Tailwind has two main parts – Operations keeps track of everything involved in the movement of goods, and Administration keeps track of the money: the invoices, invoice payments, bills and bill payments generated from that movement. Both are crucial to any good business – and in Tailwind, they are closely related.
Orders Become Invoices
As we discussed in the Operations Overview, Orders are the fundamental unit of Tailwind. What we didn't mention is that in Tailwind, an Order and an Invoice are interchangeable – they are the same thing, at different stages of the process.
The point at which an Order becomes an Invoice is the point of delivery: when all the Shipments associated with the Order have been successfully Dispatched, and those Dispatches are themselves complete. Once this has happened, the Order will appear on the Invoice list. You can also send an Order to Invoicing manually.
Transmitting and Posting Invoices
From the Invoice list, you can Transmit or Post the Invoice. ‘Transmit’ covers all the different ways of getting it to the Customer – i.e. invoicing them – while Posting the Invoice will finalize the terms and send it to Receivables to await payment from the Customer. For more on Invoicing, see Invoicing Your Customers.
Incoming Payment Wizard
The point of sending out an Invoice is so that someone will pay it – in a timely fashion, with any luck! And when they do, the Incoming Payment Wizard will help you match the payment up with the appropriate Invoice(s).
Where Do Bills Come From (Orders & Dispatches)
Unlike Orders/Invoices, a Bill is a Bill, whether you are looking at it from the Operations or the Administration side. Bills are used to keep track of expenses, and are usually associated with an Order or a Dispatch. Bills can also be created directly from the Payables list. You can read more about Creating and Posting Bills.
Incoming Bill Wizard
Bills can also be created via the Incoming Bill Wizard, which lives under the Tools section. It can also be used to process incoming Invoices and associate them with existing Bills. Whether or not you use the Wizard will depend on your general process and work flow.
Paying Bills - Vendor Pay and Personnel Pay
Once you have bills, you will need to pay them – if you're paying an external vendor, this will be done using the Vendor Pay List. Personnel Bills will also appear in the system, but those are handled with the Personnel Pay Wizard.
Using the Receivables & Payables Lists
The Payables and Receivables lists will show you a historical record of all your payables and receivables, including incoming and outgoing payments – if you want to make sure a payment has gone through, or audit transactions for a particular customer, you can search these lists.