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Year-ends

The old VT Transaction
In the old VT Transaction, when a year-end was completed, you chose the Year End Transfer command to create a journal that transferred all detailed profit and loss balances to the profit and loss in the balance sheet. If retrospective entries were made to the year, the year-end transfer had to be run again. The financial year was set up independently of the year-end transfers, and it was possible to set this to periods that did not coincide with the the year-end transfers. The system was simple and transparent, and worked well for those who knew it. However, VT Software received many support calls from users complaining that their profit and loss account included the previous year! It was also tedious when working on multiple financial years. Had one updated that year-end transfer or not? Also items such as fixed asset movements, drawings and dividends had to be manually transferred.

VT Transaction+
VT Transaction+ still has year-end transfer journals, but they are updated automatically whenever you make an entry that falls within the year. It is also normal to have the year-end of the current year as well as the preceding year set up. All the reports and account enquiries are programmed to ignore the closing year-end of the current year, and so it becomes almost invisible until you move onto a subsequent year.

You do not have to have any year-ends set up. This may be useful if you are not sure what the year-end is yet, or if you are accounting for a project.

Year-ends are set up automatically when you move to a new year by clicking on the year caption in the middle of the application status bar. New users find all this perfectly logical (or do not even notice it happening because it so automatic), but people used to the old VT Transaction can find it confusing.

Confusion can also arise if a company changes its year-end or if the wrong year-ends are set up by mistake. In these cases, you should choose the Year Ends command from the Set Up menu. In this dialog, you can create, re-date or delete year-ends willy-nilly without any fear of losing or corrupting data. All you have to remember is that you need to set up year-ends for all the years you are working on plus the previous year-end (eg normally a minimum of two). The only exception to this rule is if you have pre-incorporation expenses that you want to include in the current year. In this case, do not set up a year-end for the preceding year.

You should not set up shorter, artificial year-ends if you want to report on a periods shorter than the company's legal financial year. Instead you should set the current accounting period to the month or other period. This is most easily done by clicking on the accounting period caption to the right of the year caption on the status bar. When an accounting period is set, most reports are based on the transactions falling within the accounting period, or on the transactions up to the end of the accounting period. The closing year-end date is ignored.

Balance sheet transfers
The year-ends in VT Transaction+ also transfer the balances on accounts like fixed assets additions/depreciation, drawings and dividends. Indeed, any balance sheet account can be set to be transferred to another in the Properties dialog for the account. The easiest way to review or change these properties is by choosing the Balance Sheet Accounts - Year End Transfers command from the Set Up menu.

Conclusion
Because the year-ends are so automatic, there are effectively no year-end procedures in VT Transaction+. You can just move the current year backwards or forwards at any time by clicking on the year caption on the status bar. Behind the scenes, year-ends will be automatically created when needed, and updated whenever you make entries.