X Unpaid Invoices for this customer - Invoice Number Search

When we lookup under the “Invoices Tab” and search on “Customer Name” the result shows Customer invoices which are Paid and Unpaid which is perfect.

Customer Search

The trouble the business has:
1) is that the frontdesk people always search on the customer “Invoice Number” as presented by the customer to ensure that the correct invoice is serviced.
2) The frontdesk potentially get the wrong customer when typing and searching the Customer Detail. ie Invoice Number far more accurate in their opinion, eliminates human error.
The “Invoices Tab” rightly displays only the “Invoice” in question to be serviced.

Invoice number Search

Now what I am wondering is this: In the event that there is an unpaid / outstanding Invoice for that “invoice number customer” can the yellow colour notification bar be presented to bring to the users attention that there are outstanding / unpaid invoices for that customer associated with that invoice number?

Maybe display some notice something like this

Thoughts? Our team will certainly see value in this and of course the business will appear to be agile and collect these monies going under the radar.

This is why many businesses give a customer reference number, which you can enter in the optional Code field of each customer. Indeed the invoice number or customer code can then can be used.

Why not open the Customers tab and tick Status in Edit columns, which gives you info about the customers with unpaid invoices?

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You and your frontdesk team are looking at things the wrong way.

First of all, there should only be one invoice with a specific reference number, especially if you use automatic sequencing. And with the new duplicate detection capability, the chance of this is reduced even further.

Second, since you are worried about identifying the wrong customer, you should begin your search with the customer, because that is your most important criterion. The fact that the frontdesk team thinks starting with the invoice number is more accurate is irrelevant, because your concern is the possibility of the correct customer having other unpaid invoices. The instant you have searched for a customer’s invoices, either through the Sales Invoices or Customers tabs, you will know whether the invoice number that has been presented is associated with that customer. And you will simultaneously have a list, with status, of other invoices for that customer.

It sounds like the problem is not accuracy, but laziness. It is easier for your frontdesk team to put in an invoice reference number and ignore the possibility that they previously made an error or that there could be more work to do. When they do as they currently are, they do not have to review prior invoices, because none are presented to them. And your banner warning would also not present the unpaid invoices. It would merely require more clicks that take them away from dealing with the invoice at hand.

Clearly, you do not trust your team to enter correct invoice references, or you would not have this concern. So you need to enforce a workflow that helps overcome your team’s deficiencies.

I think what could be great is a simple alert if a invoice number is inputted for some customer to pay. Basically an alert that the customer has some unpaid invoices in the shadows of the Manager database.

Mark – Cheers yes, we know about the suggestion you made it is in the first screen shot made.

Eko – Thanks for your thought on the use of “Customer Code” which can be introduced under the Customer Tab. Now can the “Customer Code” appear on the printed invoice? I have had a go looking here and there and it does not appear under “Edit Columns” or elsewhere to enable. Is there something else that needs to be turned on or enabled for “Customer Code to appear on the invoice?
I really do not want another “Custom field” for invoices.
Initial testing shows using the “Customer Code” field will be the complete solution if printable on the Invoice.
There is a good reason for this. ( one is some customer names are spelt in a way that does not conform to English)

Tut – Heck man, you just cite the obvious, point out laziness & mistrust, come on it is Friday!

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There have already been discussions similar to this that unfortunately have not yet gotten any traction. Ideally you would have:

Our reference can be consistent from quote to invoice numbers and can or maybe should be automated (unique).
Your reference which should replace the optional code in Supplier or Customer tabs and can or maybe should be automated (unique).

So back to the topic and as @Tut mentioned and suggested in “Our reference” use here a unique number for any invoice would be essential for more accurate lookup. However, as further recommended, ideally the work-flow starts with looking up a customer or supplier. This has the benefit of seeing the status of such customer or supplier and reduce errors in finding the correct invoices with the correct party.