Posts by Richard Morley:
- Dunning Fees,
- Fines for Late Payment and
- Interest on Arrears,
Automatic bank reconciliation: Having an automated bank reconciliation process can save a business man-days of effort, particularly in businesses that have high transactional volumes. The Openbravo Advanced Payables and Receivables module supports both manual and automatic reconciliation of bank statements. The automatic reconciliation process allows a bank file to be imported in either a standard format or, using a customizable modular extension, in a specific format for a particular bank. Additionally, the rules for matching can be defined (using either a standard or customized modular extension) giving full control over what is considered a "match". This process also supports the concept of "strong" matches or "fuzzy" matches, allowing a user to further automate the steps that they take in either accepting or rejecting a proposed match. Imported bank statements are stored within Openbravo and can be viewed as necessary.
Make and receive payments against order or invoice: The ability to make or receive payments against order increases the flexibility of businesses to agree credit terms that appropriate for their customers, particularly in industries where cash flow is critical. Transactions against orders are automatically inherited by the resulting invoices, allowing invoices to be closed quickly and easily.
Flexible process configuration: The accounting flows associated with the process of making or receiving payment are fully configurable to match your own business needs and preferences. This includes control over whether an intermediate financial account is used (supporting "cash in transit" accounting) and which business event triggers the recognition of cash in your Openbravo Financial Account (for example, having the posting of cash from an Intermediate "cash in transit" Account to the Bank Account driven by the reconciliation process). Additionally it is possible to drive posting events based on business events. For example, if you issue sales invoices in a business scenario where customers pay "on the spot" (for example, cash sales from a warehouse), you now have the flexibility to have Openbravo automatically post a receipt of payment when closing the invoice. This can save significant time at the sales desk and reduce administration costs.
Extensible payment methods: The list of payment methods in Openbravo can be extended to support a customers business needs. A new payment method can be associated with a module that defines the format in which the payment is to be made. Openbravo includes example payment formats, but business partners can easily configure their own payment methods and associate them to payment format modules, that they can create, supporting local business practice.
Automatic Payment Proposal: In order to simplify the payment process, the Advanced Payables and Receivables Management module supports the creation of payment proposals based on a number of flexible criteria, review and adjust, and then have those payments automatically created in the configurable format associated with that payment method. Payments can be made in full or in part, or removed from the proposal completely (resulting in them being included in the next proposal).
Multiple due dates: An invoice can have multiple due dates associated with it, resulting in a payment schedule. Each payment schedule is then referred to by the payment proposal when suggesting which business partner should be paid on a particular date and the amount due.
Transparent invoice status: The status of an invoice an invoice is clearly displayed, showing the amount due and the number of payments received or made.
Fees and charges management: As part of the bank reconciliation process it is often necessary to add transactions, such as bank fees and interest charges, that appear on the bank statement that are not yet reflected in the Openbravo financial account being reconciled. This module supports the easy addition of such transactions to your financial account.
We are pleased to announce the availability of the new Credit Management - Dunning module.
This module supports the creation of Dunning letters; reminder letters that are sent to customers that have sales invoices overdue for settlement.
The Credit Management - Dunning module allows you to create a sequence of dunning letters. Each sequence can be customer specific, so that you send reminder letters that are appropriate for that particular customer, taking into consideration any grace period that you may wish to allow certain customers.
Additionally, the module allows you to automatically charge
on those overdue invoices based on a number of flexible parameters. The fees and interest that you charge can be specific to certain types of customer, resulting an an extremely flexible solution.
The module keeps a full Dunning history, allowing you to quickly and easily establish what reminders have been sent to a particular customer for a particular invoice. It is also possible for a Credit Manager to quickly and easily mark an invoice as deferred if a deferral agreement has been reached with a customer
The Credit Management - Dunning module is fully compatible with Advanced Payables and Receivables. More information on the Credit Management - Dunning module can be found here.
The Credit Management - Dunning module was made Generally Available on 18 October 2010 and is a commercial module available exclusively to Professional Edition subscribers.
Comments OffAdvanced Payables & Receivables Management module is now recommended for every new installation of the Professional Edition.
This module was originally launched in Controlled Release status in May 2010. After two and half months of usage by early adopters, and overwhelmingly positive feedback from users, we have now released version 1.0.3 and updated its status to General Availability.
Advanced Payables & Receivables Management simplifies and automates the business processes around the management of financial accounts, from the receipt and issue of payment, to the reconciliation of those events with bank statements. This module delivers an improved user experience that combines the power of an enterprise grade financial application with the simplicity and ease of a web 2.0 personal accounting service.
This new version strengthens the capabilities of the module by adding the Payment Execution feature, which allows users to print or generate payment instruction files. Users can leverage this capability to print checks or integrate with electronic payment platforms.
Advanced Payables & Receivables Management is now available in English and Spanish. Spanish users can take advantage of a new variant of the Spanish Localization Pack, adapted to work with Advanced Payables and Receivable and providing updated fiscal reports that work with the new flows, standard definitions of payment methods, and support for Cuaderno 43 "out of the box".
International users can also leverage this capability to print checks or integrate with electronic payment platforms, while a new variant of the Multi-dimensional Tax Report, adapted for the new payment flows, can be used to extract information to prepare fiscal reports.
Advanced Payables and Receivables Management is included in the core distribution of Openbravo 3.0 and, as such, will be available to all editions, including the Community Edition, using that release as a baseline. Professional Edition subscribers can take advantage of this functionality now and also deploy it on top of 2.50.
Advanced Payables and Receivables Management is available only for new customers as existing customers would need to migrate their open transactions to the new flow. An automated migration script will become available in Q4.
Advanced Payables and Receivables Management offers a completely new user experience that simplifies and automates the business processes around receiving and making payment, including the reconciliation of those events with bank statements.
Some of the key features of this module include:
Please note that Advanced Payables and Receivables Management module is a commercial module initially available under a Controlled Release. This new module offers significant new breadth and depth in business critical processes, and, while this module has been through our internal quality assurance program, we also acknowledge that it is possible that users wishing to take advantage of these new processes may also wish to use the solution in ways that we may not have envisaged.
As of today, we encourage all partners to download and evaluate this new functionality.
Partners interested in deploying this module for new customers are recommended to thoroughly test each customer's business processes before deploying into a production environment. Additionally, any partner planning to deploy this Controlled Release solution in a production environment is asked to inform Openbravo before doing so. Where Openbravo is informed of an implementation project in advance, then Openbravo will provide enhanced support to that partner during that implementation; informing Openbravo in advance will ensure that any issue that may arise during the implementation phase is correctly prioritized through our Support infrastructure.
Finally, we currently recommend not to deploy this module for existing production customers as the module permanently modifies core behaviour and, once installed, does not provide any roll back capability. A version of the module that provides a safe upgrade for existing customers will be available in the coming months.
Comments OffBuilding a Localization Pack".
I want to take a moment to stress the benefits of actually doing this (creating a pack) , both to users of Openbravo ERP and to the developers of modules that could be packaged.
For end users the benefit of downloading a pack is that they have confidence that they are getting a complete solution within that pack. The end user doesn't necessarily know whether there are 2 or 20 modules that make up a particular solution (like a localization pack for a particular country), so the concept of a "pack" is very reassuring to them. They know if they select the pack they are getting a complete solution.
Clearly if there are actually 20 modules that make up the solution then the pack is also a great time saver; the user has the benefit of not having to hunt around and select the 20 different modules they think they might need...the pack is a quick and easy "one stop shop" for them to select.
As a developer you also benefit from knowing that your users are installing everything they might need, but there is also the increased recognition that offering packs brings. Our intention is to promote packs more visibly. As an example you will notice that the Spanish Professional Localization Pack features first on the list under the "Localizations" tab on the Exchange. The name of the seller is also prominently displayed to the right of the pack name. So, quite simply, creating packs is one way to increase your own visibility within the Openbravo community.
There is also guidance on combining localization modules into packs on the Localization pages of the Openbravo Wiki.
Good Luck and Good Packaging!
This road map focuses on the planned content for Openbravo ERP 3.0, planned for production release in early 2011. This road map assumes the current production release of Openbravo ERP 2.50 (released April 2009) as its base line.
The Openbravo ERP 3.0 roadmap focuses on features that will both maintain the product and impress users:
1. Maintain: Openbravo ERP 3.0 must maintain its technological and functional position as a leader in the open source ERP environment. Openbravo ERP 3.0 will adopt technologies that support this, while the functional core of Openbravo ERP 3.0 will be maintained, prioritizing issues that support the next objective.
2. Impress: Openbravo ERP 3.0 must impress the Openbravo community through its ease of use and clear functional flows. This includes updating the user interface, extending and enhancing specific core workflows, and reducing the functional footprint to exclude workflows that are not considered core.
The objective of the roadmap document is to align each part of the Openbravo organization and community towards achieving these objectives.
Please note that this is a tentative development roadmap for Openbravo ERP and it does not constitute a commitment to deliver. The proposed dates may change due to the workload of the development team and the content of each release could vary depending on market changes. If this occurs the roadmap will be updated to reflect these changes.
It is important that the application allows reversal that is in line with local best practice and law. Additionally, the way transactions are reversed can influence the level of tax that a company pays or charges, especially when the tax is triggered by a threshold measured by the total movement on a particular account.
In many countries the traditional mechanism for transaction reversal is a straightforward "contra" transaction. This means that debit values in the original transaction are reversed with credit values, and vice versa for the reversal of credit values. Using simple "T" accounts to illustrate this you would expect a contra reversal to look like this:
Original Transaction:Contra Reversal:
However, in some countries there is also a practice of reversing transactions using a "storno" transaction. This means that debit values in the original transaction are reversed with negative debit values, and the credit values are reversed with negative credit values. Using a storno transaction ensures that the total movement on an account is reduced by the reversal. If the original transaction is reversed with a storno transaction we would expect to see the following:
Storno Reversal:In this example you can see that the total movement on the accounts is reduced to zero.
Many ERP applications support only one method or the other. If they do support both methods then it tends to be a global parameter that sets the behaviour for the system as a whole. Openbravo supports both types of reversal and gives users granular control over how and when they use each reversal type.
In Openbravo, users can control transaction reversal behaviour at a schema level using the “Allow negative” parameter. This parameter controls the default reversal behaviour of all reversing transactions. If the parameter is left blank then the default behaviour is "contra" reversal, and if it is "ticked" then "storno" is used as a default.
Additionally, this behaviour can be controlled at a document level.
For a specific Accounting Schema go to Account Schema Tables.
In this example we want to control the way that Invoices are reversed, so we select the "Invoice" document type.
Within the Invoice document type we select the "Documents" tab....
...where we can then choose the Document Category for which we want to control the reversal behaviour (by setting the "Allow negative" parameter).
In our example we want to set the behaviour of the AP Invoice.
When we use an AP Credit Memo to reverse the transaction above, if the "Allow negative" is not selected then we get a contra reversal.
Finally, if a user want to have the choice of which reversal method they use, then it is a simple matter of configuring the default behaviour at a schema level so that the "Allow Negative" is not enabled. This means that the exiting "AP Credit Memo" and "AR Credit Memo" documents will generate a contra reversal.
Two new document types, the "AP Storno Credit Memo" and the "AR Storno Credit Memo", can then be added. When creating them we ensure that the "Allow negative" parameter is selected during configuration. This will means that the user will then be able to do a contra reversal by using a "credit memo" and a storno using the "storno credit memo".
The Payment Monitor provides users with a quick, single click, view of the latest payment information related to an invoice. If payment has been received in full then the status is now clearly shown as "Payment Complete". If payment is still pending, then by clicking on the new Payment Monitor button on the invoice header, the payment monitor information displays the number of days until the due date of the next payment and the amount that needs to be paid on that date. The user can also see how much has been paid, how much is pending and the last time the payment status was calculated. This feature is particularly useful if an invoice has multiple due dates as the Payment Monitor tracks the invoice payment status for each payment. The payment status can be updated automatically by a background process that automatically scans new invoices or manually (by clicking on the "Update Payment Monitor" button.
One of the great thing about this feature is that all of this information is available as filter criteria and exposed in the grid view. This makes the Payment Monitor a very handy and agile tool that allows users to manage collections very easily and could in many ways replace the Payments Report.This new feature is a great example of functionality that is being added to improve the usability of Openbravo. It is very "demonstrable" to partners and users (if you want to impress) and pre-empts most questions about how a user can see the payment status of an invoice.
Please investigate this feature and add it to your arsenal of cool features that improve user productivity. You can find out more information at http://wiki.openbravo.com/wiki/Functional_Documentation/Procurement_Management#Relationship_to_Financial_Management:_Payment_and_Payment_monitor.
These are individuals who contribute their time to either create, maintain or enhance the localization capability of Openbravo ERP around the world.
It really was great not only to discuss how they were doing as individuals, but also to help the networking process when I discovered that two or more people were interested in contributing to projects that had similar goals.
To support the many people involved in this process that were not able to participate in the event in Barcelona I have scheduled an IRC chat in which we will discuss the localization of Openbravo ERP.
The agenda we will address during the chat is:
* An update on our own progress and experience of building the Spanish Localization pack using modularity in Openbravo 2.50
* Other localization initiatives we are currently working on
* Using the Openbravo Forge for managing your localization projects...why it is a good idea to register your projects.
* Any questions you might have relating to localization
* Going forward; localization functionality and what is needed in core to support your efforts. Your suggestions....
I would really appreciate it if you can find the time to join the chat and contribute to the discussion on how to improve the localization experience, features and tools.
The details are of the chat are:
Date: Monday 18th of May at 14.00 GMT (16.00 Spanish local time) For an easy way to work out what time that is for you I would suggest http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/
Where: IRC Network FreeNode at the #openbravo channel (see http://wiki.openbravo.com/wiki/Communication_channels#Openbravo_chat_channels)
Moving to Openbravo is an extremely exciting opportunity for me as I am a strong believer in the "distributed" localization model. Quite simply I lost faith in the ability of the large proproprietary solutions to support local market needs with centralized development in a timely and efficient manner.
Openbravo, as an open source solution, really is the ultimate distributed model and I am looking forward to working with the Openbravo community to make it a success for all of us.
A couple of weeks ago I was interviewed by the Open Source ERP Guru on "Openbravo ERP Localization" the results of which you can find published here:
The key message that I wanted to convey was our belief here at Openbravo that we have the ability to create a "localization ecosystem" that allows all members of that ecosystem to thrive.
A fundamental technical component that we have recently delivered on Openbravo ERP 2.50 (currently in Beta) is the concept of modularity.
The localization development team have been playing with modularity themselves over the last month or so, partly in order to test it, but really to prove to ourselves that it really does make a difference, both in the ease of development and the speed of deployment. We set ourselves the challenge of creating the first localization "pack" for Spain. Last week the guys demonstrated the results of their efforts to me and it is genuinely very impressive! Not just "cool", but really something that gets your mind racing through all the possible applications and uses. They opened up a "bare" demo version of Openbravo (English language, no chart of accounts) and picked the "Spanish Localization Pack" from a list of modules that were listed as available for download by the Openbravo application. After a couple of minutes it was "hey presto" and we had a localized version of Openbravo, including language, chart of accounts, alerts, tax rates, etc.
It was very clear to me that this is going to make our lives a lot easier in delivering and supporting add-ons, but (getting back to the Open Source ERP Guru) the real impact this will have is on that ecosystem I was refering to.
With the combination of modularity on Openbravo 2.50 and the new Openbravo Forge there is significant potential for localizers to add value to the core Openbravo features in a way that has a straightforward ROI associated with it.
Selecting Openbravo modularity as the development framework and the forge as the licensing, distribution and support network combines into an extremely efficient delivery mechanism; removing a significant amount of cost from the developer and at the same time providing enhanced revenue opportunities throughout the ecosystem.
As I told the Open Source ERP Guru “Modularity..makes a huge difference both to the ease with which localization can be added in by a customer, the ease by which a partner can develop a module add-on and the ease by which a new module can enhance functionality.. a fourth dimension (to modularity) is … from the partners’ prospective, the potential for modularity to provide an enhanced revenue stream from the provision of those localization packs. With 2.50 we have delivered the technical platform for modularity and we are using that platform ourselves to deliver modules and localizations ourselves already.”
For those of you attending the Openbravo Word Conference we will be showing a demonstration of the use of modularity in delivering localization capability during my Localization session on Sunday afternoon.