User Manual

1. Introduction

This document is the user manual for Virgo Accounts. This introductory section includes information you will need before using the system for the first time so take time to read it before starting to use the software.

1.1 Entering Data

Entry of data is consistent throughout all functions; the following conventions are used:

Summary of function key usage

There are two modes of keyboard entry: “input” mode, used for initial input of information, and “amend” mode, used when you choose the Amend option. In input mode if a value is entered incorrectly you may use the keys listed below to edit characters before you press Enter (or Tab); you may either accept the default value offered (as described above) or type a new value. In amend mode you may edit the existing value or leave it unchanged (by pressing Enter or Tab); to edit you must delete any unwanted characters and input any new characters - you cannot over-type the existing value. The following keys may be used where appropriate:

* to obtain this key combination press and hold down the key marked Ctrl and whilst doing so press the Delete, Right Arrow or Left Arrow key as appropriate; then release both keys.

The search facility is available for the following fields: client code, matter code, fee earner, cashbook, nominal account code, charge group, activity and bill number.

Entering ??, or pressing F2, in any of the valid fields will activate the search facility. You will either be presented with a list of valid options for that field, or be prompted “Search for...”, depending on the field. In the latter case enter the first few characters of the name or description you are looking for; if you just press Enter you will be given a list of all entries for that field. The system will display the entries with a name or description beginning with the characters you entered. If there are more items than will fit on one screen, press Enter to display the next screen of details.

To select one of the entries displayed, type the number corresponding to the entry you require and press Enter. You will be returned to the program’s input screen with the selected code already entered in the appropriate field.

1.3 Data Validation

The following standard validation rules are applied to data as it is input.

Posting Date: The default for a posting date is always today’s date. The date input may not be in the future and, unless the date check system parameter is set to N (see Maintain Parameters), it may not be more than 30 days earlier than today’s date. Error messages: Invalid date; May not be in the future; May not be more than 30 days ago.

Dates may be entered in one of several formats:

  1. using a slash (/), minus (−) or dot (.) to delimit the day, month and year (eg. D/M/YY, D−M−YY or D.M.YY). In this case, the date may be entered with or without leading zeros for the day and month; and if the century part of the year is omitted, it is assumed to be 19 for values over 80, otherwise 20; the year may be omitted altogether, in which case the present year is taken;
  2. in the format DDMMYY, where the entry must be exactly 6 digits;
  3. as an offset from today’s date; eg. −1 is yesterday’s date.

Examples of valid dates are:

Client Code: Unless the client is being inserted (using Maintain Client Details) the client code must already have been set up. The client name will be displayed. In most programs the client code defaults to the previously used client code. Error message: Does not exist.

Matter Code: Unless the matter is being inserted (using Maintain Matter Details) the matter code must already have been set up for that client. The matter description will be displayed; if the matter has been closed the description is displayed in a highlight colour. In most programs the matter code defaults to the previously used matter code. Error message: Does not exist.

Cashbook, Fee Earner, Charge Group, Activity, Nominal Account: Similarly, the codes for cashbook, fee earner, charge group, activity and nominal account must already have been set up using the appropriate maintenance routine. The appropriate description will be displayed. Error message: Does not exist.

Amount: In general the amount of a transaction must be a positive amount, although many routines allow a negative amount in order to correct mispostings. The value may be entered as a whole number of pounds or as pounds and pence separated by a decimal point. Depending upon the transaction, additional validation may be performed. Error messages: Amount required; May not be negative.

1.4 Printing Reports

When you request a report to be printed the system responds with the message, “Ready to print to LPT1 ? (Press F1 for Help)”. This is to enable you to check that your printer is switched on, is online and loaded with paper. You may respond in one of the following ways (using either uppercase or lowercase letters):

For long reports it is strongly recommended you write the report to a file or web browser or spool it and print it later, rather than printing it directly to the printer.

1.5 Time Recording

Work-in-progress is valued at the appropriate charge rate for the activity undertaken. It is valued at the time of posting and is not revalued when there is any change of charge rates.

To cater for legal aid time recording, the system maintains a comprehensive set of fee rate tables based upon the type of work or legal aid category (referred to as a charge group) and activity. Each combination (of charge group and activity) has an hourly rate or, for certain activities, a rate per item. Each client matter is assigned a default charge group, which defines the valid activities for that work type and the rate for each activity.

Many users find that one non-legal aid fee rate table is sufficient for their needs. However, if the practice requires, separate fee rate tables may be set up, for example, for different types of work or for each fee earner.

For each client matter the time recorded is normally held in summary form, by fee earner, as the total amount of time and/or number of items for each activity, together with the value of that time. A system parameter (see Maintain Parameters) provides the option to hold detailed time entries showing the date of the entry in addition to the summarised time. See Appendix C for details of setting up fee rates.

1.6 Disbursements

One of the more complex features of solicitors’ accounts is the handling of disbursements. The following is a summary of how disbursements may be handled. Please refer to the appropriate program documentation for full details.

If you have an invoice for a product or service which you intend passing on to a client, you should record the item as a disbursement using Post Disbursement Item or if the invoice is to be split among a number of clients Post Disbursement Batch.

Having posted a disbursement you may do one of four things: (i) you may include it in a bill (using Post Bill); (ii) you may ask the client for a cheque, in which case when the client’s cheque arrives you would post this using Post Disbursement Receipt (note: you may only do this if there is no VAT); (iii) if you have money on client account which may be used for this purpose, you may transfer it using Client to Office Transfer; (iv) if you find after all that you cannot charge the client you can write off the disbursement using Write Off Disbursement.

If, on receiving a third-party invoice, you have money on client account which may be used for this purpose, you can write a client cheque to settle the invoice, using Post Client Payment to record the transaction. In this case you clearly must not later include the disbursement in a bill.

When posting a bill you may include disbursements which have not yet been recorded on the system (and presumably have not been paid by the firm, in which case they must be separately shown on the bill). This will create a credit disbursement balance on the matter. When you receive the invoice for such a disbursement you should post it as a disbursement which will offset the credit item.

1.7 Office and Client Cashbooks

The system supports up to 99 office cashbooks, numbered 1 to 99, which may be bank, building society, petty cash or credit card accounts. Where appropriate, when making a posting, you are asked to identify the cashbook from which, or into which, the sum is being paid.

The system also supports up to 900 client cashbooks, numbered 100 to 999, which may be general client accounts, client trust accounts or designated client accounts at a bank or building society. Cashbook 100 is the general client bank account and cashbook 101 is the general client trust bank account; these are set up automatically at the time of installation.

Each client matter may have only one client cashbook, which may be either the appropriate general account (ordinary or trust) or a designated account. Thus a single client matter may not have client money in both general and designated accounts. Where this is the case, a separate matter must be set up for the client. In this instance it is suggested that the matter code for the second matter is appended to the description of the first matter and/or a zero value receipt or payment may be made to the first matter with a narrative to indicate that another account exists.

1.8 Client Interest

The “nominal” interest on each client account is calculated daily, based on the client account balance for each matter. Interest calculation is performed by Day End Processing, unless the auto day-end system parameter is set to N (see Maintain Parameters). This is the value of interest that would be due notwithstanding the appropriate regulations. It is only when interest is actually posted that cognisance should be taken of the overall balance and/or the number of days for which the funds have been held. Depending on the circumstances, interest is posted using either Post Client Interest or Post Client Receipt.

The firm must ensure that client account transactions are posted promptly and that the interest rates table is maintained up-to-date in order that the interest calculated is accurate.

1.9 Nominal Ledger

The system maintains a nominal ledger which holds balances and open item transactions for a variety of accounts to support double-entry bookkeeping. Account codes begin with:

The system also maintains balances for a number of statistical (non-financial) accounts which do not form part of the double-entry system; these accounts begin with N.

Certain accounts are designated as “system” accounts – list of system accounts. These are accounts to which postings are made automatically as a result of making other accounting entries, eg. posting a bill or an office payment. System accounts may not be deleted and care must be taken when posting directly to a system account – you are warned when attempting to post directly to a system account. Refer to Appendix A for details of the accounting entries made for each type of posting.

1.10 VAT Amounts

When posting a transaction the VAT amount generally defaults to the net amount times the standard VAT rate (see Maintain Parameters). This figure may be changed simply by entering a different value, for instance if only part of a transaction was VATable or the transaction is zero-rated.

You should enter * if the transaction is outside the scope of VAT; if you enter 0 for transactions that are outside the scope of VAT this will incorrectly include the transaction in your VAT statistics. Examples of transactions that are outside the scope of VAT are opening balances, salaries, drawings or bad debt provision. Examples of disbursements that are outside the scope of VAT (what the VAT Guide confusingly refers to as a “disbursement for VAT purposes”) are court fees and other statutory charges.

1.11 Posting Dates

Posting dates are for memorandum purposes only. All accounting entries are displayed and printed in the order in which they were posted, which is not necessarily the posting date sequence.

1.12 Reversing Postings

It can be all too easy to make a mistake when posting, and it can then take an inordinate amount of time to attempt to correct the entry. Most of the routines allow you to reverse a misposting simply by entering negative values; two routines (Post Client Receipt and Post Client Payment) are a “mirror opposite”. To “undo” a bill posting, use Post Bill Credit replying Y to Reinstate?. Refer to Appendix A for details of the updates made by each posting program. In all cases the method of correcting a misposting should be firstly to reverse the error and then re-post the correct entry. This way you have an audit trail of what has happened. If there are several mispostings then they should be undone in reverse order before re-posting the correct entries. You are advised to take a backup before attempting to reverse a complex series of mispostings.

If you get your postings in a real pickle with corrections to corrections to corrections you would be advised to restore from an earlier backup of your data and try to get them right first time.

1.13 Bill Overpayments

The receipt of funds to pay a bill is usually posted into the office account. If a client overpays a bill, the correct procedure is to pay the full amount of the remittance into client account and then transfer from client to office the amount of the bill, leaving the overpayment in client account. However, there are sometimes reasons why this doesn’t happen and a bill overpayment is posted into the office account. In this case the amount of the overpayment must be transferred to client account as soon as possible. The correct postings to reflect this are: (i) Post Bill Receipt for the full amount of the bill; (ii) Post Disbursement Item for the amount of the overpayment, entering the disbursement as a NEGATIVE amount and the VAT as *; (iii) Office to Client Transfer for the amount of the overpayment.

1.14 Cheque Writing

It is possible to produce cheques and remittance advices from Virgo Accounts. Three payment posting programs – Post Disbursement Item, Post Office Payment and Post Client Payment – create a merge file which can be used in conjunction with a word processor to format to your precise requirements and then print a cheque and/or remittance advice. In order that the payee name is available, the narrative must consist of a description of the payment followed by a space, a hyphen, another space and then the payee; eg. “Court fees - Hertford Crown Court”. The format of the cheque merge file is given in Appendix E.

1.15 Backing up Your Data

Please refer to the Getting Started guide for details about backing up your data.

2. Client and Matter Details

2.1 Maintain Client Details

This program is used to input, amend and delete clients. Note that the client code cannot be amended. A client may only be deleted if there are no matters for the client; unless the conditions for deletion are met you will not be given the option to delete the client. The program prompts for the following:

Automatic client numbering: When inserting a new client, you may obtain the next available client code by entering just a * if you use all numeric client codes, or an initial letter followed by * if your coding scheme uses an initial letter.

As well as the usual options to update, amend, delete or quit, there is also the option when inputting a new client or amending an existing one to update the client details and then go directly to Maintain Matter Details in order to input a new matter or amend an existing one. To select this option, enter M (Matter) or press F10.

2.2 Maintain Matter Details

This routine is used to input, amend and delete matters. It also provides the option to remove all financial transactions for the matter without deleting the matter record, which may be useful if you wish to keep the basic details of all matters without the overhead of retaining all the financial transactions. Note that the matter code cannot be amended. A matter may only be deleted or its transactions removed if all balances for the client matter (that is bills, disbursements, work-in-progress, client ledger and client nominal interest) are zero; unless the conditions for deletion are met you will not be given the option to delete the matter or remove the transactions. You are strongly advised to take a full matter ledger and client ledger print for your records before deleting a matter or removing the transactions. The program prompts for the following:

Analysis codes: Two analysis codes are provided to give a method of grouping matters for reporting purposes, which are used by a number of reporting programs. They may be used, for example, for the type of work, the fee earner responsible for the matter, source of introduction, or any other classification. If used for fee earner you need not use the fee earner number, but could, for instance, use the fee earners’ initials. In any case, coding of the analysis codes is entirely up to the user, and must be consistent if it is to provide meaningful results.

Note that the labels for Legal aid, Stakeholder, Trust, Analysis A and Analysis B may be amended on all screens and reports if required (refer to Maintain Pseudonyms for details.). However, irrespective of its label, the effect of the trust indicator, particularly in relation to client cashbooks, remains the same.

2.3 Client/Matter Enquiry

This program is used to display or print basic details about a client and its matters. You will be prompted for:

If you selected a single client, the client details are displayed in the same format as for Maintain Client Details. You may display a list of matters for the selected client by entering M (Matters) or pressing F10, from which you may select one to display the matter details in the same format as for Maintain Matter Details.

2.4 Matter Search

This program is used to find and print a list of matters that meet specific criteria; for example, you may list all legal aid matters, all non trust matters, or all matters that have been referred to you by your accountant. You are prompted for the following:

Note that you must enter a value in at least one of the search field prompts. The program will perform its search looking for matters that meet all the criteria selected. You may then print the list of matters found.

2.5 Matter Limits Report

This report will list any matters that are over or nearing their action date and/or budget limits. It may be set to run automatically each time the system is started for the first time each day, if required. You will be asked to enter:

2.6 Action Date Listing

This program will list all matters that have an entry in the Action Date field on the matter record. Any matters found are listed in order of the action date.

2.7 Detailed Matter Listing

This routine is similar to Matter Search but lists the client name, address, phone and fax numbers and comments, and matter description, action date and comments for all selected matters. There is also the option to list only the clients’ names and addresses, which may be useful for copying and pasting into a word processor to produce mailing labels.

2.8 Close Matter

This routine allows you to mark a matter as closed by entering a date of closure. This has no accounting effect and does not inhibit the posting of accounting transactions; it simply allows certain reports to omit matters that have been marked as closed. When a matter is closed a $ sign is appended to the matter description to help identify closed matters on reports and enquiries. The program prompts for:

2.9 Opened/Closed Matters

This report lists all matters with an opened date or closed date between selected dates, by analysis code A, analysis code B, or client. The program prompts for:

2.10 Matters With No Transactions

This report will list all matters that have no transactions on any account (client account, matter ledger or work-in-progress).

2.11 Matter Progress Report

This report shows, for each matter that has a budget, the budget, the work-in-progress and disbursement balances and the amount remaining.

3. Office Accounting

3.1 Post Disbursement Item

This program is used to post a single disbursement item to a client matter paid from an office cashbook. The program prompts for the following:

You may use this program to post anticipated disbursements by posting a disbursement with a Net and VAT amount of zero and a narrative describing the expected item and amount. This will be printed on draft bills and matter ledger enquiries.

3.2 Post Disbursement Batch

This routine is used to post a single cheque to pay disbursements for a number of client matters. You are prompted for:

You will then be prompted for a series of:

When all entries are complete, exit input mode and then select U (Update) to post the entries; you will not be able to post the batch if the Gross amount entered in the header is not equal to the sum of the Net and VAT amounts entered in the line items. If you exit input mode in error, you may go back input mode by entering I (Insert). An entry may be corrected by entering S (Select) and the item number; you may then delete or amend the selected item.

3.3 Write Off Disbursement

This program is used to write off disbursements. Rather than writing off individual disbursements, this function creates a single credit disbursement entry. Disbursements will normally be written off by including them in a bill. The program prompts for the following:

3.4 Post Disbursement Receipt

This program is used to record a receipt from a client to pay a disbursement without the firm having raised a bill. This may only be for disbursements on which there is no VAT; if the disbursement is VATable then a VAT invoice must be raised, even if it is not sent to the client. You will be prompted for:

3.5 Post Bill

This program is used to record a bill sent to a client. A bill may only be for a single client matter. It may also be used to write off all unbilled disbursements and work-in-progress on a matter. You will be prompted for the following:

By default all disbursements on the client matter will be written off and removed from the main section of the matter ledger as the result of raising a bill, regardless of the value of disbursements actually billed. If you wish to retain some disbursements on the matter for later billing, select option D (Disbursements). This will list all unbilled disbursements for the matter. You can then individually mark those entries to be retained by using the M (Mark/unmark) option. Items marked in error may be “unmarked” by selecting M (Mark/unmark) again. All disbursements removed are retained on the historic entries section of the matter ledger. The default may be changed so that disbursements are not written off by default by changing the write off disbursements system parameter to N (see Maintain Parameters).

Note also that any time not removed is carried forward as a single entry for fee earner number 1 with an activity code narrated “carried forward”. Only summarised time entries are removed; any detailed entries remain until the matter is deleted or archived.

You may use this program to write off all unbilled disbursements and work-in-progress for a matter. To do this enter a bill number of 0, a fees billed and disbursements amount of 0 and a time removed amount equal to the outstanding work-in-progress.

Post Bill also creates an ASCII delimited text file (named XSBILL.SPS) which may be used with the mail merge option in most word processors to create the invoice that is sent to the client. The file will be overwritten by each bill as it is posted. If the program is unable to write to the file you will get the message “Warning - File in use”, and the file will not be written but the ledgers will have been updated.

3.6 Post Bill Receipt

This program is used to post a receipt in full or partial settlement of a bill. If transferring money from client account to settle a bill you should use Client to Office Transfer. The program may also be used to reverse a bill receipt, if required, simply by entering negative values for the Net and VAT amounts; in this case care must be taken to ensure that the correct VAT amount is entered. The program prompts for the following:

3.7 Post Bill Credit

This routine is used to post a credit against a client bill. This may be to write off the remaining portion of an unpaid or part paid bill, or to cancel a bill entirely. If the entire bill is being cancelled it may be written off or the unbilled balances may be restored for inclusion in a future bill. However, the unbilled balances may only be restored if the bill is fully unpaid at the time of posting the credit. The program prompts you to enter the following:

Note that any reinstated time creates a single record which is assigned to fee earner number 1 and has an activity code of “general”.

Caution: Because of the complexity of options in Post Bill Credit, when using this routine to post a negative correcting entry it is possible to make a misposting that is irreversible – you are therefore strongly advised to take a backup before attempting to make a negative entry. If you fail to do so and make a further misposting it might only be undo-able at some cost.

3.8 Post Office Receipt

This program is used to post receipts of office funds other than for payment of a bill. You will be asked to enter the following:

Note: a negative office receipt is not the same as an office payment since a receipt affects the VAT output figures and a payment affects the VAT input figures.

3.9 Post Office Payment

This program is used to post payments of office expenses that are not directly recharged to clients. The program prompts for the following:

Note: a negative office payment is not the same as an office receipt since a receipt affects the VAT output figures and a payment affects the VAT input figures.

3.10 Cashbook Transfer

This function is used to post a transfer funds from one office cashbook to another. You will be prompted for the following:

Remember, where appropriate, to give instructions to the bank to transfer the funds.

3.11 Journal Transfer

This program is used to post transfers between accounts on the nominal ledger. This may be required, for example, to post depreciation of fixed assets by transferring from the appropriate fixed asset account to the depreciation account. The program prompts for:

3.12 Transfer Matter Balances

This program may be used to transfer from one matter to another all or part of the balance of unbilled disbursements and/or work-in-progress. The program does not transfer the unpaid bills balance. You will be prompted for:

Note that any time transferred is assigned to fee earner 1, general activity code.

3.13 Nominal to Disbursement Transfer

The purpose of this routine is to allow part of an office expense (such as postage or car running expenses) to be recharged to a client as a disbursement. The program prompts for:

3.14 Post Creditor Invoice

This program enables the firm to record purchase invoices before they are settled. The invoice is recorded against a selected nominal ledger creditor account and expense account. If the firm is on a bills rendered basis for VAT the VAT liability is also recorded. This is not a full purchase ledger but a simple method to record purchase liabilities. You will be asked to enter:

The firm may set up one or more creditor accounts in the nominal ledger, which must be liability accounts. When making payment this should be recorded using Post Office Payment - nb. when posting the payment, if the firm is on a bills rendered basis for VAT then the gross amount must be entered in the net amount field and * entered for the VAT otherwise the VAT will be reclaimed twice!

4. Enquiries

4.1 Matter Ledger Enquiry

This routine is used to display or print the office balances and matter ledger transactions for a selected client matter. The program prompts for:

The account balances and all office transactions (unbilled disbursements, bills and bill receipts/credits) for the client matter are displayed (in posting order). If any historic entries (billed disbursements) exist then the option to display these is given. Enter H (History) to display the historic entries; from the history screen enter C (Current) to return to the current entries screen. If you select the print option it will print either the current entries or historic entries depending upon which screen was displayed at the time the print option was selected. Note that the sequence for the historic entries is posting order within bill number.

Entry of Z or pressing F10 will take you directly to Client Account Enquiry.

4.2 Cashbook Enquiry

This function is used to display or print the balance and transactions on a specified office or client cashbook. The program prompts for:

The cashbook balance and all transactions for the cashbook are displayed (in posting order). If any historic (archived) entries exist then the option to display these is given. Enter H (History) to display the historic entries; from the history screen enter C (Current) to return to the current entries screen. If you print the enquiry it will print either the current or historic entries depending upon which screen was displayed at the time the print option was selected.

4.3 Unpaid Bills Enquiry

This program will display or print all unpaid bills including the age of the bill in days. This will only show bills that have been posted; it cannot show, for example, legal aid bills where only a bill number has been allocated without the full bill details having been posted. Bills are shown in sequential order. If a printed report is selected, the total value of all unpaid bills is shown.

4.4 Matter Accounts Enquiry

This enquiry program displays the unpaid bills, unbilled disbursements, client ledger and work-in-progress balances, together with the matter ledger and client ledger transactions for a specified client matter. It may also be used to display the total balances for all matters for a selected client. An alternative enquiry is Matter Transactions Enquiry which shows more details for each transaction. The program prompts for the following:

Note that only the client side of an office to client transfer or client to office transfer will be shown if a subsequent bill has been raised.

4.5 Nominal Account Enquiry

This program will display or print all transactions on a selected nominal account. The program prompts for:

The balance and all transactions for the selected account are displayed (in posting order).

(Note that Client Account Enquiry is described in the Client Accounting section of this manual, and Work-in-Progress Enquiry is described in the Time Recording section.)

4.6 Transaction Search

This routine may be used to search for that elusive transaction on the matter ledger, client ledger or nominal ledger. You will be prompted for:

Having found any transactions you may print the results. Please note that:

  1. this function could take a l-o-n-g time to run;
  2. if too few characters are input the search may find an unmanageable number of transactions;
  3. amounts do not always include trailing zeros in the pence figure, thus 12.00 may be stored as just 12 and 24.60 as 24.6 - thus searching for 12.00 or 24.60 may not find all relevant transactions;
  4. the search will look for the characters entered anywhere within the transaction record, so searching for, say, 10 will find transactions with 10 in the date, amount, reference or narrative.

4.7 Matter Transactions Enquiry

This routine is the same as Matter Accounts Enquiry, except that it also lists all historic entries (billed disbursements) for the matter and displays the transaction narrative. The report also shows the analysis codes for the matter and the nominal interest.

4.8 Daily Bank Transactions

This enquiry will display or print all transactions for a selected date for a specified cashbook, or all cashbooks, providing a total of receipts and of payments. You will be asked for:

5. Accounting Reports

5.1 Draft Bill

The purpose of the draft bill program is to print, for a single, selected, client matter, a provisional fee note based on the time and disbursements recorded for the matter. You will be asked for the following:

The draft bill for the client matter is then printed or written to file as chosen.

5.2 Financial Status Report

This report is designed to show the balance on all the practice’s cashbooks and the unpaid bills, unbilled disbursements and work-in-progress accounts.

5.3 VAT Report

The purpose of this report is to assist with the completion of the quarterly VAT return for HMRC. You will be prompted:

After printing the report, you will be asked if you wish to delete the VAT file. You should enter Y if the report has been printed successfully so that the VAT figures are cleared down ready for the next VAT quarter.

If the practice changes from a cash basis to a bills rendered basis of VAT accounting, or vice versa, then this report must be run and the VAT file deleted before changing the VAT cash base system parameter (see Maintain Parameters).

5.4 Profit and Loss Account

This report lists the balances for the current period, this year and last year for all income and expense accounts from the nominal ledger in the form of a standard profit and loss statement. A total for each main account class is also given. This report should be printed immediately before running Period End Processing.

5.5 Balance Sheet

This report lists the balances for this year (to date) and last year (for the complete year) for all asset and liability accounts (except the client ledger control accounts) from the nominal ledger in the form of a standard balance sheet statement. A total is also given for Net Current Assets (total current assets less total current liabilities) and Net Assets (net current assets plus total fixed assets). Net Current Assets is also known as Working Capital. This report should be printed immediately after running Period End Processing; if run at any other time the balance sheet may not balance.

5.6 Trial Balance

This report shows the current period and year-to-date balances for all financial account codes on the nominal ledger. The main purpose of the report is to demonstrate that the accounts actually balance (that is, that the sum of assets and expenses less liabilities and income is zero).

5.7 Unbilled Disbursements

This report will list all unbilled disbursements by client matter. It may be required by the firm’s auditors at year-end. Because disbursement write offs and disbursement payments are not matched with disbursements posted, the list may include matters where the sum of unbilled disbursements is nil.

5.8 Exception Report

This report enables you to list any matters that have a bills, disbursement, client account, client nominal interest and/or work-in-progress balance between selected values. The report lists all matters that meet one or more of the criteria input, together with the balance on each of the accounts for the client matter.

The program will prompt for the following. Enter a value for each prompt if required; you must input a value in at least one field.

For example, to list all matters with a WIP balance, enter 0 for WIP> and 9999999.99 for WIP< leaving all other fields blank; to find all matters with either a bills balance more than 200 or disbursements balance over 100 enter 200 for Bills>, 9999999.99 for Bills<, 100 for Disb> and 9999999.99 for Disb< and nothing for the other fields; to find all matters with a zero balance on any account enter -.01 for Bills>, .01 for Bills<, -.01 for Disb>, .01 for Disb<, -.01 for Client Acct>, .01 for Client Acct<, -.01 for Client Int>, .01 for Client Int<, -.01 for WIP> and .01 for WIP< and S for All/Some; or enter A to find matters where balances are zero on all accounts for a matter.

5.9 Bills Analysis

This program produces a printed analysis of bills raised between selected dates. The analysis may be by analysis code A, analysis code B, or client. The program gives, for the selected option, the total value of bills raised between the selected dates, the time and disbursement elements of the bills, the total number of bills and the average per bill, the total number of matters and average per matter. Any bills that have been credited and reinstated are excluded. Note that if a matter has changed categories between bills, all bills for the matter will be included under the matter’s current analysis codes. You will be prompted for:

5.10 Matter Balances Analysis

The purpose of this report is to list matters, together with their work-in-progress, office and client ledger balances, grouped by analysis code A, analysis code B or client. If any account is overdrawn it is shown with a trailing, rather than a leading, minus sign in order to aid identification. The program gives a sub-total for each analysis selected and a grand total for the firm. You will be prompted for:

5.11 Bank Reconciliation

This program is used to assist in the reconciliation of a cashbook account with a bank statement. It may be used for office and client cashbooks. The program prompts for:

All transactions for the cashbook are displayed in posting order with an “unmatched” indicator. Presented items may then be marked as “matched” (or, if previously matched, unmatched) by selecting option M (Mark/unmark) and entering the item number(s). Entry of * in the item number prompt will mark all transactions as “matched” irrespective of their previous state; you may then “unmatch” any unpresented items. A running total of all marked transactions is displayed. When all the required transactions have been matched, press Enter to return to the option prompt and select U (Update).

You may then print a reconciliation report, which lists all presented items and all unpresented items, after which you will be given the option to remove or archive the matched transactions. If you select to remove or archive the transactions an opening balance transaction is created for the equivalent value of the transactions removed. Warning: do not remove the matched transactions until you have checked the reconciliation report. Transactions are only removed from the cashbook; they remain on the matter ledger or client ledger and on the nominal ledger. If you decide not to print the reconciliation report, the transactions remain in their matched/unmatched state until you next run the reconciliation program for that cashbook.

5.12 Average Cost per Case

This program is similar to Bills Analysis except that it only includes Legal Aid matters and it only includes bills for those matters with a date of closure between the selected dates. You will be prompted for:

5.13 Matter Balances Listing

This report lists, for all matters, the balance on the bills, disbursements, client ledger and work-in-progress accounts, together with the date of the last movement. Overdrawn balances are shown with a trailing minus sign to help identify overdrawn accounts. You will be asked:

5.14 Budget Variance Report

This report lists all nominal ledger accounts together with their account balance, budget and variance (by value and as a percentage). You will be asked to enter:

The budget figures are maintained in Maintain Nominal Accounts.

5.15 Cash Received Analysis

This report shows bill receipts (including client to office transfers to pay a bill) between selected dates analysed by analysis code A, analysis code B, or client. As well as totals by selected analysis category the report also lists each individual receipt. All values shown are gross of VAT. You will be prompted for:

6. Time Recording

6.1 Post Time Sheet

This routine is used to post daily or weekly (or, if required, ad hoc) time sheets. Time entries will be saved as either summary or detailed items depending on the detailed time system parameter (see Maintain Parameters). The routine prompts for the following:

You will then be prompted for a series of:

When all entries are complete exit input mode and select U (Update) to post the time entries. If you exit input mode by mistake, you may enter input mode again by entering I (Insert). To correct an entry whilst in input mode enter S (Select) or press F10 and the item number; you may then amend or delete the individual entry.

6.2 Write Off Time

This program is used to write off time for a specific client matter. Time is written off by creating a single contra (negative) entry for the matter; individual time entries are not removed. Time included in a bill is automatically removed. You will be asked to enter the following:

The time write off entry is attributed to fee earner number 1 and has an activity code narrated “written off”.

6.3 Work-in-Progress Enquiry

This program will display or print a list of all unbilled time recorded for a specified client matter. The program prompts for the following:

The WIP balance and all (unbilled) time entries for the client matter are displayed by fee earner and activity code. If the detailed time system parameter has been set (see Maintain Parameters) and there are detailed entries for this matter, then the option to display these is provided. Enter D (Detail) to display the detailed entries; from the detailed entries display enter S (Summary) to return to the summarised entries. The print option will print either the summarised entries or the detailed entries depending upon which screen was displayed at the time the print option was selected.

6.4 Work-in-Progress Analysis

This program provides the ability to analyse work-in-progress (ie. unbilled time) by analysis code A, analysis code B or by client. The report lists the total WIP by the option selected. You will be prompted for:

6.5 Remove Detailed Time

This routine may be used to delete the detailed time entries earlier than a specified date for a selected client matter. Its primary use is to free up disk space. You will be prompted for the following:

6.6 Time Recorded by F/E

This report lists the time recorded by each fee earner between selected dates giving totals for each matter on which the fee earner has worked during the period, a grand total for each fee earner and a summary by analysis code A or B or by client. In order to use this report the detailed time system parameter must be set to Y (see Maintain Parameters). You will be prompted for:

6.7 Summarise Detailed Time

This report produces a summary of detailed time entries by activity by fee earner. This may be required when a bill has been raised for a matter and the summary time shows only a carried forward figure. In order to use this report the detailed time system parameter must be set to Y (see Maintain Parameters). You will be prompted for:

7. Client Accounting

7.1 Post Client Receipt

This program is used to post a receipt from a client into client account. A receipt to client account may only be posted if the interest rates have been set up (see Maintain Client Interest Rates) or the auto day-end system parameter is set to N (see Maintain Parameters). The program requests input of the following:

7.2 Post Client Payment

This routine is used to post payments out of client account. The program prompts for the following:

7.3 Client to Office Transfer

This program is used to post transfers from client account to office account (for the same client matter). A transfer will be either to pay a bill or to settle a disbursement for which no bill has been raised. The program prompts for input of the following:

Remember, where appropriate, to give instructions to the bank to transfer the funds.

7.4 Office to Client Transfer

This program is used to post transfers from office account to client account (for the same client matter). The transfer on the office side is from the matter’s disbursement balance. You will be asked to enter the following:

Remember, where appropriate, to give instructions to the bank to transfer the funds.

7.5 Client to Client Transfer

This program is used to post transfers from one client account to another (for the same or a different client). The program prompts for the following:

Remember, if the transfer involves different bank accounts, to give instructions to the bank to transfer the funds.

7.6 Client Account Enquiry

This program is used to display or print the balances and transactions on client account for a selected client matter. A printed copy of this enquiry may be used as a statement for the client, or the transactions may be exported to a user-named file for importing to a spreadsheet. The program prompts for:

The balance and all client account transactions for the client matter are displayed in posting sequence.

Entry of Z or pressing F10 will take you directly to Matter Ledger Enquiry.

7.7 Post Client Interest

This routine is used for posting interest to an individual client account that is part of the firm’s general client funds. For general client moneys, where the bank pays client interest into the firm’s office account, interest is paid from an office bank account. For designated deposits, where the bank pays interest into that account, interest received should be posted using Post Client Receipt.

The nominal interest (calculated as part of the day-end procedure) is displayed, and the practitioner/partner must decide on the amount of interest to be credited to the client matter, based on the amount held and the time for which the funds have been held. You will be asked for the following:

After posting interest, the nominal interest for the client matter is set to zero. Remember, where appropriate, to give instructions to the bank to transfer the funds.

7.8 Client Account Reconciliation

This program prints a list of balances for each client cashbook, together with the constituent balances on client ledger by client matter. It should be used in conjunction with Bank Reconciliation to demonstrate that the client bank accounts balance. You will be prompted for:

7.9 Maintain Interest Rates

This routine is used to maintain interest rates for the calculation of client interest. Because nominal interest is calculated on a daily basis, the interest rate table holds only the current set of interest rates. The table must be updated whenever a rate change is notified by the bank or building society. Failure to keep the table up-to-date will mean that interest calculations are likely to be incorrect.

The values set up are displayed; you may insert a new value or select one to delete or amend, as required.

7.10 List All CL Transactions

This report is intended for audit purposes and prints all client ledger transactions (between selected dates) for all client matters that have a client account. It will normally only be run if and when requested by your accountant as it is likely to be an extremely large report. Because this is an audit report, it will list all matters that have a client account even if there are no transactions to list. Note that the report will not print transactions for any matters that have been deleted, since the transactions are removed when a matter is deleted.

8. System Maintenance

8.1 Maintain Parameters

This routine is used to maintain system-wide parameters, which are set up during the installation process. They are displayed on entry to the program and may only be amended. The following may be amended:

The dates of the last day-end and period-end processing are displayed, but may not be amended.

8.2 Maintain Fee Earners

This routine permits details of all fee earners to be maintained. The system supports up to 99 fee earners. Fee earner number 1 (the sole practitioner or senior partner) is set up by the installation routine. The fee earner details are required only for time recording. The following are prompted for:

8.3 Maintain Fee Rate Tables

This option allows you to set up a range of fee rates which will be applied to the time recorded. One general fee rate table (table 0) is set up by the installation routine. The system allows over 1300 fee rate tables to be held. To obtain a printed list of all fee rate tables, use Print System Parameters. The system prompts for:

If the charge group already exists, all activities defined for the charge group will be displayed. You may amend the charge group description, select and then amend or delete an existing activity or insert new activities, as required. If the charge group is new, you will be asked to insert the activities.

8.4 Maintain Nominal Accounts

This program is used to maintain the accounts on the nominal ledger. A standard set of account codes is set up by the installation routine. Refer to Nominal Ledger for details of account coding conventions. An account may only be deleted if the period and year-to-date balances for the account are zero and it is not a “system account”. Unless the conditions for deletion are met, you will not be given the option to delete an account code. The program prompts for:

8.5 Maintain Cashbooks

This program is used for maintaining details of the firm’s bank and other cashbook accounts. A cashbook may only be deleted if there are no transactions for the cashbook; cashbooks 1, 100 and 101 may not be deleted in any event. Unless the conditions for deletion are met you will not be given the option to delete the cashbook. (In order to delete transactions you will need to run Bank Reconciliation.) This program may also be used to remove archived transactions on a cashbook. The program prompts for the following:

8.6 Maintain Activity Codes

This function is used to set up and maintain activity codes. By themselves activity codes serve no purpose; they must be assigned to one or more specific charge groups and given a charge rate using Maintain Fee Rate Tables. Activity codes may only be deleted if they are not assigned to a charge group. You will be prompted for:

8.7 Maintain Standing Orders

This program allows you to set up regular payments and receipts such as standing orders and direct debits, although it is not suitable for variable amount direct debits. You are prompted for:

9. Miscellaneous Options

9.1 Print System Parameters

This routine prints all your system parameters, fee rate tables, cashbooks and client interest rates.

9.2 Consistency

The purpose of this program is to check, and where possible correct, the integrity of information held in the system’s database. In particular the program checks that where a balance is held it is equal to the sum of the transactions making up that balance. Where the system is able to correct an account balance it is the year-to-date balance that is updated. A report is printed showing details of any errors encountered. You are strongly advised to take a backup of your data before running Consistency. If any errors are reported, they should not be ignored; if necessary contact the support desk. It is strongly recommended that this program is run on a regular, at least monthly, basis selecting Y to both the Consistency and Compress options.

You have the following options:

Sometimes it may be necessary to run consistency (option 1) more than once to correct a series of errors. The following mnemonics are used CB cashbooks, ML matter ledger, WIP work-in-progress, CL client ledger, AY nominal ledger.

9.3 Day End Processing

The day-end processing function should be run at the end of each processing day after all transactions have been posted and, preferably, after a back-up of the system has been taken.

The process performs the following tasks:

You should retain the daybook printout as an audit trail.

On starting Virgo Accounts for the first time each day, unless the auto day-end system parameter is set to N (see Maintain Parameters), the system checks to see whether the day-end processing was run for the previous day; if not, then it is run automatically, with an effective date of the previous day, before any postings can be made. In this case the last day-end system parameter is set to the previous day’s date.

Note that it is possible to run day-end processing more than once each day. However, this is not recommended as client interest is only calculated on the first run each day. (An automatic day-end run as described in the previous paragraph is considered the previous day’s run.)

9.4 Period End Processing

Period-end processing may be run whenever required. Usually, this will be at the end of a calendar month, but it may be 4 or 5 weekly, or even quarterly, if required. It should be run after the Profit and Loss Account has been printed, before printing the Balance Sheet report and before any transactions are posted for the new period. You will be prompted for:

If you chose to print the transactions then once the print is complete you will be asked if you wish to delete them. If they are not deleted, you are warned that the transactions will take up an increasing amount of space on your computers disk and on backups. Note that you should always print and delete the transactions at the end of each year. You should retain the period-end printout as your accountant is likely to require it when auditing your accounts.

The effect of running period-end is to:

9.5 Year End Processing

Year-end processing must be run at the end of a financial year before any office transactions are posted for the new year. Since the system does not allow adjustments to prior year figures, any postings made after running year-end will be for the new financial year. You will be prompted for the following:

The effect of running year-end is to:

The program will first check the date of the last period-end processing. If it is not the same as today’s date it will first run period-end processing. In this case you will be asked for the period-end confirmation and whether or not a detailed print is required before being prompted for the year-end confirmation, and there will be two reports, one for period-end and one for year-end.

9.6 Export Details

This program may be used to export all or selected data from the system for importing to spreadsheets or another system. The export files are delimited ASCII text files with a suffix of “.txt” (see Appendix E for details).

9.7 Print Standing Orders

This report lists all standing orders that have been set up using Maintain Standing Orders. It gives details for each payment and receipt including the next due date.

9.8 De-spooler

This program is used to print reports that have been written to a “spool” file rather than being printed directly to a printer or to a text file.

The system will list the print files previously spooled giving the date and time of creation and the number of pages for each file. Enter the number corresponding to the report you want to print; (to exit the program press Enter.) Then enter the page number from which you wish to start printing; to print the entire report, press Enter.

Next select the device to which you want the report printed. The main options are V (video) to display on screen, and P to print to a printer. If you select P you will be asked which printer, and then whether you want to change the “form parameters”, to which you should answer N.

When the report has finished printing, you will be asked if you wish to delete it. In order that the spool file does not become too large you are advised to delete all reports as soon as they have been printed unless you need multiple copies or the report is to be retained for audit purposes.

9.9 Maintain Pseudonyms

This program allows you to change the description that is used for certain data items on screen prompts and reports. This is only available for the limited number of items listed below. Although the program permits new pseudonyms to be inserted, any new items will not have any effect. Deleting an item will mean that the item will have no prompt text on screens and no description on reports; it is therefore not recommended.

To run the program, at the main menu, enter names

A list of defined IDs and pseudonyms is displayed. To change the description for one of the IDs listed enter S (Select) or press F10 and then enter the identity of the item you wish to change; then enter A (Amend) or press F4. You will be prompted for:

The following are valid IDs (together with its usual description):

9.10 Set Screen Colours

This routine allows you to change the background and foreground colours for the system.

To run the program, at the main menu, enter setcol

You may the amend the colours from the list displayed.

9.11 Set Printer

This routine allows you to set a default printer other than LPT1.

To run the program, at the main menu, enter setptr.

The default printer is displayed. Enter A (Amend) or press F4 to amend the details and change the Printer ID as appropriate for your printer (LPT1 or LPT2), or WB to use the web browser as your default printer (see Printing Reports for details). Do not enter any value for String.

9.12 Set Directories

This routine allows you to change the directories that are used when writing reports to a web browser or to a file (see Printing Reports).

To run the program, at the main menu, enter setwbd

The current desktop directory and (from release 10.6) print-to-file directory are displayed, both of which may be amended.

In Windows 98 the desktop directory is simply c:\windows\desktop but under Windows XP the desktop directory depends on the id of the user who is logged in to Windows at the time. It will be something like c:\docume~1\username\desktop or, for all users, c:\docume~1\alluse~1\desktop. Under Vista and Windows 7 it is c:\users\username\desktop (or c:\users\public\desktop). If you are running Virgo Accounts within DOSBox the desktop directory should be set to d:\. Note: you must use the abbreviated DOS directory name not the full Windows folder name.

Note that the directory specified must be a valid, existing directory/folder or you will receive an error message when you attempt to print.

9.13 Reset Next Bill Number

If the next bill number has inadvertently been set to a high value you may reset it to zero using this function. It will then be set to the correct next bill number the next time you use Post Bill.

To run the program, at the main menu, enter xsreset

You will be asked if you wish to reset the bill number. Answer Y if you wish to do so, or N otherwise.

Appendices

Appendix A. FINANCIAL POSTINGS

The accounting effects of the various posting programs are described below.

Account Debit Credit
Post Disbursement (item/batch)
Cashbook and office bank account A130   gross amount
Matter disbursement record and unbilled disbursements A120 net amount  
VAT file and VAT control account L040 VAT amount  
Write Off Disbursement
Matter disbursement record and unbilled disbursements A120   amount
Non-recoverable expenses E280 amount  
Post Disbursement Receipt
Cashbook and office bank account A130 amount  
Matter disbursement record and unbilled disbursements A120   amount
Post Bill
Matter bill record and Bill register and o/s unpaid bills A110 gross amount  
Matter disbursement record and unbilled disbursements A120
* (if disbs billed exceed disbs written off)
  disbs written off (or disbs billed)*
Profit costs/fees I020   time billed
VAT file and either VAT control account L040 or VAT suspense account L140 1   VAT amount
Non-recoverable expenses E280
* (if disbs billed exceed disbs written off)
disbs written off - disbs billed (or 0)*  
Matter WIP record   time removed
Post Bill Receipt - to office bank
Cashbook and office bank account A130 gross amount  
Matter bill record and Bill register and o/s unpaid bills A110   gross amount
VAT control account L040 and VAT suspense account L140 1    
Post Bill Receipt - to client bank
Cashbook and client/trust bank account L010/L020   gross amount
Client account   gross amount
Post Bill Credit - cancel or part cancel bill
Matter bill record and Bill register and o/s unpaid bills A110   gross amount
Bills written off E330 net amount  
VAT file and either VAT control account L040 or VAT suspense account L140 1 VAT amount  
Post Bill Credit - reinstate balances
Matter bill record and Bill register and o/s unpaid bills A110   gross amount
Matter disbursement record and unbilled disbursements A120 original disbs written off  
Profit costs/fees I020 original time billed  
VAT file and either VAT control account L040 or VAT suspense account L140 1 VAT amount  
Non-recoverable expenses E280   original disbs written off - disbs billed
Matter WIP record original time removed  
Post Office Receipt
Cashbook and office bank account A130 gross amount  
Selected account   net amount
VAT file and VAT control account L040   VAT amount
Post Office Payment
Cashbook and office bank account A130   gross amount
Selected account net amount  
VAT file and VAT control account L040 VAT amount  
Cashbook Transfer
From cashbook amount  
To cashbook   amount
Journal Transfer
From account amount  
To account   amount
Transfer Matter Balances
From matter disbursement record disb amount  
To matter disbursement record   disb amount
From matter WIP record WIP amount  
To matter WIP record   WIP amount
Nominal to Disbursement Transfer
From account amount  
To matter disbursement record and unbilled disbursements A120   amount
Post Time Sheet (non-financial)
Matter WIP record   individual time entries
Write Off Time (non-financial)
Matter WIP record time value  
Post Client Receipt 2
Cashbook and client/trust bank account L010/L020   amount
Client account   amount
Post Client Payment 2
Cashbook and client/trust bank account L010/L020 amount  
Client account amount  
Transfer Client to Office - to pay a bill 2
Client cashbook and client/trust bank account L010/L020 amount  
Client account amount  
Office cashbook and office bank account A130 amount  
Matter bill record and Bill register and o/s unpaid bills A110   amount
VAT control account L040 and VAT suspense account L140 1    
Transfer Client to Office - to settle a disbursement 2
Client cashbook and client/trust bank account L010/L020 amount  
Client account amount  
Office cashbook and office bank account A130 amount  
Matter disbursement record and unbilled disbursements A120   amount
Transfer Office to Client 2
Client cashbook and client/trust bank account L010/L020   amount
Client account   amount
Office cashbook and office bank account A130   amount
Matter disbursement record and unbilled disbursements A120 amount  
Transfer Client to Client 2
From client account amount  
From client cashbook and client/trust bank account L010/L020 amount  
To client account   amount
To client cashbook and client/trust bank account L010/L020   amount
Post Client Interest 2
Office cashbook and office bank account A130   amount
Interest paid E340 amount  
Client cashbook and client/trust bank account L010/L020   amount
Client account   amount

Notes:

1 If the practice is on a VAT cash basis, then the VAT amount is credited to the VAT suspense account (L140) by Post Bill, and is transferred from the VAT suspense account to the VAT account (L040) by Post Bill Receipt, or Transfer Client to Office if the transfer is to pay a bill; the VAT suspense account is debited by Post Bill Credit. If the practice is on a bills delivered basis for VAT, then the VAT amount is credited to the VAT account (L040) by Post Bill, and debited by Post Bill Credit.

2 To avoid any confusion between debits and credits on the client ledger, transactions are shown on enquiries and printouts as either receipts or payments.

Appendix B. MONTH AND YEAR END PROCEDURES

Month End

The system does not impose any fixed monthly or quarterly framework; some firms will produce monthly accounts, some quarterly, some perhaps ad hoc. The tasks listed below are given as a suggestion only; you may wish to adapt this to your own requirements.

  1. Complete all postings for the period, including any apportionment for private use of cars etc.
  2. Check bank statements for any unrecorded entries (such as bank charges or interest) and post any that are discovered.
  3. Run Cashbook Enquiry and print a copy of the enquiry for each cashbook/bank account.
  4. Run Client Account Reconciliation. Note, this is not a bank reconciliation but a list of all client matters with a client balance grouped by client bank account.
  5. Reconcile each cashbook using Bank Reconciliation; when a cashbook is reconciled print the report and either remove or archive the matched entries.
  6. You may wish to record any depreciation of assets. To do this use Journal Transfer; the format of the journal is:
    • Transfer from account: Fixed Assets (A010, A020 etc.)
    • Transfer to account: Depreciation Account (E320)
  7. Take a backup of your data. However you do your backups DO NOT use your regular backup media but use new media and keep it safe in case you may need to re-run some of the reports later. Please refer to the Getting Started guide for details about backing up your data.
  8. Print a Trial Balance and check that the figures do actually balance (ie. the totals are zero).
  9. Print a Financial Status Report.
  10. Print a Profit and Loss Account.
  11. Run Period End Processing; this gives you the chance to print and delete the nominal ledger transactions; you will probably wish to retain the transactions for all but the last period-end of the year; the transactions must be deleted at year-end.
  12. Print a Balance Sheet.
  13. If a VAT quarter end, print a VAT Report and delete the VAT file.
  14. Run Unpaid Bills Enquiry and print a copy of the report.
  15. Run Consistency replying Y to both the Consistency? and Compress? options.

Year End

At the financial year-end you will also need to run Year End Processing but this should not be run until you have made all postings for the year. You will probably want to run your final Period End Processing printing a detailed list of transactions.

Ideally you should wait until your accountant has finalised your annual accounts then post any adjustments, accruals and pre-payments, run a further Profit and Loss Account, Period End Processing (printing and deleting all transactions – because of the size of the print you are advised to print to a file or web browser) and Balance Sheet, and then run Year End Processing. You may also wish to remove archived transactions, if any, on each cashbook using Maintain Cashbooks. You are then ready to start posting transactions for the new year.

However, in order to comply with the regulations on client money and to ensure that interest is calculated correctly on client accounts, you should continue posting client transactions even though you have not run Year End Processing. Your accountant may also require an Unbilled Disbursements List and/or Print All Client Ledger Transactions at year-end.

Appendix C. INPUTTING FEE RATES

Please note the following is given as an example only; the rates are not necessarily the correct Legal Aid rates. Before starting, you need to consider how you will code your charge rates and activities. Taking Green Form as an example (remember these are just examples; you may enter whatever codes or descriptions you wish to use).

First, select System Maintenance from the main menu, then select Maintain Activity Codes. Enter A for the Activity Code and press Enter; then enter Advocacy as the Description and press Enter; press F5 to update. Then input the following activities: C - Court/counsel; P - Preparation; R - Routine letters out/tel; W - Travelling and Waiting. Having done that press Esc to quit.

Then select Maintain Fee Rate Tables (also on the System Maintenance menu). Enter GF for the Charge Group and press Enter; then enter Green Form as the Description and press Enter. Then enter I for insert and press Enter. Enter A for Activity and press Enter; enter 55.25 for Hourly Rate and press Enter; enter nothing (ie. just press Enter) for Rate per Item and press F5 to update. Enter I (insert) again and press Enter and input C with an hourly rate of 30; P 46.5; W 24.5. Finally, input activity R, enter nothing for Hourly Rate and enter 3.55 for Rate per Item.

You should end up with a screen looking something like that below. You may now continue the process for each charge group you require. Note that activities may apply to all charge groups; thus there is no need to re-input codes A, C, P, R or W.

When you have finished, it is recommended that you print off the fee rate tables and check for completeness and accuracy. To print the fee rate tables, select Miscellaneous Options from the main menu and then select Print System Parameters.

XSGC                        Virgo Accounts
                       Maintain Fee Rate Tables


       Charge Group     GF
       Description      Green Form

       Activity                     Hourly Rate    Rate per Item

       A    Advocacy                   55.25
       C    Court/counsel              30.00
       P    Preparation                46.50
       R    Routine letters out/tel                    3.55
       W    Travelling and Waiting     24.50








Next, Select, Insert, Amend, Delete or Quit ?

Appendix D. GUIDELINES FOR SETTING UP OPENING BALANCES

Setting up the opening balances on any new computerised accounting system requires careful thought; Virgo Accounts is no different in this respect. These notes are offered for guidance only and should not be taken as prescriptive. If in doubt consult your accountant as to what is best in your circumstances. There are two main options:

A. Simple Balances

A.1 Client Accounts

Using Post Client Receipt, post the balance for each client matter on which client money is held with a posting narrative of "Opening balance".

A.2 Office Accounts

Using Post Office Receipt if you have a positive office balance, or Post Office Payment if the office account is overdrawn, post a value equal to the opening balance against the Current account (L520); enter a VAT amount of * to ensure that this transaction is not included in your VAT report.

B. Full Balances

B.1 Client Accounts

Using Post Client Receipt, post the balance for each client matter on which client money is held with a posting narrative of "Opening balance".

B.2 Office Accounts

B.2.1 The principle used here is to start with the opening balance on the office account at the start of the financial year and then post a series of transactions that will show the movements on each account to date. This does not involve posting each transaction that has occurred throughout the year, but you will need to input all unpaid disbursements, all unpaid bills and all unbilled disbursements.

B.2.2 Before starting you will need the following information:

a) for bills paid to date, the total value of fees, disbursements and VAT as separate figures;

b) a list of all unpaid bills giving the bill number, fees element, disbursements and VAT for each bill;

c) a list of all matters that have unbilled disbursements showing the net and VAT amounts for each matter;

d) the total value of VAT paid to HMRC;

e) the value of office expenses for the year to date for each type of expense - a list of nominal accounts set up may be obtained by running a Trial Balance report; you will not need values for depreciation, bills written off or non-recoverable expenses;

f) the opening balance for each office account at the start of the financial year.

B.2.3 Procedure

a) using Post Office Receipt if you have a positive office balance, or Post Office Payment if the office account is overdrawn, post a value equal to the opening balance at the start of the financial year against the Current account (L520); enter * for the VAT amount;

b) using Maintain Client Details and Maintain Matter Details create the following:

c) using Post Disbursement, post the following:

d) using Post Bill, post a bill (number 1) for client ZYX, matter 1 with:

select option D, disbursements, to display all disbursements for client ZYX, matter 1; select option M, mark/unmark, and mark all the disbursements other than the single item representing disbursements billed and paid, as W/O = N to ensure that they are not written off - leaving the disbursements billed and paid as W/O = Y; select option U, update;

e) for each unpaid bill use Post Bill to post details of the bill; post it for the relevant client matter, each time entering the fees element, disbursements and VAT as shown on the original bill, and time removed as zero; select option D, disbursements, and mark all disbursements other than the one item representing the disbursements included in that bill as W/O = N; select update;

f) using Post Bill Receipt, post a receipt against bill number 1 to the number 1 cashbook with:

g) using Post Office Payment, post payments for each category of expense, the net value being the total (gross) value of expenses for that category to date; post this to the appropriate expense account (E010, E120 etc); ensure that the VAT amount is entered as *;

h) using Post Office Payment, post a payment with the net amount equal to the amount of VAT paid to date to HMRC using account L040; again enter the VAT amount as *;

i) you should now have up-to-date balances for all income and expense accounts, your bills rendered and outstanding and your disbursements booked and outstanding; run off a Trial Balance and a Financial Status report for reference.

B.2.4 If you wish to create the balances for fixed assets and depreciation at this stage, follow the steps given in sections C and D below; otherwise run Period End Processing (on the Miscellaneous Options menu) to set to zero the income and expense balances for this period.

C. Assets

a) using Post Office Receipt, post a receipt to the office cashbook for the total value of all assets to the Capital account (L510); enter a VAT amount of * to ensure that this transaction is not included in your VAT report;

b) using Post Office Payment, post a payment for each asset type to the appropriate asset account (A010, A020 etc), again with the VAT amount entered as *;

c) ensure that the total value of payments is the same as the receipt posted in (b) above.

D. Depreciation

Using the Journal Entry program, transfer the amount of depreciation for each asset type from the appropriate asset account to the Depreciation account (E320).

E. In All Cases

In all cases, when you have finished entering the opening balances, perform the following steps:

a) run the VAT report (on the Accounting Reports menu) and delete the VAT file;

b) using Bank Reconciliation mark and delete all opening balance transactions. Your system will then be ready for use with the appropriate account balances set up.

E&OE

Appendix E. FILE LAYOUTS

The following tables give the contents of all the data files in Virgo Accounts. The first column gives a description of the data item with key fields marked with an asterisk (*). The second column gives the format of the data item where it is not obvious. Dates are held in DD/MM/YYYY format unless otherwise stated; $H is the number of days since 31/12/1840. Note that some files or records may not be present if the relevant part of the system is not used.

Client Details (^SC - CLIENTS.TXT)

Client code* 1-4 alphanumeric characters
Client name 1-30 characters
Telephone number 0-15 characters
Facsimile number "
"A"*  
Address 5 lines of 0-40 characters
"N"*  
Narrative 3 lines of 0-40 characters

Matter Details (^SM - MATTERS.TXT)

Client code*  
Matter code* 1-4 numeric digits
Matter description 1-30 characters
Action date  
Legal aid indicator Y or N
Stakeholder indicator "
Trust indicator "
VAT indicator "
Charge group/
Activity code
1-2 alphanumeric characters/
1-2 alphanumeric characters
Analysis code A 0-3 alphanumeric characters
Analysis code B "
Client cashbook 3 numeric digits
Budget time and disbursements 0-7 numeric digits
"C"  
Closed date  
"O"  
Opened date  
"N"*  
Narrative 3 lines of 0-40 characters

Matter Ledger (^ML - MLEDGER.TXT)

Client code*  
Matter code*  
Disbursement balance 1-10 characters (number to 2 DP)
Bills balance "
Item number* 1-8 numeric digits
Date  
Credit amount 0-10 characters (number to 2 DP)
Debit amount "
Transaction type  
Reference 0-6 characters
Unused  
Narrative 0-40 characters

Client Ledger (^CL - CLEDGER.TXT)

Client code*  
Matter code*  
Client account balance 1-10 characters (number to 2 DP)
Nominal interest 1-15 characters (number to 6 DP)
Date interest last posted  
Item number* 1-8 numeric digits
Date  
Debit amount 0-10 characters (number to 2 DP)
Credit amount "
Transaction type  
Reference 0-6 characters
Narrative 0-40 characters

Work-in-Progress (^SW - WORKINP.TXT)

Client code*  
Matter code*  
WIP balance 1-10 characters (number to 2 DP)
Date last time entry  
Fee earner code*  
Activity code*  
Time (in minutes) 1-5 numeric digits
Number of items "
Value 1-10 characters (number to 2 DP)

Bill Register (^SB - BILLREG.TXT)

Last bill number  
Bill number* 1-6 numeric digits
Bill date  
Client code  
Matter code  
Fees element 1-10 characters (number to 2 DP)
Disbursements element "
VAT amount "
Time removed "
Outstanding gross amount "
Bill status 1 alphabetic character
Include unpaid prof disbs Y or N

Unpaid Bills Index (^SU - not exported)

Bill number*  
Null  

Cashbook File (^CB - CASHBOOX.TXT) and Archived Cashbook Trans File (^CA - not exported)

Cashbook number* 1-3 numeric digits
Account name 1-30 characters
Bank sort code 0-8 numeric digits
Account number 15 numeric digits
Trust account Y or N
Unused  
Cashbook balance 1-10 characters (number to 2 DP)
Item number* 1-8 numeric digits
Date  
Credit amount 0-10 characters (number to 2 DP)
Debit amount "
Transaction type  
Reference 0-6 characters
Narrative 0-40 characters
Matched item Y or N

Account Balances (^AB - ACCBALS.TXT)

Account code* 4 characters (account type + 3 numeric)
Description 1-25 characters
Period balance 1-10 characters (number to 2 DP)
YTD balance "
Last year balance "
System account Y or N

Nominal Ledger (^AY - NLEDGER.TXT)

Account code* 4 characters (as for ^AB)
Item number*  
Date  
Amount 1-11 characters (signed number to 2 DP)
Transaction type  
Reference 0-6 characters
Narrative 0-40 characters

Time Entries (^TE - TIMEENTS.TXT)

Last item number  
Client code*  
Matter code*  
Fee earner code*  
Item number*  
Date  
Activity code  
Time (in minutes) 1-5 numeric digits
Number of items "
Value 1-10 characters (number to 2 DP)

Fee Earner Details (^SF - FEEERNRS.TXT)

Fee earner code* 1-2 numeric digits
Fee earner name 1-30 alphanumeric characters

Activity Code Table (^SA - ACTIVS.TXT)

Activity code* 1-2 characters
Activity description 1-25 characters

Fee Rate Table (^SR - FEERATES.TXT)

Charge group* 1-2 characters
Group description 1-25 characters
Activity code*  
Hourly rate 1-6 characters (number to 2 DP)
Rate per item 0-6 characters (number to 2 DP)

Historic Entries (^SD - HISTDISB.TXT)

Client code*  
Matter code*  
Bill number*  
Item number*  
  fields of this record are the same as for the matter ledger record

System Parameters (^SZ - SYSTEM.TXT)

(ADE*) Auto day-end Y or N
(D30*) Date check (more than 30 days ago) Y or N
(DOC*) Default office cashbook  
(DTE*) Detailed time entry Y or N
(LDE*) Last day-end $H format
(LPE*) Last period-end $H format
(MLR*) Auto matter limits report Y or N; plus, if Y, parameters
(NYE*) Next year-end $H format
(ODC*) Overdraw client Y or N
(PN*) Practice name 1-30 characters
(SW*) Licence number 10 characters
(TU*) Time unit (minutes) 1-2 numeric digits
(VAT*) Standard VAT rate 1-5 characters (number to 2 DP)
(VCB*) VAT cash basis Y or N
(WOD*) Write-off disbursements Y or N

Interest Rates (^CI - INTRATES.TXT)

Minimum amount* 1-7 numeric digits
Rate 1-5 characters (number to 2 DP)

Daybook File (^SY - not exported)

Last item number 1-8 numeric digits
Today’s date*  
Transaction type*  
Item number* 1-8 numeric digits
Posting date  
Client code1  
Matter code2  
Cashbook number  
Net amount  
VAT amount  
To client code1 )
To matter code2 ) if a transfer
To cashbook number )
Reference  
Narrative  

1 or "Acct:" if a nominal transaction

2 or nominal account code if a nominal transaction

VAT Details (^SV - VATFILE.TXT)

Total net inputs 1-10 characters (number to 2 DP)
Total input VAT "
Total net outputs "
Total output VAT "
Item number*1 1-6 numeric digits
Bill number "
Date  
Net amount 1-10 characters (number to 2 DP)
VAT amount "

1 preceded by "P" for purchases

Budgets (^NB - part of ACCBALS.TXT)

Account code* 4 characters (as for ^AB)
Budget 1-11 characters (signed number to 2 DP)

Standing Orders (^SO - not exported)

Unique number* 1-6 numeric digits
Start date  
End date  
Payment/receipt indicator "P" or "R"
Frequency 1-2 numeric digits followed by "D" or "M"
Cashbook  
Net amount  
VAT amount  
Reference  
Account code  
Narrative  
Next due date $H format

Standing Orders Index (^SX - not exported)

Next due date* $H format
Unique number* as for ^SO
Null  

Bill Merge File XSBILL.SPS - field delimiter ^

Client name  
Address 5 lines of address
Date  
Invoice number  
Fees amount  
Disbursements amount  
VAT rate  
VAT amount  
Total bill amount  

Cheque Merge File CHEQUE.SPS

Identifier "Client Cheque" or "Office Cheque"
Cashbook number  
Cashbook description  
Client code or "nominal"  
Matter code or Nominal account code  
Payee or Client name if client account payment
Matter description (if any)
Address lines 1-5 (if any)
Date  
Amount in figures  
Amount in words  
Cheque number  
Narrative 1 before the " - "
Narrative 2 after the " - "
Transaction type  

Parameters (^SYS - not exported)

(COL*) Screen colours  
(PTR*) Default printer  
(WBD*) Web browser directory  
(WTF*) Write to file directory  

FILES.TXT (for use with Amicus Attorney; delimiter is tab character)

Client code  
Matter code  
Client name  
Matter description  
Date opened  
(blank)  
Client name repeated
Client address 5 lines separated by a space
Telephone number  
Fax number  
Client narrative 3 lines separated by a space

Appendix F. TRANSACTION TYPES

The following is a list of transaction types within Virgo Accounts.

ADJ
Adjustment (one-sided entry)
DIS
Disbursement (item or batch) 1
DSP
Disbursement receipt 1
DSW
Disbursement write-off 1
DSA
Anticipated disbursement (pseudo-transaction created by bill posting) 1
DSB
Billed disbursement (pseudo-transaction created by bill posting) 1
BIL
Bill 2
BCR
Bill credit 2
BPY
Bill receipt 2
OFP
Office payment
OFR
Office receipt
CLP
Client payment
CLR
Client receipt
CLI
Client interest
COB
Client to bill transfer 2
COD
Client to disbursement transfer 1
TOC
Office to client transfer 1
TCC
Client to client transfer
TOO
Cashbook transfer
OMT
Office matter transfer 1
N2D
Nominal to disbursement transfer 1
JRN
Journal transfer
TS
Timesheet
STP
Standing order payment
STR
Standing order receipt

1 disbursement transaction

2 bill transaction

Appendix G. FUNCTION KEY USAGE

F1 - help (same as ? Enter)

F2 - search (same as ? ? Enter)

F3 - insert (same as I Enter)

F4 - amend, or all (same as A Enter)

F5 - update (same as U Enter)

F6 - delete (same as D Enter)

F7 - quit; also Esc (same as ^ Enter)

F8 - print (same as P Enter)

F9 - next or no; also Page Down (same as N Enter)

F10 - matter or select (same as Z Enter)

F12 - yes (same as Y Enter)

Appendix H: SYSTEM ACCOUNTS

The following nominal ledger accounts are designated as “system” accounts and must not be reassigned, otherwise the nominal ledger may not balance. Similarly posting to these accounts directly may also cause the nominal ledger to go out of balance.

A110 – O/S Unpaid Bills
A120 – Unbilled Disbursements
A130 – Office Bank Account
E280 – Non-recoverable Expenses
E330 – Bills Written Off
E340 – Interest Paid
I020 – Profit Costs (fees)
L010 – Client Control Account
L020 – Trust Control Account
L040 – VAT Control Account
L140 – VAT Suspense Account
L510 – Capital Account
L520 – Current Account
L530 – Profit/loss Account


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