(MF-6) Managing Payment Schedules
You will be familiar with the fact that Workshop Angel can manage situations where your clients pay for an activity via an initial deposit payment, followed by either a final payment, or multiple scheduled payments. The app can track the dates these payments are due and automatically send out payment reminder emails.
That is all great, but how is this schedule of payments managed? Where can you see it? Can you modify it for a specific customer?
Let's dive into those details!
All invoices have a "Payment Schedule", which shows when payments should be made, how much each payment should be, and how much of that payment has actually been made. This is comprised of a number of individual payment definitions called "Scheduled Payments". You can conceptualise it in the following way for an invoice of 1000 with a deposit payment of 200 and final payment of 800:
If you would like to follow this lesson by working through an example, then we suggest you experience creating an invoice outside of an activity booking and we will use this example to modify the Payment Schedule details.
Let's imagine you have just sold a 6 month package of support to a client for 1000, and you are asking them to pay five instalments of 200...
- Make sure you are in Test Mode, and create a contact called Sally Schedule:
- From the menu in Sally's contact details (as shown above), click on [Create Invoice].
- Add an invoice description of "Six month support package", leave the Activity field blank, enter an Amount Invoiced of 1000, and click [Create Invoice]
You will see that the invoice is created, and in the Invoice Summary area, that one Scheduled Payment has been created for the full invoice amount which is listed as being due in 3 days time:
The Payment Schedule is a property of an invoice, and you can see it in one of two formats:
- Open an invoice from the Bookings, Finances, or Contacts area
- Go to the Invoice Summary tab. At the bottom of the display you can see a summary of all the data related to the invoice, including the Scheduled Payments list - as we saw in the example we just created.
- Click on the Scheduled Payments menu option at the top. Here you can see a list of the Scheduled Payments, along with options to edit those listed, and add new ones.
From the Scheduled Payments tab, you can create, delete, and modify Scheduled Payments.
Here are the options...
- Click on the [Edit] icon next to the entry
- Modify the date and amount values as required
- Click on the [Save] icon
- Click on the [+ Add Scheduled Payment] option A new Scheduled Payment is created with an amount of 0 and a due date of today.
- Click on [Edit] for the new Scheduled Payment
- Edit the details as required
- Click on [Save]
- Click on the [Edit] icon next to the entry and then click on the [Delete] icon which appears.
- Select the Show Deleted checkbox
- Click on the [Edit] icon next to the entry and then click on the [Undelete] icon which appears.
The most important thing when you have finished modifying an invoice's Scheduled Payments is that the sum of the amount dues are equal to the amount the invoice is for.
You don't want to end up with an invoice for 1000, but only four Scheduled Payments for 200 each, as this will mean you won't request the final 200 from your client. Likewise, if you had six Scheduled Payments for 200, you would be asking your client to pay extra.
So let's go through the methodology to create our five Scheduled Payments for 200 each.
- Modify the first Scheduled Payment to be for 200.
The sum of our Scheduled Payments is now only 200. To make things easier for you, Workshop Angel will show the sum of your Scheduled Payment amounts, the invoice amount, and if there is a difference then it will be highlighted in red:
- Create another Scheduled Payment for 200, with a later due date.
Now we have 400 of Scheduled Payments, and a -600 error.
- Create the next three Scheduled Payments of 200.
Now everything is aligned!
As the date for a Scheduled Payment to be made comes up, you can either manually send a Payment Reminder email, or Workshop Angel will automatically send it for you. You can read more about how to manage this in lesson SM-2.
In the Payment Reminder email, you can provide a link for the client to click and they will be taken to a page where they can make their payment by card, or you can invite them to pay by bank transfer or Paypal.
When a payment is made, then this is reflected in the Scheduled Payment area. So in this example, the first 200 has been paid:
If an amount is paid which is less than the amount due, then this will be reflected in the listing. In this example, the first payment was for 100 instead of 200, and you can see that another 100 is still listed to pay:
Likewise, if an amount is paid which is more than the amount due, the excess will be taken away from the next Scheduled Payment. Here, the first payment was for 300, so the first payment is fully paid and the second payment is listed as having only 100 to pay:
In most cases, the Payment Schedule will be automatically created for you by the settings you defined for your Activity and Prices.
So for example, if the price chosen by your client has them make just a single payment at the time of booking, there will be just one Scheduled Payment automatically created. If they pay by card, then it will immediately show as Paid.
If the price chosen allows for a deposit payment and a subsequent final payment, there will be two Scheduled Payments automatically created. The amounts and dates of these are determined by the settings found on the "Payments" tab of the Activity:
A price which allows payment by instalments will create more than two Scheduled Payments.
You will only find the need to modify Scheduled Payments when you:
- Create an invoice for a service provided outside of an activity.
- Change the default payment schedule at the request of your client.
- Modify an invoice amount.
- Move a booking to another activity where there is a price difference.
We have seen the mechanism by which Scheduled Payments allow you to track and modify when you want your clients to make payments. We've covered how to create, delete and modify Scheduled Payments, discussed how they are generally created automatically for you, and explained the situations where you may want to change them yourself.
So now you should be guru in managing an invoice's Payment Schedule!
In the next lesson, we will take a look at how to modify the items on an invoice.
All this financial work is pretty deep and detailed stuff, so you may want to take a break and your favourite drink before diving in further!