Invoice payment process

noted , so I will upload it as a bill.

I am not sure about final accounting if freeagent makes a differentiation between bills and expenses form an accounting point of view and/or whether we need it or not.

No it does not. Both are expenses of certain expense categories, and can be associated to projects, so it’s fine. I was just wondering whether we should or should not keep the expense accounting uniform (means, using only the expense claim feature in FreeAgent for that) or not.

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Indeed you can, but expense records need to be assigned to Users of freeagent, whereas for bills you only need Contacts.

Practically, it’s more time consuming to create users than to add contacts.

In theory, users are more like team members, so long term collaborators, whereas contacts are any business or individual you work with, so short term. Which is why it makes sense to only create users for team members.

Other than that, of course ideally you’d distinguish between expenses and bills… but well, imperfect system, imperfect organisation and so on :slight_smile:

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@noemi I uploaded the visa fees of yosser as requested , Please take a look on free agent and update it

Hey, that’s great, I’m glad you found your way :stuck_out_tongue:
Paying today!

Watch out because this new version of freeagent does not do the transactions reconciling the same as before. You tell him you repaid expenses and it doesnt show in your expense account/ page view…

Anyway, I can double check when I;m back-- i do remember seeing some repayments to you i.e Matera.

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You are right. This sucks. Also, when I go to the account history, it does not show there either. I did find a place to look:

Accounting => Show Transactions => Expense Account Alberto Cottica (https://edgeryders.freeagent.com/accounting/show_transactions/2018-01-01_2018-03-16/905-1)

And you are indeed right. I was only owed a little over 500 EUR, which means I now need to transfer back the balance!

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Hmm interesting, didn’t know about these changes. Could you integrate that new knowledge into our manual topic for payment requests?

Done.

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To keep track of reimbursed expenses it’s easier that we just use Bills from now on - otherwise we will get confused…

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I documented your process for that in the “Submitting a payment request” topic. For now, I have put a note saying we might switch to this process completely in the future, while leaving people with a Freeagent account the choice for now. (My instructions also need to be polished lateron … .)

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So in getting paid back for the bus from Akbel I use bills then and not expenses…?

Not necessarily, because

We’re testing what is better for us. (So far I like the “Expenses” feature better because it does the currency conversions and summing up automatically for me.)

Noemi do you have a preference for me on this?

Yes, expenses please! Much much easier for me… given that now we know what the filter tab is to show repayments as well… - “Recent”

Submitted as an expense. I paid the driver in Turkish Lira plus a tip. The Lira Euro exchange rate changed in favor of the Lira either that day or the next, so the amount is slightly higher. (Noted in FreeAgent.)

Proposal: Requesting and processing payments in Edgeryders: a minimally bureaucratic solution

Edgeryders projects enjoy full autonomy, but they still share basic company infrastructure, including the bank account. All payments are processed centrally, and finally made from the Edgeryders account at LHV Bank. The actual person manning the bank account is always a company director: this is necessary given that directors are legally responsible for stewarding the company’s assets. However, project autonomy means that the director making the payment does not necessarily know the context in which the payment is requested.

In Edgeryders, it is the project manager’s (PM) job to approve a bill or other expense for payment. Once approved by the PM, the paying director (PD) will simply execute the payment, and only ask questions if something smells wrong. The process works like this:

  • Someone completes some tasks and issues a bill to ER.
  • The PM approves it: this means that the collaborator or subcontractor has delivered what she should have delivered. The payment is authorized.
  • The PM, or the collaborator herself, uploads the bill onto FreeAgent. It is important to assign the bill to the correct project.
  • The PM, or the collaborator herself with the PM’s explicit authorization, creates a Dynalist task in the Payment Queue. The task need only contain two pieces of information: the deadline and the link to the FreeAgent bill. Instructions for how to create the task are in Dynalist. The typical task will look like this:
  • The PD processes the payment queue. She will typically ask questions to the PM if need be, then proceed to pay all upcoming payments, then ticking off the payment requests as done.
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I kind of like this new system … since @alberto has already implemented it via a “Payment Queue” section in Dynalist, we have to update the “Submitting a Payment Request” documentation very soon to avoid confusing people about which process to follow.

However, let’s first try this proposed process (I just did) and discuss necessary improvements:

As somebody who invoices Edgeryders, I want to be able to submit that damn invoice somehow and be done. I do not want to have to talk to the Project Manager to get her approval for the invoice, and her explicit authorization that I may create a payment queue task for it, because that means waiting for some hours or days for an answer before I’m done with submitting the invoice.

From that perspective, the option in your process of just sending the invoice to the Project Manager (who will then approve it, upload it and create a payment queue task) seems better. But it puts all the load on the project manager – exactly what we wanted to avoid with giving everyone access to FreeAgent.

What alternatives do we have? Here’s my idea:

  1. People upload their invoices to FreeAgent by themselves, and that is all they have to do to submit their invoice.

  2. All project managers log in to FreeAgent once per week until Sunday evening and authorize invoices they find there related to their projects. This is done by adding "authorized by " to the description, so that the bills overview list already shows which bills are authorized and which are not. Dynalist can contain tasks with deadlines for each project manager, so reminder e-mails are sent before each weekly deadline (in the next version of Dynalist Companion that @anu is about to finish).

  3. The Paying Director logs in to FreeAgent on Monday and pays the outstanding, authorized bills if there are no apparent issues with them. Similarly, weekly Dynalist notification e-mails can be sent.

This process forces Project Managers to take a look at FreeAgent weekly, which is “not necessarily a bad thing” :laughing: The proposed means of expressing authorization could easily be forged as FreeAgent has no version history of bills records – but the same problem applies to payment queue tasks created in Dynalist. I do not think we need to have a tamper-proof system here at the moment, as forgery would lead to ending a relation with a contractor immediately. However if we want a tamper-proof system in the future, we can easily create one: project managers would add a TAN (a single use transaction number, as used in online banking until recently) to each authorization, and the paying director would confirm that it’s a valid TAN of that project manager by looking it up in a secondary access-protected list, and then deleting it from there to prevent double use.

Matt, do we really need to structure the process for the PM? Why not “each PM can do whatever they want, as long as the approved payment request gets to the PD in the requested format”?

If you can think of another option how submitting a bill to Edgeryders is a single action for the issuer, without unacceptable back and forth communication with anyone … then we could give project managers a choice. (Options involving e-mails with attachments don’t count, right?)

Even then, do we really want to expose collaborators to a potentially different process for each project?

(As an addendum to my proposal above, creating Dynalist tasks for authorization and payment can be done automatically and only when there is a bill to process. But it’s more of a far future thing for us.)