Release Notes - 27 November 2019

Read the list of new features, improvements and issues resolved in this release

Updated over a week ago

New features

Tax support has been added to quotes and jobs in order to support standard business practices for our customers. Historically, we have always stated that base charge values and all quotes and jobs should be defined as tax exclusive. This worked to a point, however provided a poor B2C experience, as well as a poor end-to-end flow when using quoting and invoicing, and made reconciling quotes and invoices against jobs quite tedious.

As such, we are excited to finally release the first stage of a platform-wide tax solution for Loc8

  • As has always been the case, define your base charges including tasks, on-site time, travel time and inventory as tax exclusive

  • Define one or more tax types in the Company settings area, including the ability to specify a default

  • Optionally select a tax type on any quote, job or invoice task or line item, which is then used to automatically calculate the total tax amount (the default tax type will be used if one is not manually specified)

  • View the new 'Total tax' and 'Total including tax' values for any quote or job

  • To maintain consistency across Loc8 (including workspace columns, filters, charge summaries, reports, web views and exports) some fields have been renamed: The existing Quote 'Quoted', Job 'Total charge', and Invoice 'Subtotal' fields have all been renamed to 'Total excluding tax'. The existing Invoice 'Tax' field has been renamed to 'Total tax', and the existing Invoice 'Total' field has been renamed to 'Total including tax'

  • How does this affect existing quotes and jobs? All existing quotes and jobs will be unaffected, however as stated above you will now see the 'Total excluding tax' field in place of 'Quoted' for quotes and 'Total charge' for jobs. Additionally, you will notice that the new 'Total tax' field will be set to 0 / 'None' (as we cannot assume you want tax automatically added) and by extension the new 'Total including tax' field will be identical to the 'Total excluding tax' value for the given quote or job.

  • How does this affect existing invoices? All existing invoices will be unaffected, however as stated above you will now see the 'Total including tax' field in place of 'Total', and the 'Total tax' field in place of 'Tax'.

  • How does this affect managing jobs that relate to quotes or invoices? When converting a quote into a job, the job 'Approval limit' will now be set from the quote 'Total including tax' amount. Likewise, the 'Estimated total', 'Quoted', 'Invoiced' and 'Paid' reference values on the job charge summary will refer to the 'Total including tax' amounts, so that we are always comparing apples-with-apples, so to speak.

  • What if our base charge rates (tasks, labour and inventory) include tax? Following on from the previous point, in order to introduce tax support, all interfaces will now include a 'Total tax' and 'Total including tax' field. These will be correct if you have always defined your rates as tax exclusive as per our documentation, however if you have instead included tax in your base charge rates the 'Total excluding tax', 'Total tax' and 'Total including tax' fields may be misleading. In this case please get in touch with our support team and we will guide you through the process of setting everything straight.

Feature improvements and changes

The invoice workspace has been entirely rebuilt with an all-new interface to bring it inline with the look and feel of the quote, job and asset workspaces. Beyond the new interface there are also a host of other improvements to make invoicing easier and more useful

  • Create and manage stand-alone invoices without the need for an active 3rd party financial integration such as Xero or QuickBooks Online, including the ability to revise / edit the invoice, manage it's lifecycle and update payment information

  • Inline with supporting stand-alone invoicing, invoice statuses have changed. Please see the following section

  • Invoices are now more deeply tied to jobs, whereby an invoice can only relate to a single job. This provides much better continuity between jobs and invoices, including the ability to easily see associated invoices and payment details against jobs

  • Discounts are now added as their own line items on the invoice rather than being added on a per line item basis. This provides much better compatibility with all 3rd party financial integrations, and will eventually be extended to support percentage based discounting across the whole invoice

  • Choose who you email an invoice to when you send it, along with the ability to compose the email in full rather than depending on a pre-defined template

  • View and add comments against invoices, as well as email history in the messages tab

  • View change history against invoices

  • How do these changes affect existing invoices? All existing invoices will be unaffected by the specified changes to discounting and multiple job associations and will continue to be accessible via the same web view mechanism as before, however beyond now being able to view existing invoices within Loc8 will not benefit from any of the new functionality. Existing invoices will however be affected by the new statuses as discussed in the next section.

  • How do these changes affect existing jobs? All existing jobs will be unaffected

  • Please note that the invoice workspace in Prism mode has now been removed

Invoice statuses have changed to bring them inline with Loc8's standard status model. This was an essential change in order to support stand-alone invoicing. Additionally, when invoicing was first built in Loc8 it was deeply tied to Xero, however now that we support QuickBooks Online (and soon MYOB), we needed to move to statuses that are universally applicable. The new statuses are

  • Draft: This is used for all new invoices, and whilst in this status an invoice is fully editable

  • Pending payment: Replacing both Submitted and Authorised, this is used once an invoice has been sent. It is also possible to move an invoice into this status without sending

  • Paid: This is used once an invoice has been marked as paid. It is also possible to move an invoice into this status without recording payment information

  • Cancelled: This is used once an invoice has been Void. Once an invoice has been void / cancelled it can no longer be edited, sent or have its status changed

  • How do these changes affect existing invoices? All existing invoices in the Draft or Paid status will be unaffected. Any existing invoices in either the Submitted or Authorised statuses will now be in the status of Pending payment.

The current Xero and QuickBooks Online integrations have been replaced with all-new integrations that aim to modernise the experience of integrating Loc8 with 3rd party financial systems, whilst also bringing them inline with the new invoicing and tax functionality as detailed above. These integrations are actually the first that are built using our new integrations framework, something that you will hear a lot more about over the coming months. Highlights include

  • All new interfaces for adding and configuring the integrations

  • Detailed integration logging to provide visibility on success or failure of invoice syncing

  • Visibility of which financial system an invoice synced to and when, along with the ID of the invoice in the financial system, all from the invoice workspace itself

  • Simpler management of what General Ledger / Chart of Account codes to use when mapping Loc8 invoice line items

  • How do these changes affect existing integrations? Existing Xero and QuickBooks Online integrations will stop working, and as such you will need to enable the new integration manually. Please contact our support team if you need assistance.

  • How do these changes affect invoices that are already syncing? Existing Loc8 invoices that have already synced to either Xero or QuickBooks online will no longer continue to sync changes, and as such, you will need to manually reflect any future changes from the invoices in the 3rd party system back to the invoices in Loc8.

  • How do these changes affect future invoice sync logic? Syncing invoices between Loc8 and 3rd party financial systems will behave in much the same way as with the previous integrations, with the only exception being that the sync trigger is now when an invoice moves into the status of 'Pending payment'

The customer portal configuration has now been migrated from the old Adobe Flash based interface into the new HTML interface

  • Enable the customer portal against any Company type customer, using their primary email address

  • Enabling a portal now send out an invite email to the customer

  • How do these changes affect existing customer portals? There are no changes whatsoever, however if you disable portal access for a customer and then reenable it, the customer will be sent an invite email

Usability improvements and changes

  • Duplicate names are no longer accepted when creating / editing message templates

  • Deleting message templates that are in use now displays a warning

  • The 'Position' field for a customer contact is no longer mandatory

Minor changes and bug fixes

  • The 'Site contact' is now available as a column in the asset workspace

  • Creating a job from a workforce or asset inspector now works as expected

  • Creating a job now pre-fills the correct default charge template

  • Creating a quote no longer throws an error under some conditions

  • Activating a user or technician is now more consistently reflected in the 'Activated' field

  • Changing an asset status to Disposed no longer occasionally appears to delete it

  • Changing an asset status to Commissioned no longer throws an error

  • Custom field values are now pre-filled when creating an entity, according to the configured default value

  • Deleting a sub-task template now effectively removes the sub-task from associated task templates

  • Quote exports no longer fail when including some columns

  • Job exports no longer fail under some appointment conditions

  • PDF exports no longer fail when custom fields are included

  • Task exports now include basic tasks

  • (Contractor portal) The assignee filter in the job workspace now includes available assignees

Did this answer your question?