This article covers the sale process, including quoting, ordering, processing invoices and fulfillment, using the sale module. Refunds and discounts applied after an invoice has been authorised are processed by using credit notes (negative invoices); this function is covered in Customer Credit Notes and Refunds.
NOTE: All sales orders created via the Sales module, accessible from Sale → Search → Sale, will be simple sales unless the Default Load Advanced Sales Order setting in Settings → General Settings is enabled. This includes sales from integrated channels, e.g. Amazon and eBay. See General Settings for more information.
For orders without stock items (i.e. orders of services only), see Service Sale.
For sale orders that will be invoiced/fulfilled as multiple partial orders, see Advanced Sales.
For dropshipped items, see Dropshipping.
For returns workflows, see Returns (RMAs and Return Orders).
NOTE: Sales documents such as Sale Quotes, Sale Invoices, Pick Lists, and Box Labels, among others, can be fully customised from Settings → Document & Email Templates. See Managing Document & Email Templates for more information.
- Set up Accounts (required)
- Set up Tax Rules (required)
- Set up Customers (recommended)
- Set up Locations (recommended)
- Set up Products (recommended)
- Set up Contacts (recommended)
- Set sales permissions for users (required)
Table of Contents
- Enter customer information
- Generate a quote (optional)
- Generate a sale order
- Process a sale invoice
- Fulfillment (Pick/Pack/Ship)
- Credit notes, refunds and returns
- View Related Orders
- Attachments, logs & attributes
- Sale order actions
Enter customer details
The first step when creating a new sale quote or sale order is to enter the customer information into the document header. This information will appear on sales documents generated by DEAR Inventory. Users can also use preset templates to use saved sale order details to fill in these fields.
Filling in the document header:
- Navigate to Sale → New Simple Sale.
- On the Customer field, start entering the customer's name until you find their name or select the customer from the list. We recommend you set up a customer first before creating the sale order.
NOTE: You can create a new customer from the sale quote/order screen. Click + next to the customer name to be prompted for customer details. As sending a sale quote does not require the customer to commit to the sale, there is also an option to create temporary customer records that are not entered into your customer database. Simply type the customer name in without clicking + to add a new customer to the database. You will also have to fill in the mandatory fields, Tax rule and Location, to proceed using a temporary customer.
- Check and edit details. Many fields in the document header will be auto-filled from your customer information but can be manually overridden. Check that account, location and customer details are correct before proceeding.
- Add an optional note for the customer. This field will be displayed on the sale quote, order and invoice. This field is searchable and can be used to include reference codes (such as related purchase order/sale order numbers) for quick retrieval when searching sale orders.
NOTE: If you have previously set up the customer through Sale → New Customer and have added comments to the customer record via the Comments field, the Note field on the customer section of the sale order will be pre-filled with those comments. See Customer Management for more information.
- Check Skip Quote if you wish to create a sale order without sending a quote to the customer.
- Check the RecurringTask box to set up a recurring sale or invoice. See Recurring Sales/Invoices for more information.
NOTE: To view the detailed customer record, hover your mouse over the Customer field, then click the customer name on the popup. You can also view the detailed contact record using this same approach. See the screenshot below for reference.
Generate a quote (optional)
A sale quote can be generated when a prospective buyer enquires for an estimate of the cost of goods and/or services from the company. However, users can skip this step and proceed directly to the Sale Order generation. To skip this step, check the Skip Quote box in the document header to go straight to adding items to the order.
Add items to the quote
Once the document header has been correctly filled in, you can add items to your sale quote. If you have selected to Skip Quote, you will start the process at the Order tab, but the steps are the same.
There are two fields where items can be added. In the upper field, you can add stock items to the order. The lower field is for additional costs – any non-inventory or service items (e.g. shipping, handling), which need to be added to the order.
NOTE: To view more detailed information about the product, including available stock, hover your cursor over the product record in the sale order or sale quote tabs, then click the product name on the popup. See the screenshot below for reference.
Adding items individually
Add a product by selecting them from the list or by typing their name. We recommend you set up products before creating sale quotes or sale orders. See Product and Service Management for more information.
You can also create a new product from the sale screen. Click Add a New item at the top of the dropdown list to be prompted for the new product details.
By default, new quote and order lines are added with a Quantity of 0. You can change the new line default Quantity in Settings → General Settings → Sale Process Customisation.
Adding multiple product variants
This option can be used to quickly add multiple product variants in a product family.
- Select +Family.
- Select Product Family from the dropdown list or type to search.
- Select Matrix or List view to input quantities per variant. There is also the option to limit products to only those available at the inventory location specified in the document header.
- Click Add Products. Each variation in the product family will be included as its own order line in the sale order. The price and quantity of each product variant line can be edited individually.
Import item details via CSV
Sale order lines can be uploaded from a CSV file.
- Select Import.
- Follow the instructions on the pop-up window.
- Upload the chosen CSV file. Once uploaded, order lines can be edited on the sale screen if necessary.
Scan item barcodes
If you have a compatible USB scanner attached, you can add products to a sale quote or sale order by clicking Scan and scanning their barcodes. Barcodes can also be manually entered using this option.
Additional costs can include any non-stock item or service, such as training, shipping, insurance, etc. Add them by clicking + or Add more items in the lower section of the purchase screen order tab.
NOTE: If you are using ShipStation, Shippit or StarShipIt as a shipping service, or shipping zones in DEAR standalone, you can use the Get Shipping Rates function to get accurate shipping rate quotes from your shipping service. See Shipping with Shipping and Fulfillment Services or Shipping Zones for more information. If you have not enabled shipping zones or integrated with a shipping service, the Get Shipping Rates button will not appear.
Check/edit sale quote/order line details
Once added, all sale quote/sale order lines can be manually edited. Check that these fields are correct before proceeding.
- Price. Price fields are pre-filled from price tiers set for the product but can be manually edited. See Managing Price Tiers for more information.
- Discount. Apply an optional discount to the order line. See Product Discounts and Product Deals for more information about more complex discount procedures.
- Tax Rule. This field will be pre-filled by the tax status indicated in the document header or if applicable, tax rule set at the product level. It can be manually overridden. See Tax Rules for more information.
- Sale order memo (optional). This will be shown to the customer on the sale quote.
Save or authorise the sale quote
Once all the item lines have been added to the quote, it can be authorised by clicking Authorise. To save a draft, click Save in the top left or bottom of the screen (tick mark). This will save the quote for later authorisation.
NOTE: Sales Quotes, even when authorised, do not reserve inventory. In order to allocate inventory and make sure that the customer request can be fulfilled, the user has to proceed to the Sale Order step below. Items included in a quote can still be sold by authorising a different sale order.
NOTE: If you have enabled Quote Approval, you will have the option to Approve or Reject to show whether the quote is approved for that customer.
Once a sale quote has been saved or authorised, you can add a customer credit (e.g. to reflect a prepayment or deposit) to use against the sale invoice. See Customer Credits for more information. This field is NOT for regular payments – regular payments are added when processing a sale invoice (described below).
NOTE: If using Xero as your accounting system, ensure Xero payment settings are set to Synced both ways or Pushed to Xero. QuickBooks Online payments are set by default to sync both ways. Some users prefer to manage their payments entirely through their accounting system. If this is the case, you can leave this section blank, the payment details will be imported from your accounting system and applied to the order once the payment is made.
Adding a customer credit:
- On an authorised or saved sale quote, click +Customer Credit to open a pop-up window. The deposit account field is pre-filled with the dedicated customer credits/prepayments account. Select a bank account to receive the payment and the amount.
- The customer credits will be shown in the credits section, ready to be used against the invoice total.
Send to the customer
After the quote is authorised, there is the option of saving it to your computer to print or emailing it directly to your customer. Most DEAR Inventory documents are generated in PDF format.
Save and print the sale quote:
- Click Print → Quote and print and/or save as a PDF.
Email a sale quote:
- Click Email → Quote. The purchase order is automatically attached as a PDF.
- Fill in the remaining email fields and click Send.
NOTE: Sale Quote documents and emails are fully customisable in the Settings module – Manage Document Templates. See Manage Document and Email Templates for more information.
NOTE: You may wish to attach additional product or customer information to a sale quote/order before sending. Go to Settings → General Settings → Sale process customisation and enable the Additional email attachments setting to add existing attachments for products and customers to sale emails.
Generate a sale order
Sale orders can be generated with or without an existing sale quote.
For a sale order from a saved or authorised sale quote:
- Navigate to Sale → Sales.
- Select an order with an ESTIMATED or ESTIMATING status.
- Select the Order tab.
For a sale order without a quote:
- Navigate to Sale → New Simple Sale.
- Fill in the document header details as shown in the Enter Customer Information section above.
- Check the Skip Quote box.
The following steps are identical for both methods.
Fill out the sale order
Items are added to a sale order in the same way as they are added to a sale quote. If your sale order was generated from a sale quote, it can still be changed at this stage.
To fill out the sale order:
- Select the Order tab of the sale.
- Enter the sale order lines. If you have completed a sale quote, you can copy lines from the purchase order by clicking +Copy from Quote. Alternatively, you can add items manually by clicking + or Add more items, import invoice lines from a CSV file or scan item barcodes (described above).
- Enter additional charges if any. Clicking +Copy from Quote will add any additional charges from the sale quote if applicable. Alternatively, add charges to the quote by clicking + or Add more items.
- NOTE: If you are using ShipStation, Shippit or StarShipIt as a shipping service, or Shipping Zones in DEAR standalone, you can use the Get Shipping Rates function to get accurate shipping rates from your shipping service. See Using ShipStation for Shipping Rate Quotes or Shipping Zones for more information.
- By default, any picker can be assigned to the order. You may also select a specific picker from the list to take care of the order during fulfillment.
- Authorise the sale order to continue.
The Sale Order is now saved and authorised. Once authorised, the stock is reserved for the customer in the database; however, it can still be reallocated to other orders until Pick is authorised. Sales orders can be saved as a draft without allocating stock by clicking Save in the top left-hand corner. Learn more about creating recurring sales orders/invoices.
Sales Orders can be authorised even if there is not enough inventory in stock to fulfil them. An error message will be displayed, and you will be prompted to choose either Split Order, Backorder, or Create a purchase order for the out of stock items. See Not enough stock to complete sale for more information.
After authorising a sale order, either the fulfillment process (Pick, Pack and Ship described below) can be started, or the customer can be invoiced immediately (described further). For dropshipped items, see Dropshipping.
Create a purchase order directly from the sale
Once a sale has been authorised, you can create a purchase order for the whole sale or for items in the sale that are out of stock. Select Create Purchase Order and select For backordered or For whole sale. This will open a new purchase order containing the sale order products and quantities required.
Product quantities can be edited and product lines removed. Multiple purchase orders can be created. The purchase order will appear in the Related Orders tab of the sale order and vice versa.
NOTE: Purchase orders can be created for a single supplier only. To order products from further suppliers, use the backorder feature for the remaining products. If products have assigned suppliers, the system will attempt to auto-fill the purchase order header with a supplier, however it will be left blank if no supplier can provide all items in the order.
Process a sale invoice
After authorising a sale order, the customer can be invoiced from the Invoice tab of the sale. This can happen before or after the fulfillment (Pick, Pack and Ship) process. At this stage, the order lines cannot be changed.
For sale orders that require multiple invoices, the sale will need to be converted to an Advanced Sale. See Advanced Sale for more information.
To fill in a sale invoice:
- Enter the invoice date. The payment due date will be automatically generated from the payment terms in the document header.
- Stock items will be copied from the order and cannot be changed. Add any more additional charges (if required).
- Click Authorise. If you have an unused customer credit for this customer, you will be asked if you wish to apply it to the order.
- The sale invoice can be saved as a PDF and/or sent as a PDF attachment to an email by clicking Print → Sale Invoice or Email → Sale Invoice.
NOTE: Sale invoices cannot be authorised if stocktake is being performed in the originating warehouse location.
Once the invoice has been authorised, you can apply payments to the invoice. If an unused customer credit is associated with this customer, you will be able to use it as payment towards the invoice balance.
NOTE: If using Xero as your accounting system, ensure Xero payment settings are set to Synced both ways or Pushed to Xero. QuickBooks Online payments are set by default to sync both ways. Some users prefer to manage their payments entirely through their accounting system. If this is the case, you can leave this section blank, the payment details will be imported from your accounting system and applied to the order once payment is made.
To use customer credit as payment:
- If you have unused customer credit associated with this purchase, you will be asked if you want to allocate it to the invoice upon authorisation. If you choose no, you can still use customer credit by following the next steps.
- Click +Use Customer Credit. All customer credits for this customer will be listed. Select the credit or credits you wish to use to show the new remaining balance.
- Click Add & Save to apply to the invoice.
- Customer credit will be allocated to the invoice. Continue to apply the payment to the invoice if there is still an outstanding balance.
To apply the payment to an invoice:
- Use +Payment to enter the payment details until the invoice is fully paid. Save and continue.
Fulfillment (Pick, Pack, Ship)
Once a sale order has been authorised, the order can be fulfilled by picking the stock from your inventory, packing it and preparing it to be shipped. If these processes do not apply to your business (for example, for some eCommerce platforms or shipping services), you can automate one or all of them (see below).
Consider DEAR Warehouse Management Solution for streamlined warehouse operations including Pick, Pack and Stocktake.
For items to be drop-shipped, this option must be set up in the Inventory module. See Dropshipping for more information.
DEAR supports integration with the shipping services Shippit, StarShipIt and ShipStation. See Shipping and Fulfillment for more information about using shipping services with DEAR.
Picking involves selecting the items from your inventory to fulfil the sale order.
To pick an order:
- Select the Pick tab of the sale.
- Enter the Pick lines. Lines can be copied from the sale order by clicking +Auto Pick, added through scanning the item barcode or manually by clicking + or Add more items. Click the pick line to view how many items are in stock at your different locations and change which location the stock is picked from if required. If you are picking items with Serial No. or Batch No. and Expiry Date, these fields will be available to fill in.
- By default, any picker can be assigned to the order. However, if you assigned a specific picker during the order stage, this picker will be assigned to the task. You may still select another picker from the list to take care of the pick.
- Authorise the Pick list by clicking Authorise (or click Save to save as a draft).
- The Pick list can be saved and sent (if required) by clicking Print → Pick List or Email → Pick List.
NOTE: Orders that have yet to be picked, or those with Status = Picking, can also be scheduled for picking and/or assigned to designated pickers from the Fulfillment View on the Sales page. For more information, see Sales Views.
Packing involves taking the picked stock items and preparing them to be shipped.
To pack an order:
- Select the Pack tab of the sale.
- Enter the pack lines. Lines can be copied from the sale order by clicking +Copy from Pick, manually by clicking + or Add more items or by scanning the item barcode.
- Check and change (if required) the box numbers for the order.
- Click Authorise (or click Save to save as a draft).
- Packing slips can be saved and sent (if required) by clicking Print → Packing Slip or Email → Packing Slip.
Shipping is the final stage of fulfillment. The packed boxes are shipped to the customer to complete the order.
NOTE: This is the shipping process when DEAR is used without integration with a shipping service. See Shipping with Shipping and Fulfillment Services for more information.
To ship an order:
- Select the Ship tab of the sale.
Enter the Ship lines. You can manually enter lines by clicking + or Add more items and filling in the fields, or click +Auto Fill. Enter a shipping date.
- Check that the Ship Date, Carrier and Tracking Number (if applicable) are correct. If the sale has been allocated to more than one box from the Pack tab, different boxes can be assigned to different carriers, tracking numbers and shipping dates.
- Check the Ship box.
- Click Authorise (or click Save to save as a draft).
- Box labels can be saved and sent (if required) by clicking Print → Box Label or Email → Box Label.
The shipped items will now be removed from the Inventory, and transaction information will be generated to be synced with your accounting application. If a shipping application has been integrated with DEAR Inventory, the shipping information will also be synced to that.
NOTE: Since authorising the Ship process physically affects the inventory in the chosen location, this process will not be allowed if a Stocktake is ongoing in the originating warehouse location. The user will receive an error message. The same error message will appear if the user decides to Undo or Void the Ship process while Stocktake is ongoing.
Automating Pick, Pack and Ship
If one or more of these processes do not apply to your business (for example, for some eCommerce platforms), they can be skipped.
To skip Pick, Pack and Ship:
- Navigate to Settings → General Settings → Sales process customisation.
- Change Pick, Pack and/or Ship to automatic.
Credit notes, refunds and returns
A credit note is considered a negative invoice. In the same way that payments are applied to close out an invoice balance, refunds are issued to close out a credit note balance. Credit notes are a way to amend the details of a sale invoice after it has been authorised. Credit notes that are not associated with any particular sale can also be issued to customers. See Customer credit notes and refunds for more information.
The DEAR RMA and return order features allow you to set up returns policies and automatically generate credit notes, restocks, transfer orders, write-off tasks, etc. with the correct cost allocations and accounting transactions. See Returns (RMAs and Return Orders) for detailed information.
RMAs can be raised for any sale processed through DEAR, including sales through integrated eCommerce channels such as Shopify or WooCommerce provided they were captured and processed by DEAR.
View Related Orders
Authorising a sale order can initiate other orders to meet the sale order demand. The Related Orders tab shows the following tasks with a convenient link:
- Dropship purchase orders
- Backordered tasks: Purchase Orders, Production Orders
- Assembly tasks (auto-assembly triggered by sale authorisation).
Attachments, logs & attributes
Documents can be attached to the sale order in the Attachments tab, and any documents printed (sale order, sale invoice, etc.) or emails sent will be saved here automatically. If a document has been emailed to the customer, the box marked Processed will be checked, if the document has only been printed but not emailed, the box will not be checked.
The final tab is Logs & Attributes, consisting of three sections.
Section 1 covers additional attributes. Using additional attributes, you can add up to 10 custom fields to customers. If you have no additional attributes applied to a customer, this section will not be visible.
Section 2 covers activity logs. All user activities from the creation of the new sale quote/sale order onwards are logged. Actions such as email notifications are recorded in workflow activity logs.
Section 3 covers transactions generated from the purchase process.
Sale order actions
Undo will reverse the Sale Quote/Order to Draft status if it was already saved (‘Quote in Progress’) or authorised (‘Quote Completed’).
Void will delete the Sale Quote and change the status to ‘Voided’. It will remove all the details entered.
IMPORTANT for DEAR WMS users! If Undo is performed on a sale order in DEAR Inventory, ensure that the line items in the sale order are deleted as well. Performing a Void operation (see below) may be a more viable option to use in this case. Otherwise, you may encounter issues with the Pick, Pack, and Ship features in the DEAR WMS mobile app.
Clone will recreate a New Sale Quote/Order with the same Customer and Quote/Order details.
Convert will change the Sale to an Advanced Features Sale.
Email → [document] will open a new window to send an email message. The document is attached as a PDF.
Print → [document] will print the document to PDF.
NOTE: Sale documents such as Sale Quotes, Sale Invoices, Pick Lists, Box Labels, etc. can be fully customised from the Settings module's Manage Document Templates feature. See Manage Document Templates and Manage Email Templates for more information.