How to write off an invoice



  • EmmaPEmmaP Administrator Posts: 639 admin

    Hey @ianscottgroup! Thanks for reaching out. Are you able to confirm if the HST tax is marked as recoverable or non-recoverable in your account? You can check this under: Settings -> Sales Tax -> Click the tax to see the settings. Depending on what you have marked the tax as here, the amounts may or may not reflect on the sales tax report. You can read more about recoverable vs non-coverable taxes here.

  • me32456789076543me32456789076543 Member Posts: 1

    Give us a way to just delete them. I have a test invoice that I created when I set Wave up. I paid myself $2 for the invoice to see how it would look on a bank statement. I then refunded myself to see how that process would work. All part of testing the platform before using it with real clients. So it's not bad debt or unpaid - it's test! Now I have a stupid "past due" invoice sitting there because you won't let me delete it. Writing it off as bad debt would be incorrect and would mess up my ledger by $2! So this "solution" is not a solution. Give me a way to delete it. Between this and the inability to run semi-monthly recurring invoices, I'm thinking it might be better to just switch vendors.

  • EmmaPEmmaP Administrator Posts: 639 admin

    Hi @ianscottgroup! As a workaround, you could add a new sales tax that is recoverable (under: Settings > Sales Tax) with the same rate that you charge on sales. Call it something along the lines of "bad debt sales tax" and add that to the second step (when you add the expense transaction to bad debt expense). Following these steps you should see the tax appear on the sales tax report as a separate line/separate tax and if you need to reduce the tax on sales, it will be easy to calculate.

  • Anne_vdGAnne_vdG Member Posts: 1

    Hi there, I am trying to write-off a bad debt but unfortunately i can't select the relevant invoice under 'category'. Only one of my outstanding invoices is showing up there, but not the one I want to write-off. Is this a glitch? Can you help me solve this please?

  • BarsinBarsin Administrator Posts: 1,811 admin

    Hey there @Anne_vdG

    What is the current status of the invoice? Is there a transaction on the invoice page making it appear as paid? As long as the invoice appears as unpaid it should exist under the category. If not would you mind posting some screenshots of the issue? Also, what currency is the invoice? Is it the same as your native currency in your account?

  • Scott_Smith_PhotoScott_Smith_Photo Member Posts: 1

    Hi, I provided an invoice for a service I was due to provide in the future. This invoice was paid but due to CV19 the work the client has cancelled and I have issued a full refund. I've matched the refund to the invoice, but now the invoice is showing as outstanding again. Is there anyway to mark the invoice as cancelled without deleting it as I would like to retain it for my records?

  • JamieDJamieD Administrator Posts: 1,145 admin

    @Scott_Smith_Photo It sounds like your situation is very similar to the example outlined in the help center article above. Within Wave, these steps are likely the best route to take if you are wanting to keep the invoice data for your records. After you've gone through all the steps in the help center article and should you have further questions, let us know and we're happy to help.

  • IntergiseIntergise Member Posts: 1

    I am having the same problem as others in that when trying to follow step 1 and mark the invoice as paid I cannot select the relevant invoice. Under Category I can select Sales but not the actual invoice. I can select the customer but that doesn't direct the write off to a particular invoice.

  • BarsinBarsin Administrator Posts: 1,811 admin

    Hey there @Intergise

    Are you trying to do this from the transactions page? If so, this may be why you're running into this problem. Head to Sales > Invoices > Find the invoice and select it > Record a payment on that invoice > Select the clearing account you created in your chart of accounts! This should allow you to mark it as paid from the invoices page, not the transactions page!

    Hope this helps.

  • RallybytheSeaRallybytheSea Member Posts: 2

    I have a number of invoices that were paid through wave payments and then refunded due to Covid as the event was cancelled. These are not bad debt and a write-off is not the right tool for refunded invoices. It would be far easier for users if Wave simple, more elegant way to cancel invoices that are refunded. In my case, due to Covid 19 our event was cancelled and we issued over 100 refunds for wave payments (deposits) now Wave wants me to do over 100 write-offs...

    Not pretty...this needs to be fixed as a priority

  • LetItGrowSavannahLetItGrowSavannah Member Posts: 4

    You say this is a 2 step process. I disagree.
    Step 1 "First mark the invoice as paid" with 5 bullet points below. Am I first marking the invoice as paid, and THEN following the bullet points? Or are the bullet points meant to correspond to the steps needed to mark the invoice as paid? If this is a "1 step" process, do not offer me 5 bullet points.

    What should be listed as Step 2 is listed again as Step 1, which is described as "Next, write off the "payment" to expense", which is then followed by 6 bullet points.

    You have, in the most confusing manner possible, just given me 11 steps to perform a 2 step operation.
    I am not an accountant. That's why I use Wave. This would be more helpful if it was less convoluted.

  • BarsinBarsin Administrator Posts: 1,811 admin

    Hey there @RallybytheSea

    First off, let me sincerely apologize that your business was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Know that our team is here to help you through this tough time! I sincerely appreciate your feedback here and it's not not to agree with you. This is a bit of a cumbersome method and I apologize that you are now stuck with several write-offs. I do wish this was something that we could address asap for you to alleviate some of the stress you're already faced with. We're constantly working on improving our invoicing features however because this particular invoicing feature ties into accounting we may not see a quick turnaround with an update on this.

    Also for more context the article asks you to create an account called "bad debt" but this is language which you don't need to follow. You can create your account for "refund" instead of bad debt! Only create a bad debt account if your client doesn't pay you for a service you've given them.

    Hi @LetItGrowSavannah

    You're not wrong when you say this old article needs a bit of updating.

    1. I'd create the "bad debt" clearing account first
    2. Add your income transaction and title it appropriately how you wish. That will take care of your accounts receivable.
    3. Head back to your Chart of Accounts and create a "Bad Debt" expense account
    4. Head to transactions and add a new expense transaction that looks like like this:
    5. Your accounts receivable will no longer show a balance and your Bad debt clearing account has a zero balance.

    Hope this helped a bit.

  • RallybytheSeaRallybytheSea Member Posts: 2

    Thank you Barsin

    This still seems like a lot of unnecessary steps to do something that Wave should already be doing. It seems obvious to most people that when you issue a full refund there is a good chance that the project has been cancelled and the software should have an option for cancelling an invoice. I got Wave to simplify my business but your work-around is anything but simple

    This is a shortcoming that needs to be addressed but Wave does not seem interested in correcting these types of shortcoming...may have to look at other software

    Thank you

  • ADSADS Member Posts: 4


    If I wrote of an invoice to Bad Debt, and the client ends up paying how would you recommend writing up the journal entry to reverse it back to accounts receivable? Or would it just be an immediate bad debts to sales entry? please specify which accounts you would suggest debiting and crediting.

  • twa12345twa12345 Member Posts: 2

    Here's my issue with this method for writing off invoices that were refunded and not actually bad debt. The method above continues to report the income in the profit/loss and other reports. In my instance I had several customers make a deposit but then back out. due to COVID, prior to any work or goods and services were exchanged. We issued a full refund so we need to keep the invoice to show the money coming in and out for the actual payment but do not need this showing on the reports as income.

    To work around this instead of the above I simply refunded the payments then edited each invoice to be a $0 invoice. So far this seems to be the solution

  • GBCGBC Member Posts: 1

    I have a customer who paid a deposit and then cancelled due to Covid. Do I have to go through the Bad Debt steps or can I just edit the remaining amount to zero on the invoice? I agree with previous members, the Bad Debt steps seems to be a cumbersome process and one that does not truly reflect the situation. With Covid still happening I feel this process should be simplified and one that truly reflects the situation. I’m sure many members will have multiple cancellations as I have.

  • ADSADS Member Posts: 4

    How would you mark a bad debt that was written off but recovered?
    I would normally mark it towards an account receivable but now do I have to remove the receivable using a journal entry to mark it as a sale? Is this the best method in wave?

  • CalliePCallieP Administrator Posts: 439 admin

    Hi @twa12345 , thanks for your post! The reason that this amount still shows on your reports is because Wave reports default to accrual-based accounting, so any invoices which is made, whether paid, refunded, or written off, will appear in an accrual report on the invoice date as income. If an invoice was indeed paid and then refunded, it is actually the most accurate picture of the business to show that funds came in and then left, rather than that they didn't show at all. It may be best to speak with an accountant about why this is helpful for understanding your business. That said, if you want to see a report without the unpaid invoice on it, you can change the report type to Cash-based, and it won't be there unless it is actually paid.

    Hi there @GBC , thanks for your message. I'm so sorry to hear how COVID-19 has negatively impacted your business in this way; that is truly unfortunate. In Wave, the best way to reflect refunds (especially on invoices which can't be deleted, e.g., Wave Payments invoices), is to write them off for the reasons mentioned in the paragraph above. Hopefully that helps contextualize why this process is necessary. Thanks also for noting that it is cumbersome as a workflow; I will definitely pass this feedback along to the team for consideration for potential improvements.

    Hi @ADS , thanks for reaching out! I'm glad to hear that some bad debt has turned around for you here. I think you have it right - using a journal entry to reverse the writeoff would be the simplest way forward! Alternatively, you can create a new invoice, record a payment on it, and then create a transfer from the account to which the funds were paid, into the bad debt account, to reduce the liability.

  • twa12345twa12345 Member Posts: 2

    @CallieP My issue isn't with the refund but rather with the steps to remove an invoice that was refunded and isn't bad debt to be written off but rather just an invoice that needs to be closed because it won't be paid and no goods/services were exchanged. In my case I had a deposit paid/refunded. However, the Wave suggestion of recording a payment in full to a new account makes it look like I received payment in full for the invoice when in reality I didn't.

  • BarsinBarsin Administrator Posts: 1,811 admin

    Hey there @twa12345

    Currently the article tells you to record it as "bad debt" but this is just a language layer that you can work around by calling this account "refunds". Wave requires an account for the refund to be recorded to in order for it to be cleared from your accounts receivable. This account you create is simply a clearing account to write your invoices off under. presently this is our method of refunds processed with Wave Payments!

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