How to recover Accounts Payable

Greetings from Tanzania!
I seem to have managed to lose the in-built accounts payable. Everything still works, apart from the status on purchase invoices which all remain overdue. Is there any way to correct this? The alternative involves creating a new company and transferring 6 months entries one by one - not something I would particularly like to undertake as there are about a thousand entries in cash account and hundreds in sales invoices, both of which can not be imported to Manager. I would appreciate any suggestions, including using sqllite editors directly, if possible. Thanks.

Please do not divert topics with unrelated questions. Your post had nothing to do with transferring accounts receivable to accounts payable. So it has been moved to a new topic where it can gain some visibility.

Your situation indicates you probably set up your chart of accounts incorrectly. Accounts payable is an automatically created account and cannot be deleted as long as there is a single supplier defined. See this Guide:

You also cannot create purchase invoices without suppliers. So, if you have purchase invoices, you have suppliers defined, and Accounts payable exists. Most likely, you have renamed it under the chart of accounts in Settings. Go to Settings => Chart of Accounts. You should see Accounts payable in gray below whatever name you gave it:

16 AM

Click Edit and delete the name for the account. The default name, Accounts payable, will reappear. Let us know if that doesn’t solve the problem.

Have you happen to change the accounting basis from accrual to cash.
Under Cash Basis the Accounts Payable account doesn’t appear on the Summary tab but is still selectable under Spend Money - Account

No, I am using accrual basis. In fact it appears to be very easy to lose this control account simply by renaming group, adding some new accounts and then mistakenly allocating the renamed group (accounts payable) to accounts payable. At this point the other accounts are unallocated while the original accounts payable disappears entirely. This should not be possible, I would suggest that there be some block on deletion (or warning).


No, in fact it does nothing at all renaming the account. You are right that I do have both suppliers and purchase invoices tabs active.

To be honest, I can’t fathom what you are doing because I can’t break it and I have tried.

Firstly, Accounts Payable can’t be deleted by the User as it only has an Update option, unlike other self created accounts which have Update and Delete options
0000000 Bug 2 and 0000000 Bug 2a

Secondly, you can change the Accounts Payable account to any group including Assets or into its own Group and not lose it
0000000 Bug 3 and 0000000 Bug 3a

By default Accounts Payable is listed under the group Liabilities and this group (Liabilities) can’t be renamed so this statement doesn’t make sense.

Yes, but have you created a Supplier, Accounts Payable account doesn’t appear until you have created at least one Supplier

From your chart of accounts, it looks as though you might be creating suppliers as accounts and assigning them to your self-created Accounts payable group. That is not how things work, and it would explain why the built-in Accounts payble account does not show. This is explained clearly in the Guide I linked to above.

Suppliers are created under the Suppliers tab and automatically become subsidiary ledgers under the built-in Accounts payable account. Or, they can be assigned to a custom control account.

Also, things like PAYE and Workers compensation fund would not normally be set up as suppliers, because these are not entities you buy anything from. These would normally be entities to whom you credit payments made to clear payroll liabilities originating with deduction or contribution payslip items. Or, depending on how workers’ compensation functions in your jurisdiction, payments for that might be simply an insurance premium expense.

Brucanna, Thanks for the information that you provided. Despite what you say, it does appear entirely possible to lose the in-built accounts payable - as shown here, with all the prior accounts deleted under liabilities (ie. the inbuilt accounts payable is nowhere to be found, and does not appear when new suppliers are added. This is a big puzzle really.


Tut, It has to do with end of year liabilities, as yet unpaid at the closing date but that should be part of the closed year accounts, so they don’t show in current year P&L. The guide mentioned says to enter starting balance purchase invoices in this case. In order to see them clearly I added the supplier accounts, which properly I suppose should all be in Accounts Payable. Thanks.

I am sorry but things transactions wise just don’t seem to be normal or add up:
2/115 bank transactions, 1/913 cash transactions and 17/139 Sales Invoices, but only ONE/ONE Purchase Invoice

Yes, I deleted the purchase invoices in a copy of the accounts in order to see if a settings reset and the addition of a supplier would sort the issue, but it hasn’t. So the purchase invoice is in this case a test dummy. I should have explained that, my fault.

Manager is a perpetual accounting system, so you don’t close accounts and start over in the new year. See this Guide: Close an accounting period | Manager.

Yes. And this is not a small thing.

Can you post a screen shot of your entire chart of accounts? The portion you showed is obviously incomplete, because it does not include Assets. That group cannot be either deleted or renamed.

I am transferring the prior year closing account balances from the previous (manual) accounting system, while using Manager for this year. So this is the first year of usage, however the opening balances have to agree with the tax submitted previous accounts.

I had to take several screen shots in order to fit the whole chart of accounts:

The only explanation, given what you’ve told us, unless you have a very ancient version of Manager, is that you have no suppliers defined. Are you sure you took the screen shot showing 1 supplier in the Suppliers tab with your accounts in the same condition as when you showed your full chart of accounts?

Please do three things:

  1. Confirm your version number by clicking on the Support tab at the top. (I’m assuming you are on the desktop edition.)
  2. Post a screen shot of the listing that appears when you click on the Suppliers tab.
  3. Post a screen shot of what appears when you click Set Period on the Summary page.

Hi Tut, The single supplier screen shot was with the suppliers edited out in a copy of the accounts and a single supplier re-entered on a test basis after resetting (removing suppliers and purchase invoices in settings). I have 10 suppliers with 12 purchase invoices defined as shown here - these match the full accounts as per last screen shot. Also shown here are the two screen shots requested. Thanks.


@Cattlefarmer, before throwing up my hands in despair and asking for intervention by the developer, I’d like you to try two more things. Capture a screen shot of your Summary page. Make sure it shows all accounts, so take multiple shots, if necessary. This will remain private as it is only for your reference.

Enter a new purchase invoice for your existing supplier, Justin, who currently has none. Enter one line item, describing it as TEST, and allocating it to your Fertiliser expense account. Enter no quantity, but make the unit price 500,000. Now look at your Summary again and see which accounts have changed compared to the screen shots. Fertiliser should have increased by 500,000. On the balance sheet side, another account should have changed by 500,000 also. This might be in any of the three major groups, and it might be an increase or decrease.

Once you have identified which accounts changed, delete the TEST purchase invoice.

What I am attempting is to discover whether your automatic Accounts payable account, which should not be deletable, is masquerading as another account. That purchase invoice has to show up somewhere in your chart of accounts.

Finally, does your Summary page show a Suspense account in the Equity section? If so, does it have a balance? If there is a balance, click on it to see what shows. There should be nothing in Suspense, as that is where Manager stores incomplete or unbalanced transactions until you fix them.

Tut, You will have to pass this along to the developer I think.

I have followed your instructions to the letter ( as I have done previously on my own before posting this topic). The answer is that the Justin TEST purchase invoice for 5000,000 increments the fertiliser expense account by 5000,000 as expected. However, no balance sheet account shows any change - top to bottom - zilch. There is no suspense account content (no suspense account), though on the purchase invoice page the first account listed (greyed out) is suspense. This means of course that the programme is unusable as is, and I will need to report this as a bug to the developer - presumably Lubos?

Let me clarify how the in-built account disappeared - as this is reproducible. It IS NOT a question of accidentally pressing any DELETE/UPDATE button. If one creates under CHART OF ACCOUNTS setting, a new control account allocated to Liabilities, then creates a new group also under Liabilities, for example named, Creditors & accruals. Then create a second new group named say, accounts payable (as the first original is now Creditors & accruals) also under Liabilities - the original built-in accounts payable will now disappear when one of the new accounts or groups is allocated to accounts payable. This is reproducible time and again in a new business and each time the inbuilt Accounts payable is lost. (Note that my description could perhaps do with some improvement).

I cannot reproduce this, perhaps because I am unable to follow your instructions.

First, you said the first step was to create a new control account in Liabilities. But you did not say what that control account was made up of. A control account cannot be posted to directly, but only through its subsidiary accounts. Only certain options are available (depending on which tabs are enabled):

09 AM

So which option did you choose, if any? And what is the name of this new control account in the full chart of accounts you showed?

Second, I created your Creditors & accruals group. But you didn’t say what to do with it. Attempting to follow your instructions, that group seemed pointless. The point of groups is to assign accounts to them. Later, you said, “the first original is now Creditors & accruals.” That didn’t make sense. What was the “first original.” And how did it become Creditors & accruals?

Third, you said the original, built-in Accounts payable will disappear when one of the new accounts or groups is allocated to Accounts payable. Which Accounts payable are you allocating to? Presumably you meant the new Accounts payable group, because you cannot allocate an account or a group to an account, only to a group. Yet I can allocate the built-in Accounts payable account to any group, including one with the identical name, without its disappearing.

In summary, by trying to follow your instructions for breaking the program, I’ve ended up with a control account without subsidiary ledgers, a new group with no assigned accounts, and the built-in Accounts payable assigned to a new group with same name. So if you’ve made that account disappear, there are some missing details.

Tut, I admit my description was lousy due to time pressure. I describe here below a step by step sequence that results in the loss of the in-built Accounts Payable. I tried it out 3x and each time the original account disappears. I have to state that I am using the OSX Desktop version of Manager.

Step by step

Add Business TEST to Manager

Bank Accounts
Bank Transactions
Cash Accounts
Cash Transactions
Sales Invoices
Purchase Invoices

New Supplier

New Purchase Invoice
-> Fred
Account -> Accounting Fees
Unit price -> 1000

Chart of Accounts
New Account
H.M. Associates
Group -> Liabilities
Control Account -> Suppliers

New Group 
	Accounts Payable 
	Group -> Liabilities 

Edit in greyed out text of original account Accounts Payable -> Accounts Payable
Group Liabilities -> Accounts payable

Edit new Group Accounts payable
Group Liabilities -> Accounts payable

I was finally able to reproduce your problem. I’ve dissected the last few series of steps in your process:

22 AM

The program should probably not let a group be assigned to itself. I will write a separate bug report about that.

In general, though, you have created an extremely unconventional chart of accounts that promises future headaches. While some of the steps you described did not produce problems in the example sequence, they might well in the future with other transactions. I suggest consulting with a qualified accountant to design an appropriate chart of accounts.

As for getting Accounts payable back, I don’t know if that’s possible. The data is still there. If you go to the Suppliers tab, you should see an Accounts Payable balance for FRED. If you click on that, you can drill down to the purchase invoice you entered. The question is how to reverse assignment of the Accounts Payable group to itself, since the group is no longer visible for editing.

One possibility is to restore a backup from before you took that last step, if you have one. You would then need to re-enter all transactions after that backup was made.

I will invite the developer into this topic. He may communicate with you on ways to recover Accounts payable.

1 Like