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FAQs

What do I need to do to close out the end of the year?

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General Ledger: Complete instructions for purging General Ledger are included in the “Purge Year-To-Date” help topic. Following these instructions explicitly will help avoid unnecessary problems.
Budget figures may be added before the purge or after the purge of General Ledger since they are not affected by the purge.
Payroll: Purging of the payroll records is not required. However, there are several controls which should be updated before entering the payroll for the new year: Update:
1. Add Payroll Tax Tables (PR121) for federal and state, if applicable.
2. Add Payroll EIC Tax Table (PR122) Detailed instructions for the new tax tables are sent to you before the year end.
3. Change the Payroll Control Record (PR199) to the new payroll year, after the last payroll is run for the prior year.
Note: Printing W-2s to plain paper is a good way to check for accuracy before actually printing the W-2s. You now have the ability to print W-2s for a single employee at a time. W-2s can be printed any time of the year.
Financial Records: The addition of new revenue codes and changes to existing revenue codes may be necessary if any of the following conditions exist:
If annual pledges are made, a new revenue code must be added for the new pledge year.
If new sources of revenue will be contributed during the year i.e., a capital campaign fund, a building fund, etc.
If gifts for future years are received (i.e. prepaid pledges) and these gifts will be held for use in future years rather than for the current year, the general ledger account should be for prepaid pledges. This should be a liability account, or the general fund, or a designated fund balance.
If gifts will be received in payment of a prior years pledge or commitment, then change the general ledger account(s) to be prior year pledge receipts in the general fund.

How do I renumber individuals?

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Renumbering within a family: In the Delete and Renumber application, MR102, choose Renumber, and select the family and individual to be renumbered. To renumber a child, enter the new number (e.g., 1, 2, 3, 4, etc.). The program will renumber all other children in the family.
Renumbering within different families: In MR102 you can also renumber a new individual into a family where an A1 already exists.
The system assigns a unique identification (uid) to every individual in the database that never changes. Re-numbering families and individuals does not change this system uid.

Can I type anything other than a dash between general ledger account number segments?

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When typing General Ledger account numbers during data entry, you now type either a dash (-) or a period (.) as separators between account segments. Because the period is easier to reach on both the alphabetic and numeric keypads than the dash, this improves the speed and ease of typing account numbers.

After completing the entries in a journal, do I have to go to the posting application to post to the general ledger?

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When posting the journal entries from Payroll, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Cash Disbursements and Contributions, you are prompted, Are you ready to post to GLYTD file? If you answer, Yes, you can post to the General Ledger Year-to-date file directly from where you are.

The telephone company is changing several hundred three digit telephone number prefixes to another area code. Is there an easy way to do this?

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You have in your RDS system the application (CS107) that will allow you to enter the old area code, the new area code, and up to 96 three digit phone numbers at a time. Just type the three digit numbers in the data entry form, then process. Continue until finished. In minutes, all telephone files in your system will be changed. The Global Telephone Area Code Conversion program is found in your System Control, under the CS Files (Common Systems) drop-down menu, or you can use the GOTO key and type CS107.

We have multiple worship services, and want to track worship attendance all together. Can we do this?

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You can combine two or more activities in order to print one attendance report, combining the attendance as if it were one activity. This eliminates the need for use of attendance categories for one worship service (i.e., 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.). This works for any activities in your system, as long as they share the same attendance dates. Use Attendance Report AC313R. You may want to renumber activities (AC107) so they will be in a contiguous range of Activity IDs.

We need to track the scheduling of rooms, buildings, vehicles, events and people. How can we do this?

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You can track all your buildings, rooms, facilities and even vehicles with the RDS Scheduler. Then you can include them in your calendar of events. Events can be scheduled for one-time events or for a range of dates. The event dates can be tracked for regular or irregular meeting times. There is no limit to the number of events or length of time span. Persons included in your Member Records data base can be scheduled for meetings and events. Individuals in activities, or the entire enrollment of an activity can be scheduled for an event.
You may choose to have the system do conflict checking to be sure a room or facility, or persons, are not scheduled for conflicting times. There are fast look-up inquiries to see the schedules for facilities and persons. The Scheduler includes reports to provide calendar and schedule information in a number of different ways, and a janitorial report may be printed to show what set-up and take-down is needed. Multiple janitorial groups can be tracked.
Events entered into the Scheduler can be exported directly into web calendars.

How can we deduct from our expense balances the amounts that have been purchased, but not invoiced or paid?

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Through a process of tracking encumbrances, it is possible to reflect purchases or obligations to pay on your financial statements even though the bills have not yet been received. Your budget and budget balances then reflect a more up-to-date picture. Encumbrances are tracked by entering purchase orders whenever anything is purchased for a future delivery. The use of encumbrance reporting is optional. When using encumbrances, the purchase order number field is required and invoice number is omitted. Purchase orders give you more control of expenditures. You can establish a policy that no money can be spent or obligated until a purchase order has been approved. The RDS system ties encumbrances, when used, into the Accounts Payable and General Ledger system.

We need to call members from time to time to deliver messages and announce meetings. Is there an easy way to automate this?

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VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)
RDS Advantage is providing telephone messaging capabilities using Voice-over Internet Protocol (VOIP) technology.
There are “Phone Messaging” options on the Member and Activity Records print menu. Use these to select a group of people to be called. After you have selected the people, click on the Phone button. This will produce a file of phone numbers and names you want to receive a recorded message and take you to the web site to record your message, and set the parameters of how you want your calls to be placed. This inexpensive method of communicating can be paid by credit card or you can be billed monthly.
This very economical and speedy service has the ability to phone any number of people and deliver your message in minutes. For example, it will take approximately three minutes to call 1,000 families (with a message of about 30 seconds). Your cost for these 1,000 calls would be about $75.00 (about 7 1/2 cents per call). This service can use up to 200 different phone lines to make your calls. The message can be any length – your cost is based upon the total number of minutes of all the calls.
There is no equipment to purchase — no minimum or maximum number of calls to make, and there are loads of user-defined criteria you can set for your calls. For example, you can have the system include the name(s) of the person called as part of the recorded message, you have ask for a reply, and the system will use your telephone caller ID. You do not tie up your own phone lines. You can see an instant on-line report of the results of the calls.

What is the fastest way to track attendance at Sunday school and other activities?

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When printing your attendance transmittal sheets, select bar coded transmittals. Your transmittal sheets will be printed with a bar code that identifies each person. When attendance has been checked at the activity, just scan the bar code and that person is entered into the system as present. A portable scanner is also available to record attendance at a remote location such as retreats, camps, seminars, etc. You can purchase either scanner from RDS. Insta Check-in provides automated self check-in for events and classes, customized by many options.

When I run the same report repeatedly, is there a way to save the selections Ive made for that report?

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Any report you set up may be saved to run again at a future date. At the top of your selection screen are function keys and icons that give the options for selecting a report, adding a report, modifying a report, and deleting a report. If you have a report that is run frequently, even with minor changes each time, select Add a Report, and give it a name. The next time you need to print the report, use the Select Report option. Each saved report will be displayed by title and you may select the one you need. Naming the report is important because you want something recognizable when making your selections. You can save an unlimited number of report formats for every report.
Under the “Utility” menu, select “Find Program from a Saved Report” to see a list of all saved reports. Each user will see a list from which to select, for reports they have security access.

Is there a way to see everything about a person or family in one place?

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The Comprehensive Inquire, MR200, displays just about everything the computer knows about a person or family, depending upon the security access of each piece of information given the operator. This is especially helpful for pastors or staff when talking on the phone to a member, or needing to look up specific information.

What are the estimated computer hardware requirements for operating the RDS Advantage for Windows system?

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Estimated computer hardware requirements for operating the RDS Advantage for Windows system are as follows:
Single user or client PCs on a network: As a general rule, if a computer has enough speed (MHZ) and RAM to operate Windows Vista/Windows7/8/10 and Windows Server and an office suite such as Microsoft Office, that computer will be more than adequate for RDS, which is a very efficient application. This usually means a minimum of 2 GHZ of processing speed with 2GB of RAM. However, there is no such thing as too much speed or too much RAM.
For servers on a network: In general, a small network server with 2 to 6 PCs can probably give adequate service with 2GB of RAM. On larger networks we suggest 2.8 MHZ of processing speed and 4GB Ram or more, depending upon the network size. These recommendations are the same to operate any network, whether using RDS Advantage or not.
Disk fragmentation: An important element in how efficiently the network functions can be dependent upon how often the server is defragmented. A heavily fragmented server will not be efficient, no matter the speed or RAM. The computer hard discs all need to be defragmented from time to time. Inadequate disk space on either a single PC, client PC on a network, or the server can adversely affect performance.
Network Considerations: Additional hardware considerations for networks involve cabling, hubs, and network cards. We recommend at a minimum the use of Category 5e cable, network hubs designated 10/100 base T (meaning they can operate at either 10 or 100 megahertz), and 10/100 base T network cards.

My backup is broken. Is there another way to backup my RDS Advantage files?

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For those times when your regular tape or other backup system is not working. Look on your RDS login window and note the path that is in the “Folder:” field. This will be the folder you need to make a copy of. Make sure everyone is out of the RDS Advantage software. In Windows Explore (My Computer) browse to this folder and right click on it. Select “Copy” (this copies the files to memory). Browse to another place on your computer or a flash or CD/DVD drive. Right click and select “Paste”. This should copy all of the RDS data files. When it is finished, open that new folder and look through the files you should see the same folders and files that were in the original folder.
If copying toa CD or DVD drive make sure you click on the drive and select to write the files to the drive. Take the CD or DVD to another computer and make sure you can see the files and folders.

We want to place our school in a different fiscal year. Can we do that

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You can operate different funds on different fiscal year-ends. This makes it possible to transfer the Fund/Department accounting information for one or more funds from one fiscal year-end to a different fiscal year-end.
Years are grouped in a Fiscal Year Set using General Ledger Controls & Fiscal Year Maintenance, GL199.
Example: Change from a calendar year-end to a fiscal year-end. If a 12 month year ends on 12/31 each year, the system assigns all years ending 12/31/nnnn to the same Fiscal Year Set. Up to three Fiscal Year Sets are possible. The system does not require a 13 period year to end on the same day each year.
Example: To place one fund (a school, for example) on a different fiscal year than the rest of the organization, you can change the fund for the school to a different fiscal year-end-set.
Fiscal year sets are established in General Ledger Controls & Fiscal Year Maintenance, GL199.
After at least one year is established for a Fiscal Year Set, the user can select which year in that set is the current year. The user selects one year as the default fiscal year to be used throughout the system. The system will require that a year be designated for any data to be transferred, including prior year comparative data and any budgets that have been entered. Usually at least three years need to be established in a Fiscal Year Set before attempting to transfer any fund(s) to a new fiscal year.
Each fund for an accounting entity (organization, church, school, etc.,) is linked to a Fiscal Year Set in GL130, Fund/Department Maintenance. The Fiscal Year Set links that fund to the correct year.
See Transfer Fund/Department to Different Fiscal Year Set in the on-line help for more information.