Point of Sale or Trust Accounting is accounting for and managing the money you receive into your agency from your customers.
In The Agency Advantage, Point of Sale or Trust Accounting begins with the issuance of a receipt to a customer for a payment. While the on-line company’s upload system will print a receipt, they do nothing to help manage your Trust Checking Account or maintain the security of the funds received in your office.
When entering a receipt, choose one of the four ‘Pay Types’, shown below, if the funds received are for deposit into the agency trust account.
If you happen to be taking a check or money order payable to the insurance or finance company, or if you are making their payment online with their credit card then choose the pay type “Forward”. This will not add the amount into your funds, but does issue a receipt and documents the fact that you received the payment. It also allows you to print a transmittal letter for attaching to the check/money order when you mail it to the company.
(Some agencies, no longer accept payments to be sent to the companies in this manner. Instead they are giving an envelope and a stamp to the customer for them to mail it themselves.)
The “Refund” pay type is seldom used and can only be used when refunding on the same day as the payment was received and before the deposit is processed. The refund reduces the amount to be deposited. Otherwise, you will handle the refunds as cancellations and issue refund checks out of your Trust account.
Once you have chosen the payment type, press your Tab key once and choose the “Transaction Type”.
Choosing the ‘Transaction Type’ allows you to quickly see what the payment was for when you re-visit the receipt in a customer’s history. It is also useful if you are printing a check to a company and want to print separate checks by transaction type.
For example, ‘New’ business may require a separate check to be printed so that the check can be attached with each application. It is possible to submit payments on one check with a transmittal letter detailing the breakdown of the check or it may be possible that the two be mailed to separate addresses.
After choosing the ‘Transaction Type’, press the Tab key and choose the ‘Policy Number’, from the drop down menu, for which you are receiving payment.
If this is a new customer and the policy is not in the system, skip this field and type the policy in the ‘Description Field”.
The ‘Description Field’ is pre-filled with a default description of the transaction. You may want to add a more detailed description. This is where you would type the policy number if the policy doesn’t yet exist for this payment.
After choosing the Policy Number, the Company field will default to the company on the policy. This only needs to change if you are sending the payment to a finance company instead of the insurance company. If you have finance company and contract information entered on the Policy Finance Tab, you will be asked if you want to send the payment to the finance company and the proper company will be selected if it is in the system.
Select ‘Agency Retained Funds’ only if this payment is to be applied to a balance owed to the agency or you do not want a check or EFT automatically created for payment to the company.
Make sure that ‘Electronic Funds Transfer’ box is checked, located right below the ‘Agency Retained Funds’ box, if the payment is to be uploaded to the company and the company will draft your checking account.
Note: This will default to checked if you have the ‘EFT Receipts’ box check on the company setup screen for the company in which you are collecting payment.
Reminder: Press the Tab key, on your keyboard, to navigate through these fields.
Next enter the amount of the payment and press the Tab key.
If your agency collects any type of fees, the focus then moves to the ‘Other Charges’ box, enter them here. They will be totaled and added to the payment.
‘Other Charges’ are totaled and added to the Payment Amount to determine the ‘Total Payment’.
If your agency does not collect any fees, the focus will move to the ‘Amount Tendered’ field.
Enter the ‘Amount Tendered’ and the ‘Change Due’ is calculated.
If your agency has a premium finance company and wants to include the financed portion of the premium on the check printed from The Agency Advantage, clicking the ‘Add To’ button allows you to add the amount while creating the receipt.
Another possible use of the ‘Add To’ button is for commercial agencies that must front payments to their companies before they have collected them from their customers. Processing a receipt without a payment and entering an ‘Add To’ amount will create a check for the ‘Add To’ payment.
Partial Payment—a third use of the ‘Add To’ button is for adding agency funds to a customer’s amount paid to the company. If the customer is short on the amount needed for a deposit you may choose to ‘Add To’ their amount. When a check is created or when it is time to reconcile an EFT, the total amount, Amount Tendered plus the ‘Add To’ amount, will be shown.
If your agency does allow its customers to make partial payments, an AR balance can be created from the receipt for any additional amount due by clicking the ‘Balance Due’ button (locate next to the ‘Add To’ button).
This will open a blank ‘AR Suspense’ entry screen. After creating the AR Suspense and upon printing the invoice, you will be returned to the receipt, to print and save the receipt.
When the customer returns to pay on the ‘AR Balance’, create a new receipt. The money collected will be the agency’s money so be sure to check the ‘Agency Retained Funds; then the ‘Reduce Customer AR Balance?’ box. This will reduce the amount due from the customer therefore reducing their AR balance shown in the personal information section of their folder.