Before you begin generating finance charges, you'll need to setup a few defaults in ESC. To do this, head to Company → System Setup → Receivables.
- Minimum Late Charge - The late charge is calculated by multiplying the customer’s Late Charge percentage with the overdue amount. This field can be used to set a minimum late charge that will be applied if the calculated charge is less then the number in this field.
- Minimum Balance to Apply Late Charge - If an amount is entered here, the program will not compute a late charge if the account balance is lower than this number. If the customer’s balance is higher than this number, late charges will be computed.
- Days Delinquent Before Applying Late Charge - An invoice is considered overdue when the current date is greater than the invoice date plus the contents of this field. Click on the down-arrow to select 30, 60 or 90 days.
- Finance Charge Label on Statements - Use this field to set the way the late charge will print on the statement. Popular options include Late Charge, Finance Charge and Penalty Fee.
- Show Paid Invoices on Statement - If this field is checked, then as the customer statements are generated in the Receivables module, all monthly detail will be printed even though invoices may have been paid in full this month. If this field is unchecked, then only unpaid invoices will be shown on the statement.
- Manually Retrieve Customer Balances - Select this option only if it is taking a long time to display receivable balances when integrating with QuickBooks or Sage 50. This will cause a Get Aging Balances button to appear in place of the receivables balances on several screens. This will allow those screens to load faster as ESC will not have to wait for QuickBooks or Sage 50 to return that data. Clicking the button will replace it with the customer's receivables balance - although this will still take a while to display.
- Payment Method for Applying Prepayments - The Credit option selected in this field will be the method that appears when you apply credits and prepayments to an invoice in the Sales Invoicing screen.
In addition to the Receivables defaults, you'll also want to make sure you have a Late Charge Percent assigned to every customer. This is what determines how much of a charge the customer will receive. This can be set to a default amount by going to Company → System Setup → Customer and filling in the Default Late Charge % field. All new customers added to your database will be assigned this same percent.
To change the Late Charge Percent for an individual customer, you'll head to the Customer Center and locate the customer that needs to be updated. Double-click on that customer to open their profile in the Customer screen and then navigate to the General tab. Look for the Late Charge Percent at the bottom of the screen. Update the amount in this field and then Save the customer record.