General Ledger Set-Up Checklist


(1) ENTER ENTITIES AND BANKS INTO ADDRESS MASTER CREATE NEW ADDRESS MASTER ENTRIES FOR EACH ENTITY AND BANK YOU WILL BE SETTING UP. WHEN PROMPTED FOR CLASS, USE" ENTITY" FOR EACH ENTITY AND "BANK" FOR EACH BANK. IF YOU HAVE MULTIPLE BANK ACCOUNTS WITH THE SAME BANK, YOU NEED ONLY SETUP ONE ADDRESS MASTER BANK ENTRY. THE INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS ARE DEFINED IN ANOTHER ENTRY SCREEN.

(2) ADD/EDIT ENTITIES AND DEPARTMENTS FOR EACH ENTITY YOU PLAN TO CREATE, ENTER A SEPARATE SCREEN WITH DEPARTMENTS AND FISCAL PERIODS. ONE CRITERIA THAT MAY BE HELPFUL IN DETERMINING WHETHER TO CREATE AN ENTITY OR MULTIPLE DEPARTMENTS WITHIN AN ENTITY IS THE TAX STATUS. IF THEY MUST BE REPORTED SEPARATELY, THIS FAVORS SEPARATE ENTITIES; IF THEY WILL BE CONSOLIDATED FOR TAX REPORTING PURPOSES, CONSIDER DEPARTMENTS WITHIN AN ENTITY.

MAKE SURE YOU CREATE ENOUGH FISCAL PERIODS. IF YOU PLAN TO ENTER SIX MONTHS WORTH OF HISTORY, START FISCAL PERIODS AT LEAST ONE MONTH PRIOR TO THE START OF YOUR DATA.

IF YOUR FISCAL YEAR END IS NOT DECEMBER 31ST, MAKE SURE YOU ENTER THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FISCAL AND CALENDAR PERIODS CORRECTLY.

(3) ADD/EDIT CHART OF ACCOUNTS IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE USER ESTABLISH A MASTER CHART OF ACCOUNTS AND THEN USE THE COPY FUNCTION TO CREATE A SIMILAR CHART FOR OTHER ENTITIES OR DEPARTMENTS. AFTER THE COPY, MAKE THE ADJUSTMENTS FOR ACCOUNTS UNIQUE TO THIS ENTITY OR THAT DEPARTMENT. THOUGH PRACTICALLY ANY ACCOUNT NUMBER STRUCTURE IS PERMITTED, IT IS SUGGESTED THAT ASSETS HAVE NUMBERS FROM 1000 TO 1999, LIABILITIES FROM 2000 TO 2999, EQUITY FROM 3000 TO 3999, REVENUE FROM 4000 TO 4999, AND EXPENSES FROM 5000 TO 9999. IT IS A GOOD IDEA TO HAVE A CHART OF ACCOUNT IN ONE ENTITY OR DEPARTMENT HAVE THE SAME MEANING IN ALL THE OTHER ENTITIES OR DEPARTMENTS. LEAVE ENOUGH SPACE BETWEEN ACCOUNT NUMBERS TO ACCOMMODATE ADDING UNIQUE NUMBERS.

PLAN IN ADVANCE TO GROUP LIKE FUNCTION (IE: OFFICE EXPENSES OR SALARY EXPENSES) IN CLOSE NUMERICAL SEQUENCE TO FACILITATE CALCULATING SUBTOTALS IN REPORTS. IF THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE, EXPLORE USING THE "PRINT SEQUENCE" TO CHANGE AN ACCOUNTS REPORTING LOCATION WITHOUT HAVING TO CHANGE THE ACCOUNT NUMBER.

(4) LIST CHART OF ACCOUNTS WHEN REVIEWING THE CHART OF ACCOUNTS LISTING, LOOK FOR A PAGE BREAK RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF A TYPE OF ACCOUNT (IE: SEEING AN EXPENSE ACCOUNT FALL RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE REVENUE ACCOUNTS). THAT SUGGESTS THAT A WRONG ACCOUNT TYPE WAS ENTERED.

(5) COPY CHART OF ACCOUNTS AFTER BUILDING YOUR MASTER CHART OF ACCOUNTS, USE THE COPY MENU OPTION TO DUPLICATE ALL OR PART OF THE MASTER LIST FOR ANOTHER ENTITY OR FOR ANOTHER DEPARTMENT WITHIN THE SAME ENTITY. REMEMBER, THE COPY SCREEN WILL ASK YOU BEGINNING AND ENDING ACCOUNT NUMBERS TO COPY. IF YOU ARE COPYING FROM ONE DEPARTMENT TO ANOTHER, YOU PROBABLY WILL WANT TO COPY JUST THE REVENUE AND EXPENSE ACCOUNTS.

(6) ENTITY INTERFACE CONTROL HAVE YOUR NEWLY ENTERED CHART OF ACCOUNTS READY BY YOUR SIDE FOR LOOKING UP KEY ACCOUNTS. AS YOU WORK YOUR WAY THROUGH THIS SCREEN, YOU WILL BE PROMPTED TO ENTER AN ACCOUNT NUMBER FOR VARIOUS ACCOUNT DESCRIPTIONS (IE: THE ACCOUNT NUMBER FOR ACCOUNTS PAYABLE TRADE OR ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE). YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO ENTER AN ACCOUNT FOR EVERY LINE PROMPTED. AS YOU ARE PROMPTED, YOU MAY DISCOVER THAT YOU NEED TO ADD ANOTHER ACCOUNT. CONTINUE WITH WHAT YOU HAVE; SAVE THE SCREEN; GO BACK INTO ADD/EDIT CHART OF ACCOUNTS TO ENTER THE ONE OR MORE MISSING ACCOUNTS; AND THEN RETURN TO THE INTERFACE CONTROL TO COMPLETE THE ENTRIES.

(7) ADD/EDIT BANKS NOW THAT YOU HAVE YOUR CHART OF ACCOUNTS SETUP, YOU PRESUMABLY KNOW THE ACCOUNT NUMBER(S) FOR YOUR BANK ACCOUNT(S).

THERE ARE TWO PROMPTS ON THIS ENTRY SCREEN THAT REQUIRE FURTHER EXPLANATION. THE "BANK ACCOUNT ID" IS FOR THE USER TO ENTER A SHORT BUT MEANINGFUL NAME FOR ONE OF THE BANK ACCOUNTS (IE: "GENOP" FOR "GENERAL OPERATING" OR "PR02" FOR "PAYROLL FOR ENTITY 02". DON’T ENTER A LONG NAME. YOU WILL BE ASKED FOR IT MANY TIMES AS YOU WORK IN THE MODULES OF ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE OR PAYABLE.

THE "BANK ID" IS REFERRING TO THE ADDRESS MASTER ID FOR THE BANK THAT YOU ENTERED IN STEP ONE OF THE SETUP GUIDE.

(8) LIST OF BANKS IF YOU HAVE ENTERED ONLY ONE BANK ID FOR YOUR ONE BANK ACCOUNT, THEN THE LIST IS NOT AS IMPORTANT. BUT, IF YOU’VE ENTERED SEVEN OR EIGHT ACCOUNTS IN MULTIPLE BANKS FOR MULTIPLE ENTITIES, THEN THE REPORT IS A MUST TO HELP REMIND YOU WHAT YOU CALLED THE VARIOUS ACCOUNTS.

(9) ADD/EDIT JOURNAL DESIGNATIONS JOURNAL DESIGNATIONS IS A FANCY NAME FOR TYPES OF JOURNALS. FROM YOUR INSTALLATION, YOU HAVE ALREADY BEEN SUPPLIED WITH A FILE OF THE MOST COMMON TYPES. THE ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE MODULE USES "AR" WHEN YOU CREATE OR ADJUST A CUSTOMER CHARGE AND USES "CR" WHEN YOU RECEIVE OR APPLY CASH AGAINST THESE CHARGES. THE ACCOUNTS PAYABLE MODULE USES "AP" WHEN YOU CREATE OR ADJUST A VENDOR INVOICE AND USES "CD" WHEN YOU MAKE A PAYMENT AGAINST AN INVOICE. THE PAYROLL MODULE USES "PR". MOST OFTEN, YOU WILL USE A "GJ" OR "GENERAL JOURNAL" WHEN ENTERING JOURNALS INTO THE GENERAL LEDGER MODULE.

(10) ADD/EDIT TYPE DEFINITIONS YOUR INSTALLATION HAS SUPPLIED YOU WITH THE STANDARD BALANCE SHEET AND INCOME STATEMENT DESCRIPTIONS. THESE ARE "ASSETS", "LIABILITIES", "OWNERS’ EQUITY", "OPERATING REVENUES", "OPERATING EXPENSES", "OTHER REVENUES", AND "OTHER EXPENSES". MANY COMPANIES HAVE THEIR PREFERENCES FOR SECTION TITLES. USE THIS ENTRY SCREEN TO CHANGE THESE TO YOUR PREFERENCE (IE: YOU COULD CHANGE "OPERATING REVENUES" AND "OTHER REVENUES" TO "OPERATING INCOME" AND "OTHER INCOME").

(11) ADD/EDIT JOURNAL ENTRIES BY THIS POINT IN THE SETUP, YOU HAVE COMPLETED THE STRUCTURE OF THE GENERAL LEDGER SETUP BUT HAVE NOT ENTERED ANY DOLLAR DATA. IF YOU HAVE REPORTS (BALANCE SHEET OR INCOME

    STATEMENT) FROM YOUR PREVIOUS SYSTEM OR ACCOUNTANTS, YOU ARE READY TO SEED THE GENERAL LEDGER BALANCES WITH BEGINNING DEBITS AND CREDITS.

ONE NICE FEATURE OF THIS ENTRY SCREEN TO REMEMBER: AFTER YOU’VE ENTERED THE FIRST ACCOUNT NUMBER (ENTITY, DEPARTMENT, AND ACCOUNT), IF THE ENTITY AND DEPARTMENT DO NOT CHANGE FOR SUBSEQUENT ACCOUNT NUMBER ENTRIES, YOU ONLY NEED TO ENTER THE LAST FOUR (ACCOUNT) AND THE SCREEN WILL AUTOMATICALLY ENTER THE LAST ENTITY AND DEPARTMENT.

(12) LIST UNPOSTED JOURNALS THIS IS AN IMPORTANT POINT AND IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE USER GET IN THE HABIT OF ALWAYS CREATING A HARDCOPY REPORT OF THE UNPOSTED ENTRIES BEFORE POSTING. REVIEW THIS REPORT

    CAREFULLY. IF ERRORS ARE FOUND, GO BACK INTO THE ADD/EDIT JOURNAL ENTRIES AND MAKE CORRECTIONS. WITH A NEW UNPOSTED REPORT, VERIFY THAT THE CORRECTIONS WERE MADE AS EXPECTED.

(13) POST JOURNALS AT LAST! YOU’RE READY TO POST THE FIRST JOURNAL TO THE NEWLY SETUP GENERAL LEDGER. THE POSTING PROGRAM FIRST VERIFIES THAT DEBITS AND CREDITS ARE EQUAL AND THEN PROCEEDS TO POST. THE POSTING PROGRAM WILL PRINT OUT A POSTED JOURNAL REPORT SHOWING THE FINAL JOURNAL DOLLARS AT THE TIME OF POSTING.

(14) SHORT GENERAL LEDGER SUMMARY TO VERIFY THAT THE SEEDING JOURNAL HAS BEEN POSTED CORRECTLY, PRINT THE SHORT GENERAL LEDGER SUMMARY REPORT. THIS REPORTS PRINTS ONE LINE PER ACCOUNT WITH THE BEGINNING BALANCE, TOTAL DEBITS AND TOTAL CREDITS, AND THE ENDING BALANCE. THE ENDING BALANCE SHOULD AGREE WITH YOUR REPORTS FROM THE PREVIOUS SYSTEM OR ACCOUNTANTS.

(15) BASIC STATEMENT FORMATS YOU’RE READY TO BUILD YOUR FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (BALANCE SHEET AND INCOME STATEMENT). THE FORMAT ENTRY SCREEN WILL ASK FOR A FORMAT NUMBER AND AN INTERVAL NUMBER. THE FORMAT NUMBER IS USUALLY THE SAME AS THE ENTITY NUMBER (IE: FORMAT 01 FOR ENTITY 01, ETC). YOU ARE NOT LIMITED TO ONE FORMAT PER ENTITY. THE INTERVAL NUMBER IS USED TO DIVIDE THE FORMAT INTO DIFFERENT SECTIONS OR PARTS.

IT IS SUGGESTED THAT YOU OBTAIN A CLEAN LISTING OF THE CHART OF ACCOUNTS AND PUT BRACKETS AROUND THE GROUPS AND SUB-GROUPS OF ACCOUNTS FOR WHICH YOU WANT SUB-TOTALS. THIS WILL MAKE IT EASIER TO VISUALIZE THE BEGINNING AND ENDING NUMBERS FOR EACH GROUPING AND SUB-GROUPING OF ACCOUNTS.

WHILE YOU ARE BRACKETING THE VARIOUS GROUPINGS, IF YOU FIND AN ACCOUNT OR ACCOUNTS THAT ARE IN ANOTHER PART OF THE GENERAL LEDGER (THE ACCOUNT NUMBER IS NOT IN THE BEGINNING OR ENDING OF THE GROUP), THEN THIS IS THE TIME TO EXPLORE CHANGING THE "PRINT SEQUENCE" NUMBER FOR THE ACCOUNT OR ACCOUNTS SO THE "PRINT SEQUENCE" FALLS INTO THE BRACKETED GROUP. GO TO ADD/EDIT CHART OF ACCOUNTS TO MAKE THIS CHANGE.

HERE IS AN EXAMPLE OF GROUPING AND BRACKETING ONE SECTION OF THE CHART OF ACCOUNTS. THE BALANCE SHEET REPORT WILL AUTOMATICALLY CALCULATE A TOTAL FOR ASSETS. WITHIN ASSETS, THERE ARE TRADITIONALLY THREE OR FOUR MAJOR DIVISIONS:

CURRENT ASSETS, INVENTORY, FIXED ASSETS, AND OTHER ASSETS.

THESE FOUR WOULD CONSTITUTE THE FIRST FOUR INTERVALS. WITHIN CURRENT ASSETS, SOME CHARTS MAY HAVE A SECTION FOR CASH OR EQUIVALENTS AND ANOTHER FOR RECEIVABLES. THESE TWO SUB-GROUPS WOULD BE SUBS WITHIN THE FIRST INTERVAL, CURRENT ASSETS.

(16) LIST BASIC STATEMENT FORMATS FOR YOUR RECORDS AND TO VERIFY THAT YOU HAVE INCLUDED ALL THE GROUPS AND SUB-GROUPS AS YOU WANTED AND BRACKETED, PRINT THIS LIST.

(17) BALANCE SHEET USING THE FORMAT YOU JUST FINISHED SETTING UP FOR THE ENTITY AND SPECIFYING THE FISCAL PERIOD INTO WHICH THE OPENING BALANCES WERE POSTED, PRINT A BALANCE SHEET AND COMPARE WITH YOUR REPORTS FROM THE PREVIOUS SYSTEM OR ACCOUNTANTS.

(18) INCOME STATEMENT AS WITH THE BALANCE SHEET, PRINT AN INCOME STATEMENT AND COMPARE WITH YOUR PREVIOUS REPORTS.