Streamlining receipt of payments

When I receive a payment from a customer, it seems like it takes too many steps.

Currently, I have a few ways to choose from for entering a received payment in Manager:

  1. If I know the invoice number, I can open the invoice: Sales Invoices > View > Receive money. I have to select the receipt account (v > Cash), but the Payer, Accounts receivable, the A/R account (customer), and invoice number are already filled in for me. I enter the amount, and hit Create.

  2. If I don’t know the invoice number, or if the customer is paying in advance of any invoice, I can go through my cash account ledger: Cash Accounts > Receive money. As above, I have to select the receipt account and fill in the payment amount, but I also have to select the Accounts receivable account and I have to specify the customer’s name TWICE (once manually on the Payer line and once from the A/R sub-account drop-down).

  3. Alternatively, if I don’t know the invoice number, to save myself the trouble of typing the customer’s name in the Payer field, I can go through Customers > Accounts receivable hyperlink and open any random invoice, then I can click the little X to erase the pre-selected invoice number and then overwrite the amount.

Am I missing a more streamlined workflow, or is this it? If this is it, then there really should be an easier way to enter payment receipts. At a minimum, the Cash Received form should default to Accounts receivable and the Payer should self-populate once the customer is selected from the A/R sub-account drop-down.

In addition, when I click Create on the Cash Received entry form, Manager currently takes me back to the Cash account ledger. It should instead take me to a printable Receipt, similar to what happens when I create an Invoice or a Credit Note or pretty much anything else. I shouldn’t have to find and View the transaction I just entered again just to generate the printed receipt.

Finally, when I enter a received payment without an invoice number (what used to be called Customer credits but is now done automatically through Accounts receivable), there are a lot of superfluous “Automatic entry” items created in the ledger as the cash is allocated to various invoices. The end result and the automation are really nice, but the resulting ledger trail is a bit more messy than it needs to be. It would be great if this could be cleaned up and tightened a bit, and it would be really great if there could be an “Allocate to open invoices” button on the Cash Received form, which would cause the line-item allocations against specific invoices to appear on the Cash Received form itself. The user could review the allocation, make adjustments as required, and then click Create. No surprises!

First you would enter the amount of the payment…

…Then you would click the “Allocate to open invoices” button and magic would happen:

This is the same as what happens behind the scenes currently, but in this suggestion, it’s displayed on the Cash Received form for user review before the payment is posted. (Note the $30 in this example that exceeds the amount of the open invoices, so it’s left over as a Customer credit as shown on the third line.) After verifying and tweaking the allocation, the user would click the Create button and the payment would be posted and the Receipt notice would be displayed. Another benefit of this workflow is that the printed customer Receipt would show how the payment was allocated among the open invoices, which keeps everybody on the same page about which invoices have been paid.


Sorry to bring up an old thread, but this is a major pain point of the software for me.
After importing the bank statement, I’ve just spent an age allocating a single payment for one customer for 40 invoices. The customer is sent a monthly statement and if it matches with their remittance, all well and good, I can just select ‘accounts receivable’ and ‘Customer’ and then the payment is allocated to the oldest invoices which is correct.
The problem arises when the statement and remittance do not match. For example 2 invoices are not paid. Although the payment is from 1 customer, these 40 invoices are for 40 different people and so the payments must be matched precisely. So that means adding 40 lines, selecting 40x accounts receivable, 40x customer, 40x invoice number from their remittance and 40x amount!! It’s very time consuming but necessary as these 2 particular unpaid invoices must show at the top of the next Statement as overdue.
Searching the forum for a better way, I came across this post above by @Jon and think the ‘Allocate to open Invoices’ is a good solution.
@lubos can you revisit this?
Or does anyone else have a suggestion to solve this?

Personally, in your situation, I would start by giving thanks for 40 paid invoices. :wink:

The solution you are endorsing would be a convenience. Meanwhile, I think there is an easier way:

  1. In Customers tab, click on the blue figure in the Invoices column. This will give a listing of the particular customer’s invoices, with overdue and coming due invoices at the top of the list.

  2. Find an invoice that is being paid and View it.

  3. While viewing the invoice, click Receive money. You will have to select the cash account to receive the money in, but the rest of the receipt will be prefilled. Click Create.

This involves 5 clicks per invoice, including the one to return to the Customers tab, but no typing to enter payer, no account or customer selection, no amount entries, and no adding of lines. By default, receipt status will be Cleared, matching the situation with your imported statement.

Presumably, by the time you are doing this, you have some documentation from the customer of which invoices are being paid. Otherwise, the discussion is academic. The problem is that you cannot just categorize a single imported bank statement transaction. I’ve never been a fan of importing bank statements because it seems to raise more problems than it cures, but that’s personal opinion relevant to my business characteristics. In this situation, though, deleting the imported transaction may be the easiest thing. The downside of this approach is that you will not have a single receipt to match against the bank transaction. That can be overcome by copying the bank transaction number and pasting it into the Reference field for each transaction. If you’re audited, it will be a little more work to add up the numbers to prove things to the auditor, but you trade that possible task against the certainty of all the work you’re doing now.

The only idea I have is that perhaps the software could have the button Receive money when viewing customer. Then it could ask whether you want to automatically allocate received money against (existing or future) invoices or manually select existing invoices. If you choose to select manually invoices, then new receipt could be created out of the selection.

This would avoid creating manually 40 line items.

Automatic allocation is already possible by posting to Accounts receivable => Customer and leaving the invoice number blank. That option requires no change.

Selective allocation would obviously require addition of a list at some point in the entry process. But rather than force this choice to be made every time a payment or receipt is entered, why not add a Select open invoices button at the top of the drill-down list under Accounts Receivable in Customers and Accounts Payable in Suppliers. This would bring up a list of open invoices with tick boxes. After checking the invoices being paid/received, clicking on a Receive money or Spend money button at the bottom would create the receipt or payment. The prototype for this is the procedure for invoicing billable time and expenses under the Uninvoiced column in Customers.

This use case corresponds somewhat to frequent requests that the invoice allocation dropdown box display only unpaid invoices. A single solution, in both the sales and purchase invoice tabs, would address both issues. Obviously, though, a standard dropdown box allowing selection of only one choice would not work. And importantly, you would not want to leave the payment or receipt entry page. Making this option available in the Customers and Suppliers tabs also makes more information about invoices to be selected visible. Users who have requested limitation of the dropdown list to open invoices have also asked for more information than invoice number. This approach provides reference numbers, descriptions, amounts, etc.

The new list of open invoices also addresses situations where customers or suppliers have many transactions, causing open invoices to be scattered over several pages, making selection difficult. This, obviously, echoes your original idea of making a choice. But the choice is only required when invoice selection is desired, not when automatic allocation is preferred or when a single, known invoice is being selected. Those two situations can be handled as now under Cash Accounts.

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