User Manual

1. Introduction

This document is the user manual for Virgo Accounts. This introductory section includes information you will need before using the system for the first time so please take time to read it before starting to use the software. Please note that the manual may contain functions and features which are not included in the current release of the software but may be included in a future release.

 

1.1 Entering Data

Having selected a function from the appropriate menu, entry of data is consistent throughout all functions. The following conventions are used:

There are two modes of keyboard entry: “input” mode, used for initial input of information, and “amend” mode which is selected when you choose the Amend option. In input mode if a value is entered incorrectly you may use the keys listed below to edit characters before you press Enter (or Tab); you may either accept the default value offered (as described above) or type a new value. In amend mode you may edit the existing value or leave it unchanged (by pressing Enter or Tab); to edit you must delete any unwanted characters and input any new characters - you cannot over-type the existing value.

(* to obtain this key combination press and hold down the key marked Ctrl and whilst doing so press the Delete, Right Arrow or Left Arrow key as appropriate; then release both keys.)

1.2 Search Facility

The search facility is available for the following fields: client code, matter code, fee earner, cashbook, nominal account code, charge group, activity and bill number.

Entering ??, or pressing F2, in any of the valid fields will activate the search facility. You will either be presented with a list of valid options for that field, or be prompted “Search for...”, depending on the particular field. In the latter case enter the first few characters of the name or description you are looking for; if you just press Enter you will be given a list of all entries for that field. The system will display the entries with a name/description beginning with the characters you have input. If there are more items than will fit on one screen, press Enter to display the second or subsequent screen of details.

To select one of the entries displayed, type the number corresponding to the entry you require and press Enter. You will be returned to the input screen with the selected code already entered in the appropriate field.

1.3 Data Validation

The following standard validation rules are applied to data as it is input.

Posting Date The default for a posting date is always today’s date. The date input may not be in the future and, unless the date check system parameter is set to N (see Maintain Parameters), it may not be more than 30 days earlier than today’s date. Error messages: Invalid date; May not be in the future; May not be more than 30 days ago.

Dates may be entered in one of several formats:

  1. using a slash (/), hyphen (–) or full stop (.) to delimit the day, month and year (e.g. D/M/YY, D–M–YY or D.M.YY). In this case, the date may be entered with or without leading zeros for the day and month; and if the century part of the year is omitted, it is assumed to be 19 for values over 80, otherwise 20; the year may be omitted altogether, in which case the present year is taken;
  2. in the format DDMMYY, where the entry must be exactly 6 digits;
  3. as an offset from today’s date; for example, –1 is yesterday’s date.

Examples of valid dates are:

Client Code: Unless the client is being inserted (using Maintain Client Details) the client code must already have been set up. The client name will be displayed. In most programs the client code defaults to the previously used client code. Error message: Does not exist.

Matter Code: Unless the matter is being inserted (using Maintain Matter Details) the matter code must already have been set up for that client. The matter description will be displayed; if the matter has been closed the description is displayed in a highlight colour. In most programs the matter code defaults to the previously used matter code. Error message: Does not exist.

Cashbook, Fee Earner, Charge Group, Activity, Nominal Account: Similarly, the codes for cashbook, fee earner, charge group, activity and nominal account must already have been set up using the appropriate maintenance routine. The appropriate description will be displayed. Error message: Does not exist.

Amount: In general the amount of a transaction must be a positive amount, although many routines allow a negative amount in order to correct mispostings. The value may be entered as a whole number of pounds or as pounds and pence separated by a decimal point. Depending upon the transaction, additional validation may be performed. Error messages: Amount required; May not be negative.

1.4 Printing Reports

When you request a report to be printed the system responds with the message, “Ready to print to LPT1 ? (Press F1 for Help)”. This is to enable you to check that your printer is switched on, is online and loaded with paper. You may respond in one of the following ways (using either upper case or lower case letters):

For long reports it is strongly recommended you write the report to a file or web browser or spool it and print it later, rather than printing it directly to the printer.

1.5 Time Recording

Work-in-progress is valued at the appropriate charge rate for the activity undertaken. It is valued at the time of posting and is not revalued when there is any change of charge rates.

To cater for legal aid time recording, the system maintains a comprehensive series of fee rate tables based upon the type of work or legal aid category (referred to as a charge group) and activity. Each combination (of charge group and activity) has an hourly rate or, for certain activities, a rate per item. Each client matter is assigned a default charge group, which defines the valid activities for that work type and the rate for each activity.

Many users find that one non-legal aid fee rate table is sufficient for their needs. However, if the practice requires, separate fee rate tables may be set up, for example, for different types of work or for each fee earner.

For each client matter the time recorded is normally held in summary form, by fee earner, as the total amount of time and/or number of items for each activity, together with the value of that time. A system parameter (see Maintain Parameters) provides the option to hold detailed time entries showing the date of the entry in addition to the summarised time. See Appendix C for details of setting up fee rates.

1.6 Disbursements

One of the more complex features of solicitors’ accounts is the handling of disbursements. The following is a summary of how disbursements may be handled. Please refer to the appropriate program documentation for full details.

If you have an invoice for a product or service which you intend passing on to a client, you should record the item as a disbursement using Post Disbursement Item or, if the invoice is to be split among a number of clients, Post Disbursement Batch.

Having posted a disbursement you may do one of four things: (i) you may include it in a bill (using Post Bill); (ii) you may ask the client for a cheque, in which case when the client’s cheque arrives you would post this using Post Disbursement Receipt (note: you may only do this if there is no VAT); (iii) if you have money on client account which may be used for this purpose, you may transfer it using Client to Office Transfer; (iv) if you find after all that you cannot charge the client you can write off the disbursement using Write Off Disbursement.

If on receiving a third-party invoice you have money on client account which may be used for this purpose, you can write a client cheque to settle the invoice, using Post Client Payment to record the transaction.

When posting a bill you may include disbursements which have not yet been recorded on the system (and, therefore, presumably have not been paid by the firm, in which case they must be separately shown on the bill). This will create a credit disbursement balance on the matter. When you receive the invoice for such a disbursement you should post it as a disbursement which will offset the credit item.

1.7 Office & Client Cashbooks

The system supports up to 99 office cashbooks, numbered 1 to 99, which may be bank, building society, petty cash or credit card accounts. Where appropriate, when making a posting, you are asked to identify the cashbook from which, or into which, the sum is being paid.

The system also supports up to 900 client cashbooks, numbered 100 to 999, which may be general client accounts, client trust accounts or designated client accounts at a bank or building society. Cashbook 100 is the general client bank account and cashbook 101 is the general client trust bank account; these are set up automatically at the time of installation.

Each client matter may have only one client cashbook, which may be either the appropriate general account (ordinary or trust) or a designated account. Thus a single client matter may not have client money in both general and designated accounts. Where this is the case, a separate matter must be set up for the client. In this instance it is suggested that the matter code for the second matter is appended to the description of the first matter and/or a zero value receipt or payment may be made to the first matter with a narrative to indicate that another account exists.

1.8 Client Interest

The “nominal” interest on each client account is calculated daily, based on the client account balance for each matter. Interest calculation is performed by Day End Processing, unless the auto day-end system parameter is set to N (see Maintain Parameters). This is the value of interest that would be due notwithstanding the appropriate regulations. It is only when interest is actually posted that cognisance should be taken of the overall balance and/or the number of days for which the funds have been held. Depending on the circumstances, interest is posted using either Post Client Interest or Post Client Receipt.

The firm must ensure that client account transactions are posted promptly and that the interest rates table is maintained up-to-date in order that the interest calculated is accurate.

1.9 Nominal Ledger

The system maintains a nominal ledger which holds balances and open item transactions for a variety of accounts to support double-entry bookkeeping. Account codes begin with:

The system also maintains balances for a number of statistical (non-financial) accounts which do not form part of the double-entry system; these accounts begin with N.

Certain accounts are designated as “system” accounts – list of system accounts. These are accounts to which postings are made automatically as a result of making other accounting entries, e.g. posting a bill or an office payment. System accounts may not be deleted and care must be taken when posting directly to a system account – you are warned when attempting to post directly to a system account. Refer to Appendix A for details of the accounting entries made for each type of posting.

1.10 VAT Amounts

When posting a transaction the VAT amount generally defaults to the net amount times the standard VAT rate (see Maintain Parameters). This may be changed simply by entering a different value, for instance if only part of a transaction was VATable or the transaction is zero-rated.

You should enter * if the transaction is outside the scope of VAT; if you enter 0 for transactions that are outside the scope of VAT this will incorrectly include the transaction in your VAT statistics. Examples of transactions that are outside the scope of VAT are opening balances, salaries, drawings or bad debt provision. Examples of disbursements that are outside the scope of VAT (what the VAT Guide confusingly refers to as a “disbursement for VAT purposes”) are court fees and other statutory charges.

1.11 Posting Dates

Posting dates are for memorandum purposes only. All accounting entries are displayed and printed in the order in which they were posted, which is not necessarily the posting date sequence.

1.12 Reversing Postings

It can be all too easy to make a mistake when posting, and it can then take an inordinate amount of time to attempt to correct the entry. Most of the routines allow you to reverse a misposting simply by entering negative values; two routines (Post Client Receipt and Post Client Payment) are a “mirror opposite”. To “undo” a bill posting, use Post Bill Credit replying Y to Reinstate?. Refer to Appendix A for details of the updates made by each posting program. In all cases the method of correcting a misposting should be firstly to reverse the error and then re-post the correct entry. This way you have an audit trail of what has happened. If there are several mispostings then they should be undone in reverse order before re-posting the correct entries. You are advised to take a backup before attempting to reverse a complex series of mispostings.

If you get your postings in a real pickle with corrections to corrections to corrections you would be advised to restore from an earlier backup of your data and try to get them right first time.

1.13 Cheque Writing

It is possible to produce cheques and remittance advices from Virgo Accounts. Three payment posting programs – Post Disbursement Item, Post Office Payment and Post Client Payment – create a merge file which can be used in conjunction with a word processor to format to your precise requirements and then print a cheque and/or remittance advice. In order that the payee name is available, the narrative must consist of a description of the payment followed by a space, a hyphen, another space and then the payee; e.g. “Court fees - Hertford Crown Court”.

1.14 Backing up Your Data

Please refer to the Getting Started guide for details about backing up your data.


2. Client & Matter Details

2.1 Maintain Client Details

This program is used to input, amend and delete clients. Note that the client code cannot be amended. A client may only be deleted if there are no matters for the client; unless the conditions for deletion are met you will not be given the option to delete the client.

The program prompts you for the following details:

Automatic client numbering: When inserting a new client, you may obtain the next available client code by entering just a * if you use all numeric client codes, or an initial letter followed by * if your coding scheme uses an initial letter.

As well as the usual options to update, amend, delete or quit, there is also the option when inputting a new client or amending an existing one to update the client details and then go directly to Maintain Matter Details in order to input a new matter or amend an existing one. To select this option, enter M (Matter) or press F10.

2.2 Maintain Matter Details

This routine is used to input, amend and delete matters. It also provides the option to remove all financial transactions for the matter without deleting the matter record, which may be useful if you wish to keep the basic details of all matters without the overhead of retaining all the financial transactions. Note that the matter code cannot be amended. A matter may only be deleted or its transactions removed if all balances for the client matter (that is bills, disbursements, work-in-progress, client ledger and client nominal interest) are zero; unless the conditions for deletion are met you will not be given the option to delete the matter or remove the transactions. You are strongly advised to take a full matter ledger and client ledger print for your records before deleting a matter or removing the transactions.

The routine prompts you for the following details:

Analysis codes: Two analysis codes are provided to give a method of grouping matters for reporting purposes, which are used by a number of reporting programs. They may be used, for example, for the type of work, the fee earner responsible for the matter, source of introduction, or any other classification. If used for fee earner you need not use the fee earner number, but could, for instance, use the fee earners’ initials. In any case, coding of the analysis codes is entirely up to the user, and must be consistent if it is to provide meaningful results.

Note that the labels for Legal aid, Stakeholder, Trust, Analysis A and Analysis B may be amended on all screens and reports if required (refer to Maintain Pseudonyms for details.). However, irrespective of its label, the effect of the trust indicator, particularly in relation to client cashbooks, remains the same.

2.3 Client/Matter Enquiry

This program is used to display or print basic details about a client and its matters.

You will be prompted for:

If you selected a single client, the client details are displayed in the same format as for Maintain Client Details. You may display a list of matters for the selected client by entering M (Matters) or pressing F10, from which you may select one to display the matter details in the same format as for Maintain Matter Details.

2.4 Matter Search

This program is used to find and print a list of matters that meet specific criteria; for example, you may list all legal aid matters, all non trust matters, or all matters that have been referred to you by your accountant.

You are prompted for the following:

Note that you must enter a value in at least one of the search field prompts. The program will perform its search looking for matters that meet all the criteria selected. You may then print the list of matters found.

2.5 Matter Limits Report

This report will list any matters that are over or nearing their action date and/or budget limits. It may be set to run automatically each time the system is started for the first time each day, if required.

You will be asked to enter:

2.6 Action Date Listing

This program will list all matters that have an entry in the Action Date field on the matter record. Any matters found are listed in order of the action date.

2.7 Detailed Matter Listing

This routine is similar to Matter Search but lists the client name, address, phone and fax numbers and comments, and matter description, action date and comments for all selected matters. There is also the option to list only the clients’ names and addresses, which may be useful for copying and pasting into a word processor to produce mailing labels.

2.8 Close Matter

This routine allows you to mark a matter as closed by entering a date of closure. This has no accounting effect and does not inhibit the posting of accounting transactions; it simply allows certain reports to omit matters that have been marked as closed. When a matter is closed a $ sign is appended to the matter description to help identify closed matters on reports and enquiries.

The program prompts for:

2.9 Opened/Closed Matters

This report lists all matters with an opened date or closed date between selected dates, by analysis code A, analysis code B, or client.

The program prompts for:

2.10 Matters With No Transactions

This report will list all matters that have no transactions on any account (client account, matter ledger or work-in-progress).

2.11 Matter Progress Report

This report shows, for each matter that has a budget, the budget, the work-in-progress and disbursement balances and the amount remaining.


3. Office Accounting

3.1 Post Disbursement Item

This program is used to post a single disbursement item to a client matter paid from an office cashbook.

The program prompts you to enter the following details:

You may use this program to post anticipated disbursements by posting a disbursement with a Net and VAT amount of zero and a narrative describing the expected item and amount. This will be printed on draft bills and matter ledger enquiries.

3.2 Post Disbursement Batch

This routine is used to post a single cheque to pay disbursements for a number of client matters.

You are prompted for:

You will then be prompted for a series of:

When all entries are complete, exit input mode and then select U (Update) to post the entries; you will not be able to post the batch if the Gross amount entered in the header is not equal to the sum of the Net and VAT amounts entered in the line items. If you exit input mode in error, you may go back input mode by entering I (Insert). An entry may be corrected by entering S (Select) and the item number; you may then delete or amend the selected item.

3.3 Write Off Disbursement

This program is used to write off disbursements. Rather than writing off individual disbursements, this function creates a single credit disbursement entry. Disbursements will normally be written off by including them in a bill.

The program prompts for the following details:

3.4 Post Disbursement Receipt

This program is used to record a receipt from a client to pay a disbursement without the firm having raised a bill. This may only be for disbursements on which there is no VAT; if the disbursement is VATable then a VAT invoice must be raised, even if it is not sent to the client.

You will be prompted for:

3.5 Post Bill

This program is used to record a bill sent to a client. A bill may only be for a single client matter. It may also be used to write off all unbilled disbursements and work-in-progress on a matter.

You will be prompted for the following details:

By default*, all disbursements on the client matter will be written off and removed from the main section of the matter ledger as the result of raising a bill, regardless of the value of disbursements actually billed. If you wish to retain some disbursements on the matter for later billing, select option D (Disbursements). This will list all unbilled disbursements for the matter. You can then individually mark those entries to be retained by using the M (Mark/unmark) option. Items marked in error may be “unmarked” by selecting M (Mark/unmark) again. All disbursements removed are retained on the historic entries section of the matter ledger.

* The default may be changed so that disbursements are not written off by default by changing the write off disbursements system parameter to N (see Maintain Parameters).

Note also that any time not removed is carried forward as a single entry for fee earner number 1 with an activity code narrated “carried forward”. Only summarised time entries are removed; any detailed entries remain until the matter is deleted or archived.

You may use this program to write off all unbilled disbursements and work-in-progress for a matter. To do this enter a bill number of 0, a fees billed and disbursements amount of 0 and a time removed amount equal to the outstanding work-in-progress.

Post Bill also creates an ASCII delimited text file (named XSBILL.SPS) which may be used with the mail merge option in most word processors to create the invoice that is sent to the client. The file will be overwritten by each bill as it is posted. If the program is unable to write to the file you will get the message “Warning - File in use”, and the file will not be written.

3.6 Post Bill Receipt

This program is used to post a receipt in full or partial settlement of a bill. If transferring money from client account to settle a bill you should use Client to Office Transfer. The program may also be used to reverse a bill receipt, if required, simply by entering negative values for the Net and VAT amounts; in this case care must be taken to ensure that the correct VAT amount is entered.

The program prompts for the following details:

3.7 Post Bill Credit

This routine is used to post a credit against a client bill. This may be to write off the remaining portion of an unpaid or part paid bill, or to cancel a bill entirely. If the entire bill is being cancelled it may be written off or the unbilled balances may be restored for inclusion in a future bill. However, the unbilled balances may only be restored if the bill is fully unpaid at the time of posting the credit.

The routine prompts you to enter the following details:

Note that any reinstated time creates a single record which is assigned to fee earner number 1 and has an activity code of “general”.

Caution: Because of the complexity of options in Post Bill Credit, when using this routine to post a negative correcting entry it is possible to make a misposting that is irreversible – you are therefore strongly advised to take a backup before attempting to make a negative entry. If you fail to do so and make a further misposting it might only be undo-able at some cost.

3.8 Post Office Receipt

This program is used to post receipts of office funds other than for payment of a bill.

You will be asked to enter the following details:

Note: a negative office receipt is not the same as an office payment since a receipt affects the VAT output figures and a payment affects the VAT input figures.

3.9 Post Office Payment

This program is used to post payments of office expenses that are not directly recharged to clients.

The program prompts for the following details:

Note: a negative office payment is not the same as an office receipt since a receipt affects the VAT output figures and a payment affects the VAT input figures.

3.10 Cashbook Transfer

This function is used to post a transfer funds from one office cashbook to another.

You will be prompted for the following details:

Remember, where appropriate, to give instructions to the bank to transfer the funds.

3.11 Journal Transfer

This program is used to post transfers between accounts on the nominal ledger. This may be required, for example, to post depreciation of fixed assets by transferring from the appropriate fixed asset account to the depreciation account.

The program prompts for:

3.12 Transfer Matter Balances

This program may be used to transfer from one matter to another all or part of the balance of unbilled disbursements and/or work-in-progress. The program does not transfer the unpaid bills balance.

You will be prompted for:

Note that any time transferred is assigned to fee earner 1, general activity code.

3.13 Nominal to Disbursement Transfer

The purpose of this routine is to allow part of an office expense (such as postage or car running expenses) to be recharged to a client as a disbursement.

The program prompts for:

3.14 Post Creditor Invoice

This program enables the firm to record purchase invoices before they are settled. The invoice is recorded against a selected nominal ledger creditor account and expense account. If the firm is on a bills rendered basis for VAT the VAT liability is also recorded. This is not a full purchase ledger but a simple method to record purchase liabilities.

You will be asked for:

The firm may set up one or more creditor accounts in the nominal ledger, which must be liability accounts. When making payment this should be recorded using Post Office Payment - n.b. when posting the payment, if the firm is on a bills rendered basis for VAT then the gross amount must be entered in the net amount field and * entered for the VAT otherwise the VAT will be reclaimed twice!


4. Enquiries

4.1 Matter Ledger Enquiry

This routine is used to display or print the office balances and matter ledger transactions for a selected client matter.

The program prompts you for:

The account balances and all office transactions (unbilled disbursements, bills and bill receipts/credits) for the client matter are displayed (in posting order). If any historic entries (billed disbursements) exist then the option to display these is given. Enter H (History) to display the historic entries; from the history screen enter C (Current) to return to the current entries screen. If you select the print option it will print either the current entries or historic entries depending upon which screen was displayed at the time the print option was selected. Note that the sequence for the historic entries is posting order within bill number.

Entry of Z or pressing F10 will take you directly to Client Account Enquiry.

4.2 Cashbook Enquiry

This function is used to display or print the balance and transactions on a specified office or client cashbook.

The program prompts for:

The cashbook balance and all transactions for the cashbook are displayed (in posting order). If any historic (archived) entries exist then the option to display these is given. Enter H (History) to display the historic entries; from the history screen enter C (Current) to return to the current entries screen. If you print the enquiry it will print either the current or historic entries depending upon which screen was displayed at the time the print option was selected.

4.3 Unpaid Bills Enquiry

This program will display or print all unpaid bills including the age of the bill in days. This will only show bills that have been posted; it cannot show, for example, legal aid bills where only a bill number has been allocated without the full bill details having been posted. Bills are shown in sequential order. If a printed report is selected, the total value of all unpaid bills is shown.

4.4 Matter Accounts Enquiry

This enquiry program displays the unpaid bills, unbilled disbursements, client ledger and work-in-progress balances, together with the matter ledger and client ledger transactions for a specified client matter. It may also be used to display the total balances for all matters for a selected client. An alternative enquiry is Matter Transactions Enquiry which shows more details for each transaction.

The program prompts for the following details:

Note that only the client side of an office to client transfer or client to office transfer will be shown if a subsequent bill has been raised.

4.5 Nominal Account Enquiry

This program will display or print all transactions on a selected nominal account.

The program prompts for:

The balance and all transactions for the selected account are displayed (in posting order).

(Note that Client Account Enquiry is described in the Client Accounting section of this manual, and Work-in-Progress Enquiry is described in the Time Recording section.)

4.6 Transaction Search

This routine may be used to search for that elusive transaction on the matter ledger, client ledger or nominal ledger.

You will be prompted:

Having found any transactions you may print the results.

Note that:

  1. this function could take a l-o-n-g time to run;
  2. if too few characters are input the search may find an unmanageable number of transactions;
  3. amounts do not always include trailing zeros in the pence figure, thus 12.00 may be stored as just 12 and 24.60 as 24.6 - thus searching for 12.00 or 24.60 may not find all relevant transactions;
  4. the search will look for the characters entered anywhere within the transaction record, so searching for, say, 10 will find transactions with 10 in the date, amount, reference or narrative.

4.7 Matter Transactions Enquiry

This routine is the same as Matter Accounts Enquiry, except that it also lists all historical entries (billed disbursements) for the matter and displays the transaction narrative. The report also shows the analysis codes for the matter and the nominal interest.

4.8 Daily Bank Transactions

This enquiry will display or print all transactions for a selected date for a specified cashbook, or all cashbooks, providing a total of receipts and of payments.

You will be asked for:


5. Accounting Reports

5.1 Draft Bill

The purpose of the draft bill program is to print, for a single, selected, client matter, a provisional fee note based on the time and disbursements recorded for the matter.

The following details are requested:

The draft bill for the client matter is then printed or written to file as chosen.

5.2 Financial Status Report

This report is designed to show the balance on all the practice’s cashbooks and the unpaid bills, unbilled disbursements and work-in-progress accounts.

5.3 VAT Report

The purpose of this report is to assist with the completion of the quarterly VAT return for HMRC.

You will be prompted:

After printing the report, you will be asked if you wish to delete the VAT file. You should enter Y if the report has been printed successfully so that the VAT figures are cleared down ready for the next VAT quarter.

If the practice changes from a cash basis to a bills rendered basis of VAT accounting, or vice versa, then this report must be run and the VAT file deleted before changing the VAT cash base system parameter (see Maintain Parameters).

5.4 Profit & Loss Account

This report lists the balances for the current period, this year and last year for all income and expense accounts from the nominal ledger in the form of a standard profit and loss statement. A total for each main account class is also given.

This report should be printed immediately before running Period End Processing.

5.5 Balance Sheet

This report lists the balances for this year (to date) and last year (for the complete year) for all asset and liability accounts (except the client ledger control accounts) from the nominal ledger in the form of a standard balance sheet statement. A total is also given for Net Current Assets (total current assets less total current liabilities) and Net Assets (net current assets plus total fixed assets). Net Current Assets is also known as Working Capital.

This report should be printed immediately after running Period End Processing; if run at any other time the balance sheet may not balance.

5.6 Trial Balance

This report shows the current period and year-to-date balances for all financial account codes on the nominal ledger. The main purpose of the report is to demonstrate that the accounts actually balance (that is, that the sum of assets and expenses less liabilities and income is zero).

5.7 Unbilled Disbursements

This report will list all unbilled disbursements by client matter. It may be required by the firm’s auditors at year-end. Because disbursement write offs and disbursement payments are not matched with disbursements posted, the list may include matters where the sum of unbilled disbursements is nil.

5.8 Exception Report

This report enables you to list any matters that have a bills, disbursement, client account, client nominal interest and/or work-in-progress balance between selected values. The report lists all matters that meet one or more of the criteria input, together with the balance on each of the accounts for the client matter.

The program will prompt for the following. Enter a value for each prompt if required; you must input a value in at least one field.

For example, to list all matters with a WIP balance, enter 0 for WIP> and 9999999.99 for WIP< leaving all other fields blank; to find all matters with either a bills balance more than ,200 or disbursements balance over ,100 enter 200 for Bills>, 9999999.99 for Bills<, 100 for Disb> and 9999999.99 for Disb< and nothing for the other fields; to find all matters with a zero balance on any account enter -.01 for Bills>, .01 for Bills<, -.01 for Disb>, .01 for Disb<, -.01 for Client Acct>, .01 for Client Acct<, -.01 for Client Int>, .01 for Client Int<, -.01 for WIP> and .01 for WIP< and S for All/Some; or enter A to find matters where balances are zero on all accounts for a matter.

5.9 Bills Analysis

This program produces a printed analysis of bills raised between selected dates. The analysis may be by analysis code A, analysis code B, or client. The program gives, for the selected option, the total value of bills raised between the selected dates, the time and disbursement elements of the bills, the total number of bills and the average per bill, the total number of matters and average per matter. Any bills that have been credited and reinstated are excluded. Note that if a matter has changed categories between bills, all bills for the matter will be included under the matter’s current analysis codes.

You will be prompted for:

5.10 Matter Balances Analysis

The purpose of this report is to list matters, together with their work-in-progress, office and client ledger balances, grouped by analysis code A, analysis code B or client. If any account is overdrawn it is shown with a trailing, rather than a leading, minus sign in order to aid identification. The program gives a sub-total for each analysis selected and a grand total for the firm.

You will be prompted for:

5.11 Bank Reconciliation

This program is used to assist in the reconciliation of a cashbook account with a bank statement. It may be used for office and client cashbooks.

The program prompts for:

All transactions for the cashbook are displayed in posting order with an “unmatched” indicator. Presented items may then be marked as “matched” (or, if previously matched, unmatched) by selecting option M (Mark/unmark) and entering the item number(s). Entry of * in the item number prompt will mark all transactions as “matched” irrespective of their previous state; you may then “unmatch” any unpresented items. A running total of all marked transactions is displayed. When all the required transactions have been matched, press Enter to return to the option prompt and select U (Update).

You may then print a reconciliation report, which lists all presented items and all unpresented items, after which you will be given the option to remove or archive the matched transactions. If you select to remove or archive the transactions an opening balance transaction is created for the equivalent value of the transactions removed. Warning: do not remove the matched transactions until you have checked the reconciliation report. Transactions are only removed from the cashbook; they remain on the matter ledger or client ledger and on the nominal ledger. If you decide not to print the reconciliation report, the transactions remain in their matched/unmatched state until you next run the reconciliation program for that cashbook.

5.12 Average Cost per Case

This program is similar to Bills Analysis except that it only includes Legal Aid matters and it only includes bills for those matters with a date of closure between the selected dates.

You will be prompted for:

5.13 Matter Balances Listing

This report lists, for all matters, the balance on the bills, disbursements, client ledger and work-in-progress accounts, together with the date of the last movement. Overdrawn balances are shown with a trailing minus sign to help identify overdrawn accounts.

You will be asked:

5.14 Budget Variance Report

This report lists all nominal ledger accounts together with their account balance, budget and variance (by value and as a percentage).

You will be asked to enter:

5.15 Cash Received Analysis

This report shows bill receipts (including client to office transfers to pay a bill) between selected dates analysed by analysis code A, analysis code B, or client. As well as totals by selected analysis category the report also lists each individual receipt. All values shown are gross of VAT.

You will be prompted for:


6. Time Recording

6.1 Post Time Sheet

This routine is used to post daily or weekly (or, if required, ad hoc) time sheets. Time entries will be saved as either summary or detailed items depending on the detailed time system parameter (see Maintain Parameters).

The routine prompts you for the following details:

You will then be prompted for a series of:

When all entries are complete exit input mode and select U (Update) to post the time entries. If you exit input mode by mistake, you may enter input mode again by entering I (Insert). To correct an entry whilst in input mode enter S (Select) or press F10 and the item number; you may then amend or delete the individual entry.

6.2 Write Off Time

This program is used to write off time for a specific client matter. Time is written off by creating a single contra (negative) entry for the matter; individual time entries are not removed. Time included in a bill is automatically removed.

You will be asked to enter the following details:

The time write off entry is attributed to fee earner number 1 and has an activity code narrated “written off”.

6.3 Work-in-Progress Enquiry

This program will display or print a list of all unbilled time recorded for a specified client matter.

The program prompts for the following details:

The WIP balance and all (unbilled) time entries for the client matter are displayed by fee earner and activity code. If the detailed time system parameter has been set (see Maintain Parameters) and there are detailed entries for this matter, then the option to display these is provided. Enter D (Detail) to display the detailed entries; from the detailed entries display enter S (Summary) to return to the summarised entries. The print option will print either the summarised entries or the detailed entries depending upon which screen was displayed at the time the print option was selected.

6.4 Work-in-Progress Analysis

This program provides the ability to analyse work-in-progress (i.e. unbilled time) by analysis code A, analysis code B or by client. The report lists the total WIP by the option selected.

You will be prompted for:

6.5 Remove Detailed Time

This routine may be used to delete the detailed time entries earlier than a specified date for a selected client matter. Its primary use is to free up disk space.

You will be prompted for the following:

6.6 Time Recorded by F/E

This report lists the time recorded by each fee earner between selected dates giving totals for each matter on which the fee earner has worked during the period, a grand total for each fee earner and a summary by analysis code A or B or by client. In order to use this report the detailed time system parameter must be set to Y (see Maintain Parameters).

6.7 Summarise Detailed Time

This report produces a summary of detailed time entries by activity by fee earner. This may be required when a bill has been raised for a matter and the summary time shows only a carried forward figure. In order to use this report the detailed time system parameter must be set to Y (see Maintain Parameters).

You will be prompted for:


7. Client Accounting

7.1 Post Client Receipt

This program is used to post a receipt from a client into client account. A receipt to client account may only be posted if the interest rates have been set up (see Maintain Client Interest Rates) or the auto day-end system parameter is set to N (see Maintain Parameters).

The program requests input of the following:

7.2 Post Client Payment

This routine is used to post payments out of client account.

The routine prompts for the following details:

7.3 Client to Office Transfer

This program is used to post transfers from client account to office account (for the same client matter). A transfer will be either to pay a bill or to settle a disbursement for which no bill has been raised.

The program prompts for input of the following details:

Remember, where appropriate, to give instructions to the bank to transfer the funds.

7.4 Office to Client Transfer

This program is used to post transfers from office account to client account (for the same client matter).

You will be asked to enter the following details:

Remember, where appropriate, to give instructions to the bank to transfer the funds.

7.5 Client to Client Transfer

This program is used to post transfers from one client account to another (for the same or a different client).

The program prompts for the following details:

Remember, if the transfer involves different bank accounts to give instructions to the bank to transfer the funds.

7.6 Client Account Enquiry

This program is used to display or print the balances and transactions on client account for a selected client matter. A printed copy of this enquiry may be used as a statement for the client, or the transactions may be exported to a file for importing to a spreadsheet.

The program prompts you for:

The balance and all client account transactions for the client matter are displayed in posting sequence.

Entry of Z or pressing F10 will take you directly to Matter Ledger Enquiry.

7.7 Post Client Interest

This routine is used for posting interest to an individual client account that is part of the firm’s general client funds. For general client moneys, where the bank pays client interest into the firm’s office account, interest is paid from an office bank account. For designated deposits, where the bank pays interest into that account, interest received should be posted using Post Client Receipt.

The nominal interest (calculated as part of the day-end procedure) is displayed, and the practitioner/partner must decide on the amount of interest to be credited to the client matter, based on the amount held and the time for which the funds have been held.

You will be asked for the following details:

After posting interest, the nominal interest for the client matter is set to zero. Remember, where appropriate, to give instructions to the bank to transfer the funds.

7.8 Client Account Reconciliation

This program prints a list of balances for each client cashbook, together with the constituent balances on client ledger by client matter. It should be used in conjunction with Bank Reconciliation to demonstrate that the client bank accounts balance.

You will be prompted for:

7.9 Maintain Interest Rates

This routine is used to maintain interest rates for the calculation of client interest. Because nominal interest is calculated on a daily basis, the interest rate table holds only the current set of interest rates. The table must be updated whenever a rate change is notified by the bank or building society. Failure to keep the table up-to-date will mean that interest calculations are likely to be incorrect.

The values set up are displayed; you may insert a new value or select one to delete or amend, as required.

7.10 List All CL Transactions

This report is intended for audit purposes and prints all client ledger transactions (between selected dates) for all client matters that have a client account. It will normally only be run if and when requested by your accountant as it is likely to be an extremely large report. Because this is an audit report, it will list all matters that have a client account even if there are no transactions to list. Note that the report will not print transactions for any matters that have been deleted, since the transactions are removed when a matter is deleted.


8. System Maintenance

8.1 Maintain Parameters

This routine is used to maintain system-wide parameters, which are set up during the installation process. They are displayed on entry to the program and may only be amended.

The following details may be amended:

The dates of the last day-end and period-end processing are displayed, but may not be amended.

8.2 Maintain Fee Earners

This routine permits details of all fee earners to be maintained. The system supports up to 99 fee earners. Fee earner number 1 (the sole practitioner or senior partner) is set up by the installation routine. The fee earner details are required only for time recording.

The following details are prompted:

8.3 Maintain Fee Rate Tables

This option allows you to set up a range of fee rates which will be applied to the time recorded. One general fee rate table (table 0) is set up by the installation routine. The system allows over 1300 fee rate tables to be held. To obtain a printed list of all fee rate tables, use Print System Parameters.

The system prompts for:

If the charge group already exists, all activities defined for the charge group will be displayed. You may amend the charge group description, select and then amend or delete an existing activity or insert new activities, as required. If the charge group is new, you will be asked to insert the activities.

8.4 Maintain Nominal Accounts

This program is used to maintain the accounts on the nominal ledger. A standard set of account codes is set up by the installation routine. Refer to Nominal Ledger for details of account coding conventions. An account may only be deleted if the period and year-to-date balances for the account are zero and it is not a “system account”. Unless the conditions for deletion are met, you will not be given the option to delete an account code.

The program prompts for:

8.5 Maintain Cashbooks

This program is used for maintaining details of the firm’s bank and other cashbook accounts. A cashbook may only be deleted if there are no transactions for the cashbook; cashbooks 1, 100 and 101 may not be deleted in any event. Unless the conditions for deletion are met you will not be given the option to delete the cashbook. This program may also be used to remove archived transactions on a cashbook.

The program prompts you for the following details:

8.6 Maintain Activity Codes

This function is used to set up and maintain activity codes. By themselves activity codes serve no purpose; they must be assigned to one or more specific charge groups and given a charge rate using Maintain Fee Rate Tables. Activity codes may only be deleted if they are not assigned to a charge group.

You will be prompted for:

8.7 Maintain Standing Orders

This program allows you to set up regular payments and receipts such as standing orders and direct debits, although it is not suitable for variable amount direct debits.

You are prompted for:


9. Miscellaneous Options

9.1 Print System Parameters

This routine prints all your system parameters, fee rate tables, cashbooks and client interest rates.

9.2 Consistency

The purpose of this program is to check, and where possible correct, the integrity of information held in the system’s database. In particular the program checks that where a balance is held it is equal to the sum of the transactions making up that balance. Where the system is able to correct an account balance it is the year-to-date balance that is updated. A report is printed showing details of any errors encountered. You are advised to take a backup of your data before running consistency. If any errors are reported, they should not be ignored. It is recommended that this program is run on a regular, at least monthly, basis selecting Y to both the Consistency and Compress options.

You have the following options:

Sometimes it may be necessary to run consistency (option 1) more than once to correct a series of errors. The following mnemonics are used CB cashbooks, ML matter ledger, WIP work-in-progress, CL client ledger, AY nominal ledger.

9.3 Day End Processing

The day-end processing function should be run at the end of each processing day after all transactions have been posted and, preferably, after a back-up of the system has been taken.

The process performs the following tasks:

You should retain the daybook printout as an audit trail.

On starting Virgo Accounts for the first time each day, unless the auto day-end system parameter is set to N (see Maintain Parameters), the system checks to see whether the day-end processing was run for the previous day; if not, then it is run automatically, with an effective date of the previous day, before any postings can be made. In this case the last day-end system parameter is set to the previous day’s date.

Note that it is possible to run day-end processing more than once each day. However, this is not recommended as client interest is only calculated on the first run each day. (An automatic day-end run as described in the previous paragraph is considered the previous day’s run.)

9.4 Period End Processing

Period-end processing may be run whenever required. Usually, this will be at the end of a calendar month, but it may be 4 or 5 weekly, or even quarterly, if required. It should be run after the Profit & Loss Account has been printed, before printing the Balance Sheet report and before any transactions are posted for the new period.

You will be prompted for:

If you chose to print the transactions then once the print is complete you will be asked if you wish to delete them. If they are not deleted, you are warned that the transactions will take up an increasing amount of space on your computers disk and on backups. Note that you should always print and delete the transactions at the end of each year. You should retain the period-end printout as your accountant is likely to require it when auditing your accounts.

The effect of running period-end is to:

9.5 Year End Processing

Year-end processing must be run at the end of a financial year before any office transactions are posted for the new year. Since the system does not allow adjustments to prior year figures, any postings made after running year-end will be for the new financial year.

You will be prompted for the following:

The effect of running year-end is to:

The program will first check the date of the last period-end processing. If it is not the same as today’s date it will first run period-end processing. In this case you will be asked for the period-end confirmation and whether or not a detailed print is required before being prompted for the year-end confirmation, and there will be two reports, one for period-end and one for year-end.

9.6 Export Details

This program may be used to export all or selected data from the system for importing to spreadsheets or another system. The export files are delimited ASCII text files with a suffix of “.txt” (see Appendix E for details).

9.7 Print Standing Orders

This report lists all standing orders that have been set up using Maintain Standing Orders. It gives details for each payment and receipt including the next due date.

9.8 De-spooler

This program is used to print reports that have been written to a “spool” file rather than being printed directly to a printer or to a DOS file.

The system will list the print files previously spooled giving the date and time of creation and the number of pages for each file. Enter the number corresponding to the report you want to print; (to exit the program, press Enter.) Then enter the page number from which you wish to start printing; to print the entire report, press Enter.

Next select the device to which you want the report printed. The main options are V (video) to display on screen, and P to print to a printer. If you select P you will be asked which printer, and then whether you want to change the “form parameters”, to which you should answer N.

When the report has finished printing, you will be asked if you wish to delete it. In order that the spool file does not become too large you are advised to delete all reports as soon as they have been printed unless you need multiple copies or the report is to be retained for audit purposes.

9.9 Maintain Pseudonyms

This program allows you to change the description that is used for certain data items on screen prompts and reports. This is only available for the limited number of items listed below. Although the program permits new pseudonyms to be inserted, any new items will not have any effect. Deleting an item will mean that the item will have no prompt text on screens and no description on reports; it is therefore not recommended.

To run the program, at the main menu, enter names

A list of defined IDs and pseudonyms is displayed. To change the description for one of the IDs listed enter S (Select) or press F10 and then enter the identity of the item you wish to change; then enter A (Amend) or press F4. You will be prompted for:

The following are valid IDs (together with its usual description):

9.10 Set Printer

This routine allows you to set a default printer other than LPT1.

To run the program, at the main menu, enter setptr.

The default printer is displayed. Enter A (Amend) or press F4 to amend and amend to the port id for your printer (LPT1, LPT2, LPT3 or LPT4), or WB to use the web browser as your default printer (see Printing Reports for details). Do not enter any value for String.

9.11 Set Directories

This routine allows you to change the directories that are used when writing reports to a web browser or to a file (see Printing Reports).

To run the program, at the main menu, enter setwbd

The current desktop directory and (from release 10.6) print-to-file directory are displayed, both of which may be amended.

In Windows 98 the desktop directory is simply c:\windows\desktop but under Windows XP the desktop directory depends on the id of the user who is logged in to Windows at the time. It will be something like c:\docume~1\username\desktop or, for all users, c:\docume~1\alluse~1\desktop. Under Vista it is c:\users\username\desktop (or c:\users\public\desktop). If running Virgo Accounts within DOSBox, the desktop directory will depend on the host operating system and the drive mapping. Note: you must use the abbreviated DOS directory name not the full Windows folder name. From release 10.6 you can enter simply *98 for Windows 98 or *XP for Windows XP.

Note that the directory specified must be a valid, existing directory/folder or you will receive an error message when you attempt to print.