This application is to help keep track of safe contents and to produce Post Office Horizon declarations. It allows you to keep an up to date log of safe contents and track movements in and out of safes. This information is then used to help produce Cash, Currency, Stamp and Stock declarations for daily, weekly (BP) and monthly (TP) declarations. Using DecMate app removes many sources of human error by doing the maths for you. No need to get the calculator out, simply count your safe and counter contents, enter them in DecMate and select “Declaration”, the contents of all your safes and counters are added and presented ready to enter in Horizon.
DecMate is highly configurable so you can add or remove stock items, make up your own bundle sizes, add or remove storage locations such as safes, counters etc. – we call them ‘Stashes’ in the application. You can also configure what is stored in each stash. For example, you may have bulk bags of coin in your main safe – you enter the number of bags – no need to calculate the value. In your Bidi safe you may keep smaller bags, again just enter the number of bags. DecMate knows the value of each bundle and will automatically do the sums when you move a bulk bag from the main safe to the Bidi or do a declaration.
When you do the declaration, you have the option to enter the discrepancy and add comments, this can then be saved to a log or emailed to somebody.
We have our daily cash declaration down to less than 5 minutes by using money scales and this app. Also, errors in accounting have significantly reduced – no more £1,000+ discrepancies because somebody had finger trouble with a calculator.
DecMate is designed to run on any Android phone or tablet running Android 4.1 or later. It has low processor, memory and storage requirements. DecMate has no special hardware requirements and does not request special access permissions apart from sending emails.
You can download DecMate from the Google Play Store, once installed sample data will automatically be added to the system. We suggest you play with this data to familiarise yourself with how it works before trying to use it in a live environment.
DecMate is based on the concept of a ‘Stash’ which is a location in which cash, stock, stamps or currency can be stored. Typical stashes include your main safe, a drop safe, a bidi safe, a counter change storage and the contents of a counter drawer. These are the stashes installed by default, but you have complete control over deleting these and adding your own. A summary of what is in each stash is shown on the ‘Summary’ Page
Each Stash may have different contents such as stamps, currency and stock in the Counter, £20 and £10 notes in a Bidi safe etc. the content of each stash is easily configurable using the ‘Stash Content Editor’. New and old style notes can be entered separately but automatically added together for the declaration.
The bundlesize for each item may also be different in each stash. For example, in the main safe you may store bulk £20 bags of 1p coins, it the drop safe you may store 1p coins in smaller £1 bags, and at the counter you would have loose 1p coins. DecMate is designed to cope with this making counting faster and more accurate. You simply enter the number of bulk bags in the main safe, the number of smaller bags in the drop safe and the number of coins in the Counter position. DecMate is aware of the different bundle sizes and will correctly and automatically do to the calculations to give you the declaration figure. Moving items from one stash to another is also easy as DecMate will automatically break down bigger bundles in one stash to the smaller bundles in another. It even builds up bigger bundles when going the other way.
A stash content item is categorised as a product, 1p coins are a product, a 1st class stamp is a product etc. A Product Editor is included in the app to allow you to add new products or to delete products you do not use. Once a new product is added, you can go to the Stash Editor to add that product in any bundle size you choose.
We suggest you keep a tablet PC on top of your safe so that every time something is added or removed from the safe(s), the app can be updated with those movements. This way the app always reflects the current safe content and records a log.
For daily cash declarations, the tablet is moved to the counter and the contents and counted and entered in DecMate. You can then choose ‘Declaration’ and enter the cash declaration values displayed into Horizon. Any discrepancy can be entered in DecMate together with any comments. You can then ‘Save to Log’ and/or ‘Send as Email’ the declaration. An inbuilt ‘Log viewer’ can be used to aid an investigation as it provides an audit trail.
For your weekly BP or monthly TP, you count your safe contents as usual and cross check what DecMate says should be there. Mistakes in logging individual products in or out of the safe are easily identified and can be investigated. After also counting the Counter contents, you can then check the Horizon Stock report against the DecMate stock declaration page an make any adjustments. The figures needed for the individual Cash, Currency and Stamp declarations are displayed in DecMate and just need to be entered in Horizon.
Guide to DecMate
Stash Summary Page
You edit a stash’s content by selecting its summary card. The main menu is available from the icon at the top left, the icon at the top right shows the ‘Save to Log’ and ‘Send as Email’ menu options.
Note that DecMate will automatically change it’s layout if you turn your device between Portrait and Landscape modes.
Stash Content Editor
The content editor consists of a list of items in the stash and a calculator-based entry panel. The calculator is designed to work in ‘Post Office mode’ where it is not necessary to enter the decimal point as well as in ‘Normal mode’ where the decimal point key works as it would on a calculator. In portrait mode, the calculator is below the list, in landscape mode, the calculator is to the right of the list.
To change the quantity in stock, select the item in the list and either: enter a new value, or use the calculator to add or remove several items. i.e. selecting the 20p line in the example above, followed by entering 500 ENTER will change the value of 20ps held from £20.00 to £5.00. Whereas selecting 5p, followed by +10 ENTER will add 10p taking the value of 5ps from £63.00 to £63.10. One method is better for counting, the other is better for moving items.
The icon at the top right of the screen takes you another editor which allows you to add or remove the types of product stored in the stash, together with the bundle size used in the Stash.
The first half of this list are the types of product currently in the stash, you can remove an item from a stash completely by switching the toggle control. The bottom half of the list are products available to add to the stash. Once added you can change the name, the bundle size and whether you will be entering the quantity of the products (i.e. number of bags of 1p coin) or entering the value of the product (i.e. total value of 1p coins).