Special Considerations

Before beginning Initial Setup and prior to making any substantial changes to your system, your company should consider several issues and options that may affect system operation. The following topics provide information which should be considered when installing General Ledger:

Establishing a Transition Date

It is important to carefully consider when your system is to begin Live Operations, since this affects the balances that are entered. When the transition date has been established, you must identify the first month of Live Operations by entering the Fiscal Month and Fiscal Year in the General Ledger Parameters file.

When establishing a transition date and determining the way in which account history records can be entered, the following alternatives should be considered.

Alternative 1: Entering History in Initial Setup

You may choose to enter monthly ending balances as history for as many years as you want, either thru Enter Opening Balances (one month at a time) or thru Account Balances (one year at a time). These functions are found under Initial Setup and Holding Files respectively from the Opening Entries pulldown menu. Each month of history must be balanced or Process Initial Setup will fail with an error condition. If Process Initial Setup is successful, the ending balance for the month prior to the first month of Live Operations is rolled forward. For example, if the first month of Live Operations is fiscal month 7, fiscal year 2005, then month end balances for fiscal month 6 should be entered in each account. This provides the beginning balance for the current month. If the first month of Live Operations is the first month of the fiscal year, you must enter an End of Year (EOY) balance for the previous fiscal year. Do this by putting the balance in End of Year (EOY), not in Start of Year (SOY) or month 12 (or 13).

If you choose this option, you may make all journal entries for the current month, but only after ending Initial Setup.

Note that this option requires a greater amount of entry time than other operations.

Alternative 2: Entering No History

You may choose to enter no history. With this option, you enter master files and create balance records as needed and then run Process Initial Setup and End Initial Setup. This will put you into Live Operations. Once in Live Operations, you enter the current month's beginning balances as journal entries and then enter the current month's entries.

This option requires less data entry time, and will probably allow you to select an earlier transition date. However, you will have no historical balances prior to the current month to use for historical or comparative reports or statements.

Alternative 3: Entering History in Live Operations

If you want to keep year-to-date detail, and your transition date is not the first month of the fiscal year, then all current fiscal year entries should be made in Live Operations using the Journal Entries functions accessed from the Daily pulldown menu. These entries can be made in one of the following two ways:

  1. Enter as prior period postings; or
  2. Set the application parameters to reflect the first month's entry period, then enter the journal entries for each period, closing the month as each period is completed.

Note that if the first month for which data is being entered in transaction form is not the first month of the fiscal year, and if prior-period postings are not being made, the YTD General Ledger report in Live Operations will include only a summary posting for the difference between the Start of Year balance and the balance of the first month of Live Operations.

Account Structure Options

General Ledger allows you to structure your account number to meet your own requirements. The account structure can be subdivided to facilitate profit center or cost center reporting. You can define as many as four account number components, each having up to ten characters (although the total number of characters for the entire account number cannot exceed twelve). In addition, you can provide a title to use for each component, and this title will appear on screens and reports. The account structure is defined in Parameters File Maintenance by use of the Account Number Components: Length & Title fields.

How you structure your account number will influence how you respond to other options the system offers. Although you must specify the Retained Earnings account in Parameters File Maintenance, you control how retained earnings is actually posted by your entries in the related fields, Separate Retained Earnings by Account Component? and Component Level to Begin Separation. This allows you to divisionalize retained earnings, if you so choose.

Also, when implemented, for each account in your chart of accounts, you will be able to control how the system posts to the account by specifying Level of Divisionalization on the Details Overlay in Chart of Accounts File Maintenance. This will mean the system can append account components from the offset account to the posting account (for example, divisionalizing the Accounts Receivable account from the sales account). However, this feature is not currently implemented.

Transaction Detail Options

The system maintains three holding files for posted transactions: MTD Postings, YTD Postings, and Future Postings. For each account in your chart of accounts, you control how much transaction detail is kept in these files, when applicable for that account, by your entries in the corresponding Level of Detail fields on the Details Overlay in Chart of Accounts File Maintenance.

You have the following options for the Level of Detail fields for MTD Postings, YTD Postings, and Future Postings (except as noted):

None: Keep no detail (not applicable for MTD or Future Postings)
Summary Keep a summary by fiscal month/year
Journal: Keep a summary by fiscal month/year and journal code
Operator Keep a summary by fiscal month/year, journal code, and operator ID
Date: Keep a summary by fiscal month/year, journal code, operator ID, and date
All: Keep all detail

These options are listed in order of "least detail" to "most detail".

You might also want to consider adding the General Subsidiary application which will enable reporting detail by subsidiary code.