Blog

Tuesday
Dec052017

It's very practical... Cash Flow

 

It’s easy to know how much cash you have on hand today. Just open the banking app on your phone – and there it is. What it won’t do is show you how much cash you’re going to have in the future. The cash flow module in AgExpert Analyst allows you to do just that. When funds are tight, this tool can help you walk that tight rope successfully. Will you have enough on hand in March to make that loan payment? With the cash flow module, you can rest easy knowing that you’ve got it covered.

What does it look like?

A basic cash flow report is easy to create.

  • The Cash Flow module takes your starting cash position, then helps you forecast future inflows and outflows.
  • You can set it up based on numbers that already exist – then tweak the forecast to make it even more accurate.
  • To keep it simple, AgExpert Analyst uses the indirect method for cash flow statements.

Practically Speaking

Let’s look at how to set up cash flow and what you can do.

  1. Projection vs Actual

    Projection allows you to manually manipulate your cash flow. You can edit fields to predict what you
    should expect to be your cash inflows and outflows over a period of time (monthly, quarterly, yearly).

    Actual will show you exactly what you have today based on real life transactions that have been recorded in AgExpert Analyst. When producing an actual cash flow statement, you cannot edit any field.
  2. To set up your projections, collect information about your transactions from previous years. Account for factors that could change each year: price fluctuations, environmental conditions, or inflation. Once you have gathered information from past years, you can begin to complete your monthly projections.
  3. In the Setup menu, ensure that all your listed accounts are linked to cash flow sections. If you don’t like how your accounts are linked, simply highlight the account, and select the cash flow section you want it to report to and click Save.
  4. In the View tab you can decide if you wish to include last year’s numbers and current inventory. Keep in mind that inventory balances are for projection purposes only and will not show on an actual cash flow report. 
     
  5. The Auto fill option is a way to either automatically fill a row, a column, or the entire worksheet. This option is only available for a projected cash flow because the actual will pull from your transaction entries. We like to start by auto filling the entire worksheet.

Best Practices

  • Don’t confuse budget with cash flow. A budget is aspirational – it’s what you hope is going to happen. Cash flow is reality – it’s the biography of how money moves in and out of your account.
  • Review your cash flow periodically to make sure your projections are on track.
  • Top Tip: To keep your cash flow statement accurate, reconcile your bank regularly.    
  • If cash on hand seems to be particularly high and the funds are not required in the immediate future, it may be appropriate to consider making some short-term investments.

 

 

 

Monday
Oct162017

It's very practical... Capital Assets

Keeping good records of your capital assets is important and we recognize that there may be road blocks. You may feel like it takes too much time or maybe that it’s too complicated and you aren’t quite sure how to do it. Some of the reasons why it’s worth the extra effort are:

 

  • Quickly generate a list of current capital assets for insurance purposes, and maintain a list of historical capital assets as part of your financial records.
  • Calculate and post your capital cost allowance.
  • Calculate depreciation for management reporting using five different methods.
  • Ensure your Net Worth Report is accurate.
  • Automating your capital asset records helps to keep you organized and efficient. 

What does it look like?

Capital assets are tracked in four ways in AgExpert Analyst. 

  1. The Balance Sheet tracks your assets by class and reports the total for each class as well as the accumulated depreciation in separate accounts.
  2. The Capital Asset listing (Setup > Capital Assets) tracks the details of each asset individually.
  3. The CCA/Depreciation module allows you to calculate your capital cost allowance for tax purposes.
  4. The Net Worth report allows you to track the Fair Market Value for each asset over time. 

The info-graphic and story below demonstrate how AgExpert Analyst ties the first three together. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s walk through a real life example. Jane just bought a new grain bin for $30,000 and enters it into AgExpert Analyst. The program will increase account 1820-00 by $30,000 and record the serial number, purchase date and original cost to her capital asset listing. Also, her CCA Schedule will update to reflect the $30,000 addition and forecast the depreciation using the half-rate rule.

 

 

 

The fourth way, tracking Fair Market Value (FMV), allows you to easily generate an accurate Net Worth report. Check out the video below to learn more about Fair Market Value with Steven Tippe from the FCC Customer Care Team.

 

Practically Speaking

Let’s walk through a few transactions dealing with capital assets and some scenarios you're likely to encounter.

 

  1. You finance a new capital asset purchase (tractor) and trade in an old one. You also put a deposit on the purchase at an earlier date. First, we need to enter the deposit.



    Once that's taken care of, we can enter the 2nd payment and take care of the capital asset purchase.



    When you’re entering a C+ line, AgExpert Analyst gives you a supplemental window where you
    can enter the details of the capital asset. (Pro tip: if you accidentally close this window, just          
    click on the  at the end of the C+ row to get the window back.



  2. A hail storm damages your truck so extensively that the insurance company decides to write it off. When you receive the cheque, you enter a deposit (not a withdrawal) into AgExpert Analyst.



  3. You sell a half-share of your potato planter to Jim. Before you can enter the capital asset sale, you need to split your capital asset in two.



    Once you've got the capital asset split, you can then sell off the one you labelled as "1/2 Share."

  4. When building a capital asset, you can place all expenses incurred throughout the project into a work in progress account to convert into a capital asset when the project is complete. This will be recorded with two separate transaction entries.



    (If you know the GST, you can record that as a separate A+ line to the GST Paid account.)

    When Joe’s Contracting issues their final invoice, all that’s left owing is $3,500.



  5. At year-end, the accountant reviews your books and informs you that the tractor you purchased and entered as class 8 should actually be class 10. To enter this into AgExpert Analyst, simply locate the original transaction, click on Full Edit, delete the original C+ line and record a new C+ line to the correct capital asset account.




  6. Record year-end depreciation in the General Journal. You’ll find the numbers you need for this transaction in column 9 of the CCA/Depreciation report.



Best Practices

 

  • All passenger vehicles are considered Class 10.1 rather than Class 10. This means that the maximum claimable GST on the purchase is $1,500. Any remaining GST should be included in the Original Cost field of the Add Capital Asset window.
  • Top Tip - Every time you add a new fiscal year or you receive your tax package back from the accountant, set the beginning balance for the year in the CCA/Depreciation window.
  • When reviewing your Income and Expense report as you approach year-end, set the Depreciation to either User or Maximum to include a depreciation expense forecast on the report. This will give you an idea of what your real bottom line will look like.
  • Review and set new FMV amounts at least once per year to ensure that your Net Worth statement is relatively current. And it never hurts to update it more frequently too.

 


Friday
Sep082017

It’s very practical…. Accounts Payable 

Using Accounts Payable to record expenses? It may not be necessary for everyone, but there are benefits to consider:

  1. Accuracy – Report expenses when they’re incurred rather than waiting until they are paid, which makes your books more accurate. 
  2. Simplicity – Record all expenses through a single account for audit and reconciliation tasks.
  3. Efficiency – Streamline accounting processes (printing cheques en masse rather than one by one), making cash flows more predictable.
  4. Security – Use Accounts Payable to segregate accounting duties, which reduces the chance of fraud.

What does it look like?

Essentially, we’re talking about cash reporting vs. accrual reporting. By using Accounts Payable, you can easily report your income and expenses with the accrual method of accounting if necessary. You can also use a special set of line types in your transaction entry window: CN+ and CN- (credit notes). You can see them in the transactions below.

Learn more about CN+ and CN- with Steve Tippe from the FCC Software Customer Care Team

In AgExpert Analyst, you can take some of the adjustment work out of the typical process. You can let the Income and Expense Report and the General Ledger Report be generated by either the accrual or cash method of accounting automatically. The accrual version includes expenses that are currently unpaid in Accounts Payable; the cash version ignores those outstanding items. You have the best of both worlds. Report expenses in a way that makes sense for your business management and still easily convert those reported expenses to the cash method for income tax reporting.

Practically Speaking

Let’s run through a full transaction cycle for a supplier.

  1. Put a deposit down on next year’s inputs. By using a credit note into Accounts Payable, you defer the expense to next year. Because no expense has been posted, no expense will be reported in 2017.
  2. In the new year, after picking up fertilizer from the supplier, you can enter the invoice as a Payable Charge. Note that at this point, no additional cash is changing hands. The accrual reports show the $10,000 expense in March, even though you haven’t paid yet.
  3. By applying the 2017 credit note entry against the outstanding $10,000 invoice, the cash report will now show a $5,000 expense. Important: the only way to use a balance entered as CN+ is to have an offsetting CN-. Amounts entered as credit notes do not count as charges.
  4. Sometimes you’ll return a purchased product to the vendor for credit. In those cases, enter the return as a negative Payable Charge instead of using CN+. This will record the proper credit to the expense account. In this same vein, you can enter overpayments as negative payable charges if you’d like to see the activity in your Aged or Charge Reconciliation reports.
  5. Finally, it’s time to pay the remaining outstanding balance on the account. When applying the payment, it’s important to apply it against both the return and the remaining balance from the original invoice.
  6. If you leave the balance unpaid past the end of the next reporting period, typically the fiscal year-end, make sure to update Accounts Payable to reflect that there’s only a remaining $4,000 balance from the original invoice. (Apply the return against the remaining invoice balance.) By doing this, you ensure that your Accounts Payable Aging and Charge Reconciliation reports are correct.

Best Practices

 

  • Set up cheque printing and then establish a cheque run schedule and stick to it as best you can. There will always be items that can’t wait until the 15th or the end of the month – sometimes not even until next Thursday. Just take care of those few items with a handwritten cheque and then make the transaction entry into the program when you’re next sitting down at the computer.
  • Post your invoices frequently. Not having a stack of papers with due invoices waiting for you on the desk is a wonderful feeling.
  • Periodically reconcile your busiest accounts to your vendor statements to make sure that nothing has been missed. The Accounts Payable Charge Reconciliation report is a favourite of ours for this because it matches the invoices entered with the payments that have been applied against them.
  • Top Tip – Review all outstanding items as part of your Year-End process. The Accounts Payable Aged report works great. Make sure that the outstanding items really are outstanding. For instance, you may have a credit note or a return credit outstanding that brings an account down to a $0.00 balance, but if the credit and the invoice it zeroes are both outstanding, the expenses related to those items will not report correctly. Clear them against each other using the method demonstrated in transaction #6.
  • Apply the same principles and practices to your income by using Accounts Receivable.

 


Thursday
Aug172017

Happy Birthday to us!

 

Our Online Community turned 5 this year

Thanks for making this community possible. You’re the reason we’ve been able to help thousands of software users get the answers they need.

 

Check out the changes over the years

 

 

 

You’re part of a growing community

You have access to a knowledge base that started at a modest 72 articles. Today, there are 638! That’s a lot of great info with answers to your questions. We average 6,000 visits per month by more than 4,000 software users like you.

 

Look for big things in the future

On Twitter? Keep an eye out for tweets from our new account coming soon. We’re also working on a new multimedia Tip of the Month. You’ll go beyond basic how-to instructions and dig into specific solutions to your issues.

 

Thanks again for being part of the FCC Software Online Community.

 

Monday
Mar062017

Demystifying year-end with AgExpert Analyst

Demystifying year-end with AgExpert Analyst

The CRA tax deadline is April 30 and like most people, you’re probably wrapping things up and submitting your books to the accountant. This is where AgExpert Analyst can really step up your game with a feature known as the Accountant’s Copy.

Create a seamless transition between you and your accountant.

Using the Accountant’s Copy allows two different users to make entries into two different years in a file at the same time. The accountant reviews and makes adjusting entries to the year being closed, while you continue into the new year, entering transactions so you don’t get behind. 

When your accountant is finished with their review and entries, they can send a specific file back to you. You can import the accountant’s changes into your file, updating closing balances for the fiscal year just past and the opening balances for the current year.

Here’s the step-by-step process on working with the Accountant’s Copy:

1. Start with your working copy of the AgExpert Analyst data (File type/extension “.agex”). You (Client user) have finished all entries and tasks for the current fiscal year and are ready to send the books to the accountant for review and income tax completion. Your accountant also uses AgExpert Analyst and typically enters any adjustments required to the file on your behalf.
2. You click on the File menu and choose Create Accountant’s Copy. Establish a dividing date that matches up to the end of the year you’re sending to your accountant for review. Then, click Save. You’ve just created two files on your computer:

a.  “.agex”  The Client user working copy for new year entries.
b.  ".agacctransfer” The AgExpert Accountant Transfer file to be sent to the accountant user. This      file can be moved to a memory stick and sent in or attached to an email.

After sending in the transfer file, you can continue working on the new year until you hear back from your accountant.
3. When your accountant receives the “.agacctransfer” file, they can import that file into AgExpert Analyst (Accountant menu > Import Clients Copy). This will create an “.agacc” file they can review and make changes to. 
4. When your accountant is finished, they can export their information back to you (Accountant menu > Export Clients Copy). This creates an “.agextransfer” file that can be emailed or sent to you.
5. When you receive the .agextransfer file, import that file into your books (File menu > Import Accountants Copy). This will insert the accountant’s changes as well as print out a summary of those changes for your review.

Once finished, you’ve completed the entire Accountant’s Copy process. Now you can carry on with your .agex file until next time you need to send the books in for review.

Questions? Get answers and share your comments with other software users on our Discussion Boards or search the Knowledge Base. Plus, our FCC Management Software support staff is always just a click away.