Total Legal Accounting 3
SECTION 0 - GETTING STARTED
Now that you have received your copy of T.L.A., what do you do? How do you operate this accounting system? How do you load the programs? How do you set the operation of the system to suit your company? This section discuses these topics and helps with the smooth installation of T.L.A.
It is beyond the scope of this manual to introduce a novice user to the basic operations of a computer or accountancy. It is assumed that your dealer has already shown you how to operate your computer, how to get around the keyboard and the basic fundamentals of MS-DOS and Windows. If not, you will have to read your MS-DOS or Windows manual. Also, there are several excellent texts and programs that teach a novice user basic computer literacy.
In writing this section it has been assumed that your practice name has been installed into your copy of the programs. If this has not been done, please contact your dealer. We also assume that there is enough room on your hard disk to accommodate the programs. If your hard disk is not DRIVE C:, then replace C: with the appropriate letter. Furthermore, this section has been written on the assumption that you are using single terminal MS-DOS. If you are installing under UNIX or other multi-terminal operating systems, the disk installation is not exactly the same. In this case, you are best advised to have the installation (at least on to the disk) conducted by an experienced system administrator.
First Step: READ THIS SECTION RIGHT THROUGH !!!
If your copy of T.L.A. has already been loaded onto your computer can skip down to STARTING T.L.A.
T.L.A. is normally supplied on CD-ROM. It is also sometimes supplied on several High Density floppy disk which are only suitable for AT style computers, and above.
If you receive your copy of T.L.A. on Floppy Disk, Disk 1 contains a batch file designed to facilitate the automatic installation of all the programs and data onto your hard disk. On CD-ROM there is either an analogous start file which can either be manually started or will start when the disk is loaded.
INITIATING MS-DOS INSTALLATIONS
Start your computer.
In each case, <Enter> is the big key marked Return or Enter or just marked with an arrow going down and to the left, like: ¿. It is also sometimes referred to as <CR> for Carriage Return
If your copy of T.L.A. has been supplied on floppy disks:
Type A: <Enter>
Type INSTALL A: C: <Enter>
If your copy of T.L.A. has been supplied on CD-ROM:
Place the CD into the drive. If it does not start automatically, press <Start/Run> and then find the CD drive (usually Drive D) and double-click on Setup.
The screen should clear; a directory named TLA3PROG will be created; all the programs will be copied across to the hard disk; a directory called TLA3DATA will be created with several sub-directories. All data files except for. FTLA01.DAT will be copied to the sub-directory COMP1. This is the default data directory. If there are several companies set-up they will probably be in sub-directories COMP2, COMP3, etc. though this is not a hard rule as the companies might be set-up in sub-directories that are abbreviations of the company name. FTLA01.DAT is created on demand in your working sub-directory that, by default, is USER01. Multiple users would then be in sub-directories USER02, etc. Again this not a hard rule and T.L.A. can be set-up with multiple users in sub-directories which are abbreviations of their names. Each user must be set-up in the same way the installation disk sets-up \TLA3DATA\COMP1\USER01. Also, a directory called \COBOL, with several sub-directories, will be created. This is a language directory and should not be modified or deleted.
Where appropriate, the installation program will pause to allow you to change diskettes.
When the loading process is complete you will have to check that certain parameters are correctly set on your computer. To run, T.L.A. on MS-DOS or MS-WINDOWS 3x or WINDOWS 9x, you must have enough buffer and file space. Make sure that your CONFIG.SYS contains the lines:
If your computer has several parameters set by other programs, eg. CD-ROM drivers, you might find that T.L.A. will start with one or more messages stating that you are out of string space. If this happens, add the following line into the CONFIG.SYS:
SHELL=C:\COMMAND.COM C:\ /E:1024 /P
If you change the CONFIG.SYS file, you will need to reboot your computer to affect the changes.
If the number of FILES allocated is not set to at least 40, the results will be unpredictable. See also the comments in SECTION 000 regarding the number of file buffers.
NOTE: If you are running on Windows 98 or above, most of the configuration is dynamically handled by the operating system, so the CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT normally do not need modification.
The GO.BAT program starts T.L.A.. As part of the initialisation, the program path set to include the program directories (i.e. \TLA3PROG and \COBOL\EXEDLL). If you are using T.L.A. in a purely DOS mode, move these to your AUTOEXEC.BAT, otherwise restarting GO.BAT repeatedly will cause your computer to run out of string space. If you are starting T.L.A. from a shortcut, this is not an issue.
To start T.L.A., firstly make sure that you are in the correct directory. The installation routine will have left you in the TLA3PROG directory, which is the correct starting directory for a single-user installation. If you have had to re-boot your system, or are for any other reason not in the correct directory, type the following instruction from the DOS prompt.
CD \HF4PROG <Enter>
This will cause MS-DOS to change to the correct directory.
GO STARTTLA COMP1 USER01 <Enter>
For installations on Windows 95 or above, T.L.A. is normally setup and started via icons on the desktop. Typically, the shortcut should contain the command \TLAPROG\GO.BAT STARTHF4 COMP1 USER01, where COMP1 is replaced by your actual installation’s directory and USER01 is a unique name for each user.
The first thing that your computer will display is the USER-CODE entry routine. This function enables T.L.A. to identify you and initiate your screen, printer and path attributes. The USER-CODE is a string of up to 10 characters. It is usually your name, or the name of your department. If you have just received your copy of T.L.A., the only user code available will be SUPERVISOR. This must be entered in upper-case characters unless your site has been installed with special option that ignores case in passwords. This is option must be specified when T.L.A. is initiated and cannot be changed without reference to Horizon Information Systems.
Type the word SUPERVISOR in the space provided and press <Enter>.
If you misspell the USER-CODE T.L.A. will display an error at the bottom of the screen. In this case, press <ESC> and re-enter your code.
Having entered a valid USER-CODE, you will be asked for a PASSWORD. This is a string of up to 8 characters. It is specific for your USER-CODE. The USER-CODE and PASSWORD are a pair and must be both entered before T.L.A. will allow you access to any functions.
THE SUPERVISOR’S PASSWORD
The SUPERVISOR’s password is normally kept secret and is only known by a limited number of key personnel. To install T.L.A. you will need to know it. This information is available from your dealer.
The SUPERVISOR’s password is a very important piece of information. It is recommended that you change the SUPERVISOR's password to a new one that only your key personnel know, but don't loose it. Changing passwords is described in SECTION 7.1.4 of this manual.
The SUPERVISOR is the master user. This USER-CODE allows access to all facilities within T.L.A. For security reasons, it is normal to create a USER-CODE for each person who has permission to use the system. Each user has a separate PASSWORD. Each user can change their PASSWORD and should do so on a regular basis. The SUPERVISOR may change any PASSWORD as well as assigning and disabling USER-CODES. If a user forgets their PASSWORD, the SUPERVISOR can assign a new one for them. If you forget the SUPERVISOR's PASSWORD, you will need to contact your dealer for instructions. There is no simple way to assign a new PASSWORD to the SUPERVISOR unless you know the current one. Make sure that you keep the SUPERVISOR’s PASSWORD in a safe place.
ENTERING THE DATE
Having successfully entered a PASSWORD, the screen will clear and display a date. This will normally be today's date, but if your computer is not set correctly, or you wish to change the date, you may enter another date here. Enter it as an eight-digit number, eg. 12th June 2003 should be entered as 12/06/2003. Although the slashes (/) are displayed, the cursor skips over them when you enter the date. If you only wish to change the day, it is not necessary to enter all the digits, simply type over the day portion of the date. In either case, press <F10> to continue. (Entering the date is further described in SECTION 7.4.)
The date normally defaults to the computer’s date and in most installations, it is not specifically asked for at startup. This can be changed by the SYSTEM DEFAULTS, as described below.
THE MAIN MENU
T.L.A. will now display the MAIN MENU as follows:
There is normally a logo in the centre of the screen. This is either the default logo or a customised one created for your company.
The MAIN MENU is the top of what can be imagined as an inverted tree. It leads to other menus, eg. CLIENT MORTGAGES, etc. These are fully described in their respective sections. For installation purposes, we will mainly be looking at the UTILITIES MENU. The options are printed on the bottom of the screen, eg. CLIENT, for Client/Trust, CRS, for Creditors, etc. To move around the menu structure in T.L.A., it is only necessary to press the number next to the option you wish to activate. To move to a specific branch of the menu you can press the corresponding function key, eg. to move directly to the Client/Trust branch, you can press <F1>. This is further described later in this section. For the present we will not refer to function keys on the MAIN MENU.
THE UTILITIES MENU
Press the number 7 or <F7>. (No <Enter> is needed.)
(If you are reading this manual without using your screen at this point please turn to SECTION 7 of this manual. The current section refers to various sections from 7 onwards and it is worth skimming through them before proceeding.)
The screen will change to display the UTILITIES MENU. This will be displayed in the middle of the top of your screen. In fact, T.L.A. always shows you what is happening by displaying the program or menu option on the top of the screen.
ENTERING YOUR COMPANY’S DETAILS
From the UTILITIES MENU press the number 1.
The screen will now display the SYSTEM MENU. It is here that you will set-up certain options that will make T.L.A. work smoothly in your Company/Practice.
You should now be in the COMPANY DETAILS option. This is where you enter the address of your practice as you would like it to appear on receipts, statements, etc. There is also space for an overall comment. This is for your Bills and Statements. Whatever you enter in this space will be displayed on the bottom of each Bill. It may read “Payment required within 7 Days” or anything else you desire. The width of each field is defined by the square brackets. To move to the next field, press <Enter>, <CsrDn> or <Tab>. To return to a previous field press <BackTab> or <CsrUp>. If you press <ESC> at any time, the SYSTEM MENU will reappear but no update will have occurred. If you have a mouse attached to your terminal, and T.L.A. recognises it, a rectangular block will appear showing the current mouse position. To move the cursor using the mouse, move the mouse pointer to the desired point and press the left button once. Note that it is only possible to move the cursor to valid input fields. If you press the mouse button when the pointer is not on a valid input field, the computer will beep and the cursor will not move.
To finish off this screen press <F10> or press <Enter> past the last input field. At the bottom of the screen, you will be asked:
OK TO UPDATE? (Y+/N-)
This prompt may be answered will a Y or y or + if you are happy with the information that you have just entered or a N or n or -, if you are not. The COMPANY DETAILS function is further explained in SECTION 7.1.1.
After exiting from the COMPANY DETAILS function (using <ESC>), T.L.A. will return you to the SYSTEM MENU.
SETTING THE SYSTEM DEFAULTS
From the SYSTEM MENU Press 2
The appropriate program will load into the computer's memory and a number of questions will appear. A full explanation of each question is given in SECTION 7.1.2. Please take the time to look through that section before proceeding. If you have any problems with these options, leave them and try to put through a few transactions. Then, if there is something that you do not like, or do not need, return to this function to rectify the situation. If you still have problems, contact your dealer.
The SET SYSTEM DEFAULTS screen will not end at the bottom of the page. It will, in fact, go to a second page when you press <Enter> on the last question. There are several pages of questions and it is possible to move through the pages by either using the <PageUp>, <PageDn> keys or by pressing the corresponding function key. The program will not however let you leave a screen unless you have answered each field with a valid response. After you have completed the last page, <F10> is available for you to instruct the computer to save your changes. After pressing <F10>, T.L.A. will respond with the question
OK TO UPDATE?
To actually force T.L.A. to update its files, you must answer this question. If you press <ESC> at any time, T.L.A. will return you to the SYSTEM MENU without updating its control files.
Return now to the SYSTEM MENU by pressing <ESC> or completing the questions and pressing <F10> to update.
If you wish to establish new USER-CODES (other than SUPERVISOR, which you are currently logged-in as) press 4. For full details regarding this function, refer to SECTION 7.1.4. When you have finished entering USER-CODES, press <ESC> to return to the SYSTEM MENU.
SETTING-UP YOUR PRINTERS
You should now be back in the SYSTEM MENU.
This will change the screen to display the CONFIGURE PRINTERS MENU. This function is discussed fully in SECTIONS 7.1.5. You will only need to enter this option if you have an unusual printer type. Most printers commonly available in Australia are pre-defined in the system.
From the SYSTEM MENU press 3 and then 1.
This function allows you to assign your local printers. The function is fully described in SECTION 18.104.22.168. If you have multiple printers attached to your system, you might wish to assign different functions to different printers, eg. Cheques might be printed on a different printer to the reports printer. This function allows you to do this. If you only have one printer, you will probably not need to adjust anything here.
CHANGING COLOURS & GRAPHICS
T.L.A. comes with a default colours scheme. If you wish to change the colours T.L.A. uses on your screen, you can enter the COLOURS & GRAPHICS option by pressing 2 from the USER DEFAULTS MENU. This is fully described in SECTION 22.214.171.124.
Unless directed by your dealer, do not attempt to enter or change any information in the CHANGE PATHS function.
When you start T.L.A. for the first time, you will be asked for the directories used by your installation. If you rearrange your disk, you might need to change some of the directory pointers here. Otherwise, leave this screen alone as a setting the parameters incorrectly will stop T.L.A. from functioning.
As you have not yet started to print, the last function, PRINT MANAGER, is not relevant at this point. This function is, however, fully described in SECTION 7.1.8.
By now you should have set-up the address of your practice; the screens, printers and any passwords. Before commencing work on T.L.A. it is still necessary to set-up the Client and Creditor Groups, etc.
If you are still in the SYSTEM MENU, press <ESC> to go back to the UTILITIES MENU and press 2 for TABLES.
CREATING LOOK-UP TABLES
From the UTILITIES MENU we will create the CLIENT GROUPS, CREDITOR GROUPS, etc.
Press 2. (Tables)
The screen will now ask which table you wish to update. By pressing a number from 1 to 8, you can enter the maintenance options for any of the tables. A full explanation of this area can be found in SECTION 7.2. onwards. You might decide to leave this section for later but it should be noted that it is imperative that you follow these sections at some stage, as it is not possible to add a Client until there is at least one Matter Type, Solicitor and Partner. Similarly for Creditors, etc.
If you press <ESC> in the UTILITIES MENU, T.L.A. will return you to the MAIN MENU.
SETTING-UP YOUR BANK ACCOUNTS
From the TABLES MENU, press 6. You should now be in DEPOSIT SLIP DETAILS. You only need to update the fields here it you intend to print Bank Deposit Slips. This is fully discussed in SECTION 7.2.7
Because you have probably spent the best part of an hour entering information, you should NOW protect yourself by performing a BACK-UP of your data files. Your dealer should already have explained the importance of the BACK-UP but as it is so essential we will reiterate: -
BACK-UP IS A SECURITY PROCEDURE THAT COPIES THE INFORMATION ON YOUR SYSTEM TO ANOTHER SET OF DISKS OR TAPES. HAVING A CURRENT BACK-UP OF YOUR INFORMATION ENSURES THAT NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR SYSTEM YOUR VALUABLE DATA WILL NEVER BE TOTALLY LOST. WE CANNOT STRESS TOO STRONGLY THE IMPORTANCE OF MAINTAINING FREQUENT BACK-UPS OF YOUR SYSTEM.
The procedure for this depends on the kind, and configuration, of computer you have. If you do not already know how to make a BACK-UP, it is extremely important that you ring your dealer, NOW and find out.
T.L.A. is now set for use. If you have managed to get this far, you should have a fair feel for the way T.L.A. functions. From here on, it is simply a matter of adding CLIENTS, MORTGAGES, SECURITIES, CREDITORS and/or GENERAL LEDGER ACCOUNTS as needed. The method for doing this is described in SECTIONS 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 of this manual, respectively.
Remember: CLIENT/TRUST TRANSACTIONS cannot proceed before you add some CLIENTS and some SOLICITORS, etc. Similarly, CREDITOR PURCHASING cannot proceed before you enter some CREDITORS. Read the sections relating to these functions and you can start processing.
GENERAL COMMENTS ON T.L.A. SCREEN FORMATS
All screens in T.L.A. have a banner on the top line that consists of your practice name; followed by the process or menu option effective; your currently logged-in user-code in brackets and finally the current date. T.L.A. uses lines 3 to 23. These lines are enclosed in a box or frame, which might also have a sub-function embedded in the top line. This framed portion of the screen is your data-entry area. Here, information is displayed and you may add or modify information where appropriate. The last line on the screen is reserved for the display of function keys, error messages and update/cancel questions. When available the mouse prompt will appear as a reverse coloured block. (The mouse is normally not functional in Windows unless you run the program in full screen or use the “exclusive” mode.) The mouse may be used to move the cursor to an input field during update programs and may be used to scroll the screen in display and enquiry programs. Whenever the function keys are displayed, <sF12> is available for the display of help. This help is a single screen describing the current function and the options available. <sF12> is activated by pressing the <F12> key while pressing the <Shift> key.
The primary menu requires you to press a number from 1 to 7, or the corresponding function key, to start a branch, eg <F1> enters the CLIENT/TRUST branch. From here you can refine your choice. The available sub-branches are displayed on line 3. Choose a function by pressing a number. The options are normally ENQRY for enquiries, MAINT for maintenance, TRANS for transaction entry, RPRTS for reports, UTILS for utilities. Some branches have different options, eg the Utilities branch. Unless, there is only one option, pressing a number here will open a pull-down menu box. There are never more than 9 options on any menu box so that single key entry is possible. Wherever possible, if a single character answer is required, the computer will respond as soon as the answer is entered (with no <Enter> required). You can also move up and down a box by using the cursor keys. Moving left and right is also possible. By the use of cursors and numbers, you can quickly move to the function you require. This function will immediately initiate a program that will have its own screen structure. When this program finishes, you will be retuned to the same position on the menu you just left from. To restart a program you thus just have to press <Enter>.
Normally, every screen has the facility to enter help, mail the phone directory and calculator functions. Help is available via <sF12> as described above. Mail, Phone and Calculator are available through <sF9> and <sF9> and <sF11>, respectively. In the MAIN MENU, Mail and Phone are available via <F8> and <F9>, only. Accessing Calculator by this method brings up a temporary version that does not store the result. Some programs offer <F9> where appropriate to allow you to bring up Calculator in a format that stores the result in the current input field when you escape. When this option is available, <F9> is labelled CALC.
In most programs it is possible to press <sF1> though <sF7> to shell directly to the MAIN MENU. This will place you in the menu branch 1 to 7 respectively. <sF10> will place you at the top of the MAIN MENU. You can the start a different program leaving the old one on hold. When you leave the second program, the first will re-appear exactly where it was when you left. While the second program is running, a reminder appears at the bottom of the screen. This will take the form of X Task(s) pending. You can stack programs in this way as far as memory allows, however 3 is about the practical limit.
When you have mail sent to you, the words Message Pending will appear at the bottom of the screen. To read your mail, press <sF8> as described above.
<ESC> is used extensively throughout T.L.A. In general, <ESC> will return you to the last place you were, before you entered the current screen or function. <ESC> can be either an abort instruction (in operations such as reports) or an exit instruction, eg. in menus, but it should always lead you to a logical point. If the screen you are looking at is the first one in the program, <ESC> will of course cancel the program and return you to the MAIN MENU.
In general, within programs, pressing <F10> will cause the current screen to be accepted and processed. Where a single line of input is required, or at the bottom of a group of input fields, usually <Enter> will also be accepted as the update key. <F10> is hence becomes a quick way to exit from a complicated screen if there are no more lines you wish to enter. <F10> and <Enter> are also equivalent in search screens. Both will accept the current line and insert it into the main program. For further information regarding search screens, see SECTION 1.1.
The menu programs allow a special short-cut method of jumping from one major branch of the MAIN MENU to another. Function keys are displayed at the bottom of the screen. Each major branch, ie each option on the MAIN MENU is represented by a function from <F1> onwards, eg. <F1> for CLIENT/TRUST, <F2> for MORTGAGES, etc. If you press a valid function key, the MAIN MENU will immediately skip to the top of the branch you have chosen. An example of this facility is when you have just returned to the menu program from entering a receipt and wish to go to the GENERAL LEDGER MENU. You could press <ESC> three times and then 6 or you can more simply press <F6> once to achieve the same result. New users, not familiar with the layout of the MAIN MENU will prefer to use the longer method, however, experienced users can save many keystrokes by using the short-cut method.
The data-entry frame, mentioned above, is broken near its lower-right-hand-corner. Usually, Ovr is displayed. This denotes that the screen is accepting data in the over-write mode. Any character typed will over-write the current character displayed above the cursor. If you press the <Insert> key, data-entry will change to insert mode. Now the letters Ins will be displayed, and any character entered will be inserted at the current cursor position. When the current field is expecting numbers only and is greater than one character long, the prompt may disappear altogether, as it is usually inappropriate. Note that the delete key functions differently depending on whether you are in insert or over-write mode. Entering a character at the beginning of a field normally clears the field to either blank for alphanumeric fields or zero for numeric fields. If this is not what you want, move around the field with the cursor keys first. This will automatically put you into an edit mode.
<ESC> is not available in the top level of the MAIN MENU, where only <F10> will allow you to exit from T.L.A. completely. The reason for this is simple: since most keyboards have an automatic repeat function unbuilt, if <ESC> worked all the time, you could find yourself outside of T.L.A. very quickly by holding your finger on the <ESC> button for a second to long.
<ESC> is also not available when a YES/NO answer is required as in OK TO UPDATE? (Y+/N-). In this case, <ESC> or <Enter> will just take the default answer, if one is displayed.
Every time T.L.A. asks for a YES/NO answer, it will display the prompt (Y+/N-). This is to remind you that Y, y, and + are equivalent answers. Similarly, N, n, and - are also equivalent. Usually the + and - are on the extreme right of the keyboard making them easier to get to than Y and N. Normally only a single character is required to indicate YES or NO. However, there are exceptions. If your answer will result in a major update to the system, or the removal of a file, eg. End-of-Year processing, then you are asked to enter YES or yes, in full. In this case, the only other possible response is NO.
If you are using a colour monitor with T.L.A., you will notice that the banners are yellow on blue; boxes and frames are yellow; all fields that are displayed by T.L.A. as headings are shown in green and fields that you enter are normally in blue. Instructions from T.L.A. are in white; warnings displayed in yellow and errors are displayed in red. These colours may be changed if desired, see SECTION 126.96.36.199.
FUNCTIONS AND TERMS USED WITHIN T.L.A..
Within T.L.A., accounting periods are defined in the calendar (see SECTION 7.1.6). These are normally defined by months and in accordance with standard Australian accounting practices, period 1 is July. However, you can override this by manually entering the end of period dates. There are 27 periods. 12 for last-year, 12 for this-year and 3 for next-year.
In all cases:
PTD refers to Period-to-Date. This corresponds to the current accounting period, which is usually one month.
YTD refers to Year-to-Date. This corresponds to the current accounting year that is usually the year starting from June 1.
LY refers to Last-Year. This refers to what would have been Year-to-date last year (see above). Last year periods are always closed, that is, they cannot be posted to.
NY refers to Next-Year. This refers to what will be this year after you have run an END-OF-YEAR. Next year periods are always open. They are provide as a buffer for you to continue processing without forcing an END-OF-YEAR before all Creditor and General Ledger processing is complete.
<CR> and <Enter> refers to Carriage Return or Enter. These terms are interchangeable.
<F1> to <F10> refer to function keys 1 to 10
<sF1> to <sF12> refer to the function keys 1 to 10 while the shift key is pressed. <sF12> is normally used for the on-screen help function.
<ESC> refers to the Escape Key
<PageUp> refers to the Page-up key
<PageDn> refers to the Page-down key
<Ins> means insert mode
<Ovr> means over-type mode
<Home> refers to the Home key
<End> refers to the End key
<CsrUp> refers to the Cursor Up key, usually marked by an arrow pointing up.
<CsrDn> refers to the Cursor Down key, usually marked by an arrow pointing down.
<CsrLeft> refers to the Cursor Left key, usually marked by an arrow pointing left.
<CsrRight> refers to the Cursor Right key, usually marked by an arrow pointing right.
<Tab> refers to the Tab Key. It acts similar to <CsrDn>.
<BackTab> refers to the Back-Tab Key. It acts similar to <CsrUp>.
ENQUIRY SCREEN FORMATS
All Enquiries Screens have a similar format. They all use function key extensively.
<F1> or <CsrLeft> moves to the previous record.
<F2> or <CsrRight> moves to the next record.
<F3> prints the master-file information.
<PageDn> is available to move to the next page of information if there is one. If there is only one page of information for this record type, it is usually assigned to the same function as <F1>.
<PageUp> is available to move to the previous page of information if there is one. If there is only one page of information for this record type, it is usually assigned to the same function as <F2>.
<F7> is used to display the transaction details, if there are any.
<F10> is used to update the transaction or master-file details.
<ESC> exits the routine.
DISPLAYING AND PRINTING TRANSACTIONS
Transaction details are associated with several master-files within T.L.A., eg. Client/Trust, Creditors, General Ledger, etc. When transactions are displayed, a highlight bar appears to show define the current transaction. You can move around the list by either using the cursor controls or by using the mouse. Note that the mouse is only available in DOS based systems where a mouse driver has been installed. In Win9x you might also have to install DOS drivers, but often Windows will do this for you. The screen generally appears as follows:
The above screen is from the General Ledger transaction enquiries. Other enquiry screens are similar. One line is always highlighted with a horizontal bar. This line is displayed in full in the bottom block of information. You may move around the transaction file by clicking with your mouse or you can use the <CsrUp>, <CsrDn>, <PageUp>, <PageDn>, <Home> and <End> keys. There are also several function keys available. Some are sub-system specific and are discussed in the relevant sections. Others are general and are discussed here.
<F3> prints the transaction file. You are usually also asked for a date range to print.
<F8> Allows you to find all the other transactions that have the same transaction audit number. Each time a transaction is initiated, T.L.A. will associate a unique transaction number to all the transactions created. <F8> will initiate a program that finds all these transactions (irrespective of which transaction file they are in) and creates a report. In this way, if you have a transaction on the screen, you can find out what else happened at the same time.
<F9> initiates a search. The form of the search depends on the type of file you are displaying.
<Home> moves to the start of the file.
<PageUp> If you are currently highlighting the last transaction on the screen, <PageUp> moves you to the top of the screen. Otherwise, T.L.A. will attempt to read one page back through the transaction file. If this is not possible (because you are already displaying the first transaction, there will be a beep. Otherwise, the screen will redisplay, leaving the highlight bar in the same position.
<CsrUp> moves the highlight bar back one transaction.
<CsrDn> moves the highlight bar forward one transaction.
<PageDn> If you are currently highlighting the first transaction on the screen, <PageDn> moves you to the bottom of the screen. Otherwise, T.L.A. will attempt to read one page forward through the transaction file. If this is not possible (because you are already displaying the last transaction, there will be a beep. Otherwise, the screen will redisplay, leaving the highlight bar in the same position.
<End> moves the display to the last transaction for the current master-file record.
<ESC> exits the function.
SEARCHING FOR MASTER-FILE RECORDS
T.L.A. has many master-files. These files contain the basic information for each file and certain running totals, which may be displayed, or printed, on demand. Master-files include the Clients, Creditor and General Ledger.
Each master-file record is accessed by a unique key. If you know the key, T.L.A. will display the record immediately. If you do not know the exact key, T.L.A. will usually offer you the ability to search for the record you need. Use <F9> to initiate a search. When searching for a master-file record, the function keys behave similarly to when looking for transactions (see above). The main difference is that to accept a code, you must either press <F10>, <CR> or double-click the mouse.
Every Master-File (Debtors, Creditors, Inventory and General Ledger) has its own ENQUIRY function and MAINTENANCE MENU. The MAINTENANCE MENU always consists of the following:
ADD This is used to add new records, eg. new Clients.
MODIFY This is used to modify information on existing master-file records, eg. change the name of a Client. These screens do not allow you to change financial data. Financial data is backed up by transactions, which can only be entered via DATA ENTRY menu’s.
DELETE This allows you to delete a record. Eg. you might wish to delete a Client who no longer deals with you. T.L.A. will normally refuse to delete a file that has non-zero balances or has transactions.
Each master-file also has a TRANSACTION MENU. Eg. In the case of Creditors, this looks like:
These refer to programs that enter transactions into the system. At the same time as a transaction is entered, the corresponding master-file is updated. In some cases, several master-files are updated.
Each master-file also has a REPORT MENU (sometimes two). From this menu you will be able to initiate reports that collate information and print the results to the printer.
EDITING ALPHA-NUMERIC INFORMATION
When you enter information into T.L.A., the information might be strictly numeric, as in a dollar value, or it can be alphanumeric, as in a name or address. Numeric fields will only accept digits from 0 to 9, the decimal point, and the plus and minus sign. Alphanumeric fields can also accept all letters of the alphabet (in both upper and lower case) spaces and most special characters such as asterisks and brackets. These are stored as entered.
Several Control keys are available when entering information into alphanumeric fields. These are often a combination of the <Ctrl> key plus a letter. Eg <Ctrl>I is entered by holding down the key marked <Ctrl> and pressing the letter I. In this case, it does not matter if the letter I is entered in upper or lower case.
The main editing functions available are:
Some of the following functions are also applicable to numeric fields.
<Ctrl>A restores the current field to what it was as you entered it. Eg. if a Client's name was Bloggs and you accidentally changed it to Floggs, pressing <Ctrl>A will restore the original name. This works only until you leave the current entry field.
<Ctrl>B This is the same as <CsrUp> or <BackTab>. It returns you to the previous valid entry field.
<Ctrl>F changes the case of the character under the cursor. This means that if the character at the cursor is A and you press <Ctrl>F, the letter will change to a and the cursor will move on one position. Note that this only works with alphabetic characters.
<Ctrl>I This is the same as <CsrDn>, <CR> or <Tab>. It moves you on to the next valid entry field.
<Ctrl>K This is a special KILL command. If you press this key and answer Y or y, T.L.A. will terminate. This is a dangerous key to use, as it may not let the programs update the files correctly. Although it is not a recommended function, it is included here for completeness.
<Ctrl>M This is the same as <CsrDn>, <CR> or <Tab>. It moves you on to the next valid entry field.
<Ctrl>O inserts one space, at the current cursor position. The cursor does not move, however all text to the right of the cursor moves one position to the right. This function only works in alphanumeric fields.
<Ctrl>R undeletes one character from the delete buffer, at the current cursor position. The cursor does not move, however all text to the right of the cursor moves one position to the right. This function only works in alphanumeric fields. This function is useful if you have deleted characters from one place and wish to the insert them back into another place. The programs will even allow you to delete and insert from different fields. Once you accept a screen, the delete buffer is cleared and the function does not work.
<Ctrl>X clears the whole line.
<Ctrl>Z clears the line to the right of the cursor and the character the cursor is currently on.
<Ins> toggles the screen between Insert and Over-type mode. In Insert mode, any character you type will insert itself at the current cursor position, moving the other characters one position to the right to make room. Pressing the <Rubout> key will delete one character to the left of the cursor, moving the cursor itself one character to the left, dragging all characters to the right of the cursor with it. Over-type mode, any character you type will replace the character at the current position. Pressing the <Rubout> key (not <CsrRight>) will move the cursor to the right without deleting any characters.
<Del> Deletes the character at the current cursor position and moves all characters to the right of the cursor one position to the left.
<End> positions the cursor at the end of the current field. Pressing <End> a second time moves the cursor to the end of last valid field.
<Home> positions the cursor at the beginning of the first valid field.
MODIFYING T.L.A.’S ENTRY POINT
T.L.A. starts with a batch file called GO.BAT. If this is modified or by-passed, the package may not function correctly at certain times.
Several icons are also supplied with T.L.A. in the HF4PROG directory. These all end in .ico and can be used to link the Windows desktop to either the menu programs or GO.BAT.
GENERAL POINTS ON PRINTING
All reports in T.L.A. generate to a disk file first. Some reports eg cheques, then print straight away. Usually though, T.L.A. will offer you the choice of displaying, printing or saving the report. These functions are programmed into <F1>, <F3> and <F4>, respectively.
Displaying to the screen is often the preferred method of viewing a report. There is no waste of paper and it is fast. The only limitation is the maximum number of characters that can be displayed on a screen. T.L.A. displays the first 78 characters of each line and as many lines as will fit after displaying the heading lines. To display the rest of the line, press <CsrRight> and <CsrLeft> to go back. To move through the lines of a report, press <CsrDn> or <PageDn> and <CsrUp> or <PageUp> to return. The page numbers displayed are the screen page numbers and do not correspond to those that would be printed if the report were to be sent to a printer. To exit this function, press <ESC>. It is possible to direct the display to a HTML viewer such as Internet Explorer. To do this, follow the instructions in Section 188.8.131.52.
Printing is the favoured method for long reports that have to be studied, stored or analysed. The actual printer used to print the report depends on the way you have setup the pointers in the ASSIGN LOCAL PRINTERS function (see Section 184.108.40.206). When you press <F4>, the report prints immediately. It is important, therefore to make sure that your printer is switched on and is “on-line”. If not, T.L.A. will display the message:
Printer not available
- Cancel, Retry or Ignore ?
If you get such a message, correct the fault on the printer and press R. Printing should then start and the message will usually be cleared from the screen. If you press I the program will continue, ignoring the fact that the printer is not attached. In this case, no report will be printed but the program will function correctly in all other ways. Unless absolutely necessary, do not press C as this will cancel the program and drop you back to DOS after printing an error message to the screen.
In a LAN environment printing can be direct, if each terminal station has a local printer, but is normally spooled to a common printer. This means that no printing will occur until the report is complete and then only if another operator is not using the printer. This should be set-up and explained by your dealer.
In Windows 95 or above, printing across the network is achieved by directing the print to the spool file of the computer actually attached to the printer, eg \\mary\epson. This method avoids the long delay MS-Windows imposes while waiting for time-out. The only disadvantage of this method is that T.L.A. cannot control the “printer not available” messages. If the printer is not available because you have either miss-entered the path or the target computer is not on, T.L.A. will simply close down and return you to the Desk Top. Because printing is not a critical function, you will simply have to restart T.L.A., correct the fault and reprint.
In a UNIX environment printing is always spooled to hard-disk before being printed. If your printer is not ready, UNIX will wait and print later. If you press <ESC> when a report has started, it will still be printed up to the point where it was aborted. If you wish to stop a large report from printing after it has been sent to the spooler, you will need to use the cancel command from root, scosh, sysadmsh or scoadmin. Using cancel is only recommended for the experienced UNIX user. Do not try to cancel the report by turning the printer on and off repeatedly. With parallel printers this may result in UNIX detecting an error and internally disabling the printer port from all further spooling. It is then necessary to use the enable function. Again this requires an experienced UNIX user.
Saving a report to a file is sometimes used when you wish to bank-up a series of long reports at EOM, etc. You must choose a unique name to save the report under. You can then later retrieve the file and print it using the PRINT MANAGER function. (See Section 7.1.8.)
The print functions discussed above can be mixed and matched. You can display a report to the screen (to check that it is what you want) and then print it, etc.