The Payments module provides a general-purpose interface to your accounting system. It tracks your accounts (customers), receivables
(invoices), and payments (both e-commerce and off-line).
An account is a customer, person, or organization with which you
have a business relationship. The account balance is the difference
between the receivable totals and the payments on the account.
- Accounting Code
An accounting code is a way of classifying individual receivable items
to allow for more filtering in reports, or for calculation of specialized
surcharges such as sales taxes.
A payment is a record that an amount was received from an account.
A payment is associated with an account, but can also be associated with a
particular receivable if you want to track whether particular items are
paid for, rather than just the account as a whole.
A receipt is basically the same as a receivable, below. Essentially,
a receivable becomes a receipt once it is paid.
- Receivable (or Invoice)
A receivable is a statement of an amount owing from an account; it
consists of one more more line items that are totaled into the total
amount due. The system also supports payables, which are just
like receivables, but in the opposite sense: a payable describes an
amount owing to the account holder, rather than from.
- Receivable Item
A receivable item is a single line-item on a receivable. It
provides more information on the details of the purchase.
Receivables can be in one of several states, described
below. The most important one from an accounting perspective is
- active - these are good receivables that will be used by
the accounting system.
- inactive - these are receivables that are being assembled, but
are not yet in a complete state. They are not used by the accounting system.
Note that abandoned shopping carts will show up as inactive receivables.
- processing - these receivables were sent to an e-commerce payment
gateway, but notification has not been heard back. This usually happens
because the customer abandoned their payment, or was declined. However,
it can also happen if the browser session was closed before the payment
gateway replied to the website with notification of successful payment, or
if the user is still there completing payment.
- canceled - these receivables have been manually marked as bad,
and will not be used by the accounting system.
You have several ways to query for invoices in the system:
- search for recent invoices
- search for invoices in a date range
- look up a particular invoice or receipt number
- search for account names
When searching for invoices in a time span, you can also specify
the receivable status.
Search results are displayed under different tabs. Not all tabs
will be available in every case. If multiple tabs are available, you
can use them to quickly switch between different views. For instance,
if viewing an invoice, you can switch to the account statement, or to
a list of payments against that invoice.
The account statement is a summary of the account, listing all
active receivables and all completed payments, along with the balance
owing. The account statement only includes those items that affect the
account balance. Non-active receivables, and invalid payments are not
shown (but can be found under other tabs).
(If an account search has turned up multiple matching accounts, you
may have to select one first.)
The invoice tab displays the selected receivable (or a list of
receivables to choose from, if one has not been selected). It also
summarizes any payments that have been made against the selected
The receivable status can be changed here. WARNING: this may
change the account statement.
A list of payments against the selected receivable is also
Payments on the account or receivable are listed here. Click the
invoice number to jump to the receivable view. Click the payment status
to edit that payment. Click "+Add payment" to add a new payment to
If you add a payment on the account, you will get a form to provide the following information:
- amount - note that you can enter negative amounts to reverse previous payments, or apply credits to the account.
- method - how the payment was made
- status - the state of the payment. For good payments, the status
should be "paid". To cancel a previous payment, set its status to
"canceled". To mark a payment as tentatively received (eg. a cheque
that has not been cleared), use "received". The status of "suspicious"
is normally used to flag automatic e-commerce payments that could not
be validated through the gateway. These should be checked, and then
updated to "paid" or "canceled".
- invoice - a payment can optionally be tied directly to an invoice
so that you can quickly tell whether a particular receivable was paid.
This is optional; all payments are recorded against the account in
- note - it is often useful to include notes for tracking or auditing
- post-processing - check this if you want your system to perform any
extra automatic processing functions that normally occur following a
successful payment. (For example, email notifications, activations, etc.)
Post-processing is only performed if it is a good payment (status paid).
You will get the same form if editing an existing payment.
However, it will not let you edit the payment amount. This is to
ensure that the history of payment activity remains clear. If
you need to correct a bad payment, you can do one of two things:
- cancel the payment, and add a new payment with the corrected values
- enter another payment for the difference in the amount actually
paid (can be positive to raise the amount paid, or negative to reduce
the amount paid).
The second method gives a slightly better audit trail, since the original payment is left untouched.