Setting Up Automatic Payables

Automatic Payables allow you to define circumstances in which Tailwind will automatically create Payables for your Personnel — whether it is a Sales Rep earning a commission on every Quote, or a Driver being paid for every mile or every stop. Using Automatic Payables can save you a great deal of time, and also guarantee that Payables are assigned consistently throughout the system.

Setting up the Payable

Automatic Payables are set up individually on the Personnel record. To set up a new payable (or edit an existing one), open up the Personnel record in question and click on the ‘Automatic Payables’ tab. This will bring up a list of any existing Automatic Payables. To add a new one, click the ‘Add Automatic Payable’ button.

This will open up a ‘Create Automatic Payable’ window below the list, allowing you to define the parameters of the automatic payable. The Start and End date fields control the period for which the payable will be active — if you do not set a date, the payable will always be in effect.

Setting up the Payable – When Does It Apply?

The ‘Auto Add If’ field indicates the circumstances in which the Payable should be applied. Choose the option that makes sense for the Personnel in question, and how you would like them to be paid.

The Driver options for Dispatches include versions by trip and by segment. The trip versions are generally appropriate if you are paying the Driver based on trip revenue, whereas the segment versions make more sense for Drivers being paid on a per-mile or hourly basis. (Paying per-mile on a trip will still work, but the corresponding Bill will not be broken out on a per-segment basis.)

Setting up the Payable – Choosing the Expense Item Type

The other crucial step is choosing the appropriate ‘Charge Type’ for the payable. This is the Expense Item type that will be used to calculate the actual amount. Since the payable is going to be applied automatically, in most cases you will want to use a derivative Expense type — one that calculates the payment based on some related data, like the number of miles in a segment or the total profit from an Order.

If you already have an appropriate charge type, select it now. If you do not, you will have to create one before you can complete the process.

Checking That It Works

Automatic Payables are fairly complicated — there are a lot of moving pieces, and they may not always work together exactly as you expected. Given that, it is recommended that you test any new payable to ensure that it is working as you expected. If you have added a Dispatch-based payable for a Driver, try assigning them to a new Dispatch; if you have set up a new commission expense for your Sales Reps, have them create a few dummy Orders. Check to make sure the corresponding Bill is being automatically generated — and then check to make sure the amounts involved make sense.

While it can seem tedious to double-check every new Automatic Payable, it can save you from considerable headaches down the line, when you discover that one of your Drivers is accidentally being paid an hourly wage on each mile, or your Sales Rep is getting 110% commission on each Order. It is much easier to correct a mistake up front than go back and change things after several weeks of operation.

Automatic payables interact with and depend on your creating good Expense Item Types. Before you can set up a payable for someone, they will need to have a Personnel record.
 The whole point of Automatic Payables is so you can more easily pay your Personnel.