Sheriff Desktop Features
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Security is a big deal. The system is so designed that the ADMINISTRATOR account has absolute control over the operators, and other system configuration. The ADMINISTRATOR account could belong to the sheriff or his/her office manager. The ADMINISTRATOR controls passwords and privileges and assigns them to the other operators. If an operator resigns the ADMINISTRATOR simply deactivates the account. An operator is identified when they login to their user account at start up time. They can only execute the functions and features that were assigned to them by the ADMINISTRATOR.
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Every action executed by an operator, even the ADMINISTRATOR, is logged in the Security Log.
This log can be perused at any time to verify which operator did what, and when they did it.
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Debtor Accounts
The building blocks of Sheriff Desktop. Debtor accounts and their balances are listed alphabetically on the main screen. You don't have to know account numbers. Everything is visual. Getting a specific debtor is as easy as typing the first couple of characters of the name, or using the 'find' function. Supports an internal list name BIGLAWYER INC [** BAD PAYER **] and a formal name BIGLAWYER INC. The formal name is used on all outgoing documents so as not to embarrass the debtor. Create an unlimited number of debtor accounts. Three types of accounts are supported:
  • Magistrate's Court only
  • High Court only
  • Combined (both courts)
A optional system setting enables the 'Balance Brought Forward' feature whereby balances from other sheriff software can be easily brought forward whilst a debtor account is being created or edited. Adding and editing debtor accounts is subject to permission settings.
Easy to use Windows
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The interface is pretty, friendly, functional and easy to use. Menu's, tool bars and navigation panes expose the available functions. Icons, buttons, captions and other controls have tool tips (similar to pop up help). In most cases there are 3 or more ways to execute a function. For example, single click, double click, press enter, right click etc.
Some windows have help videos that explain and show their workings.
Below is an example of the main screen video
HTML Editor With Spell Checker & Dictation
HTML editor replaces the old RTF editors. This makes sense because the default language of the Internet is HTML. Editing occurs at many places. Whether it's return content, a document, a letter, a template, or anything else, you'll be using the HTML editor. It works like other editors - what you see is what you get. The operator defines the font, its size and other formatting properties. There is a spelling and grammar checker. Dictate to your editor instead of typing - but you'll need a headset with built-in microphone to use this feature.
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Office does not need to be installed. The spelling and grammar checker is a native component of the HTML editor. You don't have to be embarrassed by sending badly formed/spelled content out of your office. Windows needs to be properly configured to use the dictation feature.
Internet And Email
Practically every business out there uses the Internet. Sheriff Desktop knows this, so full use is made of the Internet. Email messages (with or without attachment files) are sent directly from Sheriff Desktop in one of two ways:
  • Direct to Microsoft Outlook
    This feature works if Microsoft 365, Office 2019 or Office 2016 is installed and contains an already configured and working email account. Outlook receives the mail sent from Sheriff Desktop and takes care of the actual sending.
  • Via a SMTP server
    You configure the software to use the SMTP server of your choice. The GMail SMTP server is used by many and works extremely well when two step authentication is enabled and an app password has been created. Many other SMTP servers are available.
The only limits that apply are the limits imposed by your chosen server. For example, if you want to use your GMail account you can only send 500 mails per day. You can set the limit inside Sheriff Desktop to ensure that it is not exceeded.
Return Words Editor
This powerful editor allows you to define and spell check the content of your returns per category. No limits apply. The better you do this the more time you save when creating a new return. Although word sets have codes (and you can use them if you know them) you can optionally visually select the required words by their content heading when making a new return. Supports embedded place holders that are replaced by real data when the words are used. Supports #prompt place holders that will prompt the operator to enter something where variable data is required. A test function allows you to test your defined word content to ensure it works as expected.
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Documents And Letters
Create unlimited documents and letters and bind them to debtor accounts or cases for inquiry purposes. Letters are usually created using a defined template but can also be created on the fly. When used, templates define the text content, layout and formatting. Templates are created using the Template Editor.
Watch this:
Trust Account
Usage is optional and subject to permission settings. Cleverly integrated to make input easier than ever, this Trust Account is a breeze to use. The basic principal is that what comes in goes out. So simple. So easy to use. Receipt and payment transactions are displayed and posted in the case query window's Trust tab like this:
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Pay out transactions include support for
  • Sheriff commission
  • VAT
Other transactions supported
  • Bank costs
  • Bank interest
  • Pay the Sheriff
  • Pay the Board
Deputy Commission
The commission system is designed for sheriffs who pay their deputies commission per case handled. It is not mandatory to use the commission system. Operators having the appropriate privilege set a percentage per cost item that is used to calculate the commission payable per case. Invoices use up to 12 cost items, all of which are operator definable. There are three possible commission settings for each cost item:
  • Nothing (no commission is payable)
  • Full Cost (whatever the fee was for the item)
  • Custom (anything between 0.1% and 99.9% of the fee charged for the item)
Up to six districts per installation. The best way to explain this is that six Sheriffs can run their offices using one server, or one Sheriff can have five ad hoc districts, each being a stand alone entity with unique debtors, cases, reports etc.
Some windows have context sensitive help available. This means that when you use help from that window, you will get help on that window. If context sensitive help is not available then we are available via TeamViewer to help and train as required.
Bar Code Scanner
Support for bar code scanners reading code 39 bar codes, which are printed on registration slips and optionally on returns as well.
In order to be able to send SMS's you need to open an account and purchase credits with an Internet based company called WinSMS. They can be sent from many places in the system. The sending of SMS's is subject to permission settings.
Although you can use them if you so wish, you do not need to know any codes or account numbers of any nature. Wherever a code or account number is required you are provided with a list, drop list, or a Window for visual selection. Codes are then passed in the background. This is a very powerful feature of this software and makes it extremely user friendly.
Finding Cases
The extremely powerful Search window allows you to find specific cases quickly. It's a pleasure to use because its very visual - and fast. This window is used in all the places within the system where a specific case must be pointed to, like when you want to make a new return etc.
Unlimited. Add new deputies as and when required.
Number Of Cases
Unlimited. As long as there is hard disk space.
Registration of new cases
Unlimited. Add/edit/delete cases and print slips. Also issue lists and lookout functions. Option to print a document when a specific type of case is used. Option to send a complimentary email notification.
Full house editing of all components of a return. Creating and changing returns is subject to permission settings.
  • Easy to use and user friendly interface.
  • Correct faulty registration data as part of making a new return.
  • Return content editing supports HTML format such as bold, italic, underline, fonts, font size and font colour. This can optionally be disabled.
  • Visually select already defined content for the body of a return.
  • Inventories can be inserted into the words.
  • Return content has no maximum length. You can create multiple page returns.
  • The main invoice supports twelve cost items from the definable cost items list.
  • An optional Diverse Cost Items Table with up to an additional 12 cost items can be inserted into the return content. Theoretically each case can therefore have up to 24 cost items.
  • Supports user defined cost groups. A cost group contains twelve cost items. Cost groups can be bound to a type of case. When making a return that uses that type of case the correct costs will thus appear
  • Supports user defined number of copies required per individual return. Copies per return are: original, tax invoice, file copy and can be printed in any user defined sequence.
  • Supports printing returns immediately after they are created or later using the print queue window where powerful grouping options are available.
  • Supports emailing a new return to debtors with valid email addresses.
  • Has a preview window for viewing the completed return and optionally exporting it to file in almost any format.
  • Completed returns can be recalled and edited.
Receive payments
EFT's and cash. Receiving payments is subject to permission settings.
Apply payments to cases
Cases must be made paid. Applying payments is subject to permission settings. Very visual and user friendly window. Manual (individual selected cases) or automatic (from the oldest until holding funds run out) crediting supported. Partial payments supported. Uncredit a single case or a batch of cases supported. Delete payment and transfer payment supported. Pay out any fraction of a payment supported (as when case costs adjusted after a dispute and case was already made paid). Very powerful.
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Statements always reflect the exact status of the account as it was when the statement was created. Messages (defined by you) can optionally appear on statements. Statements can be sent to the screen viewer where they can be exported in any file format to other applications, or to the printer, or the email sub system. When sent by email, the attached statement will be in .pdf format.
Query System
Query a debtor account or a specific case directly from the main screen window. It can't get easier than that. When you execute a query a floating window containing multiple tabs is launched. The tabs expose all known detail on the debtor or case. Because the main screen is always available you can do queries without having to exit whatever window you are busy with. A query window can stay open behind other windows, or it can be minimized on the task bar until it is needed.
Dispatching System
Dispatching returns is subject to permission settings. Can be turned on or off. If turned off then Sheriff Desktop automatically takes care of dispatching. If turned on you basically have your own post office and are responsible to dispatch returns manually. Although manual dispatching is addition work, it will ensure that the printed returns are identical to the data. It sometimes happens that operators change the content or costs of a return AFTER it has been printed. This could result in legal problems for the sheriff. When executed properly, the dispatching system ensures that this can't happen.
Commission System
The commission system is based upon what percentage of each cost item is paid. If 0% is paid then no commission is payable on that item. Anything between 1% and 100% is the commission paid. The deputy thus receives commission subject to the setting of each cost item.
The reports window is divided into three tabs to group the types of reports logically. There are Routine reports. Month End reports and Yearly reports.
Other Windows And Features
System Settings
District Settings
Machine Settings
Inter District Search
Month End
Undo Last Month End
Pay VAT To ROR (receiver of revenue)
Send Email To Debtors
Write Off Debtor Accounts
Re-age Debtor Accounts
Credit & Debit Notes
Delete Cases
Transfer cases between debtors
Transfer cases between deputies
Types Of Cases
Cost Groups
Party Titles
Cost Description Lists
Served In Terms Of List
Label Printing
After auction Distribution Calculator Utility
Change Your Password
Suspend The System
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