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NEW backup method implemented ....

We suggest that you print this out now and keep it. Then when you have a problem you can refer to your printed copy of this page. If you don't find the answer on your printed copy of this page then go back and look at the page on the internet as we may have updated it since you printed it. If you can see that we HAVE updated it and that there is more useful information on the page then you may like to print it again to update your printed copy.

Before printing the page you might like to click on the VIEW menu and then TEXT SIZE and then SMALLEST in order to automatically reduce the number of printed pages that it takes to provide a hard copy of this page.


Rent Master FAQ: (Frequently Asked Questions)


More General Frequently Asked Questions

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Information for New Users of Rent Master

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If you are a new user to Rent Master you need to read our Operator Notes which explain what various buttons do in the program, how to move around our screens and what keyboard shortcuts are available to be used. As well as the information below there is even more information under Further Info for New Users. Once you have read this information then follow this procedure to get up and running.

If it hasn't already been done for you save a copy of our RENTMSTR.MDB test database under another name on your hard disk using the SAVE DATABASE AS option from the FILE menu on the main screen in Rent Master. We suggest saving it as RENTxxxx.MDB where xxxx is the first four letters of your business name.

Click on the INITIALISE DATABASE option from the DATABASE menu to clear out all of our test data from your saved database. Then...

Normally you enter the information into the system as it was at the end of the previous month although if you are in the last half of the year it might be a good idea to enter the details as they were at the end of the previous financial year and re-process all of the data since then through Rent Master so that you have a complete year's history available. Hence you enter the tenant's paid to dates as they were at this time - not as they are now. If you are holding the tenant's bond then don't enter the bond amount when you enter the tenant as you will process a bond receipt to enter that information.

Once you have entered all of your information, printed it and checked it then you need to enter your opening balances. Because at the end of the month most landlords have a zero balance then you only need to enter sundry receipts for those landlord's who actually had a carry forward balances. If you were holding any sales deposits at the end of the last month then enter these as sundry receipts as well. If you were holding any bonds in your trust account at the end of the month then enter these as normal bond receipts.

Lets say that you last closed off the month on the 25th of July and that during the day on the 25th of July you received some rent over the counter but it didn't make it onto last month's statements. If this is the case then even though these receipts were received last month, they aren't entered as part of the opening balances but are posted as receipts in the new month.

When you've finished entering the receipts print a LANDLORD TRIAL BALANCE and make sure that the balances are all correct. If they aren't then correct them (see the FAQ section on this web-site for how to do this).

Once you are satisfied with the balances then close off the month AND the quarter AND the year so that Rent Master will then just show a brought forward balance and no Year-To-Date (YTD) totals.

It would be nice at this time to do a bank reconciliation. The problem is that at the end of last month (assuming that you weren't paying via EFT) you wrote out (say) 250 cheques to landlords, creditors and yourselves and sent them off and so on the first day of THIS month you had (say) 250 cheques outstanding. You could enter all of these into the Reconcile Bank screen to do a proper bank reconciliation but we'd suggest that you do your reconciliation manually for the first week until most of these cheques are cleared.

However if you don't have many outstanding cheques (especially if you previously paid via EFT) then you may want to enter all of the outstanding cheques and do a full bank reconciliation before you start using Rent Master live. See below for how to do this.

Then, one by one, enter the cheque numbers of the outstanding cheques into the CODE box at the top of the form. Then enter the cheque date

Now you can start entering rent receipts etc for the new month. be careful when entering rent receipts and make sure that the system shows the correct date range for which the rent receipt applies. If it doesn't then CLEAR the receipt, go into EDIT TENANT and correct the tenant details and then come back in and re-enter the receipt.

After a week the majority of those (say) 250 cheques from your previous month end will have been presented and so now you might only have 5 of them outstanding plus another 3 cheques that have been outstanding for some time previously. Now it would be opportune to add these outstanding cheques into the bank Reconciliation screen and do a computerised bank reconciliation.

To add them go to the Bank Reconciliation option from the MONTH END menu. You will be asked to enter the closing bank balance from your last bank statement first. Then click on the MAINTAIN button on the right of the Bank Reconciliation screen which enables you to add or to change existing cheque details. The caption on this button will then change to read FREEZE. Enter the cheque numbers (one by one) into the CODE box at the top of the screen and then enter the rest of the details (date, amount, Drawee etc) and if the cheque was for one landlord (eg if you used one cheque to pay council rates for 3 landlords this wouldn't be for ONE landlord) then enter the landlord, property and tenant codes and if the payment was to a creditor then enter the creditor code. Note that you don't HAVE to enter the landlord, property, tenant and/or creditor codes as long as you enter the date, amount and drawee.

To enter outstanding EFT payments into the system use "EFT001", "EFT002" etc instead of a cheque number. When you have finished entering each cheque's details click on the SAVE button at the top of the screen and when you have finished entering ALL of the outstanding cheques click on the FREEZE button and check the balance error in the box in the top right hand corner of the screen. If all is OK then the balance error should be ZERO. Note that the ACTUAL BALANCE is the balance that YOU entered in directly from the closing balance on your bank statement and the CALCULATED BALANCE is the sum of all of the other figures above it and this is what Rent Master believes that the bank balance SHOULD be.

Keep processing your receipts during the month and also enter any bills that come in from tradespeople (plumbers, gardeners etc) into the system using ENTER PENDING CREDITORS. To enter the bills in this fashion doesn't require any funds in the landlord's account. At the end of the month you can then choose to pay all of these automatically (assuming that there are now sufficient funds available). If there are insufficient funds to pay a bill for (say) a new hot water service then the system will automatically hold all of the landlord's money back from them until there are sufficient funds to pay the bill.

When you get to the end of the month then all you have to do is work your way down the month end menu. Do everything on the menu in the order in which it's on the menu and you're done. SIMPLE!

Where To Put Your RLA Number

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You can either put your RLA number into the first line of your address in the EDIT CONTROL DETAILS screen in which case it will automatically appear everywhere it is required because it will be part of your address or you can put it into the new RLA Number field in EDIT CONTROL DETAILS in which case you will also need to alter the header file for all of your letters.

To put it in the ADDRESS just go to the main Rent Master screen and click on the EDIT menu, then OTHER MASTER FILES and then CONTROL DETAILS. Enter something like (RLA: 123456) into the first line of your address and click on the SAVE button.

To put it in the RLA field just go to the main Rent Master screen and click on the EDIT menu, then OTHER MASTER FILES and then CONTROL DETAILS. The click on the OTHER OPTIONS button at the bottom of the form and look for the RLA NUMBER field underneath the receipt and statement message fields. Enter your RLA number into this box and click on the SAVE button. Note that you will have to have a program version dated 13-Aug-2008 or later for this to work so you should update your program from download.gosoftware.com.au/rent-upd.exe.

If you haven't altered the LETRHEAD.STD file (which formats the top of your letters) and so the top of your letters uses our standard letterhead format then you can just copy LETRHEAD.ZTD over the top of the LETRHEAD.STD file and your letters will all have the RLA on them. If you HAVE changed this file then you'll have to edit it yourself and add in the field [Control Details.RLA Number] wherever you want it to print. An example of what to do is shown below from our standard format ...

LETRHEAD.STD without RLA Number


  [FontSize:7]
  (If [Control Details.Company ACN] ne "")
    ACN: [Control Details.Company ACN]
  (endIf)
  (If [Control Details.ABN No] ne "")
     ABN: [Control Details.ABN No]
  (endIf)
  {Enter}

  [FontSize:7]
  (If [Control Details.Company ACN] ne "")
    ACN: [Control Details.Company ACN]
  (endIf)
  (If [Control Details.ABN No] ne "")
     ABN: [Control Details.ABN No]
  (endIf)
  (If [Control Details.RLA Number] ne "")
     RLA: [Control Details.RLA Number]
  (endIf)
  {Enter}

To edit this file go into the LETTER PRINTING screen and enter LETRHEAD.STD into the LETTER NAME box and either click on the EDIT LETTER button or onto the [?] button to the right of the box (or you can just edit it using the windows NOTEPAD - the file is in the C:\RentMstr\Letters folder).

Mid-Month Landlord Payments

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Some agents want to pay out some (or all) of the landlords at around the middle of the month as the landlords may have complained that rent paid monthly on the first day of the month stays in your trust account for a whole month. To do this you need to go into the EDIT LANDLORD screen and put a tick in the box marked INTERMEDIATE PAYMENTS. for all of the landlords who you want to pay. (Once it's been ticked it stays ticked so you don't have to do that part of the procedure every month.)

Then to pay the landlords you go into the EDIT menu and choose INTERMEDIATE LANDLORD PAYMENTS and the system will automatically pay the landlords what they are currently due. Your commission, postage & petties and any pending creditor amounts are automatically withheld from the landlord payments.

Now you just produce the bank diskette file and send it to the bank in the same way that you would at the end of the month. If you wanted to ALSO deduct your commissions at this stage you need to go into the end of month menu and do the PAY COMMISSIONS function. When you take the commissions again at the end of the month the system will take into account what has already been taken.

You may also wish to pay any pending creditors that are due where you have the funds to pay them. This is done exactly as you would at the end of the month by going into the PAY PENDING CREDITORS screen and processing as normal.

If you just want to pay ONE landlord then all you have to do is go into the Landlord Screen, bring up that landlord, click onto the BALANCES screen to see how much you can pay them. Then go into the EXPENSES POSTING screen, change to LANDLORD ONLY EXPENSE and then select Disbursement Code PAY:Landlord Payment and enter the date and amount that you want to pay the landlord and save the payment.

Remember that once you have processed all of the payments (Landlords and/or Commissions and/or Pending Creditors) you must go into the Month End Menu and Export the Bank Disk information and send it to your bank in order for the EFT payments to take effect.

DO NOT take the postage and petties mid-month as if you do the system will take the amounts again as part of the normal month end processing.

You may also choose to print any of the normal month end reports which you may useful at this time. Printing a report doesn't cause the loss of any information and so when you come to print the reports at the end of the month the reports will still include any data printed now as well as any other data entered between now and the normal month end.

Pay Pending Creditors

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You normally use this function as part of the month end process but you can use it at any time during the month as well if you need to. However you can only pay an invoice if there are sufficient funds in the landlord's account to enable this. You can choose to pay

To pay all invoices for all creditors and all landlords (which is what you normally do at the end of the month) then you just click on the AUTO PAY button.

To select invoices for one creditor or landlord either

Once you have selected the one landlord or creditor then you should see a list of outstanding invoices in the bottom half of the screen. Then you can either

If you click the AUTO PAY or DISTRIBUTE buttons then if there are sufficient funds to pay ALL invoices then all invoices will be selected. Otherwise the system will automatically select invoices that will reduce the total outstanding debt to the lowest level possible. Hence the system may pay 5 small invoices rather than one large invoice if this results in a lower residual debt than if the largest invoice was paid. The difference between the DISTRIBUTE/PAY buttons and the AUTO PAY button are that the AUTOPAY button affects ALL creditors and ALL landlords while the DISTRIBUTE and PAY buttons only affect the creditor or landlord whose details are currently on the screen.

Once the payments have ben recorded then you can write any cheques that you need to write and/or use the EFT function to upload payment details to you bank for payment via EFT in the same way that you normally do it at the end of the month.


Month End Processing

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To do your month end processing - just click on the MONTH END menu on the main Rent Master screen and then click on START MONTH END. This displays a new screen telling you that the menus have been changed to reflect the month end processing requirements - to do month end functions just click on the MONTH END menu AGAIN and you will see a whole lot of functions to do with processing the month end.

Once you have started your month end - any new receipts entered will NOT be posted against the tenant or appear in your reports until you have completed the month end process. See the Notes about this. However, Rent Master is a fully multi-user system and so while the month end processing is in progress other users can still be enquiring on (and even changing) information in the database so there is no need to stop other users from accessing the system while the month end is in progress. Other users should not be using the expenses processing function (and normally they would have no need to) during this time and, as mentioned before, any receipts entered will be "put on hold" until after the completion of the month end.

Now it's just a matter of following straight down the month end menu - doing everything on the menu in the ORDER THAT THEY APPEAR on the menu. If you don't have any holiday properties then you can skip anything to do with holiday properties and if you don't pass on FID and/or Bank Debits Taxes to the landlords then you obviously don't do that function either. There may be other functions that you don't do because it isn't applicable to the way you deal with your landlords and so you can skip any of the irrelevant options.

If you're a "greenie" and don't want to print your reports to paper then you can print them to PDF files and then you can view the PDF files at any time. To do this you need to install a "freeware" PDF printer driver and we recommend Cute PDF Writer. If you download this file and run it then you will have a new printer called Cute PDF Writer and if you select this to be your default printer (click on the printer icon on the toolbar at the top of the main Rent Master screen) then when you print a report the computer will ask you what you want to call the PDF file and where you want to save it. If you want to go one step further you can purchase Cute PDF Professional on-line for a modest price and you can use this to merge multiple PDF files into one document so that you could merge all of the month end reports (which would be individual PDF files) into one month end PDF file containing ALL of the reports.

You should be doing your bank reconciliation on a daily basis as you download the statements from your internet or on-line banking package. If you don't have internet banking then GET IT NOW! as it makes things MUCH simpler - and it's FREE! You should do the reconciliation before you start as you are going to add a whole lot of extra transactions into the database and it will be more difficult to find errors afterwards.

You should use the PRINT ALL PRELIMINARY REPORTS option as you should at least LOOK at each of these reports even if you don't physically print them out onto paper. The purpose of these reports is for you to glance over them to make sure that you haven't forgotten something REALLY obvious. You don't have to check EVERY line on EVERY report - but you should know roughly what the totals on each report should be and check them. YOU DON'T NEED TO KEEP THE PRELINARY REPORTS SO IF YOU PRINT THEM OUT - MARK THEM AS PRELIMINARY and keep them separate to the final reports. Check the Bonds held in trust and the Pending EFT and Pending Creditors reports. Check the Trial Balance and the Summary by Disbursement report.

If you notice any BALANCE ERRORS on ANY of the end of month reports - you need to investigate and correct these BEFORE continuing on with the month end process. These errors indicate that Rent Master has found a problem with your database (probably caused by a system crash) which MUST be corrected BEFORE you proceed. Click HERE for more information.

Have a set of disks especially for the end of month preliminary backup. You can use the same set of disks each month and overwrite last months details. Do a daily hard disk backup as well as it's quicker to restore a hard disk backup and it's more reliable. (See our Backup Notes Web page.)

If you have no holiday properties or don't take bonds for holiday properties then you don't need to do the Refund Holiday Bonds option. If you do have holiday properties then first deduct any amounts due from the holiday bonds and then the system can automatically send the remainder of the bonds back to the tenants via EFT.

If you aren't holding any bonds or you prefer to send off the bonds manually using EXPENSES POSTING and the TRI disbursement code then you don't need to do Send Bond Cheque To Tribunal although you should check that you AREN'T holding any bonds if you don't use the automatic function. If you choose this function then all bonds that you are currently holding in your trust account will be sent off to the tribunal UNLESS you have ticked the HOLD BOND tick box in the tenant screen. DO NOT DO THIS if the tribunal is going to automatically deduct the bonds from your trust account as otherwise you will end up paying the Tribunal twice!!

If there are no shortfalls (fees not able to be taken last month due to insufficient landlord funds) to draw then Draw Undrawn Expenses won't do anything so you should do it anyway. It only draws expenses payable to you that you should have received in a prior month but didn't due to insufficient funds.

You can Draw Letting Fees using this function or do it manually through the expenses posting or Pending Creditors functions. Normally you would set the LETTING FEE STYLE to T:BY TENANT START DATE in which case any tenants where the start date is between the displayed FROM DATE and TO DATE will be charged a letting fee according to the entry in the landlord file for that tenant. This is normally 2 weeks rent unless you have changed it manually. We have some agents who charge the letting fee when the old tenant vacates (not sure why) and others that charge a six monthly or annual letting fee regardless of whether the tenant has vacated or not (the theory behind this is that if the agent gets a good tenant who stays for a long time they are not penalised by missing out on regular letting fees while if they only manage to get tenants that stay for a few months then the landlord isn't penalised by passing lots of letting fees). To draw letting fees manually or through Pending Creditors make sure that you use the disbursement code LET which will automatically pay the letting fees to the AGENT creditor code.

The Draw Auto Expenses draws your Postage and Petties amount set in the Property File. Make sure that you use option "R:USE POSTAGE/PETTIES RATE" when you do this. If ALL of your properties get charged the SAME amount then you can use the option "P:By property" or option "L:By Landlord" to charge the same amount (which you need to enter - eg $5.00) to every landlord and/or property. Please check this screen shot to see typical settings for this function.

You can Draw Inspection Fees using this function or do it manually through the expenses posting or Pending Creditors functions. If you choose to use this function then all landlords with tenants whose inspection date falls between the FROM DATE and the TO DATE will be charged the letting fee which has been entered into the EDIT PROPERTY screen.

The Draw Selected Other Expenses can be used to draw all sorts of different expenses - try it out. You need to choose what type of expenses and whether it's by landlord, property or tenant and then just click on the landlords, properties or tenants that you want to charge.

Draw Selected Other Expenses can be used to pay Inspection Fees, Letting Fees, Renewal Fees, Water Supply Charges (must have a SAW creditor code for this) or other expenses. You can just enter the details at the top of the screen and then just click on the tenant/property/landlord for which you want the payment to be made. If you put a tick in the box marked Different Refs then the system will stop and ask for the creditors invoice number for each entry that you click on. It also enables you to change the amount and the due date for each payment as well if you tick the box.

In Calculate Creditors Payments you can just click on the AUTOPAY button and the system will pay everything that it possibly can automatically. You can choose to manually select (or deselect) items for payment if you use the DISTRIBUTE and PAY buttons instead. You can pay all of the council rates first and then let the system decide what else it can afford to pay. Once you have finished doing this then click on the AUTOPAY button to pay everything else that can be paid.

If you want to give priority to some creditors over other creditors then this can be done by following this procedure. First check the PENDING CREDITORS report that you printed during the preliminary reports. Highlight all invoices that you want to make sure that you pay. Then go into PAY PENDING CREDITORS and you can either enter a landlord code or a creditor code to display all of the outstanding payments due for that landlord or creditor. (To enter a landlord code instead of a creditor code first click the [LANDLORD] button on the right hand side and then enter the landlord code at the top of the page. To go back to entering a creditor code then click on the [CREDITOR] button on the right hand side.)

Once you have the outstanding invoices displayed click on the DISTRIBUTE button and the system will automatically determine what is the best mix of invoices to be paid (or will select them ALL to be paid if there are sufficient funds). If you are not happy with the list of payments then just double click on any invoice to change it's status from PAY to NOT PAY or back again until you ARE happy. Then click on the PAY button to pay all of those invoices which have been selected for payment.

Once you have finished paying your priority invoices then just click on the AUTOPAY button to pay the rest of those invoices that can still be paid.

Draw Agent Commission has got to be the MOST important function - don't forget this one. It is calculated automatically for you. If you wanted to draw this manually at any time then you can do so using EXPENSES POSTING and the disbursement code COM.

The isn't any more FID or BAD tax any more but Draw Fid/Bad Tax was used to automatically charge your landlords for the bank debits tax (BAD TAX - isn't ANY tax a BAD tax??)

You can Draw GST each month or only once a quarter. It's better to draw it each month, It gets paid to the creditor code "GST" which you can set up to be your general account, another suspense bank account or the ATO's bank account - or you can choose to print a cheque. It takes all of the GST due unless there are insufficient funds in which case any undrawn GST will be taken next month and the landlord trial balance will show you the undrawn GST in the right hand column. If you wanted to draw this manually at any time then you can do so using EXPENSES POSTING and the disbursement code COM.

OK, so now that you've got YOUR money it's time to Calculate Landlord Payments which will send the rest of the money to the landlords. It won't pay out on property sales though and if there are still pending creditor invoices for a landlord then it will hold back the amount of those invoices (or ALL of the funds - depending on which is the lesser amount).

If you have pre-printed computer cheques and you want to Print Cheques then do this - otherwise you can skip it.

If you are paying ANYONE by EFT then you must do the Bank Diskette. Click on the PREVIEW button to see what funds will be transferred, click on the EXPORT button to create a file to send to your bank and once you've exported the data then click on the PRINT button on EFT form to print a report of the bank transfers. See our other notes on EFT for more information on this.

When you export the bank diskette file you should ...

  1. Click on the EXPORT button to export the file
  2. Click on the PRINT button to print a copy of what was exported
  3. compare the totals of what was exported to what was on your pending eft report plus compare it with the amount that you would reasonably EXPECT to be exported.
  4. when you import it into your bank software the bank will tell you the value of debits and credits and you should compare these figures with what you think you should have exported.
  5. Only after you have done all this should you click on the PROCESS button (or whatever you have in your bank software) to actually make it happen.

You should print ALL of the Final Reports. We suggest that once you have printed them all you staple them all together (except the landlord statements) so that the complete set of reports for one month always remains together. We suggest filing the reports by month - not by report type. The reports BELOW the PRINT ALL REPORTS option are NOT printed automatically by this function but you may wish to print them also. If you choose the PRINT ALL REPORTS option and you normally print your reports directly to the printer without displaying them then all of the reports will be printed, one after the other, without you having to do anything other than ask for them all to be printed. However if you normally display the reports first then the system will display each report, one after the other, and you must then click on the printer icon at the bottom of the report to print it (unless you want to skip that report) and then close the report. Once you have done that then the next report will be displayed automatically.

You can Email Creditor Statements automatically for all creditors with an email address. This will tell them what they have been paid this month and also what is still outstanding due to insufficient funds. This should reduce the calls from them chasing up invoices. You can also simply print creditor statements and send them out in the mail rather than via email.

The MTD Agent Summary option looks at the Bank BSB and account numbers for your general account and then provides a list of all transactions that were paid via EFT into that account. The system automatically sorts and sub-totals the transactions by transaction type.

You need to Print Landlord Statements to send out PLUS a copy for yourselves. You can photocopy the one copy or print two copies on your printer. Those landlords with an email address can also automatically receive an emailed statement which they will receive quicker. There is a new option in the statement printing which enables you to print the statements in two separate runs. The first run (PRINT WITH NO EMAIL/FAX - OFFICE COPY) will print all statements with none sent by email or fax and then the second run (EITHER PRINT, FAX OR EMAIL - LANDLORD COPY) can either print, fax or email the statements according to the setting in each landlord's screen.

The Auto Update Of Dates function allows you to automatically add 3 months onto all inspection dates within the range that you nominate, or add 6 months onto rent review dates etc. In fact you can add any number of months onto the dates that you like. If you're not using these dates or prefer to update them manually then you can skip this function.

The Charge Tenants For Water Supply option was added to the month-end menu in May 2006. It enables you to automatically charge tenants the fixed quarterly water Supply Charge levied by the water supply authority. You are asked to enter the Disbursement Code to use (normally WAT), the amount of the charge and the date to use as the invoice date (normally today's date). Obviously you only do this once a quarter and not every month although you COULD charge one twelfth of the total ANNUAL supply charge each month rather than a quarter of the annual charge every 3 months. The system will then scan through the tenant file and identify all of the tenants who you have indicated are to be charged for water supply and charge these tenants the amount that you have entered. You identify which tenants pay the supply charge in the water charge list box in the EDIT TENANT screen. This can indicate Supply Only, Supply and all usage, Supply and Excess usage etc.

The Save Database As allows you to save a "snapshot" of your database as it is now so that you can go back and check data or reprint a report from that month. If you are short of hard disk space then skip this one - otherwise it's a good idea. It will save the database as RENTyymm.MDB where yy is the current year and mm is the current month (eg Rent0401.Mdb was made in January 2004) so it's easy to identify when the database copy was made.

The End Of Month BACKUP makes a copy of your database onto ZIP disks, floppy disks or CDROMS. You should keep a copy of the end of month backup for each month for 5 years. See our Backup Notes for more information.

The Clear EFT File function should only be done once you have confirmation from your bank that you EFT funds have bee processed successfully - make sure that you clear it before the next month end though as otherwise the landlords will receive this months money again as well as next months!!!!

The Close Month function actually deletes all of the current month transactions and clears the Month-To-Date totals so that you are ready to start processing next month's data. You can also use this to close off the Quarter (in June, September, December and March) and the financial year (in June NOT DECEMBER). Don't close off the month at the end of your AUDIT period - do it at the end of June each year.

End of Financial Year Procedures

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To do your year end processing - just process your month end as normal
EXCEPT
BEFORE you actually close off the month (the last item on the month end menu) you need to print the YTD summary landlord statements PLUS any other YTD reports that you may require for your auditors. We can't tell you which reports to print because this varies with who your auditor is. The normal month end reports should be sufficient in any case.

Some agents charge their landlords for providing a YTD Summary statement. You can do this from the month end menu by choosing the SELECTED OTHER EXPENSES option. Select your disbursement code first, then expense type is FIXED EXPENSE and select by LANDLORDS. The creditor is AGENT and then enter the amount that you wish to charge and click the SELECT ALL button. You can then go and double click on any landlords in the displayed list that you DON'T want to charge in order to clear them from the list.

The YTD Summary landlord statements are printed via the normal landlord statement screen. To print your statements you have the following settings.

Normal Monthly Statements
TypeDetails Only
MTD/QTD/YTDNormal Monthly Statements
Print Inactive LandlordsNOT Ticked
YTD Statements
TypeSummary Only
MTD/QTD/YTDYTD Statements
Print Inactive LandlordsTicked

The YTD reports that you MAY like to print can be accessed from the YTD Reports on the normal Reports menu from the main screen in Rent Master. Note that many of these are VERY long reports so preview them first and only print them if you really need them.

In addition you need to make sure that you save your database to your hard disk and to floppy disk PRIOR to the month end close-off.
First note down the name of your current database which is in the Rent Master title bar at the top of the screen. It should be something like C:\RENTMSTR\RENTNAME.MDB (where NAME is replaced by a code related to the name of your business).
To save the Year End database choose SAVE DATABASE AS from the FILE menu on the main screen and save the database using the name 2003June.Mdb (assuming that it's the 2003 year) or some other similar name. Then backup this database to floppy disk, zip disk, LS-120 disk or CD and mark the disk "June 2003 Year End Backup". Once you've done this then use SELECT NEW DATABASE from your FILE menu to change back to your normal database BEFORE you close off the month.

How Do You Do Month End Payments in Mid Month

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There are some transactions that you normally process at the end of the month. These are calculated automatically for you by Rent Master to make it easier but what happens if you need to make one of these payments in the middle of the month. It's not a problem at all as ALL of the automatic payments can be made manually through the expenses posting program. There isn't anything tricky about them.

The payments we are referring to might include

DisbDisbursement Description
TRISend Bonds to the Tribunal
LETCharge Letting Fees
RENCharge Renewal Fees
INSCharge Inspection Fees
COMCharge Management Commission
FIDCharge FID/BAD Tax (no longer required)
GSTDeduct the GST Amounts
PAYPay The Landlords

All you need to do is go into the Expenses Posting screen, bring up the relevant property and tenant and using the disbursement code above enter the details of the payment. For the bonds you need to enter the creditor code for the Tribunal but for the rest of the payments the system already knows who to pay it to and there is no need to enter a creditor code.

The only problem that you'll have is calculating the payment amount. You will have to work this out manually. In the case of the landlord payments you need to make sure that you leave enough money in the account for commissions and GST unless you have already deducted these.

If you pay letting fees, renewal fees or inspection fees manually during the month then DO NOT process them automatically at the end of the month or you will end up doubling up on the amounts that have already been taken. Commissions, GST and Landlord Payments can be calculated automatically at the end of the month with no problems as Rent Master takes into account any mid-month payments when these calculations are done at month end.

The other type of payment that you may wish to make might be to pay a pending creditor invoice. You can do this by going into the PAY PENDING CREDITORS screen, bringing up the landlord or creditor that you wish to deal with and manually clicking on the item that you want to pay. In fact you can safely do an automatic payment of all the pending creditors as it will only pay out those creditors that can be paid without overdrawing the landlord accounts and without affecting your commissions etc. If you do this then all of the creditors who can be paid will just be paid earlier than otherwise.

If you need to pay a creditor urgently and you have not already entered them into Pending Creditors then DON'T DO IT! Instead just go into Expenses Posting and enter the details directly. This pays them in one step instead of two steps.

Once you have made the payments that you wish to make then you need to determine if any of them are to be made via EFT and if so you need to go into the bank Diskette screen, export the information, import it into your banking software, send them to the bank and then (when the payments have appeared on your bank statements) clear the pending EFT file.

By following these steps you can make ANY payment at ANY time. You can also refund rent or bond to tenants and other types of payments. To refund to a tenant you DO NOT need to add them as a creditor. There are specific disbursement codes for making a payment to a tenant for expenses incurred (TPY), for refunding excess rent (RRF), for refunding bond to them which hasn't been sent to the tribunal (BRF) etc. Please look at all of the disbursement codes available to you before you jump in and use an incorrect code. They are all very self explanatory.

End of Month is in Progress! Reset It?

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Whenever you attempt to perform any of the functions from the month end menu in Rent Master the system will ask you whether this is the start of your month end process. If you answer YES to this then the month end flag is set so that the system knows that the month end is in progress.

If you start up Rent Master and you get a message that the month end flag is set - do you want to reset it then the system is warning you that the month end process has been started and asking you whether you want to reset this and stop the month end process (or not). If you ARE in the middle of your month end process then you would answer NO to this message. If you had previously started the month end process by mistake then you would answer YES to this question.

So what difference does this make anyway? When the month end flag is set you can continue to process receipts in the system (eg the front desk can still take receipts while the back office is doing the month end). The receipts entered during this time will NOT be processed against the tenant and will NOT appear on this month's statements. If this were to happen then you could have some month end reports printed prior to these receipts and other month end reports printed after the receipts and hence not balancing.

When the month end is completed (or you reset the flag when you start up the program) then all receipts entered during the month end process will be posted against the tenants automatically. If you have only one computer using Rent Master and you don't enter any receipts during the month end process then the month end flag has no effect on the system at all.

Printing Reports from Prior Months

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The process required to print a report from a prior month depends on whether you save a copy of your database before you close off each month.

As part of the month end process there is an option to SAVE DATABASE AS which allows you to make a hard disk copy of your database before you close off. The database is normally called RENTyymm.MDB where yy is the year and mm is the month (eg for June 2002 the database would be called RENT0206.MDB). If you are doing this (and you should be) then it's simply a matter of clicking on the SELECT NEW DATABASE option from the FILE menu on the main screen in Rent Master and opening this database. Then print the report that you want as normal. Don't forget to return back to your main database again (via the same method) before you start entering any new data.

If you aren't saving your database each month using the method described above then you need to restore your floppy disk based backup from the month end concerned. This will overwrite your current database though so you need to do the following....

For more information about backing up and restoring read the backup notes on this web site.

Re-Printing Receipts

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The trust account legislation now says that you no longer have to print/write a receipt at the time of receipt as long as you can reprint one later with all of the correct information on it. Rent Master allows you to do this.

The transaction details are normally cleared out at the end of the month but there is a copy of them stored in the YTD Transaction file until the end of the financial year when they are also cleared. However ALL receipts are stored in the tenant receipt file - even after the end of the financial year close off. They only get deleted from THIS file when the tenant or landlord is actually purged from the system. In the case of Sales Receipts - they get purged from the system when the sale details are purged from the system. Now this normally happens as part of the end of financial year close off if the tenant/landlord/sale is no longer active.

In any event the end of year backup copies that you make can be used to go back and reprint any reports and/or receipts for tenants, properties, landlords, creditors or sales info that may have been purged from the current copy of your live database.

To print (or reprint) a tenant receipt just go into the EDIT TENANT screen and bring up the relevant tenant. Then click on the PRINT RECEIPTS button. You then have options to print ONE receipt (by entering the receipt number) or a range of receipts (by date) or all receipts which have not been printed previously or even all receipts for this tenant. You can't print all unprinted receipts for ALL tenants - you have to do them on a tenant by tenant basis.

Now, to print a receipt for a property sale you go into the EDIT LANDLORD screen and bring up the data for that sale. Click on the FILE menu and then the PRINT RECEIPT option and you then have similar options to print receipts as you do for tenants.

  1. Click on the FILE Menu
  2. Click on SETUP PRINTERS
  3. Change FORMSTYLE for receipts to NEW A4 STYLE (if you normally don't print receipts otherwise leave it as it is)
  4. Change the RECEIPT PRINTER to be whatever printer you want to use
  5. Click on the SAVE button
  6. Click on the EXIT button
  7. Click on the TENANT Icon
  8. Enter the Property and Tenant codes
  9. Click on the PRINT RECEIPTS button
  10. You can then select from one of MULTIPLE, ALL, UNPRINTED, ONE, NUMBER, DATE RANGE or NONE
  11. If you only want to print one receipt select ONE
  12. You will then get shown a list of receipts
  13. Double click on the receipt that you want to print
  14. Exit the tenant screen
  15. If you normally print receipts then you're done otherwise ...

  16. Click on the FILE Menu
  17. Click on SETUP PRINTERS
  18. Change the RECEIPT PRINTER to be NONE: No Printing (the printer name will be cleared)
  19. Click on the SAVE button
  20. Click on the EXIT button

Balancing Your Trust Account

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If you've read the other notes on Balancing your Bank Account and you are still unsure of where to start - here are some suggestions.

If the balance error originally occurred prior to the current month and you haven't been able to sort it out yet then you can use the same procedure as below EXCEPT that you print a YTD CHEQUE LIST instead of a monthly cheques list. You might also like to print the MTD Balancing Helper from the HTML Queries menu under the main inquiry menu. This is similar to the cheques to be written but in a different format (HTML). Once the report has been displayed in Internet Explorer (look in the address bar at the top to find out the name of the file that it is stored in (usually C:\RentMstr\MTD-BAL.php) and you can then open this file in Excel if you like and use Excel to help in your search for the elusive balancing error.

If the balance error only occurred this month and last month was OK then the first thing that you need to do is print the CHEQUES TO BE WRITTEN report and the UNPRESENTED CHEQUES LIST. The CHEQUES report will consolidate all entries with the same cheque number into one line showing the cheque number, date and amount and will print the list in cheque number sequence. All EFT transfers will be consolidated into one total for each transfer date. Read through your bank statements and tick off on the bank statement and the report every cheque amount that matches on both reports. Once you've done this then you may find

  1. One or more cheques which aren't on the Cheques report but which are on the bank statement. These cheques are either for the previous month or they haven't been entered into Rent Master. Check to see whether they are prior month transactions and whether the amount is correct and if so then you can tick them off on the bank statement as being OK. These cheques should appear on your unpresented cheque list from the end of last month - make sure that the amounts are the same and if they are then you can safely tick that entry off the bank statement.

  2. One or more cheques appear on the report but they aren't on the bank statement. This means that they are either on the un-presented cheque list or they have been presented when they shouldn't have been. If you've presented a cheque in error (and updated the list) then you can add it back into the un-presented list again easily (Don't just post it again using expenses posting) There is a MAINTAIN button on the right hand side of the RECONCILE BANK form. If you click this button then you can just enter the details of the cheque in the boxes at the top of the form and click on the SAVE button to add it back into the list of unpresented cheques.

  3. The amounts on the report differ from the amounts on the bank statement. This is usually because you wrote the cheque out (or entered the details into Rent Master) for the wrong amount or the wrong cheque number. Another possibility is that you have entered two cheques with the same cheque number when you shouldn't have. See Correcting Transactions below.

  4. The bank statement doesn't add up. Don't laugh - it's actually happened on a bank statement that we saw from Bank-SA when they first started their Internet Banking facility.

Another thing to check is the EFT transfers. When you export the bank diskette you are supposed to also print a report of what was exported. This report is generated from the actual export file and so this IS what gets sent to your bank. Check the amounts of what was transferred according to these reports and compare the amounts with the amounts on the bank statements. if you find any differences then this is where your problem will lie. Even if they are the same check to see what is in the list and make sure that you don't have the same payment (or group of payments) on more than one list. If you entered some payments, exported the disk file and sent the file to the bank but then DID NOT clear the pending EFT file and then you entered some more payments, exported the disk file and sent it to the bank and THEN cleared the pending EFT file then you would have the first lot of payments sent to the bank twice but only recorded in Rent Master once.

Another common problem is that you process some payments, FORGET to export the bank diskette and send the bank a previous bank disk file which means that the previous payments were processed twice and the current payments were not processed at all. we have had agent send last month's payments this month on a few occasions. This will mean that some landlords get paid too much and others too little or not at all and the same for your creditors. You should be checking each time you import the bank diskette file into your internet banking or other bank software to make sure that what you imported was what you MEANT to import - if not then cancel the transfer in your bank software rather than let an incorrect payment authority go through.

If you still haven't found your balancing error then it must be in the receipts. Check your copy of your bank deposit slips against the bank statement and make sure that there are no deposits showing on the bank statement for which you don't have a bank deposit slip. Make sure that the amounts are correct. Even if the tenant put the money directly into your bank account it will still print out on the second page of your banking slip for the day (if you entered it into Rent Master). Make sure that you don't have a ban deposit slip which isn't on the bank statement (unless it's from today and hasn't been banked yet in which case it should appear on the unpresented cheques list as an unpresented deposit. There is also a Daily Banking Summary Report which will show you the amounts that you banked each day so print this and check it against your bank deposit slips and bank statements.

If you have had a corrupted database and you have successfully repaired it then SOMETIMES it hasn't been totally repaired correctly. We have seen situations where the links in the database have been corrected and yet some information may have been deleted during the repair process. This is rare but it has happened. You will usually notice this by the landlord's statements not balancing and/or error messages appearing on the transaction and/or transaction summary reports. If this happens first print a trial balance, then an unpresented cheques list and then a transaction summary by disbursement. Then run the FIX YTD BALANCES option from the FIX menu and reprint the reports. Note any changes between the two sets of reports and this will tell you where to look for any missing transactions.

Sometimes after running a FIX YTD BALANCES the system will change the YTD brought forward balances for one or more landlords. This only occurs if there are missing transactions for those landlords (as a result of an incomplete database repair). Note that if you look at the final landlord balances for the trial balance done at the end of the previous financial year (30th June) then these MUST be the same as the YTD B/Fwd Balances for the same landlords on ANY trial balance for the current financial year. If you look at ANY trial balance for the current financial year then these balances MUST not change. If they HAVE changed then this is where your problem may be and you first need to correct the landlord MTD, QTD and YTD B/Fwd balances in order to balance your trust account.

More Information

A full bank reconciliation consists of:-
  1. Landlord Trial balance (total of Rent Trust Account)
  2. List of bonds held in trust (total of Bond Trust Account)
  3. List of pending EFT's (EFT payments which haven't yet been sent to the bank.)
  4. List of unpresented cheques (cheques sent out but not yet banked by their recipients)
  5. List of unprinted cheques (Only if you print cheques - cheques which have been entered but not yet printed)
  6. List of undeposited receipts (receipts which haven't been printed on a bank deposit slip yet)
If your bank reconciliation doesn't balance then check the figures in the top right hand corner of the Reconcile Bank Screen. The meaning of these figures is explained below...

AmountDescription
Trust Rent This is the total of all of the Landlord Balances (see the total of the CURRENT BALANCE column on the Landlord Trial Balance. You need to check each of the landlords to make sure that the balance shown is their correct balance and also that their MTD B/Fwd balance is the same as their closing balance at the end of last month and that their YTD B/Fwd balance is the same as their closing balance at the end of the last financial year. Fortunately for you most landlords will have zero balances at the end of each month as so the B/Fwd balances are easy to check.
Trust Bond This is the total of all of the bonds held in trust (see the Bonds Held In Trust Report). If you are not holding any bonds in your trust account then this should be zero. Make sure that you are correctly showing the bonds held for each tenant.
Pending EFT This is the total of all amounts due to be paid via Electronic Funds Transfer which haven't been sent to the bank yet (or they've been sent to the bank but you haven't received confirmation from the bank that they have been processed and so you haven't cleared the EFT file yet. If you don't have any pending payments then this should be zero. See the Pending EFT Report. If you have a negative amount in this figure then this means that you have processed a reversal correction. If this was to correct the actual amount that was sent to the bank previously then you should clear the EFT file to get rid of this amount as you can't send a negative EFT amount to the bank. If this negative amount is for commission overcharged by you then you could leave the negative amount there as this will just reduce the next commission amount that you get.
Unpresented This is a list of all cheques (and deposits) which haven't yet appeared on your bank statements. See the Unpresented Cheques List Note that you MUST present all reversals in order to balance. Transactions in this list MUST be valid transactions which haven't yet appeared on your bank statements but which WILL appear on there when they are processed by your bank. If there are transactions in this list which are NEVER going to be processed by your bank because they are just corrections that you have entered into the system then you MUST present them in order to balance.
UnPrinted If you are using Rent Master to print cheques then this is a list of cheques where the expense has been entered but the cheque has not been printed yet. If you are NOT printing cheques then this should be zero. The cheque numbers will be replaced by the word CHEQUE - see the Unprinted Cheques Report. If you are NOT printing cheques and this figure is NOT zero then you need to go to the month end menu and select the cheque printing option to print these unprinted cheques at which time cheque numbers will be allocated to them (just print them onto blank paper). Then turn cheque printing OFF by going into the FILE menu from the main screen and selecting SETUP PRINTERS and setting the cheque printer to 0:No Printing
UnDeposited This is the total of receipts which haven't yet appeared on a bank deposit slip and so the system assumes that they haven't been banked yet. See the Bank Deposit Slip. Make sure that all receipts have been correctly entered and that there are no receipts on this list which have already been banked. You may need to print and clear the bank deposit slip report before you can balance.
Calculated Balance This is the total of the Trust Rent plus the Trust Bond plus the Pending EFT Plus the Unpresented Plus the UnPrinted less the UnDeposited. Check this on the Reconcile Bank Screen and make sure that these totals agree with the reports that you have just printed as suggested above.
Actual Balance This should be your current bank balance which you have entered manually after looking at your latest bank statement.
Balance Error This is the difference between the two (calculated and actual) figures above. If they are different then one (or more) of the other figures MUST ALSO be incorrect. You need to print the reports suggested and check all of the figures on these reports to identify which figure is incorrect. Check this on the Reconcile Bank Screen.

So before doing any of the automatic fixes (such as the FIX YTD BALANCES) provided by the system you should follow this procedure.

  1. Print reports to show you all of the details above (some might be zero so you won't need a report). Mark these reports as PRIOR with a Biro.
  2. Then do the FIX YTD BALANCES
  3. Then print reports to show you all of the details above again. Mark these reports as AFTER with a Biro.
Now, if there are any differences between the totals on each of these reports you can see exactly what the differences are by comparing the before and after reports.

If the YTD B/FWD balances have changed on the trial balance then you'll need to modify these in the balances screen in EDIT LANDLORD to correct them again as these balances CANNOT change during any financial year as they are the closing balances for the previous financial year. Eg if the PRIOR YTD B/FWD balance for a landlord was $45.67 and now it's $54.43 then the difference is -$8.76 so you will need to subtract $8.76 from all three B/Fwd balances on the landlord screen (MTD, QTD & YTD B/FWD).

If there are any differences in the bonds held in trust you'll need to correct these in the EDIT TENANT screen.

Once you've fixed the landlords balances and tenants bond balances then run a FIX YTD BALANCES again and check that the balances are now (still) correct. Hopefully this should all work out OK.

Another check is that the MTD B/FWD balances on these AFTER reports (TRIAL BALANCE) should also be the same as the CLOSING BALANCES on last month's trial balance.

Correcting Transactions

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Where you have entered a transaction incorrectly there is an easy way to correct the entry. The same process can be used to reverse a rent receipt due to the tenant's cheque bouncing etc.

To reverse a receipt

  1. Go into the receipt's posting screen.
  2. Bring up the property and tenant concerned,
  3. Click on the REVERSE RECEIPT button (if you are using an old version of Rent Master without that button then click on the REVERSE RECEIPT option from the FILE MENU (and download a free program update from our downloads page).
  4. Double click on the transaction that you want to reverse
  5. The transaction will be displayed for you back on the receipts screen EXCEPT that the amount will now be negative! Change the description by adding the reason WHY you are reversing the receipt.
  6. Click on the SAVE button to save the reversal.
  7. You may need to print and clear the Bank Deposit Slip and check the Bank Reconciliation screen to make sure that you still balance with the bank account.

Note that if the transaction that you are reversing was in a prior financial year then you won't be able to use this method of correcting the transaction (the prior month is normally OK). Under these circumstances you will need to just enter the details into the system EXACTLY as they appeared for the original entry. You should have the same receipt number, amount (except negative) and date as the original entry and then save the transaction as normal as the reverse receipt function just saves you typing the details into the system.

Note that the reverse expense option doesn't do anything tricky - all it does is save you manually typing the same information. It copies all of the information from the original transaction EXCEPT that the amount is negative and it has "reversal of" added to the front of the description. If you reverse an entry which was reversing a previous entry then this is the same as if you were entering the information into the system again - exactly as you first entered it. It is the same as the reversed entry EXCEPT that the amount is now positive again and the words "reversal of" are removed from the front of the description.

To reverse an expense you do EXACTLY the same thing except that you do it in the EXPENSE POSTING screen and you click on the REVERSE EXPENSE button. Note that if you are reversing a landlord payment then these are normally processed by the system as LANDLORD ONLY expenses - with no property and tenant code associated with them and so they need to be reversed as LANDLORD ONLY expenses as well.

Sometimes you may need to reverse out an entry like your commission or the GST etc where the amount on the cheque is made up of lots of different smaller amounts. How do you reverse these if the payment didn't go through for some reason. One way would be to restore a backup done prior to processing the payments. Another way would be to individually reverse out every single entry. The other way would be to reverse out the WHOLE amount as a single transaction against ONE landlord. This would need to be entered manually as you couldn't use the REVERSE EXPENSE option to do it. Lets say that you sent the GST to the ATO on cheque number 000123 for $6,500.00 but the cheque was lost in transit and you need to cancel it an issue another cheque. You can just put in another entry for cheque 000123 with an amount of minus $6,500.00 using the same date as the original cheque but to one landlord (any landlord would do). The you can re-enter the details for a new cheque 000145 for the full amount of $6,500 against that same landlord. Now that landlord has a two entries whose amounts cancel out and so there is no effect to the landlord's balance. An inquiry on cheque 000123 would show a list of positive transactions plus one negative transaction with a grand total of $0.00 while an inquiry on cheque 000145 would show the correct amount for the GST on that cheque. In the description of these transactions you can explain what you have done and why so that your auditors can follow it easily.

When you process expenses there are several things that you need to be aware of. If there is no ABN entered against the creditor then the system will withhold 48.5% from the creditor's payment which you need to send to the ATO. If you later find that the the creditor has an ABN and you don't want to hold back the 48.5% you must reverse the transaction with NO ABN as well otherwise the reversal will not reverse the 48.5% withholding amount. So to correct such a transaction you need to first check whether you have already entered the ABN and if so, make a note of it and then delete it. Then reverse the transaction and then go into EDIT CREDITOR and enter their ABN and then process the transaction again. There are BIG penalties for not handling the lack of an ABN correctly so you need to also read about Creditors with No ABN.

If the system paid a creditor by cheque when it should have been paid by EFT (or vice versa) then you have to be careful when you attempt to correct this as well. The system will only make a payment via EFT if the creditor (or landlord) has a valid Bank BSB code entered and you have also entered a bank account number for them AND their payment flag is set to EFT. If any one or more of these conditions is not met then the payment will be recorded as a cheque. Hence to reverse a cheque and pay it via EFT you have to do the reversal with the payment method set to CHEQUE and then enter the correct bank details and set the flag to EFT before re-processing the transaction. If you enter the correct bank details before you reverse the payment then the cheque will be reversed as an EFT instead of as a cheque.

So, be very careful when you are reversing transactions to make sure that you are reversing what you want to reverse.

Reversing Cheques made up of Multiple Transactions

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What happens if you need to cancel and re-issue a cheque to a creditor where the original cheque covered payments from many different properties.

You could reverse out every single transaction for every property and then re-enter them with the new cheque number but while that's OK for only 3 or 4 transactions per cheque that would be very tedious for 20 or 30 transactions.

So, instead ...
You first need to have a landlord code to use as a suspense account through which you can do these sorts of adjustments without them appearing on a real landlord's statement. If you haven't got a suspense account already then create a landlord using the code SUSPEN and call it suspense account. You don't need to create a property or tenant for this landlord.

Then enter an expense transaction against this landlord (as a landlord only expense) with the same details as the total original cheque EXCEPT that the amount will be negative. Assume that there were originally three transactions as shown below

ChqNoL/LordAmountCreditorDate
123456SMITH134.56PLUMCO01/12/2011
123456BROWN353.78PLUMCO01/12/2011
123456JONES215.29PLUMCO01/12/2011
123456TOTAL103.63PLUMCO01/12/2011

You enter a transaction for -103.63 for landlord SUSPEN so that you end up with

ChqNoL/LordAmountCreditorDate
123456SMITH134.56PLUMCO01/12/2011
123456BROWN353.78PLUMCO01/12/2011
123456JONES215.29PLUMCO01/12/2011
123456SUSPEN-103.63PLUMCO01/12/2011
123456TOTAL0.00PLUMCO01/12/2011

Then you can process another cheque for $103.63 with a new cheque number from the SUSPEN landlord account for the same creditor but with today's date.

ChqNoL/LordAmountCreditorDate
456789SUSPEN103.63PLUMCO01/12/2011
456789TOTAL103.63PLUMCO01/12/2011

The net result of the two new transactions will put money into the suspense account and then take it out again so it won't affect your trust account balance. You need to PRESENT the original cheque (which should now appear on the bank reconciliation screen with a ZERO amount) and you should see the new cheque number there in it's place.

Changing Existing Cheque/Receipt Numbers

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If you have entered cheques or receipts with the wrong cheque or receipt numbers then you can change these as well without having to reverse them and re-enter them. There are two ways to do this. The first way changes only ONE transaction at a time and the second way can change many transactions at a time (so do a backup first).

To change one transaction

  1. Click on the Fix Menu
  2. Click on the Fix Menu again
  3. Choose CHANGE CODES
  4. Choose CHEQUE/RECEIPT NUMBER
  5. Enter the current cheque or receipt number
  6. Click on OK
  7. Double click on the transaction that you want to change when you are shown a list of matching transactions
  8. Enter the number that you want to change it to
  9. Click on OK
This will change the one transaction that you selected to the new number. Note that if you have ten transactions all with the same cheque number on them then this method only changes ONE of those transactions - not all of them. To change all of them in on hit or to change a range of cheque numbers to a new range of cheque numbers then you need to use the BULK method.
  1. Click on the Fix Menu
  2. Click on the Fix Menu again
  3. Choose CHANGE CODES
  4. Choose BULK CHEQUE/RECEIPT NOS
  5. Choose whether this is a cheque (enter the letter Q) or a receipt (enter the letter R)
  6. Enter the first number in the range of numbers to change
  7. Enter the last number in the range of numbers to change (may be the same as the first number)
  8. Enter the number to change them by (ie enter 3 to add 3 to the current numbers or - 4 to take 4 off the current numbers)
  9. Click on OK
Now Rent Master will automatically change the numbers for you. If you chose to change receipts from 103 to 110 by 4 then receipts 103 to 110 will now be receipt 107 to 114. But if you chose to change cheques 123 to 456 to be changed by -23 then you will now have cheques 100 to 433 in your system. If you have one cheque with lots of transactions combined to make it's total value and you want to change only that cheque (but all of it's part transactions) then the from and to cheque numbers would be the same number.

Posting EFT receipts from unknown persons

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Some times you will find deposits on your bank statements with no indication as to WHO deposited the funds. This occurs when a tenant forgets to tell their bank teller what their EFT ID is or when the bank tellers are too lazy to enter the details. So what do you do with this money? You MUST receipt it into Rent Master otherwise you won't be able to reconcile to your bank statement. But which account do you post it to?

You need to create a new landlord account with the landlord name of "SUSPENSE ACCOUNT". You don't need to create a property or tenant for this landlord (and you shouldn't do so). Make sure that you enter $9,999.00 as the withhold amount for this landlord otherwise the system may try to pay the money out of their account during your month end processing. (You MUST enter $9,999.00 as this means withhold EVERYTHING).

Now, when you receive funds from an unknown person do a sundry "landlord only" receipt to the suspense account for the amount of each unknown deposit showing the correct date. At some time in the future (normally after you send a tenant an arrears notice) the tenant concerned will tell you that they put their rent into your account on such-and-such a day and so you can identify that the deposit WAS their rent. Then you go into the receipts screen and choose "landlord only" receipt, bring up the suspense account, click on REVERSE RECEIPT and reverse out the relevant sundry receipt. Before you save this reversal enter the tenant's property code (and any other useful info) into the details so you know why you reversed this entry.

Now enter the rent into the correct tenant as you would normally. Make sure that you enter the SAME DATE as the original receipt and mention in the details that it was originally an unidentified receipt. Doing things this way leaves a good audit trail to follow.

Posting receipts from people other than Landlords or Tenants

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If you receive money from a landlord (eg to pay into their account to help cover a bill) then you can do a LANDLORD ONLY receipt in the same way that you'd do a tenant receipt. You just select LANDLORD RECEIPT at the top of the screen, enter your landlord code and enter the details of the receipt. Note you can't enter a rent or bond receipt in this fashion as you need a tenant for these types of receipt so you must use a sundry receipt disbursement code.

If you receive money from the tribunal from a bond refund etc then you should enter this as a normal tenant receipt as the money is, in reality, coming FROM the tenant VIA the tribunal. Money held by the tribunal is the tenant's money held in trust. In the DETAILS you can add some information indicating that the money came via the tribunal.

If you receive some money from someone else other than a landlord or a tenant or the tribunal then just enter either a landlord, property or tenant receipt (doesn't matter which) but in the details enter who it was actually from and why and this should be sufficient to keep your auditor's happy.

What to do if the Tribunal Deducts the Bonds Directly from Your Trust Account

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You need to setup the tribunal with their bank account details using the creditor code OCBATB but set their payment type to DIRECT WITHDRAWAL and not CHEQUE or EFT. Then when they deduct the funds from your trust account you can process an expense using disbursement code TRI to the OCBATB creditor for the amount withdrawn from your account. If they draw bonds for multiple tenants then you have to process multiple expenses (one for each tenant). These type of expenses are treated in a similar way to EFT transactions except that no EFT instruction is generated to be sent to your bank because the funds have already gone out of your account.

Cancelling Old (Stale) Cheques

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Normally to cancel a cheque you can use the automatic REVERSE EXPENSE option in expenses posting.

However, for a really old cheque it's details won't be in the YTD transactions file and so you can't do this.

All the reverse expense function does is copy the exact details of an old cheque back onto the screen EXCEPT that the amount is negative - everything else is the same as it was when it was first entered. PLUS you should add the reason why you are cancelling the cheque to the end of the description.

So to reverse a stale cheque just enter the cheque details using the original cheque number, original date, original amount (but negative) etc and save it. That puts the money back into the trust account as far as Rent Master is concerned. Then you just re-issue the cheque on a new cheque number as normal to pay the person. If the cheque was to a landlord then you can just leave the money in the trust account without writing the new cheque as they will get the money at month end anyway.

You may find that the negative cheques end up on the Bank Reconciliation list if the original cheque wasn't there. If the original cheque WAS on the Reconcile Bank screen then the amount should now be ZERO so you can present the ZERO amount so that the cheque details will be deleted from the unpresented cheque listing.

Correcting/Deleting Pending Creditors and/or Tenant Invoices

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To change or delete pending creditors or tenant invoices all you have to do is bring up the existing entry, change it and save it (or delete it). To bring up an entry you need to ....

Tenant, Property or Landlord Transactions?

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There isn't much difference between these transactions. Normally you should ALWAYS process both receipts and expenses as TENANT receipts or expenses. The exceptions to this would be that landlord payments (disbursement code PAY) are normally done by the system as landlord only expenses. Also if you didn't have a current tenant for a property then you'd have to process any expenses as property only as there isn't a tenant code to use.

Where you are entering details of sales deposits and sales commission into the system you create a landlord for each property sale (use either the vendor OR the purchaser name as the landlord name) and tick the PROPERTY SALE ONLY box in the landlord screen. You can't enter a property or a tenant for these landlords and so any receipts and expenses have to be landlord only entries.

So basically the difference is really whether you enter the transaction using the property AND tenant code, the property code ONLY or the landlord code ONLY. This also affects where the transaction prints on the statement as well because landlord only transactions print at the bottom of the statement after all of the tenant related transactions have been printed.

What to do if a tenant deducts an expense from their rent

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Sometimes tenants pay for some maintenance work on the property they are renting and then deduct that amount that they have already paid from their rent. You should discourage this as much as possible but if this is what a tenant has done then how do you process it through Rent Master?

You need to enter the rent receipt for the tenant for the amount that they have actually paid. This receipt should be posted normally and the odd amount will be shown as unapplied rent.

Then you need to enter an expense for whatever the tenant deducted from the rent. If it was for plumbing because they replaced some tap washers then you would use the PLU disbursement code and the SUNDRY CREDITOR code (SUNDRY). If you don't already have a sundry creditor code then you will need to create one and make the payment type Cheque (Q) with no bank details. Then you can write out the cheque for the expense and make it out to be payable to your trust account. In the details make sure you put a comment about what you are doing and why.

Then you need to enter another rent receipt for the amount of the cheque and mention in the description that this was not actually paid by the tenant but that the tenant paid directly for xxxx work to be done on the property. You bank this cheque back into the trust account as if it was a cheque made out by the tenant.

This is a bit messy but you need to show the rent receipts for the total amount of the rent (not just the amount paid) otherwise you won't get your correct commission. You also need to show an expense for the work done so that the landlord can claim it off his taxable income. By doing it this way you effectively reimburse the tenant for the work done and then the tenant pays the reimbursed amount back to you to put into the trust account and pay the rest of their rent.

Hence, if the rent is $120/week and the tenant paid $110.00 and gave you a receipt for $10.00 for their expenses then you post a $110.00 rent receipt from the tenant, a $10.00 expense that the landlord pays to the tenant (via the sundry creditor) and then a $10.00 rent receipt for the cheque that you wrote out to reimburse the tenant.

How to give a tenant a FREE rent period

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Sometimes you may wish to give a tenant a rent free period (or the tribunal may order this). To process this you need to do it in two steps...

It's as simple as that unless they are also paying for part of the rent period.

Let's say that the tenant's rent is $200 per fortnight and they are paying $100 (one week's rent) and they are also due to receive one week's free rent. Then when you enter the rent of $100 choose option (3) to pay to the APPROXIMATE date with no un-applied rent amount left over. Then change the paid to date on the receipts screen to be the correct date as if they had paid the full amount of $200 and in the details ADD a message to the end of the normal rent message (eg RENT FROM 01/10 to 14/10) saying that this period includes 1 week's free rent.

Commercial Properties

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When you enter commercial properties into Rent Master you must tick the COMMERCIAL PROPERTY flag in the Property Screen. You enter the tenant rent as inclusive of any GST and set the Rent GST flag in the property file to LANDLORD PAYS GST. The Rent, inclusive of the GST is then passed onto the landlord who must pay the GST to the ATO himself.

If the rent is GST exempt then you need to enter the date until which it is GST exempt into the tenant file.

If the rent is GST exempt because the landlord earns less than $50,000 then enter NO GST instead of LANDORD PAYS GST.

You can print tenant rent invoices using the letter program (Letter RentInvA.Txt) as well as from the Tenant Invoices screen. The system will automatically add the rent and arrears amount to any invoice that you do for a commercial tenant.

With commercial properties you may be entitled to receive commission on any outgoings that you collect from the tenant (eg if the tenant pays the water rates then you may pay them out of the landlord's account using expenses posting and (when the tenant pays you) you receipt the money paid by the tenants to reimburse the landlord. When you receipt the money from the tenant you can use either sundry receipt code SND or sundry receipt code SNC. If you choose code SNC then the system will calculate your management commission on this receipt as well as the rent receipts. If you use code SND then no commission is calculated on that receipt.

Excluding Vacated Tenants from the Reports

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We have had numerous requests to suppress tenants who have vacated a property from appearing on certain reports (eg the arrears list, tenant invoice list etc). We believe that if the tenant hasn't paid their arrears then they SHOULD continue to appear on the report but in response to the requests you can now choose to print most of the tenant related reports with the additional ability to select ONLY those tenants who HAVE a DATE VACATED entered or to select ONLY those tenants who DON'T have a DATE VACATED entered.

When you choose to print a report and the initial screen comes up where you get the options of PRINTER, PROCEED, MORE SELECTIONS or EXIT you can now select either VACATED TENANTS or NON-VACATED TENANTS from the RESTRICTION CRITERIA (Select These Records) drop down list box.

Note that clicking the MORE SELECTIONS button will also enable you to restrict the data that appears on the report(s) in other ways.

Crystal Reports Errors

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If you get a Crystal Reports Formula error when you attempt to print an arrears list then you haven't completed a previous program update correctly as per the instructions that we emailed out. You need to install three updates from our Web Site...

Install the Rent Master Program Update as normal and then the CRW-UFL update. When installing the CRW-UFL update save it and install it into your C:\Windows or C:\WinNt folder. You can find out what your Windows Folder is by using this method.

Once you have installed these updates to EVERY computer that accesses Rent Master you can check that the correct files have been installed by checking this list.

Cheques not appearing on Bank Reconciliation Screen when they haven't been presented yet

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If a cheque is not on the unpresented cheque list when it should be then either ...

  1. It was reversed and so the amount is now zero and it would have been presented automatically so print the landlord statement and check it
  2. You presented it previously - perhaps presented the wrong cheque
  3. The database is corrupted in some fashion - try doing a REPAIR/COMPACT DATABASE from the DATABASE menu

If it was accidentally presented then you may have another cheque which is showing as unpresented when it has been presented so check the list of unpresented cheques to make sure that none of them are on the bank statements. If you find one that is then you can just present it to get it off the list.

If you want to you can add a missing cheque back onto the unpresented cheque list by clicking on the MAINTAIN button on the form, adding in the details and clicking on the SAVE button. Note that this won't affect any of the landlord or tenant balances - only the bank reconciliation itself.

Cheques not appearing on Bank Reconciliation Screen and/or Cheque numbers are "CHEQUE"

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To turn cheque printing on or off go into the SETUP PRINTERS option on the FILE menu from the main Rent Master screen. If you set the cheque printer to "0:No Printer" then cheques will not be printed. if you set the cheque printer to LPT1, LPT2, LPT3 etc then the system assumes that you want to print cheques. If you set the cheque printer to "9:C:\Printer.Out" then the cheque information will be printed to a text file on your hard disk (called C:\Printer.Out) which you can view in Windows NOTEPAD, WORDPAD, WORD etc.

If you have the cheque printing function turned on then when you enter cheque details into the system (through expenses posting and/or pay pending creditors and/or other month end functions) the system will allocate a cheque number of CHEQUE instead of an actual 6 digit number. When you later print the cheques the system will read through the transaction file looking for cheques with the CHEQUE number flag, print them out onto your cheque printer and then allocate a real cheque number to them.

Until the cheques are actually printed and have a real cheque number allocated to them they will not appear on the Reconcile Bank screen and/or report.

If you didn't notice the missing cheques until AFTER you have closed off the month then there is no way to print the cheques after that time. We have had a number of customers not check their reports properly at the end of the month and result in this problem. There are two ways to recover from it

The best method to correct the problem is the first method.

Processing multiple transactions with the same cheque/receipt number

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If you need to process multiple transactions with the same cheque number (eg you are paying SA Water for multiple properties) or receipt number (eg a tenant has given you one cheque for both rent and bond) there is a way to do this. The method used depends on whether you are printing cheques/receipts or not.

If you ARE printing cheques then there will be a check box on the EXPENSES POSTING screen marked PART CHEQUE (or on the RECEIPTS SCREEN marked PART RECEIPT). Tick this box for ALL of the related transactions EXCEPT when you finally enter the last transaction. (Obviously, in expenses posting the creditor will need to be the same for all transactions.) When you save the final transaction without the check box ticked the system will automatically print the cheque (or receipt) at that time for the total amount.

If you are NOT printing cheques or receipts, the system asks you to enter the receipt and/or cheque number and it will display the next available number automatically for you to accept. To process multiple transactions with the same cheque or receipt number just change the number back to the correct number before you save the details. Eg if the first transaction entered was cheque number 123406 then each time you enter another transaction for another property which is to be paid on the same cheque then just change the cheque number back to 123406.

To see the total amount of the cheque you can print a CHEQUES TO BE WRITTEN report from the reports menu (or YTD CHEQUES report from the YTD reports menu). You can also go into the inquiry menu and choose other inquiries. If you are using a reasonably recent version of Rent Master there is a MULTIPLE TRANSACTIONS query there which enables you to select transactions using various criteria. If you leave one of the boxes blank then that box is ignored. Just enter the cheque number that you want to inquire on into the transaction number box and click on OK. All matching transactions will then be displayed along with the total. You can also use this query to list all letting fees for one landlord or all plumbing payments to Freddy's Plumbing etc.

What to do when a property is sold

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When a property is sold but you continue to manage that property for the new landlord then you need to create a new landlord file, a new property file and a new tenant file which you will use after the property has settled. DO NOT just change the landlord name and address details! When you enter the new tenant details initially enter their paid to date as one day prior to the settlement date.

Note that you can't use the same property code after settlement because you can only have one property with any particular code. However there IS a way to do this if you really want to continue to use the same code. What you need to do is to go into the FIX menu to Change Codes. You can change the original property code to something else (perhaps add a [Z] to the beginning of the code to indicate that it is an old code). Once you have changed the original code then you can go back into EDIT PROPERTY and add in the property details for the new landlord using the original property code. Then you can add the tenant information back in as well. At this point in time it would be a good idea to print a tenant statement (from the FILE MENU in the EDIT TENANT screen) and also a list of tenant receipts (also from FILE MENU in the EDIT TENANT screen). Store these reports in the tenant's hard copy file for future reference. Do these reports using the OLD tenant data.

Normally the Vendor and Purchaser's conveyancer(s) SHOULD adjust any rent payments between the two owners and so you SHOULDN'T need to do it. If the landlords request that YOU do it then you probably need to reverse the last tenant receipt prior to settlement and then split that receipt into two amounts - one for the old landlord and one for the new landlord. Enter the two receipts back into Rent Master using the SAME receipt number as the receipt that you reversed. After entering the receipt for the OLD landlord to the OLD tenant file the system will calculate the new paid to date for the tenant (which should be the date of settlement). Make sure that you enter this as the starting paid to date for the new tenant data file so that when you process the second part of the receipt for the new landlord the receipt uses the correct starting date.

For example, let's assume that the rent is $120/week, the property is sold on 10th January and at that time the tenant has paid up until the 14th of January. This means that the tenant has paid 4 more days to the old landlord than they should have. The old landlord should have received three sevenths of that rent which is $51.43 while the new landlord should receive four sevenths of that rent being $68.57 and you'll note that $51.43 + $68.57 = $120.00 and so you should reverse the receipt for $120 and then put in two other receipts with the same date and receipt number as the original receipt. One is for $51.43 to the original landlord/property/tenant and the other is for $68.57 to the new landlord/property/tenant. When you have done this the paid to date for the original tenant data should be the settlement date (in this case the 10th January) while the paid to date for the new tenant data should be the 14th January.

What to do if an EFT Payment is rejected by your bank

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If one of your landlord or creditor EFT payments is returned to your trust account by your bank because you had the incorrect Bank BSB or Account Number for that person then there are several ways that you could correct this problem.

The best way is probably to just use your internet or on-line banking software to send the funds again with the CORRECT bank account details. This means that you don't need to do anything in Rent Master except correct the bank details in the landlord or creditor screen. If you aren't sure how to send funds using your internet banking software then you'll need to talk to your bank to find out (but it's really easy and you should be paying your own personal bills this way as well).

The easiest way to correct in Rent Master is by reversing the original EFT payment (BEFORE you correct the banking details in the landlord or creditor screen). This will create a negative amount in the pending EFT file though and so you will also need to go into the bank diskette screen and clear the EFT file. The end result of this process is that the money will be back in the landlord's account (and will be paid to the landlord when they next get paid if you don't pay it out beforehand). Make sure that you correct the landlord's banking details AFTER reversing the transaction!!! If you want to pay it straight away then (once you have corrected their EFT details) you can manually process the payment again using the normal expenses posting screen.

An alternative would be to post a sundry receipt to the landlord's account making sure that you use a receipt type of EFT so that it prints correctly on the Bank Deposit Slip.

If the payment was to a creditor (or to you) then you can reverse it in the same way, correct the bank details and then reverse the reversal to pay it back to the creditor using the new bank details. Make sure that you reverse it first, then change the bank details, then put the entry back in using the new EFT details. This will result in the pending EFT file having one negative entry with the incorrect bank details and a positive entry with the correct bank details. You can then EXPORT the bank file and send it to your bank - the negative entry won't get sent to the bank. Then clear the Pending EFT file.

What happens if the payment to the creditor was from multiple properties? (This also applies if the payment was to the AGENT creditor.) Well you COULD reverse ALL of the transactions that make up that payment and then put them back in correctly. HOWEVER a better way is to ...

  1. Create a new landlord with the name "SUSPENSE ACCOUNT" but don't create any properties for this landlord (you could even mark it as a "Property Sale Only").
  2. DO NOT change the incorrect EFT details for the creditor to the correct details yet (or change them back if you have already changed them)
  3. Using Expenses Posting enter an EFT payment for minus the payment amount as a LANDLORD ONLY EXPENSE for the SUSPENSE landlord and the correct creditor. Use the same date as the original EFT payment. In the description enter the reason why you are doing this. Use the same disbursement code that you would normally use for that creditor.
  4. Correct the EFT details for the creditor or set them to CHEQUE if you don't have the correct details.
  5. Using Expenses Posting enter a transaction for total amount of the payment as a LANDLORD ONLY EXPENSE for the SUSPENSE landlord and the correct creditor. Use the today's date. In the description enter the reason why you are doing this. Use the same disbursement code that you would normally use for that creditor.
  6. You will now have a negative EFT amount with the original incorrect details plus you will either have a Plus EFT amount to the correct details or you will have to write a cheque for the correct amount and post it to them.
  7. Process the bank diskette and clear the file. If there are payments to be made (other than the negative payment correction) then you'll need to send the EFT data to the bank as you would normally. If you chose to pay them via cheque then still export and clear the bank disk to get rid of the negative payment.

What happens if you decide to pay them by cheque this time rather than via normal EFT? To do this (once you have reversed the original EFT payment) you must change their banking details to CHEQUE (you can leave their BSB and account number in there) and then make the payment using expenses posting. Once you have made the payment then don't forget to change them back to be paid via EFT again and that you correct their bank accounts details as well.


How to refund rent (or bond) to a tenant

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If you need to refund rent to a tenant because they've moved out but paid up beyond their vacating date (or possibly for other reasons) you should use expenses posting to do so and use the [RRF] disbursement code. The system will ask you to enter their new paid to date as well and your commission will also be adjusted accordingly.

If you need to just pay some money to the tenant without affecting their paid to date then you would use the [TPY] disbursement.

If you were refunding their bond to them (without having sent it to the tribunal) then you would use disbursement code [REF] to do this.

Bond money coming back from the rent tribunal is NOT receipted as BOND but is done as either a RENT receipt and/or a SUNDRY receipt - depending on why the bond is coming back to you instead of going to the tenant. If the tenant still owes rent and part of the bond refund is going to pay this rent then that portion is entered as a rent receipt and the drawee name is the tribunal rather than then tenant. If the money is to be used to pay for cleaning or repairs then that portion is entered as a sundry receipt and then the actual expense is also entered so that the landlord effectively pays the expense and the tenant is reimbursing the landlord.

A list of disbursements relating to the tenant rent and bond receipts and payments is shown below.

CodeInc/ExpCreditorDisbursement Name and Purpose
RNTReceiptNot ApplicRent Receipt
RRFExpenseNoneRent Refund (with adjusted paid to date)
TPYExpenseNonePayment to Tenant (no change to paid to date)
CodeInc/ExpCreditorDisbursement Name and Purpose
BNDReceiptNot ApplicBond Receipt (normally from tenant)
TRIExpenseTribunalBond Sent to Tribunal (from trust account)
REFExpenseNoneBond Refund to Tenant (from the trust account - not sent to tribunal)
AGBExpenseAGENTBond Paid to Agent (from the trust account - not sent to tribunal)
LLBExpenseNoneBond Paid Out to Landlord (from the trust account - not sent to tribunal)
CodeInc/ExpCreditorDisbursement Name and Purpose
PBDReceiptNot ApplicPet Bond Receipt (and then held in trust account)
PRFExpenseNonePet Bond Refund to Tenant (from pet bond held in trust account)

Water Usage Calculation Charges

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The first area of confusion that we need to clear up is "who pays the water bill?"
The landlord has the legal responsibility to pay both the water connection fee and usage fee.
The landlord (or Agent) may have an agreement that the Tenant will reimburse the landlord for some, or all, of the water charges but it it still the Landlord's responsibility to pay the water bills.

When the water usage bill comes in you enter it into either EXPENSES POSTING or ENTER PENDING CREDITORS and when it is paid the money will be deducted from the Landlord's account - the same as for any other invoice.

When the water usage bill comes in you can also enter a TENANT INVOICE for the tenant's portion of the water bill. The amount of the charge made against the tenant may not be (and usually isn't) the same amount as on the water bill. This is because the tenant may not have occupied the property for the entire time period to which the usage applies. In any event SA Water USED to charge all of the water in the first billing period at the cheaper water rate and then the landlord got hit with the higher water charges for the second billing period. We believe that this may have changed now and the charges are made more fairly over the whole of the year.

In any event you should use Rent Master's TENANT WATER CALCULATION to work out the amount that the tenant needs to pay as the landlord may have agreed to pay 50% (or some other portion) of the water usage to encourage tenants to look after the garden and, also, the tenant may not have occupied the property for the whole of the billing period.

In fact it is actually better to NOT use the SA Water bill to trigger the tenant water charges. The best practise is that when the tenant moves in you take a manual water reading and then as part of each quarterly property inspection you take another water meter reading and when the tenant moves out you take a final meter reading. You can then use these readings to calculate the tenant water charges after each inspection and on vacation of the property. This is the most accurate and fairest way to charge the tenants. Even if the tenant is in the property for many years you should STILL take a meter reading at occupation and vacancy of the property to get the most accurate water charges.

To calculate water usage for the tenants you need to first do the following...

Then to do a water calculation, enter the property and tenant code and select which year you want to use for the calculation.

Enter the starting meter reading and the date on which it was done and the ending meter reading and the date it was done. The system will then calculate the number of days between these two dates, the water used during this period, the average daily usage and the estimated annual usage based on the daily water usage.

If the property is a flat or a unit with a shared water meter then enter the number of units using that shared water meter in the Flats/Group box.

If the two water meter reading dates were both within the current tenant's lease period then set the tenancy dates to be the same as the water meter reading dates. Otherwise, set these dates to be equal to the period for which you want to charge the water. Eg the initial water reading might have not have been done until two weeks AFTER the tenant moved in in which case you want to charge water from the time that the tenant moved into the property. If the water meter reading was done two weeks PRIOR to the tenant moving in then you might want to charge the tenant for the water from the date they moved in instead of from the date of the meter reading.

At this point the system will have calculated out the total cost of the water and the tenant's portion of that water usage. We suggest that you click on the INVOICE button to create a tenant invoice for this charge and also the LETTER button to automatically produce a letter to the tenant detailing the water usage and charges. When you exit the water calculation screen the system will automatically jump to the letter printing screen to print the water usage letters.

Rent Master calculates the water usage in the same manner as a conveyancer calculates the water usage adjustment when a property is sold. It will NOT give the same answers as SA Water's water usage bill as they allow the whole of cheap 125kl of water in the first water charging period while Rent Master correctly apportions this based on the number of days between the two meter readings. Over a full year both methods yield the same result.

In essence Rent Master works out an estimated annual usage based on the actual usage for the number of days between the two meter readings. Then it calculates the annual water charge based on the SA Water rates. It then apportions the water cost between the tenant and the landlord according to the settings in the landlord file. It then divides the annual charge by 365 and multiplies this by the number of days.

Annual Usage = Meter Usage / Number of Days x 365
Actual Charge = Annual Charge x Number of Days / 365

As an example, suppose a tenant uses 139kl of water over 5 months. Note that Rent Master doesn't work in months - it works in days but thinking in months might make it easier to understand.

We believe that the tenancies tribunal have a worksheet that helps you to work this out manually so please check with them.

The reason why you can't use the WHOLE 125kl in the first 5 months is that there may be a different tenant in the property for the last half of the year and why should the first tenant get all the cheap water and the second tenant get none?

Displaying Pictures in Rent Master

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To display a picture (or pictures) of a property from within Rent Master you need to acquire the pictures from a scanner or digital camera and save them in the C:\RentMstr\Pictures folder (which should already exist on your computer). To display the pictures within Rent Master they must be Windows Bitmap pictures (extension = BMP) but Rent Master can now also display jpg or GIF pictures by using Windows Paint to display the picture. The pictures have to be called by the same name as the property code with up to 2 extra digits/letters after the name. So for property code [SMIT23] you can call the picture(s) SMIT23.BMP, SMIT23A.BMP, SMIT23A4.BMP, SMITH23.jpg, SMIT23Z.jpg etc. Once you have done this then the pictures will automatically be listed in the pictures combo box on the EDIT PROPERTY screen.

If you wanted to do so you can also store pictures of the landlord(s) by putting pictures starting with the landlord's code in the same location.

Processing the Trust Account for Property Sales

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Rent Master can also do the trust accounting for your property sales ledger if you use the one trust account for this purpose. It can even do the sales ledger as a separate trust account if you need this (at an additional cost - it's not part of our standard pricing). If you have a separate sales trust account ask us how to use Rent Master to do the trust accounting (in a separate database).

If you have only one trust account for both your property sales and your rentals you CANNOT do a bank account reconciliation unless you have entered the sales deposits and payments into Rent Master as well.

To process a sales deposit you need to set up a "landlord" for each property sale. You CAN'T set up a property and tenant file for the sales ledger, however. When you create a "landlord" for a property sale be sure to tick the box marked "Property Sale Only" in the landlord screen. It's also a good idea to keep the sales "landlords" separate to the normal landlords. You can do this by always using landlord codes starting with "Z" so that they always appear at the end of the list and so that they are grouped together.

Then in the landlord name you can put either the vendor or the purchaser name (we suggest using the purchaser's name) and the property address. Because Rent Master can print many reports by department you could also create a department for sales (SAL) and a department for rentals (RNT) or you could create multiple departments, one for each salesman - by using their initials as the department code. Any additional information about the sale can be entered into the landlord notes.

When processing transactions for the Sales ledger you must change the transaction type at the top of the screen to "Landlord Receipt" or "Landlord Expense" as there is no property/tenant code for these ledgers. You can't use Pending Creditors for these transactions (and don't need to) and the system won't automatically post any transactions to/from these accounts at the end of the month - eg no commission, postage/petties, debits tax or landlord payment. All transactions must be posted manually through the receipts and expenses screens.

There are special disbursement codes automatically created for the property sales ledger. These are...

(DON'T USE THE NORMAL COM:Commission EXPENSE CODE FOR SALES COMMISSIONS AS THIS IS FOR RENTAL MANAGEMENT FEES).

If you need to send the balance of the deposit to a conveyancer then you need to add the conveyancer into the creditor's file (perhaps prefix their creditor codes with the letter "Z" to keep them all together) and then you can pay the balance of the deposit to them using the appropriate expense code.

Finding and Correcting Balance Errors

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If you have a system crash or other problem and your database becomes corrupted you can usually repair it (when given that option by Rent Master) and the corruptions are automatically repaired. SOMETIMES Microsoft Access can't repair the database completely and some data may be missing from the database. This doesn't happen often and unfortunately Microsoft Access DOESN'T tell you that it couldn't fully repair the damage. There isn't anything that we can do about this as it is an internal function provided by Microsoft. The most usual results after a repair is either that the database IS repaired correctly or that Microsoft Access tells you that it can't repair it (so you need to restore a backup). It is only in very rare cases that it appears to repair it but information is missing. If you need to restore a backup do a REPAIR on the restored backup as the database may have already been partially corrupted before it finally crashed on you. (Some people do a backup and then a repair/compact on their database once a week - whether they have a problem or not).

If you have a copy of Microsoft Access Version 2 (NO other version will work) then you can repair the database using Access itself which appears to work better than the repair we have provided as part of Rent Master. Click HERE to find out more.

Rent Master automatically maintains balance checks on itself to enable it to detect any problems with the trust account balances. It stores an opening balance for the current month, a list of all of the transactions for the current month and a closing balance for the current month. It does this for each landlord, for bond balances and for the entire trust account. When you print many of the month end reports Rent Master takes the Brought Forward Balance, adds on the current transactions and compares this to it's internal closing balance. If the two match then there is no problem - if they don't then it prints a balance error.

Rent Master prints the words "CHECK BALANCE" on the bottom of ANY landlord statements where it detects a balancing problem for that landlord. When it has finished printing the landlord statements it prints a message telling you how many landlords were out of balance (unless there were none) to warn you to go and check them.

Rent Master prints BALANCE ERROR messages on the TRIAL BALANCE if it detects any balance errors for the trust account. At this stage it doesn't identify which landlords are affected though (see the landlord statements for this information.

As well as checking for current month balance errors Rent Master ALSO checks for balance errors over the whole financial year and will print a YTD BALANCE ERROR message if it finds any such errors.

Other things that you should check each month end is that the Brought Forward Balance on the TRIAL BALANCE report is the same as the CLOSING BALANCE on last month's trial balance. You should also check that the YTD brought forward balance is the same as the closing balance for the previous 30th of June trial balance. If either of these balances have changed then you have a problem with your balances.

To correct these errors you need to follow the procedure below. Note that there is now a single report which includes the trial balance and outstanding cheques report etc in the one report. To access this from the INQUIRY menu go to HTML queries and choose the TRIAL BALANCE ETC report. When asked for the DEPARTMENT CODE you normally just leave this blank (ie only enter a department code if you just want the information from one department).

or Once you know which landlords are affected you can go back and check their accounts in more detail to find out what is wrong. Usually you will find that one or more transactions are missing from their account. The FIX option assumes that the current month brought forward balance is correct for every landlord and it works out a new closing balance for the month and a new YTD opening balance based on the transactions that are currently in the database. If the YTD Brought Forward balances have changed it means that some transactions from a prior month are missing from the database (or there was a balancing error in a prior month which wasn't corrected at the time). This shouldn't happen and if the YTD Brought Forward balances ARE different then you should consult GO Software about what to do to correct them.

Usually only the closing balances for the month are changed. Once you know which transactions are missing then you can then just re-enter them and all of the problems should be corrected.

Processing Property Sales Deposits and Commissions

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Rent Master can (and MUST) process ALL financial transactions that relate to your trust account. To process sales deposits and commissions you need to first set up a landlord with the purchaser's name and address details. It's a good idea to give these "landlords" a landlord code starting with the letter "Z" so that they all go to the end of the normal landlord list (but you don't have to do this). Make sure that you set their DEPARTMENT code to SALES and make sure that you tick the box marked PROPERTY SALE ONLY! You can't (and mustn't) enter a property and/or tenant for this sale property.

To process the receipt of the sales deposit you go into receipts as normal but select LANDLORD ONLY RECEIPT instead of TENANT RECEIPT. Then enter the landlord code. Process the sales deposits using the receipt type SAL (obviously do not use RNT:Rent or BND:Bond).

To process the drawing of your sales commission you go into expenses posting but select LANDLORD ONLY EXPENSE instead of TENANT EXPENSE. Then enter the landlord code. Process the sales commissions using the receipt type "SLC" and the creditor code "AGENT" and if any of the deposit has to go to a conveyancer use the disbursement code "SLP" to record this transaction. For proceeds of sales to the conveyancer you will need to enter the conveyancer's details into your list of creditors and use the conveyancer's code as the creditor code.

Processing Adjustments to your Commission and/or GST

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At the end of the month Rent Master automatically calculates how much management commission is due to you by multiplying the total of all rent payments and/or reversals (plus any other receipts where you have indicated that commission is to be taken) by the commission rate. It then adjusts the actual commission taken by deducting any commission already drawn earlier in the month (or by adding on any commission that was reversed for some reason).

Rent Master also calculates the GST due to be paid by totalling all amounts paid to the AGENT creditor code (less any reversals of payments to the AGENT) and multiplying this by the GST rate (10%). It then looks to see if any GST was paid earlier in the month and if so it deducts this from the amount of GST drawn now. If there was a negative amount of GST drawn earlier in the month (eg a reversal of a GST payment) it deducts this from the total to be paid (and in this case INCREASES the amount of the GST to be drawn).

Hence if you have $400.00 rent for the month at 10% commission then the commission due should be $40.00 but lets say that you had already drawn $30.00 commission earlier in the month for some reason (some agents drawn their commission weekly) then Rent Master adjusts the commission due at the END of the month by this prior $30.00 to now be $10.00 so that the TOTAL commission drawn during the whole of the month is $40.00.

Now if you posted a commission reversal for some reason during the month (say for $15.00) then Rent Master says that the commission due is $40.00 plus there was already commission drawn of -$15.00 and so the total commission due at the end of the month is now $55.00 (as $40.00 less negative $15.00 is the same as $40.00 plus $15.00).

So how do you post a commission reversal then? To do this you must wait until AFTER Rent Master has drawn the commissions at the end of the month and THEN you can do any commission adjustments PRIOR to paying the landlords. Rent Master will not make any automatic corrections to commissions adjusted AFTER you have taken the commission automatically unless you ask to take the commission automatically again. If you ask to take the commission (or the GST) twice at the end of the month the system will NOT double up on the amount taken because it takes into account any prior deductions.

Note that if a rent receipt from the previous month is reversed in the current month then you don't need to reverse the commission manually as Rent Master will automatically take the reversed receipt into account at the month end.

Note that ALL adjustments to the commission MUST be entered manually AFTER the system has automatically calculated the commission at the end of the month but BEFORE you pay out the landlords or draw the GST.
Note also that ALL adjustments to the GST payments MUST be entered manually AFTER the system has automatically calculated the GST at the end of the month but also BEFORE you pay out the landlords.

How to Split Landlord Payments

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There may be times when you want to split landlord payments - perhaps there are two landlords who each want to be paid 50% of the balance at the end of each month (or any other percentage) or perhaps the landlord wants you to pay his monthly insurance bill or mortgage out of the end of month balance. This is easy to set up and once you have set it up it will just happen automatically from then on. The payment to the second (and subsequent) landlords MUST be made via EFT - it cannot be made by cheque. To set up the payment split....

  1. Set up one of the landlords as you would normally and enter their banking EFT details, add the property and the tenant against that landlord.
  2. Set up the other landlord with their bank EFT details in the same way but with NO property or tenant against them.
  3. Go back into the first landlord and go to the payee page.
  4. Click on the [?] button and select the second landlord from the displayed list.
  5. In the second column put either a $ sign or a % sign depending on whether you want a % split or a fixed amount to be split.
  6. In the next column enter 50 for 50% or in the case of a fixed amount - just enter the amount required.
The two landlords will now each get their own statement (which will be identical) showing all of the rent and expenses, the commission and the two landlord payments.

Creditors with No ABN

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If your payment to a creditor is more than $50.00 and they haven't quoted their ABN to you then you are required under the new tax law to withhold 48.5% of the payment from them and forward this to the ATO with your BAS payments. If you DON'T hold back the 48.5% then we believe that YOU may be liable for this amount and if you have a tax audit you may be required to pay this amount to the ATO even if the creditor paid their tax fully.

However if someone is earning this income as part of a hobby and/or they have no expectation that their annual earnings will exceed $50,000 then they don't need an ABN but you MUST still deduct the 48.5% UNLESS they provide you with a statutory declaration to this effect. You can download a copy of the required form from the ATO web site www.ato.gov.au or we have a copy in the downloads folder on OUR web site if you can't manage to navigate the complex ATO web site. The document is called NAT3346a.Pdf and you will also need Adobe Acrobat to read it. Acrobat can be downloaded from www.adobe.com.

If a Creditor has supplied you with a signed declaration then you can enter the word EXEMPT into their ABN and the system will no longer deduct the 48.5%. You MUST then retain this declaration to show to the ATO if required.

Where you have to pay out sales deposits to the conveyancer or to the vendor or purchaser then they may not have an ABN and may not require an ABN for this purpose anyway. So in these circumstances it is safe to use the word EXEMPT in place of an ABN so that the system doesn't withhold 48.5% of the payment. Bear in mind though, that if you use the word EXEMPT when you SHOULD have withheld 48.5% then the ATO may ask you to pay the 48.5% out of your own funds.

DO NOT just enter the word EXEMPT into a creditor's ABN box if you don't know their ABN as you MUST either have a record of their ABN, have a signed declaration from them as per the ATO guidelines or you MUST withhold the 48.5% from them. If you have any doubts about this discuss it with either the ATO or your accountants or auditors.

You have exceeded the maximum property limit

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We sell Rent Master in a 1-50 properties, 1-100 properties and unlimited properties versions. The only difference between the versions is the price and the maximum number of active properties that you can enter.

If you get a message about exceeding the maximum active properties then you either have to upgrade your Rent Master version to the next level (eg upgrade 1-50 version to 1-100 version or upgrade 1-100 version to unlimited version) or you need to make some of your active properties inactive.

An active property is any property that you are currently using (for any purpose) on the system. If you no longer manage a property then you'll need to make that property inactive which you do by going into the EDIT PROPERTY screen, bringing up the property and clicking on the DELETE button. If there have been NO financial transactions for this property in the current financial year then the property will be permanently deleted from your database otherwise it will be marked as inactive and will no longer count in the maximum active properties total. See the section on Deleting Landlords, Properties, Tenants and Creditors for more information.

Deleting Landlords, Properties, Tenants and Creditors

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To delete a landlord you must first delete all of their properties and to delete a property you must first delete all of the tenants for that property. If there have been NO financial transactions in the current financial year for the data that you delete then the data will be permanently deleted from your database otherwise it will be marked as inactive. Inactive data is automatically deleted from the database the next time you run your year end close off.

You can't delete any Landlords, Properties or Tenants where there are financial transactions in the current month. You also can't delete a tenant unless they have vacated and they are not in arrears. If a tenant is in arrears and you have no hope of ever recovering those arrears then you can set their vacating date to be the same as their paid-to date in which case the arrears will then be zero and the tenant can be deleted.

If, when you attempt to delete data it tells you that it can't because there is related data in the (.....) file then this means that the data in the (.....) file must first be deleted before you can continue. (eg you may be told that there is related data in the TRANSACTIONS file which means that you have to wait until after the month end update before you can delete this data (because the month end update deletes the data from the current month transaction file.

If you are told that you can't delete a tenant due to related data in the TENANT INVOICES file then this means that there are unpaid tenant invoices which you will need to delete before you can delete the tenant. If you are told that there is related data in the PENDING CREDITOR INVOICES file then you'll need to pay the creditor or delete the pending invoice before you can delete the tenant etc...

You can't delete creditors who have been paid this month or who have pending invoices on file.

If you "delete" a property, landlord, tenant or creditor but you have also processed ANY financial transactions for the current year (even if it was just one transaction in error which you reversed) then the data isn't deleted but is just marked as inactive so it's safe to delete any data if the system allows you to do so. Inactive data doesn't appear on most of the reports but can still be called up on the screen if required and can be made active again if you so desire (see the FILE menu on the appropriate EDIT screen to re-enable inactive data). Inactive data is kept on file until the year end so that you can print landlord statements for all landlords showing all of the transactions for the whole of the financial year.

Making InActive Landlords, Properties, Tenants and Creditors Active Again

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If you attempt to delete a landlord, property, tenant, creditor or disbursement code and there have been any financial transactions entered into the system (using the code that you want to delete) at any time during the current financial year then when you delete that data it is NOT actually deleted. Instead it is marked as INACTIVE and this means that you can still report on that information when doing your end of financial year reports. When you close off the end of the financial year then all data which is marked as INACTIVE is automatically deleted from the system. If there are NO financial transactions for the data that you want to delete then when you attempt to delete the data it WILL be deleted from your system.

Inactive data won't come up on your arrears report or most other reports and you can't process receipts or expenses using inactive data however you can still access the inactive data by going into the appropriate EDIT screen and manually entering the code for the inactive data.

If you need to use an inactive landlord, property, tenant, creditor or disbursement code again then you can undo the INACTIVE status. To make an INACTIVE landlord ACTIVE again you need to go into the EDIT LANDLORD screen, type in the code of the inactive landlord, click on the FILE menu and choose the option to RE-ENABLE INACTIVE LANDLORD and then click on the SAVE button. You can make an inactive property, tenant, creditor or disbursement code active again in exactly the same way using the edit property, edit tenant, edit creditor or edit disbursement screen.

Handling Rent Deposits Paid in Advance

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If you have taken a rent deposit from a tenant but the tenancy has yet to be confirmed then you will not want to send this rent off to the landlord or take commission from it. To handle this sort of deposit is a bit tricky. The best way to do it is to NOT add the tenant into the system just yet but to

  1. Create a landlord using the code ADVRNT with the name "Rent in Advance"
  2. Make this landlord a PROPERTY SALE ONLY landlord - don't create a property for it.
  3. Post the rent deposit as a SUNDRY receipt (SND) against this landlord and in the DETAILS enter the tenant's name and property address and any other useful information.
When the tenancy has been confirmed then
  1. Add the tenant into the system against the property.
  2. Reverse out the original receipt against the ADVRNT landlord
  3. Enter the receipt against the correct tenant but using the original receipt number, date and amount.
  4. In the DETAILS you might like to add a comment saying that this was originally a rent deposit that has now been accepted as rent.
If you now do an inquiry on that receipt number you will see the original receipt to the holding account, the fact that this receipt was subsequently reversed and finally you'll see the new rent receipt against the correct tenant.

Another option, perhaps a better one, is to post the deposit as a bond (because in fact it is a sort of a bond and bonds get posted to the TENANT'S trust account and it remains the property of the tenant (even when you send a bond off to the tribunal it is STILL the tenant's money). Assuming that the deposit is normally 2 weeks rent and the bond is normally 4 weeks (or 6 weeks) rent then the deposit becomes just part of the normal bond. If the tenant doesn't go ahead then you can do a bond refund to pay the money back to them. If the tenant does rent the property then they will need to pay the remainder of the bond plus their normal two weeks rent. To do this you need to create the tenant against the relevant property and if they don't go ahead then you'll have to delete them the month AFTER you have refunded their money to them. Don't forget to tick the HOLD BOND tick box in the EDIT TENANT screen so the system doesn't automatically send the holding deposit off to the tribunal.

Changing the format of the Arrears or Tenant Statement Reports

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We have created several arrears reports (with and without notes) as well as for all properties or non-vacated properties only. You can choose which version of the report you use once you have installed any program update after September 2002. The formats are stored in your c:\windows\rentmstr.ini file.

  1. From the main Rent Master screen click on EDIT INI FILES from the FILE menu.
  2. Choose RENTMSTR.INI from the drop down list.
  3. Look for the lines that look similar to the six lines below...
  4. Change the report names as required and save and exit this screen.

  [Reports]
  Arrears=Arrears.Rpt
  Arrearsnonvac=Arrears2.Rpt
  Leaseexpiry=Expiry.Rpt
  Arrearsbyproperty=Arrearsa.Rpt
  Inspections=Inspect.Rpt
  Landlordagreement=Lexpiry.Rpt
  Oldrentstatement=No
  Fontsize=9
  Fontlarge=14

You can set Arrears= to be
ARREARS.RPT (Arrears by Date - with notes)
or
ARREARSN.RPT (Tenant Arrears - No Notes)

You can set Arrearsnonvac= to be
ARREARS2.RPT (Current Tenant Arrears - No notes - Vacated Tenants excluded)
or
ARREARSC.RPT (Current Tenant Arrears - with notes - Vacated Tenants excluded).

Then save this, exit the screen and try the report again. it should now be as you want it.

To revert back from the new HTML format tenant statements to the original format you can also set the relevant line to read Oldrentstatement=Yes as well. The HTML format has much more information plus it's faster but if you really want the old version it's still there.

To print the newly selected report go to the main screen in Rent Master and click on the REPORTS menu and then ARREARS/REVIEW LISTS and then ARREARS BY DATE. It is ONLY this selection option which is changed and if you choose one of the other options for the arrears list you will always get the same report regardless of what changes you make in the RentMstr.Ini file.

Why does (or doesn't) a tenant appear on the arrears list

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  1. Check the paid to date with the date range you ask for when you print the arrears report? eg If they are paid up to 01/03/2008 and you ask for the arrears report to be from 05/03/2008 - 16/03/2008 then they won't appear. You can change the formula for the arrears reports dates (eg -4w,-3d means only print arrears where they are from 4 weeks in arrears up until 3 days in arrears).
  2. Have you got the property ticked as LETTING ONLY in the EDIT PROPERTY screen? If the property is marked as letting only then this means that you let the property for the landlord but don't continue to collect the rent and hence the tenant shouldn't ever appear on your arrears list.
  3. If the tenant has moved out but they haven't paid their rent up until the date they vacated then they will continue to appear on the arrears list until they pay the overdue rent. If you wish to remove them from the arrears list because you are never going to get them to pay the rent then just manually change the paid to date in the EDIT TENANT screen so that it's the same as the date vacated.

How to use Cosmos (Reconnect-One) or IP-Payments Rent Cards with Rent Master

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We have put support for Cosmos (Reconnect-One) and IP-Payments Rent Cards into Rent Master for any of you who may be using these cards. Cosmos operate a system where they issue you with a batch of numbered rent cards, you give one of these cards to each tenant and your tenants pay their rent into the Cosmos trust account using the cards. Cosmos EFT the money to your trust account and they also email you a list of money that they have received showing the rent card number and the amount so that you can process the payments through Rent Master. (This is now an automatic procedure as Rent Master can read the files that Cosmos and IP Payments email to you.)

IP Payments system allows you to register tenants on-the-spot. Their system will automatically allocate the tenant a tenant number which you then need to enter into Rent Master. Once you have registered the tenant, you can email or SMS them their tenant number and password. (The tenant needs to quote those details when they submit a payment via telephone or the internet). The tenants also have the option to set up an automatic direct debit or pay cash at any Bill Express Newsagents. IP Payments will streamline those payments and make a batch deposit into your Trust account every morning. You will have access to a series of reports so you know what payments went into your Trust account, what payments are yet to be deposited and what payments have been dishonoured. You will also have access to a "*.PAY" file which Rent Master can import to automatically receipt the rent payments.
IP Payments say that they have a competitive fee structure for both agent and tenant.

The reason why you may wish to use these rent cards is to circumvent the high costs of the similar systems offered by the major banks. Another alternative is to require your tenants to set up an automatic direct debit on their own account to automatically pay their rent into your trust account. For those tenants that do this there will be no fees for the agent (and especially no dishonour fees for the agent) as if the tenant has insufficient funds then the transfer will not take place and only THEIR account will be hit with a dishonour fee.

To use the cards you need to...

  1. Save the xxxxxxxx.PAY file that they email to you (not the PDF file) to the C:\RentMstr folder on your computer (or anywhere else that you'd prefer).
  2. Then go into the IMPORT BANK STATEMENT function from the EDIT menu on the main Rent Master screen.
  3. Set the FORMAT to be REC:Re-ConnectOne Card or IPP:IP-Payments as appropriate
  4. Set the file name to be the name and location of the file that you saved. (Click on the [?] button to the right of this text box to browse to locate the file.)
  5. Then click on the IMPORT BANK STATEMENT button.
  6. Then click on the VIEW ALL DATA button
At this stage you should see a list of the dates and amounts of all payments made if everything worked OK. For further information see the Processing Your Imported Bank Statements section of these notes.

Contact Details as far as we know are:

CompanyPhoneFaxEmailWebSite
Reconnect-One1300-302-060(02) 9211-0508enquiries@reconnect.com.auwww.reconnect.com.au
IP-Payments1300-721-867(02) 8248-1276ipayrent@ippayments.com.auwww.ipayrent.com.au

How to generate separate statements for landlords with multiple properties

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Normally, if a landlord has multiple properties, you create ONE landlord code and then use that same landlord code for all of the landlord's properties. When you do this all transactions (except the landlord payment) are automatically kept separate for each property (and tenant) and so one consolidated statement is quite OK for the landlord. Because the transactions are all listed underneath the property to which they belong it is a simple matter to separate out the details if the landlord needs to do so.

We have heard an argument that the landlord doesn't get their payment split by property if multiple properties are under the same landlord code. That is true but it doesn't matter. For tax purposes only the income and expenses are important not how much the landlord gets paid at the end of the month. If one property has a large bill to be paid but you have not received enough rent from that property to be able to pay the bill then as long as there is enough rent from other properties to make up the shortfall then you can still pay that bill. The fact that you are "borrowing" from one property to pay the expenses for another property is of no concern. The end result is that on the end of the year statement each property will have a list it's expenses and a list of it's income and that is the ONLY information that is required for a tax return. The landlord's accountant will not even LOOK at the amounts of the landlord payments.

Some landlords may request totally separate statements though. You should try to talk them out of this by explaining that the data is kept separate anyway but if they insist that they want them totally separate then you need to set up a complete landlord record for each property with different landlord codes (eg SMITH1, SMITH2, SMITH3) and then allocate a different landlord code to each property for that landlord. However, what happens if you have already set up the landlord with a consolidated statement and you now need to split the properties onto two statements. In this case you need to set up a new landlord code and a new property code and a new tenant code for one of the properties and from then on always use the new codes rather than the old codes. If this happens in the first month that you have that landlord on the system you could reverse out all of the transactions which relate to the moved property for the original landlord code and then re-enter them against the newly created property code. You should do this reversal in the REVERSE order to the order in which they were originally entered and then enter them against the new code in the same order as you originally entered them. When you re-enter the information you should use the SAME receipt numbers and dates as you used originally as if you do an inquiry on one of these receipt numbers later on you should see the original entry against the original property/tenant code, the reversal of this transaction and then the newly entered transaction against the new property/tenant code. Hence there is an easily followed audit trail.

Once you have closed off the month after doing this transfer then you can call up the original tenant and property code in the EDIT TENANT or EDIT PROPERTY screens and DELETE them. They won't actually be deleted but will be set to inactive so that they can appear on the end of year landlord statements and/or reports. They will be automatically deleted when you do your next end of YEAR update.

Tenant Rent History Problems

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Sometimes when you try to save changes to the Tenant in Edit Tenant you will get an error message telling you that there is a problem with the rent history. The Tenant Rent History data shows the history of rent amount and/or frequency changes during the current tenancy.
The first rent period must start with the tenancy start date while the last rent period must end with the vacating date (or be blank if the tenant has not vacated).
The starting date on any one line must be the day after the ending date on the previous line.

From DateTo DateRent AmtGSTFrequency
12/05/200315/07/2003$150.00$0.00Weekly
16/07/200320/12/2003$160.00$0.00Weekly
21/12/2003 $695.00$0.00Monthly

In the above example the tenant moved into the property on the 12/05/2003 and was paying $150/wk up until the 15/07/2003. From the 16/07/2003 (note that this is one day more than 15/07/2003) the rent was increased to $160/wk. This remained in force until the 20/12/2003 at which time the rent was changed to be paid monthly with the amount of $695/Mth. The TO DATE on the final line is blank because the tenant has not moved out and so this is the current rent being paid. In the tenant dates screen the date started MUST say 12/05/2003 and the date vacated MUST be blank.

From DateTo DateRent AmtGSTFrequency
12/05/200315/07/2003$150.00$0.00Weekly
16/07/200320/12/2003$160.00$0.00Weekly

In the above example the tenant moved into the property on the 12/05/2003 and was paying $150/wk up until the 15/07/2003. From the 16/07/2003 (note that this is one day more than 15/07/2003) the rent was increased to $160/wk. This remained in force until the 20/12/2003 at which time the tenant vacated the property. In the tenant dates screen the date started MUST say 12/05/2003 and the date vacated MUST say 20/12/2003.

To change the rent history, double-click on the line that you want to change and it will be displayed in the boxes at the top of the grid. You can then make the required changes and press the TAB key until the details are copied down into the grid and the editing line is cleared. Repeat this process with any other lines that you wish to change. Then click back onto the RENT/BOND screen before clicking on the SAVE button to save your changes.

Tenant Lease Break Fees

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There is a tenant termination calculation for advertising fees and letting fees built into Rent Master. To use this you need to do the following...

If you don't see the letter ABANDON.TXT in your list of letters in the letter printing screen then get a copy of this letter file from us and save it to your C:\RENTMSTR\LETTERS folder.

If you look in the EDIT TENANT screen you will find that there is a data entry field to the right of the tenant phone numbers for you to enter your Advertising Costs.

Once you have entered the advertising costs for the tenant then go to the letters screen and choose individual tenant letters and choose the letter name ABANDON.TXT, select the tenant and print the letter. ABANDON.TXT is a sample letter only - you may need to reword it to your satisfaction.

Printing Prior Month Statements

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When you are printing statements you normally print the statements with the MTD/QTD/YTD flag set to M:MTD for current month statements. At the end of the year when you want to print YTD Summary statements you set this to Y:YTD and also change the Statement Type from D:Details to S:Summary. There are three other settings for the MTD/QTD/YTD flag though.

IF you set it to Q:QTD then the statements are printed showing all transactions with dates on or after the date that the last quarter year was closed.

If you set it to R:Date Range then the system asks you for a from and to date range and then will print the statement showing ALL transactions with dates on or after the start date and on or prior to the end date. This enables you to print a statement for ANY time period within the current financial year. The system calculates the B/FWD balance for these statements by totalling all transactions dated PRIOR to the start date.

If you set it to P:Prior Month then you can select any month in the current financial year and it should print a statement showing EXACTLY what the original statement showed for that month. All transactions are stored with a month flag. When you close off the financial year this flag is set to "01". Each time you close off the month after this then the month flag for new transactions is increased by 1. So July=01, August=02, September=03 etc up until June=12. When you select P:Prior Month the system will display a list of the month flags showing how many transactions are stored for that period. If you have posted transactions in any one month with dates outside of this month then these will be shown separately on the list. Just double click on the month that you want to print and the system will then print the appropriate statement(s) for the selected period.

Regular Maintenance

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The Regular Maintenance function enables you to enter details of maintenance that is due on a property and to print a letter of authorisation to the tradesman with all relevant details on it. You can also enter details of repeating maintenance (eg a 6 monthly service on the air conditioning unit) where the system will automatically create the next reminder once the current maintenance has been completed.

Each maintenance request is given a unique reference number. To display an existing maintenance request just enter it's reference number in the ID box otherwise to create a new entry enter NEW in the ID box. Then you can fill in the details of the property, the creditor who is going to do the work and the amount etc (if you already know how much it will cost enter the amount otherwise leave the amount empty).

A Maintenance request can be a once only option or it can be a repeating option where it repeats weekly, monthly, every 2nd month, every 3rd month, every 6 months or every year. If it is a repeating option then you can also specify that it repeats up until a nominated date after which it will cease to repeat. You must also enter the date that the maintenance is due to be completed by.

Once the maintenance has been completed you need to go back into the screen, enter it's Reference ID and then enter the DATE COMPLETED. Once the completion date has been entered it will cease to come up on the outstanding maintenance report unless it is has a repeating option in which case the system will automatically create the new entry for you.

Once you have saved a new entry you can print a maintenance request letter to the creditor by clicking on the PRINT LETTER TO CREDITOR button. You can also display a list of outstanding maintenance by clicking on the DISPLAY ALL MAINTENANCE button.

How to Transfer Money from One Landlord Account to Another

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Sometimes you need to transfer funds from one landlord's account to another. An example of this is if you have one landlord with two properties but the landlord has asked for two separate statements. So you had to create two different landlords, each with their own property. Now the landlord wants you to use the money from one property to pay a bill for the other property so you need to transfer the funds across. (This problem is EXACTLY why you should have only the one landlord entry with BOTH properties against that landlord).

If it's rent that you want to transfer across (eg because the property was sold to another landlord) then you would need to do the following.

  1. Reverse the last rent receipt in full from the original landlord
  2. Put through a new rent receipt for his share of the rent only to the original landlord
  3. Put through a new receipt for the balance of the rent to the new landlord.
Be sure to use the same receipt number and date as the original receipt that you are adjusting. If you don't follow this procedure accurately then incorrect commissions will be calculated.

Otherwise, if you just need to transfer funds from one landlord to another and it's NOT rent then you can use the inter account journalling option from the EDIT menu. This enables you to enter multiple journals (either a CREDIT JOURNAL to put money into the account or a DEBIT JOURNAL to take money out of the account).
NOTE: The sum of all of the journals entered should be ZERO (eg $100 credit plus $60 debit plus another $40 debit equals zero in total). Once you have a zero total for all of your journals THEN (and only then) can you click on the SAVE button at the top of the form.

To enter each journal select the tenant, property and/or landlord concerned, enter a description for WHY you are transferring the funds (and where to), whether it's a DEBIT or a CREDIT journal and the amount to transfer and then click on the UPDATE button. The current running total will be displayed in the BALANCE box. Repeat this process for any extra entries (normally one debit and one credit per entry but you could have one debit and many credits which added up to the amount of the debit or vice versa.

Make sure that when you split the original rent payment to one landlord into two rent payments for two landlords that the two rent payments add up to the amount as the original rent receipt (duh!). We had someone do this a while back and the two were one cent out and then they wondered why they didn't balance!!!

How to process payments made by CentreLink

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When tenant's rent payments are made to you directly by Centrelink they have the audacity to deduct $1.10 processing fee. So how do you process this? Well you have two options that we can think off at the moment.

  1. Change the rent amount to be $1.10 less than it should be. If this is realistically the amount of rent that you are going to be receiving each month then why not just "live with it" and change the rent amount?

  2. Each time you receipt the reduced rent receipt the system will pop up and say that this is not a complete period's rent and ask you what to do. Choose option (3) to calculate the rent to the nearest day and accept that "near enough is good enough". The system should calculate the rent to the correct day for you (unless the daily rent amount is less than $2.20!!!) and there will be no un-applied amount. The down side of this is that you will have to do this for every rent payment from Centrelink.

Choose the New or Original Tenant Rent Statement Format

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We have changed the way the tenant Rent Statement works since the original method was very slow when you have a large rent roll. The new method is automatically invoked once you install a current program update however you can revert to the old method if you so wish (but it's not a good idea). The new method has more information on the report and you can easily email it to a tenant by choosing SEND PAGE VIA EMAIL from the FILE menu in Internet Explorer when the report has been displayed.

If you appear to have nothing happen when you click on the RENT STATEMENT button in the EDIT TENANT screen move the mouse down to the bottom of your screen and check the task bar to see if the rent statement is just hiding behind the normal Rent Master screen.

You can change the font size for the new report or revert back to the old report by editing your C:\Windows\RentMstr.Ini file using Windows Notepad or Edit Pad etc. To do this click on START then RUN then enter NOTEPAD then click on OK. Then click on the FILE menu and choose OPEN and then enter C:\Windows\RentMstr.Ini as the name of the file to open. Search down until you see the [Reports] entry which should look similar to the entry shown below.


  [Reports]
  Arrears=Arrears.Rpt
  Arrearsnonvac=Arrears2.Rpt
  Leaseexpiry=Expiry.Rpt
  Arrearsbyproperty=Arrearsa.Rpt
  Inspections=Inspect.Rpt
  Landlordagreement=Lexpiry.Rpt
  Oldrentstatement=No
  Fontsize=9
  Fontlarge=14

You can change the fontsize of the main report with the FONTSIZE=9 line and the font size of the headings using the FontLarge=14 entry or you can revert back to the original format by changing the Oldrentstatement=No entry to Oldrentstatement=Yes.

Don't forget to save your changes.

Information about Rent Payments via BPAY

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Some banks (notably Bank-SA) are now suggesting that Real Estate Agents allow tenants to pay their rent via BPAY. This does enable you to reduce the number of rent payments from unknown tenants because they can't process their payment via BPAY unless they get all of the details correct. Rent Master has the BPAY MOD09V01 check digit routine implemented automatically. You do not need to (and cannot) use the lists of numbers provided by your bank as Rent Master will automatically generate valid numbers. When you enter an agent payment number the check digit is automatically added.

Check Digit Parameters (just so you know how they work)

The MOD09V01 Rule Name may be used by the Biller Institution on the Biller Update Forms record to invoke the parameters listed against them. This means that the parameters are not required on the Biller Update Forms when MOD09V01 Rule Name is coded in the Biller File Record.

What To Do If You Have Posted Rent With The Wrong Rent Frequency

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We've had agents change the tenant's rent accidentally from weekly to fortnightly and not notice it. When they enter the tenant's rent each week the paid to date will increase by a fortnight each time instead of a week. (Similarly if you changed the rent frequency from fortnightly to weekly then the rent paid to date would only increase by a week for each payment instead of a fortnight.

To correct this if you have processed one or more rent receipts you could do one of two things...

In either case go to the EDIT TENANT screen and choose the RENT HISTORY tab and make sure that any lines that refer to fortnightly rent are deleted...

eg if the rent history looked like this you would delete the second line and correct the end date on the first list and the start date on the last line to match when the rent actually changed.

Date FromDate ToRentFreq
01/10/200431/07/2006$110Weekly
01/08/200630/09/2006$125F/Night
01/10/2006(blank)$125Weekly

Might have to be corrected to read like this

Date FromDate ToRentFreq
01/10/200404/10/2006$110Weekly
05/10/2006(blank)$125Weekly

How to (Re)Print a Creditor Statement

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Normally when you Pay Pending Creditors the system can print a creditor statement showing the payment made for the month. Note that this is a creditor statement and NOT a remittance advice as a remittance advice shows ONLY what you are paying NOW while a statement shows ALL payments for the month. Of course if you have only paid them ONCE at the end of the month then the results of a remittance advice or a statement will be identical. Now if the system didn't print the statements or you have lost them or you need another copy of them you can do so.

There is also a creditor statement option on the REPORTS menu under TRANSACTION REPORTS and then CREDITORS STUFF. You can also display/print/email creditor statements from the EDIT CREDITOR screen. To do this follow this procedure ...

If you have NOT closed off the month then you can

  1. Go into EDIT CREDITOR
  2. Bring up the creditor on the screen
  3. Click on the FILE menu and then CREDITOR STATEMENT and then click on the DISPLAY button
  4. When it's displayed Click on the FILE menu and then SEND and then SEND PAGE VIA EMAIL
  5. This will enable you to email the statement to the creditor if you know their email address
  6. Or you can just click on the PRINT button to print a copy of the statement.

If you HAVE closed off the month then you can

  1. Go into EDIT CREDITOR
  2. Bring up the creditor on the screen
  3. Click on the FILE menu and then YTD STATEMENT and then click on the DISPLAY button
  4. When it's displayed Click on the FILE menu and then SEND and then SEND PAGE VIA EMAIL
  5. This will enable you to email the statement to the creditor if you know their email address
  6. Or you can just click on the PRINT button to print a copy of the statement.

The YTD statement will show ALL of the payments for the whole financial year and so will show them what they need to know.

Merge Two Separate Rent Master Databases Into One Consolidated Database

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Real Estate businesses often seem to merge with other real estate businesses. Assuming that two such businesses merged and they both use Rent Master for their Property Management then it is possible to merge both databases into one complete database. The best time to do this is after you have closed off at the end of June for both databases and before you have started the month of July for either of them.

Preparation done in the month prior to the merge

  1. Print out a list of all of the Disbursements for both databases and make sure that both databases have the same codes. To change a disbursement code in one database you can use the Change Codes option from the FIX menu.

  2. Print out a list of all of the Creditors for both databases and make sure that both databases have the same codes. To change a disbursement code in one database you can use the Change Codes option from the FIX menu.

  3. Print out a list of Landlords from both databases and make sure that there are NO landlords using the same code in the two databases.

  4. Print out a list of Properties from both databases and make sure that there are NO properties using the same code in the two databases.

To change any of the codes in one database you can use the Change Codes option from the FIX menu.

Then when it comes time to merge the two databases you should

  1. first make a backup of both databases onto CD.

  2. Open the first database in Rent Master

  3. Export the Landlords, Properties, Tenants and possibly the Creditors, Banks and Postcodes in Comma Delimited format from the first database using the IMPORT/EXPORT option on the DATABASE menu.

  4. Change to the other database

  5. IMPORT (Add New Records) the same information into the other database using the IMPORT/EXPORT option on the database menu. Make sure that you DON'T tick the ERASE EXISTING DATA BEFORE IMPORT option.

  6. Print out a complete list of Landlords, Properties, Tenants and Creditors to make sure that the data is all correct.

It isn't possible to merge the Unpresented Cheques, Tenant Invoices, Pending Creditors, Property Maintenance or Key Location data so any data of these types needs to be manually entered into the merged database if you want it there.

How Do You Convert An Unapplied Amount Into Rent

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Lets assume that a tenant normal pays fortnightly but this time they pay a weeks rent. When the system tells you that the rent entered was not a fortnight's rent you can just choose option 3 to apply this as one weeks rent with nothing left unapplied. You could also choose option 1 which will not change the paid to date but will now show one weeks rent as an unapplied amount. Note that this amount still gets sent to the landlord at month end!

So what happens if you chose option 1 and you now decide that you should have chosen option 3? Well this is simple to correct. There are a number of things that you have to do.

  1. Go into EDIT TENANT and bring up this tenant
  2. change the PAID TO DATE to reflect the new paid to date (one week later).
  3. Change the unapplied amount to ZERO
  4. Save the changes to the tenant
  5. Go into RECEIPTS POSTING
  6. Enter a receipt for zero dollars and in the description make a note that you have used the unapplied rent amount to change the paid to date from 01/05 to 08/05 because .......(whatever your reason was)
  7. Save the receipt which will be saved as a message line only for the landlord statement and tenant rent receipt history.

What happens if the rent was supposed to be $833.33 per month and the tenant came in and paid $833.30 (3 cents short) or $833.35 (2 cents too much)? Then you should have used option 3 when you entered it in which case it would have assumed that this was exactly one months rent. If you didn't do this and you ended up with $833.30 unapplied then treat this the same way as mentioned above. If you have 2 cents unapplied then you can just change this to zero unapplied in EDIT TENANT and again enter a zero value receipt and put the reason WHY you wrote off the 2 cents into the details so that it is explained to the landlord, tenant and auditor.

Writing Your Own Report

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Rent Master has the built-in ability for you to write your own reports. As one possible example of how to do this follow this procedure....

  1. Click on the INQUIRY menu and then USER SQL INQUIRY

  2. Click on the NEW button
  3. Select the TENANT table from the SELECT MAIN TABLE box at the top of the page
  4. Click on the LANDLORD and PROPERTY tables in the SELECT RELATED TABLES list so that they are highlighted as well. This means that you will be able to print information from all three tables in Rent Master.

  5. Click on the NEXT button
  6. You will now have a list of all of the data in these three tables in the box on the left hand side of the screen. Double click on all of the data items that you want in your report and they will be moved to the second box. As an example of a possible list use the items from the sample SQL statement shown below to decide what to print.

  7. The order order of the items shown in the second box will be the order across the page. You can highlight any of these items and click on the UP or DOWN buttons to change the order across the page.
  8. Click on the NEXT button
  9. Now you need to indicate the order down the page that you want the data sorted into. You could sort the list by landlord name and then tenant name or you could sort the list by postcode or by rent amount or by the amount of arrears. To do this just double click on any of the items in the left hand box to move them to the right hand box in the order in which you the data sorted.

  10. Click on the NEXT button
  11. Now you can select which data records get printed as you may NOT want to list ALL of the landlords, properties or tenants. As an example you could list only the tenant who have arrears or only the properties for department "ABC". To do this enter the criteria first (equal to, not equal to, less than etc) and what you are testing (eg you want only those with arrears so choose NOT EQUAL TO and enter 0 or GREATER THAN and enter 0) and then double click on any of the items in the left hand box ie RENT IN ARREARS.

  12. Click on the NEXT button
  13. The system will then list a database command called a SQL (Structured Query Language) Query. if you look at this you can see that it's essentially just an english command that has been generated from what you have clicked on. You can change it manually at this stage by just changing the actual SQL command if you wanted to.

  14. Click on the DISPLAY RESULTS button and the results of your query will be displayed for you. You can then click on the PRINT button to print the report or the HTML button to generate a HTML document (web page) which you can print from Internet Explorer or email to someone or you can export it to EXCEL by clicking on the EXPORT button.

Sample SQL Query Statement

Select [Landlord].[Landlord Code], [Property].[Property Code], [Tenant Code], [Landlord].[Name], [Landlord].[Department], [Current Balance], [Property].[Address 1], [Property].[Address 2], [Property].[Suburb], [Property].[Postcode], [Fee Rate], [Inspection Fee], [Tenant].[Name], [Rent Amount], [Rent Frequency], [Rent In Arrears], [Date Started]
From [Tenant], [Landlord], [Property]
Where [Tenant].[Landlord Code] = [Landlord].[Landlord Code] And [Tenant].[Property Code] = [Property].[Property Code] And [Rent In Arrears] > 0
Order By [Landlord].[Name], [Tenant].[Name]

Explanation of Sample SQL Query Statement

In the above statement the first part just lists what data items you are going to print across the page (the part starting with SELECT up until FROM).

After FROM it lists the tables that the data is being extracted from but not in any particular order (eg From [Tenant], [Landlord], [Property])

After the word WHERE you have firstly the section which describes how the data between the landlord, property and tenant files is to be linked (fortunately Rent Master answers this for you automatically) followed by any selection criteria (in this case [Rent In Arrears] > 0)

Finally the query specifies the sort order and in this case the data is sorted by landlord name and if the landlord has more than one property and/or tenant then the data records for any of these landlords will be sorted by tenant name.

There is a bit more information about SQL statements in our SQL Information page but if you want further information we suggest that you purchase a book on Structured Query Language such as "SQL Clearly Explained" By Jan Harrington.

Can you use Rent Master to Manage a Strata Fund?

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yes, you can use Rent Master to manage the trust account for a strata corporation too. It isn't designed specifically to do this but it should work OK.

What you do is set up a landlord using the name of the strata corporation. You MUST enter $9,999.00 as the withhold amount for this landlord (there's a text box for this in the landlord screen). When this is set to $9,999.00 it means withhold EVERYTHING from the landlord - even if the amount exceeds $9,999.00.

Then for each unit in the strata group create a property and for each owner create a tenant. The tenant's rent is where you enter the strata fee which can be paid monthly (M), quarterly (Q), Half-Yearly (H) or Annually (A).

Because the money in the "landlord" account is never paid out to the landlord/strata corporation it will accumulate each month. The agent commission is a percentage of the strata fee paid (although it could be a fixed amount per month instead). The unit owners will come up on the tenant arrears list just like a normal tenant. To pay bills from the strata fund you just use expenses posting or pending creditors the same as for a normal landlord/property/tenant.
The landlord statement at the end of each month will be a strata corporation bank account statement. (Currently the statement still reads landlord and tenant and not strata and owner but other than that it should work correctly and easily.

What Is The FEE Text Box Used For In Receipts/Expenses

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The "FEE" entry when entering expenses allows the agent to charge a fee each time they process an account. It is used by only one agent who have a maintenance company set up. When they need a plumber the agent puts the call through the maintenance company which then contracts out to an outside plumbing firm.

The plumber invoices the maintenance company for $100 + GST = $110
The maintenance company charges the landlord the $110.00 plus a fee plus GST
the fee might be 10% as well so the fee would be 10% of $100 = $10 plus GST so the landlord gets charged $100 + $10 GST (paid to the plumber) plus $10 plus $1 GST (paid to the ATO by the agent).
hence the landlord gets charged $121 including GST, the $11 is paid into the agent's account.

We don't endorse this practise.

In the receipts entry for holiday rentals you can use the fee box to enter a credit card fee so that you can pass the credit card fee onto the holiday tenant without the owner being involved. Hence if the rent is $400/week and the tenant pays via credit card and the credit card company charges you 2% for processing the credit card payment then the fee amount would be 2% of the $400 (being $8.00). So the tenant would pay $408 rent and $400 would be paid into the owner's account and $8.00 into the AGENT account.

Rent Master incorrectly displays an old tenant as the current tenant

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The system may sometimes (or for some tenants) display an old tenant code instead of the current tenant code when you enter the property code in screens like the receipts, expenses posting, edit tenant etc. The cause of this problem has been found and corrected a while back. You need to

  1. Download and install the current program update from this web site
  2. Then go to the FIX menu and choose the option to FIX CURRENT TENANT
The problem should then go away.

To email the statements ...

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  1. Enter email addresses into the landlord screen
  2. Set the landlords to print AND email the statements (or to just Email the statement)
  3. Enter email addresses into the creditor screen
  4. In the statement screen there is an option to email statements too - tick this
  5. Download and install the following files from here (or our download page)

Rent Master Program Update (late June 2008 later)
Extra Support Files Update
Extra Utilities Update
BMAIL Email Utility

  1. Then in Rent Master click on the DATABASE menu and choose the option to UPDATE DATA DEFINITIONS. (You may have to click on a few OK buttons during this process).
  2. Then click on the EDIT menu and then the OTHER MASTER FILES option and then CONTROL DETAILS. Make sure that you have your correct email address entered into the email box and also your correct MAIL SERVER name entered into that box as well.
  3. Once you have printed the statements you need to click on the SEND EMAILS button in the month end menu to actually send the emails.

NOTE: Your mail server name is usually the word "mail" plus a dot plus your ISP details eg. mail.chariot.net.au, mail.internode.on.net, mail.adam.com.au, mail.iinet.com.au, mail.bigpond.com etc. Your ISP can tell you what you should have entered into this box if you are unsure. You should also tick the box marked CC ME if you want to receive copies of the emails that have been sent.

The landlord and creditor statements are just HTML files saved in the rent master folder which are then emailed using a small command line based email sending program. During the month end process the following happens:

  1. At the start of the month end process any existing email HTML files are deleted.
  2. When you print the landlord statements the program creates new copies of the landlord statements for that month
  3. When you click on the CREDITOR EMAILS option the program creates new copies of the creditor statements for that month
  4. When you click SEND EMAILS these HTML files are emailed to the correct landlords/creditors
  5. You can OPTIONALLY click the DELETE EMAILS once they have been sent but we don't recommend this as if you don't delete them then you can send them again if you need to.

The files remain on the disk until next month unless you click the DELETE EMAILS option on the month end menu so if you are having trouble with some emails not getting through then go into the month end menu and click on the VIEW EMAILS option. This should give you a list of the emails that SHOULD have been sent. Are any missing emails in the list? If so view them and check that they look OK. If not then check the settings for that landlord. If there are NO emails shown then check the other settings mentioned above. If there are emails shown but you didn't receive copies of them in your email program then check whether you have got CC ME ticked in EDIT CONTROL DETAILS. Attempt to send the emails again using the SEND EMAILS option and you should receive copies of all of the emails in the VIEW EMAILS list. Do you receive copies of the emails that the landlord is not getting? Then the landlord email address may be incorrect. If not then you may need to report the problem to your internet ISP and request their help as it may be a SPAM service blocking the emails.

How do you change Landlord, Property, Tenant or Creditor Codes?

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The Landlord, Property, Tenant or Creditor Codes are integral to the whole system and are required to uniquely identify each person or property in the system. However there may be times when you may wish to change one or more of these codes. One of these times is if you have entered two codes where one code is the same as an another code except that there is an additional letter (or number) in the code. This can cause problems in some of the reports. We recommend that you ALWAYS use the full length of the code so that Landlord, Property and Creditor codes are ALWAYS 6 characters long and Tenant and Disbursement codes are ALWAYS 3 characters long.

How do you change them if you need to?

Rent Master will then go through your whole database and covert all occurrences of the old code to the new code. If you have more than one code to change then you just repeat this process.

How do you send SMS messages?

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At the moment we support both email to SMS service and using a suitable mobile phone plugged into your computer via the USB port. To use an email to SMS service you have to have an account with an Australian provider of these services (see the list below). and you have to ask them to turn OFF the email confirmation feature (otherwise you will get an email for every SMS that you send and you'll have to reply to that email before the SMS is actually sent).

There is an SMS Arrears notice option on the inquiry menu (select the INQUIRY menu then OTHER INQUIRIES then ARREARS/REVIEWS then SMS ARREARS) and there is also an option on the FILE menu for landlord's, tenants and creditors to enable you to send a single SMS to them. You can only send SMS messages to mobile phone numbers in the format 04xx-xxx-xxx (but Rent Master removes the dashes when the email is sent).

The Arrears SMS function identifies all of the tenants who have arrears and also a valid mobile phone number and provides you with a list of these tenants showing their mobile number, name, arrears etc. You can then edit this list (change the messages or delete some tenants from the list or even add extra messages onto the list). When you have finished making changes you save the list and you will then be asked if you want to send the SMS messages now.

The way the email to SMS services work is that an email is generated by Rent Master to MobileNo@yourserviceprovider.com.au with no subject and the message body containing the SMS message of up to (but NOT more than) 160 characters. They then charge your account for the SMS and send it on your behalf.

If you are having trouble getting this to work open the C:\Windows\RentMstr.Ini file in Windows Notepad and look for the line that says [SMS] and add DEBUG=YES onto the next line after this and save the file. Then when you send an SMS Rent Master will popup a message telling you what message is being sent and to whom. When you get that message click on the TITLE bar of the message and hold down the CTRL key and press the C key. This will copy the text of the message to your Windows clipboard and you can then paste it into an email message and send this message to us for us to check. The text will look something like this


  Cmd /c C:\WINDOWS\SendMail.Exe 
  -f YourName@YourIsp.com.au 
  -t 0401020304@yoursmsprovider.com.au 
  -s mail.YourIsp.com.au
  -u "Message from Your Business" 
  -m "Just a test message" 
  -cc YourName@YourIsp.com.au
Note that YourName@YourIsp.com.au must be the email address that you've registered with the service provider while mail.YourIsp.com.au must be the name of YOUR Internet Service Provider's (ISP) mail server name. The part after -u is the subject of the email that is being sent but this information is NOT sent via SMS. The part after -m is the actual SMS message that is being sent. If you want a copy of the SMS that you sent (eg in case you have to to the Tribunal) then the part after -cc will be your email address again.

NOTE: Sending a SMS (or sending an email from Rent Master) will NOT put the message into your SENT box as Rent Master bypasses your email program (eg Outlook or Outlook Express) and talks directly to your ISP's mail server.

How to receive faxes into your email inbox

Your SMS provider may also provide a Fax to email gateway where they rent you a fax number to use. Faxes sent to this number are then converted to a PDF file and the PDF file is then emailed to you. This has several advantages as you don't need a fax machine or a phone line to receive faxes, your fax machine is never busy or out of paper (because it's a computer fax machine) and you can't lose faxes as they are stored in your email inbox. You can also forward these faxes to anyone else via email. Junk faxes can be deleted without wasting your fax paper as you only need to print those faxes that you really need on hard copy. We actually use this service ourselves.

How do you Upgrade to get an allowance for more properties?

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The full version of Rent Master will support any number of properties and we currently have agents with over 800 properties under management using Rent Master. To help out agents with smaller rent rolls we sell discounted versions of Rent Master. They have exactly the same functionality as the full version of Rent Master however they limit the number of properties that you can enter into the system to either 50 or 100 each financial year. To purchase one of the discounted versions and then upgrade it later to the full version will cost you the same as the upgrade charge is the same amount as the original discount.

To upgrade from 50 to 100 properties or from 100 to unlimited properties requires you to do the following....

How to Upgrade The Number of Properties in Rent Master
  1. You need to go into Rent Master on a machine that has internet access
  2. Go into the EDIT menu
  3. then OTHER MASTER FILES
  4. then CONTROL DETAILS
  5. then click on the FILE menu
  6. then choose REGO INFO
  7. That will open up an Internet Explorer window showing your current details.
Then follow one of these options
  1. Click on the FILE menu
  2. then SEND
  3. then PAGE BY EMAIL
  4. Your email program should then
    open with the rego details showing in it
  1. Click on the EDIT menu
  2. then SELECT ALL
  3. Click on the EDIT menu
  4. then COPY
  5. Then open your email program and start a new email
  6. Click into the body of the email
  7. Click on the EDIT menu
  8. then PASTE and your rego info should be shown in the email
Then continue on as shown below
  1. Enter the email address
  2. Send us the email
  3. Then you need to pay $550.00 into our bank account via EFT and email us the bank's confirmation of the payment
  4. When you send us the Rego Info we will email you back with our bank details
  5. Then we will email you back the new registration key with details on how to change your system and a Tax Invoice

You won't lose any data or have to re enter any data.

Emailing Tenant Rent Receipts

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We now support emailing tenant rent receipts. This will happen when you save the rent receipt if you have an email address saved for that tenant and if you have the feature turned on. We are also thinking about doing a bulk receipt function that you could run once a week (as an example) and it would email out all receipts since the last time that you sent them out - or perhaps you could email them once a month as part of the month end process. For the time being the facility to email them as you post them is the only option.

You must have installed a program update dated 17-May-2010 or later for this option to be available. To turn it on...

  1. Click on the EDIT menu from the main screen in Rent Master
  2. Then OTHER MASTER FILES
  3. Then CONTROL DETAILS
  4. The the OTHER OPTIONS button in the bottom right hand corner of the screen
  5. Then the OPTIONS tab at the top of the screen.
  6. The Tenant Email Receipts can be set to N:None or I:Instant Email.
  7. Click on the SAVE button and exit.

Expected Income Report

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Often you may to value your rent roll in order to justify borrowing money from your bank or to facilitate selling the rent roll. The system has an expected income report which enables you to do this. To get to it click on the REPORTS menu then BUDGET SUMMARIES then EXPECTED INCOME.

In the landlord screen there is place where you can enter the details of how much you will be charging for letting and renewal fees. These can be set to 1 weeks rent or 2 weeks rent etc or to an agreed amount.

In the property screen there are options for the commission amount, postage and petties amount and inspection fee amount.

In the CONTROL DETAILS screen there are figures for the average number of letting and renewals per annum. To see them click on EDIT then OTHER MASTER FILES then CONTROL DETAILS then the OTHER OPTIONS button in the bottom right hand corner and finally the OPTIONS tab at the top.

When you print the expected income report the system works out how much rent is paid annually per property and hence what your commission would be on that rent. It also looks at the letting and renewal fees and multiplies them by the average number of lettings and renewals per annum to give you a figure for these fees as well. Finally it also calculates the annual postage/petties fees and inspection fees. It quickly adds them all up for you to give you the expected income for the year.

NOTE: Rent Master automatically calculates the average number of letting and renewal fees charged in the previous year during the year end update so that when you print the report in the new year the figures are based on what happened last year. However you can manually override these figures in the CONTROL DETAILS screen (as mentioned above) if you wish to present other figures to the bank.

Statements/Invoices have REALLY big text

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We have had a number of Rent Master users ring up because when they print landlord, tenant or creditor statements or tenant invoices the writing is REALLY large and unreadable. This seems to be an issue between the 16-bit and 32-bit subsystems not being properly synchronised on Windows XP however it is easily corrected. Another symptom is that it may take a long time to display the form(s).

In some cases the forms are actually blank and this may also be caused by an incorrect font size so try the same fix.

From the main Screen in Rent Master

  1. Click on the FILE menu
  2. choose PRINTER SETUP
  3. Double click on the FONT name and size box around the centre of the screen.
  4. Change the font to anything other than ARIAL and the size to be anything other than 10
  5. Click on OK
  6. Double click on the FONT name and size box around the centre of the screen.
  7. Change the font back to ARIAL and the size to be 10
  8. Click on OK
This should reset the font size correctly and all should then be OK. The font size may change to 9.8 instead of 10 but that's OK too.

A Creditor owes you rent for their Property

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Assuming that you have a tenant who is behind in their rent and they are also a contractor of yours and have money owing to them and they have agreed for you to withhold these funds to put towards their rent arrears then this is how you do it.

In effect what you have to do is to pay the creditor (take the funds out of the other landlord accounts) and then deposit this money back in as rent for that tenant.

(If the landlords don't have sufficient funds then you may need to put these creditor payments ON HOLD in the pending creditors screen so that they don't get accidentally paid out to the creditor).

To do this you would have to pay THAT CREDITOR only (when the there are no other pending EFT amounts and no other bank deposits to do).

If they are paid via EFT then pay their outstanding invoices and export the bank diskette but DON'T send the payment to the bank - just clear the Bank Diskette file after you have exported it. This means that Rent Master now THINKS that the money has been sent to them. Then post a CASH receipt for the amount SUPPOSEDLY paid to the creditor but add in a comment into the details to explain what you are doing and then print and clear the bank deposit slip. Then in the bank reconciliation screen you need to mark both the payment and the receipt as having been PRESENTED as you are not going to send the payment to the bank nor bank the cash receipt.

The effect of this is to transfer the money from the landlords who owe money to this creditor to the landlord who this creditor owes money to without actually having to physically transfer any funds.

Another way would be to change the creditor to CHEQUE instead of EFT and pay them but make the cheque out to your trust account and re-bank it as a rent receipt from that tenant. Don't forget to change the creditor back to EFT when you have finished.

You sent the wrong EFT file to the bank

If you forgot to export the bank disk file this month and so sent last month's payments off again then you will have overpaid some landlords and creditors and underpaid others.

To correct this you first need to ...

  1. first restore the month end disk (if you have closed off the month after making the payments).
  2. Then reverse out all of the landlord payments from that EFT run which have to be reversed one by one to each landlord.
    • For landlord payments use expenses posting for a LANDLORD ONLY payment and then REVERSE out the payment.
    • For creditor payments use expenses posting as normal and then REVERSE out the payment.
  3. Then, because in some cases you will have overpaid people, you need to tell rent master to allow overdrawing.
    You do this by clicking on EDIT then OTHER MASTER FILES then CONTROL DETAILS then OTHER and then tick ALLOW OVERDRAWING and click SAVE.
  4. Now you need to manually enter into Rent Master the actual landlord & creditor payments that WERE really paid via EFT in the latest run. (This will mean that some landlords and or creditors get paid too much and some get paid too little).
  5. Then you need to export out the bank disk AND CLEAR IT. When you are asked what to do with the negative amounts say that you want to clear them TOO.
  6. Then you need to tell rent master to no longer allow overdrawing.
    You do this by clicking on EDIT then OTHER MASTER FILES then CONTROL DETAILS then OTHER and then UN-tick ALLOW OVERDRAWING and click SAVE.
  7. Now you must enter all of the creditor payments that WERE actually paid from the landlord accounts in the latest EFT run.
  8. Now you can process all of the receipts (as Sundry Receipts) for all monies that have come back from the landlords and creditors.
  9. Now if you calculate the landlord payments again then every landlord who was underpaid will be have a new payment for the difference.
  10. Export the bank disk again and send it to the bank (unless you've already paid them the differences manually).
  11. Reprint the statements

Reimbursement for money paid out of your general Account

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From time to time you may have to pay an account out of your general account because the landlord hasn't got the funds to pay it. An example of this might be advertising for a vacant property when the landlord balance is zero. You might possibly advertise the property for several months and have to pay the account in the interim before you actually contract with a new tenant.

Once you have receipted the 2 weeks rent (or later on) you may be able to collect the advertising back from the landlord,

DO NOT enter this transaction using the creditor code of AGENT as this is for fees charged by you to which GST is added.

If the advertising fee was $100.00 plus GST of $10.00 then you would have paid $110.00 out of your general account.

If there were sufficient landlord funds to have paid this in the first place then you might have used creditor code REDC (for Real Estate Dot Com Dot Au) and you would enter the amount as being $110.00 which includes GST of $10.00.

Because there weren't sufficient funds you had to pay it from your general account and now you want to collect the $110.00 back from the landlord.

If you enter this using the creditor code AGENT then it will assume that the $110.00 is the GST ex portion of the charge and will add GST of $11.00 which is obviously incorrect as the original amount was $100.00 plus GST of $10.00 and hence you would be charging GST twice.

You need another creditor code with YOUR details and bank account details and you use THAT creditor and it will be treated the same way as the REDC creditor would have been
you enter an amount of $110.00 (which includes $10.00 GST) and you send the landlord a copy of the original invoice which is his tax invoice for income reporting to the ATO.

Some agents pay the landlord's creditor bills using their credit card (in order to get reward points) and then they get the landlord to reimburse them. As far as I am aware (and I'm not a lawyer or an accountant) this may be legal as long as you pay it FIRST and then reimburse yourself but if you charge the landlord first and then pay the bill later then this would definitely be illegal.

This is another instance where you would use the alternate creditor code (with your details) but NOT the AGENT code.


Printing Cheques and/or Receipts

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To print cheques and receipts you must tell the system that you want to do so and where you want to print them.

Our software was previously setup to print cheques and/or receipts to their own dedicated dot matrix printer. This method of printing BYPASSES the Windows drivers for the printers and talks directly to the printers (via an LPT port or COM Port) and as a result the printing is VERY fast. Because you may be printing to that cheque/receipt printer from multiple computers you might have it set up as LPT1: on the computer to which the printer is connected but the same printer might be LPT2: on the other computers that print to it. To get around this problem we have to tell each computer where to print by clicking on the FILE menu from the main screen and then SETUP PRINTERS.

To make this work prior to windows XP each computer needed to have a line in the C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT file saying something like SET ID=FRED. Every computer needed to have a different ID (eg SET ID=FRED, SET ID=JULIE, SET ID=JACK etc). The program then picks up that ID and uses it to determine where to print. In SETUP PRINTERS you need to select each computer's ID and set the Receipt and/or cheque printer for that computer. The SET ID function is no longer required as now our software uses the USER ID of the person logged into the computer instead.

For this to work you ALSO have to have the cheque/receipt printers visible on every computer as a LPT port and so you have to redirect the printer ports on all of the computers (other than the computer into which the printer is plugged). Normally (unless the computer has more than one printer port) a printer is plugged into the LPT1: port on the computer it is connected to. You then need to share this printer and to assign LPT2: to \\GEOFF\EPSON on the other computers (assuming that the printer is an Epson dot matrix printer and it is shared using the name EPSON and it is connected to the computer whose network name is GEOFF). For further information about how to set this up see our network setup notes.

Note that the printer can be set to be LPT1, LPT2, LPT3 through to LPT4. It can also be connected to a serial port instead of a parallel (LPT) port and so can be connected to COM1, COM2, COM3 or COM4. Setting it to 0=No Printer turns the printing OFF. Setting it to 9:\PRINTER.OUT causes the output to go to a text file called C:\PRINTER.OUT instead of to a printer. This is normally only used for test purposes or if you want to re-print cheques or receipts but don't want to waste printer paper.

Note that to set up the printers you must first set them up in Windows by

  1. clicking on the START menu
  2. and then PRINTERS AND FAXES
  3. and ADD NEW PRINTER etc

Ausbroker and Rent Master can store a different set of printer setting for each computer on your network so that (as an example) all computers could print receipts to the same receipt printer and all computers could print cheques to the same cheque printer but each computer could print their reports and statements to a different printer. You could also have all of the computers in the back office print their receipts to a receipt printer in the back office while the front reception desk computer prints it's receipts to the receipt printer at the reception desk.

When you log into Windows when you first start up your computers you MUST log into each computer with a different user name as our software now uses the name by which you logged into Windows as the means to determine where things get printed.

Now, when you set up the printers you need to do it on the computer that you are going to print from. So if you want to set it up on Deb's computer you have to run the setup option on Deb's computer. The username shown in the printers screen is the name used to log onto THAT computer and you shouldn't change this to someone else. If the username is something like COMPUTER1 instead of DEBBIE that's OK - leave it as COMPUTER1 and setup the printers for user COMPUTER1. Then, from the main screen, click on EDIT then OTHER MASTER FILES then USER IDS. Now for the user COMPUTER1 make the name, phone number and email address DEBBIE's details so whenever the computer refers to user COMPUTER1 it will display Debbie's details.

Now we supply formats for printing receipts and cheques to inkjet printers (not recommended) and laser printers and so the system no longer needs to talk via LPT ports. HOWEVER these functions will still work for people who wish to continue to use this method. if you choose a style of cheque or receipt (from the drop down list) which is designed for a laser printer then the printer selections change to normal windows printer names.

We have found that sometimes you can't NET USE LPT1 successfully under Windows XP (unless there IS no LPT1 port present so you may have to map to LPT2 (ie NET USE LPT2 \\ComputerName\PrinterName).

Also we have found that sometimes you get errors when trying to print to these ports from Rent Master or Ausbroker but there is a way to get around this - look at the screen dump image below - notice the REDIRECTED PRINTING tick box? Tick it if printing to LPT1, LPT2, LPT3 etc gives an error. What happens then is (assuming that you have set up the cheque/receipt printing to print to LPT2) then the program sends the output to a text file called (C:\RentMstr\Tmp-LPT2.Prn or C:\Broker\Tmp-LPT2.Prn or C:\Acctng\Tmp-LPT2.Prn depending on what program of ours you are running.) Then this file is copied to the LPT2 printer port using the windows command processor (CMD.EXE) using the command line Cmd /c Copy Tmp-LPT2.Prn LPT2 which seems to work just fine. This all happens behind the scenes - you only need to tick the box. Printers


Fixing Corrupted Printing (large font for statements/invoices)

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Sometimes when you go to print Invoices or statements the printing has changed to a really large font and/or you have black lines going across the page. To fix these things up do the following ...

  1. Turn the printer and the computer off
  2. wait for 30 seconds
  3. Turn the printer and the computer on
  4. Go into Rent Master (or Ausbroker)
  5. Click on the FILE menu
  6. Click on the SETUP PRINTERS option
  7. Click on the [?] box to the right of DEFAULT PRINTER FONT
  8. Change the font to Arial, Italic, 9 point
  9. Click on the OK button
  10. Click on the [?] box to the right of DEFAULT PRINTER FONT
  11. Change the font to Arial, Regular, 10 point
  12. Click on the OK button
  13. Click the drop down box next to DEFAULT PRINTER
  14. Change the printer to CUTEPDF WRITER (or anything other than your current printer setting)
  15. Click the drop down box next to DEFAULT PRINTER
  16. Change the printer back to the printer that you actually want to use
  17. Click on the EXIT button to exit that screen
  18. Click on the DATABASE menu
  19. Choose the option to REPAIR/COMPACT DATABASE USING MSACCESS
  20. Do a repair on your database
  21. then do a compact on your database
  22. Do another repair on your database
  23. then do another compact on your database
  24. Try the printing again now

Balancing your computer accounts to your bank balance

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There are several types of errors that can occur with your accounts.

First Type of Error

The first is where you just do the wrong thing - eg you post a receipt or a cheque to the wrong account or you enter a transaction for the wrong amount. This sort of error won't put your computer accounts out of balance with your actual bank account even though the data entered is incorrect.

Second Type of Error

The second type of error is where the data that you enter doesn't match the "real" data. For example you enter a payment for $120.00 but you write the cheque out for $210.00. This will put your reconciliation out because what you entered into your accounting program is NOT what you actually did.

Note that if you make a transposition error (swap two digits around in a number) the resulting error is ALWAYS a multiple of 9. Hence $120 and $210 generates a $90 error. Also, if you add up the digits of a transposition error and then add up the digits of the result and you keep doing this until you get a number from 1 to 9 - the answer will ALWAYS be 9. Eg entering $3700 instead of $7300 gives you an error of $3600 and when you add up 3+6+0+0 you get 9 while entering $64 instead of $46 gives an error of $18 and 1+8=9. For more information about transposition errors look at out Transposition Errors Info Sheet.

If you accidentally post a debit as a credit or a credit as a debit then the error is ALWAYS double the amount of the incorrect entry and so with an error of $125 you need to also look for an entry of $62.50 as well as looking for $125.00 However if the error is $127.43 then this can't be a debit posted as a credit etc because it isn't an even number.

If your bank account doesn't reconcile to your computer accounts then you have to find out where what you entered into the computer wasn't the same as the actual transaction and you need to correct the computer accounts to reflect what you actually did - even if it's incorrect. For example - let's say you owed Freddy's Plumbing $210 and you entered a cheque for $210 into the computer but wrote the cheque out for 120.00. Here the $210 entry in your accounts is the correct amount but it ISN'T the amount of the actual cheque and so what you have to do is reverse out the cheque for $210 and put in a cheque for $120. Your bank and accounts should then balance - even though the amount of the cheque was incorrect. Then you need to write out another cheque for $90 and enter this into your accounts in order to pay Freddy what you actually owe him.

If you can't find the error then I'd suggest printing a list of the cheques (possibly for the whole year) in cheque number sequence. Then go through the bank statement and check the amount of each cheque that you find on the statements against your list and tick them both if they match. If they don't match then you've found your error (or one of them). When you've finished doing this and you still don't balance, then check to see if there are any cheques on the bank statement that aren't on your printed list or vice versa - if so then you've found your error. If this isn't correct then you need to print a list of EFT amounts with daily totals and then check these off against any EFT amounts on your statements. Because EFT amounts are normally for more than one person in any one batch they can be harder to check though. If you still haven't found the problem then you need to check the receipts.

Third Type of Error

Check that you haven't made entries into your accounting software for things that you didn't actually do and also check that all of the transaction on your bank statements have been entered into your accounts.

Fourth Type of Error

Also check for transactions done by the bank which you didn't authorise as sometimes banks take their fees from the wrong account etc.

Fifth Type of Error

One other possibility - check you bank statement as we have see two bank statements that didn't add up properly due to a internet banking software error.


SQL Query Errors

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SQL (Structured Query Language) is the method by which your database is accessed. SQL Query errors can be caused by two main problems.

The first possibility is that my program source code is incorrect and it is a genuine query error. If the error ONLY occurs for one particular inquiry or one particular function then this may be the reason. You need to refer this error to us so that we can fix the problem for you.

If you get multiple errors or errors occurring in different parts of the program then the problem is likely to be either Windows running out of memory or a corrupt database. Under these circumstances the best solution is to shut down and restart ALL of your computers (at the same time). Then go back into the program and see if the errors are gone or not. Do a REPAIR/COMPACT DATABASE from the DATABASE menu to attempt to repair any problems with the database and then exit and restart the program. If this doesn't correct your problem then it might be caused by a virus or spyware infestation.

We are finding that, while most people have adequate anti-virus protection, very few have any spyware protection. Quite often a spyware or malware program will be running and hogging all of the memory and processing power of your computer causing it to run slow and to crash. You need to read our Spyware section to get further information.

Your computer may also be vulnerable due to you not having installed all of the latest Microsoft security updates to your computer. You need to go to Microsoft Update and install ALL of the available updates (which may mean performing the update function several times until there are no more updates to install).

If this doesn't correct the problem then you may need to restore a backup of your data and if this doesn't correct the problem then contact and we will attempt to solve the problem for you.


Illegal Function Call Errors or General protection Fault

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In most cases Illegal Function Call Errors (or General Protection Faults) are caused by Windows Memory leaks causing insufficient memory to be available to perform the requested function. To correct these errors follow the procedures in General Procedure to Follow if You Are Having Problems with your Program below.

If you don't have an icon for the backup program on your desktop you can find it under START then PROGRAMS then select Rent Master or Ausbroker (or whatever GO Software program you are using) and you'll find the icon there.

Another cause for these problems could be a virus or spyware/malware infection. We are finding that, while most people have adequate anti-virus protection, very few have any spyware protection. Quite often a spyware or malware program will be running and hogging all of the memory and processing power of your computer causing it to run slow and to crash. You need to read our Spyware section to get further information.

Your computer may also be vulnerable due to you not having installed all of the latest Microsoft security updates to your computer. You need to go to Microsoft Update and install ALL of the available updates (which may mean performing the update function


General Procedure to Follow if You Are Having Problems with your Program

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Most of the problems that you may be having (SQL Query errors, Illegal Function calls, corrupted database messages etc) can be fixed by following the procedure shown below. Many of these are caused by Windows "memory leaks" and other problems in Windows itself or possibly by network problems. Windows XP is certainly better behaved than Windows-98, Windows-95 or Windows-ME but not perfect.

We don't recommend Windows Vista (although we have tested our software under Vista and it appears to function correctly provided that you make some changes to the Vista configuration). At this stage EVERYONE is recommending Windows-7!! See You have Windows Vista on your computer instead of Windows XP or You have Windows-7 on your computer instead of Windows XP

The standard procedure to follow when you have strange errors is as follows...

  1. Shut down ALL of your computers (at the same time) and once they are ALL turned off then you can start turning them back on again, one by one.
  2. Always turn your "server" or "main" computer on first and wait for it to ask you for the password (or display the normal desktop screen) before turning any of the other computers on. This is because the other computers must be able to "see" the "server" computer when they are starting up.
  3. Once the "server" computer is up and running, then turn on the other computers.
  4. Download and install a program update from our download page onto your "server" or "main" computer.>
    NOTE: If you haven't done this before then when you have the download page displayed click on the FILE menu and then PRINT to print the page out as it has detailed instructions on how to install a program update.
  5. Go into the backup program (DATABACK) which we have supplied for your program and choose REPAIR/COMPACT DATABASE from the REPAIR menu or, better still, follow the procedure in the section Repairing Your Database using Microsoft Access V2.
  6. Start the program up on the main or server computer
  7. If you STILL get a corrupted database error message after doing a REPAIR/COMPACT then choose the option to open another database and see if you can open RENTMSTR.MDB or BROKER.MDB or PAYROLL.MDB or ACCTNG.MDB (which ever is relevant to your program). If you can open this database but not your normal database then your database is fatally corrupted and the only option will be to RESTORE your most recent backup of your database and then try again. If this doesn't work then try to restore an even EARLIER backup and try again until you find one that works.
    NOTE: If you are NOT doing regular backups using the backup program which we supply (see Backing Up Your Database) then we can't help you with information on how to restore a backup and, if you are not doing ANY regular backups, you may have lost ALL of your data so you need to contact us to see what we can find out.
  8. If you cannot open ANY database then the problem may be a DLL problem. To attempt to fix this run the Backup Program (DATABACK) which was supplied with your program. There should be an icon for it on your desktop (but if not then click START then PROGRAMS then look under the menu option for your program). On the REPAIR menu in the backup program there is an option to COPY DLL/VBX FILES TO WINDOWS so choose that option then go back to step (1) above.
  9. Download and install a program update from our download page onto all of your other computers (you can obviously skip those computers where you don't use our software).
  10. If this fails then you can try to reinstall our software from the original CD which we gave you when you purchased the software. Once you have done this then go back to step (1) above.
  11. If this still fails then contact us to get some on-line support so that we can look at the problem. See Info About Remote Support for more information or just click on Ask for Remote Support.

Repairing Your Database using Microsoft Access V2

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If your database keeps getting corrupted even though your frequently repair it using our program then it may be that the repair is not working correctly. This appears to be a problem with Microsoft Access in that the repair function that we can call from within our program doesn't seem to be as effective as the repair function actually called from Microsoft Access V2 itself. If you have a copy of Microsoft Access V2 (no other version will do) then you can use this to repair your database.

To repair the database using MsAccess V2 you need to follow this procedure....

  1. Backup your current database (if you can - just in case)
  2. Turn your computer off and then restart it
  3. Download and install the latest program update for Ausbroker, Rent Master, Payroll or Accounting
  4. Determine where your database is located before you start - you can see this in the Program title bar at the top of the screen. For Rent Master it should say something like C:\RENTMSTR\RENTXXXX.MDB and if this was the case then the database is located in C:\RENTMSTR and it is called RENTXXXX.MDB while For Ausbroker it should say something like C:\Broker\BrokXXXX.MDB and if this was the case then the database is located in C:\Broker and it is called BrokXXXX.MDB
  5. If you can get into the Rent Master or Ausbroker program then you can run Microsoft Access V2 from the DATABASE menu and then REPAIR DATABASE USING ACCESS V2 otherwise ...
    Run Microsoft Access V2 from your START menu by
    1. Hold down the WINDOWS key (bottom left hand corner of your keyboard with a Microsoft logo on it) and press the letter "R" (this should open the RUN dialog box)
    2. Then click on BROWSE
    3. If you are an AUSBROKER user change to the C:\Broker folder,if you are a Rent master user change to the C:\Rentmstr folder, if an accounting software user then change to C:\Acctng and if a payroll user change to C:\Payroll
    4. Double click on the MSACCESS.EXE file
  6. Select REPAIR DATABASE from the FILE menu
  7. Locate the drive and folder in which the database is located
  8. Double click on your database file (the one ending in .MDB)
  9. Wait for it to repair
    If, when you click on your database file it immediately says that it is not a Microsoft Access Database or it's a corrupted database and it won't ALLOW you to choose the repair function then try clicking on the FILE menu and then OPEN instead and see if it then gives you the same message but then asks whether to repair it or not. Often this will work and you can then start this process again with no problems.
  10. Then Select COMPACT DATABASE from the FILE menu
  11. Double click on your database file (the one ending in .MDB)
  12. When it asks where to put the compacted file Double click on your database file again
  13. When it says that the file already exists - overwrite it Click on YES
  14. Wait for it to compact
  15. Then repeat both the repair and the compact operations again

Make sure that you are the ONLY person accessing the database when you do this - no one should be using the program or the database at the same time. Also, if you access the database though a network, it is best to do the repair and compact on the computer on which the database is located as it prevents network problems from causing any further hassles.

If you can't repair your database using this method then the only option is to restore from your last night's backup. You do backup every night to a separate CD or USB memory stock don't you?


Cloning Your Database using Microsoft Access V2

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If your database keeps getting corrupted even after repairing it with Microsoft Access V2 then it may be that the repair is still not working correctly. This appears to be a problem that sometimes occurs with Microsoft Access. If you have a copy of Microsoft Access V2 (no other version will do) then you can use this to clone your database.

Cloning creates a brand new empty database and then imports your data into that empty database after which you then copy the new database over the top of your original database. To clone the database using MsAccess V2 you need to follow this procedure....

Make sure that you are the ONLY person accessing the database when you do this - no one should be using the program or the database at the same time. Also, if you access the database though a network, it is best to do the repair and compact on the computer on which the database is located as it prevents network problems from causing any further hassles.

What if no ABN is quoted?

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What happens is a creditor doesn't have an ABN because they earn less than $50,000 per annum or what happens if they don't quote an ABN to you?

GO Software are NOT Lawyers, Accountants, Tax Advisers or in any other way qualified to give you advice and so you need to discuss the matter with your company lawyer or accountant!

However, as we understand it...


Identifying your program or database name or location or Windows folder

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To identify your program or database name or location or your Windows folder you can simply run your program and then click on the ABOUT option from the HELP menu. In here you will find the You can also find your database name and location on the title bar (at the top of the screen) for your program (eg RentMstr: H:\RentMstr\RentYour.Mdb)

Setting up our software on multiple computers

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These instructions assume that you are very "computer literate" and this procedure should only be done by people who are competent and have no difficulty in understanding the terminology in the instructions.
Assuming that you have one of our programs set and functioning on one computer in your office and you now want to gain access to the program from another computer in the office. To achieve this you need to do the following That's about it - you should now be working OK on multiple computers.

Another way to achieve the same end result would be to install the program on the new machine(s) using the latest install CD which you have received from us and then install the latest program update from our web site www.gosoftware.com.au instead of copying the program from one machine to other machine(s).


Copying our software from an existing computer to new computer

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Some of these instructions assume that you are very "computer literate" and these procedures should only be done by people who are competent and have no difficulty in understanding the terminology in the instructions.
If you already have our software (eg Rent Master or Ausbroker) running on your old computer and you need to now get it up and running on a new computer which is to replace your existing computer you can do either... or Note that when you install our software nothing is written to anywhere else other than the program folder set up specifically for the program. Our policy is NOT to write to the Windows or Windows System folders as part of the installation. When you run the program for the first time an INI file IS created in the Windows folder and this INI file is then maintained automatically. There is no need to copy this INI file from an old computer to a new computer but you may do so if you wish because there are some settings that the user may have changed. These will be of a minor nature and should not cause any major hassles if the INI file is NOT copied. No settings are written to the Windows Registry - only to the INI file.

The Ini file can be found in the Windows folder and it will have the same name as the program (eg Broker.Ini, RentMstr.Ini, Payroll.Ini, Acctng.Ini etc).

The shortcut icons for your desktop can be set up for each application as per the list below...


Application NameProgram ShortcutBackup Program Shortcut
Windows AccountingC:\Acctng\Acctng.ExeC:\Acctng\Databack.Exe Acctng
Breezair Air ConditioningC:\Air-Cond\Air-Cond.ExeC:\Air-Cond\Databack.Exe Air-Cond
Ausbroker ConveyancingC:\Broker\Broker.ExeC:\Broker\Databack.Exe Broker
CCW Funds ManagementC:\CCW\CCW.ExeC:\CCW\Databack.Exe CCW
Debt CollectionC:\Collect\Collect.ExeC:\Collect\Databack.Exe Collect
Mortgage ManagerC:\Mortgage\Mortgage.ExeC:\Mortgage\Databack.Exe Mortgage
MYOPC:\MYOP\MYOP.ExeC:\MYOP\Databack.Exe MYOP
Home Nursing VisitsC:\Nursing\Nursing.ExeC:\Nursing\Databack.Exe Nursing
Pawn MasterC:\PawnMstr\PawnMstr.ExeC:\PawnMstr\Databack.Exe PawnMstr
Payroll (16-bit)C:\Payroll\Payroll.ExeC:\Payroll\Databack.Exe Payroll
Payroll (32-bit)C:\Payroll\Payroll2.ExeC:\Payroll\Databack.Exe Payroll
Hospital pmi-ATSC:\pmi-ATS\pmi-ATS.ExeC:\pmi-ATS\Databack.Exe pmi-ATS
Rent MasterC:\RentMstr\RentMstr.ExeC:\RentMstr\Databack.Exe RentMstr
Restoration ClinicsC:\Res-Clin\Res-Clin.ExeC:\Res-Clin\Databack.Exe Res-Clin
Pfizer ScannerC:\Program Files\Scanner\Scanner.ExeC:\Program Files\Scanner\Databack.Exe Scanner
Skydive Club MembershipC:\Skydive\Skydive.ExeC:\Skydive\Databack.Exe Skydive
To Do ListC:\ToDo\ToDo.ExeC:\ToDo\Databack.Exe ToDo
NWS9 VideoC:\Video\Video.ExeC:\Video\Databack.Exe Video
Zippy PayrollC:\Zippy\Zippy.ExeC:\Zippy\Databack.Exe Zippy

To set up a shortcut on your desktop...

You should now see your new icon (shortcut) on the screen.

Computer viruses and how to combat them

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Computer viruses are now a common fact of life. We receive many virus infected emails EVERY day which (fortunately) are cleaned out of our system by either our VET anti-virus software or our Death2Spam anti-spam service. We use an ADSL-2+ permanent Internet connection and we have our Vet Anti Virus software setup to check for virus definition updates every TWO HOURS and to download them and install them automatically. We have noticed that sometimes several days go by without any virus updates occurring while other days there are several updates in the ONE day. Also What is Spyware or Adware?

If you have reason to believe your computer may be infected with a virus and you don't have current anti-virus software, you can scan your computer using the Trend Micro's Online Scan facility, located at:
http://housecall.trendmicro.com/au/

If you do not currently possess anti-virus software, we use and recommend the VET anti-virus software which can be purchased and updated on-line or the AVG Anti-Virus can be freely downloaded from http://free.avg.com/ww-en/download.prd-afg.

And don't forget, anti-virus software becomes useless if not updated regularly. We recommend you update your anti-virus definitions at least once every DAY to ensure your computer remains protected. For information regarding virus definitions for your anti-virus software, please contact the software manufacturer for your anti-virus software.

Most anti-virus software comes in two parts - the software itself and the virus definition file. The virus definition file is normally updated approximately once a day by most anti-virus software developers and should be downloaded and installed regularly. The virus definitions file tells the anti-virus software how to recognise the many viruses. The software then notifies you that you have a virus infected file and attempts to disinfect the file and/or delete it.

The anti-virus software itself is normally updated once every couple of months and you ALSO need to download and install the software updates manually. These updates may NOT be done automatically so you need to check this manually (say once a month) by going to the software developer's web site. If you don't update the software then your anti-virus software may be able to DETECT the virus but NOT to disinfect your system.

BEWARE: Some anti-virus products (like Norton anti-virus) offer yearly renewals which are NOT what they seem to be. With Norton's (unless it has changed recently) if you purchased Nortons-2002 with an annual subscription and you install all of the updates then you STILL have Nortons-2002 and NOT Nortons-2010. To get the CURRENT version of Norton's you have to BUY a new copy. This is not the case for MOST anti-virus products. Also we have had a number of VERY bad experiences with Nortons anti-virus (also know as Symantec Anti-Virus) where the anti-virus software made other legitimate software installed on the computer fail. We initially blamed the authors of the software that was failing but when we uninstalled Nortons and installed VET or AVG then the problem went away. This has happened to us MANY times over MANY years with many different software programs and with MANY different versions of Norton's products so we DO NOT recommend ANY Norton's product as a result.

Some viruses (eg the OPASRV worm) may also infect your computer whenever you connect to the internet. To prevent this you may ALSO need to install a firewall as well as an anti-virus software. Vet Security suite comes with a firewall as do many other anti-virus products. If you want a free firewall then we recommend Zone Labs ZONE ALARM. This is not so much of a problem these days with most ADSL modems containing a firewall and Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows Seven all contain firewalls built in. I wouldn't bother installing Zone Alarm or any other firewall onto a Windows Vista or Windows-7 computer as their built in firewalls will probably be adequate.

Because some viruses infect other computers on your network automatically and some of them disable anti-virus software (eg the OPASRV worm) to clean infected machines becomes complicated. If you just run a full scan on all of your computers (even at the same time) as you disinfect one computer another computer will reinfect it again automatically.

This generally corrects the problem but if in doubt get someone who is qualified to fix the problem to look at your computer(s).

Valid Bank BSB (Bank/State/branch) Codes show up as Invalid or Missing Code

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You may find that when you attempt to enter a Bank BSB code and account number into the system to be used for EFT payments that the system displays Invalid or Missing Code instead of the branch name. This is because the original list of banks and branches that we supplied was old and incomplete. You can now download and install an updated list of band BSB codes from our web site.

To update your Bank BSB codes use our BSB Code Update facility (See BSB Code Update on our DOWNLOADS page).

A complete CURRENT list of the Bank BSB codes can be obtained from the Australian Payments Clearing Association in either a book format or on diskette as a text file.


How to Run SQL Commands on our databases

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From time to time we may send you an email telling you to run a database command using the SQL EXECUTE STATEMENTS function from the DATABASE menu in our software. These commands are used to make bulk changes to the database and shouldn't be run unless we tell you to do so as they can cause massive damage if you enter the wrong command. The best way to do it is to cut and paste the command we send you into the SQL editor screen rather than just typing it in manually.

Some examples of SQL EXECUTE STATEMENTS might be...

To run the commands on your database...

  1. Backup your database - the hard disk backup function is OK - or to floppy disk, CD or Zip Disk
  2. Open the email containing the command(s) and leave it open
  3. Start your program (Rent Master, Ausbroker, Payroll etc)
  4. Click on the DATABASE menu and choose SQL EXECUTE STATEMENTS

  5. Enter a name for your query into the box marked SQL EXECUTE or QUERY NAME. This name is only used to save the query so that it can be used again later and doesn't affect what the query will do.
  6. Click on the EDIT button.

  7. Now change back to the email and use the mouse to highlight the SQL EXECUTE command (or command block if there is a block of commands) in the email. Don't include any lines drawn across the email above and below the command(s).
  8. Click on the EDIT menu in the email and choose COPY (or you can use the CTRL/C keyboard shortcut)
  9. Change back to our program and click on the EDIT menu and choose PASTE (or you can use the Ctrl/V keyboard shortcut or even the SHIFT/INSERT keyboard shortcut)
  10. At this stage you should see the command(s) in the edit text box in our program and if so you should click on the SAVE button.

  11. If all else has gone to plan then click on the DO IT button.

  12. If the command has worked a message should be displayed saying STATEMENT COMPLETED. This may take a while depending on how much data needs to be changed and how big your database is.

  13. Check that the changes have been made correctly by looking at data likely to be affected by the changes and data which shouldn't have changed using your normal lookup screens. If anything has gone wrong then you can still restore the backup made at the start of this process.

SQL EXECUTE STATEMENTS (also called Database Action Queries) can be used to modify the data in a database while normal SQL queries only report on the existing data in the database. SQL stands for Structured Query Language and it is almost universally used as the primary language for generating queries/reports out of modern databases.


Can't get out of EDIT CONTROL DETAILS screen

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If you don't have a valid Registration code entered into your database then the system will automatically display the EDIT CONTROL DETAILS screen for you to correct your name and address details and/or your registration code. If you need to change your name and address details you MAY require a new registration code once you have entered these details (depending on what you need to change).

If you need to change your details and you require a new registration code then you need to go to the Registration page on our web site, fill in the details and then email them to us. We will reply with the new registration code. You MUST enter the details that we email back to you EXACTLY as they appear on our email including any spaces, commas, hyphens etc otherwise the new registration code may not work.

The most common cause of this problem though is that you have the test database open instead of your live database. The test database will have the same name as your program (ie RentMstr.Mdb, Broker.Mdb, Payroll.Mdb, Acctng.Mdb etc) while your live database will contain some reference to your company name in it. Look up at the title bar of the main screen (the very top line) and you will see the name of the database that you have open. Also the test database will have our name and address details displayed instead of yours.

Why has the system opened the test database? There are a number of possible causes...

To change to your live database you first need to make sure that, if you are operating over a computer network, your network drives are mapped correctly. If we set up your network for you then click on the RECONNECT NETWORK icon and make sure that all network drives are mapped correctly with no errors otherwise you'll need to map them manually.

Assuming that your database is located on the computer you are now using and/or your network is working properly with all required drives mapped correctly then you need to just change to your live database. Click on the REGISTRATION CODE box in EDIT CONTROL DETAILS and then press the TAB key. The system will say...
INCORRECT REGO CODE (Retry / Open Another Database / Exit Program)
Choose the OPEN ANOTHER DATABASE option and select your live database.

If your live database is not located on the computer that you are using then you will need to select the drive that it is located on from the drop down list of drives. Then you'll need to select the folder that it's located in from the folders list. Then you'll need to double click on the database name in the file list. The system will then open your live database and you will be OK to continue on.

If you database is going to be installed onto your computer but hasn't yet been restored from your backup then you can just exit out of the program completely. Then you can restore your database by using our backup/restore program (the icon with the parachute on it) and then run the program again and follow the procedure listed above to select your live database again.

If you have a temporary Registration code in your database (which will expire shortly) and you need to get a permanent rego code then you need to follow this procedure ...

  1. Go into the EDIT menu
  2. Then OTHER MASTER FILES
  3. Then CONTROL DETAILS
  4. Then click on the FILE menu
  5. Then click on REGO INFO
  6. Then (when this has been displayed) click on the FILE menu
  7. Then SEND
  8. Then PAGE BY EMAIL (and send the page to )

Or once the rego info is displayed you can click on the EDIT menu and the SELECT ALL and then the EDIT menu and then COPY and then open up a new email and click on the EDIT men and click on PASTE and send us the email.


Remote Access to Your Database

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We often get asked questions from users about accessing their database remotely. This may be because they have two offices and want regular access from both offices or it may be that they want to be able to access the data from their office computer when they are at home or perhaps just access a copy of the data when they are home.

The best way to achieve remote access into your data is to setup a windows SBS2003 server and use Windows Terminal Services (also known as Remote Desktop). The software and setup for this would be just over $1,000.00 (or possibly more) plus you'd need a computer to run it on. If this is the main reason for purchasing Windows SBS Server 2003 then you could use a normal desktop computer instead of "real" server hardware (which is several thousand dollars). Once you have the server software setup and running then up to two users can log into the server remotely even while another user is sitting down in front of it and using it. All three windows sessions are totally separate and no-one can watch what you are doing. It works VERY well. The remote user is actually running all of the programs on the server and not on their own computer. This means that you can use a really old computer for the remote computer - as long as it has a version of Windows (or Linux or even a Macintosh) running on it. All of your mouse movements and clicks and keystrokes are sent to the server and the screen display that you see is then sent back to you by the server. If you want more than two remote users at a time then you'd need to pay for Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition which is about another $500 more expensive than the SBS version and if you want more than 5 users then you'll need to purchase extra licenses for this as well.

The remote control software that the remote computer is running to access the server comes with Windows-XP and later and can be downloaded for free from the Microsoft Web site for other Windows-95/98/Me/2000/NT computers (and even for computers running Linux or for Macintosh computers).

Now you CAN use the Windows Remote Desktop facility to connect to a Windows XP computer and use it as a server as well. The difference is that Windows XP can only support one user at a time and so while someone is using it remotely no one can use it by sitting in front of it. So if you want remote access during the day you will need a dedicated computer in your office just for allowing remote access to it. If you only want remote access at night then this isn't a problem.

A cheaper way (ie free) to be able to access the information from home (or a remote office) is to take a backup of the office database home with you each night and then restore this onto your home computer. If you then make changes to the database on your home computer then you have to remember to back it up from your home computer and restore the database back onto your office computer. This works well if you are the only person using the data. If anyone else has made changes to the office database after you backed up the data at the office and before you restore it again then these changes will be lost when you do restore your database backup from home.

In a similar way you can access the data at a remote OFFICE by doing a similar thing. You could use the ZIP UP DATABASE option to compress the database and then email it to the remote office each morning or each night. However they wouldn't be able to CHANGE any data - just view it. (Actually they CAN change the data but only on their copy of it and their changes would be lost when the next database update is installed).

If you want the ability to be able to change the database at same time from several locations then you would have to set up network access between these locations. One way to do this is to set up a Virtual Private Network (VPN) between the two offices using the internet. This CAN be done but it may be unreliable in which case you may get frequent corrupted databases and it will most certainly be SLOW. If you are using an ADSL internet connection at both ends be aware that the actual connection speed will NOT be as fast as you would expect. Normal ADSL speeds might be 256Kb/Sec download but only 64Kb/Sec upload. This means that the fastest that you can SEND data to the other end is 64Kb/Sec (dial-up speed is 56kbs maximum) even though the other end may be able to receive it 4 or more times faster than you can send it. The same thing happens when the remote end sends data back to you - the fastest that it can send you data is still only 64Kb/Sec. ADSL2+ with Annex-M (only from Internode internet that I know of) fixes this problem by not only giving you upload speeds of up to 24Mbp but also faster upload speeds as well by sacrificing some of the extra download speed. You'd really need this at both ends of your connection. With a VPN you run your program on your local PC but access the data via the internet.

One further way to have remote access is to use a program like PC-Anywhere, Co-Session or similar program to provide the remote access. This means that you need to have a computer in your central office which is to be used ONLY as a PC-Anywhere server (at least at those times when you want remote access). VNC is a similar program to PC-Anywhere - except that it's FREE!!! You need a computer at the remote office and you use the computer at the remote office to dial into the PC-Anywhere server computer at your main office. Effectively the remote computer "remote controls" the PC-Anywhere server computer to do the job. Everything that appears on the PC-Anywhere server's screen is sent to the remote computer's screen while the remote computer's mouse and keyboard input is used to drive the Pc-Anywhere server computer. All of the actual data processing is actually taking place in your office on the PC-Anywhere server computer and the remote computer is just "seeing" the results. This is reliable but it requires a spare computer in your office to be used as the server computer. Note that you CAN use the PC-Anywhere server computer for other things as well - just not at the same time as it is being used remotely. You can also use it locally while remote access is happening - the remote user will then be able to see what you are doing at the same time. PC-Anywhere can access the remote server via dial-up access or ADSL.


How to Email Reports and/or Letters

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How do you email one of Rent Master or Ausbroker's Reports or Letters?
There are several ways to do this. If the report was produced from the General Inquiry Screen then you can

If you want to send one of the actual reports produced from the REPORTS menu then instead of printing the report by clicking on the printer icon when the report is displayed you can click on the suitcase icon and then choose to export the report as an EXCEL or WORD file and you can either save it onto disk and then attach the saved file to an email or you can save it using the MAPI option to create an email directly.

If it's a letter that you want to send which was produced in WRITE then you can just save it as a write file and then attach the saved file to an email (but this won't work well for Ausbroker statements or any other document that has a column of numbers shown). Or you can copy into Word and then save it as a word document and email this as an attachment.

However the best method is probably to save the results as an Adobe Acrobat Document (PDF file) and email that.
Anyone can download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software from www.adobe.com to view it and most people will already have a copy of Acrobat Reader on their computers. To find out how to do this.... read on


Creating Adobe Acrobat PDF files easily (and for free)

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Have you ever wanted to be able to email ANY document or report to someone but found no way to do it before?

One of the problems often associated with sending someone a document is that they have to have a copy of the program that you used to create the document and sometimes the same version of that program. So to send someone a word document is pointless unless they have a version of Microsoft Word that is compatible with your version.

Another way to send the document is to (in effect) send a printed copy of that document. When you send a fax to someone they don't need to have a copy of your word processing software as they just get a copy of the printed document. Adobe Acrobat documents (PDF Files) were created to perform a similar function when you email a document. PDF documents also can't be edited or changed in any way (normally) once they have been created.

You can download a FREE printer driver (CutePDF) which can be used to create a PDF file from ANY document that you can print. When you install this printer driver it creates a "virtual printer" which is added to the list of printers that you can print to from your computer. When you choose to print a document or report all you have to do is to say that you want to print it to the CutePDF printer instead of your Epson inkjet printer or HP Laserjet printer (or whatever printer you have). The system will pop up a message asking you what you want to call your new PDF document and where do you want to save it. You enter a name and location and click on the SAVE button. It doesn't really matter what you call it or where you put it (within reason) as long as you REMEMBER where you saved it and what you called it so that you can attach the file to any email that you send.

The Adobe Acrobat Reader is used to display (or print) and PDF document including any that you produce yourself. Without the Acrobat Reader you can't view or print PDF files. If you (or the other person) don't have the Adobe Acrobat Reader you (or they) can download it for free from the Adobe web site
www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readermain.html

You can download and install the FREE GO2PDF Virtual PDF Printer software from our web site at cutepdfevl.exe by choosing to OPEN the link or download from the actual CutePDF Website.

You could also download and install the FREE GO2PDF Virtual PDF Printer software (a different brand of the same sort of product) from our web site at go2pdf.exe by choosing to OPEN the link.

By the way, you can also download free software from the internet which can take ANY existing PDF file and turn it into a RTF format file which can be read by Microsoft Word. The EASY OFFICE program (which is actually a Microsoft Office alternative) can do this and it can be downloaded for free from www.e-press.com. Solid Converter (www.solidpdf.com) is another program which can be used to do this.


To print or email a screen dump

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To print or email a screen dump....
  1. Press the Prt Scrn button on your keyboard to save the current screen to the Windows Clipboard. You can also press the ALT key and then the Prt Scrn button and you will then get only the current windows form in your screen dump instead of the whole screen.
  2. Open MSPaint, Write, Wordpad or Word (while it doesn't matter much which program you choose but MSPAINT is the best option) To open MSPaint click on START then RUN then enter MSPAINT and click on OK or click on START then PROGRAMS then ACCESSORIES then PAINT
  3. Click on the EDIT menu and then PASTE (or RIGHT-CLICK in the document and choose PASTE)
  4. You should now see an image of the screen dump in whatever program you chose to open
  5. Click on the FILE menu and the SAVE AS and save the document containing the screen dump using whatever name you would like to use but note down the name and location of where it was saved.
  6. Click on the FILE menu and then PRINT to print the screen dump (you may need to set the printer settings to landscape)
  7. Open a new email and click on the INSERT menu and then INSERT FILE and then enter the name and location of the file that you saved before.
  8. You should now see the screen dump in the email which you can then send to anyone you choose.

Some reports print in landscape instead of portrait mode

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Sometimes windows seems to get confused and print some of the Crystal Reports in landscape instead of portrait or vice versa. Normally the solution to this is to change the printer to that mode and then back again and so if you follow this procedure it should sort itself out.

The screen that now comes up varies with your printer manufacturer and model and so we can't tell you exactly where to look in the screen but look for the ORIENTATION and

(In some cases clicking on APPLY will close the window in which case you will have to go and open it again to do the next stage). Then go into your Rent Master, Accounting, Ausbroker, Payroll etc program supplied by GO Software and do the following...

Once you have done this your problem should have been corrected. In case it hasn't been then go to the download page on our web site, look for the program update link for your program and click on it and it will install the latest versions of the reports.


How to Change Protected Data

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Some of the data in your database is displayed on the screen but you can't click on it to change it. An example of this would be the landlord balances in the landlord screen in Rent Master, the Client Balances in Ausbroker or the Employee Balances in the Payroll system. The reason why you can't click on them is that the system maintains these figures automatically and you should NEVER need to change them. If you DO change them then you will usually create some form of balance error in the system and you will usually get a message to this effect on one or more of your month end reports.

HOWEVER, if the program actually created a balance error due to a system crash, power failure or program bug then you may need to change some of the protected data manually in order to correct the problem. (Actually a better solution would be to restore a backup done prior to the corruption occurring but sometimes this is not possible). If you decide to do this we STRONGLY recommend that you check with us beforehand as you may make the problem WORSE if you are not careful.

To enable you to click onto protected data hold down the CTRL key and the ALT key and at the same time press the F10 key. Your screen should change colour and you should now be able to click into the protected field. If you press this key combination twice then you turn off the ability to click into protected data items. In other words, each time you do this it turns it one if it's off or turns it off if it's on.

If this doesn't work and you have a Microsoft keyboard (not a Microsoft problem again????) then look in the top right hand corner of the keyboard and see if there is a key there marked [F]. This is a special function key and you need to press this key (and turn the associated light on) before you can use ANY of the function keys. This is just another way that Microsoft makes life easy for us!!! You may have the same problem with other programs (especially DOS based programs) that require you to use the Function keys.


What to do if you are told that you have an incorrect Registration Code for your Program

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We tie the program registration code to your name and address details in the EDIT CONTROL DETAILS screen. If you change this information then you will need a new registration code. You can apply for a new code via our web site using www.gosoftware.com.au/register.php or, if the details in your registration screen are correct you can do the following ...

  1. From the main screen in your program ...
  2. click on the EDIT menu
  3. then OTHER MASTER FILES
  4. then CONTROL DETAILS
  5. Make sure that the details are all correct
  6. then click on the FILE menu
  7. then click on REGO INFO
  8. When the Rego info is displayed in Internet Explorer ...
  9. Click on the FILE menu
  10. then the SEND option
  11. then the PAGE BY EMAIL
  12. then email us the registration information screen

When you get the new rego code back you need to make sure that you enter the information EXACTLY as shown on the rego sheet - including all spaces, dashes, commas etc. Make sure that you enter the rego code LAST OF ALL and then click SAVE. If it gives you an error then you have made a typing error so you need to go back and check it again.


You Get Errors When Printing Reports

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The most common cause of report errors is either a corrupt database (or partially corrupt database) so the first step would be to repair/compact the database so try the REPAIR/COMPACT DATABASE option on the DATABASE menu in Ausbroker/Payroll/Rent Master and also read the section on Repairing Your Database using Microsoft Access V2

The next most common cause of report errors on a new computer (and on some older computers) is that you don't have a valid printer set as the default printer. So ...

  1. Check your printer settings (START menu then PRINTERS AND FAXES)
  2. If you have changed to a new printer try going back to the old printer.
  3. If you have more than one printer try the other printer.
  4. If you have a laser printer then you can try changing the printer driver to HP Laserjet 2200 PCL5 and see if that works.
  5. If you have no other printers try downloading and installing Cute PDF Writer and choosing this as your printer.
    Cute PDF Writer looks like a printer to your windows programs but when you print to it then it creates an Adobe Acrobat PDF document instead of printing. It first asks you what to call the PDF file and where to put it and then creates it for you with whatever you wanted to print.
  6. Borrow a different brand of printer from a friend, install the printer driver and try that printer.

If you can print to a different printer or you can print to Cute PDF Writer but you can't print to your main printer then it is probably a printer driver problem. Try ..

  1. Update the printer driver using a driver that's already part of Windows (as that driver would be the most reliable as it has been tested by both the printer manufacturer AND Microsoft.
  2. Uninstall the printer and Reinstall the printer driver from the CD/DVD that came with the printer.
  3. Check the printer manufacturer's website to see if there is a newer driver available and if so then download and install it.
  4. If it's a laser printer then you can try changing the printer driver to HP Laserjet IIID or HP Laserjet 2200 PCL5 and see if that works.

How to Email Letters as PDF Files

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Anything that you print (letters or reports) can be saved as a PDF file (Acrobat Portable Document Format) which can be read on any computer which has a PDF reader installed (such as Acrobat's free Reader which you can download for free). This includes letters and reports produced by our software. To do this you need to first download and install a PDF writer and a PDF reader (if you don't already have one installed). The people that you send the PDF documents to will only need to have Acrobat Reader installed.

You can download a PDF writer (for free) from one of these web sites.

You can download a PDF reader (for free) from one of these web sites.

To produce a PDF document you need to first select your PDF printer as your default printer (Click on the START button and then PRINTERS AND FAXES to display your list of printers). To do this just right-click on the PDF writer and choose SET AS DEFAULT and when you have finished then right-click on your normal printer and choose SET AS DEFAULT.

Then just go and produce and print your letter or report as normal. However when you tell it to print nothing will actually print on your printer. Instead a box will pop-up and ask you to enter a file name and location. (I suggest setting up a new folder in your C: drive called C:\PDF and saving them all into that one location so that you can find them all easily later on). When you give it a file name it's a good idea to use only letters and numbers with no spaces or special characters. Once you have saved he PDF file you can use Windows Explorer to look in the folder that you saved it into and you should see the PDF file there. If you double click on it then it should open in Acrobat Reader and it should look EXACTLY the same as if you had printed it the the screen or to your printer.

To email this to someone all you need to do it start your email program (Outlook, Outlook Express or whatever you normally use) and create a new email. Address the email to whoever you want to send it to and then click on the INSERT menu and choose INSERT FILE and locate your PDF file and double click on it. Then send your email as normal. That's all there is to it.


How to Correct Your Regional Settings (Win-XP)

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For your system to work correctly you need to make sure that you have set it correctly for the Australian environment. If this is not done you may find that your letters from Ausbroker or Rent Master do not display or print correctly. In addition you should also make sure that your inkjet and laser printers are all set to say that they have A4 paper in them and not the American standard of LETTER size paper.

  1. Start up your Ausbroker or Rent Master program
  2. Click on START then CONTROL PANEL (or START then SETTINGS then CONTROL PANEL)
  3. Click on REGIONAL SETTINGS or REGIONAL AND LANGUAGE SETTINGS
  4. Make sure that the top combo box says ENGLISH (AUSTRALIA) and the bottom combo box says AUSTRALIA
  5. Click on the CUSTOMIZE button
  6. Click on the NUMBERS tab
  7. Make sure that the MEASUREMENT SYSTEM box says: METRIC
  8. Click on the DATE tab
  9. make sure that the SHORT DATE FORMAT says: dd/MM/yyyy
  10. Click on the TIME tab
  11. make sure that the TIME FORMAT box says: HH:mm:ss
  12. Then click the APPLY button and then the OK button.
  13. Click on the LANGUAGES tab on the Regional and Language Options form and then the DETAILS button.
  14. Make sure that the top box says ENGLISH (AUSTRALIA)-US and if it doesn't then you might need to click on the ADD button and add ENGLISH (AUSTRALIA).
  15. Then make sure that the top box says ENGLISH (AUSTRALIA)-US
  16. Then click the APPLY button
  17. then click on the (ENGLISH UNITED STATES) line in the bottom box and click the REMOVE button
  18. Then click the APPLY button
  19. Then click the LANGUAGE BAR button
  20. Make sure that the SHOW LANGUAGE BAR and SHOW ADDITIONAL LANGUAGE BAR check boxes are NOT ticked
  21. Then click the OK button
  22. Then click the ADVANCED tab at the top of the Text Services and Input Languages form
  23. Tick the box marked TURN OFF ADVANCED TEXT SERVICES and click on the APPLY button and then the OK button
  24. Click on the ADVANCED tab on the Regional and Language Options form
  25. Make sure that the top box says ENGLISH (AUSTRALIA)
  26. Tick the box that says to APPLY ALL SETTINGS TO THE CURRENT USER...
  27. If you get a warning message come up then just click on the OK button to get rid of it.
  28. Click on the APPLY button and then the OK button to close the form
  29. Try to print a letter (or an Ausbroker settlement statement) and see if it now works

If every time you exit Ausbroker or Rent Master and go back in again the letters stop working then try turning off the Regional Settings test. To do this you must have a program update on or after the 11th January 2007 so if you haven't done an update lately then you'll need to do one before continuing. Click on the EDIT menu and then OTHER MASTER FILES and then CONTROL DETAILS and take the tick OFF in the tick box marked CHECK REGION. Then SAVE and Exit the program totally. Check your Regional Settings (see above) again and see if this has corrected the problem.


You have Windows Vista on your computer instead of Windows XP

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See notes above for Windows-7 as well as Windows-7 is kinda like "Vista with the bugs fixed"

If you have Windows Vista loaded onto your computer instead of Windows-XP then you may feel a little lost. When Microsoft released Vista they changed many things about the way that it worked internally compared to windows XP and some windows programs simply will NOT run under Vista. Also there seem to be problems sharing printers between computers if you have Vista on one computer and XP on another computer. At this stage I think that you would have to install the printer(s) on the Vista computer and then share them on the XP computer as I have been unable (at this stage) to get it work the other way around. We have a Windows 2003 server with a Canon USB Multifunction device (printer/fax/copier/scanner) connected to it and cannot get the Windows Vista machine to access it. However we can connect it to the Windows Vista computer and access it from the other XP and Windows 2003 server computers - it's just that this is NOT what I want to do.

You must also have the Regional Settings set correctly for our software to work properly. See Setting the Country And Language Options correctly for Australia (Vista).

You can actually make Vista look more like Windows-98 with the much simpler and (I think) easier to navigate user interface (or maybe I'm just living in the past). You right click on the Windows Task bar and choose PROPERTIES and switch to the CLASSIC view. You can also do this inside Windows Explorer and also by right clicking on your desktop as well. Once you have done this you can (like me) continue to live in the past. Also, to change the rather large Vista icons (which take up LOTS of your Windows desktop) on your desktop to XP Style icons turns out to be rather easy !!!

  1. Right click on your windows desktop
  2. Choose the VIEW option
  3. There are three options for the icon size LARGE, Medium and Classic - choose Classic and voilą - you have your desktop space back again

However, to make Vista slightly less painful for you, you need to Turn off Windows UAC. UAC (User Account Control) is designed to protect your computer from malicious software making changes on your computer without your knowledge. That's all good however in doing so it prevents a lot of legitimate software from running as well. You can't print from the accounting software Advanced Business Manager (ABM) because UAC won't let ABM talk to it's own print engine and it doesn't even tell you that it's preventing it or why it's preventing it. Also the letter printing in our software (Ausbroker, Rent Master, Payroll etc) is prevented from talking to Windows Write by UAC and, again, it doesn't tell you that it's interfering - it just doesn't work.

To Turn UAC off you need to

  1. Get into Control Panel (Click on START then CONTROL PANEL or START then SETTINGS then CONTROL PANEL)
  2. Double Click on USER ACCOUNTS
  3. Check that your user account is shown and that you are listed as ADMINISTRATOR and not USER
  4. Check that your account is shown as PASSWORD PROTECTED (for security you MUST use a password to log onto your computer)
  5. If you have no password then click on CREATE PASSWORD and add one in and if you are not an administrator then you need to have this changed by whoever set up your computer for you.
  6. Click on TURN USER ACCOUNT CONTROL ON OR OFF
  7. Take the tick OFF in the box marked USE UAC TO HELP PROTECT YOUR COMPUTER
  8. Click on the OK button

Note: You CANNOT change the status of the UAC function unless your user account type is an ADMINISTRATOR for your PC. If your account type is merely a USER then you can go into the screen and APPEAR to turn it off but if you go back and check it is still turned on. If you DO succeed in turning it off then Windows WILL ask you to restart the computer and if it doesn't then you haven't succeeded. If you have any trouble with this function then you may need to get someone technical to help you.


How to Correct Your Regional And Language Options (Vista)

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For your system to work correctly you need to make sure that you have set it correctly for the Australian environment. If this is not done you may find that your letters from Ausbroker or Rent Master do not display or print correctly. In addition you should also make sure that your inkjet and laser printers are all set to say that they have A4 paper in them and not the American standard of LETTER size paper.

  1. Start up your Ausbroker or Rent Master program
  2. Click on START then CONTROL PANEL (or START then SETTINGS then CONTROL PANEL)
  3. Click on REGIONAL AND LANGUAGE OPTIONS
  4. Make sure that the top combo box says ENGLISH (AUSTRALIA)
  5. Click on the CUSTOMIZE THIS FORMAT button
  6. Click on the NUMBERS tab
  7. Make sure that the MEASUREMENT SYSTEM box says: METRIC
  8. Click on the DATE tab
  9. make sure that the SHORT DATE FORMAT says: dd/MM/yyyy
  10. Click on the TIME tab
  11. make sure that the TIME FORMAT box says: HH:mm:ss
  12. Then click the APPLY button (if enabled) and then the OK button.
  13. Then click the LOCATION tab and make sure that the CURRENT LOCATION is set to AUSTRALI
  14. Then click on the KEYBOARDS AND LANGUAGES tab and then the CHANGE KEYBOARDS button.
  15. In the GENERAL tab make sure that the top box says ENGLISH (AUSTRALIA)-US and if it doesn't then you might need to click on the ADD button and add ENGLISH (AUSTRALIA) first.
  16. Then make sure that the top box says ENGLISH (AUSTRALIA)-US
  17. Then click the APPLY button
  18. then click on the (ENGLISH UNITED STATES) line in the bottom box (if it's there) and click the REMOVE button
  19. Then click the APPLY button
  20. Then click the LANGUAGE BAR button
  21. Make sure that HIDDEN is the option ticked under LANGUAGE BAR
  22. Then click the OK button
  23. Click on the ADMINISTRATIVE tab on the Regional and Language Options form
  24. Make sure that the current language says ENGLISH (AUSTRALIA) and if it doesn't then click on the CHANGE SYSTEM LOCALE button and then select ENGLISH (AUSTRALIA) and click on the OK button.
  25. Click on the COPY TO RESERVED ACCOUNTS button
  26. Make sure that DEFAULT USER and then SYSTEM ACCOUNTS are BOTH ticked and click on the OK button
  27. If you get a warning message come up then just click on the OK button to get rid of it.
  28. Click on the APPLY button and then the OK button to close the form
  29. Try to print a letter (or an Ausbroker settlement statement) and see if it now works

If every time you exit Ausbroker or Rent Master and go back in again the letters stop working then try turning off the Regional Settings test. To do this you must have a program update on or after the 11th January 2007 so if you haven't done an update lately then you'll need to do one before continuing. Click on the EDIT menu and then OTHER MASTER FILES and then CONTROL DETAILS and take the tick OFF in the tick box marked CHECK REGION. Then SAVE and Exit the program totally. Check your Regional Settings (see above) again and see if this has corrected the problem.


You have Windows-7 or Windows-8 on your computer instead of Windows XP

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So far, in our testing of Windows-7 it is not only faster than Windows Vista on the same machine - it's also faster than Windows-XP on the same machine. Once you turn off the UAC function it appears to work VERY well with all of the software we've tested so far.
HOWEVER: DO NOT buy the 64-bit versions of Windows Vista or Windows-7 as our software WILL NOT work on these versions. The 64-bit versions of Windows-XP, Windows Vista and Windows-7 are much more powerful than the 32 bit versions of the same software because you can add more than the 4Gb of RAM that is the limit for the 32-bit versions of these operating systems BUT there are MAJOR compatibility problems with the 64-bit versions and you can only run VERY new programs on them. Programs that have been written to take advantage of the power of the 64-bit computers will benefit from 64-bit Windows but the vast majority of software will work no better on the 64-bit versions. The only reason that I can currently see for running the 64-bit versions are if you want to play high end computer games, run digital movie editing and DVD (or Blueray) creating software or if you do a lot of work in high end graphics programs (ie you are a graphic designer) but for normal business use - stick to 32-bit Windows.

If you have Windows-7 or Windows-8 loaded onto your computer instead of Windows-XP then you may feel a little lost. When Microsoft released Vista they changed many things about the way that it worked internally compared to windows XP and some windows programs simply will NOT run under Vista. The same may be true for Windows-7 but it's hard to say at this stage although many people are describing Windows-7 as "Vista with the bugs fixed". Also there seemed to be problems sharing printers between computers if you have Vista on one computer and XP on another computer. At this stage I think that you would have to install the printer(s) on the Vista computer and then share them on the XP computer as I have been unable (at this stage) to get it work the other way around. I can't comment on printer sharing with Windows-7 at the moment. We have a Windows 2003 server with a Canon USB Multifunction device (printer/fax/copier/scanner) connected to it and cannot get the Windows Vista machine to access it. However we can connect it to the Windows Vista computer and access it from the other XP and Windows 2003 server computers - it's just that this is NOT what I want to do.

You must also have the Regional Settings set correctly for our software to work properly. See Setting the Country And Language Options correctly for Australia (Vista & Windows-7).

However, to make our software (and a lot of other software) work and to make Windows-7 slightly less painful for you, you need to Turn off Windows UAC. UAC (User Account Control) is designed to protect your computer from malicious software making changes on your computer without your knowledge. That's all good however in doing so it prevents a lot of legitimate software from running as well. You can't print from the accounting software Advanced Business Manager (ABM) because UAC won't let ABM talk to it's own print engine and it doesn't even tell you that it's preventing it or why it's preventing it. Also the letter printing in our software (Ausbroker, Rent Master, Payroll etc) is prevented from talking to Windows Write by UAC and, again, it doesn't tell you that it's interfering - it just doesn't work.

To Turn UAC off you need to

  1. Get into Control Panel (Click on START then CONTROL PANEL or START then SETTINGS then CONTROL PANEL)
  2. Double Click on USER ACCOUNTS
  3. Check that your user account is shown and that you are listed as ADMINISTRATOR and not STANDARD USER
  4. Check that your account is shown as PASSWORD PROTECTED (for security you MUST use a password to log onto your computer)
  5. If you have no password then click on CREATE PASSWORD and add one in and if you are not an administrator then you need to have this changed by whoever set up your computer for you.
  6. Click on CHANGE USER ACCOUNT CONTROL SETTINGS
  7. Move the slider right down to the BOTTOM (NEVER NOTIFY)
  8. Click on the OK button
  9. Reboot your computer
  10. RIGHT-CLICK on the Ausbroker or Rent Master (or whatever program of ours that you are using) and choose RUN AS ADMINISTRATOR (only needs to be done once)
  11. Start using the program and check that you can print reports (any report will do) and that you can print letters

Note: You CANNOT change the status of the UAC function unless your user account type is an ADMINISTRATOR for your PC. If your account type is merely a USER or STANDARD USER then you can go into the screen and APPEAR to turn it off but if you go back and check it is still turned on. If you DO succeed in turning it off then Windows WILL ask you to restart the computer and if it doesn't then you haven't succeeded. If you have any trouble with this function then you may need to get someone technical to help you.

Unfortunately Rent Master will NOT run on Windows-7-64 bit or Windows-8-64 bit (or Windows-XP 64-bit or Vista 64-bit either)
It MUST be the 32-bit version of XP, Vista, Windows-7 or Windows-8 but if you have purchased a computer with Windows 7 or 8 64-bit on it there are three possible solutions. (In my opinion Windows-8 is a product for HOME use or use on a tablet PC and definitely ONLY for computers with touch screens and NOT a product for business use). The solutions are ...

  1. Convert the PC back to the 32-bit Windows-7
    This can be done using the Windows-7 DVD or other recovery options as when you purchase Windows-7 you get both the 64-bit and the 32-bit versions included. Whoever you purchased the computer from can do this for you or you may be able to do it yourself or we can do it for you for $220.00 You will lose whatever else you have on the PC when you convert to 32-bit as it clears the hard disk first so make sure that you backup anything that you need.

  2. Install Windows XP Mode and install Ausbroker/Rent Master into XP Mode
    Windows-7 comes with a Windows-XP mode option which, unfortunately, has to be downloaded and installed from the internet. Once this is running you can start the XP Virtual PC option and install Rent Master or Ausbroker and then run it using XP Mode. Make sure that you install XP-Mode 32-bit and not 64-bit!!! The person you purchased the computer from may be able to do that for you as well but the best option is the first option above as there is still a lot of business software around which won't run in 64-bit computers.

  3. Download and install VMWare Player
    VMWare Player is freeware or VMWare Workstation (approx $180.00), create a virtual machine, install either Win-XP, Win-7-32bit or Win8-32bit and install Ausbroker/Rent Master into the virtual machine The person you purchased the computer from may be able to do that for you as well but the best option is the first option above as there is still a lot of business software around which won't run in 64-bit computers.

Turn UAC Off

In Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8 you MUST turn UAC fully OFF in order to run Ausbroker or Rent Master. If you turn UAC off in Windows-8 you can SEE the new metro interface but it won't work. You can make Windows-8 work like Windows-7 with a start menu by downloading and installing this program which adds back the start menu and makes windows 8 more usable in a business sense.

How to Correct Your Regional And Language Options (Win7)

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For your system to work correctly you need to make sure that you have set it correctly for the Australian environment. If this is not done you may find that your letters from Ausbroker or Rent Master do not display or print correctly. In addition you should also make sure that your inkjet and laser printers are all set to say that they have A4 paper in them and not the American standard of LETTER size paper.

  1. Start up your Ausbroker or Rent Master program
  2. Click on START then CONTROL PANEL (or START then SETTINGS then CONTROL PANEL)
  3. Click on REGIONAL AND LANGUAGE OPTIONS
  4. Make sure that the top combo box says ENGLISH (AUSTRALIA)
  5. Click on the CUSTOMIZE THIS FORMAT button
  6. Click on the NUMBERS tab
  7. Make sure that the MEASUREMENT SYSTEM box says: METRIC
  8. Click on the DATE tab
  9. make sure that the SHORT DATE FORMAT says: dd/MM/yyyy
  10. Click on the TIME tab
  11. make sure that the TIME FORMAT box says: HH:mm:ss
  12. Then click the APPLY button (if enabled) and then the OK button.
  13. Then click the LOCATION tab and make sure that the CURRENT LOCATION is set to AUSTRALI
  14. Then click on the KEYBOARDS AND LANGUAGES tab and then the CHANGE KEYBOARDS button.
  15. In the GENERAL tab make sure that the top box says ENGLISH (AUSTRALIA)-US and if it doesn't then you might need to click on the ADD button and add ENGLISH (AUSTRALIA) first.
  16. Then make sure that the top box says ENGLISH (AUSTRALIA)-US
  17. Then click the APPLY button
  18. then click on the (ENGLISH UNITED STATES) line in the bottom box (if it's there) and click the REMOVE button
  19. Then click the APPLY button
  20. Then click the LANGUAGE BAR button
  21. Make sure that HIDDEN is the option ticked under LANGUAGE BAR
  22. Then click the OK button
  23. Click on the ADMINISTRATIVE tab on the Regional and Language Options form
  24. Make sure that the current language says ENGLISH (AUSTRALIA) and if it doesn't then click on the CHANGE SYSTEM LOCALE button and then select ENGLISH (AUSTRALIA) and click on the OK button.
  25. Click on the COPY TO RESERVED ACCOUNTS button
  26. Make sure that DEFAULT USER and then SYSTEM ACCOUNTS are BOTH ticked and click on the OK button
  27. If you get a warning message come up then just click on the OK button to get rid of it.
  28. Click on the APPLY button and then the OK button to close the form
  29. Try to print a letter (or an Ausbroker settlement statement) and see if it now works

If every time you exit Ausbroker or Rent Master and go back in again the letters stop working then try turning off the Regional Settings test. To do this you must have a program update on or after the 11th January 2007 so if you haven't done an update lately then you'll need to do one before continuing. Click on the EDIT menu and then OTHER MASTER FILES and then CONTROL DETAILS and take the tick OFF in the tick box marked CHECK REGION. Then SAVE and Exit the program totally. Check your Regional Settings (see above) again and see if this has corrected the problem.


You Get Errors When Printing Letters

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Firstly we only fully support printing to Windows Write and to TX-Word rather than various versions of Word or Word Perfect so if you are having problems then go into the letter printing screen, look for the WORD PROCESSING PROGRAM TO USE in the bottom left hand corner and make sure that it is set to either WRITE: Windows 3.1 Write.Exe or TX-Word: TX-Word. Note that TX-Word is a simple word processor which we have written at GO Software (using a special word processing control called TX-text control) to get around limitations with Write and Wordpad which are supplied with Windows itself.

We can also support Wordpad (which comes with windows) but Wordpad won't work for statements in our Ausbroker Conveyancing software as Wordpad doesn't have decimal tabs and so your statement columns won't line up. However, for letters OTHER than Ausbroker's statements then Wordpad will work just fine.

There are now so many versions of Word (1.0, 2.0, 6.0, 95, 97, 2000, XP, 2003, 2007 and 2010) and they all work differently and it is becoming difficult to make them all work properly. The other problem with WinWord is that it has a Multiple Document Interface (MDI) and also it is "bloatware" and is HUGE in size and that causes problems with the amount of memory required to drive it remotely. However, having said all of this, we do have some customers using WinWord with no major problems.

If you are getting a measurement not in expected range error then you probably have your margins set incorrectly. In the letter screen click on the FILE menu and then LETTER MARGINS. We have ours set to 2.5 for the left and top and 2.0 for the right and bottom and if your settings are not the same then set them to these defaults and try again. Another VERY COMMON problem may be that you have your Windows Regional Settings incorrectly. To fix them have a look at the information on our FAQ page under Regional Settings. For some reason most people who sell you a computer don't set up the computers correctly with the Australian settings and this causes a problem..

At this point we believe that the problem is related to a windows update that is downloaded onto your computer automatically from the Windows Update (v4.windowsupdate.microsoft.com) or Microsoft Update (update.microsoft.com/microsoftupdate/v6/default.aspx?ln=en-us) sites and some people have had success fixing this problem by manually going to these sites and installing ALL of the updates available (using CUSTOM install instead of EXPRESS install). You can get more information about this from Installing Microsoft Updates.

If your computer has Windows Vista (bad luck - it's REALLY a good idea to upgrade it to Windows-7 - which is essentially Vista with the bugs fixed) or Windows 7 installed on it instead of Windows-XP then read the information below about how to make the letters work on your computer.

We have been told that just going into regional settings without changing anything can also fix the problem (as long as you have changed the regional settings correctly previously. If this is the case then it might be also be helpful to turn off our region checking function - just in case this has something to do with the problem - but only do this if the other options don't fix the problem. To do so we need to ...

  1. Click on START and then RUN
  2. Then enter the word NOTEPAD and click on the OK button
  3. Then click on the FILE menu in NOTEPAD and choose OPEN
  4. Enter C:\Windows\Win.Ini as the file name to open
  5. Look for the section marked [GO SOFTWARE]
  6. Change the entry for CHECKREGION to read NO (or add CheckRegion=No immediately under the [GO Software] line)
  7. Then click on the FILE menu again and choose SAVE AS
  8. Leave the file name alone but change the file type from TEXT files to ALL FILE TYPES
  9. Click on the SAVE button.
  10. Check your regional settings as per the information on our web site FAQ page.
  11. Start Ausbroker again and try to print a letter or statement again.
  12. Close the Windows Control Panel and try whatever it was that didn't work again.

Microsoft Update and the "This Not a Genuine Copy of Windows" Error Message

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You should all be running Microsoft Updates automatically (not just Windows Updates) in order to adequately protect your computer from hackers and malware (software which causes your computer to run slowly or behave badly). In order to do this you need to install the "Windows Genuine Advantage" tool. I'm not sure why it's called the "Advantage" tool as it only advantages Microsoft by helping prevent people from stealing copies of Windows. It doesn't advantage YOU or ME at all (other than by allowing up to continue to download Windows/Microsoft updates). Microsoft Update will download and install updates to your copy of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, Access etc) as well as Windows Updates and Microsoft will be adding additional capabilities to this as time goes by.

To start using Microsoft Update go to the Windows Update site and click on the option to Start Using Microsoft Update. You may also be able to get to the site by clicking on the START button and then Windows Update or the START BUTTON then ALL PROGRAMS and then Windows Update. Once you start using Microsoft Update you may be prompted to download and install the genuine Advantage tool and you should follow the on-screen instructions to do so.

Once you are ready to use Microsoft update you will be prompted to do an EXPRESS update or a CUSTOM update. The EXPRESS update only does the critical service patches without you having to decide which ones to install while using the CUSTOM update allows you to be selective and to update other non-critical functions. We normally choose CUSTOM and we normally choose to install ALL of the updates available.

To do this you need to click on the CUSTOM updates button and wait until all of the updates have been identified. Then look on the left side of the web page where you'll see options like high priority (10), software (3), hardware (5), Windows XP (3), Office 2003 (1) etc. Click on each of these items (one after the other) and view the updates that you can download and install. We normally choose to download and install ALL of them so make sure that all of the boxes are ticked in each category unless you can identify what the option is and that you really don't want/need that update. Usually the updates will give you an indication of size (and hence how long they will take to download and install) and so you can choose to not download large updates if you are sure that you don't need them. Certainly you should download and install ALL windows and office service packs (although you could skip anything to do with DOT NET). When you are finished you can choose to REVIEW UPDATES and then INSTALL UPDATES.

You should check the Microsoft Update web site once a week or once a fortnight to see what updates are available for you to download.

"This Not a Genuine Copy of Windows" Error Message

If, after you install the Microsoft Genuine Advantage tool, you get a message saying that this is NOT a genuine copy of Windows then you must have been a naughty boy/girl and stolen a copy of Windows (or somebody did it for you). To fix this you must buy a genuine copy of Windows so that you get a new, genuine product key. Product keys can only be activated on ONE computer so if you installed Windows using someone else's product key then this would be the cause of this error message. Once you have purchased a genuine copy of Windows (we can sell you one) then you need to change the product key on your computer and re-activate Windows. To change the product key click on this link www.microsoft.com/genuine/selfhelp/pkuinstructions.aspx which will enable you to download the KeyUpdateTool.Exe program from Microsoft's Web site. Then you can key in your new product key and activate windows and the "This is not a genuine copy of Windows" error message will go away.


Windows "Blue Screen" Error Messages

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Sometimes your computer will stop working suddenly and display a blue screen with white writing showing an error message. This screen is often called the "Blue Screen of Death" (or BSOD for short) because once you've got it your computer has "died" and needs to be restarted. This may mean that you have lost whatever you were working on - so make sure that you save your data often.

Typically the BSOD will be broken down into several sections - the first is usually the most import and it will look similar to the screen shot below

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
STOP: 0x000000D1 (0x00000000, 0xF73C120ADC, 0xc0000008, 0xD0045C00)

A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down to prevent damage
to your computer

DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You need to write down the details of the error message (ie the *** STOP: 0x000000D1 (0x00000000, 0xF73C120ADC, 0xc0000008, 0xD0045C00) bit and the DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL bit as this will tell us the nature of the problem.

This will usually be followed by a generic error message which Microsoft thinks might be helpful!!!! An example of this part of the message is shown below and, because it doesn't specifically relate to the error that you just got, you can usually ignore it (especially if you are going to get us to try to solve it). If YOU made changes to your system then read it as it may help you undo those changes and get your system working again.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If this is the first time you've seen this Stop error error screen, restart your
computer. If this screen appears again, follow these steps:

Check to make sure any new hardware or software is properly installed. If this is a
new installation, ask your hardware or software manufacturer for any Windows Updates
you might need.

If problems continue, disable or remove and newly installed hardware of software.
Disable BIOS memory options such as caching or shadowing. If you need to use Safe
Mode to remove or disable components, restart your computer, press F8 to select
Advanced Startup Options, and then select Safe Mode.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Then there is usually another part of the error message which may indicate what actual component caused the windows failure. An example of this section is shown below.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*** WXYZ.SYS - Address F72120AE base at C0000000, DateStamp 36b072a3
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You need to write this part of the error message down as well before you call us.

Procedure to Follow if you get a BSOD

If you get a BSOD then

  1. Write down the error information as specified above
  2. Turn the power to your computer OFF
  3. Wait 20 seconds
  4. Turn the power to your computer back on and restart the computer
  5. Continue working on your computer (if it restarts OK) and see how you go
  6. If it happens again, write down the error message (if it's different) or note down that it is the same error message
  7. If it keeps happening when you do one particular thing on your computer - avoid doing that for a while and make sure that it ONLY occurs when you do that particular thing.
  8. If it keeps happening when you restart the computer and you can't use the computer at all then you'll need to contact us.

Installing (or Reinstalling) and updating your software

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To get up and running with your software on a new computer (or after you have had to reinstall windows on your old computer) ...

  1. Install Ausbroker or Rent Master from your original CD
  2. Go to the Internet and download and install the latest program update from our download page
  3. Install the Crystal Reports UFL update (16-bit) from the download page of our web site
  4. Install Winzip from the download page of our web site
  5. Install the Winzip Command Line Interface from the download page of our web site
  6. Install the Extra utilities from the download page of our web site.
  7. If you want to backup to CD then install either Nero or Nero Express CD burning software (Vsn 6 or later)
  8. Restore your latest backup to the C:\broker or C:\RentMstr folder as normal
  9. Go into Ausbroker or Rent Master, click on the FILE menu and choose SELECT NEW DATABASE and double click on your database

The registration code for your software is stored inside your database and so when you restore your backup then the software will be registered automatically. If you need a temporary rego code for the test database (broker.mdb or rentmstr.mdb) because you can't restore your backup because you can't run the program then you can request one from us.


The program opens in a small screen instead of full screen

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Our software was written back in the days when screen resolutions were 640x480 pixels and then 800x600 pixels and so the screens were designed to fit onto a screen with that resolution without being bigger than what could be displayed on the screen. Then along came 1024x768 screens and even higher resolutions. My current screen is full-HD resolution of 1920x1080 but I've seen other screens with even higher resolutions than this (eg 1600x1200 and even 2048x1536).

If your screen has a high resolution then our software may open up in a window that is only a quarter of the screen size instead of being full screen. To combat that we have an option which automatically expands the size of the program screens so that they fill your monitor's screen - no matter what resolution it might be.

To turn the auto-expand option on or off...

  1. Click on the EDIT menu
  2. then OTHER MASTER FILES
  3. then CONTROL DETAILS
  4. then either tick or untick the AUTO EXPAND SCREEN option in the top right hand corner of the screen.
  5. click on SAVE and then EXIT the program and go back in again

I personally don't like the program screens to occupy my whole screen as I like to have several things open at once and be able to see all of them at the same time so I turn the AUTO EXPAND SCREEN option OFF but if you like it to occupy the whole screen with larger writing then turn it on (or buy a new set of glasses like I had to).


Statements/Receipts/Invoices don't print correctly

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Sometimes when people go to print statements, invoices or receipts the documents don't print properly, may print over several pages or have very large writing. This is most likely caused by an incorrect font setting. To fix it ...

  1. Click on the FILE menu
  2. then SETUP PRINTERS
  3. then DOUBLE CLICK on the PRINTER FONT (about the middle of the page)
  4. Select ARIAL FONT with no BOLD, ITALICS or UNDERLINED
  5. Click on OK
Try to print again - should now be OK. Printers

We don't know why this appears to change from time to time as the only way to change it is via this method but I've had several users with the same problem over the years.

Also check the entries in the columns marked "C", "X" and "Y". "C" is the number of copies to print, "X" is the offset from the left margin (moves the form across the page to the right as the number increases) and "Y" is the offset from the top of the page (moves the form down the page as the number increases).


Setup a New User Account on a Windows XP Computer

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To set up a new user on a Windows XP computer system you can follow these notes. The procedure is VERY similar for Windows Vista and Windows-7.

  1. Click on the START button
  2. Choose SETTINGS
  3. Choose CONTROL PANEL
  4. Click on USER ACCOUNTS
  5. Click on the CREATE A NEW ACCOUNT link
  6. Enter your Christian Name
  7. Click on the NEXT button
  8. Make sure that COMPUTER ADMINISTRATOR has a DOT in it
  9. Click on the CREATE ACCOUNT button
  10. Click on the icon for the new Account
  11. Click the CREATE PASSWORD Link
  12. Enter the same password into the two password boxes
  13. Click on the CREATE PASSWORD button
  14. Close the Control Panel
  15. Click on the START button
  16. Choose LOGOFF
  17. When you have logged off Press CTRL/ALT/DEL
  18. Enter the new name and password that you just set up
  19. Click on the OK button
  20. RIGHT click on the START button
  21. Then choose RUN
  22. Then enter ...
  23. C:\Broker\AllUsers.exe or C:\RentMstr\AllUsers.exe
  24. Click on the OK button
  25. Click on the DOIT button
  26. There will be a window flashing up in the top left hand corner of the screen - wait until it has disappeared for at least 5 seconds
  27. Click on the OK button

You will now have setup a new account on that computer.


Change Background Image

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You can change the background image on the main screen of your Rent Master, Ausbroker, Payroll or Accounting program quite easily to make it more "yours".

  1. Close your Rent Master, Ausbroker, Payroll or Accounting program
  2. Click on your Windows START menu
  3. Choose PROGRAMS (or ALL PROGRAMS)
  4. Choose ACCESSORIES
  5. Choose PAINT
  6. Click on the FILE menu in Paint
  7. Choose OPEN
  8. Then browse to ANY picture that you like which is stored on your computer and open it.
  9. Then click on the FILE menu in Paint again
  10. Choose SAVE AS
  11. Change the file type to a "24-bit BITMAP"
  12. Then enter the filename as
    • For Rent Master users: C:\RentMstr\{TheNameOfYourDatabase}.Bmp
    • For Ausbroker users: C:\Broker\{TheNameOfYourDatabase}.Bmp
    • For Payroll users: C:\Payroll\{TheNameOfYourDatabase}.Bmp
    • For Accounting users: C:\Acctng\{TheNameOfYourDatabase}.Bmp
    Where {TheNameOfYourDatabase} is the name of your database without the dot MDB on the end
    eg C:\RentMstr\RentGlyn.Bmp or C:\Broker\BrokPaul.Bmp or C:\Payroll\PayrGail.Bmp or C:\Acctng\AcctObri.Bmp
  13. Then close PAINT
  14. Then open your Rent Master, Ausbroker, Payroll or Accounting program again - the picture should now be the background image and the writing will be gone

General Protection Fault in module WIN87EM.DLL at 0001:02C6

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Recently ran into an issue with a Windows 7 32-bit VM running in VMware Fusion on Mac OSX 10.9 (Mavericks) when running a Point of Sale application would receive a Application has caused a general protection fault in module WIN87EM.DLL. Starting doing some digging and found this thread discussing the issue at
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/e0922437-0dc7-4091-a8f7-fadc7fb5bbb5/general-protection-fault-in-module-win87emdll-while-running-windows-xp-mode?forum=w7itprovirt.

Basically the issue is that when you try to run a legacy 16-bit application in Windows XP and above you will receive the GPF (General Protection Fault).

The Windows 80×87 emulator library, WIN87EM.DLL, works at the 16-bit-Windows level to virtualize the coprocessor among multiple Windows-based applications that run inside the system VM.

It appears to me that, with the Virtual Machine using a Virtualized Processor (not related to the above reference to “virtualized coprocessor”) as opposed to an emulated processor, the Virtual Math Coprocessor Device (VMCPD) and/or WIN87EM.DLL generate an error from the virtualized processor.

So how do we fix it. Simple enough you just have to to “hiding” the math coprocessor from the Virtual Machine, so it doesn’t go to the processor. This apparently can be achieved by using a program called WinFloat which includes a tool called HIDE87, which is suppose to hide the math coprocessor from the kernel.

Lucky for us you can download winfloat from

http://www.conradshome.com/win31/archive/ or
www.gosoftware.com.au/download/winfloat.exe.

The error should now be gone. This should work with virtual machines running on Virtualbox and VMWare.


Using EFT

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To use the bank EFT Transfer function all you need to do is make sure that you have the correct bank and account details for each person/company that you are paying and that their payment method is set to 'E' (for EFT).

Then you need to go into EDIT CONTROL DETAILS then OTHER OPTIONS then EFT/Cheques and make sure that USE EFT is ticked!

Then you need to go into the bank diskette screen and make sure that the information there is correct. You need to find out from your bank what your CEMTEC USER ID number is and enter it (1 six digit number) - this is NOT your internet banking account number or password).

Unless you are going to send the info to the bank on a different computer then you can use drive C: to export the disk otherwise use drive A: to export it to a diskette.

You also need to know whether your bank requires a self balancing file or not.

When you do the payments the details will be put into the pending EFT file which you can view by clicking on the PREVIEW button on the bank diskette screen.

When you click on the EXPORT button the system exports this data into a file that your bank software can read. The name of the file exported is displayed on the screen and you need to enter that name into the banking software when it asks for it.Once you have exported the data then you can click on the PRINT button (on the form) to print a report of what was actually exported.

Once you have sent the info off to the bank and they have confirmed that it is ok then you need to go back into the bank diskette screen and press the CLEAR button so that you are ready to process the next lot of payments.