10. Further accounting features

10.1       When to use the extra accounting features
AlSuite has a fullfledged accounting system, which enables the Accounts team to run direct postings without going through the workflow explained in the section - Steps involved in executing an activity.
We strongly recommend that all activities executed in the AlSuite environment are managed through the formal steps in order to ensure completeness and comprehensive, i.e. every activity plan ideally should be raised with fine details and subjected to approval before execution. This process allows for more probing, including the request for a field report where required etc.

However, the Accounts team will sometimes be confronted with situations where they have to run direct postings into the books of accounts. These include but are not limited to the following situations:
  • Transfer of funds from one account to another: Where funds have to be transferred from one bank account to another, there is no need to raise an activity plan and subject to the rigorous approval process.
  • Posting interest gained from bank accounts: Where interest is gained from saving in the bank accounts, these can be posted directly into the books without having to raise an activity plan.
  • Posting bank charges: The accounts team should be able to post bank charges for different bank accounts without having to raise activity plans for each bank charge.
  • Retrospective posting: Where an organization would like to capture expenses that have already been incurred, without going through the requisition process.
In this section we present key features of the AlSuite Journal, used for directly capturing transactions. With the help of the Journal, you are able to execute the following transactions:
  • View entries
  • Add Transfer
  • Add Income
  • Add Expense
  • Add Cash Returns / Refund
  • Add Custom Debit
  • Add Custom Credit.

10.2       Journal - View entries
This section permits the Accounts team to display journal entries made.

In order to show journal entries go to the unit "Accounts" --> under Navi-Bar 1 click on "Journal" and select the link "View Entries" --> select the project of interest and display journal entries.

The summary list of journals are displayed in the left bar. Upon selection of any given journal entry, the details are displayed in the right pane as shown in Fig 1 below:
Figure 1: Display of journal entries
In Fig 1 above, there are two journal entry in the left pane. The first journal entry in the list is currently active with its details displaying in the right pane. 

A journal entry assumes three different status:
  • Open: This is the initial status of a journal entry, immediately after is raised. At this stage, nothing has been posted through the books.
  • Filed: Once you click on "File" at the top left corner of the details section of the journal entry, it is filed. The process of filing involves posting amounts through the affected CoAs and project.
  • Revoke: A journal entry that has been filed can be revoked for editing or revoked permanently. A journal entry revoked for editing and can corrected and filed again. A journal entry revoked permanently can never be correct.
Note: Navi-Bar 2 in the Journal section has all the links used for executing journal transactions: View Entries, Add Transfer, Add Income, Add Expense, Add Cash Return / Refund, Add Custom Debit, Add Custom Credit. These are positioned here to make navigation easy, once you are in the Journal section.

10.3       Journal - Add Transfer
Use this function to transfer funds from one cash account, typically a bank account, to another.
In order to transfer funds to to unit Account --> on Navi-Bar 2 click on the tab "Journal" --> select "Add Transfer". You will be redirected to a window where you will select the project against which the transfer should be made.
After selecting the affected project, you will be directed to the window shown in Fig 2 below:
Figure 2: Add Transfer

In order to transfer funds, in the upper pane, enter transfer details, transfer date and the account from which funds are supposed to be transferred. If the account currency is different from the base currency, you will be expected to provided an exchange rate.

In the lower pane, capture the description, amount, destination account and reference. Click on "Save". If transferring funds from one account to several, use the "Split" function to add more lines of destination accounts.

In Fig. 2 above, we are transferring 100,000 MWK from "002 Bank - Operations MK" to "001 Petty cash (MWK)" account.

When a transfer is saved, it is not yet processed, i.e. not yet posted. In order to effect postings of a saved transfer, we must file it. To file a transfer, go to the section "Show Journals" and select the transfer that you would like to file.

In Fig 3 below, a transfer of MWK 100,000 is selected in the left pane and the details are displayed in the right pane. The entry is in status "Open".
Figure 3: List of journal entries, showing transfer of funds pending filing

In order to file the transfer, click on the button "File" in the right pane. The indicated amounts will be posted across selected accounts.

10.4       Add Income
Typically most income will be booked through the invoicing process, where we raise an invoice to a client and receive funds against the invoice. In order to raise an invoice, follow steps described in the section Raise an invoice and receive funds.
However, in some instances, income is received without an invoice and this should be posted in the system. One such example is interest earned against funds present in a bank account.

In order to post such income, go to unit Account --> under Navi-Bar 1 select "Journal" --> select "Add Income". In the window following, select the Project against which the income will be posted. You will be directed to a window for posting income details as shown in Fig 4 below:
Figure 4: Add Income

In Fig 4 above, in the upper pane we are booking interest earned of MWK 3,500 against the operations account "002 Bank - Operations MK". In the lower pane we indicate the income account that is affected, i.e. "004 Income MK".

After filling in the form fields, click on "Save". Remember that after saving, you have to "File" in order for the transaction to be posted in the books.

10.5 Add Expense
Typically expenses are supposed to raised through the formal workflow of raising an activity plan, a bill or a purchase. For steps on how to raise an expense through the formal workflow go to the section Raise an activity plan of this manual.
However, there are situations where you need to post an expense without necessarily going through the formal workflow process, e.g. posting bank charges. This can be done directly within the unit Accounts.
In order to post an expense, go to unit Accounts --> under Navi-Bar 1 select Journal --> in the drop down select "Add Expense", select the affected project. You will be directed to the "Add Expense" window as shown in Fig 5 below.
Figure 5: Add Expense

In Fig 5 above we are posting coordination air time and fuel expenses, including VAT worth, MWK 236,000 against bank account "002 Bank - Operations MK" and the target "Distribute 5,000 flyers to sensitize on water, sanitation and hygiene" from Unit: Operations. 
In the lower pane, we have raised two split transactions, i.e. coordination air time and fuel for distribution. VAT of 18% is factored for each line, along with all other pertinent information (expense account, client, budget etc).
We click "SAVE" to capture the expense ready for filing.
After capturing any journal entry, the entry so captured must be filed before captured amounts can be posted to respective accounts. See section on "View entries" for steps involved in filing a captured journal entry.

10.6  Journal - Add Expense (Manual Tax)
The main difference between "Add Expense" and "Add Expense (Manual Tax)" is that while the former uses the automatically calculated tax rate, the latter hands over control of tax entries to the user. This can apply in a few circumstances, e.g. in advance payments, when the Accountant decides to pay all taxes for the full invoice, but only part payment of the invoice. Another scenario is where the tax on the invoice does not match any standard rate (not usual, but does happen).
In order to Add Expense with manual tax entries, to to unit Accounts --> under Navi-Bar 1 select Journal --> in the drop down select "Add Expense (Manual Tax):
Figure 6: Add Expense (Manual Tax) - enables you to factor in taxes manually per expense line

Enter the expense lines as shown in Fig 7 below:

Figure 7: Enter expenses first without tax figures

Note that there is no manual entry of the debit record against the account to be debited, given we are yet to factor in taxes that apply.
After entering all expense lines, click on "Save". At this point, you are taken to the window where you are able to factor in taxes as shown in Figure 8 below.
Figure 8: Factoring in taxes manually

In Fig 8 above we have factored in 12,000 VAT and 15,000 WHT, but the amounts have been entered manually. Click "Skip and Move to Next Split" if this expense line does not have a tax figure; click "Save and Move to Next Split" to capture taxes for the next expense line; or click "Save And View Journal" to exit capturing taxes and return to journal.

After exiting the tax recording window, you are redirected to the journal page. You can now see an overview of the taxes you captured as shown in Fig 9 below.

Figure 9: Overview of journal with taxes captured manually

In Fig 9 above, you can see the taxes we recorded against the first expense line. For as long as you have not yet filed the journal, you are able to edit tax entries by clicking on "Edit Taxes" against each expense row under the Tax column.
After performing all necessary edits (if applicable) and you are certain there are no more changes to be made, click on "File" to run the journal through the books. You can always revoke filed journal entries, in case there is need to make further adjustments.

10.7       Journal - Add Cash Return / Refund
In some situations funds disbursed are not fully used. In which case, funds should be returned, filed back into the system as refund. This is realized with the feature "Add Cash Returns / Refunds".
In order to post a cash return, go to unit Accounts --> under Navi-Bar 1 select Journal --> in the drop down select "Add Cash Return / Refund", select the affected project. You will be directed to the "Add Cash Return / Refund" window as shown in Fig 7 below.
Figure 10: Add Cash Return / Refund

In Fig. 10 above, we are return 20,000 MWK that was released for fuel. In this case, we credit the expense account "514 Fuel (MWK) in the upper pane, and we debit the bank account "002 Bank - Operations MK" in the lower pane, also indicating the client, budget and any other pertinent information.
After filling in the form fields, click on "Save" and then after saving, proceed to "File" in order for the refund to get posted.

10.8 Journal - Add Custom Debit / Add Custom Credit
While the other journal features are designed for specific transactions, e.g. Add Transfer, Add Income, Add Expense, the custom debit and custom credit features offer you the flexibility to choose credit and debit records at will.
The only difference is this: When you "Add Custom Debit", you have only one debit record in the upper pane, against several credit records in the lower pane. On the other hand, "Add Custom Credit" is helpful when you have only one credit record in the upper pane, against several debit records in the lower pane.
The custom debit and custom credit features offer you the tradition double-posting features that are typical of several accounting systems.

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