Information about your company is stored in your vendor record. You can use nBill for multiple companies just by adding a new vendor record for each. Each vendor has its own orders, invoices, etc, and these are all held completely separately in the database (clients are not vendor-specific however, and the same client can have orders or invoices for different vendors).

 For Example: This could be useful if you are a bookkeeper working for a number of different companies, but is less likely to be useful for trading online because each company would logically have its own website, and would therefore need its own copy of nBill (and there is no separate vendor login for nBill).

If you have more than one vendor record, many of the other screens in nBill will offer you a dropdown list for you to select which vendor you want to deal with. Rather than having to select the vendor every time, nBill stores your selection in a cookie (a small file on your computer), so that the last vendor you were working with is always selected by default until such time as you select a different one.

To access the list of vendors, select Configuration­->Vendors from the Billing menu as shown in figure 3.3.

Figure 3.3 - Accessing the Vendor List.

This will take you to the list of vendors. By default, a single record is supplied which you will need to edit with your own company details. There must always be at least one vendor record on the system, so you will not be allowed to delete the last one.

Clicking on a vendor will take you to the vendor editing page. There are quite a few options here which govern all activity for this vendor. Each option is explained below.

Basic Tab

Vendor Name

This is pretty self-­explanatory! Just enter your company name, which will appear on invoices and e­mails generated by the system.

Admin e-mail

Any order notifications etc. will be sent to this e­mail address (but only if the relevant order form specifies that an administrator should be informed), and any e­mails that are sent to customers will appear to come from this address.

 Technical Note: If the e­mail address you specify here is handled by a mail server with a different IP address to your website's IP address, and your mail server's DNS records have an SPF entry, you will need to include your website's IP address in the SPF rule, otherwise any e­mails that are sent to customers might be rejected as spam. If that sentence did not make sense to you, ask your hosting company! If in doubt, the safest option is to use an e­mail address on the same domain as your website (eg. if your website address is mydomain.com, use an e­mail address like This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. rather than a hotmail or gmail account).

Vendor Logo

You can upload your own logo which will be used on invoices (subject to this being supported by your invoicing template). Only .gif or .png files are supported. You can remove an existing logo by clicking the 'Delete' button next to the picture (the file will not actually be deleted until after you click on either the 'Apply' or 'Save' toolbar button). As noted onscreen, you might have to refresh your browser (Ctrl­F5) after uploading a new logo, as the old image might be cached. If you upgrade your installation of nBill by uninstalling and re-installing (typically on Joomla 1.0 or Mambo only), your logo will be overwritten.

Vendor Address

This is the address that will appear on your invoices.

Vendor Country

This is an important field, because in some places, the country will default to this value if no other value is defined. Also, if your vendor country is within the EU, any tax rates that you specify to apply to clients in EU countries will NOT be applied to clients within your own country (if you want them to apply to your own country too, you have to specify the same rate in a separate tax record for your own country). See the Sales Tax (VAT) help topic.

Vendor Default Currency

This is your main trading currency, and will be used by default if no other currency is specified.

Default Vendor

In some places, if no particular vendor is specified or the vendor ID is not known, the default vendor record will be used (eg. the default country for new clients will be taken from the default vendor record).

Tax Reference Number

Your own VAT number, if you are registered for VAT.

Default Gateway

The default payment gateway to use for order, invoice and quote payments. If you have more than one payment gateway installed, you can allow the customer to choose which gateway to use (by setting the appropriate display option, or setting a field on an order form to allow a choice of gateway), but if you want to just default to one particular gateway, you can set it here.

Next Invoice Number

This is the invoice number that will be used the next time an invoice is generated by nBill, or the next time an administrator creates a new invoice record without specifying an invoice number. The number can start with any characters, but must end with a digit, as the number will be incremented by 1 each time a new invoice is created.

 For Example: The following are all valid:
0001 (the next number would be 0002)
INV0001 (the next number would be INV0002)
100-ABC-002000 (the next number would be 100-ABC-002001)

Next Order Number

As for invoice numbers, but this field relates to new order records.

Next Receipt Number

As for invoice numbers, but this field relates to new income records (receipts).

Next Payment Number

As for invoice numbers, but this field relates to new expenditure records (payments).

Next Credit Note Number

As for invoice numbers, but this field relates to new credit note records (refunds).

Next Quote Number

As for invoice numbers, but this field relates to new quote records.

Advanced Tab

Templates

The templates section allows you to specify which HTML templates to use for creating invoices, credit notes, and quotes, and also which HTML templates to use for sending various emails. A default template is provided for each item, but you can create your own templates by copying the existing ones and modifying your copies, then selecting the modified template you want to use for each item here (by leaving the default template intact and working on your own copies, you can avoid losing your changes when you upgrade nBill).

Invoice, credit note, and quote templates are stored in the /components/com_nbill/templates/ folder, and the various email templates are stored in the /components/com_nbill/email_templates/ folder. The invoice, credit note, and quote templates consist of an entire folder each. The email templates consist of either 1 or 2 files each (2 files if the email can optionally relate to an attachment - one file having the suffix '_attach').

Show Remittance Advice?

If your template supports remittance advices, you can specify here whether or not to add one to the end of all of your invoices. The default template does support this.

Show Payment Link on Invoices?

Whether or not to add a link to HTML invoices that allow the user to pay the invoice online. When printed out on paper, the link is suppressed.

Paper Size

When generating PDF versions of invoices, it is necessary to specify the paper size (A4, A5, Letter, Legal), so you can set the value to use here.

Auto Create Income Item?

If you allow your clients to pay their invoices online, this setting will govern whether or not income items are generated automatically when they do so (subject to this being supported by your payment gateway). If you set this option to 'yes', it is probably best to also set 'Generate Receipt Numbers Manually' to 'yes' as well (see below).

Quote Intro

This is the text that is shown as an introduction to your quote records by default. You can override this value on each quote individually if you wish.

Default Payment Instructions

This is for you to enter instructions to your clients about how they can pay you. The instructions appear on all invoices, after the invoice details, but before the small print at the end. The value you enter here is the default, but you can also specify a different value for different countries by overriding this value in your sales tax (VAT) records.

Invoice Offline Payment Instructions

If you publish the special 'offline' payment gateway, and allow your customers to choose a payment method, the contents of this message will be displayed for any clients who select to pay the invoice offline. In reality, there is no need for clients to go onto your website and select offline as the payment method - they can just pay you offline without doing that - but if they do so, you can at least provide them with instructions here on how to remit payment to you.

Quote Offline Payment Instructions

As above, but for payment of quotes using the 'offline' gateway.

Default Small Print

This is for any legal disclaimers etc. that you wish to include at the end of your invoices. The value you enter here is the default, but you can also specify a different value for different countries by overriding this value in your sales tax (VAT) records.

Credit Note Small Print

This is the small print that gets included on any credit notes. The default small print and payment instructions do not appear on credit notes (because you are paying them!), and the credit note small print cannot be overridden for different countries (but you can override it on the credit note itself if you wish).

Quote Small Print

This is the small print that gets included on any quotes.

Generate Receipt Numbers Manually?

With invoices and orders, when you create a new record, the invoice or order number is assigned automatically (and the number, as defined earlier on this page, is incremented). This is fine for orders and invoices because you normally want the numbers to be assigned in the order that the records are created (note, you can go back and manually change invoice and order numbers, but be careful if you do that to avoid issuing duplicate numbers).

For receipt numbers however, you might not want the numbers to be assigned straight away, especially if some of your income items are going to be generated automatically (eg. when people pay for their orders or invoices online). This is because, at the end of the month, when you receive your bank statement, you may want to go back and add other income items (eg. bank interest) which may have been paid to you earlier than some of those auto-generated items.

Rather than have your receipt numbers out of order (chronologically speaking), you can set this option to 'yes' to suppress the generation of receipt numbers until such time as you request them to be generated (eg. at the end of the month, after you have entered all of the income for the month). When this option is set to 'yes', a new toolbar button will appear on the income list, to enable you to generate the receipt numbers up to a given date, in chronological order.

Generate Payment Numbers Manually?

This is the same as the previous option, but relates to expenditure items rather than income.

Suppress Generation Buttons?

If you are generating receipt and/or payment numbers manually (as per the above 2 options), but you also have a child database pointing to this one (see below), you should not generate the receipt and/or payment numbers from this site, but from the child one. Setting this option to 'yes' will therefore stop the payment and receipt number generation buttons from being displayed on this site. This is normally handled automatically - ie. when you set this to be the master of the other site, the other site will switch this setting to 'yes' for you. In other words, it is usually best to just leave this setting alone and let it do its thing!


Master Databases

The final section on the vendor editor page is a special feature which allows you to synchronise more than one copy of nBill so that you can sell products on different websites, but still keep all of your financial records on a single database for reporting purposes. If you wish to use this feature, it is very important to set up the relationships correctly (a single chain of masters), otherwise you risk losing or corrupting your data.

Please do not use this feature until you have read and understood the topic on synchronising installations of nBill.

Use a Master Database?

Whether or not to implement the synchronisation feature. When this is set to 'yes', this installation of nBill will defer to its master database for generation of numbers for invoice, credit note, income, and expenditure records. If the master database itself has a master, it will be deferred again, so the top-most master database is always the source of new numbers. Order numbers are not affected, and will always be generated using the local database.

In order to run a synchronisation (ie. populate the top-most master database with records from its child databases), you need to have this set to 'yes' and have valid connection details set below, and have saved the vendor record.

Master Host

Enter the host name of the master database you want to connect to. If the master database is on the same server as the local one, this will probably be 'localhost'.

Master Username

Enter the username with which to connect to the master database.

Master Password

Enter the password with which to connect to the master database.

Master Database Name

Name of the master database to connect to.

Master Database Table Prefix

The table prefix assigned to Joomla or Wordpress tables for the master database. In Joomla!, to find out what your master's table prefix is, log into Joomla administrator (on the master site), and select System->Global Configuration. The table prefix is shown on the 'Database Settings' section of the 'Server' tab, and is usually made up of five random alphanumeric characters followed by an underscore character (eg. 'rfs3ym_'). In Wordpress, you can look in your wp-config.php file for the line that says $table_prefix  = 'wp_'; (in this example the prefix is wp_, which is the default, but your wp-config.php file might contain a different value).

Test Connection

Click on the button to check whether nBill is able to connect to the master database. If it connects OK, you will be offered a list of Vendors (which will have been read from the master database). Select a vendor with which to synchronise. After you save or apply this vendor record, a button will appear at the bottom of this page that allows you to perform a synchronisation.

See the synchronisation topic for more information.