Announcement: New bank explain release

News posted by Pete Jones 4 months ago

We are pleased to announce the formal release of our new AI-powered Bank Explain feature to all Clear Books users.

Thanks to all of our users who provided their feedback on the Bank Explain update previews we have been rolling out over the last few months. This has been invaluable to our development process and has enabled us to incorporate AI capabilities and automation, while keeping our user interface easy to use, for existing users and newcomers to Clear Books alike.

Explain your bank transactions easier and faster than ever, with these new features:

  • New bank accounts page - clearer bank accounts list with statements grouped by account
  • Statement overview - assess statement progress before getting stuck in
  • Undo - made a mistake? Undo any or all explanations with one click!
  • Attachments - upload photos or PDFs of your bills or receipts directly in bank explain!
  • Unallocated payments - explain payments on account and overpayments
  • Invoice and bill matching - smarter suggestions mean fewer clicks
  • AI-powered account code suggestion - faster bank explain means less time doing your bookkeeping
  • Reconciliation of all transaction types - including part-payments, and bank transfers!
  • Focused bank explain form - a simplified view makes it easy to see what matters
  • Import rule improvements - bulk explain is easier now

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For more information about these changes, please see the New Bank Explain Support Guide

10 Replies

I am so fed up with your "new features". When will you stop messing with the layouts and the way things look? Can't you understand your constant "improvements" make it difficult for people to use the software? Bank feeds again look alien and unintuitive. When will this stop? Why is it not possible to introduce the updates without changing the layout?

Yes that's correct. Any unallocated payments and receipts will only affect the trade creditors or trade debtors account and the bank account. No VAT amounts are recorded.

No happy with the new layout. I would echo Irina comments. STOP MAKING INTERFACES LOOK DIFFERENT. I am an accountant and every time you change something its me who has to explain how to do things to clients who are already resistant to doing their own bookkeeping.

You say the change is driven by AI but lots of mass update rules we had set up previously no longer work and it's harder to set up a mass update now , the system does not prompt you like it used to. How can this be better AI?

We also don't like that we cannot easily see unexplained bank import items: they are hidden away within the bank account. Previously they were all listed and this was a good indicator of how much work needed to be done on a job. It was easy to tell client or junior staff member where to go. Now they have to click on the bank account first and it's an extra click and they get confused on where to click. If you have several months worth of unexplained statements you need to know to click on the dropdown on the left to see them month by month rather than the "explain XX items" on the right.

I am no longer able to select 'Trade Creditors' as an account when using the 'Create New Payment' option when using this new page, it's just vanished from the drop-down list. It has worked fine for years but it seems to have just stopped working. I decided to add this feedback here rather than create a new ticket, as I believe my issue relates to the introduction of this functionality.

I'm happy with this new layout and functionality, but would suggest you perhaps add some further navigation buttons to this page so you can more easily navigate between bank statement months.

Hi Graham

Thanks very much for your positive feedback on the new layout and functionality, and also the suggestion of navigation between statements. This is a great concept and will be considered for future updates.

With regard to the trade creditors account code no longer being available, the new bank explain page has a 'Save as unallocated payment' button which will post the payment to the selected supplier account, to be allocated later. This is all you need to do to record any payments on account, over payments etc. Trade creditors will be updated automatically when unallocated payments are recorded.

You can also partially allocate a payment, and/or create a new payment for part of the bank transaction amount, and use the same button to save the remaining amount as an unallocated balance against the selected contact.

For bank receipts, there is a 'Save as unallocated receipt' button which does exactly the same for the selected customer account.

Hi Peter

Many thanks for the help here, I did see the 'unallocated payment' button but was not certain if this fed through automatically to the Trade Creditors account. I assume this feature also takes care of the VAT treatment automatically?

Can you add an option so you apply a bank payment to a foreign currency invoice and it automatically writes off any Fx difference.

E.g. if i have a USD invoice for €9, when i auto post this it calculates the GBP at 7.10. Then when the payment appears on my bank, the GBP value is actually 7.15. I have to create a dummy invoice for the difference which is really long winded.

Especially with the explosion of online software subscriptions, so many of them are in USD and this is really frustrating and time consuming that Clearbooks doesnt accommodate this.

Hi Claire. Thank you for this suggestion. We will look into how we could accommodate this when explaining bank transactions.

In the meantime, rather than manually creating a dummy bill, if the bank payment is less than the bill GBP amount, you can allocate the full amount of the payment to the bill and then when viewing the bill, you can use the 'FX' option to write off the balance remaining as a forex movement.

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Where the bank payment is less than the bill GBP amount, you can allocate part of the bank payment amount to the bill, and post the remaining amount as a new payment coded to the 'Forex movement' account code.

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PS also the payment on account button is far too prominent. It gets clicked on instead of the "save" button. Can you move it over to the right. ?

Hi Jane

Thanks very much for your feedback.

With regard to some bank import rules no longer working, this should not be the case at all. Please contact support with any specific examples you have and we will investigate those immediately and resolve any issues found.

Import rules continue to be automatically created by the system, but the option to modify new import rules can be toggled on via the ‘Customise import rule creation’ feature toggle.

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You will then have the option to modify the rule before it is created.

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Note: The new import rule page will now be pre-populated with the transaction type, contact, account code, project, payment method, VAT treatment and VAT rate from the current transaction settings.

Please refer to the support guide here for more information: https://support.clearbooks.co.uk/support/solutions/articles/33000287897-new-bank-explain-tool.

Thank you for bringing the accidental usage of the payments on account button to our attention. This is really useful. We will look into possible relocation of this button or other ways of reducing its unintended usage.

You can view the full list of bank statements that contain unexplained items from either the notification at the top of the Bank accounts widget on the dashboard,

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or the ‘All unexplained statements’ button at the top of the bank accounts page,

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or the ‘All bank statements’ menu option from the Money | Bank statements navigation menu.

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Given the range of new feature requests received for bank explain, the number of issues identified in the legacy UI by usability testing, and its inconsistency with the rest of the application, we made the decision to build a new user interface rather than attempt to fit new features into, and slowly fix up the old interface.

We recognised that many users are familiar with the legacy page and that they would need to adapt to the new UI. With this in mind, we made it available to toggle on and off for a period of 6 months in order that users could try it out and provide their feedback, with the option of reverting to the legacy page if required. This feedback has been incorporated into the updates that we have been rolling out periodically over that time period. And as always, we continue to roll out incremental improvements based on user responses.

Thanks again,

Pete

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