How to help French enterprises invoicing while using OFN?

Hello community!

Our support team received a lots of questions recently around how to handle invoices when using OFN.
We have two large groups who are starting to use OFN (including a former Food Assembly), but are stuck with the invoices issue. As the food assembly had a legally compliant solutions to invoices, they expect the same from the tool they are choosing.

So far our biggest users were either not invoicing in France, or not using online payment through the OFN, so not using OFN invoices was working fine.

In a nutshell, the biggest problem with invoices in France so far is that you don’t have sequential numbers (and cannot have traceability on all the order amendments). A lot more has been described around this problem & linked tech solutions here: Trace order amendments through invoice lines and generate legally compliant invoices
Also the former Food Assembly don’t invoice the customers but the producers, so they need a way to export the data and build invoices for the producers for the commission they take on those sales. AND the producers need a way for their customers to get an invoice as well, legally they have to… The Food Assembly was sending an invoice from the producers to the customers, and from the hub manager to the producers.

With this post, I’m not looking for OFN tech solutions as we agree that spree upgrade / make what we have great was our priority, and we are fine with it. I’m reaching here to see if we could find a hack / something else in the meantime.

So far with @MyriamBoure we have looked at the following info:

  1. See if there is a report that could give us enough info to import the data (manually) in another tool. While the Xero report has all line items info, it has not enough info on tax, and reverse for the tax report.
  2. Zapier ? We could extract in a Googlesheet the data needed, and then import them in an invoicing package through a csv.
    From what we understand in UK you find a solution for this? @lin_d_hop do you think we could set-up a zoom so you can show us what you did? If it’s really complex and needs someone to be trained for, we are also ready to pay for it. And then we can share the load of documenting everything for the community.
  3. Waiting for the API to be documented, and see what we can use from there. But the timeframe is unknown, and our two users are starting their activity in March.
  4. Or they can do manually the invoices, every producer should do one invoice per customer, and the hub manager should do one invoice per producer… I guess it is not acceptable.

Also what do you think: are there other solutions that we might have forgotten? Do you have other ideas that would help us to propose solutions to these enterprises?
ping @Kirsten @sauloperez @NickWeir @luisramos0 @maikel @Matt-Yorkley

This is REALLY lame - but you can accomplish this in OFN now - if, following and OC closure, all the order invoices are saved as PDFs. THEN the modification to orders happens… and then the final invoices are printed. Then a customer is sent the original invoice and the modified one.

I know it doesn’t solve the sequential numbering need… its just that its a way for a user to build their own invoice history. (Sorry - its all I’ve got.)

We can’t @tschumilas. The sequential numbering is a no go, they can get a fine of 75€ per invoice issued… and also for the former Food Assembly the hub invoice the producers and the producers invoice the customer. So we need to a way to extract the data and build things outside of OFN… either through reports, API, zapier…

Thank you very much for your quick feedback @tschumilas !

One way this could work @MyriamBoure is if they print everything and edit number by hand with signature, isn’t it? (not for the Food Assembly, but I’m thinking about Olivier’s case for example).

I know this isn’t meeting your needs - I’m just thinking of hacky ways to get you a little closer :wink:

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I dont think api/orders has what you need so the DB integration is the only way to go for integration.
It’s really easy for any dev to write some SQL queries with the data you need, than someone will have to setup zapier to run the query on a regular basis and put the data somewhere in some format that is usable for you.

I think youd be better off with something that takes an orders report and generates invoices from that. It could have so automation with Zapier to combine data from different reports.

Zapier wont be a good option alone. The DB connector wont generate full orders with line items.

Option of connecting directly to DB is also possibly not enough as it will not be easy for users to trigger invoice generation. So it can be on a schedule but then users cant trigger regeneration on amendments.

Ill keep thinking but i think the best option is to identify the combo of reports that contain all information and go from there…

— The DB connector wont generate full orders with line items.

you can get the data in the format you need, like list of orders with line items.

— So it can be on a schedule but then users cant trigger regeneration on amendments.

if you keep the history of the data coming from the DB (like the previous run) and then make a diff (very easy to do on a DB or even on a spreadsheet) you can easily get the amendments.

  1. I mean the DB connector in zapier mate.

  2. Now your solution is a second database. Which sounds like one of the proposals for updating reports…

  1. ok!

  2. yes, but we can do this outside of OFN db and reports.

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Thank you so much for all these info @luisramos0 @lin_d_hop !

Let me try a summary:
If I understood well, the best not-in-the-global-pipe solution would be to investigate the storage of a separate orders history. Either with:
A. a direct connection to the DB : this would result in creating a new database with all orders/line items and their updates. From there we can make a diff automatically on the DB or on a spreadsheet
B. a creation of a local/manual report with a combo of existing reports

Did I understood correctly?

On B I’m afraid it does not exist as we need a tax report per line items. But I will dig more into this.
Thank you again!!