Business Controller Plus Only
 

Figure 10-1 

For users of the Business Controller Plus, MicroBiz can keep track of credits, balances and finance charges per customer. This chapter will cover these features and how to make use of them in MicroBiz.

House Account/Customer Balance Overview

MicroBiz allows you to keep a "House Account" for each customer, which means that customers can charge transactions to this account and MicroBiz will track their balance due. You can limit the amount customers can charge and even calculate finance charges if desired.
Figure 10-2
 To charge an invoice to a House Account:

  1. Open the Front Register.
  2. Load a customer.
  3. Load the desired items.
  4. Choose F9-Print to get to the Tender screen.
  5. For the tender type, choose "6 – Chg to Account" (charge to account), then click OK.
    • The transaction should be complete and the total should be added to the customer's balance due.

It is highly recommended that you DO NOT use the "Charge to Account" option for any refund/voids. Doing so can throw off your customer's house account!

  • Instead, it is recommended to use the "Store Credit" option for issuing credit.
  • If you wish to apply a return to a customer's balance due, it is recommended that you select a return tender other than "Charge to Account" and then use that tender to post a payment at the Front Register.

You can check a customer's current balance due (and set other restrictions) from the Edit a Customer window. There are a couple ways to get there...

  1. From the main menu: 
    1. Click on Customers | Add/Edit Customers.
    2. Select a customer, then click on Edit.
  2. From the Front Register: 
    1. Load a customer.
    2. Click on F8-Cust
    3. From The Edit a Customer window, choose the Account tab.

Figure 10-3

  • Balance Due – Displays the current balance due for this customer. 
    • It is possible to edit this figure here, but this is NOT RECOMMENDED. MicroBiz keeps track of balance due based on transactions processed at the Front Register, and any changes to this figure made outside the Front Register may be lost.
    • The balance due for the currently loaded customer will also be displayed on the right hand side of the Front Register.
  • House Account Limit – Displays the current maximum balance due that may be outstanding for this customer at any time. 
    • If set to zero (which is the default), then no limit will by applied.

Finance Charges

If enabled, MicroBiz will calculate monthly finance charges on outstanding balances according to your specifications. To configure this feature:
Figure 10-4

  1. From the main menu, click on Management | Custom System Settings | Transaction Settings.
  2. Click on the Fin. Charges tab.
  3. Here are the settings to be configured:
    • Charge Finance Charges – Check this box to turn finance charges on.
    • Days Grace Period – Set the number of days on outstanding invoices before finance charges will start being applied (the default setting is 30).
    • Day of Month to Post – Enter the day of each month you want MicroBiz to calculate any finance charges (the default setting is 1).
    • Monthly Finance Charge – Set the percentage (as a decimal) you will be charging. For example, a setting of .100 would mean a 10% monthly charge.
    • Compound Interest – If enabled, MicroBiz will include previous finance charges when calculating the charge for the current month. If disabled, MicroBiz will only calculate finance charges on the current balance due.

If you will be using the Finance Charge feature in MicroBiz, make sure that you enable this option on one workstation only! Select the workstation that will be used for running Customer Statements, and make sure that the Charge Finance Charges option is not enabled on any other PC.

  • If multiple workstations have this enabled, they might interfere with each other when calculating the Finance Charges.
  • Please refer to Chapter 3 - Customizing Your Software for further details on customizing these settings.

Posting Payments

Payments against outstanding invoices are made at the Front Register by loading the desired customer and then entering "P" in the SKU box. The "Select Invoice" window has many features, but this process can be as simple or as complex as desired. The following section will go over everything you may need to know about posting payments from this window.
Figure 10-5

Invoice Grid
The invoice grid takes up most of this window and displays all outstanding invoices for the currently selected customer. It has several columns:

  • Invoice –The invoice number that has not yet been paid off.
    • The green box at the bottom of this column gives you the total number of invoices listed here.
  • Date – The date that the invoice was originally processed.
  • Amount Charged –The original amount on the invoice that was charged to account.
    • The yellow box at the bottom of this column totals up the amounts charged on all outstanding invoices.
  • Due 30 – Any balance due that has been outstanding for at least 30 days.
  • Due 60 – Any balance due that has been outstanding for at least 60 days.
  • Due 90 – Any balance due that has been outstanding for at least 90 days.
  • Amount Due –The current outstanding balance on this invoice.
    • The yellow box at the bottom of this column displays the total amount due based on all outstanding invoices.
  • Amount Posted –The amount that has been paid off since it was charged to account.
    • The green box at the bottom of this column displays the total amount posted based on all outstanding invoices.

Transaction Buttons
The row of buttons beneath the Invoice Grid provides you with many ways to manipulate outstanding invoices:

  • Adjustments –Allows you to make changes to the balance due by adding an invoice.
    • After you click on this button, you can enter your Clerk ID, a reason for the adjustment, an amount to post against the account (positive or negative) and a date for the correction.
    • See the walkthrough below for assistance using this feature.
  • Edit Finance –Click here to edit the finance charge on the current invoice.
    • The current finance charge is displayed under "Curr. Fin. Charge" at the bottom of the screen.
    • Once you enter the new finance charge, press Enter on your keyboard to update the record.
  • Look – Allows you to search for an invoice number.
  • Post –Allows you to finalize a payment (similar to F9-Print at the Front Register).
    • This button will become enabled once there is something to post.
    • See the walkthrough below for assistance using this feature.
  • Refund –Allows you to change a negative balance due to another tender type.
    • This button will become enabled once there is something to refund.
    • See the walkthrough below for assistance using this feature.
  • Auto –The Auto Post feature is used to simplify posting payments.
    • See the walkthrough below for assistance using this feature.
  • Credit –Allows you to apply a negative balance to an outstanding invoice.
    • This button will become enabled once there is something to credit.
    • See the walkthrough below for assistance using this feature.
  • Exit – Exits the Post window.
  • Cancel – Cancels any incomplete transactions in the Post window and exits.
  • Post Adjustments – Click this button after creating an adjustment to save the new invoice.
  • Set Printer – Click here to select a different Payment printer than the one specified in Hardware Settings.

Miscellaneous Data
The last row contains four boxes and 2 extra buttons that give you some extra information:

  • Current Invoice – Displays the currently selected invoice number.
  • Current Finance Charge – Displays any finance charges that are present on this invoice.
  • Finance Charge – Using the "Edit Finance" button, you can change the finance charges for this invoice here.
  • Credit Balance – Displays the current store credit balance for this customer.

Hints Box
The bottom part of this window is dedicated to giving you friendly hints for processing payments. The blue text in this window will change depending on what you are attempting to do, and it is a good place to look if you aren't sure of your next step!

Posting Examples 

Here are a few common transaction types using the Post screen. 

Paying Off Account Balance from the Front Register
It is possible to make an account payment right at the Front Register. Payments made this way should still be applied to outstanding invoices at the Post screen (see the section below on posting credits).

  1. From the Front Register, load a customer and then type "CREDIT" (without the quotes) into the SKU box, then press Enter.
  2. On the "Enter Credit Amount" screen (Figure 10-11), enter the Credit Amount desired, make sure that Balance is selected under "Apply To" and click on the Okay button.
  3. Choose the tender type desired and complete the sale as usual.

Using the Auto Post Feature
The easiest way to post a payment to a customer's account is to use the Auto Post feature. This will allow you to accept any amount from the customer and automatically apply it to the oldest outstanding invoices.

  1. From the Front Register, load a customer and then type "P" (without the quotes) into the SKU box, then press Enter.
  2. Click on the Auto button.
    • MicroBiz will prompt you to enter the amount to post.
    • The total amount due for this customer will already be entered here, so be sure to change this to the amount tendered, if applicable.
    • Click OK to proceed.
  3. A display window should now appear with information on this payment.
    • This message (see Figure 10-6) will display the Amount Due, the Amount Applied and the Invoice(s) receiving the payment.
    • Click OK to proceed.
  4. Click on the Post button to "post this session."
    • MicroBiz will give you a conformation window, and you can click "Yes" to proceed or "No" to cancel.
  5. Choose the tender type (cash, check, etc.), then click on the Okay button.
  6. Enter any payment notes desired (for cash or check transactions only) and process the payment.

Figure 10-6

Posting Payments Manually
Instead of letting MicroBiz automate this process, you (or your customers) can specify an invoice when posting payments. See Figure 10-7.

  1. From the Front Register, load a customer and then type "P" (without the quotes) into the SKU box, then press Enter.
  2. Select an invoice from the Invoice Grid.
  3. Press the Enter key (on your keyboard) to enter a payment on this invoice.
    • You can also double-click on the invoice desired.
    • MicroBiz will prompt you to enter the amount to post (see Figure 10-7).
    • The amount due for this invoice will already be entered here, so be sure to change this to the amount tendered, if applicable.
    • Click OK to proceed.
  4. Click on the Post button to "post this session."
    • MicroBiz will give you a confirmation window, and you can click "Yes" to proceed or "No" to cancel.
  5. Choose the tender type (cash, check, etc.), then click on the Okay button.
  6. Enter any payment notes desired (for cash or check transactions only) and process the payment.

Figure 10-7
Posting Adjustments
If you find the need to make changes to a customer's account by adding a positive or negative balance, this is the place!

  1. From the Front Register, load a customer and then type "P" (without the quotes) into the SKU box, then press Enter.
  2. Click on the Adjustment button.
  3. Fill out the A/R Adjustments form as needed (Figure 10-8).
    • All fields will be filled out automatically for you, but you may need to change some (the Amount field defaults to $1.23).
    • If you are adding to the customer's balance, enter a positive figure.
    • If you are subtracting from the customer's balance, enter a negative figure by placing a minus sign before the amount.
    • Click the Save button to proceed.
  4. The adjustment has been added as a new invoice to the Invoice Grid.
    • If the adjustment was negative figure, see below for steps to credit an account or process a refund.

Figure 10-8

Posting Credits
A credit is used to apply a negative balance due (usually created by an adjustment) to an outstanding invoice.

  1. From the Front Register, load a customer and then type "P" (without the quotes) into the SKU box, then press Enter.
  2. Select an invoice with a negative balance due from the Invoice Grid.
  3. Click on the Credit button to prepare the credit application.
    • You can also press Alt-C on your keyboard to prepare the invoice.
    • The entire invoice line will turn yellow to indicate that it is ready to be applied.
  4. Select the invoice to which you wish to apply this credit.
  5. Press the Enter key (on your keyboard) to apply the credit.
    • You can also double-click on the invoice desired.
  6. Click on the Post button to "post this session."
    • MicroBiz will give you a confirmation window, and you can click "Yes" to proceed or "No" to cancel.

Figure 10-9

Issuing Refunds
If desired, you can issue a refund on an invoice with a negative balance from the Post screen.

  1. From the Front Register, load a customer and then type "P" (without the quotes) into the SKU box, then press Enter.
  2. Select an invoice with a negative balance due from the Invoice Grid.
  3. Click on the Refund button.
    • The selected invoice should appear on its own in the Invoice Grid.
  4. Click on the Post button to "post this session."
    • MicroBiz will give you a confirmation window, and you can click "Yes" to proceed or "No" to cancel.
  5. Choose the tender type (cash, check, etc.), then click on the Okay button.
  6. Enter any refund notes desired (for cash or check transactions only) and process the refund.

Store Credit Overview

For Business Controller Plus users, MicroBiz can track store credit for each of your customers. This can be used for issuing refunds, customer promotions, etc.
You can check a customer's current credit balance from the Edit a Customer window. There are a couple ways to get there... 

  1. From the main menu:
    1. Click on Customers | Add/Edit Customers
    2. Select a customer, then click on Edit
  2. From the Front Register:
    1. Load a customer
    2. Click on F8-Cust

Figure 10-10

From The Edit a Customer window, choose the Account tab.

  • Credit Balance –Displays the current credit balance for this customer.
    • The credit balance for the currently loaded customer will also be displayed in the upper-right hand corner of the Front Register.

To redeem store credit:

  1. Open the Front Register.
  2. Load a customer.
  3. Load the desired items.
  4. Choose F9-Print to get to the Tender screen.
  5. For the tender type, choose "7 – Store Credit", then click OK.
    • If the customer has enough store credit then the transaction should be complete and the total should be subtracted from the customer's credit balance.
    • If the customer doesn't have enough store credit available then the system will alert you and display the current credit balance. After you click OK, you can enter the credit balance into the "Tender 1" field and choose another tender type for the rest of the total.

To issue store credit:

  1. Open the Front Register.
  2. Load a customer.
  3. Enter "CREDIT" into the SKU box (without the quotes), then press Enter.
  4. On the "Enter Credit Amount" screen (Figure 10-11), enter the Credit Amount desired, make sure that Credit is selected under "Apply To" and click on the Okay button.
  5. Choose the tender type desired and complete the sale as usual.

Figure 10-11

You can also apply a return/void to store credit by selecting "7 – Store Credit" from the Tender screen when completing the transaction.

Balance Due Reports

To view reports and statements for customer accounts, select "Balance Due" from the Customer menu. From here, you will be able to view Balance Due Reports, Credit Reports, and Customer Statements.
Figure 10-12 

Customer Statements

Customer Statements are a very useful way to retrieve information about your customers' house accounts. You can view any of the available statements as a summary or a detail, and you can choose to generate a statement for just one customer or for any and all customers with an outstanding balance above the set "Minimum Balance..." value.
To open the Customer Statements window:

  1. From the Main Menu, choose Customers | Customer Statement.

Figure 10-13

  • Current Form –Displays the Customer Statement format that will be used.
    • Click on the "..." button to the right to change the form.
  • Closing Date – Enter today's date for a current report, or enter another date to print a previous day's statement.
  • Number of Days of History to Print – Determines how far back MicroBiz will search.
  • Minimum Balance to Trigger a Statement –Any customers with a balance below this setting will not have statements generated.
    • Only used when printing statements for all customers.
  • Include Credits – Enable this option if you want store credit transactions to appear on the statement.
  • Print Invoices with Zero Balance on Statements –With this option unchecked, MicroBiz will only list outstanding invoices on the statement.
    • Enable this option if you want to see all invoices on the statement.
  • Include Mailing Label Includes a mailing label insert on the customer statement print out for windowed envelopes.
    • The mailing label insert is formatted for envelope template #9, double window envelopes.
  • Include Return Label Includes a return label for customers to return their payment. The return label includes the total amount due and payment due by date.
    • The return label insert is formatted for envelope template #9, double window envelopes.
  • Summary/Detail –Sets the amount of information on the statement.
    • Choose Summary if you only want to see a list of invoices.
    • Choose Detail if you want to see invoices and the items belonging to each.
  • One Customer –Print a statement for one customer only.
    • You will be prompted to select the customer once you choose this option.
  • All Customers –Print a statement for all customers that have a balance above the "Minimum Balance" level for the "Closing Date."
    • You can choose the order in which Customer Statements are printed by selecting from options 4-7 to the right.
  • Print –Click here to start printing the statement(s).
    • If making a statement for one customer, MicroBiz should print it right away.
    • If making statements for multiple customers, MicroBiz will give you a series of prompts to simplify this procedure.
      • A couple of these prompts will give you the chance to cancel printing statements (in case MicroBiz finds too many to print).
      • One prompt will allow you to recalculate customer's balance due before proceeding. Although it is advised that you recalculate customer balances regularly (including at this prompt), it is not necessary.
  • Exit – Closes the Customer Statements window.
  • Set Printer – Allows you to change the printer used for statements.
  • Customize – Allows you to change the form used for statements.
  • Preview –Displays the statement on your computer screen instead of sending it directly to your printer.
    • This option is only available when printing statements for "One Customer."

Sample Customer Statement

In this section we will go over a sample customer statement. The following customer statement was generated with the following options:

  • Include Credits – Enabled
  • Print Invoices with Zero Balance on Statements – Enabled
  • Include Mailing Label – Enabled
  • Include Return Label – Enabled
  • Detail
  • One Customer

Figure 10-14

  • Date – Displays the date the transaction was processed.
  • Invoice # –Displays the invoice number of the transaction.
    • If viewing a detail report, may also list item SKUs on invoices.
    • "ACCT" refers to an account payment.
    • "BAL9" refers to a payment from the Front Register by typing "CREDIT."
  • Charges –Displays the amount charged to account.
    • If viewing a detail report, may also list item descriptions on invoices.
  • Total Paid – Displays the amount collected from payments on the invoice.
  • Payments – Displays payments made at the Post screen.
  • Inv Ref # – Displays the invoice number to which the payment was applied and references voided/returned invoice numbers.
  • Fin. Charge – Displays the finance charge associated with invoices.
  • Balance/Qty Displays the outstanding balance on invoices.
    • If viewing a detail report, may also list item quantities on invoices.
  • Remarks/Price –Gives brief description of the transaction listed.
    • If viewing a detail report, may also list the price of items on invoices.
  • Ext. Amt –The extended amount is the quantity multiplied by the price.
    • Used for detail report only.

Statement Summary
At the bottom of each statement is the summary for the selected customer.
Figure 10-15

  • Current – The amount due that has been outstanding for less than 30 days.
  • 30 Days – The amount due that has been outstanding for 30-59 days.
  • 60 Days – The amount due that has been outstanding for 60-89 days.
  • 90 Days – The amount due that has been outstanding for over 89 days.
  • Amount Due – The total outstanding amount due.
  • New Payments –The total for all payments on the current statement.
    • This, and the next 3 fields, are called "New" because statements are generated for specific date ranges.
  • New Finance Charges – The total for all finance charges on the current statement.
  • New Charges – The total for all charges to account on the current statement.
  • New Balance – The total for all outstanding balances on the current statement.

Recalculating Customer Balance/Credit

If your Front Register is displaying an incorrect figure for either Balance or Credit then you can recalculate these features from within MicroBiz.
This process can be done for an individual customer or for all customers at once.
Figure 10-16

 To recalculate the balance due (House Account) for all customers:

  1. From the MicroBiz Main Menu, click on Tools | Reindex/Clean and Pack etc. | Recalc Customer Balance Due.
    • It is recommended, but not required, that no other users be using the program while the recalculation is taking place. Click OK to proceed or Cancel to cancel the process.
  2. If any changes were made then you will be notified and prompted to view a variance report.
    • If no changes were made then you can just click OK to complete the process.

To recalculate the credit balance (Store Credit) for all customers:

  1. From the MicroBiz Main Menu, click on Tools | Reindex/Clean and Pack etc. | Recalc Customer Credit Balances.
    • It is recommended, but not required, that no other users be using the program while the recalculation is taking place. Click OK to proceed or Cancel to cancel the process.
  2. If any changes were made then you will be notified and prompted to view a variance report.
    • If no changes were made then you can just click OK to complete the process.

Figure 10-17

To recalculate the balance due or credit balance for a single customer:

  1. From the Front Register, load a customer.
  2. The current Balance and Credit figures are displayed in the upper-right hand corner. To recalculate either one of these, just double-click inside the desired window.
    • You will be prompted to click OK to continue to Cancel to cancel the process.
    • Click OK when done.
  3. The updated figure should now be displayed.