In this article we'll go through a worked example of how the values in a snapshot are obtained, what happens when a snapshot is locked, and the effects of increased earnings after a snapshot is locked.
For more information about Finance snapshots, please see our Finance snapshots help article.
We'll be using a single program line in this example. Earnings for this program line are calculated as 10% of the applicable transacted value. The program line runs from January 1, 2021 to June 30, 2021.
At this stage, no transactions have been imported, so the program line has not generated any earnings.
In this example, we will use a Rebate accrual earnings snapshot. The values in this snapshot will be the sum of the relevant accrual earnings, defined by the columns in the snapshot.
If we navigate to the Finance snapshots application, we can click 'Request a snapshot' to queue a snapshot for generation.
Once the snapshot has generated, we can click on the snapshot to download it.
Currently, the snapshot is empty, as the program line has not started generating earnings.
We now import $100 of transactions for January 1, 2021. Our program line will have therefore generated $100 * 10% = $10 of earnings.
If the original January 2021 snapshot is downloaded, it will still be empty. It is important to note that, once a snapshot has been generated, it does not change. To see the earnings value in a snapshot, a new snapshot must be generated.
Once the snapshot has been generated, downloading it will show the $10 of earnings as expected.
Locking the snapshot
At this point, we will lock the newest January snapshot, and generate a snapshot for February.
Downloading the February snapshot will show the $10 from the previous period.
Importing further transactions for January
At this point, we import another $50 worth of transactions for January 2, 2021. This takes the total earnings for our program line to ($100 + $50) * 10% = $15. This information can be seen in the Program Earnings report and the Payment Allocation report:
However, our existing snapshots will not have changed. The January snapshot (pictured below) will still show a current period value of $10.
We now request a new snapshot for February 2021:
Downloading this snapshot will show that the $5 earnings is included in the February snapshot.
Why are earnings for January included in the February snapshot?
A snapshot is not designed to show exactly when a program line generated earnings, or how much a particular program line earned in a given month. Instead, it can be used for auditing purposes, or to input data into your internal systems.
If a January snapshot was locked, the data inputted into an internal system, and then additional earnings were added to this snapshot, this could easily go unnoticed. Similarly, if a January snapshot was locked, the data inputted into an internal system, and additional earnings were not added to a later snapshot, the total earnings data would be inaccurate.
Locking a financial period and rolling additional earnings on to a later period lets you enter financial data into your internal systems with the confidence that the final earnings value will be correct.
My program lines have generated earnings after the snapshot was generated, and I want this to appear in the month's snapshot. How do I do this?
You will need to unlock the snapshot that you wish to alter, and request a new snapshot. Note that unlocking a snapshot will mark all later snapshots as 'Out of date'.
In our example, we unlock the January snapshot, as seen below.
At this point, we can generate a new January snapshot. This will show the whole $15 earnings as expected.
What happens with other snapshot types?
Whilst this worked example focuses on the Rebate accrual earnings snapshot, the behaviour for the other snapshot types is similar. In particular, the following are true for any type of snapshot:
- Once a snapshot has been generated, the data in it does not change.
- If a snapshot has been locked and the 'Current Period Value' would change, the change is rolled over to the first unlocked period.
Using the Allocated payments snapshot as example, $50 may be allocated to a program line in January. If a January snapshot is generated, the 'Current Period Value' would be $50. If the January snapshot is locked, and another $20 is recorded as being received in January, then the $20 would appear in a newly generated February snapshot.