Use delivery notes

Delivery notes can be used for two major functions:

  • Quantitative tracking of inventory items sold to defined customers
  • Tracking status of sales orders including inventory items

Delivery notes are created following instructions in another Guide. Read it first.

Tracking items sold to customers

Delivery notes can separate the financial aspect of selling inventory items to a customer from their quantitative removal from inventory and delivery to the customer. But this separation is not automatic. It must be chosen independently for each individual inventory item. To make the election for an inventory item, go to the Inventory Items tab and Edit the inventory item:

Near the bottom of the screen, check the box to Track quantity to deliver:

Then click Update. Now, whenever the inventory item is sold to a defined customer, a delivery note is required to complete the transaction.

Brilliant Industries defined one of its inventory items, a table lamp, to include the option to track the quantity to deliver. The Inventory Items tab listing shows 10 table lamps to deliver:

Drilling down on the quantity, Brilliant sees that all 10 await delivery to Bob’s Hardware:

Drilling further, Brilliant sees the pending deliveries all originate from the same sales invoice:

Brilliant copies that sales invoice to a delivery note:

The Inventory Items tab list is automatically adjusted:

Note, however, that while quantities on hand and to deliver are reduced, the quantity owned, average cost, and total value of inventory remain unchanged. That is because those figures were adjusted by the sales invoice.

In the preceding example, quantity to deliver was tracked because Bob’s Hardware was a defined customer from the Customers tab. But if the sale had been to someone other than a defined customer, the quantity to deliver would not have been tracked.

After completing delivery in the example above, Brilliant Industries sells another table lamp to a walk-in buyer, recording the sale only with a receipt:

The quantities on hand and owned are immediately reduced, but the quantity to deliver remains zero, despite no delivery note having been created:

Prior to Version 21.4.58, Manager required a delivery note to complete the sale of every inventory item recorded on a sales invoice if the Delivery Notes tab was enabled. With that version, the choice became optional. Additionally, delivery notes became applicable to all sales to defined customers, even if recorded via receipts. Prior to Version 21.4.58, sales via receipts were always assumed to be delivered simultaneously.

The Batch Update function can be used to make bulk changes to the delivery tracking option for inventory items.

The decision on whether to track quantity to deliver—and therefore use delivery notes—for a particular inventory item depends on several factors, including stocking practices, purchase or production lead times, volume of credit versus cash sales, and your need for delivery planning and documentation.

Once you decide to track quantity to deliver, you must follow through. If you do not create the necessary delivery notes, your accounting records will show income and costs related to sales, but your inventory counts will never be reduced.

Tracking status of sales orders

When sales orders include inventory items, delivery notes can be used to help track fulfillment. To take advantage of this capability, the delivery note must be linked to the sales order through the Order number field. Complete information is provided in another Guide.

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