Monday, January 1, 2018

Anatomy of Billsup bills and data export

Hey all,

In case you didn't know, our service is retiring. You can now download your data from the menu



As part of our final blog post, we'd like to leave you with the inner-workings of Billsup's bills.

How Billsup's bills work

  • Participants - all persons involved in a bill
    • Each participant is assigned an id for the bill 
      • E.g. Tom=#1, Mary=#2, John=#3
  • Items - breakdown the cost of the bills by item(s)
    • Each bill has at least one item, and each item contains information of how the cost of that item should be split between the participants. An item could be split between one or more participants.
    • E.g.
      • Appetizer - $30 - Mary and Tom shared - each should pay $15
      • Salad - $13 - Tom should pay
      • Pasta - $16 - Mary should pay
      • Lasagna - $15 - John should pay
      • Dessert - $20 - Mary and John shared - each should pay $10
  • Payers - who paid for the bill
    • the payer could be one or more of the participants.
    • E.g. John paid the entire bill - $94
  • Settle details - contains who should pay whom for the current bill
    • Based on items and payers, the balances are calculated:
      Tom Mary John
      Appetizer 15 15
      Salad 13
      Pasta 16
      Lasagna 15
      Dessert 10 10
      Payment -94
      Balance 28 31 -69

      Settle details
      • Tom->John - $28
      • Mary->John - $31



How about debts?



A debt or a payment has the same inner workings as the above. It's basically the above bill with one item. For example, let's say you input a debt - Tom owes Mary $100
  • Participants = Tom, Mary
  • Item = debt $100 - Tom should pay
  • Payer = Mary
  • Settle details (calculated) = Tom->Mary - $100



Relationship balances

Getting your debt balances with your friend:


  • To get how much you owe each friend (or how much they owe you), we sum up all settle details of all bills involving your friend  (Tom), for example
    • Bill 1: Tom should pay you $100
    • Bill 2: You should pay Tom $20
    • Bill 3: Tom should pay you $100
    • Bill 4: You should pay Tom $50
Calculated balance: $100 -20 +100 -50 = $130 (Tom should pay you $130)

So how do debt transfers work?



1. Take the relationship balances of all participants with a working example.
  • Tom should pay Mary $100
  • Mary should pay John $50
  • Mary should pay Jack $70
  • Jack should pay Tom $20
  • John should pay Tom $60
  • John should pay Jack $80
2. Extract participant balances for each participant based on relationship balances:
  • Tom: +100, Mary: -100
  • Mary: +50, John: -50
  • Mary: +70, Jack:-70
  • Jack: +20, Tom: -20
  • John: +60, Tom: -60
  • John: +80, Jack -80
3. Sum up all balances for each participant
  • Tom = 100 - 20 - 60 = 20
  • Mary = -100 + 50 + 70 = 20
  • Jack = -70 + 20 -80 = -130
  • John = -50 + 60 + 80 = 90
4. Optimize payments based on the new balances
  • Tom should pay Jack $20
  • Mary should pay Jack $20
  • John should pay Jack $90
Viola! 6 payments down to 3 payments.


Hope that helps. thanks guys, and happy billing! 

Signing off,
Billsup team


9 comments:

  1. Hi! I am not being able to navigate to the home page of billsup.com where I can get the option to export and download the older bills. I was wondering whether I am making any errors in the process.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you can try going directly to https://billsup.com/login to log into your account - let us know if the problem still persists.

      Delete
  2. Everytime I login using my google account it directs me to the blogspot webpage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I see, you may need to clear your browser cache, or try a different browser

      Delete
  3. Thanks a lot! That worked. How long should we expect the page to be up for us to download the stuff?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We will keep thr site online for at least another 6 months

      Delete
  4. Hi, I am unable to export the bills. No matter what I do, it takes me to an unreachable page. Below is the error message I am receiving.

    "export.billsup.com’s server IP address could not be found"

    Can someone help me download the data?
    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please send your account email to info@billsup.com and we will sort this out for you

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete