Quick User's Guide
Posted by Linda, Last modified by on 24 January 2007 11:37 PM
Welcome to Collect! Version 11. With Collect!, all tasks you perform for collections will be easier and faster, and what you've always wanted to do is now possible.
This Quick User's Guide introduces you to Collect! and gets you up and running quickly. It shows you how to do the most common tasks, provides you with tips, and points you to some of the powerful and exciting new features that com with Collect!.
If you want to explore Collect! in more depth or learn about some of the more technical aspects of Collect!, the final topic in this section, "Where to Find the Information You Need," points you to other sources of information.
BENEFITS OF USING COLLECT!
WHAT'S IN COLLECT!?
Collect! Version 11 offers many new, exciting features in addition to improvements to many features you may be familiar with from earlier versions of Collect!. This section mentions just a few of these features. For a complete listing, look up "What's New" from the Help menu.
SETTING UP COLLECT!
It's easy to set up Collect!.
TO INSTALL COLLECT!
Setup prompts you to choose the type of installation you want. If you are unsure, choose the default selection Collect! selects for you. The options are:
*** TIP: For a LAN network, simply create a shortcut on each workstation that points to the Server's cv11\bin\cv11.exe. Check the Help topic Network Setup for more detailed information.
***NOTE: Step by step setup - Before using Collect! on a network or in your business, check the online help, specifically "Network Setup" and "Setup Checklist" available from the Search option in the Help menu.
STARTING AND QUITTING COLLECT!
TO START COLLECT!
1. Select START and then select Programs.
Double-click on the CV11 icon installed to your desktop.
TO QUIT COLLECT!
To exit form Collect!, hold down the ALT key and press F4 (ALT+F4) or select Exit from the File menu or click the X in the upper right corner of your Collect! screen.
OF KEYBOARDS, MICE AND MENUS
You can control Collect! with your keyboard and your mouse. Use the keyboard's arrow keys or click your mouse to choose something on the screen.
The keyboard has normal typewriter keys, special keys for cursor movements, and function keys. For a description of the keys Collect! responds to, press the ALT key and press H to display the Help menu. Then use the arrow keys to move to the keyboard help options and press ENTER.
MENUS, PICK LISTS AND POP-UP FORMS
Wherever you are, Collect! gives you choices. This may be a pull-down menu of commands from the top menu bar, lists that pop up when you click on a field, or switches you can click on and off. When you open a menu or form, it overlays any existing forms you have open. When you close the menu or form, you see the form that was behind it.
WHERE TO FIND THE INFORMATION YOU NEED
Help is the primary source of information about Collect!. You can find common items in the Help menu, and a complete index with the Search option. You do need an internet browser installed on your system to access the Help files. The Help section is comprised of user friendly HTML files and includes handy links to related topics for your ease of use.
HELP ON A SPECIFIC ITEM
Help is always available in Collect!. When you press F1, a help screen is displayed which describes to field, dialog or menu you are on. Additional links in the topic may be selected to view related information.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If you have a question, you should first try this section of the Help system. These help items are available at any time from the Help pull-down menu.
This section of the Help system walks you through specific tasks. These help items are available at any time from the Help pull-down menu.
VIA THE INTERNET
OPENING A COLLECT! DATABASE
Collect! installs a Demonstration database, a Master database and a Client Prospecting database. The Master database is empty for entering your own clients and debtors, while the Demonstration database contains a small number of clients and debtors to be used while checking out the system or trying new ideas. The Prospecting database is empty and is intended to be used for sales and marketing functions.
Collect! uses a multi-level security system with password protection to control access to Collect!. When first installed, Collect! has a small set of user IDs and passwords. The Demonstration database defaults to user ID and password of OWN. First time users can just select the icon for the CV11 Demo to open Collect!.
*** TIP: To access the security system, select System from the top menu bar, select Rights and then select Operators. These choices are available after you have signed on to a database. Each user is assigned an ID code, a password and a level. You have complete control over which user levels have access to different parts of the system. You may control access for Read/Write, Read Only or No Access for dialogs, menus and fields.
THE MAIN MENU
The Main Menu shows your sign on ID, the database you opened and the operations that Collect! supports, organized into groups of functions typically performed.
WORK IN PROGRESS loads your contact schedule and displays the results. From here you make phone calls, review accounts, enter notes, check promises and schedule future contacts.
DAILY ADMINISTRATION creates new clients and debtors, records payments and charges to debtor accounts, records payments from clients, prints letter batches and controls other batch processes.
MONTH END generates month-end statements and invoices, prints statements to clients and summary reports of payables and receivables.
SYSTEM ADMINISTRATION accesses database maintenance functions and all system setup options.
REPORTS prints some of the system's more commonly used management reports.
TUTORIALS takes you to a demonstration of basic functions and features in Collect!.
ENTERING NEW BUSINESS
New business includes creation of new client and debtor records. This section describes how to create new client and debtor records in Collect!.
TO ENTER A NEW CLIENT
1. From the Main Menu, choose Daily Administration, pick New Business and then choose Clients. 2. When the Client list is displayed, press F3 or click NEW to create a new client record.
*** TIP: The totals displayed on this dialog are calculated automatically by Collect! and you cannot manually change them. To update the information, select the RECALC button. All totals are derived from the debtor records attached to this client.
For help press F1.
ENTERING NEW DEBTORS
The Debtor form contains the details of each debtor, including amounts owing, interest accrued and other pertinent information. Additional information can be stored in the detail forms accessed from the various buttons and fields on this form.
TO ENTER A NEW DEBTOR
1. From the Main Menu, choose Daily Administration, pick New Business and then choose Debtors.
To complete the Debtor form
*** TIP: Collect! automatically checks for matching debtors, and displays a list for you to pick from if it's appropriate. To copy information into new debtors and group debtors together, click OK in the list.
PRINTING NEW BUSINESS REPORTS
After entering new debtors and clients, you can print relevant reports and letters.
*** TIP: When you print a report, Collect! displays default date sets. You may modify the date range to suit your needs by highlighting the From field, pressing F2 and selecting the start date range you wish to use from the calendar. Follow the same procedure to select your end date.
QUICKLY FINDING YOUR WAY AROUND You can quickly find records when any list is displayed, as Collect! automatically begins the search when you type. The Status bar reads Browsing or Selecting while completing your search.
SEARCHING ANY LIST
Just start typing and Collect! searches the current list to find what you typed. When a list is first displayed, your cursor is located in the first column of the top row. In the example above, you would type B to display debtors starting with a B. Type BE to find debtors starting with BE.
SEARCHING IN MORE DETAILS
In the example list above, if you want to search by File Number, you'd just press Tab until your cursor is on the File column and then type the File Number to find the debtor. To search on any field, use the Tab and Shift+Tab keys to move your cursor to the desired column and then just type what you're looking for.
Press F6 to set search criteria on one or more fields. Only those records matching your search criteria are listed.
POSTING PAYMENTS AND CHARGES
This section describes financial management for:
DEBTOR PAYMENTS AND CHARGES
To record debtor payments and charges in Collect!, we use the Transaction dialog.
POSTING WITH THE TRANSACTION DIALOG
The Transaction dialog gives great control over individual transactions.
Select Browse from the top menu bar, choose All Debtors and click on a debtor. Select the FINANCE button in the Debtor form.
*** TIP: Debits or fees charged to the debtor are posted as a negative amount. Fees to clients are posted by leaving the To Us and Direct blank and posting the fee in the Commission field.
PRINTING THE DAILY CASH REPORT
To print a summary of the transactions posted, choose the Print Daily Cash Report option in the Payments and Charges Menu or pull down the Print menu and choose Daily Reports and pick Daily Cash Report.
CREATING CLIENT STATEMENTS After posting payments from debtors, you periodically send statements to your clients. Collect! turns month end activities into a very simple process.
TO GENERATE CLIENT STATEMENTS
1. From the Main Menu, choose Month End and select Generate Statements. By default statements are calculated from the first day of the month to the last day of the month.
*** NOTE: The statements are dated the first of the next month, to ensure all payments and transactions up to midnight of the last day are included. For example, if you generate statements for February, the statements are dated March 1st.
TO PRINT STATEMENTS AND OTHER FINANCIAL REPORTS
1. Open the Print menu.
1. From the Main Menu, choose Month End.
*** NOTE: You can also choose the Receivables and Payables reports for a quick summary of the month's financial results.
POSTING CLIENT PAYMENTS
Client payments are made based on the total amount owing displayed on the statement you have sent them.
TO POST CLIENT PAYMENTS RECEIVED
1. From the Main Menu, choose Daily Administration, then Payments and Charges and then choose Client Payments and Charges.
If you need help, press F1.
Collect! assumes you have paid any money you owe your client. Therefore, you do not need to post checks you send to your clients.
To print a summary of the payments posted, choose the Print Daily Cash Report option and fill in the desired date range.
BEYOND THE BASICS
Now that you've learned the basics, use this chapter to explore other ways Collect! simplifies managing contacts, creating and using simple or sophisticated contact plans, printing batch letters and running other batch operations.
The debtor you entered earlier requires letters to be sent, telephone calls to be made, promises of payments recorded and other functions performed in order to effectively manage the account. Collect! automates account processing and contact management with an expert agent program that can route accounts according to action due, based on any rules you establish.
Contact plans are templates of activities scheduled to occur at specific time intervals and under specific conditions. They can include letters to be printed in your daily letter batches, phone calls made to debtors or clients, file routing and review activities, notes written to the debtor files and many other functions. Contact plans can also schedule other contact plans to be run at future dates or if certain other events occur.
TO REVIEW AND EDIT CONTACT PLANS
1. Select System from the top menu bar, then choose Contact Management Settings, Contact Plans.
The Contact Plan list is displayed as shown. Click on the first plan in the list to open the Contact Plan form. The following form is displayed.
*** TIP: You can also combine a predictive dialer with the contact management in the Collect! system for high-volume phone calling. Press Alt+H to pull down the Help menu, choose Search and look in the P section for "Predictive Dialer" for instructions.
THE CONTACT PLAN
The NEW contact plan template is used when assigning new business. It schedules a Letter for batch printing, a Note is written to the debtor's notes, and a Review of the file is scheduled for 14 days from the day the plan is used.
Each contact plan has one or more events. Each event in the plan can have a number of options. To open the events in the contact plan, press F5.
You can create your own contact plans or edit the existing ones. Review the contact plans in Collect!, and press F1 for more information.
Each event in a plan schedules something on a specific date. For example, you might schedule a Letter for today's print batch and another Letter in 7 days and then a Review of the file in 14 days by a specific operator. This and much more is available with contact planning.
You can have Collect! make decisions for you. Events can be scheduled conditionally. For example, you may want to assign an account to an operator if the balance is above $500, send a letter if the balance is between $50 and $500, and if the balance is below $50, close the account. You can build sophisticated contact plans to save clerical and collector time.
Later on, we'll see how we can combine the contact management functions of Collect! with batch processing to give you a powerful system that can process thousands of accounts per hour for you quickly, automatically and reliably.
APPLYING A CONTACT PLAN TO A DEBTOR
When you apply a contact plan to a debtor, contacts are scheduled, notes may be written, and a number of other operations are automatically performed for you.
TO INVOKE A CONTACT PLAN
1.Select Browse from the top menu bar and choose Active Debtors. Click on a debtor to open the Debtor form.
When a contact plan is run, the events in the plan are either immediately implemented or a contact is scheduled to occur in the future. Immediate events can include changing the debtor's Status, writing Notes to the debtor, or changing the debtor's Mode from active to closed.
Contacts scheduled for later may appear in your WIP list for your manual control, but some contacts can also be handled entirely automatically by Collect!. These include letters scheduled for batch printing, status changes, account activation and closing, invoking other contact plans and a number of other operations.
*** TIP:Select Tools from the top menu bar and choose Batch Processing to run contact plans on many accounts in a batch. Batch processing can actually process thousands of accounts per hour, so consider this option if you have large amounts of data to process.
MANAGING WORK IN PROGRESS
When you apply contact plans to debtors, contacts are scheduled for dates in the future. Collect! offers an easy and comprehensive way to display and work the pending contacts.
TO DISPLAY YOUR WORK IN PROGRESS
1. Select Work In Progress in the Main Menu.
Collect! searches the database and displays scheduled contacts in the To Do List. You can choose which types of contacts are shown in the list, assign contact priority and a number of other factors to give you flexible control over how your work is done. The display shows contacts for the ID you signed on with.
*** TIP: Select the RELOAD button to load contacts for different IDs, or contacts for a specific client, or to refresh the display. You can select other options with Reload, too.
The WIP List is accessible to view, but it cannot be manually updated. The WIP List can only be updated by working the account through the Debtor screen or with Batch operations from the Tools menu.
From your WIP List, press Enter to open a contact. The debtor associated with the contact is displayed and you can edit the information, write notes, print letters or perform other actions.
If the contact type is Phone, the Dial Phone dialog box displays.
Once you dial the number, the Dial Phone dialog box disappears and you can edit as described above.
*** TIP: If you don't use the auto dialer, select WIP Options from the Reload Work In Progress List screen and switch OFF Automatically Display Dialer by removing the check mark.
You can also invoke another contact plan by clicking the ACTION button. For example, if you dial the phone number and there is no answer, you could invoke the contact plan 1 called "Tel Res N/A". The "Telephone Residence No Answer" plan writes a note and schedules another call, prompting you for the date and time of the next call attempt. The note includes the current date and time, the debtor's status, and your user ID. This is just one example of how contact plans can be used to minimize your typing and keep your work organized and efficient.
When you select the debtor's CONTACTS button, the contacts scheduled for the debtor are displayed in a list. The contact you selected in your WIP List is highlighted.
Note that when you work an account in this way, the debtor's Worked date is set to today's date. If someone else looks at the account today, they'll see the Worked date in red.
PRINTING AD HOC LETTERS AND REPORTS
The Print menu is available from almost anywhere in Collect. The report system in Collect! is context sensitive. This means when you are browsing client records and choose to print a report or letter, only those reports that apply to clients will be shown for you to choose from.
To open the Print menu, press ALT+P..
You can print anything you see on the screen by opening the Print menu, and then selecting the Quick Print option. Experiment with this command in both forms and lists. You can send reports to a printer, the screen, or to a file for later processing with other software on your computer.
REPORTS AND LETTERS
You can use the Print menu, Reports Letters option to display a list of reports.
This list changes as you move around the Collect! system, since some reports which are relevant to where you are in the system, can only be printed from certain locations. For example, debtor letters and notices will only appear in the list when the Debtor dialog is open. Similarly, client reports can usually only be printed when you are on a Client dialog.
*** TIP : Reporting from Collect! is flexible, fast and powerful. You can send your output to a printer, but you can also create reports to send output to any spreadsheet, including Microsoft Excel or any other software system. Check the list of available print destinations when printing a letter or report.
PRINTING LETTERS AND NOTICES
To print a letter:
1. Select the PRINT button on the Debtor dialog.
EDITING A LETTER BEFORE PRINTING
You can edit a letter before printing, thanks to the screen editor in Collect!.
To edit a letter:
1. Select "Screen" as the Destination on the Print dialog.
Collect! automatically writes a note, stores the letter in your database and records the letter in the debtor's contact list. You can edit and print the letter at any later time by selecting the letter in the debtor's contact list.
TROUBLESHOOTING PRINTING PROBLEMS
If you have trouble printing in Collect!, select the SETUP button in the Print dialog. You can also print the Printer Test report to help troubleshoot the problem. The Printer Test checks the capabilities of your printer. For more information, see "Print" in the Help Index.
PRINTING BATCH LETTERS
When a letter is scheduled for printing by a contact plan, it is placed in the letter batch for the day. At the end of the day, or periodically throughout the day, the letter batches can be printed.
To print batch letters:
1. Select Print from the top menu bar.
1. From the Main Menu, choose Daily Administration.
After the letters have been printed, you will be asked to "Mark this letter batch completed". If printing was successful, choose "Yes" and each letter contact will be marked as done, and the time and date of printing is recorded in the contact record for each debtor. If for some reason printing was not successful, choose "No" and the letters will not be marked completed. Once the problem is corrected, another print batch can be run.
*** TIP: To save time and money, you can send your batch letters to a Letter Service Bureau for printing.
Press Alt+H to pull down the Help menu, choose Search and look in the L section for Letter Service for instructions.
Credit reporting is a two-step process. First you mark the accounts you want reported, and then you create file to send to the credit bureau.
TO PREPARE AN ACCOUNT FOR CREDIT REPORTING
1. Open a Debtor form.
To enable credit reporting on an account, select the CBR tab on the Debtor form. Fill in the dialog that displays and choose OK to save the credit reporting details.
TO REPORT TO CREDIT BUREAUS
1. Select Tools from the top menu bar.
*** NOTE: You will need to communicate with your credit bureau representatives to establish your company's credit reporting codes.
ACCOUNT MATCHING AND GROUPING
Accounts can be grouped together automatically and manually, and can optionally share information so that when you make a change in one account the change also appears in other accounts in the group.
Account matching is the process of automatically identifying existing accounts that have a value matching the one entered in a new debtor. When a matching account is found, Collect! prompts, asking you to copy information from that account to the new account and to group the new account together with the existing account.
Account groups are sets of accounts joined together. Typically, the groups are formed as new accounts are entered, but you can also group accounts manually. Use the Tools menu, Utilities, Group Account option to group accounts.
When you are on any member of a group, you have instant access to other members of the group, plus a summary of all accounts in the group.
Each member of a group can be set up to optionally share information with other members of the group, or to keep its data entirely separate. Group members can also share a Worked date, depending on how you set up the account matching options described below.
ACCOUNT MATCHING SETUP
So far we've looked at basic uses of Collect!, but there is much more power and flexibility in the system.
Below is a list of items covered in the following section. Each topic is described in greater detail below.
Other items you may find of interest are briefly described here:
PROCESSING BATCHES OF ACCOUNTS
Collect! offers extremely fast, flexible and powerful ways of managing large numbers of accounts quickly and reliably. With Batch Processing you can assign and reassign accounts to different operators, run contact plans on batches of accounts, run automated rule-based account management, and assign credit reporting information to batches of accounts.
The following procedures are located in the Tools menu. You can also use the Daily Administration menu to perform these tasks.
TO PROCESS BATCHES OF ACCOUNTS
1. Select Tools from the top menu bar.
1. From the Main Menu, choose Daily Administration.
The Batch Processing dialog is displayed when you pick the command. Here you can perform fast, powerful batch operations to process thousands of accounts per hour.
The contacts described so far are handled by you in the WIP List, but many contacts don't need your intervention. These include printing batch letters (described above), changing debtor status and mode, scheduling other contact plans and much more, as described in the Help on Contact Plans.
MACROS AND AUTOMATION
Macros work like a tape recorder. However, instead of recording sounds they record your keystrokes and mouse activities. When you play back a macro, the recorded keystrokes and mouse clicks are automatically repeated in the same order in which you recorded them. Macros save effort and time. You can use macros to perform any complicated or repetitive task quickly.
For example, you could:
TO RECORD A MACRO
Press F11 and choose Record Macro from the menu. The word RECORD appears in the upper right corner of your screen.
TO PLAY BACK A MACRO
Press F11 and choose Execute Macro.
*** TIP: Collect! can run a macro automatically when it starts. Use this feature to perform automatic unattended operations at specific times. For more information, look for Macro Menu in the help topics.
DESIGNING LETTERS AND REPORTS
You can design your own reports and letters to print virtually anything you see in Collect! Many of the existing reports and all the letters are built using the report system.
TO EDIT REPORTS AND LETTERS
1. Open the Print menu.
Reports can print any database information, can print totals or any number of lists, and can use all the power of the Query System to search the database for specific data.
*** TIP: Please print and read the help in the Report Definition dialog and when editing the report body. Press F1. Instructions are included there, covering all the detailed aspects of designing and printing reports.
To add a field code, date, page break or formatting code, place your cursor where you want the item to display or occur and press F2. Mark the item you wish to use and press NEXT. You may pick the item you wish to use from the list which appears.
Collect! searches and groups records by almost any criteria. For example, Collect! will display all debtors with a given status or all contacts on a certain date or, it will list all clients with less than 10 accounts, and whose listings total less that $10,000. Once you have entered your selection criteria and reduced the list, you can print reports on just the selected records.
Here is an example:
TO START A DATABASE SEARCH
1. Press F6 to display the Edit Search Criteria form.
*** TIP: When a query is active, the S status indicator is displayed at the bottom of the screen. Note that queries can be built in any list, and as soon as any query is active the S displays.
TO CLEAR A DATABASE SEARCH
1. Select Edit from the top menu bar.
*** TIP: To view all information in your database, you must first clear search criteria after a search.
The Import/Export program built into Collect! is a flexible program which supports file transfers between Collect! and other computer systems.
You can use the import/export system to:
Before you can import or export information, you must tell Collect! what data is being imported and where to load it into the Collect! database. You can import clients, debtors, financial transactions, notes and contact histories.
TO SPECIFY A FILE FORMAT FOR IMPORTING OR EXPORTING
1. Select File from the top menu bar and choose Import/Export.
When defining a file format, you set up basics such as a description for the format and the name of the file to import, plus what record type you are importing. For each record type you import, you need to specify what fields in Collect! are loaded with the imported data. Import stores file formats automatically, making them quickly available to recall for later use.
TO IMPORT OR EXPORT A FILE
1. Select File from the top menu bar and choose Import/Export.
Import can be set up to ignore duplicate records based on almost any criteria, and intelligently handles updating your database with only the most current information. Import supports Fixed Length and Comma-separated Value (CSV) files, numerous date formats, allows you to apply multiplication factors for numeric fields, and has many more features to provide an extremely flexible system. Import loads data into your Collect! database quickly and accurately.
You can also make Import automatically schedule reviews and letters, calculate interest, set status and collector codes automatically, and enter commission and interest rates and predefined charges for records as they load.
*** TIP: Definitions of field types and sizes are available from the Import menu Field Definitions option. Be sure to read the online help available in each dialog of the import/export system.
ADDING OR CHANGING PICK LISTS
Pick lists give you a list of choices to pick from when you enter data into a field. When you pick an item in the list, it is entered into the system as if you had typed it. You can assign pick lists to virtually any field on any form.
TO ADD OR CHANGE A PICK LIST
1. Click the field you want to edit.
*** TIP: To get even more flexibility from your pick lists, add a blank item that you can type information into. In the list add the item " ". Be sure to put a space between the quotation marks.
CHANGING FIELD LABELS
You can change the text displayed on forms. For example, you might want to change the field called 'POE' to read 'Work'.
TO CHANGE FIELD LABELS
1. Click the field you want to edit.
We hope this guide has been helpful. Of course, Collect! can do a great deal more for you. Available options include a Windows report writer, an ODBC gateway and performance-enhancing utilities. Please don't hesitate to ask us about utility programs for Collect!.
For help on setting up Collect! to suit your company, search for the Help topic "Setup Checklist."
You can use Collect! on virtually any PC network. We support all networks running NetBios, NetBeui, IPX/SPX and a number of other protocols. Search Help for "Network Setup" for setup instructions.
We appreciate any feedback you may have which will help us make Collect! the best collection management software in the world. Please send us any ideas or suggestions you have about this product or manual.