Invoices: tax compliable

There are a wide range of problems associated with invoices generated by OFN and they have been discussed many times- both here and in github issues.
I wondered if it would be good to have a thread where we can list all the problems in one place.

As food hubs grow and prosper on OFN the more sustainable the platform becomes. We want to keep large food hubs engaged with OFN rather than moving onto different software platforms when they reach a critical size. One of the main limitations of our software at the moment, in terms of what the large users need, is legal and compliant invoicing.

In some respects, since the current invoices generated by OFN are not legal and hence require hubs to do extra work to amend them appropriately, is there an argument for removing the invoice option from Reports/Orders and instead improving guides to integrate OFN with outside accounting software (such as Xero or Quick Books)?

Issues which need to be resolved:

  1. Tracing amendments to orders
    Trace order amendments through invoice lines and generate legally compliant invoices
    https://github.com/openfoodfoundation/openfoodnetwork/issues/4203

  2. VAT/tax documentation on invoices
    https://github.com/openfoodfoundation/openfoodnetwork/issues/4161 relates to TAX on enterprise fees which are flat percent rate
    Also for flat rate (per order) enterprise fees no VAT is documented on the invoice.
    VAT rounding on invoices
    https://github.com/openfoodfoundation/openfoodnetwork/issues/1500

Thoughts? Please add further problems if you are aware of them.

Hi @lbwright22 thank you so much for this! I wonder if we can merge it with Trace order amendments through invoice lines and generate legally compliant invoices

Yes please! It would be good to have everything which is ‘wrong’ with invoices in one place so that wholesale changes can be made.
Are you able to merge the two threads here? I’m not sure how to
Thanks @Rachel

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I concur that invoices need work. I’m not sure about removing orders all together though for 2 reasons:

  1. it seems to me that we are a long way from an easy, seamless, free way for a user to export their orders into an accounting platform, and today many of our users do not use accounting platforms at all … so OFN orders management is all they have.
  2. even for those enterprises who are working with accounting packages, they often still manage orders in OFN - ie: removing items that were not available, adding in last minute purchases, issuing credits… so we need a solid orders management process in OFN for this.
    Maybe the invoicing piece by itself can be done in external accounting software?
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I’ll try to 'merge both threads into here as best I can without doing an awful copy-paste job.

I think what would be really helpful (as always) is next time an instance manager who also uses invoices on the platform is going to either do it for their own produce or helping another user out is to do a screen capture + audio capture video and to show me how you do things/use things currently. No performance needed! just record what you’d usually do so I can watch and understand what happens.

We’ll likely need to store these outside of discourse as they’ll have customer info, but this would be a massive help for the ux part.

for recording you can either do it in https://www.loom.com/ or even zoom or even in Jitsi!

I’m sorry @Erioldoesdesign @lauriewayne1 now that I’m reading back, what about keeping this one for tax issues and the other one for amendments?

I now see amendments will already be a big piece to deal with :frowning: so adding more scope to the amendments issues is maybe not the right way to go?

I will try to do a video on my side. Can’t ask my users otherwise you would end up with a video in french :grin:

Sure thing e. keeping this one for tax and the other for amendments. Shall we change the title of this post from ‘Invoice’ to ‘Invoice: tax issues’?

Re. issue you mean issue #5789? the papercut? yes that one, if we do any further discussion, will for sure not be a papercut and be a topic that needs discovery/inception work! I would keep discovery work to the collection of these discourse posts which can inform an epic/issues. That will likely be something @Jana has thoughts on how to do process wise :slight_smile:

Works for me but I don’t think this was a critical path thing for me - @Rachel did you mean to tag me in this?

ooops sorry @lauriewayne1 I’ve meant to tag @lbwright22 :see_no_evil: Apologies for the spam :woman_facepalming:

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Hi @Rachel yes I agree with your logic. Split the issues and have this one for making invoices tax compliable.
Thanks for keeping an eye on this.

@Erioldoesdesign - OFN-CAN manages orders and invoicing for a large hub here (we do it as a service on contract) - so I do this every wed night. I can easily take some videos. But the videos will show you more about how the order mangaement process works (adding, deleting, making adjustments to orders) in order to PREPARE the final invoices and final reports. Orders have to be adjusted in order for the invoices and reports to be accurate. The invoice part is more of a static document and sharing it. Regardless - my problem is I don’t know any software to record this. So - if it works (awkward I know), I can do you a little zoom recording? is that OK?

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Further on this (as I think more) - the order adjustment process WILL show the kinds of history we need the invoice to have. ie - if a product is added, or deleted, or a fee is waived… So - maybe this will be helpful on this issue after all.

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Can anyone tell me please — I just realized this issue was also addressing taxation issues on invoices (sorry I missed that before). Are we thinking the issue will address tax issues when tax is included in prices (VAT) as well as tax issues on invoices where tax is not included in price (in NA for example)? Because - that is a much bigger issue. As I understand it - right now, the database does not store taxes by line - when they are not included in price. So its a bigger project to create that stored data, rather than ‘simply’ making sure it is pulled onto an invoice. Am I making sense?

I did my first video! So - really rough - but here is the process of adjusting and order, and showing the current invoice associated with that order. NOTE - there are 2 places where orders can be adjusted in OFN - the ‘orders’ tab and the ‘bulk orders management’ tab. This vid is showing the orders tab because I wanted to show you how items are added to an order. The BOM tab is much nicer and smoother - BUT you cannot add items to an order there, and I wanted to show that. Happy to do others now that I kind of am learning how. https://www.loom.com/share/2d1af2315687471ea0650da385787ff5

I think this large issue/project/epic will tackle this:

the database does not store taxes by line - when they are not included in price. So its a bigger project to create that stored data, rather than ‘simply’ making sure it is pulled onto an invoice.

But I’m not 100% sure. I think @Rachel and @Jana might have a better understanding of the scope than me right now but you certainly make sense objectively to me but I’ll for sure need to see this process in play. Rachel is often able to show me and Jana how instance managers do processes like what you describe.

Thank you so much for the video! This is so so so helpful for us (design and product) to understand how real people use OFN for real cases! I’m over the moon! :full_moon: :cow2: < That’s the cow jumping over the moon…i hope that’s a reference people know haha!

Well - if you ever need more videos of real people doing real OFN stuff - I’m your person! I run a bunch of different shops for my own farm, a hub where flower farmers aggregate input orders so we get good pricing from big suppliers, and OFN-CAN manages orders for a large wholesale hub (the one in the demo).

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