In Alma, an invoice can be created in several ways:
- Electronic data interchange (EDI) with a vendor
- Creating an invoice from the PO
- Creating an invoice manually or
- Loading invoices from an Excel file.
The invoice workflow in Alma
Receiving and invoicing can be done together or separately, depending on the library’s workflows. Alma uses library-defined rules to automatically process an invoice to determine whether there are elements that require special attention. If there are issues that require attention, the invoice is surfaced via the task list for review by a staff user.
The diagram below illustrates a typical workflow for invoicing materials.
When invoices are placed at an FTP location by an EDI-enabled vendor, Alma will automatically load and parse the invoices.
Creating an invoice from the PO (Purchase Order):
Alma supports the creation of an invoice automatically from a PO. Once the PO is selected Alma will automatically create invoice lines based on the PO details; the invoice line fields are automatically populated and are displayed in the Summary tab, where they can be edited as needed:
Manual creation of an invoice:
Alma also supports the completely manual creation of an invoice using the following form:
When saving an invoice Alma checks if the invoice foreign currency is different than the invoice line fund if there is a difference Alma will calculates the expenditure price based on the foreign currency according to the currency repository per the invoice date.
Alma also supports defining an explicit ratio per invoice – in this case Alma will calculate the expenditure based on the explicit ratio and will not consult the currency repository.
How are invoices accessed, searched?
Invoices can be searched from the Persistent Search Box, accessible from all parts of Alma:
They can also be accessed from the Alma menu:
The invoice tab on the vendor record lists all invoices linked to the vendor (with options to edit open invoices from this page).
The history tab on the invoice record tracks all changes made to an invoice.
When paying an invoice is it possible to manually enter a specific exchange rate?
This may be done in Alma by using the the “explicit ratio”. That is a ratio by which to convert the invoice currency to the specified foreign currency. For example:
- Invoice currency is USD
- Foreign currency is KZT
- Explicit ratio is 2.5
If you add an invoice line of 100 USD but attach it to a KZT fund, the fund displays a transaction of 100 x 2.5 = 250 KZT.
How does Alma handle duplicate invoices?
The invoice in Alma is unique per vendor. If a duplicate invoice is loaded Alma will prevent it from loading and will present the following error:
Does Alma create an audit trail of changes made to an invoice?
Alma tracks all changes made to an invoice in the History tab of the invoice record:
Changes either ot the invoice or the the invoice lines can be viewed as show in the the screen capture above.
How does Alma handle invoices linked to over-expended budgets?
When creating an invoice that causes a budget over expenditure Alma will check if the fund permits an over expenditure (configurable) - if not it will not allow the loading of the invoice:
Can an invoice be partially paid?
When you create an invoice line in Alma you can indicate that that the PO Line is, or is not Fully invoiced:
Can payment terms be included in the export of invoices to the institution’s financial system?
This information can be recorded in Alma in the Notes tab of the invoice, and can be then exported to finance:
The XML output of the export:
How does Alma support accrual accounting?
In accrual accounting expenses are recorded at the time in which the transaction occurs rather than when payment is made. This means that if the institution uses accrual accounting it may accumulate expenditures across multiple fiscal years.
When accrual accounting is enabled in Alma, invoice amounts are spread out over all active fiscal periods, beginning with the fiscal period in which the ‘Subscription from date’ (of the invoice line) is contained.
As an example the library makes an order for the period of Jan. 01 2015 to Dec. 31 2020 using an allocated fund for the fiscal period ‘01/01/2015-31/12/2015’.
At a later stage an invoice arrives for the period of June 1, 2015 – May 31, 2016.
The staff user adds an invoice line for the journal title.
Automatically Alma will break down the expenditure from each of the included fiscal years and show the percent of each.
Not only the percentages but also real amounts of the expenditures appears in the invoice line.
Fund information displays in the invoice lines together with the percentage from each fiscal period:
VAT, extra charges
How does Alma handle payment of taxes, VAT?
Alma treats various taxes as an additional charge on the invoice. Taxes can be distributed between one or more line items on an invoice, or lumped together as a single charge in the “header” of an invoice. Libraries have an option of pro-rating taxes as part of the invoice line items and charging them to various funds, or to charge the taxes to a special “tax” fund if necessary. Alma will allow the library to pay taxes at different tax rates based on where an invoice for an item is paid.
The following table presents how Alma handles VAT payments based on three key configurations:
Whether the (non governmental) vendor has an associated governmental vendor
Whether the vendor is noted as Liable for VAT
Whether the VAT is reported for the invoice (either by selecting Report VAT or by manually entering the VAT amount)
VAT Reported in Invoice
|Vendor Liable for VAT||
VAT Reported in Invoice
|No||No||No||No special handling|
|No||No||Yes||Before saving the invoice, Alma prompts you to confirm that VAT is included in the invoice amount, even though VAT is not required for the vendor.|
|No||Yes||No||Before saving the invoice, Alma prompts you to confirm that VAT is not included in the invoice amount, even though VAT is required for the vendor.|
|No||Yes||Yes||No special handling|
|Yes||No||No||No special handling|
|Yes||No||Yes||Before saving the invoice, Alma prompts you to confirm that VAT is included in the invoice amount, even though VAT is not required for the vendor.|
|Yes||Yes||No||Before saving the invoice, Alma prompts you to confirm that VAT is not included in the invoice amount, even though VAT is required for the vendor. If you select to report VAT, the configured VAT amount for the governmental vendor is automatically added to the invoice and a separate invoice is generated for this amount to the governmental vendor. If you select to not report VAT, the invoice is saved without VAT.|
|Yes||Yes||Yes||Either the configured VAT for the governmental vendor (if you selected Report Tax), or the amount of VAT that you manually entered, is added to the invoice and a separate invoice is generated for this amount to the governmental vendor.|
VAT (GST) charges are part of the standard invoice fields that can be populated/activated where relevant. VAT may be charged on the whole invoice or on the PO Line level.
The following screen capture illustrates these points. Note the Inclusive checkbox indicating whether VAT (GST) is on the entire invoice – if not checked, then VAT (GST) may be defined on the line item:
Can VAT be charged at the invoice or line item level?
On the invoice level the following VAT fields can be populated:
Invoice Line?VAT Code
The invoice line VAT code.
Invoice Line?VAT Code Description
The invoice line VAT code description
Invoice Line?VAT Code %
The invoice line VAT code percent
Invoice Line?VAT Note Data
The invoice line VAT amount
Invoice – Expended From Fund
Indicates if the VAT is expended from the invoice line?s funds. If it not, a new adjustment invoice line is added to the invoice which includes invoice VAT amounts
Invoice – Report Tax
Indicates if an invoice needs to report state tax.
Invoice – VAT per invoice line
Indicates if the VAT is calculated at the invoice or invoice line level
Invoice – VAT Amount
The total VAT amount
Invoice – VAT Type
Indicates if VAT Exclusive or Inclusive in invoice total amount
Invoice – VAT Code
The invoice VAT code
Invoice – VAT Code Description
The invoice Vat code description
Invoice – VAT Code %
The invoice VAT Code percent
For other charges than VAT (Shipment, Insurance, Overhead, Discount) the user has two option:
If you select Use pro rata, the above amounts are not displayed individually on the invoice, and their values are distributed among the invoice lines.
If you do not select Use pro rata, each additional charge is displayed as an individual invoice line.
What additional charges can be added to the invoice?
Alma supports the following options as part of the invoice record:
- Shipment amount
- Insurance amount
- Overhead amount
- Discount amount
Five additional fields can be defined be the library.