Bill Subscribers Manually with Invoicing
The video below gives you a brief overview of how to bill your subscribers manually using the invoice-billing method. We also cover how to receive external payments in the following video. However, please be aware that if you are recording an external payment for an invoice, it must be applied directly to the invoice itself.
Invoices are always in one of the following states:
- unpaid: Unless no payment is due when the invoice is created, an invoice begins its life in the unpaid state.
- partial: An invoice is in the partial state when a partial payment has been made but there is still an outstanding balance.
paid: An invoice is in the paid state when an entire balance has been paid.
- archived: An invoice can be archived at any point in its lifecycle. You can use this state to simply disregard or ignore a previously created invoice.
In order to begin using invoice billing, you must enable this feature in your settings.
- Visit the settings tab in Advanced Billing.
- Select the category on the left, Invoices.
- Choose the option that fits your needs:
- Off: Invoice Billing is not an option for subscriptions
- On: Invoice Billing is an option, but not the default
- On: Invoice Billing is an option, and is the default
- On: Invoice Billing is the only option for subscriptions
You may email any invoice to the customer at any time by using the button near the bottom of the invoice view. There are also links for viewing the invoice as text, HTML, or PDF. Advanced Billing sends all invoice emails as multi-part with both text/plain and text/HTML parts so that the client may choose which to render. You can also choose to send a PDF attachment as well in the “Invoice Billing” section of settings.
Invoices can be sent to your customers automatically via email. When you choose to send invoices automatically, they will always be sent when a new invoice is created. Please note that statement emails are not sent to customers that have invoice billing enabled.
Advanced Billing does not currently enforce dunning strategies on invoice billing subscriptions. The subscription will remain active even when an invoice has been unpaid for an extended period of time.
Creating Invoice Billing Subscriptions
There are a few methods you can use to create invoice-based subscribers in Advanced Billing:
Configure Public Signup Pages to create an invoice or automatic-based payment subscriber. For more information on configuring Public Signup Pages to default to the invoice-payment method, please see the following article here.
The collection method can be set to invoice-only as an option when creating a subscription in the application. For more information on creating new invoice-only subscriptions in the application, please see the following information here.
Additionally, you can change the associated payment method for the subscription after it’s been created. For more information on changing payment methods on the fly, please see our documentation on editing a subscription
When invoice billing is turned on, and invoices tab appears under the top-level subscriptions tab. This allows you to view a list of all invoices. Invoices can be searched by number, customer, and invoice state.
View Invoices by Subscription
You may view invoices for any subscription via the “Invoices” tab in the left navigation of any single subscription view.
View Invoice Detail
You may navigate between invoices using the Next and Prev links at the top of the invoice. There is an option to hide $0 product line items, please see our statements and invoices documentation for more details.
Emailing Invoices to your Customers
You can elect to send invoices automatically to your customers via invoice settings.
Create a New Invoice
You can elect to create a new invoice for a customer for a one-time charge. In order to add a new invoice to a subscription, the subscription payment method must be an invoice. The following instructions are not applicable if the subscription is set to the automatic payment method.
Additionally, you can apply the one-time charge to the next recurring invoice when it is generated. Select “Accrue charge until next normal renewal.” Advanced Billing will increase the current balance of the subscription by this amount. On the next billing date, this amount will due plus the recurring product cost.
Once an invoice has been created, you can perform various actions to change the amount of an invoice.
- Enter Payment
- Pay with Card
- Add Charge
- Add Credit
This selection will allow you to record an offline payment (i.e. a check) that you received from your customer. The payment will be applied to the invoice. No interaction with your gateway will occur.
Advanced Billing gives you the option to enter the following methods of payment against an outstanding invoice:
- CC payment (credit card)
- Money order
Select the payment method, add the payment details and add a descriptive memo to record the transaction. This amount will be deducted from the invoice. The invoice status will transition to partial or paid, depending on the amount posted.
Pay with Card
If you’d like to immediately charge the card on file for an invoice, you can select “Pay with Card”. This will allow you to immediately charge the card file. If the transaction is successful, the invoice will be marked paid.
Prompt Customer for Payment
If you would like to solicit payment for your invoice via email, select Prompt Customer for Payment.
This action will:
- Send them an email letting them know that they have an outstanding invoice.
- Give them a link where they can pay with the full outstanding balance with their existing credit card or allow them to enter in a new credit card and make a one-time payment.
You can record a partial payment for an invoice within Advanced Billing. Simply select the invoice you’d like to pay partially and proceed as follows:
- Under the Actions menu, select Enter Payment
- Enter the partial payment amount
- The status of the invoice will be Partial
- Enter another method of payment if the payment is split across two methods
You can add a line item to an already existing invoice. This change will immediately increase the amount of the existing invoice. New items added via “Add Charge” will appear as a “Charge” under the invoice detail.
If you add additional items to the invoice, you must resend the edited invoice to your subscriber. A new invoice will not be sent automatically if the amount changes.
To add a charge to an existing invoice, select Invoices from the subscription summary:
Once you have selected the invoice that you’d like to add the charge to, fill out the information on the amount and the memo. Both the amount and the memo will be appended to the existing invoice.
As we look at the appended invoice, we can see the addition of the new line item. Please be aware that if you update an invoice, you must manually send your subscriber a new copy.
As of March 2021, the charge will be added to the subscription’s current statement. Previously, the charge would have been added to the statement containing the information from when the invoice was created, even if that statement was already closed, as would happen during a renewal.
You may add credit to an existing invoice. This credit will immediately decrease the full total of the invoice, by the amount credited. It will appear as a Credit under the invoice detail.
If you add a credit, you must resend the edited invoice to your subscriber. A new invoice will not be sent automatically if the amount changes.
Once you have selected “Add Credit”, enter the amount of the credit and a short memo. The credit will be applied to the invoice immediately.
As of March 2021, the adjustment transaction for the credit will be added to the subscription’s current statement. Previously, the adjustment would have been added to the statement containing the information from when the invoice was created, even if that statement was already closed, as would happen during a renewal.
Archiving an invoice simply marks the invoice archived. You can use this option to ignore invoices that may no longer be relevant. Archiving an invoice does not affect the current revenue for the subscriber or your site. The invoice will still appear in the list of invoices for a subscription. However, the status will appear as Archived.
Delete a payment
If you have recorded payment for an invoice via an external method, you can delete the transaction if the payment is for the most recently created invoice. Navigate to the "Transactions" tab of the Subscriber and select the external payment from the transactions list.
When you elect to delete a payment, you will be reminded of the repercussions. Pay close attention to this screen, as it’s important to note what changes cause. When the payment is deleted, the invoice will also be marked unpaid.