Odoo Experience 2019 - Advanced Accounting Day 2
I thought it appropriate to add a small comment at the start of today’s blog in the knowledge that you may not read past the Summary section.
We have been involved with Odoo since TinyERP V5 in 2008/9. In that time there have been a few milestones, the standouts for me are:
V7 - Introduction of the web client
V8 - Introduction of an integrated CMS and eCommerce module
V9 - complete refactoring/rewrite of the Accounting module
V10 - the introduction of a truly useful Manufacturing module
V11 & 12 - upgrade to Python 3 and continued refinements in all modules combined with performance improvements
Operationally now Odoo is superb and has evolved due to real-world feedback that includes thousands of small almost unnoticeable “tweaks” that make the software more robust and useable. During this course, I have been speaking to Wynard Tastenhoye who is a Business Analyst in the finance team. Wynard comes to the team with many years of experience in the corporate world implementing packages such as MS Dynamics. What attracted Wynard was Odoo’s minimal but fully functional design and the lack of “bloat” which inevitably effects closed source systems that try to be all things to all people.
However, Wynard (and maybe others like him in the team) brought the hard-earned, real-world knowledge of what is required to make a financial module that can truly compete with systems like MS Dynamics or Netsuite. These packages put particular emphasis on the financials and provide the features required by larger and more complex organisations. Odoo V13 financials, although have come a long way from V8, is now starting to “feel” like a real contender in what many consider to be the heart of a good ERP system - the financials. Odoo V13, as well as introducing some very useful features, has attended to the myriad of minutiae that now make it feel like a “grown-up” system. And what is possibly more impressive is that it has not added “bloat” that make the simple functions hard and make the hard functions incomprehensible.
I know there is still more to do (like a good financial budgeting feature), but Wynard and the team have these firmly in their sights for the next release. But in the meantime, I give a big thumbs-up to Odoo V13 financials.
Finally, I did the Advanced Accounting course because I was concerned that the merging of the account.invoice and account.journal models was not going to be a good move. My take-away is that, from a user perspective, it makes no difference, and technically it has allowed some nice features to be added. I was not expecting several of the other new and improved features as well. I like it!
Day 2 focused on enhancements rather than new features. There are new payment methods that apply only to the European environment which I have not described here as the Aussie banks are glacially slow in implementing features that European banks have had for many years. So, from an Aussie perspective, the main features covered today were:
Enhanced customer follow-ups
Enhanced bank statement reconciliation features
Other areas covered were stock costing and stock valuation methodologies. All of which are super important but have not changed from V12 and so I have decided not to cover them here.
Landed costs have been enhanced so that they can be applied at the time of entry of the associated landed cost invoice. This may be useful in a limited number of cases and I have given a brief description below.
The follow-up feature has one new and very welcome feature - the ability to generate the follow-up messages automatically via a cron job. Here is the configuration form:
Odoo’s best practice for “Follow-ups” - Define three follow-up levels:
Level 1 - Kind SMS reminder after 15 days
Level 2 - Reminder by email with attached invoices after 30 days
Level 3 - Threat of legal action by snail mail after 45 days
Bank Statement Reconciliation
Conceptually this is the same as previous versions. However, a lot of attention has been paid to the automation of the reconciliation process via the use of “reconciliation models”. “Reconciliations models” are not a new concept, however, they have been refined somewhat in V13. Odoo’s implementation consultants have noticed that many customers have NOT been using the reconciliation models because they have been perceived to be too “hard”, or take too long to set up. I’m not sure if they are any easier in V13, however, it was certainly demonstrated that it is well worth the time to set them up as they are 1) flexible enough to handle a large number of statement transaction matching scenarios, and 2) once established, they make the reconciliation process significantly quicker.
A very nice feature now is the ability to mark a reconciliation model as “To be checked” and reconcile the bank statement line against a suspense account:
And this is what it looks like when reconciling:
Note also that when doing manual matching there are two tabs:
“Customer/Vendor matching” - this allows you to manually match transactions (as previously)
“Manual operations” - this tab shows the reconciliation models of type “Manual”
Below, is how a “To be checked” statement line shows up on the bank “card” on the accounting dashboard:
Finally, a small but nice feature is that bank statement imports now include the notes field that is available on many bank transactions. The contents of this field can be used very usefully in the creation of the reconciliation models as its contents can be used to identify specific transaction types.
Firstly, and most importantly, landed costs can now be applied even if the stock costing method is Average Costing. This is a modification that WilldooIT has been doing since V10 and I think and will now be no longer required as a mod.
There is also the ability now to apply a landed cost to a shipment at time of the entry of the supplier’s invoice:
Landed costs are a tricky and sometimes complicated business because landed invoices can arrive after the goods have been receipted into stock. It is technically possible for the goods to be already sold before all the invoices associated with landed costs have arrived. These situations have, of course, to be handled manually. Hence, in my opinion, the above feature will be of limited use. The good news is that the method previously implemented in Odoo V12 and prior is still available in V13.
The remainder of the afternoon was devoted to explaining the concepts of different stock costing and stock valuation methods in Odoo. These have not changed in Odoo V13 and I have not covered them in this blog as I am mainly concerned on what is new or changed from previous versions.
Some small changes:
No distinction between a customer and a supplier
There is now no distinction between a customer and a supplier partner - a partner is automatically both by default. There was no reason why this was done and it may have the effect of making it harder to find customers in invoices and suppliers in supplier’s invoices (“bills”). Odoo users already have a tendency to create duplicate partners at random because of how easy it is to do. Attempting to find the right supplier in a list two to three times longer than necessary might make this occur more frequently.
Posting time for bank/receipts:
That’s all until tomorrow when the “Experience 2019” actually starts. Stay tuned.
Jonathan Wilson – Chief Sales and Innovation Executive, WilldooIT
If you are a CFO, MD or CEO of an innovative and forward-thinking organisation seeking a simpler and more effective method of tracking your business performance via integrated ERP and eCommerce software solutions, perhaps I can help.
With over 40 years of verifiable success in the IT industry, including roles as Director of Sales – Odoo and Chief Sales and Innovation Executive at WilldooIT, Managing Director of WillowIT and CTO at Nexus Business Software, I understand the importance of an integrated ERP and eCommerce solution that has the potential to meet the functional processes and financial requirements across all the departments of your organisation.
My skills include partnering with senior leaders of a business to determine business needs, risks and functionality and aligning solutions in support of strategic and tactical objectives to satisfy cost-effective business requirements and deliverables.