FLAV Accounting System

Introduction

G-FLAV uses a custom-built accounting system especially designed for ease of use and to appeal to pilots rather than accountants yet retaining good accounting principles.

The system has a number of components but is primarily based on Microsoft Excel spreadsheets with automatic computations and guided data entry (achieved through Excel VBA macros).

Data Entry

Data is entered into the system at 3 main spreadsheet pages each of which has built-in GUI forms to assist with easy and accurate data maintenance...

bulletThe Flight Log: here each flight of the aircraft is recorded. HOBBS clock entries are strictly controlled to ensure that there are no gaps or overlaps. Reimbursable Pilot expenses can also be entered at this point. There is a button to trigger processing of the Flight Log. When the Flight Log is processed then the flights are booked to each pilot and their expenses are automatically credited back to them. Individual Pilot sheets showing their flights, standing order charges, payments due, payments made etc are automatically maintained from the Flight Log. The remaining hours on the aircraft (before the next 50-hour check) are automatically calculated and verified.
bulletThe Bank Statement: here each entry that appears on the Bank Statements is entered into the system. Where appropriate entries can be tagged against Pilots or against Suppliers. There is a button to trigger processing of the Bank Statement. When the Bank Statement is processed then entries tagged to Pilots or Suppliers are automatically updated onto the Pilot or Supplier sheet as appropriate.
bulletThe Service Log: here records are maintained of all services that are carried out on the aircraft together with which Supplier must be paid for the service. There is a facility to record that one of the Pilots has already paid for the service item and needs to be credited back with that amount. There is a button to trigger processing of the Service Log. When the Service Log is processed then money is automatically attributed to Suppliers and to Pilots as appropriate and these are recorded onto the Pilot sheets and / or Supplier sheets as appropriate.

Whenever the processing buttons above are used then a standing order system is triggered to also include any standing order charges that must be levied against the Pilots (for example: the regular monthly component of the aircraft costs).

Data Sheets

As mentioned above, there are 3 data sheets that are used to enter data into the system and to trigger processing. In addition there is an automatically maintained sheet for each Pilot and for each Supplier. These sheets can also automatically bring into the system new Pilots and new Suppliers when required.

The Pilot sheets show how much each Pilot owes and should pay.

The Supplier sheets show how much is owed to each Supplier who should be paid.

There is a Parameters sheet which records how much the regular fees are, when they are due, when they began, and when they ended (for the case where a new rate must be implemented).

On a monthly basis the entire set of sheets is emailed to each Pilot so that not only does the pilot know how much they should pay but they also have full visibility of everything to do with the aircraft.

Software Sheet

To enable updating of the software without disruption to the Accounts sheets, the software exists in a separate sheet which is automatically loaded by the Account sheet when it gets loaded. The pilots don't need a copy of the software sheet so only the person doing the accounts and the author of the system has a copy of this particular sheet.

It also contains template sheets for new Pilots and Suppliers which are automatically copied into the Accounts sheets when a new pilot or supplier is required.

Additional Features

Pilot Hours pages

There is a private web page, accessible only by the Pilots, which shows on a rolling 12-months basis a graph of how many hours each pilot has flown.

There is also a rolling 12-month graph showing how many hours the aircraft has flown. The information in the aircraft graph, combined with the Flight Log entries, is used to statistically predict when the next 50-hour check will occur - this helps with planning flights and trips to ensure that the aircraft is serviced in good time and does not run out of hours unexpectedly.

There is a separate spreadsheet that is used to extract the statistical information from the main Accounts sheets, to generate the graphs and to automatically upload them to the web site. 

Pilot Log Books

From the same private web page the system is able to print Pilot Log Book pages.

Again this is quite a complicated technical module requiring a mix of Excel VBA, SQL, PHP, Java and Jasper Reports. It uses Java Web Start to launch the main application.

The Pilot Hours spreadsheet (mentioned above) also updates an online MySQL database with the Flying Log details to enable the printing of Pilot Log Book pages.

The pages are printed through a Java application that is launched from the web page using Java Web Start. Security exists so each pilot can only print their own log book entries. It will be possible to support a custom layout per pilot in due course.

The features is currently in Beta at version V1.0. The overall plan for its development is described below under The Future.

Technical Log Sheets

The system is also capable of automatically printing the aircraft technical logs in a format suitable for cutting and pasting into the actual log books.

This is quite a complicated technical module requiring a mix of Excel VBA, Java and Jasper Reports.

The actual reports layouts for the air frame log and the engine log are designed using iReports and can readily be tailored to fit any log book design.

The Future

Further extensions are being planned to provide for a fully electronic Pilot Flying Log with good printing facilities. Detail / design notes here.

User Guide

The User Guide is available online here.

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