Accounts Setup Webinar

During the webinar, a number of attendees submitted questions which we have collated below along with the answers. Note that as we hold additional webinars on this topic we will update this list with further questions and answers.

Note: Some questions asked during the webinar related to how to use the Accounts system as opposed to how to set up the Accounts system - for those questions please refer to our webinar on how to use Accounts.

1. Where can I download the Migration Manager Training Version from.

To download the Migration Manager Training Version please go to:

2. How do I log in to the Training Version?

Please follow all of the steps on the instruction page which includes details of how to activate and login: How to Download and Install Migration Manager Training Version

3. Do you have any examples of Fee Codes or Blocks?

In the Webinar and in the Training Version of Migration Manager, I use a number of examples such as INT for Initial Consultation. Note that there is no hard and fast rule about what fee codes/blocks you use. The aim is to make your life easier by giving you a set of codes that act like templates so that you can quickly record what activity you have performed. In terms of the blocks, my examples are based in part on what the MARA has in their Client Monies Toolkit in their Fee Estimate Example.

4. In terms of the fee codes, is the the information in the training version of Migration a guess or an near approximation of time and money?

We've tried to add some example fee codes that are as realistic as possible but everyone charges differently so they won't necessarily be a near approximation of what you might charge.

5. Can Block Codes (and Billing Description) be generated any time?

Yes. At the time you are recording a fee you can create new Fee Codes. You can also overwrite any of the default content. For instructions on how to record a Fee Code please see: Record the Work - Record a Fee

6. Is it only the Administrator who can designate who can do things in the accounts system via permissions?

Yes. Only the administrator is able to set user permissions. For an example on how the administrator sets user permissions please see: User Permissions needed for Bank Reconciliation

7. What is the difference between Client Account and Trust Account

In each jurisdiction in Australia, the relevant Legal Practice rules and regulations impose specific requirements for what accouting software must do in order for it to meet the requirements for use as Trust Accounting software. In Migration Manager if you enable the Trust Account functionality, in order to meet the Trust Accounting requirements, the system imposes some additional information collection requirements above that which is necessary for a Client Account such as, for example, a necessity to record the client's residential address before being able to enter any Trust transactions.

8. I am a migration agent only (not a lawyer), but my structure is a trust. Therefore, do I need to apply the trust accounting rules you referred to or can I just use a client account from the trust.

You will need to seek independent professional legal / accounting advice on your particular situation as we can only provide general advice on how to use Migration Manager.

9. If you are a lawyer, can you set up 3 accounts: office account, migration client account and trust account (for non-migration matters)?

Yes you can set up multiple bank accounts. When you use certain parts of the Accounts system such as receipts you will be able to choose which bank account is to be used for that action.

10. If I have multiple bank accounts, can I select the accounts to be included in the reports?

A number of the accounts reports (not all) allow you to select which bank account the report is to be based on.

11. Disbursements data entry are a bit labour intensive, can you leave this out now and put on invoice later?

You don't need to set all of your disbursements up to begin with. You can create them one by one when you need them.

12. I cannot click "set starting balances" option.

If you can see this option but the text is grey, this usually indicates that someone has already clicked the "Finalise" button. Once you've clicked Finalise in the opening balances form, you won't be able to create any more opening balances. If you've clicked this button accidentally, please contact our support team, who can undo the finalise process. Note that the Training Version of Migration Manager has this option greyed out as the starting balances have been set on it already in preparation for other parts of the accounts training.

13. Can I get a copy of the sample invoice shown in the block setup part of the webinar?

The example used in the webinar was created using the training version of migration manager and involved recording the blocks and then generating the invoice. For instructions on how to perform these two steps see:

  1. Record the Work - Record a Fee
  2. Generate an Invoice for Work Completed

14. How do you do the opening balances on a client Matter on an ad hoc basis (not at the time of setting up accounts)?

To create an opening balance on a Matter on an ad hoc basis will depend on what type of balance you are seeking to create. If it is an opening balance for an amount held in the Client/Trust account, you would simply create a Receipt against the Client/Trust Account for that value and in the description describe it as "Opening Balance". For any account receivables, you would create an invoice and populate it with a Fee and/or Disbursement called "Opening Professional Fees Balance" or "Opening Disbursement Balance". In essense, this is actually what the Create Opening Balances tool does - it creates opening Receipts and Invoices.

15. Can I change the Fee Code used for setting Opening Balances

No. The codes are system specific codes used to identify values which are being transferred in to the system as starting balances.

16. Just to make sure I am correct: MM undeposited funds is the client account and the MM Debtors is the operating account ?

No. If you connect Xero to Migration Manager, in Xero you will only be recording transactions relevant to the operation account. The Undeposited Funds account in Xero is for handling money which is being applied against an invoice that has been received in a format that needs to be deposited in to the operating account (such as cash or a cheque) and the MM Debtors account in Xero is for handling debts against the operating account (primarily used for accural based accounting).

17. How do you enter the % of the surcharge?

The default percentage of a credit card or payment surcharge is recorded in the Accounts Preferences window. See How to set or edit Accounts Preferences These are then linked to the Disbursement Code you create for handling disbursement payment surcharges. You will however be able to override these on a case by case basis at the time of recording the disbursement.

18. Is it possible to set different surcharge percentages for different disbursements as a preference?e.g. Deptarment is .98% AFP is .45%

The preferences currently only allow for the setting of default surcharges for Department fees. When you record a disbursement (either when recording a fee or when requesting a deposit) in Migration Manager for a non-Department fee you can set what ever surcharge percentage is necessary for that particular disbursement.

19. Where do you insert fees or other such as VETASSES?

These are set up as Disbursements. See: How to Create Disbursement Codes

20. Invoice Due: can this be set at "date of issue"?

At the time you create an invoice you can set the due date which can be different to the default due date set in preferences. For instructions on how to generate an invoice please see: Generate an Invoice for Work Completed

21. What is the GL Code?

The GL Code is the General Ledger Code. These fields are relevant if you are using Xero as they enable Migration Manager to push data in to the relevant ledger in Xero. For instructions on how to setup the GL Codes in Migration Manager and Xero, please see: Preparing to Export to Xero

22. Which level of Xero is required?

Migration Manager should be able to integrate with all versions of Xero.

23. By any chance, do you have any idea of the conversion between your MM GL account and the default chart of account in XERO?

We are currently in the process of putting together an updated detailed article on what transactions actions in Migration Manager affect which of the GL Accounts in Xero. We will notify everyone via the blog when this is available.

24. When I am setting up matter fees, do I need to put in an estimate of time?

You don't have to put in an entry in the estimate of time column - however it is useful to do so if you want Migration Manager to populate this information as part of any letter merge such as a Fee Estimate or a Service Agreement (note that we have been advised in writting by MARA that estimates must include an estimate of the professional time involved in a matter in order to be compliant with the Code of Conduct).

25. How do I insert information regarding invoices (incl. invoice number) previously created not in MM?

In the preferences window you can record details of what invoice number you are currently up in your existing accounting system. In the Set Starting Balances screen, you can record details of the total amount outstanding for accounts receivables. Alternatively you can go in to each matter and manually create each of the invoices. See Generate an Invoice for Work Completed

26. I request EFT into my Client Account, do I leave the 'Tick the Payment Options you accept from Clients' not selected?

If you don't accept a payment option that incurs a surcharge, you can leave all of the payment options unticked in preferences.

27. Can I manually insert the matter? Kelly's presentation has clients in the Opening Account balances? Do I select 'create opening transactions?

You will first need to create a matter in Migration Manager before creating opening balances for that matter. Please see: Create a New Prospect Matter.

28. I have an employer who owes money for several employees' nomination and visa application fees (457). How do I insert this information to show which matter I worked for one employer?

First, you will want to link the Sponsor and Migrant matters together. See: How to link a Migrant and Business Sponsor together. Next, when you generate an invoice on a matter, you will need to mark the invoice as payable by the linked sponsor. For an example of how to do this see: Billing a Sponsor for work performed for a Migrant

29. After I have set up Fee codes, is it possible to amend the amount/description later when you are in the invoice or creating the invoice?

Yes. At the time time you record the fee against the matter in Migration Manager you can change anything about it including the description and amount. The Fee Codes are just templates that are designed to assist you.

30. Can I set up Invoices in two currencies.

No. The invoices can only be generated in 1 currency. If your accounts preferences are set to merge accounts documents in Word you can manually add additional information or text to an invoice.

31. So if you invoice a total in one go it gets that total from fee codes and not from the total you entered in the matter type fees? What is the point in entering the total in the matter type fees if you also need to setup a fee code for total amount?

The total column in the Fee Schedules is used for template documents/letters such as estimates and fee agreements. Note that ability to use the total amount in addition to the blocks is scheduled to be added to the program as a feature addition in a future update.

32. Can we use MM only for creating invoices but not to receive money?

Yes. Some users use Migration Manager just for creating invoices (or Deposit Requests). The extent to which you use any feature of the program is up to you. Note however if you only use part of the Accounts system other features like Reports (such as your debtors' report) won't provide you with the full picture as to your current state of affairs as the system will not have all the information.

33. "So, what are the default tax codes for not charging GST? The same as your?Thanks!"

Generally, if you operate in Australia we recommend setting the default tax codes as per the example in How to set or edit Accounts Preferences even if you don't charge GST.  The only time these settings would be different is if you run your accounting system primarily in another country and need to use other types of tax codes such as VAT. Note that because you don't charge GST,  you would also want to set your default tax code under Matter Fees to Fre Income (see Set the Default Tax Code)  and whenever you create a Fee Code or a Cost Code you will need to ensure that they are set to the correct tax code so as not to apply GST.

34. Do you have any plans to autopopulate the Department Fees section?

This is a common request, but for legal reasons, we won't be automatically populating the Department Fees section. The onus is on the user to ensure that the information they provide to their clients regarding fees and disbursements is correct and up to date.