RA System Overview

The Return Authorization System is used to

      Create Return Authorization records or “RA’s” for items which are being returned to you by your customers.  The RA System allows you to quickly locate a customer invoice and create a return authorization record for one or more of the items included on the invoice.   The RA System also allows you to create an RA for a specific customer and item combination (without identifying the return against a specific invoice).  As each RA is saved, the system assigns a unique number to the return.  This number is used to authorize the return, and to track and identify the items being returned when they are received from the customer.

      Track Open Return Authorizations.  The status of each RA header and line item is updated on an on-line, real time basis, as items are received from your customers, and the RA lines are disposed of  (closed).  Separate receiving and disposition processes allow you to identify an item as received, but not issue a credit until the disposition for the item is known (until it is inspected and the proper follow up action is determined).  Lookup programs and reports allow you to quickly determine the value of all pending returns, or to view the detail associated with one or more RA headers, or line items.  Each RA line also stores several quantity fields to indicate the total quantity being returned, the quantity of the item that has been received from the customer, the quantity any replacement or cross shipment sales orders created for the line, and the quantity of the line that has been disposed of.

      Process return authorizations.   The RA System allows you to create a replacement sales order for the items on a specific RA either prior to or after receiving the items that are being sent back by your customer.  Replacement orders that are created prior to receiving the returned goods are referred to as Cross Shipments.  The RA System also allows you to dispose of the items that have been received against the RA by creating a credit memo for a portion of or the total quantity of the item that has been received.

Return Authorizations are uniquely numbered documents that list the items being returned to you, and the customer associated with the return.  Each RA consists of one RA Header record, and one or more RA Line Item records.  The RA Header record stores information about the entire return, and the RA Line Item records specify the individual items and quantities that are being returned.  RA Line Item records also store information from the invoice that the return was created for (such as the invoice number, price, and commission cost). 

Return Authorizations are used to control the items which are sent back to you, to identify those items as they are received into your warehouse locations, and to create credit memos and or replacement orders for the customer based on the information in the Return Authorization.

RA’s can be issued for various different reasons, including defective merchandise, incorrect shipments, stock rotation, items being sent back for repair, or for other reasons, but they normally are only used when product is being physically sent back to you by the customer.

When the RA system is being used, all customers should be required to request an RA number before returning goods to you for credit or replacement.  The RA number issued by you should be noted on any items being returned to you and no returns should be accepted unless they are associated with a valid RA number.

The StreamV RA System facilitates returns processing by allowing you to quickly research sales history by customer, invoice, item or serial number.  The system also allows you to quickly and efficiently create an “RA” or return authorization for the items that are to be returned by the customer, by selecting the invoice on which the items were originally sold to the customer.

As each RA is created, the system automatically copies information from the selected invoice (such as the shipping address, items and quantities, prices, and cost) to the RA header and lines.  If serialized items are associated with the selected invoice, the serial records for the item are automatically linked to the RA.  This prevents the same serial number from being entered on two different returns, and allows the system to track and update the associated serial records, as the  is processed.

Once the items entered on an RA are physically received at your location, the RA system allows you to track the received items and to close or “dispose” of the RA by taking the appropriate action based on the situation.  Disposition may include issuing the customer a credit memo for the value of the goods returned, sending replacement goods to the customer, or a combination of the two. 

The RA system allows you to create a “replacement order” for the items on the RA either before or after you have received the goods being returned by the customer, by  simply pressing the Create Replacement Order Button. 

Once the goods being returned by the customer have been received against the RA, the system also allows you to quickly create a credit memo in order to dispose of the RA line.

For more detailed information about processing a Return Authorization, please refer to the Processing Overview section of this document.

Other Options for Processing Customer Credit Memos, Replacement Sales Orders

The System allows you to quickly and efficiently create credit memos and replacement orders for items that you have previously sold to your customers, but it is NOT the only option in StreamV that allows you to perform these tasks. 

Other methods can also be used to create credit memos for customer invoices, or to copy the information from an existing sales order to a new order in the StreamV system.  Which method to use in each situation depends on the transaction being processed, (whether or not the customer is actually returning goods for credit, or you are just making an adjustment to a customer invoice due to a pricing, or quantity error or another reason).

Other options for creating customer credit memos or replacement sales orders in StreamV are listed below and are described in more detail in the following sections.  Please note that the options listed do not require the use of the RA system, and they are listed here in order to point out how these methods differ from the RA Process.

      Cancel Invoice – This option is used to cancel an invoice when there has been no payment activity against the invoice.  It is typically used to cancel customer shipments that have been invoiced but not yet sent out of the warehouse.

      Credit Invoice – This option allows you to create a credit memo for all or a portion of the original invoice

      Direct Invoice – a direct invoice can be used to create a credit invoice for the customer using a non stock inventory item.  This type of invoice can be useful for a situation like a price adjustment where no actual merchandise is being returned.


RA Processing Overview