Decision Support

ContracERP is an excellent tool in decision-making support. There are various tools and reports that can be used to analyze data. Click on the links below for details of each feature:

Initiating a Contract

When initiating a contract, a trader generally looks for the following:

  • Trading Position
  • Forward Position
  • Status of previous contracts with the Party
  • Payment dues of the Party
  • Previous issues, claims, etc. with the Party

ContracERP provides the Trading and Forward position reports to determine the status of the Contract. These reports can be filtered to limit the output to a single commodity or commodity group. The drill-down feature in these reports allow the trader to delve into details down to the “Contract Detail” level, where the contract itself and its associated entries like deliveries, etc. are shown.

The Buyer drill-down and Seller drill-down reports available from the ‘Trading’ menu can be used to list all the Contracts of a specific party. Drill-down from the contract shows deliveries, allocations and invoices. A summary of the position is also available from the ‘Contract’ Entry screen.

Bills Receivable or Payable reports show the pending bills including aging details. This will help the trader to determine the current position of the bills

The ‘Party Notes’ screen help the trader to feed in any notes related to claim, quality etc. These notes can be viewed in the party screen or can be viewed from the ‘Contract’ entry screen during the entry of party.

Monitoring a Contract & its Fulfillment

ContracERP provides several options to monitor a contract. The ‘incomplete sales’ report shows installment positions that are due as on a specified date, whereas the report given by ‘unshipped purchases’ shows the installment positions that are due for delivery. These two reports are useful to ascertain when a shipment / delivery is expected and to determine whether this has been delayed or not.

‘ETA report’ on the other hand provides information about a vessel’s schedule at any given specified port and the Cargo clearing status.

Contract positions can be determined by looking at the contract screen itself where it displays what is shipped, invoiced, etc.

‘Detailed Position Report’ shows all details of all positions. The profitability of a contract can be viewed through the ‘Contract Profitability’ report. Since all expenses and income are booked against consignments, the ‘Contract Profitability’ report displays accurate figures, provided all bills have been received and recorded in the system. In the absence of real vouchers, this report considers estimated expenses to get an approximate profit, but this figure will still be fairly accurate as expense estimates are usually based on historic data and anticipated bill amount.

The buyer and seller drill-down reports consider all shipments pertaining to a contract including all transactions pertaining to its clearing, forwarding, allocations and invoices.

Verifying Profitability per Consignment

Profitability of a consignment can be ascertained easily as the system provides a means of tracing all expenses and to book them against consignments. ContracERP can link the expenses to consignments as and when an expense bill arrives. ContracERP even goes one step further and allows users to enter expected expenses. This methodology ensures a far more accurate costing figure even in the absence of actual bills.

The ‘Contract Profitability’ report available in the ‘Trading’ menu is useful to estimate the profitability of a consignment. In the absence of any linked sales, this report uses market prices to predict income, based on which profitability is computed.

The ‘Stock Position & Valuation’ and ‘Accruals expense’ reports also provide profitability analysis per consignment.

Assigning Stock to a Sales Contract

ContracERP can assign / allocate stock / consignments to sales positions. It can assign stock directly from a vessel or from any warehouse or a combination of the two. Assigned (or allocated) stock will not be shown in the Trading Position report to prevent further trading (double trading) of the same stock. This facility allows users to reserve stock against sales contracts and can raise invoices whenever a delivery occurs.

The system provides cross unit allocation and cross commodity/grade allocation. As an example, a purchase in Lbs. (pounds) can be allocated to a sale in Kg. (kilograms). The system will convert the quantity automatically. On the same lines, Vietnamese Cashew Kernels can be cross-substituted with Indian Cashew Kernels if necessary.

Shipment Documentation

ContracERP helps users prepare the clearing & forwarding instructions to be sent to Clearing Agents. The shipment needs to be identified for preparing this document. After specifying the clearing agent, the clearing & forwarding instruction entry screen will pop-up and users can specify the details of the documents that must be sent. The C & F instructions can then be printed or e-mailed to the clearing agent.

Monitoring Performance

ContracERP has several reports and options to monitor party performance. The ‘Customer Account’ report lists credit position of all the customers and the ‘Supplier Account’ report lists the position of all the suppliers. These two reports have an option to show the total turnover for a specified period or turnover to-date.

The ‘Bills Receivable’ and ‘Bills Payable’ reports are useful in determining the bills due with aging details. ‘Statement of Accounts’ report displays all financial transactions of pertaining to a party.

Most of the reports in the system can be filtered on party. This will help users obtain reports such as list of all contracts, all shipments, all invoices, all bills, etc. party-wise.

Monitoring Payment / Receipts that are Due / Late

ContracERP monitors bills received, payments made against each bill, invoices raised and receipts against each invoice. This helps ContracERP monitor payment due dates, receipt due dates, payment delays and receipt delays. The Alert Manager built into ContracERP alerts users when payments / receipts are delayed. In addition, it can also be configured to act as reminder to remind accounting personnel about due bills.

The ‘Bill Receivable’ and ‘Bills Payable’ reports provide data on outstanding bills. The ‘Customer Account’ and ‘Supplier Account’ reports provide an overview of the debtors and creditors situation.

Determining Stock Position & Value

ContracERP provides several reports to determine the stock position. The system can trace each and every consignment including transfers, repacking and returns. A unique tracking number identifies each consignment. Stock available against any tracking number can be seen at any given point of time.

However the ‘Stock Position’ report shows the stock position as on any specified date. It also shows the stock value. Stock valuation is based on the purchase costs and other expenses. In case actual expense bills are not available, the stock valuation report uses estimated expenses.

The stock position report provides a stock statement as on any given date. It does not provide stock movements. The ‘Stock Ledger’ report displays stock movements starting from a given date displaying stock arrivals and the transactions that are responsible for the current stock levels (as displayed in the stock position & valuation report)

The ‘Forward Position’ report is based on the stock at all warehouses, afloat and open forward contracts. This report is used to value the forward positions based on standard FOB rates given at the time of entering the contract.

The ‘Stock Position’ report displays consignment-wise value and will not help determine the gross profitability usually required by the accounts department. The ‘Gross Profit’ report fills this gap by showing the opening value, purchases, closing stock, sales and value the closing stock. This value then can be taken to the P&L report during the finalization of accounts.

The ‘Accrual’ report displays the total expenses accrued for any given position of any contract.

Forward Currency Trading

Forward currency trading to cover the future purchase payment cash flow requirement is easy with ContracERP.

Users can enter forward currency deals into ContracERP and it works based on a maturity date and an exchange rate. The system supervises the deals and compares it against the exchange rate at any given point of time to determine whether the deal will end up in a profit or loss. It also checks whether the deal has been made too early, on time or too late in comparison with invoice dates. The ‘Currency Early/Late’ report shows profitability and the deals that were made too early or too late.

In addition, the system also provides a ‘Currency deal’ register displaying all deals and positions that are due for a currency deal indicating that a currency shortage or surplus is impending.

Analyzing the Financial Status of the Company

ContracERP can be used to analyse the financial status of the company. It prepares the Trial Balance, the Gross Profit Report, the Profit & Loss Statement and the Balance Sheet for any specific year.

All of these reports provide drill-down features to expand from a summary figure to its sub totals until the underlying vouchers are reached. This feature saves the trouble of having to go through files containing old bills, invoices, etc., to inspect the origin of any financial figure in the books of accounts.

Besides these statutory accounting books, the system provides Bills Receivable, Bills Payables, Purchase Ledger, Sales Ledger, Customer Ledger, Supplier Ledger, Cash Books and Bank Books.

It provides the Stock Valuation reports and Stock Position reports from where closing stock figures can be moved automatically to the Balance Sheet.

Analysing Data using Third Party Products

There are many different ways in which a user may want to analyse the data available in ContracERP and not all of it can be made available within one single application. ContracERP recognizes these individual needs and provides various options to export all reports and user data from the database to third party applications. ContracERP can send data to MS-Word, MS-Excel and in HTML format. Applications like Excel (a spreadsheet) facilitate data analysis to a great extent with features like extrapolation, Goal Seek, charts, etc.

Stay Informed

ContracERP includes an Alert Manager that continuously checks for exceptions and reminders. When any pre-defined event occurs within the system, users are alerted with an immediate pop-up message, even if the user is working with an unconnected module or even in some other third party application.

ContracERP has many pre-defined events in the database. Users can define additional events, based on their requirement using the ‘Alert Definition’ menu function.

The pre-defined events in ContracERP are:

  • A Purchase has been allocated to a sale but the invoice has not been raised
  • Clearing Instructions have not been sent to the C&F agent, but the cargo has arrived
  • Shipments are delayed
  • Receipts against an invoice has been delayed beyond a user defined period (e.g. 45 days)
  • Receipts due against Invoices – advance reminder for follow-up
  • Payments due against bills received have been delayed
  • Payment due against bills received – advance reminder for planning the payment
  • A party involved in the current transaction has had no dealings with the company for over a user defined period (e.g. 6 months)
  • The Currency Exchange Rate has remained unchanged over a user defined period (e.g. 7 days – indication that the Currency Exchange Rate may not have been updated)
  • A party involved in the current transaction has had Quality Problems / Claims in a prior transaction

With the right blend of event definitions, the system can automatically remind users of pending tasks. The Alert Manager can be configured to even alert a different user (like a supervisor) if certain events persist, indicating that the concerned user has not taken any action based on the alert.