In real life, receiving inventory and receiving the invoice for that inventory is often two separate events that occur days, or even weeks apart.  But in Sage 50 both happen in one transaction.  Sometimes waiting for the invoice to get the inventory in Sage 50 is fine.  But what about the times you are waiting for that inventory to fill orders?  You could invoice the customer and let your Sage 50 inventory go negative.  But most people recommend you avoid negative inventory.  This is where the Waiting On Bill option comes in.

In the Purchases/Receive Inventory (Enter Bills) window, below the Invoice No field there is a check box labeled Waiting On Bill.  When you need to receive inventory without an invoice, enter everything just like you would if you were entering the invoice except you will leave the invoice number blank and check Waiting On Bill.  This is the only way you can save a purchase without an invoice number.  Now your inventory will be updated so you can enter sales invoices for those items.

When the vendor’s invoice arrives, go back to Purchases/Receive Inventory and click the List button.  Find the transaction from the previous step and double click to open it.  If you click twice on the Waiting On Bill column heading in the list, the waiting transactions will be sorted to the top of the list so they are easier to find.  Once you have opened the transaction, enter the invoice number and uncheck the Waiting On Bill box.  Review the details and make any needed changes.

Up to that point everything is pretty simple, but now there are some important considerations and they all revolve around the invoice date.  If the invoice date is not the same as the date you used when receiving the inventory, changing it will move the inventory receipt to the invoice date.  That means your previous sales invoice could now push your inventory negative even though it didn’t when you entered the sale.  Because of that I recommend leaving the date alone and manually adjusting the due date in the Terms field so it will get paid at the right time.

If the invoice didn’t come in until the next month you could have more issues to deal with.  If the amounts on the invoice are different than the amounts originally entered, changing them will change balances in a prior month.  When, for reporting reasons, you can’t allow the prior month to be changed, the only thing you can do is leave the amounts as they were originally entered and post a new invoice for the difference in the current month.  Do not use inventory items on that invoice unless item quantities need to be adjusted.  Otherwise just post the dollar amount to a GL account – typically COGS.   But check with your CPA to see what account they want you to use.