Sometimes a cheque you've issued as a payment isn't presented to the bank by the payee. Whether the cheque is lost, stopped, or just plain stale – the way it's handled in AccountRight is to reverse it.
If needed, you can then reissue the payment.
Void cheques If a cheque is damaged or you make a mistake when writing it, you can write VOID across the cheque and record a void cheque in AccountRight.
Reversing a stale cheque
A stale cheque is simply a payment recorded in your company file which won't be presented to the bank. Until an adjustment is made, your cheque account balance will be less than actual.
By reversing the original (stale) cheque transaction, you'll create an easy to follow audit trail of what's occurred.
There's 4 tasks to complete – and they're all really easy.
There's an AccountRight preference which controls whether transactions can be deleted or reversed. Here's how to set it to allow reversals.
- Go to the Setup menu and choose Preferences.
- Click the Security tab.
- Select the option Transactions Can't Be Changed; They Must Be Reversed.
- Click OK.
Now that AccountRight is set up to reverse transactions, let's get to it.
- Go to the Banking command centre and click Transaction Journal.
- Click the applicable tab based on the transaction where the cheque was used, e.g. if it was a Spend Money transaction, click the Disbursements tab.
- Enter the date of the cheque in the Date From and To fields then press the key.
- Identify the stale cheque then click its zoom arrow.
- Go to the Edit menu and choose Reverse Cheque Transaction.
- Check and edit the reversal transaction details then click Record. If needed you can change the date of the reversal to match your scenario.
The window below shows the ledger postings of a typical Spend Money payment and reversal.
If you're reissuing the payment, use the same payment type that was used for the stale cheque. For example, if you just reversed a Pay Bills payment the status of the closed Bill to revert back to Open. Therefore you'll need to use Pay Bills again to reissue the payment.
Similarly, use Spend Money if the original transaction was entered this way.
When you next reconcile your cheque account, you'll need to select both the stale cheque (original payment) and the reversal as cleared. These transactions are for the same amount (one positive, one negative) so they'll negate each other. This leaves your cheque account balance unaffected.
The example Reconcile Accounts window below has both the stale cheque and the reversal selected as cleared. It also includes the reissued payment which is yet to be presented to the bank and is therefore not selected as cleared.
Voiding a cheque
You can mark a cheque as VOID if you're not going to use that cheque, for example it's damaged or written incorrectly.
To keep AccountRight's cheque numbers synchronised with your actual cheque numbers, record a zero dollar spend money transaction.
- Go to the Banking command centre and click Spend Money.
- Ensure the Cheque No. matches the physical cheque you have voided.
- Enter a Memo that describes why the cheque is being voided.
- Leave the Amount as $0.00
- Click Record.
- Click OK to the void cheque confirmation message.
The next time you record a cheque payment, the next available cheque number will be used.
Pay Bills - GST input tax credits are recorded with the Bill, and not the payment (Pay Bills payment) applied to it, so Pay Bills payments can be freely reversed and re-entered without affecting the GST, if reporting your GST on accrual basis.
Spend Money - Regardless of the GST reporting method, reversing a Spend Money payment will reverse the GST input tax credit claimed on the original payment.
If the original payment was dated in a previously reported (finalised) BAS period, then the reversal will need to be dated in the current BAS period. By doing this, the previously reported BAS won't be affected and the input tax credits will be adjusted and reported in the current period.
In New Zealand...
- If you report GST using the cash method the GST credit attributable the cheque purchase may have been claimed. Reversing the cheque will be amending your GST claim. The date of the reversal must be made into the current GST reporting period to ensure that it is included
- If you intend to reissue payment, include the tax code when entering the replacement cheque. This will in effect negate the original reversal as no additional credit can be claimed.
- If the cheque payment is not being reissued, then by reversing the cheque, an adjustment to the GST Paid linked account is made.
- Do not delete stale cheques where GST has been paid.
- Reversing the cheques avoids double claiming of credits and helps you reconcile your GST Paid account.
Transactions dated in a financial year prior to your company file's Current Financial Year, can only be reversed. Also, as transactions can't be recorded in a previous financial year period, the reversal will need to be dated in the current period. To determine your company file's Current Financial Year, go to the Setup menu and choose Company Information.
It is recommended Receive Money be used to record these reversals. By using Receive Money, you can allocate the reversal to an Income account (4-xxxx) named Unrealised Expenses, which you may need to set up. Alternatively, allocate the reversal to the expense account used on the original payment. And again, use the same Tax Codes that were used in the original transaction.
Please seek your accountant's advice regarding any tax implication this may have.