Clients' Account | AccountingWEB

Clients' Account

If someone could prove me wrong I would be pleased, but as an accoountant, keeping track of my client's account is a nightmare.

Apart from tax refunds on behalf of clients I use mine to collect Companies House filing fees and Fee Protection payments.

Can SAGE not come up with a simple system to be able to match payments and receipts through a clients' account so that it is an easy task to see which transactions represent the balance on the account?


petersaxton's picture


petersaxton | | Permalink

It's not elegant but I would think the most practical is to use Excel and update it very regularly.

I've put codes at the start of the details field and exported to Excel and sorted but that's when there were many transactions.

Seperate Sage Company

ChrisDL | | Permalink

I have set something up for a chartered surveryor client which seems to work OK - but it did cost £250 for another company licence.

Happy to tell you about it if you think it would be useful

petersaxton's picture

Another company?

petersaxton | | Permalink


How can another company help?

Why not put fee protection and Companies House payments through

newmoon | | Permalink

Admittedly we don't have a general client account, as our client monies relate to just one payroll client. This doesn't go anywhere near Sage and is maintained on Excel (with the spreadsheet going to the client monthly so they have the reconciliation).

However we do fee protection and have Companies House payments coming in, but we invoice these, and they go through the office account. Invoicing Companies House disbursements is a pain admittedly, with loads of £15 (soon to be £14) invoices, and looking at the exercise in isolation, it's obviously a loss after bank charges, invoices, postage etc. How do you deal with these incidentally?

Without Sage having an option to have two Customer Ledgers as far as I'm aware, your only option seems to be either have separate Sage bank accounts for each client, or run it off your main Sage company. 

petersaxton's picture

spreadsheet still

petersaxton | | Permalink

I don't invoice for Companies House charges until I would send an invoice anyway. I don't see the point of using a client account for these payments. Obviously it is different if you ask for the money up front.

Spreadsheet should be sufficient unless many transactions each month


Witch-Queen's picture

Re Sage & Clients' Account

Witch-Queen | | Permalink

Firstly, sorry if I might sound a bit thick here or I'm misunderstanding what you are trying to do, but as a Sage expert well known to these forums, I don't quite understand why you are having a problem with Sage.

So you invoice various items in Sage to your Customers account. (I assume you have created separate nominals for things like Companies House payments, Fee protection, Fees etc. to seperate the charges in your Sales nominals) and these invoices appear on the Customer accounts, listed with what they are for in the description box.

So say you invoice a client as follows:

Fees protection £100

Companies House £15

Accounting Fees £1000

They then send you a cheque for the Fees protection, so you go to Bank/Customer and highlight that line on their statement and 'Pay in Full'. That item then no longer appears as outstanding on their statement and you can immediatly see that only the other 2 items are unpaid.

When you are in the Customer activity screen you can toggle between full history and outstanding only by putting a tick in the O/S only box at the top right of that screen.

If you have invoiced several items on one invoice but when you go into Bank these are shown grouped as one line and you need to see them seperatly to pay them off, go to Settings Menu/Bank and put a tick in 'List Payments/Receipts by Split'. When you go back to Bank/Customer the individual invoice items will now be shown in the Bank list

-- Witch-Queen

how about...

kiwilondon99 | | Permalink

have a sage client account bank account specific for client monies in - out  reference to your own firms client account at your bank

use the current sales or purchase ledger as the CLIENT ACCOUNT by setting up a new account with a * or CA or some other way of identifying soley CLIENT ACCOUNT as opposed to say  clients ordinary account [ hence p/l would be good to use as less chance of a client already appearing here ? ]

these p/l accounts are tagged to the CLIENT BANK account in 1200 sequence [ say 1240 ] - to avoid error


so receive or pay monies from the Client bank account [circa 1200+] + contra enter as a receipt or payment into either the P/L sub CLIENT ACCOUNT   ie *ABC LTD Client account   or CA_ABC LTD   note that vat rate needs tobe setup should be outside scope

easy to run off a list of *xxx accounts from the ledger  + reconcile to the new CLIENT bank  [ also easy to sort on screen by using the same unique initial sequence ie * or CA ]

[  note have used this method to keep staff expenses all in a sequence so data can be range wise extracted very easily - especially when looking at p11d time eek!]

missed something...


landscaper's picture

Use departments

landscaper | | Permalink

A very simple solution if you want to keep it all in Sage is to use Departments - set up a department per client.  When you pay the Co House fee for example allocate it to that department - say department 10 = Client Fred Bloggs.  When you invoice Fred also allocate it to that department.  Run a monthly or quarterly department report and pick up those that haven't been cross invoiced.  Those that have been invoiced should have equal debits and credits or a "profit".

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Thanks for all the comments

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

My views on Annual Filing Fees are that these are the companies responsibility, not mine. When I get the notice in I generate the form, print a letter and bill, plus a disbursement note for the filing fee (I do include this in my sales). I then pay the filing fee in my client account and file the return online. At the end of the month I get a bill from Companies House and the money is waiting in my client account to settle it.

I pay my fee protection insurance in to my client account so it is ring-fenced. and when I have a decent batch I pay it accross to my general account to settle my invoices and pay over the premium to my provider, I just find it easier that way.

I have a spreadsheet, but it just seems a bit inefficient.

On a spreadsheet you would high-light matched items and the un-highlighted would be the "live" transactions. All that is needed is a method to be able to link receipts and payments in a bank account on SAGE so that the un-matched items would be the ones making the balance.

I could put credit notes through the S/L and then refund them I suppose, but it all seems a bit cumbersome.



Old Greying Accountant's picture

I can import from excel easily enough ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... I just hate duplicating systems, it gets messy.

I just want SAGE to address the problem of client's accounts.

I can get a customer or supplier statement showing just outstanding items. I do not see why it would be that hard to have a system like the bank reconciliation where you can match items.

If anyone uses IRIS you will be familiar with the system of allocationg payments against tax liabilities in the client account under the admin tab, that is all that is needed, simples.

Considering SAGE have been providing accountants with software for years now, you would have thought they would have looked at this improvement by now.



petersaxton's picture

Totally different

petersaxton | | Permalink

But with a client account it's not the same. They usually put in an amount of money and you draw from it. As long as you don't draw out more than they put in it's ok. It's not like an invoice being sent and then getting paid.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Exactly my point

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

Money goes in to my client account, either from the client to enable me to make a payment on their behalf (such as filing fee) or I receive money from a third party that needs to be passed to them (with agreed deductions for fees if appropriate, such as a tax refund).

It cannot be that hard to have a mechanism (like the IRIS tax one in my comment above) that allows you link a payment or receipt with its counterpart which can then be filtered out to give a list of un-matched items comprising the balance. I know tax refunds generally clear out quite quickly, but not always, I had a significant one sitting in my account for quite a while that arose for a partnership dissolution/divorce and was waiting for court direction on to whom I should repay it.

It is exactly what you would do in excel, like have a column to put an asterix against matched items and then apply a filter - it just needs (IMHO) to be inbuilt into SAGE.

So my other point is, I would rather them spend money developing useful functions like that, which I think would probably be more useful to more users than some of the "enhancements" they come up with as an excuse to fleece you with annual upgrades


petersaxton's picture

Not usual

petersaxton | | Permalink

My point is that with estate agents and solicitors the clients usually put in a round sum or there's rent received or disposal proceeds but it's not a question of matching items in and out. You may do that but most client accounts are not operated on this basis.

Client ac on sage

PeterGrimley | | Permalink

 I set up the client ac as a seperate company on sage and use the purchase ledger to record the transactions, PI is monies received and PC is monies out. The advantage is you can have an individualised ledger for each client and it keeps all the transactions away from you own books. I also have a seperate client bank account which I can download transactions from my bankers and recode then import to sage saving more time.

Fmaat's picture

Allocation of Receipts/Payments

Fmaat | | Permalink

May be I'm missing something here too but I'm with the Witch-Queen on this. 

Seems to me It's simply  allocating payments/receipts to invoices you raise/receive. 

 If you do not raise/receive invoices, receipts/payments  go directly into nominal and if the nominal ledger is designed well there would be no problem with reconciling what's what there.  

Hope this helps.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Fmaat ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... please ellucidate?

And don't say use departments because that is a fag.


Fmaat's picture

Which from even a greyer accountant

Fmaat | | Permalink

Which !?  Allocating payment/receipts or reconciling a nominal a/c !?

Sorry I can see I couldn't help you so over and out.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Structuring a N/L

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

But, as Jeremy Clarkson would say, how hard can it be to have a screen to match payments and receipts and just repport the unflagged ones?

As I say, a system like the IRIS tax payment allocation tool is what I am after. They have done it, why can't SAGE. It may be no one has asked, hence this thread because I know SAGE read these and I am hoping someone will pick this up and run with it.

petersaxton's picture


petersaxton | | Permalink

Allocating receipts and payments on a nominal account is unusual.It's not needed by the vast majority of businesses.

I don't use them. I pay the bill and then invoice later.

Fmaat's picture

Unusual unusual

Fmaat | | Permalink

Allocating receipts/payments are in the sales/purchase ledger. 

Reconciliation is for nominal ledger a/cs.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Client's accounts fall between two stools

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

I can reconcile the account, but I want to match items received in an account with payments made out. Not reconciling, not allocating, matching.

Like I keep saying, IRIS let you do it for persooanl tax to match payments against liabilities so I not suggesting the world is a sphere or anything radical like that.

I put this link on another thread, but it works here as well




petersaxton's picture

Not going to bother

petersaxton | | Permalink

"I can reconcile the account, but I want to match items received in an account with payments made out. Not reconciling, not allocating, matching."

But you are very unusual. For estate agents and solicitors usually the money coming in doesn't match the money going out unless the balance is zero. With solicitors that is usually when the job is finished and the client is not part of the reconciliation and with estate agents its usually repeated over a long period. I pay companies house fees myself and then invoice and payments are made directly to my current account.

I can't see any general accounting software bothering to do what you require.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

I am an accountant

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

SAGE sell themselves as software for accountants, I would have thought that what should be an easy feature to create would be more worth while to their target customers than all the twiddly bits they keep adding on as an excuse to bring out a new version each year.

I can't be the only accountant with a client account that has mainly short terms in with 100% matching to payments, with occassionally some receipts that sit in there a bit longer longer.

I could do it as a bought or sales ledger account, but then I have twice as much to enter as I would need to enter an invoice or credit note as well as a payment or receipt and I have little enough time on this earth to waste having to do that.


petersaxton's picture


petersaxton | | Permalink

 Do you really have so many transactions that it would take more than a few minutes each day there are transactions to update a spreadsheet?

You might not like it but is it really that onerous?

Old Greying Accountant's picture

I use a spreadsheet

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

But it gets on my nerves.

I hate duplicated systems it wastes time and gives scope for error, especially these days when most things go in and out of the bank electronically and you don't have the natural point of updating a spreadsheet you have with filling in a cheque or paying in slip. With the technology and software today it should be unecessary.

petersaxton's picture


petersaxton | | Permalink

Why dont you write or get written for you an add on?

Software companies dont do it because it's not worth the investment but you could commission it yourself and even sell it to anybody else who wants it. My guess is there isn't enough who want it and identifying them is just about impossible. So if you decide against it you will have gone through exactly the same thought processes as Sage.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

If someone can ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... please message me and I would look at this, if I knew squat about programming I would do it myself. I can't believe it would be that hard or costly for someone who knows what they are doing!

I never cease to be amazed at the number of systems people come up with for dealing with things that the software they have can't do, or amazingly can but they don't/won't use that bit of it. I know of people paying for IRIS practice management and automail that still maintain a separate client database in outlook and have all their templates in Word.

I decided a few years ago, i was not just going to sit and moan about all the deficiencies and limitations in the software I use but to be pro-active.

I now regulary let IRIS and SAGE have my views, comments and recommendations because as you say Peter, they don't know demand, certainly if no-one bothers to tell them.

I suggest everyone should do the same, even if just on here, because I know all the big software suppliers read these threads for that reason amongst others.



johndon68 | | Permalink

Message sent...


Old Greying Accountant's picture

Thanks again for all the comments

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

I have responded to John, but this may have sparked a "road to Damascus" resolution.

It may work if I set up two clients accounts in SAGE and enter all the transactions as transfers.

I can then reconcile one account against the bank statements, and the other with matched items, I will then have a reconciled bank balance and the reconciliation on the dummy account will represent amounts owed to/on behalf of clients.

Excuse me if i don't post for a while, I will be I repeatedly slapping my forehead with the palm of my hand whilst shouting DOH!

May be, just may be, flowers don't have to be red!

Further machinations, not ideal because would have to enter each item individually. Would be easier if you could do journals between bank accounts as when F6 can be used it makes life a lot easier so still interested in exploring further.

Talking to myself now,

Yes, I could enter via a spreadsheet (using a suspense account so would be self balancing), enter one lot as BP's, then change to BR's for mirror account, but starting to get over engineered again so matching system still most favoured!

No you are not wrong, but ....

Anonymous | | Permalink

Using technology such as excel, AccuPOS and other solutions is only the tip of the iceberg to help out the customers. Coming from the clients point of view whatever the solution is, it needs to be easy to implement, simple to learn and practical to use. For example; in a restaurant you obviously have both purchases & sales receipts mile high. You defiantly need the bookkeeper to do the books from day one otherwise it will be impossible to control. The entry of data manually is time consuming and as we all know double entry of data to could lead to errors.

Just imagine an Electronic Point of Sale (EPoS) Software that does the business for you. Not only gets used by your staff to ring in the sales, not only sends the order to the kitchen & bar for what needs to be prepared for table 5 also at the end of each day sends the sales directly sends the sales into your sage for you.

I got your interest, see a video here

Yes you are correct - Time is short

Anonymous | | Permalink

 We sell a software that creates the invoices and credit notes in Sage.

Our solution is aimed at the retail & hospitality sector, for more information please visit our site Sage-epos

yes you are correct, but But which technology will do all the wo

Anonymous | | Permalink

AccuPOS can create invoices, credit notes, customers at the end of each day with ease.

AccuPOS is an epos software

Add on by 3rd party

Anonymous | | Permalink
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