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How To Setup And Configure Collect!

This page outlines the reference materials available for you to properly setup and configure your Collect! system.

Setup Checklist

When your installation of Collect! was completed, you were navigated to a Help page entitled " Setup Checklist". If you did not print that page out at the time and would like to reference it again, you will find it at this link:

Setup Checklist

The Setup Checklist provides you with a topical overview of the areas in the software that require your input of data or setting of preferences prior to initiating active working within the system.

Each area to be setup can be examined in detail through links from the Setup Checklist Help page.

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Collect! Tutorials

This presentation demonstrates basic functions you will use in normal course daily operations.

When you select the link, the presentation starts immediately.

Play Tutorials.

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Exploring Collect!

Explore the features, create your own experimental scenarios and processes, all without the fear of compromising your live database. This is an area in which we are unique. We provide you with an extra database exclusively for your safe testing of new ideas or procedures that you may wish to try out with complete isolation from your working database.

After you've confirmed in test that the process being attempted meets with expected results, you can reproduce the same in your working database, called masterdb. This may be a Contact Plan, Report or Letter, Control File, Client setup with switch settings you've not used before, etc.

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Starting Off Right

Have you completed all of the necessary preliminary setups so that Collect! has the information it needs to function in the manner that is required for your individual site?

For best results, we cannot stress enough how important it is to ensure your mandatory setup data, system preferences and access privileges are all decided and filled out in the software BEFORE you go live with working accounts and posting payments.

Follow the Setup Checklist to setup Collect! in the proper order (as outlined in the training videos).

Order of operations matters since the settings in one area of Collect! are used by and/or impact many other areas. The following is an example of the order of operations we are referring to:

1. System and Preference Settings

Company Details. This is a very important setup screen as many reports and functions, i.e. credit reporting, rely and use the information stored here.

See the Help page called Company Details.

The personnel who will be functioning as your Systems Administration/IT team need to become familiar with the function and feature preference screens. Combinations of these switch settings will change the behavior of Collect! and it is best to become familiar with these to ensure from cutover, you have your system operating in exactly the manner that is right for your business.

See the Help page and associated links called User's Guide - System Administration.

2. Operator setup, if you use unmanned storage desks, like Admin, Bankruptcy verifications, House etc, these must also be set up prior to their being available for you to transfer accounts onto.

See the Help pages How To Set Up Operators and Access Rights - Default Settings.

3. Reports and Letters. Particular emphasis on your initial collection letters that need to be ready to be inserted on new accounts. The SAMPLE letters which ship with Collect! are NOT intended to be used as is; they are exemplars of how to set letters up.

tip.gif Each licensed site is responsible for ensuring that all correspondence sent to debtors is compliant with the legislation of their region for form and content.

Aesthetics are important. In addition to the various straight text outputs, you do have the ability to have your company logos, other images, pen/line/shapes/boxes, and color added to your reports and letters. These are advanced features of the ad hoc Report Writer. You may wish to embark on these embellishments on your own or contract our Technical Services team to prepare your letter/report layouts for you. To obtain pricing for custom letters/reports, please email support@collect.org with your request, attaching mock-up samples of what you want the document(s) to look like and we will be pleased to provide you with pricing.

See the Help page How To Setup Reports and Letters and Report Writer Topics. These links cover introductory to advanced usage of the Collect! proprietary ad hoc report generator.

4. Rate Plans. Are your clients needing any complex tiered commission plans or are they all flat rates. If tiered rate plans are going to be needed, set them up in advance so that as you data enter your clients, the codes for these are available for streamlined use as you input clients.

See the Help page called Commission Rate Plan Basics and the associated link at the bottom of this page.

5. Pick-lists. Collect! has many drop-down fields which enable you to classify accounts and specific aspects within accounts with categorical designators that can then be harvested in reports for your metrics and analytics. Explore the system taking note of where these are and if more choices in any drop-down are needed, have them inserted and ready to go before you begin the entry of all your data. Key fields you may wish to have this categorical segmenting are in Cosigners, Attachments both for Class and Type designators, as well as debt Type.

warning.gif WARNING: If you are a credit reporting agency, the single pick list that should NOT be modified is the Type field that exists in the uppermost right corner of the Client Setup screen. This one field is the Creditor Classification codes that are acceptable and readable by the credit bureaus when you report accounts. Choices should not be added nor should existing categories be modified as to how they are worded.

See the Help page How To Use Pick Lists.

6. Transaction Types. Have you reviewed them all to ensure that default settings are in keeping with how you want them to function? Some have automated contact plans attached, i.e. Type 105 (NSF). Others are designated to be considered non-payment type transactions which may not be how your company views the same transaction. Most importantly, if you are using payment disbursement hierarchy, have you reviewed the system default as compared to your preference? Specifically, the payment breakdown shipping defaults by which left unchanged, Collect! will disburse payment dollars is first to Fees, followed by Interest, Principal, Legal, Misc, Other. If your preference is any other order of operations, then all you need to do is re-order the fields to your preference for each Financial Type "Payment" transaction code that you will use.

There are also preset designations as to which Transaction Types are omitted from client statements and/or Daily Cash Reports. These as well can be edited to fit your operations model as well by clicking or unclicking checkboxes and radio buttons in the Transaction code settings screen.

See the Help page Transaction Type Basics and the associated links at the bottom of this page.

7. Contact Plans. In Collect!, Contact Plans are your action plan automations. Examples of typical usage are:

  • Insertion of a dunning letter series on new accounts

  • Set the initial account Review for appearance in a collector WIP List

  • Preset manager/auditor reviews

  • Age-out and Close-out criteria

  • Collection phase desk migrations, i.e. Frontline has an account for 45 days. If no payment, send to Tier 2 collector desk.

  • Action/Results codes for collector quick- notes, i.e. Tel Res - No Answer

  • Situational cascade of events, i.e. an NSF plan can post an NSF charge to the balance, update the Status Code, write a noteline for the collector, insert a Review event with an NSF Alert description into the collector's WIP List etc. If you choose to use a Payment Posting Option called "Automatically manage promises when posting", there are 8 separate contact plans that can be triggered by the making or breaking of a promise or payment plan

  • Complex inventory management strategies, i.e. legal accounts, trace accounts

This is just to name a few of the uses. If you can create a flowchart of the events you want to take place and the logical conditions that will trigger one path versus another, you will be able to use Contact Plans (and nested plans) to carry out your strategies.

In getting started with Collect!, the first Contact Plan you will likely use first ships with some events preset for you. Its code is NEW in your "System\ Contact Management Settings\View Contact Plans" menu. This plan needs to be reviewed for each site's initialization preference: the shipping default inserts a Collect! SAMPLE letter series on a predefined schedule, creates a collector WIP List Review event with a 10 day delay from listed date, and updates the status to NEW. You may update/add to/omit from these events and contents to suit your individual site operations.

See the Help page called Contact Plan Topics.

8. Clients need to be set up before Debtors can be input.

See Help pages and associated links called Client Topics and How To Enter A New Debtor.

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Making Changes To Your Settings Later

Collect! is flexible. You can modify settings at a later date as situations change or your preferences need to be modified.

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Getting Help

In addition to detailed Help pages and Member Center training materials, you always have Help sources right at hand.

  1. Context sensitive Help by pressing your F1 key in any screen or specific field on a screen will navigate you directly to our webpage Help system where you will land on the precise spot that describes the feature or function you are interested in.

  2. Automatic Popup Help. All Operator IDs ship with Popup Help Enabled. While using Collect!, it will interpret your mouse pausing or hovering on any area more than a few seconds as a need for help and will popup a blue box window that describes the screen, field or feature that you mouse is poised over. In your early stages of Collect! usage, you may find it particularly educational to leave this feature On.

    There are two ways to turn it Off; temporarily for the current session and permanently (unless desired again to be On). Click the Help menu drop-down and scroll to Disable Popup Help. This will turn the blue box popups off until your next login. To turn it off more permanently, update the Operator's setup screen in the Detail Tab. The switch is called "Disable popup help" and is located in the first bank of checkboxes in the middle of the display.


  3. Click the Help drop-down menu at the top of your screen to see the hyperlinks to the subject specific Help menu. These links will navigate you to the appropriate page on our website.

  4. On the Help page at www.collect.org, you also may input keywords or phrase into the Search bar which will query ALL our Help pages and return a Google list of matches for you to choose from. The search engine will respond to topical words, with or without comma separation, as well as short phrases prefixed with "How to".

  5. Two pages of considerable resource are the Help Contents and Help Index. The Contents page shows you a subject organized layout of the topics available on the website. Essentially the online equivalent of a textbook Table of Contents. The Index page will respond to word searches by alphabet. We have arranged the material so that one topic that may be described in the industry by more than one word, will recognize as many synonyms as we could think of to include. If you have any difficulty finding something and discover it was a covered topic but not searchable by the word you were using to find it, please let someone on our Management Team know so that we can add that context search into our Indexed library in the Help pages.

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How To Cutover To Collect!

This document describes important items to be aware of and to attend to both before, during and after you cutover to Collect!.

This document is in addition to the setup routines described in the Setup Checklist and How to Setup and Configure Collect!. Please set up your system using the aforementioned pages before pursuing the activities described here.

If you are coming to Collect! from another application, and our Conversion and Implementation team has been contracted to convert your data, our first milestone is to obtain your data to create a 'test' conversion for your review. All data as mapped during consults between yourself and our team for intended relocation will be presented to you in a test installation. You will be asked to carefully compare all aspects of the data in the system to verify the accuracy and completeness of the test conversion.

This will most often include a 'test' monthend performed for the last complete billing month PREVIOUS to the 'test' installation you will be reviewing. In addition to general data transported across, you will want to verify statements/checks generated by your previous application to those which were generated in Collect! for system-to-system parity. Once we have your statements generated and verified as accurate for that month, we can show you how to enter your client balance forwards from that remittance cycle OR, if we were contracted to do so, we will input that accounting detail for you, where applicable. This will build your A/R in Collect! on a go forward basis. It is rarely possible to retroactively rebuild receivables history; debtor accounts with their transaction history archived/purged/deleted is but one way that negates company life-to-date accounting as being possible to rebuild from day 1 of operation.

Similarly, historical client financials, performance reports, collector reports, archived inventory not being converted etc. from your previous application will be your responsibility to extract and retain.

Your final cutover will typically be scheduled for a future end of month that occurs chronologically after the date you confirm that the converted data is correct as to form and content as compared to live data in your current system. This will be subject to scheduling with Technical Services and timeline agreements established between yourselves and Comtech in your Purchase or Hosting agreement.

You will be responsible for providing Comtech with data extracted from your existing system at the point in time where ALL information from the last live month on your previous application is concluded. This includes client statements/checks, credit reporting, client reporting, debtor letters (hardcopy or letter service data file), mandatory closeouts and/or other key reporting that you may need to perform for your clients that needs to be completed up to the cutover date.

If you are manually data entering all your own data, we would recommend that for the first month, that you run both systems in parallel with respect to your financials to ensure you have brought everything across that you needed to. Balancing your client statements/checks between your old and new systems will show you, at least in the financials, if you missed or misapplied anything.

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Debtor And Client Information

When you are converting to a new system, it is a good time to clean house.

Are there accounts and clients of such an age and dormant/closed that you'll never need to access them? You may wish to backup such data for storage but not convert it to your new system. We recommend retention of data that is compliant with legislation in your region should you be called upon to produce records by a client or a state/province/federal governing body.

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Entering Pre-Conversion Financials

You will want to ensure that Collect! has the correct values for Original Principal and Interest, and all payments made since assignment so that the correct and current amount Owing will be reached when converted accounts are entered and recalculated. It is also necessary to identify the Interest Rate and Last Interest Date so Collect! has a date to take over charging interest from to keep your balances accurate.

If you are entering Payment Transactions as part of your conversion, the following fields are important:

1. Use the correct Transaction Type codes to reflect your pre-conversion payments.

2. Payment Date - when you received it.

3. Posted Date - when you finalized it in your system. Most often
is the same as the Payment Date. This is a very important date in Collect!. It is the date that will make the payment eligible to be included on a client remittance. When Statements run, they are always looking at Posted Date UNLESS you set a company preference to indicate that your statements would use Payment Date only.

4. Correctly designate whether the payment was "To Us" - Paid to
Agency, OR or "Direct" - Paid to Client. The accounting is different depending on which and thus it is important to correctly distinguish between the two payment methods.

5. The Transaction record includes a field to input the Collector and Sales IDs who are to be given credit for that payment. If these fields are blank for pre-conversion payments, you will not be able to obtain even recent past collector or sales recovery/productivity reports.

6. Commission Rate that was charged.

7. Taxes that were charged, if applicable.

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Notes

Notes can be entered in free form or converted electronically from your source file.

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Statement/Invoices

Statement/ Invoices can be generated ad hoc on whatever your client's remittance schedule requires. The most prevalent being Monthly. During a statement run, the system gathers all the debtor payments/directs, charges, fees, taxes, any payments the client made during the billing cycle and then computes what the clients' due amounts are, OR what amounts the client owes you for the end of that remittance cycle.

The Invoices tab on the client screen stores the Aged Balance Forward accounting and each time statements are generated, the clients' accounting history with your company is updated.

See Client Topics for more details on Remit types and running client Remittances.

You have two choices with a new installation.

  1. Print out your Accounts Receivable from your previous system before converting, then start your statements from the first month you are on Collect!. This will mean all the past history stays with the old system and only new billing cycles will be contained in Collect!. You will either:

    • pursue any pre-cutover client balance forwards separately from Collect! and post them in your General Ledger accounting application ONLY since there will be no offsetting receivables for those amounts in Collect!, OR

    • contract us to input your last complete month's worth of receivables into Collect! for you, OR

    • input the client balance forwards yourself after one of our technicians shows you how to do this data manipulation. Depending on your installation agreement, this small training session may be included or available for a small add-on Timed Services fee.

  2. After converting your old accounts with all transactions, generate statements for every billing cycle in that client's history with your company to rebuild their A/R with your office. Necessary for this to be accurate are complete details for ALL past transactions for ALL debtors ever assigned and ALL client payments/write-offs made towards ANY accounts receivable that took place since you began doing business with this client. We find in practice that it is rarely possible to retroactively recreate a full financial history with a company that has been doing business with their clients over a considerable period of time. This being because ALL of the information necessary to do so is rarely available (and you would need to run 20 years worth of monthends either incrementally or one very long, very computer performance taxing single 20 year period if that's how long you've been doing business with that client).

We recommend one of the flavors of Option #1 above.

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Recalculating Your Totals

To update your system after entering all your clients, debtors, transactions, closures etc., you will need to recalculate all system totals to refresh the tally fields in your clients, debtors and daysheets screens.

As a Collect! go forward operational rule of thumb, you should run a batch Recalc daily to ensure your totals everywhere are up to date. For example, if you have debtor accounts that accrue interest, balances will not automatically add that interest from the last date any was charged until either a person opens that account on their screen or your next batch Recalc which includes debtors is executed.

For a small to medium sized organization, this process will not take more than seconds to a few minutes to complete. As such, this task can be delegated to admin/clerical/inhouse IT personnel to manage as a daily task. Many of our customers prefer end of day or first thing in the morning to ensure outbound letters due to be issued are calculated current to the cent before issuance.

Companies with very large databases may wish to purchase our Scheduler module which would enable you to run this process unattended and off-hours, along with a considerable number of other features which can be redirected from requiring an operator to being an unattended task. Alternatively, those with large databases might also wish to consider purchasing additional user licenses so that staff who are responsible for the running of processes can have multiple sessions of Collect! running concurrently: one for processes and one to do actual hands-on work. Call Administration at 250-391-0466 option 3 for pricing on both add-ons above-mentioned.

See the Help pages called Recalculate Totals and Scheduler.

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How To Enter Your License

When you have purchased Collect! for the first time, have added feature modules, renewed your annual Membership or added more user seat licenses to your system, Comtech Systems will issue you a new License Code by email, fax or phone. This new License Code must be entered to activate your new / updated registration or to activate the changes that you have added.

tip.gif License or verification codes will NOT be provided to anyone who is not on record with us as being an Authorized Contact for your company. This is a security measure for your protection.

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Preparing To Enter Your License

Your License Code must be entered from your Server PC. This is the computer on which your Collect! system is actually resident/installed. This means you should not attempt a licensing from a workstation if you are in a networked environment.

On the first occasion you load your official License, the software will record specific ID info from inside your PC and store it for future comparison. When you receive License renewals or re-issues in the future, the License will look to match information stored from the last time you entered a code. If it cannot verify the machine it is being entered into, the License will be rejected.

tip.gif Make sure to coordinate with our office in advance if you plan to migrate your system onto a new server at any point. Your License will need to be re-issued.

If you receive your License Code by email or fax, it must be entered by the date indicated in the instructions.

Your License Code must be entered in your active working database. To be sure that you are entering your license in the correct location, please sign into Collect! at the Server, using the Desktop icon that was installed when you installed Collect!

To make sure you are signed in to the correct location, using the menu bar at the top of Collect! select Help to display the drop down menu. Select About from this menu. Confirm that the db path: displayed at the bottom of this screen is the location of your active working database.


About Collect!

Examples:

C:\CV11\bin\CV11.exe
You can enter a license.

C:\CV11client\bin\CV11.exe
You cannot enter a license here. This is the Client install.

\\server\CV11\bin\CV11.exe
You cannot enter a license here. You are on a Workstation.

X:\bin\CV11.exe (X: is a mapped drive)
You cannot enter a license here. You are on a Workstation.

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Accessing License Information

The License Code is entered from the License Information screen.

Start Collect! and stop at the Welcome To Collect! screen. Select the button labeled License to open the License Information window. If Collect! opened bypassing the Welcome To Collect! screen, please refer to Help topic, Troubleshooting License.


License Button

You will be at the License Information screen as displayed below.


License Information Screen

The License Information screen displays the details of your software registration. You will return to this information later on to check its accuracy.

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Entering License

1. Get all users out of Collect! and go to the computer with Collect! installed on it (your server). Shut down the Collect! Server (Black DOS Window / RDS Server). Start the CV11 Server back up again, and open Collect!, stopping at the Welcome to Collect! screen.

2. Select the button labeled Enter License. This will display a large box where you will enter your new License Code. The box also displays the system date.


Enter License Code prompt

tip.gif Before entering the License Code, make sure your computer System Date is the same date as the date the License Code is issued for. The date of the email, fax or phone call that contained your License Code must match the date that displays in the prompt. Please see the example above.

3. Carefully enter your EXACT License Code. The easiest way to ensure accurate transport of these codes which can be quite long, is to copy/ paste using Ctrl+C to copy and Ctrl+V to paste. Please watch for the placement of numbers and characters in the License Code. Notice that zeros and O's look very similar. Also, I's are similar to 1's.

4. After checking your completed entry carefully, select OK.

tip.gif After you select OK, you may possibly be notified if there were any errors entering your license. Please refer to Troubleshooting License to find out how to correct the issue. If your code has been accepted, you will proceed to the next step.

5. Company Name
If your License Code has been accepted, you will be presented with a box in which to enter your Company Name. This is required to proceed. The information you enter will be displayed in the License Information screen. Select OK when you are finished.


Enter Company Name prompt

6. Your Name. Next, you will be presented with a box where you will enter your Name. This is required to proceed. It is usually the company owner or contact person. The information you enter will be displayed in the License Information screen. Select OK when you are finished.


Enter Your Name prompt

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Verification Code

When we issue your annual license, you will also require a verification code to complete the licensing process. After you enter your license code successfully, you will be shown a message with your machine ID number. This is a network card or an OEM number. Please phone or email this machine ID number to Comtech Systems and we will give you a verification code to complete entering your license. Enter the verification code exactly and select OK to complete the licensing process. If you enter the verification code incorrectly, select OK and you will be prompted to enter it again.

tip.gif For security purposes, we may also require a verification code in other circumstances, such as unusually frequent requests for a license.

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License Recorded

At this point, Collect! has all this information needed and you will see the License Recorded message.


License Recorded

Select OK to return to the License Information screen.

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Verify License Information

Check that the information entered in the License Information window is accurate. Check that you are licensed for the correct number of users.


License Information form

Review Options.
At this point, it is recommended that you review the options that you are licensed for. To do this, when you are in the License Information screen, select the button labeled Review Options. The Collect! Features window will appear. Please make sure that the options you have purchased are checked.


Collect! Features form

tip.gif If you disagree with any of the information that is registered for you, please call Administration without delay at 250-391-0466 option 3.

Select OK to close the Collect! Features screen. Select OK to close the License Information screen. You can now sign into Collect! to take advantage of any new features or Users you may have requested.

tip.gif You may also load your License with the system up and fully operational PROVIDED you respond NO to shutting down the RDS Server while users are in and using it. It is necessary to ensure that you safely close the RDS Server on your main PC at your end of day when everyone is out and BEFORE midnight the same day to commit the loaded License to the database.

Please contact Administration if you need any assistance or clarification regarding License entry.

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Troubleshooting

If you encountered any difficulties entering your license, please refer to Troubleshooting License.

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See Also

- License Topics

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Was this page helpful? Do you have any comments on this document? Can we make it better? If so how may we improve this page.

Please click this link to send us your comments: helpinfo@collect.org

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