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Post Info TOPIC: Those moments when you utter "FFS"


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Those moments when you utter "FFS"


This is partly inspired by John's Digital Storage discussion - that, and what needs to be kept, along with knowing what must be on an invoice, etc, etc.

I have before me an invoice from a supplier to one of my clients. It is a fairly normal looking invoice, with the top part showing the supplier and customer details, along with the date, invoice number, etc. The middle part is the invoice detail - the supply and amount information, etc - and the bottom some footer information.

Between the top and middle sections, though, is a dotted line and the text "Please detach top portion and return with your payment"

So this supplier - who due to the nature of the supply will largely be making B2B sales, as in this case - thinks it's a good idea for his customers, other businesses who need to keep certain records - to detach and send off the part of the invoice that shows:

  • Who the supplier (they) are
  • Who the customer is - proving it was genuinely a supply to them
  • The supplier's VAT number
  • The tax point
  • The invoice number

Needless to say, that won't happen in this case - when it's paid, it will be paid electronically through online banking, and a remittance advice will be emailed directly from Sage...

...but FFS!



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Vince M Hudd - Soft Rock Software

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RE: Those moments when you utter


Lol - a losing battle!!

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Oh just brilliant!!!!!

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Lol. I needed that. Thanks Vince. :)

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Thanks Vince. A smile for the start of the day.

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When my bleary eye caught sight of my Email Digest this morning, I first thought that FFS was another accounting standard.
Now I realise it's actually a bookkeeping standard (and an old one at that)!


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Andrew


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RE: Those moments when you utter "FFS"


I thought it stood for fixed fee summary. No wonder I got strange looks when I presented my clients with a sheet headed FFS!!!!!!!!  biggrinbiggrin



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RE: Those moments when you utter


I thought it was Free Family Services because that's what mine seem to want!!

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I'm looking at a supplier invoice sent to one of my clients. It's an invoice generated by an online system that lots of self employed / small businesses in this particular field, and I see a lot of them. As such, I expect to see certain things in certain places.

Where I normally see payment details, including account number and sort code, on this particular invoice I am seeing:

"Payable to: [name] t/a [business name]" - fair enough so far, that's what would be used if a cheque was to be written. But underneath, where the account number/sort code should be?

A 16 digit (broken into four lots of four) number - i.e. what looks like a debit or credit card number.

FFS!

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Vince M Hudd - Soft Rock Software

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Oh you just cant help some folk can you!! What really scary is that they are let loose with the other aspects of running a business!!!!

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Love it!

Vince, where do you find your clients? :)

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RE: Those moments when you utter "FFS"


Neither of the above are clients, they're invoices TO a client - the same one in both cases.

The nature of the industry means they subcontract work to an awful lot of self employed and small one man band businesses, often booked through an online trade-related 'exchange' website. It's this type of person - your ordinary Joe Public who has ended up running their own business without really knowing what they're doing - that put such silly things on invoices.

I've seen loads of sillies over the years, but I'm not going to try to remember them all - but as I see new ones (or even some of those old ones repeated), if I think they're noteworthy I'll mention them here.

In fact, here's a couple from this week that I posted to Twitter with appropriate comments - these aren't quite the same as the above examples, but worth adding here:

IMG_20170412_111811.jpg

I just knew this month was going to be a long one!

And:

IMG_20170412_143531.jpg

Yup. Will do. Sure thing.

 



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Vince M Hudd - Soft Rock Software

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This is something I mentioned very recently in another thread - but a good example of it hit my inbox today.

The client ordered something from an Amazon marketplace seller - not a particularly high value item at £5.50, but I obviously asked the client to obtain a VAT receipt from the seller.

This is the reply the seller sent to my client's request, which he forwarded to me:

Screenshot from 2017-05-09 09-34-55.png

i.e. they are instructing the customer to print out the order confirmation (which they are calling a 'receipt' - it is anything but!) and write their address and VAT number on it.

They are also clearly demonstrating a complete lack of understanding about the simplified invoice rules and what purpose they serve.

And as for their excuse for explanation as to why they want the buyer to do this? WTF!?

 

FFS!



-- Edited by VinceH on Tuesday 9th of May 2017 10:05:36 AM

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Vince M Hudd - Soft Rock Software

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Those moments when you utter


I mentioned in another thread a client that has moved from one cloud package to another. This is part way through a year, but at a VAT quarter end - year end would have been better, but they wanted to do it sooner, so VAT Q/E made sense.

At the same time, they've changed accountants, to one familiar with the new package. It should be straightforward enough, you'd think (cloudy issues aside).

In the run up to it, I suggested a plan of attack. Boiled down to the nitty gritty: Balances had to be put on the new system, with o/s sales and purchase invoices posted individually, outstanding items on the bank rec similarly, etc, etc. And that this ought to be done ASAP. The client relayed this to the new accountant, and told me that they came back saying it's a good idea (WTF? Shouldn't what I said be obvious? Shouldn't they have been thinking along the same lines?)

He also said the new accountants would set everything up, and deal with the opening balances etc "to ensure everything is smooth"

They've had more than a month - I did nothing for this client last month because, I assumed, the transfer was a work in progress - but the client got in touch to say the next lot of stuff was ready etc, etc.

And I'm looking at the new system.

No transfer of anything has taken place. There is no opening bank balance, or previous outstanding items. No opening sales or purchase ledger balances. Nada.

Smooth.

Not.

FFS!


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Vince M Hudd - Soft Rock Software

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Master Book-keeper

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Oh a big FFS!!!!!!!! Plus a nice short timescale to meet a deadline no doubt as well. Ramp up that fee this month!!! Plus offer to do that work and charge them nicely for it?

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Those moments when you utter "FFS"


I hadn't noticed the lack of 'opening' (well, part year) balances last week when I took an initial look. The client emailed me with a question about the new system (Xero) which I replied to this morning - but it was that question and looking at Xero to reply that made me realise*. In my reply I simply raised the question (I thought the new accountants were going to...)

Depending on what he says in reply, I'll probably offer to deal with it.

* Another thing that hadn't occurred to me until now. I'm always too busy to properly deal with my own accounts as often as I should, so everything gets left until the last minute when I'm dealing with my own VAT return; most I do normally is glance at the bank accounts to make sure there's enough money in the right accounts for what I expect to pay out. So I hadn't thought about it, but now I am I don't think I've received a payment from this client for the last lot of work I did - and they're normally good for paying on time. Obvious reason? Those opening balances not being in place, obviously. D'oh.



-- Edited by VinceH on Saturday 13th of May 2017 11:30:20 AM

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Vince M Hudd - Soft Rock Software

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Those moments when you utter


I hope by now that you have sent the debt collectors round!

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If they haven't (I've still not checked to be certain) then once the stuff is transferred into Xero and they're up and running properly with it, I'm sure it'll get paid - they're normally good.

And when it comes to getting Xero up and running, having took a better look this morning to see what the new accountants* hadn't done, I've sent the client an email suggesting I do what they were supposed to.

* The client has changed to this new firm (who they are, I don't know) because they apparently specialise in Xero - but I'm wondering if the client got that from them on the phone and misunderstood. Perhaps they specialise in zero.

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Vince M Hudd - Soft Rock Software

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Those moments when you utter "FFS"


Ha ha Vince.

There are too many Xero specialists. But how many are bookkeeping specialists?

One day there will be a Panaroma programme on the inaccuracies of bookkeeping records and tax returns. It will happen. I have little confidence in what a lot of people do for a living.

If the tax gap is as they say I'd wager that X% is down to grab and drop accounting methods used today.

I'm not saying that everyone who uses the cloud is cutting corners, just like I'm sure that not everyone who uses proper software is perfect - but on the balance of probabilities..

Vince I'm by no means in the same league as you IT wise - but, I can do most things with a computer, from building them to creating macros, together with being able to do my fair share on Linux. But I can not get the cloud to do what I want it to do.

I've tried all of the main players and they all each have their own issues:

Lack of reports

Lack of proper reconciliations

Lack of efficiency

Lack of flexibility

Expensive (especially if client is invoices/accruals)

I don't want to ever try to unravel client keyed entries which are incorrect.

It's too easy to completely wipe away an entry.



Anyway - rant for the day.



-- Edited by abacus12345 on Tuesday 16th of May 2017 01:12:15 PM

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abacus12345 wrote:

(about cloud software)

I don't want to ever try to unravel client keyed entries which are incorrect.

It's too easy to completely wipe away an entry.


 I'd suggest you stay away from it altogether then, because that to me, will be the main function of a cloud based accountant.

I've only had one experience of cloud accountingso far, when an extremely small Ltd Co asked me to submit their accounts.  Very very straight forward but whenever they introduced funds to the company it had been marked as shares.  A few other minor errors but easy enough to sort correctly, but how the hell can we expect the tradesman to know what needs to go where.  This is what most annoys me about the likes of QB mantra "just the click of a button"   That's my FFS for the day biggrin



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Another supplier invoice...

It has all the relevant information on it, and more besides.

The relevant information is the usual collection of things - their details, their VAT number, and so on.

The more besides?

A completely different company's VAT number and bank details.

It's a Netherlands VAT number, and the details for a Deutsche Bank account. It doesn't give the customer's name, but I could easily get that by looking up the VAT number on VIES.

These plonkers are obviously generating invoices by taking a previous one and editing it to create a new one, and forgetting to remove some information.

FFS!



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Vince M Hudd - Soft Rock Software

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Those moments when you utter


Reckon you have won the award for most dodgy invoices seen Vince! That's just brilliant!!

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A slight change of direction from daft things on (or not on) invoices...

Let's talk about Xero.

Let's talk about Xero in the context of a business on the VAT cash scheme.

Let's talk about Xero in the context of a business on the VAT cash scheme and how it handles credits and bad debts.

Last night, I received an email from a client who has recently moved to Xero. They're on a cash basis for the VAT, and they were looking at their VAT return and wondering why something that had been written off as a bad debt was showing up on the VAT return.

So I looked, and there it was in the outputs section.

Looking further, I found the bad debt write off showing up in the inputs - so over all, nothing was being paid - but being on a cash basis, neither of these should be on the VAT return at all.

Checking further, I played around with Xero's test company, set up on a cash basis.

I put an invoice in for £100 including VAT.

I then put a credit note in for £100 including VAT, and matched it against the invoice.

In this instance, both the invoice and the credit showed up in the outputs section - so again, it's not having any effect on the amount payable, but neither should be there. Given businesses of the size of some of my clients, that sort of stupidity would make already very detailed return reports that much more detailed and harder to work through if there was a problem.

And don't get me started on Xero's stupid approach to payments on account!

FFS!

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RE: Those moments when you utter "FFS"


It would be interesting to see what happens if you do that over two VAT periods Vince.

If you issue an invoice in Q1 and a credit note in Q2, do both the output entries show in Q2?

 



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I think what it does is a very simplistic approach when producing the VAT return, and treats any 'allocation' as a payment - so the date it uses will be the date the allocation happens, which (logically) will be the same for both the invoice and credit.

Incidentally, I had this little exchange on Twitter a short while ago. (Michele Playfair works for Xero).






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Vince M Hudd - Soft Rock Software

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An interesting (and at times amusing) read of your twitter account there Vince.  



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Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the sea supplier invoice file...

At one of my clients, I handle supplier payments - and last week, in amongst those suppliers was one with Bibby Northeast's payment details on his invoice. So I paid them - and recognising their account number, I added their email address to the system to send them a remittance advice.

I've just taken a call from them.

Apparently, the supplier in question isn't a Bibby client. He was one - but left them in January.

January!

The invoice I paid last week was dated 3rd June, and it still had their details on it for payment!

FFS!

 



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Vince M Hudd - Soft Rock Software

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An interesting (and at times amusing) read of your twitter account there Vince.

Yes - I probably should have included a warning in case anyone read any further, that the account can be a bit ranty, a bit sweary, and is sometimes an outlet for my often strange sense of humour. :)

 



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Vince M Hudd - Soft Rock Software

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VinceH wrote:
 can be a bit ranty, a bit sweary, and is sometimes an outlet for my often strange sense of humour. :)

 


Sounds as though you're talking about BKN.

Well, except the sweary bit.... Occassionally it's been difficult not to add expletives to a few posts, but over all....



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Shaun

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Those moments when you utter


True! ;)

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Vince M Hudd - Soft Rock Software

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RE: Those moments when you utter "FFS"


I've just been forwarded a remittance advice that the client's customer emailed.

Someone is trying to be bloody clever - and failing.

Instead of just attaching a PDF remittance advice to the email - or even putting the details of the payment into the email body (which should be trivial from any decent accounts software) - there is a 'thumbnail' image of the remittance advice that is too small to read, but it's a link to the 'actual' remittance advice.

That link, though, is a tiny.cc one - URL shrinkers have their place, but it's totally unnecessary in this case, and TBH I consider them dangerous: They're effectively blind links unless they include a preview element.

That said, because of my computer/browser settings, I should be safe, so I clicked on the link - whereupon I'm told the link:

"has some public access restrictions...
So sorry, but you aren't allowed to visit that page."

FFS!



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Vince M Hudd - Soft Rock Software

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Those moments when you utter


Funny as ever Vince. Unless of course one is on the receiving end when its annoying but funny at the same time. But keep them coming!

Ive had several FFS moments in the last few days. Mostly all from clients of clients. Bad enough from clients but at least if youve got a good rapport with them you can actually say - what the hell are you on about, as I frequently do (to those I can get away with it on, others Im slightly more, erm, professional!) But clients of clients - well I almost told one to FO the other day but knew that would mean me getting into some serious bother or at the very least just losing my client. Instead I just stwiched my PC off so least I couldnt be tempted to type what I really wanted to say.

One of them yesterday after me sending them an invoice - 'why do I need an invoice when Im paying this by direct debit'. No there wasnt even a question mark!

Not that they were paying by direct debit, in fact it was a standing order, but clearly this numpty has no idea of what an HMRC inspection is, nor Im suspecting do they have an Accountant. Although I was planning on sending just the Gov.Uk website link for keeping records for a sole trader, BUT, oh noooooo, it doesnt even mention the words purchase invoices, nor if I recall the word 'invoices' , its been that dumbed down! A 5 year old can read it now its that dumbed down, but its about as much use as a chocolate fireguard. Hmmm chocolate!!! So Im now trying to carefully choose my words, whilst planning on how best to pick their brains out of the nearest wall when I beat them over the head with a baseball bat. Nah - I cant be bothered with trying to knock sense into someone like that, but I do feel sorry for their poor Accountant!!!!!

FFS!!

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RE: Those moments when you utter "FFS"


VinceH wrote:

An interesting (and at times amusing) read of your twitter account there Vince.

Yes - I probably should have included a warning in case anyone read any further, that the account can be a bit ranty, a bit sweary, and is sometimes an outlet for my often strange sense of humour. :)


 I quite enjoyed reading it.



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Oh no Joanne, can't believe someone would be that thick, but then again....   I would have been sorely tempted to find a suitable website (dunut? or something similar) and send a link from there. 



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Those moments when you utter


Im very close to saying FFS when posters dont come on and say thank you. Or come on and only say thank you because they are asking another question! ]

You cant teach manners once they go past 20 years of age though can you! My black book is getting thicker by the day.

Lol John on the above - I am toying between not responding - Im not there to give thicko non clients any advice. Or just saying - Im sure your Accountant will be able to cover this off. Or just to put the heebee jeebies right up her syaing - its to cover you for when HMRC do an inspection!!!!!

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RE: Those moments when you utter "FFS"


Definitely the latter lol, just to put the heebee wotsits up them.

I've always been taught manners cost nothing and go along way to show the person that they (their comments) are appreciated.



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Those moments when you utter


Heebee wotsits it is then. heehee.

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This is one that was just relayed to me by a director here.

A supplier was chasing payment of an overdue invoice, but it hasn't been received, so they emailed a copy. He opened it to see that it was for a completely different company, so he rang the supplier back and pointed it out to them.

"Oh. Where do we need to send it, then?" they asked.

FFS!

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A little over six months after starting this thread, I once again have an invoice before me asking that I detach the top part to send off with payment - with all the important details on that part. Not the same supplier, though - so I guess that somewhere out there, there's an invoice template that looks like that. FFS!

That's not my reason for coming back to this thread, though.

It's VAT time - I have a few returns due by tomorrow, but one in particular sticks out. Or rather, the client does.

The return is the highest of the year, but that's in keeping with previous years - the July-September quarter is the highest, and this year it's smaller than previous ones. The client has rung me and asked me not to submit it yet. He wants to meet up later today to discuss it, because "there are changes I'll be making to the business."

So I have to patiently sit down and explain to him - and not for the first time - that the VAT return reflects the VAT due on the sales minus the VAT reclaimable on the expenditure for a three month period IN THE PAST. It doesn't matter what he's doing now or planning to do tomorrow.

If this was a first, fair enough - but the number of times I've had to piss around because this client doesn't want his VAT bill to be so high is way beyond a joke.

It's been a long time since this last happened, but in the past I've occasionally received (full time) job offers. I don't want to be an employee with a full time job because I like to be able to choose my own hours, but It's clients like this that make me seriously consider going nine to five. (And I see from another recent thread I'm not the only one! *waves*)

FFS!

Oh yeah, and I broke a tooth yesterday while eating a toffee one from a Revels packet. Bah!





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RE: Those moments when you utter "FFS"


Must be very frustrating Vince.

They forget that the VAT charged is not theirs, it belongs to HMRC.



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Those moments when you utter


I think 9-5 would drive you madder!!!! Despite being tempted myself.

Ouch on the tooth - last time I did that was reminiscing on a blinking curly wurly!!!!

Favourite revels - the cream ones (yep both of them!)

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Increasing number of moments when FFS is appropriate.

Just one of todays goes back to being invoice related.

Get a call completely out of the blue from a supplier of one of my clients. 'x has said I need to ring you'. Me 'what for?'. him 'I dont know'. Me 'Well he hasnt phoned me to say you were phoning me'. Him 'oh it might be about the missing invoices I owe you'

Well of course it is, but I dont just carry round lists of missing invoices for when someone rings me out of the blue.

Besides Ive said to my client - when you cannot put an invoice number on the stock book as the stock comes in then that means one is missing/needed and that is your prompt to chase them, Im not doing it for you, as I have no clue who the supplier is as I dont carry round the stock sheets'. Ok nose, face etc. But its anything to pass the book to me and for them not do the job.

Some people just want spoon feeding.

FFS - why are folk so bloody lazy!!!!!!!!!!!!

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RE: Those moments when you utter "FFS"


"FFS - why are folk so bloody lazy!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Quite.

I have another today - I've mentioned further up this thread, I think, an exchange system in the industry this particular company is in, through which they book quite a lot of subcontractors*. I have an "invoice" today from this system... except it's not an invoice from the system as such (though it carries everything it needs - so it's a legally valid invoice).

What is it actually? It's a print out of the web browser page showing completed invoice data, with the links across the top to "save as PDF" "email" etc. i.e. the muppet has simply printed the web page rather than click on one of those links to get it in a more presentable form.

When I grabbed the stuff from one of the directors he pointed it out to me - because it's screwed up. His initial reaction was that it isn't an invoice and he binned it. Luckily the other director pulled it out and double checked!

* I did a clean start on Sage at the start of this year - so the only supplier accounts at the start were those who had any outstanding invoices at the previous year end. Maybe 50. The number of supplier accounts now is just shy of 930.

 



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Vince M Hudd - Soft Rock Software

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Lol on your 'save to pdf', or rather FFS FFS FFS!

After today little call, I ended up sending a list of missing invoices that I know about from the stock records I could see (clearly somewhat out of date) to my client and was told the supplier had a new bod who was doing the invoicing so they will keep up to date now. Oh yeah, turns out the new bod has been there two years. Plus why then am I chasing stuff from July and its bloody November! But the one invoice that I did get, yes just one out of many many many, had two items on it and todays blithering date. Snotogram went back to them along the lines of we bought these more than two months ago so send me invoices dated when we made the purchases so they appear in the correct VAT quarter.

Now I know my payment is the VAT tax point, but Im not having a million and one invoices all dated today!!!!!!! They did that at the year end and it looks so flipping dodgy. Morons.

Oh so get you on the sage clean start - I did the same two years ago for a client and its looking messy again already - just too much going on!

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Those moments when you utter "FFS"


"Oh so get you on the sage clean start - I did the same two years ago for a client and its looking messy again already - just too much going on!"

It was because things were getting messy - specifically on the supplier ledger, caused by growth - that I did it! It's now a lot tidier than it was before, and actually more sensible in terms of the order accounts are listed.

I have another FFS to post later, but it's to do with cloud software, so when I get round to it I might put it in that cloud thread that got resurrected a few days back.

Edit: When I include a line break, forum software, it's because I want a line break! FFS!



-- Edited by VinceH on Thursday 9th of November 2017 11:34:33 AM

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VinceH wrote:

 

Edit: When I include a line break, forum software, it's because I want a line break! FFS!



-- Edited by VinceH on Thursday 9th of November 2017 11:34:33 AM


 Oh that made me rofl.gif



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I've got a headache, having been back and forth on the phone between a clients' supplier and that supplier's factoring company.

The supplier (henceforth "Numpty") recently signed up to a factoring company (I call them simply "Factors"). Fair enough, lots do. I don't like factoring companies, but I can understand why they do when so many companies can be a little slower than they should to pay their suppliers. (Though my client generally pays on time unless there is a problem with the supplier's invoice - I know, because I handle the payments and my system is super efficient!)

So Numpty has signed up with Factors, and my client (henceforth "we" or "us" etc) received the usual notification.

Numpty has subsequently issued two invoices. So when I came to pay them, that payment went to Factors. As you might expect.

Now Numpty is unhappy that we've paid Factors - and I've had to speak to him and them several times trying to resolve the situation.

He basically wants us to get a refund from Factors and to pay him directly - but Factors are pointing out that his contract means he has to put all his invoices through them, so they aren't keen on doing that.

And I'm piggy in the flipping middle, trying to resolve it. FFS.

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RE: Those moments when you utter "FFS"


I don't know much about factoring but even I know you send the payment to the factoring company. Numpty seems an appropriate word.



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Cake and eat it time - for all of a day or two then Vince, plus an easy lesson on how to get a factor to pull a facility when its only just been set up. I think they all try that one on at the beginning though. Just to what the factor does and refer him to his contract, or can you show him the letter you received from the factors? (whilst telling him to stop being a plonker - its bah humbug time so you can get away with it, dead professional isnt it!)

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RE: Those moments when you utter "FFS"


While a lot of that almost certainly goes on, I think in this case it boils down to nothing more complicated that the supplier not understanding what he's doing / has done (him not being a native English speaker didn't help). That's why it was such a headache inducing job dealing with it Monday - if it was someone trying the cake and eat it approach of getting payment from us as well as his 80% (?) advance from the factoring company, that's usually not difficult to address1.

Just to clarify, he is set up to be paid weekly by this company2 - something I neglected to mention above: When I see his invoice, it gets paid on my next payment run. (I set up payments for this company every Wednesday - all approved/passed supplier invoices due for the coming week are set up so that the payments hit supplier bank accounts the day they are due3). That's why he didn't want us to go through the factoring company - if he's paid weekly, there is no cash flow issue which is what factoring helps with.

When I left it on Monday, the woman I'd been speaking to at the factoring company was going to ring the guy and try to explain the situation and said she'd ring me back if there were any problems. There was no return call, but I followed it up anyway this morning, and because of the weekly payments she agreed there is no need to factor his invoices to us, and is happy if we pay him directly - he just has to understand not to upload our invoices to their system4!

1. Usually it's just a matter of ringing the factoring company and saying the supplier was paid directly; it often happens when someone first signs up to use a factoring company. Although I did have one company once where they had the factoring details on their pre-printed invoices, and were putting a sticky label over that with their own details - which is plausible if they'd been using a factoring company, had lots of stationery printed, then ended the arrangement but wanted to carry on using their existing stationery. However, that wasn't the case - they were still using the factoring company and WERE trying to pull a fast one. I pointed it out to the factoring company, and subsequent invoices lacked the label.

2. But probably not by other companies he subcontracts to - so he may feel factoring is appropriate for other companies.

3. At this company, the law - and suppliers' payment terms - are honoured. The only time an invoice is paid late is if there is a problem with the invoice (eg a dispute/disagreement) or if the invoice simply hasn't been received. I hate companies that say "We pay on x days" and disregard terms stated by suppliers.

4. As for the ones we paid to the factoring company, he has now accepted his mistake and uploaded them to their system to set off against our payment.



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