Frequently Asked Questions - Amicus Accounting - Monthly and Yearly Functions

Balances
Print a System/File Balance report every day that you post. You should also print it following a system error or hardware failure.

Reconciling financial reports
Most people print and reconcile certain financial reports at month-end and year-end. These General Ledger reports include:

Report Description
Trial Balance Shows the opening balance for each account, the net change as a result of the transactions posted to the account during the current month, and the closing balance. The final total at the end should be zero, indicating that your General Ledger is balanced.
Income Statement (previously called Operating Statement) Lists revenue and expense accounts and displays the net amount of transactions posted in the current month, the monthly budget amount assigned to the account and the difference between the two. It also lists the net amount posted for the year to date, the total of all monthly budget amounts since year-end and the difference between the two. Amounts in revenue accounts are normally a negative number and amounts in expense accounts are normally a positive number.
Balance Sheet Lists your asset, liability and equity accounts and displays the net amount of transactions posted in the current year, the net amount of transactions posted in the previous year and the difference between the two for each account. If your General Ledger is in balance, the Total Assets amount and the Total Liabilities & Equity amount will be the same.
Detail Journal Listing Shows each transaction posted to a General Ledger account, along with the reference number entered when the transaction was posted, the audit number, the date, the posting program used to generate the transaction, and the description entered when the transaction was posted.

Your accountant might require additional reports. Normally these reports should be printed for the date range representing the month you are reconciling.

Sub ledgers
In addition to reconciling financial reports, you will also need to ensure the totals of your Client sub ledgers agree with your General Ledger. The reports listed below should agree with your General Ledger balances for the control accounts work in progress (WIP) Fees, WIP Expenses, Accounts Receivable Fees, and Accounts Receivable Expenses and with your Trust accounts. These are general guidelines only. Depending on your accounting method, some of these control accounts might not apply to your firm.

Client, WIP and A/R reports don't include balances on Client Files that have been closed and so cannot be regenerated for a prior period if you have closed Client Files. Lawyer and Trust reports do include balances on closed Files.

  • Client Listings (Clients report)
  • Matter Summary by Lawyer (Billing report)
  • WIP Listing (Billing report)
  • A/R Aging (Receipts report)
  • Client Listing by Trust Bank (Trust report)

For example, the total of your A/R Aging report (which is based on Client sub ledger data) printed as of the current date should agree with the total of the General Ledger control accounts, Accounts Receivable Fees, and Accounts Receivable Expenses as of the current date.

Lawyer and File Type reports
The primary distinction between reports is that some include system to date balances - meaning that year-end balances are carried forward - and some don't. These Billing reports include year to date balances:

  • Lawyer Activity and "by Lawyer" reports
  • Summary by File Type and "by File Type" reports

On year to date reports, balances from the prior year are not carried forward when you do a year-end. The table below lists each category typically included on these reports along with the corresponding General Ledger accounts that it should reconcile to. Also listed are the transaction types that will affect these totals. (These reports do include balances on Client Files that have been closed and so can be regenerated for a prior period if you have closed Client Files.)

Category on Report G/L Account Transaction Types
Fees Billed A/R Fees; Billed Fees Revenue Billing
Expenses Billed A/R Expenses Billing
Fee Receipts A/R Fees Firm receipts
Expense Receipts A/R Expenses Firm receipts
Fee write-offs WIP Fees; Fee Write-offs expense account Time Write-offs; Reverse Time Write-offs
Expense write-offs WIP Expenses; Expense Write-offs expense account Expenses Write-offs; Reverse Expenses Write-offs
A/R Fee write-offs A/R Fees; A/R Fees Write-offs expense account A/R Fees Write-off
Utilities
In addition to printing and reconciling reports to ensure your data is valid, also run Amicus Small Firm Accounting's utility programs on a regular basis. This helps improve performance and avoid potential problems.
 
Yes. You can print financial reports for the current year and for the prior year. Choose General Ledger, General Ledger Reports, and select the report you want to print. In the Report Year fields, enter the date range corresponding to your previous financial year.
Yes. Amicus Small Firm Accounting's reports are date sensitive, enabling you to print reports from previous months if required. However, you cannot backdate Client or Accounts Receivable reports if you have closed Files. Also, you cannot backdate WIP reports if you have posted billings, even if the fee bills were posted after the report date.

Posting functions enable you to post into your prior financial year to make adjustments.

Remember that entries posted to your prior year will change your prior year closing amounts. You will need to reprint your year-end reports in order for them to accurately reflect your year-end figures. This also applies if you post entries to a prior month - you will need to reprint your month-end reports because they will not be accurate after you have posted into a prior period.
No. You cannot post into the next year until you have run the year-end program. You can post adjusting entries to the prior year at any point, so you don't have to wait for your accountant to give you your adjusting entries before doing the year-end.
Yes. Most people don't receive their bank statements until well into the next month. You don't need to wait to reconcile your banks before you start posting in the next month. The Outstanding Check List and the Bank Reconciliation Worksheet and most other Amicus Small Firm Accounting reports and functions are date sensitive, so you can post adjustments and print reports for prior periods at any time.

Yes. You can post using any date in the current year or in the prior year. Amicus Small Firm Accounting warns you if you post into a month that is not your current posting month, and it also warns you if you enter a date that is more than 30 days before or after the current date. However, these are only warning messages to prevent accidental postings to dates outside the current month; you can override them if you wish.

Remember that if you print your month-end reports and then post into a prior month, you will need to reprint your month-end reports. Amicus Small Firm Accounting's reports are date sensitive, so you can print reports from previous months if required.

Posting programs allow you to post directly into your prior year using a date in the prior year.

You can post to your previous financial year and you can print G/L reports for your previous financial year. To post to the prior year, you must first create a password.

  1. Choose Start Up, Firm Settings.
  2. Click the Tax Settings tab and click Edit.
  3. Enter a password of your choosing in the Previous Year Adjustments Password field. Your password must be between 6 and 8 characters in length.
  4. Click Save.

After creating a password, post the previous year adjustments in the posting programs by entering the prior year date. Normally you will use the last day of your prior financial year. For example, if your financial year is January to December, enter December 31 of the prior year as the date. This will adjust the opening balance of your current year. When prompted, enter your Previous Year Adjustments password. Remember that if you post into your prior year, you must re-print your year-end reports.

Note: The Previous Year Adjustments password is good for one day only. Therefore, if you need to post more entries at a later date, you must return to Firm Settings and re-enter your password. You can enter the same password again, but you must reset it on each day that you intend to post to your prior year.

Journal entries posted to revenue and expense accounts in the prior year automatically update your retained earnings control account opening balance for the current year. Journal entries posted to asset and liability accounts in the prior year update the asset and liability account opening balances for the new operating year.

The System Balance report checks for two things:

  1. Do the totals for the General Ledger control accounts equal the totals for the Client sub ledgers? Control accounts are General Ledger accounts in your Chart of Accounts that are used to reconcile your General Ledger to your Client sub ledgers. Posting programs affect the General Ledger control accounts and must update one or more Client Files and the General Ledger by an equal amount or your System Balance will be out of balance. If an error occurs in the system, either the General Ledger or the Client sub ledgers might not be updated correctly. If this happens, the System Balance will report an out of balance. Posting journal entries to control accounts will also cause your system to go out of balance because journal entries don't affect Client Files. Amicus Small Firm Accounting will warn you if you try to post a journal entry to a control account.
  2. Do the debits in the General Ledger equal the credits? If the debits in your General Ledger don't equal the credits, the System Balance report will print a line saying G/L not balanced and will indicate the amount of the difference. Errors occurring while posting can cause this. Posting half journal entries can also cause this - if you post a half journal entry when your General Ledger is in balance, you will cause it to go out of balance.
The File Balance report displays the status of your Client Files. Amicus Small Firm Accounting calculates the balance on a Client File using two methods: it totals the posting details on the Client File, and it stores a master balance on the File. If these balances don't agree, the Client File number will display on your File Balance report. Typical causes of Client Files appearing on your File Balance report are hardware failures and system errors.

The year-end function makes a copy of your General Ledger transaction details and increments your current financial year start and end dates. The financial year date range is set in the Firm Settings screen and is used, similar to the default posting month, by posting programs, by reports and by the year-end function itself. Run the year-end function when you are ready to start posting into the next financial year.

The year-end function makes a copy of your G/L transaction details and adds one year to your current financial year date range. Your financial year date range is set in the Firm Settings function and is used, similar to the default posting month, by posting functions, by reports and by the year-end function itself.

You will be unable to post into the next year until you have run the year-end, but you are able to post into the previous year - most posting functions enable you to post directly into the previous year by providing a password after entering a date falling within the range of your previous financial year. The password is to prevent postings accidentally entered into the previous year.

Year-end procedures include the daily work such as adding new Client Files, posting transactions, performing a backup, printing transaction audits, and printing the System/File Balance reports, as well as specific year-end steps such as printing reports. If you post your transactions on a regular basis, the year-end steps can be completed quickly and easily.

You will be unable to post into the next fiscal year until you complete the year-end procedures for the current year.

Use this list as a guideline only - review these steps and customize your procedures to suit your firm.

  1. Ensure all posting for the year is complete. You can post to the prior year if adjustments are necessary after completing the year-end, but if you do so you will need to re-print your year-end reports.
  2. Post adjusting journal entries, including bank adjustments if necessary.
  3. Print the System/File Balance reports. If your system is out of balance, read the Help topic: Tips for using Amicus Small Firm Accounting > General > What to do if your System Balance is out of balance. If there are Client Files listed on your File Balance, read the Help topic: What to do if there is a Client File on your File Balance report.
  4. After you have ensured your system is in balance, print your year-end reports. View a list of recommended reports.
  5. Print all unprinted transaction audits.
  6. Do a backup.
  7. Choose Month/Year End, Year-End.
  8. Enter the year-end date and confirm that the financial year start and end dates accurately reflect the date range of your new financial year.
  9. Enter the password DOYEAREND and click Proceed.
  10. Set your new default posting month.

This topic lists the recommended steps for completing a month-end using Amicus Small Firm Accounting. Month-end procedures include the daily work such as adding new Client Files, posting transactions, performing a backup, printing transaction audits, and printing the System/File Balance reports, as well as specific month-end steps such as printing reports.

Use this list as a guideline only - review these steps and customize your procedures to suit your firm.

  1. Ensure all posting for the month is complete. You can post to a prior month if adjustments are necessary after completing a month-end, but if you do so you will also need to re-print your month-end reports.
  2. Post adjusting journal entries, including bank adjustments if necessary.
  3. Print the System/File Balance reports. If your system is out of balance, read the Help topic: Tips for using Amicus Small Firm Accounting > General > What to do if your System Balance is out of balance. If there are Client Files listed on your File Balance report, read the Help topic: What to do if there is a Client File on your File Balance report.
  4. After you have ensured your system is in balance, print your month-end reports. View a list of recommended month-end reports.
  5. Print all unprinted transaction audits.
  6. Do a backup.
  7. Set your new default posting month.
Set your default posting month to be the month in which you are currently doing the majority of your posting. The month that is set as the default will determine when Amicus Small Firm Accounting will display the message that the date entered is not within your default posting month. For example, if it is currently October but you are finishing September postings with only the occasional October entry, set the default month to September so you don't continually receive messages that the date is outside the default month. Set the default month to October once the majority of your posting is for October.