"Billable expenses - markup" issue

Running Mac Yosemite 10.5.5. Manager v.16.11.44 desktop version.

Relatively new user of Manager, novice in accounting principles.

I have issued a grand total of seven invoices for consulting services. Woohoo! They consist primarily of a consulting fee and billable expenses. Some of the billable expenses are also expense claims that will be paid to me; others are paid by business credit card.

None of my invoices have markups or write downs on any of the billable expenses. Nonetheless, the summary is showing a balance in the “Billable expenses - markup” line. There are ten entries trackable to one invoice (all of the billable expenses on that invoice) and two entries from another invoice [on the second invoice there are six billable expenses, plus two billable expense credits for previous invoices (credits for invoices issued prior to using Manager, so the transactions being corrected are not in the system)].

It appears for the one invoice with the ten entries that the markup is being calculated at 1.8%.

I’ve searched the forum, read the guides, poked all over in the program and still I cannot figure out what is happening.

I need enlightenment. Thanks for any help offered.

Well, I can assure you there are no program bugs involved in your situation. So it is only a matter of figuring out what you did that caused the situation. That’s difficult without access to your records, but here are a few ideas on where to look:

  1. Do you have a base currency set? If you only work in one currency, you don’t need to. But if you have one set, and there are accidental cases where you specified a currency, that might call up exchange rates that contribute to problems.

  2. You need to remedy the situation with invoices issued prior to using Manager. You must set a Start Date and enter those old invoices with date before the Start Date. Manager will thus ignore them, except for using them to set a starting Accounts receivable balance for that customer. Unless those carryover balances are there, you will never balance you books.

  3. Check the customers involved with the problem invoices. Make sure you do not have them set up in a different currency.

Let us know if any of that helps. If not, can you post some screen shots of the entry screens for the problem invoices?

No joy. Base currency is set to USD and all currencies for all customers are shown as USD.

Screen shots are of the two invoices and the “Billable expenses - markup” drill down. These two invoices have been paid. All of the billable expenses on the first invoice have been marked up. The second invoice has markups on only two of the six billable expenses charged.

I have a recently-issued third invoice to the same customer that has not yet been paid. None of its billable expenses are showing in the markup drill down.

Can I suggest that instead of presenting a global picture, that you provide analysis (trail) of just one transaction - say a billable expense paid by credit card as it progresses through the steps.

Currently, looking at your screenshots of the Invoices and the Billable Expenses - markup account doesn’t provide any linkages between particular transactions. Also, as you don’t require multiple currencies, deactivate the base currency set up.

I’ve been looking at this at the same time @Brucanna was. His point that the Billable expense - markup drill-down doesn’t provide linkages is actually a clue. If you had overbillled on a sales invoice compared to the billable expense amount, you would see a reference to the sales invoice number under Description. The fact that you don’t suggests these transactions were entered automatically. And the way that happens is through Accounts receivable. I suspect the problem may go back to the pre-existing invoices you mentioned.

You didn’t say anything further about them. But have all carryover accounts receiveable been entered as I mentioned in my point #2 above? I ask this because whenever an account is overpaid, Manager starts doing automatic allocations. And if your received funds at any point in excess of what Manager thought was the outstanding amount on the invoice, it has to put that money somewhere. But if the customer’s account was overpaid by Manager’s reckoning, the extra should have shown up as a negative in Accounts receivable.

I also notice that your markup amounts are not necessarily 1.8%. For example, you have two entries for 6/25/16 that are exactly 54 cents, the exact mileage rate. (I’m puzzled, though, because you only had one mileage entry that date.)

It would be useful to see the Billable Expenses register. The amounts there should exactly match the amounts on the sales invoices where they were billed out.

Your final comment about the new invoice to the same customer raises another question. You said its billable expenses don’t show in the markup account. Did the others before you received payment? Or did they only appear when you entered the receipt?

Don’t despair. I use this module of Manager every day in my business in exactly the same way you described (business credit card and expense claims) and it works perfectly. We just need to figure out what happened.

Oh, one other thing. Are you doing accrual basis accounting?

One other question: did you, in fact, generate these sales invoices from within the Customers tab after clicking on the Uninvoiced column? In other words, I want to be sure you did not generate a new sales invoice in the Sales Invoices tab and assign expenses to Billable expenses. That would create serious problems.

Thanks to all for the observations and suggestions. I am going to go back through all transactions to verify accuracy, add missing transactions and see where that leaves things. I will check in with my outcomes when I have concluded that effort.

Oh dear. I believe that is exactly what I did early on… start invoices using the “Sales Invoices” tab. Since there is a button in the “Sales Invoices” tab for “New Sales Invoice,” that seemed a logical place to start. I did not realize that the program requires such specific linear steps; I thought you could get to where you needed to be through different means. Apparently I need to read the guides more closely.

More recently I have been downloading bank statements and assigning the expenditures from Suspense to the appropriate accounts. I suspect from your comment that early on I should have been using the “spend money” button in the Cash Accounts tab.

To rectify this, what do I need to do? Delete and recreate the invoices? Do I need to delete and reenter all the expenditure transactions so they can be reassigned through the Customer’s tab?? Thanks.

You can obviously start sales invoices within the Sales Invoices tab. You can actually incorporate billable expenses, but the steps for doing doing so are somewhat laborious and require jumping back and forth between tabs. The possibilities for error are numerous and could be contributing to your issues.

The most straightforward method for invoicing both billable expenses and billable time is from the Univoiced column in the Customers tab. Click on that, and you will see a list of uninvoiced items–both time and expenses. You check off the ones you want to invoice and then click for a new sales invoice. All checked items transfer over without the possibility of mistake. You can then edit the sales invoice to add due dates, notes, or adjust pricing. Billable expenses - markup is meant to capture over- or under-pricing on things invoiced through this method.

This is fine. Bank imports are a substitute for Spend money and Receive money. I personally think there are some negative aspects, namely the delay involved and the extra steps of exporting the statement from the bank account. But if it works for you, go ahead and use that approach. Just don’t do both or you will be doubling up on your transactions.

While I hate to say this, you don’t yet have a great number of sales invoices to deal with. To sort out all these problems, it might be easier to delete all the sales invoices and start over. Be sure and take a backup first, then be sure you’ve got notes or receipts so you can recreate things. If you’ve logged any payments for a sales invoice, you’ll have to delete those payments before you can delete the invoice. Reissue the sales invoices through Customers. When you do this, you will add your honoraria after the fact. In other words, invoice the billable items, then add the other stuff to the invoice by editing. Move the lines as desired to get them in the order you prefer. (You will actually be able to duplicate your original invoices. Then re-enter any payments.

That’ll be painful, but you’ll have a much better feel for the program when you’re done. And its easier than correcting a whole bunch of mistakes. Let us know how it goes.

Thank you for investing your time in addressing my issue so thoroughly. Recognizing that there were few invoices, I already decided that I was going to go back and redo entries, so no terrible surprise with your suggestion. I really do like the program and how it works; I just need to learn how to pull the levers and push the buttons correctly!

I will report back when I’ve re-grooved the entries.

Quick version: going back and re-entering the invoices and payments has cleaned up the mess. There are now no entries in the billable expenses - markup line, and nothing sitting in suspense.

Thanks a heap and a half for the assistance and wise counsel.

A little more detail: In addition to creating the sales invoices correctly from the billable expenses tab, there were a couple of other problems that complicated things further. These other problems were introduced during the period when I was manually entering data before switching to downloading transactions from the bank (I said earlier that I was downloading statements; that was imprecise language…I was doing a transaction download by date, so I can be close to current with that data as opposed to up to a month late if I was downloading statements).

From that earlier period, I found two problems: 1) a data entry error and 2) a credit card charge manually entered from the receipt that never hit the account. So not only were there process problems, there were bookkeeping errors.

So now I need to read the guides on reconciliation and get serious about keeping a good set of books.

I would not obsess about reconciliation. For a long time, Manager did not even have this capability. It was added because users who were keeping books for others or had to present financial reports to partners, etc., wanted a written document. You may find, as a sole proprietor needing information only for yourself, that reconciliation statements are unnecessary. The Cash Accounts screen already lists cleared balance, pending deposits, pending withdrawals, and available balance. What more do you need?

One of the nicest things about Manager is that you are not forced into unnecessary complexity. You can do the minimum that meets your needs. The reconciliation statement, after all, will do you no good whatever at tax time. And unless you are monitoring yourself for cheating :innocent: it may be a pointless exercise.