Monthly and Yearly routines

The current features available in the monthly and yearly routines and how to set up and use the software for monthly and yearly requirements.

The first thing to do is to set up your monthly routines. To do this you must be logged on as cashier. Select "Periodic" and "Monthly/Yearly" from the Cashier menu. You will see a screen similar to that shown below.

At the top the screen tells you a month of operation and allowing for the financial year start date (shown at bottom right) tells you the end of the current month of operation.

This should always show the month you are working on. It can be changed by clicking on the down arrow beside the month of operation and selecting any month from 1 -12. (If you have made changes for the month shown you will be prompted to save these first).

Within the grey area are various options you can select. These need setting up FOR EACH MONTH (so you can if you wish preset different operations for each month of the year). Month 12 which is the end of your financial year needs setting up to make sure the accounting sheets are cleared.

However there is an option whereby you can at any time get the software to set up all months to the standard default basic settings for monthly routines. This can be useful when starting or if you want to go back to basics and start again. If you wish to do this goto the SetUp menu at the top and you will see an option available to do this.

                               

Before you start make sure the Accounting year start date is right. Shown at bottom right. If need be double click on it and you will be able to change it. Bear in mind that if you change this the monthly settings will stay the same for each month of operation but you may also need to change the current month of operation.


Printout Options - for each month 1 -12:

 

1. Set the month of operation to 1. (Click the arrow beside the current month and select 1)

2. Now go through the list of settings and make sure the procedures or prints you want are clicked.

To guide you:-

(a) Print fee earner time sheets. Will be greyed out on non time recording licensed software. This prints a log of the entries for each month made by each fee earner.

At present the log is automatically cleared monthly. There is no option to leave it (the option to clear at bottom right is currently not available). So if you want a record of the log for each fee earner for the month you need to check the box.

(b) Print Accounting Sheets.

The software builds up bank and cash sheets from the ledger entries. In large offices these will probably need to be printed and cleared monthly. In smaller offices they need not be cleared so frequently. 3 monthly or 6 monthly may be enough. Or in sole practitioner firms with a limited number of matters even once a year may be enough.

The important thing is that if you elect to CLEAR the sheets (see bottom right grey panel) you CANNOT thereafter print them - at least not without restoring a backup.

So with this in mind you need to decide how to set up each month. You need to define for each month whether the bank sheets are to be printed for that month and/or whether they are to be cleared. You can do both or neither - or just printout. We don’t really recommend clearing without printing.

You can in very small offices decide to only print them 3 monthly and clear them once a year.

Assuming you check the printout box then you will have another box (as shown in the picture) with three other options. You can check the "This month only" box to limit the print to only those entries not previously printed. It is not strictly "this month only" since you may have not printed last months. In general if you are printing AND clearing monthly you don’t need to check this box. If you are printing but NOT clearing then you may want to check it.

The other two options are exclusive - ie: you select one or other. You can have the software print out ALL sheets regardless of whether they have entries OR you can have it print out a sheet only if there are entries on it.

(c) Print monthly expenditure - this will be greyed as the routines are still being tested.

(d) Print Client Ledger Balance and Compliance Report

This is a list of all client ledger balances and a brief report of whether there are any illegal accounts - we suggest that to be able to prove you have complied with the Accounts Rules requirement to check for these at least monthly you elect to have a printout and check this box.

(e) Print Trial Balance and compliance report.

This is also needed for accounts rules compliance. We suggest you check this box.

(f) Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet.

This is optional but it may be best to print it out.

(g) New matter starts.

This is a list (which can be per category and/or by fee earner) of all new matters which have been opened in the current monthly period - for practice management. It can be limited to certain fee earners or categories if required.

The report needs to be set up first - this report can in fact be done separately and need not be done from the monthly section - it can be done at any time - see the separate section on "Matter Reports". If done at month end the last month will be automatically selected but selecting this report from outside the monthly routine may give you greater flexibility.

(h) Matters closed.

This is a list of matters which have been opened in the current monthly period for practice management. It can be limited to certain categories and/or fee earners if required.

The report needs to be set up first - this report can in fact be done separately and need not be done from the monthly section - it can be done at any time - see the separate section on "Matter Reports". If done at month end the last month will be automatically selected but selecting this report from outside the monthly routine may give you greater flexibility.

(i) WIP

This is a list of time recorded on non finally billed or closed matters. It can be limited to categories or fee earners in required.

The report needs to be set up first - this report can in fact be done separately and need not be done from the monthly section - it can be done at any time - see the separate section on "Matter Reports". If done at month end the last month will be automatically selected but selecting this report from outside the monthly routine may give you greater flexibility.

 (j) Aged Debtors Summary

This is a list of the outstanding balances in office column in columns according to age 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, over 90.

(k) Costs management report.

This is a report which shows the actual income and expenses of the firm as compared with budgetted income expenses and the variance from the budget. You will need to have set up expense headings and also a budget for the year for this to operate.

Automatic Transfer Options - for each month 1 - 12

 

1. P&L balances to No 1 Nominal

This is a hangover from the earliest C-Law days and we suggest you ONLY select this in month 12. Otherwise it will cause problems for the P&L report.

2. Transfer costs sheet balance to Nominal 1.

This is a hangover from the earliest C-Law days and we suggest you ONLY select this in month 12. Otherwise it will cause problems for the P&L report.

3. Transfer Petty Cash to PC ledger

This is again a hangover. We suggest you never tick this box. When you draw Petty Cash show the draw as a debit on O1 and then make a credit entry to match referenced to P1. This will credit the Petty Cash Sheet and you never need the system to do an automatic transfer. Your PC sheet should always show the balance you should have in hand.

 

Remove Data Options

 

1. Remove Accounting Sheet Data

(Please see higher up under Accounting Print for an explanation)

This needs to be set either monthly or three monthly or yearly depending on your throughput of work. Do NOT omit this at the end of each year unless you have very little data or a very fast computer otherwise the system will get slowed up with old data and on slow computers it will take a long time to read bank sheets etc.

2. Remove Fee Earner Time Sheet Data

This is greyed out as it currently happens automatically. You cannot opt to keep time sheet data.

(NB: All the above can be changed "on the hoof" - they are not once and for all. You can set them up each month as you will see this screen before you click OK to the do the monthly routine)

Do the above for each month. As you change the month you will be prompted to save your setting.

Month 12 and Yearly Routine

You MUST set up the items in Automatic Transfer in month 12 so that the first two options are ticked. This is most important.

You will NOT be able to set up the yearly options until you are actually in month 12 You can temporarily set the month to 12 to do this if you wish to do this in advance but there is no need to be concerned as it is not a complicated procedure at year end. You will see a screen similar to the one below

 

It is suggested you should leave ALL the options ticked

The "Clear all nominal accounts" option does not clear the balances from balance sheet type accounts which are brought forward - but new sheets are created.

The "summaries" option will clear the summary files eg: new accounts - costs etc The "VAT reports" option clears old VAT reports at least 18 months old.

 

At the foot of the screen is a list box and heading "Partners Capital Account" This contains a list of any of the nominal accounts opened as a partners capital type account. If none have been created the list box will be blank. If it is blank then it is suggested you click Cancel and exit the monthly routines screen and go back and select the Nominal Ledger and click on "open new account" and select a blank space. Then name the account "CAPITAL" and if need be password protect. Then select the drop down choices such that it is "No Vat" and "partners capital". Then click Quit and ask for the account to be created.

Then go back to the monthly routines screen and click OK and step through the options to get back to the Yearly Options listing and your capital account will now be shown in the list. Click on it and then click OK if you are at 12th month end and want to go through the routines.

General

Note that at year end all the bank and cash sheets will be cleared. You MUST do a backup before you start the monthly routine. It is suggested that at any month end you should do this but it is essential at the 12th month end. Otherwise you will have no bank sheets to refer to and the Law Society requires you to be able to print these out within a reasonable time. If course if you have kept printouts you are complying but even so it is wise to keep a backup - if for no other reason than if there is a glitch during the quite complicated procedures you will have a severe problem without a backup to go back to.

There are various messages that appear after you have clicked OK on the monthly settings screen. First is whether you want to do the monthly rouine. If you select Yes you will be asked if you have done a backup. Then you will need to put in the main password.

You cannot do a monthly routine before the last day of the relevant month so you must have set the date of operation when logging on to the end date in the month - if not your request for a monthly routine will be rejected!

If you find it rejects what appears to be a valid request make quite sure that the Month of Operation setting is correct and the Financial Year Start Date is correct. If these are incorrect the system will not be able to make sense of the month end.

 

Additional Features

The month end screen you have may be slightly different. Please make sure you have the most recent version of our software. Upgrades are free if you have a support agreement with us. Just E-mail us or telephone us and we will provide this. We are constantly updating and improving.

Sometimes particularly after upgrading you may see a message similar to the one shown below:

This is nothing to worry about - we occasionally upgrade the options available in the monthly settings and this is telling you that the monthly settings should be re-saved to make sure they are in the new format. Just make sure that the settings are correct and click the yes button.

 

Report Folder

You may be asked to set up a backup folder for reports on your hard drive. You will need to specify somewhere either an existing folder or a new but BUT NOT, repeat NOT, in the C-Law data directory path. Once set up you will not be asked again.

Monthly/Yearly Printouts stored

C-Law 2005 has since 2003 had a feature whereby the monthly printout is sent to a file on the computer in the backup folder (defined above) during the progress of the various monthly and yearly routines. In these versions printing is not done during the actual monthly or yearly routine but takes place when the routines are finished - or it can be postponed until later if desired. This means that you are not held up whilst printing takes place (it can sometimes take a long time to do) and you may need to get on with work as soon as the routines complete in which case you can do so and put off the print until when you have more time to do it later. Also the print can be repeated and done again later if required. Moreover unlike previously individual parts of the printout can be selected for printing if you do not want the complete printout - or for example only need or want to re-do one section of it.

The stored prints (if any) can be selected for printing from the menu bar on the monthly set up screen. In addition however whenever a monthly/yearly routine terminates you will be asked if you wish to do the printout for that month/year. You can then select the whole print or just sections of it as desired.

Warning:   The stored prints are not part of the backup routine * and thus you will not be able to backup and restore these from the C-Law backup screen. The stored reports take up a lot of disk space and it would be impracticable to include them in the backup if this is (as usually the case) being sent to floppy diskettes. So you MUST keep the recommended backups at each month end (before the routines commence) in case you need to re-do a monthly routine at any time in the future.

*NOTE:  From 2008 versions of C-Law onwards there is a facility within the backup screen for doing a separate back up of the monthly report folder

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