Applying payments and updating related invoices


Tenaya | email Aug 24 2017, 07:38 PM
Hello. I have been trying to figure out your program for quite some time now. I'm becoming very frustrated. It seems several of the tabs do the same thing but do not correspond with each other.

Right now I am at the point where I've entered all of my rentals and their corresponding rents due by creating invoices for them. I have also added individual charges for past rent due manually, as I read to do by your response to another person's thread. I have two major questions now.

1) Since I entered these past payments manually under the invoices tab, will they show up in the suggested invoices for next month? Or will I need to enter them all manually again each month until they are paid.

2) I tried to enter payments as accounting entries, but when I did that, they did NOT update to the corresponding invoice/tenant. Ex: John Smith paid $800 in rent. When I enter an accounting entry for that payment, on the tenant tab, it still shows the invoice as open. I do not want this to happen because I want to print updated invoices that reflect that tenants have paid their rent. What do I do?

I have read your entire user manual three times and watched many videos...I apologize for posting several times but I am currently still stuck. Thank you for your time.
Stephane Grenier | email Aug 24 2017, 09:07 PM
Hi Tenaya,

Firstly I'm sorry to hear you're experiencing any frustrations. And yes several of the tabs do intentionally repeat so that all the data is cross-referenced. Many people do things slightly different and so you can access the same data from different methods.

That being said please find the answers to your questions below:

1) Since I entered these past payments manually under the invoices tab, will they show up in the suggested invoices for next month? Or will I need to enter them all manually again each month until they are paid.

It depends on where you entered them in manually? The software creates Suggested Entries (including Invoices) based on the Scheduled Entries (Scheduled Invoices). If you created Scheduled Invoices then yes they will appear automatically next month. If you created them in the main Invoice table then you can select them and click on the Schedule button which will then create a Schedule Invoice based on the Invoice you created.

Normally the software will create all the Scheduled Accounting Entries, Scheduled Invoices, and Scheduled Receipts for you based on the Lease information you entered (unless you turned off this feature). Did the software not do that for you? Or have you not created the Leases? In either case there are several ways to get the same end result.

Although you mentioned you saw several videos I'll also refer you to the following ones which walk you through the process or creating recurring payments, rents, late fees, etc.. Please note that although the videos are for the previous versions the process is still the same:

http://www.landlordmax.com/releaseNotesV311/scheduledEntriesFromLease/ScheduledEntriesFromLease.html
http://www.landlordmax.com/releaseNotesV311/lateSuggestedAccountingEntries/lateSuggestedAccountingEntries.html
http://www.landlordmax.com/releaseNotesV605/AdvanceNotice2/AdvanceNotice2.htm

You may also be interested in the following YouTube video which does a comprehensive overview of how all this works as well as the rest of the software: https://youtu.be/FS_1TaVoBvw

2) I tried to enter payments as accounting entries, but when I did that, they did NOT update to the corresponding invoice/tenant. Ex: John Smith paid $800 in rent. When I enter an accounting entry for that payment, on the tenant tab, it still shows the invoice as open. I do not want this to happen because I want to print updated invoices that reflect that tenants have paid their rent. What do I do?

That's correct, they are not directly linked, you have to edit any invoices and/or receipts if you edit an accounting entry. This is intentionally done for a number of reasons. This is also mentioned in Step 2 of Section 4.11 of the user manual at: http://www.landlordmax.com/support/index.php?pg=kb.book&id=2 To quote:

"** Note: Although you are selecting an Accounting Entry, there is no link within the software between the invoice payment and the Accounting Entry for safety reasons. For example if you edit an Accounting Entry, the software shouldn't change the Invoice because this may have already been printed and given to your tenant. Similarly, it's possible that the tenant doesn't pay, doesn't pay in full, and so on, which means that the Invoice may not match the actual Accounting Entry. Therefore, changing the selected Accounting Entries value in the accounting screen will not change the invoice payment entry, or vice versa."

This is just one reason, there are actually a number of other more complex reasons. In essence it's best to view the invoices and receipts as legal documents rather than directly tied into the accounting system. In most accounting software you'll only be able to generate a receipt or invoice from the accounting system, they are rarely edited once generated and will instead have to re-generate a new receipt and/or invoice if you make any edits. That being said we are planning to add the ability to generate them from the accounting entries but for now they can only be generated from their respective sections, which will handle the vast majority of cases as almost all your invoices and receipts will be from payments from your tenants.

Regards,
Stephan Grenier
Founder
LandlordMax Software Inc.
http://www.LandlordMax.com
http://www.FollowSteph.com
Tenaya | email Aug 25 2017, 06:06 PM
Okay, so what I did was I entered all of the properties under tenants and created invoices under each. I also created accounting entries for each tenant. I am still confused how to get accounting entries to show up as paid so the invoice reflects that the payment happened. I tried the method of clicking "get" and choosing the accounting entry that reflects the payment, but that doesn't update the invoice either. I must be missing something. My other question is about the accounting entry tab in general. Does this basically serve as your record of payments? So every month you would create a new accounting entry with the amount paid and just leave it on that screen forever so you have record of it? I'm assuming, if this is true, that you could then generate a report from an individual tenant and it would reflect all payments made for that specific building. If I am wrong, please clarify.

Thank you for your time.
Stephane Grenier | email Aug 27 2017, 02:09 PM
Hi Tenaya,

Let's take a step back because I think this will really help. First the accounting entries are where you keep all your financial data, including payments. Yes you keep them stored forever as this is your accounting data. You then run reports against the accounting data in the Reports section, such as Accounting Entries for a building, for a tenants, and so on. You can run report such as Late rents to see who still owes you money, and so on. Basically all your accounting is done through the Accounting section of the software and all your reporting is done through the Reports section of the software.

The Receipts and Invoices should be viewed more as legal documents than accounting data. That is they are the same as a lease in that once created and printed you should not edit them because they are a legally binding document that you have given to your tenant. If a rent check bounces then you need to create a new invoice to state this, and you will need to provide them with a new receipt when the new check is given to you. You need to keep a record of the original invoice and receipt in case you need to go to court, and especially if the tenant tries to present the receipt as a paid rent. If you can't provide the documentation required by the judge then you can lose your case, therefore it's important that all your invoices and receipts stay consistent and aren't modified over time depending on when the tenant pays you. This is why all accounting data should be managed in the Accounting section of the software. In fact at one time we considered only allowing invoices and receipts to be generated by selecting an accounting entry but decided against that for a number of reasons due to how different people manage their properties. In fact many people don't even provide invoices and receipts to their tenants and never even use those sections of the software. We strongly recommend you do for legal reasons but some people nonetheless don't.

All that to say accounting data should go into the Accounting section. Reporting is done through the Reports section. And all printed documents in regards to those payments (optional) you need to provide to your tenant are done through the Receipts and Invoices section of the software.

Regards,
Stephan Grenier
Founder
LandlordMax Software Inc.
http://www.LandlordMax.com
http://www.FollowSteph.com
Tenaya | email Sep 29 2017, 02:22 PM
I have more questions about accounting entries and related reports.

1) When I am looking at reports, what is the difference between a late accounting entry for a landlord vs. a late rent report? What is the best way to show who still owes rent for the month grouped by landlord?

2) I don't understand the way partial payments are set up. Why can't you write an accounting entry that simply lists the amount paid and amount remaining and be done with it? Also, if you list a partial payment in the way described in the user manual, i.e. rent is 1200, partial payment 600, so you list as 600 w/ total paid 600, how do you then include the rent that is still owed (600) in order to report to landlords monthly?

Please and thank you for your response.
Stephane Grenier | email Sep 29 2017, 02:56 PM
Hi Tenaya,

Please find the answers to your questions below:

1) When I am looking at reports, what is the difference between a late accounting entry for a landlord vs. a late rent report? What is the best way to show who still owes rent for the month grouped by landlord?

The difference between the two reports is that the Late rents reports shows you all the late rents due, over all the properties and landlords, whereas the late accounting entries for a landlord is specific to a landlord. The idea is that you will use the late rents report for your operations and then you use the late accounting entries for a landlord when providing your clients (the landlords) their reports.

2) I don't understand the way partial payments are set up. Why can't you write an accounting entry that simply lists the amount paid and amount remaining and be done with it? Also, if you list a partial payment in the way described in the user manual, i.e. rent is 1200, partial payment 600, so you list as 600 w/ total paid 600, how do you then include the rent that is still owed (600) in order to report to landlords monthly?

We initially did it this way but we found it got extremely complicated during testing. First it results in each accounting entry being a table of entries versus a single entry. This means that even single payment accounting entries are now much more complex and will be tables of 1 entry. Additionally keep in mind that some entries can spread over multiple months, sometimes over different tax periods. For example what happens if you have rent due in November but the part of the payment is in 2017 and part in 2018 and your tax year happens to match the calendar year? You now have to split that entry in the reports. And of course what happens if you're trying to find a partial payment? How do you search for that partial $600 payment? If each accounting entry can be a table of payments then how do you display that in the main accounting table, and how do you find a specific partial payment? And that's just the tip of the iceberg, there are in fact many more complex issues such as what happens if it's different payment types (cash vs check, etc.), different accounts, etc. What happens if a partial payment is a bounced check? You could end with many of the fields being completely different, almost a table of accounting entries for each accounting entry, which is in essence what we do now, where each transaction is it's own entry.

That being said please note that the Amount Due and Amount Paid are only for information purposes. The initial release of the software didn't even include those fields, it was much like a bank statement where each transaction is it's own line entry (accounting entry). After testing we removed these for the initial release to avoid the above problems but people really wanted to know when the payments were made so we later released this ability. But with that in mind when you look at your bank statement please note that it does not combine the partial rent payments, they are listed as separate line items. The same is true within the software.

Having said all that you can use the "Partial" button which will do everything that's described in the manual automatically for you, which means it's all taken of for you without any effort. When you press the Partial button the software will ask you some basic questions such as what the partial amount is, the date, the payment type, etc., and will take care of the rest for you automatically.

Regards,
Stephan Grenier
Founder
LandlordMax Software Inc.
http://www.LandlordMax.com
http://www.FollowSteph.com


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