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AP ACH Prenote - Preventing empty files

  • 1.  AP ACH Prenote - Preventing empty files

    Posted Jun 28, 2021 10:38 AM
    Hello -

    We recently started using GP to process & remit ACH payments with Bank of America, along with prenote verifications. We went through an implementation and testing cycle with BoA, and successfully completed our initial file transmissions. After testing, our IT team automated a process that transfers the ACH and Prenote files generated by GP directly to BoA.

    Since then, we've received notifications from BoA that they are receiving 'empty' files from us. Thus far, these empty files have been prenote files, containing file header and file control rows, along with batch header and batch control rows, but no detail rows. It appears that the Accounts Payable team may be, occasionally, running the prenote routine multiple times, or running it when there are no newly added or modified vendors with EFT banking details to populate the prenote file. This seems to be creating the prenote file, with the header and control rows, but no vendor details.

    According to the BoA representative I spoke with, the batch header and control rows indicate that there should be detail rows. Receiving files with batch information but no detail information triggers an exception in the BoA process, and requires them to confirm the file with the submitter. While I appreciate the confirmation step, it defeats the purpose of the automated file transfer. Additionally, the AP department is the ones running the prenote routines, but they do not have access to the files before of after transmission to Bank of America. In order to verify that the 'empty' file was valid, and not some kind of hiccup or technical error, it requires coordination between 2 - 3 teams, and frequently missed deadlines.

    My question is, is there a way to prevent GP from creating a prenote file, if there are no vendor details to populate the file? Alternatively, if we can't suppress the creation of the file, can we configure an 'empty' file to only contain file header and control rows, and no batch header/control rows?

    So far, the suggestions from my internal IT/support team have been: 'only run the prenote process when you know there are new vendors' and 'maybe we could design a process to check the files for content before sending to the bank.' I am hoping there is a more systematic solution to this issue of creating and transmitting "garbage" files.

    For the record, we are currently using Dynamics GP version 18.2.1013

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions,

    ------------------------------
    Jennifer Shipman
    SafeGuard
    Atlanta GA
    ------------------------------
    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


  • 2.  RE: AP ACH Prenote - Preventing empty files

    Posted Jun 29, 2021 07:48 AM
    Jennifer

    So the AP team can generate the pre-note file, but do not have access to the file they generated? GP expects the user to have writable permissions to the file location specified in the Payables options button. This path can be found here

    See default output files shown in the picture below

    Does the bank require you to include a prenote? There is a setting at the checkbook level, that will allow the controller (or whoever has access to checkbook EFT Payables Options) to remove the requirement to prenote, prior to eft file generation as shown

    If you still require a prenote, you will have to start here by building your own format. Make sure this format is used by your AP team, when they prenote.


    You will have to test the new format with the bank first.

    Can you share any bank ACH guides you received from the bank?

    Best

    ------------------------------
    Dynamics GP Credentialed Pro (Install)
    Ven Sharma
    Finance and Admin Systems, Administration
    American Public University System (APUS)
    Charles Town WV
    ------------------------------

    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


  • 3.  RE: AP ACH Prenote - Preventing empty files

    Posted Jun 30, 2021 09:18 AM
    Hi Ven,

    Thanks for your reply.

    We are set up to access GP on remote servers via RDWeb/RemoteApp. I'm not technical enough to know that I have this 100% correct, but I believe either the remote servers or the user profiles accessing those servers have permission to write to a file location, BUT the users do not have access or permission to navigate to that file location outside of GP to open or edit the file. IT tells us its designed this way to maintain the integrity of the files. So, AP team runs the EFT prenote routine in GP, GP writes the file to this location, and then IT has an automated process that runs at a specified time each day, which basically says, if any files exist in this location, transfer them to the bank's FTP location.

    We would prefer to continue to prenote, although the bank does not require it. We have a moderately high incidence of data entry errors, and the prenote process (and associated 'returned item' reports from the bank) allow us to identify and correct some of those errors prior to payment processing.

    Its not that we knowingly run the prenote routine with no new vendors, but in some cases, we're not sure if the routine has already been ran (user forgot, or perhaps another user already did it), or if the changes we made on the vendor card will result in a new prenote (adding additional information to the Bank EFT screen without changing banking details, etc.), so we run the routine just in case.

    When we have vendors with new or changed bank details to prenote, all is well. The problem is that GP seems to generate a file whenever the prenote routine is ran, regardless of whether or not there are any new vendors to include in the prenote file. And IT's automated process does not know if the file generated is 'empty' or if it contains vendor info for validation, so all files get sent to the bank.

    The EFT file format is correct for when we have vendors to prenote; I don't want to change the format UNLESS there's a way to make the change conditional. Ideally, I was hoping someone would have some insight into how to PREVENT GP from creating a prenote file completely, if there were no vendor details to be included in the file.

    Thanks again,

    ------------------------------
    Jennifer Shipman
    SafeGuard
    Atlanta GA
    ------------------------------

    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


  • 4.  RE: AP ACH Prenote - Preventing empty files

    Posted Jun 30, 2021 09:47 AM
    Hi Jennifer

    Will it help if your team is instructed to run a smartlist that would list details of vendors who have not been prenoted before they click on the generate prenote?


    If you have SQL knowledge a simple query to the sy06000 table will give you a list of vendors that have not been prenoted.
    /*Begin query*/
    SELECT VENDORID, BANKNAME,EFTPrenoteDate,EFTTerminationDate,EFTBANKACCT
    FROM sy06000
    where isnull(EFTPrenoteDate,'') = '1900-01-01 00:00:00.000' AND
    INACTIVE = 0 AND
    ISNULL(EFTTERMINATIONDATE, '1900-01-01 00:00:00.000') = '1900-01-01 00:00:00.000'
    /*end query%/

    Anytime a bank detail such as account# or routing # is changed, GP automatically blanks out the prenoted date.


    Here is nice article by MVP Ian Grieve on how this can be easily added to GP smartlists using SL designer (that ships with MS)

    Using SmartList Designer To Create Vendor EFT SmartList – azurecurve

    Good luck​

    ------------------------------
    Dynamics GP Credentialed Pro (Install)
    Ven Sharma
    Finance and Admin Systems, Administration
    American Public University System (APUS)
    Charles Town WV
    ------------------------------

    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


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