Are you REALLY in balance?

Guest Contributions

Are you REALLY in balance?

Please note: This is a guest post by PropertyMe Partner Tamara Corfield of Balance Rec n Roll. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of PropertyMe.

Often the team and I at Balance Rec n Roll receive calls from PropertyMe users asking for assistance in relation to disbursements, tricky transactions such as COVID credits and of course balancing.

We often hear the phrases “we are in balance” and “it’s just this one transaction we need help with today.”

When we begin to assist and check the reconciliation, before doing any kind of transaction corrections, we often find whilst the dashboard reads ‘Reconciled’ when we investigate further there are many reasons why the reconciliation is actually in a forced state of reporting to be balanced.

The most common reason for this is adjustments. Adjustments are a necessary part of the reconciliation process. Their purpose is to keep you balanced so you know daily that you are transacting correctly. They also allow you to fix  an error that may have occurred in a timely manner and balance whilst waiting to identify an unknown deposit to the trust (typically the tenant who paid rent to the account using the reference shown on your bank statement of “rent”).

Adjustments should be assessed daily to see if corrections can be made, if you leave them too long you will find yourself in trouble. Not only the trouble of perhaps not being able to correct the adjustment but also the trouble of your auditor reporting to your government regulating body that you have ongoing old adjustments.

Over the last few months we have been contacted more and more by offices who have received a letter from fair trading giving the licensee seven days to not only explain why the adjustments are there but to also correct them. In one case some of their adjustments were over three years old, in another there were over twenty adjustments in total without explanation (Adjustment to Balance). 

The hardest of all adjustments to assist our clients in correcting are legacy adjustments that have come over when they have changed from another software program to PropertyMe as there is in some cases a lack of access to the old data or reports required to check transactions.

If adjustments were created some time ago, without sufficient explanation or possibly by a previous staff member then explaining these and correcting them can be a very time consuming and costly task, especially if funds are required to be put into the trust account by the licensee as a correction can no longer be made. An example of this is where an overpayment was made from a property you no longer manage so you can’t transact the correction from current funds in trust. 

The office is now tasked with trying to recover these funds from overpayments made. Can you imagine asking an old owner or tenant (if you can in fact contact them at all) for money back that you gave them in error over five years ago?

Adjustments are a useful tool but if you have too many or they are old you should look at making corrections as soon as you possibly can, don’t leave it until the last minute – check your adjustments today.

To view your current adjustments in PropertyMe select accounts and reconciliations from the left hand side menu, select the current month and then from the reports button select to view the unreconciled items.