Dunning is the process of methodically communicating with customers to ensure the collection of payments. Openbravo supports you in automatically handling late payments using customer specific dunning policies and business processes.
The configuration of the dunning module, setting a dunning policy by business partner, dunning statuses and work flows is discussed in more detail in the configuration manual.
The user manual will focus on the end user functionality provided by the dunning module.
The following demo gives an overview of the dunning process from an end user perspective:
(note that in the demo, dunning business processes are started manually, in practice dunning work flows will start automatically using a process)
Dunning policy, dunning status and dunning business process
The dunning process is defined through a dunning policy. A dunning policy consists of dunning statuses. Each status defines for a certain late-period what actions should be taken. For example, send an email after 10 days late, send a letter after 20 days late, etc. When a payment gets late and later it 'flows' through these statuses, each defining a different action to take.
A business partner has a field: dunning policy. This makes it possible to define different dunning policies for different customers.
A dunning policy also defines which business process to use to handle the late payment. The business process can make use of the dunning statuses to control its behavior, but the system allows complete flexibility here. Any business process/work flow can be started for a late payment.
The dunning process can be started manually for a payment, but most often it is started automatically when a payment is late. This automatic process of checking payments and starting dunning processes is configured within Openbravo. This automatic process can be summarized as follows:
- check if there are late payments (note uses the late time in days parameter to select payments).
- for each late payment the system finds the related invoice and the related business partner and its dunning policy
- if the dunning policy has a work flow defined then the system checks if there is already a work flow started for the late payment.
- if no dunning process is currently running the system will start the defined business process for the late payment
- from then on the work flow defines how the late payment is handled
The dunning module is delivered with a standard work flow/business process which is executed when a payment is late. This standard business process uses the dunning statuses defined in the dunning policy to control its execution. This makes the system very configurable, in that the dunning statuses can be different for different business partners while the underlying work flow/business process can be re-used accross business partners. On the other hand if more flexibility is required a completely new work flow can be defined and used in the dunning policy.
This image illustrates the standard dunning work flow:
The standard business process executes these steps:
- the first step is to calculate the current dunning status, this is done on the basis of the days late of the payment. So if the payment is let's say x days late then a certain dunning status will apply.
- the standard work flow will update the dunning status for the payment, if a new/updated status is set then the system does additional actions using this status, the status defines what should be done: send an email, if it is user maintained or if a letter needs to be generated. If the status has an email definition then an email is send, if it only has a document template then a letter is generated and linked to the late payment.
- a dunning status can also be set so that it needs to be handled by a user. In this case a task is created in the user's task list (see further below), the user can maintain the task and set it to complete when done.
When the system sends a dunning email then the following applies:
- the email is send to the user contact on the invoice
- the reply-to on the email is set to the sales representative on the invoice (if there is any)
- the email will have a letter attached to it, this letter is also attached to the payment
Payment In Plan Window
The main entry point for handling late payments is the payment in plan window. It can be opened through quick launch or through the menu: Financial Management > Receivables and Payables > Transactions > Payment in Plan.
The Payment in Plan window lists all late payments ordered on due date which have an invoice. An important column is the dunning status column, which displays the current status computed by the dunning business process.
All dunning actions are logged in the system and available in a child tab of the payment in plan. This tab gives a complete overview of all actions taken by the system:
When a letter is generated for a late payment then this letter is always attached to the payment:
Generating a letter can be done manually, but it is also done when sending an email. In all cases the letter is attached to the late payment.
Manual Actions: send email, generate letter, change status
The normal/standard process is that the dunning process is started and handled automatically. But even then it is always possible to perform manual actions. When a payment has reached a certain dunning status you can execute specific manual actions, these actions are only available when selecting a late payment in the window and only if the status has the required information set (like an email definition):
- send email: if the current dunning status has an email definition then you can (re-)send an email to the customer
- regenerate letter: if the current dunning status defines a document template then you can regenerate the letter and send it to the customer
- change dunning status: when a late payment is selected you can click the 'Change Dunning Status' button to change the dunning status. This is for example to set the status to on-hold. Note that the system will recompute the dunning status and overwrite manually set dunning statuses. However, the system will not overwrite/change the status of a payment if it is an on hold status.
When the dunning business process defines a manual action then a task is generated for the role defined in the dunning status. The generated tasks are listed in the task list of all users which have the assigned role. The waiting tasks are visualized in the navigation bar in the top. When clicking the tasks link it opens the task list.
The dunning process will have created tasks on group/role level which can be claimed by a user to be handled. To do this select the task in the lower grid and click 'claim selected task'. The task will move to the user list in the top. The tasks has the following information:
- a link (the binocular) which visualizes the business process
- a description which gives information on the late payment which needs to be handled
- a direct link to the late payment
The completion of the manual/user task has to be explicitly done by the user. To do so, select the task and click 'complete selected task'. This will allow the dunning business process to continue and move to the next status.