How to : reconciliation between outsourced accounting and internal erp processing (buying & selling)


I try to figure out how to work with ERPNext and my external accounting expert.

On one hand, I can easily manage invoices for both buying and selling and attached general ledger account for each transaction.

On the other hand, each month, I send to my external accounting expert all my bills, customer invoices and bank statement. He then sends back all the journal entries for each transaction (selling, buying and others operations).

How do reconcile your internal information with the one coming from the external accounting expert?

I did see any tutorial or comments about this. My concern is that I do not want to do my accounting by I want to have ERPNext in line with the external accounting process.
Should I use temporary ledgers in the chart of account?

Any idea is welcome.
Thanks in advance.

I would recommend that your external accountant get an ERPNext login an that they put the transactions in directly (either as Journal Entries or not). There aren’t currently a lot of built-in features for the kind of workflow you’re describing, but to steal one of QuickBooks “OK-er” ideas, create an “Ask My Accountant” account and post weird stuff to that to that. You should be prepared absorb some of the cost of your accountant learning new software, so I would ask this question ahead of time. Also considering engaging with a local service provider or one with accounting expertise to support your accountant.

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Thank you for your reply.

It seems complicated from your point of view.
Up to day, I am able to import all the transactions from my external accounting partner (from an XLS file) but after that I am a little bit stuck regarding how to close the gap between their inputs and my selling/buying processes.
The option to let us have a login is not acceptable due to the fact that they want to do the accoounting stuff on their own tool (accounting expert tool).

If someone has some insights on the way to proceed, i am listening.


I think you have to create new Fields that reference the external auditor in your transaction
you can do it by using Custom Filed and Custom script
Or create new Naming Series for the transaction coming from the external auditor

Are the accounts in ERPNext the same as the account names being used by your external accounting partner?

If anything, I think you need sit down with your accounting specialist and identify the accounts and how they’re supposed to be represented in ERPNext. No need to give the accountant a user account. You can show him a print out of the Chart of Accounts or you general ledger entry as generated by ERPNext.

Alternatively, if your accounting specialist can give you an excel file of the why not convert it to a csv file that follows the data import tool’s format for Journal Entry? But again, you might want to sit down with your specialist for this.

I agree with @tmatteson, you might want to consult a service provider who has accounting experience. You may have to divulge sample data on what your ERPNext accounts look like vs the data generated by your accounting specialist so that they can suggest a solution on how to handle your problem.

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I want to challenge you on this, so please take this in the spirit of debate. If the accountant works for you, they should be amenable to using your tool, which I think is excellent but not perfect.
There isn’t a tool in ERPNext that reconciles their (mystery) output to your existing transactions (which are unambiguous). You can make a journal entry that does this, or you could pay them to do it right. You don’t want an accountant who refuses to do it correctly. Good for them that they have a software that they like, but if that’s the only software they’re willing to use, you should find another accountant who wants your business to succeed as much as theirs. It would not be OK with me to pay an account to be lazy. </rant>

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I don’t think outsourced accounting is complicated, but having a web based solution means that it is “less outsourced” than it might be otherwise. This is a good thing and an advantage of ERPNext.

@littlehera Thanks for your insights. What you describe is currently what’s happening. My external accounting specialist sent me a CSV file with all the ledgers used. We are currently able to reconcile these data with the ERPnext chart of account. My concern is that by doing this I create a lot of journal entries that do not have any link with the selling/buying process of ERPNext. In other words, my concern is the same as the bank reconciliation but for outsource accounting. You montly receive data from your bank that you import in Erpnext and that you reconcile with payment made for supplier or customer invoices. As an ERP novice, I am a litlle puzzled on how to do that for the external accounting data received.

@tmatteson . Thanks for your contrbution. I do agree with you but here in France traditional “expert comptable” does not think in the same way. As they certify the P&L and the balance sheet at the end of the year, they want to do this with their own tool that they masterized. Trying to push ERPnext will have a no go answer. So as a startup we decided to take the best of the two worlds. They do the accounting (mainly the entry of accounting documents and the breakdown in the accounts) and we use our ERP to do the “accounting analytics”. I understand that my situation could be a little bit weird but am i the only one to have an external accouting expert ending back journal entries each month?

No, your experience with outsourced accounting is not unique. @chdecultot can answer some of the France-specific questions as he is the author of the France regional module.

As far as the best-of-both worlds approach, I suspect that you may be able to import your end-of-year journal entires with a data import and some excel copy/paste. That’s not a good solution for a daily/weekly/monthly workflow, but for year-end accounting, it’s probably OK. I think you are at a point where you have some company-specific things that would be best solved with advice from a service provider.

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My concern is that by doing this I create a lot of journal entries that do not have any link with the selling/buying process of ERPNext.

If you can, it’s better to encode the equivalent transactions in ERPNext (Eg. Payment Entries for payments) instead of uploading a JE without a transaction. This way, you can upload the JE’s with no equivalent ERPNext transaction (like your Expenses, and Liabilities) and leave the buying/selling transactions alone.

If anything, I’ll have to agree with @tmatteson.

I don’t know how you’ve setup your ERPNext accounts and you probably can’t post it here (since the information is sensitive after all), but you may want to talk to a service provider or someone who’s used with ERPNext in your locality. Said person might be able to give you a work around.


Bai Web and Mobile Lab

Thanks @tmatteson for tagging me on this topic.

Of course @flyinglionel, don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any question related to the french regional module or ERPNext implementations in France.

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It’s common practice here in my place to outsource accounts to an external accountant expert and it has a heavy impact on data accuracy, I believe in such case it’s not applicable to use ERPNext at all, since without accounting module using an ERP like ERPnext is not justified.

just thoughts