CRM Software for Economic Development Organizations
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How do I "lock" previously reported data to ensure database and reporting integrity?

Database administrators have access to a record locking tool which allows them to accomplish two things toward maintaining database and reporting integrity:

  • It prevents non-administrative users from changing previously reported client activity or back-dating newly entered activity into a previous reporting period.
  • It ensures that activity entered by clients on eCenter in response to a survey is dated so that it will not be entered under a previous reporting period.

Record locking is managed from the "General" panel under Administration|Configuration. The Lock Records field can be configured so that records are locked based either on a rolling number of days or specific date, as shown in the next graphic.

Note: Record locking only affects activity records. It does not lock the client record. As discussed at the bottom of this FAQ, there may be EDMIS-related locks that could prevent the user from editing the client record, but those are not controlled with this options.

Date locking is applied to all session records such as counseling sessions, milestone sessions, award sessions and capital funding sessions regardless of whether they are entered via Neoserra or via eCenter Direct. It also applies to training event and professional development sessions. In this FAQ we will discuss how the lock affects each session type:

What does record locking mean for counseling sessions?

  1. Non-administrative Neoserra users cannot create a new counseling session with a Session Date prior to the lock date
  2. Non-administrative Neoserra users cannot edit an existing counseling session with a Session Date prior to the lock date

What does record locking mean for milestone sessions?

  1. Non-administrative Neoserra users cannot create a new milestone session with a Milestone Date prior to the lock date
  2. Non-administrative Neoserra users cannot edit an existing milestone session with a Milestone Date prior to the lock date

What does record locking mean for capital funding and award sessions?

Besides the award record's Contract Date field and the capital funding record's Date Completed field, these two record types both include a Reporting Date field, which is the date used for reporting by scorecards. This means that your contract date can be within the locked period, but the reporting date cannot be within the locked period. If the record locking has been engaged then:

  1. Non-administrative Neoserra users cannot create a new capital funding/award session with a Reporting Date prior to the lock date
  2. Non-administrative Neoserra users cannot edit an existing capital funding/award session with a Reporting Date prior to the lock date

Record locking also affects records created on eCenter Direct. However, eCenter Direct will only offer your clients a single date to edit. Depending on what is entered here, Neoserra will use the record locking setting to determine what date to put in the Reporting Date field to help ensure that the activity is reported on.

The following examples use an award record to illustrate how date locking works in conjunction with eCenter Direct (the same principles apply for capital records):

  • The client leaves the award date at the default (today). In Neoserra, the resulting award record gets today's date for both the Reporting Date and the Award Date fields.
  • The client enters the actual date of the contract. What happens to the award here depends on whether the date locking feature is turned on or not:
    • Date locking is turned off: In Neoserra, the resulting award record gets the date the client entered for both the Reporting Date and the Award Date fields, no matter how old that date is.
    • Date Locking is turned on:
      • If the client enters a contract date older than the limit set by the date lock, the resulting Neoserra award record has the Award Date field set to what the client entered, and the Reporting Date field to the first day allowed by the lock.
      • If the client enters a contract date more recent than the limit set by the Date Lock, the resulting Neoserra award record has both the Award Date field and the Reporting Date field set to the date entered by the client.

    What does record locking mean for training event records?

    1. Non-administrative Neoserra users cannot create a new training event record with a Reporting Date prior to the lock date
    2. Non-administrative Neoserra users cannot edit an existing training event record with a Reporting Date prior to the lock date

    What does record locking mean for professional development sessions?

    1. Non-administrative Neoserra users cannot create a new professional development session with a Date prior to the lock date
    2. Non-administrative Neoserra users cannot edit an existing professional development session with a Date prior to the lock date

    EDMIS Lock on Signature Start/Business Start

    In a further effort to provide reconciliation with the SBA EDMIS business start count, Neoserra will disallow edits to the signature start date and/or the business start date if that date has already been uploaded and accepted into the EDMIS system. This is NOT because of the record locking feature described above, but rather this is a Neoserra system-lock applied to all SBA funded programs.

    By locking the business start date, Neoserra will prevent the users from changing the business status of a client after the client record had already been accepted into the EDMIS system. In other words, if a client is uploaded and accepted into the EDMIS system as being "in-business", then the counselor cannot change the business status to pre-venture months, or even years later. A client cannot go into business multiple times. A business can only start once:

    A lock icon will appear next to the "Date Company Established" field, which will show the warning message when you hover over it. Neoserra database administrators will need to be careful because they can overwrite the lock if they edit the record in administrator-mode.

    How will you know if a client has already been accepted into the EDMIS system? In addition to the above warning message, you can also take a look at the audit pane as discussed in this FAQ.

    Similarly, if you try to create a new "Started Business" milestone for a client that is already in-business, then you can only set that "Started Business" milestone date equal to the "Date Company Established" field on the client record. You cannot create a new "Started Business" milestone with a new date:

    If an entrepreneur starts a second business, then a second client record will need to be created in Neoserra for this second business. You cannot restart an already existing business. This really emphasizes the need for accurate data entry when you initially work with the client.

    Again, this is only true for EDMIS-accepted client records and this is completely separate and independent from the locking mechanism discussed at the top of this FAQ.

    Other data locks

    Furthermore, general users should also be aware that they cannot enter in training events with dates further back than three months. This is not so much as a "lock" as it is a way to prevent the users from accidentally entering bad data into the database as discussed in this FAQ. If you do wish to enter an event with a date further back then three months, then you will first need to create the event using today's date; save the record; and then edit the record and correct the date.

    Similarly, Neoserra will not allow you to enter any counseling session, milestone, capital funding session or awards session with a date that is more than a year in the past or three months in the future. Again, this is designed to avoid accidentally entering in bad data, particularly at the turn of a calendar year when users aren't accustomed to entering in the new year yet.



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