Getting it right before you start!
Opening balances is the breakdown of ALL the monies you hold in your client account and, if applicable, deposit account, which then need adding into Alto to give you starting balances which reconcile precisely with these accounts. This may also include monies owed to you such as agency fees.
According to the RICS, Rule 8 states that: “the Aim is to ensure that clients’ money can be clearly linked to the clients to whom it belongs and is protected on their behalf at all times.”
In preparation for adding your opening balances to Landlord, Property, Tenancy and Supplier records, it is recommended that you clear down your client account to its lowest possible balance to reduce the number of entries that you need to be added into Alto.
In this article we have provided you with a series of knowledge articles to guide you through setting up your defaults and entering your opening balances.
In preparation, create a detailed report that shows the breakdown of monies held in your client account and to whom it belongs. This will include:
- Rent paid in advance, not yet paid out to Landlord
- Move in money for new tenancies
- Landlord floats or retained money
- Overseas Tax that you are holding
- Tenant Deposits:
- Registered deposits held in a Deposit Scheme
- Deposits for new tenancies that have not been transferred to a Deposit Scheme
- Deposits returned from the Deposits Scheme that are currently held in your Client Account.
- Uncleared payments out such as uncleared cheques or BACS payments
- Monies that cannot be identified can be added as a suspense balance.
- Agency Fees
- Suppliers that have not yet been paid where cash is held
Setting up your default settings
You will need access to System Administration to edit your default settings. Your appointed office System Administrator will have access to these permissions.
It is important that your default settings in System Administration have been configured correctly, before starting to edit records in preparation of going live with your accounts, as there are selections through the setup which they will affect.
After configuring the System Administration settings, you are ready to set up the Landlord, Property, Tenancy and Supplier records, ensuring they are correct before entering any Opening Balances or Accounts transactions.
The opening balance checklist is set out in the order which you should work through your setup with links to each article to help ensure you have them set up correctly before you begin adding any accounts.
It is essential System Administration settings are set up prior to starting setup of records. The settings will enable you to set standards in Alto which can be selected when setting up each Landlord, Property, Tenancy and Supplier records.
Opening balance step through guide
|Initial Settings on a Landlord, click here||Checked / Completed|
|Contact Delivery Method|
|Adding Bank Details|
|Setting up Payment Groups|
|Setting up Payment Types|
|Adding Landlord Overseas Tax details|
|Initial Settings on a Property, click here||Checked / Completed|
|Changing Property Ownership|
|Editing Agency Commission|
|Editing Management Type|
|Initial Settings on a Tenancy, click here||Checked / Completed|
|Changing the Notice Address default|
|Initial settings on a supplier, click here||Checked / Completed|
|Changing Contact Delivery Method|
|Adding Bank Details|
|Changing Payment Method|
|Adding Payment Terms|
|Adding Commission charge|
|Adding Opening Balances - Accounts||Checked / Completed|
|Opening balances on an applicant, click here|
|Opening balance on a tenancy, click here|
|Opening balance on a tenant, click here|
|Opening balance on a landlord including retention, click here|
|Opening balance on a landlord for agency fees, click here|
|Opening balance on a supplier, click here|
|Opening balance for deposit money, click here|