User Defined Transactions
A User Defined Transaction (UDT) is a code created by an Agency using TAM to indicate a specific type of accounting entry (invoices, credits, etc) which is not already catered for by the standard system codes already in TAM.
Examples of the standard codes are NEW for transacting new business premiums, and +EN for additional premium entries. Whilst there is a considerable range of codes available to the CSR or whoever creates transactions, plus many other internal codes not visible, there may be cases where an agency needs an additional code so that income can be accounted for correctly.
Cover Enhancements - maybe you've negotiated with a carrier that all clients taking out a Home policy with you get extra cover against alien abduction, but the charge for that is $10/£10. Rather than include this amount in the NEW or REN, or treat as a +EN, you could have a UDT code for it to enable reporting.
Discounts Allowed - perhaps you need to distinguish between Staff Discounts (i.e. where employees get their own commission back for placing their insurances through your agency), and general customer discounts. You can create two different codes for these entries.
Special Fees - you may offer additional non-insurance services to customers but wish to keep all accounts transactions in TAM. You can create codes to identify services charged for, which are not premium.
Local Taxes - federal or other taxes can be identified with a code here. In the UK, the recent changes to Insurance Premium Tax rules (Dec 2009) can be dealt with by using a new code, e.g. "IPT".
How to Create a New UDT
Open TAM's Utility Manager. This can be done even with users in the system. Open the Accounting branch, then Receivables, then User Defined Transactions.
First enter the 3-digit code required, in the Transaction field. This will generally be alpha-numeric, but other characters are allowed.
The Flag field indicates to the accounting programs what the purpose is of the transaction type. The choices are:
- Agency Bill - acts like a conventional cash/check/cheque transaction
- Direct Bill - acts like a conventional direct-to-insurer transaction
- Miscellaneous - any other transaction, for example agency fees
Description is the text that users will see at Transaction Screen level.
Choosing Miscellaneous opens up additional fields so that you can define which accpunting "pot" the incoming funds go to, for example you may have an account number 4000-CCC which is nominated as the respository for all credit card charges you make to customers, and any transactions of this new type will now add an entry in this account.
Agency and Direct flags enable the Commissionable check-box, as these types are effectivly premium so may attract commission.
Further options are Cancellation type or NSF (Non-Sufficient Funds) type.
The Effect on Premium field tells the system whether or not to add the amount of the transaction onto the billing screen. For Miscellaneous types which are fees, this should generally be set to "no effect".
Remember that because these are not system-standard codes, TAM doesn't "know" how to deal with them at a user level. So for example if you have created a Discount code, when a user adds this as a transaction, TAM will not recognise that Discounts need to be negative amounts. The user must remember to enter a minus sign with the amount. Contrast this with the -EN transaction code, which TAM automatically treats as a negative amount.
Users also need to remember not to add tax if prompted at the end of the Add Transaction workflow. UK users will always be prompted to add IPT, but the transactions for which UDT codes exist will not usually be subject to this tax.
The Miscellaneous Production Report, which is one of TAM's standard "canned" reports, is designed specifically to handle UDTs. You will need to reindex the reports before the new code shows up in the criteria available to select.
Deleting Transaction Types
Codes can be deleted and this does not delete any history transactions. However it may be wise to consider renaming a code no longer required, for example "do not use", rather than deleting it altogether, until sufficient time has elapsed for accounts to be archived or destroyed.