Templates are a way to set recurring charges and send statements to your customers. Statements automatically include all member balance transactions. You can set statements to go out monthly, yearly, quarterly, etc. There is so much customization, which also makes templates seem intimidating. In this article, we will go step by step, setting by setting through creating a template, and hopefully after reading through this article, templates won't be as intimidating.
The first screen you'll see is below. In this article, we will go through every detail of a template.
- Template name: Commonly, these template names are named after the type of membership that will be assigned to this template. For example, "Monthly dues membership" or "Gold membership", etc. Your customers will not see this template name.
- Disable statement generation: This button is meant to charge your customers without sending them a statement. This button is most commonly checked with "Add-ons". An add on is an extra charge to a customer. For example, John will receive one statement every month on his template #1, but on his template #2, we just want him to be charged without receiving a statement.
- The calendar: This calendar is ESSENTIAL and should be utilized when making any and every template. This will show you when your template is going to go out, and when it is going to charge your customer. The blue line represents the statement period. This is when your statement is going to run.
- Scheduled charges - what are they and what do they do?
- Start by adding an item in the search bar. For example, add "Monthly membership charge". You can also edit the quantity and price of this item.
- Charge schedule: This is when you want the item to charge. In the example of Monthly membership charge, I want my customers to be charged every month on the first of the month. I would set up a charge schedule that looks like below.
- Some people wonder "What's the difference between "beginning of day" and "end of day?" The answer: one minute, but this ONE minute can make a big difference for reporting purposes. If I am running a monthly statement for the month of February and I want all of my charges to show on the last day of February in my reports, then I would choose to set the charges to charge on the last day of the month at the end of the day. This will charge everything on the last day of February at 11:59 pm. If I want all of my February charges to be charged on the first day of March, then I would choose the 1st day of the month at the beginning of the day.
- The beauty of billing is how customizable it truly is. On this page alone, you could add 10 different items all charging at different times if you really wanted to. Something that I've seen multiple courses do is have a charge that goes out monthly, and then another charge that only goes out yearly or quarterly. See below for an example: Remember earlier? The calendar is key. You'll notice on the calendar below, I now have a statement going out every month with a charge every month, and then one charge on Jan 1st.
*** Something super cool on this first page is the "Preview Statement" button. This will allow you to view what the statement will look like. (See below) If you click "Next" you can actually view statements for years into the future and make sure that your charges appear when/how you want them to.
- First, we'll start with the Schedule. This is how often and when the statement is going to generate. Ideally, these will match up with the charges, but they don't always have to. To set up a customer to receive a monthly statement with all of their charges, I would use the above formatting. The difference with "end of day" and "beginning of day" is the same as in the Charges section of a new template. It is the difference of 1 minute. (Last day @ 11:59 pm or first day @ 12:00 am). It's up to you which day/month you would like this to report on.
- In the middle, you'll see a setting called "Statement Due After". This is how many days AFTER the statement generates that it is due. This can be confusing for some people, so I'll give an example. If my statement generates on the 1st of the month, and I put my statement to be due after 7 days. The statement will be due 7 days after the 1st which is the 8th of March. This does not include the day the statement is generated in it. Knowing this will be important when it comes to finance charges.
- Right below the statement due after setting, there are the Finance Charge Settings. If you want to enable finance charges, simply check the box next to that setting. This will then allow you to charge either a percentage of the total due or a set amount if a statement is late. To decide when this late fee is applied, you'll enter a number into the Apply Finance Charge _____ days after due date. This does not include the date that the invoice is due, it counts after the due date however many days you enter. If my invoice is due on the 8th of March and I make the late fee apply 3 days after the due date, it will apply the finance fee on March 11th.
- Under this section is the "Enable Autopay" setting. This setting is vital if you want any of your customers to be able to autopay on this template. This setting trumps the one in customers. This is also where you will decide when to autopay the statement and how many attempts you want. If you want the statement to autopay right when it is generated, enter 0 into the "Autopay after" section.
- Apply Customer Credit Credit to Statement: Statements automatically include member balance transactions. If you also use customer credit at your course and want to apply that to statements, then check this setting.
- Email Statement to Customer: If this is NOT checked, your customers will NOT receive a copy of their statement.
- Send Zero Balance Statement: In my opinion, I would always have this checked. As a customer, I would want to receive a statement every month even if I had $0.00 due. It would be good to know that I don't owe anything to the course.
- Header, Footer, and Terms and Conditions: These are all great options to add to statements. Your customers will see all three of these things. This would be a good place to tell customers about finance charges, or just thank them for being a customer of yours.
The third page is hopefully the easiest page to understand, Customers. This page is where you can attach customers to this template.
- If you are wanting to add an individual customer to this template, start typing in the box that says "Add Customer". This will add them to the template and you should see their name below.
- If you are wanting to add more than one customer at a time, click "Advanced" to the right of where you would add an individual customer. The most common use of this screen is to add an entire customer group to a template all at once. This can be done by changing where it says "Customer" to say "Customer Groups" then "Equals" and then select your group from the next dropdown. Hit "Search". This will bring up a list of every customer in this group. Then hit "Add X amount of Customers". This will add that group of customers to the template.
Hopefully after reading through this article you feel more confident about creating a new template. If not, please give our support team a call! They are available M-F 7 am - 7 pm MST. You can reach them by calling 800-929-5737 ext 1 or you can email them with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
**Once you have finished creating a billing template, please reach out to your account manager or our support team to double-check everything before it sends out to your customers.