Different Invoicing Requirements

Invoicing practices vary widely depending on the type of organic business(es) you are running. For example, a certified organic farm MUST provide an invoice to a customer, showing their organic certification details. The same rule applies to organic manufacturers of products for sale to wholesalers or shops. However, it is rare to provide an invoice to a final customer if you run an organic shop. However, there is still a possibility that a shop needs to provide a full VAT invoice copy to a private customer.

Because of this mixture of possible invoicing requirements, BioTrack incorprates 3 types of invoice processing. Normally you will only see one of these invoicing interfaces. However, when your business has multiple enterprises you may see all of these invoicing options…. So for a farm, with a farm shop you will have access to the first 2 options. If you are a farm and wholesaler of 3rd party products, you will have access to the second 2 options.

1. Documentary only – used by shops to provide the occasional cash customer with a full VAT invoice of “products for resale”. This type of invoice is NOT posted to your accounts balance, VAT records, customer accounts or affect your stock control, because you bookeeping records are normally updated by your cash sales entries.

2. Invoicing of “finished products” from a farmer or manufacturer. A finished product can be anything from a ton of sugar beet to a case of your own strawberry jam. This type of invoice is posted to your accounts, your VAT records, the customer’s account and deducts finished stock automatically.

3. Wholesale invoicing. Here you can invoice a mixture of your own products and products from 3rd party suppliers. This type of invoice is posted to your accounts, your VAT records, the customer’s account and deducts stock automatically.

The invoice format

The current invoice format has a fixed layout but it allows for the complete tailoring of all detail on your invoice, including your own (2) logos and a slogan. We plan to offer multiple alternative layouts at some time, in the near future.

Creating and Posting Invoices

For several reasons we have seperated the creation of an invoice from the posting of the invoice:

1. In a small business, an invoice is often used as a quotation document to be sent to a customer. In this case, the invoice is not “live” until the customer has agreed the quotation.

2. Often, an invoice is used as a customer “wishlist” before you actually know whether a product is in stock. During this time, it is convenient to keep the invoice “open”. When you know you have the products on the invoice, then you can post the invoice to your accounts and stock.

Invoice Discounting

For most of us, being able to offer a discount is an important way of stimulating business and keeping our customers. Having a flexible discounting process is really an essential.

BioTrack offers 2 methods of discounting:

1, Customer Type: When you create a customer, that customer is added to a “Customer type”, which really means, that they will, by default receive the prices you have defined for that customer type. So, for example, you may create 3 customer types, lets say “Retailer”, “Distributor” or “Local Authority”. This means that when a new customer is registered, you choose which customer type they belong to. When the customer is invoiced, they will receive the prices you have defined for their customer type by default, so you don’t need to manually track which prices to use for every single customer.

2, Invoice Discount: Sometimes you want to reward individual customers, say, for early payment, volume sales etc. This can be done during the invoicing process. Simply add a discount and a discount text. For example “3% for early payment”.

Invoice autofill and “horse-trading”

When you create an invoice, you only need to enter an invoice number and pick a customer. The invoice number must be unique otherwise you will receive an error, but we don’t force you to use any particular numbering regime… its up to you. After that, the full customer details will be added to your invoice header automatically, and again, these details can be overwritten if necessary.

In the same way, when you start to enter invoice lines, you simply need to choose the product from a list and enter the quantity. All the rest of the information about that product is created automatically, for THAT customer and product.

However, if you want to overwrite the automatic data, then you can. This feature was added in recognition of the fact that small businesses often make very specific deals with customers (“horse-trading”), where it is often necessary to override the normal pricing of a product. 

Credit notes and Intervention

Normally, when an invoice has been posted, the only intervention possible is a credit note. This is a standard facility within BioTrack. However, sometimes, the original invoice may be disputed for other reasons and, in these exceptional cases, it is possible to “unpost” an invoice in BioTrack and modify / delete the invoice or create a new invoice.

 E-commerce invoicing

BioTrack accomodates an additional option for  the uploading of data from E-commerce systems such as internet shops etc into the sales ledger, meaning that all your accounts are stored in a single place. Because all ecommerce  systems have different data structures, this option must be designed specifically for each client on request.

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