Abila MIP Fund Accounting Newsletter
Year End – 2012
INTRODUCING MIP FUND ACCOUNTING 2013 by Abila
Released in October 2012, MIP Fund Accounting Version 2013 (formerly “Sage Fund Accounting” – more details on the rebranding) boasts new Advanced Organization Audit functionality, streamlined transaction entry, new reports, and a collection of fantastic time-saving features sprinkled throughout the system. Here’s a quick look at what’s new.
Advanced Organization Audit
Fraud prevention for a nonprofit organization is an issue that’s perhaps more critical than for-profit businesses. The bad publicity that results and potential loss of confidence in internal controls can reduce contributions and grants, having a crippling effect on your nonprofit organization.
Perhaps that’s why Abila introduced a new Advanced Organization Audit feature in MIP Fund Accounting 2013. Part of the Advanced Security module (an optional add-on for your system), this new functionality allows you to track changes to key records in your system and quickly pinpoint suspicious activity or potential fraud. Reports that are included for internal and external auditing needs will also save you hours of time digging through data and pulling files. Not only does this new feature help prevent fraud, it’s also a great tool for spotting inadvertent mistakes and errors.
Enhancements in Accounts Receivable
The prepayment process in accounts receivable has been improved, making it easier to both enter and track prepayment transactions throughout the system. A/R reports are also easier to configure and personalize, drawing more data from User Defined Fields.
Custom Workflow in HR
If you’re using the Human Resource (HR) Management module, you’ll really like the new custom workflow structure for routine HR activities. These configurable step-by-step routines reduce the administrative effort in common procedures like on-boarding new employees, updating certifications, employee performance reviews, changes in positions, and employee termination.
Other Cool Stuff
MIP Fund Accounting 2013 also includes a collection of other great new features that we think you’ll really like. For instance, you can now set up email templates in Accounts Receivable and email system-generated invoices directly to your customers – and the ability to email additional forms will be added with future software updates.
Another great feature is a perfect fit for organizations with vendors that have multiple addresses. You can now designate a check address for each invoice in the system, and then MIP Fund Accounting will automatically apply the correct address for each invoice. Lastly, access to product training has been simplified and is accessible directly from your system.
Need More Info or Help? Contact us and we’d be happy to answer any questions you have about Abila MIP Fund Accounting 2013 or connect you with resources to assist with an upgrade.
COMMON YEAR END QUESTIONS
Here are some common questions (and answers!) that MIP Fund Accounting (formerly “Sage Fund Accounting”) customers just like you are asking as we approach the end of another year.
Am I required to close the books before starting a new fiscal year?
No. You may continue to enter transactions to any fiscal year. MIP Fund Accounting uses the effective date to determine when transactions are posted to your general ledger. You can also produce reports for any range of dates … you are not restricted to running reports only within the organization’s current fiscal year.
If I close the fiscal year, what happens to my accounting data?
Your accounting data is retained. Closing a fiscal year creates new fiscal year or system opening (SO) entries, but does not remove any data or transactions. As long as the effective date is in the correct fiscal year, you may continue entering transactions.
If I forgot to enter a transaction, can I still enter it in a closed fiscal year?
Yes. If you do create an entry with an effective date in the closed fiscal year, you also need to create an entry to adjust the beginning balances (AO type entry) for the subsequent fiscal year(s).
If you have not yet posted the entry, click on the Adjust Current Year button while the transaction is onscreen in order to have the system automatically create the AO type entry and adjust the subsequent beginning balances. If you’ve already posted the entry without using the Adjust Current Year button, you must manually create the AO entry to correct the system opening balances.
5 TIPS FOR CLOSING YOUR FISCAL YEAR
Closing the fiscal year (also called a “hard close”) in MIP Fund Accounting is NOT required in order to begin entering transactions for the new year. In fact, you can leave several years open without any impact on the accuracy of your data or reports.
However there are a variety of reasons (like preventing posting errors to the wrong period or purging data to speed system performance) that you might prefer closing the fiscal year. If that’s the case for your organization, here are some general procedures to consider.
- Backup Your Data – before starting any year-end processing task, be sure to backup your data. Without a reliable back up, there is no way to restore your system to its original state should you need to undo a year end processing mistake.
- Closing Assignments – verify that all closing assignments have been made by reviewing the report at Reports > Lists > Closing Assignments. Use the Closing Account Wizard to make any closing assignments.
- It’s recommended that you post all transactions for the fiscal year to be closed (although not required).
- Print Year-End Reports including a trial balance which will be a help tool to verify the ending balance for the year you are closing and the opening balances for the subsequent fiscal year.
- After closing the fiscal year via Accounting > Activities > Close Fiscal Year, print a comparative trial balance with a column for Begin Year Balances to compare with the year-end reports that you ran before the close.
Please be sure to Contact Us with any questions or to request assistance with year-end.
TO CLOSE OR NOT TO CLOSE
The Pros and Cons of a “Hard Close” in MIP Fund Accounting
As we mentioned earlier in the newsletter, closing the fiscal year is NOT required in order to begin entering transactions in the new year. There are pros and cons in deciding whether a “hard close” is right for your organization. So let’s take a closer look.
I Don’t Want to “Lock In” Inaccurate Entries
For many, the thought of closing the books at fiscal year end is intimidating. Uncertainty about inaccurate journal entries that may need to be reversed, potential audit adjustments, and the fear of locking the year up with a hard close is enough to make many organizations decide to work well into the following year without closing the previous year. And we’re here to tell you that’s just fine.
Closing the fiscal year in MIP Fund Accounting is not required in order to begin entering transactions in the new year. In fact, you can leave several years open without any impact on the accuracy of your database or financial reports.
The Close Pros
If old habits are hard to break and you’re simply uncomfortable until the fiscal year is officially closed and behind you, here is some information to consider:
- Financial statements will run faster because they don’t have to simulate a year end close in order to produce accurate values.
- Open fiscal years are much more susceptible to inadvertent and erroneous changes.
- Certain processes (like purging payroll history) may have to be put on hold because they require the year to be closed.
Sold! I’m Ready to Close
When you’re certain the books are in order and everything is golden, closing the year is pretty simple. Just make sure everyone is logged off and you have exclusive use of the database, and then:
- In the Accounting module, select Activities > Close Fiscal Year
- Follow the onscreen prompts, make sure you’ve completed all the items in the checklist, then click OK at the bottom of bottom of each screen.
Back Up Before You Move Forward
Before beginning any year end processing task, always always always (did we say always?) execute a complete back up of your Abila MIP Fund Accounting database. You should also test the back up to ensure it was successful and the data is readable.
Without a reliable back up, there is no way to restore your system to its original state should you need to undo a year end processing mistake. It’s also a good idea to make another back up after a successful year end close and label the two backups “before” and “after” so you know which is which.
We’re Here to Help
Be sure to contact us if you need assistance during this busy and important time of year. As your software and technology partner, we’re always here to help!