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TZ (Tips by Zeck)









Oh-oh; I "zapped" the wrong vendor!
We have so many one-time vendors, so I deleted several last week.  As you strongly suggested, YARDI Guy, I backed-up the database...just in case.  Today, we found out that one of the vendors should not have been deleted.  How do we get them back with all their transactions still attached to them?

You don't, unless you restore from backup.  Of course, that means you'll have some catch-up work to do, re-entering all of the data input since you did the backup.  MY ADVICE:  ALTHOUGH THE SYSTEM ALLOWS YOU TO DELETE TENANTS AND VENDORS, LEAVING THE NOW UNIDENTIFIED DOLLARS AND CENTS IN THE FINANCIAL RECORDS (TO KEEP YOU IN BALANCE), DON'T DO IT.  AND DON'T DELETE PROPERTIES UNLESS ALL CASH BALANCES IN MULTI-PROPERTY BANK ACCOUNTS HAVE BEEN ZEROED OUT.  I swear that some of you spend half your waking hours looking for new ways to sabotage yourselves!

Escape from the Evil Empire

We have YARDI Professional, but we don't have Microsoft Office!
We'd sure like to be able to modify and print screen reports from Word and Excel, but my boss won't cough-up the cash to buy the Evil Empire's overpriced office suite.  Are we SOL?

I don't you mean SOL. in general, or just with this problem...or, should I say, opportunity for resolution?  If you are referring to your Word-Excel deficiency, I may lose my Microsoft Solutions Provider eligibility for this but, YES, I have successfully "hotwired" YARDI to open reports in Word and Excel competitors.  If you're looking for detailed instructions here, put away your shovel - you won't find a pony under this web page.  I would, however, be happy to assist a CLIENT with the modification!

MICR Check Printing

I want to print MICR (bank information) on my checks.  Where do I buy the special toner?
I have an Okidata 400e laser printer and I cannot find a source for magnetic toner.  Does TZ know where I might find a cartridge or two?

The question is not WHERE, but WHY.  This little conspiracy has gone on LONG ENOUGH!  You see, unless your accounts are in the Podunk State Bank of East Overshoe, Arkansas, your bank is PROBABLY USING OPTICAL SCANNERS, NOT MAGNETIC READERS!  I cannot guaranty your success, but I suggest you process a small batch of MICR checks PRINTED WITH REGULAR TONER and see if they clear your bank without those stick-on correction strips (or a nasty phone call from your bank).  If they do, skip the expensive magnetic toner.  TWO IMPORTANT POINTS:  1) Do not call one of the 35 vice-presidents at your bank to inquire - they've all been taught by a cadre of old gray-haired white guys that magnetic toner is required and 2) Be sure that the your MICR characters are dark and sharp and that the MICR line is THE ONLY THING PRINTED ON THE BOTTOM 5/8" OF THE CHECK (the top line of the stub must print completely below the perforation between the check and the stub)!

My receivable reports are so slow!

When I want to print my receivables reports, I come in early, start the reports, make coffee, check voice mail and run out for doughnuts.

TZ: you converted from the YARDI DOS that you installed in 1992!  I've found the quickest way to (somewhat?) correct this is to "clean" your tran.dat and, perhaps, detail.dat files.  I've found the surest way to (FULLY) correct this is to copy and then RESTART your database to erase all transactions and start again with empty tran.dat and detail.dat files.  Both of these are what I call, "Don't try this at home!" (procedures), so the first time around, work with a consultant WHO HAS EXECUTED THESE PROCEDURES SUCCESSFULLY MANY, MANY TIMES.  The BEST TIME to RESTART is your FISCAL YEAR-END!

Who'da THUNK?

YARDI just doesn't work!  All it gives us is a "Btrieve not running" message!
We've just installed YARDI and when we try to run it, it gives us an error message about something called Btrieve.  I know the computer's okay; Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Peachtree run just fine.

As Groucho Marx would exclaim, "You've said the secret word!"  That "secret word" is Peachtree, which also runs on the Btrieve database engine.  After hours of trial and error, I found that a little switch in the bti.ini (Btrieve's Windows initialization file) is the culprit.  For YARDI, Thunk=Yes.  For Peachtree, Thunk=No or should be absent from the bti.ini altogether.  My best advice is to toss out the $179 Peachtree program and move your non-YARDI accounting to the $99 QuickBooks or the $169 QuickBooks Pro (approximate street prices quoted).  As I am an ex-Peachtree user and consultant, you can believe me...QuickBooks runs rings around Peachtree in most areas, specifically ease of use.  Certain inventory-related businesses might be better left on Peachtree, but most other entities will find they save substantial time and effort with the much-more-user-friendly QuickBooks.  NOTE:  OTHER ACCOUNTING SOFTWARE USING BTRIEVE ARE BUSINESSWORKS, SOLOMON AND, FROM WHAT I'VE BEEN TOLD, GREAT PLAINS.  IF PROPERTY MANAGEMENT IS YOUR PRIMARY BUSINESS, KEEP THESE OFF YARDI WORKSTATIONS OR, BETTER YET, OUT OF YOUR OFFICE!!!  (Now you know why I no longer support Peachtree and no longer sell or support BusinessWorks.)

Tenant Account Receivable Activity

We need to know the specific account receivable performance of individual tenants.
It's not enough to know what each tenant owes at specific points in time, but we cannot find a report that shows what they owed, what was charged to them, what was received from them and what they now owe!

You'll find an outstanding report in Report>Receivable>Detail by Account!

Setup...Unit Type

Do I need Unit Types?  My units are all different and I'd have to set up too many types!
Yardi's screens, manuals and help place too much emphasis on standardizing units in unit types.  As you say, units are more often different than similar, so you would need nearly as many unit types as you have units.  Also, once you set up all your individual units, you might think that you no longer will benefit from setting up unit types.

USE UNIT TYPES!  But use only one, two or three at most:  "res" (Residential), "comm" (Commercial) and maybe "condo" (Condominium).  Input your usual move-in and move-out charges with zero dollar amounts and assign one of these types to each applicable unit.  Next time you move a tenant in or out of a unit, VOILA!, you have suggested charge descriptions and general ledger account numbers pop up automatically and you won't misspell, mispost or miss altogether these valuable charges!


Why should I waste time inputting addresses in Setup...Unit?
Yardi's tenant screen has address fields anyway.

Yes, you may type the address in the tenant screen instead...EVERY TIME YOU ADD A TENANT!  Instead, edit your units with the addresses - remember to use your handy F8 key to repeat fields from the previous saved unit - and then tab past the address blanks when setting up a new tenant.  Once you select the property and unit, SHAZAM!, the correct unit address appears.  You'll save typing these lines many times over and you'll have consistent-looking addresses straight through your database!

Backup to your Zip drive

Yardi won't allow me to backup to my Zip drive!
Yardi wants to format your Zip drive because it thinks it's a floppy, but your Zip drive doesn't format the same.  Therefore, Yardi warns you that it will erase the disk, then tries to format it; it cannot, so your backup is not successful.

In Windows Explorer, right mouse click properties and make your Zip drive a non-removable drive and Yardi will backup to it just like it was a hard drive.  (Note:  you can restore from the Zip whether it's set as removable or non-removable because it doesn't try to format it before a restore.)

Setup...Accounts and Options...Tenant Options...Retained Earnings

What account do I use in Setup...Format...Accounts and Options for my Retained Earnings account?
Per Yardi Help:  Retained Earnings (Required for all accounting activity): a regular (not a heading or total), liability, account with a credit balance. The program carries forward the balance in the retained earnings account from month to month and year to year.

Normally, retained earnings shows the net income since the accounting system was established. However, you may distinguish between an active and a historical retained earnings account and annually resent active retained earnings to zero with a journal entry.

First off, Retained Earnings is generally associated with C Corp historical income <loss>.  This option should point to a current Net Income <Loss> credit balance account - usually the last account in the equity section of your Balance Sheet.  Historical income <loss> should immediately precede Net Income <Loss> and my favorite title for the historical account is  Accumulated Income <Loss>.  (If your owners cannot understand these terms, use Current Year Income <Loss> and Prior Years Income <Loss>, respectively.)  Remember that you must zero-out your current account through your prior account annually.  Date the entry 12/31, but use "1" (January) as the post month so you don't affect your December Balance Sheet.  If you have many properties, use G/L...Post Transfer to automatically create any entry for each property!