Invoice auto numbering

I use this 7 digits numbering format for invoices:
year + month + auto increment number

according to the other threads, new invoices use number equals to the highest invoice number + 1. If I manually create an invoice with number 1905001 at the beginning of May 2019, the next invoice would be 1905002 automatically. This has been working fine until…

One day a customer disputed an invoice 1904003. It was indeed my colleagues’ fault so we decided to give the customer a discount on some of the invoiced items. Since the invoice has already been sent, I suffixed the invoice with R (for revision) to avoid mixing up with different versions of the same invoice. The dispute carried on and we eventually settled with 1904003r4 (4th revision). This causes a problem. The revised invoice now has an extra digit and become the biggest number. automatic numbering for new invoices now starts with 19040035 (8 digits).

Since the invoice has already been sent to the customer by email, editing the invoice number would cause inconsistency, eg in future statements. How should I resolve this?

Type the next invoice number(s) manually for the given month and then go back to auto numbering.

But, I think the best way to deal with corrections on already issued invoices is to use credit notes.

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That won’t work. The revised invoice 1904003r4 has 1 more digit than other invoices. Even if I manually create in invoice 1905001, The next auto number is still going to be 19040035

is bigger than

Hm, Manager drops the “r” from auto numbering but keeps the number after “r”.

I don’t know, maybe go for 19050001?

As a warning to other users, this was well flagged in the guide Use reference numbers

When searching for existing reference numbers, Manager ignores alphabetic content and punctuation marks. For example, if the highest-numbered sales invoice includes a prefix, such as INV2018-45 , the next automatically assigned number will be 201846 .
If a form with an existing reference number is edited to assign an automatic sequence number, that form is included in Manager’s search. So, if sales quote 347 is edited to include an automatic reference number, it will become 348 when Update is clicked.
Because of these features, mixing free text and automatic reference numbers is seldom advisable. Your free-text entries will become the criteria for determining automatic number assignments. However, the search process for each transaction type is separate from all others. So using free-text invoice numbers on purchase invoices and automatic ones on sales invoices would be perfectly acceptable.

The correct way to have dealt with this problem was to issue a credit note and re-issue the invoice - so 3 credit notes and 3 re-issued invoices.

I also wonder why people insist on a formal reference number for invoices, etc rather than a straight sequence number. There are other ways of finding the invoices issued on a particular date or in a particular month

So every time we revise an invoice, we will have to increase the number of digits?

Don’t think it’s feasible.

I don’t think revising an invoice should be done in such way. There are credit notes for that.

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[quote=“Joe91, post:5, topic:21889”]
The correct way to have dealt with this problem was to issue a credit note and re-issue the invoice - so 3 credit notes and 3 re-issued invoices.[/quote]

Our accountant use credit notes for refunds and some other things. But for invoices that were mistaken in the first place he needs to amend and re-issue them. And the re-issued invoices need to have different invoice number to avoid mix-up.

Our company send statement at the end of each month and request customer to make a single payment for all invoices in that month. We don’t want to have 6 incorrect items on the statement and confuse the customer.

We can argue all day on what is the ‘best’ or ‘correct’ way of doing things but I’d rather not. Let’s just say businesses have different requirements. and here is mine:

Occasionally, we need to amend and re-issue mistaken invoices. The re-issued invoices need to have different invoice number to avoid mixing up. How to have different invoice number to indicated that the invoice has been revised. And at the same time not mess up the auto numbering?

there is no way of correcting faults arising due to incorrect accounting practice, but to correct the accounting practice itself.

you can edit an invoice as many times as you want before sending it to the customer. but once it is sent to the customer, any mistake needs to be corrected with a credit note and if necessary issue a new invoice. the old invoice stays as it is.

Again this would be not completely to your requirements. But maybe keep the invoice number and add a custom field that notes the revision.

This is possible. I can put revision field right next to the invoice number in the theme.

Thanks novica

You could also add an alphabetic character eg 1905001A, 1905001B, etc this would not disrupt the automatic sequence

It can be done by creating a custom template.

This is happening to me as well, my last invoice number was 2001, so next number should be 2002 if we check the numbering as automatic ; everything works well until you print the invoice. But when printed it takes another Number as 3001084, There was an invoice with last digits as 3001083 earlier but I found it out and edited to the actual number , now the largest number among the invoices is 2001 so naturally the next number should be 2002.

@Mahesh1, it is not clear whether you are complaining about a problem or just reporting your experience. But here are a few points to consider:

  • Automatic reference numbers are assigned when you Create a transaction. They are not visible while entering a transaction.
  • Once a reference number is assigned, it will never change spontaneously or by intervention of the program. Such a feature could have unexpected consequences as transactions were modified without your knowledge.
  • Editing the prior transaction with number 3001083 does not change the transaction that was automatically numbered as 3001084. That one will have to be manually edited, as well.
  • The easiest way to make sure your reference numbers are correct is to sort the transactions (for whatever tab is involved, such as Sales Invoices) by clicking on the # heading. That will put the largest reference number at the top of the list for verification.