With this article we will address some of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that have come up since the inception of the period close process, a new feature introduced in our 6.5 release.
Question: When can the month be closed?
Answer: Anytime after the calendar month is over.
For example, October cannot be closed until November 1 at the earliest. This information is made available to you from the “Period Close” screen. The screen will show “No Active Period Available” when the month is not closable. If the month is closable, data will populate in every field (see below).
NOTE: Although the Period Close screen will not show you the month until it is closable. It will however, show any previous periods that have yet to be closed.
Not a Closable Month
Question: What are the different methods for period closing?
Answer: There is “Date of Close” and “Calendar Month”
In sharp contrast to the previous methodology behind the “End of Month” process is the amount of flexibility given to the user in how they’d like to close their month. There are some big differences between “Date of Close” method and “Calendar Month” method and it is up to you to decide which one is the most practical for your office.
- Date of Close. There will be a date range in the View History of Period Close (see below). This method is used by offices that prefer to close the month on the 15th, or on any day other than the last day of the month. All charges, payments and adjustments physically entered into the system during the date range that you specified will be included in that month close based on the actual date of entry.
- Calendar Month. This is the preferred method. This method will start the period on the first day of the month, and end it based on the last day of the month. Calendar Month will close the period based on the below criteria.
- Charges will be closed based on the Date of Service
- Payments will be closed based on the Deposit date
- Adjustments will be closed based on the Adjustment date
For example, if you are entering charges on November 5, but the date of service for those charges is October 28, these charges can still be included in the October month close, if you have not yet closed that period. This can be very helpful when you are waiting for an EOB from the previous month. You can continue posting your transactions for the current month and when the EOB arrives you can set it to a deposit date from the previous month. This will not interfere with your November transactions.
Note: if a period is already closed and you enter a transaction for that period it will be included in the next open period. This is because once a period is closed nothing more can be added or removed to it.
Stay tuned for the next article, a discussion of the different Period Reports.