Customers and Suppliers

After the recent changes in Manager I was wondering if it still makes sense to have two distinct lists for Customers and Suppliers. I am waiting for your opinions about it.


I don’t think I would want all of my defined customers and suppliers to appear in both my Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable as sub-ledgers


In my opinion Manager could be further improved by having a single contacts database but with a checkbox to control if a contact appears in the list for

  • Customer
  • Supplier
  • expense claim payer
  • Employee

Then it would be possible to display all transactions for a contact, independent of the context, together with totals.


That is something similar to what I was thinking about. A unique contact list with check boxes for the sublist in which the contact should appear: customers, suppliers and other ones. Each sublist should retain its own custom fields.

I was thinking more to a contact database that could be linked to each single list.

Do you need that?

There is likely to be overlap between custom fields for different contact type so if fields were shared that may simply the interface.

Between Customers and Suppliers really not. But if we want to extend to some more areas maybe. However a review of custom fields with the possibility to share them between different tabs is under Ideas. So a discussion about this is marginal.

I think the issue all along has been his desire to not use multiple tax codes for suppliers vs customers and I think the recent changes rely on the fact they are in fact a customer or supplier to make that determination (for taxation reporting).

I personally can’t see why the payment/receipt type itself couldn’t be the deciding factor and I think that’s where he was heading with payments vs receipts, but that didn’t work out so well, so he’s fallen back to the suppliers are purchases and customers are sales. Therefore there needs to be a separation. Again, I can’t see why there couldn’t be a “this contact is primarily to be treated as a customer/supplier” type setting, but I think that would be better served with a flag on the payment/receipt itself and not the contact.

There would always be a problem though if that contact was a legitimate customer AND supplier. Anyway, that’s all beyond my accountancy skills.

I would like the idea of a single contact list and then nomination as to what type as you’ve suggested. And I think that’s been discussed before. I see you were in one of those threads, but I’m sure I’ve seen lubos pop his head into the conversation before too, just not able to find it atm

You are correct, the concept has been suggeste in the context of

It doesn’t really worry me either way but thought it was constructive to explore requirements of how such a feature should work and the compromises involved in making particular choices

  • core fields are common to most contact types but there maybe a risk of overlap in id number / code
  • Business number is common to suppliers and customers
  • Employees tend to have a different list of custom fields

I think it can be easily solved with a prefix

This looks like it’s the most requested improvements that isn’t there in ideas. I know I have requested this at least a couple of times.

The following are all requests to do something like this

And I believe there’s more but I am too lazy to list them all.

However, @Tut have mentioned a valid reason why this is not done and that is the control accounts (which are very handy to control which customers/suppliers go into which chart of account entry)

But, I think there is a way to combine external parties without breaking the current setup. I think that maybe if you maintain the current tabs as they are and create a parent object that can hold multiple customers, suppliers, employees, capital accounts and expense claim payers, then you can have the best of both worlds, complete backwards compatibility as well as a way to summarize multiple account as one entity. This will also solve other issues multiple branches/addresses per customer.

Maybe you guys or @lubos can come with a better implementation but it shouldn’t be abrupt. It should be smooth.

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Basically you can have a unified contact list with the possibility to assign the entities both to Customers or Suppliers (if needed).

This can also save a lot of extra work in creating special accounts for managing for example liabilities from Customers anticipations. You just enable Customer A also inside Suppliers list and assign the Receipt to this new Supplier A.

Yes, as well as capital accounts, employees and expense claim payer.

The employee can also be a capital account, expense claim payer and customer.

The capital account can be a customer and a supplier.

Also, it would be nice to be able to leave that field blank (when you create a customer for example) and manager creates a new contact in addition to the customer.