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Accounts Payable Help

Unlike Accounts Receivable, the Payable system is simplistic.  Except during check writing and Month End processing, only three files are updated: Voucher, Expense Distribution and Vendor.
During check writing, Cash Activity is also updated.
During Month End, the (optional) Vendor History file receives the paid voucher records that are purged, as part of the Month End processing, by the final Month End step.

A voucher is purged (deleted) when it has been paid and the Month End has been performed.  "Paid" means that the voucher has a Check Number and a Check Date and that the Check Date is less than or equal to the date you are closing.  There is no requirement that the Vendor must exist, or that there be any distribution record(s).

If you manually apply a Check Number and Check Date to a voucher, then Cash in Checking and Accounts Payable will be affected.  Exactly the same thing occurs when the system posts a check run.

You should create two special "vendors"; the CASUAL VENDOR whose VENDOR ID is the dollar sign ("$") and the VOID vendor whose VENDOR ID is VOID.  These vendors are used by the system, so they are expected to exist.  If you wish to have the DESCRIPTION field printed as the PAYEE on a check, then use the CASUAL VENDOR.  If you wish to void a check, simply create a zero-amount voucher to the VOID vendor and enter the Check Number and Check Date during voucher entry.


We have reports that old vouchers suddenly reappear.  Exhaustive testing proves that these vouchers existed all the time, but users did not see them for one of the following reasons: There are at least four things that can cause such a voucher to "reappear":
  1. A Voucher Listing set up to list all vouchers by Vendor ID with a date far in the future.
  2. Reindex.
  3. Data conversion (MMINIALL.EXE).
  4. Reusing a previously deleted Vendor ID.

We have reports that vendors "disappear".  There are at least two reasons:
  1. A user deleted the vendor.
  2. The VENDOR.AP file is corrupt or has missing keys.  Reindex it and use file maintenance to remove corrupt records.
No, the program did NOT delete any vendor.
Check alignment has numerous factors.  We require either a real CharterHouse form or an exactly formatted third-party form.  The form must be appropriate for the style of printer being used.  (You can't use a continuous feed form in an inkjet printer, Etc.).  The System Control record must reflect the form type and, if you use either an ink jet or a laser printer, the LASER question requires a Y answer.  When using LASER, set the top margin to 0.5 as a start, then "tweak" if needed (this is done using <CTRL> <PG UP>  or <CTRL> <PG DOWN> in the ALIGNMENT screen) and the PREPARE YOUR PRINTER prompt must contain RESET (not LASER-N, NULL or NORMAL).

Matrix forms must be aligned by physically placing the form in the printer so that printing occurs in the correct place.  We require that the printer have a tractor feed mechanism that will allow correct placement of the check both vertically and horizontally.  Once that is achieved, you should turn the printer off and back on; this sets Top Of Form.  You should also turn the printer off when you crank the platen; if the printer is on, you could damage it just by turning the knob.

No matter what printer is used, the layout is "Pica", and it is critical that the printer be in Pica mode!  At least 95% of alignment issues are the result of deviation from Pica.  NORMAL should set a matrix printer to Pica and RESET sets an HP compatible laser or ink jet printer to Pica.  CharterHouse's default matrix printer configurations expect the printer to emulate an IBM Proprinter (not any Epson printer).  Read your printer's manual to determine how to set it.  If you set your matrix printer to a non-IBM emulation, then you must also set NORMAL (use Master Menu <F2> 11 UTILITIES - PRINTER CONFIGURATIONS) so that it puts the printer into Pica mode.

For those of you who failed your high school typing class, Pica means "10 characters per inch horizontal by 6 lines per inch vertical".  Every matrix printer we have seen has buttons that can be used to set the horizontal but few have any such control for lines per inch, so configuration codes must be correct.

Most Canon inkjet printers behave as if they were matrix printers.  Guess what?  They don't print CharterHouse checks because our matrix form will not fit them.  You can use one for reports; try BJEP-N or BJEP-C if NORMAL or COMPRESS don't work.


When an aging does not reflect the true balance, you need to take some steps to make sure the data files are intact and that the dates in the Voucher file are correct.  The most common problem is a typographical error in either the INVOICE DATE or the DUE DATE (or both) field.  The next most common problem is in the CHECK DATE field.

Take these steps:

  1. Run a voucher list (<F6> 1) by Voucher Number for all vouchers with a period ending date set to December 31 of next year and including distributions.  Display the output.  Examine the first few vouchers to be sure that all is as expected.  Then go to the end of the report (<CTRL> <END>) and confirm that TOTAL VOUCHER AMOUNTS is identical to TOTAL DISTRIBUTIONS.  Note OPEN A/P END PERIOD TO DATE because it is the Accounts Payable balance.
  2. Run another voucher list, this time by Name of Vendor.  This time, display it.  Since you know from your adding machine tapes how much you owe each vendor, just scroll through the display checking the TOTAL FOR for each vendor until you find a discrepancy.  If you still can't find the problem, print the voucher list rather than display it and then confirm the detail transactions.
  3. Since paid vouchers remain in the system until a month end is performed, consider closing AP to reduce the volume of transactions you must deal with.  There is nothing to prevent you from fixing whatever is wrong and then closing again.  Or you could back up, close, find your error and then restore, fix and close.  If you close twice the same period, interface each time to General Ledger (if you use G/L).  Also be sure to set the closing dates correctly so your PERIOD END and NEXT PERIOD END dates are correct.
  4. If you suspect data file problems, or if listing the voucher file shows corruption, use file maintenance to delete corrupt records, then reindex VOUCHER.AP and EXPDIST.AP and reenter anything missing.
  5. Do not try to reconcile based on any prior period.  The vouchers in your fist are what is owed, and both AP and General Ledger need to reconcile to that balance.  Please remember, if it is paid, it is NOT owed - so it is not supposed to be in the aging.  Also remember, there is a difference between DUE DATE and INVOICE DATE.  To get a feel for what we are trying to say here, run the aging for a different date and see what happens to vouchers paid after the date you enter.

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