1. The Bank Explain screen
The Bank Explain screen (shown below) provides a variety of ways to explain bank transactions. This screen can be accessed via two methods, either by explaining transactions from an imported bank statement or via the manage money options for each bank account.
1.2. Access Bank Explain via Imported Statements
An imported/re-created statement will usually contain multiple transactions to explain in a list. There are multiple ways of creating an imported bank statement:
- Import a CSV
- Re-create a statement
- Import a statement via bank feeds
- Connecting Paypal and using the auto import feature
- Connecting Stripe
Once the statement is imported, it will be listed under the 'Imported transactions that need explaining' table at the bottom of the Money > Bank accounts menu. Just click on the 'Explain' link to access the Bank Explain screen.
1.3. Access Bank Explain via Manage money
The manage money options allow you to explain one transaction at a time on an adhoc basis.
To access the Bank Explain screen just head to the Money > Bank Accounts menu and select 'Money in', 'Money out' or 'Transfer' under the 'Manage money' column for the appropriate bank account.
Next, you will be required to fill in a form to enter the date amount and description of the payment.
Clicking on the 'Explain' button will take you to the explain screen where you will be able to select a contact, account code, VAT rate, etc
2. Explaining Transactions
There are multiple ways a transaction can be explained which are listed in this guide.
2.1 Explaining transactions that do not require an invoice
An REC or PAY prefixed invoice is a paid transaction which can only be created via the bank explain screen. These type of transactions are mainly used when a sales invoice or purchase invoice document has not been issued. If you have issued invoices or plan to, please see process 2 to find out how to allocate payments.
On the bank explain screen, when explaining a transaction, you must select the relevant entity, account code and VAT rate in the drop-down fields provided. Once this has been completed, you can then proceed to click Add New Transaction.
2.2 Allocate transaction to an existing unpaid invoice/bill
Unpaid invoices/ bills are created on the sales/purchases menu and have the prefix INV/PUR by default. You can use the bank explain screen to allocate receipts/payments to multiple invoices or to part pay an invoice.
On the bank explain screen, by selecting the relevant entity in the drop-down, the system will then pull up all outstanding invoices and bills depending on whether the transaction is a receipt or payment. You can then proceed to click Allocate to Existing Invoice in which the transaction relates to.
If the transaction relates to multiple invoices, you must click the Allocate to existing invoices button for each individual invoice.
The selected invoices will then be presented in a table where you are able to review them before clicking the Add Transactions button to finalise the allocation, as shown below:
2.3 Reconcile a transaction to a paid invoice/bill
In some cases, you may have already allocated payment to an invoice. If you are explaining a transaction with an amount that matches a paid invoice of the same amount, you will have the option to click Reconcile to mark this as reconciled on the Bank Account balance screen.
A limitation of this is that you cannot reconcile a part payment allocated to an invoice and you cannot reconcile a payment allocated to multiple invoices.
2.4 Creating unallocated cash (payments/receipts not allocated to an invoice)
When explaining transactions, by using the account code Trade Debtors or Trade Creditors, you can explain a receipt/ payment as unallocated cash.
You must tick the Show in Sales/ Purchases checkbox respectively for the Trade Debtors and Trade Creditors account codes which can be found in Settings > Accounting > Account Codes.
Unallocated cash can then be allocated to future invoices from the Money > Bank accounts > Unallocated cash menu using the Allocate icon.
2.5 Creating INV/PUR invoices with different invoice date to payment
You can create an INV/PUR invoice from the transaction form with a future/past invoice date by changing the bill/invoice date field.
2.6 Transfers to another bank account (also set up in Clear Books)
You can use the transfer tab to explain a payment or receipt as a transfer to/ from another of your bank accounts.
Use the form on the refund tab to explain a payment or receipt as a refund from a customer or supplier.
2.8 Bank Charges
Select transaction and enter a negative value equal to the bank charge you were charged. Code this to Bank Charges and then select the bank as the entity. Add this as a new transaction and then the value of the transaction should be equal to the amount prior to the bank charge. This can now be allocated to an invoice or bill as required.