Flexible Billing: The Package Billing Method
When choosing tutor management software, you will want to look for a software solution that supports flexible billing. If you offer various billing methods to accommodate your clients’ unique needs, you need software that can support it. Teachworks offers a range of billing options to help you simplify the billing process. This article will look at the Package Billing Method in some more detail.
1. When to choose the package billing method
The package billing method is a great option if you want to bill your clients in advance for a package of lessons or hours. These lessons or hours can be used over an undefined period of time and they don’t expire.
2. How it works
Step 1: Select a billing method
The first step is to change the billing method on your client’s profile to “Package”. When lessons are scheduled in the calendar, a 0 lesson cost will be set (because you’ll be invoicing your clients upfront).
If you want to bill a client for packages as well as individual lessons occasionally, you can set the student’s billing method to “Package” and then use our Cost Override feature for lessons that you want to bill for individually. In this scenario, it’s best to create a separate service, but more about this below.
Step 2: Add Services
The second step is to add services in your service list. If you bill clients for individual lessons as well as packages, the best approach is to create a package variation of the service to use exclusively for package lessons.
If you offer English Tutoring as a service for example, you’ll have:
- English Tutoring
- English Tutoring – Package
Package balances will decrease when lessons with the same service exists in the calendar or is added to the calendar. Here’s an example:
Your student has had 10 English Tutoring lessons with you in the past. The student’s schedule is a bit inconsistent so you decide that it might be better to bill them upfront for a package of lessons that they can use whenever. You then generate an invoice for a package of 10 lessons and you select “English Tutoring” as the service. Because the service is the same as previous lessons, the package balance will immediately decrease to 0.
Step 3: Generate an Invoice
The third step is to generate an invoice for a package of lessons/hours. You’ll need to select the “Add Package” option on the invoice and you can select the relevant service and complete all the other fields.
In your account settings, there’s an option to make package balances available when an invoice is paid or if an invoice is approved. If you choose to make package balances available when an invoice is approved, you’ll be able to see package balances right away in the package balances table.
Step 4: Tracking Package Balances
A customer’s package balance is the total of the package lessons/hours that they’ve purchased of a particular service type, minus scheduled or attended lessons with the same service.
The package balances table (Billing -> Package Balances) allows you to track package balances quickly and easily. You’ll see the following columns:
- Purchased – the amount of package lessons/hours purchased by the client
- Scheduled – the number of lessons/hours scheduled in the calendar
- Unscheduled – the number of lessons/hours still available to schedule
- Overscheduled – the number of scheduled lessons/hours exceeding the purchased amount
- Used – the number of lessons/hours that have been completed in the calendar
- Unused – the number of lessons/hours that can still be completed
- Overused – the number of completed lessons/hours exceeding the purchased amount
When package balances are running low, you can generate a new invoice for more package lessons. It can be tedious to check package balances regularly, which is why we’ve automated the process with our Package Alerts Add-on. With this add-on enabled, the company and/or client will receive a notification when package balances fall under a specified level.
3. Additional settings
The following settings can be adjusted on the “Account Settings” page under “Package Settings”:
- Package units – you can track packages by lesson or by hour
- Counting Missed as Used – if your company policy is to count missed lessons as used, you can enable this option here. By default, missed lessons are not counted.
- Package Availability – You can choose to make packages available when an invoice with a package is either approved or paid.
- Package Tracking – You can track packages by family or student. If you track by student, remember to select a student when you’re invoicing a family for a package of lessons.
4. How to reduce package balances
If you want to reduce package balances, you can create a credit note (remember to choose the “Credit Package” option). After you’ve issued the credit note, a credit will be available to apply to future invoices. If you don’t want to provide a credit (because the lessons have “expired” based on your company policies), you can set the invoice total to 0 and add the number of lessons that you’d like to remove.
For more information, visit our knowledge base.
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