Using Credit Memo, Fee Waiver, Journal Entry, Restore Payment, and Billed Exceptional Payment Types Correctly
Credit Memo: this non-cash exceptional payment type is used when your agency is going to provide the customer with some form of discount. It is used case by case at the individual record level – i.e., you lost the customer’s plans somehow, so now you need to request additional copies and plan review will take one week longer – in this case, you agree to provide them with a 30 percent discount on their plan review fees. This exceptional payment type reduces the amount owed by effectively “paying down” the outstanding balance by the amount of the discount.
Fee Waiver: This non-cash exceptional payment type is used when your agency has a policy for waiving fees in certain defined cases such as not charging Habitat for Humanity or only charging 50 percent of permit fee when a home in your Wildfire Hazard Zone is being rebuilt after fire. This exceptional payment type also reduces the amount owed by “paying down” the outstanding balance by the amount defined in your policy.
Journal Entry: The Journal Entry payment type is used to reflect/record a payment that was posted or receipted outside of Accela, such as receipted to a financial software. This payment type is only used to reflect payments made outside of Accela such as with a case where you need to demonstrate that a deposit payment was made to the City/County cashier and receipted in the agency financial system directly. You would process a payment type of Journal Entry for the external payment amount - in the Payer field you will type “Journal Entry Payment” and in the Payment Comment, and as best practice, you would include a brief comment that the payment was made in an external system, the reason, the receipt number from the other system, the payment method, the date posted, and any sort of approval code or check number.
This payment type effectively demonstrates that an external payment was made, and does not show up on your cash balancing and revenue reports as a result of it not being revenue posted in Accela. Important note: You cannot process a refund on this payment type as it is just a reflection of a payment made outside of Accela, the payment would have to be refunded in the external system it was posted in.
Restore Payment: The Restore Payment payment type is used to restore a payment transaction to a record where the payment was voided in error. This payment is only used to restore payments voided in error as the monies were already deposited on a prior date/year/fiscal cycle such as with a 6-month old payment that was accidentally voided today. You would process a payment type of Restore Payment for the voided payment amount – in the Payer field you will type “Restore Payment” and in the Payment Comment, as best practice, you would include a brief comment that a payment was voided in error and is only being restored, and reference information to the original ‘voided’ payment including original receipt #, payment method, payor, and original posting date.
This payment type effectively restores the original payment, although on current date, and does not show up on your cash balancing and revenue reports as a result of it not being “new” or current revenue. Important note: Restore Payment should only be used to restore ‘Cash’, ‘Check’, ’Credit Card’, ‘Fund Transfer’, ‘Internal Transfer’ and ‘Refund Check’ payment types. Using it to restore other exceptional payment types to include ‘Credit Memo’, ‘Fee Waiver’, ‘Write Off’ and ‘Billed’ will not appear correctly on reports and cause financial issues.
Billed: details about this payment type are outlined in the article “How to Use the ‘Billed’ Payment Method” on Page 3. Additionally, this exceptional payment type requires the agency to track these closely and re-invoice the customer up and until the fee is actually paid. Generally there is a due date given in these cases. Permits should never go to Final with a Billed payment type still active – this would mean your agency never received actual revenue/cash payment for the completed work.
None of these exceptional payment types appear in your nightly batch as they are not actual revenue, not money, therefore they are not included in any balancing reports since they are not CASH. On this note, it is important to always be cautious to never incidentally refund any of these as they were never money. There is a dedicated report for monitoring these called “Revenue Exceptions” – this should be run weekly at a minimum to be sure these are being applied as per business rules and resolved as in the case of Billed payments. If you have further questions on how to use these or when, please submit a ticket to epermitshelp.BCD@oregon.gov.
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