Build an Account Balance or Credit Product

Modified on Wed, 04 Oct 2023 at 01:21 PM

Clubs occasionally have the need to apply a one-off charge or credit to one or more accounts. A typical use case is a club starting their first year of service with Member Splash with accounts that owe prior balances. Member Splash has a flexible account balance / credit product that lets you add an account balance with optional descriptions to t he invoice. Benefits to this flexible product are that accounts can be charged / credited various dollar amounts automatically when they login to pay their next annual dues payment and the amount will automatically be removed from the account once applied.

After you’ve completed the product set up below, the account balance or credits product works by simply going into individual accounts and entering both the dollar amount and the description for the charge or credit. The next time your member logs in to pay annual dues they will be required to pay the charge or take the credit.

Getting Started: 

Create a Balance Due Fee Type:

1. Set the Fee Type to Account Balance (users can also use Balance Due or Credit, see note below)1. If you do not already see the Balance Due or Account Balance fee type in your list of fee types go ahead and create the fee type. Either configuration will work. Most systems should already have these as a standard fee type. 

Adding Custom Account Fields:

2. If you do not already see the custom fields in your settings then you will need to create both the Account Balance and Account Balance Description fields. If you do see them then proceed to the next step.

Navigate to the Membership > Accounts > Setting button, then follow these steps to add your new custom fields to your system. Once you have saved your new custom account fields, you will see them listed under the Manage Custom Account Fields dropdown menu. You will also see then in each of your member accounts.

Adding a dollar value and description: 

3. From the Membership > Accounts screen select your test/admin account and click Edit to open the account. You'll now see your new custom fields on the lower left of the screen. Enter a dollar amount (do not use the $ sign) into the Account Balance Field and a test description into the Account Balance Description field. Then click the green Update Account button.

(IMPORTANT: You will not be able to build the product without completing this step. The custom fields and test amount/description need to be in place for the Account Balance pricing module to display the fields properly within the product. This is a one-time step needed for initial setup.)

The description field is optional. If used the contents of that field will be displayed on the payments screen alongside the amount being charged or credited.

Product Setup:

4. Next, it's time to build the Account Balance/Credit product. Add a new product, name it Account Balance Debit/Credit or something similar. Make sure you select the Balance Due or Account Balance fee type. The only pricing module that you'll want to use for this particular kind of product is the Account Balance or Credits module. Simply open the dropdown menus within the product and select Account Balance in the first field and then Account Balance Description in the second as pictured below.

Product Rules:

As with any product you can use the  Show / Hide / Require  rules to make it required based on conditions like Account Type and Payment Status. In this example we're requiring it if the Account Type is Full Member and the account Payment Status is unpaid. That has the effect of applying the balance / credit to the first payment the member makes this year.

Here is an example.  Lets say you give a member a -200 credit  (for volunteering at the new member welcome nights). The -200  it will stay on his account until he goes to pay for something at the club.   He then decides that he wants to have a party and the rental is $50.00.  The system adds the -$200 + $50 = -$150.   However the system again does not calculate balances, it simply goes back and deletes the entire account balance from the members account.   In effect the member will loss that -150,  unless the pool admins keeps track of it and put it back on the account.

Put the 'Account Balance' on the members account:

Now that the product is done its time to add the account balances/credits to each members account.  Go to your members account and click 'Edit' from the Membership > Accounts screen.  You'll now see your custom fields there. Enter a dollar amount into the Account Balance Field and a description of what the charge is for  into the Account Balance Description field. Then click the green Update Account button. (Note: Do not use $ signs when entering amounts)

How the Product Displays to Members:

5. Use the switch to in order to see how the new product displays to members especially when you are adding a large charge or credit to an account. To the member an Account Balance or Credit field will display just like any other product on the Make a Payment screen and will present at the top of their payment screen by default so they can’t miss it.

While you can set you product to "show" in the Show/Hide/Require rules, that will make the product an optional charge for members as they will have to check the checkbox on the product. We recommend using the "required" setting so that the system forces members to pay the balance or apply the credit to the total bill.

Limitations of the Account Balance Feature:

  • Detailed descriptions are presented to members at the time of purchase but disappear once the charge is paid. To track paid balances and their descriptions long-term, admins need to manually add details to the "account note" on the member's account.
  • It's advised to apply the account balance product only to 'unpaid' accounts to avoid billing discrepancies.
  • The account balance description is presented to the member at the time of the purchase. Once the charge is paid the detailed account balance description is permanently removed.
  • Use the account notes feature to track balances, credits and descriptions. Categorize these notes (for example you may want to start a category called "Account Balance notes.” This way you can run a report on all the accounts that you have put account balances on and thus track them long term.
  • The account balance field does not calculate a member's balance; it relies on the admin's input.
  • It's primarily used for one-time credits and debits, typically included in yearly dues invoices.

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