As we approach the end of 2018, we want to pass along a few reminders. The following is a summary of options for those of you with a fiscal year ending on December 31st, some year-end tips, and a few tutorials for finalizing your MS-61.
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 previous 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, for example, the morning of January 2nd or 3rd — just make sure it’s before you attempt to post payments for January). This option allows you to then post payments for January and is recommended for those towns with a 2018P02 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 no later than January 10th: Leave your books open into the next fiscal year, in order to post any December payments you receive that were postmarked by December 31st, typically these are your online payments. 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. You should also check with your finance department and/or auditors to make sure it is okay to continue posting payments and making deposits in January for December work. Last year we had a client call to say their auditor did not want to see deposits going to the bank in January, yet be reflected as a December deposit in tax collect.
It is up to you as to 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 re-run 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 Avitar in order to recapture the report before you close your Fiscal Period.
Year-End Tips and Tutorials:
- During the month of December start verifying the amounts on the Collection YTD report:
- Abatements: Make sure you have signed paperwork from your assessors/selectmen that total what is on the Collection YTD report.
- Committed & Supplemented: Add your signed warrants from your assessors/selectmen.
- Total Refunded Credits: Verify all refunds have been processed in Avitar Tax Collect and the amount matches what your finance department processed for refunds.
- Reviewing, understanding, and submitting your MS-61.
- Creating a backup of your data.
- Performing the actual Close Period.