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Western Union / Elite Interface

Overview

What is the Western Union/Elite Interface?

The Western Union/Elite Interface is a custom program that converts cost information from Western Union Global Business Payments, foreign drafts and wires, into a format that can be uploaded into the Elite Time and Billing System as a "pre-cost". We also have the ability to load the Western Union payment as a Trust transaction, if desired.

What is GlobalPay?

GlobalPay is the system that Western Union Global Business Payments provides to its clients for issuing foreign drafts and wires electronically. Firms who are clients of Western Union Global Business Payments can visit their website at http://globalpay.westernunion.com and download their firm's issued foreign draft or wire information directly from the website. Before using the website for the first time, firms must first obtain a "digital certificate" (login and password) from Western Union. Just contact your Western Union representative for details.

How do GlobalPay and the Western Union/Elite Interface work together?

After firms issue foreign draft or wire information via the Western Union GlobalPay website, they select the menu item "Export Scheduled Payments to Elite" and receive a comma delimited file (.csv file) containing their detailed cost information. The Western Union/Elite Interface program processes the comma delimited file and converts it to a standard Elite format that can be uploaded to Elite via Elite's Pre-Cost Subsystem or as an Elite Trust transaction. The Western Union/Elite Interface is usually customized to meet each firm's specific needs for within Elite.

Is a particular version of Elite required?

No. The Western Union/Elite Interface is available for Elite Character, Elite for Windows and Elite Enterprise.

Note: Elite 3E is currently not supported by us at this time.

What does this cost to implement?

It usually takes 8 - 10 hours to implement the load into pre-cost, depending on the amount of customization and training needed. Please call us to get cost estimates.

From the Western Union Global Business Payments Website

Export Scheduled Payments to Elite

Export Scheduled Payments to Elite

Elite Pre-Cost Screens

The Elite Precost Modify Grid and Precost Tab

The Elite Precost Modify Grid and Precost Tab

The Elite Precost Voucher Tab

The Elite Precost Voucher Tab

Implementation

Elite Cost Codes

When we import a record into Elite Pre-Cost, we need to know the cost code assigned to the cost side of the transaction. There are 3 options:

  1. If the cost code we should use is always the same, then just let us know and we can hard-code it into the program.
  2. If the cost code is not always the same, but there is a business rule we can use, just let us know what the rule is.
  3. If the cost code is not always the same and you can't say in advance what it will be, then we will enable the GlobalPay website to let you manually enter the cost code for each foreign payment when you are setting up a payment.

Elite A/P Expense Account

When we import a record into Elite Pre-Cost, we need to know the A/P expense account to assign to the payables side of the transaction. There are 3 options:

  1. If the expense account we should use is always the same, then just let us know and we can hard-code it into the program.
  2. If the expense account is not always the same, but there is a business rule we can use, just let us know what the rule is. Often, the expense account is related to the cost code or vendor ID, so if we know the cost code or vendor ID, then we would know what expense account we should use.
  3. If the expense account is not always the same and you can't say in advance what it will be, then we will enable the GlobalPay website to let you manually enter the expense account for each foreign payment when you are setting up a payment.

How do we easily identify payments that were paid via Western Union ?

One thing that can be done to make it easier to identify and manage payments via Western Union, is to set up a new “bank” in Elite. To do this, go to - Accounts Payable Manager - AP Setups - Bank Account Maintenance - and add a bank named “Western Union”. Make the Account Information section the same as the real bank account that you are actually paying from. It should look something like this:

Adding a new Bank to Elite

When you tell us what you named the new bank ID, we will make the Western Union upload program create payments that use that bank ID. That way, you can use the bank ID to easily identify checks that were paid via Western Union.

How do we easily identify vendors and vouchers that will be paid via Western Union - without losing track of which vendor was actually paid?

One easy to way identify vendors and vouchers that will be paid via Western Union is to add a “Vendor Address Record”, for vendors that will be paid via Western Union, with a consistent address ID that identifies Western Union vendors. For example, you could designate that all Western Union vendors that have address ID “99” - contain Western Union's name and address. When you tell us which vendor address ID you will be using for Western Union vendors, we will make the Western Union upload program use that vendor address ID. That way, when you do “check selection,” you can easily select only vouchers that have that address ID - and therefore only see payments that are going to be paid via Western Union.

How do we go about paying Western Union?

There are 4 methods to go about paying Western Union.

  1. Pay by paper checks - create one check per vendor per check run.
  2. Pay by electronic disbursement - either "print" the checks to a file - or - print checks on plain paper and file the paper copies with the vendor invoices.
  3. Pay by electronic disbursement - Manually "pay" each voucher as a "manual" check.
  4. Pay by electronic disbursement - When uploading the transaction into precost, have the vouchers in Elite created as "pre-paid" vouchers.

Note for pre-paid vouchers: In order to create pre-paid vouchers, we need to know four things in advance. Those four things are:

  1. The bank ID.
  2. The payment number (like a check number). Note: This number is limited to eight alpha-numeric characters and cannot contain duplicates. One easy option is for us to calculate an incrementing "check number" automatically.
  3. The payment date (like a check date).
  4. The voucher type, usually "IN" for Invoice, "EC" for electronic check, or "MC" for manual check.

So, in order to create pre-paid vouchers, you must be able to tell us how to populate these 4 fields by either hard coding some value, calculating a value using a business rule, or entering it into the GlobalPay website when setting up a payment.

Note for paper checks: How do we indicate the payee?

If you intend to pay Western Union by paper check, then the check must be made out to Western Union. However, you would usually not want to set Western Union up as a vendor, because then you would lose track of who was ultimately paid. Presumably, you want to track foreign payments by the actual vendor being paid, and the fact that you actually paid the US dollars to Western Union is not relevant for management purposes. So the problem is, how do we track payables by the original vendor ID, but actually end up paying Western Union ? There are two simple options here.

  1. Option 1: Simply change the vendor name in Elite from "Vendor Name" - to - "Vendor Name or Western Union Global Business Payments".
  2. Option 2: Set up each vendor that will be paid through Western Union to have a second vendor address record. The second vendor address record will be set to the name and address of Western Union Global Business Payments. It's best if you can designate a vendor address to always point to the Western Union payee. i.e. address # 2 always points to the Western Union payee. If this is not possible, we can search all of the address records for that vendor until we find one containing the name "Western Union" and use that address record.

How would you like the cost narrative and voucher comment to appear?

Some of the fields typically used to populate the cost narrative or voucher comment are:

  • Cost Code description
  • Vendor Name (specify if we should get the vendor name from Elite or the GlobalPay data)
  • The GlobalPay transaction description
  • The GlobalPay confirmation number

Or you can just about add any other field. You can combine, mix and match any of this information to create the cost narrative of your choosing.

The cost narrative effectively has an unlimited size. The voucher comment is limited to 60 characters.

How do I go about flagging vouchers in Elite as paid after Western Union pays the vendor ?

There are lots of ways to flag vouchers as paid. Some are:

  • Just bring up each voucher as desired update the check number, check date and bank account fields.
  • Enter a manual check for each voucher.
  • Just do a regular Elite check run. In check selection, identify the vouchers you want to mark as paid, just like any other check run. When it comes time to print checks, you can select print to SCREEN or FILE and effectively just throw away the output, or, if you prefer, you can print to plain paper and have check stubs on paper for your records.
  • You can download a special "RETURN" file from Western Union. You can run a program that we can supply that will take this file and mark the checks listed in the "RETURN" file as paid. (Let us know if you want to use this option.)

How do I go about posting the Elite Pre-Costs into Accounts Payable vouchers ?

Please use the suggested options outlined below when doing a Pre-Cost Post.

    Posting Pre-Costs into Accounts Payable vouchers

Importing Western Union into Trust

We now have the ability import Western Union payments directly into Elite's Trust subsystem. Let us know if you are interested in this option.

Which Elite server or database do you want us to do our initial testing on?

This can either be a 'training' server (or database) or a 'production' server/database. Since Pre-Cost batches are easily deleted before being 'posted', it is not a problem to test on the production server. We would always prefer to test on the 'training' server/database if one is easily available.

How do we connect to your Elite server?

There are many secure ways for us to connect to your Elite server. Your connection credentials are kept in the strictest confidence and are secure with us. With our reputation, we are trusted by some of the biggest law firms in the U.S. with this information. Each law firm has to determine their own method and policies which allow support of their Elite server. At a very minimum, a RAS dial-up connection is required by Elite according to your support agreement with Elite. Our custom source code is usually stored in the D:/elite/custom/prstech directory on the Elite DB server and deployed to the secondary Elite "app" servers as needed. Some of the other ways we connect are:

  • Microsoft VPN
  • Other vendor custom VPN (Cisco, Watchguard, etc)
  • Citrix or Citrix MetaFrame
  • Client's private VPN
  • Remote Desktop Connection directly to the server
  • PC Anywhere

If none of those options is available, we can always use a tool named NTR Inquiero to connect to someone's desktop or the server. However this usually requires someone to be present at the time of the connection, and if at a desktop, the desktop cannot be used by someone else while we are connected. Although this is very flexible, powerful and secure, using this technique adds significant time and cost to the development process because of the delay involved with every connection. So using one of the other methods is always recommended. Click here to read more about NTR Inquiero security.

How can we get access to the Elite Enterprise Client for testing the Pre-Cost load ?

If the Elite Enterprise Client is not installed on the Elite server, we need a way to access to the Elite Enterprise Client for testing.

What changes do we actually make on your Elite server?

We create an Elite custom Pre-Cost Load. Here are the steps involved.

  • We use the answers to the questions above to write an Elite custom Pre-Cost Load using Elite's native language, EPP (which looks a lot like Informix 4GL).
  • We install the new source code on the Elite App/'PERCS' server used for compiling. The source code would usually reside under D:\elite\custom\prstech.
  • We compile the source code using EPP to create an executable (.exe file)
  • The executable is copied to the Elite 'custom' directory on every Elite App server (usually to D:\elite\custom).
  • We insert one row into the "pcprogram" table in the Elite database on both production and training servers that allows users to access the new program.
  • We test the program and make sure it appears to be working as intended. If this is done on the production server, we delete any Pre-Cost batches that were created.
  • We contact you and run though the program and test it with you.
  • We make any changes and corrections as needed and test it together until it is exactly how you want it.

So what is the next step?

Once you have finalized your business arrangements with Western Union Global Business Payments and PRS Technologies, you will need:

  • Work with your Western Union account manager to build a sample payment order on GlobalPay IP.
  • You will enter invoice data (Amount, Matter #, Vendor #, etc.) on the Plan Future Payment page.
  • The payment transaction data is downloaded as a comma delimited (.csv) file.
  • E-mail this file to PRS Technologies, Inc. along with the answers to the questions above and access info for your Elite server.
  • We will create a custom program and install it on your Elite server (as described above).
  • We will call you when this has been done and it is ready for you test. We will step you through testing the import.

That's all there is to it!

 
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