Inbound Returns

Inbound Returns can be used to return stock to a customer.

It is important to be able to receive goods back from a customer without it being counted as goods coming from a supplier. If your customer issues the goods to you on an Outbound Shipment, and you then receive it through an Inbound Shipment, then those goods will be counted as part of your store's 'supply' from suppliers, which is not correct. An Inbound Return is the right way to receive goods back from a customer.

If you have used mSupply in the past, you may be familiar with the term Customer Credit instead of Inbound Return.

All returned goods should be recorded in mSupply with an Inbound Return. They are created automatically, as a result of an Outbound Return created by another store in mSupply, and can also be entered manually.

Viewing Inbound Returns🔗

Open the Inbound Returns Menu🔗

Choose Distribution > Inbound Returns in the navigation panel.

go to Inbound return

You will be presented with a list of Inbound Returns (if you don't see any, you are probably just starting!).

From this screen you can:

  • View a list of Inbound Returns
  • Create a new Inbound Return
  • Export Inbound Returns to a .csv file

Inbound Return list🔗

  1. The list of Inbound Returns is divided into 6 columns:
NameName of the Customer
StatusCurrent Status of the return
NumberReference Number of the return
CreatedCreation date of the return
CommentComment for the return
ReferenceCustomer reference
  1. The list can display a fixed number of returns per page. On the bottom left corner, you can see how many returns are currently displayed on your screen.


  1. If you have more returns than the current limit, you can navigate to the other pages by tapping on the page number or using the right of left arrows (bottom right corner).


  1. You can also select a different number of rows to show per page using the option at the bottom right of the page.

Rows per page

Search by Customer Name🔗

You can filter the list of returns by customer name or by status. This can be useful if you're looking for one particular return!

Select the Name filter from the list to filter by the customer name. Type the name of a customer in the Name field. All the returns for this customer will appear in the list.

Inbound return filter

Exporting Inbound Returns🔗

The list of Inbound Returns can be exported to a comma separated file (csv). Simply click the export button (on the right, at the top of the page)

Export button

and the file will be downloaded. The export function will download all Inbound Returns, not just the current page, if you have more than 20 of them.

Delete an Inbound Return🔗

You can delete a return from the Inbound Return list.

  1. Select the return that you want to delete by checking the box on the left end of the list. You can select more than one return to be deleted. You can even select them all using the master checkbox in the list headers.

  2. Open the Select dropdown (top right corner, above the list) and select Delete selected lines.

  3. A notification confirms how many returns were deleted (bottom left corner).

You can only delete Inbound Returns if they have a status of NEW.

Inbound list: delete

Creating a new manual Inbound Return🔗

Inbound Returns are created automatically, when an Outbound Return is created by another store. If needed, they can also be created manually, as explained below.

Create from Outbound Shipment🔗

Often, you will be processing the return of goods that you sent via an Outbound Shipment. In this case, you can create an Inbound Return from the Outbound Shipment itself.

Create manually🔗

  1. Go to Distribution > Inbound Return.

  2. Press the New Return button, in the top right corner

New Return

  1. A new window Customers opens, inviting you to select a customer.

Select a Customer🔗

  1. In the Customers window, you will be presented with a list of available customers. You can select your customer from the list or you can filter by typing the customer name.
In the below example, we are wanting to receive returned stock from Tamaki Central Medical Store.

Create inbound return

You can tell if a customer is also using mSupply in their store. If they do, you will see an icon like this (Store) next to the customer code.
  1. Once you tap or press Enter, or click on a customer, your Inbound Return is automatically created

If everything went well, you should see the name of your customer in the top left corner and the status should be NEW

Enter a Customer Reference🔗

Once your Inbound Return has been created, you can enter a customer reference in the Customer Ref field, if they have one (eg. PO#1234567)

Inbound Return Information Panel🔗

The Information Panel allows you to see or edit information about the Inbound Return. It is divided into multiple sections:

  • Additional Info
  • Related Documents
  • Transport Details

We are planning to add more sections in the future as Open mSupply grows.

How to open and close the Information Panel?🔗

If you are using a large screen, the information panel will be automatically opened for you. However, on an average sized screen, the information panel will be closed by default.

To open the Information Panel, you can tap on the More button, located in the top right corner of the Inbound Return view.

You can close by tapping on the X Close button, on the top right corner of the information panel.

Open and close the Information Panel

Additional Info🔗

In the Additional Info section, you can:

  • See who created the Inbound Return (name of the user)
  • View and edit the Inbound Return color. To edit the color, tap on the coloured circle and select a color from the pop-up
  • Write or edit a comment

In the Related Documents section, you can see other related transaction documents for the Inbound Return.

If your Inbound Return was created from an Outbound Shipment, the reference number of the Outbound Shipment would appear in this section.

In the future, we would also include other documents such as transportation documents or pick slips.

Transport Details🔗

If your Inbound Return was created automatically, via an Outbound Return from another store, you will see a Transport Details section. Here, you can see a transport reference (e.g. a booking or tracking number.)


  1. Delete: You can click the Delete button to delete the return. You can only delete Inbound Returns while they are in NEW status.
  2. Copy to Clipboard: You can click the Copy to Clipboard button to copy the invoice details to the clipboard.

Inbound Return Status Sequence🔗

The status sequence is located at the bottom left corner of the Inbound Return screen.

Passed statuses are hightlighted in blue, next statuses appear in grey.

Inbound Return Status Sequence (New)
Status Sequence: current status is NEW.
Inbound Return Status Sequence (Shipped)
Status Sequence: current status is SHIPPED.

There are 5 status for the Inbound Return:

NewThis is the first status when you create a new manual Inbound Return
PickedCustomer has confirmed that the return is picked and is ready to ship (only applies to automatically created returns)
ShippedReturn has been shipped and goods are now in transit (applies only to automatically created returns)
DeliveredWhen you confirm that the return has been delivered
VerifiedWhen you have verified the Inbound Return

You probably noticed that two of the status values only apply to automatically created shipments. These are created by the system when another store in the system creates an Outbound Return to return stock to your store. If this is the case you'll see a message near the top of the page:

Automatic IS message

Note that this message appears differently if the status is Delivered or Verified

Automatic IS message: delivered

If, however, you've created an Inbound Shipment manually, then the following message shows:

Manual IS message

and you'll see that the status bar has only the status values which apply to this type of shipment.

Inbound Shipment Status Sequence (New & manual)
Status Sequence: current status is New.

If you hover over the status sequence, a return history window appears. You can see the date when a return was updated from one status to another.

This manual return has been created on 28/03/2024

Inbound status: hover 2

This automatic return has been created, picked and shipped on the 26/03/24

Inbound status: hover

Hold checkbox🔗

Located on the bottom left corner, on the left of the status sequence.

Checking the Hold checkbox prevents the Inbound Return from being updated to the next status.

Inbound checkbox

Close and Confirm button🔗

Close Button🔗

Tap on the Close button to quit the Inbound Return view and return to the Inbound Returns list.

Confirm Button🔗

The Confirm button updates the status of a return. The status which you can confirm depends on the current status of the return and follows the sequence shown below.

When managing an Inbound Return, you can only confirm it as Delivered or Verified.

Confirm...Current StatusNext Status
Confirm DeliveredShippedDelivered
Confirm VerifiedDeliveredVerified

For manual Inbound Returns, you don't have to update to the next status in the sequence. You can choose to skip Delivered to go directly to Confirm Verified.

As demonstrated below, tap on the down arrow of the Confirm button and select the status you want the return to be updated to.

Skip Status

Adding lines to an Inbound Return🔗

Tap on the Add Item button (top right corner).

Add Item button

Select an Item🔗

A new Add Item window opens. In the Add Item window, you can look up an item by:

  • Reading through the list of available items
  • or by typing some or all of the item name
  • or by typing some or all of an item code

Once your item is highlighted, tap on the name or press Enter.

Select an item

Select quantities step🔗

In the Select Quantities step, you can enter the following fields:

  • Code: Item code
  • Name: Item name
  • Batch: Batch number. It is a designation given to products made in the same manufacturing run.
  • Expiry: Expiry date of the batch (format: MM/YYYY)
  • Pack Size: Quantity of units per pack
  • Pack Quantity Issued: Number of packs that were issued in the Outbound Shipment
  • Quantity Returned: Number of packs to be returned

If you are receiving more than one batch number for the same item, you can add lines with the Add Batch button.

List of batches


You may see one or more warning messages on this screen.

If you forget to enter a Quantity Returned for any batch and click Next step, you will see this warning message. You'll need to add a returned quantity for at least one batch. You can click Cancel if you no longer want to process the return of any of this stock.

return quantity warning!

Provide Reasons🔗

Return reasons are configured on the mSupply central server via options

When you are happy with the batch info and return quantities, you can press the Next step button. The list of batches will be filtered to only include the batches you set a return quantity for. In this view, you can enter a reason for the return of each batch, and an additional comment.

Provide return reasons


When you are happy with the quantities and reasons, you can press on:

  • the OK button. Your item will be added to the Inbound Return
  • the OK & Next button to add another item right away
  • the Back button, to go back to the Select quantity step

Editing an Inbound Return Line🔗

To edit a return line, tap on it. You will be presented with the Edit Item window, which is identical to the Add Item window, except that the item is already chosen.

Edit a Return Line🔗

You can edit a return line if the return is not yet VERIFIED.
  1. Open the Inbound Return you want to edit.

  2. Tap on the line you want to edit. An identical window to Add Item appears. At this stage you can:

    • Edit batch info
    • Edit quantity returned for each batch
    • Click Next step to view/adjust the reasons and comments

If you set the Quantity Returned to 0, that line will be removed from the return.

If you set all return quantities to 0, and click Next step you will see this warning message. It is informing you that no return quantities were provided; from here you can click OK again to confirm, in which case the window will close and all lines for that item will be removed.

no quantities warning!

When editing a return line, you cannot change the item. You would need to delete the return line and create a new one.

Delete a Return Line🔗

  1. Open the Inbound Return you want to edit.
  2. Select the line(s) you want to delete by checking the box(es) on the right of the list.
  3. Go to the Actions dropdown menu (top right corner, above the list)
  4. Select the action Delete selected lines

Delete lines actions dropdown

In the below example, we are deleting item 030063 - Acetylsalicylic Acid 100mg tabs

Alt Text

You can delete multiple lines at once. Be sure to review what is selected before performing the Delete action.

Receiving an Inbound Return🔗

Confirming the delivery of the return🔗

Whether your Inbound Return is manual or automatic, the first step to receive the returned goods is to confirm the delivery.

At this stage, you don't have to check if quantities or other information are correct, you just have to acknowledge that you have received the returned goods from your customer.

To confirm that an Inbound Return has been delivered, click on the Confirm Delivered button.

Once you have done this:

  • Goods are now part of your inventory
  • Return status is now DELIVERED
In case your Inbound Return is automatic, you cannot confirm its delivery unless the customer has confirmed its shipment. In other words, your shipment status has to be SHIPPED before you can confirm that you have received the returned goods.

Alt Text

Verify your Inbound Return🔗

Verification is the last step to receive returned goods in mSupply. At this stage, you can check what you have received and make sure that the information in mSupply is correct.

You have the possibility to verify the following information:

  • Batch numbers and their expiry dates
  • Quantity of packs and pack size
  • Return reasons

Once all information has been captured or verified, you can confirm the Inbound Return as VERIFIED by tapping on the Confirm Verified button.

Once you have done this:

  • Inbound Return status is now VERIFIED
  • You can no longer edit return lines
  • You can no longer delete the return

Viewing an Inbound Return🔗

When viewing a specific return, you can view the batches on that return grouped by item or with each batch listed separately. To change the view mode, click the Group by item switch.

When grouped by item, you can expand the item to see individual batches, or use the expand in the table header to expand all grouped rows.

Group by Item

If you do not have enough room on your screen, or simply aren't interested in some of the columns shown, you have the option of hiding which columns are shown in this view.

Click on the Show / hide columns button which is at the top right of the table. This gives a list of the columns available - you can check the columns you want to see. The options chosen are stored for the current browser, so next time you view an Inbound Return, you will see the selected columns only. If you have chosen which columns to show, then the button is shown in blue to remind you that there are more columns available.

In the below example, we hide the batch, expiry and unit quantity columns

Hide columns