We want to pass along a few reminders and news items as we approach the end of 2017. Following is a summary of options for those of you with a fiscal year ending on December 31st, a few tutorials and tips for finalizing your MS-61, and news regarding the next Tax Collect update.
Year End: Remember that the Avitar Tax Collect system has a hard fiscal year end close, which means that you cannot process work in the current fiscal year until the last fiscal year has been closed. When you close the fiscal year, the system captures the ending balances (outstanding invoice amounts by warrant) for that fiscal year and creates the beginning balances for the next fiscal year. The beginning and ending balances are extremely important as the beginning balances of this year must match the ending balances of the previous year. If they do not, you must explain to the Department of Revenue (DRA) why they have changed. With this in mind, the system was designed not to allow changes in a closed fiscal year, hence the hard close. As a result, you have two options:
- Close on January 1st: You can choose to run all of your reports, balance for the year, and close the fiscal year on January 1st (or immediately thereafter such as, for example, the morning of January 2nd or 3rd — just make sure it’s before you begin posting payments for January.) This option allows you to then post payments for January and is recommended for those towns with a 2017P02 due date in January. However, be aware that once you close you will not be able to post payments with a payment date prior to January.
- Leave your books open and close by January 10th: By law, you can leave your books open for ten days into the next fiscal year, in order to post any payments you receive for December. Keep in mind that you should only be processing payments during this time, not assigning credits or posting abatements. All other transactions should have been completed prior to year-end. Note, this option will not allow you to post January payments until after you have closed your fiscal year.
It is up to you on which option you prefer, but remember that if you balance and run your reports on December 31st and subsequently post a payment or process any transaction (assign a credit, process an abatement, delete a transaction) you will need to rerun your reports. Note, if you do any work after December 31st and want it to be reflected on your Monthly Balance Report you will need to call us in order to recapture your December report.
Year End Tips and Tutorials: We have several topics with detailed instructions for:
- Reviewing, understanding, and submitting your MS-61.
- Creating a backup of your data.
- Performing the actual Close Period.
Tax Collect Software Update: Those of you who attended the Avitar vendor session at the Tax Collect Conference in North Conway two months ago might remember that we spent much of the time previewing the next update. You might also remember that we said it would be available in three to four weeks. We’re still working on it, but obviously the three to four weeks was overly ambitious. The changes necessary to implement separation of property and utility payments have proven to be more complicated than we thought at the time. That said, that portion of the update is now complete so we just have a few more items to implement and test. Once all the year end craziness has passed, we plan to distribute the update in… three to four weeks. But this time we mean it. We apologize for the delay.
Let us know if you have any questions, and best wishes for a relaxing and enjoyable holiday season.