There are a raft of changes being implemented at the moment to streamline end of period closing for accounting and deal with the current limitations of fee projection and also feedback we have had on statement design. Several areas will be touched:

  • Parent Statements
  • Parent Transaction Listing
  • Fee Projection
  • Direct Debit batch creation
  • Recording fees and payments
  • Accounting Extracts
  • Financial Reports
    • Aged Debt
    • Balance Owing
    • Income Reports
    • Payment Reports

A perennial problem with CCS is that nothing is ever really locked down and numbers can change from weeks or even months ago, in extreme cases even from the prior financial year.

This makes reconciling of information in SmartCentral with an external accounting system (eg MYOB or TECH1) quite difficult since changes to prior periods happen routinely but accounting systems (and accountants) really don’t like that.

To address this we are shifting to a strict ‘posting date’ based reporting. Any transaction or change is now taken into the reports on the date it happened rather than the date it applies to. So if an attendance is submitted 3 weeks late it will go into the statement from that later period.

Similarly if an attendance submitted 3 weeks ago is now varied, the previous submission will be reversed on the transaction record and the new one added on the date it is submitted.

The net result of this however is that if you come back six months later and run that same statement for that same period you will always get the same result. It will show what ever it did for that period in time originally and changes will show up in later periods when they are made.

To make sure that the posting date approach works the way changes are made in the system will be more strictly controlled. If a payment or fee is manually recorded in the system it will only be able to be edited or deleted on the day its created. After that point it is part of the permanent transaction record and can only be adjusted by explicitly reversing it and entering a new transaction.

All reports on financial information are switched to using ‘Posting Date’ as the basis for including a transaction into the report.

As a result there should no longer be any differences in reported numbers as a result of timing issues.

This does simplify a number of calculations and we have taken advantage of this to introduce a number of related and frequently requested changes:

  • Aged Debt report now has an ‘As At’ date so you can pick any prior date and run the report
  • Fee Projection is its own discrete step and doesn’t need to be done separately for direct debit and statements
  • Projected Fees are now pushed onto the parent transactions so they appear in transaction listings, balance owing and aged debt reports
  • Session Code changes now have a ‘Date of Effect’ so fee changes can be entered in advance and the change will take effect on the date chosen without further interaction, allowing (among other things) for accurate fee projection when fee changes take effect

Probably the most visible change will be to parent statements. The front page of the statement will now show a simplified listing of charges and payments to line up with the online transaction listing, with a running balance. Session detail information will be separated and relegated to subsequent pages.

Parent Statements

Based on lots of feedback from centres we have taken the opportunity to rationalise the statement layout as part of this update.

Basically we have split the statement layout further so that the new page 1 is simply a list of charges and payments. This layout follows the pattern of the transaction screen and provides a running balance.

It should be very simple for new parents to understand as it follows the same approach as they would be familiar with from internet banking.

Parent Statements PAGE 1

The transaction listing consists of the following columns

  • Description : What the charge or payment relates to. For attendance charges it will nominate the child and the service to distinguish where the parent has mulitple children in care in the same week
  • Date : The date the charge or payment relates to. For attendances this will be the week ending of the relevant week.
  • Posting Date : When the charge or payment was recorded in the system. If a payment or charge is reversed this is the date it was reversed on. If a replacement charge / payment is enterred the posting date will be the date that action happened.
  • Charges : The amount if a charge
  • Payments : The amount if a payment
  • Balance : The net balance on the account after this transaction was applied

Updated Statement Layout : Page 1

Parent Statements PAGE 2

The second page now shows the attendance detail for each finalised attendance in the transaction listing. The layout is identical with the same information in the previous design, slightly expanded for readability.

Updated Statement Layout : Page 2

Varying an Attendance

In the screenshot below highlighting shows the flow of changes to an individual attendance when it is varied.

  • 2019-10-01 : Attendance for w/e 2019-09-29 is intially submitted with a charge of $330.
  • 2019-10-08 : The initial submission is put back to editing (varied) and reversed off the parent account -$330. As the parent had already paid the full amount, the account is now in credit.
  • 2019-10-08 : The updated attendance record is submitted with the new charge of $110.

Updated Statement Layout : Vary