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How do I reimburse employees for their expenses?

To reimburse employees for their expenses, it's necessary to define employees as vendors in the system. The link between employees and vendors can be made on the CRM account screen. Once an employee is a vendor, you can create vouchers for their expenses during the worksheet approval process. Reimbursement checks can be written against these vouchers.

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What are due days?

Due days refers to the number of days after the document date (i.e., invoice date, voucher date) when payment is considered overdue. For example, if the invoice date is May 10 and the due days = 10, then payment would be due 10 days later, on May 20. For proximo terms, the due days refers to the day of the month when payment is due—that is, due days = 10 means due on the 10th day of the month.

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What are item characteristics?

Item characteristics are used to create additional layers of information about items. For example, let's say you sell toy trucks. You might use item characteristics to define the various options available on your toy trucks—such as paint color or decal kit. Taking the color example, your toy truck characteristics might include "Red," "Green," "Blue," and "Yellow." Item characteristics are useful for reporting purposes. They also play a key role in the assemble-to-order configuration system.

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What if an employee changes shifts?

If an employee is going to be changing shifts, a manager or other administrator needs to assign the new shift to the employee's master record. If the new shift isn't assigned to the employee, the rules of the old shift will continue to apply to the employee.

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How do I install pgcrypto?

If you are going to use credit card processing or if you're getting this message ERROR:  function decrypt(bytea, bytea, unknown) does not exist then you need to install pgcrypto. Pgcrypto is a library used for encrypting sensitive data. The pgcrypto software is a popular add-on package included with the PostgreSQL source code distribution. The pgcrypto module is used by our credit card encryption functionality.  Even if you are not processing credit cards, we still recommend that pgcrypto be installed. 

First, we need to locate the pgcrypto.sql file.  One typical path to this is:

/usr/local/pgsql/share/contrib/pgcrypto.sql

If it isn't there you can always search for the file.  You may need to perform the search as root (be patient, this takes a while):

find / | grep pgcrypto.sql

Or if you're on Windows just use the Windows file search.

Once you've located the file the next step is to install it.  The command to install pgcrypto onto your database is:

psql -U mfgadmin NameOfDB < /wherever/the/file/is/pgcrypto.sql 

Or if you prefer using pgAdmin, connect to the database you want to install pgcrypto and open/execute pgcrypto.sql through the SQL Editor.  It is also a good idea to install pgcrypto.sql on the template1 database.

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What is an honorific?

An honorific is a word (often abbreviated) added to the front of a person's name as a form of esteem or respect for that person. For example, if John Smith is a doctor, you might refer to him as Dr. John Smith. In this example, the introductory Dr. is an honorific. Other common honorifics include Mr., Mrs., Ms.

Note: Honorifics are user-defined. They may be long or short, abbreviated or not.

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Are employee and user the same thing?

Employee and user are not necessarily the same thing. An employee is a person who works for your company. A user is a person who has an account allowing them to access your xTuple database. There are scenarios where database users would not also be employees. For example, you may give user access to people who are not your employees (e.g., IT consultants). Conversely, there are also scenarios where employees wouldn't need user accounts. For example, you may have employees whose job doesn't require them to use a computer—and so there would be no need for them to have a user account.

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How do I link a project to a customer?

Projects can be linked to customers using the relationships link on the customer screen. Simply locate the CRM account for the customer and then save the project once you've entered the information. When you link projects and customers you gain the ability to specify special billing rates for customers by project. You can also report on projects by customer.

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How do I reverse a receivable?

Receivables can be reversed either by application or, in the case of invoices, by voiding. For example, let's say a customer has an open receivables balance of $4500. When that customer sends you a check for $4500, you can apply that cash to the invoice, thus reversing the open balance down to $0. Similarly, credit memos can be applied to invoices (or debit memos) to reduce or reverse a receivable amount. For invoices, you also have the option to void them, which reverses them back to an unposted state.

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How can we post transactions between two different companies?

If you are making journal entries across different companies, you are now forced to keep each company in balance and make your entries happen with standard inter-company accounting procedures. For each company you would create matching Due To/From accounts on the balance sheet. There are lots of ways to set this up but here is a quick example:

Lets assume you are only using the company segment and the account number

Company 01 would need an asset account - 01-1501 Due To/From Company 02
Company 02 would need an asset account - 02-1501 Due To/From Company 01

Now instead of one journal entry you make two, one journal entry per company. Say, for example, we posted some G&A expense to company 01 and need to move it to company 02.

Credit 01-6500 $500
Debit 01-1501 $500

Credit 02-1501 $500
Debit 02-6500 $500

If our inter-company (Due to/from) account started at $0 we would now see a $500 balance in the account for company 01 and a ($500) balance for company 02.

The inter-company account(s) must remain in balance at all times, no exceptions. Any entry made to an inter-company account requires that a corresponding entry be made to the other inter-company account immediately. Any individual using inter-company account must know that they are not allowed to leave their desk if the inter-company accounts are out of balance, no exceptions. Inter-company accounts can really get out of control if people are not careful.

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What address do I enter in the billing configuration?

The address you should enter in the billing configuration is your remit-to address. This address is used in multiple reports, including invoices.

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How do I associate contacts with accounts?

You can associate contacts with accounts in either of two ways: 1) When you are editing a contact record you can specify the account relationship it belongs to or 2) you can attach contacts to an account when you are editing the account. Contacts can only be attached to one account at a time. However, single accounts can have multiple contacts (i.e., the people who work there) attached to them. You can also highlight on the account screen any especially important contacts by listing them as the primary contact or the secondary contact.

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What are planner codes?

Planner codes provide a mechanism for categorizing items for planning purposes. For example, let's say you want to develop separate plans for raw materials versus finished goods. To do so, you would first create separate planner codes: one for materials and one for finished goods. You would then link the materials planner code to the item sites for your materials—and the finished goods planner code to the item sites for your finished goods. From that point on, you can run the planning systems and planning reports by individual planner codes to see the detail separately for each.

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Does Connect support SSL or TLS?

Yes, beginning with xTuple Connect version 3.8, support is available for SSL and TLS encryption for email sent over SMTP.

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Does the sale type impact pricing?

No, there is no correlation between sale types and pricing. The sale type is used to declare how sales revenue will be accounted for in the general ledger.

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Do I need more than one cost category?

You can certainly run your business using only one cost category. That's all you need to set up item sites and track inventory movements in the general ledger. If you want more detailed inventory accounting, though, you should consider implementing multiple cost categories. For example, you might have a cost category for finished goods and a different one for raw materials. In this way you can track particular item types or groups by different accounts—thus leading to more detailed financial reporting.

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Do I need to assign priorities?

No, you are not required to set a priority when creating an incident. Priorities are optional. If you don't want or need to assign priorities to incidents then you can simply ignore them.

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How do I filter results?

When analyzing your data you can filter the results in several ways. For dimensions, select the dimension name in the rows or columns—then select the available members to show. You can also filter results by dragging dimensions to the filter section, and from there selecting the available members to show.

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How do I handle Purchase Order Returns (i.e., rejects) in the vouchering process?

If you are having trouble vouchering a Purchase Order because there are Returns logged against it, then you probably left out an important step: Creating a Credit Memo for the Return. To do this, go to the "Uninvoiced Receipts/Returns" report screen and right-click on the Return record. In the right-click menu is the option to create a Credit Memo for the Return. Once the Credit Memo has been created, you should be able to continue processing your Voucher. Later, you can apply the Credit Memo to an open Voucher.

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What type of security is used on xTupleCommerce and the ERP?

Our systems, both xTupleCommerce and the xTuple REST API, require an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate to function. SSL is a standard security technology for creating and encrypted connection between a server and a client (for example, between a user's browser and the webserver). It allows sensitive information to be transferred in a secure fashion. Without an SSL the data would be sent between the server and client in plain text, which is not secure. In plain text an attacker could intercept the plain text data and have access to sensitive information.

Neither the xTupleCommerce system or the ERP stores plain text credit card information in the database. Both systems integrate with Authorize.net via their API. The same SSL technology is used to encrypt and send information to and from Authorize.net and we rely on Authorize.net to store credit card information in a secure fashion.

When storing a credit card on file we use Authorize.net tokens that represent the credit card information and customer data. On the ERP Postgres database we use the Blowfish Security algorithm for encrypting sensitive information. This ensures that the customer information is never passed or stored as plain text, but rather a encrypted string of letters and numbers that serve as a key to unlock that information. Without a direct connection to the Authorize.net system through the API integration, the keys are worthless which prevent attackers from obtaining the sensitive information.

Additional Resources

Authorize.net - how credit card processing works

Authorize.net - storing customer data

SSL information

Authorize.net API Reference Guide

Understanding PCI Compliance

Postgres Blowfish Security Algorithm

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When will the next xTuple ERP release come out?

See our Product Roadmap for a general idea of when xTuple ERP will be released next and what the major upcoming features will be.

Our goal is to have two features releases a year (x.y.0), one in June and the other in December, plus a few bug-fix releases. This schedule is not exact. Feature releases will be published when their defining features are complete. Bug-fix releases will be published as needed. Between August 2007 and July 2016 we published a release on average every 8 weeks, not counting betas and release candidates. That included 21 feature and 38 bug-fix releases (on average a little more frequently than 6 months and 3 months, respectively).

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Where are priorities used?

Priorities are used by incidents. The priority assigned to an incident helps determine the relative importance of the incident. Sample priorities might include "Very Low," "Low," "Normal," "High" and "Very High."

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As a translator, which xTuple version should I work on?

Generally you should work on translating the most current version of the software. xTuple regularly releases updates to our products, identified by version numbers. Each version may contain new sections or changes to old sections. Generally, translators should translate the most recent version of the product, but if your installation uses an older version of the product you may want to work on translating that version.

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How can I make items tax exempt?

The easiest way to make an item tax-exempt is to make sure it is not linked to a tax type. For an item to be taxable, it must have a tax type associated with it. If there's no tax type linked to an item, then tax won't be charged.

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What is the default location?

The default location is the location within an item site where you want your inventory to be put or taken from by default. Having default locations can simplify the process of handling inventory when multiple location control is being used. For example, users can transfer inventory into/out of an item site using a default location button—without having to pick a location from a list of available locations. Default locations are not required but they do help reduce complexity.

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