Code, Name & Description - behaviour of these items in transaction forms

See below for a test purchase invoice “create” form:

For Inventory and Non Inventory items the Item Code, Item Name and the Item Description are displayed as expected (autofilled). For the Fixed asset the ItemCode and the ItemName display as expected, however the Description does not autofill.

The next screen shot is the Edit Form:

Note that now the Fixed asset code is not displayed.

The next screen shot is the Purchase Invoice document:

Note that the Fixed Asset code is not displayed, and the Fixed Asset name is displayed (in place of the FA description) due to the blank Description field in the create/edit screen.

I have 2 requests (Ideas or bugs whichever way you wish to classify them).

  1. That the fixed asset code display in the edit form and the Purchase invoice document.
  2. That the Fixed Asset description field be autofilled in both the create form and the edit form.

Let me explain a few things relevant to the points you have raised:

  • What you refer to as “create” and “edit” screens or forms are the same form in the program. Notice the grey text in the breadcrumbs bar at the top of the window. In both cases, it says, “Purchase Invoice — Edit.”
  • When you select an inventory or non-inventory item on a transaction form (purchase invoice or any other type), you do so in the Item dropdown field. To assist in selection, both the item code and item name show. This is necessary because inventory items often have the same name despite different specifications, differing only in their detailed descriptions. Selecting an item autofills the Account and Description fields. Account is autofilled because proper functioning of the program requires the line item to be posted to the designated account. Description is autofilled because it is expected that you will use the item many times; thus, the autofilling is a time saver, and doing so captures the differences that might apply to inventory items with the same name.
  • When you enter a fixed asset, you do not select anything in the Item field, which is used only for defined inventory and non-inventory items. Instead, you select a posting account directly in the Account dropdown field. Doing that requires selection of a subsidiary ledger. To assist with selection of the subsidiary ledger, both the fixed asset code and name appear in the dropdown list. But once the transaction is created, the subsidiary ledger code no longer shows. This functionality is consistent with the rest of the program: subsidiary ledger codes are not displayed, even on the edit screen, after the transaction is created.
  • Now, if you assigned an account code to the Fixed assets account, that could would remain visible on edit screens. This is also consistent with the rest of the program.
  • Account codes and names do not show unfinished transactions, regardless of what they are. In your example, if your Accounting fees account had a code, that code would not show when viewing a purchase invoice entering a bill from your accountant, even though it would be visible in the dropdown account-selection box and would show on the edit screen. Nor would an account code for Inventory on hand show on completed purchase invoices for inventory items. Account names themselves do not show on any finished transaction.

In other words, in the case of inventory or non-inventory items, you are selecting the item itself. Its account and description are then autofilled. And the item code displays on the finished transaction, because this code is often a stock number and is, therefore, useful.

But in the case of a fixed asset, you are not selecting the asset itself, but an account and subsidiary ledger. The fixed asset code does not show on the finished transaction in the same way account codes do not show for other types of purchases. The same thing is true of the description. A fixed asset is often described in detail by its purpose, location, depreciation method, and expected life. But you would not normally enter any of those things on a purchase invoice. More likely, you would enter a manufacturer’s name or model number. Therefore, autofilling is not done.

As a final note, it is worth saying that you are going to purchase a fixed asset once. Occasionally, you may have additional costs to capitalize with it. Eventually, you may sell it. But autofilling information for fixed assets is not going to save much labor over the life of the asset.

Thank you for the very comprehensive reply. A very logical explanation of the differences between inventory items and fixed asset items.

The suggested changes were put forward in the interests of improving the program in terms of ease of use and consistency.

The fixed asset items have an item code, an item name and a description in the same way that inventory and non-inventory items do, and although the process is different it would be good if these common elements behaved in a consistent manner.

The suggested changes will make the program easier to use without having an adverse impact on how others may want to use the program, so, if architecture of the program will allow it I would like to see the suggested changes implemented.

The point is, they are not common elements. In one case, you are selecting items. In the other, you are selecting an account and subsidiary ledger. Those are not the same at all. Terminology for variables means different things in different contexts within the program. A code for an inventory item is meant as a distinguishing identifier. A code for a fixed asset gives it an order of precedence. A code for an account controls its place in the chart of accounts. If they behaved identically, they would not accomplish their intended purposes. They are designed to behave differently because they serve different goals.

I can’t see the subsidiary ledger argument. Inventory on Hand is a subsidiary ledger for inventory items and there is no subsidiary ledger for Non-Inventory items and their behaviour is similar.
As I indicated in my previous post the program’s architecture may not permit the suggested changes. The program developer would be able to tell us if it is possible or not. So I would pleased to have the changes considered on this basis.

No, it is not. It is a control account, which is exactly the opposite.

You may not see it, but this point is irrelevant. You keep misunderstanding the difference between selecting items and selecting accounts (which may have subsidiary ledgers). Inventory and non-inventory item selection processes were purposely designed to behave similarly. (Originally, they behaved in unique ways, despite being amenable to similar treatment.) Account selection was purposely designed to behave differently. Making the two processes identical would preclude important functionality. As I wrote above, that functionality goes beyond item identification.

Thank you @Tut for your help. It is clear, from your comments, that it is definitely not possible for the suggested changes to occur, so I will change my naming method for fixed assets to achieve a workaround result .