclaimer and limitation of liability


5.1. You acknowledge that the allocation of risk in this Agreement reflects the price paid for the Product and also the fact that it is not
within our control how, and for what purposes, you use the Product. In no event, therefore, will we be liable for any indirect,
consequential, incidental or special damage, or loss of any kind (including loss of profits, business, chargeable time, anticipated
savings, goodwill, any business interruption or loss of or corruption of data) however caused and whether arising under contract,
tort, including negligence, statute or otherwise.

5.2. If any exclusion, disclaimer or other provision contained in this Agreement is held to be invalid for any reason by a court of
competent jurisdiction and we become liable for loss or damage that could otherwise be limited, such liability whether in contract,
tort or otherwise, will not exceed the licence fee actually paid by you for the Product.

5.3. Whilst We take reasonable precautions to ensure that the media on which this application is distributed is free of viruses,
unknown third-party embedded code or other forms of unwanted third-party software interference, We do not accept any
responsibility whatsoever for damage caused by the action of viruses, virus signatures or any other unsolicited third-party
embedded code which may be contained on this media. This includes loss of files, system malfunctions, data corruptions or the
like, which may be caused by any third-party code, malicious or otherwise, which may be replicated on the media.

6. Copyright
6.1. The Product and all related intellectual property is owned by Us and is protected by copyright laws and international treaty
provisions. It should be treated like any other product under copyright. However, you are authorised to make copies of the
product solely for backup / security purposes;

6.2. The licensee acknowledges that any and all of the copyright, trademarks, trade names, patents and other intellectual property
rights subsisting in or used in connection with the Product including all documentation relating thereto are and remain Our
property.

7. Trademark
7.1. Sage and Sage Sage are registered trademarks. Sage Pastel is a trademark owned by Us. All other product names
mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved worldwide.

8. General
8.1. Any reseller, distributor or dealer (including any of our authorised resellers or distributors) from whom you have purchased a
licence of the Product is expressly not appointed or authorised by us as our servant or agent. No such person has any authority,
either express or implied, to enter into any contract or provide any representation, warranty or guarantee with or to you on our
behalf, or otherwise to bind us in any way whatsoever. We will not be responsible for any modifications or mergers made to the
Product by such persons.

8.2. We shall not be liable to you in respect of any circumstances arising outside our reasonable control.

8.3. Our failure to enforce any particular term of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any of our rights under it.

8.4. If any part of this Agreement is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be unreasonable for any reason whatsoever, the
validity of the remainder of the terms will not be affected.
8.5. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between you and us in relation to the Product and the Licence and supercedes
any other oral or written communications or representations with respect to the Product.

8.6. No variations of any of these terms and conditions are valid if not confirmed in writing by Us or Our authorised representative.

8.7. Should you purchase a Product as an upgrade of another Product, then your ownership in the original upgraded Product ceases.
You are not entitled to sell the original Product, nor can you continue to make use of the original Product, except for archival
purposes. If you do use the original Product for archival purposes, then the terms and conditions in this licence apply in so far as
they are relevant.

8.8. No variations of any of these terms and conditions are valid if not confirmed in writing by Us or Our authorised representative.

8.9. This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with South African law. The parties hereby submit to the
exclusive jurisdiction of the South African Courts unless otherwise agreed in writing.

Copyrights and Trademarks


Copyright 2002-2013 by Sage Holdings (Pty) Ltd.

We hereby acknowledge the copyrights and trademarks of all terms we use in this manual and its accompanying electronic documentation.
This includes, but is not restricted to, the following names and terms, all of which are the property of the Microsoft Corporation and / or its
subsidiaries:

Microsoft SQL Server

MSDE

Windows 95, Windows 98

Windows NT

Windows 2000

Windows XP

Windows Vista

Windows 7

Windows 8

Manual Version
Version 6.82.04, May 2013
Table of Contents
.......................................................................................................................................... 1

Table of Contents ........................................................................................................... 7

Chapter 1 Welcome ................................................................................................... 17


Introduction .............................................................................................................................. 18
The Sage Evolution Range ...................................................................................................... 19
Accounting Modules ..................................................................................................................19
Add-on and Stand-Alone Modules .........................................................................................20
Using the On-line Help ............................................................................................................ 24
Using this Manual ..................................................................................................................... 26
Report Builder Documentation.............................................................................................. 26

Chapter 2 System Manager ...................................................................................... 27


Creating a Company Database .............................................................................................. 28
Link Workstations to Databases ........................................................................................... 36
Logging into the System ......................................................................................................... 38
Program Updates .......................................................................................................................38
Working with Databases ......................................................................................................... 40
The Database Management Console .....................................................................................40
Backing up Databases ...............................................................................................................41
Copying one Database to Another .........................................................................................43
Agents and Agent Groups ...................................................................................................... 44
Agents ..........................................................................................................................................44
Agent Groups ..............................................................................................................................45
Controlling Agent Access .........................................................................................................46
Viewing Agents Logged In ........................................................................................................47
Other Administrative Functions ............................................................................................ 48
The System Wizard ....................................................................................................................48
Lookup Tables .............................................................................................................................48
User Defined Fields ....................................................................................................................49
The Message Log Viewer ..........................................................................................................50
Alert Management .....................................................................................................................50

Chapter 3 Using and Customising the System ....................................................... 57


Starting and Accessing the System ...................................................................................... 58
Using Multiple Windows ......................................................................................................... 60
Menus and Toolbars ................................................................................................................ 61
Menus ...........................................................................................................................................61
The System Tree .........................................................................................................................63
Toolbars .......................................................................................................................................64
Favourites ....................................................................................................................................65
Working with Records ............................................................................................................. 66
Enquiries .................................................................................................................................... 68
Charts ......................................................................................................................................... 69
Producing Reports.................................................................................................................... 70

Chapter 4 Common Elements .................................................................................. 73


Accounting Periods .................................................................................................................. 74
Projects ...................................................................................................................................... 75
Branches .................................................................................................................................... 76
Cost Centres .............................................................................................................................. 76
EFTS File Layouts ...................................................................................................................... 77
EU Countries.............................................................................................................................. 77
Foreign Currency ...................................................................................................................... 77
Notes........................................................................................................................................... 77
Priorities ..................................................................................................................................... 78
States .......................................................................................................................................... 78
Settlement Terms..................................................................................................................... 79
Banks .......................................................................................................................................... 80
Bank Details.................................................................................................................................80
Bank Codes ..................................................................................................................................80
Common Reports ..................................................................................................................... 81

Chapter 5 Tax ............................................................................................................. 82


Tax Overview ............................................................................................................................. 83
New Users ....................................................................................................................................83
Existing Users ..............................................................................................................................83
Recommended Setup Process .................................................................................................83
Tax Maintenance ...................................................................................................................... 84
Tax Types .....................................................................................................................................84
Tax Box Report Setup ................................................................................................................85
Tax Groups ...................................................................................................................................86
Tax Box Mapping ........................................................................................................................86
Tax Defaults.................................................................................................................................88
Tax Reporting ............................................................................................................................ 89

Chapter 6 General Ledger ........................................................................................ 91


General Ledger Overview ....................................................................................................... 92
General Ledger Elements .........................................................................................................92
Segmented General Ledger Accounts ...................................................................................97
General Ledger Processing .................................................................................................... 100
General Ledger Opening Balances ...................................................................................... 102
Setting up General Ledger .................................................................................................... 103
Transaction Types ................................................................................................................... 103
Defaults ..................................................................................................................................... 104
Branches ................................................................................................................................... 105
Departments ............................................................................................................................ 105
Segments .................................................................................................................................. 105
General Ledger Maintenance............................................................................................... 106
General Ledger Accounts ...................................................................................................... 106
Budgets ..................................................................................................................................... 107
General Ledger Processing ................................................................................................... 109
Journal / Cashbook Processing ............................................................................................. 109
Journal Transfer ....................................................................................................................... 112
Bank Reconciliation ................................................................................................................ 113
Purge First Year........................................................................................................................ 113
Journal Reversal ....................................................................................................................... 114
General Ledger Enquiries...................................................................................................... 115
General Ledger Reporting .................................................................................................... 116

Chapter 7 Accounts Receivable ............................................................................. 117


Accounts Receivable Overview ........................................................................................... 118
Accounts Receivable Elements ............................................................................................ 118
Accounts Receivable Processing .......................................................................................... 123
Accounts Receivable Reports ............................................................................................... 126
Opening Balances ................................................................................................................... 127
Accounts Receivable Add-on Modules ............................................................................... 127
Setting up Accounts Receivable .......................................................................................... 128
Defaults ..................................................................................................................................... 128
Sales Representatives ............................................................................................................ 129
Transaction Types ................................................................................................................... 130
Ageing Periods ......................................................................................................................... 131
People ........................................................................................................................................ 132
Areas .......................................................................................................................................... 132
Accounts Receivable Groups ................................................................................................ 133
Post Dated Cheque Options .................................................................................................. 133
Customer Maintenance......................................................................................................... 134
Accounts Receivable Processing ......................................................................................... 135
Standard Transactions ........................................................................................................... 136
Accounts Receivable Batches ............................................................................................... 137
Transaction Allocations ......................................................................................................... 140
Allocation Utilities................................................................................................................... 141
Post Dated Cheques Due ....................................................................................................... 141
Interest Charging .................................................................................................................... 142
Accounts Receivable Enquiries ............................................................................................ 143
Accounts Receivable Reporting .......................................................................................... 144

Chapter 8 Accounts Payable .................................................................................. 145


Accounts Payable Overview ................................................................................................. 146
Accounts Payable Elements .................................................................................................. 146
Accounts Payable Processing ............................................................................................... 149
Accounts Payable Opening Balances .................................................................................. 153
Accounts Payable Add-on Modules .................................................................................... 153
Setting up Accounts Payable ............................................................................................... 154
Defaults ..................................................................................................................................... 154
Transaction Types ................................................................................................................... 155
Ageing Periods ......................................................................................................................... 156
Areas .......................................................................................................................................... 157
People ........................................................................................................................................ 157
Accounts Payable Groups ...................................................................................................... 158
EFTS Defaults ........................................................................................................................... 158
Accounts Payable Maintenance .......................................................................................... 159
Accounts Payable Processing .............................................................................................. 160
Standard Transactions ........................................................................................................... 161
Accounts Payable Batches .................................................................................................... 162
Transaction Allocations ......................................................................................................... 164
Automatic Payment and Remittances ................................................................................ 165
Allocation Utilities................................................................................................................... 168
Automatic Payment Batches ................................................................................................ 169
EFTS Export ............................................................................................................................... 170
Accounts Payable Enquiries ................................................................................................. 171
Accounts Payable Reporting ................................................................................................ 172

Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry ................................................................... 173


Inventory and Order Entry Overview .................................................................................. 174
Inventory and Order Entry Elements ................................................................................... 174
Inventory and Order Entry Processing ................................................................................ 178
Inventory Segmentation Overview ...................................................................................... 181
Inventory Opening Balances ................................................................................................. 185
Inventory and Order Entry Add-on Modules ..................................................................... 186
Setting up Inventory and Order Entry ................................................................................ 187
Transaction Types ................................................................................................................... 188
Inventory Groups ..................................................................................................................... 189
Inventory Defaults .................................................................................................................. 190
Order Entry Defaults ............................................................................................................... 192
Price List Names ...................................................................................................................... 193
Inventory Segments ................................................................................................................ 193
Delivery Methods .................................................................................................................... 194
Packs .......................................................................................................................................... 194
Units of Measure ..................................................................................................................... 195
Order Status ............................................................................................................................. 196
Priorities .................................................................................................................................... 197
Inventory and Order Entry Maintenance ........................................................................... 197
Inventory Items ........................................................................................................................ 198
Inventory Global Changes ..................................................................................................... 201
Purge Orders ............................................................................................................................ 202
Inventory and Order Entry Processing ............................................................................... 203
Sales and Purchases Documents.......................................................................................... 204
Inventory Adjustments........................................................................................................... 209
Inventory Count ....................................................................................................................... 209
Automatic Purchase Orders .................................................................................................. 212
Price Update Batch ................................................................................................................. 213
Inventory Issue ........................................................................................................................ 214
Inventory Issue Setup ............................................................................................................. 214
Inventory Issue Transactions ................................................................................................ 215
Inventory Optimisation ......................................................................................................... 217
Defaults ..................................................................................................................................... 217
Templates ................................................................................................................................. 218
Processing Transactions ....................................................................................................... 222
Level Update Transaction ...................................................................................................... 222
Re-Order Process .................................................................................................................... 226
Enquiries and Reports............................................................................................................ 228
Inventory and Order Entry Enquiries .................................................................................. 229
Inventory Enquiries ................................................................................................................. 229
Order Entry Enquiries ............................................................................................................. 229
Inventory and Order Entry Reporting ................................................................................. 230

Chapter 10 Contact Management ......................................................................... 232


Contact Management Overview ......................................................................................... 233
Contact Management Concepts .......................................................................................... 233
Processing Incidents ............................................................................................................... 238
Reports and Enquiries ............................................................................................................ 245
Setting up Contact Management ........................................................................................ 246
Agents ....................................................................................................................................... 247
Agent Groups ........................................................................................................................... 249
Escalation Groups ................................................................................................................... 251
Contact Management Defaults ............................................................................................ 252
Working Calendar ................................................................................................................... 253
Incident Types .......................................................................................................................... 254
Incident Type Groups ............................................................................................................. 254
Priorities .................................................................................................................................... 255
Workflows ................................................................................................................................. 256
Contact Management Inventory Items ............................................................................... 257
Contact Management Customers ....................................................................................... 258
Contact Management People ............................................................................................... 259
Contract Templates and Contracts ..................................................................................... 260
Contract Invoice Templates .................................................................................................. 262
Document List .......................................................................................................................... 263
Knowledge Base ...................................................................................................................... 264
Sales Force Automation Elements ....................................................................................... 265
Contact Management Processing....................................................................................... 268
Processing Incidents ............................................................................................................... 268
Working with Existing Incidents ........................................................................................... 269
Sales Opportunity ................................................................................................................... 272
My Contacts / My Calendar ................................................................................................... 273
The Sage Evolution Services function ................................................................................. 274
Contact Management Reporting ........................................................................................ 276
Sales Force Automation Reports .......................................................................................... 277
Contact Management Charts ............................................................................................... 277
Chapter 1 Welcome
In this chapter, we look at the structure of the documentation for this
product. This includes this manual and the on-line help.
Introduction
The Sage Evolution Range
Using the On-line Help
Report Builder Documentation
18 Introduction Chapter 1 Welcome

Introduction
Welcome to Sage Evolution! You have chosen one of the most powerful, flexible, and easy to use financial
products available.
This manual will get you up and running in the shortest possible time. It contains:
Essential and detailed installation information.

Details about how to administer and work in the system.

An overview of each application or module.


Chapter 1 Welcome The Sage Evolution Range 19

The Sage Evolution Range


Accounting Modules
The core accounting suite consists of the following modules:

Module What it Does?

You create financial periods and a chart of accounts. All financial transactions
General Ledger from all modules write entries into the general ledger, so that you can produce
an income statement and a balance sheet.
This module lets you control customer processing. You maintain the customer
Accounts Receivable database in this module, and you can process customer journals and receipts,
send statements, and analyse sales and outstanding amounts.
This module lets you control supplier processing. You maintain the supplier
Accounts Payable database in this module, and you can process supplier journals and payments
to suppliers.
This module lets you control inventory and service items. In this module, you
Inventory maintain the inventory database, purchase inventory from suppliers, and sell
inventory to customers.
This module lets you extend the selling and / or purchasing cycle to include
Order Entry
sales orders and purchase orders.
This module allows you to manage the internal stock distribution processes and
Inventory Issue
stock levels.
The Alert Manager module extends your customer, supplier, inventory, and
Alert Management contact management processing. It lets you stay in contact with your
customers or suppliers, either via SMS's and/or Emails.
It allows you to manage your inventory levels by specifying minimum and
Inventory Optimisation
maximum stock levels, minimum re-order levels and quantities.
System Audit Manager This small module allows you to track database activities for security purposes.
20 The Sage Evolution Range Chapter 1 Welcome

Add-on and Stand-Alone Modules


You can add specialised functionality to your standard accounting modules by purchasing one or more add-
on modules. Some of these modules integrate all their functionality directly into standard accounting modules,
and other modules contain separate functions as well.

The Sage Evolution range includes modules that can function on a stand-alone or integrated basis. You can
add these modules directly into the same application menus, and use the same company data store when
you process. Alternatively, you can run these as separate and independent modules, in other words without
the accounting modules.

Note that add-on modules work seamlessly together. For example, you can manufacture serial
number items into different warehouses.

Annuity Billing
If you have repetitive periodic sales to customers, such as scheduled service calls, maintenance contracts,
and so on, you use this module to track these, inform an agent when they are due, and create the invoices
automatically.

Advanced Procurement
This module manages your procurement procedures in more detail. You are now able to link and rank
preferred suppliers.

Bank Manager
This automates bank transactions and reconciliations, based on downloading the bank statement via the
Internet. This option is for South Africa only.

Bill of Materials
This module lets you manufacture or assemble items that you sell. You can manufacture as a process or on
the fly as you invoice. You can create as many sub-levels or components as you require.

Branch Accounting
If you work in a head office branch environment, this module will assist you to transact at branch level and
synchronise data via an FTP site for reporting purposes.

Business Intelligence Centre


This links your company database to Microsoft Excel. It extracts data, formats the data in Excel, and creates
sophisticated reports you can edit and format.

Debtors Manager
This helps you optimise your debt collections process. Refer to the applications help file for more information.
Chapter 1 Welcome The Sage Evolution Range 21

Contact Management
This module lets you manage contact management and business interactions on a controlled basis. You can
create and track incidents, which are interactions with customers and potential customers, suppliers,
distributors, and so on.
Contact Management Basic includes all the above functionality. You can upgrade to Contact Management
Premium, which contains additional features that include the ability to:
Control incidents on a timed basis and to escalate overdue incidents to supervisors
Create invoices for contracts
Add workflows so that each step of an incident has an approval process
Create and use a knowledge base and a document list
Use the Sales Force Automation feature, which adds sales-specific control and management processing
to the general contact management process
You can use Contact Management Premium on a stand-alone basis.

Credit Control
This module assists you in rating potential customers prior to opening an account for them.

Delivery Management
The Delivery Management module aims to assist businesses to manage their delivery strategies. Some
businesses include deliveries as one of their services to customers, other businesses sell large items, such as
large machinery, and need to deliver them to customers while other businesses push large quantities of single
items or multiple items, making them dependent on a good delivery management tool.

Fixed Assets [Stand Alone]


This module calculates book and tax depreciation. It also lets you keep track of the assets in your system.
You can link assets in a master and sub asset relationship, which is useful, for example, when you make
changes to computer workstations. You can integrate directly into the general ledger module, or into Sage
Pastel Partner version 6 or higher.
You can use this module on a stand-alone basis.

Global Tax
The Global Tax add-on module is for countries that require the Withholding Tax policy to be applied at the
time of purchasing from suppliers. This module allows the Withholding Tax amount to be derived and
calculated using the specified tax percentage specified for the qualifying supplier allowing you to make the
payment to the relevant revenue authorities.

Information Alerts
This unique notification system of Sage Evolution allows you to setup information alerts pertaining to certain
data base activities you would like to keep track of.

Job Costing
This module lets you create jobs. Each job can contain multiple transactions or processes from one or more
of customer, supplier, inventory, general ledger, and payroll sources.
22 The Sage Evolution Range Chapter 1 Welcome

Linked Accounts
This module lets you link customers in a head office / branch hierarchy. You sell to branches, and the system
invoices the head office. Payments take place at the head office level as well.

Lot Tracking
This module lets you track batches (or lots) of inventory items by means of a batch or lot number. You can
also specify expiry dates per lot.

Manufacturing
Manufacturing extends the Bill of Materials module by giving you complete control of the manufacturing
process.

Mobile
This module lets you connect to your Sage Evolution Accounting database via Internet-aware devices such as
PDAs and cell phones. You can view customer and inventory information, and place orders, via the mobile
device.

Mobile Sales
This module lets you connect to your Sage Evolution Accounting database via smart devices. You can view
customer and inventory information, and place orders.

Multi-Currency
This module lets you process sales and purchases to customers and suppliers in their currency. The system
tracks home currency and foreign currency values for each transaction.

Multi-Warehousing
This module lets you create separate warehouses. You decide which inventory items are in each warehouse.
The system tracks quantities per warehouse per item. You can also have different selling prices in each
warehouse.

Municipal Billing
This module allows Municipalities to manage their accounts and billing processes in a controlled and secure
environment. This module is dependent on the Sage Evolution Point of Sale module.
[The Municipal Billing add-on has its own manual.]

Payroll
The Payroll module controls employee salaries and wages. You can pay staff members on a weekly,
fortnightly, or monthly basis. You can track leave, employee educational achievements, promotion history,
and disciplinary history. You can also submit IRP5 and other information electronically.
This is a separate Pastel software application. The Payroll module has its own manual.

Point of Sale
This module controls cash and account sales in a retail environment. You can control cash drawers, pole
displays, and receipt printers.
Chapter 1 Welcome The Sage Evolution Range 23

Pricing Matrix
This module lets you determine line item discounts by inventory item or group on the one hand, and customer
/ supplier or group on the other hand. It also allows you to create powerful date driven volume discount
contracts.

Procurement
This module, which requires the Contact Management Premium module, allows agents to request purchasing
agents to obtain pricing and delivery date information for items. Once the agents receive the information, they
can turn the procurement requests into purchase orders.
A separate process allows for purchase order approval. You set per agent whether their purchase orders
require approval, which can be on a minimum value basis. The originating agent can only process the
purchase order once the supervising agent approves it.

Retail
This module works on the same principle as the Sage Evolution Point of Sale module, but focuses on
alleviating long queues and speed up till processing in medium to large retail environments.

Sales Force Automation


This module lets you track sales opportunities for existing and prospective customers. This module is
dependent on the Sage Evolution Contact Management module.

Service Management
This module lets you manage your service level agreements, internally and externally.

Serial Number Tracking


This module lets you track inventory items individually by their serial number. This function is very useful for
tracking warranties. The system keeps a full history of each serial number item's movements into and out of
the company.

Voucher Management
Some businesses require payment and receipt vouchers, such as schools and clubs who collect money from
members.
24 Using the On-line Help Chapter 1 Welcome

Using the On-line Help


You access the on-line help by pressing the <F1> key anytime you are working in the system. You can also
use the Help menu option to access the help. Here is a typical help screen:

On the Contents tab, there is a hierarchy of topics. The highest-level topic displays as a book.
Click a book to open and close it.
The help content shows in the right hand pane.
Use the Back and Forward buttons to navigate between topics you visit in this session.
The Index tab lets you enter keywords, and shows topics that contain a key word:

Enter one or more keywords. As you type, the system displays the index entries that match your
typing. Note, as in this example, that indexes have two levels of detail.
Click the most suitable topic, and click the Display button to display the topic you select. The
topic displays in the right-hand pane. To select a different topic, click the Index tab again.
Chapter 1 Welcome Using the On-line Help 25

In the Search tab, you enter a word or phrase:

In the Keyword field, enter a word or phrase. To find a topic that has the exact phrase you enter,
enclose the keywords in quotes.
Click the List Topics button and the system shows topics that contain the text you enter.
Click the Display button to show the topic in the content pane.
Use the Options menu if you wish to turn off highlighting of the search word or phrase in the
topic content.
Use the Favorites tab to store links to topics you access frequently:

Click Add to add the current topic to the Favorites list.


Once the topic is in the list, you can select it and click the Display button to show its contents.
To remove a topic from the Favorites list, select it and then click the Remove button.
26 Using this Manual Chapter 1 Welcome

Using this Manual


This user guide is an overview only. It does not cover every feature and every function in the system. The idea
is to give you a detailed outline of the system's functionality.
The on-line help contains detailed information on every feature. The table of contents in this user guide is a
subset of the one in the on-line help, but in almost the same sequence. You can therefore easily find any
additional detail you require.

Report Builder Documentation


You have sophisticated reporting capabilities. The system ships with a set of fully featured powerful reports
that contain many options.
In addition, you have the capability of customising the standard reports. You can change the layout, add and
remove fields, and perform additional calculations or subtotals.
You can also create new reports of your own.
The system ships with a tutorial package that contains an educational version of the report writer, a detailed
tutorial manual, and a help file. To install this package:
1. Put the installation DVD in the DVD-ROM drive.
2. In the Report Builder folder on the DVD, run the SETUP.EXE program.
3. Follow the instructions on the screen.
There is also a detailed help file. This file contains all the commands and syntax of the system. You access
this help file when you are in the Report Builder screen and you press <F1>.

You do not need to install the Report Builder tutorial if you are not going to customise reports.
The Sage Evolution help file contains complete documentation on running reports.
Chapter 2 System Manager

This chapter shows you how to create a company, register your


system, and manage the system as an administrator. If you do not
perform these functions, you can skip this chapter completely.
Creating a Company Database
Registering Your System
Link Workstations to the Database
Logging into the System
Working with Databases
Agents and Agent Groups
Other Administrative Functions
28 Creating a Company Database Chapter 2 System Manager

Creating a Company Database


You have completed the installation process and you are now ready to proceed. There are still a number of
tasks to accomplish:
You have to create one or more databases, or company datasets, to work on.

Once you create the company database, you should register your product. Unregistered products will
cease to work after 30 days and are limited to five simultaneous users.

If you are using a single user version there is nothing else to do before you move onto the next phase. If
you are using a multi-user version, then you need to open the program on the rest of the workstations
and link each workstation to the company database.

The remainder of this chapter deals with these issues. Note that you have to make some vital processing
decisions when you create a company database, many of which you cannot reverse. Consult the help file for
details about this.

To create a company database


1. Start your product by clicking or double clicking its icon on the desktop, or by selecting the program via
the Start menu:

We will look at the rest of this screen later. To create a new company database, click the New button.
Chapter 2 System Manager Creating a Company Database 29

2. The first screen of the Create Database Wizard displays:

3. In the SQL Server Name field, enter the server name. You can also choose the server from the drop-
down.
4. Microsoft SQL Server allows you to control who has access to its database. This access control can
come from Microsoft Windows or Microsoft SQL Server itself. Your computer administrator will make the
choice of methods. If you do not have the necessary skills in your organisation, choose the option to use
Windows NT authentication. Unless you put in explicit controls, this means that anyone who logs into the
network can access the database.

If you use Windows authentication, Microsoft SQL Server logs you into the database using your
Windows user name and password automatically. If you use SQL Server authentication, you must supply
a name and password when you start using the database server. This name and password must already
exist.

Notes:
If you use MSDE, then you must use Windows authentication.
If you use SQL Server authentication, enter "sa" in the Login Name field and leave the
password blank. This is a default SQL Server login and password.

5. Enter the name of the new database in the New Database Name field. Use letters, numbers and spaces,
but no punctuation or other characters. Click the Next button once you are ready to proceed.
30 Creating a Company Database Chapter 2 System Manager

6. The Common Database screen displays:

If there are no common databases on your computer, the text says "Create Common Database" instead
of "Use Common Database".

7. The system stores some commonly used elements in a database that you can share amongst different
companies. These elements include report writer data dictionary information, and custom stationery
layouts. You usually share these elements between companies.

More importantly, the system stores registration information in the common database. You may need to
purchase additional licenses if you use separate common databases. Therefore, unless you have a good
reason not to, we strongly suggest that you always check the Create Common check box.
Chapter 2 System Manager Creating a Company Database 31

8. If you create a new common database, the Create Common Database screen displays and creates the
common database

Click the Finish button to complete the Create Common Database process. The system then returns to
the company creation process.
9. The system then displays the Registration screen. We look at registration in detail in the next section. You
can read the instructions on the next page and register your system immediately, or you can click Cancel
on the Registration screen and register once the install completes.
10. The next screens ask for company and application related data:
In the Name and Address screen, you enter company name, address, etc., information.
In the Login Security screen, you choose a strict or relaxed security model.
In the Closing Date screen, you choose the closing date for your financial year.
In the General Ledger Account Structure screen, you choose whether you need a standard chart of
accounts structure or a segmented chart of accounts. If you choose a standard structure, the
Default Chart of Accounts screen lets you choose a default set of general ledger accounts based on
your industry. You also choose whether to have general ledger account numbers.
In the Separate GRV from Supplier Invoice screen, you choose whether to have a separate
document and process to receive stock prior to processing a supplier invoice.
Note that while you can change most of these options later, you cannot change all of
them. Consult the on-line help for more details.
Once you complete these screens, confirm the creation of the database. The system then
generates the database files.
32 Creating a Company Database Chapter 2 System Manager

11. Once the system creates the database, it takes you to the login screen:

The Save Password and Default Profile fields do not display if you use Login Security.
12. The new company appears by name in the Company Databases area. If you are creating the first
company, only that name appears. If you use multiple companies, their names appear here, and you can
select the company in which you wish to work. The logon screen automatically selects the new company.
13. To gain access to a newly created company enter the word "Admin" in both the Agent and Password
field. Note that the password field is case sensitive, so enter the word "Admin" with a capital "A" and
lowercase letters for the rest. You can enter the agent name without worrying about upper and lower
case.

Registering Your System


The system uses an annual licensing model rather than an outright purchase model. Annual licensing is the
latest trend in software distribution since it creates a win-win situation for all concerned:
You automatically receive program updates and enhancements at no additional cost.

You have a fixed annual cost rather than a very high initial cost and irregular, high upgrade costs every
couple of years.

The fixed income model enables us to undertake significant development of products on a permanent
basis.

You receive free telephone and email support.

The quality of support is very high because the support personnel can focus on one version of the
product.

To control the license, a registration procedure determines:


The expiration date of the license.

Which of the application modules you have access to.

The number of users who can simultaneously access the program.


Chapter 2 System Manager Creating a Company Database 33

When you create a new company, if you do not register at that time, the system is in demonstration mode.
Demonstration mode expires after 30 days, and gives you access to all application modules and up to five
simultaneous users. Any data you enter while working in demonstration mode is available to you after you
register.
Once you register, and your license approaches expiration, the program warns you to renew the license. The
program prompts you 60, 30, 15, 7, 3, 2, and 1 day(s) prior to expiration.

The registration procedure uses the common database. If you create multiple common
databases, you may incur additional registration costs. If you really need multiple common
databases, please discuss this with the sales or registration staff in advance.

To activate or renew your annual license


1. When you create a new company and a new common database, the Registration Wizard starts as you
login to the company. You can also access the Registration Wizard via the Utilities...Registration menu
option.
2. Click the Next button and enter your company name exactly as you provided it when you ordered the
software. This is not the company database name, but the name in which you are registering the
software. If you change this name, you invalidate the registration. This name appears on each page of
any report you print.
3. Select your licence type:

There are three options to choose from:


Licenced Tick this option if you are registering a licenced version of Sage Evolution.
Demo Tick this option if you want to register for a 30 day trial period.
Tick this option of you are a student or training centre. This option locks down
Education
after 365 days or 5000 transaction lines, whichever comes first.
34 Creating a Company Database Chapter 2 System Manager

4. The PIN Number screen displays:

You need to telephone the number on the screen and supply the Pin Number. You will receive the
registration code to enter into the field. Use the copy and paste icons to copy your Pin number and
paste your registration code from email correspondence.
5. When you click the Next button, the registration details display:

Check these details carefully! They show the modules you can work in, the number of simultaneous users
the system allows, and the expiry date of the license.

When you register for Sage Evolution Standard, you will be limited to the allocated add-on
module range. You will be provided with a Sage Evolution Standard registration code.
Chapter 2 System Manager Creating a Company Database 35

6. Click Print to print these details, click Save to save the details into a text file, or click Copy to copy the
registration details into the clipboard, from where you can email and / or save the details. You must keep
a copy of these in a safe place.
7. Click Finish to complete the registration.

The registration code is unique. If you make certain changes to your computer and attempt to
re-register, this code may not work. If you move your database software to a new server or
even re-install on the same network, you will have to re-register.
36 Link Workstations to Databases Chapter 2 System Manager

Link Workstations to Databases


The final phase of the installation process is to link the workstations to the Microsoft SQL Server database. If
you are using a single user version and you have followed all the steps up to now, then there is nothing more
you need do. The program already links to the database. If you are on a network, however, you need to use
the following procedure on each workstation on which you installed with the Workstation option.

To attach workstations to the database


1. At each workstation, start your product by clicking or double clicking its icon on the desktop, or by
selecting the program via the Start menu:
Chapter 2 System Manager Link Workstations to Databases 37

2. Click the Locate button:

In the SQL Server Name field, enter the server name. You can open the drop down list to see all the
available servers.
3. If the company database uses Microsoft SQL Server authentication, click the Use SQL option button and
enter a valid login name and password.
4. In the Database Name field, choose the company data name which you created.
5. Click the Next button. The common database screen displays. Use the same settings for the common
database as you did when you created the company.
6. Click Finish to complete the link.
7. When the link completes, the system returns you to the logon screen with the company database
showing in the Company Databases area.
8. If you need to work on more than one company from a particular workstation, click the Locate button
again and repeat the procedure for each company.
38 Logging into the System Chapter 2 System Manager

Logging into the System


Before you can work in the system you have to login as an agent. Login occurs as soon as you start the
product. To do this, click or double click the desktop icon in Windows, or use the Windows Start menu and
choose the application:

The system displays all company databases you can access. Click the company you wish to
open.
Enter the agent name to login. In a new company database, the agent name is "Admin."
Passwords are case sensitive. In a new company database, the password is "Admin".

Program Updates
If there has been a program update, and the system needs to update the database and/or the common
database, an appropriate message displays. You need to be the Admin agent, or part of the Administrators
group, in order to be able to process the update.

Ensure that other users do no login to the system while an update is processing.
Chapter 2 System Manager Logging into the System 39

Once you login, it takes a few seconds to build the System Manager screen, which, depending on the
modules you are using, looks something like this:

The system tree on the left shows you functions arranged by module.
The menu system shows almost the same functions, arranged by functional area.
The Navigation Toolbar and the Recently Used list lets you scroll through the history of screens
you access. You can also use the Favourites option to store the most common options you use.
The work area on the right displays the function you select. This can be a further list of
functions, or, as in the case of the screen above, the records associated with the function. The
work area toolbar then lets you choose frequently used options.

We look at this screen in more detail later in this manual.


40 Working with Databases Chapter 2 System Manager

Working with Databases


This section looks at the tools and facilities you have when working with databases. We already saw in the
previous chapter how to create a new company database. Here we look at other facilities.

The Database Management Console


You execute most database functions via a program that is separate from the main application, called the
Database Management Console.

If you use the full Microsoft SQL Server version, or SQL server 2005/2008/2008 R2/2012, you
can and should accomplish these tasks via SQL itself. The Database Management Console
mimics the full SQL Server utilities, but has fewer features. You must use these utilities,
however, if you use MSDE.
To start the Database Management Console, locate the program in the Windows Start menu or on your
desktop, and click or double click the program.

To register (show) a server, choose the ServerNew SQL Server Registration option from the
menu.
To perform a function on a database, right click the database name and choose the function
from the popup menu, as shown.
To ensure a database is not in use when you back it up, detach it.
Chapter 2 System Manager Working with Databases 41

Backing up Databases
Backups are security copies of your data. There are a number of strategies to ensure data security. It is vital
that you understand all these issues.
Making security copies of your data is essential. The database is stored on your hard disk, and the hard disk
is subject to hardware failure, physical damage from natural events, and theft. The information you store in
your database is worth thousands of times as much as the physical hardware. Your business may fail if you
lose this data.
Therefore, you are obliged to make regular copies of the database. You should keep some of these copies in
a separate geographical location to ensure their safety.

Backup Regime
We recommend the following backup regime:
Daily backups made onto separate backup devices, one for each day of the week. In other words, do not
overwrite yesterdays backup with todays backup. Using the daily strategy, you can go back 5 working
days if you need to.

Additional backups made at the end of every week, again on separate devices. This lets you go back a
few weeks if you need to.

An additional backup made at the end of each month, which you keep for at least a financial year.

An additional backup made at the end of the financial year, which you keep forever.

Full and Differential Backups


Sometimes this routine is impossible to observe simply because of the sheer size of the data it would take
too long to make these backups. To help this, there are two backup methods:

Backup Type Backup Description

You backup every record in the database each time. To get your system back,
Full Backup
you simply restore the last backup you made.
This method is far quicker to backup, but slower to restore. You start with a full
backup that you make at a point. From then on, you only backup changes you
have made since the last full backup. You have to keep the original full backup
Differential Backup
and the last differential backup and not overwrite either. If you ever need to
restore, you restore the original full database first, and then the last differential
backup.

Which method should you use? If possible, always use the full backup. If database size really is a problem,
use differential backups on a daily basis, and use full backups for the rest.

Backing Up the Common Database


When you backup your company data, you must backup the common database for the company as well. If
you have multiple companies that share the common database, backup all companies at the same time. You
then need only make one backup of the common database.
42 Working with Databases Chapter 2 System Manager

Performing the Backup

If your version of Microsoft SQL Server contains a backup function, you should use it for
backup.

In the Database Management Console window, right click the database name and choose the Backup
Database menu option:

In the Database frame, choose the database to backup.


In the Backup frame, choose the backup method. If possible, use the complete method.
In the Overwrite frame, you can add the backup data to an existing file. The system keeps track
of which backups are in a file.
In the Destination text box, enter the full file name (path and file name) where you want to make
the backup. This path is relative to the computer the data is on, not the workstation on which
you run the backup.
Chapter 2 System Manager Working with Databases 43

Copying one Database to Another


You can create a new company database by copying some or all elements of an existing database. This can
save you a lot of time. For example, a related new company may need the same general ledger structure as a
current company. Alternatively, a branch may use the same inventory items and suppliers. You can also use
this feature to make an exact security copy of your company at year-end.
Choose the Administration...System Tools...Copy Company function. The Copy Company Wizard starts:

Enter the name of the new company in the Company tab.


In the Options tab, you choose whether to copy the whole company, including transactions, or a
portion of the company. The latter includes master file information only.
If you choose a selective copy, choose the elements to copy, if applicable.
44 Agents and Agent Groups Chapter 2 System Manager

Agents and Agent Groups


Agents
Agents are users of the system. You have to set up each person who works in a company as an agent. You
access agent maintenance via the Administration Agent AdministrationAgents function:

The agent name is unique to each agent.


Create a password for the agent. The password is case sensitive.
In the Groups tab, you can link agents to an agent group and set permissions per group instead.
You use the Access Permissions and the System Tree tabs to set up access permissions per
agent.
Chapter 2 System Manager Agents and Agent Groups 45

Agent Groups
You use agent groups to group agents together by their function. You can then set access control per group
instead of per agent. When new persons join the company, you just link them to an agent group to obtain
their access permissions. In addition, you can override group permissions per agent if you need to.
You maintain agent groups via the Administration... Agent Administration...Agent Groups function:

The Members tab shows agents that belong to this agent group.
Click the Select button to see a list of all agents and to link one or more agents into this agent
group.
The Access Permissions tab and the System Tree tab let you set access permissions for all
agents who belong to this group.

The Sage Evolution Standard product limits you to 5 agents.


46 Agents and Agent Groups Chapter 2 System Manager

Controlling Agent Access


You control agent access to the various functions in the system in two ways:
You can set access permissions to deny agents access to functions

You can customise the system tree to prevent functions displaying for the agent

You control this at the agent and/or agent group level, in the Access Permissions and System Tree tabs of
these functions:

The Access Permissions tab and the System Tree tab show on both the agent and agent group
screens.
The Access Permissions tab lets you decide what processing actions agents can take within a
specified function. The Maintenance sections let you grant creation, edit, and deletion rights.
The System Tree tab lets you customise the system's menus and system tree. By making an
option invisible to an agent, you simplify their views of the system, and reduce their ability to
access information they do not need to see.
Alternative row colours are now visible to distinguish the check boxes easier.
Chapter 2 System Manager Agents and Agent Groups 47

Viewing Agents Logged In


You can see which agents are currently working on the system by running an Agent Sessions Report. You do
this via the Administration...Agent Administration...Reports...Agent Sessions menu option:

Other Agent Reports available are:

Report Name What it Does


The report shows agent records. For each agent it shows their name, last name,
Agent Listing first name, description, work telephone number, mobile phone number, and email
address.
This report shows agents groups. If you choose to print the agents in the group,
Agent Group Listing then, for each agent, the report shows the agents name, full name, email
address, and work telephone number.
The report shows a list of agents and their allocated access permissions
Agent Permissions
depending on the filter options.
48 Other Administrative Functions Chapter 2 System Manager

Other Administrative Functions


In this section, we summarise the other administrative tools and functions that are available to you.

The System Wizard


The System Wizard allows you to configure email, performance, and appearance options. You access this
option via the Administration...System Configuration...System Wizard function. When you select this option,
the System Wizard window displays the following tabs:

Tab What it Does

This allows you to configure your system to send emails by using your default
Email email server or specific email configuration . You use email in the Contact
Management add-on module, as well as to email reports.
Versions This contains internal technical version information for use by support personnel.
Repository This lets you choose where to store the Business Intelligence module files.
Access Control This sets up default access control settings.
Login Security You can change and customise your login security settings.
Default System Tree This lets you customise the system tree for all agents.
This tab lets you maintain modified database triggers and update general ledger
Database Settings
as well as project balances when relinks are done in the respective modules.

Lookup Tables
There are some places in the application modules where you enter text information of a standard nature. For
example, in the Contact Management module, if an agent is out of the office, you enter text information for the
reason. Typical reasons are "On leave", "Sick", "In Training Course", and so on.
You use the Lookup Tables menu option to create standard text descriptions like this. Agents can access
these descriptions via a list box when working in these fields. This saves time and allows for standardisation.
You access this option via the Administration...System Configuration...Lookup Tables function.
Chapter 2 System Manager Other Administrative Functions 49

User Defined Fields


You can create custom fields and add these fields to key master file records such as customers and
suppliers. You can use these fields in the report writer to create new reports.
You access this option via the Administration...System Configuration...User Defined Fields function:

On the left are the master files into which you can add additional fields.
When you select the master file on the left, the area on the right shows the fields you created for
that master file.
When you add a field, the Add User Field window opens, and you choose the type of field you
need and set parameters such as the field size.
You can add a field that is a lookup, and you supply the list of valid items.

User Defined Fields for document lines are not available in the Sage Evolution Standard.
50 Other Administrative Functions Chapter 2 System Manager

The Message Log Viewer


The system logs many of the operations that occur in the normal course of events. This option allows you to
view these logs. You can use this function to see what agents do and to trace groups of transactions.
The system also logs internal error conditions. Usually you use the log viewer for this type of function only in
conjunction with a support person.
You access this option via the Administration...System Tools...Message Log Viewer function.
You can print the log file or save it to an external file. Log files can get quite large, and there is an option to
purge the log files from time to time.

Alert Management
The Alert Manager module extends your customer, supplier, inventory, and contact management processing.
It lets you stay in contact with your customers or suppliers, either via SMS's and/or Emails.
Most companies require a bulk-messaging tool to be in contact with their customers and/or supplier. The
most cost effective way is to send out bulk SMS's and emails to inform customer or suppliers of specials,
account balances, payments that are due, closing times, contact details and so on.
You use this module if you have regular activity between you and your customers and/or suppliers.
The workflow of the Alert Manager module:
Register with our Pastel SMS portal and purchase SMS bundles.

Set up the default sending email address using the System Wizard.
Chapter 2 System Manager Other Administrative Functions 51

Ensure that your customer and supplier master files contain valid contact details, especially cell
phone numbers and email addresses.
Create SMS and/or email templates.
Send the SMS's and/or emails.
Perform detailed enquiries about successful and unsuccessful transactions.

Alert Manager Set up


Defaults
To access this function, choose the Maintenance...Alert Manager...Defaults menu option. On the system tree,
choose the Alert Manager...Maintenance and select the Defaults dialogue.
Under the SMS tab, enter your Pastel SMS login details.

Under the Other tab, enter the Email subject and specify after how many days it should be repeated.

Templates
You have 3 types of templates that you can create for both your customers and suppliers:
Master Templates
Transaction Templates
Custom Events
To access this function, choose the Maintenance...Alert Manager...Templates menu option. On the system
tree, choose the Alert Manager...Maintenance function and then choose the Template option in the work area.
Note that this function does not display directly on the system tree.
52 Other Administrative Functions Chapter 2 System Manager

Master Templates
Enter a description of the template in the applicable field, thereafter, select the affected module. You can
select either customer, supplier or the inventory module.

The section headers will allow you to set up the message, schedule, the customer/supplier range and other
notification structures.
Click on the Add button.
Chapter 2 System Manager Other Administrative Functions 53

Template tab
After selecting the affected or applicable module, the Choose Fields for Template window is populated with
the respective tables. You will use these table names to populate the template content by dragging and
dropping the table name into the Template window. Remember to structure the message by dragging and
dropping the table names in the format or order that your message should display.

The Template Preview window allows you to view how the message will display.
Specify the Template criteria.
Click on the Test Criteria button to test the criteria. If the criteria is invalid, the system will inform you.
Select the Alert Preference to either be SMS or Email or both.
If you want the message to repeat several times during the specified time frame, check the Allow message
repetition check box.
Schedule
Set up the alert schedule by specifying the daily, weekly or monthly frequencies.
54 Other Administrative Functions Chapter 2 System Manager

Distribution tab
Select the affected customers, suppliers or items.
Affected People can also be selected.

Other tab
If you want the message to be sent to an internal staff member to view the message and to confirm that the
message was sent, you will specify the elected person's and message details here.

Transaction Templates
Enter a description of the transaction template in the applicable field, thereafter, select the affected document.
You can select either sales order, credit note or job card
The section headers will allow you to set up the message, the customer/supplier range and other notification
structures.

Custom Templates
Customise or personalise alert messages for your customer, supplier or inventory items by using this option.
The same conditions apply.
Chapter 2 System Manager Other Administrative Functions 55

Alert Manager Transactions


To access this function, choose the Transactions...Alert Manager...Group SMS menu option. On the system
tree, choose the Alert Manager...Transactions function and then choose the Group SMS option in the work
area. Note that this function does not display directly on the system tree.

Select your target as customers or suppliers. If you have customers or suppliers linked to groups, you can
select the applicable group. The customers or suppliers linked to the selected group will be listed in the grid
below by clicking on the Search button.
Specify the SMS content in this section of the screen.
The customers or suppliers will be listed in this grid after clicking on the Search button.
After you have made your selections, click on the Send button to send the SMS to the selected target
audience.

Enquiries
This option allows you to enquire about:
successfully sent items
items that are still pending in your outbox or did not send successfully
transaction activity logs with regard to your templates and transactions
Chapter 3 Using and Customising
the System
In this chapter, we look at how you use the system. There are many
standard and powerful ways of working. Each agent can also customise
their screens to suit their requirements.
Starting and Accessing Your System
Using Multiple Windows
Menus and Toolbars
Working with Records
Enquiries
Producing Reports
58 Starting and Accessing the System Chapter 3 Using and Customising the System

Starting and Accessing the System


Before you can work in the system you have to login as an agent. Login occurs as soon as you start the
product. To do this, click or double click the application icon on the Windows desktop, or use the Windows
Start menu and choose the application:

The system displays all company databases you can access. Click the company you wish to
open.
Enter the agent name to login. In a new company database, the agent name is "Admin."
Passwords are case sensitive. In a new company database, the password is "Admin".
Chapter 3 Using and Customising the System Starting and Accessing the System 59

Once you login, it takes a few seconds to build the System Manager screen:

The different areas are as follows:


The system tree shows you functions arranged by module.

The menu system shows almost the same functions, arranged by functional area.

The Navigation Toolbar and the Recently Used list lets you scroll through the history of screens you
access. You can also use the Favourites option to store the most common options you use.

The work area displays the item you select. This can be a further list of items, or, as in the case of the
screen above, the records associated with the option.

The work area toolbar then lets you choose common functions.

We will be looking at all these elements in this chapter.


60 Using Multiple Windows Chapter 3 Using and Customising the System

Using Multiple Windows


Once you login to the system, the main screen displays. We call this screen the Explorer. You use the
Explorer to navigate through the system and initiate programs. Some of these programs operate inside the
Explorers work area; others open as separate windows so that you process in multiple windows at the same
time. You can also open multiple copies of the Explorer itself. There are different types of windows and there
are some rules that you need to understand. These issues will become clearer as you start working with the
system.
Using some functions blocks access to all other functions. These functions run in windows we call exclusive
or modal. All maintenance functions, for example, are exclusive. If you add or edit a master file record, the
function opens as a separate window, and you cannot access any other functions in the system until you
close that window.
Other functions are not exclusive. You can open as many processing functions as you like. Once you do so, it
opens in its own window. This window, unlike a maintenance window, becomes independent of the Explorer.
You can even close the Explorer and continue to work in a processing screen.
Yet other functions execute in the work area of the Explorer. Enquiry programs are examples of this. You run
the enquiry in the work area. Any other function you run removes the enquiry from the work area. It is,
however often useful to have an enquiry running "in the background" and available for you to use. For
example, in the Contact Management module, an agent may like to keep an enquiry open showing the
agents open incidents. The agent can then refresh this enquiry periodically to keep it up to date. To allow
this, you can load multiple copies of the Explorer.

Only one agent is active at any one time on a workstation. You cannot close an Explorer and
login as a different agent if there is another screen open.

Some windows can be resized, others not. You can resize processing windows and the Explorer windows. As
you do so, the system adjusts to the size available. For example, in a processing screen, the larger the screen
is, the more lines of information you can see at once. Maintenance screens are usually a fixed size, and so
you cannot adjust them.
Chapter 3 Using and Customising the System Menus and Toolbars 61

Menus and Toolbars


In this section, we look in detail at how you navigate through the various application modules. We look at how
you use the main Explorer window, and how you customise the system to suit your requirements. Agents who
login to the system customise their screens separately. We look at the following areas:

Areas Function

Menus The menu system gives you access to every available option.
The system tree gives you access to the same functions as the menu system. The
The System Tree
difference is in the arrangement of the functions.
Toolbars You have many different toolbars available, which you can customise.
Favourites This allows you to make often-used functions accessible as quickly as possible.

Menus
You use menus to access options by activities. For example, the Reports menu accesses all reports in every
module. You may not see all menus, depending on the modules you use and agent access rules:

Menu Name Function

File This lets you login and logout, close the program, and open a copy of the Explorer.
View This lets you access system tree functions. We look at these functions next.
Administration We covered this menu earlier. It contains purely administrative functions.
My Desktop This gives you access to transactions or events that need your attention.
This menu lets you create records such as customer and inventory. We deal with the
Maintenance
functions on this menu in each modules chapter.
The lets you create printed reports. We deal with the specific functions on this menu
Reports
in each modules chapter.
This menu is where you perform the day-to-day entry of transactions. Examples are
Transactions order entry, customer contacts, and purchasing. We deal with the functions on this
menu in each modules chapter.
You use this menu to conduct detailed screen enquiries. We deal with all this later in
Enquiries
this chapter.
This menu shows information in graphic format. We deal with the specific functions
Charts
on this menu in each modules chapter.
Business Intelligence This add-on module lets you utilise the power of Microsoft Excel for reporting
Centre purposes.
This menu lets you reset some defaults, register you system, and change your
Utilities
password.
The menu gives you access to the on-line help. In addition, you can link to Internet
Help
sites that contain additional support information and program update information.
62 Menus and Toolbars Chapter 3 Using and Customising the System

The File Menu

Use the New Explorer option to open a new Explorer window. You can have multiple Explorer
windows open at once for enquiry purposes.
The Close All (Other) Windows option lets you close all other open screens, such as processing
screens and other Explorer windows, in one operation.
If you wish to work in another company or as another agent, use the Exit and Log Off option. The
program will display the login screen.

The Utilities Menu

The Registration option lets you register your new package or update your license registration
annually.
You use the Change Password option to change your password.
You can set your agent out of office.
You can change the system date.
You can check for system updates.
You can execute the Microsoft Windows Calculator from this menu.

The Help Menu

Use the Help option to access the on-line help files contents.
Use the Internet Links options to link to internet sites that contain product support and upgrade
information. You can access the Sage E-Business website by clicking on the SMS Gateway link.
Chapter 3 Using and Customising the System Menus and Toolbars 63

The System Tree


The system tree gives you access to options by means of a hierarchy based on modules. A module usually
gives rise to at least four options - Maintenance, Transactions, Enquiries, and Reports. These options display
on the menu as well as on the system tree:

All nodes beneath the one you select display in the work area.
Click the + icon to open a level, and click the - icon to close that level.
To change the width of the system tree, place the cursor on its right edge. When the cursor
changes to a sizing icon, you can drag the border left or right.
You execute a function by clicking its name on the system tree or the work area. Some functions only display
on the work area, and not in the system tree:

Nodes display on the system tree and in the work area. Nodes always execute in the work area.
Click a node to execute it.
Dialogs display in their own free-floating window. They do not display on the system tree. Click a
dialog to execute it.
You do not have to use the system tree. All the functions on the system tree are also on the menu system. If
you close the system tree, you have more space in the work area. On the other hand, many people find the
system tree much easier to navigate and to find the function you need.
64 Menus and Toolbars Chapter 3 Using and Customising the System

Toolbars
Toolbars contain one or more icons, optionally with text, which allow you to choose commonly used functions
quickly:

Toolbars contain no unique functions; they give you quick access to functions you can also access via the
windows menus or by right clicking on the work area. You do not have to use toolbars. You can use menus
to access the identical functions.
You can customise toolbars by adding functions to them, removing functions from them, or even by removing
the toolbar completely.
Each function has its own toolbar settings. For example, if you customise a maintenance toolbar in the
customer maintenance option, the supplier maintenance toolbar does not change. Each agent customises
their toolbars without affecting other agents.
To customise a toolbar or the menu, right click on it. A popup menu displays, showing the available toolbar(s)
with a check mark:

Check the toolbars you wish to see, and uncheck the ones you wish to hide.
Choose the Customize option to customise the toolbars that display in this menu. The Customisation window
looks like this:

Use the Toolbars tab to choose which toolbar to work on.


In the Commands tab, choose a category of commands on the left panel, and the commands
show on the right panel.
To add an icon to the toolbar, drag the icon from this window onto the toolbar in the position you
want to place it.
To delete an icon from the toolbar, drag it from the toolbar into this window.
Chapter 3 Using and Customising the System Menus and Toolbars 65

Favourites
The favourites function allows you to make often-used functions accessible as quickly as possible. The
functions you select appear on a menu. Selecting a particular option takes you straight into the program. Even
quicker, each of these options has a keystroke shortcut based on its position in the menu.
You access the Favourites menu via the View...System Tree menu option or by right clicking the Favourites
icon:

Choose an option on the menu, or use the hot keys to invoke the function at any time.
Choose the Add option to add the function currently in the work area to this menu.
Choose the Organise Favourites option to customise the descriptions, sequence, and hot keys
at the top of this menu.
The customisation screen looks like this:

To add a shortcut key to an item, choose a shortcut key from the Keyboard Shortcut list.
66 Working with Records Chapter 3 Using and Customising the System

Working with Records


Everything you enter is stored on the database. This includes items such as master file records (inventory,
customers, suppliers), transactions (journal entries, sales order lines), business rules (transaction types,
volume discounts), and administrative records (agents, agent groups).
The system provides you with uniform methods of working with these records. This makes it easy to learn and
use the system.
You maintain records by creating new records, and editing or deleting existing ones. You can also create a
new record as a copy of an existing record and then modify it. To maintain records, move into the
maintenance option for the record that you wish to create:

Click the icons to perform the specified functions on the currently selected record.
You can choose which fields to display, the order of the columns, and the order of the rows.
Simply click the column name to sort by that name.
Click the arrow in each column header to filter records.
Existing records display in the work area. Double click a record to edit it.
You can choose which database fields to display, and the width and sequence of each field. Right click the
work area and choose Customise Grid Columns:

Drag a field from the Customise window to the column names to show that field.
Drag a column name to the Customise window to hide a field currently displaying.
Drag the right border of a column to adjust its width. Drag a column name to move it to another
place.
Chapter 3 Using and Customising the System Working with Records 67

You can group and filter records:

Drag column names into the area above the column headers to group records by those columns.
Then click the + icons in the work area to see the records or groups within a grouping. Click the -
icon to close the groupings.
To filter a field, click the down arrow on the column name. Choose exact values from the list, or
build value expressions (such as only showing records between specified values) using the
Custom option.
Sort the records by any field in ascending or descending sequence. The light arrow, as in the
Description field, shows the sort direction.
You can add your own text notes to any record on the system. These notes remain with the record as long as
the record exists. The notes are visible by any agent who has access to the record. To add a note, select the
record and then click the Notes icon:

You can set the font name, font size, colour, and weight of the text.
You can create bulleted lists.
You can drop graphics, spreadsheets, and any other kind of object into the note body.
You can perform search and replace operations.
You can create tables by using customisable tab stops.
68 Enquiries Chapter 3 Using and Customising the System

Enquiries
The Enquiries menu lets you look at your company data in the most powerful way. You choose a master file
record, such as a customer, supplier, or inventory record. You can then see all the activity related to that
record.
You use the same tools such as sorting, grouping, and filtering, which you use on maintenance-type
enquiries. In Enquiries menu options, however, you have additional functionality available.
There is a two-stage process. In the first stage, you select the master file record, such as a customer, to
analyse. In the second stage, you choose the information you wish to see about that master file record. Do
you want to see open orders for customers, for example, or payments? Once you choose the type of data,
you usually have other filtering options, such as a date range, category, and so on. You can then further sort,
filter, and group in the standard ways.
In some modules, you can also produce charts using the Charts menu.
In this section, we show you features which are common to Enquiries functions. Each application modules
documentation has more details about each function.
Here is a typical enquiries screen:

Use the navigational buttons to navigate through the file, or select the file from the Account or
Description list box.
Once you select a record, click View to see its transactions.
Choose the type of information you would like to see by clicking the tabs.
You can range on various fields such as periods. These are different for each enquiry.
Use the standard grouping, sorting, and filtering capabilities as well.
You can right click the Account and Description fields. A popup menu displays. This menu lets
you customise these list boxes, edit or create master records, and search for records.
You can also access enquiries via the Lookup menu.
Chapter 3 Using and Customising the System Charts 69

Charts
Charts are also available for selective modules. These charts assist in visual translation of data.

Charts are only available for selective modules, namely:


General Ledger Module
Contact Management Module
Order Entry Module

This feature is not available in Sage Evolution Standard.


70 Producing Reports Chapter 3 Using and Customising the System

Producing Reports
You have powerful reporting options available to you. You can set many report options each time you run a
report. Some of these options are common to all reports, and some are report specific. Here we look at the
standard options and methods.
You can print, preview, and email any report.
You can create report jobs to produce reports in batches, and you can even schedule when the report jobs
should print. You can make copies of the standard reports and then customise them, and you can create new
custom reports. For details about this, see the section on documentation structure at the beginning of this
manual.
When you choose a report, the Report Options window displays:

Check the Default check box to save your report specific options for the next time you print.
Click Print to print the report.
Click Preview to preview the report on screen prior to printing it.
The Layout Options tab lets you copy a report layout and then customise it.
In the Printer Options tab, you set options such as the printer to use, and the number of copies
to print.
In the Email tab, you set email options such as the format of the attachment to send.
Chapter 3 Using and Customising the System Producing Reports 71

The Preview window looks like this:

Click the Print icon to print to the printer.


Choose one of three pre-selected screen sizes, or enter a percentage zoom (100%=same as print
size). Use the buttons to scroll through the report, or enter the page number.
Click the Search icon to find text in the report.
Chapter 4 Common Elements

In this chapter, we look at elements that are common throughout the


modules. You set these up initially when you create the company, and
you may use some of these functions over time.
Accounting Periods
Tax Types
Projects
Settlement Discounts
Banks
74 Accounting Periods Chapter 4 Common Elements

Accounting Periods
A financial year consists of 12 financial periods. You specify each period's dates. When you enter a
transaction you have to enter its date, and the system allocates the transaction to the relevant period. The
system gives you access to five years of information, in other words 60 periods.
You set up and maintain accounting periods in the Company Details function, in the Accounting Periods tab.
You access the function via the Maintenance...Common...Company Details menu option. On the system tree,
choose the Common...Maintenance function and then choose Company Details in the work area. Once you
select the function, click the Accounting Periods tab:

To edit a period, select the period in the Period list box and enter the new closing date.
You can see and potentially work in five financial years at a time.
You can block a period to prevent agents from using the periods once they are complete, or before they
are in use.
You can set which agents can work in which periods.
Chapter 4 Common Elements Projects 75

Projects
You use project codes to group transactions together and then report on them. You can use this to analyse
projects, jobs, cost centres, and so on. You can produce a profit and loss report per project. The use of
projects is optional.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Common...Projects menu option, or via the system tree
Common...Maintenance...Projects function:

The Sage Evolution Standard does not include project budgets.


76 Branches Chapter 4 Common Elements

Branches
Create your different branches using this function.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Common...Branches menu option, or via the system tree
Common...Maintenance...Branch function:

You will use this function to create your branches for the Branch Accounting add-on module.

This is not available for Sage Evolution Standard.

Cost Centres
Cost centres are analysis codes. You can use them to represent cost centres, projects, business areas,
geographical areas, and so on.

You access this function via the Maintenance...Common...Cost Centre menu option, or via the system tree
Common...Maintenance...Cost Centre function:
Chapter 4 Common Elements EFTS File Layouts 77

EFTS File Layouts


You use this function to set up EFTS parameters for electronic funds transfers. You can also use this function
to customize the EFTS layout to a limited extent.

For more detailed information on this topic, refer to the help file.

EU Countries
If you use European Union (EU) processing, you need to define your own country code, and the country
codes of your customer and suppliers.

For more detailed information on this topic, refer to the help file.

Foreign Currency
You need to create a currency record before you can use the currency. You use this function maintain
currencies and enter exchange rates.

For more detailed information on this topic, refer to the help file.

Notes
You use this function to search for existing notes in the system.

You can also add line notes to documents, by right clicking in the document grid and select the notes menu
option from the menu list.
78 Priorities Chapter 4 Common Elements

Priorities
When you create an incident or document you assign a priority to it, and you can report and see incidents in
priority sequence. You can change the priority of an open incident at any time. You can create as many
priorities as you wish.

We discuss this in more detail in the Inventory and Order Entry Chapter.

States
You use this function to log provinces or states in the system. This is helpful when you do business with
foreign countries.

For more detailed information on this topic, refer to the help file.
Chapter 4 Common Elements Settlement Terms 79

Settlement Terms
You can define settlement terms for customers and suppliers. These let you specify a settlement, or early
payment discount, based on payment for an invoice within a defined time limit.
You define the time limit as a number of days relative to either the invoice date or the next statement date.
You can create a default message that appears on the invoice, so that the customer or supplier clearly
understands the terms of the discount.
When you process a payment or receipt, you can link to a list of invoices with discounts that fall within the
payment date. When you select an invoice, the system enters the discount automatically.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Accounts Receivable...Settlement Terms menu option, the
Maintenance...Accounts Payable...Settlement Terms menu option, or via the system tree Accounts
Receivable...Maintenance...Settlement Terms function or the Accounts Payable...Maintenance...Settlement
Terms option:

If you process a sale or purchase transaction with settlement terms, then, when you process the payment, the
system shows you which transactions have terms. You can pick the transaction to use, and the system
processes the discount automatically:

You can edit the discount percentage or settlement amount if you need to.
80 Banks Chapter 4 Common Elements

Banks
Bank Details
You use this to enter your company's bank details, which you need for electronic funds transfers.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Common...Company Details menu option, or via the system
tree Common...Maintenance...Company Details function. Note that this function does not display on the
system tree. Once you access this function, choose the Bank Details tab.

Bank Codes
You use bank codes to pay employees and suppliers. You can set up as many banks as you require. It works
as follows:
You set up bank codes here which have the bank's name and branch code.

On each employee and/or supplier record, you link to this bank code, and add in the specific account
number and the account type for that record.

You access this function via the Maintenance...Common...Banks menu option, or via the system tree
Common...Maintenance...Banks function.
Chapter 4 Common Elements Common Reports 81

Common Reports
In this section, we outline common reports. To access these reports, choose the Reports...Common menu
option. On the System tree, choose the Common...Reports function.

Report What it Does

Bank Report This lists all you banks created in the system.
This prints tax transactions, in detail or in total, grouped by tax type
Tax Report
with an option to generate a payments based tax report.
This lists transactions processed in the system. You can select which
Transaction Listing
module you would want to report on.
Chapter 5 Tax
In this chapter, we look at the Tax module.
Tax Overview
Tax Maintenance
Tax Reporting
Chapter 5 Tax Tax Overview 83

Tax Overview
The processing structure of tax transactions is important to determine the credibility of the tax returns filed on
behalf of the company.
A separate Tax module is available in Evolution to assist in the setup of critical tax elements.

New Users
When a new database is created, Evolution will automatically create the default tax types, tax groups and will
link the associated transaction types to the different tax groups.

Existing Users
When an existing database is upgraded to latest version of Evolution, the new default tax types and tax
groups will not be created. You may continue processing with your previous tax types and related setups.
If you would like to use the new tax module, the additional tax types and tax groups will have to be created
manually. Ensure that you link the associated transaction types to the tax groups for accurate tax processing
and reporting purposes.

The tax groups are created upon upgrade but not linked to the transactions codes.

The South African Revenue Services (SARS) is moving towards electronic supporting document
submissions for entities registered for Value Added Tax (VAT).
The outcome of this is to electronically submit tax information in the VAT201 format, using a
Tax Box Report.
Evolution created a platform to accommodate the Tax Box Report Mapping whereby users will:
create tax types, tax groups, thereafter link transaction types to tax groups and map the tax
groups on the Tax Box Mapping. This process is referred to as the Tax Box Report Setup.
After mapping the Tax Box Report, Evolution will calculate the box values for the Tax Report
using the Tax Box Report Setup.

Recommended Setup Process


The following tax set up process is recommended:
1. Tax Box Report Setup
2. Tax Groups
3. Tax Box Mapping
4. Tax Defaults
5. Tax Box Report
84 Tax Maintenance Chapter 5 Tax

Tax Maintenance
Tax Types
You use tax types for calculation of value added tax (VAT). The system extracts values per tax type, which
allows you to generate the reports to the tax authorities.
For existing databases, the system generated the following tax types for you automatically:
Output Tax
Output Tax Adjustment
Input Tax
Input Tax Capital
Input Tax Adjustments
Zero Rate
Exempt
When you create a new database, the system generates the following tax types for you automatically to
accommodate the Tax Box Report (South African Users only):
Standard Rate (Excluding Capital Goods)
Standard Rate (Capital Goods)
Zero Rated (Excluding Goods Exported)
Zero Rated (Only Exported Goods)
Exempt and Non-Supplies
Accommodation Exceeding 28 Days
Accommodation Not Exceeding 28 Days
Change in Use
Export of Second Hand Goods
Capital Goods Imported
Other Goods Imported (Not Capital Goods)
Bad Debts
You access this function via the Maintenance...Tax...Tax Types menu option, or via the system tree
Tax...Maintenance...Tax Types function:

You also need to specify, at various places in the system, one or more general ledger accounts to use as a
tax control account. Although you can use more than one tax control account, we strongly suggest that you
use only one general ledger account for tax control purposes.
Chapter 5 Tax Tax Maintenance 85

Tax Box Report Setup


This Tax Box Report Setup is preloaded with the displayed information for all new and existing databases.
The users can edit this setup according to their organisation's tax requirements and/or processes.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Tax...Tax Box Report Setup menu option, or via the system
tree Tax...Maintenance... Tax Box Report Setup function. Note that this function does not display on the
system tree.

Click on the Load Default Tax Box Report Setup button to reset the Tax Box Report Setup grid to
its original state. Please note, that if you add additional lines and clicked on this button, that
information will be lost. To add, insert or delete lines go to the Line menu.
Go to the View menu and click on the Auto Fit Grid Columns option to expand the grid columns
to accommodate the text length.
The Box Number column contains the box line number in the grid.
The Box Label column contains the box label as per the VAT201 field references specified by
(SARS) your tax authority.
The Heading column contains the heading of the VAT201 field / tax classifications.
The Example column contains examples of the tax type that will be included in the calculation of
this tax box.
There are two options to select from, namely; Tax Type Report and Calculation
Select the Tax Type option from the drop down menu if you want the system to populate the
amount that was calculated by the system linked to the specific tax type.
Select the Report Calculation option from the drop down menu if you want the system to use the
Tax Box Report box field calculation formula to calculate the amount applicable to the tax type.
Select whether you want the system to populate the inclusive or exclusive amounts in the Value
column, or just the tax amount in the box field.
Select your rounding option from the drop down menu in the Rounding column.
86 Tax Maintenance Chapter 5 Tax

Tax Groups
Evolution creates default tax groups for new and existing databases. They are:
Cashbook Payment Debits
Cashbook Payment Credits
Cashbook Deposits Debits
Cashbook Deposits Credits
Sales
Purchases
Customer Returns
Supplier Returns
Debit Journal Entries
Credit Journal Entries
Accounts Receivable Adjustments
Accounts Payable Adjustments

When existing customers upgrade their database, the default tax groups will be created but it
will not be linked to transactions types. This will be a manual process.

You access this function via the Maintenance...Tax...Tax Groups menu option, or via the system tree
Tax...Maintenance...Tax Groups function.

Click on the Add button to add a new Tax Group.


You will link your transaction types to tax groups for tax reporting purposes. Remember that you
cannot link a transaction type to more than one tax group.
Once you use a tax group, you cannot delete it.

Tax Box Mapping


The Box Report is dependent on the information that are mapped in the grid, as the system will use the tax
types to calculate the figures displayed in the relevant tax boxes on the generated Tax Box Report.

New Users / Databases


When a new database is created, Evolution will automatically populate the tax groups with the corresponding
tax types. You can edit the mapping options to correspond with your business tax requirements.

Existing Users / Upgrades


When an existing database is upgraded to latest version of Evolution, you will have to manually assign the Tax
Box Label to the associated tax type and tax group by using the drop down menu.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Tax...Tax Box Mapping menu option, or via the system tree
Tax...Maintenance...Tax Box Mapping function.
Chapter 5 Tax Tax Maintenance 87

Click on the Validate button to check for duplicate tax groups in the setup. You are not allowed
to have duplicate tax groups in the grid.
Click on the Load Default Tax Box Report Setup button to reset the Tax Box Mapping grid to its
original state. Please note, that if you add additional lines and clicked on this button, that
information will be lost. To add, insert or delete lines go to the Line menu.
Go to the View menu and click on the Auto Fit Grid Columns option to expand the grid columns
to accommodate the text length.
The Tax Group and Tax Group Description will display in the respective columns.
The tax type columns display at the top of the grid.
The Tax Box Labels must be selected using the respective drop down menus.
88 Tax Maintenance Chapter 5 Tax

Tax Defaults
You use this function to set up tax processing.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Tax...Tax Defaults menu option. On the system tree, choose
the Tax...Maintenance function and then choose Tax Defaults in the work area. Note that this function does
not display directly on the system tree.

You will use the Company tab to specify whether you want to use the Payments Based Tax
method and to enter your tax details.
For South African users, you will use the Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable tab to
force and validate tax identification on the Accounts Receivables and Accounts Payables
modules' processing abilities.
You use the General Ledger tab to validate the tax group on the cashbook and journal batch
processing screen.
Chapter 5 Tax Tax Reporting 89

Tax Reporting
In this section, we outline common reports. To access these reports, choose the Reports...Tax menu option.
On the System tree, choose the Tax...Reports function.

Report What it Does

Tax Box Report The output of this report resembles the VAT 201 format.
The tax report generates all the information you require to submit your
tax returns to the tax authorities. Creating multiple tax control
Tax Report
accounts is therefore unnecessary, and can in fact be confusing,
unless you have special circumstances.
Chapter 6 General Ledger
In this chapter, we look at the General Ledger module.
General Ledger Overview
Setting up General Ledger
General Ledger Maintenance
General Ledger Processing
General Ledger Enquiries
General Ledger Reporting
92 General Ledger Overview Chapter 6 General Ledger

General Ledger Overview


The general ledger is the heart of the financial function of your company. All processing you do eventually
reflects in the general ledger. You therefore have to ensure that you implement this module in the most
beneficial and efficient manner.
We divide this overview into the following sections:
General Ledger Elements

General Ledger Processing

General Ledger Elements


The general ledger structure contains many elements. Some of these elements are common to other
modules.

Accounting Periods
Time is a critical element of the general ledger. Your business activity occurs in a legislated timeframe. The
time elements are a financial year and a financial period.
A financial year consists of 12 financial periods. You specify each period's dates. When you enter a
transaction you have to enter its date, and the system allocates the transaction to the relevant period.
The system keeps transactions and balances for five financial years. You can close periods to prevent
processing in those periods. You can purge the first year's balances and transactions at any stage.
You can block periods you do not wish to use currently. By blocking a period, you ensure no one uses the
period inadvertently. Alternatively, you can choose which agents can work in which periods.
When you start using the system, which year should you use for the current year? Usually, you would use the
second year for the current year, so that you could put last year's balances in the first year. You can enter last
year's balances as a single balance in the last period of the year, or as monthly balances.

General Ledger Accounts


Besides time, the other major element in the general ledger is the division of all activity into general ledger
accounts. A general ledger account represents a particular business activity, such as a bank account, a sales
account, an expense account, and so on.
General accounting practice classifies accounts by account types, which enable the production of legislated
reports such as the income statement, the trial balance, and the balance sheet. The system takes care of all
the complexities involved in producing these reports. All you have to do is allocate the correct account type to
each general ledger account.
When you create a new company, you can choose a default chart of accounts from a list of standard ones.
The system then creates these general ledger accounts for you. You can add, delete, or modify these
accounts in any manner.
You also choose, when you create a company, whether to use account numbers or not. The system does not
require the use of account numbers, but you can use them if you wish to. If you do not want to use account
numbers, the system uses the account description as the account number in the standard charts of
accounts.
Chapter 6 General Ledger General Ledger Overview 93

Whenever you enter an accounting transaction, whether you are working in the general ledger module or not,
the system updates general ledger accounts. If you are working outside the general ledger module, the
system generates a general ledger transaction, so that you can see the source of the values in the general
ledger account.
The system also keeps a balance per period for each general ledger account.

Branches
You can create branch codes and attach these to general ledger accounts. You can then produce reports by
ranging on branch codes (or not).
If you do wish to use branches, you create multiple sets of general ledger accounts, each with their own
branch code. You duplicate, per branch, those accounts that occur at a branch level. For example, you would
usually track sales per branch. If each branch is a relatively independent entity, you may duplicate most of the
general ledger structure per branch.
The use of branches is optional.

Departments
In the same way, you can create department codes that you also attach to general ledger accounts.
Branch and department codes are unrelated, which means that you can analyse your general ledger using
multiple simultaneous categories. Alternatively, you can create a multi-level structure by creating departments
within branches, or vice versa.
If you use both branch and department codes, you may need to create a considerable number of general
ledger accounts. You should spend some time designing the account structure and account numbers, since
the structure will affect how you produce your financial reports.
The use of departments is optional.

Sub-Accounts
You can group general ledger accounts under other general ledger accounts, thereby creating a reporting
hierarchy. This enables you to simplify some reports considerably, while at the same time retaining the level of
detail you require.
For example, you can create an account to represent motor vehicle expenses. You can then create sub-
accounts beneath this account, where each sub-account represents a particular activity, such as fuel costs,
servicing costs, and so on. Your financial reports can then show one total for motor vehicle expenses, which
is what you want. However, you also have the ability to see expenses in more detail, which you need from the
management point of view.
One way to use this feature is to combine it with the department and/or branch structure. You could create an
account, say sales, and then create sub-accounts for the various branches or departments. This enables you
to see the total sales in the organisation by looking at the master account, and the sales in each structure by
looking at the sub-account.
The use of sub-accounts is optional.
Note that you cannot post directly to a master account, in other words to an account that contains sub-
accounts.
94 General Ledger Overview Chapter 6 General Ledger

Projects
You use project codes to group transactions together and then report on them. You can use this to analyse
projects, jobs, cost centres, and so on. You can produce a profit and loss report per project.
Unlike branch and department codes, you do not attach project codes to general ledger accounts. The
advantage of using projects is that you do not have to create accounts in your general ledger per project, as
you do with departments and branches. Using projects is simple:
Create the project code

Use the project code on any relevant transaction

Print an income statement for the project at any time.

Project codes do have limitations compared to branch and department codes. For example, the agent has to
choose a project code for each transaction. With branch and department codes, a supervisor can setup
default general ledger codes that agents do not have to enter.
The use of projects is optional.

Designing the General Ledger Structure


Changing your general ledger structure once you start processing is not easy, if at all achievable. Take time to
design your chart of accounts as well as any branch or departmental structures.
There are many options available, as you can see. You have to first design a chart of accounts that suits your
organisation. You would model this on your existing chart of accounts.
You then have to decide on the use of branches, departments, sub-accounts, and projects. All of these
elements are optional.
Make your structure as flexible as possible to cater for future growth. If necessary, enlist the aid of your
accountant or a consultant. This is one of the most critical aspects of your implementation.

General Ledger Budgets


You can create budgets per general ledger account per period. You can then print budget variance reports,
and show budget vs. actual values in various reports.
You work with budgets in various ways:
You can enter budgets for individual periods

You can set budgets for ranges of periods

You can adjust budgets by a percentage or by an amount

You can copy budgets from actual values or from other budget year values

Once you have your budgets established, you can optionally link the general ledger budget to supplier
purchasing, which enables you to monitor your purchases against the budget.
Chapter 6 General Ledger General Ledger Overview 95

General Ledger Transaction Types


You enter values into the general ledger by means of transactions. You classify these transactions by creating
transaction types. You can then view all transactions of a particular type together.
Unless you use a consultant to help you, you should spend some time deciding on how many transaction
types you need. If you create too few, then transaction enquiries will contain so many transactions the
process becomes very tedious. If you create too many, then transaction enquiries will yield too few
transactions to be meaningful.

Tax Types
You use tax types for calculation of value added tax (VAT). The system extracts values per tax type, which
allows you to generate the reports to the tax authorities.
When you create a new company, the system generates some tax types for you automatically.
You also need to specify, at various places in the system, one or more general ledger accounts to use as a
tax control account.
Although you can use more than one tax control account, we strongly suggest that you use only one general
ledger account for tax control purposes. The tax report generates all the information you require to submit
your tax returns to the tax authorities. Creating multiple tax control accounts is therefore unnecessary, and
can in fact be confusing, unless you have special circumstances.

Foreign Bank Accounts and Revaluation


You use revaluations on foreign accounts to realise the actual foreign currency amount in your financial
system. This is a continuous process whereby a foreign amount will be brought forward and revaluated until
year end.
This entails the creation of a Profit / Loss Revaluation Account, flagging of foreign bank and other accounts as
well as the creation of journal / cash book batches for revaluation purposes.

Run the Foreign Bank Account Revaluation Wizard to process revaluations.


96 General Ledger Overview Chapter 6 General Ledger

Accrual Processing
Accrual Basis of Accounting This is a basic principle of accounting under which revenue is recognised
(recorded) when earned, and expenses are recognised when incurred. Both the revenues and expenses are
recorded within the relevant accounting period, whether or not the cash was received or paid out in that
period.
The use of accruals (to recognise the time lag between sales and purchases on the one side, and the
collection and payment of cash on the other) permits a more meaningful comparison of the actual trading
operations of the business, unaffected by the timing of actual receipts and payments.
It is important to create a separate journal batch for your accrual processing requirements. Ensure to select
the batch type as an accrual journal, especially where you wish to automatically reverse the accrual in the next
period.

Open your Accruals Journal Batch. Record your accruals.

Post the batch.


Chapter 6 General Ledger General Ledger Overview 97

Segmented General Ledger Accounts


The general ledger structure of accounts, sub-accounts, departments, and branches fits most business
requirements. If you have a more sophisticated general ledger requirement, you can dispense with all these
elements and replace them with a powerful, segmented general ledger structure. If you are not going to use
this structure, you can skip this section of the overview.

This feature is not available in Sage Evolution Standard.

The standard general ledger structure has the following elements:


You can create two levels of accounts, main accounts and sub accounts. Sub accounts total into the
main account. You can produce financial reports at the main or sub account level.

You can use either or both of a branch code and a department code to give you additional general ledger
analysis. You attach these codes to general ledger accounts. Therefore, if you wish to create an income
statement for a branch, for example, you would duplicate the income statement accounts and then link
them to the branch code.

The segmented general ledger structure is radically different from this:


You can create up to ten separate segments. The first segment's name is "Account", which you use for
the account number. You name any additional segments you use.

Once you set up the segment structure, you create elements in each segment. If, for example, you call a
segment "Department", you then create the individual departments as records of that segment.

You create general ledger accounts by concatenating one or more segments. There are some rules
about this:

You have to use the first segment in every general ledger account.
You can leave out as many segments at the end as you like. This lets you eliminate unneeded
segments. If, for example, you use the last segment for a department code, and you have some
accounts that are non-departmental, you can leave the segment out. However, you cannot leave out
a segment in the middle.
The system does not include sub accounts, departments, or branches in the structure. You can use
segments to duplicate these elements in a far more flexible manner.

You can convert from using standard accounts to using segmented accounts, but not vice versa. If you are
unsure about which general ledger structure to use, you can start with the standard structure and convert into
the segmented structure in the future.
98 General Ledger Overview Chapter 6 General Ledger

Here is a small portion of a possible segment setup:

Segment Number Segment Name Code Description

Account 100 Sales Widgets


200 Sales Widgets Spares
1 300 Support Contracts Widgets
998 Sales Other
999 Support Contracts Other
Branch JHB Johannesburg
CPT Cape Town
2
DBN Durban
ZZZ Other
Department WIDG Widgets
3
ZZZZ Other

We have three segments, shown in bold. One is for an account number, one for a branch, and one for a
department. Within each segment, we have codes for specific accounts, branches, and departments. Note
that we do not yet have general ledger accounts.
Once you have the above structure, you can create accounts such as the following. Note that you have to set
up a separator character between segments. We use the / character in this example.

Account Number Description

100/JHB/WIDG Widget Sales Johannesburg


100/CPT/WIDG Widget Sales Cape Town
100/DBN/WIDG Widget Sales Durban
100/ZZZ/WIDG Widget Sales Other Areas
200/JHB/WIDG Widget Spares Johannesburg
200/CPT/WIDG Widget Spares Cape Town
200/DBN/WIDG Widget Spares Durban
200/ZZZ/WIDG Widget Spares Other Areas
300/JHB/WIDG Widget Support Contracts Johannesburg
300/CPT/WIDG Widget Support Contacts Cape Town
300/DBN/WIDG Widget Support Contracts Durban
300/ZZZ/WIDG Widget Support Contracts Other Areas
998/ZZZ/ZZZZ Non-Widget Sales
999/ZZZ/ZZZZ Non-Widget Support Contracts
Chapter 6 General Ledger General Ledger Overview 99

Unlike a traditional general ledger system, you cannot choose an account number directly. Instead, you create
a general ledger account by merging pre-existing segment codes into a unique general ledger code.
Using segments lets you report in very powerful and flexible ways. This is the reason you use segments - to
be able to extract information in multi-dimensional ways, where each segment is a dimension.
For example:
You can extract an income statement for Durban by ranging on the DBN branch only

You can see total widget sales for all branches by ranging on account 100 (Widget Sales)

You can compare the values of your widget and non-widget business by creating reports for each of the
departments

Note that in this example we use a code that is the highest possible code for "other" categories and
accounts. The reason for this is to allow you to range in as flexible a manner as possible, either excluding or
including these accounts.
Remember that you can also leave segments blank instead of creating "other" codes at the end. In the above
example, you could create the last two accounts as 998// and 999// instead. However, you cannot do this for
account 200/ZZZ/WIDG above, since you can only leave segments blank at the end. We recommend that you
use "other" codes instead of leaving segments out, since you will have more reporting flexibility.
Once you create general ledger accounts, they work in the rest of the system in the same manner as the
standard general ledger accounts. Of course, you may need to create and use more accounts than in the
standard system, depending on how you wish to analyse the company's financial activity.
Since the structure of segmented account numbers depends completely on your particular needs, the system
cannot create a default set of accounts for you when you use segmented accounts. You have to design and
create the segments, the segment codes, and then the accounts, on your own.
You should consult with your accountants when you design this structure in order to ensure that you:
Achieve the reporting requirements you need

Retain flexibility for future expansion

Once you design your segments and create the segment values, you have the task of creating the actual
general ledger accounts. You do this by combining segment values.
This can be a tedious task. For example, you may wish to duplicate the entire chart of accounts in each
region, branch, and so on. In addition, you may need to create new accounts on an on-going basis, as you
open new branches or regions.
The system features a wizard that creates general ledger accounts for you, based on criteria you specify.
100 General Ledger Overview Chapter 6 General Ledger

General Ledger Processing


General ledger processing takes place in three main streams:
Sub-ledger processing

Cashbook processing

Journal processing

Sub-Ledger Processing
Most transactions in the general ledger do not originate in the general ledger itself. Instead, they originate in
the accounts receivable, accounts payable, and inventory sub-ledgers.
In those ledgers, you set up general ledger accounts to use when processing. As processing occurs in these
sub-ledgers, the system automatically generates transactions in the general ledger. You specify the ledger
accounts and transaction types to use for these transactions.
We recommend that you create transaction types specifically for these purposes. In other words, do not post
manual journals via these transaction types. You should have at least one transaction type per sub-ledger.

Cashbook Processing
One of the account types a general ledger account can have is a bank type. Bank general ledger accounts
usually represent a physical bank account. You can process supplier payments, customer receipts, and
adjustments to bank accounts. You can also process discounts given and received. In addition, you can
reconcile each general ledger bank account against its actual bank statement, to ensure that all payments
and receipts are in the system.
Cashbook processing takes place by means of batches. You can create and enter information into as many
separate batches as you like. While transactions are in the batch, you can edit and delete the transactions.
Batch transactions do not appear in the general ledger itself until you post the batch. Once you post a batch,
you cannot change the transactions directly. You have to post further adjusting entries, via new batches, to
the general ledger in order to change any values.
You have the option of keeping the batch lines once you post, or deleting the lines. The option to keep the
batch lines lets you set up recurring batches that have similar or identical transactions each month. You can
specify how many times the system should repeat the batch before clearing it. You have the ability to make
global adjustments to batches, so that, for example, you can change the date of each line in a recurring batch
in one operation.
You can print cheques from a cashbook batch prior to posting it. The system stores the next cheque number
per bank account.
You can define settlement terms. These let you specify a settlement, or early payment, discount based on
payment for a sale or purchase. When you process a payment, you can link to a list of invoices with discounts
that fall within the payment date. When you select an invoice, the system enters the discount automatically.

Sage Evolution Standard limits you to 10 batches.


Chapter 6 General Ledger General Ledger Overview 101

The Bank Reconciliation


The bank reconciliation function allows you to match your computer cashbook entries with your actual bank
statement, in order to verify the correctness of the data you enter. The system calculates and shows the value
of unreconciled items, and calculates the theoretical bank statement balance so that you can see whether
there are duplicate or missing entries. You can include unposted cashbook batches in the reconciliation.
You can download a bank statement from your bank and import it into the bank reconciliation. The system will
attempt to match transactions automatically, based on the transaction amount.
This process is optional. It does not affect values on the general ledger. Instead, it helps you decide on the
accuracy of the information you input.

Split Transactions for Cashbook and the Bank Reconciliation


When you process the bank reconciliation, you would like to match a single bank statement entry against a
single computer entry. However, you may simultaneously require a split of the single bank transaction
between multiple computer accounts. For example:
You enter receipts from many different customers into one deposit slip.

You write a cheque you wish to allocate to multiple general ledger expense accounts, departments, cost
centres, and/or projects. For example, you may wish to split a rent expense between departments.

You accomplish this by splitting a single cashbook entry into multiple posting lines. When you split a
cashbook line, you enter the date, reference, and default description on the main cashbook line. For each split
line, you enter the amount, description, account, and optionally project code. The system totals the value of
each split line into the cashbook.
When you post the batch, the system creates the split transactions for each account, but places only one
transaction in the cashbook.

Journal Processing
You use journal processing to make adjustments in the general ledger, and to capture opening balances.
These adjustments are relatively few. They could consist of previous year adjustments, corrections, and so on.
You process journals in batches in the same manner as you process cashbook transactions. The same
considerations apply you enter batches you can edit, you can create as many separate batches as you
require, and once you update the batch you cannot adjust the values directly.
You can only post a journal batch when the batch is in balance, in other words when the total of the debits
and credits in the batch is zero. In cashbook processing, the system posts the balancing entries to the bank
account automatically, in other words, the total of the debits must be equal to the total of the credits.
You can also select to process a standard, accrual or foreign currency journal batch.

Sage Evolution Standard limits you to 10 batches.

Audit Trail
The system generates an internal audit trail reference for each batch it posts. Each record in a batch has the
same audit trail number. You can therefore see transactions in batch entry sequence if you wish to.
102 General Ledger Overview Chapter 6 General Ledger

General Ledger Opening Balances


Before you can start processing, you need to capture opening balances into your system. You do this via
journal entries.

To enter opening balances into the general ledger


1. Decide whether you are going to enter periodic or year to date opening balances:
Year to date balances are quicker. You enter year to date or opening values in the period prior to the
period in which you will start working.
Periodic balances, while they entail more work, allow you to compare historical to actual balances
from within the system. You would enter balances per period, as far back as you require, up to the
period prior to the period in which you will start working.
2. Decide which of the five available years you wish to use for the current financial year. Usually, you would
use the second year for the current year, so that you could put last year's balances in the first year. You
can enter last year's balances as a single balance in the last period of the year, or as monthly balances.
3. Prepare a list of the balances you need. You can use a trial balance for this purpose. If you wish to enter
balances for each period, obtain trial balances for earlier periods as well. Note that you enter the balance
in each period as a movement, and not a cumulative, so you may have to calculate the period figures
from the trial balance.
4. We suggest you use the standard BF transaction code specifically for opening balances and nothing
else. This lets you distinguish take-on data from data you process within the system.
5. Enter the balances via one or more batch journals. You enter values per account, and, if necessary, per
period. Save your work frequently if you have many entries.
6. For Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, and Inventory control accounts, enter opening balances
into the Take on Suspense account, not the actual control accounts you intend to use. When you
capture opening balances in these modules, use the standard take on transaction types. These will
reverse the values out of the suspense account and into the actual control accounts.
7. Make a backup of your system prior to posting the opening journals, and then post them.
8. Print out a trial balance for each period in which you enter balances and compare them to your existing
system. If there are errors, you can restore your backup, correct the journals, and repost them, or you
can enter adjusting journals.
Chapter 6 General Ledger Setting up General Ledger 103

Setting up General Ledger


Before you can enter your chart of accounts, you have to first design and set up supporting elements. In this
section, we list each element. Since some elements depend on others, you should work through these in
sequence.

Element What it Does

Transaction Types Transaction types let you group similar transactions together.
Defaults Here you set up some processing options.
You can split the general ledger by branch, create accounts for each branch, and
Branches
report on a branch basis. In this option, you maintain the branch codes.
You can split the general ledger by department, create accounts for each
Departments department, and report on a departmental basis. In this option, you maintain the
department codes.
If you use segmented general ledger accounts, you have to create segments
Segments
prior to creating general ledger accounts.

Transaction Types
You enter values into the general ledger by means of transactions. You classify these transactions by creating
transaction types. You can then view all transactions of a particular type together.
You should spend some time deciding on how many transaction types you need. If you create too few, then
transaction enquiries will contain so many transactions the process becomes very tedious. If you create too
many, then transaction enquiries will yield too few transactions to be meaningful.
It is important to link your general ledger transaction types to a debit and credit tax group as this will affect
your tax submissions to the respective tax authority.
You access this function via the Maintenance...General Ledger...Transaction Types menu option, or via the
system tree General Ledger...Maintenance...Transaction Types function:
104 Setting up General Ledger Chapter 6 General Ledger

Defaults
You use this function to set up General Ledger processing. You access this function via the
Maintenance...General Ledger...Defaults menu option. On the system tree, choose the General
Ledger...Maintenance function and then choose Defaults in the work area.

In the Default Line Tax frame, you set default tax types for batch lines. You can change these
defaults on each particular transaction line.
In the Transaction Codes frame, you enter a general ledger transaction type for cash payments,
and transaction types for customer and supplier discounts.
In the Journal Batches tab, you set up journal processing in the same way as with cashbook
batches. The system caters for automatic journal batch reversals.
In the Cashbook Integration tab, you enter accounts payable and accounts receivable general
ledger accounts for customer receipts and supplier payments.

The Sage Evolution Standard does not include force options.


Chapter 6 General Ledger Setting up General Ledger 105

Branches
You can create branch codes and attach these to general ledger accounts. You can then produce reports by
ranging on branch codes (or not). You access this function via the Maintenance...General Ledger...Branches
menu option, or via the system tree General Ledger...Maintenance...Branches function.

Departments
You can create departmental codes and attach these to general ledger accounts. You can then produce
reports by ranging on departmental codes (or not).
Branch and department codes are unrelated, which means that you can analyse your general ledger using
multiple simultaneous categories. Alternatively, you can create a multi-level structure by creating departments
within branches, or vice versa.
You access this function via the Maintenance...General Ledger...Departments menu option, or via the system
tree General Ledger...Maintenance...Departments function:

Segments
If you are using segmented general ledger accounts, you create segments prior to creating the general ledger
accounts themselves. Each general ledger account is a unique combination of segments.
You access this function via the Maintenance...General Ledger...menu option, or the system tree General
Ledger...Maintenance function. Each segment's name appears on the menu or system tree, and you maintain
each separately.

This feature is not available in Sage Evolution Standard.


106 General Ledger Maintenance Chapter 6 General Ledger

General Ledger Maintenance


Once you set up all your general ledger elements, you can create general ledger accounts and budgets.

General Ledger Accounts


The major element in the general ledger is the division of all activity into general ledger accounts. A general
ledger account represents a particular business activity, such as a bank account, a sales account, an
expense account, and so on.
When you create a new company, you can choose between many standard charts of accounts. The system
then creates these accounts for you. You can add, delete, or modify these accounts.
You access this function via the Maintenance...General Ledger...Accounts menu option, or via the system tree
General Ledger...Maintenance...Accounts function.
If you use standard general ledger accounts, the maintenance window looks like this:

Account codes can be up to 20 characters long, or you can use account numbers. Once you
process to an account, you cannot change its code.
You can create master and sub-accounts, which gives you two reporting levels and totals.
The Account Type field determines where the account displays in the financial statements.
Branches and departments give you the ability to analyse further, either as an additional
hierarchy or separately.
In the Inventory tab, you specify whether you can post directly to this account when processing
sales and purchases.
You can create user defined fields that display on the Additional Fields tab.
If you want the account to be included in the Payments Based Tax calculation, ensure to flag the
account by checking the appropriate box.
Chapter 6 General Ledger General Ledger Maintenance 107

If you use segmented general ledger accounts, the maintenance window will display as:

You construct general ledger accounts by joining segments (region, branch, department etc. in
the screen above). Each account is unique.
The system uses the segment code names to construct the general ledger account code. You
can see the account code in the window header.
To flag the account to be maintained in a foreign currency, activate the Foreign Currency section
on the screen and complete the required details.
The system contains a wizard that allows you to copy accounts from one segment to another, and allows you
to create a new chart of accounts in one operation. You would use this to create your general ledger structure
per branch, region, and so on, without having to create each chart of accounts manually.

Budgets
You can create budgets per general ledger account, per period. You can then print budget variance reports,
and show budget vs. actual values in various reports.
You work with budgets in various ways:

You can enter budgets for individual periods

You can set budgets for ranges of periods

You can adjust budgets by a percentage or by an amount

You can copy budgets from actual values or from other budget year values
108 General Ledger Maintenance Chapter 6 General Ledger

You access this function via the Maintenance...General Ledger...Budgets menu option, or via the system tree
General Ledger...Maintenance function:

Click the Edit button to create and edit budgets. We look at the edit screen next.
Click the Copy button to copy budgets from one year to another.
The table shows budget values for the account you select, along with percentage and value
variances.
To create and edit budgets, click the Edit button in the above screen. The following screen displays:

In the Period field, select the period you wish to edit. If you wish to enter a budget from a
particular period onwards, select the first period.
Enter the new value in the New Value field. This could be an amount or a percentage.
Specify whether the amount you enter is an amount or percentage. Then, choose whether to set
the budget to that value, or whether to add to or subtract from the existing budget value.
You can update a single period only. To update multiple periods, check the Update as Batch
check box, and then choose whether to update the whole year or only from the period you select
above.
Chapter 6 General Ledger General Ledger Processing 109

General Ledger Processing


In this section, we look at general ledger processing.

Function What it Does

In this section, we look at how you enter general ledger journals and
Journal / Cashbook Processing
cashbook transactions. They function in almost the same way.
Use this option to transfer identical values from one general ledger
Journal Transfer
account to another quickly.
The bank reconciliation allows you to compare your physical bank
Bank Reconciliation statement with a general ledger bank account. You use this process
to find duplications, omissions, and incorrect data entry.
Purge First Year This function purges the oldest 12 of your 60 periods.

Journal / Cashbook Processing


Journal and cashbook processing is almost identical. The differences consist of a few fields and some
additional features available in cashbook processing. Here, we show you cashbook screens and point out the
differences where necessary.
You use journal processing to make adjustments in the general ledger, and to capture opening balances.
You use cashbook processing to post bank transactions to the general ledger. This includes receipts from
customers, payments to suppliers, other cheques and deposits, bank charges, interest payments and
receipts, and so on.
Journal and cashbook processing happens via batches. The basic batch processing procedure is as follows:
You can create as many batches as you require. Each batch exists independently. You can re-use
batches once you post a batch to the general ledger.

You enter batch lines in the batch window. As you complete a line, the system creates a new one. You
can also create a new line yourself.

You can edit or delete batch lines at any time.

You can sort and group the batch lines using standard procedures.

You can save a batch. This does not update the general ledger. You can return to the batch at any time
in the future and continue working on it. You can work on as many separate batches at once as you like.

You can validate the batch. Batch validation checks for various situations that would prevent you from
posting to the general ledger. Examples are a journal not balancing, or a missing account.

When you are ready, you post the batch. The post procedure first performs a validation. If there are no
errors, the system posts the transactions and values to the general ledger.

If you have set the batch to clear after posting, the system deletes the batch lines. If you have set the
batch not to delete, the lines remain. You use this latter option for regular, recurring items. You can make
global changes to the batch the next time you use it.

You can post cashbook transactions to specific linked accounts.


110 General Ledger Processing Chapter 6 General Ledger

Reverse journal batches via the Enquiry screen.

Create foreign journal batches for revaluation purposes.

You access journal batches via the Transactions...General Ledger...Journal Batches menu option, or via the
system tree General Ledger...Transactions...Journal Batches function. You access cashbook batches via the
Transactions...General Ledger...Cashbook Batches menu option, or via the system tree General
Ledger...Transactions...Cashbook Batches function.
When you create a new batch, the Batch Properties window displays, and you can set defaults and rules for
the batch. You can access this window via the Batch Property screen as well:

Each batch has a unique batch number. The system can generate these numbers automatically.
Each transaction you post into the general ledger has a transaction type. Choose the transaction
type for this batch in the Transaction Code field.
The Discount frame applies to cashbook batches, not journal batches. Choose whether to allow
discount processing in this batch. If you do so, you choose the relevant transaction types to
use.
If the cashbook has to be used for foreign currency revaluations, ensure to select the correct
foreign currency and an option is available to only allow customer and supplier accounts in this
currency. Meaning that only foreign customers and suppliers will be available for selection.
Check the Clear Batch After Post check box to clear the batch after you post it. Uncheck the
check box to leave the batch in place so that you can re-use the transactions. Use this feature
for transactions that recur each month. If you uncheck, you can specify how many times to
repeat the batch.
Chapter 6 General Ledger General Ledger Processing 111

In the New Line Defaults tab, you can specify defaults for some of the transaction line fields. Setting these
correctly can speed up your data entry considerably:

The cashbook batch entry screen will display as:

Click the Save button to save the batch on disk. This does not post the batch to the ledger.
To post the batch, click the Post Batch button.
The date determines the financial period.
To print a cheque for one or more lines, check its Print Cheque check box and enter a payee
name.
You can enter as many batch lines as you require.
In the cashbook, you can split a single line into multiple general ledger lines. This makes it easy
to analyse expenses in the general ledger. You enter the split transactions in the bottom table.
You can also post transactions to specific linked accounts when using the split line
functionality.
In the cashbook batch, but not in the journal batch, you can process to general ledger, customer
and supplier accounts. You can turn this facility off if you would like to.
112 General Ledger Processing Chapter 6 General Ledger

The journal batch screen looks like this:

Journal Transfer
You use the Journal Batches function to enter a batch of transactions and then post them to the general
ledger. Sometimes, however, you need to take an amount out of one account and into another account. You
can use the journal batches to accomplish this, but this journal transfer function is quicker.
You access this function via the Transactions...General Ledger...Journal Transfer menu option, or via the
system tree General Ledger...Transactions function.

Choose the general ledger accounts to debit and credit.


This function transfers a single amount between the accounts, so you only have to enter one
amount.
Choose the transaction type to use for this pair of transactions.
Chapter 6 General Ledger General Ledger Processing 113

Bank Reconciliation
The bank reconciliation function allows you to match your computer cashbook entries with your actual bank
statement, in order to verify the correctness of the data you enter.
This process is optional. It does not affect values on the general ledger. Instead, it helps you decide on the
accuracy of the information you input, relative to your bank statement.
You access this function via the Transactions...General Ledger...Bank Reconciliation menu option, or via the
system tree General Ledger...Transactions function.

Choose a general ledger bank account, and the period in which or up to which to reconcile.
Check the Clr checkbox to reconcile an item, or uncheck the check box to unreconcile it.
The table displays unreconciled items. You can choose to see reconciled items as well.
You can now Reconcile All or Unreconcile All, by clicking on the respective buttons.

Purge First Year


The system allows you to store transactions and balances for up to 60 periods. There is no need to perform
traditional month-end and year-end routines.
At the end of 60 periods, you need to purge the first year's details in order to allow processing to continue. At
the end of the next 12 periods, you will then purge again.
The purge process does the following:
Consolidates the first year balances, calculates any profit or loss for the first year, and writes the
profit/loss into a profit and loss account.

Shifts the 2nd-5th year balances into the 1st-4th years, and clears the fifth year balances for future use.
This includes budget values.

Deletes all transactions for the first year, except for unreconciled cashbook transactions.

Shifts and rebuild the period table.

You access this function via the Maintenance...General Ledger...Purge First Year menu option, or via the
system tree General LedgerMaintenancePurge First Year function:
114 General Ledger Processing Chapter 6 General Ledger

The system calculates the profit or loss for the year and posts this to the accumulated profit and loss account,
using the account and transaction code you enter.

Journal Reversal
To reverse a journal batch or journal transactions, go to the Ledger Enquiries screen. Select the affected
account and click on the View button.
Right click on the affected account and select the applicable reversal option from the menu that displays.

Select the Reversal Journal Batch from the following screen that displays:

Once the reversal journal batch has been selected, the transaction will be automatically populated into the
selected reversal journal. Post the batch to reverse the transaction.
Chapter 6 General Ledger General Ledger Enquiries 115

General Ledger Enquiries


The Enquiries function lets you access general ledger accounts and see their transactions and balances.
To access this function, choose the Enquiries...General Ledger menu option. On the System tree, choose the
General Ledger...Enquiries function.

To access an enquiry, choose a general ledger account and click the View icon.
The Transactions tab shows all transactions for this account. The Balances tab shows balances
and movements per period.
116 General Ledger Reporting Chapter 6 General Ledger

General Ledger Reporting


In this section, we outline general ledger reports. To access these reports, choose the Reports...General
Ledger menu option. On the System tree, choose the General Ledger...Reports function.

Report What it Does

Account Balances This shows general ledger account balances.


Account Movement This charts periodic movements or balances for an account.
Audit Trail This shows transactions in batch, or entry, sequence.
Balance Sheet This is a standard balance sheet report.
This shows items on the computer that are not yet on the bank
Bank Reconciliation
statement. The report also calculates the theoretical bank balance.
Budgets This report shows actual and budget values, as well as variances.
Cashbook This report lists cashbook transactions.
Chart of Accounts This shows the general ledger master records.
Cheques Printed This shows a list of cheques you printed previously.
Income Statement This is a standard income statement.
Ledger Account Transactions This shows transactions per general ledger account.
Open Batches This prints a list of open batches.
Project Profit and Loss This report shows values on a project basis.
Project Budget vs Actual This compares budget and actual values in the system.
Revised Budget History This shows any additions or changes to a budget.
Trial Balance This is a standard trial balance.
Chapter 7 Accounts Receivable
In this chapter, we look at the Accounts Receivable module.
Accounts Receivable Overview
Setting up Accounts Receivable
Accounts Receivable Maintenance
Accounts Receivable Processing
Accounts Receivable Enquiries
Accounts Receivable Reporting
118 Accounts Receivable Overview Chapter 7 Accounts Receivable

Accounts Receivable Overview


You derive the income in your business from your customers. The Accounts Receivable module lets you
manage your customers, and is therefore a vital part of your enterprise.
We divide this overview into the following sections:
Accounts Receivable Elements

Accounts Receivable Processing

Accounts Receivable Reports

Accounts Receivable Opening Balances

Accounts Receivable Add-on Modules

Accounts Receivable Elements


Accounts Receivable contains many elements. Some of these elements are common to other modules.

Ageing Periods
You design the terms and ageing periods that you use in the company. These could be monthly, weekly, and
so on. Ageing periods determine:

You specify for each customer the number of ageing periods within which
the customer should pay you. If a customer is overdue in this respect, you
Customer Payment Terms
can charge the customer interest and/or warn agents when they invoice
the customer.
The system uses these terms to calculate aged balances for customers.
Age Analysis The balances display on the customer statement and on the age analysis
report.
When you enter a customer transaction, the system allocates it to a financial period according to the financial
calendar you set up in the general ledger module.

The transaction will never move from that financial period. However, the ageing period into which the
transaction fits adjusts continuously. The system never stores aged balances. Instead, it calculates aged
balances dynamically when they are required. The ageing calculations are relative to the transaction's date,
the ageing method, and the computer system date.
There are two ageing methods:

Date of Invoice The system calculates the age of the invoice relative to the invoice date.
The system calculates the age of the invoice relative to the date on which you
Date of Statement
print the statement.
Chapter 7 Accounts Receivable Accounts Receivable Overview 119

For example, you create an invoice on 15 March:


If you age by date of invoice, the invoice is current until 15 April. From 16 April, for the next 30 days, the
invoice is in the 30-day ageing period, and so on.

If you age by date of statement, and you produce a statement on 25 March, the invoice is current until 25
April. From 26 April, for the next 30 days, the invoice is in the 30-day ageing period, and so on.

In both these examples, the system uses the computer date to calculate the ageing. If, for example, the
computer date were June 4, the invoice would be in 60 days whichever method you use.

Accounts Receivable Transaction Types


Transaction types are critical elements of your processing. You enter all transactions via transaction types. In
addition, all transactions the system generates, such as interest or discount transactions, require a transaction
type. The transaction type determines the transaction's sign (whether it is a debit or credit), whether it
contains tax, and so on.
All accounts receivable transactions reflect in the general ledger. Each accounts receivable transaction you
enter therefore requires a debit and a credit general ledger transaction. In the transaction type, you enter the
general ledger accounts for these transactions. This means that the general ledger transactions occur in the
background, with no input required by agents who enter the accounts receivable transaction.
Storing this information in the transaction type makes actual transaction processing a trivial data entry
process. Very little knowledge or experience is required in order to enter the transactions, because the
transaction type setup determines what fields agents need to enter. You are also allowed to link transaction
types to tax groups for reporting purposes.
However, you can override this and allow agents to enter a general ledger account, and even to split the
transaction over many general ledger accounts.
You can link one transaction type to another. This is required, for example, in discount processing. When you
process a receipt from a customer and you give the customer a discount, the system produces two
transactions, one for the customer receipt, and one for the discount. The linked transaction type lets you enter
both transactions at once, and handles all general ledger and tax processing automatically.
Transaction types also let you group similar transactions together. This is useful for reporting, because you
can view similar transactions together. For example, you can create one or more transaction types for
exceptional circumstances such as writing off bad debts. If you do this, you can easily extract these
transactions and review them.
You should spend some time deciding on how many transaction types you need. If you create too few types,
then transaction enquiries will contain so many transactions the process becomes very tedious. If you create
too many types, transaction enquiries will yield too few transactions to be meaningful.
The system ships with many standard transaction types set up. You should use these transaction types
unless you require specialised reporting or processing.

Settlement Discounts
You can define settlement terms. These let you specify a settlement, or early payment discount, based on
payment for an invoice within a time limit you define.
You define the time limit as a number of days relative to either the invoice date or the next statement date.
You can create a default message that appears on the invoice, so that the customer clearly understands the
terms of the discount.
120 Accounts Receivable Overview Chapter 7 Accounts Receivable

When you process a payment from the customer, you can link to a list of invoices with discounts you offered
the customer, that fall within the payment date. When you select an invoice, the system enters the discount
automatically.

Accounts Receivable Groups


Accounts receivable groups let you group customers for better reporting purposes. For example, you could
use groups to differentiate retail customers from wholesale customers, or dealers from end users.
You can use the group code to sort and filter customer records in various places in the system. For example,
you can use the group to create sophisticated date-driven volume discounts or prices that apply to that group
as a whole. We look at this later in this overview.
If you wish to differentiate these groups in the general ledger, you have the option of specifying an accounts
receivable general ledger account per account group.
Just about every accounts receivable report allows you to range on groups. If you create groups that
accurately reflect the way you categorise your customers, the group structure will make it easier for you to
manage your customer database.

Sales Representatives
You can control commissions for sales staff by means of sales codes. You can also use this code for other
groupings. You can specify up to five bands, or levels, of amounts and commissions.
The system calculates the commission by using each percentage on an incremental basis. For example, the
commission structure is set up as:

Sales Value Percentage Commission

10000 10%
20000 50%

The sales value is 25000. The system calculates the commission as follows:
The commission starts at 10000. Therefore, commission is due on 15000 of the 25000 sales value the
first 10000 does not accrue commission.

The first 10000 of the 15000 that is subject to commission earns 10% commission, in other words 1000.

The remaining 5000 of the 15000 that is subject to commission earns 15% commission, in other words
750.

The total commission is therefore 1000 + 750 = 1750.

You can specify for each inventory item whether it is subject to commission. You can also specify a sales
code per sales order/invoice as a whole, or per invoice line.
The use of sales representatives is optional.

Areas
You create area codes that you attach to customer records. You can then use the area code to sort or filter
various reports. Besides using these codes for geographic areas, you can of course use the code for any
other type of grouping. The use of areas is optional.
Chapter 7 Accounts Receivable Accounts Receivable Overview 121

People
The people database lets you keep track of key people in your customer's company.
Sometimes you deal with one person only in each company. Other times, you may deal with many people in
the same company. You can create a record for each person you have contact with, and you link that person
to his or her company. You can also link a person to more than one company (customer). For example, you
may have a consultant who provides support and training for your products to many of your customers.
The use of people is optional.

Customers
The customer master file is the heart of the Accounts Receivable module. All processing revolves around
customers.
The customer record contains links to most of the elements we have looked at so far. In this section, we
cover a few other key fields on the customer master file.

Open Item and Balance Brought Forward Processing


You process sales transactions for customers, and they pay you. You have to match all debits and credits for
each account. These are usually invoices and receipts. There are two ways to do this:

Open Item With this method, you allocate customer credits to debits yourself.
With this method, the system can allocate credits to debits automatically, by
Balance Forward
matching the oldest debits to the oldest credits.

The disadvantage of open item is that it is extra work. You have to allocate each invoice to a receipt. So, what
do you get for the extra work?
If you have a customer who queries many invoices, you maintain a record of queried transactions by not
allocating receipts to them. Transactions continue to display on the customer's statement until you match
them.

Your age analysis is accurate. If, for example, a customer queries an invoice with you, and the query
takes a few months to process, the invoice amount will appear as an older, unpaid amount.

Note that the distinction between open item and balance forward is not hard and fast. On balance forward
accounts, although you usually allocate from oldest, you can allocate individual transactions. On open item
accounts, although you usually allocate manually, you can match debits and credits automatically from oldest.
122 Accounts Receivable Overview Chapter 7 Accounts Receivable

Pricing Structure
The system has powerful features that let you control selling prices:
You can create and name an unlimited number of separate selling prices for each inventory item. On the
customer side, you link a customer to one of these prices. If you use the Multi-Currency Add-on module,
you can create price lists in other currencies.

You can enter a discount percentage on the customer record. This discount will apply to sales invoices
as a whole. The automatic discount defaults on each invoice and you can edit or delete it.

If you need more flexibility and control of prices, at a group or even a customer level, you can purchase the
Pricing Matrix add-on module, which gives you the following capabilities:
You can create volume discount contracts. These pricing structures exist for groups or individual
customers and inventory items:

You create a contract per customer or per accounts receivable group.


Within each contract, you can create an unlimited number of contract lines. Each line can be for an
inventory item or for an inventory group.
A contract line has an effective date and an expiry date.
A contract line can have multiple lines representing item quantities. For each quantity, you can enter
either a selling price or a percentage discount on the customer's selling price.
You can create a discount matrix, which works as follows:

You create a two dimensional matrix, with rows representing customers and columns representing
inventory items. The cells of the matrix contain discount percentages.
You assign a row of the matrix to a customer or a customer group, and a column of the matrix to an
inventory item or an inventory group.
When you process a sale of an inventory item to a customer, the system puts the customer's row
and the inventory item's column together and derives the discount percentage to apply.
Note that these discounts can all apply at once. If more than one discount applies, the system adds them
together on invoice lines.

Multiple Delivery Addresses


You can create an unlimited number of delivery addresses for each customer account. You set which delivery
address is the default. When you invoice a customer, the system defaults to the default delivery address, but
you can choose another one.
The advantage of using multiple delivery addresses is that you can invoice a single customer and produce a
single statement for that customer, even if they have different locations such as branches.
The disadvantage of using multiple delivery addresses is that you cannot analyse branch sales, or perform
branch enquiries. We would therefore recommend using multiple delivery addresses for relatively low volume
customers.
For high volume customers, you should consider using the Linked Accounts add-on module, which we look
at next.
Chapter 7 Accounts Receivable Accounts Receivable Overview 123

Linked Accounts Add-on Module


If you use the Linked Accounts add-on module, you can link customer accounts on a head office / branch
basis. Each of these accounts is a standard customer account. Invoices you process for each branch
account consolidate, for statement and reporting purposes, in the head office account. However, you can still
view these and other reports at the branch level should you wish to. You cannot process customer receipts at
the branch level. You process these at the head office level only.
In this module, each branch has its own customer account, which allows you to perform full sales analysis
and enquiries at the branch level, while at the same time producing a single head office statement.

Multi-Currency Add-on Module


If you use the Multi-Currency add-on module, you can create foreign customers. You can process the
customer's transactions in their currency. The system tracks foreign and home currency values for every
transaction, and calculates any foreign exchange profit or loss when the customer pays you.

Putting an Account on Hold


You may have a customer who falls behind with payments, or you may have other issues with a customer. In
this situation, you can put a customer on hold. This prevents agents from invoicing the customer, although
you can still process credit transactions for them. You can also use this facility should a customer cease to do
business with you. You cannot delete the customer for some time, as they have transactions. By putting the
customer on hold, you prevent agents from invoicing them in error.

Accounts Receivable Processing


In the Accounts Receivable module, you can process many types of customer transactions. However, you do
not process inventory-based transactions such as invoices and credit notes in this module. Instead, you use
the Inventory Control or the Order Entry module.
In this section, we look at the following topics:
Accounts receivable journal batches

Standard accounts receivable transactions

Allocating transactions

Charging Interest on overdue amounts

Post dated cheques

Standard Accounts Receivable Transactions


You use the Standard Transactions function to enter non-inventory customer transaction. The Standard
Transactions function relies heavily on transaction types, which we looked at earlier in this overview.
You enter one customer transaction at a time in the Standard Transactions window. However, you can open
as many windows as you like simultaneously.
To enter a transaction, you choose a customer to process, and a transaction type to use. You then simply
enter the transaction details, such as the amount, reference, description, and so on. You can allocate the
transaction to a project, and/or a sales representative code.
Once you complete the transaction, the system updates the customer. It also updates the general ledger.
124 Accounts Receivable Overview Chapter 7 Accounts Receivable

Accounts Receivable Batches


If you have many transactions to enter, for either one customer or many customers, you can enter the
transactions in batch mode. Unlike the Standard Transactions function, which updates the transaction as you
complete it, in batch mode you can quickly enter many lines at once. You can save the lines without posting
them, and then come back to them later.
You can create as many separate batches as you require, so that operators can work in their own batches.
As with the Standard Transactions function, you specify a transaction type for each line you enter, and this
determines what functionality is available. For example, if you select the payment transaction type, you can
enter settlement discount information.
If you have transactions that recur regularly, you can set a batch to not clear once you post. You can then
reuse the batch in the future. There is a facility to make global changes to batch lines, such as adjusting their
dates and reference numbers.

Sage Evolution Standard limits you to 10 batches.

Allocating Transactions
For open item accounts, you allocate (match) debits and credits to each other. Usually, these will be invoices
and receipts. You can perform this allocation at various stages:
If you enter the customer receipt via the Standard Transactions function, you can perform the allocation
once you complete the entry of the receipt. For balance forward customers, you can also instruct the
system to allocate the receipt to the oldest outstanding debit automatically.

You can at any stage access the Allocations window and allocate transactions.

You can use the Allocations Utilities function to range on customers and allocate transactions
automatically on the oldest basis.

The Allocations window lets you work in various ways. Firstly, the system lets you categorise your transactions
as follows:
All unallocated and partially unallocated debits

All fully allocated debits

Credits allocated to debits

All outstanding credits

All fully allocated credits along with their debit entries

Debit allocations

Each of these options is an icon on the allocations screen, and you can turn these on and off individually. This
lets you see as much or as little detail as you require.
In addition, the Allocations window lets you view a customer's transactions in two windows simultaneously.
Each window has its own selection of the type(s) of records you wish to show. For example, you can show
the unallocated and partially allocated debits in one window, and the outstanding credits in the second
window. This makes the matching process very simple.
Chapter 7 Accounts Receivable Accounts Receivable Overview 125

You can match in various ways:


If the unallocated debit and credit entries all match, you can simply tell the system to match
automatically.

You can drag a credit onto a debit or vice versa.

You can mark a debit or credit by double clicking it, and then double click the transaction to match it.

Often a receipt has a higher value than an invoice, because the customer is paying you for many invoices
with one receipt. If you match a receipt to an invoice of lesser value, the system will allocate the full value
of the invoice and leave the remaining value for you to allocate elsewhere.

On the other hand, if a customer is making a partial payment on an invoice, you can allocate multiple
receipts to the invoice.

You can allocate a lesser amount than the receipt amount to an invoice by entering the amount to
allocate.

You can unallocate credits you have allocated in the same session, or in earlier sessions. If you need to,
you can unallocate all transactions with a single mouse click.

Processing Customer Receipts


You can process customer receipts in one of two ways:
Via the General Ledger Cashbook function

Via the Accounts Receivable Standard Transactions function

Which method should you use? It depends on whether you are using the bank reconciliation:
If you use the bank reconciliation, you should process customer receipts in the cashbook. This way there
is no extra work to do. If you process via standard transactions, you have to transfer each separately
reconciled item to the cashbook.

If you do not use the bank reconciliation, you could process via either option. If you process via standard
transactions, you still have to enter one bulk value via a manual transaction into the bank account for
customer receipts.

Charging Interest on Overdue Amounts


You have the option of charging customers interest on overdue customer amounts. Overdue amounts are
amounts that your customer owes you for a longer period than the terms you give to the customer.
You can enter an interest rate on the customer's record, or you can specify an interest rate when you do the
interest calculation. You can also choose to give your customers a period of grace when you calculate the
interest, say an extra period. Finally, you can choose a minimum interest amount below which the system will
not charge interest.
Once you initiate the interest calculation, the system works through each customer in turn, calculates interest
where necessary, and creates interest transactions.
126 Accounts Receivable Overview Chapter 7 Accounts Receivable

Post Dated Cheques


You can enter post dated cheques into the system in the same manner as you enter normal cheques. All you
do is mark the cheque as post dated, and the system takes care of the processing. It works as follows:
You can enter post dated transactions via the General Ledger Cashbook, the Accounts Receivable
Standard Transactions function, or via the Accounts Receivable Journal Batches function.
You can only mark credit transactions from customers as post dated. If you do, then when you process
the transaction, the system does not update any account balances, nor does the transaction show on
the customer ledger. You use the Post Dated Cheques Due function to track the unposted transactions.
In the Post Dated Cheque Options function, you can choose an agent that the system should notify when
the cheque is due. This is an optional process. You can also cancel Post Dated Cheques.
When a cheque is due, you use the Post Dated Cheques Due function to process the transaction and
update the relevant accounts.

Accounts Receivable Reports


Accounts Receivable reporting is an integral part of accounts receivable processing. There are many standard
reports, but some of them are an essential part of the management process.

Statements
You send statements to customers on a regular basis to request payment. The statement lists transactions,
shows the aged balances, and the customer's total balance.
You can email customers their statements and password-protect them.
You can show customer transactions on the statement in one of two ways:
You can show an opening balance at the beginning of the period, followed by the transactions for the
period. This is the only method available for balance forward customers, but you can choose to use it for
open item customers as well.

For open item customers, the statement shows transactions that you have partially allocated transactions
you have fully allocated in the current period, and any as-yet unallocated transactions.

You can use different stationery layouts for statements, depending on whether you are printing on plain paper
or pre-printed stationery.
You can also optionally purchase the ability to customise reports, including the statement layout. This lets you
display custom information on the statement, or use a different layout from the standard one.

Age Analysis
You use the age analysis to see aged balances for a range of customers. The age analysis report summarises
the amounts outstanding in each ageing period, and presents the values in each ageing period as a
percentage of the total outstanding customer debt. By monitoring these percentages, you can evaluate your
debt collection performance over time.
You can restrict the age analysis to show accounts that have a value in a specific ageing period and older.
You can also only show accounts that are over a value you specify. You can use these options to generate
follow-up lists of customers for credit controllers to contact.
Chapter 7 Accounts Receivable Accounts Receivable Overview 127

Sales Commissions
You can enter sales commission percentages on sales representative records. The sales commission report
applies those percentages to sales transactions over the period you specify, thereby producing a report of
commissions that are due to sales persons. This saves a lot of time.
You can produce the report in detail, so that you can show the sales persons the sales transaction the system
uses to derive their commission.

Opening Balances
Before you can start processing, you need to capture opening balances into your system. You do this via
journal entries, using the Standard Transactions function.

To enter accounts receivable opening balances


1. Decide whether you are going to enter aged balances or one total balance per customer:
A total balance is quicker. However, it will take five processing periods at least until you have
reasonable looking ageing totals.
Aged balances, while they entail more work, allow you to compare historical age analysis reports to
monitor customer payments. They also allow you to charge interest on overdue amounts
immediately.
2. Prepare a list of the balances you need. You can use an existing age analysis for this purpose.
3. Use the default BF accounts receivable transaction type to enter opening balances. This transaction type
assumes that, when you enter the general ledger opening balances, you enter the accounts receivable
balance into the Take on Suspense account. This transaction type debits the accounts receivable control
account and credits the suspense account.
4. Make a backup of your system prior to entering the opening balances, and then enter them.
5. Print out an age analysis and compare it to your existing system. If there are errors, you can enter
adjusting journals.

Accounts Receivable Add-on Modules


There are add-on modules you can purchase, which relate to Accounts Receivable. These all add capabilities
to the customer master file:

Module What it Does

Linked The Linked Accounts module lets you link customer accounts on a head office/branch
Accounts basis.
You can create foreign currency accounts. The system tracks values in both home
Multi-Currency
currency and foreign currency for every foreign currency transaction.
Pricing Matrix The Pricing Matrix module adds another layer of customer and inventory pricing.
The Credit Control module takes you systematically through the process of ensuring that
Credit Control
a potential customer's credit rating is acceptable to your organisation.
The Annuity Billing module controls recurring revenues and costs, such as maintenance
Annuity Billing
agreements, which your company offers to customers and/or obtains from suppliers.
128 Setting up Accounts Receivable Chapter 7 Accounts Receivable

Setting up Accounts Receivable


Before you can create customers, you have to first design and set up supporting elements. In this section, we
list each element. Since some elements depend on others, you should work through these in sequence.

Element What it Does

Defaults Here you set up some accounts receivable processing options.


You can control commissions for sales staff by means of sales codes.
Sales Representatives
You can also use this code for other groupings.
You use transaction types to control transaction entry. They also let you
Transaction Types
group similar transactions together.
In the Age Group Descriptions frame, you set up the ageing descriptions
that display here and on the customer statement. In the Ageing Intervals
frame, choose whether to calculate ageing balances based on the invoice
Ageing Periods
date or the statement date. Choose the ageing period interval, and if you
choose the Custom option, enter the number of days for each ageing
period.
You create area codes that you attach to customer records. You can then
Areas
use the area code to sort or filter various reports.
People You can create records for the people at your customers.
Accounts Receivable Groups You group customers for better reporting purposes.
The post dated option notifies an agent when a cheque you previously
Post Dated Cheque Options
entered is due.

Defaults
You use this function to set up important processing options. You should therefore take the time to plan the
implementation of this module before you start using it. To access this function, choose the
Maintenance...Accounts Receivable...Defaults menu option. On the system tree, choose the Accounts
Receivable...Maintenance function and then choose Defaults in the work area:
In the Rounding / Cheque tab, you choose whether and how to round invoice values as well as Post Date
Cheque prompting settings:
Chapter 7 Accounts Receivable Setting up Accounts Receivable 129

Sales Representatives
You can control commissions for sales staff by means of sales codes. You can also use this code for other
groupings.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Accounts Receivable...Sales Representatives menu option, or
via the system tree Accounts Receivable...Maintenance...Sales Representatives function:

Put a sales code on hold to prevent any further allocation of sales to this record.
The system can calculate commission based on either turnover or profit. You can have up to five
separate bands, each with their own percentage.
You can specify for each inventory item whether it is subject to commission.
You can specify a sales code per sales order/invoice as a whole, or per invoice line.
130 Setting up Accounts Receivable Chapter 7 Accounts Receivable

Transaction Types
Transaction types are critical elements of your processing. Each transaction type determines the sign of the
transaction, whether it is a debit or credit, as well as the general ledger accounts into which the system writes
balances.
Storing this information in the transaction type makes actual transaction processing a simple data entry
process. Very little knowledge or experience is required in order to enter the transactions, because the
transaction type setup determines what fields agents need to enter.
Transaction types also let you group similar transactions together. This is useful for reporting, because you
can view similar transactions together. For example, you can create one or more transaction types for
exceptional transactions such as writing off bad debts. If you do this, you can easily extract these transactions
and review them.
You should spend some time deciding on how many transaction types you need. If you create too few, then
transaction enquiries will contain so many transactions the process becomes very tedious. If you create too
many, then transaction enquiries will yield too few transactions to be meaningful.
When you create a company database, the system creates default transaction types for you. You should use
these transaction types wherever possible.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Accounts Receivable...Transaction Types menu option, or via
the system tree Accounts Receivable...Maintenance...Transaction Types function:

A transaction type is a template that determines how a transaction will work.


Choose whether the transaction debits or credits the customer account.
You can link another transaction type to this one. You usually use this for discounts, as in the
example.
Use the Tax check box to specify whether the transaction is subject to tax.
Select the applicable tax group from the drop down menu.
In the General Ledger Accounts frame, you set the debit and credit general ledger accounts for
the transaction. You can allow agents to override these accounts.
Chapter 7 Accounts Receivable Setting up Accounts Receivable 131

Ageing Periods
Create your different ageing periods for your customers using this function.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Accounts Receivable...Ageing Periods menu option, or via the
system tree Accounts Receivable...Maintenance...Ageing Periods function:

You need to set your Ageing Periods in the Accounts Receivable Defaults by selecting a default customer-
ageing period.
132 Setting up Accounts Receivable Chapter 7 Accounts Receivable

People
You can create a record for each person who contacts you. You can then link that person to a customer. You
can link many people to one customer record, and you can link a person to more than one company. For
example, you may have a consultant who provides support and training for your products to many of your
customers. The use of people is optional.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Accounts Receivable...People menu option, or via the system
tree Accounts Receivable...Maintenance...People function:

If you have the persons email address, you can email a report directly to the person.
In the Customers tab, you link this person to one or more customers.
In the Suppliers tab, you link this person to one or more suppliers.
The Incident History tab shows any incidents to which you link this person.

Areas
You can create area codes that you attach to customer records. You then use the area code to filter reports.
Besides using these codes for geographic areas, you can use it for any other type of grouping.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Accounts Receivable...Areas menu option, or via the system
tree Accounts Receivable...Maintenance...Areas function:
Chapter 7 Accounts Receivable Setting up Accounts Receivable 133

Accounts Receivable Groups


You can use the accounts receivable group to help you control inventory pricing for groups of customers. To
do this, you need to use the Pricing Matrix add-on module. You can do this in two ways:
You can create sophisticated date-driven volume discounts per accounts receivable group

You can link an accounts receivable group to the discount matrix

You can also use groups for better reporting purposes. For example, you could use this code to group retail
customers as opposed to wholesale customers, or dealers as opposed to end users, and so on.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Accounts Receivable...Groups menu option, or via the system
tree Accounts Receivable...Maintenance...Groups function:

You can have multiple accounts receivable control accounts.


The Discount Matrix field only displays if you use the Pricing Matrix add-on module. You use it
to link customers with this group to the discount matrix.
The Profit / Loss exchange accounts only display if you are using the Multi-Currency add-on
module.

Post Dated Cheque Options


This option allows the system to notify an agent automatically about a transaction you previously entered into
the system, based on its date. You can then process the transaction.
To access this function, choose the Maintenance...Accounts Receivable...Post Dated Cheque Options menu
option. On the system tree, choose the Accounts Receivable...Maintenance function and then choose Post
Dated Cheque Options in the work area:

In the Agent field, choose the responsible agent. The My Desktop function for this agent shows
the outstanding post dated items.
Choose how frequently to notify the agent when there are post dated items due.
134 Customer Maintenance Chapter 7 Accounts Receivable

Customer Maintenance
Once you set up all your Accounts Receivable elements, you are in a position to create your customer
database. We look at customers in this section. You access this function via the Maintenance...Accounts
Receivable...Customers menu option, or via the system tree Accounts Receivable...Maintenance...Customers
function:

Use the On Hold check box to prevent any sales activity.


In the Price List Name field, choose a base price list for this customer.
In the Discount Matrix field, you can link the customer to a matrix. You can also link the
customer to the matrix via the accounts receivable group.
Select the ageing period applicable to the customer in the Ageing Period field.
Enter the tax details of the customer under the Tax tab. The system will notify you if the
numbering structure is incorrect.
You may not have all the tabs that display here on your system. Some of these tabs are part of other
modules:
The Annuity Billing tab is part of the Annuity Billing add-on module, which controls regularly recurring
transactions for the customer.

The Credit Control tab is part of the Credit Control add-on module, which helps you track a customer's
credit rating.

The Linked Accounts tab is part of the Linked Accounts add-on module, which lets you link customers
on a head office and branch basis.
Chapter 7 Accounts Receivable Accounts Receivable Processing 135

Accounts Receivable Processing


In this section, we look at Accounts Receivable processing. We cover the following processing:

Function What it Does

You use this function to enter opening balances, adjust customer balances,
Standard Transactions
and process customer receipts. You enter a single transaction at a time.
Accounts Receivable
You use this function to enter multiple transactions in batches.
Batches
Transaction Allocations You use this option to allocate credits to debits.
Use this utility to unallocate and/or reallocate all transactions for one or
Allocation Utilities
more customers.
Post Dated Cheques Due Use this option to process post dated transactions.
If you charge interest on overdue amounts, you use this option to calculate
Interest Charging
interest and create interest transactions.

The above functions exclude inventory-based transactions and cashbook transactions. You process these in
other modules:

Function Where you Perform It

The Order Entry module lets you process sales orders, which you convert
Sales Orders
into invoices.
These are invoices of inventory items to customers. You process invoices
Sales Invoices
via the Inventory Control module.
Use this option when customers return goods you previously invoiced to
Credit Notes
them. You process credit notes via the Inventory Control module.
If you wish to process customer receipts from within the cashbook, you can
Cashbook Receipts do so. You can also process customer receipts in the Standard
Transactions function above.
136 Accounts Receivable Processing Chapter 7 Accounts Receivable

Standard Transactions
You use this function to process many types of customer transactions. This function relies heavily on the
accounts receivable transaction types. Here are some examples of the transactions you can process:

Transaction Description

Opening Balances You can enter opening customer balances into the system.
Non-inventory Invoices If you issue hand-written invoices, you can enter them via this function.
Non-inventory Credits If you issue hand-written credit notes, you can enter them in this function.
You can process receipts from customers along with discounts. You can
Receipts
also allocate the receipt to the originating invoice.
Bad Debt Write-offs You can write off amounts as bad debts.
Other Adjustments You can perform any other debit or credit adjustment to a customer.

You access this function via the Transactions...Accounts Receivable...Standard menu option, or via the
system tree Accounts Receivable...Transactions function:

Use the navigation buttons at the top to scroll through the customer file in sequence.
Select the transaction code first. This determines which transaction fields to enable.
Once you enter all the information, click the Process button to process the entry. The
transaction then displays in the table below.
When you select a customer, click the View History button to see the customer's transactions in
the table.
Chapter 7 Accounts Receivable Accounts Receivable Processing 137

Accounts Receivable Batches


If you need to enter many transactions, it is quicker to use journal batches instead of the Standard
Transactions function.
The basic batch processing procedure is as follows:
You can create as many batches as you require. Each batch exists independently. You can re-use
batches once you post a batch.

You enter batch lines in the batch window. As you complete a line, the system creates a new one. You
can also create a new line yourself.

You can edit or delete batch lines at any time.

You can sort and group the batch lines using standard procedures.

You can split lines and assign different tax rates to each split line.

You can save a batch. This does not update any accounts. You can return to the batch at any time in the
future and continue working on it. You can work on as many separate batches at once as you like.

You can validate the batch. Batch validation checks for various situations that would prevent you from
posting.

When you are ready, you post the batch. The post procedure first performs a validation. If there are no
errors, the system posts the transactions and values to the customer records and the general ledger.

If you have set the batch to clear after posting, the system deletes the batch lines. If you have set the
batch not to delete, the lines remain. You use this latter option for regular, recurring items. You can make
global changes to the batch the next time you use it.

You access accounts receivable batches via the Transactions...Accounts Receivable...Accounts Receivable
Batches menu option, or via the system tree Accounts Receivable...Transactions...Accounts Receivable
Batches function.
When you create a new batch, the Batch Properties window displays, and you can set defaults and rules for
the batch. You can access this window via the batch entry screen as well:
138 Accounts Receivable Processing Chapter 7 Accounts Receivable

Each batch has a unique batch number. The system can generate these numbers automatically.
Check the Clear Batch After Post check box to clear the batch after you post it. Uncheck the
check box to leave the batch in place so that you can re-use the transactions. Use this feature
for transactions that recur each month. If you uncheck, you can specify how many times to
repeat the batch.
Seamless integration is available into the accounts payable and general ledger modules. This
feature allows you to offset debtors balances against creditors balances without processing
journal entries.
You can split receipts by using the respective contra accounts.
Validation options are available to notify the system to trigger a message when an account is
over terms or over the set credit limit.
The Foreign Currency tab allows you to create batches in different currencies. Specify the currency of the
batch being created by using the drop down menu.

In the New Line Defaults tab, you can specify defaults for some of the transaction line fields. Setting these
correctly can speed up your data entry considerably:
Chapter 7 Accounts Receivable Accounts Receivable Processing 139

The batch entry screen looks like this:

Click the Save button to save the batch on disk. This does not post the batch.
To post the batch, click the Post Batch button.
The date determines the financial period.
You can enter as many batch lines as you require.
140 Accounts Receivable Processing Chapter 7 Accounts Receivable

Transaction Allocations
At some stage, you have to match the customer's debit and credit transactions to each other. This process
does not affect the customer's balances in any way. What it does affect is the ageing balances, in other
words how the system divides customer totals into ageing periods.
The allocation process also affects how open item statements can print. The statement prints all transactions
until you allocate them fully, unless you choose to print statements for open item customers in balance
forward format.
For balance forward customers, if you process customer receipts through the Standard Transactions
function, you can get the system to allocate receipts to the oldest invoices automatically. However, there
could still be times when you need to allocate manually.
You invoke the Receivables Allocations window in a number of ways:
If you process a customer receipt via the Standard Transactions function, you can initiate the Allocation
function from there.

From the customer maintenance function, you can right click on a customer record and choose the
Allocate option.

The Allocate All icon does an automatic allocation for you.


Use the CA, C, FC etc. icons to choose whether to display debits or credits, allocated or
unallocated.
You can choose to display the transactions in two windows. If you show the unallocated debits
in one window, and credits in the other, as in this screen, it simplifies the process.
To match a debit to a credit, first double click one of them. It displays at the bottom. Then double
click the other one.
You do not have to match debits and credits of equal value. For example, if you match a large
payment to a lower-valued invoice, you can continue matching the remaining amount.
Chapter 7 Accounts Receivable Accounts Receivable Processing 141

Allocation Utilities
This option lets you automatically unallocate and/or reallocate all transactions for one or more customers. The
system allocates oldest receipts to oldest invoices, in other words on a balance forward basis. You access
this function via the Maintenance...Accounts Receivable...Allocation Utilities menu option, or the system tree
Accounts Receivable...Maintenance function:

Once you choose your options, click the View button to start the process.
Use the check boxes to choose whether to allocate or unallocate, and whether to confirm each
action.
The table shows all transactions for the customer. As in the allocations screen, you can choose
which transactions to view.

Post Dated Cheques Due


You can enter a customer payment as a post dated cheque. The system holds the transaction until the due
date, after which you can process it. You use this function view and/or process these post dated
transactions.
You access this function via the Transactions...Accounts Receivable...Post Dated Cheques Due menu option,
or the system tree Accounts Receivable...Transactions function:

To process transactions, check their Select check box and then click the Process button.
142 Accounts Receivable Processing Chapter 7 Accounts Receivable

Interest Charging
You have the option of charging interest on overdue amounts. You use this function to do this.
You access this function via the Transactions...Accounts Receivable...Interest Charging menu option, or the
system tree Accounts Receivable...Transactions function:

In the Customers frame, choose a range of customers to process.


In the Interest Rates frame, you choose whether to use the percentage on each customer's
account, or whether to use the rate you enter here.
In the Compound Interest Option frame, choose whether to charge interest on interest, or
whether to exclude earlier interest transactions from the interest calculation.
In the Dates & Period frame, specify the date on which the system calculates interest.
In the Interest Charge Option frame, specify a minimum interest charge so as not to annoy
customers with small interest amounts.
Chapter 7 Accounts Receivable Accounts Receivable Enquiries 143

Accounts Receivable Enquiries


The Enquiries function lets you access customer accounts and see their transactions and balances.
To access this function, choose the Enquiries...Accounts Receivable menu option. On the System tree,
choose the Accounts Receivable...Enquiries function:

The Transactions tab shows all transactions for the account.


The Account tab shows account information.
The Balances tab shows balances per period.
If you use the Order Entry module, the Orders tab shows sales orders for the customer.
The Post Dated Cheques tab lists any post dated cheques linked to the customer. You are able
to cancel a post dated cheque on the Enquiries screen by checking the check box in the
Cancelled column.
144 Accounts Receivable Reporting Chapter 7 Accounts Receivable

Accounts Receivable Reporting


In this section, we outline Accounts Receivable reports. To access these reports, choose the
Reports...Accounts Receivable menu option. On the System tree, choose the Accounts Receivable...Reports
function.

Report What it Does

Age Analysis This shows aged customer balances.


Allocations This report shows transactions by their allocations.
Customer Listing This is a list of customers with contact information.
Delivery Addresses This lists delivery addresses.
If you use European Union processing, this shows sales between EU
EC Sales List
countries.
Labels This lets you print customer address labels.
This shows transactions the system is tracking with the post dated
Post Dated Cheques
facility.
Rep Commissions This report calculates the commission due to sales representatives.
Statements This prints customer statements.
Top Sales This shows the top sales for a specified period.
Transactions This prints all accounts receivable transactions.
Unrealised Profit/Loss This shows the state of foreign accounts with balances.
Volume Discounts This prints all volume discount contracts.
This report culminates all the customer transactions, not just stock
Sales Analysis
transactions, for a comprehensive overview of your sales.
Chapter 8 Accounts Payable
In this chapter, we look at the Accounts Payable module.
Accounts Payable Overview
Setting up Accounts Payable
Accounts Payable Maintenance
Accounts Payable Processing
Accounts Payable Enquiries
Accounts Payable Reporting
146 Accounts Payable Overview Chapter 8 Accounts Payable

Accounts Payable Overview


You purchase goods for resale from your suppliers. The Accounts Payable module lets you manage your
suppliers, and is therefore a vital part of your enterprise.
We divide this overview into the following sections:
Accounts Payable Elements

Accounts Payable Processing

Accounts Payable Opening Balances

Accounts Payable Add-on Modules

Accounts Payable Elements


Accounts Payable contains many elements. Some of these elements are common to other modules.

Ageing Periods
You design the terms and ageing periods that you use in the company. These could be monthly, weekly, and
so on. Ageing periods determine:

You specify for each supplier the number of ageing periods within which
Supplier Payment Terms
you pay suppliers.
The system uses these terms to calculate aged balances for suppliers. You
Age Analysis
use these to determine when and how much to pay your suppliers.

When you enter a supplier transaction, the system allocates it to a financial period according to the financial
calendar you set up in the General Ledger module.
The transaction will never move from that financial period. However, the ageing period into which the
transaction fits adjusts continuously. The system never stores aged balances. Instead, it calculates aged
balances dynamically when they are required. The ageing calculations are relative to the transaction's date,
the ageing method, and the computer system date.
There are two ageing methods:

Date of Invoice The system calculates the age of the invoice relative to the invoice date.
The system calculates the age of the invoice relative to the date on which
Date of Statement
you print the remittance.

Accounts Payable Transaction Types


Transaction types are critical elements of your processing. You enter all transactions via transaction types. In
addition, all transactions the system generates, such as discount transactions, require a transaction type.
The transaction type determines the transaction's sign (whether it is a debit or credit), whether it contains tax,
and so on.
All accounts payable transactions reflect in the general ledger. Each accounts payable transaction you enter
therefore requires a debit and a credit general ledger transaction. In the transaction type, you enter the
general ledger accounts for these transactions.
Chapter 8 Accounts Payable Accounts Payable Overview 147

This means that the general ledger transactions occur in the background, with no input required by agents
who enter the accounts payable transaction.
Storing this information in the transaction type makes actual transaction processing a trivial data entry
process. Very little knowledge or experience is required in order to enter the transactions, because the
transaction type setup determines what fields agents need to enter. You are also allowed to link transaction
types to tax groups for reporting purposes.
However, you can override this and allow agents to enter a general ledger account, and even to split the
transaction over many general ledger accounts.
You can link one transaction type to another. This is required, for example, in discount processing. When you
process a payment to a supplier and the supplier gives you a discount, the system produces two
transactions, one for the supplier payment, and one for the discount. The linked transaction type lets you
enter both transactions at once, and handles all general ledger and tax processing automatically.
Transaction types also let you group similar transactions together. This is useful for reporting, because you
can view similar transactions together. For example, you can create one or more transaction types for
exceptional circumstances. If you do this, you can easily extract these transactions and review them.
You should spend some time deciding on how many transaction types you need. If you create too few types,
then transaction enquiries will contain so many transactions the process becomes very tedious. If you create
too many types, transaction enquiries will yield too few transactions to be meaningful.
The system ships with many standard transaction types set up. You should use these transaction types
unless you require specialised reporting or processing.

Settlement Discounts
You can define settlement terms. These let you specify a settlement, or early payment, discount based on
payment for an invoice within a time limit you define.
You define the time limit as a number of days relative to either the invoice date or the next statement date.
When you process a payment to the supplier, you can link to a list of invoices with discounts the supplier
offered you, that fall within the payment date. When you select an invoice, the system enters the discount
automatically.

Accounts Payable Groups


Accounts payable groups let you group suppliers for better reporting purposes. For example, you could use
groups to differentiate different classes of suppliers.
You can use the group code to sort and filter supplier records in various places in the system. Just about
every accounts payable report allows you to range on groups. If you create groups that accurately reflect the
way you categorise your suppliers, the group structure will make it easier for you to manage your supplier
database.

Areas
You create area codes that you attach to supplier records. You can then use the area code to sort or filter
various reports. Besides using these codes for geographic areas, you can of course use the code for any
other type of grouping.
The use of areas is optional.
148 Accounts Payable Overview Chapter 8 Accounts Payable

People
The people database lets you keep track of key people in your supplier's company.
Sometimes you deal with one person only in each company. Other times, you may deal with many people in
the same company. You can create a record for each person you have contact with, and you link that person
to his or her company. You can also link a person to more than one company (supplier). For example, you
may have a consultant who sources product from more than one supplier.
The use of people is optional.

Suppliers
The supplier master file is the heart of the Accounts Payable module. All processing revolves around
suppliers.
The supplier record contains links to most of the elements we have looked at so far. In this section, we cover
a few other key fields on the supplier master file.

Open Item and Balance Brought Forward Processing


You purchase from suppliers and you then pay them. You have to match all debits and credits for each
account. These are usually invoices and payments. There are two ways to do this:

Open Item With this method, you allocate supplier debits yourself.
With this method, the system can allocate debits to credits automatically,
Balance Forward
by matching the oldest credits to the oldest debits.

The disadvantage of open item is that it is extra work. You have to allocate each invoice to a payment. So,
what do you get for the extra work?
If you have a supplier with whom you regularly query invoices, you maintain a record of queried
transactions, and you ensure you do not pay those invoices. Transactions continue to display on the
supplier's remittance until you match them.

Your age analysis is accurate. If, for example, a supplier charges you interest on an overdue amount, you
can reject those charges for queried invoices.

Note that the distinction between open item and balance forward is not hard and fast. On balance forward
accounts, although you usually allocate from oldest, you can allocate individual transactions. On open item
accounts, although you usually allocate manually, you can match debits and credits automatically from oldest.

Pricing Matrix Add-on Module


You can purchase the Pricing Matrix add-on module if you need to control discounts you receive from your
supplier. You do this by using the Discount Matrix function.
This module works as follows:
You create a two dimensional matrix, with rows representing suppliers and columns representing
inventory items. The cells of the matrix contain discount percentages.

You assign a row of the matrix to a supplier, and a column of the matrix to an inventory item.

When you process a purchase of an inventory item from a supplier, the system puts the supplier's row
and the inventory item's column together and derives the discount percentage to apply to the invoice
line.
Chapter 8 Accounts Payable Accounts Payable Overview 149

Multi-Currency Add-on Module


If you use the Multi-Currency add-on module, you can create foreign suppliers. You can process the
supplier's transactions in their currency. The system tracks foreign and home currency values for every
transaction, and calculates any foreign exchange profit or loss when you pay the supplier.

Putting an Account on Hold


You may have a supplier with whom you are having issues, such as quality of goods. In this situation, you can
put a supplier on hold. This prevents agents from purchasing from the supplier, although you can still process
debit transactions for them.
You can also use this facility should you cease to do business with a supplier. You cannot delete the supplier
for some time, as they have transactions. By putting the supplier on hold, you prevent agents from using them
in error.

Accounts Payable Processing


In the Accounts Payable module, you can process many types of supplier transactions. However, you do not
process inventory-based transactions such as goods received vouchers and supplier returns in this module.
Instead, you use either the Inventory Control or the Order Entry module.
In this section, we look at the following topics:
Standard accounts payable transactions

Accounts payable journal batches

Allocating transactions

Processing supplier payments

Standard Accounts Payable Transactions


You use the Standard Transactions function to enter any type of non-inventory supplier transaction. The
Standard Transactions function relies heavily on transaction types, which we looked at earlier in this overview.
You enter one supplier transaction at a time in the Standard Transactions window. However, you can open as
many windows as you like simultaneously.
To enter a transaction, you choose a supplier to process, and a transaction type to use. You then simply
enter the transaction details, such as the amount, reference, description, and so on. You can allocate the
transaction to a project. Once you complete the transaction, the system updates the supplier. It also updates
the general ledger.

Accounts Payable Batches


If you have many transactions to enter, for either one supplier or many suppliers, you can enter the
transactions in batch mode. Unlike the Standard Transactions function, which updates the transaction as you
complete it, in batch mode you can quickly enter many lines at once. You can save the lines without posting
them, and then come back to them later.
You can create as many separate batches as you require, so that operators can work in their own batches.
As with the Standard Transactions function, you specify a transaction type for each line you enter, and this
determines what functionality is available. For example, if you select the payment transaction type, you can
enter settlement discount information.
150 Accounts Payable Overview Chapter 8 Accounts Payable

If you have transactions that recur regularly, you can set a batch to not clear once you post. You can then
reuse the batch in the future. There is a facility to make global changes to batch lines, such as adjusting their
dates and reference numbers.

Sage Evolution Standard limits you to 10 batches.

Allocating Transactions
You have to allocate (match) the debits and credits to each other. Usually, these will be invoices and
payments.
You can perform this allocation at various stages:
If you enter the supplier payment via the Standard Transactions window, you can perform the allocation
once you complete the entry of the payment. For balance forward suppliers, you can also instruct the
system to allocate the payment to the oldest outstanding debit automatically.

You can at any stage access the Allocations window and allocate transactions.

The Allocations window lets you work in various ways. Firstly, the system lets you categorise your transactions
as follows:
All unallocated and partially unallocated debits

All fully allocated debits

Credits allocated to debits

All outstanding credits

All fully allocated credits along with their debit entries

Debit allocations

Each of these options is an icon on the allocations screen, and you can turn these on and off individually. This
lets you see as much or as little detail as you require.
The Allocations window lets you view a supplier's transactions in two windows simultaneously. Each window
has its own selection of the type(s) of records you wish to show. For example, you can show the unallocated
and partially allocated credits in one window, and the outstanding debits in the second window. This makes
the matching process very simple.
You can match in various ways:
If the unallocated debit and credit entries all match, you can tell the system to match automatically.

You can drag a debit onto a credit or vice versa.

You can mark a debit or credit by double clicking it, and then double click the transaction to match it.

Often a payment has a higher value than an invoice, because you are paying the supplier for many
invoices with one payment. If you match a payment to an invoice of lesser value, the system will allocate
the full value of the invoice and leave the remaining value for you to allocate elsewhere.

On the other hand, if you are making a partial payment on an invoice, you can allocate multiple payments
to the invoice.
Chapter 8 Accounts Payable Accounts Payable Overview 151

You can allocate a lesser amount than the payment amount to an invoice by entering the amount to
allocate.

You can unallocate debits you have allocated in the same session, or in earlier sessions. If you need to,
you can unallocate all transactions with a single mouse click.

Processing Supplier Payments


You can process supplier payments in one of four ways:
Via the Automatic Payment Batches function

Via the Automatic Payment and Remittances function

Via the General Ledger Cashbook function

Via the Accounts Payable Standard Transactions function

The Automatic Payment Batches function works through a range of suppliers, calculates which ones need
payment, and creates a cashbook batch ready for posting. You can edit the batch and delete payments you
do not wish to make.
This Automatic Payment and Remittances function gives you more choices, but also involves more work:
You can see invoices due per supplier, and exclude or partially pay individual invoices

You can process discounts per invoice

The system creates posted payments linked to invoices, not a batch of payments that you can amend

You can print remittance advices

You can pay suppliers electronically or you can print cheques

The system prepares a provisional list of payments based on settings you supply.

You can then modify individual payments.

If you use one of the manual methods, which one should you use? It depends on whether you are using the
bank reconciliation:
If you use the bank reconciliation, you should process supplier payments in the cashbook. This way there
is no extra work to do. If you process via standard transactions, you have to transfer each separately
reconciled item to the cashbook.

If you do not use the bank reconciliation, you could process via either option. If you process via standard
transactions, you still have to enter one bulk value via a manual transaction into the bank account for
supplier payments.
152 Accounts Payable Overview Chapter 8 Accounts Payable

EFTS Processing
EFTS stands for Electronic Funds Transfer System. It enables you to pay your suppliers and/or employees
electronically by submitting a text file the system creates for you.
EFTS does not exist for every bank and account type. You need to confirm with your bank whether they are
able to accept EFTS payments. If there is any doubt about whether a particular format will work, you should
ask the support personnel to discuss these issues with your bank.
The EFTS system works as follows:
You set up your details using information supplied by your bank.

You set up employee and/or supplier bank details on their records.

Process the supplier payments as normal over whatever time-scale is appropriate.

Note that you initiate an EFTS transfer based on the date of the payments. Therefore, all payments with a
particular date will transfer at once - you cannot choose which of these transactions to transfer.

You then initiate an EFTS transfer, and specify a date range as well as a transaction type.

The EFTS transfer creates a file that you supply to the bank. Once you do so, it usually takes a few days
for the bank to process the transfers.

You should confirm with your bank how long transfers take, and then supply them with the files in good time.
You do not want to pay your employees late, and you do not want to pay your suppliers late and potentially
incur interest charges.
Chapter 8 Accounts Payable Accounts Payable Overview 153

Accounts Payable Opening Balances


Before you can start processing, you need to capture opening balances into your system. You do this via
journal entries, using the Standard Transactions function.

To enter accounts payable opening balances


1. Decide whether you are going to enter aged balances or one total balance per supplier:
A total balance is quicker. However, it will take five processing periods at least until you have
reasonable looking ageing totals.
Aged balances, while they entail more work, allow you to compare historical age analysis reports to
monitor supplier payments.
2. Prepare a list of the balances you need. You can use an existing age analysis for this purpose.
3. Use the default BF accounts payable transaction type to enter opening balances. This transaction type
assumes that, when you enter the general ledger opening balances, you enter the accounts payable
balance into the Take on Suspense account. This transaction type credits the accounts payable control
account and debits the suspense account.
4. Make a backup of your system prior to entering the opening balances, and then enter them.
5. Print out an age analysis and compare it to your existing system. If there are errors, you can enter
adjusting journals.

Accounts Payable Add-on Modules


There are add-on modules you can purchase, which relate to Accounts Payable. These all add capabilities to
the supplier master file:

Module What it Does

You can create foreign currency accounts. The system tracks values
Multi-Currency in both home currency and foreign currency for every foreign
currency transaction.
The Pricing Matrix module adds another layer of supplier and
Pricing Matrix
inventory pricing.
The Annuity Billing module controls recurring revenues and costs,
Annuity Billing such as maintenance agreements, which your company offers to
customers and/or obtains from suppliers.
154 Setting up Accounts Payable Chapter 8 Accounts Payable

Setting up Accounts Payable


Before you can create suppliers, you have to first design and set up supporting elements. In this section, we
list each element. Since some elements depend on others, you should work through these in sequence:

Element What it Does

Defaults Here you set up some processing options.


You use transaction types to control transaction entry. They also let
Transaction Types
you group similar transactions together.
In the Age Group Descriptions frame, you set up the ageing
descriptions that display here and on the supplier remittance. In the
Ageing Intervals frame, choose whether to calculate ageing balances
Ageing Periods
based on the invoice date or the remittance date. Choose the
ageing period interval, and if you choose the Custom option, enter
the number of days for each ageing period.
You create area codes that you attach to supplier records. You can
Areas
then use the area code to sort or filter various reports.
Accounts Payable Groups You group suppliers for better reporting purposes.
EFTS Defaults Here you set up your bank information for electronic funds transfers.

Defaults
You use this function to set up important processing options. You should therefore take the time to plan the
implementation of this module before you start using it.
To access this function, choose the Maintenance...Accounts Payable...Defaults menu option. On the system
tree, choose the Accounts Payable...Maintenance function and then choose Defaults in the work area:
Chapter 8 Accounts Payable Setting up Accounts Payable 155

Transaction Types
Transaction types are critical elements of your processing. Each transaction type determines the sign of the
transaction, whether it is a debit or credit, as well as the general ledger accounts into which the system writes
balances.
Storing this information in the transaction type makes actual transaction processing a simple data entry
process. Very little knowledge or experience is required in order to enter the transactions, because the
transaction type setup determines what fields agents need to enter.
Transaction types also let you group similar transactions together. This is useful for reporting, because you
can view similar transactions together. For example, you can create one or more transaction types for
exceptional transactions such as writing off bad debts. If you do this, you can easily extract these transactions
and review them.
You should spend some time deciding on how many transaction types you need. If you create too few, then
transaction enquiries will contain so many transactions the process becomes very tedious. If you create too
many, then transaction enquiries will yield too few transactions to be meaningful.
When you create a company database, the system creates default transaction types for you. You should use
these transaction types wherever possible.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Accounts Payable...Transaction Types menu option, or via the
system tree Accounts Payable...Maintenance...Transaction Types function:

Choose whether the transaction debits or credits the supplier account.


You can link another transaction type to this one. You usually use this for discounts, as in the
example.
Specify whether the transaction is subject to tax.
Select the applicable tax group from the drop down menu.
In the General Ledger Accounts frame, you set the debit and credit general ledger accounts for
the transaction. You can allow agents to override these accounts.

The Sage Evolution Standard does not include force options.


156 Setting up Accounts Payable Chapter 8 Accounts Payable

Ageing Periods
Create your ageing periods for your suppliers using this function.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Accounts Payable...Ageing Periods menu option, or via the
system tree Accounts Payable...Maintenance...Ageing Periods function:

You need to set your Ageing Periods in the Accounts Payable Defaults by selecting a default supplier-ageing
period
Chapter 8 Accounts Payable Setting up Accounts Payable 157

Areas
You can create area codes that you attach to supplier records. You then use the area code to filter reports.
Besides using these codes for geographic areas, you can use it for any other type of grouping.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Accounts Payable...Areas menu option, or via the system tree
Accounts Payable...Maintenance...Areas function:

People
You can create a record for each person who contacts you. You can then link that person to a customer or a
supplier. The use of people is optional.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Accounts Payable...People menu option, or via the system
tree Accounts Payable...Maintenance...People function:

If you have the persons email address, you can email a report directly to the person.
In the Customers tab, you link this person to one or more customers.
In the Suppliers tab, you link this person to one or more suppliers.
The Incident History tab shows any incidents to which you link this person.
158 Setting up Accounts Payable Chapter 8 Accounts Payable

Accounts Payable Groups


You can use the accounts payable group to help you control inventory pricing from suppliers. To do this, you
use the Pricing Matrix add-on module, which lets you link a group to the discount matrix.
You can also use groups for better reporting purposes. For example, you can use this code to group
suppliers the type of items they supply you. You can use the group code to sort and supplier records in
various places in the system.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Accounts Payable...Groups menu option, or via the system
tree Accounts Payable...Maintenance...Groups function.

You can have multiple accounts payable control accounts.


The Discount Matrix field only displays if you use the Pricing Matrix add-on module. You use it
to link suppliers with this group to the discount matrix.
The Profit / Loss exchange accounts only display if you are using the Multi-Currency add-on
module.

EFTS Defaults
If you are going to pay suppliers via electronic funds transfer, you need to set up your bank details first. You
do so in this option.
To access this function, choose the Maintenance...Accounts Payable...EFTS Defaults menu option. On the
system tree, choose the Accounts Payable...Maintenance and then choose EFTS Defaults in the work area:

You obtain the information you need here from your bank.
Chapter 8 Accounts Payable Accounts Payable Maintenance 159

Accounts Payable Maintenance


Once you set up all your Accounts Payable elements, you are in a position to create your supplier database.
We look at suppliers in this section. You access this function via the Maintenance...Accounts
Payable...Suppliers menu option, or via the system tree Accounts Payable...Maintenance... Suppliers function:

You can put a supplier on hold to prevent any purchasing activity.


Use the Discount Matrix field to link the supplier to a discount matrix. You can also link the
supplier to the discount matrix via the accounts payable group.
In the Contact Details tab, enter the supplier's email address. You can then email goods received
vouchers and remittances to the supplier.
If you are paying the supplier electronically, enter their bank details in the Bank Details tab.
Select the applicable ageing period to the supplier in the Ageing Period field.
Enter the tax details of the supplier under the Tax tab. The system will notify you if the
numbering structure is incorrect.
160 Accounts Payable Processing Chapter 8 Accounts Payable

Accounts Payable Processing


In this section, we look at Accounts Payable processing. We cover the following processing:

Function What it Does

You use these transactions to enter opening balances, adjust supplier


Standard Transactions
balances, and process payments to suppliers.
Accounts Payable Batches You use this function to enter multiple transactions in batches.
Transaction Allocations You use this option to allocate debits to credits.
Automatic Payments and This lets you pay suppliers by cheque or by EFT. You can select suppliers
Remittances and transactions, make partial payments, and process discounts.
Automatic Payment You use this function to pay suppliers globally. This is a totally automatic
Batches feature and uses supplier settings to create a payments batch.
Use this utility to unallocate and/or reallocate all transactions for one or
Allocation Utilities
more suppliers.
EFTS Export Use this function to initiate an electronic payment of your suppliers.

The above functions exclude inventory-based transactions and cashbook transactions. You process these in
other modules:

Function Where you Perform It

The Order Entry module lets you process purchase orders and convert
Purchase Orders
them into goods received vouchers.
Use this document type to process invoices you receive from your
Goods Received Vouchers
suppliers. You process these via the Inventory Control module.
Use this option when you return goods you previously received to suppliers.
Returns to Suppliers
You process supplier returns via the Inventory Control module.
If you wish to process supplier payments from within the cashbook, you can
Cashbook Payments do so. You can also process supplier payments in the Standard
Transactions function above.
Chapter 8 Accounts Payable Accounts Payable Processing 161

Standard Transactions
You use this function to process many types of supplier transactions. This function relies heavily on the
accounts payable transaction types. Here are some examples of the transactions you can process:

Transaction Description

When you start using the system, you enter current supplier balances into
Opening Balances
the system.
If you issue hand-written invoices, you can enter them into the system via
Non-inventory Purchases
this function.
If you issue hand-written supplier returns, you can enter them into the
Non-inventory Returns
system via this function.
You can process payments to suppliers along with discounts. You can also
Payments
allocate the payment to the supplier's invoice.
Other Adjustments You can perform any other debit or credit adjustment to a supplier.
You access this function via the Transactions...Accounts Payable...Standard menu option, or via the system
tree Accounts Payable...Transactions function:

Use the navigation buttons at the top to scroll through the supplier file in sequence.
To process a transaction, select the transaction type. This determines which transaction fields
to enable.
Once you enter all the information, click the Process button to process the entry. The
transaction then displays in the table below.
When you select a supplier, click the View History button to see the supplier's transactions in
the table.
162 Accounts Payable Processing Chapter 8 Accounts Payable

Accounts Payable Batches


If you need to enter many transactions, it is quicker to use batches instead of the Standard Transactions
function.
The basic batch processing procedure is as follows:
You can create as many batches as you require. Each batch exists independently. You can re-use
batches once you post a batch.

You enter batch lines in the batch window. As you complete a line, the system creates a new one. You
can also create a new line yourself.

You can edit or delete batch lines at any time.

You can sort and group the batch lines using standard procedures.

You can split lines and assign different tax rates for each split line.

You can save a batch. This does not update any accounts. You can return to the batch at any time in the
future and continue working on it. You can work on as many separate batches at once as you like.

You can validate the batch. Batch validation checks for various situations that would prevent you from
posting.

When you are ready, you post the batch. The post procedure first performs a validation. If there are no
errors, the system posts the transactions and values to the supplier records and the general ledger.

If you have set the batch to clear after posting, the system deletes the batch lines. If you have set the
batch not to delete, the lines remain. You use this latter option for regular, recurring items. You can make
global changes to the batch the next time you use it.

You access accounts payable batches via the Transactions...Accounts Payable...Accounts Payable Batches
menu option, or via the system tree Accounts Payable...Transactions...Accounts Payable Batches function.
When you create a new batch, the Batch Properties window displays, and you can set defaults and rules for
the batch. You can access this window via the batch entry screen as well:
Chapter 8 Accounts Payable Accounts Payable Processing 163

Each batch has a unique batch number. The system can generate these numbers automatically.
Check the Clear Batch After Post check box to clear the batch after you post it. Uncheck the
check box to leave the batch in place so that you can re-use the transactions. Use this feature
for transactions that recur each month. If you uncheck, you can specify how many times to
repeat the batch.
In the New Line Defaults tab, you can specify defaults for some of the transaction line fields. Setting these
correctly can speed up your data entry considerably:

The batch entry screen looks like this:

Click the Save button to save the batch on disk. This does not post the batch.
To post the batch, click the Post Batch button.
The date determines the financial period.
You can enter as many batch lines as you require.
164 Accounts Payable Processing Chapter 8 Accounts Payable

Transaction Allocations
At some stage, you have to match the supplier's debit and credit transactions to each other. This process
does not affect the supplier's balances in any way. What it does affect is the ageing balances, in other words
how the system divides supplier totals into ageing periods.
The allocation process also affects how open item remittances can print. The remittance prints all transactions
until you allocate them fully, unless you choose to print statements for open item suppliers in balance forward
format.
For balance forward suppliers, if you process supplier payments through the Standard Transactions function,
you can get the system to allocate payments to the oldest invoices automatically. However, there could still
be times when you need to allocate manually.
You invoke the Payables Allocations window in a number of ways:
If you process a supplier payment via the Standard Transactions function, you can initiate the Allocation
function from there.

From the supplier maintenance function, you can right click on a supplier record and choose the Allocate
option.
Chapter 8 Accounts Payable Accounts Payable Processing 165

The Allocate All icon does an automatic allocation for you.


Use the CA, C, FC etc. icons to choose whether to display debits or credits, allocated or
unallocated.
You can choose to display the transactions in two windows. If you show the unallocated debits
in one window, and credits in the other, as in this screen, it simplifies the process.
To match a debit to a credit, first double click one of them. It displays at the bottom. Then double
click the other one.
You do not have to match debits and credits of equal value. For example, if you match a large
payment to a lower-valued invoice, you can continue matching the remaining amount.

Automatic Payment and Remittances


This function is a superset of the Automatic Payment Batches function, which we look at next. In that
function, you can enter simple parameters and the system creates a payments batch ready for you to
process. There is no ability to select individual suppliers or invoices. This Automatic Payment and Remittances
function gives you more choices, but also involves more work:
You can see invoices due per supplier, and exclude or partially pay individual invoices

You can process discounts per invoice

The system creates posted payments linked to invoices, not a batch of payments that you can amend

You can print remittance advices

You can pay suppliers electronically or you can print cheques

The system prepares a provisional list of payments based on settings you supply. You can then modify
individual payments.

You access this function via the Transactions...Accounts Payable...Automatic Payment and Remittances
menu option, or the system tree Accounts Payable...Transactions function. Note that this function does not
display directly on the system tree.
166 Accounts Payable Processing Chapter 8 Accounts Payable

When you select this function, if there is no existing payment in process, the system displays the Properties
window. Once you fill in the required fields, the Processing window displays. You can then access the
properties window from there. The Properties window looks like this:

In the Transactions tab, you select a range of suppliers to process.


In the Payment frame, enter fields the system needs to create the transactions.
In the Options frame, choose whether to default to pay all invoices or not. You will be able to
choose to pay or not pay per invoice and/or supplier in the processing window.
In the Payment Run frame, choose whether to process a cheque run or an EFTS run.
Chapter 8 Accounts Payable Accounts Payable Processing 167

The system uses the property fields to create a list of potential suppliers and invoices:

You can exclude suppliers by unchecking the Included column above. To see each invoice due for a supplier,
select the supplier line and click the Configure button:

Once again, you can include or exclude individual invoices. By checking or unchecking the Included check
box for each invoice line. In addition, you can edit the Paying column and pay a lesser amount for each
invoice.
168 Accounts Payable Processing Chapter 8 Accounts Payable

Allocation Utilities
This option lets you automatically unallocate and/or reallocate all transactions for one or more suppliers. The
system allocates oldest payments to oldest invoices, in other words on a balance forward basis. You access
this function via the Maintenance...Accounts Payable...Allocation Utilities menu option, or the system tree
Accounts Payable...Maintenance function:

Once you choose your options, click the View button to start the process.
Using the check boxes, choose whether to allocate or unallocate, and whether to confirm each
action.
The table shows all transactions for the supplier. As in the allocations screen, you can choose
which transactions to view.
Chapter 8 Accounts Payable Accounts Payable Processing 169

Automatic Payment Batches


The Automatic Payments function will work through a range of suppliers, calculate which ones need payment,
and create a cashbook batch ready for posting. You can edit the batch and delete payments you do not wish
to make.
This function works almost automatically. You enter a few options, and the system processes. The alternative
Automatic Payment and Remittances function, which we looked at in the previous section, gives you more
choices, but also involves more work.
You access this function via the Transactions...Accounts Payable...Automatic Payment Batches menu option,
or the system tree Accounts Payable...Transactions function. Note that this function does not display directly
on the system tree.

In the Supplier frame, you can range on suppliers, groups, and areas.
In the Payments frame, choose the payment date and the minimum or maximum amounts to pay.
You can also choose whether to apply early payment terms.
In the Cashbook Batch frame, enter information for the transactions the system generates.
170 Accounts Payable Processing Chapter 8 Accounts Payable

EFTS Export
You use this option to create a file that you give to your bank, which then transfers funds directly into your
suppliers' bank accounts. Prior to using this function, you must have:
Set up your bank details in the Maintenance...EFTS Defaults function.

Set up bank details for those suppliers you wish to pay electronically.

Processed payments to those suppliers you wish to pay.

You access this function via the Transactions...Accounts Payable...EFTS Export menu option, or the system
tree Accounts Payable...Transactions function:

In the Action Date field, choose the date the bank transfers funds out of your account.
In the Payables tab, you choose the supplier and date range:

In the Date From and Date To fields, enter a range of transaction dates for the supplier
transactions. Transactions within this date range will export. Ensure you do not overlap with an
earlier export.
In the Transaction Types field, you limit the export to the correct transaction types, such as
payments.
Chapter 8 Accounts Payable Accounts Payable Enquiries 171

Accounts Payable Enquiries


The Enquiries function lets you access supplier accounts and see their transactions and balances.
To access this function, choose the Enquiries...Accounts Payable menu option. On the System tree, choose
the Accounts Payable...Enquiries function:

The Transactions tab shows all transactions for the account.


The Account tab shows account information.
The Balances tab shows balances per period.
If you use the Order Entry module, the Orders tab shows purchase orders for this supplier.
172 Accounts Payable Reporting Chapter 8 Accounts Payable

Accounts Payable Reporting


In this section, we outline Accounts Payable reports. To access these reports, choose the Reports...Accounts
Payable menu option. On the System tree, choose the Accounts Payable...Reports function. Here are some
of the reports:

Report What it Does

Age Analysis This shows aged supplier balances.


Allocations This report shows transactions by their allocations.
Delivery Addresses This lists delivery addresses.
Labels This lets you print supplier address labels.
This prints Supplier remittances. You can email customers their
Remittance Advice
remittances and password-protect them.
Supplier Listing This is a list of suppliers with contact information.
Transactions This prints all accounts payable transactions.
Unrealised Profit/Loss This shows the state of foreign accounts with balances.
Volume Discounts This prints all volume discount contracts.
Chapter 9 Inventory and Order
Entry

In this chapter, we look at the Inventory and Order Entry module.


Inventory and Order Entry Overview
Setting up Inventory and Order Entry
Inventory and Order Entry Maintenance
Inventory and Order Entry Processing
Inventory and Order Entry Enquiries
Inventory and Order Entry Reporting
174 Inventory and Order Entry Overview Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry

Inventory and Order Entry Overview


You use the Inventory Control and Order Entry modules to:
Create and maintain inventory items

Purchase goods from suppliers

Sell goods to customers

We divide this overview into the following sections:


Inventory and Order Entry Elements

Inventory and Order Entry Processing

Inventory Opening Balances

Inventory and Order Entry Add-on Modules

Inventory and Order Entry Elements


Inventory Items
Inventory items are the core element in the inventory module. You can purchase inventory items from
suppliers, or you can create inventory items that represent services. You then sell items to customers.
You can create various types of inventory items:
An item can be a physical item or a service item. With physical items, you purchase and sell quantities;
with service items, you can sell quantities as well (for example, hours), but service items do not have on-
hand quantities.

If you use the optional Multi-Warehousing add-on module, you can create multiple warehouses or stores,
and move items between these stores.

If you use the optional Serial Number Tracking add-on module, you can serialise individual inventory
items and keep track of them by their history. The system tracks their purchase, internal movement in the
company, sale, and possible return for repair or refund.

If you use the optional Bill of Materials add-on module, you can manufacture or assemble items from
components. The system takes the component materials out of stock and creates finished items.

All these add-on modules work together, so, for example, you can manufacture serial items in warehouses.
Inventory items have a unique item code of up to 20 characters long. You can also enter (and use) a barcode.
You can have up to three lines of description.
You can group inventory items using various fields. You can range on these fields whenever you produce
reports, and you can filter by these fields when you do enquiries. Therefore, even if you have many thousands
of items, you are in a position to extract information quickly and simply.
The system tracks reorder levels for you. You can set up minimum and maximum quantity levels, a re-order
level, and a re-order quantity. You can link multiple suppliers to each inventory item, along with the supplier's
code for the item.
Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry Inventory and Order Entry Overview 175

You can create units of measure and relate them to each other. This lets you purchase and sell in multiple
units. For example, you can purchase an item by the gross, and sell them as dozens or single units.
We look at other elements of the inventory record, such as selling prices, in this overview.

Costing Method
The system can keep track of inventory cost prices using one of three methods:

Method How it Works

This is the usual method. The system calculates the cost of each item as the
Weighted Average
average cost of all inward movements of this item. These are usually purchases.
With this method, the cost of the last inward movement of the item becomes the
Latest Cost
cost of this item.
Manual With this method, you specify the cost, and the system always uses this cost.

You specify a default cost method per company, which you can override per inventory item. If you use the
Multi-Warehousing add-on module, you can choose to have a cost per item per warehouse, or a single cost
per item across all warehouses.

The Sage Evolution Standard only allows the Weighted Average costing method and does not
allow you to setup item costs per warehouse, only cost per item.

Where does the system use the cost price of items?


When you sell inventory, the system writes the cost value into the general ledger cost of sales account.
Alternatively, (see the Integration topic), you have to enter a general ledger journal to write this value. The
cost of sales value helps to determine the profits or losses the company makes.

When you value your inventory, for example as part of an audit, the system uses the cost price to
determine the inventory value.

If you pay commission to salespeople based on profit, the system calculates the profit as the selling price
minus the cost price.

The usual method is weighted average. You might use latest cost if you relatively few, high-value items that
vary in value. The manual cost method lets you use a standard cost for an item or sub-assembly, and is
sometimes used in a manufacturing environment.

If you use the latest cost or the manual cost method, then, when you move items out of stock,
the system writes a general ledger transaction to a cost variance account to keep inventory in
balance. This also applies when you change an item's costing method.

Integrating Inventory into the General Ledger


Whenever you purchase or sell inventory, the system updates the general ledger. There are two levels of this
integration:
At the first level, when you sell inventory, the system updates sales and accounts receivable general
ledger accounts. When you purchase inventory, the system updates purchases and accounts payable
general ledger accounts. The system always updates these accounts.
176 Inventory and Order Entry Overview Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry

At the second level, the system also keeps general ledger inventory accounts up to date. Whenever you
purchase or sell inventory, the system updates the relevant general ledger accounts. This process is
optional - you can choose whether to enable or disable it. Note that if you do not enable this integration,
your income statement will not be accurate until you enter the relevant journals manually.

If you enable both levels, we call this perpetual integration. If you disable inventory integration, we call this
periodic integration.
Why is this process optional? What can possibly be wrong with keeping the inventory values up to date?
Usually, nothing is wrong, and you can use perpetual integration.
In some businesses, however, you may not always be able to enter the cost values in time. For example, if
you incur significant shipping costs when you purchase items, then, although you would of course know
these costs, you may not receive the supplier invoices in time to enter them. Therefore, when you enter these
inventory items into the system, you do not enter the full cost of the item. If you then integrate your inventory
automatically, the inventory values the system writes into the general ledger are incorrect. You should
therefore consider using periodic integration under these circumstances.
Another reason to consider periodic integration is if your quantity on hand values frequently fall below zero.
This is not something that should not happen regularly. In fact, you can disallow negative quantities in the
system. However, you may have special circumstances that give rise to negative quantities. If the cost price of
these items varies considerably, then, once again, you would be putting incorrect information into your
general ledger.
Which method should you use? This is a decision best made by your accountants. As a general guideline, we
would recommend using the perpetual option, unless the cost values of your inventory are incorrect. The main
causes of incorrect inventory cost prices are:
Allowing inventory quantities to go negative when costs fluctuate

Using the latest cost method when inventory cost prices vary considerably

If you use the periodic integration method, you have to change the default transaction types
before you can use them. For details about these changes, consult the on-line help.

Transaction Types
Transaction types are critical elements of your processing. You enter all transactions via transaction types. In
addition, all transactions the system generates, such as inventory integration transactions, require a
transaction type.
The transaction type determines the transaction's sign (debit or credit), whether it contains tax, and so on.
All customer sales and supplier purchase transaction reflect in the general ledger. In addition, if you use the
perpetual integration method, all inventory transactions reflect in the general ledger. These transactions
require a debit and a credit general ledger transaction. In the transaction type, you enter the general ledger
accounts for these transactions. This means that the general ledger transactions occur in the background,
with no input required by agents who enter the inventory, sales, and purchase transactions.
Storing this information in the transaction type makes actual transaction processing a trivial data entry
process. Very little knowledge or experience is required in order to enter the transactions, because the
transaction type setup determines what fields agents need to enter.
Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry Inventory and Order Entry Overview 177

You can link one transaction type to another. This is required, for example, when you sell to a customer, and
you use perpetual inventory method. The system processes one set of transactions to update sales and
accounts receivable accounts on the general ledger, and another set to take inventory costs out of the
inventory account and into cost of goods account. The linked transaction type lets the system create both
transactions at once.
Transaction types also let you group similar transactions together. This is useful for reporting, because you
can view similar transactions together. You are also allowed to link transaction types to tax groups for
reporting purposes.
You should spend some time deciding on how many transaction types you need. If you create too few types,
then transaction enquiries will contain so many transactions the process becomes very tedious. If you create
too many types, transaction enquiries will yield too few transactions to be meaningful.
The system ships with many standard transaction types set up. You should use these transaction types
unless you require specialised reporting or processing.

Inventory Groups
Inventory groups let you group inventory items for better reporting purposes. For example, you could use
groups to differentiate different categories of inventory item.
You can use the group code to sort and filter inventory records in various places in the system. Just about
every inventory report allows you to range on groups. If you create groups that accurately reflect the way you
categorise your inventory, the group structure will make it easier for you to manage your inventory database.
You can also use groups to override the general ledger accounts that the system usually obtains from
transaction types. You do this if you wish to analyse inventory in the general ledger, based on the inventory
group structure rather than the source of the transaction.
Finally, if you use the Pricing Matrix add-on module, you can attach a discount matrix to an inventory group. If
necessary, you can override this discount matrix setting on a particular inventory item.

Inventory Selling Prices


The system has powerful features that let you control selling prices:
You can create an unlimited number of separate selling prices for each inventory item, and you can name
the prices. On the customer side, you link a customer to one of these prices. If you use the Multi-
Currency Add-on module, you can create price lists in other currencies.

You can enter an automatic discount percentage on the customer record. This discount will apply to
sales invoices as a whole. The discount defaults on each invoice and you can edit or delete it.

If you need more flexibility and control of prices, at a group or even a customer level, you can purchase the
Pricing Matrix add-on module, which gives you the following capabilities:
You can create volume discount contracts. These pricing structures exist for groups or individual
customers and inventory items:

You create a contract per customer or per accounts receivable group.


Within each contract, you can create an unlimited number of contract lines. Each line can be for an
inventory item or for an inventory group.
A contract line has an effective date and an expiry date.
A contract line can have multiple lines representing item quantities. For each quantity, you can enter
either a selling price or a percentage discount on the customer's selling price.
178 Inventory and Order Entry Overview Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry

You can create a discount matrix, which works as follows:

You create a two dimensional matrix, with rows representing customers and columns representing
inventory items. The cells of the matrix contain discount percentages.
You assign a row of the matrix to a customer or a customer group, and a column of the matrix to an
inventory item or an inventory group.
When you process a sale of an inventory item to a customer, the system puts the customer's row
and the inventory item's column together and derives the discount percentage to apply to the
invoice line.

These discounts can all apply at once. If more than one discount applies, the system adds
them together on invoice lines.

Inventory and Order Entry Processing


The main processing you perform on inventory items is document processing. This covers purchasing from
suppliers and selling to customers.

Document Processing
The system provides you with two methods of purchasing and selling inventory. The method you use
depends on your company requirements.
The simpler method is to use only those documents that are available in the Inventory Control module. These
documents are:

Document What it Does

Goods Received Voucher / You use these document types to enter a supplier's invoice. We look at the
Supplier Invoice different methods you have next.
Return to Supplier You use this document type to return faulty items to your supplier.
You use this document type to sell to customers. You can print a quotation
Invoice
prior to processing the invoice.
Credit Note You use this document type when customers return items to you.

You can process purchases via a single document, the goods received voucher (GRV). This document
receives inventory into stock and creates a supplier invoice in one operation.
This is not always desirable. When you receive goods from a supplier, you do not always receive the
supplier's invoice at that time. In addition, you may have an approximate cost for the items, or you may not
even know what the cost price is. However, you need to get the inventory into the system so that you can sell
it to customers.
You can cater for this by allowing your inventory quantities to go negative and processing the purchase only
when the supplier invoice arrives. However, this can distort your gross profit values. It also interferes with re-
order management.
You overcome these issues by splitting the processing into two stages, and therefore two documents - a GRV
and a supplier invoice. The process is as follows:
Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry Inventory and Order Entry Overview 179

When the inventory arrives, you process a GRV to receive the inventory. You enter quantities and cost
prices on the GRV. When you process the GRV, the system updates inventory. However, instead of
crediting the supplier account with the GRV, the system credits a general ledger accrual account.

When you process the supplier invoice, you link to one or more GRVs. You can change the cost price if
necessary. When you process, the system debits the accrual account with the original GRV value and
credits the supplier account with the value of the supplier invoice. If there is a variance between the GRV
and invoice price, the system writes the variance to a purchase variance account.

If you require more sophisticated processing than the documents outlined above, you can precede the goods
received voucher with a purchase order, and/or the invoice with a sales order. These two document types
exist in the Order Entry module. They give you functionality that is more powerful:
You can print and process purchase and sales orders, and then fill these orders in part or in whole,
keeping track of outstanding orders.

With sales orders, you can reserve quantities for customers when they place an order.

For customer processing, besides printing a sales order, invoice, and quotation, you can also print a
picking slip and a delivery note.

To save time you can convert a sales order to a purchase order directly from the Sales Order
Maintenance screen.

If you use split GRV and supplier invoice processing, you can process the purchase order via an initial
GRV followed by a supplier invoice. If the supplier invoice arrives with the goods, you can process both
the GRV and the supplier invoice together.

You will process a Return to Supplier (RTS) to return incorrect or damaged stock items received from the
supplier. The system allows you to allocate RTS documents to the processed GRV or Supplier Invoice,
whichever applies.

If you purchase from foreign suppliers, you can capture a purchase order in the supplier's currency.
When you process the supplier's invoice, the system converts the values into your currency at the
exchange rate you specify. If you sell to foreign customers, you can capture a sales order in the
customer's currency. When you process the invoice, the system converts values into your currency.

For supplier processing, the system can create purchase orders automatically, using the re-order fields
on the inventory records.

The system has powerful reports that help you manage outstanding and overdue orders.

Note that you use the return to supplier and credit note document types, which are in the inventory module,
irrespective of whether you use the order entry documents.
If you use general ledger budgets, you can optionally link general ledger budgets to supplier purchasing,
which enables you to monitor your purchases against the budget.
If you use sales orders, you do not have to use purchase orders, and vice versa. However, we suggest that
you do not mix invoices and sales orders or goods received vouchers and purchase orders. For one thing, the
documents store separately, so performing a total sales or purchase analysis is problematical.
Processing documents is almost identical across all document types. This means that once you know how to
process one of these document types, you know how to process them all.
Here are some of the main document processing features:
You process each document in its own window. You can open multiple windows at the same time.
180 Inventory and Order Entry Overview Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry

You can save a document without processing it, open it later, modify it, and then process it.

Documents reside in a special area called the document store. You can access this document store at
any time, and retrieve any document, processed or not, and view, print, and/or email the documents.
You can delete older and unneeded documents from the document store at any time.

You can print and/or email documents as you process them. Alternatively, you can direct documents into
named print groups. This allows you to batch document printing / emailing. This feature has many uses.
For example, if you have customised stationery for each document type, you can load the customised
stationery onto the printer and then print all documents that require that stationery. Alternatively, you can
batch all picking slips into a print group, and the warehouse personnel can print these out and prepare
invoices for delivery.

You can save a document without an account number and use it as a template. This is very useful when
you regularly produce multi-line documents that are very similar. Once you load a template, you can edit
it as you apply it to a customer or supplier.

Inventory Count
From time to time, you need to do a physical count of your inventory items to ensure that you have the
quantities on hand that you think you have. Besides the accounting necessity, performing stock counts at
random times and for random parts of your inventory cuts down on theft, and is therefore good practice.
The inventory count process is as follows:
You create an inventory count. To do this, you select a range of inventory items you wish to count. The
system saves the current theoretical quantities on hand for each inventory item. You can create multiple
inventory counts, working on different parts of your inventory at different times.

Select whether you want to do a spot count or scheduled stock take.

You can then print an inventory count report, which leaves space to fill in the actual quantities you count.
This report can become an input document for the next step.

You now need to perform a physical count of the inventory items. This must happen after you create the
inventory count, and before any further physical inventory movements take place.
Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry Inventory and Order Entry Overview 181

Once the physical count is complete, you can continue to work as normal.

The next step is to enter actual (physical) quantities into the system.

Once you enter your actual quantities, you print the count variance report. This report shows where there
are discrepancies between the actual quantities and the system's theoretical quantities. If necessary, you
can check and edit the physical quantities to make sure they are correct.

The final step is to complete the inventory count. In this process, the system assumes that the actual
quantities on hand you enter are correct, and adjusts the theoretical quantities to be in line with these. If
you use the perpetual integration method, the changes reflect in the general ledger automatically.

Inventory Adjustments
You can use inventory adjustments to adjust the cost and/or quantity balances of inventory items. If you use
the perpetual integration method, the changes reflect in the general ledger automatically.

Warehouse Transfers
If you use the Multi-Warehousing add-on module, you can transfer stock between warehouses using two
mechanisms:
Warehouse transfers let you transfer inventory directly between warehouses. You enter these in batches.
You typically use warehouse transfers for transfers between warehouses that are close to each other,
and under the same administrative control. With a warehouse transfer, the items move immediately from
one warehouse to another, without confirmation that the items are in the new warehouse.

Inter-branch transfers are more controlled transfers of inventory. Typically, you use these when you are
transferring inventory between branches, and/or when the transfer takes some time to happen.

Inventory Segmentation Overview


Some companies sell multiple items which are very similar to each other, but which differ in details such as
size, colour, style, dimension, weight, and so on.

This feature is not available in Sage Evolution Standard.

You can of course create these items yourself as inventory items without segmentation. However, inventory
segmentation makes your use and management of these items far simpler:
You can create multiple inventory items simultaneously, each with their own unique combination of
attributes such as size, colour, and style

When you receive inventory you put the quantities into their exact items - you know how many of each
you have in stock

When you sell items, you can select inventory items quickly based on these attributes

When you produce reports, you can range on these attributes

Future versions of the software will allow for bulk updating and adjustments to items

If you wish to use inventory segmentation, you do not have to use it for every inventory item. Some items can
have segments, and others not.
182 Inventory and Order Entry Overview Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry

Inventory segmentation works seamlessly with other inventory features. Segmented inventory items are
normal items, and can belong in warehouses, have serial numbers, and so on. Each item has its own cost
and selling prices.
Note that once you start using inventory segmentation, you cannot change much of the structure you create.
It is therefore vital that you create an optimal structure up front that caters for future expansion. We suggest
that you make use of a qualified and experience consultant to help you achieve the best results.

Segmentation Elements
The system has three elements that comprise inventory segmentation:
Segment Types

Segment Groups

Segment Values

Each of these elements contains very little information:


They each have a description

You link Segment Groups to Segment Types

You link Segment Values to Segment Groups

You can have up to seven Segment Types and any number of Segment Groups and Segment Values.
Segments are in fact nothing more than a simple hierarchy, which looks like this:

Type 1
/\
/ \
/ \
Group 1 Group 2
/\ /\
/ \ / \
/ \ / \
/ \ / \
Value1 Value2 Value3 Value4

The easiest way to come to grips with this structure is via an example. We will use a clothes store. The store
sells clothes, shoes and so on.
Each element in the Segment Type lets you search and analyse items. There is no hierarchy in Segment
Types - they are all equally valid.
In our example, we will use "Size", "Colour", and "Style" as the Segment Types. You can of course use many
more. For example, you may want a "Manufacturer" Segment Type, a "Width" Segment Type for shoes, and
so on.
Leaving out the next level, the Segment Group, we move on Segment Values. The Segment Values would be
the particular sizes, colours, and styles that are available. There would therefore be a number of these.
Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry Inventory and Order Entry Overview 183

The value of Segment Groups becomes apparent when we look at the Segment Type "Size". You measure
shoe sizes in numbers. On the other hand, t-shirts uses sizes such as small, medium, large, and so on. Dress
sizes are also numbers, but dresses are different from shoes. As we will see, the system can find items for
you based on any combination of the segments. What this means, for example, is that if you select size 6, the
system shows all items that are size 6. However, if you are looking for size 6 shoes, you do not want to see
dresses that are size 6.
You solve this problem by creating meaningful Segment Groups. For example, you could create a Segment
Group "Shoe Sizes" and link it to Segment Type "Size". You then create each individual shoe size, and you
link it to the Segment Group "Shoes". You do the same for dresses:

Type--> Size
/\
/ \
/ \
Group--> Shoes Dresses
/\ /\
/ \ / \
/ \ / \
/ \ / \
Value--> 6 7 6 7
This is of course only a very small part of the size structure you would need for a clothes store. You also
create structures for the other Segment Types. For example:

Type--> Style Colour


/\ /\
/ \ / \
/ \ / \
Group--> Shoes Dresses Shoes Dresses
/\ /\ /\ /\
/ \ / \ / \ / \
/ \ / \ / \ / \
/ \ / \ / \ / \
Value--> Modern Elegant Casual Formal Brown Black Red Blue

You can order the types in the most logical sequence. In our example, we will use the order Style/Colour/Size.

Creating Segmented Inventory Items


Once you create your segment structure, you can create inventory items. When you create an item, you
specify an inventory code, and you then choose which combination(s) of segments you want to create. The
system adds the segment codes to the inventory codes, giving a unique code for each item.
The system features a powerful method of creating multiple items. You enter an item code and you then
invoke the Segment Wizard. In this wizard, you choose the Segment Group values you wish to use, and
optionally a Segment Value for each group. The system then generates all possible combinations using the
choices you make.
If we use our same example above, and we wish to create codes for shoes, we end up with these possibilities
in a list:
SH01/MODERN/BROWN/6
184 Inventory and Order Entry Overview Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry

SH01/MODERN/BROWN/7
SH01/MODERN/BLACK/6
SH01/MODERN/BLACK/7
SH01/ELEGANT/BROWN/6
SH01/ELEGANT /BROWN/7
SH01/ELEGANT /BLACK/6
SH01/ELEGANT /BLACK/7
SH01 is the item code we are creating. The system uses the slash character as a divider between segment
codes.
Since the segment codes and the item codes combine into a single (longer) code, you should ensure that the
code structure you create fits into your invoice stationery. You can do this in one of two ways:
You can make your codes brief. We also recommend that each code in each segment have the same
number of characters. For example, you could create codes based on the above example that look like
this: SH01/MO/BR/6.

You can customise the invoice to display only the item code and not the full code along with the
segments.

The system presents these potential item codes in a list, and you can select which ones to create.
Once you create the items you require, you can use the wizard in the future to create items you left out
originally. To do this, you create the same inventory code again (SH01 in our example), and you then choose
your Segment Groups and / or Segment Values. The system will only put items on the list that do not already
exist.

Working with Segmented Inventory Items


You work with segmented inventory items in almost the same way as other inventory items:
Each individual item has its own set of fields, including cost and selling prices

You can create serialised and warehoused segmented items in the same manner as non-segmented
items

You can buy and sell items in the usual manner

So now you have the structure, how can you use it? The whole point of the system is that you can design,
enquire, report, and select items based on any combination of inventory code, segment type, segment group,
and segment value:
You can select items directly in the standard master file lookup for inventory items. Using our original
example:

If you select Segment Type "Style", Segment Group "Shoes", and Segment Value "Elegant", the
system shows in the list box all inventory items that correspond to this grouping - in other words, all
your elegant shoes.
If you select the inventory item, and then select size 6, the system will show every size 6 shoe for
that item, style, and size.
If you select Segment Group "Dresses", the system will list every item that is a dress.
Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry Inventory and Order Entry Overview 185

You can select items for reports based on the segmentation. This allows you, for example, to run a slow-
moving report on particular types of shoes only or on particular sizes across all shoes, and so on.

Inventory Opening Balances


Before you can start processing, you need to set up your inventory file correctly. This involves entering the
correct cost and quantities on hand.
You can enter opening balances in one of two ways:
You can create inventory items, and then use the Inventory Adjustment function to enter opening cost
prices and quantities.

You can enter the cost prices when you create inventory items, and then use the Inventory Count
function to capture opening balances.

To enter opening balances via the Inventory Adjustment function


1. Obtain a detailed inventory valuation on the old system, so that you can validate your opening balances
on the new system.
2. Prepare your inventory master file information.
3. Create the inventory items.
4. Use the Inventory Adjustment function to enter the cost prices and quantities.
5. Once you complete the process, run the Inventory Valuation report, and compare it to the valuation on
the old system. Correct any errors by using the same Inventory Adjustments function.

To enter opening inventory balances via the Inventory Count function


1. Obtain a detailed inventory valuation on the old system, so that you can validate your opening balances
on the new system.
2. Prepare your inventory master file information, including the cost price.
3. Create the inventory items and enter their cost prices.
4. Use the Inventory Count function to enter opening quantities. To do this, you usually need to perform a
physical stock count, so ensure you allocate time for this process. If, however, your current system has
correct quantities, you can use those quantities in the inventory count.
5. Once you process the inventory count, run the Inventory Valuation report, and compare it to the valuation
on the old system. Correct any errors by using the Inventory Adjustments function, which allows you to
adjust cost and quantity values.
186 Inventory and Order Entry Overview Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry

Inventory and Order Entry Add-on Modules


There are add-on modules you can purchase, which relate to Inventory Control and Order Entry:

Module What it Does

The Discount Matrix module adds another layer of customer and inventory
Discount Matrix
pricing.
You can add serial number tracking to inventory items, allowing you to track
Serial Number Tracking
each item individually.
This module lets you track batches or lots of inventory items by means of a
Lot Tracking
batch or lot number. You can also specify expiry dates per lot.
You can create warehouses, each of which stores items. These can be in
Multi-Warehousing
different geographic locations. You transfer items between warehouses.
This lets you manufacture or assemble finished goods from raw materials.
Bill of Materials
The system manages the whole process for you.
Manufacturing extends the Bill of Materials module by giving you complete
Manufacturing
control of the manufacturing process.
Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry Setting up Inventory and Order Entry 187

Setting up Inventory and Order Entry


Before you can start using the system, you have to first design and setup the supporting elements. In this
section, we list each element. Since some elements depend on others, you should work through these in
sequence:

Element What it Does

You use transaction types to control transaction entry. They also let you group
Transaction Types
similar transactions together.
You use inventory groups to group inventory records, to optionally override
Inventory Groups general ledger accounts in transaction types, and, if you use the Discount
Matrix add-on module, to link the discount matrix.
Inventory Defaults Here you setup some inventory processing parameters.
Order Entry Defaults Here you setup some order entry processing parameters.
Price List Names Here you create and name selling price lists.
If you use inventory segmentation, you use these functions to maintain the
Inventory Segments
various segment elements.
Delivery Methods You use delivery methods in invoicing and purchasing documents.
Packs These let you specify how many items are packaged together.
Units of Measure
These let you categorise your measuring and stocking units.
Categories
Units of Measure These let you purchase and sell in different units.
Order Status You can prioritise your orders by means of the order status.
Priorities You can assign priorities to documents.
188 Setting up Inventory and Order Entry Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry

Transaction Types
Transaction types are critical elements of your processing. Each transaction type determines the sign of the
transaction, whether it is a debit or credit, as well as the general ledger accounts into which the system writes
balances.
Storing this information in the transaction type makes actual transaction processing a simple data entry
process. Very little knowledge or experience is required in order to enter the transactions.
Transaction types also let you group similar transactions together. This is useful for reporting, because you
can view similar transactions together. For example, you can create one or more transaction types for
exceptional transactions such as processing stock losses. If you do this, you can easily extract these
transactions and review them.
You should spend some time deciding on how many transaction types you need. If you create too few, then
transaction enquiries will contain so many transactions the process becomes very tedious. If you create too
many, then transaction enquiries will yield too few transactions to be meaningful.
When you create a company database, the system creates default transaction types for you. We list these at
the end of this section. You should use these transaction types wherever possible.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Inventory...Transaction Types menu option, or via the system
tree Accounts Receivable...Inventory...Transaction Types function:

You can link another transaction type to this one. You usually use this to issue inventory when
invoicing.
In the Tax check box, specify whether the transaction is subject to tax.
Select the applicable tax group from the drop down menu.
In the General Ledger Accounts frame, you set the debit and credit general ledger accounts for
the transaction. Note, however, that you can override these accounts in the inventory group.

The Sage Evolution Standard does not include force options.


Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry Setting up Inventory and Order Entry 189

Inventory Groups
Categorising your inventory into groups allows you to accomplish three things:
You can override the default general ledger accounts in the transaction type with other general ledger
accounts you specify here. You do this if you wish to analyse your inventory activity in the general ledger
by inventory categories.

You can use inventory groups for reporting purposes. You can use the group code to sort and filter
inventory records.

If you use the Pricing Matrix add-on module, you can set default values for the inventory aspect of the
sales and purchases discount matrixes.

You access this function via the Maintenance...Inventory...Groups menu option, or via the system tree
Inventory...Maintenance...Groups function:

You can enter general ledger accounts that override the transaction type general ledger codes.
If you use the Pricing Matrix add-on module, you can set discount matrix values here, and they
apply to all items linked to this inventory group.
There is an override per inventory item of these settings.
190 Setting up Inventory and Order Entry Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry

Inventory Defaults
You use this function to set up important processing options, some of which are not reversible. You should
therefore take the time to plan the implementation of this module before you start using it.
To access this function, choose the Maintenance...Inventory...Defaults menu option. On the system tree,
choose the Inventory...Maintenance function and then choose Defaults in the work area:

Choose whether inventory can have negative quantities on hand.


Specify the number of decimals to display for the various types of values.
In the Price / Costing tab, you set a default costing methods for inventory items.
You can mask cost prices under the Price / Costing tab to avoid unauthorised people or
companies to see your cost prices.
You can force external order numbers and set unique numbering for these external order
numbers to eliminate duplicate numbering.
You can select to default your tax calculation per line or per document.
Activate Delivery options on inventory documents.

The Sage Evolution Standard does not include force options.


Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry Setting up Inventory and Order Entry 191

The Invoices tab is similar to most of the other tabs in this function:

Choose document-numbering options for invoices.


Select a transaction type for invoicing.
Specify a minimum GP % for invoices, this is a useful tool to ensure that you maintain your GP.
If you would want to tender cash after invoicing via Inventory invoice then enable this option.
192 Setting up Inventory and Order Entry Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry

Order Entry Defaults


You set order entry defaults in similar fashion to inventory defaults.
To access this function, choose the Maintenance...Order Entry...Defaults menu option. On the system tree,
choose the Order Entry...Maintenance function and then choose Defaults in the work area:

Set your order document numbering preferences.


Use the Sales Order and Purchase Order tabs to navigate to the different order documents.
Choose whether sales orders reserve quantities for customers by making a tick in the Activate
Reserved Stock tick box.
You can force external order numbers when transacting for reference and audit purposes.
You can select to tender on the fly by making a tick in the Allow Tender tick box under Sales
Order tab.
You can select to process deposits from a Sales Order and you can force this option.
You can select to force delivery methods on orders.
Set your picking slip printing preferences under the Sales Order tab.
Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry Setting up Inventory and Order Entry 193

Price List Names


You can create as many selling prices as you require for each inventory item. For example, you may create
separate prices for wholesalers, retailers, and distributors. You can refine these further and have prices for
each type of wholesaler and so on. If you use the Multi-Currency add-on module, you can create price lists in
foreign currencies. For a full discussion of the system selling price capabilities, see the overview.
To access this function, choose the Maintenance...Inventory...Price List Names menu option. On the system
tree, choose the Inventory...Maintenance...Price List Names function:

Inventory Segments
Inventory segments let you extend and group inventory items by creating a hierarchy that lets you express
variations such as style, colour, and size. See the overview for more details. There are three elements:
Segment Types

Segment Groups

Segment Values
194 Setting up Inventory and Order Entry Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry

Delivery Methods
Delivery methods are descriptions you use on documents such as invoices. The use of delivery methods is
optional. You access this function via the Maintenance...Inventory...Delivery Methods menu option, or via the
system tree Inventory...Maintenance...Delivery Methods function:

Packs
You can use pack codes to classify your inventory items by how they are packaged. Note that the system
does not make use of pack codes for any calculations. The use of pack codes is optional.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Inventory...Packs menu option, or via the system tree
Inventory...Maintenance...Packs function:
Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry Setting up Inventory and Order Entry 195

Units of Measure
You can create units of measure and relate them to each other. This lets you purchase and sell in multiple
units. For example, you can purchase an item by the gross, and sell them as dozens or single units.
There are two maintenance functions:
You create units of measure categories.

You create units of measure that link to a category. You can then link each unit of measure with the same
category to another, specifying the numeric ratio between them.

You are able to round quantities up/down on a unit of measure item. For example, in the tiling industry
you cannot break a box of tiles. If the customer requires 1.7 sqm of tiles and one box equals to 1.5 sqm,
the system will automatically invoice 2 boxes of tiles.

You access the units of measure categories function via the Maintenance...Inventory...Units of Measure
Categories menu option, or via the system tree Inventory...Maintenance...Units of Measure Categories
function:
196 Setting up Inventory and Order Entry Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry

You access the units of measure function via the Maintenance...Inventory...Units of Measure menu option, or
via the system tree Inventory...Maintenance...Units of Measure function:

In the lines table, you specify the numeric relationship between the units.

Order Status
You can create a set of order status flags, and use these to determine the urgency and/or stage of the order.
You can also use this field to control the purging of older, unneeded orders. The use of this feature is optional.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Order Entry...Order Status menu option, or via the system tree
Order Entry...Maintenance...Order Status function:
Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry Inventory and Order Entry Maintenance 197

Priorities
When you create a document you assign a priority to it, and you can report and see documents in priority
sequence. The system ships with some priorities set up for you, but you can change these at any time.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Common...Priorities menu option, or via the system tree
Common...Maintenance...Priorities function:

You designate one of the priorities as the default one, and all new documents receive this priority.

Inventory and Order Entry Maintenance


In this section, we look at the functions you use to maintain your inventory:

Element What it Does

Inventory Items Here we look at how you maintain inventory items.


Global Price Change This lets you change inventory prices for a range of inventory items.
Purge Orders This lets you purge old orders that are not complete and have expired.
198 Inventory and Order Entry Maintenance Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry

Inventory Items
Inventory items are the basis of this whole module. You therefore have to ensure that you understand the
features and functionality the system has in this area.
You maintain inventory items via the Maintenance...Inventory...Inventory Items menu option, or via the system
tree Inventory...Maintenance...Inventory Items function:

Each record has a unique code up to 20 characters long. Once you save, you cannot change the
code.
Use service items to sell maintenance contracts, hours, and so on.
The Serial Number Tracking add-on module lets you track individual stock items by their serial
number.
The Multi-Warehousing add-on module lets you create multiple warehouses into which you place
items.
Items may or may not be subject to sales commissions.
The Lot Tracking module lets you track multiple items in lots and batches.
Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry Inventory and Order Entry Maintenance 199

In the Information tab, you link items to various elements, and specify reorder levels:

The inventory group lets you filter and sort records in reports. You can use it to override
standard general ledger codes when you process, and you can link the discount matrix to the
group code.
You can assign a barcode and use it when invoicing.
You can allow negative quantities per item and warehouse.
The re-order fields let you control when to re-order the item, and how many to order.
You can link the item to suppliers, and include the suppliers code for this item.
Set purchase lead times on specific inventory items.
Set minimum order quantity for the item in the linked supplier grid.
In the Units of measure tab, you set a basic unit of measure. You can also set different units of purchase and
sale. This lets you purchase items in one unit, for example dozen, and sell them in single units:
200 Inventory and Order Entry Maintenance Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry

In the Pricing tab, you specify selling prices:

The system can update an items selling price whenever you purchase items as a mark-up on various cost
prices. Alternatively, you can enter base prices, on an exclusive or inclusive basis. You create as many base
prices as you require, and you link each customer to one of these prices.
You can set a minimum GP% on a stock item. The system will warn you when you sell below the set GP%.
If you use the Pricing Matrix add-on module, you can create a discount matrix that offers percentage
discounts on these prices. You can also create volume discount contracts that discount these prices
depending on quantity.
Finally, if you need additional standard prices, the volume discount contract also allows you to specify selling
prices per item.
The Warehouse tab only displays if you are using the Multi-Warehousing add-on module:

You choose in which warehouses this item exists.


Check the Use Item Defaults check box if the item in the warehouses use common (shared)
settings. Uncheck the check box if they have some unique settings of their own.
Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry Inventory and Order Entry Maintenance 201

Inventory Global Changes


Once you enter your selling prices manually, you can make global adjustments to these selling prices instead
of adjusting each individual items selling prices. Naturally, you can only do this if you are adjusting the prices
on a uniform basis for a group of inventory items.
To access this function, choose the Maintenance...Inventory...Inventory Global Changes menu option. On the
system tree, choose the Inventory...Maintenance function and then choose Inventory Global Changes in the
work area:

In the Inventory frame, choose the range of items to update. You can range on the item code of
inventory groups.
In the Update Prices frame, choose how to update the prices. For example, you can add or
subtract a percentage of the current selling price.
You can also set the update to be as per the markup rate, inclusive rate or exclusive rate.
You can round percentage adjustments up or down to a specified value.
You can also use this function to update the default tax types you set up per inventory item.
202 Inventory and Order Entry Maintenance Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry

Purge Orders
You can process orders partially, leaving some lines and/or quantities in an unprocessed state. These lines
and/or quantities may end up unused. A customer can cancel a sales order, and you can cancel a purchase
order with your supplier.
The result of these types of activities is that your sales and purchase order files can contain many older and
unneeded items. You can use this function to help manage these orders.
To access this function, choose the Maintenance...Order Entry...Purge Orders Utility menu option. On the
system tree, choose the Order Entry...Maintenance function and then choose Purge Orders in the work area:

Choose whether you are purging sales orders or purchase orders.


You can purge either or both of unprocessed and/or partially processed orders.
You can range on the order status field and a range of order numbers.
You can also range on a variety of dates.
Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry Inventory and Order Entry Processing 203

Inventory and Order Entry Processing


In this section, we look at Inventory and Order Entry processing.

Function What it Does

In this section, we look at how you purchase and sell inventory via
Sales and Purchases
quotes, invoices, credit notes, goods received vouchers supplier
Documents
invoices, returns to suppliers, purchase orders, and sales orders.
Adjustments You use adjustment to process inventory adjustments.
This lets you count your stock on hand, enter actual quantities, and print
Inventory Count
inventory variance reports.
This generates purchase orders on a batch basis, using the inventory
Automatic Purchase Orders
reorder fields.
Price Update Batches This feature allows you to perform price updates in a journal format.
This module allows you to manage the internal stock distribution
Inventory Issue
processes and stock levels.
204 Inventory and Order Entry Processing Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry

Sales and Purchases Documents


The primary function of most companies is to sell to customers. Unless you sell pure services, you also need
to purchase raw materials or inventory items in order to sell them. You accomplish all this via sales and
purchases documents.
The system provides you with two methods of purchasing and selling inventory. The method you use
depends on your company requirements.
The simpler method is to use only those documents that are available in the Inventory Control module. These
documents are:

Document Type What it Does

You use these document types to enter a supplier's invoice. You can
Goods Received Voucher / process using goods received vouchers (GRVs) only, or you can have two
Supplier Invoice separate processes and documents, one to receive the goods and one to
invoice the supplier.
Return to Supplier You use this document type to return faulty items to your supplier.
You use this document type to sell to customers. You can print a quotation
Invoice
prior to processing the invoice.
Credit Note You use this document type when customers return items to you.

If you require more sophisticated processing, you can replace the goods received voucher with a purchase
order, and/or the invoice with a sales order. These two document types exist in the Order Entry module. They
give you functionality that is more powerful. See the overview earlier in this chapter for a more detailed
explanation of the advantages of using the additional documents and processes.
Processing documents is almost identical across all document types. This means that once you know how to
process one of these document types, you know how to process them all. We use invoice screens in almost
all the screens below.
There is one feature specific to processing supplier documents. When you import goods, there are frequently
additional costs that do not originate from the supplier. For example, you may be liable for shipping costs
and/or import duties. You would like to process these at the same time as the goods received voucher, in
order to allow the system to calculate the cost of the items correctly. The system allows you to do this.
You access invoices, credit notes, goods received vouchers, and returns to suppliers, via the
Transactions...Inventory menu option, where you pick each document from the menu, or via the system tree
Inventory...Transactions function, where you choose the document you require in the work area.
You access sales orders and purchase orders via the Transactions...Order Entry menu option, where you pick
each document from the menu, or via the system tree Order Entry...Transactions function, where you choose
the document you require in the work area.
The sales order has a Tender option available.
Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry Inventory and Order Entry Processing 205

Here is a typical invoice screen:

The menus contain commands and options. We show these later.


In the header area, you choose an account to process. You enter the document number, date,
and so on.
You can arrange the sequence of the columns, and their sizes. When you resize the screen, the
system expands the number of lines that you can see.
You can process inventory and financial (non-stock) lines.
Document totals update as you work.
If you process sales orders rather than invoices, the system allows you to partially fill an order, and then return
later to fill more quantities:

In this example, the sales order quantity is 25. Of these, 10 were invoiced earlier, and a further 12 are about to
be invoiced. You are also able to reserve quantities for customers.
206 Inventory and Order Entry Processing Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry

You can sell in multiple units of measure:

We take you through some of the main document processing features by showing you the menu options. The
first is the File menu:

You can save a document without processing it, and load it in the future and then complete it.
Use the Save option to save the document without processing, and the Process option to save
and process the document.
Use the Open option to load a saved document. You can then edit it if necessary, and process it.
Use the Save as Template option to save the document as a template. You can then open the
template, edit it to create an invoice, and save or process the invoice. The template remains in
place for you to re-use.
To close the invoice screen, use the Close option.
When you save or process a document, the system keeps the document in a table called the document
store. You can print and reprint documents from the document store, and you can find documents using
various criteria. For example, you can find a customer's old invoices:
Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry Inventory and Order Entry Processing 207

You can use any of the header fields to find a document.


You can copy one document into another, even of a different type. For example, you can copy a
quote into an invoice, or an invoice into a credit note.
You can merge multiple documents of the same type. For example, you can merge multiple sales
orders into a single invoice, multiple invoices into a single credit note, and so on.
In the table, you can use standard sorting and grouping tools to arrange the invoices in the best
sequence.
The Edit menu lets you work with invoice lines:

The Copy Line option can save a lot of time if you invoice many similar items.
The Line Note option lets you add text annotations that appear in the body of the invoice.
Note that all these commands have keyboard shortcuts, so you do not need to access the
menus to use these commands.
This is the View menu:

You can switch between tax exclusive and tax inclusive entry of amounts any time.
The Messages option lets you maintain a library of messages. These can be up to three lines
long, and they print in the invoice footer.
In the Options option, you can set defaults and other settings to speed up your data entry.
The Line menu lets you choose values for a line:
208 Inventory and Order Entry Processing Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry

The Volume Discount Price shows a check mark if the system is using a volume discount.
The Price Lists sub-menu shows all the selling prices for the item you are invoicing. If you have
the requisite access permission, you can choose the price to use.
An inventory item can have up to three lines of description. You can choose which description
to display on the invoice - you can also add the second and/or third inventory description to the
lines grid.
If you use the Serial Number Tracking add-on module, and you purchase or sell a serial number
item, you can create or choose serial numbers.
The Print menu lets you configure and print invoices. The system has an option of creating print groups
instead of printing invoices directly (you can of course do the latter as well). You can also email the invoice to
your customer, instead of, or as well as, printing it out:

In the Document frame, you choose whether to print the invoice, and if so, whether to preview
the invoice on the screen first.
In the Print Groups frame, you choose whether to print the invoice directly, or whether to send it
to a print group for later printing. You access print groups via the document store.
In the Print Options frame, choose the sequence in which to print the lines on the document.
In the Email tab, you can email the invoice to the customer.
This is a very brief first look at the power and ease of the system's document processing features. You should
experiment with this function in a test company, and work through the on-line help topics.
Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry Inventory and Order Entry Processing 209

Inventory Adjustments
You use this function to process inventory adjustments. Adjustments include entering opening balances,
adjustments for stock losses, moving quantities posted incorrectly in one item to their correct item, and so on.
There is a separate function for the stock take / inventory count process, which we look at next.
You access this function via the Transactions...Inventory...Adjustments menu option, or via the system tree
Inventory...Transactions function:

Choose the inventory item to adjust.


The transaction type determines which accounts the system updates.
If you use the Multi-Warehousing add-on module, choose the warehouse in which you are
processing.
Choose whether to adjust the cost price or the quantity on hand. In this example, we are
increasing the quantity on hand by 23.

Inventory Count
From time to time, you need to do a physical count of your inventory items to ensure that you have the
quantities on hand that you think you have. Besides the accounting necessity, performing stock counts at
random times and for random parts of your inventory cuts down on theft, and is therefore good practice.
This function lets you control your inventory counts, or stock takes. The inventory count function contains all
the tools you need to accomplish inventory counts.
You access this function via the Transactions...Inventory...Inventory Count menu option, or via the system tree
Inventory...Transactions function.
You can initiate a spot count or a scheduled count.
210 Inventory and Order Entry Processing Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry

The inventory count process


1. You have to set aside time for the first part of this process. In this first part, you have to ensure that the
physical inventory you count conforms to the system's theoretical inventory quantities. For example, you
should process all invoices and issue the inventory on those invoices, or at least separate any un-issued
inventory on invoices from the remaining, currently unused, inventory.
2. You create an inventory count. To do this, you select a range of inventory items you wish to count. The
system saves the current theoretical quantities on hand for each inventory item. You can create multiple
inventory counts, working on different parts of your inventory at different times:
Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry Inventory and Order Entry Processing 211

3. Schedule your count by using the Schedule Options.


4. You can initiate a Spot count in a branch accounting environment where the head office will initiate a spot
count, in conjunction with the scheduled counts, on behalf of the their branches, however, the branches
have to complete the count and update the system before head office can view or enquire about the
count outcome.
5. You can then print an inventory count report, which leaves space to fill in the actual quantities you count.
This report can become an input document for the next step.
6. You now need to perform a physical count of the inventory items. This must happen after you carry out
the procedures outlined in point 1 above, and before any further physical inventory movements take
place. If you do not perform the physical count at the correct time, you will create errors in the theoretical
quantity on hand balances in the system.
7. Once the physical count is complete, you can continue to work as normal.
8. The next step is to enter actual (physical) quantities into the system. You can do this in three ways:
You can enter quantities on a screen that shows one inventory item at a time:

You can use the Edit Quantities screen to enter quantities on a screen that shows all inventory items
in spreadsheet format:
212 Inventory and Order Entry Processing Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry

If you use barcode reader /counter devices to scan items electronically, you can import the
quantities via a text file the devices create.
An item search functionality is available to search for specific inventory items when processing an
inventory count.
9. Once you enter your actual quantities, you print the count variance report. This report shows where there
are discrepancies between the actual quantities and the system's theoretical quantities. If necessary, you
can check and edit the physical quantities to make sure they are correct.
10. The final step is to complete the inventory count. In this process, the system assumes that the actual
quantities on hand you enter are correct, and adjusts the theoretical quantities to be in line with these.

Automatic Purchase Orders


If you have many inventory items and customers, it can get difficult to track which items will be in short
supply. This function can generate purchase orders automatically, based on the theoretical quantity on hand
for each item, the reorder fields on the inventory master file, and the number of items on sales order for each
item.
The result of this function is a set of purchase orders in the document store. You can review these, delete
inappropriate ones, edit others, and then issue the purchase orders.
You access this function via the Transactions...Order Entry...Automatic Purchase Orders menu option, or via
the system tree Order Entry...Transactions function:

Choose a range of inventory items and / or suppliers.


You can use various methods to determine the quantities to order.
Enter header information for the purchase order documents.

The Sage Evolution Standard does not include force options.


Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry Inventory and Order Entry Processing 213

Price Update Batch


If you have to make multiple inventory price adjustments, you will use this feature to create a batch allowing
you to adjust multiple items and their respective prices in one batch.
You access this function via the Transactions...Inventory...Price Update Batch menu option, or via the system
tree, Inventory...Transactions function:

Enter a batch description in the applicable field.


Select the default update options. These options allow you to select inclusive or exclusive
prices, rounding options and actions (set, add or subtract).
Select the affecting price list, if applicable.
Choose a range of inventory items. Select whether you want to ignore inactive items by making
a tick in the tick box.
Select the affecting warehouse, if applicable.

Complete the grid by using the drop down menus, edit the affected item quantities and post the batch.
214 Inventory Issue Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry

Inventory Issue
Some companies would like to manage their internal stock distribution among departments, staff members,
job card items and so on. Internal stock refers to the stationery, daily refreshments and so on.
This module allows you to manage the internal stock distribution processes and stock levels.

Work flow of the Inventory Issue module


The module requires you to specify affecting transaction codes and other related default settings.
Transact by Issuing inventory, processing batches and acquiring inventory.
Perform enquiries and generate reports.

Inventory Issue Setup


Defaults
To access this function, choose the Maintenance...Inventory Issue...Defaults menu option. On the system
tree, choose the Inventory Issue...Maintenance function and then choose Defaults in the work area.

Select the default general ledger transaction code that must be used when issuing inventory within your
company. If you do not have a dedicated or selected general ledger transaction code, it will require you to
create one.
If you use the Job Costing add-on module, you can issue inventory on job cards by selecting the affecting
transaction code in this field.
f you use the Contact Management add-on module, you can process requisitions using the workflows and
incident types that are applicable to internal inventory issues.
In this tab, you configure how the inventory issue notes, inventory requisitions and template numbering
works.
Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry Inventory Issue 215

Inventory Issue Transactions


The following transactions are available:
Inventory Issue
Batch Process
Inventory Requisitions
Active Requisitions

Inventory Issue Transaction


Create a dedicated internal general ledger account to post internal stock to:

To access this function, choose the Transactions...Inventory Issue...Inventory Issue menu option. On the
system tree, choose the Inventory Issue...Transactions...Inventory Issue.
216 Inventory Issue Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry

Select the default general ledger transaction code that must be used when issuing inventory within your
company. If you do not have a dedicated or selected general ledger transaction code, it will require you to
create one.
The date column will automatically default to the date of the transaction. But, you can select a date from the
calendar that displays if another date is required.
Select the items in the grid and specify the affecting general ledger or job card.
You can link this to a project.
Click on the Process button.

Batch Process and Inventory Requisitions


To access this function, choose the Transactions...Inventory Issue...Batch Process / Inventory Requisitions
menu option. On the system tree, choose the Inventory Issue...Transactions...Batch Process / Inventory
Requisitions.
All the saved inventory issue transactions will be listed in a batch format to allow you to process multiple
transactions at the same time.

Active Requisitions
To access this function, choose the Transactions...Inventory Issue...Active Requisitions menu option. On the
system tree, choose the Inventory Issue...Transactions...Active Requisitions.
This option will list all the active inventory requisitions.
Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry Inventory Optimisation 217

Inventory Optimisation
This new feature will form part of the core modules of Sage Evolution Premium. It allows you to manage your
inventory levels by specifying minimum and maximum stock levels, minimum re-order levels and quantities.
An automatic purchase order will be generated by the system, taking into account the preferred suppliers
linked to the inventory item, lead times and reorder levels determined by your business standard operating
procedures.

Defaults
To access this function, choose the Maintenance...Inventory Optimisations...Defaults menu option. On the
system tree, choose the Inventory Optimisation...Maintenance function and then choose Defaults in the work
area.

Setup your numbering preferences under the Batch tab.


Setup your Inventory Movement Categories and respective re-order factors.
Setup your inventory level rounding preference and usage period option in this screen.
Setup your spike percentage and transaction history preference under the Settings tab.
218 Inventory Optimisation Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry

Templates
You can create two different types of templates using the Template wizard, namely:
Level Update
Re-Order Process

The Level Update template will update the inventory levels based on the factors defined in the template. The
utility monitors usage of stock over the determined period, i.e. monthly, weekly, monthly and so on. Using the
level update utility, the system determines the usage of stock based on an average and suggests new levels
i.e;Re-Order Level, Minimum Level, Re-Order Quantity and Maximum Quantity.

Re-order Process transactions are used to create purchase orders based on usage, inventory levels and
suggested PO formulas.

Ensure that your re-order levels are setup in the Inventory Master File before using this feature.

To access this function, choose the Maintenance...Inventory Optimisations...Templates menu option. On the
system tree, choose the Inventory Optimisation...Maintenance function and then choose Templates in the
work area.

In the Template screen, click on the New button.

The Add New Template screen displays.


Enter the Template name and description in the respective fields and ensure that either the Level Update or
RE-Order Process option is selected, depending on which template you are about to create.
Click on the Next button to continue.
Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry Inventory Optimisation 219

In the following screen, select the items you would like to run this template for.

Click on the Next button to continue.


In the following screen you can select Bills Master Items you would like to include in the template. If you do
not want to use Bills of Materials, skip this screen by clicking on the Next button.
Next is the Inventory Item Filter screen:

The first option is used if there are no specific filter requirements; this will pull all items
regardless of whether they are below or above the minimum re-order levels.
The second option checks and pulls through all of the items below the minimum level for
update.
The third option checks and pulls all items below the re-order level.
Use this option if you would like to create your own filter.
220 Inventory Optimisation Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry

When you create a Re-order Process template, additional screens display requiring you to setup your Sales
Order, PO Quantity and Order Property information for the template.
Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry Inventory Optimisation 221

Select a Usage Period, Transaction Types and Source modules you would like to include in the calculation of
inventory usage and new inventory levels.

In the inventory movement analysis screen, you can categorise items according to movement. Any item that
falls within any of these categories will be updated by the factors specified in that particular category.

Click on the Next button to finish the wizard.


The templates will now be listed as: Level Update or Re-order Process templates.
222 Processing Transactions Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry

Processing Transactions
As mentioned previously, you can create two types of Inventory Optimisation templates and you will use these
templates to process the respective transactions:
Level Update
Reorder Process

Level update transactions update inventory levels based on usage and defined factors, the level updates are
optional.

Re-order Process transactions are used to create purchase orders based on usage, inventory levels and
suggested PO formulas.

Level Update Transaction


To access this function, choose the Transactions...Inventory Optimisations...Level Update menu option. On
the system tree, choose the Inventory Optimisation...Transaction function and then choose Level Update in
the work area.
The inventory level update window displays:

Click Open Template to select a template.

Select the template by double clicking on it.


Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry Processing Transactions 223

The system will check the items based on the template settings.

Note that items with zero usage do not have any suggested quantities on levels, the reason for this is that the
calculation with zero do not return any results, for example; (item usage (0) * Slow Category factor(2) =
Suggested Quantity(0)). To avoid this situation, untick the option to Include Items with Zero Usage in the
transaction tab when setting up the template, see below.

Only items with usage displays.

You can change the suggested quantities manually if you do not want to use the system suggested levels.
224 Processing Transactions Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry

Saving and opening batches

To save a batch, click on the Save Batch option.

The system will save the batch and keep it for processing.
To open the batch, click on the Open Batch option.

Select the batch and click on the OK button.

Tick the INCL column if you would like to update the item(s). Items that are not ticked will not be updated.

Click on the Process button to update inventory levels for the selected items.
Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry Processing Transactions 225

[ Work Groups ]

Work Groups are used to group transactions. To add transactions to a work group, open a template and
save the batch. Once the batch is saved, re-open the batch and select the transactions you would like to add
to a work group.

Right click on the item and from the menu that displays, select Work GroupsAdd to Work Groups.
Alternatively, navigate to the Work Groups menu and select Add to Work Groups.

Enter the Work Group Description and click on the OK button.


To open your Work Groups, go to the Work Groups menu and select the Select Work Groups option.
Select the work group you would like to open and click pm the Select button. The system will load the
transactions that are linked to the work group.
226 Processing Transactions Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry

[ Analyse Spike ]

Click on Analyse Spike, to analyse spike on usage for the item.

A spike is above average usage in a certain period, the system monitors spikes based on usage and spike
percentage setup in Inventory Optimisation defaults.

See below for an example of spike usage.

Week Usage Ave Usage-Avg 10% of Avg Spike/No spike


1 1 1.333333333 -0.33 0.013333 ...
2 2 1.333333333 0.67 0.013333 SPIKE!
3 1 1.333333333 -0.33 0.013333 ...

If average usage minus usage for a certain period (Week) is greater than average minus usage for other
periods, then the week with more usage has a spike in usage.

Re-Order Process
This process only creates purchase orders and these are not posted automatically by the system. A user has
to process the GRV\Supplier Invoice manually.
Select the template and click on the Open button or double click on the template.
The system will check for any items meeting the criteria you have setup and display these in the re-order
process screen.
Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry Processing Transactions 227

Tick the items you would like to order and select the purchase order supplier. Note that the purchase order
will be generated with the selected supplier, you can select multiple suppliers in one batch. You can also
manually change the Suggested PO Quantity.

In this screen you can confirm the order details, note that items with the same supplier have been
consolidated into one order, to check the order lines, click on the header.
Click on Place Orders and Close to place the purchase orders.
Tick the INCL column if you would like to update the item(s). Items that are not ticked will not be updated.
Click Process to update inventory levels for the selected items.
You can add Work Groups as indicated in the previous section.
Purchase Orders that have been placed using inventory optimisation can be accessed through the Order
entry module.
228 Enquiries and Reports Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry

Enquiries and Reports


Enquiries
Select the item, project, or status of the inventory issue enquiry and click on the View button.

The selections transaction history is displayed.

Reports
The Inventory Issue Notes Listing Report lists all the processed inventory issue notes.
Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry Inventory and Order Entry Enquiries 229

Inventory and Order Entry Enquiries


Inventory Enquiries
The inventory enquiry function lets you access inventory items and see their transactions and balances. To
access this function, choose the Enquiries...InventoryTransaction History menu option. On the System tree,
choose the Inventory...EnquiriesTransaction History function:

The Transactions tab shows all transactions for the item.


The Item Information tab shows master file information.
The Sales/Purchases tab shows sales and purchase totals, in units and value, for each period.
If you use the Order Entry module, the Sales Orders tab shows sales orders for the customer.
If you use the Multi-Warehousing add-on module, the Warehouses tab shows totals per
warehouse.

Order Entry Enquiries


You use this function to view sales order history. To access this function, choose the Enquiries...Order
EntrySales/Purchase Order Enquiry menu option. On the System tree, choose the Order Entry...
EnquiriesSales/Purchase Order Enquiry function:

Choose an origin point in the list box. This can be sales orders, inventory items, or accounts
receivable.
Choose a range of dates within which to enquire.
Then choose a specific item.
The transactions show in the table. Double click a transaction to drill down to the original
customer or supplier documents if you have not deleted the documents from the document
store.
230 Inventory and Order Entry Reporting Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry

Inventory and Order Entry Reporting


In this section, we outline Inventory and Order Entry reports. To access Inventory reports, choose the
Reports...Inventory menu option. On the system tree, choose the Inventory...Reports function. To access
Order Entry reports, choose the Reports...Order Entry menu option. On the system tree, choose the Order
Entry...Reports menu option.
You have the following inventory reports available:

Report What it Does

Costs This reports assists in managing your inventory cost variances.


Count You use this report to enter the number of items on hand.
Cost Listing Report You use this report to analyse your cost prices of selected items.
Intrastat Supplementary If you use European Union processing, this lists items moving into and out
Declarations of EU countries,
Labels This prints labels for inventory items.
Levels This report shows items over or under their reorder levels.
Listing This lists inventory items.
Management This report gives volume and value statistics.
Movement This shows quantity movements per inventory item.
Outstanding GRVs This shows GRVs not linked to supplier invoices.
This report shows all of the suppliers per inventory item, displaying the last
Preferred Supplier
price paid for the item per supplier.
Pricing This report shows inventory prices.
Quotes This shows outstanding quotes.
Sales Analysis This shows sales information such as amount /percentage profits.
Slow Movers This shows items that have no sales in the dates you specify.
Transactions This lists inventory transactions.
Valuation This values inventory items.
Warehouse Transfers This shows a list of warehouse transfers
Warehouse IBT Listing This shows all the Inter Branch Transfer transactions.
Lot Tracking Listing This lists the lot numbers.
Lot Tracking Transactions This shows the transactions containing lots.
Serial Number Listing This shows the current location of the serial number items.
Serial Number Transactions This shows all the transactions for serial numbers.
Chapter 9 Inventory and Order Entry Inventory and Order Entry Reporting 231

You have the following order entry reports available:

Report What it Does

Daily Distribution Sheet This details sales orders for a date range you specify.
Executable Orders This details orders for which there are quantities on hand to fill.
This report shows purchase orders which are linked to jobs and/or sales
Linked Purchase Orders
orders.
Overdue Purchase Orders This report details purchase orders that are overdue.
Overdue Sales Orders This report details sales orders that are overdue.
This prints a list of required items for a range of sales orders, so that you
Picking List
can retrieve the items from the warehouse.
Purchase Orders This report gives you a detailed or summary view of purchase orders.
Sales Orders This report gives you a detailed or summary view of sales orders.
This report extracts sales confirmed order lines (i.e. invoice lines) for sales
Sales Rep Report
representatives.
Sales vs. Purchases This shows purchase and sales quantities per item.
Quotes This shows processed and unprocessed quotations.
Outstanding GRVs This lists all of the unprocessed GRVs.

Purchase Order Foreign This report shows variances on open purchase orders between the
Currency Variance original exchange rate at the time of order and the current exchange rate.

Sales Order Foreign Currency This report shows variances on open sales orders between the original
Variance exchange rate at the time of order and the current exchange rate.
Chapter 10 Contact Management

In this chapter, we look at the Contact Management module.


Contact Management Overview
Setting up Contact Management
Contact Management Processing
Contact Management Reporting
Chapter 10 Contact Management Contact Management Overview 233

Contact Management Overview


Contact Management lets you manage interaction between you, your customers, your potential customers,
even your fellow company members. Contact Management has many powerful features and capabilities. We
outline these in this overview.

Contact Management Concepts


Incidents
An incident is one or more contacts with the same person or company about a specific event.
We need to look at this definition in a bit more detail. What do we mean by a specific event? Suppose you
have a customer who has purchased a washing machine from you:
The customer telephones to ask when you will install the washing machine. You ask the customer which
times are convenient, and you tell the customer that you will call them back.

You then consult with your delivery department and obtain a suitable time for delivery. You telephone the
customer back and schedule the delivery.

The customer phones you the next day to say that the delivery time you arranged is not convenient, and
suggests a different time. While the customer is waiting, you contact the delivery department, and they
agree to the revised time.

The above three actions are all related to one incident, the installation of the washing machine. Many times,
one action is sufficient to complete, or close, an incident. In other cases, there can be many actions before
you can close an incident.
A few days later the same customer telephones to say that the washing machine is leaking. This is now
another incident. It has nothing to do with the installation incident.
You can have multiple open incidents for the same customer at the same time. For example, you are a
salesperson selling a complicated piece of machinery to a potential new customer:
The customers electrician emails a query to you. You email your technical department and you inform
the electrician you will reply once you obtain the details.

You then get a telephone call from the technical manager asking about the warranty on the machine, and
you answer the question.

You further receive another email from the same technical manager asking you to provide a schedule for
delivery, installation, and training. You reply, saying that you will have the schedule available by Friday.

These are three separate incidents happening simultaneously. The second incident required one action, while
the other two are ongoing.
The whole Contact Management process concerns handling and managing incidents.
In order to manage and control the process, Contact Management logs any action you perform on an
incident. For example, you open an incident and you assign John Smith in the customers company as the
contact person. Later, you realise that you actually spoke to John Peterson. To change the contact name you
perform an action on the incident. Contact Management logs this as a new action on the incident.
234 Contact Management Overview Chapter 10 Contact Management

Customers and People


Customers are your actual or potential customers. If you create customer records, you have the option of
linking incidents to customers.
If you use customer contracts, which we discuss a bit later, then you must use customers, since contracts
link to customers. However, even if you do not use contracts, using customers gives you an important benefit:
you can monitor each customers queries, as well as your customer service level.
Sometimes you deal with one person only in each company. Other times, you may deal with many people in
the same company. In the example above, the salesperson was dealing with the electrician and the technical
manager. You can create a record for each person you have contact with, and you link that person to his or
her company. You can also link a person to more than one company. For example, you may have a
consultant who provides support and training for your products to many of your customers.

Agents
Agents are the people in your company who deal with incidents. You create each agent, and then assign
incidents to these agents.
In some organisations, the process of assigning agents to incidents is simple, in others complex. If you are
using Contact Management in one department of your company to handle one type of incident, the process is
relatively simple. On the other hand, you may have many departments such as sales, finance, and technical
support, dealing with a myriad of products, and thousands of interactions with customers or potential
customers daily.
Contact Management provides tools to help you manage this process in the most efficient way.

Agent Groups
You group agents together into agent groups. Agent groups allow you to pool resources with a common skill
into one group, and then assign relevant incidents to that group. This is a powerful management tool.
You can group agents by the functions they perform (sales, support), by the product skills they have (washing
machine, tumble dryer), or by a combination of both (washing machine sales, washing machine support,
tumble dryer sales, tumble dryer support). It all depends on how you need to manage the incident flow.
You can assign an agent to more than one agent group an agent could easily have knowledge in more than
one agent group. In addition, you may wish to assign an agent to multiple groups as a supervisor.

Escalation Groups
One of the most compelling reasons to use Contact Management is its ability to ensure that agents deal with
incidents within acceptable timeframes. Customers regard taking too long to respond as bad service, and
responding within agreed time limits as good service. Of course, not responding at all is very damaging to
your companys image.
Chapter 10 Contact Management Contact Management Overview 235

You use escalation groups to control timed responses to incidents. They work like this:
An escalation group consists of one or more agent groups arranged in sequence, with a timing factor
between each successive agent group. For example, you create an escalation group called "Widget
Product Support Escalation" which has two agent groups: "Widget Support Personnel" and "Supervisor".
The timing factor between these two groups is set to 180 minutes.

A customer who owns a widget phones in for support. An agent creates and saves an incident.
Depending on your setup, the agent can assign the incident to an escalation group, or Contact
Management can automatically assign the incident to the escalation group. The incident now sits with the
"Widget Support Personnel" agent group, the first one in the escalation group.

If an agent Contact Managements the query with the customer within the 180-minute time limit, they
close the incident, and that is the end of it.

However, if after 180 minutes the incident is still open, Contact Management escalates the incident to the
"Supervisor" agent group. The supervisor then takes appropriate action.

There can be any number of agent groups in the escalation group. For example, you can add another group
that contains the technical manager as an agent after the supervisor group, and another one that contains the
CEO of the company after that.
If an agent asks a customer for information, and then has to wait for the customer to respond, the agent can
enter a due date for the incident and it will not escalate until after that. (This too is an option you can force
escalation irrespective of the due date.)
An agent can also transfer an incident out of their escalation group and into another. For example, the
customer asks a question about a widget which the agent cannot answer. There could be an escalation
group called "Advanced Product Support" into which agents can transfer incidents. Since Contact
Management logs the transfer itself, agents know that they cannot transfer incidents without good reason.

The Working Calendar


We spoke about escalating incidents after a certain amount of time. Contact Management only counts time
during normal working hours. Therefore, in order for Contact Management to escalate correctly, it has to
know the operational hours of the company - what days of the week agents work, and what hours they work
each day.
You give this information to Contact Management by filling in the working calendar. Besides the regular hours,
you can also define public holidays or any days that agents do not work.

Priorities
When you create an incident you assign a priority to it, and you can report and see incidents in priority
sequence. You can change the priority of an open incident at any time. You can create as many priorities as
you wish.

Incident Types
Contact Management has another element, an incident type. Incident types classify incidents based on their
content.
You name an incident type by its function, such as "Widget Support". You can link incident types to escalation
groups, although this is not mandatory.
236 Contact Management Overview Chapter 10 Contact Management

Why have incident types? Why can you not link an incident directly to an escalation group? There are two
reasons:
Escalation groups and agent groups are internal structures within your organisation. You may need to
reorganise these structures frequently, in terms of resources that you have available to you. Incident
types, on the other hand, are more permanent. They refer to products and/or services you provide.

Incident types allow you to force strict control of another important feature in Contact Management: paid
contracts.

Incident Type Groups


You may find that you create a large number of incident types, especially if you use contact management
features in different areas of your organisation. In this case, agents may find a long list of incident types, within
which they then have to select the incident type they need.
You can reduce the size of the incident type list by categorising incident types into groups, called incident
type groups.
An incident type can belong to only one incident type group.
When an agent processes a new incident, they can select the incident type group, and the system presents
only incident types that belong in that group to the agent. In addition, you can then assign an incident type
group to an agent by default, so that the agent then chooses an incident type immediately, and only relevant
incident types display.
The use of incident type groups is optional. If you do not use incident type groups, then agents choose from
the complete list of incident types.

Workflows
Workflows are an additional control mechanism you can use to control authorisation of incidents. We will look
at workflows in the processing section of this overview, since you will understand their functionality better
once you understand the incident processing cycle.

Contract Templates and Contracts


If you use Contact Management to track sales activities, you do not need to worry about charges for
incidents. The same applies if you provide free information or a free support service, or an internal company
service.
However, if you do charge for support services, Contact Management can help control this. You can specify
per incident type whether it requires a contract. If it does, then you cannot create an incident of this type for a
customer unless they have a valid contract.
Contracts can be of different types, such as annual, per incident, time-based, and so on. You can have more
than one contract per customer.
There are many more types of contract available than you would typically use in any one organisation. To
simplify the creation of contracts, you can create contract templates. A contract template contains just about
all the information required for a contract. Once you create contract templates, creating an actual contract
consists simply of choosing a contract template and then a customer.
If you use the Annuity Billing add-on module, you can link contracts into the annuity billing system to automate
regular invoicing of customers.
Chapter 10 Contact Management Contact Management Overview 237

The Document List


You can place documents in a shared folder called the document list. Contact Management allows all agents
to view these documents at any time. Documents can be any type of file such as word processing,
spreadsheet, or graphics files. You can attach documents from the document list to incidents, contracts, and
knowledge base articles. You use the document list as follows:
You link documents to incidents if you need to provide additional, detailed information to a customer. You
can email the incident to the customer and include documents from the document list as attachments.

Customers can in turn email attachments to you. Contact Management adds them to the document list
and links them to the incident.

By making a shared repository available to agents, Contact Management encourages knowledge


sharing. For example, a salesperson prepares a presentation to a potential customer. If the salesperson
puts a copy of the presentation in the document list, other sales people can adapt it.

The Knowledge Base


The knowledge base lets agents create articles. In these articles, they can share information with each other
about support, sales, or any other issues. In addition, agents can link documents from the document list into
knowledge base articles.
Since knowledge base articles are records in a database, you can use the standard database search utility to
find words or phrases within them. This powerful search facility lets new and relatively inexperienced agents
quickly find information relevant to the incident they are dealing with. There is also an advanced search. To
further assist agents to find relevant articles quickly, you can categorise knowledge base articles using up to
five hierarchic levels of categories.
The knowledge base is particularly useful in product support departments. Once an agent solves a problem
for a user, they can document this very quickly in a knowledge base article, thereby making the information
available to their colleagues.

Inventory Items
You may have many inventory items that are the subject of incidents. If so, there may be value in tracking
incidents per inventory item. You could see trends in problem areas, requests for improvements, diversity of
usage, and so on.
Contact Management lets you create an inventory database with relevant fields. You can optionally assign an
inventory item to each incident.

Mandatory Items
We have worked through a number of concepts and methods, and you may be starting to get concerned
about how much work this all looks like.
In fact, this is not the case. Firstly, the only mandatory requirement when you create an incident is the incident
type and either the escalation group or the agent. All the rest of the fields can be optional, depending on the
amount of control you need.
Secondly, many of these fields can be set automatically from other fields. For example, you create an incident
and choose a customer. If there is a contract for the customer, the system defaults to the contract. The
contract selects an incident type, which in turn selects an escalation group, which in turn selects an agent
group, which in turn selects an agent! The full spectrum of control and management can be in place
automatically. This is why it is essential that you understand these concepts and play with the system before
you start using it.
238 Contact Management Overview Chapter 10 Contact Management

Processing Incidents
Flexibility and Control
Contact Management processing revolves around incidents. Depending on your company structure, you can
adopt different processing methods. We strongly recommend that you learn Contact Managements features
before you start processing actively.
The first issue we look at is the balance between flexibility and control. Here are two examples at the opposite
end of the spectrum:
Your salespeople develop their own sales leads. They go out to potential customers and they use
Contact Management to manage their interactions with their customers. In this case, the salespeople
would create and maintain their own incidents. A sales manager can monitor their performance by
looking at the open incidents.

You are selling and supporting a number of products and/or services. Potential customers contact you
for information, and existing customers contact you for support, for which they have to pay. You would
receive many queries by phone, fax, and email. You have to receive the queries, create incidents, and
assign each one to the correct incident types and/or escalation groups and/or agents. You use
escalation groups to ensure that agents dealt with incidents on time.

Since there are so many different circumstances, Contact Management has to be as flexible, or as rigid, as
you require. Using the above two examples:
In the first example, sales people do not have to create customers, contracts, and escalation groups. All
they have to do is create an incident, give it an incident type, an agent, and a heading (outline), and log
actions. Contact Management accepts an incident without requiring any additional fields they are all
optional.

In the second example, the support personnel cannot support a customer unless they have a current
support contract. In addition, Contact Management must route the incident to the correct set of agents
who know the product the customer has. In this case, the system, following your setup rules, will take
control and set the incident type, escalation group, and even choose a particular agent to handle the
incident. In many of these cases, you can get Contact Management to enforce decisions so that agents
cannot override them.

Naturally, you may need to combine these situations, and have flexibility in some areas and strict rules in
others. In what follows, we show how you can exercise control over incident handling. Once you understand
where you can exercise control, you can marry Contact Management's features with your company
requirements, and arrive at the optimal methodology for your organisation.

Incident Types
Incident types classify incidents based on their content and on which agents have to deal with the incident.
The incident type is the springboard from which processing begins. This is how it can work, if you fully
automate the system:
When you create an incident, you specify an incident type.

The incident type links to an escalation group.

The escalation group in turn assigns the incident to an agent group, and optionally moves the incident
after a specific time into further agent groups.
Chapter 10 Contact Management Contact Management Overview 239

Agent groups consist of agents. For each agent group you tell Contact Management how to assign
incidents to agents in that group.

The incident type allows you two types of control:


You can force each incident into the escalation group you set up. This ensures that incidents escalate
correctly, according to your business rules.

You can require a customer contract for the incident. This ensures that only customers who have a
current contract can use this incident type.

If you use both of these control features, you have a very strict control mechanism:
When the agent creates an incident, all they need do is identify the customer and their contract. Contact
Management will route the incident to the correct escalation group.

If no contract displays for the type of support the customer is seeking, they do not have a current
contract.

The agent cannot skip the customer and/or contract field and assign the incident to the incident type,
because the incident type requires a contract.

Incident Life Cycle


When you create a new incident, you select one or more of the customer, contract, incident type, escalation
group, and agent fields. You can choose a contact person as well as other fields. You enter a summary
outline as well as detailed information.
If you complete the incident, you can close it. Closing an incident means that there is no follow-up required or
expected. However, this is not necessarily the end of it. For example, a customer contacts you with a problem
and you give him the solution and close the incident. The customer contacts you again because your solution
did not work. You can then re-open the incident.
If follow-up is required, the source of the follow-up can be the agent or the customer:
You may undertake an action such as to research a problem, or provide a potential customer with some
information that is not at hand. You can then enter a date by which you undertake to respond. Until that
date has passed, the incident will not escalate.

You may request the customer to perform an action or try a potential solution and then report back to
you. You can at the same time email the incident to the customers email address, the persons email
address, or both.

Whatever the source of the follow up, you save (post) the incident without closing it.
If you need assistance on the incident, you can proceed in a number of ways:
If your organisation makes use of the document list and/or knowledge base, you can attach documents
and/or knowledge base articles to the incident. You can also search the knowledge base.

You can assign the incident to another incident type, escalation group, or agent, if the system is set up to
allow these transfers.

You can email the incident to someone else and request assistance. This could be another agent, or a
specialist in the company who is not an agent.
240 Contact Management Overview Chapter 10 Contact Management

Contact Management calls the process of opening an incident, making a change of any nature, and then
posting (closing) the incident, posting an action for an incident. Contact Management logs all actions. Anyone
can see the history of this incident at any time.
If your organisation uses escalation, and you do not deal with the incident within the escalation period for the
escalation group, Contact Management moves the incident to the next agent group in the escalation group.
This, too, is an action that appears on the incident.
The fact that the incident is now in another escalation group and assigned to another agent, does not exclude
you from working on the incident. If, for example, you were waiting for feedback from the customer, and the
customer contacts you, you can still access the incident and continue. If necessary, you can transfer the
incident back into your escalation group.
We talked about email earlier on. You can email an incident, with the last action or all actions, with or without
its linked documents, and with or without the knowledge base articles, to the customer, the person you are
dealing with, another agent, anyone else, or even the whole escalation group.
Once you post an incident, you can retrieve it in many places. For example, on the Customer Maintenance
screen, in the Incidents tab, you can see all incidents for the customer.
The two most common ways of retrieving incidents are:
You can use the My Incidents function to see all your open incidents.

The most powerful and sophisticated entry point to existing incidents is the Incident History function. This
lets you sort, group, and search incidents using sophisticated filters.

Workflow Processing
You can control the flow of incidents through the system using a number of methods. You use the method(s)
that suit your organisation best:
You can allow agents to post new actions to incidents and close them whenever they like

You can use escalation groups to control how long an agent can leave an incident unattended to before
the system escalates it to another agent group

You can use workflows, with or without escalation groups, to obtain an agent's authorisation to close an
incident, after optionally first moving the incident through a hierarchy of authorisations

Workflows allow you to process incidents on an authorisation basis. You can use workflows, for example, to
control purchase orders for raw materials. Here is a typical example:
In the first step, the manufacturing division creates an incident because they are going to run short of a
raw material.

The buyers in your organisation receive the incident, and they obtain prices for the raw material. Once
they obtain prices, they approve the incident, which sends it to the second step.

In the second step, the incident goes to the costing department to determine the impact, if any, on the
selling prices of items that use the raw material. If the impact is too great, the costing department rejects
the incident, which sends it back to the buying department. The buying department then looks further for
prices, and approves the incident again, sending it back to the costing department. Once the costing
department are satisfied, they approve the incident, which sends it to the third step.
Chapter 10 Contact Management Contact Management Overview 241

In the third step, the incident moves to the accounting department to place the order. The accounting
department has all the pricing and contact information available in the incident itself, and they place the
order. They also obtain a delivery schedule from the supplier. Once they do so, they approve the incident,
which sends it to the fourth step.

In the fourth step, the incident returns to the manufacturing department, this time to the project manager,
who uses the information to determine the manufacturing schedule. Once the project manager has the
information that is required, and approves the incident, the incident closes automatically, because there
are no further steps.

You implement workflows in a very simple manner:


First, you create workflow steps, which correspond to the steps in the above example.

You then create a workflow, in which you link the workflow steps in sequence. You also set which agent,
agent group, or escalation group is responsible for that step.

Once you create a workflow, you link it into an incident group.

When you process an incident and use an incident group that links to a workflow, the system uses the
workflow steps automatically.

You can use the same process to supervise and manage sales leads, manage the release of products to
customers, and track project benchmarks, and so on.
Workflows can function together with escalation groups if you require it. Escalation groups ensure that agents
handle incidents on time. You can link each workflow step to an escalation group if you need to. The system
will escalate the incident within the escalation group, but keep it in the same workflow step until an agent
authorises it.
Using workflows and escalation groups together gives you exceptionally powerful management control of
your business processes. In addition, since the escalation group and workflow rules exist independently of
each other and independently of incidents, you are able to constantly refine and enhance these processes.

Archiving and Purging Incidents


Over time, you will accumulate many incidents. Depending on the nature of your company's activities, you
may or may not wish to keep these incidents. The system offers you two levels of control as regards older
incidents:
You can archive incidents. The system does not include archived incidents in the incident reports.
However, you can view the archived incidents and restore incidents if you need to do so.

You can purge (delete) some or all of the archived incidents.

You use the powerful incident history filter to choose which incidents to archive, un-archive, or purge.
The Contact Management module handles interactions with customers and potential customers for any type
of interaction, including, for example, sales, marketing, and support activities.
242 Contact Management Overview Chapter 10 Contact Management

Sales Force Automation


The Sales Force Automation feature adds sales-specific control and management processing to the general
contact management process. This helps agents and managers to focus on, and report on, the exact stages
of the sales opportunities in a company.
Instead of managing sales solely via incidents, you instead create a sales opportunity. Each sale of one or
more items to an existing or prospective customer is a sales opportunity. While you can still use the incident
aspect of a sales opportunity to ensure timely follow up and so on, the sales opportunity allows you to specify
and track the actual sales process on an individual basis. It also allows you to prepare standard quotes for
customers.
The Sales Force Automation feature makes use of a number of elements, which we now look at:

Element What it Does

The status lets you track the success or otherwise of each sales opportunity. Once
Opportunity Status you win a sale, you would then want to invoice and close the sales opportunity. This
status field controls this.
Opportunity Stages let you define discrete stages of the sales process. You change
Opportunity Stage the opportunity stage in the sales opportunity as the sale progresses. Each time you
change a stage in a sales opportunity, the system generates an incident.
When you process a sales opportunity, you link it to an existing or prospective
Prospective customer. You can maintain a prospective customer database. If you achieve the sale,
Customers you can convert the prospective customer into an actual customer and convert the
quote into an invoice.
Competitors and You can create a database of competitors and their products. This lets you track
Competitor where competitors are active, and how successful you are against them. The use of
Products competitors and/or competitor products is optional.
Opportunity source codes allow you to analyse the source of your leads. For example,
Opportunity you can create codes for different type of advertising, for user referrals, and so on. You
Source obtain this information when you make first contact with the customer or potential
customer. The use of source codes is optional.

All these elements come together in the Sales Opportunity function, which is where you process your sales.

To use the sales opportunity function


1. Each sales opportunity is a distinct record. You can adjust the opportunity stage and/or status at any
time. Each time you change the opportunity stage, the system creates a closed incident for tracking
purposes.
2. You link the sales opportunity to an existing or a prospective customer. You can create and modify one
or more quotes for the customer from within this function. Only one of these quotes is active at a time.
3. You can link competitor information, including information about competitor products. You can specify
the amount each competitor is quoting your customer or potential customer.
4. You can link documents from the Document List to the sales opportunity.
5. You can use account manager security to allow agents to keep their prospective customers and sales
opportunities private. No other agents, except for supervisors, can view private customers and sales
opportunities.
Chapter 10 Contact Management Contact Management Overview 243

6. If the sales opportunity results in a sale, you can invoice the customer from this function. The system will
convert the active quotation into a sales order or an invoice. If you are using a prospective customer, you
can convert the prospective customer into an actual customer automatically. All customer details,
quotes, invoices, and incidents move across to the customer record.
7. If the sales opportunity is not successful, you can close it and then keep it and use it for analysis
purposes.
8. If you need to, you can reopen a closed sales opportunity at any time.
9. You can use the sales force charts and reports to view your sales opportunities in multiple ways.

My Calendar / My Contacts
You can create contacts who can be agents, employees, customers, people on your people database, or any
other third party.
You have a calendar that you can use to schedule events. You can link contacts into the schedule. If the
contacts are other agents, you can examine their calendars to see when they have free time. When you
create an event for yourself that you link to another agent, the system updates the other agent's calendar as
well. You can set your calendar to give you reminders about events ahead of time.

The Sage Evolution Services function


We have spoken about the fact that escalation groups escalate incidents after a set amount of time, without
specifying how this actually happens. The mechanism is a stand-alone utility which ships with Contact
Management called the Sage Evolution Services function.
The Sage Evolution Services function performs two important tasks for you:
It can escalate incidents.

It can retrieve email and convert emails into incidents.

Escalation
The Sage Evolution Services function reads all open incidents, checks their times of update against the
timings in the escalation group, and, if necessary, moves incidents into the next agent group.
You tell the Sage Evolution Services function how frequently to perform this process. You can escalate every
few minutes, every day, or you can manually initiate an escalation.
Clearly, you have to run the Sage Evolution Services function if you wish to use escalation. No escalation
occurs except through the Sage Evolution Services function.
244 Contact Management Overview Chapter 10 Contact Management

Email
You can give customers and/or potential clients email addresses to send queries. The Sage Evolution
Services function can check these email addresses, intercept the emails, and turn them into incidents. This
powerful tool allows you to feed customer queries into the system on a controlled and automatic basis. If the
Sage Evolution Services function finds the sender's email address in the customer or people database, it will
also assign the incident to the customer or person automatically.
The email feature makes a good impression on your customers and potential customers. If you have a large
volume of contact management traffic, this feature speeds up the allocation of incidents to the correct agents
considerably. It can also dramatically reduce your administration costs.
To configure this feature, you create additional email addresses in your company. These email addresses are
for Contact Managements use only. For each email address, you specify information such as which database
it links to, the incident type, and the escalation group. You can therefore create separate email addresses for
sales and support, or for specific sales and/or support areas. The closer you model the email addresses to
your contact management structure, the more accurate the assignment of incidents is.
You can also set up an automatic response to the email. This will send a reply to the sender. You could say,
for example, that you will respond to the email within two working days.
You tell the Sage Evolution Services function how frequently to check for email. You can check every few
minutes, or every few hours. Naturally, you will want the system to respond promptly at any time, so you
would run the Sage Evolution Services function permanently.
Besides handling new queries, you can also use the Sage Evolution Services functions email handling for on-
going incidents. We mentioned earlier in this overview that you could mail an incident to a customer or a
person. If you do so, the email contains the incident reference number. If the customer or person replies to
the email and leaves the original email unchanged, the Sage Evolution Services function will update the
incident with the customers reply.
This means, in effect, that Contact Management contains all the tools you need for a completely automated
email help centre.
There are two versions of the Contact Management, Contact Management Basic and Contact
Management Premium. Contact Management Premium adds the following features to Contact
Management Basic:
Escalation Groups and the Sage Evolution Services function

Workflows

Sales Force Automation

Contract Invoicing

Knowledge Base

The Document List


Chapter 10 Contact Management Contact Management Overview 245

Reports and Enquiries


Since management of the Contact Management function is one of the prime reasons for using it, the reporting
and enquiry functions form a prominent part of day-to-day processing:
Supervisors and managers have instant access to the current state of play.

Managers can use feedback from reports and charts to re-allocate resources depending on the actual,
live situation. For example, if a particular agent group has too many incidents to handle, a manager can
simply add new agents from less active agent groups into the busier agent groups.

Agents themselves get to see all outstanding incidents allocated to them. They can group these by
priority, date due, product types, customer, or any number of criteria.

All incidents are visible to everyone at any time. This principle, combined with Contact Managements
ability to group incidents, allows personnel in your organisation to use incident data in many ways:

Supervisors can optimise escalation groups and agent groups to provide maximum efficiency.
Supervisors can identify inefficient agents by looking at incident closing statistics, and agents with
inadequate skills by looking at assignments of incidents to other agents.
Customer relationship personnel can see incidents grouped by customer, and can gauge service
levels and identify potential hotspots.
246 Setting up Contact Management Chapter 10 Contact Management

Setting up Contact Management


Before you can start using Contact Management, you design and set up supporting elements. Since some
elements depend on others, you should work through these in sequence.

Element What it Does

Agents are the staff members in your organisation who deal with incidents.
Agents
Each staff member has his or her own agent name.
You group agents together into agent groups, usually based on their skills.
Agent Groups You use agent groups for access control to areas of the program, and for
escalation control.
If you are going to use the escalation feature, you create escalation groups.
Escalation Groups These let you specify the time and sequence of escalation through different
agent groups.
Defaults Here you set options for this module as a whole.
If you are going to use the escalation feature, you need to set up the working
Working Calendar calendar so that the Sage Evolution Services function knows your company's
working hours.
Incident types let you categorise and identify incidents. You have to use
Incident Types
incident types.
If you have a large number of incident types, you can group related ones into
Incident Type Groups
incident type groups to speed up selection.
Priorities You can assign priorities to incidents.
These consist of workflow steps linked in sequence. Agents approve
Workflows
incidents and move them through the workflow.
Inventory Items You can create and maintain inventory items that you can refer to in incidents.
You can link each incident to a customer. You can create and maintain a
Customers
database of these customers.
People You can create records for the people at your customers.
If you bill customers for support, you need to setup contracts. You can create
Contracts contract templates to speed up this process. You then create individual
contracts per customer and usually per incident type.
You can create a shared folder that contains documents that agents can use
Document List
and send to customers.
You can create a fully searchable knowledge base for agents to use when
Knowledge Base dealing with incidents. You can link documents from the document list to
knowledge base topics.
Sales Force Automation If you use this feature, you create a number of elements.
Chapter 10 Contact Management Setting up Contact Management 247

Agents
Agents are the staff members in your organisation who deal with incidents. You access agent maintenance
via the AdministrationAgent AdministrationAgents function:

The Agent Name is the login name. It is unique to each agent. You can change this code at any
time.
Create a password for the agent. Enter it into the Password and Confirm Password fields. The
password can be any combination of letters and numbers. The password is case sensitive.
You use the Access Permissions tab and the System Tree tab to set custom permissions for this
agent. In the Groups tab, you can link the agent to an agent group and set permissions on a
group basis.
248 Setting up Contact Management Chapter 10 Contact Management

In the Options tab, you can set rules for the agent:

In the Password Options frame, choose whether agents can set their password. You can force
agents to change passwords periodically.
In the Out of Office frame, you can specify an agent as being out of the office to prevent
escalation of incidents to the agent.
Chapter 10 Contact Management Setting up Contact Management 249

Agent Groups
You group agents together into agent groups, usually based on their skills. You use agent groups for access
control to areas of the program, and for escalation control.
You access this function via the AdministrationAgent AdministrationAgent Groups function:

The Members tab shows agents that belong to this agent group.
You can link agents and agent groups together via the Agent maintenance screen or via the
Agent Group maintenance screen.
Click the Select button to see a list of all agents and to link one or more agents into this agent
group.
250 Setting up Contact Management Chapter 10 Contact Management

In the Assignment tab, you specify how the Sage Evolution Services function assigns incidents to agents in
the agent group:

Some agent groups do not handle incidents at all. You create agent groups to control security as
well as for escalation.
When the System Agent determines that an incident escalates into this agent group, it uses the
rule you specify in the Automatic Assignment Rule frame to decide which agent in the group
gets the incident.
Chapter 10 Contact Management Setting up Contact Management 251

Escalation Groups
If you are going to use the escalation feature, you create escalation groups. These let you specify the time and
sequence of escalation through different agent groups.
You use escalation groups to assign incidents to agents groups, and therefore to agents. In an escalation
group, you specify one or more agent groups. If there is more than one agent group, you specify the
sequence of groups and a time limit for each group, except the last. If the incident is still open after the time
limit has expired, the system escalates the incident to the next agent group in sequence.
For example, you can have an escalation group that contains two agent groups. The first agent group
consists of first-line agents who will handle the incidents. If the first-line agent group does not complete an
incident within their allotted time, the incident escalates to the second agent group, which may be a
supervisor.
You access escalation group maintenance via the Contact Management...Maintenance...Escalation Groups
function:

Choose descriptive names for escalation groups so that they are easily recognised.
In the table, specify each agent group. The System Agent moves incidents through this list in
sequence.
In the Escalate Minutes column, specify the number of minutes the incident can remain in this
agent group before the System Agent escalates it to the next one.
The Sage Evolution Services function, which we look at later on, performs the actual escalation of an incident
from one agent group to the next. The Sage Evolution Services function then allocates the incident to an
agent in the new agent group.
252 Setting up Contact Management Chapter 10 Contact Management

Contact Management Defaults


Here you set Contact Management processing options. You access this via the Maintenance...Contact
Management...Defaults menu option, or via the system tree Contact Management...Maintenance function:

In the Incident Reference Numbering frame, you specify how the system increments incident
numbers.
Many of the other tabs on this screen let you do the same for other elements.
You can set to only assign incidents to active agents by checking the check box in the Agent
Restrictions area.
You can choose whether the system should default to do an automatic spell check of incident
text each time an agent posts an incident.
When an email address is saved to an agent master file, check this check box to notify the
system to automatically send an email to the agent when the agent creates a new incident.
Chapter 10 Contact Management Setting up Contact Management 253

Working Calendar
If you are going to use the escalation feature, you need to set up the working calendar so that the Sage
Evolution Services function knows your company's working hours. You access this function via the
Maintenance...Contact Management...Working Calendar menu option, or via the system tree Contact
Management... Maintenance...Working Calendar function:

The table has a check box for each 30-minute slot for each day of the week, 24 hours a day.
Check a check box to indicate it is part of your normal working hours.
In the Excluded Dates tab, you enter dates on which your company does not work. You do not
need to enter weekends here. You usually use this feature for public holidays.
254 Setting up Contact Management Chapter 10 Contact Management

Incident Types
Incident types let you categorise and identify incidents. You have to use incident types. You access this
function via the Maintenance...Contact Management...Incident Types menu option, or via the system tree
Contact Management...Maintenance...Incident Types function:

In the Default Escalation Group field, choose an escalation group for the incident type. If you
leave this blank, the agent must choose an escalation group for every incident they open with
this incident type.
If you charge customers to receive support for this type of incident, check the Requires a
Contract check box. If you do, agents can only use this incident type for a customer if the
customer has a contract.

Incident Type Groups


You may find that you create a large number of incident types, especially if you use contact management
features in different areas of your organisation. In this case, agents may find a long list of incident types, within
which they then have to select the incident type they need.
You can reduce the size of the incident type list by categorising incident types into groups, called incident
type groups.
An incident type can belong to only one incident type group.
When an agent processes a new incident, they can select the incident type group, and the system presents
only incident types that belong in that group to the agent. In addition, you can then assign an incident type
group to an agent by default, so that the agent then chooses an incident type immediately, and only relevant
incident types display.
The use of incident type groups is optional. If you do not use incident type groups, then agents choose from
the complete list of incident types.
Chapter 10 Contact Management Setting up Contact Management 255

To access this function, choose the Maintenance...Contact Management...Incident Type Groups menu
option. On the system tree, choose Contact Management...MaintenanceIncident Type Groups:

In the group Name field, name the incident type group clearly, so that you can identify it easily.
The table displays the incident type that belongs to this incident type group, as well as the
incident type settings.
Use the buttons to maintain incident types, and add and remove them from this incident type
group.

Priorities
When you create an incident you assign a priority to it, and you can report and see incidents in priority
sequence. You can change the priority of an open incident at any time. You can create as many priorities as
you wish. The system ships with some priorities set up for you, but you can change these at any time.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Contact Management...Priorities menu option, or via the
system tree Contact Management...Maintenance...Priorities function:

Choose a colour for the priority. This lets you see incidents in easy to recognise colour coded
sequences.
When you create a new incident, the system assigns the incident a priority automatically. Check
the default check box to specify this priority code as the default one.
256 Setting up Contact Management Chapter 10 Contact Management

Workflows
You can control the flow of incidents through the system using a number of methods. You use the method(s)
that suit your organisation best:
You can allow agents to post new actions to incidents and close them whenever they like

You can use escalation groups to control how long an agent can leave an incident unattended to before
the system escalates it to another agent group

You can use workflows, with or without escalation groups, to obtain an agent's authorisation to close an
incident, after optionally first moving the incident through a hierarchy of authorisations

You maintain workflows in the Maintenance...Contact Management...Workflows menu option. On the system
tree, choose Contact Management...MaintenanceWorkflows:

Workflows consist of discrete steps that agents have to perform in sequence. They display in
the table.
You choose an agent or agent group to receive the incident when it moves to the next step.
Choose at each level whether an agent can reject and/or close the workflow.
You can assign each workflow step to an escalation group to ensure agents process the step in
time.
Use the buttons to add, edit, and remove workflow steps. Use the arrows to change their
sequence.
Chapter 10 Contact Management Setting up Contact Management 257

Contact Management Inventory Items


You may have many inventory items that are the subject of incidents. If so, there may be value in tracking
incidents per inventory item. You could see trends in problem areas, requests for improvements, diversity of
usage, and so on. Contact Management lets you create an inventory database with relevant fields. You can
optionally assign an inventory item to each incident.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Contact Management...Inventory Items menu option, or via the
system tree Contact Management...Maintenance... Inventory Items function:

Each inventory item has a unique code. You can enter this code when you create the item, or the
system can generate the code automatically.
You use the Active field to filter inventory items. For example, you can use to differentiate items
that are obsolete from current items.
In the Incident History tab, you can see all incidents that refer to this inventory item.
258 Setting up Contact Management Chapter 10 Contact Management

Contact Management Customers


You can optionally link each incident to a customer. You do not have to have customers in order to process
incidents. If you use customer contracts, however, you must use customers, since contracts link to
customers.
Even if you do not use contracts, using customers gives you an important benefit: you can monitor customer
queries, as well as your service levels to customers.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Contact Management...Customers menu option, or via the
system tree Contact Management...Maintenance... Customers function:

Use the New Action button to add a new action to an existing incident. Use the New Incident
button to create a new incident for this customer.
Some of these tabs let you link elements to customers. They are the People, Contracts, Incident
History, and Inventory Items tab.
The Incident History tab shows you all incidents for this customer. You can group and sort
incidents using standard database procedures.
Chapter 10 Contact Management Setting up Contact Management 259

Contact Management People


You can create a record for each person who contacts you. You can then link that person to a customer. You
can link many people to one customer record, and you can link a person to more than one customer/supplier.
For example, you may have a consultant who provides support and training for your products to many of your
customers. The use of people is optional. You do not have to have people in order to process incidents.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Contact Management...People menu option, or via the system
tree Contact Management...Maintenance...People function:

If you have the persons email address, you can email a report directly to the person.
In the Customers tab, you link this person to one or more customers.
In the Suppliers tab, you link this person to one or more suppliers.
The Incident History tab shows any incidents to which you link this person.
260 Setting up Contact Management Chapter 10 Contact Management

Contract Templates and Contracts


Contact Management can help control support charges. There are many types of contracts available, more
than you would typically use in any organisation. To simplify the creation of contracts, you can create contract
templates. You create templates via the Maintenance... Contact Management...Contracts...Contract
Templates menu option, or the system tree Contact Management...
Maintenance...Contracts...Contract Templates function:

In the Contract Length fields, you specify the length of the contract.
In the Billing Type field, you can specify that contracts can be for a period, for a specified
number of calls, per call, or per time unit.
In the Contract Cost field, specify the cost of the contract here.
In the Incident Type field, you can choose, and optionally force, an incident type. This ensures
that the Sage Evolution Services function assigns the incident correctly.
The Invoice Information frame only displays if you use the Annuity Billing add-on module. You
use this module to bill customers on a regular basis for their contracts.
Chapter 10 Contact Management Setting up Contact Management 261

You access contracts via the Maintenance...Contact Management...Contracts...Contracts menu option, or via
the system tree Contact Management...Contracts...Contracts function:

In the Customer Information frame, you link a customer to a contract.


In the Contract Information frame, you link the contract to a contract template. The system
copies the fields from the template, at the same time changing the contract length into a start
and end date.
The Invoice Information frame only displays if you use the Annuity Billing add-on module. You
use this module to bill customers on a regular basis for their contracts.
262 Setting up Contact Management Chapter 10 Contact Management

Contract Invoice Templates


You can view customer invoice templates.
You access contract invoice templates via the Maintenance...Contact Management...Contracts...Contract
Invoice Templates menu option, or via the system tree Contact Management...Contracts...Contract Invoice
Templates function:
Chapter 10 Contact Management Setting up Contact Management 263

Document List
One of the main problems in managing support and even sales departments is that some people in the
organisation know more, and others know less. This always negatively affects the performance and the image
of your organisation.
You can place documents in a shared folder called the document list. Contact Management allows all agents
to view these documents at any time. Documents can be any type of file such as word processing,
spreadsheet, or graphics files.
You can attach documents from the document list to incidents, contracts, and knowledge base articles. You
use the document list as follows:
You link documents to incidents if you need to provide additional, detailed information to a customer. You
can email the incident to the customer and include documents from the document list as attachments.

Customers can in turn email attachments to you. The Sage Evolution Services function adds them to the
document list and links them to the incident.

By making a shared repository available to agents, Contact Management encourages knowledge


sharing. For example, a salesperson prepares a presentation to a potential customer. If the salesperson
puts a copy of the presentation in the document-sharing folder, other sales people can adapt it for their
use.

You access this via the Maintenance...Contact Management...Document List menu option, or via the system
tree Contact Management...Maintenance...Document List function:

When you add a document to the document list, you choose the document name, and it displays in this field.
Once you save the record, you cannot change this field.
When you save the record, Contact Management copies the document into the document list folder. You
choose whether to leave the document in its original folder or whether to delete it.
264 Setting up Contact Management Chapter 10 Contact Management

Knowledge Base
The knowledge base lets agents create articles. In these articles, they can share information with each other
about support, sales, or any other issues. In addition, agents can link documents from the document list into
knowledge base articles.
You can create up to five separate sets of text for each article. This lets you distinguish, for example,
diagnostics from solutions, or create advanced information for more qualified personnel.
Since knowledge base articles are records in a database, you can use the standard database search utility to
find words or phrases within them. This powerful search facility lets new and relatively inexperienced agents
quickly find information relevant to the incident they are dealing with. There is also an advanced search facility.
To further assist agents to find relevant articles quickly, you can categorise knowledge base articles using up
to five hierarchic levels of categories.
The knowledge base is particularly useful in product support departments. Once an agent solves a problem
for a user, they can document this very quickly in a knowledge base article, thereby making the information
available to their colleagues.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Contact Management...Knowledge Base...Knowledge Base
menu option, or via the system tree Contact Management... Maintenance...Knowledge Base...Knowledge
Base function:

You can specify up to five levels of categories (group, product, version in the screen above).
These make it easier to search the knowledge base.
The Status field tells other agents whether you have completed this article.
You can enter as much text as you need to in up to five tabs.
You can click the spell-check icon to check spelling.
Click the link icon to link documents from the document list into the article.
Chapter 10 Contact Management Setting up Contact Management 265

Sales Force Automation Elements


Sales force automation lets you track the progress of potential sales in an easily manageable and powerful
manner. Here we look at the setup elements.

Opportunity Status
Opportunity status codes let you track the success or otherwise of each sales opportunity.
The system ships with default status codes of Not Started, Open, Lost, Won, and Reopened, but you can
modify or delete these and create your own codes.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Contact Management...Opportunity Status menu option, or via
the system tree Contact Management...Maintenance...Opportunity Status function:

Opportunity Stage
Opportunity Stages let you define discrete stages of the sales process in your company. Once you define the
stages in this function, you then use the Opportunity Stage Sequence function to order these stages in the
sequence in which they occur. You can then use the Sales Opportunity function to track each individual sales
contact and manage these stages.
Every time you change a stage in a sales opportunity, the system generates a new incident that links to the
sales opportunity. The system ships with default codes set up for you, which you can edit.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Contact Management...Opportunity Stage menu option, or via
the system tree Contact Management...Maintenance...Opportunity Stage function:

In the Opportunity Status field, you can set a status to change to when you reach this stage.
Each time the status changes the system creates a new incident.
266 Setting up Contact Management Chapter 10 Contact Management

Opportunity Source
Opportunity source codes allow you to analyse the source of your leads. For example, you can create codes
for different type of advertising, for user referrals, and so on. You obtain this information when you make first
contact with the customer or potential customer. The use of opportunity source codes is optional.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Contact Management...Opportunity Source menu option, or
via the system tree Contact Management...Maintenance...Opportunity Source function.
The file consists of a list of sources with no other fields.

Competitor Products
You use this function to create a database of products that compete with your products.
Besides competitor products, you also create a competitor database. You can then link the competitor
products to the competitor code. This lets you build up a database of which competitors sell which items.
The use of competitors and/or competitor products is optional.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Contact Management...Competitor Products menu option, or
via the system tree Contact Management...Maintenance...Competitor Products function:

Competitors
You use this function to create a database of competitive companies. You can link competitor products to the
competitor database.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Contact Management...Competitor menu option, or via the
system tree Contact Management...Maintenance...Competitor function:
Chapter 10 Contact Management Setting up Contact Management 267

Prospective Customers
When you process a sales opportunity, you link it to an existing or prospective customer. You use this
function to maintain the prospective customer database. If you achieve the sale, you can convert the
prospective customer into an actual customer and convert the quote into an invoice.
You access this function via the Maintenance...Contact Management...Prospective Customers menu option,
or via the system tree Contact Management...Maintenance...Prospective Customers function:

In the Account Manager frame, you can enable account manager security. If you do, agents can
keep their customers and sales opportunities private so that no other agent can view them.
In the Charge Tax check box, you specify whether to charge tax. You need this because you can
produce quotes for prospective customers.
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Contact Management Processing


Contact Management processing revolves entirely around incidents. We look at incident processing from
various aspects:
We look at the Incident Processing screen.

Once you create and save incidents, we look at how you work with them.

We look at how the Sage Evolution Services function manages escalation and automation of emails. This
section is only for Contact Management administrators.

Processing Incidents
You create incidents via the Transactions...Contact Management...New Incident menu option, or via the
system tree Contact Management...Transactions function. The incident window is an independent window,
not tied to the Explorer window. You can open as many different incident windows as you like:

The Incident tab is where you initially enter the incident fields. Most of the Contact Management
elements come together here.
The Outline field is compulsory. Enter a summary of the issue here.
Enter the incident details into the Action box beneath the Category field. You can spell check the
text.
The Customer Details tab shows you information about the customer.
The Customer History tab shows you all incidents for this customer.
Chapter 10 Contact Management Contact Management Processing 269

The menus on the Incident Processing screen let you perform many different functions. Here is a table of
some of these functions:

Menu What it Does

Allows you to post an incident, in other words save it as unfinished. The incident
requires feedback from the agent to the client, or the client to the agent.
Allows you to perform a new action on an incident. Any type of change to the
File
incident, whether it is changing a field, or adding text, is a new action.
Allows you to close an incident, in other words save it as completed.
Allows you to re-open a closed incident.
Allows you to change the priority of the incident.
Incident Allows you to check the spelling of the text in the action field.
Allows you to copy text from earlier actions into the new action.
Documents Allows you to link and unlink documents from the document list into the incident.
Allows you to link and unlink knowledge base articles from the knowledge base into
Knowledge Base
the incident.
Allows you to make changes to the customer, person, and inventory item records
Entity
associated with this incident.
Allows you to email the incident to one or more of the customer and person.
Allows you to email the incident to every agent in your escalation group.
Email
Allows you to add additional customers, persons, agents, or any third party and email
the incident to them as well.

Working with Existing Incidents


When you create an incident, you can immediately close it. If necessary, you can still re-open the incident.
Alternatively, the incident remains open pending a response by yourself or your customer. Either way, you
need access to these incidents.
Contact Management provides you with various access points to existing incidents. The different methods of
access let you efficiently group incidents. For example:
On the customer maintenance screen, you can see all incidents for a customer. This makes it easy to
access a customers history.

On the inventory maintenance screen, you can see all incidents for an inventory item. This enables you to
look at your products from a maintenance point of view.

On the people maintenance screen, you can see all incidents for a person.
270 Contact Management Processing Chapter 10 Contact Management

On all the above screens, you can edit the incident directly. In this section, we look at other functions that give
you access to existing incidents:

Function What it Does

This lets you view all your unclosed incidents, in other words those incidents for which
My Incidents
action is required.
This lets you browse the incident database. You can create sophisticated filters to find
Incident History
incidents.
Archiving and
Purging Incident You can archive older incidents and then purge them if necessary.
History

My Incidents
My Incidents is a very powerful function for support agents. It shows you all incidents for which you are the
assigned agent, and which are not yet complete. Essentially, this function tells you what work you still have to
do:
If other agents assign incidents to you, or the Sage Evolution Services function assigns incidents to you,
you can see these incidents here.

If you post incidents without closing them, either because you have to do some follow-up work on the
incident, or because you are waiting for feedback from a customer, these incidents display here.

What this means is that if there are no incidents showing on the My Incidents list, you are up to date in terms
of incidents allocated to you. Of course, you can work on these incidents right from this function.
You access My Incidents in the system tree via the My Desktop...My Incidents option:

You can see at a glance how many incidents are in the My Incidents screen.
The incidents display in the work area. You can group and sort these incidents.
You can preview incidents at the bottom of the work area.
Chapter 10 Contact Management Contact Management Processing 271

Incident History
The incident history option lets you view the incident database. You can apply powerful and sophisticated
filters that let you find just the incidents you need. You can save these filters so that you can re-use them at
any time. You access incident history in the system tree via the Contact Management...Incident History
function, and via the Enquiries...Incident History menu option:

The Advanced Filter lets you create powerful filters that you can save for later use.
The incidents display in the work area. You can group and sort these incidents.
You can preview incidents at the bottom of the work area.

Archiving and Purging Incident History


Over time, you will accumulate many incidents. Depending on the nature of your company's activities, you
may or may not wish to keep these incidents. You can archive incidents. The system does not include
archived incidents in the incident reports.

In the Advanced Filter field, you can choose which incidents to archive.
You can view the archived incidents and restore incidents if you need to do so.
You can purge (delete) some or all of the archived incidents, using the same filter as above.
272 Contact Management Processing Chapter 10 Contact Management

Sales Opportunity
The sales opportunity is the processing phase of sales force automation. Here you process potential sales,
track each sales opportunity individually, create quotes, and see related incidents. Once you achieve the sale,
you can invoice. You can convert a prospective customer into an actual customer. You access this function
via the Transactions...Contact Management...Sales Opportunity menu option, or via the system tree Contact
Management...Transactions...Sales Opportunity function:

In the Customer frame, choose whether you are selling to existing customers or prospective
customers.
In the Account Manager frame, the Public check box makes the opportunity visible to other
agents.
In the Opportunity Details frame, you can track the opportunity stage, opportunity status,
percentage chance of success, and so on. You can use charts and reports to analyse the sales
opportunities.
In the Competitors tab, you can link competitors and their products to the sales opportunity. You
can view incident history for this opportunity, and you can link documents to the opportunity.
In the Quotes/Invoices tab, you can create quotes for the customer. Once you are successful, you can invoice
the customer from this tab. If the customer is a prospective customer, you convert them to a real customer
prior to invoicing:
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You can process multiple quotes. Only one quote can be active at a time.
When you close the sale, the Invoice button activates.

My Contacts / My Calendar
You can create contacts who can be agents, employees, customers, people on your people database, or any
other third party.
You have a calendar that you can use to schedule events. You can link contacts into the schedule. If the
contacts are other agents, you can examine their calendars to see when they have free time. When you
create an event for yourself that you link to another agent, the system updates the other agent's calendar as
well. You can set your calendar to give you reminders about events ahead of time.
You access this function via the My Desktop...My Calendar and My Desktop...My Contacts menu option, or
via the system tree My Desktop...My Calendar and My Desktop...My Contacts function:

In the Incident field, you can link an incident to the event.


You can create recurring, regular events.
Click the Select button to select multiple participants from your contacts.
Use the Attendee Schedules tab to see other agents' calendars.
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The Sage Evolution Services function


If you are not administering the Contact Management system, you do not have to understand or use the Sage
Evolution Services function.

The Sage Evolution Services function performs two important contact management tasks:
It can escalate incidents.

It can retrieve email and convert emails into incidents.

The Sage Evolution Services function is a separate utility that ships with your product. It is not part of the main
application. To use it, locate the program in Windows Start menu or on the desktop, and open it:

Once you start the services, you can close the window. The system runs as a service in the background. To
make any changes, start the program again and then make adjustments.
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In the Escalations tab, you control escalation:

In the Polling frame, you specify how frequently the Sage Evolution Services function must
perform the escalation.
You enable escalation as a whole in the Services tab, and you enable escalation on each
company database individually in the table.
In the Emails tab, you control the email function:

In the Polling frame, you specify how frequently the Sage Evolution Services function must
check for incoming email.
In the table, you add new email addresses and link them to company databases.
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Contact Management Reporting


To access Contact Management reports, choose the Reports...Contact Management menu option. On the
system tree, choose the Contact Management...Reports function.
Here is a list of the reports available to you:

Report What it Does

This report gives you a numeric analysis, per agent, of incidents


Agent Incident Analysis Report
assigned, closed, re-routed, and so on.
The report shows agents out of the office, dates and times, and
Agents Out of Office Report
reasons.
Contract Expiry Report This lets you list contracts and their expiry dates.
This report shows, per customer, incidents which occurred as part
Contract Incidents Report
of a contract.
Contract Templates Report This report lists contract templates.
Contracts by Customer Report This report shows each customers contract(s).
This report can show, for each customer, which inventory items
Customer Inventory Report
they have, or for inventory items, which customers have them.
Customer Listing This report lists customers.
Escalation Groups Report This report lists escalation groups.
Incident Report This report shows all details for a single incident.
This is a detailed report showing incidents and their escalation and
Incident Escalation Report
assignment history.
Incident Listing This is a detailed report showing incidents.
Incident Listing by Customer This is a summary report that shows incidents per customer.
This report shows changes to incident fields which agents have
Incident Log Report
done.
Incident Time Analysis Report This report shows the amount of time incidents have taken.
Incident Type Listing This report lists incident types.
This is a summary report. It shows incidents sorted by incident
Incidents by Type Report
type.
Inventory Listing This report lists inventory items.
Knowledge Base Article Report This report shows one knowledge base article.
Knowledge Base Article Listing This report shows you knowledge base articles.
Workflow Listing This lists workflows.
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Sales Force Automation Reports


To access Sales Force Automation reports, choose the Reports...Contact Management menu option. On the
system tree, choose the Contact Management...Reports function.
Here is a list of the reports available to you:

Report What it Does

Opportunity Customers This shows you all the prospective customers.


Opportunity Listing This lists all the sales opportunities.
Opportunity Time Frame This shows how much time is spent on opportunities.

Contact Management Charts


To access Contact Management charts, choose the Charts...Contact Management menu option. On the
System tree, choose the Contact Management...Charts function.

Chart What it Does

Incidents Closed By Day This shows the number of incidents closed per day.
Incidents Closed This shows the number of incidents closed, grouped by various items.
Incident Status This chart shows incidents grouped by the incident status field.
Open Incidents Chart This chart shows the number of incidents not started and in progress.
Time Open Chart This shows the ten longest open incidents.