Fees and fines link to invoices, payments, and the general ledger system. There is an order that financial-related data must be processed if changes need to be made.
If Payment Has Been Made
If a payment has been made and the payment(s) are linked to specific fees/fines that need to be voided, the payment(s) that are associated with the fee/fine must also be voided. If there are other fees/fines for the same record that have not had payments associated with them, then the payment that was orphaned (orphaned meaning you have a payment that is attached to the record but has not been associated directly to a fee/fine) by the void of the fee/fine, can be associated to another fee/fine.
This can be confusing so let's look at it this way. If you have one or more fees/fines associated with a record and you enter a payment that matches the total of all the fees/fines associated with that record, the system knows that the payment is associated with all the fees/fines and the balance will be zero. That is the easy part.
Now, let's say there are five fees/fines associated with a record, and those fees/fines total $100. The user enters a partial payment of $60. The system has no way to determine which fees/fines the user wants to mark as paid. Once the payment is saved to the invoice, the system will display an interface. This interface will make the user associate the payment with a fee/fine and it will keep doing that until the balance of the payment is used up. Once done the system in the General Ledger area will show those fees/fines as being paid and show the remaining fees/fines with a balance.
None of the above is a concern unless the municipality allows partial payments. If only payment in full is accepted, the partial payment system will not be needed.
If No Payment Has Been Made
If a fee or fine is linked to an invoice where no payment has been made, adjusting the fee/fine amount or voiding it will automatically adjust the invoice when saved. The danger here is if the invoice was emailed or mailed to the "billed to" person, staff will have to ensure that person is contacted. If the "billed to" person submits a payment based on the adjusted amount, additional work will be required by staff to correct the issue.
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View Invoices for Fees/Fines
- Navigate to the module > List
- Select the record you wish to modify
- Click Edit (Permitting & Project Systems only)
- Navigate to the Fees tab
- Check to see if Invoices exist below the Total field
Note: In order for a payment to be applied, there must be an invoice. If the user does not see an invoice associated with any fee/fine, that also means there are no payments. All payments are entered from the invoice.
- If no invoice exists, follow the instructions to void fees/fines
- If an invoice exists, check the Fee Type column to see if the invoice is associated with the fee/fine that needs to be voided. If the fee/fine is associated with an invoice, the invoice number will appear next to the fee/fine name.
- If there is no invoice associated with the specific fee/fine, follow the instructions to void fees/fines
- If there is an invoice associated with the fee/fine, check the Credit column to see if there is any credit (payment) applied to the fee/fine being voided. If not, follow the instructions for no invoice associated. If a fee/fine has a credit (a payment), the user has to either associate that payment with another fee/fine in the record that does not have an invoice associated with it, or the payment has to be reversed.
Note: If a payment is not voided prior to voiding the fee/fine, the payment will be displayed below all the fees/fines and not be associated with any fee/fine. This will cause issues with the general ledger/accounting process. The system will basically have a credit for the payment associated with the record, but there will be debits or balances owed for the fees. This will have to be manually created. That is why it is important to ensure the user understands the accounting process and does not radically void fees/fines especially when payments are made.
Reverse a Payment
The following instructions should be followed if the fee/fine to be voided has an invoice with a payment associated with it.
- Navigate to the Fees tab for the record
- Note the payment information made for the specific fee/fine the user wants to delete such as a check # or the word "cash". This information would be noted in the Fee Type column just after the fee name where the invoice number is also listed. This information will be needed to void the correct payment if there are multiple payments associated with the invoice.
- Select the invoice that relates to the fee/fine to be deleted
- Once the invoice opens, go to the Payments area and select the applicable payment
- Under the Action column, click the Reversal link
- Select a Reason for Reversal Payment, enter any Comments, and click Void Payment
- Click Ok on the pop-up window that says Are you sure you want to reverse this payment record?
- Select Save Invoice and then close the browser tab for the invoice record
Note: If the payment was actually received and cashed by the municipality, the user must either ensure that money is returned to the submitting party or if those funds are going to be associated with other records, that must be accomplished. Otherwise, the general ledger will have no record of the voided payment but the municipalities bank reconciliation will be off by the voided payment amount.
- You can now follow the instructions to Void Fees/Fines
Reverse an Invoice
If an error was made and a fee associated with an invoice is not correct, the invoice must be reversed which will remove the lock on the fee. Once the invoice is reversed, the user can modify or remove the fee from the record and really the correct fee.
- Navigate to the Invoicing System menu and select Invoices
- Select the Invoice you wish to reverse
- Open the Status drop-down on the invoice and select REVERSAL
- Check the box to Confirm Reversal Status
- Scroll down and click Save Invoice
- The invoice is now removed and the lock on the fees is released
Note: The invoice remains hidden in the system as voided. If required, our team can create reports displaying voided invoices.
- You can now Void Fees/Fines following the instructions below
- Navigate to the Fees tab for the record
- Click Add/Edit Fee Charges
- Click the Void link in the Action column of the applicable fee/fine
- On the pop-up window, enter the reason for voiding and click Ok
- Click Save Fees
- Select Exit Fees to close the window
Note: If an invoice was associated with the fee just voided, the invoice amount will automatically be adjusted.