Adding, Changing and Deleting Records
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This topic discusses in principle the way you add, change or delete records. Both master and transaction records are discussed together. Go to the individual transaction topics for specific details, see Related Topics below for links.
Master records mainly fall into three categories:-
those which stand by themselves and are used for reference only, e.g. the tables found on the Setup menu
those which have some relationship with other master records, e.g. a property record is associated with at least a landlord record
and the major group which have transaction records associated to them, e.g. landlord, tenant and suppliers all have transaction records.
Transaction records on the other hand always have a relationship with at least one master file and one transaction file. More often than not the relationship will be with more than one master file and several other transaction files.
Although with a couple of exceptions the basic mechanics of adding, editing and deleting both master records and transaction records is pretty straight forward, the relationships mentioned above mean there are some rules which must be observed when records of any sort are added, edited (changed), or deleted. There are also differences between working with master file and transaction file records.
In general master records are added/edited/deleted from one of the four main screens or selecting a table from the Setup menu. Transaction records are manually added/edited/deleted from the transactions grid after pressing the [Transactions] button on one of the four main screens. After positioning yourself in the appropriate place, then:-
To add any record click the [Add] button on the Navigator Bar.
To edit any record, select the record then press the [Edit] button on the Navigator Bar.
To delete any record, select the record then press the button on the Navigator Bar.
Transaction records may also be created, changed and deleted by the system when particular jobs are performed. For example Import Receipts creates new tenant receipts, Generate Payments creates new payments to landlords, suppliers and so on.
Mostly Master Files
When adding master records to the four main screens you are also led through some sub screens which can not be added in any other way, nor can they be deleted, because they are really part of the master record. Once saved the only thing you can do is edit the information they contain, generally by clicking the [Edit] button on the sub screen if one is present, or delete the entire master record. Examples of these sub screens are the Name and Address Details screens and the screens accessed via the button stack on the four main screens. There are others.
After adding a new master file record or editing an existing one remember to "click the tick" [Save] to save the changes made.
You can add master records "willy nilly" and with any identifier that meets the rules except there is a strict hierarchy required with landlords, properties and tenants. The landlord must be added first, then the property which is attached to the landlord, finally the tenant who is attached to the property. If you attach the property to the wrong landlord you can not reassign it to a different landlord. If you attach the tenant to the wrong property and any transactions exist, with the exception of Rent Invoices, you can not reassign the tenant to another property. In the latter case you can Transfer the tenant to another property, otherwise your only recourse is to create a new correct master record - see Copying Master Records- and make whatever financial transactions are necessary to get the money to the right place.
Once financial transactions have been entered you should not delete landlords, properties, tenants or suppliers except after using the purge program. See Archive and Purge.
However, they can be deleted under special circumstances providing you take great care but at all times:-
you can not delete a landlord who has any property attached
nor any property which has a tenant attached and
you can not delete any landlord, property, tenant or supplier if transactions exist in their account
or if the account has a non zero balance.
Do not delete past period transactions so you can delete "dead" master file records. See Archive and Purge. You will not be able to delete receipts and payments in any case if you are using the internal bank reconciliation and have the system properly reconciled.
The other master records which are mainly created via the SetUp menu have no such hierarchy when being added but can not be deleted if they are used or referenced by another record. For example a defunct portfolio can not be deleted while there are any properties which belong to it in the system.
Master records can have "99%" of their details changed without difficulty. Even the unique Code for landlords, properties, tenants and suppliers can be changed with the renumber facility.
Every record in the system must have a completely unique identifier. Sometimes these are hidden from view but they exist never-the-less. The Code is used for all master file records except standard letters which require a unique Letter Name. Transaction records use the system generated Transaction Number. How quaint!!
Mostly Transaction Files
Transaction records are found on the four main screens by pressing [Transactions] which will display a grid of records in a format similar to a spreadsheet. The transactions displayed are shown as they relate to the main screen identity you have selected. For example a tenant receipt for rent when viewed in the landlords transactions shows slightly different information.
In the landlord, tenant and supplier Transactions grid new transactions may be added, existing transactions edited subject to certain rules, and unwanted transactions deleted subject to very stringent rules. Property transactions are derived from other transaction files and do not really exist, hence they can only be viewed.
Transaction details are almost always added and edited in a separate window which appears, not directly into the grid cells as you would in a spreadsheet. This is due in part to the greatly varying requirements between transaction types and the system checking involved and the visual presentation needs. You will not be permitted to leave the transaction window until all mandatory details are completed and the entries are logically correct unless you abort the entry function using the [Cancel] button or Escape key. Note that "logically correct" does not mean the entry is right, you may have entered the receipt to the wrong tenant, got the date or amount wrong and so on. There is no system in the world which can completely protect against that type of error.
Once [OK] is pressed you will be returned to the transaction grid and the record will be saved, there is no "tick to click".
Using the Transactions grid to enter one or a few transactions is fine but when there are larger volumes of tenant receipts use should be made of the Tenants menu > Receipts program for manual bulk receipting or the Tenants menu > Import Receipts program which automatically creates receipts for you much faster than can be done manually. Similarly when a large number of supplier or tradesman invoices are to be entered use the Suppliers menu > Invoices program for manual bulk invoicing. The two manual bulk entry programs are considerably faster than moving around the main screens to locate tenants or suppliers.
The transaction date determines a record's position in the grid. New records can only added in the current period regardless of the date, with a couple of exceptions XXXX . Edited transactions remain within the same period, but their position within the period could change by a date change. Transactions dated before the period start date will sort to the top of the period. Those dated later than the period end date to the bottom and they will remain in "this" period. Note, however, that scheduled Debt and Rent Inv records with "future dates" will be moved forward into the new period by the End of Period processing. Any transactions dated later than "today" will appear in red so if a red transaction pops up unexpectedly check its date.
We recommend that you always use the date associated with the transaction whether it is dated outside the current period or not. You may be entering an invoice with last month's date or a transaction that had been missed or languished in one of the special landlord accounts while you sorted out whose money it was. Using the original transaction date ties the system and your paper work together as well as the transactions in the system.
Effects of changes
In general changing a transaction date will have little or no affect overall. Only the placement of records on the grid or reports may change.
Rent Inv records should not usually be changed, apart from the exceptions which follow, because they maybe replaced, I repeat replaced, as a result of changing other dates, such as the Start of Tenancy date or a rent change date. The exceptions are any Debt, Letting Fee or Bond amounts entered into a Rent Inv which will be retained in the "Recalculate" process.
Debt records may be changed in any period but care should be taken to check the result.
Changing invoices will affect the landlord balance, the supplier balance, the Management Fee and GST control account balances. The system bank is not affected because an invoice merely moves funds between a landlord account and a supplier account. Thus an invoice has no effect on the bank reconciliation process.
The effect of deleting a record or changing an amount may be quite spectacular, particularly in past periods, because the system will recalculate "what the landlord should have been paid" (plus others too), which may not be what you actually paid. The final result in the current period will be "correct" but all the reports etc on the way have now changed. In this example the landlord's statements will all be adrift too from the change forward. The closing balance shown on each month's statement will differ as will the B/Fwd records for each affected period and the landlord will be paid more, or less, this month.
If you are using the inbuilt bank reconciliation system you will be unable to modify or delete any transaction which has been presented as part of a bank reconciliation. However, if you are not the change may also have affected opening and closing bank balances for each period so make sure you have documented what you have done or you may have considerable difficulty reconciling your system.
Sometimes, regardless of our recommendation to fix errors by entering reversal transactions, the best option will be to delete or edit a past period transaction but you will still be faced with the restrictions on presented transactions. Because the system is self correcting it may save you heaps of time and effort but you must recognise that your reports may no longer be valid and some may need to be reprinted. It would be wise to document any alteration by memo entry and possibly make a system Note covering the "whys and wherefores". It will then be necessary to re-issue statements and other reports, such as the Audit Return and reports sent to your auditors.
Transaction Edit and Delete Warning
Be very careful and think through what you are doing before editing or deleting any receipt or payment transaction.
Under normal circumstances you should not even contemplate deleting or editing ANY transactions in previous periods.
Sometimes the above heavy duty statement can be overridden but you'd better do your homework first. In general, if transactions are in a previous period, it is far tidier to fix everything in the current period by reversing the incorrect transactions and re-entering them into the correct accounts using the original transaction dates. You will have sent landlord statements which show the wrong entries so you would now need to send amended statements and explain what mistake had been made. Sometimes it may mean adding a new landlord / property / tenant combination and that's just the way it is. Often you can vacate the "wrong" tenant on their tenancy start date. Sometimes clearing the account may need reversing or other transactions created.
Under normal circumstances you can not edit or delete past period receipt or payment transactions. Nor can you edit or delete any receipt or payment which has been presented in the bank reconciliation even if it is in the current period. However, by first "ticking" Setup menu > Company Details > Allow Edit of Past Period Transactions then Administration menu > Edit Past Period Transactions you can edit and delete unpresented receipt and payment transactions in past periods if it is really necessary.
Editing or deleting supplier invoices in past periods is also generally not recommended. Any invoice entered will have changed the landlord's balance and therefore affected the amount paid to the landlord. Changing or deleting an invoice will also affect the balance.
Take care. If you do alter a record in any period, past or current, you will find the effect of the change will ripple its way forward to the last transaction record changing record balances as it goes. Your reports and landlord balances etc will be different too.
Remember too that if you delete a past period transaction you can not add it back into a past period. Records can only be added in the current period with two exceptions which do not affect payments to landlords or suppliers.
So, when an error has been made and the landlord / property / tenant set up is wrong what can be done?
Providing no receipt or payment has been entered and presented and subject to the conditions above, the tenant can be deleted by first deleting any transactions which have been entered. Then if needed the property followed by the landlord can be deleted too.
If receipts have been entered but not presented it is possible that the landlord may have been paid out and even supplier invoices entered, which transferred money out of the landlord account into the supplier account, and the supplier may have been paid too. These transactions may have to be deleted and re-entered.
So, research the problem carefully before doing anything and make notes of what you have to do.
After your deletions add back the items deleted.
And the key lesson from all this is - "get it right first time".
If receipts and payments have been presented it may be possible to cancel the bank reconciliations, delete the transactions etc, renter the items correctly, re-do the bank reconciliations and if you got it right Bob's your uncle.
If receipts and payments have been presented and it is not possible to cancel the bank reconciliations it will be necessary to reverse the incorrect transactions (read the next section) and re-enter them correctly which sometimes may entail creating a new landlord / property / tenant combination then the transactions.
Clearing a Landlord Account
Clearing a Tenant Account
Clearing a Supplier Account