Post by mrbill » Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:48 pm

I know this has been brought up before - so instead of bringing a 1-year old thread back to life, I thought it may be best to start a new one.

I note that OC's order numbers are fully sequential. While many people might not see that as a problem - and customers may not care, there is the issue of competitive advantage. In theory a competitor will be able to see how many sales one does over a period of time. Not something i'm terribly keen on.

I'm from a CubeCart background and the order numbers look something like this:

120622-112158-5207

That is - YYMMDD-hhmmss-random

So to generate an order number basically you just need the date/time - and then generate a random number. Check the DB if that number has been used, if not use it, if so, then generate another and check again.

I know many people will not see this as an issue, but having control of what an order number looks like is an important feature. Perhaps in the Invoice Prefix field you could have the option of adding some standard Unix style % tokens to totally customise the order number. And possibly a %RND or something like that to generate a random number.

Any thoughts on this?

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Post by straightlight » Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:33 pm

Edit: Point below taken for checking standards before officially setting any random values with the invoice ID.
Last edited by straightlight on Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by JAY6390 » Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:43 pm

You could add a random increase rather than 1 each time, though to me that's a bit pointless too, because you will need to have an invoice id for each order, and they need to be sequential (if you're in the UK at least) for accounting purposes should HMRC ever want to check up on them. I assume this is fairly standard in other countries too

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Post by mrbill » Sat Jun 23, 2012 5:15 am

Thanks for responding.

Cube cart are a British company - I'm wondering how they get away with it. Looking at an invoice I see this:


Invoice / Receipt for: Your order of Jun 22 2012, 11:30 AM

Order ID: 120622-113031-5394

I wonder if this is compliant with HMRC regs.

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Post by JAY6390 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 5:24 am

Interesting. That was what I was told by my accountant at least. Taking a look on google quickly, I see this document by HMRC which also states
Does the invoice number series have to be numerical, or can it include
letters?

The ‘invoice number’ can be numerical, or it can be a combination of numbers
and letters, as long as it forms part of a unique and sequential series.

In order to avoid the appearance of having only just started in business I
do not want to start at Invoice no.1 and would prefer to commence with,
say, Invoice no 1135. Is this allowed?

Yes, as long as the invoice series runs consecutively from that point.

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Post by mrbill » Sat Jun 23, 2012 6:09 am

I found this

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/vat/managing/cha ... voices.htm
What a VAT invoice must show
A VAT invoice must show:
an invoice number which is unique and follows on from the number of the previous invoice - if you spoil or cancel a serially numbered invoice, you must keep it to show to a VAT officer at your next VAT inspection
I will inquire about the cubecart method.

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Post by JAY6390 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 6:15 am

What that is saying is that you have to have them sequential, but if you write off an invoice, you have to keep the record, so you still need to have every number in the sequence. That doesn't appear to be such a big deal for non-vat registered companies, but depending on your company, that may be relevant

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Post by mrbill » Sat Jun 23, 2012 6:42 am

I had a look at my amazon.co.uk purchases over the past few years. Their order numbers do not appear to be sequential.

But they do not appear to be vat invoices either.

looking at the printed vat invoices they send, the invoice number appears to be a separate number made up of what looks like random upper and lower case letters with numbers.

Obviously they don't want anyone knowing their sales numbers either!

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Post by JAY6390 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 6:58 am

Well as I've said, I'm just going by what I've been told by my accountant. I would recommend you get in touch with someone more knowledgeable regarding the matter before persuing this further to be on the safe side. Thee must be more info somewhere with a more definitive answer for you

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Post by straightlight » Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:48 am

@JAY6390:

While this seem to be very interesting regarding VAT, would it be possible to state if these policies also implies amongst the American Central ?

The most generated errors being found on Opencart forum originates from contributed programming. The increased post counters are caused by redundancies of the same solutions that were already provided prior.


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Post by JAY6390 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:44 pm

I have no idea to be honest, I only know what I've been told for my country. I asume it will be something similar

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Post by straightlight » Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:06 pm

Each Countries in the world has their own policy based on political terms. There may be some Countries that has similar cases but still not identical point of views regarding sequential order numbers. The demonstrated facts above wouldn't be applied for International purposes, though.

The most generated errors being found on Opencart forum originates from contributed programming. The increased post counters are caused by redundancies of the same solutions that were already provided prior.


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Post by ahmadka » Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:24 am

Has anyone found a way to accomplish this .. ? I'm still interested in this idea as I have no legal problems with using non-sequentials order/invoice numbers ..

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Post by GoldenTongs » Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:25 pm

me too, i am in the process of migrating from cubecart and really do not want sequential order numbers if it is possible, even if just being able to add a 2-4 digit random suffix?
would that be possible, as order number will always be unique as first digits will be real order id,
is there a way to add random suffix to order id

so order id's would auto increment still and be like as follows

1004876
1005467
1006876
1007222
1008577
1009722
1010346

the last 3 digits are irrelevent (so can be random) as the first 4 digits always keep count

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Post by mrbill » Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:15 pm

I'm still interested in this. As for the legalities in some countries - does the customer need a sequential number? Surely if the database stores them sequentially, that should be ok - and the customer can get a non sequential number for their identification purposes. I wonder how cubecart manage worldwide with their non- sequential invoice numbers.

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Post by GoldenTongs » Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:53 pm

mrbill wrote:I'm still interested in this. As for the legalities in some countries - does the customer need a sequential number? Surely if the database stores them sequentially, that should be ok - and the customer can get a non sequential number for their identification purposes. I wonder how cubecart manage worldwide with their non- sequential invoice numbers.
the argument about sequential invoice numbers is about invoice numbers,
the OP clearly asked about order number (order ID)
which is also what i am looking for
just so order number shown to customer in emails and when they order etc. is not sequential

invoice ID can stay exactly how it is as you must generate them manually anyway

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Post by straightlight » Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:03 am

mrbill wrote:I'm still interested in this. As for the legalities in some countries - does the customer need a sequential number? Surely if the database stores them sequentially, that should be ok - and the customer can get a non sequential number for their identification purposes. I wonder how cubecart manage worldwide with their non- sequential invoice numbers.
Most E-Commerce platforms uses the generated invoice ID from payment gateways / offline payment processing systems, then stores this invoice ID into the database so that merchants doesn't have to create it manually. Granted, it is a more eased functionality. Although, since payment gateways / offline payment processing systems are not ready-made for all Countries at this time, it would be one good reason for OpenCart to create manual invoice IDs or to create automated invoice IDs locally from a modulated feature.

The most generated errors being found on Opencart forum originates from contributed programming. The increased post counters are caused by redundancies of the same solutions that were already provided prior.


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