This is the documentation for older versions of Odoo (formerly OpenERP).

See the new Odoo user documentation.

See the new Odoo technical documentation.

Managing accounts payable / creditors and accounts receivable / debtors

Open ERP provides many tools for managing customer and supplier accounts. You'll see here:

  • financial analysis of partners, to understand the reports that enable you to carry out an analysis of all of your partners,

  • multi-level reminders, which is an automatic system for preparing reminder letters or emails when invoices remain unpaid,

  • detailed analysis of individual partners.

Financial analysis of partners

When members of your accounts department sign on to the Open ERP system, they can immediately be presented with the Accounting Dashboard. By default it contains a useful graph for analyzing Receivables. To get access to it, install the module board_account. Then look at it using the menu Dashboards ‣ Accounting ‣ Accounting Dashboard.



In the dashboard, the graph at the right entitled Aged Receivables represents your receivables week by week. That shows you at a glance the cumulative amount of your customer debtors by week.

All of Open ERP's graphs are dynamic. So you can, for example, filter the data by clicking Zoom and then Filter on the Search form. Or just click on Zoom to open in a larger window for a graph, then click Search to display this in a list view.

To obtain a more detailed report of the aged balance (or order by past date) use the menu Finance ‣ Accounting ‣ Reporting ‣ Partner Accounts ‣ Aged Partner balance.


Aged balance using a 30 day period

When opening that report, Open ERP asks for the name of the company, the fiscal period and the size of the interval to be analyzed (in days). Open ERP then calculates a table of credit balance by period. So if you request an interval of 30 days Open ERP generates an analysis of creditors for the past month, past two months, and so on.

For an analysis by partner you can use the partner balance that you get through the menu Financial Management ‣ Reporting ‣ Partner Accounts ‣ Partner balance. The system then supplies you with a PDF report containing one line per partner representing the cumulative credit balance.


Partner balances

If you want detailed information about a partner you can use the partner ledgers that you reach through the menu Financial Management ‣ Reporting ‣ Partner Accounts ‣ Partner Ledger.


Partner ledger

Finally you can look up individual account entries by searching for useful information. To search for account entries:

  • by journal, go through the menu Financial Management ‣ Entries Encoding ‣ Entries Encoding by Line,

  • by account, go through the menu Financial Management ‣ Charts ‣ Chart of Accounts and double-click the appropriate account,

  • by making a global search, go through the menu Financial Management ‣ Entries Encoding ‣ Entries Encoding by Move and searching,

  • by partner, do it by navigating from a Partner field in any form that shows it to the partner then using the buttons to the right of the partner form.


Exporting entries

It's helpful to remember that you can export all types of resource in Open ERP. From the web client you need to navigate to a search list for the resource then click the Export link at the bottom left of the list. From the GTK client you'd use the menu Form ‣ Export. This enables you to easily make your own analysis in Microsoft Excel or Calc, by exporting accounting entries.

Multi-step follow-ups

To automate the management of followups (reminders) you must install the module account_followup. This is installed automatically as part of the accounting profile, but is not part of the other profiles. Or you can install it alone.

Once the module is installed configure your levels of followup using the menu Financial Management ‣ Configuration ‣ Follow-Ups.

The levels of follow-up are relative to the date of creation of an invoice and not the due date. This enables you to put payment conditions such as 'payable in 21 days' and send a reminder in 30 days, or the converse.

For each level you should define the number of days and create a note which will automatically be added into the reminder letter. The sequence determines the order of the level in ascending order.

Example of configuring followup levels






Level 1

30 days net

First payment reminder


Level 2

45 days net

Second reminder


Level 3

60 days from end of month

Put on notice

You can send your reminders by mail and/or email with the menu Financial Management ‣ Periodical Processing ‣ Send followups.


Form for preparing follow-up letters

Open ERP presents you with a list of partners who are due reminders, which you can modify before starting the procedure. On the second tab of the form you can supply the information you'll send in the email reminder.

The system then gives you a PDF report with all of the reminder letters for each partner. Each letter is produced in the language of the partner (if that's available) and you can therefore get letters in several languages in the same PDF on several pages.

To check the due date of customers and/or suppliers before starting the reminder procedure, use the menu Financial Management ‣ Periodical Processing ‣ Send followups. You get a list of unreconciled entries accounts. You can then modify the date and the last follow-up and the level of reminder for each entry.

To obtain a detailed report per partner use the menus in Financial Management ‣ Reporting ‣ Follow-Ups.

The different reports are standard Open ERP screens, so you can filter them and explore the elements in detail.


Summary screen for follow-ups

Partner situation

In daily use of Open ERP a manager will often need to search quickly for financial information amongst partner data. For this she can use the buttons to the right of form when she opens a partner form, to go directly to:

  • a follow-up letter from the Overdue payments Report button,

  • the list of open Invoices,

  • a shortcut to All account entries,

  • the unclosed CRM requests from Open cases,

  • a shortcut to the unreconciled Receivables and Payables.

The exact links depend on the modules that are installed in OpenERP.

These links are also available to her using the navigation features such as right-clicking partner fields in the GTK client.

The Overdue payments report produces a PDF document which is used for follow-up but it doesn't modify any of the partner's accounting entries. Its use doesn't increase the follow-up level so you can run this report repeatedly without any problem.

In Open ERP you can search for a partner on the basis of the value of its trade receivables. So search for partners with a credit amount between 1 and 99999999 and you'll get a list of partners that owe you payment. You can then select the whole list and print follow-up letters for them all.

To the right of the partner form there's a shortcut to Invoices. This link includes all of the invoices defined in the systems, namely:

  • customer invoices,

  • supplier invoices,

  • credit notes,

  • supplier credit notes.


Reminders from accounting entries

Companies that do not have computerized records tend to keep track of payments from invoices and paperwork and not from a formal partner account.

It's better to create reminder letters from a partner's account receivable than from unpaid bills, however. By using the Open ERP system you can easily take account of all advances, unreconciled payments, credit notes and credit payments.

So it's better to send a letter based on the accounting entries of invoices and unreconciled payments than just on a list of unpaid invoices.

In the links appearing on the partner form, two buttons enable the opening of partner accounting entries:

  • All account entries,

  • Receivables & Payables.

The first button is useful for obtaining a historical analysis of the customer or supplier. You can get information about such significant items as sales volume and payment delays. The second button is a filter which shows only the open trade credits and debits for the partner.