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Invoices App Discussion: Walkthrough of updated design for manual creation of invoices

17 Apr '19

As the RM group hasn’t been able to meet as regularly in April, I wanted to to put together a brief overview of the updated invoice app design and share it with the community. We are hoping to receive some initial feedback about the general layout, allow people to prepare questions for the next RM-SIG meeting or share them here and to identify any major concerns or pain points you might have regarding this design. It does follow a similar pattern to that of the Orders app and other areas of FOLIO, but please feel free to share feedback regarding what you like and what you might not like about it.

I’m certain there will be a lot that requires clarification and hope that doesn’t frustrate folks, but we really wanted to share this update and get the conversation around invoices started again at a larger scale. Please access the video using the link below.

Video Overview

19 Apr '19

Hi Dennis, Thanks for creating this video. On the whole, the process for creating an invoice looks very straightforward. I like how you can quickly add multiple lines to an invoice - I think that will be helpful for processing manual invoices quickly.

I have a just a few questions:

  • When searching for POLs to add to the invoice, can you simply enter the PO number to bring up all associated lines with that PO? For an institution with single line POs, there would be just one result then.
  • I wanted to verify, if you are entering an invoice and you want to adjust the funds to be charged against, this change wouldn’t affect the original PO? I’m thinking about this for continuations, where you might be making a one-time change, but you might also be making a change that you want to apply to all payments going forward. I don’t know if this workflow was discussed in small group, but it might be nice to send edits back to the original PO instead of then doing them in two places, or having to leave the invoice, edit the PO with the updated funds, and then return to the invoice. I’m just speculating here, but would be curious about what others think. Maybe there would be unintended consequences.
  • In the walkthrough, you don’t talk about encumbrances and when funds would officially be charged, but I’m guessing that the original encumbrance would remain against a fund until the invoice is completed, at which time the encumbrance would be released and the final amount deducted from the fund. Is this correct?

It’s nice to see the functionality come together. It will be even nice once we get the funds and financial structure in place, so we can walk through the whole process of creating an order, receiving an item, and paying the invoice!

19 Apr '19

I think that it would definitely be helpful to discuss Kristin’s second bullet point, as we should all be on board with the expected behavior if you’re adding fund codes at possibly several different levels (PO, POL, invoice). I’m not actually sure how this works in Aleph, as I don’t create invoices here, but we do have some additional SMEs reviewing the video who hopefully can weigh in on Kristin’s question.

19 Apr '19

I agree with Kristin that on the whole things are looking good! As I mentioned in my reply to her post, I don’t actually have experience with invoice creation here at Duke, so I can’t weigh in on that. However, I do refer to invoice records frequently and have a question regarding plans for how users will be able to view invoice records in relation to POs and POLs.

In Aleph, when viewing a list of orders associated with a given bib, you can easily pull up the list of invoices associated with that PO from a menu that is static within a pane on the left. When you select the “Invoice” option, a list of invoices with brief info appears in a pane to the right, and then when you select an invoice, the detailed information that you can navigate through appears in a pane beneath the one containing the list. You can then easily select “Order List” in the menu and go back to a view of all of the orders associated with a PO, select another PO, view those invoices, etc.

I know that the relationship between records will vary in FOLIO (e.g., POs won’t be hanging off of bib records), but the easy navigability from a PO view to viewing invoices associated with that PO and their details is important. I understand that this may be out of scope from what was intended to be demonstrated on the video, but as someone who looks at invoices all the time by starting from a PO record, I wanted to make sure it was on your radar. :slight_smile:

23 Apr '19

Duke SMEs (folks who actually create and process invoices for payment) reviewed the video and shared the following comments and questions:

  • It would be helpful if we could actually create an invoice from scratch to really see how things work.
  • We both agree that the app basically covers everything we need to the point of where we send a batch invoice file to the university accounting system.
  • How is shipping shown on FOLIO invoices? There is an adjustment field on the invoice and we’re assuming that, if we have selected shipping as an adjustment, that’s where the amount would show.
  • We didn’t see service charge noted as an adjustment. In Aleph, we have an Overhead field that we use to key in service charge or bank charges.
  • In Aleph, when creating an invoice you don’t have to make a lot of decisions about adjustments because every field you will need is already displayed on the general header. It sounds like the administrator can setup adjustments so they always show. Guess we will need to figure out what fields are always needed.
23 Apr '19

Thanks Kristin,

  1. Re searching for POLs: Yes, the intention is to allow you to search by po number as well. For some that will allow selecting and creating multiple lines at once. For institutions like yours we have the select more so you can add a run another search and add etc. without having to save and close

  2. This was discussed but to this point the favor has been to allow correction on the invoice which does not update the PO. To make a permanent change you would need to edit the PO

  3. Essentially yes, there is a state called awaiting payment, which essentially is still “encumbered” but not expended. Money moves here when the invoice is approved and the Voucher is created. When the voucher is resolved/paid the invoice is transitioned to paid and the monies are expended. The default behavior would be that when the invoice is process the encumbrances are released. However, there is a toggle that can be check such that encumbrances are not yet released.

23 Apr '19

Thanks Virginia,

  1. Absolutely, the goal is to begin implementation of the invoice ui in the later half of Q2. We have already made progress on the backend. And it is still looking like we will have the capacity to start the ui work.
  2. Yes and thus far we’re referring to that batch invoice file as a “Voucher”.
  3. That’s correct, adjustments can be predefined to an extent or freeform per invoice. you would also be able to make adjustments to specific invoice lines or the invoice as a whole
  4. The goal is for adjustments to cover things like this. An adjustment can be “Pro rated” certain ways across lines or not. And they can relate to the line or invoice totals in different ways (Eg. added to the total or Included reported as a portion of the total etc.
  5. That is correct, the plan is to allow the admin to define those that appear by default and give them default values that the user can adjust when creating/editing the invoice.

I hope that helps fill in some detail and it’s great to here that the overall impression has been positive :smile: