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Executing a Year-End Checklist in Acumatica

Do you maintain workflow procedures or checklists outside of Acumatica? Are they hard to retrieve and execute effectively? There are business process scenarios and features you can utilize in Acumatica which will allow you to plan and execute tasks with ease.

Business Scenarios and Tasks

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Many processes in Acumatica (i.e., 1099s, closing out calendar years, preparing for an audit, etc.) are part of a workflow. Simplifying these workflows are of utmost importance, particularly this past year with the increase in hiring and onboarding new staff. Standardizing workflows with documentation and task building in Acumatica helps support your team and one way to do this is with built-in functionality called Scenarios.

To build a business scenario (a.k.a. workflow, a.k.a. checklist), start in Acumatica’s Configuration module and under Business Scenarios, click Scenarios. Then follow these simple steps:

  • Click the plus (+) button to add a new scenario and name it appropriately.
  • Enter Role Name – Examples could be Financial Clerk, Key Finance Manager, or any custom roles you may have that might be appropriate. If you are unsure of the Role Name, use Administrator.
  • Select Workspace – This is where your checklist will be stored. Examples are an end-of-year checklist might be in Finance, if it's A/P specific it would be in Payables, and if it's A/R specific it would be in Receivables.
  • Click Save.
  • Select the newly created scenario to build the checklist.
  • Click the plus (+) button to add a new task and name it appropriately.
  • Clicking the plus (+) button again will generate a subtask, then name it appropriately and save. There can be multiple subtasks underneath an entire workflow.
  • Once you're finished with the workflow and everything is adjusted, the final step is to activate the scenario.

There are some functionality pieces to take advantage of in this business scenario. First is the Details section where the sky's the limit on the information that can be entered in this field. Typically, the content will walk the user through the steps required to complete the task in the checklist/workflow. The Details section is where the person will go immediately once they're assigned the task.

Also important to remember is to assign the task to someone to perform the work. You can also utilize Predecessors and Successors to assign an order that the workflow should be completed.

Recurring Scenarios (also located in the Configuration module) is how you assign your task workflow to a schedule. The scenario can be scheduled and automatically created at a particular time. The recommendation is to have this generate once per month (i.e., the beginning of a financial period). Just select the newly created checklist and save. If you select Run Now, it will immediately generate the tasks that were just created.

Year-End Tips and Tricks

With so many features and capabilities, Acumatica can optimize every area of your business. Here is a closer look at some year-end tips and tricks for using Acumatica to its fullest.

Fiscal Year and Period Management

Period management is a topic that is typically addressed on a month-to-month basis with opening and closing periods, but there are some nuances with the year-end process that is an extension of those monthly procedures.

One such nuance concerns opening of closed periods and security roles. During the year-end process, if there are issues with any new personnel not being able to manage those periods successfully, it may have to do with their security role. The Financial Supervisor role in Acumatica is not only available to allow individuals to post to closed periods but also to manage the financial periods as well.

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You may also encounter certain issues with unposted transactions. During the month-end process, you may receive an error notification. Within this notification, you can easily see if there is an unposted transaction that is causing the error. Acumatica does a good job with queuing that in the unposted documents. If you select it directly from the financial period screen, you'll be directed into a report of unreleased documents. From there you can jump into that invoice to see what might have caused the particular invoice to be in a hold status.

One further tip, that isn't typically part of the monthly process, is the progression from closed to a locked status. For example, if you close out the financial year, you can move into a locked state for the financial periods. What this does is it prevents even a financial supervisor from posting to a closed period because now it's under that locked state. If there is an auditing adjustment that was missed or that came up later, you can always unlock it, revert it back to its closed status, post, and then re-lock it if necessary. So it isn't a permanent status on those periods because you can always revert it back.

Vendor 1099s

Additionally, during the year-end process, a few key factors come into play concerning 1099 vendor reporting. First and foremost, when initially setting up the vendor in Acumatica, make sure they're actually designated as a 1099 vendor. To confirm this designation, look in the General tab under Vendor Properties to verify the checkbox for 1099 Vendor is selected. There is also a 1099 Box default which is carried over onto the line detail of the A/P bill or transaction. This can be updated after it's released and posted if something is inappropriately keyed.

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Also related to 1099 vendor reporting, under the Purchase Settings, there is a required field to enter the Tax Registration ID that needs to be populated as well as a designation of the type of tax ID (e.g., EIN, Social Security, etc.).

Lastly, in the A/P Preferences under 1099 Settings, you are able to enter 1099 minimum thresholds. These should be in line with the IRS, but you can also update these yourself. The thresholds under Minimum Report Amount are the minimum dollar amounts required for a 1099 report to be generated. If a 1099 vendor doesn't reach the threshold, it will not appear in the printed report.

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When preparing for year-end, there are a few forms in Acumatica available to assist with 1099 reporting. These forms include 1099 Vendor History, 1099 Year Summary, 1099 Year Details, 1099-MISC Form, and 1099-NEC Form.

Other Useful Year-End Tips

Here are a few more tips and tricks that can be helpful as part of your year-end cleanup:

  • Apply Software Updates – It’s important that you perform any required software updates because upgrading to the latest build ensures your IRS reporting is up to speed and it is supported correctly. The supported versions will have the updated builds that include any new 1099 information.
  • Deactivate Any General Ledger Account, Vendor, Customer, Employee, Inventory, and/or Project Records That Are No Longer Active – As a business implements a new system, it’s recommended to periodically comb through the master data and deactivate any record no longer active. This will keep the system clean and ensure there's no incorrect coding to general ledger accounts or customers moving forward.
  • Grant Restricted View-Only Access to Auditing Team for Only Data Requested – One of the benefits of Acumatica’s licensing, aside from the small business model, is to ensure that users can be brought in without an additional fee. Therefore, access can easily be granted for audit purposes. However, it is important to perform a detailed analysis of those permissions to ensure that view-only access is granted for only the areas where an audit is required.
  • Auto-Reverse Accruals – One thing that is required for auto-reversing entries is to ensure that the next period for any accruals has an automatic reversal. It’s important to make sure the next period is open, otherwise an unposted error will occur. In Acumatica under Finance General Ledger Preferences, there are two options for Generate Reversing Entry: On Post or On Period Closing. Be aware that if On Period Closing is selected, those transactions might try to produce for the next period and if the next period is not open, a transaction error will occur.
Considerations

While performing your year-end procedures (i.e., inactivating old accounts, 1099s, due diligence processes, etc.), consider using scenarios to increase simplicity and usability. As we look to the new year, utilize more advanced functionality as you become more comfortable with Acumatica.

If you have questions or require assistance with utilizing these Acumatica tools, contact SVA Consulting at technicalsupport@svaconsulting.com. We are here to help.

 

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Authored by: Andrea Hayes

Andrea is a Principal for SVA Consulting, LLC, a member of the SVA family of companies. As a Principal, Andrea effectively coordinates the activities of diverse groups of people to achieve project outcomes. She is adept at solving business process challenges and mapping to drive process and solution design. Andrea closely monitors project plans to proactively identify and mitigate risk. Andrea is trained as an Alignment Manager and accomplished at diagnosing and optimizing the alignment of stakeholders to achieve common objectives.

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