The bill payment process allows you to set up batch payments within Farm Focus. You select the invoice you want to pay, create a batch payment specifying a payment date. Farm Focus then calculates the batch payment total, and the impact that has on your bank balance so that you can see if you will exceed your OD after paying these invoices. You can download or print the batch payment so it can be authorised, if required, then export the batch payment to your on-line banking. The invoices within the payment are identified on your Needs Action screen with a batch number to allow efficient matching to the bank transaction.
Learn how to implement this process.
Create a New Batch:
First in the Needs Action page check the invoices you want to pay are correct. Is the invoice amount and Other Party correct?
Go to the Bill payments page. Select the Bill Payments tab in the Actuals page.
Check the correct bank account is selected. It will be displayed on the top left hand corner.
The Bill Payment screen will show a list of your Invoices in order of their due date.
Select the invoices you want paid.
If the invoice has a green icon, you will not be able to select that invoice. Click the icon and follow the instructions. Refer to Troubleshooting section of this resource.
If you need to amend any details in the invoice. Click on the 3 dots and select View invoice. You can edit the invoice directly from the Bill Payments page. This will save and update the information for your Needs Action screen as well.
Once you are happy with your selection, Click to Create new batch, and choose the date you want these invoices to be paid.
If required you can print the batch payment, before it is exported, so it can be authorised by someone else.
Select Export batch file. The batch is now downloaded for you to upload to your Online Banking. The invoices selected will have a Batch number issued to each of them.
Overview of the batch payment
(1) Drop down arrow allows you to view all the invoices in the batch. Use this to check the batch contains the correct invoices.
(2) Remove. This allows you to remove the entire batch if it is wrong or you no longer want to export it. Refer to Troubleshooting section of this resource.
(3) Export batch file. Click this to create the batch file to upload to your bank.
(4) Print. This allows you to print the batch payment. Use this to seek authorisation for the payment or for your records.
(5) Bank balance after completion of the payment of this batch. Use this to check your OD is sufficient to pay for these invoices
(6) Batch payment total.
Upload or import the batch file into your bank account
Log in to your online banking. Do you have permission to do batch payments?
Retrieve the batch file from where it has been saved or downloaded.
Import this file into your online banking and check that it is the correct bank account.
Action payment at the bank. All banks use a slightly different process. Instructions for batch payments can be found on your bank’s Help centre or seek advice from your bank manager.
The transaction will show in Farm Focus the next day, assuming you have Bank Feeds set up.
In order to use the Bill Payments function you will need to add a bank account against your contact. Go to Settings > Contacts. Your invoice number will export as the reference on your bank payment, but you will need to enter the Code and Particulars against the contact.
You can copy and paste the bank account number directly from the invoice into your contacts. This saves time and ensures the bank account number is correct.
You get the option to select Merge payments with same Other Party. This can be found next to the bank account number on the top of the page. This means if you have more than one invoice with the same company by selecting this Farm Focus will combine all the invoices in the batch into one payment. So that you pay the statement amount, rather than multiple separate invoices.
The invoices selected will have a Batch number issued. This Batch number will also be shown in your Needs Action and Matching page. This makes the matching process very simple and ensures you know which invoices have been selected for batch payment.
For Bill Payments to work, you need to ensure the invoices 'Other Party' is the same as what you have saved in the contact list. If the name picked up by the invoice scanner is not exactly the same as the name saved in your contact list then it won’t recognise it. For example: If the Invoice scanner picks up Limited but your contact list says LTD or Ltd. It needs to be exactly the same including spaces, so that you do not pay the wrong party. You know if a connection has been made as the Other Party will be bold. Note - if it is not bold you can click on the Other Party to make it bold.
If you have Direct Debits set up with some providers, we suggest you do not include their bank account details in the contact list. This avoids potential double payment.
Remove an invoice from a batch
You can remove an invoice from a batch before you export the batch file. Go to the three dots and select Remove from batch.
You can also remove an invoice from an exported batch file, Ensure that you also remove this invoice when you upload your online banking payments.
Create Multiple Batches
You can create multiple batches with different payment dates, and see your predicted bank balance after each batch payment.
Cancel a Batch
You can remove the entire batch and cancel the batch payment completely. This can be for draft and exported batches. By selecting this option, it will transfer the invoices back into the main list.
Re-Export a batch
If you have exported a batch and the file is downloaded, you will be able to retrieve that file from your Downloads folder on your computer. If this file is missing or you can not find it and you need to create a new file, you will have to cancel the batch (see above) and re-create the batch again. This will issue a new batch number.
It is recommended that you create a batch as a draft and do not click the export button until you are ready to action the download of the file for your bank payments.
What happens if I get a green icon
This highlights an error and provides hints as to why you may not be able to add this invoice to a bill payment file.
Follow the instructions. Usually it is around the contact information not being complete.
There are several printing options available in the Bill Payments page. You can print a list of the entire page, print only a draft batch, or print only an exported batch. These are helpful if you need to send a list of the invoices to another party for authorisation.
What if my payments aren't available to select
Check that the correct bank account is selected within the Invoice that matches the Bank account you have selected in your Bill Payments screen.