Tips & Tricks for AP Checks and EFT ACH Transactions in Dynamics 365 Business Central (Video)

In this recorded webinar, we begin with a basic overview of AP checks and EFT/ACH transactions in Dynamics 365 Business Central, and then we provide some valuable tips and tricks on how to best manage these functions. We’ll also demonstrate how to address common problems and error messages within the system.

Transcript below:

– [Katie] Hello, everyone. Thank you for joining us today for our webinar, Tips and Tricks for AP checks and EFT/ACH transactions in Dynamics 365 Business Central. My name is Katie, and I’ll be the facilitator today. If you have any questions during the presentation, please type them into the question area in the control panel on the right-hand side of your screen and we’ll answer questions at the end.

The session will be recorded and posted on our blog, as well as shared with you later this week. Now, I would like to introduce our presenter today, Ray Wong, team lead for the Dynamics 365 Business Central Accelerator Program at Encore. Ray, I’ll pass on to you.

– [Ray] Thanks, Katie. Good morning, good afternoon, everybody, depending on where you’re joining from. I’m just going to flip over to the next slide here. So, here’s the agenda today. We’re just going to do a brief introduction of myself, and what I do here, and my background, and my experience.

Then we’re going to go into two main different areas, which is tips and errors that we commonly see in accounts payable. The first area will be in the checks, during the check payment run, and the next part will be the EFT and the ACH. So, tips and errors. We are not going through how to process a check or how to process EFT and ACH. We do have a playlist and we do have videos on that on our website.

So, a brief introduction to me. I am one of the team leads on the Dynamics 365 Business Central team. My program is mainly moving people from other platforms onto Business Central. I’ve been with Encore for the last 8 years, and I have 20-plus years of experience with Dynamics ERP systems.

So, mainly on Dynamics GPT, which you might have heard of, Dynamics NAV, and also Business Central. From a NAV perspective or Business Central perspective, I’ve been implementing since the version of NAV 2009. I’ve also been involved with project sizes, you know, going from a 2-user system to a 300-user system, so a really lower amount to multimillion dollar system.

So, that’s my background information about myself. What I’ll be doing is, I’ll be flipping between the slides and also the actual live environment or demo environment just to showcase some tips and common errors. So, we’ll start things off very basic with the Bookmark.

It’s very important and it makes things a lot easier from your perspective so that you can access the windows faster. And what I mean by that is if I jump into my Business Central environment here, you can see that right here along the top, there’s already some that’s bookmarked, which is the customer, vendors, and items.

The main window that we’ll be going into is under Cash Management and Payment Journals. So, to bookmark this, we’ll click on Search, type in payment journals. And then beside here on this button, there’s a little bookmark icon right here. So, what we’ll do is we’ll click on here and it says, “This bookmark has been added to the navigation menu on the Role Center.”

And then on here, once I close this out, you can see that the Payment Journals link is included on the top here. The next thing that we want to talk about just briefly here is about batches. So, if I jump into my demo environment here, under Payment Journals…

It’s running a little slower than it had this morning. There we go. Okay. So, if I click on my three dots here, and if I click on my… So sorry.

This is the Payment Journal window, which is where you’d be processing your payment transactions. You can pick different types of batches. The interesting part about batches is, it’s only in certain locations in certain windows, for example, your general ledger that you see batches. What batches does is it groups together your transactions and accounts together into one batch or one pile there.

So, if I click on this three dots here, just click on my Edit List here. You can see that there’s different ones, batches that we’ve made. And I’ll explain why in a little bit when we do some suggest vendor payments or the check run itself. So, here you go.

I made one for cash payments, which is just your cash receipts and payments. There’s a check batch, ETF, and general. A neat thing about batches is you can batch things together. For example, if I have multiple people in the AP department, I generally recommend putting my initials, which is Ray Wong, and then putting January ’24. This is my Ray’s Jan ’24 payment.

And what this does is it groups things together so that, you know, if I’m running a check run for certain vendors or certain criteria, then what happens is it’ll stay in my batch and it won’t get mixed up with other people’s batches. Very similar, before we have a balancing account here, in this case, it’s a payment run, so we’ll pick the paying account, and we’ll pick the balancing account.

So, in this demo environment, I only have two accounts here, which is the checking and the savings here. If I click on this button, just expand the windows, there’s some different options here. Basically, the main important thing is to pick the number series, which usually defaults on here. So, there’s my Ray Wong January ’24 batch.

And then I’m just going to jump into my check batch, which I created a few sample here, just some sample transactions in here. One of the typical errors that we really get when we’re printing the checks is, sometimes the error comes up and it says it’s missing a check number.

So, when you’re missing a check number, it’s best to go into the bank account here, in the screenshot here, and then we’ll look to make sure the last check number. So, I’m just going to jump over to my live environment here. I’m going to click on the Search button, Bank Accounts. And there’s my checking and saving. If I click on my Checking here, I will drill into here.

And if I scroll down a little bit to this Posting section, it’s hidden here, we have to make sure that we have these numbers set in here, which is the last check number, which increments by one every time a check is printed or voided. There’s the last remittance and last statement numbers. So, you have to make sure that the check numbers is in there properly before you’ll be able to print your checks.

When you’re printing the checks, you’ll also be able to assign or change the number also. But this is the default number that pulls up when you’re doing your check run. Let’s go back to the Payment Journal window here. As you can see here, there’s three payments in here.

And the balancing account is checking. So, sometimes in some companies, they have multiple bank accounts here. So, if you do want to do a check run when we click on Check and then Print Check, one of the typical common errors that we see is when people don’t have any transactions that show up when they’re printing their checks.

That’s because of this option here. The bank account here, checking, has to match what was entered in the previous window. Usually, what happens is, it says here I have this set on use default values from last time, the options and filters. So, sometimes when you’re running multiple check runs for different bank accounts, it can have different options here.

So, if I pick savings here, then it won’t show up my transactions that I just created for my check run here. And as I mentioned before, we have the last check number which populated on here, which is from the card itself there. So, you got to make sure that the checking matches this checking here, or the bank account number matches this bank account number here.

And here’s a screenshot. So, we have the balancing account, which says checking, and the printing says checking. The next thing that we’re going to talk about is reprinting checks. So, sometimes when you’re printing your checks, nothing appears.

So, that’s the typical common error that we get. And what happens is, it’s probably because the check has been printed. So, inside my demo environment here, if I look in here, there’s a little section here called Check Printed. If this is checked off, it means the check has been printed.

And if we wanted to reprint the check, we would have to click on the Reprint Check options. So, under Print Check here, there’s this option here that’s called Reprint Checks. So, that’s one of the errors that we usually see when people are doing the check runs, they print out their checks and then nothing appears on the printer, it’s because the check has already been printed, and then we have to click off the Reprint Checks option from here.

When we select this option here, Business Central will automatically void the previous check number and automatically increment the check number to the next number. Once this has been printed, then that still stays checked off. It’s check printed and afterwards we’ll be able to post the transaction afterwards.

So, sometimes when you use the Suggest Vendor Payments, depending on filter criteria, lots of entries show up. And if we want to print the whole batch and post the whole batch, we can just go in there and we can just press Check and Print Check.

But if you only want to specify specific lines that you want to do, say the first one and the second one, what you can do is click on the three dots and then click on Select More, and you’ll be able to select the batch. So, just to show a demonstration of this, you’ll be clicking on here, and Select More, and you can select the different ones that you want to print out. So, this will print the first check and the last check in this order.

So, that really helps out, you know, when you’re doing your suggest vendor payments, which is your check run. Sometimes there’s too many entries that’s filled in here. Sometimes you only want to pay from that perspective, you can either delete the line or you can just do Select More, and you can print during your first run, the ones that you wanted.

So, that’s printing checks with multiple entries. There’s an interesting column here called the Payment Method Code. And I’m just going to jump into my environment here. So, Payment Method Code, it’s an interesting thing here.

It has a star, which means, you know, this field is required, but it’s actually not required. So, I do recommend using Payment Method Codes. For example, in your vendor card here, you can specify that this vendor is always paid by ETFs or it’s paid by checks, or here’s some of the other options I have here, which is your card payment, or check, or cash account here.

The reason why we do this is, if I look up my vendor, this is my vendor master, take my first item here, Fabrikam here. And then you have my Payment Method Code here.

So, the Payment Method Code here is ETF. So, that’s assuming that most of the time when I pay this vendor, it’ll be by ETFs. So, when I do my check run, which is using the Suggest Vendor Payments, I’ll put in my different filter criteria, for example, dollar amounts, the dates, the due dates, and items like that.

And then I can filter it by ETFs. And what happens is, it’ll only pull these specific vendors. So, it’s really important, in my opinion, to use the Payment Method Code from that perspective. But we have some vendors which we pay different methods using ETFs, sometimes checks, sometimes cash. So, what happens is you can leave that blank or you can create another one that’s saying a combo or both.

Then you can filter when you do a Suggest Vendor Payments on that. So, that was Payment Method Code here. Check Printed, the screenshot is out of there.

Oh, sorry, here. So, if the check has been printed but not posted and we want to void the check here, what we can do is we’ll go under Void Checks. Oh, sorry. If the check had been posted, then we would have to go into the check ledger entries, and then afterwards you’ll be able to unapply and void check.

So, if the entry hasn’t been posted, we can do the reprint posting. But if it has been posted, as we see here, we’ll search under Check Ledger Entries. And then there’s only one in here, my sample here. You can use the filter, the filter and search for the criteria that you wanted here.

And we can unvoid check here, you can specify the void date and then the one that I would recommend pressing is the unapply which take it off the invoice and also voids the check. Then afterwards, you’ll be able to reprocess the transactions or make any corrections from that perspective. So that’s very important there.

Back to my slideshow here. One thing that we have a common error that we get when people are initially setting up their check formats is to make sure that the correct check layout is selected. So, as you can see in this window here, under the Report Selection Bank, so maybe if you’re an accounts payable person, you might not have access to this, some people do.

Sometimes you might need to get your admin person to go into this reports section here. If we select Check here, you can select a different type of reports here. So, I’m just going to go into my demo environment here. I’m going to close this off here. And if we go to Report Selection…

Oops, wrong area here. Report Selection Bank Account. Wrong one. Report Selection Bank Account here.

So, there’s different report selection as you can see there. There’s ones for payables, purchase orders, sales orders. In this case, we’re looking at our report selection for our bank account here. And as you can see here, this is the report number. We don’t really need to know that, but we need to make sure that…

Sorry. We need to make sure that the caption is, you know, Check/Stub/Stub. So, that’s the format that we have here. So, there can be different formats, for example, check/stub/check. No, sorry, stub/check/stub, stub/stub/check, check/stub/stub. So, there’s different type of formats that we have. So, we got to make sure that the right format is initially set up that we have in here so we’ll be able to print the right checks properly here.

If we click under here, there’s some that’s three checks per page and that’s a weird one. You can have the stub/check/stub as we mentioned. So, different type of formats. Encore will be able to load if it’s not in here, load the correct format for you and you’ll be able to select the right ones for you.

So, that’s making sure the setup and everything is okay there from a check format. So, those were the first few items or the first section of our webinar, which is on checks, to make sure that we have the correct format set up and some typical and common error messages that we see.

So, for example, missing check numbers or payment methods, those are the things that we have here. The next section that we’ll go into is EFTs, which is what they’re using in the Canadian side or ACH in the U.S. side, which is making electronic payments here. So, the first error or first tip that we typically commonly see is we have to make sure that the last remittance advice number is set up.

In this case here, we have this one that says EFT-002. So, we got to make sure that we have enough zeros so in case it increments to 9999, it increments to the next one. And once the remittance has been paid, it’ll increment to the next number here. I’m just going to go into my environment here, go into my Bank Accounts, go back into Checking here.

And as mentioned before, it’s really important to have these items filled out, which is your last check number, last remittance. If you don’t have remittance here, you’ll get an error message and you won’t be able to process your ETF transaction or EFT transactions.

So, the next common error that we have is we’re missing the file export file name in here. So, under the Bank Account, make sure that you do have the, under this Transfer section, E-Pay export file name.

We have the file here. In this case, similar to before, we used EFT-0002. Make sure there’s enough zeros so it increments properly depending on how many checks that you do there. So, when you’re voiding the remittance, so we have a video on how to process EFTs. So, you have to, you know, enter the transactions to just send a payment, enter your transactions, then afterwards, you have to export the remittance.

Sometimes you will need to void the remittance to redo your transactions before and after posting. Going back here. If you’re voiding, if it hasn’t been posted, in the Payment Journal here, we can have “void remittance” here.

But if it’s been posted, we would have to go into the Check Ledger Entries, similar to before, and then afterwards, it’s voided from there. So, it depends if it’s been voided or not in that transaction there. Another tip that is very important is under the Vendor Cards here, let’s jump back in here. Oh, sorry.

One of the errors that we have is the file export has one or more errors, and what happens is…a few things that we need to check in our setup. So, in the Vendor here, we’re going to bring up Vendor, we’re going to bring up Fabrikam. Under Vendor and Bank Accounts here…

So, here’s the different type of bank accounts here that we have set up for paying the vendors electronically here. Couple important things that we have to make sure that we have here is especially the country and region code. If that’s missing, we’ll get the error message. If we’re missing the branch number and account number, we’ll get an error message and it won’t go from there. So, one of the typical common errors that we really see is the country or the region code.

And that’s always, if it’s missing or if it’s not there, if it’s incorrect, then your EFT file won’t transfer properly or won’t generate properly. One other tip here that we have here is default your vendor bank accounts here. So, we’ll just jump right into our environment here, and under the Vendor here…

Let’s see here. Bear with me here. It’s Under Payments. Under Payments…

Oh, I forgot to press Show More here. Then you can pick here and you can pick the Preferred Bank Accounts. So, what happens is when we make the payments for this person, they’ll always use this bank account with all the information that it has in there from the electronic formats. The reason is because sometimes some vendors have multiple or different types of vendor bank accounts and different information.

So, if you default this using a preferred vendor bank account, then it’ll always default this in your transactions. So, here’s some of the stuff that we mentioned, missing the country code or missing the region, that’s when we get our typical errors. And payment methods, we talked about already.

And those were all the tips that I have for ETF files.

– Awesome. Thanks, Ray. If anyone does have questions, please enter them into the question area, the control panel on the right-hand side of your screen. And it looks like I have a couple here, Ray. So, first one, “If I posted a check payment entry but forgot to apply it against my invoice, would I have to reverse the entry?”

– That’s a really great question there. So, just to repeat the question, what happens is if the entry, you posted the invoice and you posted the payments and you created payment and they’re not applied to each other, so we would have to go into the Check Ledger Entries and bring up that entry. Let me just bring it up here.

So it’s either the two windows that you’ll be using is the Vendor Ledger Entries or the Check Ledger Entries. We will bring up our transaction. It’s actually not Check Ledger Entries, it’s Vendor Ledger Entries. I get these two mixed up from time to time. Click on Vendor Ledger Entries here.

Then if we have the payments that’s not here, what we can do is we can click on this one here, we can click on Apply Payments and pick the invoice and it’ll apply the payment against it. That’s a really great question, – So, thank you. Next one here, “When entering an EFT transaction, my payment journal sometimes shows a normal payment number series but it doesn’t show the EFT number anywhere.”

– Okay. The EFT number, it’ll automatically generate EFT under the Document Number column. So, it’ll be generated into here. So, if we look at Vendor Ledger Entries, it’ll be generated into here. So, it won’t be the number series, it’ll be the document number, it’ll populate into here.

That’s a great question.

– I have one more, “So, I entered my EFT transaction details correctly, but when I press the Export Remittance Advice option, Business Central pops out an error saying that the bank account does not exist.”

– That’s a really great question and we briefly touched upon it in our webinar, but basically what it is, is when you export, nothing shows up in your export file. So, that’s really common. So, things that you have to check out for is in the Vendor Card and in Bank Account here. Let’s see, Vendor and Bank Accounts here, we’re just going to go into this bank account here, we have to make sure that the details are filled out.

For example, the branch number, the bank account number, and the one that we typically miss is this country or region code. Usually, if that’s missing, the EFT file won’t produce properly. But once that’s been set up and once we’ve done the test file and successfully printed the EFT for this vendor, you’ll be able to use it moving forward before adjusting any of these, or you shouldn’t have to go back into this window, adjust any of these sections.

– Thank you. I think that’s all the questions that we have for today. If anybody does have questions, you can enter them into that control panel and we will get back to you later today by email. But I’m going to add the link to our Events page in the chat if you’d like to register for any upcoming webinar sessions.

I’m also going to add a link where you can set your email preferences and opt into our emails so that you can stay in the know about upcoming events and see our latest blog articles. So, I just want to say thank you, Ray, for the information. Thank you everyone for joining us today. Have a great rest of your day.

– Bye for now.

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