How to Create Invoice Autopilot Catch-up Schedules
The Invoice Autopilot Add-On is included in all Teachworks subscription plans. In your account you can create a number of different customizable autopilot schedules according to the billing periods your business follows. Today we’ll discuss how to create catch-up schedules, and why many businesses are using them to support their standard autopilot schedules.
The Invoice Autopilot Add-On saves many businesses a significant amount of time by automatically generating invoices in their account. The autopilot settings are highly customizable, and allow you to customize:
- Start & End Dates of the Schedule
- Repeat Settings – Daily, Weekly, or Monthly
- Timing – Whether invoices are generated the beginning or end of a billing period
- Offset – When invoices are created relative to the invoice date
You can also customize which lessons are added to invoice (i.e. by lesson status), tax treatments, and whether invoices should be saved, approved, or approved and sent to customers as soon as they’re generated.
The Value of Catch-up Schedules
Invoice autopilot schedules generate invoices according to the settings you specify when setting up your autopilot schedules. That means that some lessons might not be invoiced if they don’t meet your specified criteria at the time your schedules run.
This typically happens for one of two reasons:
- Lessons missed the cut-off for the autopilot. This happens if lessons are added to your calendar after invoices have already been generated.
- Some lessons didn’t match the settings in the autopilot schedule. For example, if the autopilot includes lessons with “Attended” or “Missed” statuses, but some lessons weren’t completed in time and their status is still set to “Scheduled” they won’t be included on the invoice.
Catch-up autopilot schedules solve this problem by ensuring that lessons that weren’t invoiced using your primary schedules automatically get invoiced at a later time.
Catch-up schedules will also save you time by automatically generating invoices for lessons that weren’t invoiced due to the scenarios mentioned above, rather than having to manually find and invoice customers one by one.
Tip: If you ever want to check for uninvoiced lessons in your Teachworks account you can do that by following the steps in this article: Viewing Uninvoiced Lessons in Teachworks.
You can also easily check a lesson’s invoice/paid status by following the steps in this article: Making a Lesson’s Invoice/Paid Status Viewable in View Lesson Modal.
How to Set Up Catch-up Autopilot Schedules
Invoice autopilot catch-up schedules will closely resemble the primary autopilot schedules you use to generate invoices for customers. The only difference is that catch-up schedules will run for the same billing period after your primary schedules have already run. This will ensure all lessons are invoiced, even if some lessons aren’t scheduled/completed in time to be included on your main invoice autopilot.
There are a few methods you can use to create catch-up schedules. The method you choose will largely depend on frequency of your billing periods, your existing autopilot schedules, and how often you would like to run catch-up schedules.
Catch-up Method One: Using the “Offset” Field: One method you can use for your catch-up autopilot schedule is to use similar settings to your primary schedule, but adjust the “Offset” field to generate invoices a higher number of days after the invoice period.
This option allows you to run a second schedule for the exact same invoicing period (i.e. as your primary schedule), with the main difference being that catch-up invoices will be generated several days after your primary schedule runs.
Lessons can only be included on a single invoice, so there is no risk of invoicing a customer twice for the same lesson. You can also check the “Skip if total zero” box on your invoice settings so the autopilot will skip customers who don’t have lessons in the specified date range.
Catch-up Method Two: Weekly or Monthly Catch-up Schedules: A second type of catch-up schedule you can use is to create a schedule covering a broader date range (i.e. broader than your primary schedules) that will capture all uninvoiced lessons in a given period.
This method works well if you have autopilot schedules that generate invoices daily. You would then add a weekly schedule that runs at the end of each week that is intended to create invoices for lessons that weren’t invoiced using the daily schedule.
Similarly, companies who automatically generate invoices weekly may choose to create a catch-up schedule that runs bi-weekly or even monthly to capture uninvoiced lessons.
Start Automating Your Invoices Today
Invoicing can be one of the more time consuming administrative tasks when managing a tuition centre, especially as your business grows and you begin processing increasingly larger volumes of records.
The Invoice Autopilot Add-On in your Teachworks account will help you automate invoice generation (as well as sending invoices to customers via email, if you choose this setting). Automatically generating invoices will save you time and reduce mistakes due to manual errors.
You can find more information about getting started with invoice autopilots here: Generate Invoices Automatically With The Invoice Autopilot.
You can also follow the steps above to create catch-up schedules to make sure all lessons get invoiced, even if they were added to the Calendar or updated after your primary schedules run.
If you’re new to Teachworks and would like to automate invoicing at your tuition centre you can click the button below to get started with your free 3 week trial of Teachworks tutor management software.