Accounts Receivable (abbreviated A/R or AR) is a way for stores to offer credit to their customers and bill them later. This functions similarly to using House Charge at the Point of Sale, but also includes a way to set terms and create statements that can be used for billing purposes.
The AR module is an add-on feature that is available to RICS Enterprise clients for an additional fee.
Types of AR Accounts
There are two types of AR accounts that RICS offers, Balance Forward and Open Item.
Balance Forward accounts are a type of account that will carry forward any unpaid balance at the end of each billing period. For example, a typical credit card is a Balance Forward account. Whatever you do not pay on the credit card bill is rolled over onto your next statement as a single “Previous Balance” line item.
Open Item accounts are accounts where each item is tracked separately. This sort of account is often used for business-to-business sales or medical payments. In an Open Item account, each charge is paid separately, and will continue to appear on statements until it is paid off.
Setting up AR
Before using Accounts Receivable, the customer must set up AR within RICS. This is done via the A/R:: A/R Setup page. Here, the user must choose the default statement type (Open Item or Balance Forward) as well as the terms for each statement type. Terms include such items as how long the customer has to pay the balance, what the minimum payment is, and whether there will be a finance charge added to unpaid balances.
Once AR is set up, the customer still needs to enroll. To do so, the user must go to the A/R:: Enter A/R Customers page and select a customer to enroll. From there, many of the default settings (credit limit, grace period, etc.) can be overridden for the individual customer.
Making purchases using AR
Making a purchase at the Point of Sale using AR is quite simple. First the user must select an AR Customer (that is, a customer who has been enrolled in AR). The user then rings up the sale normally. However, the user then chooses the House Charge tender. When the sale is complete, RICS will automatically create the appropriate AR Charge records for the customer. AR purchase can be posted to another AR account. See here for more information on AR Post To.
Running AR statements
When it is time to bill the customer, the user should run an AR statement. To do so, the user should go to the A/R :: A/R Reports :: Print Statements screen. From there, the user can select the appropriate criteria and run the statement, which is outputted to the Report History list.
The user can choose the statement date when running statements. The intent of this is that if the store usually sends out statements on a given date (say, the first of the month), and that date falls on a weekend or a day when the accountant is otherwise not in the office, the user can pre-date or post-date the statement to the appropriate date. If the statement is pre-dated, any transactions from dates after the statement date will not show up, and will be included on the next statement. The same is true of any transactions done after a post-dated statement, but before the statement date.
Some very important points to keep in mind when running statements:
- Running an AR Statement changes the data! After the statement is run, any Balance forward accounts will have their balance rolled forward on the next statement. Finance charges will be assessed. Because running the statement alters the underlying data, it is very important that the user runs a Preview Statement first! When previewing, the data will not be changed.
- Preview your AR Statements first! (See above.) This is especially important when running statements for Balance Forward customers.