Minor "cosmetic" proposals for reports

Please allow me to make some minor proposals for some of the report items;

  1. Currency Symbols
    Manager mix the use of ISO codes (for some currencies) and “local codes” (such us US$, S$). This is not a problem by itself, even though a bit inconsistent. What creates a problem for me is that in all “printable reports” (such as “Invoice”, “Receipt”, “Payment” etc) many of these “local codes” are simply printed as “$”. I use both USD and SGD in my accounts and the same Customer can have an invoice in either currency. It would be great if the reports (especially Invoice, but also things like “Receipt”, “payment” etc) would print the same “full symbol” as used within Manager itself. (In my case S$, US$ or if you prefer ISO consistency: SGD, USD)

  2. Main “Description Field”
    When creating an Invoice or Expense Claim, or when Receiving Payment or Paying a Supplier the logic is similar;

  • You enter a “Main Description” for this transaction
  • This is then automatically copied as ‘default’ for each line item in this transaction (which you can adjust if needed)
    This logice is GREAT!

However when making a “report” (such us viewing/printing an Invoice, Expense Claim, Receipt or Payment slip) this “Main Description Field” is only shown in the case of “Invoice”. For Expense Claim, Receipt and Payment this information is missing on the viewed/printed report. It would be great to have that visible (in the same way as it presently is for “Invoice”)…!

  1. Additional suggestions for the “Receipt” report:
  • I suggest you change “To” to “From” at the top left corner of this report. (Very confusing presently)
  • Please add the address of the Customer from which the payment is received (whenever address details are available in Manager)
  1. This is one of those issues where some users want simple symbols such as $ and some users full one US$. I’m going to leave simplified currency symbols on printed documents but perhaps there could be a note (the amount is in US dollars) or something like that. This should make everyone satisfied.
  2. There are going to be changes how description fields are working on line level.
  3. What do you mean? Receipt is a document you issue (typically to customer). Why do you want it to show from customer?
  1. OK, (though I found it strange that some users would have a problem with the “correct/full code”…)
  2. OK, but please consider printing the “main Description field” on all printed documents in the same way as you presently print it on “Invoices”.
  3. OK, not a main issue. (I do not actually use this as a receipt which i send to someone, but rather as a Payment receipt slip" in the book keeping files. That’s why I thought “From” was more logical - i.e. the money was received “from” this Customer…)

The reason why most people would have a problem with the full code is because if you only buy and sell in say the UK, its redundant to say UK Pound Sterling on the invoice. For pretty much 99% of small businesses, they would never sell goods in anything other than the local currency, so it doesn’t make sense to have the full name.

The use of only $ was a recent change. Previously, you could specify your currency symbol separately, and multi-currency capability was a separate module. After the change, everyone has to specify base currency and everyone got the full ISO symbols. That immediately raised objections because it added so much clutter, and accounting reports frequently contain no symbol at all, but rather a note (such as "All figures in $1,000’s.) So @lubos changed it so that if you were only using one currency, it would default back to the single-character $. My understanding was that if you actually used two currencies, such as US and Australian dollars, you would get full symbols.

But, as @dalacor said, most small businesses work in only a single currency.

Thanks @Tut , that explains why there is quite a bit of inconsistency in Manager in this minor area.
In my case, I presently have transactions in 3 currencies. For USD there are some places that shows USD, some places shows US$ and some only $. My “home currency” is Singapore dollar, which sometimes shows as SGD, sometimes as S$ and sometimes as only $.

I don’t really mind if it is USD or US$ (or SGD or S$), but I have a problem when it is only $, especially on external documents like invoices.

Why not just have a "tic box’ or something in the basic “setting” screen, where you can select if you want to use Currency Symbols or (if you only use one currency) if you prefer “clean” reports without Currency. In these days and times, I believe that also small businesses will get increasingly exposed to cross border transactions eventually…

PS: Did I forget to say that I truly Love Manager…? :wink:

I understand your frustration, @AnBe. All transactions for my current business are in US$. So I presently have no need for all the multi-currency capabilities at all. I was much happier with the previous arrangement. There are similar sorts of inconsistency throughout the program, due largely, I suppose, to the rapid pace of development. But when I mention them, @lubos is almost always aware of them already and says he has plans to improve.

I may have been the source of the original request to drop the US part of US$.

Here in the US, it comes across as an affectation to indicate US$ when both the buyer and the seller are domestic. Literally none of the invoices I receive from local vendors (merchants, utility companies, landlords, etc.) say “US$” on them – just “$”. Even bank statements in the US say just “$” (or frequently no currency symbol at all) and never “US$”, even from global banks. Indeed, looking over my bank statements now, I don’t even see any mention of U.S. Dollars anywhere. Here, it’s just assumed.

Because I have a small number of clients in Canada and overseas, I include a default note on all invoices saying “All amounts are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise specified.”

I disagree. The receipt is being issued to the customer as an acknowledgement of money received from him. “To” is correct. (Think of it this way: If the address could be added as many of us have suggested, then the receipt could be inserted into a window envelope and mailed to the customer, just like an invoice. Hence, “To.”)

And here I thought it was me! :wink: Whoever and however, I suspect the current approach is appreciated by many whose currency uses the $ symbol.

I’m pretty sure you shouldn’t see anywhere USD or SGD. It should be either US$, S$ or just $. Can you show screenshot where you see full ISO symbol such as USD or SGD?

As for why sometime it shows US$ or just $, it comes down to context. If you are looking at the list of customers, then you will see US$ or S$. If you are issuing sales invoice, then on invoice it will be just $. It’s not inconsistent, it’s about showing simplified currency symbol when it’s good enough.

When you issue invoice to customer in USD, no need to show on invoice US$ symbol because customer knows the invoice is in US$. So only $ symbol is shown.

But you’ve raised one good point. What if I have a customer who I issue invoices in US$ and S$. How do they tell what currency the invoice is in. The short answer, unless you put that information in notes, they can’t tell. But on the other hand, why does this situation even exists? Why do you have a customer who might receive an invoice in more than one currency.

@lubos : The only place I can think of with ISO symbols for US$ and S$ is the top of my head is in the Settings/Exchange Rates (i.e. the first place you need to visit if you have a multi currency situation.)

I actually have customers receiving invoices in 3 different currencies. We are truly a international consultancy business, most of the time directly interfacing end customer but sometimes we act as subcontractor to another company. Subcontracting typically is “back to back” arrangements, i.e. the currency follows the currency of the “end customer contract”. We thus have different currencies when invoicing our immediate customer (who subcontracted us) as such invoices refers to various “end customer contracts”. This is just one example, I can think of many other… The great multi-currency capabilities of Manager is actually the key reason why I started to evaluate this software.

Anyway, this is not a major thing. I just try to share my “two cents” and I realise the huge challenges to develop “one solution fits all”… A true nightmare…

Listening to all inputs, my personal take on this would be:

  • In single currency applications, skip the symbols altogether
  • In multi currency applications, use the “full” symbols throughout Manager. (Preferably, but not really critical, ISO symbols as S$, U$ etc etc are all “local implementations” which slowly but surely are replaced with the ISO standard)

This is something a lot of users wouldn’t like. If you are USD business occasionally invoicing in GBP, now all your USD invoices will contain US$ instead of just $ which US businesses would prefer to see.

The only solution I see is to add little note on invoice to say something along the lines:

$ = US Dollars

Or something like that.

No need to blast US$ all over the invoice.

@lubos OK, OK… I’m just sharing my thoughts. In that case, why not have a “ticable option” when creating an individual invoice if currency code should be included? Or indeed, in the Setting/Exchange rates screen (which then could be default for all invoices).

Just some food for thought:
I’m originally Swedish. In Sweden the currency is “kronor”, with the “traditional” symbol “kr”. Both Denmark and Norway also has “kronor” (with the same local symbol “kr”), so people started to add “S”, “D” or “N” in front, i.e. Skr, Dkr and Nkr to identify the currencies (and all these version are still in use). However SEK, DKK and NOK are quickly gaining momentum.

Another example is my present neighbour, Malaysia. Currency “Ringgit”. “Official” local code is RM, but you frequently also see Rg or even M$ or simply $. Using MYR leaves no possibility for misunderstandings.

Many more examples like this… But obviously the most well used symbol is $, and thus the one causing the most misunderstanding in international trade. Some further examples: World Currency Symbols - Xe

I generally don’t add options unless it’s absolutely necessary. Every option I add will need to be understood by end-users. Every option I add is an extra burden I put on end-user to make a decision. That’s why I don’t like options in software. It leads to bloated software.

If someone really really wants to have invoices to show certain way, there will be always possibility to create custom HTML template which can really do anything.

For the rest of us, we will just need to come up with good defaults everybody will be happy with.