Contracts Help and User Guide
Table of Contents
3.7. Renewal Prices
3.8. Custom Fields Tab
3.9. Reconcilliation Tab
6.3. Process Amendments
6.7. Expired Contracts
9.5. Who Sold Maintenance
10.1. Import Contracts
13. Enable Module
14. Release Notes
16.1. Sicon v19.2
16.2. Sicon v19.1
16.3. Sicon v19
16.4. Sicon v18
Help and User Guide maintained for Contracts version v20xx.192.0.0 and upwards
- Manage the costs and automated periodic billing associated with any type of contract or optionally with a job or project
- This module provides a solution to the problem of contract management and measurement of profitability per month or for the life of the contract.
Fully integrated within Sage 200 & easy to use
- This module is operated entirely within the Sage 200 environment and the Screens and processes have been designed for non-IT users. Contracts are quick and simple to set-up.
- Contract enquiry and management screen: Provides a simple view of any contract, showing all costs and revenues. Drill down to any detail or transaction history.
- Reminder Notices available: Reports are designed in the Sage report designer and are all amendable. (Reminder Notices only apply to contracts that have an expiry date, not rolling contracts, as rolling contracts are deemed not to require renewal)
- Runs with Multiple Sage Companies: Can be used on multiple Sage companies at no additional cost.
- System Requirements: The Contract Management & Billing system runs as an additional module for Sage 200 so it has no additional system requirements.
- There are two methods to create a contract; directly into the Sicon Contracts module or via Sage 200 SOP
- Users can decide to create a new contract for each type for each customer or have a master contract, and have multiple contract lines on the master contract. Each line can have different periods of cover and different invoicing terms but based on an Annual Price
The Contracts Help and User Guide will take you through the features and settings for the Sicon Contracts module for Sage 200. It looks like any other Sage 200 module, making it easy to use for anyone already familiar with the Sage 200 environment.
Sicon Contract Module requires Sage 200 Commercials to be installed, Sage Product Group(s) set up, Service Stock Item(s) set up, SOP user Permissions to be reviewed / configured , Fulfilment method set (recommendation is to ‘Confirmation Not required’) at least one deletion/cancellation reason set within Contracts (Used during amendment and cancellation processes)
Sicon Contract Module can be used Standalone or Integrated with Sicon Job Costing and/or Sicon Service. For further details of these products refer to our product brochure.
- Contracts Settings should be reviewed / configured before use
- If purchased in conjunction with Sicon Job Costing, the Job costing module should be installed first, along with Sicon Common Components.
1.1. Sage Stock Product Group(s) & Nominal Account Recommendations
On a stock Product group, you can set a default contract line description and using the ‘Insert Variable’ button, select and insert key fields which are used when generating recurring invoices (Such as a Description and Bill cover from: Bill cover to dates).
If added at product group level all service stock items within that product group will by default when adding a contract line will use these defaults, you do not need to add them on the product group and on every individual service stock item, unless for one service stock item it needs to be different in which case on individual Service Stock item (s) via amend stock item details, and the maintenance tab as example below (it may be that for this service stock item you need to show the Billing duration, rather than the bill cover from: to dates).
Selecting Insert Variable button shows the user all the fields that can be used, and when the required one is found in list simply can be selected by double clicking.
For amended individual service stock item (s), please note that their defaults override the product group default contract line description when using on a contract line.
Important Note: If you do not set a default, when adding a service stock item, that is flagged as a maintenance item on to a sales order , then in order for the Bill cover FROM:TO dates to appear on the sales order line as additional text and in on the invoice you MUST press ‘Amend Description’.
Which in turn will populate the description on the contract line to include code and bill cover from;to dates.
If you do not select the ‘Amend Description’ no dates will appear on the sales order body, or the invoice, if this is okay for the first invoice then of course it does not matter so much, but from a customer’s perspective they are more likely to pay a contract bill if they know the dates they are being bill from and to.
If you do not select ‘Amend Description’ when the sales order is posted through to the contract itself, and when that contract line is renewed the system is able to use the bill cover from: to dates from within the contract line itself, so on renewal the dates will pull through to the sales order and the invoice.
The other reason why adding default contract line descriptions on to either the product group or on individual service stock item, is so that the information added pulls through on to the contract line itself.
The screen shot bellows shows a contract where Line one was from a product group that had no default contract line description added whereas Line 2 and three did.
If it does not matter when looking at the contract in this view, and you are not looking to use the facility to for example ‘send to excel’ and if you are happy to click on each line and view / edit to view the contract bill cover from: to dates then it’s not a problem but during project implementations that we have done although initially the customer may say it does not matter, further down the line it may be useful.
So we recommend the use of adding default contract line descriptions on to a stock product group or on individual service stock items.
Before you can start setting up the Contract module you will need to create Sage Stock Product Group(s), as these are a mandatory requirement of Sage to assign Service Stock Codes within.
Careful consideration should be giving to setting up product groups based on whether you have different nominal codes based on the contract type or if all contracts, regardless of type, are posted to one nominal code. If you have multiple nominal codes on the P & L for example, for different types of contracts you will need to have a stock product group for each of these contract type and associate the relevant nominal code against each one. If you are using separate P & L nominal codes for different contract types for reconciliation purposes, it is worthwhile having equal number of Balance Sheet codes, one for each contract type, this is especially worthwhile if managing deferred transactions ((Posting original value to balance sheet and drip feeding to P & L) and reconciliation.
Create your Product Group as a type Service/Labour (we recommend ticking keep movement history).
The nominal codes entered on this screen against the product group are those seen from within the sop order when the contract line is posted through to SOP and determines where the initial revenue value is posted. Note Standard Sage requires nominal codes in accrued receipts/issues, but these are not used by the Contract module.
In our example the postings would be:
- Initial Revenue posted to the Balance Sheet code 29101
- Initial Costs posted to the Balance Sheet code 19101
If you are deferring costs (posting original value to balance sheet and drip feeding to P & L), when receiving the suppliers invoice, the initial transaction value should be posted to the relevant balance sheet code and careful processing of that invoice is required; in as much as if you have entered your expected costs onto the contract line – for example £500 (which is the figure that the contract module would use to defer the costs) and the suppliers invoice is received, and it is a different value then the cost price on the contract line will need to be altered to ensure 100% reconciliation.
Be aware that if you have default nominal codes, cc and dept’s set up on customers and within SOP Settings / Default Accounts Tab and you have ‘Use Same Nominal code as ’Customer account’ selected and ‘Use same cost centre & dept as customer account’ selected, you may not see the results you expect when the sop orders / returns are posted. This is because regardless of what is setup on the stock record as to where to post the revenue, the settings will override it.
Important Note 1: Where you have contract costs and where you are deferring costs (taking into consideration the details above), if you are raising a Purchase order to a supplier, you either need to ensure that on the PO, the nominal code assigned on the POP Order Line is the balance sheet code configured on the Maintenance Contract tab either on the ‘product group’ or the’ service stock item’ itself, is the Analysis Tab; Field Name ‘Stock’ – example screen shot below.
This will ensure that when the PO is raised for the said service item, the invoice will be posted correctly as detailed in note 1.
If you have contract costs and you do not defer those costs, but instead post direct support costs to the P & L, then you should configure the ‘stock’ field nominal account to be the relevant P & L account for where you post support costs for the relevant service item (example below).
If you leave the Default Nominal Account for Stock as your normal stock account, which is normally a balance sheet item, then you would need to look to raise a manual journal to move from the balance sheet stock account to the P & L contract cost account as and when you raise your contract sales invoices, to ensure that your financial reporting is accurate.
In all scenario’s where you have contract costs please be mindful of timings as to when the purchase invoice hits the accounts and when you invoice the contracts to ensure that the costs hit the same period as the revenue, (for more guidance on posting dates and general sage 200 standard periods, please contact your Sage 200 Business Partner).
Where you do not have any contract costs as you as a company are providing all the services invoiced out from within contracts, then the system would not be looking to use ‘Stock Default Nominal code’ against the service item’ , in this instance then we recommend you look to use a nominal code such as suspense, as the finance teams tend to monitor that nominal account , so if a purchase order is raised for that service item for any reason, it will be spotted, and can be manually corrected accordingly, but as above for more information / advice as to sage 200 standard default nominal codes, please contact your Sage 200 Business Partner.
Screen Shot below for a group where deferred revenue/costs are required:
Once relevant defaults are set on the details tab you will then need to select the:
Contract Settings Tab.
The deferred nominal codes on the Product Group – Contract Settings tab screen are used as defaults to manage the deferred Income / Costs
In our example above, the revenue journal postings would be:
- Revenue Balance sheet code 29101: Debited – Sales P & L code 36001: Credited
- Costs Balance sheet code 19101: Debited – Cost of Sales P & L code 36001: Credited
Contract Settings on A Stock Product Group: Some companies only generate sales orders for contracts through the contract module itself, setting up the contract and processing through to Sage 200 SOP for invoicing.
Some however would like contract to be generated; or an existing one updated automatically via Sage 200 SOP.
You can have a mixture of both, but in order to configure the contract module so it knows how to process contract lines starting off on sales order you need to select your preferred option
When raising a sales orders which contain a service item marked as a maintenance item the options are: ‘Always create a new contract’; ‘Always add a new line to an existing contract’ or where certain criteria are met ‘increment the qty on an existing contract line’
These Settings can be set against the product group, the stock code, or within contracts. With the Stock Code settings being the overriding one.
When a sales order is saved, a contract will be added or a contract line will be added to an existing contract with a flag set a ‘Future’ using the dates specified on the saved (but not posted) sales order
It is important that before the sales order is progressed to ‘an invoice’ and the ‘posted’ the dates are correct and changed if required as at the point of ‘posting’ the sales order the contract will have changed from ‘flagged’ to ‘live’ and become an active contact
These contract settings can also be set at service stock item level & product group level, and the hierarchy is stock code is the overriding.
1.2. Sage Service Stock Items & Nominal Account Recommendations
Having set up the required Product Group/s, the next step is to set up your service item stock code(s), link them to the relevant stock product group and tick them as a Maintenance contract item (s).
Please refer to the ‘Contract Settings’ on the Stock Product Group for details on options on whether New Contracts are to be added regardless; A New Line to an Existing Contract or Qty Incremented on an Existing Contract Line (Based on certain criteria)
When Item is sold linking to a contract line is mandatory: If relevant and if enabled the sales order lines cannot be saved without linking to a contract line. This is relevant to The Sicon Service Module if purchased, to link equipment to a contract to be used when logging a service case.
Deferred Options To defer income and /or costs resulting in (the original document value being posted to balance sheet and drip feeding to P & L on a monthly basis) tick the boxes as required.
The options with regards to the value of deferred income moving from the Balance sheet to the P & L each month depends on whether within Contract Settings on the deferred transactions tab you have enabled the ‘ Calculate the deferred income based on number of days in the month’ . If enable the value for the first and last period will not equal a whole month but will be based on the number of days in the month
NB: if you do not enter any nominal codes in this section, the defaults set up on the product group will be used; if you do enter nominal codes here and they are different than those detailed on the product group, the stock Item codes will override the Product Group codes and will be used in journals posted.
If Deferred Income/cost processing is required, when setting up the Service Stock Item within Stock control and deferred nominal codes on the stock Product Group, the default nominal codes for revenue and accrued receipts should be a balance sheet codes.
Important note: Where deferred costs are being used its important to note that the cost is derived from a cost field on the contract line or supplier costs on the supplier tab against the contract line which ever method is being used , these supplier cost fields are is unique to Sicon Contracts.
At this time sage costs on a service stock code, sop line are not carried through to contracts lines.
In the example contract described in this Contracts Help & User guide, we are posting a £1200 revenue contract and spreading the revenue/costs over 12 months, but if you are looking to post the initial revenue and costs to the balance sheet, but want to post to the P & L as a one off transaction, in a future month for this particular contract service/type you would use the function below:
If ticked, then in our example the £1200 revenue would be initially posted to the balance sheet and would be moved in full (£1200) to the profit & loss 3 months later.
If when posting contracts the revenue and cost, no deferred transactions required (i.e. posted directly to the profit & loss accounts) when setting up the Service Stock Item within Stock control default nominal codes on the analysis codes tab, the revenue and accrued receipts nominal codes should be profit & loss codes.
Location – even though your stock type is service/labour, in order for the stock code to be active it has to have an associated location/warehouse. This could be an existing warehouse or set up a new warehouse for contract purposes only, we normally suggest a warehouse called ‘Service Contracts’ or ’Contracts’.
1.3. SOP Settings and User Permissions
Within SOP Utilities – System Set Up – SOP Settings – Order Processing Tab, ideally the Service/Labour order lines should be defaulted to Confirmation not required.
NB: If you do process normal sales orders with service/labour items that do require users to confirm dispatch then leave as Confirmed with Goods Dispatched or Confirm as Service/Free Text. The system will for contract orders lines only, change the contract line to Confirmation not required automatically.
Within SOP Utilities – System Setup – User Permissions, those users using the contract module MUST have at least Override Prices, Override Cost Prices set to yes.
2. Contracts Menu Structure
Within the Contract Module, users can (based on the users & role permissions):
- Maintain new and existing contracts
- For those users who are only need VIEW access no add or amend there is a View Contract Enquiry feature
- Manage deferred income and month end routines
- Print contract renewal notices (for contract lines that are NOT flagged as rolling contract lines)
- Print a purchase order for the contract lines where supplier details and costs have been entered (Does not post to POP, and is meant for internal purposes / reference only (i.e. for the contract person, to hand to finance team to make them aware that a supplier’s invoice is forthcoming in relation to a service contract being sub contracted out)
- Maintain cancellation and deletion reason codes (Can be used on custom reports)
- Maintain (add reasons codes) for naturally Expired contracts
- Configure & Enable the module
- Import Contracts & Default settings for service stock item records in relation to contract settings and where there is deferred income / costs associated with the records imported, generated the deferred income transactions which are stored and then used to generate the monthly deferred routine
- Import Service Stock Settings, where the Contracts Module have been added since stock was added it’s possible to add via csv relevant settings on to the Contracts Manager Tab
Contracts List: Selecting this will give you a Sage 200 List View of contracts from which you can select and edit / view.
3. Utilities - Settings
3.1. Contract Settings Tab
- Enable auto number: If ticked, the system will auto generate a contract number, if un-ticked users will be able to enter a user defined contract number with a System defined Prefix and format on saving (can be switched on at a later date and using the ‘generate contract numbers’ populate previous blank contracts with a contract number).
- Allow contract copy Ticked will enable the users to make an exact copy of a contract as opposed to re-keying all the details. (This works well for contracts that are one contract line per contract, and separate contracts for the same customer is your preferred use of the module, it does not work so well if you have multiple lines per contract because you would use the function to copy, and then potentially unless all details on lines are the same, you would need to edit each line and change details where necessary).
- Allow contract customer change; Not recommended where using deferred transactions: But if not and If you have set up a contract for a customer , and then realise it is wrong, then you can (if this option is enabled) change the customer , please note that any previously linked sales orders generated from a contract, and deferred postings will not retrospectively change, so this option should be used with care and consideration. And if you change the customer and then look on the contract ‘ Sales orders generated from this contract’ pane’ – the sales order listed will not show they are for a another account, so could cause confusion.
- Quantity format sets the display to the required number of decimal places. Two is default.
And the default format contract line Quantity and Annual unit price would display as below:
If you change for example to 4 then on a contract line the contract line Quantity and Annual unit price would display as below:
Attachment location: Default location for documents to be stored that are adding within the attachments tab (effective sage 200 2015 versions they changed from one default attachment location for all sage 200 companies to one per sage 200 company so when upgrading from a previous version, if you are running the module in multiple companies and you are using the option for attachments your business partner / you should check the location post upgrade, and change where required and discuss with them the file location of documents prior to upgrade)
Year-end Date: Year End date is used in connection with the feature, ‘enable ‘New / Existing’ status’ for a pure custom reporting ability and flagging a deferred line as ‘New’ or ‘Existing (within up to year end date specified)
This feature was included for a customer who wanted to record within a given 12 month period (and not the same 12 month period as their sage 200 financial year) which contracts were ‘new’ which were existing.
Update Billing Unit Price: Fix DI: Set Next Contract Number: Generate Contract Numbers (Options at bottom of Screen).
Update Billing Unit Price : Not for general use and should not need to be used: Within the module purely in case a customer has issues upgrading from an older version and the Billing Unit Prices have not migrated/upgraded properly; If you encounter an issue with your billing unit prices contact sicon support for further assistance.
- Set Next Contract Number: In Conjunction with ‘Enable Auto Numbering’ or after ‘Importing Contracts’ select ‘Set Next Contract Number’ to set the next Contract Number
- Generate Contract Numbers: If Auto Number was not set and contract shave been added with no contract numbers use ‘Generate Contract Numbers’ to populate numbering of pre-existing Contract; also can be used if importing contracts with no numbers
If this feature is enable, the system the deferred transaction line will change from ‘new to existing’ once the date/month in a given year is passed.
Enable dismiss option on update contract lines screen: (Not recommended)
If contracts are generated from sales orders, at the time of posting the sales orders a screen appears to show what contracts will be either added/updated. If the user chooses not to update contracts at this time, when the contract module is accessed a warning will appear to show that there are unposted contract entries (the user can then post from there).
If however this ‘enable dismiss option’ is ticked, at the point of Post Sales orders, a user could choose to dismiss the creation of contracts, which in turn means that the contract will not be generated.
- When updating contracts from SOP, always create a new contract for the customer (regardless of whether there is an existing contract for the sop customer) or
- When updating contracts from SOP, look for an existing contract for the customer, but always create a new contract line
For a more In-depth explanation of these two options / settings see Creating a Contract via Sage 200 Sales Order Processing (SOP) Module
Maximise Edit Screen
If not enabled when you first edit the contract the screen is minimised.
If enabled, when selecting ‘Edit’ the Contract Details Screen will be in ‘full screen mode’
Enable Contract details Tab: If enabled when within the contract an extra tab appears showing the ‘Type’ ‘Payment Type’ ‘Visit Frequency’ ‘Who Sold’ options configured within the ‘Maintenance’ area
Enable deferred nominal Tab: Deferred Nominal codes to be used within the system are configured within either the Stock Product Group or on the Service Stock Item. If however there is a situation whereby for some contract lines the deferred codes are to be different than those defaulted its possible by line level to specify the codes to be used
Enable Custom Fields Tab: If enabled any configured Custom fields created within Configuration settings, Custom Fields set up, will be accessible from within the ‘Custom Tab’ on the contract / contract lines
Enable SOP analysis codes: If enabled you will be able to on a contract line select the standard Sage 200 sop analysis codes. Various screens within contracts allows filtering by sop analysis codes.
Show period of grace: (POG) A flag to mark the contract as being in a state of ‘Period of Grace’: For example ‘and you are in discussions with the customer but the contract end date is approaching and / or has passed but you still want to supply a service while you are in discussions. By flagging the line as POG as a visual to note the fact. It would also be possible for any custom reports to pick this flag up.
For customers using Sicon Service Module, the POG flag will show against the equipment on a customer’s record / within a Sicon Service case.
Enable Enhanced Discounts:
If not enabled, line discounts are of one type (as per standard sage functionality) , and are visible/amendable on the line as below.
If enabled an extra tab will appear on a contract line where you can specify discounts for different types of discounts; ‘Campaign’ , ‘ Scale’ , ‘Loyalty’ these could then be reported on custom reports to report on discounts given and for what reason.
Within Contract View, and the Contract all lines view, the enhanced discounts are also visible by %, Unit Value, and where in use ‘Pro Rata Unit, Total discount %, Total Discount value & yearly results.
Deferred Income ‘Change deferred posting status without generating journals’
Against each deferred transaction line is a ‘Posted’ or ‘Not Posted’ status;
Posted meaning a journal has been created for that line, and movements within the nominal place has happened
Not Posted meaning the Period End Routine for the relevant period which would result in a journal being created has not yet taken place
If ‘Change deferred posting status without generating journals was enabled: It would be possible to change the status from ‘not posted to posted’ or ‘posted to not posted’ but NO journal would take place and no nominal movements would occur
** Important Note** Deferred reconciliation looks at these ‘posted’ and ‘not posted’ status , values, and transactions within deferred to give you the values of deferred income and costs past and yet to happen Not Posted , so if the deferred status is changed the ‘not yet posted/happened will change’ and will no longer reconcile with the nominal
This function should only be used if for some reason a manual journal took place against the nominal codes assigned to be used at month end for, and you need to adjust the deferred income/cost line.
3.2. Contract Line Settings Tab
Only service items to be visible when adding lines to a contract: If enabled when adding a code the system will only show service stock items and Standard Sage 200 stock items will not be visible for selecting.
Delivery address is compulsory: Tick if it’s a mandatory requirement for users to select a delivery address for the service being provide (The standard SOP delivery addresses function is used for this area of the module).
Automatically create default delivery address: Only applicable if ‘delivery address is compulsory’ and if enabled and is designed to be sued where there are no sop delivery addresses created already. If there are no delivery address created all ready with this enable the system will use the customer’s s/l address and a) create a sop delivery address and use on the contract line automatically. If the customer does have some sop delivery address already created then on the contract line, users will need to select one from the already created sop delivery addresses.
Delivery Address Caption: Use where an alternative name for delivery address to be used as a prompt/label (for example, if the services being supplied at a customer’s address is known to your company as ‘Site’ you may prefer to use label ‘Site’ rather than delivery address].
Display delivery address when viewing contract lines: When ticked this will show the delivery address when editing a contract line.
Ask for Reason for deleting contract line: Force users to select from a drop down of reasons why a contact is cancelled. The system requires a minimum of one cancellation reason to be set. These are set up within the Maintenance Menu item, under ‘cancellation Codes’
Default Warehouse for new lines: Sage stock control requires a warehouse, even for service items, when using service stock items for contract if there is no ‘real’ warehouse we recommend you set one up called ‘contracts’ or ‘service items’ and allocate accordingly against the service stock item when creating
Default Contract Line Qty: If your contract Qty is always or mostly the same use this to set
Default Price Interval*: If your invoice frequency is always or mostly the same set default here) options are Daily, weekly, Monthly or Annually)
Default Contract Line Duration (In months): If your contract durations are always or mostly the same use this setting to set a default
Default Invoice Frequency*: Associated with / works in conjunction with the field Invoice Interval: Set a default invoice frequency. For example if most of your contracts are invoiced once every year, you would set this to 1, working with our example Invoice interval you would have 1 invoice per year
Default Invoice Interval: Associated with / works in conjunction with the field Invoice Frequency: Set a default Invoicing interval. For example, if most of your contracts are invoiced annually you would set this to ‘years’, working with our example Invoice frequency you would have 1 invoice per year
You could as an alternative to achieve the same results set your Invoice Frequency to 12 and your Invoice Internal to months and you still would be seeing 1 invoice per year
However care should be taken on setting these last two defaults or changing on a line. If you for example set the frequency to 12 (thinking you were entering 12 months) and you set the Interval to year. then the system would think you only invoice that contract every 12 years
*When considering Price Interval & Invoice Frequency its important the user should consider the contract value as a whole to ensure they configure the system and use correctly.
For example, if you set the contract price interval to daily and the rate (as an example) is £1 per day, and you set the Invoice frequency to monthly and it’s a 30-day month the Invoice for the month will be £30, but if it’s a 31day month the monthly invoice will be £31, but if a leap year and it’s only a 29 day month the invoice value will be £29.
Likewise, if you have chosen a daily rate (price interval) of £1 per day and chosen an invoice frequency of annually, the annual invoice could be £365 or in a leap year £364
If your contract prices do not vary depending on the number of days in a month or year then you should be looking to use Price Interval of either Monthly or Annually
Important Note where deferred transaction functionality is used: Only Contract sales orders/invoices set with an Invoice Frequency of Monthly or Annually will be included within deferred transaction calculations. Any contract lines set to an Invoice frequency of weekly the revenue will be ignored from a deferred transaction perspective and will be posted to the nominal code set on the Sicon contract tab on the service stock item. A Message is displayed if a user selects invoice frequency of daily or weekly
For examples and full details of how to use daily, weekly, monthly and annually when adding a new contract line please visit the section ‘Adding Contracts within the Contracts Module’.
This is because the journal process for journals deferred transactions is a monthly process in conjunction with Sage monthly periods
Enable price change with amendments: If enabled the users will be able to make changes to the price of a contract ongoing during the amendment process being used.
Hide warehouse: Will hide the Warehouse drop down list box in the contract entry screen.
Hide unit cost: Hide the amend unit price option when making amendments
Hide internal description: If unticked the internal description column will show on the summary tab when editing a contract.
Hide Description: If unticked the description column (as below screen shot) will show on the summary tab when editing a contract. If the setting is ticked the description line will not show on the summary tab when editing a contract.
Enable paging on lists: If ticked, approves performance when opening lists. Only a certain amount of records will be displayed initially and as a user scrolls down more are loaded.
3.3. Sales Order Generation Tab
Sales Order analysis code to be set: Select which SOP header analysis code, (pre-configured in standard sage) you wish to stamp with the title in Value of sales order analysis code been set.
Value of sales order analysis code been set: Enter a Description for the content, which will be populated as set in the relevant SOP Sales Order analysis code. This is then pulled through to the SOP module on the sales order and can be viewed on list views, printed on documentation and used for reporting.
Use Contract billing description if populated: If enabled the Billing Description entered on the main contract screen is added as a comment line on to the sales order underneath the contract line itself (If a contract has multiple lines, with same renewing dates, you may not want to enable this option as you may end up with the additional ‘billing description comment’ appearing multiple times on the sales order and therefore invoice.
Create orders for customers on hold: If enabled, during process renewals and generate sales order process, a sales order for the relevant contract will be generated (Thereafter standard sage 200 credit/on hold functions take precedent). If not enabled the system will not generate a sales order, and the account in standard sage would need to be taken off hold before the module allowed users to either ‘generated the sales order’ or processed renewals for that account.
Separate sales orders for each delivery address: If enabled the system will generate separate sales orders per delivery SOP delivery address (For example you have one contract for a customer with two lines both renew on same date for different delivery addresses; if enabled the system would generate two sales orders, whereas if you do not enable this option only one sales order would be generated and you may want to then ensure that the invoice layout on the lines show the end users contract sop delivery address.
In Conjunction with the above, and only editable if the above setting enabled; The system will change the sales order delivery address details to match the contract line delivery address.
In conjunction with the above: Use customer delivery address description as customer order number: Use if the customer delivery address is to act as their order number on the header of the saes order (This would only work if you used the function ‘separate sales orders for each delivery addresses).
Use New contract Line screen: If ticked, within the Lines of a contract the Edit button appears. When the Edit button is selected, it brings the full set of details relating to that line. If Un-ticked, the Edit button is not displayed and lines can be viewed only.
Change deferred posting status without generating journals: Allows the processing of deferred revenue postings without creating a nominal journal, this is used when other factors need to be taken into account, and a report of the deferred income is used to populate for example a 3rd party/external system.
Within the module there are Renewal Reminders (not relevant with contracts lines that are flagged as ‘rolling’ because these by the pure nature they are rolling, do not expire/do not need renewing)
We do NOT recommend rolling unless you know that your pricing never increases, and your company does not wish to review contracts and potentially increase contract pricing
It’s very easy to renew contracts (even if no price increase) , using the Update renewal process so we strongly recommend always setting a contract line to expire , so it can be reviewed.
First renewal reminder in xx months and second renewal reminder in xx months
When run, the options in here can be used to determine which layout is printed when printing the reminders; the layouts could have different wording on for the different intervals, i.e. in this screen shot instance, the 3 months before renewal reminder may be worded differently to the reminder printed 2 months.
Hide Renewal Quantity – If all your contract quantities are 1, and they do not increase, then enable this ‘Hide renewal quantity’ so the field is not seen on the renewal tab during the renewal process (avoids confusion for users).
Allow confirming renewals whilst updating renewal prices – During the update renewal process , previously users would have to go into each line, the renewal tab and confirm the customers acceptable that the customer is renewing at the said price. By enabling this feature on the ‘update Renewal Screen a ‘Confirm Renewal for All Lines’ button will appear and if used the ‘Renewal confirmed’ box will be ticked’ on the renewal tab on the contract line, thus allow the contract renewal invoice to be processed.
Use existing annual unit price if renewal price is zero – Enable if you would prefer on the contract line, on the renewal tab, that the current contract line unit price is pulled through into the Renewal annual unit price field rather than £0.
When renewing, default renewal discounts to current discounts if renewal discounts are not set – Enable if you would prefer on the contract line, on the renewal tab, that the current contract line discount details is pulled through into the Renewal annual unit discount % and value fields.
Default renewal frequency to current line frequency – Enable if you would prefer on the contract line, on the renewal tab, that the current contract line invoice frequency value is pulled through into the Renewal annual invoice frequency field.
Default renewal Duration – If all your contract renewals will have the same contract length / duration, enter here to save entering the same information in on every contract renewal, i.e. if all your contracts renew for a further 12 months enter 12.
Default price % increase – if all your contracts at renewal increase by a certain % enter the % value increase here, i.e. if they always increase by 5% enter 5.
Please note that when the Reminders function is run, (from Within ‘Contract Printing’ / ‘Print Renewal Reminders) and if the above example the reminders for ‘3 month’s is printed, if they need to be reprinted, on the relevant screen you need to tick ‘Display Previous Printed’ (As per screen shot below) otherwise they will not appear on the list because the system will know they have already been printed.
3.5. Deferred Transactions
Allow % of deferred Income not to be deferred when posting Sales Orders:
If as a company you have to recognise to the P & L a higher amount initially, then use this feature. Enable, enter the amount of the initial % posted to P & L and the remainder value will be transferred over the remaining period of the contract
How Deferred Transactions are calculated / has changed and Why – Since release 20xx.191.0.10
Since the introduction to enable the ability to ‘Calculate Deferred Transactions , and previous to that the ability to pro rata amendments it has come to our attention that if contract customers are raising a contract where the first month is not a whole month that the invoice value has been in some cases wrong and where deferred transactions have been generated with the feature ‘create deferred based on the number of days in the month’ is enabled although the first months of negative deferred credit is correct the remaining months are not based on number of days in the month, but straight line which is not correct
As an example of the issue
The way it worked prior to 20xx.19.0.10 was that the deferred income was currently alculated on the basis of months in the year (straight line), so £1,200 from 01/04/19 to 31/03/2020 = £100 per month (not differently each month based on number of days in the month)
After discussions with several business partners and customers the solution and resolution is that we should be to converting the deferred income to the number of days in every month, so for this example:
|366 days||£1200.00 in total|
Noting that Sage as standard in SOP / The Invoice and in turn the deferred transaction will be rounded to 2 decimals
If we then had the requirement to raise a Pro Rata Credit the credit in October (on the 16thOct 2019) the first month for the credit deferred transaction would be 3.27868 per day x 16 days = 52.46, and then the remaining credit is the sum of the whole months Nov to Mar = 498.36. 52.46 + 498.36 = 550.82 , which is the correct credit value shown as below
|168 Days||£ 550.82|
As a result, effective from release Sicon Contracts 20xx.191.0.10, we have made a change / Fix the values will be correct. This will only effect Transactions/invoices generated after the upgrade to 20xx.191.0.10 and not make any changes retrospectively to existing deferred transactions.
To ensure companies and users are aware of this change when a company upgrades to 20xx.191.0.10 and beyond when contract is first opened each user (once only) will be given the following warning.
NB: we will only show this warning if any Contract Service Stock Codes are flagged on the stock record as being a deferred item.
Versions prior to 20xx.191.0.10
Allow % of deferred Income not to be deferred when posting Sales Orders:
For the reasons explained enable if you do not want the full deferred amount to be spread evenly across the period of the contract
Calculate deferred amount based on number of days in a month :
Enable if you wish your P & L deferred income to reflect the number of days in the contract period.
Your contract runs from 15/01/2019 through to 14/1/2020 for £1200 . 00
The service Stock item is set as a deferred item
It is an annual contract, but as the service stock item is flagged as a deferred item
Prior to release 19 , the system would manage deferred income in whole months
With release 19, the system if this setting is enabled during the journal process the system will part transfer equal to number of days in the month
In our example you would see the initial £1200 posted to the balance sheet, and then when looking at the deferred transaction against the contract and the relevant sales order you will see a part value for the first and last month.
3.6. Job Costing Settings Tab
If Sicon Job Costing is installed the two modules integrate based on settings determined on this tab. When Enable Job costing is ticked, then the system will integrate with the Sicon Job Costing Module. If Create job for every contract is ticked, upon saving of a new contract, (within the contract module) or when updating a contract/posting of a SOP Order, where contract lines are included, a New Job will be created. You can set a default Cost Header to which the revenue will post to on the Job.
You can set the format of your job costing numbering. By default if contract Auto number is switched on and your contract number is generated for example 0000008, then the Contract number will be generated C0000008, (with a C in front of it).
If Create new job for each contract line is ticked, when a new line is added to a contract then a sub job will be added automatically using the original job number plus the line number; e.g. if existing Job number was C0000008 and a line was added and it was line 2 on the contract the sub job would be C0000008-002.
Zero sales order transactions in job costing and show deferred postings instead: Only editable if selecting to ‘Enable Job Costing’.
If using deferred transactions within contracts and if on the job you prefer to see the revenue in the month that the deferred income is moved to the P & L (therefore spread over the period of the contract then you should ‘enable this’ feature ; If not enabled then the contract period revenue will appear as one lump figure when the sales order is invoiced.
Create Outstanding Jobs: Run this routine if you have enabled job costing after contracts have been previously created, and you wish to retrospectively create Jobs or if you have imported contracts.
3.7. Renewal Prices
The following settings are used when running the ‘Update Renewal Prices’ routine and you have set contract pricing using price bands.
Current Price book: the price book that will be used to update renewal prices for contracts with a renewal date before the ‘Price Increase Date’ field.
Price Increase date/Renewal price book: any contracts with a renewal date after the ‘Price increase date’ will use the ‘Renewal price book’ when updating renewal prices.
To move on / Forward to next Year
Once the price increase date has past, and you prepare for the following year you would:
- Prepare a new price book (using our example you would call ‘From 01-01-2017’)
- Current Price book to be ‘From 01-01-2016’
- Price Increase date to be ‘01/01/2017’
- Renewal price book to be ‘From 01-01-2017’
3.8. Custom Fields Tab
In addition to analysis fields, users can set up their own custom fields, which can then be allocated against a contract line. Custom Fields are visible not only on the contract line, but on screen on the main contracts list, selecting the Contracts, Contract line details or Custom fields radio buttons.
NB: SpareDateTime, SpareNumber and SpareText fields 1 and 2 are reserved for system use. It is not possible to configure the number of decimal places shown for ‘numeric’ spare fields.
Configurable (Spare) Fields
It is possible to setup a number of configurable text, numeric or date fields to be maintained against each contract Line, (custom Tab).
When a value is entered for any of the SpareDateTimex, SpareNumberx or SpareTextx fields, this text will enable the fields on the Contract Maintenance screen with the name/label being the configured value.
Once Configured these Configurable (Spare) Fields can be seen on a contract, Contract Line, and Custom Fields Tab.
As well as being seen on the Main Contract List as with Sage 200 Standard, users can right mouse click on the screen/lines and ‘Send to Excel’, ‘Print’, or ‘Find’. The columns can be sorted, and moved around to suit users own requirements.
On the main contract screen there are various radio buttons, which each show different lists of information. The Contracts option will list all contract lines with all fields on the line shown, this allows those using the standard sage function, to right mouse click which gives the option to Find, Export to Excel or Print.
3.9. Reconcilliation Tab
If marked as ‘to be visble’ , Sage 200 Sales Ledger analysis codes will be visible when selecting display on the section ‘ Deferred Invcome By Customer And Product’.
As with most list views within Sage 200 , users can right mouse click and export ‘Selected’ Line’ or ‘All’ to Excel.
3.10. Contract Line Analysis Code Tab
These analysis codes are configured from within Sicon Contract Module (as opposed to the standard sage 200 analysis fields which are set yup in ASM, and configured to be used within the sage 200 modules).
If configured, and used on a contract Line within contracts they are pulled through to the relevant Sales Order Line, and can be added to custom layouts / reports.
They can be configured either to be a ‘Drop Down’ , ‘Date field’, Text’, ‘Numeric Value’ or Tick Box and can be marked as Mandatory if required.
These analysis codes are selectabe, viewed or edited on each contract line; Mandatory Analysis codes can be identified by the * symbol.
Sicon Contract Line Analysis can be used for filtering the ‘Contract Processing’ elements of the module as shown below :
4. Contract Maintenance
When you first open the Contract Maintenance Screen by default all Live contracts are visible.
The screen will show the currency symbol relating to the customer’s account currency and the currency therefore used on the contract line, in the screen shot above we have highlighted a contract that is Canadian dollars (CAD) and a USD ($) contract, the other 2 are sterling accounts that are variable billing lines so don’t show any values.
The Net Before Discount Column is the Line Unit Price before discount and is the currency value, in our example 150 CAD (Canadian dollars) and 9090.91 USD.
All other values are the companies Base currency values, in our demo data £ (Sterling).
The exchange rate is a view from Accounting System Manager and from within the Currencies and Exchange Rates area of the module
Filers are available to filter by
Customer; Contract Status (Live by default but can be changed to On Hold, Cancelled, Completed); Service Item Code or Name; SOP or Contract Line Analysis codes. If you apply a filter, this is shown to the side of the field with the words Filter applied. To remove all filters, click the Clear Filters button.
Users can also choose on this screen to view by using the radio buttons which then list the contract lines, rather than top level.
Use the Radio buttons to show different detail:
- Contracts: (As above screen shot) showing the Contract Number, A/C Ref, Customer Name, Description, Status, Contract Totals (Net before discount, Total Discount, Total Net after Discount)
- Quantities: Will show the Quantity, Currency, Unit Price, Base Unit Price and Cost, No. Used – number of times used (number of times the contract line has had a SOP contract order generated from it), and no of invoices remaining (for example Annual contract, but invoiced per Quarter, 2 invoices invoiced, 2 left)
- Contract Line Details: Will show the Quantity, Pricing, Unit Cost, No. of times used, Customer Delivery/site address (Label of which is configurable within settings), no of invoices remaining, Contract Start Date (current contract period), End Date, Current Bill cover to: from dates, Invoice frequency (i.e. If invoicing annually this would display 12, if invoicing per Qtr this would show 3, if invoicing monthly this would show 1. Also displayed would be any analysis codes attached to line, the Sicon Job costing Job associated with the contract if linked (and if job costing enabled), and any renewal or amendment details.
- Contract Analysis codes: Will show the Sicon Contract Module Analysis codes associated with the contract line (as opposed the SOP analysis codes).
- Custom Fields: Will show any custom fields (Spare fields) assigned to the contract line. Custom fields can be either text, numbers, date & time, and there are 5 of each available and are configurable within configuration settings
- Edit the Contract Selected to View (or edit)
- Description: contract description for internal purposes only, such as Jim Murry’s Contract (s) (When there is one master contract for a customer with multiple lines)
- Status: Manual Status users can set to define the status of a contract and can be used on various list views (No automation process change this status, and should not be confused with the contract line status)
Purchase Order Printed: When a contract line on the contract has had a PO printed (not to be confused with sage 200 POP printing) this flag is ticked (Note that even if there are multiple lines on a contract at this time it only takes one line to have had a PO printed to flag this; this feature will be enhanced and extended in future releases)
Total invoiced to date/total remaining: Total value invoiced and total value remaining based on sales orders generated from this contract, and remaining values to be invoiced
Sales Orders: Sales Orders generated from this contract will be listed and can be viewed.
Orders Created from this contract: This section shows sales orders and sales returns generated from within the contract, or from a sales order linked to the contract , use ‘View Order’ to view the order/return. Where a one off credit, one off charge or an amendment has been generated thus producing a sop order or return they will also be shown
View Deferred Postings: Select to view the deferred posting transactions associated to the order / return
The details being displayed include:
Deferred Transaction Line for the relevant month; SOP Document Number; Amount that has or will be deferred on that date; The Posting Status ( Posted means the deferred routine has been run for that month, and the journal has been created); The URN allocated to that posting; The Nominal codes used within the journal, ; Deferred Ref ( Balance Sheet code debited for an order/credited if a sop return) and P/L Ref
( P & L code credited for an order/debited if return)
If for some reason the journal was for example created as a recurring journal manually in the nominal by the finance team, not realising its automatic, users can create a ‘Reversal’ of the posted or yet to post transaction, or if a manual credit note has been raised against the contract and not linked correctly to the line, the transaction line can be adjusted by using the ‘Edit’ function
Important Note : The transactions stored for deferred income / costs are stored and used in the ‘Contract Reconciliation’ and therefore it’s important to try and ensure that all adjustments to contracts are done in the correct way, and that no manual journals are posted to the nominal accounts within the nominal ledger , if they are there will be variances . See Contract Reconciliation section for more details.
4.1. Adding a New Contract and New Contract lines
Select Contract Maintenance from the side menu, click on new (bottom left hand side of the form) and tab through populating the relevant required information as explained below:
If Sicon Debtor Management is installed, and if this is the first time a contract has been added for a customer then you will see a message as below.
Explaining that the payment information (for direct debit collection) will be taken from the customer’s account and stored against each line of the contract. For more details on Sicon Debtor Management please visit https://www.sicon.co.uk/product/sicon-debtor-management/
Contract number: This is allocated at the point of saving, and will either be auto generated or the user being prompted to enter a contract number (based on configuration settings on the contract settings tab)
Description: The contract description is displayed on the maintenance contract screen and can be useful both from a visual perspective and when for example you send a list to excel
Suggestion / Advice: Where you are adding one contract with multiple lines for that one contract, we recommend you use a general description as our example below, however if your company policy is to only have only one contract line per contract, you could be more specific in your description (i.e. John Smiths Microsoft support contract).
Some companies leave the description blank, but we would always advise that something is entered, even if it is a generic text such as Contract for the customers SL Acc: No number and name
Customer Contact: When you add or change the contact name in this field you will be prompted to confirm you wish for this to be applied as a contact for each line.
Please note that at line level this is only visible if within configuration settings and on the contract settings tab under ‘Optional Features’ you tick the ‘Enable contract details tab’
If you say no, against each line you will have the option of adding a different contact name for reference.
Customer Order Number:
This is where you would, if applicable enter your customers purchase order number. If entering here it applies to the whole contract (meaning if you are adding multiple lines for the one contract and the same PO number applies).
If you are adding multiple lines on one PO and the customers PO number is different for each line, you would use one of the 150 Sicon Analysis Codes that are available on each contract line
On the renewal tab against each contract line renewal PO numbers can also be added where the customer issues different PO numbers for each renewal. This number (because it is on each line) does not populate the front screen
Purchase Order Printed: Within the module there is a very basic method against a contract line to raise a back to back purchase order relating to a contract line (where you are supplying a service, but then backing it off to a 3rd party), then used this tick box will be ticked. It’s for internal reference only and only recommended where one supplier is involved with supplying the service for the while contract
Total Invoiced to date: Only populated after the first sales order for this contract has been raised and is a simple visual of values of a contract Invoiced to date for the in-contract period of the line / all lines and Total Remaining is a visual of what’s remaining to be invoiced for the in-contract period of the line / all lines on the contract.
Example. You have an Annual Contract £1200 but they are paying monthly and you have invoice 2 months.
Total Invoiced to date would show £200
Total remaining: In our example above, if annual contract £120, to date we have raised sales orders for £200 the total remaining would be £1000.
Values shown are net / before vat
On Saving the Contract the system generated contract number will be displayed (If auto numbering is enabled within settings)
If auto numbering is not enabled / not ticked.
When a user adds a contract and saves a contract they will be prompted to enter their own unique contract number.
Suggestion / Advice: During implementation companies should consider the best practice as to whether they are going to use auto generated numbering or not.
If not, they should ensure consistency / agree a best practice for an agreed numbering / alpha number / alpha system so when looking at the main contract maintenance list they will appear in the order that you want them to appear, this is handy for reporting and when sending data to excel
Status: By default, contracts when added are set to a status of Live. Only live contracts are included in any processing’s for generating sales orders.
If a sales order has been raised and a deferred transaction is captured, they will still be included within the monthly journal routine process. This is simply because the original transaction would have been posted to the nominal and to ensure contract reconciliation is correct the journal process needs to happen. If you do not wish for deferred transactions to happen on a particular raised sales order/with linked not posted deferred transactions, then you will need to adjust the open deferred transactions for that / those relevant sales order (s). For more details on this please visit section 6.6 Adjusting Deferred Transactions
By default, when looking at the contract maintenance list only live contracts are display
If the whole contract is no on hold, but an individual is on hold and no processing is allowed then users should use the options available on the contract flag tab against the line where users could select.
Suspended: To simply suspend any processing that would normally become due (may be the customer is int talks with you about whether they are going to renew, or you have heard that they have gone into administration so for now you want to stop any further processing of sales orders temporarily)
Cancelled: To flag as cancelled without any refunds having to be raised. If selecting the cancelled flag, you will be promoted to select a reason and enter a date. Lines flagged as cancelled will not appear in any future processing, and on the line/summary view of the contract will only appear if you tick the cancelled lines tick box
Where a contract amendment is raised resulting in the contract to be cancelled with either a full or partial refund then by default they will not display on the line/summary view either
Once contracts have been processed through to sales orders, the linked sales orders against a contract are visible within ‘orders created from this contract’ and you can choose to view each sales order and drill down on to the sales order lines.
This view shows all sales orders on the whole contract
The reasons column shows the user where the transaction was processed.
Contract Amendment: An amendment has been made and processed through to SOP from the amendment tab on the contract line.
This could be a Sales Order/Contract Amendment where the amendment is a positive value/additional charge is raised against the line on the amendment tab or a Sales Return where a negative/credit has been raised against the contract line via the amendment tab
Generated from Contract: A contract and thereafter a sales order was processed starting off from within the Contracts Module or having been originally added on to a sales order, and once the sales order has been saved, depending on settings either a new contract or new contract line has been saved
Generated from Contract at Renewal: A contract renewal has been processed
Select a transaction, and select ‘View Order’ to drill down to the relevant sales order or sales return raised.
The view deferred postings button as our screen shot above is useful if you wish to see any deferred transactions against one of the sales orders, to review the status of the deferred element. Users can also see what nominal codes have been captured and will be or have been used during the monthly journal routine
When an order is selected and the view Deferred Postings button is selected users will either see the status as showing as:-
Not Posted: The journal for that month for that relevant transactions have not occurred or
Posted Status: The journal has happened as part of the ‘Period End Routine: Monthly Journal Posting for Contracts’ – Where this status applies the relevant nominal URN is also visible
Where the company is not using deferred transactions within any of their contracts and posting direct to the P & L, then they will if clicking this option ‘view deferred postings’ not see any transactions to be deferred.
This view shows all orders raised against the contract as a whole.
If as a company you have multiple lines on a single contract, and you are looking for orders / deferred transactions raised against a particular contract line, you can gain the same visibility at a line level.
Select your contract from the main contract maintenance list, select the lines tab, select the relevant contract line and select ‘Sales Orders and deferred Tans. button. This view is just looking at sales orders and any deferred transactions previously raised and / or generated from this individual line.
Adding a New Contract Line
When creating a new contract when accessing the screen will show as below with no lines and no line count for each status showing.
Top Level Tabs
Tabs visible at this at top level are as below:
Details: Is the main contract summary as first entered when first adding the contract, along with a view of any sales orders raised previously on a contract
Attachments: An area when you can add attachments, and after they have added you can open or delete them. Attachments can only be added at contract header level, not line level. The location for attachments to be saved is specified within the configuration settings on the Contract Settings Tab. We recommend you follow your I. T’s and standard sage location rules regarding where attachments are stored and that the location is one that is backed up and is a network drive.
Memo: A simple way off adding memos, could be details of why the price has changed for example at renewal, although on the memo tab there is a follow up date, there is no reminder functionality
Default Payment Information: only visible when Sicon Debtor Management installed. Where it is, the customers default direct debit preferences will be displayed for the whole contract. Noting that subject to permission they can be changed at contract line / document level. For more information about the Sicon Debtor Module which would help you manage customers direct debits please visit
Second Level of options – Contract line status count
Live Lines: Live lines are active/in contract lines
Expired Lines: Contracts that the contract end date has past (the current date) and has not been renewed or cancelled.
Deleted Lines: Lines that have been selected, and the user has chosen to be removed. Care should be taken doing this, where there are outstanding invoices remaining and where deferred transactions are in use
Cancelled Lines: Lines that have either been flagged manually cancelled (on the contract flags tab) or via the amendment screen
Pending Lines: When service stock items that are flagged on the stock record/Sicon tab as being a contract item, and where they have been originally added to a sales order in SOP rather than added within the contract module, until the sales order is posted they are treated as a pending line . We class these as pending lines, because until the sales order is posted the sales order can be amended and/or cancelled.
When the sales order is posted the status will change to Live and either (depending on settings, options being:
Always create a new contract regardless of whether one for that customer exists
Always add a new line to a pre-existing contract for that customer if one exists
Increment the Qty on an existing contract line , but only if the line is the:
– Same service stock code
– Same contract cover bill date from: to
– Same unit price, same price interval, same duration in months, same invoice
frequency and same Invoice interval
Completed Non-Contract Lines: It is possible to add a service stock item line on to a contract that is not flagged as a contract item (a recurring contract item). For example, you have a service stock code for contract admin/Set up fee or Service Install and when you sell a customer a contract you also charge them for installation or set up and is treated as a one-off charge (non-recurring / a non-deferred type service)
When these types of lines are added on to a contract and once invoiced (they appear in the normal contract generate sales order process), they will then be treated as a ‘Completed Non-Contract lines’
Variable Billing Lines: Where the type of Service you are providing on the contract is of a variable price nature (i.e. telephone charges which differ each month) you can choose to via the Sicon tab on the service stock record set as a variable item.
When these types of service are added to a contract line, you do not see the standard ‘bill cover from and to’ fields and are processed slightly different. For more details visit the ‘Variable Billing Contracts Menu Item’ of the Sicon contracts help and user guide
Against each of the contract line type will be a count of the number of contract lines (line count) applicable to that status
By default, only live contract lines show when first opening this screen, to show others simple tick the relevant options
Third layer of details (tabs against the lines, when some have been added)
As the relevant tab is selected line information will be shown, and/or used for certain actions when contract lines have been added but are as below:
Depending on the size of your screen, you can use the scroll bar at the bottom of the form to see additional information not visible in the initial view when opening the form.
Summary: A summary view of all the lines, showing only live contract lines by default when opening this form
Amendments: The tab to access where you need to adjust the contract value (up or down) resulting in an amendment sales order/return to reflect the price change, selecting the original sales order raised so the system knows the values and dates from: to
As well as adjustments up / down, this is where you would against a contract line, go to credit in full or part a previously raised sales order and if the contract is cancelled you would also action here.
Renewal: The tab to access when you wish to renew the contract on a line by line basis as an alternative method to ‘Update Renewal Prices’ on mass via the contract processing menu option
Cancellation: The tab to view the cancellation code and cancellation date assigned to previously cancelled lines. Where contract liens have been left to simply expire, users can from this tab select the line and use the drops downs on the code/date fields to select the relevant details
For the full process of amendments, Renewals and cancellations please visit the ‘Contract Processing’ element of the help and user guide
SOP Analysis Codes: If enabled, within utilities and configurations settings and on the Contract Settings Tab, under Option Features as well as assigning a Sicon Contract Line analysis code (of which it’s possible to have 150) to a contract line, you can also link the line to a Sage Standard SOP analysis code . Using SOP Analysis codes could be useful for filtering within SOP and standard SOP reporting
Deferred Nominals: If enabled, within utilities and configurations settings and on the contract settings tab, under optional features, and if deferred transactions is something you work with then with this tab enabled on the line you will be able to see and edit the nominal codes to be used within the monthly journal process.
This setting is not recommended where multiple users are using the contracts module and where you do not wish for any changes to what nominal codes are to be used over and above those set as defaults on the stock product groups and/or at the service stock item level
Payment Information: only visible when Sicon Debtor Management installed. Where it is, the customers default direct debit preferences will be displayed for the whole contract. Noting that subject to permission they can be changed at contract line / document level.
For more information about the Sicon Debtor Management Module which would help you manage customers direct debits please visit https://www.sicon.co.uk/product/sicon-debtor-management/
Cover Types: only visible when Sicon Service is installed. Where it is service, cover types can set at contract line level so when a service call is logged within Sicon Service the service admin team can see what cover type the customer has (for example gold, response with 4hrs, silver response with 2hrs, Ad-Hoc – no response time guaranteed). For more information please visit Sicon Service
Adding a New Contract Line
Select Lines Tab and Select Add
The fields that require populating are explained in detail below, noting that some of them are mandatory dependent on other selections: –
Code: Enter or search for the Sage 200 service stock item that has been created to pull through on the contract. In our example above, we have a service stock item for an annual contract to service a coffee machine.
The item had (during implementation) been flagged as a Sicon maintenance item on the Sicon tab on the stock code set up and been flagged as a deferred transaction item
Important Note: If the service stock item is not flagged as being a contract item, you can add it to a contract line and invoice it, but it will be once invoiced once it will be deemed as a non-contract item and will be flagged as a ‘non-contract line, and no longer available for invoicing against
Name: This field pulled through from the service stock record. If the stock item is flagged as using a full Item description this is shown underneath the name for reference
Warehouse: Can be defaulted within contract configuration settings on the contract line settings tab. This is handy if your service stock items for contracts are created against a ‘contracts warehouse’ Sage standard stock functionality is even though they are not proper stock items, you have to assign a warehouse, which is why we recommend a sage stock warehouse is set up for ‘Contracts’.
Site: The address for which the service is being provided under this contract. Only really relevant if the contract is being invoiced to a head office/or another company*, and the service to another address and where you want to capture this information.
*An example of this is that we at Sicon (who uses the module heavily) have one contract for each business partner, and each line is for a different end user of our software, so our settings, during implementation were configured o that we:
– We did not enable ‘automatically create a default delivery address’
– We enabled ‘delivery address is compulsory’
– and on every line, we enter first time for a BP’s end user we create a new delivery address by clicking on the Site Search Icon as below
When clicking ok, you have the option as setting as the default address.
In our case we wouldn’t because each line is for a different end user
On our screen shot it shows as ‘Site’ this is because within our contract line settings (as seen below) we have set our ‘Delivery Address caption’ as ‘Site’
You can set the system to ensure the ‘delivery address on a contract line is compulsory’
You can also choose within settings to set the delivery address based on the customer’s account.
For more details on set up and configuration ahead of using Sicon Contracts module please visit (prior to the implementation stage) Sicon Contract Pre-Requisite’s https://www.sicon.co.uk/user-guide/contracts-help-user-guide/#1
Internal Description: This additional text field / box to enter additional information which can be used for internal reference/purpose only
It is possible using the ‘Insert Variable’ function to show internal descriptions on any sales order / invoice raised.
Sales Order Description: As explained within the Sicon Contract Pre Requisites it is possible to set default contract Order Line descriptions against a product group and on an individual service stock item.
If defaults are set the description will pull through int the ‘Sales Order Line Description Box’ on to the contract line saving the users time not having to enter a description with dates on.
If no default descriptions are created then when the service stock code is select the sales order description box will be blank. If left blank on the invoice only the Stock name will be displayed.
In our example above our service stock item is linked to the product group ‘Service Contracts’ and on our product group for ‘Service Contracts’ we had set a default as below:
We used the insert variable function to pull through the relevant bill cover from: to dates as set on the lines, and they will increment every time a sales order is raised.
Using ‘Insert Variables’ in this way means that users do not have to change dates before they raise new sales orders.
Insert variables can be added at product group, service stock item level or at contract line level
Contract Line Item Values:
Since release 19.2 (end Nov 2019) we introduced additional fields on this screen, it is important for users to understand about the following relationships between certain fields and the implications of using:
– Unit Price and how it relates to Price Interval
– Invoice Frequency and how it relates to Invoice Interval
– And how all fields work in connection with each other
Unit Price: You need to enter the Unit Price Quoted per ‘Price Interval’
If upgrading to 19.2 and beyond from an earlier version from a previous version all existing lines will default to their existing values. Previous versions only used months and years and they will remain as they were.
Within the modules configurations Settings, on the contract line settings you can set defaults for all the following fields:
Price Interval; Duration in months; Invoice Frequency & Invoice Interval
We would estimate that 95% of contract module users, will use monthly or annual pricing. An example being you have quoted a customer a price based on an annual price, duration 12 months (1 year), and you are invoice every 12 months (once per year)
In which case you would enter as our screen shot below:
Our example is for a 12 month/1-year contract starting 01/11/2019 to 31/10/2020 for a one-off fee of £150
If the customer wanted to pay quarterly we would enter as above in most fields except the ‘Invoice Frequency’ where we have entered 3 (leaving the interval at months)
As a result, the customer would receive 4 invoices within the year (per ¼) and they each will be £37.50
Once the user is happy with the details entered select save (Bottom left hand of the form)
Thereafter when ready to, users would then generate the sales order through the sub menu item ‘Generate Sales orders’ under the menu option ‘Contract Processing’
Some companies run this routine daily, others weekly or monthly or on an ad-hoc basis when they need to add a new contract and raise the sales order/invoice.
When selected and when the user enters the date for which they wish the system to search or contract lines that are due to be invoiced (In our example we 01/11/2019) and hit display
Overdue contract orders due for invoicing prior to the date entered will show in red invoices
You could choose to filter by date and various other options as seen at the top of the screen
By default, when opening the screen all lines are selected, but users can deselect all, select all, or if they want to check out the contact select a line and select ‘Contract details’ which in turn would open the contract.
When ready to push the order through to sales orders for invoicing select ‘Process Selected Contracts and Generate Sales Orders)
When processed confirmation will be shown as below:
Before this process is run, as explained within the Sicon Contracts pre-requisites within standard Sage SOP Utilities – System Setup – User Permissions, those users using the contract module MUST have at least Override Prices, Override Cost Prices set to yes.
If this has not been configured the message displayed instead of the one above will be one that warns that the users’ permissions have not been set.
Using the Days and weeks functionality: Users must be aware of how a contract overall value will / could change one (if) they use the days and weeks functions
If using days as there are a different number of days in certain months, and where you (if you) choose to price based on a daily rate, but invoice monthly – your monthly invoice values will be different throughout the year
Likewise, if you choose to price based on a week, but invoiced monthly – then because some months have 5 weeks, throughout the year there will be different monthly invoice value
If your prices do not vary based on number of days in a month or weeks in a month / year then we recommend you only use months and years
Examples of using Days and Weeks
The example below shows a contract that is priced based on a daily rate of £30 per day, (So we have entered a unit price of £30 and selected a Price Interval of days
The duration of the contract is 12 months, but we have chosen to invoice it quarterly (every 3 months)
Because the Price Interval is set to days, and the first 3 months to be invoiced is 01/11/2018 – 31/01/2019 the system works out how many days within those 3 months, Nov 2018 = 30, Dec 2018 = 31 and Jan 2019 = 31 making a total of 92 days. 92 days at the daily rate of £30 = £2,760
Another example shows a contract that is priced based on a weekly rate of £2.50, the duration of the contract is 12 months, with the invoice being generated weekly
The 12-month contract value as displayed on the front screen of contracts is calculated as below, using the start date and end date to calculate number of days in the given year/ The number of days in the year divided by 7 (no of days in a week) and the daily rate multiplied by the weeks in a year
Rounded to 2 decimal places
A further example below shows a contract that is priced at £50 weekly the duration of the contract is 12 months, with the contract invoiced once per year
Calculated as below
And on the front Contract screen the values are as below, rounded to 2 decimal places
The example below shows a contract that is priced at £10 per week duration of the contract is 12 months, with the contract invoiced once every 12 months
Because its set to be priced based on a weekly rate the value for the one of invoice will be £ 522.86
If the same contract was a 3-year contract, priced at £50 per week, invoice frequency every 12 months (which is the same as once per year) the invoicing values will be the same as above
But because the contract is for 3 years, the values showing on the contracts front screen list will be the 3-year contract value (because that is the contracted value)
For the reasons above we do recommend during implementation, and training taking your companies requirements into consideration, all contract module users fully understand
Not forgetting you can set defaults for these fields within the configuration settings and on the contract line settings tab.
Other fields available when adding a contract Line:
We estimate 95% of customers are using the module in a straight forward way – raising a contract based on an annual price, invoicing either monthly, quarterly or annually and with the contract duration in months being 12 months (although you can enter any duration in months)
However, there are other options available where your contract pricing is not as straight forward: –
New to Sicon Contract: Entering contracts into the module ready for the next renewal because you are new to Sicon Contracts, and for the current period they have been invoiced on another system. In which case you could make use of the ‘Invoice Already Generated’ tick box/function
In our example below, the customers contract started 01/05/2019 was for 2 years (24 months) and we invoiced for those 2 years on another system prior to using Sicon contracts.
We entered the original start date, and that it was a 24-month contract, the system calculated the end date of 30/04/2021
We ticked the ‘Current invoice already generated function. This flags / then knows that the current period 01/05/2019 to 30/04/2021 does not need billing from the Sicon Module and that the next period of cover that would be invoiced for is 01/05/2021 to 30/04/2023, and the sales order will ready for processing through ‘generate sales orders’ on 01/05/2021
Rolling Contract Function: Use on a line where you are not looking to increase the prices and therefore you do not want to go through the process of renewing the line, because process never change
In our example below we entered a start date 01/20/2019 and its for £120 per year, invoiced once per year (so Invoice frequency 1 and Invoice Interval of years, although I could have select invoice frequency 12 and invoice interval months as both combinations result in the same)
Rolling Contract is ticked and as a result the contract end date field is blank because there is no end date, because the contract is rolling
The system will generate a sales order for the period 01/10/2019 to30/09/2020 for £120 , and because we have enabled rolling, it will generate the period after 01/10/2020 to 30/09/2021 without having to go through a renewal process
If you were adding a contract on when new to Sicon contract, you could also use the ‘Current Invoice already generated’ in conjunction with the Rolling Contract Function
Notes on Rolling Contract Lines:
On the main contract screen where we show the contract values the value shown will be for the contract period billed (current bill cover from:to)
Rolling contract lines will never appear in the ‘Update Renewal Prices’ process because for reasons above they are not lines that need renewing
To see a list of Rolling contract Lines from the Main Contract Maintenance Screen, select the Contract Lines details radio button and you will see a Rolling Column with an indicator not the relevant rolling lines. The columns in this view/screen are sortable so you can group the rolling lines together and could highlight those rolling lines, right mouse and send ‘selected’ to excel for example.
Pro Rata dates: Use where you want to enter a contract for a full year’s period, with a full years price, but for whatever reason you are pro rating the price for the first year
In our example below, we have entered a contract for £1200 per year, duration 12 months starting 01/04/2019 ending 31/03/2020
But we are actually only wanting to bill them from 01/10/2019 to 31/3/2020 as we have as an example given them the first 6 months free (but normally and at renewal next year it will be a full year)
To accommodate this we would use the Pro rate function and enter the date for which within the complete contract period we wish to start billing them from
In our case 01/10/2019. You will see that the current bill cover from:to changes to that 6 month period and the bill cover duration and value of next invoice and next sales order due date reflect this pro rata from date
When the contract period has been billed in full and expires, upon renewal it will revert back to the default £1200 with a full year’s cover.
Other fields on the ‘add new line screen/form’
Unit Cost: A method to manage deferred costs on a contract line. Depending on whether you are using method 1 or method 2 for deferred costs, will depend on whether the unit cost field is visible on the contract line.
For a full explanation and a user guide for managing supplier costs associated with a contract line please visit section the help and user guide title Contract Line Cost of Sale / Supplier Costs
Bill xx months in advance: If when using the ‘Generate Sales Orders’ process and you are required to enter a date in the ‘show orders due before’, and where you prefer to bill in advance and want to put what date you plan to invoice, rather than the actual bill cover from date
To further explain, our contract below has been entered with a start date of 01/09/2019, and the current bill cover from reflects this as does the Next Sales Order due date
On this line I have not set any ‘bill in advance months’
When I generate sales orders, to see this contract line I enter 01/09/2019
If however on the contract line, I set the bill in advance to 2 months in advance the next sales order date is 01/07/2019 which is the 2 months ahead of the bill cover from date (hence the setting bill 2 months in advance).
And to see this contract for sales order generation within the generate sales order process I would need to enter 01/07/2019
There is no right or wrong method, and no advantage of using the ‘Bill in advance’ it is purely down to the company’s preference as to what they are going to use when they use the generate sales order process
If you do not use the Bill in Advance function, you simply need to remember that you need to enter the bill cover from date in to the ‘Show orders due before’ date field
However, if as company you decide to use the function ‘Bill in Advance’ then we recommend you do it on all lines to avoid confusions
View Changes Button: Only visible if Sicon Audit Log installed If Installed Audit log records any changes made to the contract line. For more details please refer to Sicon Audit Log
4.2. Creating a Contract via Sage 200 Sales Order Processing (SOP) Module
It may be that you have to quote your customers before they take a contract on with you in the first instance), if this is the case within standard Sage 200 SOP quotes, you can pick up the service stock item for the contract, but until the quote is converted to a sales order, there will be no contract fields / contract tab visible to add information to
It may be you are invoicing for a standard stock items that come with a contract, and there is a requirement to invoice them both on the same Sales Order with all the normal SOP functions available as standard sage
Within standard Sage 200 sales orders when you a line you will see a screen similar to the below:
However, if you then add / select a ‘Service stock Item’ which on the stock record is flagged as a maintenance item) an extra tab appears entitled Contract Details
If you wish the Code and bill cover dates from: to push through to contract / the contract line description you must select the ‘Amend description.
When selecting the Amend Description button, as example screen shot below, the information pulled through is the ‘Code’ and the ‘Bill cover from;to’ period. If you do not use the ‘Amend Description’ function to populate the details’ then on the contract lines itself the ‘Description will be blank’.
When adding the contract service item all the standard contract line fields appear and will need to be populated, and depending on settings will automatically suggest a contract, contract line to link to or you can manually link to increment quantities.
When adding a service stock item (that is flagged as a contract maintenance item) depending on settings
which can be set at stock product group level, stock level or within contracts the system will either:
- When updating contracts from SOP, always create a new contract for the customer (regardless of whether there is an existing contract for the sop customer) or
- When updating contracts from SOP, look for an existing contract for the customer, but always create a new contract line
If either of the above two settings are selected, then when a sales order line is added for a contract item, there will be no option to ‘Link to Existing Contract Line’ and therefore a ‘Pending Contract Line’ will be created (Which in turn becomes a ‘live’ Contract Line’ at the point of the SOP Post/Contract Update’ occurs where the contract line on the sales order has been printed/completed.
If neither of the settings are selected, then when you start to add the contract line the system will highlight (in green) that ‘A new pending contract line will be created’ (This is because at this time, no details have been added for which the programme to see if any details match existing contract lines).
As you start to add details, if the Qty, Annual Unit Price, Delivery Address and Start Date match an existing contract then (in red) you will be advised (as per example screen shot below) that the system has found a match line.
You can then ‘Linked to Matched Contract Line’, If you select then the system will confirm the action to be taken.
Once you confirm by selecting ‘yes’ the system will confirm the new sales order ‘pending line’ is linked to the relevant line on the existing ‘live contract line’.
Until the line is invoiced and the sop posted if viewing the contract, using the ‘pending filter’ will show there is a pending qty (In screen shot below, you can see the ‘Live Qty’ is 2 and ‘Pending Qty’ is 1.
When the sales order line, is invoiced, complete and sales order for the line posted, the contract will show this addition as a ‘live Qty’, with no pending.
using our example above in the you can see (in the screen shot below) the ‘Live Qty’ is 3 and ‘Pending Qty’ is 0.
The user who is responsible for posting the sales orders, should have contracts scripts enabled on their role with Sage 200 SA , this is to ensure they are able to confirm update of contracts from sop (In screen shot below setting was set to create a new contract).
NB : There is an optional setting to show the dismiss button on this screen, but we DO NOT recommend turning this on, if you do and a user dismisses the contract update then the contracts will not be updated with the lines added on the sales order and contracts will not be created and/or added to).
When viewing the contract within contract maintenance you can see it states that it derived from a sales order being added.
If the Sicon Contracts script is not enabled on the relevant users role with Sage 200 SA , when a contracts module user goes into the contract module they will be warned / prompted to update contracts via ‘Post Invoice Update’ routine within the contract processing menu option.
If uses keep ignoring message until Post Invoice Update is run from within the contracts module, the following message will continue to be displayed.
Important Note: Where deferred costs are being used its important to note that the cost is derived from a cost field on the contract line which is unique to Sicon Contracts.
At this time sage costs on a service stock code, sop line is not carried through to contract lines.
4.3. Contract View / Contract Line View
When opening a contract and viewing the contract Lines by default ONLY Live contract lines will show and the Live contract lines status filter ticked.
Other status’s available are:
- Expired contract Lines – Contract lines that have expired
- Deleted Lines – Lines that have been Removed from the contract
- Cancelled Lines – Lines that have had a credit raised against the line / contract line cancelled and a reason flag status recorded
- Pending Contract lines – Contract Lines that have been added initially via a Sales order, and where the sales order has not yet been posted and therefore the contract not 100% confirmed as such
- Completed non contract lines – Service Stock Items that have been added on t the contract, but are not flagged as a Maintenance Contract Item, on the Maintenance Contract Tab on the stock Record
It’s possible this type of service stock item on to a contract but it’s not treated as a recurring line, and once invoiced will be flagged with a status of a ‘Complete non contract line’.
4.4. Custom Invoicing Profile
Where a contract invoicing frequency cannot be set as monthly, quarterly, annually, every xx months we have added the ability to have a custom invoice frequency profile
Example: A Contract that officially runs Sep – Aug for a 2-year period, then is renewed.
However the Customer will only accept invoices within each financial year.
So for the contract example of Sep16 to Aug 18 (24 months)
Total Value £2400 plus vat
By using the custom invoicing profile our 2-year contract will have (within a 2-year period) just 3 invoices raised each covering the periods
01/09/2016 to 31/3/2017 – 7 Months @ £ 700
01/04/2017 to 31/3/2018 – 12 Months @ £ 1200
01/04/2018 to 31/8/2019 – 5 Months @ £ 500
How to create a line with a custom Invoicing profile?
This can ONLY be done from within Contracts
On the line itself there is a Custom invoicing profile tick box
When selected the fields / sections not relevant will be greyed out, and as you tab through the No. of Invoices Remaining will not display any dates , but instead the text ‘ Custom Invoicing Profile’
Use the ‘Planned Sales Orders’ Tab to enter the invoicing profile (when you need the sales orders to be generated)
If you attempt to save the line without adding, you will be warned.
Planned Sales Orders Process
Using Add, enter each of the planned/required sales order details, as below and Save
If you attempt to add more than you should (past the contract required dates / value) you will warned.
Once you are happy with the planned sales order lines.
If you have any analysis codes set to mandatory you will be required to set them at this point.
If this is a new contract, and the line is the first on the contract you will see the contract number displayed.
If you are adding a line to an existing contract the screen will close taking you back to the Summary screen showing the line(s).
And also the relevant dates, the period of first planned sales order, and in the Invoice Frequency Column the indication that the line is one with a ‘Custom Invoicing Profile’.
The next step will be generating through to sales order processing, using the ‘Generate Sales Orders’ within ‘Contract Processing’.
Enter the date that you wish the system to list those contracts that require sales orders generating thereafter invoicing, in this example we have entered 31/06/2016. The list can be filtered using various analysis codes, or by customer, invoice frequency, contract number or contract type (Contract Type can be set up within Maintenance).
- Overdue contract lines will be shown as red with a message
The Sales order would then be invoiced, posted and contract updated as standard.
The Sales order will then be visible from within contracts as standard from either the Main Contract Screen and the ‘Orders created from this Contract Pane as below.
Or from the contract line itself, selecting View Details.
And on the Planned Sales Order Tab, users can see the sales order numbers against each planned sales order line if generated.
When Viewing the Line after the first planned sales order has been raised users can see when the next planned sales order is due.
When all the planned sales orders have been raised, the planned sales order tabs will show all relevant sales orders, with no more showing TBC.
Users can also click on a line and View the sales order.
Because all planned sales orders have been raised then on the Summary screen there will be no ‘next sales order date’.
After all Planned Sales orders have been raised / The Contract invoicing has ended the options thereafter will be to:
Either leave to expire naturally if not renewing and if required set a reason flag.
If the renewal is going to result in another custom invoicing profile, then the renewal should be done from the line, by initially entering the details on the renewal tab (example below).
Once Saved you will see the following message.
After Clicking OK users need to go back on to the line and the planned sales orders tab and enter the new planned sales order details for the second year
If the renewal is going to result in a standard invoice frequency i.e., every month, every xx months then because the contract in effect has changed (invoice frequency changed) then because of restrictions , by the pure nature the line was ‘custom’, you will need to to leave the ‘custom invoicing profile line to expire’ and add a standard contract line , this time, not ticking custom invoicing profile and entering a contract start / end dates, current bill cover to:/end dates etc as you would normally.
- It may be in the future we can allow swopping types, but at this time we can’t.
- You can use the one of credit, one off charge as you would normally.
- You can use the amendment tab to cancel the contract and credit all or some of the previously raised planned sales orders.
- Again because of restrictions by the pure nature its custom at this time you cannot increase / decrease qty’s.
5. Contract Line Cost of Sale / Supplier Costs
5.1. Using Cost field on Contract Line (Method 1)
Use this to add a contract cost against contract Line for a reference only and / or to manage deferred contract costs (see note 1)
On each contract line there is an Annual Unit Cost field
This cost field is unique to contracts and does not pull through from a service stock code, nor does it update any cots on a service stock record when populated
It is purely used for a way of recording a cost, and for the module to use in deferred costs, if the service stock item is enabled for deferred costs
Note 1. It is very unlikely that you would use the system for managing deferred costs if you did not use the contacts module to manage deferred revenue
If you do use the system to manage deferred revenue and you do incur costs, then it is advisable to manage deferred costs as well through the contract module
Note 2. On a contract line if method 2 is used, then the ‘Annual Unit cost field will either be greyed out/not visible’
5.2. Managing Deferred Costs (Method 1)
If using this cost field as a way of recording a cost and the services stock item is flagged as a deferred item, the deferred transactions is captured when the sales order is posted
The movement from Balance Sheet to P & L then occurs during the standard contract, period end, monthly journal routine.
The nominal codes used within the journal are specified either as a default on the stock product group, or on the service stock item as per the screen shot below
For further advice on deferred nominal codes see Contract Pre-Requisites
Using just the cost field on the contract line as a method to record a cost, does not allow printing of purchase order from within the contract module
5.3. Adding supplier details & costs on to the Supplier Tab against a Line (Method 2)
Using this method over method 1 gives you more functionality.
You may choose this method to Print a purchase order (if required) and/or Manage Deferred Costs:
A Single Supplier Line: If there us only a single supplier whom you are backing off the service being delivered on the contract line being invoiced out to the customer
Multiple Supplier Lines: You may have a contract with one of your customers for several types of service, but you are invoicing them on a single line with a total revenue value, covering multiple services, but the service you are providing is backed off by multiple service providers (In our example screen shots below Microsoft, Sage and Sicon)
It may be also that the supplier’s contract to you covers different periods of cover, so it is possible to have periods mis aligned between the revenue and the costs
To add supplier details costs:
On the contract line select ‘Supplier Tab’ in this example there are three suppliers involved with the single ‘sales line’ – those being Microsoft, Sage & Sicon
Each line shows the suppliers p/l account code. name, and the cost period start & end, unit cost per service, and a description of service, a PO Number for current period and 2nd Ref (all of which can be printed on the PO sent
In our example a line for Microsoft, Sage & Sicon
Supplier details & costs are entered within the grid form against the contract line itself
5.4. Print Suppliers Purchase Order (Method 2)
From the Contract Printing Menu item select Print Purchase Orders
Using the report criteria options select your contract and contract line, if you only have a single supplier you will print the given purchase order
If you have multiple lines for one contract line (even if they are the same supplier) and where the dates from: to are different they will print as separate purchase orders .
If you have multiple supplier lines, all for the same supplier with all the same dates the system will print one purchase order with multiple lines
You would only print the purchase order from contracts, if
a) The supplier requires a purchase order to be sent and
b) You have not already added the purchase order into Sage POP
5.5. Managing Deferred Costs (Method 2)
Managing deferred costs using method 2 is different to method 1 (where you would use the cost field on the line rather than entering details on to the supplier tab)
Although it is possible to use a mixture of both, it is not recommended as it may get confusing
When entering supplier details and costs on to the supplier tab it’s not until the supplier’s invoice (that would have been entered directly onto the purchase ledger account or via POP), is allocated against the relevant contract supplier line that the module captures the deferred transactions once the allocation has been carried out the supplier contract laine deferred postings will be as our example below
If the costs are being deferred the suppliers invoice MUST be posted to the balance sheet deferred contract code. In our example 19101, which is our balance sheet deferred costs nominal
The default nominal code for standard sage costs for a service stock item is the one on the Analysis tab on the service stock item, and it would be the nominal code field labelled stock, as per our screen shot below
For further advice on what nominal codes to use / set up when using contracts please refer to Contract Pre-Requisites
During the ‘Allocate Supplier costs’ routine the user has the opportunity to add the any additional cost (when the invoice has come in it may be a higher cost than originally entered against the contract line) to the deferred transaction file
Also, if supplier contract dates have changed from those originally entered they can be amended. The dates are important as the deferred transaction movements from balance sheet to P & L within the period end routine are based not only on the cost value but the dates
Future Development Note : Depending on feedback we may in a future release of the module add the functionality to raise the PO from within contracts, integrate with Sage 200 POP and when the invoice is matched against the purchase order the ‘allocate Supplier Deferred Costs’ would follow on.
5.6. Allocating Suppliers invoice to Supplier Costs on a contract line (Method 2)
Step 1: Prior to allocating you must make sure the suppliers’ invoices have been added
In our example we have entered them direct into the P & L, and we have added all at the same time, but in reality, they may come in from suppliers at different times
If managing deferred costs, the recording the Suppliers Invoice MUST be done in order to capture the deferred transactions, and the nominal code used when recording the invoice MUST be posted to the balance sheet deferred contract code. In our example 19101, which is our balance sheet deferred costs nominal
For further advice on deferred nominal codes see Contract Pre-Requisites
Step 2 ‘Allocate Supplier deferred Costs’ from within the Contract processing Menu
Using our example first supplier being Sage
From the top half of the screen find/select the relevant invoice and from the bottom half off the screen select the relevant supplier line from the contract line, once matched, select allocate and select allocate
Our second supplier was Microsoft
If users now looked at the line on the contract, and on the supplier line, users would be able to see the suppliers invoice ‘urn’ reference, which is a direct link to the supplier’s invoice on the suppliers account
5.7. How to Manage supplier date and cost differences (Method 2)
Using Sage & Microsoft as example suppliers against our customer All Things Black who has an annual revenue contract for £3600 for first period of cover Oct 17 – Sept 18
Our Suppliers Sage & Microsoft have different dates for their contract to us
- Sages dates Nov 17 – October 18 and an expected cost of £1200
- Microsoft dates Dec 17 – Nov 18 and an expected cost of £700
Sage deferred expectations
Microsoft line deferred expectation
Sales Order to the customer is invoiced / sales order posted as before, and the sales side of things, as far as deferred is concerned is showing as below.
As sometime happens, finance runs month end before the supplier’s invoice comes in during which time in our second example there would be a movement if running for September (the revenue side of things), but not for sage or Microsoft costs, as the deferred transactions will not start until November (for sage) and December (for Microsoft)
In the screen shot below, we have processed month end routine to move costs for Nov & Dec
Purchase invoices are entered as previously
But when allocating / matching you will see in our examples; the invoice is higher than expected
The module will make an adjustment within the deferred posting file, in the first open period (at this time the thinking is the amount is not likely to be as big as my example, so it’s okay to post the difference in one month)
In our 2nd example, I posted the p/l invoice £50 less than expected and it posts a negative line
5.8. Renew Supplier Contract Lines (Method 2)
Once (if) you have renewed your customers contract, and where supplier costs still apply for the renewal periods you should use the process ‘Renew Supplier Contract Lines’
Select the date that you wish to see the supplier lines due for renewal prior to the date
Select the relevant supplier lines and by processing the ‘Selected Renewals’ the supplier dates will advance on
6. Contract Processing
6.1. Generate Sales Orders
Use this function to raise the invoice for the ‘first Invoice’ of a contract just added, a contract line is marked as ‘Rolling’ or a variable billing contract line
Enter the date that you wish the system to list those contracts that require invoicing, in this example we have entered 31/06/2016. The list can be filtered using various analysis codes, or by customer, invoice frequency, contract number or contract type (Contract Type can be set up within Maintenance).
Overdue contract lines will be shown as red with a message.
Click Display to get the list of contracts due before the date entered.
Tick the relevant contract, or select all and select Process Selected Contracts and Generate Sales Orders.
Ticking a contract and clicking Contract Details will take you through to the contract screen.
Once they have been posted through to SOP, they will disappear from the list and you can either choose more or Close.
Once the contract is through to the SOP module, standard Sage 200 processes apply.
Noting that the order is posted through to the customers ledger from SOP, the contract is not updated fully, and where deferred.
transactions are being applied, they will not be written to the deferred table until posted) this is because until orders are posted completed) they can be amended.
When using the generate Sales Order process, and you enter your chosen date, if there are sales orders that were due before that date , you will be warned with a message in red ‘ Lines in red are overdue’ , and as it says , line in red are those that should have been generated before now (as per screen shot example below)
Important Note: If there are lines in red, and you then process them, you may find that when using this process next , they may appear again but for the next period
For example: If you select 28/1/2017 in your ‘show orders due before’ date, and as above image it shows there was one due to be generated 13/10/2016 and if you select that one, it will generate the order commencing bill cover from 13/10/2016 for the given invoice frequency period, so if the invoice frequency was 1, then the next time you run the process and if you again enter 28/1/2017 in your ‘show orders due before’ date , you will still see the red warning message and lines, and it will show the invoice for the next 1 month on that is due 13/11/2016
So in summary, if you have missed 3 months of monthly invoices it will not generate 1 sales order for 3 months , because your invoice frequency is set to 1 (monthly) you will need to generate the 3 missing sales orders separately
6.2. Amending a Contract after the Generation of a Sales Order
Once you have generated a sales order from Sicon Contracts, we lock down the fields with the sales order, and therefore any amendments need to be done back in the contract/contract line itself if it’s a case of you have noticed you had entered the wrong price or dates etc
You should NOT cancel and/or remove the liens from the sales order, as this method does not update the contract/contract line correctly.
If the Sales Order is not posted: Firstly, you need to use the Sage standard Amend Order Status to cancel the sales order.
The system will warn you that the sales order is related to a contract and that by continuing to cancel the sales order will revert the contract to back to how it was before you originally generated the sales order, reversing the billing dates.
If happy to do so click OK.
Once done, you can go back into the contract line and make the amendments you needed to, and generate the sales order you would in the normal was
If the Sales Order is posted: If the sales order has been posted, you will need to from within the contract and on the line, use the amendment tab to cancel the sales order, raise a contract sales order return
For more details on raising a credit via the amendment tab please refer to the section ‘Process Amendments’ on the help and user guide
If the Sales Order Value is correct and it’s just dates you need to amend:
If the value of the sales order is correct, but you have agreed to change the dates with the customer (perhaps the start date was to early, or you have agreed to offer 15 months for the price of 12 months for the first year). For example, a contract was raised and invoice £1200 for period 01/08/2019 – 31/07/2020, but the customer did not go live with the service until 01/11/2019 so they are asking for the contract end date to be extended to 30/11/2020
Because the original contact sales order was partially incorrect we would recommend from an audit perspective that that is credited and a new line added
This method (crediting and reinvoicing) is more important if you are using deferred transactions because when the sales order would have been posted, deferred transactions would have been captured and movements to the P & L via the month end journal process would start from 01/8/2019
If you took the easy route and simply went on to the contract line and amended the start date to 01/10/2019 , end date 30/11/2020, current bill cover From:To dates to 01/10/2019 to 30/11/202, then we would advise that you add a note in the internal description box for other users to note you have changed the dates, or add a memo on the memo tab of the contract but more importantly if you are deferring transactions you have to consider what to do with those.
If you look at the line in question and look at the sales orders and deferred transactions function (example below).
The movement from the balance sheet to P & L during a month end journal process may or may not have been posted.
In our screen shot they show as Not Posted.
So bearing in mind if you have taken the simple route to change the dates by changing the dates on the line to now be contract start date 01/11/2019 – 31/11/2020, the deferred transactions will start 01/08/2019 unless you Edit the lines within deferred transactions.
If you do decide to edit the dates on the deferred transactions, do it with care, if you by mistake delete a line, not noticing it, and save, then automatically within contract reconciliation you will have a variance.
To edit unposted deferred transactions dates, you would select ‘Edit Transactions and change each line.
If the status is posted (Meaning the journal has already happened as part of a month end routine) we really would recommend that you go down the route of crediting the original sales order (which in turn creates credit deferred transactions) and you then add the contract line again.
You could raise a manual journal within the nominal ledger for the months already journaled and use the same process as above, editing the deferred transaction, changing the dates as above, and for those months that have a status of posted, change status un posted. This is not our recommended route, but it can be done, and would recommend you are confident with this option by trying in a test company to make sure you are happy with the process and the results.
6.3. Process Amendments
Use the Amendments Tab on the contract line to process an amendment of one of the following type.
Amend Quantity Adjustment (This can be used to make an adjustment to either decrease the quantity, decrease) depending on the action taken either an additional invoice will be raised or a credit.
Enter the Quantity to be added (as a positive figure)
In example 1 below we are looking to cancel the contract and issue a credit for previously raised invoices
the original contract quantity was 1 off, so by entering a minus 1 (-1) it zeros the contract quantity and by ticking two of the previously raised sales orders, the system will raise credit notes.
Tick the Confirm amendment and Save, (if you do not tick confirm amendment the system will not generate a credit / SOP return).
Where only part of a period of cover has to be credited or adjusted up/down then you can select ‘pro rata’ by ticking and enter the date that the pro rata is effective from.
In example 2 below we are looking to raise a credit note for one of the periods that we have raised an invoice for BUT NOT adjust the contract duration or pricing and not cancel the contract.
Select one off credit, enter the credit value, the start date of the period you are crediting, duration, and tick confirm amendment , and it explains what will happen , in this case a ‘sales return with a quantity of 1 and a value of £200 to cover the period 01/02/29/02/2016.
Once cancellation / credits or and/off charges are processed through the ‘process amendments screen (as above screen shot) they will push through to sales order processing for printing / posting (at which stage the contract is fully updated with changes)
- Select Contract Processing – Process Amendments from the Contracts Side menu options.
- Select Display, then select (by ticking) the relevant contract(s) to be invoiced/credited and select Process.
- Once the amendment of the contract pushes through to the SOP module, the standard Sage 200 processes apply for SOP orders.
Contract ‘Non Renewals’ – Customers simply not renewing
Where a contract naturally expires, the customer simply does not want to renew but pays for the year invoiced, and no credits due, then no action is required, the contract line will simply expire, and once past contract line end date will by default disappear from the contract but is visible by selecting ‘show expired’; Expired contracts by default are hidden
NB : You may set a reason why the contract did not renew (let contract naturally expire) , you may want to do this (if known ) for reference and any custom reports; This would be done by selecting ‘show expired contract lines’ , editing the relevant line, select the amendment tab and populate the ‘cancellation code fields’.
Where contract lines naturally expire, by using the Expired Contracts Enquiry menu option as below:
You can list all those lines that have naturally expired and in a grid form select a reason why and then select ‘Updated Cancelled Contract lines’.
Replace screen shot in https://www.sicon.co.uk/user-guide/contracts-help-user-guide/#3 under text
Enable deferred nominal Tab: Deferred Nominal codes to be used within the system are configured within either the Stock Product Group or on the Service Stock Item. If however there is a situation whereby for some contract lines the deferred codes are to be different than those defaulted its possible by line level to specify the codes to be used.
6.4. Single Contract Line Renewal Process
Reminder that Rolling Contracts do not require any action to renew – the system will automatically increment the cover dates on the contract and the contract will appear in the Generate Sales Orders list for invoicing as per the invoice frequency.
If created originally by a sales order, when viewing you will note that there is no contract end date and it shows as a rolling contact with the duration showing as ‘Indefinite’.
We DO NOT recommend rolling unless you know that your pricing never increases, and your company does not wish to review contracts and potentially increase contract pricing
It’s very easy to renew contracts (even if no price increase) , using the Update renewal process so we strongly recommend always setting a contract line to expire , so it can be reviewed.
Renewal by Contract Line Manually
Fields on this Tab explained:
Customer Purchase Order Number: Use to record the customer’s renewal PO number for reference.
Renewal Quantity adjustment: If there are no changes at renewal to the Qty then so not enter anything in this field. If you are selling contracts/service supports by the unit, (example your service is support Microsoft desktop users and each user you charge £120 per year, and at renewal they increase the unit Qty, then use this field to adjust at renewal).
Increase by % : Where you are using price list , but where the you have agreed with the customer an incremental annual increase up to price book RRP use this function. Tick the Box and enter the % you have agreed to upgrade by annually until it reaches the price book RRP. Once you tick it shows the price book RRP for reference.
Renewal annual unit price: If within settings the system is set to by default show existing contract line annual unit price it will show in this field; users can override it manually*. If settings are not set to show existing annual unit price it will show 0 and users will enter the renewal annual unit price.
*If you want to automatically increase to the Price book RRP press Update Renewal Price button.
Renewal unit Cost: If populated will update the contract line cost field on the line at renewal.
– This unit cost field on a contract line is a field used only within the contract module for reporting and for deferred costs. It is not a field that is pulled through to the sop line on a sales order, or from the cost field on the service stock field
Renewal duration in months: If within settings the system is set to by default show existing contract duration , it will show here, but can be amended for example if original contract was a 12 month contract , but customer has signed up to a 24 month contract
Renewal invoice frequency in months: If within settings the system is set to by default show existing contract Invoice Frequency, it will show here, but can be amended for example if original contract was an invoice every 12 months, but customer has asked now if they can be invoiced monthly, so the Invoice Frequency would change to 1
Renewal confirmed tick box: Updated either manually here by simply ticking, or will be updated automatically if your process is to update contract lines on mass, and during the ‘update renewal process’ you have selected to ‘Confirm Renewal for all Lines’. Once this box is ticked, the system will include this line in the ‘Process Renewals process to generate renewal sales orders
Renewal unit discount %: If within settings the system is set to by default show existing contract line unit discount %, it will show here, if not changed, the renewal line discount % will remain the same
Renewal unit discount value: If within settings the system is set to by default show existing contract line unit discount value, it will show here, if not changed, the renewal line discount value will remain the same
Once Renewed and to process through to SOP for Invoicing, select:
Contract Processing, Process Renewals Tick as Required or Select All and then Process Selected Renewals and Generate Sales Order as described.
6.5. Multiple Contract Lines Renewal Process
Rather than renew per contact line, if you increase contracts by a set % or by a pre-defined renewal prices already determined on a price book (a standard sage 200 function)
Renewal by Price Book (If no price books settings set up in configurations settings this option will be greyed out)
If groups of contracts renew the same time every year, you may wish to consider using the Sage 200 standard Price Book facility to set renewal prices. Price books can be set up as required and then configured in the Contracts Settings – Renewal Prices tab.
Then by selecting the Update Renewal Prices menu option, select the end date between ‘x’ and ‘y’, select Use Price bands, select the relevant contracts or select all, and then select Process.
Renewal by Percentage
Select the Update Renewal Prices menu option, enter dates, select and enter a value Increase by xx%, select Display and the system will show you the Current Price and New Renewal Price. (in our first example screen shot 5%).
For those contracts that do not have price increases , but rather than use rolling you wish to ‘renew’ with no price increase as a ‘cheat’ you can use the ‘Update Renewal Prices function (whit contract processing) to renew all contracts with 0% increase, simply by entering 0%, select relevant contacts and ‘Process’; Screen shot below.
Prior to version V 201x 2.0.0, users would then have to go in to the contract, the contract line, the renewal tab and ‘tick confirmed’.
The module was designed this way by design, and a lot of customers still like their contracts to go into each contract line, check all renewal details and manually tick ‘confirmed’.
However, following feedback for those customers that have 1000’s of contract lines this would be very time consuming, and especially where it is one or two key members of staff managing the contracts this was felt un-necessary.
We have listened to feedback and now added a setting within Contracts, Configuration Settings to ‘Allow confirmation renewals when updating renewal prices’.
6.6. Variable Billing Process
Added in v2015.2.0.19 Variable Billing is for contract lines where the amount varies each invoice, for example electric metre readings.
Where required to be used, on the Service stock item enable the ‘Use Variable Billing Box, if ticked the Maintenance Contract Item option is greyed out (and vice versa).
Variable item lines are treated different and do not need bill cover from / to dates, a contract start / end date and as such are treated as a non-maintenance item is the same way as a service item not flagged as maintenance item, but the difference being is that the system will not remove a variable contract line after being invoiced once (where as a standard service non contract item line will be removed/flagged as non-contract item) once invoiced.
- It’s important and we recommend you use the Insert Variable function (either on the product group or the service stock item itself because there is no bill cover to date fields populated from the contract). By selecting the %%date:NextDateOfVariableBilling%% The system will add this date in to the sales order description field on the contract line every time, so the customer knows what date is being billed up to.
- The Variables are different to those used for standard maintenance contract items, so whether you are adding default variables on the variable product group, the service stock item itself or on the contract line / sales order line description be careful you pick up the correct ones.
- We recommend you have a different product group / service stock item(s) for variable lines, to allow you to configure Default Contract Line Descriptions to save entering this manually on every contract line. The variables required for showing the relevant billing date is a different variable to a normal contract item, as shown below.
You may also want to consider different nominal codes for the revenue costs. As these orders are more likely to be billed after the event you would probably not be deferring these type of contracts and therefore you would want to post the revenue direct to the P & L.
Once the ‘Use Variable billing’ box is enabled, when adding a new contract line, because the item has been flagged as a variable item, you only enter the Quantity.
The Annual Unit Price should be left £0.
No dates are required and therefore are greyed out.
Enter other details as you would a normal contract line (You may want to consider using one of the sop analysis codes or Sicon contract line analysis codes to mark the line as a variable).
When you know the variable amount to bill, to process the line through to a standard sales order for invoicing select the ‘Update Variable Billing Prices’ within the Contract Processing Menu.
Select display to show all the variable contract lines.
You can filter by Product Group, Stock Code or Customer – leaving these fields blank will search for all the variable contract lines.
Enter the Bill Date, that you wish to record that you are billing up to i.e. electricity usage up to xx/xx/xx.
Enter the Billing Net Total (Next Invoice Unit Price).
Select the lines to and select process after which the screen will display ‘Update Process Complete’.
Note: You are able to import Variable Billing Prices, click the Import Template to generate 2 Excel spreadsheets the screenshot below shows the Example file, the other one is the one to populate and save as a CSV file for importing.
The next step is to generate sales orders using the ‘Generate Sales Orders’ within ‘Contract Processing’.
Enter the date to list the contracts that require sales orders generating and then invoices. In this example we have entered 25/06/2019. The list can be filtered using various analysis codes, or by customer, invoice frequency, contract number or contract type (Contract Type can be set up within Maintenance).
Overdue contract lines will be shown as red with a message.
Variable billing lines are shown in green.
Select All, or manually tick the lines to generate the sales orders for.
Click Process Selected Contracts and Generate Sales Order.
Select a Date from the Date Selection screen, this is to allow you to be able to select a specific date for the orders to be generated on as opposed to defaulting to today’s date.
The Sales order will then be visible from within contracts, on the relevant contract tab.
Next Invoicing Period
Follow the steps above, no need to go into the contract again, no need to renew and it’s only when you want to mark the variable billing line as cancelled and set cancellation flags, change any other details that you need to go into the contract line again.
6.7. Expired Contracts
By selecting Expired Contracts users can review contracts lines that have expired naturally but where no reason code thereafter entered.
Users may add the reason why (by selecting the line and selecting the reason from the drop down list available as screen shot below) not only from a visual aspect within a contract, but where they have written custom reports for expired / cancelled contracts they may want to ensure there are always reason codes entered.
It’s important to note that simply by adding a reason codes the contract line is not cancelled/further invoicing will be suspended.
6.8. Rolling Contracts (contracts that do not expire)
Where a contract line is flagged as ‘Rolling’s as per the screen shots below, the dates on the contract automatically increment and the contract will appear in the Generate Sales Orders process automatically without any renewal process/action.
Caution should be taken when considering whether to use this function
We do not recommend using unless you know that your pricing never increases, the company’s policy is one that they so review contract pricing
It’s very easy to renew contracts (even if no price increase), using the update renewal process (using a 0% increase if there are no price changes)
If you do decide to use the function, you do not have to use them on all contract lines, or all contracts, so if you do have the situation where you do have some contracts that will never have an increase, this would be the method to use
If created originally by adding a contract item via a SOP sales order, when viewing you will note that there is no contract end date and it shows as a rolling contact with the duration showing as ‘Indefinite’.
When adding directly from within the contract module the rolling function is underneath the contract start date.
When a start date is added and then the rolling tick box ticked, then the Contract end date field is blank.
Remember …rolling contract lines will appear in any renewal process or any renewal reminder reports.
7. Period End Routines
Use this menu option to generate your monthly deferred income/cost postings, if you are using this for your contract DI Reconciliation.
7.1. Monthly Journal Postings for Contracts
Select the month you wish to post the journals for.
In this example, we have chosen April 2019, you will note that the system has warned us that there are postings due for previous months, (in red text) which means that contracts have been added relating to a previous period or we did not run the month end for that period, or we did not select all relevant transactions during a previous routine.
If this message appears we recommend you do not continue, but investigate those past month’s transactions before continuing to ensure you action accordingly.
If the periods are still open they will post into to the relevant period. If the previous periods are closed, they will (as is standard within Sage 200), post into the current open period.
It’s very important to note that if you have future months open and in error you select a future month, it is possible if you ‘Post’ that postings will occur (a journal moving from balance sheet to P & L) for future months.
Where this applies monthly journal postings for deferred transactions the system will split journals by date. This will make sure that journals are posted on the correct date.
The screen allows you to :
View what the journal entry would look like to make sure you are happy with the postings and if not, close/amend the correct contract and process again.
Choose to leave all selected (default option), or deselect some (if you do not wish to post the journal at this time)
Select a contract and choose Show Contract to view that specific contract or
Select a contract and choose Show Transactions to display the order history and any deferred transactions.
View Past Transactions, will display any postings previous for the same period.
You can choose your views as follows:
- Standard list, shows Contract number, A/C Ref, A/C Name, Contract Line and amounts or
- Extended list which shows the relevant nominal codes as well as the above fields as standard list
To process the journal simply press Post. The system will ask you if you are sure you want to post deferred revenue; if you are select Yes.
Subject to your standard Sage 200 Nominal ledger settings, the journal transactions will either appear on the relevant nominal accounts straight away or sit in deferred waiting until update nominal postings are processed.
Important Note : Depending on the setting ‘Calculate the deferred income based on number of days in a month’ the system will during the journal process, process either a whole month’s value or part months based on number of days.
If the above setting is enabled the value for the first and last period will not equal a whole month but will be based on the number of days in the month as over our example below.
7.2. Contract Reconciliation
Contract DI Reconciliation showing the analysis of all the deferred income transactions. There are three options for reconciliation enquiries:
Deferred Income over Months: displays the total value of the deferred income transactions broken down by month and grouped by nominal code.
Customer and Products: the top two panels show customer and product contract values and should always balance. This is a total value for the contract, not just the remaining deferred income.
The bottom three panels provide a detailed breakdown of the remaining deferred income postings, by default includes all the deferred income transactions (posted and un-posted).
You have the option to filter out transactions already posted to give you the remaining total deferred income by customer, product or by both. In order to report these details you can use the right mouse click ‘Send to Excel’ for each of the panels.
Reconciliation Screen: this shows the total remaining deferred income for each nominal code that the contract lines are linked to.
This is compared to the current nominal balance plus any waiting (deferred or pending) nominal postings and provides a variance.
On this screen you can using the hyper links drill down to the relevant nominal account
In an ideal world there should be no variances, (there is on ours because it’s our test data) if there is it’s likely that a manual journal has been posted to the balance sheet nominal code, so we recommend manual journals are not made, if the nominal balance on the balance sheet account is incorrect then investigations should be made into the contract deferred postings and nominal, and where required adjustments to the deferred ‘not posted’ transactions
Where you are seeing a variance then there are a number of investigatory steps you can take to investigate. For full details of the steps we recommend you take to investigate please visit the FAQs section of our help and user guide
When selected, please select the support section
Click on the to access the document ‘Are you seeing variances within contract reconciliation?
8. Contract Printing
8.1. Print Renewal Reminders (not applicable to ‘rolling contracts’)
Two different renewal reminder letters can be printed from the Contract Manger Module; first reminder and second reminder. You can use either, or both, and the layouts are based on standard Sage 200 report designer layouts, which can be amended. NB: using reminders is not a mandatory step.
The renewal month will be picked up from the next start date of the contract line and the First and Second Reminders will be sent out in accordance with this date and in conjunction with the module settings (see Utilities – Configuration Settings – Renewals).
Select Display to show all the contracts due for reminders to be sent (or use the filters as required).
Select the relevant contracts or select all and select print. Standard Sage 200/3rd Party print options apply for sending to customers.
8.2. Print Purchase Orders
This facility in this version is relatively new and may grow in function over the next few releases.
On a contract Line you can specify a supply that the contract is ‘backed off to’ (for example).
The purchase order layout is a simple one, but can be customised through Sage 200 report designer (This function is not at this time linked through to Sage 200 POP).
The details listed are contract numbers, in this example on contract number 10 ‘Hulme Home Fitters’.
The contract has 2 lines, one for hardware support, one for software support, both lines are backed off to 3rd parties and both have suppliers (different suppliers) associated with.
The system will generate 2 pages.
Page 1 for the back to back / 3rd party supplier costs in association with line 1.
Page 2 for the back to back / 3rd party supplier costs in association with line 2
9.1. Contract Type Maintenance
The ability to create contract types were in the legacy contracts as standard and were included before the ability to have up to Sicon contract line analysis codes (up to 150).
Once configured sits within the ‘contract details tab’ which can be enabled from within the contract settings tab within configuration settings.
Contract types can be used on custom reports, and as a filter within ‘generate sales orders’.
If enabled, an additional tab appears on the contract line and is a selectable drop-down feature.
9.2. Payment Type Maintenance
The ability to create payment types were in the legacy contracts as standard, and were included before the ability to have up to sicon contract line analysis codes (up to 150), and there was a requirement for some customers to analyse contracts by payment method within custom reports.
Once configured sits within the ‘contract details tab’ which can be enabled from within the contract settings tab within configuration settings.
If enabled, an additional tab appears on the contract line and is a selectable drop-down feature.
9.3. Visit Frequency Maintenance
The ability to create payment types were in the legacy contracts as standard, and were included before the ability to have up to 150 analysis codes, and there was a requirement for some customers to visually see / note if onsite visits were included in the contract.
Once configured sits within the ‘contract details tab’ which can be enabled from within the contract settings tab within configuration settings.
If enabled, an additional tab appears on the contract line and is a selectable drop-down feature.
9.4. Deletion Reason Codes (Cancellation Reason Codes)
At least one ‘Cancellation is required’ in order to process amendments/credit of previously raised contract sales order.
For custom reporting purposes / for a visual reference to record why a contract has expired, not renewed or cancelled.
The system has cancellation flags on the contract lines which are visible / editable on a contract when using the function ‘edit’ / ‘amend’ and ‘View’.
They are no longer visible when adding a new line as they were previously.
The only time that the system populates the date cancelled flag and cancellation code (reason) automatically is when the contract amendment process is used to cancel and credit a previously raised contract sales order.
If the contract line is left to ‘expire’, the line, by default is not shown on the contract line, but can be accessed by ticking the expired flag, at which time the line can be edited and the contract flags manually set.
There are also two additional flags which could be added to custom reports as well as a visual, they are.
Complimentary: To record perhaps that the credit was because the contract is to be complimentary / no charge.. In this instance you would not flag as cancelled or enter a cancelled date (if you do the system will not display the contract lines in other areas for renewal etc).
Suspended: If you want to flag the contract as being suspended, if ticked a free text box for entering a reason why appears.
Contract Lines were Suspended Flag is ticked will not allow generation of ‘Sales Orders’.
9.5. Who Sold Maintenance
The ability to create Who Sold maintenance were in the legacy contracts as standard and were included before the ability to have up to 150 sicon contract line analysis codes, or the use of SOP Analysis codes within the module (SOP Analysis Codes is the most frequent method used to allocate a sales person against a transaction).
Once configured the data sits within the ‘contract details tab’ which can be enabled from within the contract settings tab within configuration settings and can be used on custom reports, and as a filter within ‘generate sales orders’
10.1. Import Contracts
Import Contracts using the csv import available from within the module itself, this ensures the correct template for the correct version.
By Selecting ‘Example Import file’ the system will generate / create two excel workbooks.
One will have definitions of the data to be populated on a spreadsheet with headers, types, length, details of whether the field is mandatory or optional, notes for your reference and examples.
We do not recommend contract numbers starting with a 0 (Zero) as excel / saving as csv have a habit of stripping these off; We recommend you ensure that date columns, Qty Columns are formatted correctly and other excel formatting and configuration is considered.
The other one will be an example of a csv (which is the file format required for importing).
As with all Sicon module import routines if there are errors in the file to be imported the system will give you details of which line is causing the issue, and what field on that line is the issue.
10.2. Import Service Item Stock Settings
If using deferred Revenue and/or Costs, default numbers can be set at either stock product group level or stock code level. Nominals for these types can be imported against each stock record using the Import Service Item Stock Settings using the csv import available.
Example file (Currently available within the add on folder when installed but in the next release will be populate from within the module as the Import contract function).
11. Generate Deferred Postings
As standard deferred transactions are created and stored in database at the point of the contract sales order being raised and then posted , but where contracts lines are being imported, and the service items are flagged on the stock record as being a type where deferred income/costs apply , and where the current period of contract has been invoiced in a another system prior to importing you may want to generate the deferred transactions in the new system in order for monthly postings / journals to occur rather than manual journals manually within the nominal ledger
If however for the imported contract lines, where the service item is flagged as deferred , but you do not wish (until renewal) for the system to generate monthly journals, then simply do not use this function.
If this is the case use the menu option within utilities.
Enter the date you wish the system to generate deferred transactions from , tick the ‘mark as posted’ option , select display and the relevant contract lines will be displayed.
Select the relevant ones , and select ‘Generate Deferred Postings’.
Once complete if you were to look at a contract line, and then view details.
And select the ‘deferred Transactions Tab’.
The newly created deferred transactions will be listed.
Important note however; consideration needs to be given current balances on the relevant nominal codes prior to import and the requirement to ensure the correct nominal codes are associated to the stock product groups or stock codes for service stock items being used within contracts. We would recommend that new nominal codes are created on take on of contracts where it’s felt the balances on the nominal codes are not accurate.
12. Creating a Contract, via Sage 200 SOP
It may be that you are invoicing for standard stock items that come with a contract, so your preference is to invoice them both on the same order.
If this is the case you have the ability, when selecting a contract maintenance service stock item on a sales order to, at the point of posting the sales order, either:
- Add to an existing contract for that same customer as a separate contract line.
- Add to an existing contract for that same customer to an existing line if the service item , contract duration/dates/value are the same.
The setting to determine which method is in Contract module settings and is a select one of the above option.
13. Enable Module
Each year your Sicon Contracts module will require a new enable string to ensure continued use.
When you have been issued with your new key, select this option and enter the code into the New enable string field (copy and paste is the easiest way).
14. Release Notes
The release notes page shows which release of the system includes new features or issues resolved.
With the release of the Sicon v19, our version numbering has changed slightly. Previously our add-on versions were numbered in the format 201x.18.0.1. From Sicon v19, our modules will be numbered in the format 201x.190.0.1 This is because we have three Sicon releases planned per year and we will use the second group of digits to reflect these as xx1 and xx2. We use the third set of digits to reflect whether it is a release or a pre-release build and the fourth set then give the build number.
New features detailed in the Release Notes relating to Pre-Release versions will not be detailed in the current Help and User Guide until the end of development phase.Contracts Release Notes