Tagging too cumbersome

I’m am testing QF, and while my initial response is positive, the tagging is far to slow and cumbersome, and would likely drive me crazy on a day to day basis. I appreciate rules and bank feeds may take out a lot of work, but for experienced users there needs to be a quick/er way IMO.

Hi @henryg

What sort of tagging do you find is taking up the time? Perhaps we can suggest an alternative method?

Personally (being new here also) I find Tagging quite basic, restrictive and non-intuitive, but the one thing I do see missing is that Tagging should actually have 3 states not two.
It needs (as a non accountant looking for an easy to use package) the states of Untagged(Tag Me!) / POC / Tagged.
It is easy to POC as opposed to apply a payment but not very easy to find things that you have made POC.
(It may be there is but I am finding QF does not want to make things easy.)
At least with a POC status you would easily see where money is sitting.
As a layman I do not class a bank transaction as Tagged (checked/applied) until funds are applied to an invoice and/or POC funds are exhausted.

Excuse my ignorance, but what does POC mean?

When funds are received (e.g. customer paying an invoice), in double entry terms, your bank has been debited and debtors are credited…so that is applying the funds. Opposite effect for paying out - credit bank, debit creditors. Tht’s what tagging does for you!

Maybe I’m misunderstanding here as I have no idea what POC means either but when you click on ‘tagged’ you can see exactly where the payment has been allocated.

I would prefer to have a drop-down where I can select immediately my posting destination; if that is to debtors or creditors then it could bring up another drop-down with the necessary customer/supplier name.

TBH I’m probably the wrong audience for your software, but I’m not looking just for myself.

That’s kind of how it works already - the initial choice is between the major top level types of tag, with “payment from customer/to supplier” being debtors/creditors and “something not on the list” being general nominal ledger postings. In QuickFile only invoices and supplier purchases contribute to the VAT return so it’s not generally a good idea to post directly to nominal codes except for things like wages, pension contributions, tax payments etc. that don’t belong on a VAT return.

Hi @QFMathew

I find it quite cumbersome too. I think there are a number of refinements that could be made to the GUI to make it more polished and slightly less of a chore.
I trialled Xero before finding QF and it was obvious that they put a lot of effort into the tagging process and it was really painless. QF is much less so
From how I use it, better automatic integration between the ‘tag me’ button and the receipt hub would help as I spend most of my time matching bank statement lines to supplier invoices

  1. when i click the tag me button, why is not clever enough on the first page to check the reciept hub and see if I have already got a waiting receipt with the same amount and same date?
    The ‘tag me’ button could even change to orange (like it does for a rule) and say ‘suggested match’ if i have a straight forward possible match in the hub. This would save me a lot of annoying clicking on each item and going back and forth to the receipt hub.

  2. my customers tend to pay me multiple sales invoices in one payment, but QF is rubbish at working this out. It should be able to do the same as 1) and change the button to tell me it has a possible combination.
    Even when I go through the ‘tag me’ process and tell it i have a ‘payment from customer’ it can still never automatically match multiple invoices and the ‘pay down multiple invoices’ has more steps than it seems like it should need.

  3. I want to tag a payment to an invoice but I am not sure if i have processed the invoice in the reciept hub yet. I have to click ‘tag me’ then ‘payment to a supplier’. Then if i find i haven’t processed the invoice yet I have to click the back button twice. why is there not just one big easy to hit ‘cancel’ button to save me having to multiple press a small ‘back’ link.

  4. In the reciept hub it would be really nice if it could grab info from a PDF and guess at supplier names, dates, totals and supplier ref (I know this is harder one but it would be nice!)

  5. When i am working through my receipts in the hub and enter a total for a receipt, i get the ‘We couldn’t find any matching purchases on your account. Click the button below to create a new record’ message every time and have to click a ‘create new purchase’ button to continue. why do i have to click this button? why doesn’t it just carry on for me as i only have one choice!

  6. I use the same descriptions for my supplier invoices 99% of the time. When it auto-completes the supplier, why can it not also autocomplete the last used description rather than making me click ‘get last’ every single time?

  7. setting the ‘due date’ was really annoying me as I have lots of invoices which are either for cash payments or for 15 days rather than the default 30 days. It took me a while to work out that I could set the invoice terms for a known supplier in the supplier details and this removed a lot of the annoyance but it would be even nicer if it did this automatically based on your last choice for that supplier

It’s important that the tagging system in QuickFile is as streamlined as it can be, so I’m more than happy to listen to any suggestions that will help us to achieve that goal.

I do have a few thoughts on your suggestions…

Because an item in the receipt hub is initially nothing more than a scanned image. So at this point there is no concept of amount, supplier, vat breakdown etc. It’s the purchase invoice that acts as the link between the bank entry and the receipt scan. The purchase invoice contains all the meaningful accounting meta data like the VAT amounts and rate, supplier name, expense ledger code etc.

One way to solve this is to process all your untagged receipts, then start tagging from the bank. The bank tagging flow will then suggest those open purchase invoices you can link to.

This can be computationally very expensive. Sure it’s possible but imagine if the user has 200 open invoices, churning through 1000s of possible permutations will not be quick and the software will invariably get it wrong.

Also what if there are many expenses with the same amount, how to be sure that it will pick out the correct combination? If this process is being obfuscated from the user there will be many cases where things will get incorrectly tagged. You say that QuickFile is rubbish at this but I don’t know of any accounting software that does what you suggest, although I am happy to be corrected on that?

As it stands now you input the supplier name in the tagging flow and all the open invoices for that supplier will be returned, so you can match up as needed. In all honesty I don’t see how predictive matching to multiple invoices can work in a reliable and consistent way?

This is certainly doable, we’ll look into this.

There are services on the market that do this, but they usually rely on people (often outsourced data processors) that do the manual matching, obviously that comes at a cost. The challenge of matching data on a rasterized scan of a crumpled receipt to structured data in your account is extremely difficult. You can technically use OCR and make a best guess, but I suspect the error rate will be very high. There’s no standardisation for where numbers should appear on receipts and therefore it’s not an easy problem to solve.

There are options up in the top that allow you to move a receipt to a different folder or even delete it. Perhaps it was uploaded twice and you’ve figured out that a previous duplicate was already tagged, you’d want to just delete it at this point. Also you may want to try inputting a different amount to get to the purchase you need, this can happen if there’s some gratuity payment or extra processing charge not showing on the receipt. While I think it may be useful to skip straight to the purchase entry part I’m sure there are some edge cases that we’d need to consider first.

For you this may work but what about the cases where the description is different every time? For those situations it would be equally if not more irritating to manually cursor over the incorrect description and delete it than one click to import the last used description.

We’ll look into this, it may be something we can support.

A cancel button would be handy but pressing ‘Esc’ works in the meantime.

If this feature was added at some point it could be added to the fast tag mode so it would avoid the problem of breaking all existing accounts/workflows?

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Yes that’s a good point regarding the “fast tag” mode, I’m sure that can be added.

hi @Glenn

Sorry - I phrased this onequite badly when i wrote it. I should have said:

  1. when i click the tag me button, why is not clever enough on the first page to automatically check the Outstanding purchases (that I have already processed via the reciept hub) and see if I have already got a waiting purchase with the same amount and same date?
    The ‘tag me’ button could even change to orange (like it does for a rule) and say ‘suggested match’ if i have a straight forward possible match in Outstanding purchases. This would save me a lot of annoying clicking on each item and going back and forth to the receipt hub and outstanding purchases checking if i have got everything yet

I wasn’t expecting this for every rasterized receipt - but all the suppliers that send me PDF invoices by email or that I get from their systems seem to send me proper OCR/text ones that should be easy to read.
Often they contain the invoice number or the supplier in the file name.

point taken. can this be a supplier account option?

Thanks for your answers @Glenn. I really like QF (now that I am starting to work out its quirks), but I think it would be really good for you guys who know it well and design it and have used it for years to sit down with some total newbies and watch which bits they find hard or annoying.
It might be obvious for you but it really isn’t for most of us.

This useful hint is going to cut down on the number of swear words I emit whilst doing my accounts! :wink:

I like the idea of a ‘fast tag’ option. I feel like most of what I do to my bank statements is stupidly simple number matching that still takes me loads of clicks in QF

This is already on its way! This should make entering multiple receipts easier and if you bulk upload receipts you can make sure you group them by supplier to make sure this feature works better for the majority of the tagging.

Not sure if you’ve already found it but this is the existing fast tag feature.

OK this does actually happen but not as far forward as the first page, this check is performed once you click the option “Payment from a customer”.

We could preemptively run that query as soon as you open the tagging page or even show an indicator on the bank statement itself (like small hints on the transaction lines). Although we try to balance useability with conservation of resources on our side, by that I mean avoiding making 1000s of unnecessary hits on the database to check these things in the background. I agree it’s definitely nice to have and we’ll certainly look into whether it’s feasible to do, but I can’t promise anything here.

With PDF invoices the text can be extracted without too much difficulty but you still needs some sort of AI to know which box to feed it into… actually that’s the harder part. The other option is to drop the text into a series of labels and then allow the user to drag them into the correct boxes.

I completely agree, there’s a lot that I would take for granted in terms of how the software works. I’ve had my head buried in it for years :smile: It’s very useful to get a fresh perspective on things!

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