Discussion on Receipts and Payments Tab and Bank Tab

And so, @Patch, you are not exclusively importing transactions. Once you start editing the transactions created by an import, you are essentially back to manual entries as far as reconciliations are concerned. Under those circumstances, I agree a reconciliation could be valuable. But that wasn’t the point I was originally making. I was responding to @dalacor’s enthusiasm over reconciliations being so easy since he started using imports. He wrote:

Therefore, his reconciliations will inevitably be easy. From a functional standpoint, he is wasting his time with them, because he is avoiding the reconciliation process entirely. He is just creating a record that tells him that what he imported matches what he imported. It cannot be otherwise with his current workflow.

I decided not to continue to respond to this topic because we had wandered so far from the original point of the post and the discussion was going nowhere.

The point of this discussion is about whether the Bank Import Button should be at the top of the Payments and Receipts Tab or whether it should be on the first page of the Bank Tab - or even indeed whether the Bank Tab, Reconciliations Tab and the Payments and Receipts Tab should be merged into one Tab.

However, I will respond again just to clarify some confusion that @Tut seems to have as @Patch appears to better understand what I mean about Bank Reconciliation as I am using the term in a far broader concept than the technical definition.

@Tut you are quite correct when you state that by importing Bank Statements that there is no need for either the Bank Reconciliations Tab nor is one actually doing any Reconciliation as you can’t reconcile something with itself.

But that is not really what people mean when they talk about Reconciliation even if that is technically accurate.

In Manager (in my user case scenario), I am creating Purchase Invoices and Sales Invoices - let’s think of that as the Left Hand Side of the Transaction. Yes - I know it’s not the LHS, but I am using the term loosely to make a point. On the left hand side I have my invoices (sales and purchases). Now on the right hand side of the equation or transaction I have the payment and receipt transactions. So for every invoice (sales or purchase), I have a respective receipt or payment.

In the past, I would create a purchase invoice and a sales invoice, and create the corresponding payment transaction immediately and when I got the cheque or received an email bacs receipt notification, I would then create the Receipt transaction.

So you would think everything would balance out having an invoice on the LHS of the equation and a payment/receipt on the RHS of the equation correct? Again I stress that I am using the term LHS and RHS loosely to make a point, not to be technically accurate as I know that LHS and RHS does not technically apply.

The first problem that I encountered with this is pending and actual dates when transaction was processed especially when I had multiple transactions on the same day - never in the same order on my bank statement as what I had in Manager. This issue alone sometimes made it very hard to reconcile the bank account as I could not find the missing transaction(s).

The second problem that I encountered was missing transactions such as Bank Charges (for which I do not create a Purchase Invoice). So I had to scour the bank statements to find missing transactions like this.

The third problem that I frequently encountered was when I made a payment/receipt at the end of the month, but it only came off in the next bank statement eg I made the payment/receipt on say the 28th but it came off on the 1st so went onto the next statement.

The fourth problem that I had is that I seem to recall having duplicate payments on more than one occasion most likely for things like Bank Charges or anything else that did not have a corresponding invoice.

The fifth problem was that I did not always create the relevant purchase invoice at the time, so was not aware that I was missing a payment to a supplier.

The six problem is that it is very easy to accidentally scroll down to another supplier/customer when you want to scroll down the page, but forget that your cursor is in the customer/supplier field. I have more than once ended up paying the wrong supplier or receiving from the wrong client because of this scrolling problem or because I selected a client/supplier with very similar names.

Because I do a lot of work other than accounting, it was quite possible for several weeks to go by before I “reconciled” Manager with my bank account and it always used to take at least half an hour to an hour, as I had to then add missing transactions such as Bank Charges (as these types of transactions have no purchase invoice) as well as update pending/cleared dates.

So if you factor in the time I spent manually creating payment and receipt transactions as well as the fact that I was never able to instantly reconcile the balances in Manager with my bank account - I consider manually processing payments and receipts a very time consuming way to do my accounting (to manually populate the payments and receipts transactions) and to reconcile Manager with my bank account.

So what I am doing now, is that I create the Purchase and Sales Invoices (my left hand side of the equation) and on the RHS of the equation - I am simply importing the Bank Statements. Because of Bank Rules, this means that all the correct accounts get entered into, so if I do miss a purchase invoice, it’s very easy to see in accounts payable that I have spent money that I have not created an invoice for (and to which supplier). It also fixes all six of my problems that I used to have in the past.

So my accounts in Manager now reconcile with my bank account in minutes! But I am not talking only about the fact that my bank balance and payments and receipts transactions reconcile with my bank statement - I am also talking about the fact that the LHS of the equation (my purchase and sales invoices) have the corresponding RHS transactions (the payment and receipts) - including those pesky bank charges and other little transactions which have no purchase invoice or sales invoice get interest etc.

You cannot reconcile something with itself. So technically you are correct - I can’t reconcile my bank account using bank imports. But this is not really what people mean about Reconciliation.

So for me, bank reconciliation is not just about getting amounts to balance - it is more about ensuring accuracy in the program overall but especially in the payments and receipts Tab which was always a problem before I used bank imports for the six reasons listed above. By using Bank Imports my entire accounts are more accurate, and far less time is spent doing my accounts.

My original point stands - Manager should have Bank Imports at the top of payments and receipts tab to encourage users to use this instead of the payments/receipts buttons. The default locations of the Bank Imports Tab is not desirable.

One more point. Again you are technically correct. I don’t need a Reconciliations Tab because I am using Bank Imports. I use the Reconciliations Tab to create the Reconciliation Transaction and I then attach my bank statement pdf for that period to that transaction. Unless you can think of a better place to attach the bank statement. The idea behind it is that I now have a copy of every single Bank Statement in Manager should the taxman ever want to look at my bank statements. It is also stored in a very easy chronological arrangement as well. This is why I use the Bank Reconciliation Tab. To attach my bank statement for that month for legal purposes and to ensure a full audit flow.

I use my purchase invoices to attach the suppliers invoice - Manager really helps me to ensure that I have a copy of every single suppliers invoice as result. Attachments has been a really brilliant feature of Manager.

I would suggest that we now focus on the original question - should bank import button be at the top of Payments and Receipts Tab next to the payments and receipts buttons or should it replace those buttons or should the bank import button be on the first page of the Bank Tab? This is the OP question!

Being only a small business, I find that receipts and payments tab suits me fine. I usually send invoices at the end of the day and I enter payments and receipts every day, or every other day. I can understand that if you were only do entries once every month, then importing would be the way to go. I regularly every few days reconcile my bank account.

Actually it doesn’t make any difference whether you only do entries once a month or every day. Bank Importing is still quicker. I really would recommend that you try it for a fortnight and you will see.

Ahh, you had to stir me from my winter hibernation.

Whilst I am understanding your points, I suspect that you are coming from a position of having only “one” bank account. If you tried to apply your points to a user with multiple bank accounts then they wouldn’t be User friendly. Lets assume the User has three bank accounts.

The Payments & Receipts tab would then be a melting pot of transactions from all 3 accounts.
So “if” the Import Bank Statement button was located on this tab, then you would require a second screen in which you would select the required bank account. As that second screen would only be a representation of the Bank Accounts tab - you might as well start there in the first place.

As for the Bank Account tab, it would be just a matter of which two step sequence.
You would either select the required bank account first and then the Import Bank Statement button (the current set up) or you would select the Import Bank Statement button first and then select the required bank account. To my mind the current process is the most logical as the bank comes first, it “owns” the statement.

Phew, no tweaking of the bank tab, so back to hibernation.

Once again, perhaps from a single bank account perspective. However when you have multiple bank accounts, the Bank Account tab is the only place where you can list the receipt and payment transactions that belong to a particular bank account, by clicking on the blue balance.

A second account could be just the business’s credit card.


@Brucanna this is why I suggested merging the bank, reconciliation and payments/receipts tabs into one with all the features from each tab. I think the three tab design is flawed for the very reasons you mentioned.

The payments and receipts tab melds those three bank accounts transactions into one view. I agree that this is not desirable and I know that users have commented on this point before. I would think it would be more logical to have one tab that shows all banks and their respective balances and reconciliation status and you then either click the balance of one bank account to view transactions and/or select bank import or you select bank import and then select the bank - which you currently have to do anyway with payments and receipts buttons.

TBH, I am not worried about it. I am know where the bank import button is now and I am happy using it. But I still believe that a lot of Manager users are not using bank import because they think it will be hard - which is what I thought.

Back to your hibernation now!