To get started with SchoolAdmin Billing, you'll need to define a global billing day, grace period (optional) and overdue threshold (optional) . These criteria are located within Settings-->Financial-->Billing Setup. Each of these 3 criteria are used for email notifications as explained below.
The 'Billing Day' is a global day of the month that school’s want their billing cycle to start which is most often the 1st of the month. This day will apply to all payers, with the flexibility to define a custom auto-pay day on a per payer basis within that payer's record. The Billing Day drives a few important behaviors of your billing cycle:
The due date of payment plan schedules is based off this global billing day. Click here to learn more.
The due date of payment plan schedules will only reflect the global billing day within the contract. The custom billing day (often set after contract signing) will be reflected within billing statements, which are automatically sent via email 10 days prior to the global billing day.
This is the default day that auto-pay is processed for outstanding balances, unless a custom billing day is set within the payer record.
Payment plan ledger items will always be assessed to billing statements 10 days prior to the global billing day, not according to a custom billing day. This is because custom billing days can be set across multiple payers tied to the same student. This also means that billing statements are automatically sent via email 10 days prior to the global billing day, even when a custom billing day has been set.
Custom Billing Day Per Payer
Although this day is a global setting, you can set a custom billing day per payer within the payer record in the billing 'Overview' tab that will ignore this global billing day for when auto-pay is processed and when ledger items are assessed to billing statements. Click here to learn how. Please note the important behaviors of a custom billing day vs a global billing day as described above.
The 'Grace Period' indicates the number of days after the due date when an account is overdue. If you need to apply a late fee, you can do so manually within the contact record, as late fees will not be assessed automatically.
The 'Overdue Threshold' is the minimum balance amount set for an account to be considered overdue after the Billing Day, or after the Grace Period, if one is set. If you hover over the "i" you will see the following helper text:
Example: The first day after the Billing Day or the first day after the Grace Period expires, the account will be flagged as overdue as long as the overdue threshold amount has been met or exceeded.
Overdue flag: This amount controls the overdue flag in the Billing Accounts Page and in the Payer Records. Unless the threshold has been reached, the billing accounts will not have the 'overdue' flag set.
Email Notifications: The automatic overdue emails that are sent out will be turned off for a payer if their current balance is less than the overdue threshold the moment they become overdue. However, if the threshold amount has been met, the overdue email will be sent.
I have a balance of $5 due 11/1 and I do not pay. On 11/2 I should be overdue (if there's no grace period set). However, there's an overdue threshold of $10 set, which means my account isn't yet considered overdue. I won't receive the overdue email as the payer, and my account won't have the overdue flag in the Admin side of the record or in the Billing Accounts page.
Next month, if I owe $105 on 12/1 ($100 for December plus the $5 I never paid in November), and I still don't pay, the amount that my account is overdue by is now $110, which is above the $10 threshold. This means my account will now be considered overdue, and I will receive the overdue email as a payer. In addition, the Billing Accounts page and the Payer record will be flagged as overdue for Admins.
Late Fee Setup
Late Fees for billing accounts are not automatically set or turned on by default. If your school would like to automate late fees, you can turn them on within the billing setup page. Please note, late fees will be applied according to the grace period and/or overdue threshold amount, if either of these are set.
Automatic Late Fees: Within the Late Fee Setup section, you can check the box to automatically apply late fees (which will depend upon the grace period and overdue threshold amount). If you hover over the "i" you will see additional information as displayed below. Important Note: Late fees can be disabled on an individual basis within the Overview tab of the billing account record.
Late Fee Amount: You can set a custom amount for all late fees.
Late Fee Billing Category: You MUST have a Parent Fees Billing Category setup within your Settings-->Financial-->Billing Categories page. This billing category must have the "apply to student balance" option unchecked.
Parent Fees Billing Category
When setting up late fees, you must have a Parent Fees billing category setup within Settings-->Financial-->Billing Categories page. This billing category must have the "apply to student balance" option unchecked as displayed in the example below.
Billing: Require / Disable Autopay
With the SchoolAdmin Billing module, parents have an option to enroll into Autopay for their payments.
If you prefer to have all parents enroll into Autopay to avoid late payments or delinquent accounts, you have the option to turn on ‘Require Autopay’ from your settings.
If you would like to disable the ability for parents to enroll into Autopay, you have this option in your settings as well.
To change the Autopay settings for your SchoolAdmin site, navigate to Settings → Financial → Billing Setup. From here, you will see the checkboxes for Require Autopay and Disable Autopay.
Preselect Autopay Checkbox: Enabling this setting requires users to specifically opt out of autopay when making a payment. Disabling this setting requires users to manually opt in to autopay by clicking the checkbox when making a payment. User who have already selected an autopay status will not be affected.
Require Autopay: Enabling this setting will require payers to enroll into autopay when making a payment. It will also turn on autopay for anyone who has saved a payment method in their account.
Disable Autopay: Enabling this setting will remove the ability for a payer to enroll into autopay. It will also turn off autopay for anyone who currently has autopay enabled.
To enable either one of these settings, check the box and click ‘Save’. A window will pop up asking you to confirm your choice.
Any setting that you choose, you can always turn autopay on or off for a payer. To see these options, click on an account you want to change and click on their Billing submenu. If that payer has a saved payment method on their account, you can turn on autopay for that account. If they do not have a saved payment method, they won’t have autopay enabled, but it will force them to enroll next time they make a payment.
Clicking on ‘View Changes’ for either of these two settings will pull up an audit history, showing you exactly when the setting was activated or deactivated, and by which user on your site as shown below.
Email Notification Settings
Within Settings --> Commmunications --> Email Templates-->Billing, you have a list of automated and customizable emails that are sent based upon different triggers in the Billing workflow. You can customize the timing of these emails, disable them, and/or send additional email notifications for the Upcoming Statement and the Account Overdue email. There's a link to these Billing email templates within the description as displayed below. Continue reading to learn more about each notification and what best practices should be implemented for template customization.
Email Notification Descriptions and Best Practices
Each of these emails with the exception of the Account Overdue email, can be turned off and disabled, or have a custom number of days set for their delivery. Once you customize the frequency of each email notification you would like to send, click 'Save' at the bottom to set your changes.
Upcoming Statement: The system default is to send the Upcoming Statement email 10 days before the Billing Date that's set within this page, or according to a custom billing date, if one is set. However, you can customize the timing of this email to be sent sooner or later, as preferred.
Upcoming Statement - Second Notice: This is a 2nd email notification that will be sent to notify the parent/payer that their payment is approaching. This is also sent according to the global billing date or to an individual billing date if one is set. Best Practice: Edit the subject line of the email template to indicate that this is a second notice.
Upcoming Statement - Third Notice: This is a 3rd email notification that will be sent to notify the parent/payer that their payment is approaching. This is also sent according to the global billing date or to an individual billing date if one is set. Best Practice: Edit the subject line of the email template to indicate that this is a third notice.
Account Overdue: This email is sent 1 day after the billing day if no grace period is set. If there's no grace period, the frequency will say "0 days after billing date (grace period)." In the screenshot above, there's a 3 day grace period set, so the Account Overdue email will be sent 3 days after the billing date.
Account Overdue - Second Notice: This is a 2nd email notification that will be sent to notify the parent/payer that their account is overdue. Best Practice: Edit the subject line of the email template to indicate that this is a second notice.
Account Overdue - Third Notice: This is a 3rd email notification that will be sent to notify the parent/payer that their account is overdue. Best Practice: Edit the subject line of the email template to indicate that this is a third notice.
Important Note: The billing day is based off of a 28 day month, so if you set the upcoming statement email and the account overdue email to go out on a date that will overlap and cause the parent/payer to receive both notifications on the same day, the system will give you a warning message that the number of days needs to be adjusted.