General Ledger Module

The General Ledger Module includes the following features:

Multiple Entities

The General Ledger system will support any number of accounting entities the Firm chooses to use, such as when two firms merge and separate general ledgers must be maintained. Calendars may be established independently for each entity, or may be shared among multiple entities. Each entity can utilize any one of the available accounting methods. (See Multiple Accounting Methods below).

Multiple Accounting Calendars

Accounting calendars are user defined and must include at least one period, and may include up to 13 periods. Calendars may be established independently for each fiscal entity and a calendar may be shared by more than one entity.

User-Defined Chart of Accounts

Any number of accounts may be established and associated with an entity. Elements for tracking and reporting may be optionally established in the following areas:

  • Office
  • Department
  • Timekeeper
  • Area of law
  • Position (class) of timekeeper

Balances are maintained by the system and reported at the account level. Account balances may be summarized on reports at the entity level. Accounts are summarized as a reporting function, with the levels of summarization being virtually unlimited.

The General Ledger interface in the Time & Billing system is sensitive to the elements established, so postings can automatically be made to the appropriate accounts.

Flexible Budgeting

The user may create any number of budgets, and associate each budget with a specific accounting calendar. Budget data accounts may be input:

  • Manually for Each Period
  • Monthly Recurring Amounts
  • Annual Charges Divided over Periods

The financial report generator provides forecasting or "what-if" calculations based on adjusting actual data up or down by a fixed dollar amount or by a percentage. The statement displays on the screen or on hard copy with the budget values, and the user may then continue to manipulate the budget, or select an option for the system to input the budget amounts into the appropriate budget for the accounts on the statement. This feature automates the process of developing and maintaining budget information.

Multiple Accounting Methods

The General Ledger system supports multiple accounting methods or basis, including:

  • Cash
  • Modified Cash
  • Accrual, or
  • Cash and Accrual

An entity may use any one of the above methods. Different entities may use different accounting methods.

Standard Accounting Controls

The system validates dates, account numbers, and other data interactively during journal entry. Transactions may be modified or deleted prior to posting and are tracked by the system based on one of the following status conditions:

  • Input
  • Modified
  • Pending
  • Deleted

Transactions which are edited prior to posting are marked "modified", and the new replacement transaction lines are added. When transactions are deleted, all pending lines for the transactions are marked "deleted" but not erased from the system, providing a complete audit trail of transaction history. All transactions must be in balance before pending status is assigned, and only transactions with pending status may be posted.

Initial Balance Entry

The On-Line Account Query allows the user to view the balance or activity for a given account for an entire year. The user may view the transaction which made up the balance or activity in summary or detail with a view transaction window. The detail transactions may be displayed either as last-in-first-out or first-in-first-out.

A special program allows entry of initial balances for each account for the prior years and for prior periods of the current year. Balances may be entered as either balances for the accounts or period activity. If period balances are entered, the system will calculate the activity for the account. If period activity is entered, the system will calculate the balance for the account. These balances may also be adjusted, if necessary.

Standard Accounting Reports

Standard reports, such as Trial Balance, Account Balance with Detail, etc., are included in the General Ledger system. Reports are available on demand, generally permitting the user the ability to specify dates, accounts, periods, ranges, etc.

User-Defined Financial Statements

The General Ledger Module also includes a report writer to create your own reports and financial statements, either to match your existing reports and statements, or to enhance them. The report writer provides a great deal of flexibility, permitting:

  • Subtotals and summarization at User-Defined levels
  • Actual/budget data comparison
  • Current/prior period comparison
  • Variance calculation by value or percentage
  • Single entity or combined statements

Reports may be structured using account elements. For example, a financial statement may include only accounts for the main office, but for all departments, while a different report may include all account activity for the Real Estate department and include all offices.

Allocation Analysis

SQL*Partner provides the ability for the Firm to create allocation tables that may be inserted into financial statements to report an account amount allocated across other accounts. The allocation tables include effective dates, as well as a list of account segments to allocate to. For example, if the firm wished to allocate total rent by department, without actually posting amounts to each account by department, it could create a table that would be used in the financial statement report writer to do this. The table would include the effective date and a list of the departments, along with the units (percentage) to be used for calculating the allocations. The units could be head count, square footage, or other firm defined criteria. Once the tables are established they may be inserted into the financial statement to calculate the allocation. The basis, or amount to be allocated, may be a value from a single account, or it may be a calculated value from multiple accounts.

Time & Billing Interface

Tedious manual entry of transactions to the General Ledger are eliminated by an automated transfer - via the Time and Billing to General Ledger transfer interface. This interface allows the user to control movement of information from Time and Billing by defining, in a table, the trigger event (such as time entry, bills posted, cash received, etc.) and the General Ledger account to which the event should be posted.

Accounts Payable Interface

All transactions processed through the A/P module may be transferred automatically to the General Ledger, minimizing manual cash disbursement entries. Vendors may be set up with default GL distributions automating the input of the account numbers in voucher maintenance.

SQL Report Writer

The General Ledger information is available through SQL Report Writer allowing queries and reports, using third party tools, based on information retrieved from Time & Billing and General Ledger files.

More Info...

Other modules in the Financial Management Series include:

The Financial Management Series is also integrated to other Modules within the SQL*Partner system, including the following:


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