Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Never say never....

Yesterday I received a E-mail from one of my clients asking me to look into an invoicing problem. I have worked for this client  for over 18 years and they are using VAI S2K ERP on an iSeries model 520.

The problem is a discount amount of $100000.00 printing on the invoice when there is no discount. The user reported that the amounts in the invoice and history files are correct and the problem is only with printing.

VAI invoicing routines recalculate the amount when printing invoices. The print program is COFOBL and over the years, at the customers request, I have changed the layout of the invoice twice. I am familiar with this program due to most customers wanting to customize the default invoice layout.

The invoice was last changed in 2004. During the redesign process it was determined there was not enough room on the invoice to have the quantity, part number, description list/unit price and net extended on the same line. We discussed changing the font size and/or multiple lines for the 30 position description. We looked at the unit price and extended price it was decided that we would never have a unit or extended price greater than $99,999.99. At the customers request I modified the two price fields from 9 positions 2 decimal places to 7 positions 2 decimal places.

And so, 7 years later, the customer decides to sell off some excess inventory which was added to the invoice as a single MISC line item at a unit price of $187,000.00. The program multiplies the quantity by the unit price with half adjust. The amount printed is $87,000.00 and during final calculations is subtracted from the invoice total to come up with the discount amount of $100,000.00.

The customer has extensive modifications to the discounting process and when first put in place 18 years ago I was just learning programming. The initial modifications were done by another programmer and for the most part works fine.  

With some discussion the customer decided it is not a big enough issue to find the 4 additional positions needed to correct the invoice print lines. They just wanted to know why it happened. The work around solution is to have two lines of $93500.00 each.

Bottom line is never say never because it will always happen sooner or later.


Nothing is impossible, anything can happen, as in Mary said Tom would never call her again, but I told her, "Never say never." This expression was first recorded in Charles Dickens's Pickwick Papers (1837).

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