The main purpose of the TR System is to create and maintain a data record for each of your client's customers, or units, you manage; to post all payments and create deposits into your client's trust account; to prepare and mail statements of account to your client's customers and to give you access to miscellaneous utilities that will help you in producing important information to your customers. We will look at all these functions below.
Maintain Resident/Owner Data
In order to create a data record, you need to assign a customer number to each resident record and should be prepared to enter a statement mailing address, a physical address, phone numbers, email and recurring charges that the resident should be charged every billing cycle. This unit record lets you set up one primary charge for each customer/unit (usually defined as 'Rent' or 'Homeowners Dues'), along with a deposit, and also lets you assign an additional 6 fixed recurring charges that will be created automatically each billing cycle.
The second part of the Customer Maintenance process lets you track important activity dates, including move-in, move-out, lease begin date/end date and collection dates. By adding information to these data fields, you will be able to create reports to track this information.
All transactions on a customer/unit ledger record are posted instantly to specific General Ledger accounts. One of the special utilities in TR lets you create descriptions for common TR transactions using a three-character code, linking this 3 character code to long descriptions and to the correct GL accounts. This makes it easy for you to access the TR System to add a charge on a unit, since you only need to enter the three character code for the charge, rather than look up the G/L number and type in a long description. This method also helps make sure the correct General Ledger account number is used.
Post Charges and Credits
In TR, many of the charges or credits on an account are set up in the system to post automatically, but you can still post manual invoices for charges or credits, eversals or posting returned payments or NSF checks.
A special function of the TR System is the ability to reverse any charge or payment by simply going into the screen where invoices are entered and actually entering the transaction number that was used on the original transaction from the ledger history. Make sure you select the 'R' function for 'Reverse'. If you are reversing a payment because of an 'NSF', it will give you the opportunity to enter an additional NSF charge to the account. If you reverse a charge, it will reverse the original transaction. If you are reversing a payment, it will update both the customer/unit record and the client's bank account - all from one screen.
This process also allows you to 'Refund' payments made. If you are refunding the same amount as was posted through the ledger history, simply identify the transaction number, go in as if you are entering another invoice, and enter the transaction number. Then, simply select 'REFUND'. If you want to refund an amount different than any amount received, enter as if it is a new invoice and at the 'Status/Comment' line, enter 'REF'. Use of the REF transaction code will bring up a window to allow you to enter refund check mailing information, and will automatically enter an invoice in the A/P System generating a check to the customer.
Posting payments on the software can be done by many different people in a company - by someone at the front desk, by resident managers or by back office personnel. One of the features of the payments posting process is that you can issue receipts as each payment is posted, depending on who is entering the payments. For example, if the back office accounting personnel are entering payments, it is not likely that you want receipts printed. However, if payments are being posted by resident managers or the person at the front desk, you might want receipts to be printed. Advantos software allows you to set this up correctly. Also, you can adjust what is printed on the receipts and how many receipt copies are issued by your laser printer.
As payments are posted through TR, these postings build in a temporary receipts file. Until the deposit is made, the transaction will not show up on the ledger history for the unit. You can post payments over a series of several days, if you like, and make the deposit when you are ready. All posting of payments and deposits are done in batch mode: stay in one screen as you post payments for any and all of your properties and run one deposit process that will post to all of your units, show as deposits in each of your running bank accounts and print deposit tickets to the appropriate bank accounts.
As payments are posted and deposits made, the payments are automatically posted to the resident account. How does the system know to which invoices to post a payment? For example, if a unit owes $500 on invoice 15 and also $20 on invoice 16, and a payment is received for $300, which invoice is it posted to first? This is accomplished using customized Payment Application Rules that allow you to define the order in which invoices are paid.
Once you have posted a payment to an invoice, it cannot be put back. You will need to reverse the payment, which creates a Credit Memo, then post the payment to the correct invoice. The account history will then reflect the credit memo in place of the invoice paid in error.
Sometimes, you may not want a payment to be automatically posted to the invoices on a resident's account. For example, you may be receiving a payment from a new resident and the existing resident has not yet moved out. In that event, the TR System allows payments to be posted to a holding file called "UNAPPLY". A payment posted in this way will not reduce the current resident account balance and will not pay off any invoices until you manually do so. Review the payment screen below. If this is the case, just make sure you have entered in the name field the name of the new resident and also make sure you post the entire payment to the 'UNAPPLY' field.
Generate Resident/Owner Billing Statements
You have the option to not print or email billing statements, by using coupons for payment collection. You can also elect to produce neither of these for your residents. The master property record specifies which of these is used for each of your properties. If you use billilng statements, they are intended to help you produce a statement that can be mailed or emailed to the resident on each billing cycle. By automating the posting of charges and the generation of a billing statement, you can produce a large number of statements in a short amount of time.