Welcome to Training with Visual Lease. This course is designed to provide you with an understanding of how to configure financial categories, which impact how you capture transaction and journal entry details and export them through Visual Lease and the Visual Lease Accounting Feed.
By the end of the session, you’ll know how to set up financial categories to capture relevant payables and receivables as well as journal entries your company wants to track on your lease and project records.
Let’s get started. Throughout this course, I will toggle between:
The lease record screen which will display the current financial category configuration as it appears on a lease record, and…
The Visual Lease administrator tool, which is where you can change the configuration to meet your needs.
Keep in mind, only Administrator users can access the Administrator tool, and therefore they are the only ones that can change the configuration of financial categories. So if you want to change them based on what you see, feel free to reach out to them!
To access the administrator tool, go to tools -> administrator
Administrator is used to configure all of the financial and non-financial fields within your account. Any changes made in Administrator will carry through to your account immediately, impacting the fields on all leases. For that reason, you should think through the changes you want to make before you make them.
The Administrator home screen is organized into different sections based on the areas of the platform they correspond with. Above the home screen on the top-right of the screen, you will see the Administrator Main Menu which allows you to easily access the same sections that are available in the Home Screen
In this course we will cover Financial Categories which appears under Financial and Accounting. These categories will enable you to track and report on financial schedules within your leases, and if you want, allow them to be imported into your accounting system through the Visual Lease Accounting Feed. The Accounting Feed is a module that provides Accounts Payable, Receivable and General Ledger exports of transaction, journal entry and other accounting details to be imported into your accounting system. If you do not currently have access to the Accounting Feed, feel free to contact our Support team.
First, let me show you how to set up financial categories for payable and receivable entries.
When you land on the Financial Category screen, you will see the currently configured categories in the main part of the screen. The screen will default to a view called Tree Mode, as indicated on the top of your screen in the darker grey bar. Tree Mode shows your financial category structure in a simplified manner, revealing roll up categories that break into several individual categories. On the top-right of your screen, there are links that enable you to expand or collapse the selected financial categories, but you can also expand or collapse these individual roll-up categories by clicking on the small yellow arrows to the left of each category.
As you can see, the categories at the highest level of the tree structure are very broad, and if I expand each one I may see additional levels of financial categories that are more specific. These rollup categories will actually enable you to view the sum of the transactions within each group throughout the platform.
For example, if you look at the Calendar on a lease, you will be able to see these same categories with subtotals within them. As you click on these categories, they will break into their component categories.
On the bottom right side of the screen, you can switch the view to Table Mode. With this view, you can see the same categories but in a table, exposing various components of these categories in different columns. You can sort the table by clicking on any of the column headers, which can help you easily find the category you are looking for. The group that each individual category rolls up to is directly to the left of the category name.
Above the table on the right of the screen, you can control how many values you can see within the table at a time. On the bottom-right of the screen, you can change which set of records to view (if there are multiple pages of records). Lastly, the link beneath called “Export Grid” allows you to export the table you see into an Excel Spreadsheet.
I am going to switch back to Tree Mode for a cleaner way to view my financial categories.
For this course, I’m going to add a financial category to track maintenance expense, as an example. To add the category, there are two options. I can either click Add Category at the bottom of the screen, or I can click on the roll-up category I want to add this new category to and then click Add Category. By doing this, it will automatically place the new category underneath the TOTAL OPERATING EXPENSES roll up.
Please note that I can change this rollup category at any point, by clicking on this drop down and choosing another category. You will see all the categories are listed in this drop down because any category can become a rollup category. This enables you to accommodate complex structures if you need them.
When adding a new category, you will have to fill out a number of fields to properly set it up. Certain fields are required, meaning in order to save the record, you’ll need to populate AT LEAST those fields – these are indicated by a red line.
Category Name will be displayed throughout the platform, and usually describes the purpose of the financial category. Each value must be unique within the platform. Please note that Category Name has a 30 character limit. For this category, I’m going to name it Maintenance Expense.
Next you’ll need to populate the code and abbreviation. While users primarily see the name while working in the platform, the code and abbreviation are still required behind-the-scenes. It is worth noting, however, that these values can output onto the Accounting Feed. Because of this, some companies may choose to capture additional coding in the code and abbreviation fields, when they need additional identifiers to help associate the entry to the correct function within the ERP.
If you don’t need the fields to serve a particular purpose, you can simply abbreviate the financial category name for both fields. Keep in mind these values must also be unique across your account and both of these fields have a 6 character limit. For this category, I’m going to label the code and abbreviation “maint”.
Sort order is a numeric value that determines where this field displays within the total list of Financial Categories in its roll-up group. When creating a category for the first time, the sort order will default to the next sequential number in the roll up group. For this category, I’m going to leave it as is.
The Type enables you to classify the type of financial category so it maps to the correct value within the platform. SEE POWERPOINT SLIDE
For this example, I am going to choose Lease Only as the type.
We will now move to the Lease Accounting Details section of the Financial Category setup. The configuration of this section has a significant impact on how the system will treat these entries when running Lease Accounting calculations.
Due to the new lease accounting rules, different types of payables and receivables have very specific treatments within lease accounting calculations. The Inclusion Type of each financial category allows you to set the defaults for these categories, saving you time when generating your lease accounting calculations within each lease record.
For this example, I’m going to select Excluded as the Inclusion Type
You will see to the right of the Lease Accounting Details there is a section called Automation Settings. This area allows you to configure some settings that impact special configurations of the platform that enable further automation.
The check boxes for SLR represent including or excluding the financial category in Straight Line rent calculations that are generated from our original lease accounting module called the “Straight-Line Rent Module.” Our best practice is to leave these boxes unselected.
Under those check boxes you’ll see GL Entry Target and Forecast Target. You do not need to fill out GL Entry Target generally, unless instructed to do so to meet one-off configuration needs.
With regards to Forecast Target, this helps you configure this category so it can be used within our Forecasting feature.
This feature is found in the Multiple Lease Update tool within the platform, and allows you to use historical financial information from one financial category to build budget or income projections in another category that tracks the forecast over a particular window of time.
This dropdown field allows you to link the two categories together. I am going to leave this blank for now.
Now that I am finished configuring this category, I am going to click Save on the bottom right of the Financial Category dialogue box.
Now if you want to edit a Financial Category, simply click on the existing category you’d like to make changes to and click Edit Category on the bottom of the screen. Once inside the Edit Financial Category dialogue box, make the desired changes and click Save on the bottom right side of the dialogue box. Keep in mind that if you make any changes to a financial category’s configuration, this will be reflected in all leases and across all reports. We highly recommend viewing all areas of the system where that category appears before making any changes to prevent any negative downstream impacts
To delete a Financial Category, simply click on the existing category you’d like to delete and select Delete Category on the bottom of the screen. Please note that there are some platform restrictions in place to protect you from accidentally deleting a Financial Category in use. You will not be able to delete the category if it is being used to capture financial entries or is being mapped to accounting codes within Visual Lease’s Chart of Accounts. The platform will display a message identifying all related lease records and Chart of Accounts mappings you need to disassociate before allowing you to delete the categoryIf there are no corresponding financial entries or chart of account mappings, the platform will ask you if you are sure you’d like to delete the category. As soon as you click Yes on the bottom right side of the pop-up, the system will display a green message at the top of the screen confirming that the category will be removed from the platform.
Now that we covered how to configure financial categories for payables and receivables, I want to walk you through how to configure financial categories for your journal entries. These journal entry financial categories need to be configured in order to leverage the General Ledger or GL Feed, which is found in the Accounting Feed module
The process for adding these financial categories is very similar, with only a few differences. To add a journal entry financial category, I am going to first see if I have a Financial Category roll-up related to my journal entries. Here I see JOURNAL ENTRIES. I am going to select it, and then select ‘Add Category’ again so my new category rolls up to JOURNAL ENTRIES
For this example, I am going to create the category that tracks the Starting Balance of the Right of Use Asset for Operating lease calculations, so in the Category Name, I’m going to name it ROU (SB) Operating.
I will update code and abbreviation to “rousbo”
I am not going to change the Rollup Category Name here. As a best practice, we recommend grouping all journal entry financial categories into a single Roll Up Category to keep them in one place, easily accessible. A common Roll Up group that is used is JOURNAL ENTRIES
Because this is a journal entry, the Type field should be GL Entry.
As soon as you select GL Entry, the Lease Accounting Details section of the screen change, with 4 optional drop-down fields that enable additional configuration capabilities.
The Subtype allows you to map this category to a specific journal entry generated by your lease accounting calculations, which can be found in the Lease Accounting module POWERPOINT (slide 7) You can see the journal entries generated in this module at the bottom of the screen in the Journal Entry Summary section.
When setting up the subtype, click on the drop-down to see all of the possible journal entries and pick the one that applies.
Beneath subtypes, there are several other fields that will help map this journal entry to the appropriate Lease Type, Accounting Standard, or Record Type if needed.
For example, in this case, I want to send my Right of Use Asset Starting Balance journal entry to a different GL account based on whether the calculation is Finance or Operating. so, I am going to select Operating for the Lease Type.
If I wanted to map this journal entry only to those generated following a certain accounting standard, I can select the standard from the Accounting Standard dropdown. I am going to leave that set to All for now.
If I wanted to map this entry for only a specific record type – like only for real estate or equipment leases—then I can select the record type it corresponds to here.
Overall, these additional drop-down fields are leveraged if you need to map Visual Lease to more complex and detailed Journal Entry setups within your Accounting System.
You will notice that once you select a sub type, a new check box under Automation Settings called “Include in Accounting Feed” will appear. The “Include in Accounting Feed” checkbox must be selected in order for it to be exported through the Accounting Feed. If you do not want this category to ever flow through to your Feed, you can deselect it here.
Once you have finished configuring this field, click save on the bottom right side of the window
That concludes our course on configuring financial categories. We’ve reviewed How your Administrator can set up Financial Categories to meet your financial needs around tracking, reporting and sometimes exporting payable and receivable entries, as well as journal entries within Visual Lease. Thank you for attending this course – any questions, suggestions or feedback can be sent to email@example.com.