How do I make Returns through the Sales Invoice module?

I am stuck trying to figure out how to allow my mobile sales reps to take back products as returns when they are visiting their customers.

Currently they just open a new sales order and enter the item codes of the products into the list with negative numbers for the Quantity of items. For example:

Item code: QP0271 Item Name: 20w-50 Motor Oil Quart Qty: -1 Amt: - $3.27

The problem I have is that the Sales Invoice will not allow us to submit the order if the Grand Total is a negative number.

Up until this point I have been instructing them to set the Rate for each item in the return to zero and then the Grand Total on the invoice will be zero. However, this does not accurately reflect the accounting.

How can I get the Sales Invoice to allow submits with a negative Grand Total?

Note: We never know the original invoice number the product was sold to the customer, so trying to find it to setup a proper return is not possible. That is why we need to allow negative invoices.

Thank you in advance…


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To be able to return the stock to your warehouse, Sales Return should be created against Delivery Note.

If you also want to create Credit Note, then make it against Sales Invoice.

If you make Sales Invoice with Update Stock checked, then creating Credit Note will also return the stock back into your warehouse.

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Currently, just setting the Quantity to -1 (with update stock checked) automatically places the item back into the warehouse. No Delivery Note Needed (we have never used delivery notes).

Does the “Credit Note” allow the Sales Invoice" to be submitted with a negative grand total?

That is not possible and it is why I also included this not in my post:

Please… just tell me if it is possible to make a Sales Invoice with a negative Grand Total and if so, what I need to change.


So far… every time we try to save a Sales Invoice with a negative Grand Total we get this message:

Incorrect value: Grand Total (Company Currency) must be >= 0.0

Again, the Credit Note seems to require that you know the original invoice for the product when it was sold to the customer the first time. This information is never known to our mobile sales reps. That is why the normal Item Return process is not available to them. We need to be able to submit Sales Invoices with negative grand totals.

There are many reasons why the original invoice number may not be known:

  • It was sold a few months ago before the ERPNext system was online
  • The mobile user is out of range for the internet and operating in offline mode
  • the customer is not patient enough to wait for the mobile sales rep to be able to call the main office and get the original invoice number (this takes up to 45 minutes).

I cannot see how to do a credit note without the original invoice, and I cannot se how to do one at the same time as a return with a negative grand total.


Negative Sales Invoice is allowed only in the case of Credit Note. Isn’t it fair to ask customer the Sales Invoice incase of return? Once it is supplied by the customer, credit note or return entry can be issues right-away. As per the standard price, negative transaction for the return can be made using this approach only.

In this case the company has only been using ERPNext for 6 weeks. The products sold by the company can be return for up to one year. None of the invoices the products were originally sold against exist in the ERPNext system. They were sold to the customer many months ago.


Is there a way around this for products that were sold before the implementation of ERPNext?


Create a Stock Entry, and select purpose as Material Receipt.

Unfortunately, this does NOT take care of the accounting properly crediting the customers account.


Hello my fellow traveller @bkm

This is another area that we might need to make a feature request on.

For now what you want is not possible.

We need a return feature that does not necessarily require the original invoice. It should return the inventory back to the warehouse AND issue a credit note to the customer.

There are many instances this scenario occurs . It is a needed feature in ERPNext.


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I agree that open return feature should be available.

As a work around you can make a purchase invoice with update stock for those items and afterwards make a journal entry to adjust corresponding supplier and customers. The only extra thing you have to do is to create some dummy suppliers which actually are your customers and afterwards adjust them.

This is just a work around

Hmm… Seems like a lot of extra work.

My faster approach right now is to let the sales rep create a sales invoice with negative quantities for the items to be returned, and just make them change the rate for each item to zero. This at least adds the item back into the warehouse. We just have to get one of the Accounts Managers to make the proper credit entry to the customer account, but it means the accounting person has to look up the rates of all the items to make the proper credit total. Pretty time consuming on the backend, but at least the sales rep can do the job and move on quickly.



any one found good solution here ?