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Re: 1.3.38-rc1 on Monday?

Hi John,

On Sun, Feb 16, 2014 at 1:46 AM, John Locke <..hidden..> wrote:
Hi, Eric,

Oh, interesting. I think you and I are after exactly the same thing, but we're starting with a different report.

I use AR -> Reports -> Transactions (summary).

I'm guessing you use AR -> Reports -> Outstanding (detail).

Yup. That's interesting indeed, because as you, I never noticed there's a similar report!
A summary report on the first is almost exactly the same as a details report on the second. Almost, but not quite...

So yes, I see AR -> Reports -> Outstanding -> summary as not something I need all the time -- and if it's misleading, that should get fixed.


AR -> Reports -> Transactions -> detail has too much detail -- it expands all of the line items on invoices, so it's now much longer.

Right. I usually don't need that view either. And when I do, I can run something similar through the GJ -> Reports menu.

I'm seeing one difference between the two: Transactions is showing transactions that are out of balance by a fraction of a cent (the old invoices with calculated sales tax) while Outstanding omits them.

That's interesting as well: they should be considered closed, so, I'd say that the Transactions view is incorrect.

In general, I must say that all these combinations make it way too easy for inconsistencies to creep in!

Otherwise we often are using Transactions to get a customer invoice history, by selecting the "closed" checkbox. For that reason alone, I would like to preserve the summary default there, though I can have people switch to the Outstanding report for the more typical use...

Sure. I think that's a logical selection that I  do use occasionally as well.

I wonder if it might make sense to actually split these into 3 reports? Seems like it would be confusing to have two reports lead to pretty much the same thing -- both with "summary" and "detail" options that do different things. What we have here are four different reports with two that are the same. How about splitting into something like:

- Invoices/Transactions (with options for open and closed, the report both you and I use)
- Customer outstanding totals (outstanding summary, hopefully fixed to only include open transactions)
- Items (Transaction detail report)

Not sure the second one is necessary, with the aging report also available...

Right. I think the aging overlaps with the customer outstanding totals, when selecting "open" invoices. If you select open and closed, they differ, but I can see myself wanting to add a column for "closed invoices" to address that use case within the aging report.

Also, I wonder if the third item is required, since the GJ -> Reports selection can be used to create a nearly equal report. The only difference is that the GJ->Report interface doesn't allow selecting open and/or closed invoices. I wonder if that's an issue in practice though.

I think it would make sense to rethink these reports as part of the 1.5 rewrite.

However, for now: what's our next action? I can see that I might need to retrain users to use Transactions instead of Outstanding (Details), that way we don't have to change the defaults in a release that's been going for so long.

However, then I do think we need to work on the sub-cent issue, because that's a regression from where I stand :-)

@Chris: can we re-wire the transaction report to use the Outstanding (details) logic? after all, they should be the same report: they have the same columns, I think and allow for the same columns to be added, right?



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