Distinction between Bill and Invoice (was: Re: Customer Summary Report - Expenses all zeros)

Geert Janssens janssens-geert at telenet.be
Tue Jun 25 11:49:41 EDT 2013

On Tuesday 25 June 2013 11:19:25 Derek Atkins wrote:
> Robert Smits <bob at rsmits.ca> writes:
> > Derek, why do we have both Vendor "Bills" and Vendor "Invoices"? In
> > my mind they seem like the  same thing, but obviously they aren't
> > since we have both of them in Gnucash.
> Where do you see "Vendor Invoices"?
> We have Customer Invoices, Vendor Bills, and Employee Expense
> Vouchers. I needed to come up with different words in English because
> other languages definitely separate a "bill" you receive that you
> need to pay versus a bill (invoice) that you send out for someone
> else to pay you. In English the words are effectively synonymous so
> only context gives you direction, but other languages have different
> words to express the direction.
Slightly off-topic for the original question, but...

I'm actually still looking for an example where this really is the case. In Belgium (Dutch/French) 
it is not. A customer receives a "Faktuur" (invoice) and a vendor sends a "Faktuur" (invoice) as 

I have seen users expressing the desire to differentiate the names to make it easier to know if 
the invoice is from a vendor or a bill at all times. So the Dutch translation have become 
"Verkoopfaktuur" (sales invoice) and "Aankoopfaktuur" (purchase invoice). But this is certainly 
no a legal requirement. Legally, only "Faktuur" exists.

So at least here in Belgium (as in the US) the distinction is only an aid to provide sufficient 
context in all the windows and dialogs we have. But there are other ways to provide such 
context than using two different words. For example in the current business menu, there is 
already sufficient context: all invoice/bill related commands are in a submenu for vendor or 
customer. There the distinction between invoice/bill doesn't add much. In a similar way adding 
the word Vendor or Customer in certain dialogs would already add sufficient context to make 
the invoice/bill distinction redundant. And so on.

> Under the covers they all use the same data structures, so the
> differences really are just in the labels and some of the logic based
> on whether the GncInvoice object's owner is a Customer, Vendor, or
> Employee.
> Hope this helps?
> -derek


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