This topic discusses the establishment of some "special" accounts that you may like in your system. The Clean Up program will automatically create some of these accounts but you may wish to add some of your own. Their purpose is to cater for unusual circumstances and in the supplier accounts provide a mechanism for your company to bill landlords for work you do which is not covered by the fee structure applied to them. I recommend overriding the system assigned code when setting up these accounts and number them in the 9000 group as our examples show. It puts them at the end of numeric sequence reports and the numbers are "easy" to remember. I also strongly recommend that you do not use just a single landlord account for all the "funnies" as it just muddies the water.
NOTE To use the internal bank reconciliation all money must be accounted for within the system. The special accounts created by Clean Up are used to handle "unknown" money.
Special Landlord Accounts
Special accounts will generally be "No Fees" accounts and will not have any properties added.
On the [Payments] button
4 enter a large Hold Amount of say $1,000,000.00
4 set the Statements Reqd to Hard Copy
4 set the No of Statements Reqd to 1 so you get a monthly reminder.
All transactions should be Receipts with either a positive or negative value.
There should always be two offsetting entries even if they are in different periods.
Assign the date of the original entry to the reversing entry even if they are in different periods.
This will put them "together" in the same period, or the second entry will be at the top of the transactions when it is in a later period.
Using a different date on the second entry makes it more difficult when looking at the transactions.
Always make an adequate entry in the text and memo fields.
Copy the text between memos directly in the transaction grid. See the Exercise section of the Speed Keys topic.
You should virtually never make a payment from any special account.
Recommended Special Accounts
9000 - Unidentified Items
One problem which crops up in all accounting systems is what to do with unidentified money. One answer is to set up a suspense account as a temporary holding account until the problem can be sorted out. This means all the "funny money" is all in one place and you can reconcile the system to the bank statement.
When an unidentified deposit appears on your bank statement enter it into this account as a positive value receipt. When you work out which tenant it belongs to, enter a negative value receipt in this account (which reverses the first entry) and enter a normal receipt into the tenant's account.
If an unidentified withdrawal appears enter a negative value receipt to obtain a reconciliation. When the reason for the withdrawal is know enter a positive value receipt in this account (to cancel the first entry) and a transaction in the account where the withdrawal was initiated. This could be a minus receipt in a tenant account because their cheque or DC was dishonoured or a payment which you made through the banking system but never entered in the Aspect Property Manager. This last situation should never happen. For it to occur it means you possibly assumed the account had money in it which may not have been there in which case you have used someone elses money to make the payment and ultimately you will be out of pocket.
This account should be continually coming back to zero balance. If it isn't you may need to clear the account by making a payment to the trading account, for example when you have been unable to identify a deposit made some time ago. If it is short draw a cheque on the trading account and deposit it into the trust account. Enter the deposit as a receipt into this account to zero the balance.
9100 - Bank Charges
Bank charges should not happen in trust accounts but do, more so with certain banks than others. Put the charges into this special account when they appear and then reverse them out when they are reversed on the statement.
It is better to keep a separate account for bank charges rather than use the Unidentified Items account because the values are so small and become a confusion factor.
9100 - Identified and Held
Frequently you know who the money belongs to but want to move it from the existing account for some reason. An example of this would be when a tenant leaves with no forwarding details. If there are overpaid amounts of rent, debt, letting fee, bond, or money in the tenant Held account they will stop the tenant from ultimately being able to be deleted from the system. By transferring the money into this account and adequately identifying it the tenants account can be cleared. When the tenant can be located they can be reimbursed from this account. As a housekeeping measure long term unclaimed amounts can be periodically transferred to the trading account and any reimbursement made from that account.
9900 - Balancing Items
This account is intended for use when you first start using the system and has two purposes:-
To account for unpresented items at the changeover date
To allow you to reconcile the system to the real bank account even when your old system has discrepancies.
This must be cleared to zero shortly after starting the system by:-
presenting all the unpresented items
working out what caused any discrepancy and, either transferring it to the correct account, or transferring it to the trading account, or receipting money from the trading account if there is a shortfall.
It should NOT be used to make your system balance at any other time. Find the real problem and fix that, you will have to sooner or later.
Special Supplier Accounts
Remember that invoices merely transfer money out of a landlord's account and into a supplier's.
The invoice may be billed via a property, (the most common method), or direct to a landlord.
Supplier special accounts allow you to make charges for your services which fall outside the management and letting fees.
Invoices entered normally include GST and have no disbursement fees charged.
If you have a few commercial tenancies make your management charges via a special supplier account. See Commercial Properties Billing below.
Recommended Special Accounts
9000 - Property Inspections
Create a "Property Inspections" account to create invoices to the landlord. and in the Standard Text box enter "Property Inspection" (or similar) to save constant re-keying.
Use the returned Property Inspections report as an invoicing document This "invoice" should be handled the same as from any other supplier and entered including GST but the Fee Override should be ticked and Fees set to zero or you will charge disbursement fees on your own charge.
Pay yourself by cheque or DC at the end of each period with other payments.
See the Inspection Cycles topic for more details.
9100 - Landlord Letting Fees
Create a "Letting Fee Charge" account to create invoices to the landlord and in the Standard Text box enter "Letting Fee" (or similar) to save constant re-keying.
When a property is tenanted create an invoice to the landlord with the invoice value entered including GST. Tick the Fee Override and zero the Fee or you will charge disbursement fees.
Pay yourself by cheque or DC at the end of each period with other payments.
9200 - Other Charges
Create this account only if you occasionally charge landlords for miscellaneous services. If you have regular services (like property inspections) for which you charge consider setting up separate accounts.
9300 - Commercial Properties Billing
The Aspect Property Manager does not presently cater directly for commercial rentals BUT there is a work around which uses another special supplier account. The property is assigned a zero fee schedule and you bill your fees from this special account. Below is a set up and procedure which works. (The example figures use a rent of $100 (incl GST), a management fee of 10% plus GST at 15% on the management fee).
Set up a Supplier called "your Co name" and put "Management Fee and GST" in the Standard Text box. Set up a Fee Schedule with zero management and disbursement fees if one does not already exist and assign that fee to your commercial landlord's property(ies).
Set the commercial tenant up so their Rent Amount is equal to "X" dollars plus the management fee and GST, (say $100 + $10 + $1.50 = $111.50). This means when the rent is paid the landlord will receive the total amount, ($111.50).
Each time rent is received, create an invoice from this special supplier for a total value of the management fee at 10% plus the GST payable on the management fee at 15%, ($10 + $1.50 = $11.50). In the invoice create two line items:-
The first for the management fee, ($10.00) and change the Transaction Text field to "Management Fee".
The second for the GST payable on the management fee at 15%, ($1.50) Change the Transaction Text field to "GST".
Pay "yourself" in the usual supplier payment run, ($11.50 x the number of receipts). You will need to split the GST off in the trading account the same way you do for normal fees.
Other Types of Special Accounts
Other situations where you may want a "special landlord account" is when you are supplying a service to tenants such as access to broadband, furniture hire or other items which are in effect rented to the tenant and you are the recipient of the rental fee charged. Under these circumstances you will need to create a separate landlord - property - tenant relationship where:-
4 you are the landlord
4 the property represents the service being supplied
4 a second tenant with the same details as the "accommodation tenant" is the tenant paying the "hireage cost" as rent.
Number the landlord in the 9000 group for convenience
Set the landlord to "no fees"
Have a separate Portfolio for this service e.g. Broadband, Furniture Hire etc.
Use the Properties menu > Copy Property to create a property with the same address but attached to you as the landlord
Make sure the property is also set to "no fees"
Assign the property to the "special" Portfolio
Use the Tenants menu > Copy Tenant to create a tenant but attached to the new duplicated property.
Have the tenant pay for each item on separate automatic payments.
With the above setup and using the suggestions made, the "rents" received from these special tenants can be tracked using the normal arrears reporting. You can even track the special rent by selecting only the special portfolio(s).
If you do not have separate A/Ps for each service it means you have to split the total received and manually enter two receipts, or if importing receipts edit one and manually create a second one.
If there is a reluctance on the part of the tenant to do so simply adjust the "rental" of the service A/P upwards to cover the additional work. See also Getting the tenant to pay on time.