Inconsistent behavior of billable expense sales invoices

When I create a sales invoice from billable expenses that have been entered via recurring purchase invoices I get a blank sales invoice. Below I replicated this behavior in a new test business on Manager version 20.2.71:
Create a recurring purchase invoice in Settings:

Go to Purchase Invoices and see an alert about pending recurring invoices
Screen Shot 04-14-20 at 01.17 PM
Click on the alert and see a pending recurring invoice to be created:
Screen Shot 04-14-20 at 01.18 PM
Click Create and go to Purchase Invoices and see the purhase invoice:

Go to Billable Expenses and see the billable expense waiting to be invoiced:

Go to Customers and see Uninvoiced amount:

Click on the amount and see billable expenses to be created to a new sales invoice:

Click New Sales Invoice and get a blank invoice with zero amount:

Could you advise please?

If you create the billable expense using a normal purchase invoice does this work?

Works fine here and I’m also using desktop 20.2.71.

If I use normal purchase invoice in a new business to create billable expenses then it works.
If I add recurring invoices then it stops working and I get blank invoices.

I can reproduce this behavior, @Naine.

Two things you wrote are not quite accurate, however. They are key to understanding what happened:

  • You wrote that you are getting a blank sales invoice. Actually, you are not. The program generated a sales invoice for the correct customer, with correct issue and due dates. Only the line item is missing. Because the balance is zero, the invoice is automatically paid in full. This happens when the Description field for the line item on the purchase invoice is blank. That is because, when you generate a sales invoice from uninvoiced items in the Customers tab, the line item is “divorced” from the original purchase invoice’s summary level description. (Your example fills in the summary level description, but not the line-item description.) After all, you might purchase several items from a supplier on a purchase invoice, with only one being a billable expense. So there is no way to identify what a blank line item refers to.
  • You also wrote that the behavior uniquely occurs when the purchase of the billable expense item is via a recurring purchase invoice, but not a standard purchase invoice. That is not true. The same behavior occurs regardless of how the purchase invoice is generated.

Your screen shots overlook three important things:

  • After the sales invoice is generated, the Edit screen for it shows no line items. In other words, the completed transaction includes exactly the content from its Edit screen.
  • The Billable Expenses tab still shows the billable expense as uninvoiced.
  • The Customers tab still shows the billable expense in the Uninvoiced column.

So, no accounting errors occurred. You simply wasted a sales invoice that would have been unintelligible anyway, because the customer would not have known what it was for. Nor would you.

Go back and fill in a line-item description and create the sales invoice again. I believe you will discover everything works as expected.

@Mark, I am curious how you obtained the sales invoice you showed. According to your screen shot, your line-item description was blank. So you should have seen the same behavior. (See my explanation to @Naine above.)

Can you show the Edit screen of your test invoice?

Here you are:

I left the line description empty as to follow the same procedure as Naine’s. The date in the line description was put there automatically.

And this is the recurring purchase invoice I created. As you can see the date has now been set to 1 month later:

My mistake, @Mark. I should have asked to see the purchase invoice. I didn’t specify which.

Thank you, @Mark. The one difference between what you did and what @Naine did is that you had nothing in the summary-level Description field of your purchase invoice. @Naine had content in that field, but nothing in the line-item Description field. For some reason, that makes a difference.

  1. When both fields are blank and you create a sales invoice from the Customers tab, the program picks up the billable expense, inserts the sales invoice date, and processes things as though the description fields were filled in. This results in a sales invoice like the one you showed, with a date, but no other information, but with all financial numbers as expected.

  2. When the summary-level description is filled in, but the line-item description is not, the program behaves as I explained in my post #5 above.

I suppose either behavior could be considered “normal,” but it seems they should be the same. On that basis, I will move this topic to bugs so @lubos will look at it. I also changed the subject to more closely match what has been discussed.

It is important to note that neither behavior produces accounting errors. But #2 wastes sales invoices.

OK, I see. I’m indeed able to reproduce the error by only filling in the summary-level description. If both the summary-level and the line description are filled in, the program works correctly.

Thank you @Tut and @Mark for lending a hand with figuring out what was the cause of this weird behavior.

I’m not able to reproduce this issue anymore. I assume this has been fixed as a side-effect of recent improvements.

Yes, according to my tests, this has been fixed.