Product overview

The current version of Sicon’s Direct Debit Integration within the Sicon Enhancement pack (see Note 2) makes collecting funds simpler, faster and more efficient for you and your customers;

Better cash flow, improved customer service and easy budgeting… in no time at all you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of timely payments, without the hassle of chasing invoices.
Various definitions are used within the UK direct debit scheme, some of which are detailed below

·         Sponsor:  The Bank

·         The Service User / The Direct Debit Originator:  You the customer wishing to collect monies from your customer using a direct debit scheme

·         The Payer: The customer from whom you wish to collect monies from either as a one off or on a recurring / regular basis

·         The Payers Bank: The Payers bank to whom the information received from the Payer is sent to signed direct debit form has to

·         BACS:  The Company which runs direct Debit in the UK

·         The Direct Debit Instruction (DDI): Is the method by which service users obtain the payer’s authority and account details to debit his/her account. The design of the DDI must follow the prescribed format and be agreed by the sponsor.

·         The approved payment solution provider: Such as ‘Bottom Line Technologies’ who have various solutions available including Albany ePAY/
Such companies must be approved payment solution providers of Automated Direct Debit Instruction Service (AUDDIS)

NB: Sicon Direct Debit Integration does not itself send the output file directly to the bank, it is saved within the Sicon solution and picked up from within the 3rd party solution (such as Albany ePAY or eCollect or the relevant Banks own solution).


1. Pre-requisites

sicon-direct-debit-help-and-user-guide-pre-requisites

When setting up a Direct Debit, a business must adhere to the following:

With effect from 1st January 2008, it is mandatory for all new service users that submit DDIs direct to Bacs to use AUDDIS.

At the point of set up, the sponsor will provide information to the service user on how and where to access its rules. Having set up a Direct Debit, a Direct Debit Instruction will be set up.

The Direct Debit Instruction (DDI): Is the method by which service users obtain the payer’s authority and account details to debit his/her account. The design of the DDI must follow the prescribed format and be agreed by the sponsor.

The Direct Debit Guarantee must be issued to the payer with the DDI or the advance notice. Upon completion of the Direct Debit Instruction, the following rules apply.

  • Once the completed DDI has been returned by the paper, the service user must ensure that all relevant information is recorded before lodging it with the payer’s bank, the paper form does not have to be sent to the bank, it must be filed or scanned / stored in a secure location for review at any time by the companies / the banks auditors.

Customers using Sicon DMS can saved the signed document on to the customer’s sales ledger record and using a feature within Sicon’s direct debit integration and the 3rd party solution provider’s software the information is sent to the payer’s bank via a csv file.

  • Upon receipt, the payer’s bank will either accept or reject the DDI.

One the Payers Bank has approved the direct debit , the customer sales ledger accounts must be flagged for direct debit integration and their bank details and other key other information required and optional settings  for a customer to pay using direct debit.  Need to be entered and saved.


2. Maintain Customer Accounts

When Sicon direct debit integration is enabled on to the user’s role, an additional Direct Debits tab is displayed on the sales ledger customer account

To enable direct debit integration specifically for this s/l account tick the ‘Enable direct debit integration for this account’ :

  • All other fields can be populated in advance of the ‘Enable direct debit integration for this account’; but it’s not until this is ticked that outstanding transactions due for payment (collection) will appear in the process direct debit process.

sicon-direct-debit-help-and-user-guide-amend-customer-details

Required and mandatory fields include: Sort code: Account Number:

NB: the City feed code field/reference is stored for information only.  It is not used during direct debit processing or written to the direct debit output file.

Use customer specific bank account: Within Direct Debit Settings a default bank account to specify which bank account the direct debits will be credited to can be set up within your sage 200

If however a customer’s direct debit is paid into a different account (for example the account is a Euro account, and the direct debit is paid into a euro Bank Account), a different bank account can be specified here. If no bank account details are entered here the default account set in direct debit defaults will be used

Enable Flag direct debits as ‘Continuous’  (code 17) : Tick if the direct debit collection you will be process for this customer will be recurring, regular, automatic (and not just a one off)

When you first enter the bank details, you would enable the 0N – Create a New DDI*

If you have previous flagged an account as 0C ‘Cancel an existing DDI:’ and sent the cancellation instruction to the Payers bank, and wish to re-instate the direct debit you can do so by ticking 0N – re-instate a DDI which has been cancelled

By setting these flags , the direct debit instructions for the account will be used within Submit Direct Debit Instructions routine in order to generate a csv file which after generating will be picked up from within your 3rd party solutions providers software (such as ePAY). This will then be sent by the 3rd party to the customers (The Payers) bank to either approve.

If a value is entered into the Override A/C ref field this will be written to Direct Debit output files instead of the customer’s sales ledger account number.  This feature may be useful if the account number used by the bank is different from the account number setup in Sage 200.

*Once this customer outstanding transactions has been flagged within the ‘Process Direct debit’ routine, included in a csv file and submitted for collection by direct debit the flag 0N will clear (as it will no longer be a new DDI).


3. Import Customer Details

sicon-direct-debit-help-and-user-guide-import-customer-details

Import Customer details is ideal where you start using direct debit integration and where you have multiple customers direct debit / bank details to enter for the first time rather than manually add one at a time; They will be flag as new 0N.

To prepare your import, accessing the screen from the menu option ‘Import Customer Details’ and then Import Template.

import-customer-records

Saved the template on to your network, then outside Sage 200 open up the template, and populate the spreadsheet using the examples as a guide.

sicon-direct-debit-help-and-user-guide-import-spreadsheet

Once prepared, save as csv, only leaving the header row in your csv and then using the same routine this time selecting (find) the saved file.

import-customer-bank-details

And final step is Import template : Any validation errors will be highlighted.

 


4. Direct Debit Settings

Description Value Meaning
Allocate Automatically Yes If set to ‘Yes’ sales receipts generated by the direct debit process will automatically be allocated.  Warning: Automatic allocation should be disabled with caution as the system uses invoice allocation status to determine if an invoice is ‘outstanding’. If manual allocations are not completed between direct debit runs it is possible that direct debit receipts could be processed on multiple occasions.
CSV Reference Prefix If entered will prefix the customer reference in the csv file with what is entered here , please note this only is required and for where ‘group invoice one payment us set to yes
DataVersion 3 Used internally by the module, do not amend this setting.
Direct Debit Bank Account Ref LLOYDS The ‘default’ Sage cash book bank account code; this may be over-ridden for specific customer accounts.
Direct Debit File Decimal Separator f not set to ‘blank’ the character(s) entered will be used as a decimal separator when the amount is written to the direct debit output file. For example; a setting of”.” will force a decimal point to be included.
Direct Debit File Extension .csv The file extension for direct debit output files, normally set to .csv or .txt.
Direct Debit File Folder S:\Departments\Accounts\Direct Debits  If set the user will be prompted to write direct debit output files to this folder, but may select a different folder if necessary.
Direct Debit File Header Suppressed No If set to ‘Yes’ the direct debit output file header record/row will not be written.
Divide Gross Amount By 12 No If set to yes, an additional column appears in Process direct debit screens and will be pre populated with a value equal to 1 12th of the total gross amount. This is handy if you raise invoices annually but its collectable over 12 months. This is a On / Off setting  so all transactions within the file would have a 1 12th figure in allocate this time
Enable Allocate This Time Column Yes If set to ‘yes’ , an additional column will be visible within the process direct debit screen, header ‘Allocate this time’ the field will be pre populated with the Gross Amount Due but can be over written  with a lower value if the amount you are wishing to collect is less than the Gross Amount
Enable Day Filter No Additional filter function: If enabled a on the customers direct debit tab you can set a day of the week, for example Monday. And then within Process Direct Debits , if you selected Monday only those customers set for Monday will appear, if no day filter selected on the process direct debits the system will not refer to the customer direct debit tab , default day
Extension Report File Name If set, when users select Print within the process direct debit screen (to send customers the collection) , an additional report can be generated . This is only recommended where reports are printed; Not to be used is sending electronically or via special auto print drivers such as Spindle
Force TransType Value If a value is entered ALL direct debit output file records will be written with this value in the ‘Trans.Type’ column overriding the new (‘01’) or continuous (‘17’) indicators.
Group Invoice Into One Payment – Note : Only set either this setting or the setting below should be set to Yes No If ‘Yes’ one single cash book sales receipt will be created for all invoices for each customer. If both this and the below are set to ‘No’ then a cash book sales receipt transaction & allocation will be created for each individual invoice.
Group Invoice Into One Payment for All Customers – Note : Only set either this setting or the setting above should be set to Yes Yes If ‘Yes’ one single cash book sales receipt entry will be created for all invoices for ALL customers.    If both this and the above setting are set to ‘No’ then a cash book sales receipt transaction & allocation will be created for each individual invoice.
Include Credit Notes Yes If ‘yes’ credit notes will be included in the direct debit processing list. It is possible to allocate credit notes to invoices from the direct debit screen.
Notification Date Required No If ‘Yes’ an additional date field can be used within the direct debit process; When this box is ticked an additional Notification Date must be entered.  This date is not written to the direct debit output file or the customer’s record but may be used in reports (such as direct debit customer collection notification letters, if being used).
Print Direct Debit Collection Notice  No The setting ‘Print Direct Debit Collection Notice’ should be set to N, otherwise an incorrect report will be displayed/spooled.
Receipt Reference If a value is entered here it will pre populate the receipt reference field within the direct debit process
Search Criteria Bank If a value is entered here then it will be displayed within the direct debit process screen as default
Search Criteria Customer If a value is entered here then it will be displayed within the direct debit process screen as default
Search Criteria Due Date 01/11/2016 If a value is entered here then it will be displayed within the direct debit process screen as default
Search Criteria From Date If a value is entered here then it will be displayed within the direct debit process screen as default
Search Criteria Include Contract Related False If a value is entered here then it will be displayed within the direct debit process screen as default
Search Criteria Notification Date 01/01/0001 If a value is entered here then it will be displayed within the direct debit process screen as default
Search Criteria Notification Enabled False If a value is entered here then it will be displayed within the direct debit process screen as default
Search Criteria To Date If a value is entered here then it will be displayed within the direct debit process screen as default
Search Criteria Transaction Date 01/11/2016 If a value is entered here then it will be displayed within the direct debit process screen as default
Search Criteria Type 1 If a value is entered here then it will be displayed within the direct debit process screen as default
Transaction Report E-mail Contact Role If a sales ledger account contact ‘role’ is entered into this setting the preferred contact for this role will be stored when the transaction report is generated using the ‘print’ button on the Process Direct Debits screen. This setting may be used if a report is created to automatically send direct debit summary documents to customer e-mail addresses.
Transaction Report File Name DirectDebitIntegration\Direct Debit Collection Notice.report The setting ‘Transaction Report File Name’ should be set to DirectDebitIntegration\Direct Debit Collection Notice.report.

5. CSV File Setup

The information written to each column in the direct debit file can be configured using the CSV File Setup screen. It is not possible to process direct debits until CSV File Setup has been selected and saved.

NB : Different Banks (sponsors) may have different requirements so a pre requisite is to find out there required format ahead.

sicon-direct-debit-help-and-user-guide-csv-file-setup

  • Customer: The customer name will be written to this column.
  • Sort Code / Account Number: The bank account sort code and number, maintained against the customer account, will be written.
  • Amount: The outstanding value of each transaction will be written (in Sage base currency).
  • Reference: When invoice transactions are ‘grouped’ (see the ‘Group Invoice into One Payment’ setting) the Sage customer account number will be written as the ‘reference’ field.  When grouping is not used the original invoice transaction reference will be written.  In both cases the reference will be prefixed by any value entered into the ‘CSV Reference Prefix’ setting.
  • TransType:  The ‘flag direct debits as continuous’ indicator on the customer account maintenance screen is used to control the output for this field. When this indicator is un-ticked the ‘first’ direct debit for a customer is written (TransType = ’01), else the module assumes this is a continuous direct debit (TransType = ‘17’).

Direct Debit Menu from within the Enhancement Pack Module Menu:

direct-debit-integration-menu


6. Submit Direct Debit Instructions

Use this Function to prepare a csv file to send to the Payers Bank for approval, using the information previously set up on the customers sales ledger account on the Sicon Direct Debit tab.

submit-submission

This can be used by selecting a single customer, or by selecting ‘Display’ any sales ledger account which have direct debit information entered /flagged for the first time ‘New – 0N;  To be flagged as ‘to be cancelled – 0C’ or ‘Re-instate – 0N’ will be displayed.

Select all or, select individual ones and ‘Create CSV’.

Sicon Direct Debit Help and User Guide - submit-submission-save-as-csv-file

Saving to your preferred network location to be selected thereafter from within your 3rd party software (such as ePAY) prior to submitting to the ‘Payers’ Bank for approval (We recommend that you save the file to a location that is regular backed up).

 


7. Process Direct Debits

The Direct Debit Integration screen is used to process/generate the csv file to prepare for the direct debit collection based on sales ledger account outstanding invoices.

The current version is designed for a single user process, meaning that a Sage 200 user would prepare the ‘process direct debit’ listing , make any credit note allocations, (if enabled) , change the ‘allocate this time’ value (if featured enabled), and select the relevant transactions.

Once prepared, the sage 200 user can save: This saves the selections to the default settings area of the module, so if the same user then closed the process screen, and re-opened their previous selections would be visible.

Important Note : In this current version if a another sage 200 user logged in to the ‘Process direct debit screen’ they would not see the other sage 200 users saved screen, which could lead to confusion.

If there was a situation where a sage 200 user had prepared a file, and was then unable to follow through to , create csv file, print transaction report or customer collection notice (depending which is set to be the preferred option/layout) and thereafter process (for example they were off sick and a another sage 200 user had to process direct debits) then it would be possible to clear the tables , removing the saved , part processed routine; If this is a requirement at any time please contact Sicon support for assistance  (In the new independent direct debit module due early 2017, there will be a routine within the module to clear, or take over a saved routine).

The fields in highlighted with a green board in the screen shot below are those fields that are only visible when certain settings are set to Yes within the direct debit settings.

Day Filter: If enabled within settings on the customers s/l account: direct debit tab you can set a day of the week, for example Monday. And then within Process Direct Debits , if you selected Monday only those customers set for Monday will appear, if no day filter selected on the process direct debits the system will not refer to the customer direct debit tab , default day.

Reference Filter: This filter allows the user to search for transaction (s) with a specific ‘reference’   (First reference field, not second reference field) , if the full Reference is typed in to the ‘Reference Filter field’ , and the user then selects ‘Search for Outstanding Invoices’ the list will be show only that transaction / those transactions (If multiple transactions have the same Reference’).

Allocate This Time: If set to ‘yes’ , an additional column will be visible within the process direct debit screen, header ‘Allocate this time’ the field will be pre populated with the Gross Amount Due but can be over written  with a lower value if the amount you are wishing to collect is less than the Gross Amount.

Sicon DDI Screen Shot

Users may select to filter transactions using various selections at the top of the screen, then click the Search For Outstanding Invoices button to display sales invoices for accounts flagged to use direct debit integration.

  • You can also set default search criteria’s up as defaults within settings.

Allocate Credit Notes: If set to No in settings this field is enabled on this screen, and ‘Include Credit Notes set to ‘Yes’ and a Warning message appears to alert you that that Automatic Allocation is disabled. If set to no, and used within this process gives users the ability where they.

Sicon Direct Debit Help and User Guide - Allocate Credit Notes

The user may select a supplier credit note (highlighted in red) and press the then Allocate Credit Notes button.

When this occurs the standard ‘SL – Customer Allocations’ screen is displayed; allowing the credit note to be allocated to the transactions shown in the lower list.  If the allocation is saved the Process Direct Debits list will be automatically refreshed with the newly allocated transactions no longer shown.

Sicon Direct Debit Help and User Guide - sales-ledger-allocate-screen

After any credit note allocations have been made and users are ready to Save (if required), Print either the transaction report, or customers collection notice (depending of which has been decided is the customers preference, create the csv and the process, which in turn enters a receipt in to the bank/enters a receipt on to the customers record and automatically allocate the o/s invoices to the receipt.

Each invoice may be selected or deselected for inclusion in the direct debit generation process.

There are then several options available to the user prior to generating the csv (to be picked up in the 3rd party software (such as ePAY) processing automatic entry of receipt and allocation.

Sicon Direct Debit Help and User Guide - Process Direct Debits Screen

  1. Enter the ‘transaction due date before’ date – once entered the system will look at all sales ledger transactions with a due date, not yet allocated prior to this date.
  2. Select single company if you are wish to process direct debits for a single sales ledger customer.
    • You can also select the transactions , specific to from transaction date itself, and not the  ‘due date’.
    • You can also select a specific bank account – for example if you are only looking to process the direct debits that are paid on to your euro bank account , and not UK sterling account (These different banks accounts are set against a customer on their s/l account, and within the direct debit tab.
  3. If you are using Sicon’s contract manager module, all contract lines are flagged in the background as being a ‘contract type’; If you only want to show transactions of this type within this routine on this occasions tick the ‘Include only contract related transactions’.
    1. If you are using Sicon’s contract module are there are some contract lines you collect by direct debit and some you don’t , then you would need to ensure that on each contract line the ‘direct debit collection transaction is flagged’  : If you only want to show these tick ‘Include only contract direct debit collection contracts’.
  4. When you have determined which transactions to include within this routine, select ‘Search for Outstanding invoices’.
  5. Enter the processing date: This is the date that the receipt will be dated within the bank and on the customer’s record, and therefore the allocation date.
    • Notification Date – When this box is ticked an additional Notification Date must be entered.  This date is not written to the direct debit output file, the customer’s record but may be used in reports (such as direct debit customer collection notification letters, if being used).
  6. /7. The Transactions showing as due for collection for you to select all, select some, check amount, change amount being collection as part collection on a transaction (if this feature is enabled)
    • Note : The last column on the lines is ‘CSV created’ – If this is showing as Yes , then this is a indicated that the transaction has been included in a
      previous direct debit routine, and been included in a CSV creation , but NOT ticked when the Process button was selected therefore not having a receipt entered/allocated against the o/s transactions on the sales ledger account; this would result in the file being picked up from your 3rd party solution (such as ePAY) , being a different value to the total value of receipts being created in your bank
  7. As per point 6 above.
  8. Enter a receipt reference; this is the reference that will be stamped on the receipt transaction and sowing on the customer transaction enquiry against the receipt/allocation
    • If nothing is entered in this box then the invoice reference is used, however this is NOT recommended if you have Group into One Payment is your preferred option, otherwise for example where you have 5 transactions (invoices) being collected within one receipt , the reference would be the invoice number for the 1st invoice, so could lead to confusion )
  9. Use step 9 to print the Collection Note.
    • Sicon Direct Debit Help and User Guide - Process Direct Debits - Collection Note
  10. Create the CSV file which will then be picked up from within your 3rd party solution provider’s package (such as ePAY).  Click Save as CSV, the default location will be shown (as configured within settings).Sicon Direct Debite Help and User Guide - save-as-csvEnter a file name and save.Once successful confirmation will be displayed on screen.Sicon Direct Debit Help and User Giode - ave-as-csv-confirmedThe next step is to Process (which in turns automatically enters a receipt in to the bank and allocate the selected outstanding transactions).If users DO NOT select process at this stage and instead closes, when they next go into the direct debit process they will clearly see that a csv File has been previously saved/generated but the Process step was not taken thereafter.Sicon Direct Debit Help and User Guide - csv-created-previouslyThe user would then continue with the previous selection by Selecting Process; Step 11.
  11. Final Processing Step.  If Step 11 is attempted selected before Step 10 (creation of csv file).Once you select ‘Process’ you will be ask to confirm you are sure? Ask you to confirm you have saved the CSV ?sicon-direct-debit-help-and-user-guide-processing-direct-debitsAs the message explains after the Process routine is complete you cannot recreate the csv file, your transactions will be flagged as paid and allocated, therefore no longer outstanding, so if there was an issue with the csv file, (for example it was deleted before uploading to your 3rd party package (such as epAY), the only way you could re-create is to un-allocate all the transactions, reverse the receipt and start the direct debit process again. So it’s very important to consider where you save the csv (making sure it is in a location that is regular backed up).Once you select yes this process will perform the following tasks:
    • Each transaction will be written to a direct debit (.csv) output file ready to be sent to the bank.
    • A cash book ‘sales receipt’ transaction is automatically generated to match the value (or outstanding value) of all selected invoices. The cash book item will be created using the bank account specified against the sales ledger account or the default bank account configured in the ‘setting’ screen (see below).
    • Invoices will automatically be allocated against the resulting receipt so that transactions no longer appear as ‘outstanding’ on the customer account.

    The final element is a transaction listing report showing the transactions processed, a receipt entered and allocated.


8. Version Notes


8.1. Warning Pre-v2011.0.31 – Use of Sage Customer Account Record ‘Spare’ Fields

The Direct Debit Integration function uses the following Sage customer account ‘spare’ fields to store direct debit integration information.  This module should NOT be installed until checks have been made to ensure that these ‘spare’ fields are not used by other/third-party bespoke functions.

  • SpareBit1 is used to indicate the customer sales ledger accounts for which direct debit transactions should be generated.
  • SpareBit2 is used to indicate if direct debits are ‘continuous’.
  • SpareText1 is used to store the customer direct debit account sort code.
  • SpareText2 is used to store the customer direct debit account number.
  • SpareText3 is used to store the customer city feed code.
  • SpareNumber1 is used to store any customer override cash book (bank) account.

8.2. Version 2011.0.31 and later

Following changes applied to Enhancement Pack v2011.0.31 these fields are now stored in a bespoke database table/file (named SiconDDCustomer), therefore the use of spare fields is no longer is issue in recent versions of the direct debit integration function.


9. Release Notes

The Release Notes document below shows which release of the Direct Debit Integration system includes which new features and for which version of Sage these will work.

The version number indicated in the Direct Debit Integration Release Notes includes a full release number and a sub version number; e.g. ’6.1′ indicates the full release version number of the software. Pre-release version builds of the software are available to certain clients requiring new or enhanced features being developed from the wish list. If these versions are installed on your system, you will see an additional number e.g. 39.113 making up a specific database version and interim build number of 6.1.39.113.

It is unlikely that these features will be documented in this help and user guide until the end of the development phase.

Sicon Direct Debit Integration Release Notes


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