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Recurring invoices - dynamic line item descriptions

Idea suggested by Gordon Maughan 5 years ago

The facility to automatically update invoice line item descriptions are very important to any business like ours that will be issuing recurring sales invoices to many customers each month for services – it just seems common sense that the invoice narrative would read something like. ‘Web Chat service for the period 16th November 2015 to 15th December 2015’. To fully automate this the placeholder tags required would be: Previous month Current month Next month Previous year Current year Next year

Recurring invoices are certainly a very useful feature but I cannot think of any examples of a recurring invoice for services where you would not need to mention some kind of date in the line item description and the lack of this feature makes the whole process pretty clunky and labour intensive as each invoice needs manual adjustment. I have been used to using IRIS KashFlow for recurring invoices and that system has this facility which enables invoice line item descriptions to be updated automatically each month and users love it because there is no manual intervention at all once the recurring invoice is set up – it is created each month, description updated for new month/year etc, and emailed – perfect.

I'm new to Clearbooks and have been through all the related ideas and posts on the above subject, and there are many of them all duplicated, all with between 1 and 9 supporters. Added together, there is significant demand for this fix.

7 Replies

Great idea, Gordon, and would certainly be useful for my business too.

Thinking some more about the 'dynamic' date tags (this was more interesting that doing some customer invoices!), a flexible approach could be by using modifiers on the invoice date tag. Maybe something with the format:

  • ::date[+-][qty][duration]::

where

  • [+-] is the direction of the date change forwards (+) or backwards (-),
  • [qty] is the number of the following duration, and
  • [duration] is a single-letter duration code:
    • d = days
    • w = weeks
    • m = months
    • y = years (or you could just use multiples of 12 months)

So, some examples (based on the invoice date of today, 23/11/2015) would be:

  • ::date:: would be replaced with 23/11/2015
  • ::date+1d:: would be replaced with 24/11/2015
  • ::date-1w:: would be replaced with 16/11/2015
  • ::date+3m:: would be replaced with 23/02/2015
  • ::date+1y:: would be replaced with 23/11/2016

However, I also like your simple references to the month and year. Maybe this could be made flexible for companies that do, say, quarterly invoicing like this:

  • ::month[+-][qty]:: and
  • ::year[+-][qty]::

...with some examples (based on the invoice date of today, 23/11/2015) as follows:

  • ::month:: would be replaced with November
  • ::month-1:: would be replaced with October
  • ::month+3:: would be replaced with February

  • ::year:: would be replaced with 2015
  • ::year-1:: would be replaced with 2015
  • ::year+1:: would be replaced with 2016

Hopefully that makes some sense! Maybe I've over-thought this one?!?! But it would be really useful to my recurring invoices! OK, back to doing my invoicing manually...!

...and just to be clear, I'd want the dynamic tags to work in the Reference field, line item descriptions and the Summary text, please! Ideally for both recurring customer invoices and recurring purchase bills.

Why is it that you always see typos after posting???

Examples are (corrected, and still based on the invoice date of today, 23/11/2015)) as:

  • ::date:: would be replaced with 23/11/2015
  • ::date+1d:: would be replaced with 24/11/2015
  • ::date-1w:: would be replaced with 16/11/2015
  • ::date+3m:: would be replaced with 23/02/2016 Corrected
  • ::date+1y:: would be replaced with 23/11/2016

  • ::month:: would be replaced with November
  • ::month-1:: would be replaced with October
  • ::month+3:: would be replaced with February

  • ::year:: would be replaced with 2015
  • ::year-1:: would be replaced with 2014 Corrected
  • ::year+1:: would be replaced with 2016

Hi Simon, thank you for your contributions in addition to Gordon's. This set of improvements have been raised internally and hopefully it is something we will be able to implement in the future.

Any news on this - would be so useful

We are also interested in this! Any news??

No news as yet, guys!

If there is an update, we will update you.

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