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[19.1.0] Changed implementation of late payment fees


#1

The latest version is changing implementation of late payment fees on sales invoices.

Previously, late payment fees would be created automatically and recalculated automatically based on the rule set on sales invoice. While this concept worked, it wasn’t really possible to selectively forgive particular fees or change amounts. It was all-or-nothing solution. On top of that, some heavy users started to experience performance issues.

In the latest version, late payment fees are manual entries which system can offer to generate.

For now, late payment fees will have its own tab.

I’m not entirely sure this is necessary as late payment fees are really a type of credit (debit) note so in future, late payment fees are most likely to be merged but for now I’m going to leave it as a separate tab.

When one or more invoices are eligible to be charged late payment fee, it will be indicated as alert under Sales Invoices tab.

Clicking on the alert will allow user to generate late payment fee entries. Once late payment fee entries are created, they can be further edited (if required) like any other transaction.

Late payment fees from previous version are gone and need to be re-created

If you’ve been using late payment fees in previous versions, you will notice they are missing. You need to go to Sales Invoices tab, click on the alert which will prompt you to create late payment fee entries. This will add them back as manual entries under Late Payment Fees tab.

Late payment fees will continue to evolve. I’d like to add ability to have grace period, fixed amount fee or ability to mark late payment fee as forgiven.


Abnormalities in late payment fees
#2

These are initial observations, after preliminary investigation of the new feature:

  1. When the notice of pending fees is clicked, and the Create button is clicked, only one late fee per customer is created. So if a sales invoice is 10 months overdue, the process must be repeated 10 times. Meanwhile, there is no indication of which month’s fee you are creating. It is a blind process, where you have to keep clicking until the notice no longer appears. This might go on for a very long time. Why doesn’t the program create all past late fees?

  2. If a late fee is created manually in the Late Payment Fees tab, it appears on the invoice, whether or not the box for late fees is checked.

  3. If an existing invoice is edited to add late fees after a fee has been manually created, those never appear. In other words, a manually created late fee, if the first one applied, precludes all other late payment fees.

  4. If an automatically created late fee is deleted, for example in the 3rd month of a 6-month overdue period, the notice of pending late fees never reappears. Why not? Is this assumed to be an indication of forgiveness? On the other hand, if the latest late fee is deleted, the notice reappears, and when acted upon causes the latest fee to be recreated. Why the different behavior?


#3

@lubos please also try implement to charge late fee on daily basis rather than for month upfront. My suggestion might attract debate, but trust me this how bank’s calculate loan interest and acceptable to many entities.


#4

There is no clear indication of invoice reference against which the late payment fees are incurred on in the customer’s ledger and statement. I have noticed that it is cumbersome to reconcile them specially when there are too many overdue invoices. If the late payment fees can appear in the respective invoices then why can’t the invoice reference can be stated in the ledger and statement?


#5

@Tut

  1. I think that is OK. Mostly because you will be continuously creating late payment fees and it’s unlikely you will be creating late payment fees going too far back unless you activate them on older invoice which would be unusual. You can use the same argument on recurring transactions. They are also created one at the time. So if you have recurring journal entry which is set to repeat every month and you didn’t create any 4 months, you will go through the process of creating recurring journal entry 4x.
  2. That’s correct. The checkbox is there only to prompt the transaction creation. For example, you might want to stop late payment fees from being charged on existing invoice anymore so you uncheck the box but you want to retain existing late payment fees.
  3. Yes. If you want to trigger late payment fees to be auto-generated from the beginning you will need to delete (or batch delete) all late payment fees on that invoice.
  4. The system looks when was the last late payment fee recorded and works from there.

Anyway, I can see the implementation is still confusing. My goal is to make the implementation work exactly the same as recurring transactions. That is not the case right now but it will be.


#6

The only issue is that you might end up with A LOT of late payment fee transactions. Wouldn’t that be too much?

This was oversight. Added to the latest version (19.1.10)


#7

To be able to select the checkboxes and create all checked at once would be perfect. Else I wouldn’t mind creating one at a time for the sake of accurate and more acceptable way of late fee calculation.

Thanks.


#8

Thanks for your responses, @lubos. Notice that my comments were labelled as “observations,” not flaws. I wanted to be sure I was understanding behavior correctly. Now that I’ve used the feature more, the concepts are clearer. @raJ’s idea of being to check a box and generate all past transactions at once would be convenient, especially if combined with a list of dates for which they were due. As for commonality with recurring invoices/journal entries/payslips, such a feature would be helpful there, too.