Learning how to best organize your billing ledger items for both students and parents/payers is important for your ledger and reporting needs. This article will outline best practices for how to setup your Billing Category Groups and some guidance on how to organize your Billing Categories within these groups.
Billing Category Groups: Billing Category Groups are like folders, that can hold and group multiple charges and credits together.
Billing Categories: Every charge or credit that you need in the ledger and for your reports should have its own billing category, which are then assigned to billing category groups. Multiple billing categories can be assigned to each billing category group. Click here to learn more.
Best Practices for Setup
When setting up Billing Category Groups, we recommend creating three groups as described and displayed in the sections below. Your school can create any additional Billing Category Groups as needed. If you'd like some additional guidance on setup, please contact our best-in-class Support team for all questions and assistance.
*Important Note about Billing Category Group Order: Make sure you order each Billing Category Group and the Billing Categories within each group in the order that you would like charges and credits to be applied. To move billing categories and groups, simply drag and drop them to the desired position. Auto-pay payments and manual payments will always be applied to any current or outstanding billing categories first, and then continue down the list in the order of any categories that have amounts due or overdue.
Main Billing Category Group (Tuition and Discounts)
A "Main" Billing Category Group, or any other name you prefer, should contain all of your major charges and credits like tuition, financial aid, scholarships, book fees, etc.
This group should have the "apply to student balance" option checked. If you have multiple tuition amounts, they can all be included in this group and named as needed (lower, middle, upper).
All discounts to tuition such as financial aid, multiple scholarships (presidents, sports, etc) should be included in this group.
You may also want to include some additional fees like book fees or field trip fees.
Billing Category Group Name: Main or Tuition & Discounts
Billing Categories: Lower School Tuition, Middle School Tuition, High School Tuition, Book Fees, Financial Aid, President's Scholarship, Track Scholarship. etc.
Apply to Student Balance: Yes (check it off)
A "Parent Fees" Billing Category Group, or any other name you prefer, should contain any fees that apply to parents or payers, not students. This includes late fees, the prepaid billing category, etc.
This group should not have the "apply to student balance" option checked.
Billing Category Group Name: Parent Fees
Billing Categories: Late Fees, Prepaid.
Apply to Student Balance: No (leave it blank)
Student Fees (No Aid)
A "Student Fees (No Aid)" Billing Category Group, or any other name you prefer, should contain any other fees that don't need to roll up to tuition and shouldn't have discounts applied. This includes but isn't limited to payment plan fees, sports fees, program fees, etc.
This group should have the "apply to student balance" option checked.
Billing Category Group Name: Student Fees (No Aid)
Billing Categories: Payment Plan Fees, Sports Fees, Field Trip Fees, Program Fees.
Apply to Student Balance: Yes (check it off)
Can I change billing categories at any point in the year?
Answer: Yes. All changes will be reflected going forward.
Can I have different scholarships?
Answer: Yes, you can work with support so they can create custom scholarship fields and then you’ll need to create matching billing categories (not groups) for each of these different scholarships that can roll up to the "main" bucket, as per the example.
What happens if I change the name of a Billing Category?
Answer: If you change the name of a Billing Category, it will update the name of the that charge or credit in the ledger retroactively, for all prior posted credits and charges. It will also be reflected on all current and future credits and charges.
Will this affect the payout report?
Answer: Changes made to the billing category setup page such as the order of any categories or sub-categories will only affect payments going forward in the payout report. All previous charges and credits will remain as is.
Will this affect the billing date? (We have Tech fee due Sept 1st and Tuition due Oct 1st. Which gets paid first?)
Answer: Payments will still be applied to the oldest charges or credits first and then will continue to be applied to any current charges, as per the billing category order.
Is there anyway to override the order SA applied payments? (knowing that it goes into the buckets setup but if you still need to change what actually happened in SA?)
Answer: Mostly this happens when there are multiple students and parents may be paying off one child’s tuition differently than the others. Answer: Not currently. Parents make payments in the portal and they get applied according to the billing category order and to any outstanding/current amounts first. Adjustments still need to be made on the Admin side within the individual contact records since parents cannot currently select where their payments get applied.