Build an Account Balance or Credit Product

Modified on Wed, 05 Apr 2023 at 07:04 AM

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. 

Members can be charged / credited automatically when the member makes their next payment and will automatically be removed from the account once applied.

The account balance or credits product works by selecting an account custom field where the balance owed or credit due amount is stored. 

Create a Balance Due Fee Type:

1. Create a new fee type - Set the Fee Type to Account Balance (users can also use Balance Due or Credit, see note below)

NOTE: We used to use the fee type account-balance to make the product required. That continues to be supported but it is not created by default. Using Balance Due and Credit as the fee types makes it more clear to the members.

Adding Custom Account Fields:

2. The first step in the process will be to create new custom fields; Account Balance and Account Balance Description. 

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. 

NOTE: The club can create a new field to use for the amount to be charged / credited and can name it anything they like, ex: Account Balance for a generic amount due or Volunteer Credit if the club is offering back a credit for members who volunteered the previous season.

Initial Setup:

3. Go to your test account and click 'Edit' from the Membership > Accounts screen. You'll now see your new custom fields there. Enter a dollar amount 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. 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.

The reason why we tell clubs to put these on "unpaid" accounts is that if the credit is apply after the dues are 'paid' the member has a good chance of losing the bulk of his credit.  

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 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. 

How the Product Displays to Members:

5. Use the switch to in order to see how the new product displays to members. To the member an Account Balance or Credit field will display just like any other product on the Make a Payment screen: 

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. 

Helpful hints for tracking and long-term history:

The account balance is a back door to getting infrequent charges (or credits) to the account. The account balance  description of that the charge (or credit) is presented to the member at the time of the purchase. The member can accept the account balance or contact the club to dispute it and have it taken off the account.  However once the charge is paid the detailed account balance description is housed permanently it is removed. 

If Pool Admins that want want to track those account  balances and  account balance description on the member account long term we recommend adding those details to the "account note" on the members account. New Account Notes Screen - Add, Edit, Delete & Bulk Update Account Notes. You can actually 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.

Please Note:

The account balance field does NOT 'calculate' a members balance. All it does is take the "balance" that you (the admin) say is due to the club and puts it on the invoice. (it works for credits as well) 

The account balance field is used for one-time credits and debits, typically put on the invoice with the yearly dues and at no other time. (i.e. we tell clubs to only apply the account balance product on an 'unpaid' accounts, this way it applies on the yearly dues and you don't have a situation in which the credit is bigger then what is being billed)   

Upon receipt of payment the account fields used to track the balance / credit and (optionally) description are cleared out. The fields themselves are not deleted as other accounts may still be using them.

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