This post is mostly in reference to what I read here and I’m hoping someone has a suggestion for a workaround, or perhaps since 17.6.10 there has been an update that allows a different setting for this.
First a quick introduction to the problem I’m encountering while testing Manager and trying to track inventory across sales and purchasing, and then a suggestion for how to fix it if no one has a workaround.
Current Accounting Software
In our current accounting software, sales orders are only entered if they can either be fulfilled from stock or it is possible to obtain the goods to fill the order. Therefore, when an order is entered, our inventory reflects that to show the quantity reserved for orders and subtracts that from the available stock. Items are only invoiced when they are shipped out, and when an item is invoiced that quantity is removed from inventory. Similarly, with purchase orders, when we create and send a purchase order it then reflects in “Qty on order” column so we know we have generated a PO and sent it out. We then receive against the PO to add the items to our available stock. Eventually, an invoice is added for the PO to pay the supplier.
In essence, the sales flow is like this:
- Sales Quote (does not affect inventory nor accounting)
- Sales Order (quantity is reserved in inventory for this order, but is not removed from inventory nor does it affect accounting)
- Sales Invoice (quantity is removed from inventory and it is reflected in the Accounts Receivable)
And the purchase flow is like this:
- Purchase order (quantity shows as “on order” in for the inventory item, but the actual stock is not changed nor does it affect the accounting)
- Items are received against the PO (called Goods Receipt in Manager) which updates the stock in inventory
- We receive an invoice from the supplier which is entered and paid
The workflow is different in Manager and, from what I’ve been told by our accounting department and our sales department, we will have to find a different solution if we are unable to find a sufficient workaround or a change is made to the software. Here is what Manager does:
- Sales Quote (does not affect inventory nor accounting)
- Sales Order (item is not removed from inventory nor does this affect accounting)
- Sales Invoice (quantity is moved to the “Qty to deliver” column and reflected in Accounts Receivable)
- Delivery Note (quantity is removed from inventory)
- Purchase Order is created (does not affect accounting nor inventory)
- Purchase Invoice is created (affects Accounts Payable and shows in “Qty to receive” column)
- Goods Receipt is created as items are received (moves inventory from “Qty to receive” to “Qty on hand”)
Sales: We often receive orders for items that are on backorder and/or are initially only partially shipped. Manager shows items in the “Qty to deliver” column (which we would treat as backordered) only if we create an invoice. However, as the lead time on some of these items can be as long as 6 months, we only invoice items that are being sent in shipments. Customers do not appreciate receiving invoices for items that have not shipped, nor is that standard practice in our industry. If we only create invoices for the amount we are shipping, quantities are only removed from the “Qty on hand” in the inventory module and we have no way of keeping track of the backorders. Even worse, we have no way of viewing this for the customer either unless an invoice is created so it becomes practically impossible to keep track of for a large quantity of orders.
Purchasing: Our suppliers will quite often not invoice us for a month after we have received the items. I realize that we can enter these items into the Goods Receipt module which will add the items to inventory, but this creates 2 problems. 1) a negative quantity is shown under “Qty to receive”, 2) we have no way of keeping track which items we have submitted purchase orders for.
Important Note: Two things I should clarify.
I realize that I can disable both the Delivery Notes and Goods Receipts modules which will cause the inventory to be changed with the Sales Invoices and Purchase Invoices…but this does not fix our problem. We need the functionality of both of those modules, we just need a way of keeping track of items that have been submitted as either Sales Orders or Purchase Orders.
I read the aforementioned thread thoroughly and agree with the accounting principles discussed throughout. I do not propose to change the way that inventory is accounted for - I agree that the accounting should only be affected by invoices as those are actual accounting documents. What we need is a way of tracking inventory orders.
I propose that the “Qty to receive” and “Qty to deliver” columns can be either generated using the entered invoices (as is done currently) or orders (not currently available), or to have user configurable columns for the inventory module so we are able to properly track orders. Additionally, we should be able to see the quantities the customer has ordered from the customer module as well. @lubos I am not sure how difficult it would be to implement this, or if it is in the roadmap, but some input would be greatly appreciated. As I said, I agree with the accounting principles discussed in the previously linked thread; however, my solution would both 1) not affect the accounting side of things while 2) solving our problem as well as the problem of many other users in the previous thread as well as other threads I read (not linked).
Additionally, if anyone has any workarounds that would make this work from an accounting as well as an inventory tracking perspective, I’d be happy to hear them.
EDIT: Something else I just thought of as well. Generally, when items are backordered, there is a “Promise Date” entered into the system to prompt an employee to check on the status of the backorder. Also, the invoice would normally show two columns, one for backorder quantity and one for shipped quantity. I realize this is easy to see within Manager but the forms and PDFs generated do not show the customer that the items are backordered and will likely lead to confusion. Even if Delivery Notes are used, only the shipped quantity is shown and not the total amount ordered. A more complete backorder solution baked directly into Manager would be extremely useful, although with the new API coming we may generate our own PDFs based upon the information Manager gives us.