Accounts Payable - List of Enhancements

Over the lifespan of the Accounts Payable system, a number of major enhancements and minor fixes have been applied.  Following is a brief summary, (listing the most recent items first).

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New and Different – Enhancements and Fixes in A/P

    For 2013

Click to expand/collapseVendor Contacts and Vendor Email fields

The Vendor Email Address field has been increased to 60 characters; Contact names increased to 25 characters; and each Vendor Contact now has their own separate email address.   (Oct-15-2013)

Click to expand/collapseVendor Contract Information and Supplier Risk Factors for Vendor Properties

The Vendor master record and the Vendor Maintenance application has been enhanced with new fields.  You may now  record information about any Contracts that you have established with the supplier.  This includes and ID #, a Description or Title, Start and End Dates, a $ Value and a field indicating how often it needs to be Renewed.  Up to 5 Contracts may be recorded.


As well, there are new fields provided to record "Supplier Risk Factors".  These factors include Strategic, Operational, Legal, Reputation, Compliance, Financial and Liquidity.  A rating of ZERO to 9 may be set for each factor.   (Oct-15-2013)

Click to expand/collapseApprove Items for Payment from Manager's Reply Emails

The option exists to require supplier invoices to be approved by a designated manager before they can be released to be paid.   The managers are sent an email, with the information about the items to be paid, along with a scanned image of the supplier's invoice.  Previously, the manager had to sign on to the Series 5 AP system, and manually select those items that they are responsible for approving, and invoke the Approval function.  The sub-documents are approved by entering the Approving Managers Authorization password.


Now the managers need only to reply to the emails that were sent from the system asking them to approve a given document.  Within the subject of the "reply" emails the manager must enter the text APPROVE, REVIEW or REFUSE, depending on whether they approve the payment or not.   When the new Load Manager Approval Emails operation is selected, the system will read the emails from an Outlook Inbox named S5 AP Approvals, retrieve the associated vendor invoice payable and record the approval status.   If the manager approved the payment, the selected payable will be marked accordingly, and it will then be eligible to be selected to be paid.  Depending on the type of approval, the emails will be moved to other Outlook Inbox folders located in the S5 AP Approvals folder.


This new operation may also be selected to execute in the Series 5 Background Batch Processor.  It can then be scheduled to automatically execute hourly, or daily.   (Sept-20-2013)

Click to expand/collapseApprove Items for Payment

A new function has been introduced to the A/P Menu Operations drop down menu.  "Approve Vouchers for Payment" provides the functionality to allow an Approving Manager to view each of the payable items that he/she is responsible for approving.  For each item, they may approve it, or not, to be paid, select it to be paid, or even have it deferred from being paid.  Additional functions include the ability to have all eligible items selected to be Auto-Approved.  If scanned POs or Invoices have been attached to an item, they may also easily be displayed. (Aug-24-2013)

Click to expand/collapseManager Invoice Approval Management

The A/P System has been enhanced to support a payment approval process.  Up to three managers may be assigned to each supplier invoice.  Each manager will be automatically notified via email when required to give their approval for an invoice to be paid.  If supplied, scanned images of the original PO and Invoice will be attached to the emails sent to the approving managers.  These attached documents may be viewed when selecting Open Items to be approved.  The use of the Payment Approval feature is a user selected option, for invoices greater than a defined cutoff $ amount.


An Item Approval Status Report may be executed listing the status of all outstanding payable's waiting to be approved or that have been denied.  As well, as an option, emails will be sent for newly added invoices, and reminder emails will be sent for those items still waiting for approval.   (Aug-24-2013)

Click to expand/collapseApproval Manager Set Maintenance

A new Code Maintenance function has been introduced into the A/P System to support the new Management Invoice Approval process.  Approval Manager Set Maintenance provides the ability to define a group of managers that have been designated to approve the payment of invoices.  Each set provides for defining up to 3 managers.   When invoices are entered into the system, a Manager Set is also recorded.   Each manager associated to the Set would then be required to grant their approval before the invoice could be paid.   (Jul-24-2013)

Click to expand/collapseApproval Manager Maintenance

A new Code Maintenance function has been introduced into the A/P System to support the new Management Invoice Approval process.  Approval Manager Maintenance provides the ability to define those managers that have been designated to approve the payment of invoices.  Each manager has an Authorization $ Limit, password and email address.  Statistics are kept Period-To-Date, Year-to-Date, Last-Year and Life-to-Date for the # of invoices approved and total $ value.     (Jul-20-2013)

Click to expand/collapseACH Direct Deposits option for A/P Check Processsing

The A/P system now provides support for ACH Direct Payments into Vendor supplied bank Accounts.


A new menu item is provided in the A/P Menu bar's "Control Options" drop down menu titled ACH Specification Codes.  You may create an ACH Specification that has the properties associated to each of the ACH Clearing House services to which you are signed up with.  Currently the basic NACHA format is provided for.  More formats will be implement as required.


The Payments and Check Processing function has been revised to generate ACH Direct Payments when a given Bank Account Code is selected that is designated to be used for ACH processing.  An ACH compatible data file in the NACHA format is created which may be sent to your bank for processing.  For each ACH deposit that is generated, an ACH Payment Advice report is generated as an MS Word document, (which may be printed and filed with the vendor's invoice); and an ACH Payment Advice notice is generated as a PDF document and automatically emailed to the Vendor.


A new data tab screen has been introduced to Vendor Maintenance.  For those Vendors signed up to be paid using ACH Direct Deposits, the appropriate banking information may be recorded, along with the designated contact at the Vendor's company.


The Vendor Check History Inquiry function has been revised to now display either Check information, or ACH Payment information. (Jun-24-2013)

Click to expand/collapseA/P Check Processsing and "Quick" Checks

If from the same instance of Series 5 A/P attempting to enter a "Quick" Check while the Payment and Check Processing window was being processed, a "File Already Open" error was being displayed.  The problem has been fixed.   (Jun-01-2013)


    For 2012

Click to expand/collapseA/P Vendor Maintenance

A new function has been introduced that provides the ability to import Master Vendor record data into the system.  It provides for new Vendors to be loaded, or for existing Vendors, to be updated.   The data loaded may be a tab-delimited file, a CSV file, or an Excel spreadsheet.   (Nov-23-2012)

Click to expand/collapseA/P Check Reconciliation

When entering the Dates for the Reconciliation Control Properties, (and in particular the Reconciliation Date to be Assigned), if the dates entered do not fall within 2 months from the current date, a message will be displayed to confirm that the dates entered are in fact what was wanted.   (Nov-14-2012)


    For 2011

Click to expand/collapseA/P Quick Check Journal

When Quick Checks are entered and printed, the invoices being paid are recorded in an internal A/P system transaction entry batch coded QCHECK.  Over time the number of these transactions increases.   The batch can only hold up to 999,999 transactions and accumulates a total value up to $ 99,999,999.00.   When the Quick Check Invoice Journal is printed, this QCHECK batch's totals are reset to ZERO.  If the Quick Check Invoice Journal is never printed, and 999,999 Quick Checks have been printed, A/P Open Items are being incorrectly recorded.


The Quick Check Entry function has been revised such that when 500 Quick Checks have been entered, or the total $ value > $ 1,000,000 a message is displayed suggesting that the Quick Check Journal be generated.   Also, if a Quick Check Journal has not be generated within the last 120 days, a message is displayed and the operator is invited to execute the Quick Check Journal.     (Nov-04-2011)

Click to expand/collapsePositive Pay / Fraud Interface File Generation - Email Option

The function to have the Positive Pay file generated and emailed has been revised for the the new email capability.  The body of the message is now loaded from a user defined text file named AP_PositivePay_EmailMessage.TXT that must be located in the folder named Email-Templates that must be created in the designated Company System's "Generated and Archived Reports" data directory.


Within the body of the message file, you must include 3 pseudo variables to indicate the Web User's signon code, the password, and the date when the password will expire.  These pseudo text strings must be named %%DOC-TYPE1%% and %%MY-STRING-1%% that will be replaced with the format/type of file that is attached, and the  # of checks that are represented, respectively.     (Oct-04-2011)



      Email Messages Text files


The email body text messages are stored in a sub-directory within the Company System's Reports directory, named Email-Templates. (The Company System's Reports directory is the one that is identified for each company using the Company Systems' Maintenance function).

Click to expand/collapseInterface to Purchase Order Processing

The Accounts Payable system is required for use with the Series 5 Purchase Order Processing system.  If ONLY the Purchasing System is licensed for use, the Accounts Payable system is now also provided, but with ONLY the Codes Maintenance, and Control Preferences functions enabled.   (Sept-08-2011)

Click to expand/collapseInterface to Professional Invoicing

When using the Accounts Payable system with the Series 5 Professional Invoicing, (PI), system, when Vendor Invoices are entered, a P/I Project may be recorded with the expense distributions.  These then are recorded as Disbursements in the P/I system.  This process was, up until now, the method employed to record Disbursements into P/I. Now Disbursements may be recorded in the P/I system directly, prior to the supplier's invoices being received.


The A/P Transaction Entry function has been enhanced to allow the operator to choose to match the expense distributions to already existing P/I Disbursements.  On request, a sub-window is displayed listing the Disbursements on file for the given Vendor.  When a match is identified, the particulars of the expense distribution are recorded into the Disbursement.  If no matches are found, (basically the Disbursement has not been entered yet), entering a P/I Project Code, etc., will cause a new Disbursement record in the P/I system to be recorded when the A/P Batch is eventually posted.   (Jul-01-2011)

Click to expand/collapseNew Feature to Attach Supporting Documents to Vendors and A/P Transactions

You may now attach a variety of different documents to Master Vendor records, and to A/P Invoice Transactions.  Up to 15 separate documents may be selected, and attached and viewed from the Vendor Codes Maintenance, the A/P Transaction Entry and the Historic A/P Transaction Inquiry functions.  These documents may also be viewed from the Vendor Open Item Inquiry and Historic Vendor Inquiry functions.  The different types of documents support  are as follows:


Bitmap ( *.BMP files)
ASCII Text  ( *.TXT files)
MS Word 2003 documents
MS Word 2007 documents
MS Excel 2003 documents
MS Excel 2007 documents
ASCII Text  ( *.txt files)




    For 2010

Click to expand/collapseCanadian HST/GST

For Canadian companies, when entering A/P Transactions, the GST amount associated to a payable's invoice was automatically computed.  As of July 1, 2010, both British Columbia and Ontario are switching to a Harmonized Tax system, (where the provincial tax, and the GST taxes are combined as a single tax).  The A/P Transaction entry routines have been revised to reflect the new HST Tax.   (Jul-01-2010)

Click to expand/collapseA/P Period Analysis Report/Inquiry

Normally this analysis may be executed for Calendar Months, Calendar Years, G/L Fiscal Periods or G/L Fiscal Years.  If you do not have the Series 5 General Ledger system, the Fiscal Years or Periods are undefined.  The routine has been enhanced to not offer these dates if the G/L system is not used.  Previously, an error was reported and the system exited the function.   (Feb-02-2010)


    For 2009

Click to expand/collapseQuick Check and New A/P Transaction Entry

When entering the A/P Expense Account associated to a vendor's Invoice Transaction, it was possible to exit the entry screen with a ZERO account number.  This would result in having an undefined, ZERO, account being posted.  The problem has been fixed. (Dec-22-2009)

Click to expand/collapseA/P Check Printing to Tractor Form Printers

Where a check is being printed on a tractor form feed printer, requiring more than one page, the Date line and the VOID literal line were being printed one line below the point that they were supposed to.  The actual check face with the amount was correct. The problem has been fixed. (Dec-18-2009)

Click to expand/collapseA/P Period Analysis Inquiry/Report

The option to export data to spreadsheet has been enhanced.  There are up to 10 different types of data that may be output to an Excel spreadsheet.  Each type will now be output to it's own worksheet within the Excel workbook.  (Dec-11-2009)

Click to expand/collapseFunctions Exporting to Excel Spreadsheets

For those functions that export data to Excel spreadsheets, the following enhancements have been made:


When titles are output, they will be formatted as bold in 14-point
When legends are output, they will be formatted as bold in 12-point
When headers are output, they will be formatted as bold and italic
Dollar amount data column will be formatted for "Currency", (where $ signs will be displayed with 2 decimal places)


The following applications have been revised accordingly, where applicable (Dec-10-2009) :


A/P Open Items Report – With output to Spreadsheet – (with new default filenames of AP_Open_Summary or AP_Open_Detail)
Historic A/P Open Items Report – With output to Spreadsheet
Bank Fraud Interface – Format for Excel Spreadsheet
A/P Distributions Inquiry – Export function
Vendor Analysis – With output to Spreadsheet
Vendor Maintenance – Properties Export – (with a new default filename of Vendor_Properties)
A/P Period Analysis – Export functions

Click to expand/collapseUser Interface to A/P Invoices

A new option has been added that  offers the option to have a Pre-Load Summary report generated.  Used when interfacing a Columnar input file, (from spreadsheet, or tab-delimited, or CSV files).  These files contain transactions for a number of different Series 5 Company Systems.  The Pre-Load Summary read the input file, and identifies each of the companies for which transactions are to be loaded.  The report lists each company, the number of transactions, and the number of Vendors and G/L Accounts that have not been set up in each company's A/P.  It also lists the Vendor Codes and Names that are undefined. (May-1-2009)

Click to expand/collapseVoiding A/P Checks

When an A/P check is Voided, the items that it had paid are re-instated as Open Items that will be eligible to be paid.  In the past, these Open Items were being flagged as being "Selected to be Paid".  Now, they will NOT be flagged.  To have them paid, they will have to be selected in the normal fashion. (April-24-2009)

Click to expand/collapseVoiding Manuals, Prepaids and Quick Checks

In the A/P Check Processing Grid Screen, all unposted checks including computer generated, manuals, prepaid and "Quick" checks are listed.  In the past, computer checks could be voided directly from this screen.  The system has been enhanced so that now unposted Manuals, Prepaid and "Quick" checks may now be voided from this screen, (from the pop-up menu when the particular row is right-clicked).   (April-24-2009)

Click to expand/collapseIntegrated On-Line Help

On-Line Help is now available for all Accounts Payable applications functions. (April-23-2009)

Click to expand/collapseUser Interface to A/P Invoices

If when interfacing A/P Vendor Invoice transactions from a user developed invoicing system, undefined Expense Accounts were loaded, the system identifies the accounts with a message on the edit list as "**** Undefined Account Identified ***.    If a blank Expense account is read, the system will assign the account as 888888-88888. Also, the interface routine has been revised so that these transactions will now be copied into the selected A/P Transaction Batch, even though undefined expense accounts were found.  The theory is that it is easier to add the A/P Account to the A/P, after being interfaced. (April-15-2009)

Click to expand/collapseA/P Period Analysis Inquiry/Report

Integrated Help has been introduced to the Period Analysis function.  (April-07-2009)

Click to expand/collapseA/P Period Analysis Report        

When the analysis was executed, work files were created using the users' PID Id #.  If the user left the A/P system, then returned to the Period Analysis system later, if they did not get the same PID number allocated, they were not seeing the correct analysis work files.  Now, the 1st 10 characters of the user's signon name will be used in the name of the work files, so they will always be guaranteed to see the correct files. (April-07-2009)

Click to expand/collapseA/P Vendor Bulk Email Generator Function

When emails are generated, the message may contain a number of different pseudo variables.  These get replaced with specific fields from the Vendor's properties records.  These pseudo variables may now be displayed on a tabbed screen that may be selected when specifying the assorted options. (March-25-2009)

Click to expand/collapse"Quick" Check Entry Function

The Series 5 system provides the ability to indicate the default printer queue and print options to be used when "Quick" checks are generated.  These were not being defaulted correctly.  The problem has been fixed. (March-18-2009)

Click to expand/collapseA/P Vendor Code Entry

In a number of different A/P functions where a Vendor code needs to be entered, the field used to enter the code has been increased in size.  In some cases where a PC's resolution was set for large fonts, it was not large enough to display all 6 characters. (March-18-2009)

Click to expand/collapseCheck Processing

After checks have been generated and printed, and before being posted, the checks are displayed in the grid.  Double-clicking a given row produced a screen that displays the check along with the items that are being paid.   For computer generated checks, the vouchers being paid were not being listed. This problem has been fixed. (Mar-04-2009)

Click to expand/collapseHistoric Check Register Report

As a new selection filter, you may now select to list only checks that had a Payee Name that was different from that of the Vendor's Name. (Feb-27-2009)

Click to expand/collapseElectronic Invoices Interface

This function has been enhanced to provide the option of interfacing from a flat sequential file, from a columnar tab-delimited or CSV file, or from a MS Excel spreadsheet.  For each type of input file, two types of records are input; one for the Vendor and Invoice detail, and one for the assorted Expense Distributions that may apply.  This function becomes a useful means of entering your employee Expenses that may have been recorded to a 3rd party's web based application. (Feb-25-2009)

Click to expand/collapseA/P Transaction Entry

The function to "Replicate a given Transaction into a Series of Transactions" has been enhanced.  You may now have a series of transactions automatically generated based on an Interval of a Quarter of a Year. (Feb-06-2009)


    For 2008

Click to expand/collapseA/P Transaction Entry

When entering an A/P Transaction, (including "Quick" Checks, and Re-Occurring Transactions), the logic and screen for entering the A/P Expense Distribution Account has been enhanced.  You may now enter the Account directly into the field presented. (In other words, a separate window is no longer displayed).  The new field is presented as a drop-down list, that you can either enter the account # directly, or choose from the 10 most recently entered accounts.  When entering the account number each segment of the Account number may  be separated with either a Space, or the "-" character. (Nov-21-2008)

Click to expand/collapseFraud Interface (Positive Pay) Files for Banks

The Fraud Interface properties of a given Bank Code has been revised.  You may now specify a number of different formats that the interface file can be generated for.  The system supports a Tab-Delimited ASCII text file, an Excel spreadsheet, a custom layout for Northern Trust banks, and a custom layout for JP Morgan Chase banks.  The routines that generate the Fraud Interface files has been revised to output the correct format, for the Bank Code that is selected. (Nov-21-2008)

Click to expand/collapse"Quick" Check Entry Function

Two problems were identified.

1.If while entering a Quick Check, the operator may choose to exit and save the data entered as a Draft Quick Check, prior to it being printed.  However when returning to load that Draft Quick Check, the system did not load the data correctly.
2.If there was more than one Invoice entered to be paid by the Quick Check, attempting to edit a previously entered Invoice, prior to the check being printed, reported a message that the Invoice was not on file.

Both these issues have been fixed.  After installing the release with this fix, it will be necessary to first delete the data file named APQUICKCHKS.DAT before selecting the Quick Check entry function.  (This file is used only to store draft QuickChecks) (Nov-20-2008)

Click to expand/collapseHistoric Check Register Report

As a new selection filter, you may now select to list only checks valued either greater than or less than an operator entered value. (Nov-18-2008)

Click to expand/collapseVendor Maintenance

If a vendor Listing is generated, that is sorted grouped by one of the possible fields, the Accounts Payable amount was not being accumulated.  Also, the totals that were printed after each occurrence of the selected group were not being cleared, so the totals printed were an accumulated total.  These problems have been fixed. (Nov-16-2008)

Click to expand/collapseOn-Line Help

The Accounts Payable system now has On-Line Help.  You can access these help files from the application's screens or menu bars. (Aug-01-2008)