Expenses not related to items

Yes it is a big problem
The accountant who works in NGOs needs this type of input to pay the expenses and is not present in the ERPNext system.
Whereas, as accountants, we spend on NGOs systems on the expense directly on payment.

“consumable items should be available here too”

As a quick check I could not reproduce this - that is, I defined an item in a Consumable group that then appears in the Purchase Invoice Item list.

Perhaps the user community can corroborate on what you have found here, to identify and confirm what the problem is in this case?


I strongly disbelieve that the String “consumables” (and it is not more then that. A string of characters) in your item groups name would enable ERPNext to not show this in an Invoice. So, I’d assume there must be another reason for this (like the item not having the "Is Purchase Item" box checked, or such)

Strongly agreed with @Tawanda_Nyararai. This is a very standard feature especially an ERP system like ERPNext should already possess. A Journal Entry should be the last resort to pass a double entry and it should only be limited to the staff with proper accounting knowledge. A layman assigned with Journal Entries is a disaster!

Actually, ERPNext has a powerful user permissions framework where you can finetune user rights and user access down to the field value level.

That’s true but the point is that as a comprehensive ERP system, users should be able to create payable bills for expenses like electricity, water, etc and apply payments against them. I’m a QuickBooks ProAdvisor and tracking non-item payables is a very basic feature there though QB has limited functionality compared to ERPNext!

You can do this quite easily either through purchase invoice or journal entry payment, in which entries are linked to a specific mode of payment and bank account (if necessary) in ERPNext. Using User Permissions (extending the roles), to can even limit a particular user to only enter Utility Bills (if that is what your business case needs.)

We are developing a feature for this, please review and add your suggestions

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Just a quick question plz!!
when using purchase invoice for booking non-item expenses (e.g. entertainment, kitchen supplies, utilities), how do u charge these to respective ledgers? I have created items with these names but when i post a transaction they get charged to cost of goods sold. Where do i select the relevant ledger account?

To change the expense account, expand the respective item in the Purchase Invoice and scroll down to the field named “Expense Head”. Change this field to your desired expense account. Or you can change the Default cost center for the item master or the Item Group it belongs to.

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Move “expanse head” To main window after item name, it will great help for end user


Really I need to use this. But I can’t find Expense Head on “Purchase Invoice”.

the same here, it is hard believe this function still not available.

What function is not available? This thread is from 2015. I don’t know what the situation was back then, but it is entirely possible now to create non-stock expenses/payables via purchase invoicing.

From Accountant point of view, it is better we could enter expense invoice directly and impact the cost account.

To my mind, I prefer create generic items like “Energy”, “little furniture”, each one can depend of accountancy code I need in my general ledger.
I describe in line’s description if needed, link the PDF scan of supplier invoice of just supermarket ticket.
Like that I will have an accountancy code for each kind of expense and then in future analyze them.

One of ERP goal is to records data and analyse it. Record expenses without qualify them have no use in ERP

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What about this are you unable to do? I may not be understanding your goal, but entering invoices and affecting expense heads is exactly what the Purchase Invoice does.

most accounting system, you do not need to choose non-inventory item, but you could pick up expense account when you enter the bill.

You can pick the expense accounts when entering the bill now. Some people like to use generic category Items, like @FHenry suggests, but you don’t have to use defined items at all if you don’t want to. Just enter some descriptive text in the Item Name field, pick an expense head, and set your quantity and rate. Am I misunderstanding what you’d like to be able to do?