Invoice numbering per client
When you have clients billed on a regular basis it's very important to maintain automatic invoice numbering per client rather than across multiple clients.
It makes it easier to reconcile with clients in case some of the invoices went missing.
Additionally, it makes it impossible for a client to guess the size of your company by guessing how many invoices you create each month.
John Lane commented
I've worked in the accounting field for almost 3 decades and I'm hard pressed to understand this request. Invoice numbers are control numbers, just like check numbers, and should be allocated in sequential order. I've seen more companies bill their customers/clients on a regular basis over the years than I can even count. And not a single one of them needed to group the invoice numbers sequentially by customer in order to reconcile in case some of the invoices went missing.
Use the Sales by Customer Report, then drill down (click) on the number for the customer you're concerned about to reveal all the individual invoices that make up that number. The resulting customer Transactions Report will show any unpaid balance due for each invoice sent to that customer. As long as each invoice was created and each payment was posted, I don't see how anything could get lost.
As for your additional concern of revealing your company size by the sequential invoice numbers, simply turn off the sequential numbering for the invoices and employ your own manual numbering system. I had a client once that used the following system to number invoices:
17-0724-01 (17=the year, 0724=the month and day, 01=the invoice number for that specific day)
The number appears large and complex even though it's really simple. Using this or a similar numbering strategy should conceal the size of a small business that produces very few invoices.
This is very closely related to the suggestion I have as well. Would love to see these both implemented together. https://zohofinance.uservoice.com/forums/283818-zoho-books/suggestions/20161663-auto-generating-invoice-prefix-per-customer
Invoice numbering is an important issue in many countries. At least in mine, to comply with legislation, invoice numbers must have a SERIES and a sequential NUMBER starting from 1. It is possible to reset the counter but only in the beginning of a fiscal year.
Quite often, it is normal to use more than just one series. For instance, if the company runs several business lines/activities (or even clients as suggested here), it is convenient to use different invoice series for each of them. Of course, every series has its own counter to sequentially number the invoices. It looks like in ZohoBooks is not possible to define series for invoices yet. Yes, there is a prefix and auto-generated numbers, but this is useful for just the default series only.
Also, it is very common to include the current fiscal year in the prefix. I 've tried to include %(YEAR)% in the prefix, but ZohoBooks doesn't interprets it as a variable to substitute the value in.
It would be nice to have a module to manage invoice numbering, with the ability to define series (text label) and prefixes (accepting system variables), and to control the auto-numbering (start, stop, continue, and restart) on each of them. Of course, letting the user to manually edit any invoice number if he/she wishes.
It would also be nice to have some kind of invoice numbering check process to warn the user of any incongruity or mismatch in numbering sequence in any series.
Hoping you will consider this useful functionality in a future release, in the mean time, I will continue manually numbering my invoices. What else can I do?
Seems easily implemented and very useful.
This should be a simple feature to implement.
I like this idea. We have clients that have multiple projects and it is very difficult to streamline invoices per project. I believe this will be very helpful for us as well.
paul modd commented