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Enter Payments

Datafile Software

Enter Payments

The ‘Payments’ option allows you to record payments received from customers in the sales ledger, or to record the details of payments you have made to a creditor in the purchase ledger.A payment transaction reduces the current balance outstanding for an account, and also reduces the ledger control total.

Purchase Ledger Payments

The purchase ledger contains powerful facilities for automating payments to creditors. These are described under ‘Allocation Actions’ below. You would use this option only to record payments you have made outside that process.

If you have the Datafile Cashbook application you may be prevented from entering payments through the sales/purchase ledger according to the parameters set in the Cashbook System Profiles.

There are several stages to the process of entering receipts and payments:

Enter the details of the payment

An option exists to allow you to allocate the payment before writing it

Write the payment transaction to the ledger

Allocate the payment value against other transactions if not already allocated.

Payment Header

The payment header holds the general details of the payment. The following items are available for input within the header, depending on configuration and product level some items may not be prompted on your system.

The payment Header asks for the ‘general’ detail of the payment – the account to be posted to, the payment date, etc.

Account Code

Enter the customer / supplier account the payment is to be posted against. <F4-Select> is available to search for an account if required.Non-Compact users can also use the <F7-Option> key to create a new account at this point.

If the account is marked as ‘on-stop’ then you will be warned accordingly, but allowed to proceed.If the account is marked for deletion at year-end, then you will be warned but you can continue to post the payment.


Accept the date shown, or overtype with the correct payment date. As with invoice transactions you are warned if this date is outside the current period date range set. See the discussion on transaction dates in the ‘Invoice’ section above for more details.

Document Total

Unlike invoice (and credit) transactions you are usually not prompted for a document total. However, if the foreign currency application is in use and the account you selected is set to a non-base currency, you are asked to pre-enter the totals.

Firstly you are asked for the payment value in the account currency – note that if a discount is to be given this value must include both the actual payment and the discount given. Next, the exchange rate appropriate for the currency and date is displayed, for confirmation or amendment, and then the base currency value is displayed. Finally, you confirm whether the entered exchange rate is fixed for this payment.


Enter the reference number for this payment. This might be the cheque number, or a remittance advice number. If the system was set up to increment the payment reference automatically, the next payment reference number is presented to you, which you may overtype (depending on configuration).

The purchase ledger allows you to print cheques from payments you have entered, and if you want to use this option you must leave the reference blank. The cheque printing option puts the cheque number in to this reference field.


Enter the description for the payment. This usually becomes the description that is printed for the transaction on the statement / remittance advice.

If you find you are using the same descriptions, again and again, then there are two options available to speed input. Pressing the <F11> key saves the description, and this is then available on a drop down list from the description for next time. Alternatively you can use the Recall Standard Text (<Shift>+<F1> etc.) to update pre-defined text (set within the Application Manager for Diamond and Premier users).

User Item 1

Three user-definable items are available for configuration on transactions within the ledger system profiles (excluding Compact), and two of these can be prompted on payment transactions. The first of these, User-1, can apply at the header level. Whether or not the user-1 item is prompted is controlled via the system profiles and the title prompted is also defined there.

Payment Details

After confirming the payment header details the outstanding balance of the account is displayed, and you are asked to enter the payment details.

Pay Type (Sales Ledger)

The payment type can be used to select the appropriate bank account to use – Cash payments default to the petty cash account, Cheques to the bank account etc. – depending on the payment method. Available on non-Compact systems this facility ties in with options on the Nominal update to summarise payments per analysis type for ease of bank reconciliation.

If prompted, enter the payment type appropriate - <F4-Select> can be used to list the available types.

Bank Analysis

If you are linked to the nominal ledger then you should enter here the bank account to or from which this payment is to be posted. If you are not linked to the nominal ledger, then this is the general analysis code (see ‘General Code’ under invoices above).

You may use the <F4–Select> key to select a nominal code, note that only the nominal codes in the range defined for bank codes in the nominal ledger system profiles is shown if you use <F4–Select>.

The default bank account can be set from a number of sources, in order of priority these are:

Bank account set for selected pay type

Default bank account recorded against customer / supplier record

Default bank account for account currency

Default bank account set in the Nominal Ledger System Profiles

Amount Received / Paid

Enter the actual amount of the payment excluding any discount allowed or taken.

Discount Given / Taken

Enter the discount amount, or leave as zero. The total value of the payment plus discount is now displayed and, on a foreign currency account, must match the pre-entered total.


Non-Compact users can configure the system to write an extra transaction to the ledger holding the discount amount rather than including it on the payment transaction.This then shows more clearly on enquiries, daybooks and statements, etc. This option is available in the system profiles for the ledger.

User Item 2

Three user-definable items are available for configuration on transactions within the ledger system profiles (excluding Compact), and two of these are available for input on payments. User-2 applies at the payment detail level. Whether or not the user item(s) are prompted, is controlled via the system profiles and the title prompted is also defined there.

Pre-Update Allocation

A system profile option, for non-Compact users, allows you to attempt to allocate the payment before you update the ledger for open-item accounts.This does not prevent you postponing allocation until afterwards. If this option is set you are asked:

If you reply ‘Yes’ then you go the allocation routine as described below, and at the end of process you return to complete the transaction. If you reply ‘No’ then the pre-allocation routine is skipped and you proceed to complete the transaction.

Completing the Payment

You are now offered options to:

‘Amend’ returns you to the account code to allow amend of the payment details, ‘Update Files’ updates the payment to the ledger. If you didn’t pre-allocate the payment prior to posting, then the system offers again to allocate the transaction. If you respond ‘No’ then you are returned to the account code input to enter the next payment, (<ESC> returns you to the menu from here), and ‘Yes’ proceeds to the allocation stage.

Allocating the Payment

Apart from invoice entry, all the other ledger transaction routines for open-item accounts allow you to allocate the transaction you have just entered against others for that account.The allocation procedure is an important technique and is therefore described here in detail.

Allocating transactions follows three main stages:

Choose the transactions to allocate

Mark the amounts to allocate against the chosen transactions

Update transactions with the amounts allocated

The allocation screen (see example below) shows the progress of your allocation in the top window, the transactions themselves in the second window (you can scroll backwards and forwards through these) and the possible allocation actions in the bottom window.

Allocations Screen

The top left of the screen shows the account which you are allocating to, and also shows three values on the right:

DB: This shows the total of all debit values allocated so far

CR: This shows the total of all credit values allocated so far

DIFF: This shows the difference between debits and credits. Only when this difference is zero can the allocation be completed. As described later, you can part-allocate transactions so that the difference is made zero.

The account transactions are displayed in the middle window, and you can scroll up and down them using the up and down arrows, <Page-Up> and <Page-Down> keys. At the start no transactions show until you have made your first choice of action.

At the start you must choose one of the allocation actions shown. Every time you reach the end of the transactions for an account, or key <Escape>, you are returned to the allocation action prompt. The allocations you have made so far are noted, so that you can use a number of the techniques to achieve the result. Only if you abandon is your work on the allocation discarded.

Select ALL to display all transactions, both debits and credits. You would choose this option where you have a mixture of transactions which you need to allocate.

Select DEBITS to display only debit transactions.This is the default for the sales ledger, because sales invoices are debits.

Select CREDITS to display only credit transactions.This is the default for the purchase ledger, because purchase invoices are credits.

Select SELECT-REFS to allow you to specify particular transactions using their reference numbers

Select UPDATE to update the allocation details at the end of the process (option only available once allocation is complete and the DIFF figure in the top right-hand corner is nil)

Select EXIT to abandon the allocation and return to the transaction entry process.

The first time you choose one of the actions which displays transactions (All, Debits, or Credits) you are asked whether to show only outstanding transactions or not.

Reply Yes or No as required.If you do a lot of allocations on an account during the period, then to display only those which are not allocated can save time. If you want to change, or ‘un-allocate’, some allocations you did earlier in the period, then you might choose to display all transactions, even those which you allocated earlier.

Transactions Displayed

Only ‘current’ transactions are displayed within the allocation procedures – these are transactions entered in this period or those transactions that were outstanding at the start of the period.

Transactions that are fully allocated at the end of a period are assumed to be historic and are no longer accessible by the allocation routines after the period end process.

Each time you return to the allocation action choice the value of DIFF is checked to see if it is now zero. If not zero, then the help text "TOTALS DO NOT BALANCE” displays at the bottom right of the screen.

Allocation Date.

If you enter the allocation procedure as part of the transaction entry processes then the allocation date is taken to be the same as the transaction entered. If you enter the allocation procedures through the separate option(s) then you are asked for a date of allocation. This date is posted to the ‘date allocated’ item in every transaction for which a transaction is fully allocated.

"All”, "Debit” and "Credit” Allocation Choices

When the allocation action is selected the appropriate transactions are displayed, and a ‘cursor bar’ highlights the first transaction. Each line displays the details of one transaction and includes the original total and the present amount outstanding, together with the description and transaction type. You can change the transaction highlighted by using the <Up> and <Down> arrow keys, and the <Page-Up> and <Page Down> keys.

To allocate a transaction you can either:

Enter the amount to allocate. The value you enter cannot be more than the outstanding amount on the transaction in question. If you enter an incorrect amount, you may return and re-enter the correct amount. Leaving the amount zero or blank means that nothing is allocated to this transaction.

If the transaction has been allocated previously, you can enter a negative value. This allows you to ‘unallocate’ an amount against this transaction for allocation elsewhere. This helps in undoing an earlier incorrect allocation so that the correct transactions are left outstanding. You cannot enter a negative value that would leave the outstanding balance greater than the original full value of the transaction.

If you leave a small balance outstanding then the system may prompt for you to write off the balance of the transaction as a discount, respond as required.

The size of balance remaining before the system will prompt to write-off the remainder is set within the ledger system profiles. Within the profiles you set a percentage of the original value of the transaction under which any remaining balance is offered for write-off. You can set separate percentages for invoices/credits and payments. If any discount is given then a transaction is written to the ledger on update to reflect this.

Enter the letter A to allocate the full amount outstanding on the transaction.

If the payment received clears the balance of the account then you can enter AUTO against the first transaction in the list to allocate all the transactions on the account. If the payment does not clear the balance of the account then the use of AUTO will leave a difference between the allocated debits and credits and you will need to amend the allocation details to resolve this.

If an invoice (credit) has settlement discount details recorded against it, then the allocation window at the bottom of the screen displays these details.

The allocation window shows the settlement discount available, the net allocation value if settlement is taken and the due date up to which the discount was/is available. If you choose to apply the settlement discount entering N for Net updates, the net amount as the allocation value and prompts to write off the balance as discount. There is no restriction on entering N-Net once the due date has past, as the allocation may be done some time after the payment was received.

As the transactions are allocated a ‘*’ is updated against the transaction, the DB and CR values updated at the top of the screen and the DIFF value recalculated. Once the required allocations have been entered pressing <END> (or <Enter> against the last transaction in the list) will return you to the allocation actions.

If the transaction has been flagged, the ‘!’ column on the transaction grid, with a status code (disputed, bad debt, contra, etc.) then you may be prevented from entering an allocation amount against this transaction. Diamond and Premier users can control this via the Application User Facilities.

"Select References” Allocation Choice

This option is particularly useful where customers send you remittance advices listing the transactions they are paying, or if you have previously marked on a printed list the supplier invoices, you are prepared to pay.

By default, the system allows you to key in up to 50 transaction references at a time. These are matched against transactions on file for this account, and a status screen shows the success or otherwise of finding and allocating the references entered. You may repeat the process any number of times.

Enter the references one after another — the <Up> and <Down> arrow keys may be used to scroll back and forth in the list, which is displayed ten references at a time over five columns. <Escape>, or <End> at a blank line, causes the allocation procedure to set into motion, and the results are entered against each reference.

You may enter a reference number without leading zeroes, and it is matched with a transaction which may have leading zeroes, but is otherwise the same. For example, if you enter a reference of "5243”, it would match against a transaction whose reference was "0005243”. References with alphabetic characters are matched regardless of whether lower case or capital letters are entered — for example "f0214” will match successfully to "F0214”.

The results of the attempted matching are displayed with the following status:

Ok - Matching was successful. Transaction had full value outstanding, and this has now been fully allocated.

Pa - Matching was successful. Transaction had part of its original value outstanding, and that amount has now been allocated.

AS - This transaction has already been selected for allocation in this present allocation process, and so it has been ignored this time. (You might already have made a part allocation against this transaction during the current allocation process, so this makes sure that the allocation noted so far is not disturbed.)

AA - This transaction was fully allocated before you started. You can’t allocate it again! If you want to undo the allocation, then you must choose a manual process as described above.

q ** - No match was found for this reference

FS - This transaction had a status flag (contra, dispute etc.) on it, and so has notbeen allocated by this process.Transactions with non-blank status flags are ignored if the System Profiles option is set to ignore them.

You key <Enter> to return to choose another allocation action. If the totals balance, and the DIFF value is zero you can go to complete the allocation. If the DIFF value is not zero, you may abandon the whole thing, enter another set of references with the S option, or use one of the manual choices above to attempt further allocation.

An alternative to entering individual references, available for non-Compact users via the system profiles, allows allocation for a range of dates and/or references. This could be used to speed up allocation on active accounts where it is not uncommon for a customer to pay (say) the whole of a months outstanding invoices.

If enabled then when you choose the action ‘Select Refs’, you are first prompted whether you wish to enter a selective date and/or reference range.

If you respond ‘No’ then you are able to select the individual references as above. If you respond ‘Yes’, you are able to enter a date and/or reference range.

The system will automatically allocate the outstanding value of any transactions that match the entered ranges, and any transactions chosen by this action, add to those that may already have been chosen earlier.

"Update” Allocation Choice

You select this option to update to the files the allocations you have made. Provided the allocated debit and credit values are the same, you can take this option and proceed to the next. However, if the values do not match then one of two scenarios can occur:

DIFF Value is negative. If the sum of allocated payments and credit notes is greater than the sum of invoices, then the DIFF value shows as negative and you cannot exit the allocation routine. You must amend the allocation details so the value matches, or abandon the allocation until advice can be sought.

DIFF Value is positive. If the sum of allocated invoices exceeds the sum of payments, and credit notes, then you may be asked to write off the difference as a discount. Non-Compact users can control whether this is allowed via the ledger system profiles. If you do not allow write-offs then you cannot exit the allocation routine until the DIFF value is 0, and you need to amend the allocation details so the value matches or abandon the allocation until later.

"Exit” Allocation Choice

This option allows you to abandon the allocation process, and you are returned to whatever is the next stage in the transaction process.

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