Subsidiary ledgers for bank rules and Find & Recode

Hello Everyone! Been quiet for a while.

I have recently spent a good deal of time importing accounts into manager so I can get a tighter link of expenses and billing to customers.

The trouble I am having is that I can’t seem to find how to set up a banking rule to set an expense to “billable expenses”, nor via the “find and recode” function in Banking transactions.

Is it intended that you can’t set this in this way? Have I miss-understood the function of Billable expenses or the use of it?

To give a real life example. I bill users for monthly costs, say virtual machine hosting or domain costs.

These I pay for as part of my service to them, and thus, I would like to simply assign the expense to their account when it comes in.

Then I can create an invoice with expenses, time spent and so on in one go.

Also, since I have been quiet for a while, not using Manager much, just wanted to say thanks for all the improvements in the last while @lubos!

The reason is that Billable expenses is a control account and any bank rule invoking it would require selection of a subsidiary account. The ability to do that for Accounts receivable, Accounts payable, and Capital accounts was added some while ago. But it was not added for Billable expenses. If it were added, entries would appear in the dropdown list for every customer. As it is, Accounts receivable/payable make the dropdown almost unmanageable. It is probably easier to edit these transactions manually than suffer the effects that would result from enabling this capability for bank rules.

Find & recode allows multiple transactions to be recoded in bulk. All built-in control accounts are excluded because they would require selection of subsidiary ledgers, which might not be identical and could easily lead to problems.

Both your suggestions sound attractive at first. But when you think through the implications with large supplier or customer lists, they may not be practical.


So whats the alternative? Go through all the transactions manually and edit them? Or is there something else I am missing?

I agree with you about the drop down list. It does become a problem with many accounts, I can only image the pain for a larger business.

However, could it not be better to have something like in the invoices, where if a control account is selected, another drop down menu appears?

This seems like a more workable option to me, everywhere a similar feature is employed. I’ll put this into the Ideas category.

Thanks Tut. I think this would be a great enhancement.

Added to the latest version (18.7.61)

Your a legend Lubos. Thank you!

1 Like

Can the same extension be added for “Expense Claims” sub-accounts

Actually that is also already supported as per 18.7.61 update.

1 Like

Thanks for clarifying.

@lubos, so I have an idea how to expand this.

Let’s say I import transactions from a seller platform (what I actually do). It would be great if I could recode/use banking rules to deal with inventory item sales.

Currently, when you edit a transaction, you can assign an inventory item, which auto selects the ‘inventory-sales’ account.

What if, in the same way you’ve done billable expenses, we do inventory? So select ‘inventory-sales’ then a new dropdown pops up for the actual item?

That way inventory sales can be dealt with via banking rules, so inventory can be tracked and cost of inventory dealt with too.


A problem with your suggestion, @procsum, is that a single imported bank transaction could apply to dozens of different inventory items. The program has no way of knowing that, so even if you were allowed to select the income account (and Inventory - sales might not be the only one), there would be no way to break down the transaction to individual line items. All you have is the receipt or payment total.

1 Like

Hey @Tut, this is true.

I wonder if there is scope here to make the banking rules able to do more things. Like, not only match on description, but amount too. Then when you select the inventory item, just like when you edit a single transaction, you can assign number of items and so on.

In my mind, the bulk actions like re-code and banking rules, should ideally be able to do whatever you can do in a single edit. Though I know that practically, that is not a good plan as it introduces a lot of variables… Right?

Though even if you don’t do that, and just match on description, it would still cover some of the use-cases. For me, for example, it’d cover 90% of them. For the others, as always, I’d edit manually.

So I suppose, is it worth implementing something that currently, afaik, only I am asking for? Probably not.

But if there is a way to make the banking rules and things more powerful for all, without needlessly complicating and changing things? Maybe?

1 Like

This is just my personal opinion, @procsum, but you seem headed for a degree of complexity that could lead to many problems. A discount would mean the bank rule wouldn’t match. Likewise, a price change would invalidate the bank rule. Different quantities would need different rules. Multiple items in various combinations would all need different rules. Something doesn’t work, and user isn’t sure why, with the answer buried three or four layers deep in the interactions between transaction options and complex bank rules. You seem to suggest a lot of manual intervention in the process of importing a bank statement. It seems easier to me to just enter a transaction via the standard method.

1 Like

Hmmm, I think you may be right, to some extent.

Let me explain my work flow, maybe that would make sense of things. If you have suggestions on how my workflow can be bettered, I’d appreciate that!

Once a month I download all the orders from the site I sell on, that is all the accounting line items. I then change the CSV to work with the manager import, and upload the items to a manager “bank” account dedicated for this platform.

With banking rules I can then sort through all the costs/fee’s and deposits (making use of a clearing account for the money transferred out into an actual bank account.) This takes the time to enter hundreds of items I need to record down to a few minutes.

The only one I can’t automatically categorize, is the customer purchases.
Well, if I want to use the inventory management in manager that is.

Most items are single purchases, but there can be a lot of them. So I’d love to be able to automatically assign them. All the ones invalidating bank rules can then be dealt with one by one.

I think let me stop there, and see what you think @Tut?

I do have a query though. Is the point of manager to be fool-proof simple? Or be simple on the surface but powerful and complex if you want/need to reach for it?

Here is what I think, @procsum. By choosing to engage in e-commerce on this web site, you have separated two essential accounting functions, invoicing and receiving money. In a traditional workflow, you would raise a sales invoice for a specific customer. You could then create a bank rule invoking that Accounts receivable for that customer. When you imported a bank statement, the customer’s remittance would automatically be posted correctly. Notice that this approach requires the importation process to make use of no information about inventory.

In your situation, you are trying to collapse everything into a single transaction step. Manager will do that, but not through a “bank” statement import in which the inventory information is missing. It is beyond my knowledge to explain how, but I suspect you would be closer to your solution to try to figure out how to do this through Batch Create in the Receipts & Payments tab, especially when the promised conversion to plain-language keys instead of hexadecimal strings arrives.

I believe the developer tries for a compromise between these goals. Basic accounting is very simple. Intermediate complexity is handled with straightforward use of custom fields and intelligent use of Settings. Really advanced users are able to things I can only spell, but not understand.

1 Like

And that is the crux of your issue as currently Manager bank rules don’t go to the inventory level.

Therefore you have a couple of options depending on the immediacy of your reporting.

You could post the imported customer transactions to their own clearing account so the imported statement transactions are cleared and then resolve that customer clearing account separately. This could be a P&L account.

Or, if inventory level monitoring is not critical, then you could do a weekly / monthly / quarterly stocktake and the variance between Manager Inventory quantity and actual quantity adjusted via a zero value sales invoice.

@Tut thanks for the reply.

Your right, though this particular platform actually still requires me to create invoices, when a customer requests them.

Never the less, thanks for pointing me toward the “Batch create” and “Batch update” facilities. I can then also batch create customers and so on in the same way.

I will look into automating that whole part of the system with some work flows.

Yeah, Lubos has done a good Job at walking that line I think.

Thanks for your time!

@Brucanna I will think about these options too. Thanks!

Yes, the banking rules are awesome. On the one hand I would love them to be “all powerful”, but on the other, I have had my own miss-adventures tracking down transactions I have organised with bank rules where I didn’t realise the impact of how I’d created the matching rule. :smiley: