Feature request: process multiple invoice with single payment

Derek Atkins warlord at MIT.EDU
Sun Aug 19 18:10:08 EDT 2007

Mike or Penny Novack <stepbystepfarm at mtdata.com> writes:

> Oh dear, making me sorry I ever brought the issue up. Look, I'm not an
> accountant but have worked on systems that have to record billings and
> payments.
> Yes, some businesses do put "suspense" money into a separate bank
> account (asset side of the ledger). But when I used the word
> "suspense" I wasn't thinking about bank accounts but accounting
> accounts (see the word "account" gets used in multiple ways). That
> sense of "suspense" would be a liability type account to represent
> that this check was deposited into one of the businesses bank accounts
> (asset) but the money, or at least this portion of it is owed back to
> somebody pending disposition and so is a liability.
> What the disposition ultimately is not YET specified. Once that is
> decided the item gets removed from suspense (counterbalancing entry)
> when a refund check is sent back to the customer, an entry to their
> customer account against future bills, or whatever action gets taken
> (generally you have to contact the customer to ask "what do you want
> done with the extra?" and the amount is "in suspense" while that is
> determined). If you knew at the time the amount was being processed
> where it was to go, just do that (no need for a "suspense" entry).

I see what you mean here, but I'm afraid there just isn't a good way
to do that in the current business architecture.  I just didn't even
consider this process in the design, and the current business feature
design doesn't really have a good way to plug this in, per se.

You can use A/R as your suspense account, and just account for it as a
pre-payment; but there's no way to create one invoice that would give
the full amount owed, and then other invoices that are for
sub-amounts.  GnuCash's business features were designed for invoicing
in arrears, but it could still handle pre-payments (a pre-payment is
just like an overpayment).

I suspect that changing the way this works would be a major effort.
You're welcome to attempt it and send in patches.  (this IS the
-devel list afterall!)

> Michael


       Derek Atkins, SB '93 MIT EE, SM '95 MIT Media Laboratory
       Member, MIT Student Information Processing Board  (SIPB)
       URL: http://web.mit.edu/warlord/    PP-ASEL-IA     N1NWH
       warlord at MIT.EDU                        PGP key available

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