The following is a transcription from a recent demo we did that covers your General Ledger. Not in the mood for reading? Watch the full demo for free here!
Good afternoon everyone. Welcome to today's presentation on your General Ledger (GL). My name is Claire, I'm your Product Strategist here at Dominion Systems. Today I want to go through some of the different tools that we have in terms of helping you manage your General Ledger entries and the reporting capabilities that we have within our system. I will start off by saying I am not an accountant, so keep that in mind as we progress with this demo. We’re not going to necessarily cover the accounting aspect of your General Ledger, but rather the reporting and the tools that we have and also to make sure you are aware that we have certain features within our system that can help you connect and export all of that data within the payroll world. This will help you manage your accounting software and the data within that platform as efficiently as possible.
We’re going to go through a couple different things today. First, we’ll go through the process of setting up the payroll journal, so I can give you an overview of what our system can do and really what the foundation of the platform is in terms of our general ledger tools. This is mostly for those of you who do not already use our general ledger features. The second tip I’m going to go through is some potential reasons your GL may not be available. There may be issues with that once you run a general ledger report and if it is out of balance, I’m going to show you some ways we can help you figure out what's going on.
There are some reporting pieces that we have in the system that I think will really help. We have standard reports of course, but also some custom reports that are always available. My client solutions team and my installation team have certain ways that can help you keep your GL in balance.
Without further ado, let's get started. The first section we’re going to talk about is the new setup, where I’ll give you an idea of what our system can offer. What we’re doing is really just a basic payroll journal entry. Our system provides a draft, or a journal, where you can export the data that the payroll system provides. The data that you enter in with your payroll transactions, such as the wages, the taxes, and all of those different liabilities. Those pieces of information are included in the payroll, so our system can then help allocate and extract that information into a reporting capability. This way, the reporting can be formatted specifically to your system or it can come in a standard report to help you do some auditing or to help hopefully your accounting team process those items.
We can do a custom general ledger that will allow the reports to be set up directly to fit the format into your accounting software. If you use Quickbooks or Peachtree or any specific accounting software for an added fee, we can actually set up our system to export the proper format and the proper data that your system needs to populate your General Ledger System.
So again, we're just extracting data in the system out of the payroll that you craft to then import directly into your accounting software. That's really what we're doing and the major set up on our end is so that we can map your accounts and your expensive liabilities. There's lots of mapping involved and that's really where my team comes into play. But first and foremost, the biggest thing that I wanted to keep everyone aware of is that our system captures any common transactions to then help you understand what changed from payroll to payroll. So our system is static. Once the platform is built and the general ledger has mapped the accounts to transactions, once those are mapped together, we can then help report on that information to extract it into your payroll journal.
So there are a few things, but if you are interested in this, keep in mind we typically require a charter of accounts, though it's pretty basic. Something that we can visually see is whether your system or accounting is set up. That really helps us visually understand what you're looking for in terms of data export. An example journal is always a really great way for us to help make sure that we do the mapping properly and if you are going to go to customize, to make sure you’re doing it right. If you're going to interface with your accounting system and ours, we do request that a file specification is sent to us. We're connected to a lot of platforms and we have a lot of clients that are utilizing this. However, you might be using a specific software to your industry or maybe one that we haven't already connected to, so we do recommend you send over those file specifications for us. That will help us understand how your actual accounting software can talk to ours.
This is really just the foundation of our platform. Keep in mind that the General Ledger Journal entry tools are free and included in the package. It's just a matter of us sending over how you want to map your accounts and all these different transactions that you send out the export. You pull all the data from that, but we're there to help maintain the platform and maintain the different tools to do the mapping and to do some troubleshooting for you when things are out of balance. If you want to go the custom route, that again is an additional charge.
Let's talk a little bit about what how our system works in terms of when the report is out of balance. Now keep in mind that our platform is a map platform according to how you want it set up. So when you have your different accounts built into the system and you haven't either mapped directly from your company total, you can just have those directly assigned to different accounts. Otherwise, you can further define your general ledger through different cost centers or different departments, for example. So you can further manipulate your general ledger mapping. It's very, very specific. So we can tie a specific account to a specific cost center expense, constant reliability, whatever it might be.
However, once that mapping is set up, it's static, so it stays within the platform as it is. When something is out of balance, when you're running your general ledger report, it's just telling us that there is something new. Most likely something has changed within the set up that was not in the platform itself. So we want everyone to just be aware that typically it's because something is new because everything was based on the original set up.
So what do I do when the report is out of balance? Typically the first thing that I would do is check and see the actual amount and see how much the general ledger is out of balance. We want to capture that amount. Now, obviously, it may not be that one particular person's deduction is a total amount. It might be a combination of multiple deductions, tax entities, new vendors, things like that. But we wanted to grab that actual amount and we want to start investigating on really what happened.
One of the most common reasons why your general ledger is out of balance is because there was a new vendor. This would happen when we added the vendor and the employee deduction, but we didn't tie that vendor to an account. Okay, so that is probably the number one reason why a general ledger is out of balance, so that would be my recommendation for your first place to look. Just make sure that if you added a new vendor, you contact a client solutions rep and we had new deductions set up. To do this, simply send our client solutions team a quick chat or give us a call and we can make sure that we assigned that vendor to the correct account. Typically, what we'll do is we do have a suspense account that we can use as a holding account to basically account for all of the different things that might have been missed and helps us make sure that the general ledger isn't balanced for you, even though it might not be properly allocated at this stage. It doesn't necessarily need to be properly allocated. We just want to make sure that we have all that data for you. Then you can enter that into your accounting platform.
One of the other reasons why the general ledger might be out of balance is because of the employee set up. Essentially if you have a new employee or maybe a new cost center or department and that employee is incorrectly set up or not tied to a cost center or a department, that might cause the general ledger to be out of balance. Okay, so in your payroll preview, you will see warnings at the bottom of the screen. Those warnings may not be critical warnings, but they might cause your general ledger to be out of balance. One is employee set up so you can see warning process for you to make sure that everyone is tied appropriately. So that would be another thing that I would check as well.
Say we go through the employee setup and things aren't really making sense. We still don't know why the amount isn't appearing for us and the General Ledger isn't balanced. There are some different reports that you can run. You can run a custom distribution report just to make sure that all employees are properly assigned. You can also run a gross to net. I usually recommend about three different reports. Whichever makes the most sense to you. The gross to net is a really good report, as is the paycheck at a glance or the region tax analysis. Depending on what you most recently changed or may have changed your company code, one of these three will be a great way to actually search for that amount.
Typically what we do is we take the amount that the GL is out of balance. We do a control “F” to find and search for that actual amount through the different reports. Now, like I said, it might not be one amount that is tied to that one. The amount that the GL is out of balance might not just be tied to one vendor or one earning. With that cost center, for example, it might be a combination of issues, so that's not always the easiest way to find something. But again, it's a really good way to start for now. We get through all of these different steps and we're just really not finding the amount. What I would recommend at that point is to export the reports to excel. Excel gives us a lot of flexibility in terms of filtering and sorting so that you can compare the General Ledger report with your actual gross to net or any of the other reports that you ran like paycheck at a glance or wage and tax analysis.
This one is a little time-consuming to actually go through line by line to sign those discrepancies, but it is a really good way to narrow in on the amount if you're not finding it from one of the other options. Most commonly, it's going to be new earnings deductions, cost centers or departments, or tax entities, so I really would recommend that you go back to whoever is in charge of adding those functions and make sure that those are communicated back to us. If your general ledger is split by a cost center, those will be my first bet and then we can go through the different reporting capabilities. Obviously, that's part of what my team is here for. We want to make sure that we're helping you with these scenarios so it's not quite so time-consuming for you.
Here are a couple of the other tips and tricks that I grabbed from my client solutions team. Add cost center departments in your General Ledger on a regular basis. This is something that you can do on your own as a Company Admin; you can add these classifications so it's not something you'll have to tell us about unless you are allocating your wages on the general ledger a little bit deeper. So if you're sorting your General Ledger by cost center, or if you added a general ledger account number, you need to make sure you tell us where to tie it to. So there's a little bit of follow up, but you can always add these different classifications: general accounting, GL account numbers, company accounting chart of accounts, and then you can go to company Organization for the departments and cost centers.
On the setup side, you may currently be doing everything to fix your general ledger. However, you could dive a little deeper into where we allocate a little bit more specifically. So for those of you who are not doing this right now, we can split your General Ledger by cost center. Now, for those of you who are not utilizing our general ledger tools right now, the cost center field and department fields are what exist in your setup that we would use to map out and split out the General Ledger. So if your cost center field or department field is already used for something else, another reporting feature for yourself or another field classification that you use, then we might need to go back to the drawing board a little bit. Stack the foundation of your system to make sure that we're not disrupting any current report, but also giving you the best and most efficient way to report on to export that General Ledger.
The last little tidbit is one that I've gotten from every single Client Solution rep about why your General Ledger report does not look accurate. If something's off one of the best ways to help us help you is to print it out, mark it up, mark up the changes that you want to see in highlights, tell us what you think it should be so that we can then see visually how it should look. The mapping features really what we're going to handle for you, but we need to make sure that we were mapping it in the right way and that will be the most efficient way to help for us to help you. A lot of times we get on the phone or we're going through chat and say I needed to do x, y, z, but maybe we don't get the a, b, c’s portion of it and we're doing some assumptions.
We really try hard to not make assumptions and ask those questions, but it can speed up the process for you in terms of reporting and getting the report accurate. I highly recommend you send us a copy of what you want it to look like. It works very well for both parties to be on the same page to know what you're looking for and that way we can make those updates and changes to the platform or to the mapping tools and then you can rerun your general ledgers.
That might be another thing to mention. The way we do our general ledger, you can essentially make changes to how the mapping is and rerun your General Ledger as many times as you need to. Because of this, if your general ledger is out of balance on this payroll, don't panic. We're going to get it accurate so you can export it and send it over to accounting.
So I hope I didn't overly confuse you. Accounting in general ledgers can be quite a topic and I just wanted to make sure we skimmed over some of the information. If there's something else that comes up if you have additional questions, please do reach out, you can contact directly with your account manager or you can get through to client solutions and they can assist you there. If you don't actually have the general ledger tools right now, we can certainly get you access to those different pieces that you can create some efficiencies within your processes.
At this time, I'm going to go ahead and wrap it up. I really appreciate you all joining us this afternoon.
This concludes the transcription of Dominion’s General Ledger Demo. If you would like to download the video, you can find it here. For more information on how to get your General Ledger up and running, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.