Documentation - Incremental Inventory And Invoice Management System 1.0.2
System Requirements: Windows 2000, 2003 Server, XP, or Vista
- Create an Invoice
- Search Invoices
- Add Inventory
- Search Inventory
- Sell Inventory
- Edit/Update Inventory
- Price Files
- Main Menus
- Networking/Running Multiple Instances
- File Formats
The first six sections of this documentation are written to help you start using Incremental immediately.
Create an Invoice
- Run Incremental Server. You will be prompted to select a location to save your data. In most cases, you will want to save your data in a new empty folder.
- After you have selected a location to save your inventory, invoices, and messages, Incremental will display the server name dialog.
Use the default server name and click Start Server. The server should display "Server initialization complete. Waiting for a client request"
- Run Incremental Inventory And Invoice Management System on the same computer running Incremental Server. You will be prompted to select a location to save your data. You may choose the same location chosen in step one.
- After you have selected a location, enter your company name, address, city, state, zip code, phone number, and tax percentage. At this time, do not change other settings. Click Continue. If you encounter a problem, please see Networking/Running Multiple Instances.
- Incremental will automatically create an invoice and ask for your identification. Your identification may be your name, initials, or your sales id number.
- After you enter your identification, Incremental will ask for an invoice number for your first invoice. Enter invoice number in the field labeled Invoice Number. Incremental will automatically sequentially number all invoices from the number you enter for your first invoice.
- Enter your customer's name in the field labeled Customer. Completion of the Customer field is optional.
- Enter your customer's phone number in the field labeled Phone Number. Completion of the Phone Number field is optional. Enter customer address information by clicking Address.
- Leave the Invoice Date and Invoice Time fields blank. Incremental will automatically complete those fields when a form of payment is selected for the invoice.
- Now we will add an item to the invoice. (When adding items to invoices, item numbers, descriptions, and remarks will be uppercase.) In the field labeled Order Quantity, enter the quantity of the item the customer is purchasing. In some cases, a customer might be purchasing a service rather than a product, and as a result, a quantity might not always be applicable. Here we will assume the customer is purchasing a product.
- Enter the unique identifier of the item in the field labeled Item Number. The item number may be the product number, part number, serial number or model number of the item. Completion of the Item Number field is optional, however completion is recommended for items that can be identified by a unique number.
- Enter a description of the item or service in the field labeled Description. Completion of the Description field is required.
- Enter the retail price (customer price) of one unit of the item or service in the field labeled Unit Price. Completion of the Unit Price field is optional.
- Enter your cost (your expense as a dealer, reseller, or producer) of one unit of the item or service in the field labeled Unit Cost. In some cases your cost might simply be "0.00". In other cases, the cost of a product or service may not be known, and in such cases you might want to enter "unknown" in this field. Completion of the Unit Cost field is required. Always enter an exact cost when practical.
- If sales tax should be collected on the item or service, be sure the field labeled Tax % contains the proper tax percentage. If the product or service should not be taxed, the Tax % field must be empty.
- Click Add to Invoice to add the item to the current invoice. If the following message is displayed, click No.
You should see the item added to the invoice. (One invoice can contain a maximum of twelve items.)
If an exclamation mark is displayed beside an invoice item, one or more of the following is true.
- Invoice item unit price is non-numeric.
- Invoice item unit cost is non-numeric.
- Invoice item unit price is less than or equal to unit cost.
To modify an invoice item, right-click the item and select Edit/View... from the context menu. To delete an invoice item, right-click the item and select Delete from the context menu.
- Repeat steps 10 through 16 for each item or service the customer is purchasing.
- Notice that invoice totals are displayed in the lower right of the window.
- Upon receipt of payment from customer, select the form of payment from the Payment field. The software will automatically apply the current date and time to the invoice. It will also generate and apply an invoice number if the Invoice Number field is blank.
This section assumes you have completed the previous section.
Click Search on the toolbar or select Invoices from the View menu.
In the window that appears, be sure the field labeled Search for: is empty. Uncheck the field labeled Search unpaid invoices only. Notice the invoice you created appears in the list.
In the field labeled Search for:, enter any text that is contained in the invoice you created. Notice the invoice remains in the list. Now enter text that is not contained on your invoice and notice the invoice will not appear in the list.
When searching invoices, simply enter any information contained on the invoice or invoices you are searching for.
If you are searching for a single invoice and multiple invoices match your search, narrow your search by entering information specific to the invoice or by entering several "words", just as you would when using an internet search engine.
Notice the column labeled Preview. This column either contains the first item of each invoice or the first item that contains text found in your search.
This feature is not availale in the free edition.
This section assumes you have completed previous sections.
Click Contacts on the main window. If you entered a customer name and phone number on your invoice and selected a form of payment, your customer will appear in your contacts. You can apply a contact to an invoice by right-clicking the contact and selecting Apply to Current Invoice from the context menu. Vendors and customers can be added to your contacts. Close the contacts window.
This section assumes you have completed previous sections.
Double-click the item on your invoice and notice how it reappears in the fields where it was entered. Click Add to Inventory.
The inventory item window is divided into two columns. The first column shows the item as it currently exists in inventory. Since we are adding a new item to inventory, the first column is blank. Information in the first column is not editable and is displayed only for comparison purposes when editing and updating items. The second column is for editing or adding items.
Complete as much information as necessary for your new item. Click OK. If the information you entered is valid the item will be added to your inventory.
- Item Number
Item identifier, product number, part number, serial number, or model number. Each inventory item must have a unique item number.
Short precise description of item
Optional additional item information
- Unit Price
Customer/retail price of one unit of item
- Standard Unit Cost
Your cost (as a dealer, reseller, or producer) of one unit of item
- Inventory Quantity
Current quantity in your inventory. It is very important to understand the Inventory Quantity field. Under ideal circumstances, you will not need to edit information in this field. When adding a new item to inventory or adding additional units of an item to inventory, the quantity you are adding should be entered into the field labeled Quantity near the bottom of the window. Edit information in the Inventory Quantity field only when auditing inventory and the quantity you actually have differs from the number in the Inventory Quantity field. Incremental regards editing Inventory Quantity as an item audit, and as a result sets the last audit date of the item to the date this field is edited.
- Sold Quantity
The number of items that have been sold through paid invoices, or allocated on unpaid invoices. This information can not be edited. (Since we are adding a new item, Incremental will automatically calculate this information later.)
- Minimum Quantity
The minimum number of items you want to stock at any given time. For instance, if customer demand requires that you have a minimum of ten units at any given time, enter "10" in this field. If inventory quantity drops below minimum quantity, the software will notify you of a need to reorder through a Suggested Order Report. (View menu > Reports > Suggested Order) If Minimum Quantity is left blank, the software will notify you of a need to reorder when inventory quantity is zero. If you do not want to reorder an item when stock is depleted, enter "0" in the Minimum Quantity field.
- Unaccounted Quantity
The number of items that are both missing from inventory and not accounted for through invoices. Ideally, unaccounted quantity should always be zero. Unaccounted quantity is valid only after an item has been audited. For instance, if you initially received ten units and later sold a total of four units, before and after audit you should have six units remaining. If, after physically counting your inventory, you only have five units, your unaccounted quantity is one. In other words, you have lost one unit. Bear in mind that the accuracy of unaccounted quantity is dependent upon the accuracy of quantities entered upon reception of new inventory, and upon how items are handled when deleted from invoices.
Item category. Category would typically include item manufacturer or vendor, as this information is used to create suggested orders.
A representation of the physical location of item
Additional information to save with item
- Last Audit Date
The date (MM/DD/YYYY format) inventory item information was last checked for accuracy and currency, particularly Inventory Quantity. In general, you should update this field whenever auditing. Whenever Inventory Quantity is directly changed, Last Audit Date will reflect the date the quantity was changed.
- New Inventory - Quantity
The number of new units you are adding to inventory.
- New Inventory - Unit Cost
The actual unit cost of new inventory. This is used to help generate item first-in-first-out (FIFO) data. In many cases, many of the items you purchase will have a "standard" unit cost. However, through volume discounts, special programs and incentives your cost might differ from the standard unit cost and fluctuate depending upon whatever discount was used when the items were purchased. The actual unit cost should be entered in the Unit Cost field.
- An item normally costs $4.33.
- A special short-term program allows you to purchase one hundred or more at $3.90.
- You order one hundred items.
- Standard unit cost is $4.33.
- Actual unit cost is $3.90.
Notice the new item appears in your inventory list.
Notice the software has calculated the following information:
- Sold/Allocated Quantity
- Unaccounted Quantity
- Gross Profit (Gross profit is calculated without deducting losses from unaccounted quantity.)
New items can be added to your inventory database in up to five different ways.
- Manual Entry - Click Add to Inventory and enter item information. (Any information contained in the Order Quantity, Item Number, Description, Remark, Unit Price, and Unit Cost fields of the main program window will be used.)
- Add new items from price file information - See the Price Files section for more information.
- Add new items similar to items already in inventory - Search your inventory for an item similar to the new item you want to add. Right-click a similar item and select Add Similar Item… from the context menu. Remember, every inventory item must have a unique item number.
- Import new items
- Create an inventory file using a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel®. Please see the File Formats section. Use this method only when creating an initial inventory database. When using this method, Incremental automatically adds entries to inventory FIFO database.
This section assumes you have completed previous sections.
You can search inventory using the same method used to search invoices. The Item Number and Description fields on the main window are multi-purpose and act as input fields for searching inventory. Although the Item Number and Description fields can be used to search, you are not limited to searching only by item number or description. For instance, you can enter a category of your inventory in the Item Number field to view all items belonging to a particular category of inventory. Whenever you enter text in the Item Number or Description fields, matching inventory is displayed in the list. Your new inventory item appears in the list because it matches text in the Item Number field. Click Clear and notice that the Item Number, Description, Remark ect. fields are cleared. Notice that the inventory list is also cleared.
Type an asterisk in the Item Number field to display all inventory.
This section assumes you have completed previous sections.
- Search for your new inventory item.
- When the item appears in the inventory list, double-click it.
- Notice that the Item Number, Description, Remark, Unit Price, and Unit Cost fields are filled with the inventory item information.
- Ensure that the checkbox labeled Inventory Item is checked. You can sell the item from inventory by clicking Add to Invoice.. If the checkbox labeled Inventory Item is not checked, Incremental will not deduct the item from inventory.
Below is a list of some of what occurs when you click Add to Invoice.
- Incremental checks item first-in-first-out data. Remember, your unit cost for an inventory item might fluctuate. Incremental uses the unit cost of your oldest inventory and as a result, the unit cost that appears on the invoice might be different from the standard unit cost that appears for the inventory item.
- Incremental checks the quantity you are adding to the invoice against the quantity you have in inventory. If you are selling more units than you have in inventory Incremental asks for backorder confirmation.
- Incremental updates inventory item information.
Whenever you need to edit or update an inventory item, search for the item to be updated. Right-click the item and select Edit/View... from the context menu.
Incremental offers assistance when working with items backordered for customers. Consider a case wherein a customer wants five units of an item and you only have two in your inventory. In such a case, you will need to order three units for the customer. When you add the item(s) to the customer's invoice, Incremental will confirm you want to backorder, and will set the backorder quantity. When you view a Suggested Order report, Incremental will remind you to order the item(s). When you actually order, you can right-click the item(s) on the invoice, select Edit/View... from the context menu, and check the checkbox labeled Ordered. Incremental marks the item(s) as having been ordered, adds information about the date of order to the item(s), and displays the item(s) as having been ordered on the Suggested Order report. When you actually receive the item(s), you must remove or adjust the backorder quantity on the invoice. You should also adjust the unit cost of the item if necessary - in some cases through averaging.
Price files enable you to:
Price files must be user-created from manufacturer or vendor pricing information or must be purchased separately by special request. See the File Formats section for information on price file formats.
- Verify item numbers
- Check cost and retail prices on items you do not stock
- Quickly add non-inventory items to invoices
- Add new items to inventory without manually entering prices and descriptions
- Semi-automatically update inventory item descriptions and prices
Price files must be stored in the "Price Files" folder.
In most cases, to use a price file, simply enter an item number in the Item Number field. Click Search... located to the right of the Item Number field. Select the price file you want to search. If the item number is found in the price file, the Description, Remark, Unit Price and Unit Cost fields will be completed. You may use the information as necessary. Unlike searching inventory, when searching price files, item numbers must be complete and properly formatted.
Use the following steps to update inventory from a price file.
- Search for the items you want to update. (Typically you will be updating a group of items from the same vendor or manufacturer and as a result, you will be searching for a particular category of inventory.)
- Select/highlight all items to be updated.
- Right-click the selected items and choose Update Pricing... to update unit prices and standard unit costs. Choose Update Description(s) and Pricing... to update descriptions, remarks, unit prices, and standard unit costs. When the Price Files window is displayed, choose the appropriate price file to search. Incremental will sequentially display each selected item in the Inventory Item window. The first column will show the item as it currently exists in inventory, and the second column will display the item with updated information. Be sure the information in the second column is as intended and make any necessary changes. Click OK to update the current item and move to the next item. Press Cancel to cancel updating the current item and all remaining items. Updated items will be checked in the inventory list.
Messages in Incremental provide for the storage of short notes and reminders. Select Messages from the View menu to create, view, and edit, messages. Messages are viewable by other users connected to the same server. Typically, messages should be deleted after they "expire", as a large number of messages can become cluttered. Messages can not be searched or sorted.
- File Menu
Create new invoice. Invoices in Incremental can not be deleted. Rather than delete an invoice, you must remove all information from an invoice so that it is blank. Incremental automatically re-uses blank invoices.
Import new items into inventory and/or update backordered items on invoices. Please see the section labeled File Formats
to see how a file must be structured for import.
Print current invoice using a user-selected layout
Exit Incremental client
- View Menu
Refresh inventory list and current invoice
Contacts (Not available in free edition)
Display a searchable list of your invoices
Reports - Sales
Display a report showing income, profit, and inventory information
Reports - Non-Inventory Sales
Display a report showing all sold items not currently in inventory. This report can be used to help you decide what new items to add to your inventory.
Reports - Suggested Order (Not available in free edition)
Display a report showing the items and quantities Incremental suggests you order from within a specific category of inventory. If no category is entered, a suggested order will be generated by analyzing all inventory categories. Order size will be determined by the dollar value entered. If no dollar value is entered, a minimum suggested order will be generated. Results of this report are useful only after Incremental has sufficient inventory sales records. Note: Suggested order generation can require extensive processing time.
- Help Menu
About Incremental Inventory And Invoice Management System
Display program specific information, version information, vendor information, and license information. Click anywhere on the screen to close and return to main window.
Back - Go back to previous invoice viewed
Forward - Go forward to next invoice viewed
New - Create new invoice
Refresh - Refresh inventory list and current invoice
Search - Display a searchable list of your invoices
Print - Print current invoice using default receipt layout (Default Layout.txt)
Networking/Running Multiple Instances
Incremental is client/server based software. Both the server (IncrementalServer.exe) and client (Incremental.exe) must be running in order for the system to work. Network configurations widely vary, however the basics of networking and running multiple instances are shown in the diagram below.
- If the client should connect to a server running on the same computer as the client itself, the Connect to Incremental Server on a remote computer: checkbox should not be checked. If the client should connect to a server running on a remote computer, the Connect to Incremental Server on a remote computer: checkbox should be checked. The network name of the remote computer must be entered in the field labeled Remote Computer Name. The remote computer must be accessible from the connecting computer. Connection to a remote computer might require entry of a username and password outside Incremental through Windows®.
- In order for a remote client to connect to Incremental Server running under Windows XP or Vista, file sharing must be enabled on the computer running Incremental Server.
- Incremental Server is designed to serve a small number of concurrent users, although there is no preprogrammed limit.
- When running multiple instances of server from one computer, each instance must be identified by a unique name or server initialization will fail. Multiple instances of server must not access the same data (inventory, invoices and messages).
- Inventory, invoices, and messages are shared across clients connected to the same instance of Incremental Server. Contacts, price files, report layouts and receipt layouts are specific to each client and are not shared even in networked configurations. As a result, multiple instances of client should not access contacts, price files, report layouts and receipt layouts in the same location.
Imagine the following in a networked configuration.
While you are viewing an invoice, a user on another computer opens the same invoice and makes modifications. You, unaware of the changes made by the other user, attempt to modify the invoice. (Maybe you intend to make the same changes as the other user.) Since the information you are viewing is no longer current, an attempt to make modifications will result in the software notifying you that the invoice has been modified. The software will automatically display the current “version” of the invoice and disregard your attempt to modify it. After you have viewed the current version of the invoice, you can decide if you want to continue with modification. The same principle applies to your inventory.
Incremental uses tab-delimited text files for contacts, inventory, inventory first-in-first-out data, item import, price files, and receipt layouts. With care, tab-delimited text files can be edited in most spreadsheet programs or even simple text editors. Files must not be opened or edited while Incremental is running. Take care when editing files. Remember, data in the inventory file must be consistent with data in the inventory first-in-first-out file.
Item Number (Uppercase)
Not used - must be blank
Standard Unit Cost
Last Audit Date
Batch Item Number
Batch Quantity - Initial
Batch Quantity - Remaining
Batch Unit Cost
Batch Date (MM/DD/YYYY)
Batch Type (INITIAL, DIRECT INCREASE, RECEIVED)
Rectangular Field Name (See below for dynamic content field names.)
Blank - Not Used
Field Text - Static single line for static content fields. Must be blank for dynamic content fields
Text Horizontal Alignment (LEFT, CENTER, RIGHT)
Text Vertical Alignment (TOP, CENTER)
Field Left (Inches)
Field Top (Inches)
Field Width (Inches)
Field Height (Inches)
Border Width (Inches)
Border Color (RGB value, 0 = Black, 16777215 = White/Transparent)
Fill Color (RGB value, 0 = Black, 16777215 = White/Transparent)
Text Color (RGB value, 0 = Black, 16777215 = White/Transparent)
Dynamic Content Field Names
- INVOICE NUMBER FIELD
- ORDER NUMBER FIELD
- DATE FIELD
- CURRENT DATE FIELD
- TIME FIELD
- BUSINESS NAME FIELD
- BUSINESS ADDRESS FIELD
- BUSINESS CITY STATE ZIPCODE FIELD
- BUSINESS PHONE NUMBER FIELD
- ACCOUNT NUMBER FIELD
- CUSTOMER NAME FIELD
- CUSTOMER ADDRESS FIELD
- CUSTOMER CITY STATE ZIPCODE FIELD
- CUSTOMER PHONE NUMBER FIELD
- ITEM QUANTITY FIELD (will contain all invoice items)
- ITEM BACKORDER QUANTITY FIELD (will contain all invoice items)
- ITEM NUMBER FIELD (will contain all invoice items)
- ITEM DESCRIPTION FIELD (will contain all invoice items)
- ITEM REMARK FIELD (will contain all invoice items)
- ITEM UNIT PRICE FIELD (will contain all invoice items)
- ITEM AMOUNT FIELD (will contain all invoice items)
- ITEM TAX FIELD (will contain all invoice items)
- ITEM NOTE FIELD (will contain all invoice items)
- ITEM UNIT COST FIELD (will contain all invoice items)
- SALESPERSON FIELD
- NOTE FIELD
- PAYMENT TERMS FIELD
- CASH RECEIVED FIELD
- CHANGE FIELD
- SUBTOTAL FIELD
- TAX FIELD
- TOTAL FIELD