BILLING SYSTEM USERS GUIDE
To start the billing system enter BILLING at the DOS prompt. If
this is first time you have used the program you will be asked to
enter some basic information about yourself. This includes your
name, address and office phone number. This information can be
changed at any time through the Maintenance Menu, Install System
When you start the billing system the computer will check two
1) what type of monitor are you using. If a color monitor is
detected the system will run in color, otherwise it runs in
monochrome. Note that some monochrome systems "think" that they
are in color (i.e. Compaq and AT&T are examples) and will produce
a "shading" effect.
2) on the "commercial" version, the system also check to be sure
the software is running on the correct machine. While the software
is not copy protected, it does check a specific attribute of the
computer it was installed on and will refuse to run if it is
started on any other computer. Contact the programmer if you need
to run the system on another computer.
The Main Menu is your route to all options provided by the system.
Some selections will lead to another menu with more specific
choices (i.e. the Maintenance Menu).
To make a selection from ANY menu you have two choices. Press the
number of the option (i.e. 1 Enter New Client you would press "1")
or use the and arrow keys to highlight the option and
press to select it.
1 ENTER NEW CLIENT
Each client must be entered into the computer. A CLIENT NUMBER
will be assigned to the client automatically when you enter the
client data. You will use this number to reference the client at
all other times in the billing system. This prevents confusion
when two clients have the same name.
For each client you are asked to enter the following information:
TITLE: Dr., Mrs., Mr., etc.
CITY and STATE (i.e. Van Nuys, CA)
PHONE NUMBER (including area code)
START ON: this is the date you are starting the job/work.
PAY BY: this is the date the FINAL payment for the work is due.
DESCRIP: this is a BRIEF description of the work to be done
(i.e. Kitchen cabinets).
You do not have to capitalize the first character of the TITLE,
FIRST NAME or LAST NAME, this is done automatically for you. The
STATE is also capitalized automatically.
Press ESC to Abandon the data without saving it.
After entering the information in each field press to
continue to the next. At the end a small menu will appear with
three options. Use the and arrow keys to highlight the
option you want and press to select it.
SAVE: save the just entered information as displayed.
EDIT: return to the client information to make a change.
QUIT: abort without saving the data and return to the main menu.
If you have changed any data you are asked to confirm that you
want to abandon the changes before you quit.
Normally you would select the SAVE option to record the data.
2 REVIEW A CLIENT
To look at or change any of the information you have saved in the
clients information file select this option. You are asked to
enter the CLIENT NUMBER of the client you want to see. If you do
not know the number of the client press the key to display a
list of clients. Find the one you want and remember the client
Enter 0 or ESC to return to the Main Menu. If you enter an invalid
number the computer will warn you and ask for another number.
Enter a valid number and the screen will clear and the client data
will be displayed, ready for editing. Make any changes you need
using the "standard" editing keys (see Appendix 1 for editing
As before, a small menu of SAVE, EDIT or QUIT will appear when you
are done. Select SAVE to save the NEW data or QUIT to abort
without recording any changes you may have made. EDIT will return
you to the first field (TITLE) to make more changes.
3 PRINT CLIENT LIST
Use this option to display or, more importantly, print a list of
your clients. The list will show the client number, name, job
description and current balance.
You can either display the list on the screen or send it to the
printer. Press S for Screen, P for Printer. The printed list shows
a bit more information.
If your printer is not ON LINE and READY an error message will be
displayed. You must fix the printer and reselect the option from
the Main Menu.
4 ENTER CHARGES
Select this option when you need to enter a NEW charge to a
clients account. You are first asked for the client number. As
before, press to view a list of clients and client numbers on
the screen. Press ESC or enter 0 to return to the Main Menu.
If you enter an invalid number you will be told and you must
re-enter a correct client number.
After entering a valid number the computer will display the
clients name and current balance for you. You are then asked to
enter the date of the charge (press to accept the current
date) and the amount of the charge. Enter only the numbers and,
optionally, a decimal point. The computer will properly format the
number for you.
You can then enter a description of the job. You are allowed up to
10 lines, 60 characters per line. Note that there is no "word
wrap", you must press at the end of each line to go to
the next line unless you completely fill the line. Blank lines
will not be saved. If you do not have enough room in the
description simply enter ANOTHER charge, but with an amount of
0.00. This will give 10 more lines of description space.
When you are done entering the description either press or
display the save options. As before, you can SAVE, EDIT
or QUIT. Select SAVE to record this charge and description. Select
EDIT to change either the DATE, CHARGE or DESCRIPTION. Select QUIT
to abandon this data and return to the Main Menu.
After saving the new charge the computer will automatically update
the clients account to reflect the new balance due.
5 ENTER PAYMENTS
Payments are entered exactly as charges are except that you are
not asked to enter a description. The computer will automatically
enter a description of "PAYMENT RECEIVED. THANK YOU." In all other
respects the entry of payments is the same as the entry of
Note that when you view an account payment amounts appear in
parenthesis to reflect the "negative" transaction.
6 REVIEW ACCOUNTS
You can review either a single account or all accounts. To review
a single account enter S. Then enter the client number to review.
To review ALL accounts enter A. Select either Screen or Printer
for the output. The computer will then list each client, the
current account balance and each charge and payment entered for
the account. The descriptions are NOT displayed/printed, only the
charge or payment amount.
Select this option to print statements. You have two choices, one
at a time (by client number) or have the computer automatically
print a statement for each client that owes money.
Aging is done based upon the date you entered as the DUE BY.
The computer will display each client name it is printing on the
screen so that you can monitor the activity. When done the
computer will return to the Main Menu.
9 MAINTENANCE MENU
This menu provides some options for maintaining your system and
backing up your data.
1 DELETE A CLIENT
Select this option to remove a client from the client file.
When a client is deleted the computer will automatically
delete ALL of the clients account entries at the same time,
so use this with care.
Enter the client number to delete. The computer will display
the client information and ask you to confirm you decision to
delete this client. Press Y and the client is deleted.
2 DELETE A CHARGE
Use this option if you enter an incorrect charge. To delete a
charge you must enter the client number and the DATE of the
charge to be deleted. The computer will display the charge
information in full and ask you to press Y to confirm that
this is the charge you want to delete. The patients account
will be updated to reflect the deletion of the charge after
it is deleted.
3 DELETE A PAYMENT
This works exactly like Deleting a Charge except that only
payments can be deleted here. Again, enter the client number
and the date the payment was posted and press Y to confirm
4 BACKUP DATA
Use this option to make a copy of your DATA files on a floppy
disk in drive A. The CLIENT.DBF and ACCOUNT.DBF files are
copied, in full. To make a copy of the entire billing system
(including program files) enter the following command at the
COPY C:\BILLING\*.* A:
Naturally, you can substitute another drive in place of A: if
you so desire.
5 REBUILD INDEX
Your billing system uses one index file to organize the
ACCOUNT data file. This index may on occasion become damaged
or corrupted (i.e. after a power failure or system crash).
If you receive an error when starting or using the billing
program you should attempt to remake the index file by
selecting this option.
6 CHECK ACCOUNTS
Again, after a system crash or some other unusual situation
it is possible for the client balances to fail to match with
the client account entries. For example, the account may show
a charge of 100.00 and a payment of 75.00, but the balance
may have missed the payment and show 100.00 due. If this
happens you can have the computer recheck all accounts and
refigure the balances due based upon the account entries. The
computer will display each client as he/she is checked. One
of three messages will be displaed for each client:
Updating current balance
Only the third message indicates an error was found.
7 INSTALL SYSTEM
When you first start the billing system and anytime you
select this option the computer will ask you to enter the
following information for your business:
This data is used on statements when they are printed. If
anything changes simply select this option and enter the new
0 QUIT AND EXIT
Select this option to shut down the billing system. This is the
only way to exit the system and should always be used before
turning the computer off. The data files will not be closed
without exiting in this way, and you may find your data damaged or
lost. Before you exit the computer will ask you to confirm by
APPENDIX 1: KEYSTROKES
The following keys are used in the billing system:
(NOTE: ^ means hold down the key and press the next key)
INS Toggles between INSERT and OVERWRITE mode
DEL Deletes the character under the flashing cursor
BACKSPACE Deletes the character to the left of the cursor
^T Deletes the word to the right
^Y Deletes the field the cursor is in
^U Undeletes (restores) a field just deleted with ^Y
^F Moves one word right
^A Moves one word left
ESC Aborts the current activity
F2 Looks up client numbers
F1 Help key, press this key for help
APPENDIX 2: SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
The billing system requires DOS 2.0 or higher running on an IBM or
100% compatible computer. It is currently NOT network or
multi-user compatible. Any type of monitor can be used. A printer
is required for billings and must be connected to the first
printer port (marked LPT1:). The computer must have at least 320K
of system memory (RAM).
The root directory of the first hard disk (C:) must contain a file
called CONFIG.SYS. In CONFIG.SYS there must be a line which reads:
(note, can be more than 20, but must be at least 20). If this file
does not exist enter the following at the keyboard:
COPY CON C:\CONFIG.SYS
Then press to create the CONFIG.SYS file.