Unpaid Balance Forwarding

NitroTruckNitroTruck Member Posts: 2

Hello! I've been working with a few companies and trying out Wave as a bit more simplified accounting system since they don't need a lot of detailed information and styling on their invoices. However, we've run into an issue of "this is literally easier to do on paper invoicing" which, to me, should not be a phrase I ever utter.

The one of note is a Landscaping company, however it applies to any industry where a customer may have a past due balance and continue purchasing. We have a need to forward the previous month's unpaid balance into a new invoice as an entry, potentially apply a late fee, close out the previous invoice, and continue under the new invoice. Simply adding entries to late invoices would mean clients have potentially three or four open invoices, all but one of which are overdue. This can make the whole experience far more frustrating for them since they can easily run into a "But I just paid them!" situation.

To counter this, we forward the balances into the next invoice, and we need to keep the previous invoices so that we have a record of why the charges were originally added. So to that end, we have this ugly and complex workflow ADDED to the existing work:

  1. Select overdue invoice
  2. Note the amount
  3. Create new invoice for the current month and add previous balance as 'unpaid balance' item
  4. Return to the overdue invoice
  5. Record a payment into a specific offset account, categorized and noted as a balance forward so it doesn't interfere with any other account numbers
  6. Go to Accounting - Transactions
  7. Change the title of the payment from Invoice payment to Invoice Void
  8. Create a new expense item
  9. Title it Balance Forward
  10. Set it to the offset account
  11. Copy the amount from the invoice void
  12. Categorize as forwarded balance
  13. Add the customer it applies to
  14. Add the invoice number from the void to the Notes

This is just the additional work needed as creating the new invoice is a given. When there are only one or two unpaid balances this is annoying, but when there are ten or more it becomes a significant part of the day just to do this. It also adds complexity since the income and expense numbers are grossly inflated by nonexistent income and expenses even though the net results are accurate.

Even something to automate those 14 extra steps would be highly useful, although avoiding those exaggerated numbers would be much better. I would prefer it be within the system itself, as needing to code or cobble something together with Selenium just to make a website more usable seems rather outlandish. But if that's what it'll take I'll have to add it to my list.



  • JamieDJamieD Administrator Posts: 1,145 admin

    Hey @NitroTruck. Appreciate the very detailed post that you've given us here. While this exact feature isn't necessarily available in Wave at the moment (balance forwarding etc), this could be something that's added when we improve our Customers section (including statements) in the near future.

    While I concur with what you've done here as a workaround (not ideal, and I understand that) -- there might be another option for you with the steps outlined in this help centre article: https://support.waveapps.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000031243-Dealing-with-bad-debt-How-to-write-off-an-invoice

  • NitroTruckNitroTruck Member Posts: 2

    Hi, thanks for the response, however after looking through that article, I can say that it's not bad debt that we're attempting to write off, it's a balance that is still owed via contract and we are simply inserting it to the next invoice in order to make it more straightforward for the customer. Additionally, after reading through the steps, they are more simple than what we are currently doing because they are for writing it off entirely, which again, is not what we need.

    Aside from that, the steps listed there are all part of the steps listed here anyway, as we were already doing something similar due to there not being a more straightforward option we could find that actually fulfilled the requirements we have.

    edited July 8, 2019
  • ZoeCZoeC Administrator Posts: 388 admin

    Hey @NitroTruck, thank you for getting back to us. I agree, the workaround that you have in place now is less than ideal and time consuming for you, but unfortunately there is no better/faster alternative that we can offer at this time. I will happily pass this feedback along to our Invoicing team to think about for our next update, so thank you very much for taking the time to outline your workflow in such detail!

  • MrsCLynMrsCLyn Member Posts: 1

    EXCELLENT HELP. THANKS ! I was really surprised that there wasn't a simple way to do balance forward. And I agree - entering my balance forward as bad debt is totally ridiculous

  • EricBEricB Member Posts: 6

    This is one of the reasons why I feel that Wave Accounting is still not ready from prime-time use by more companies. Partial payments, late payments, and no payments are a common occurrence in the real world, and therefore this is a feature that should have been present prior to coming out of beta. Workarounds are okay for issues that are rare, but not for very important commonly needs such as late invoices. When a new invoice is generated, it should alert you to the fact that a balance due remains on the current invoice, and give you the option to cancel or roll the unpaid balance forward. Frankly, I'm quite surprised that Wave doesn't seem to understand the difference between bad debt, balance forwarding, and the need to handle them appropriately. Wave is good, but over the past year, I've lost a lot of interest in the product and lack of support.

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