Best practices for processing returns or cancellations

It can be difficult to know how to process a return or a cancellation as it is dependent on the state of the original order. The following flowchart aims to guide you through the process of creating a return or processing a cancellation.



The rule of thumb is that if the original order is shipped, a sales credit is needed. If it's not shipped, then the original order can be amended.

A summary of the flowchart is below:

Unshipped orders

The goal is to cancel the order, which means getting it into a state where it is unshipped, unpaid and uninvoiced.

  • Check to see if it's invoiced. If it is, uninvoice the order.
    Note: It is best practice to only invoice orders once they've been shipped! However, if you are unable to invoice the order (perhaps the invoice is VAT reconciled or the ability to invoice orders has been disabled), the best option is to treat the sale like it's been shipped - so ship the order, then skip to the section about shipped orders for further instructions. Be aware that shipping the order may send a notification to any connected sales channel, so take steps to prevent any customer confusion.
  • Check to see if it's paid. If it is, reverse the payment.
    Reversing a payment acts as recording a refund in Brightpearl - please note that a refund will not be issued by your payment provider, so the customer will still need to be actually refunded outside of the system.
    If you are not refunding the customer, you should still reverse the payment in order to get the order into an unpaid state. You can then put the payment back on account using the payment allocation screen, to be allocated to future invoices.

Once the order is in an unshipped, unpaid and uninvoiced state, you can now mark it as canceled

Shipped orders

Once an order has been shipped, it can't be marked as unshipped.

Therefore if a shipped order is being returned or refunded, it requires a sales credit.

The sales credit will be used to record the refund (if applicable), the goods being returned into stock (if applicable), and the loss in revenue.

  • Check to see whether you are receiving the goods in to stock. 
    • If you are, receive the goods on the sales credit.
    • If you are not, write them off or send them to quarantine.
    • If the customer is keeping the items, you can leave the sales credit as unreceived, or you can replace the rows on the credit with non-stock tracked rows for the same value.
  • Check to see if the original order is invoiced. If it isn't, make sure to invoice it, then invoice the sales credit by clicking the 'Credit' button.
  • Check to see if the original order has been paid. 
    • If it's unpaid, you can allocate the credit to the invoice. This will clear them both off against each other.
    • If it's paid, determine whether you are refunding the customer, or whether you're keeping a credit on account to allocate to a future order.
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