We published Release 2013.11 over the weekend, as announced in the Táve Users Group on Facebook.
Payment Editor Refresh
Many of our portrait studios collect the first payment prior to package selection or even contracting while many of our event photographers receive tips that aren’t easily handled without revising the order. We’re addressing both scenarios with this release, as you can now record payments exceeding the job balance. The new Surplus allocation is a useful new addition to the payment editor.
The previous payment editor could be a bit tedious, so we’ve streamlined the whole process. You no longer have to select the invoice to apply a payment to, just the order (or even just the next balance due on the job). This means paying an unexpected amount, greater or less than an invoice amount, no longer requires using split payments or editing the invoices. You can still split payments between orders or between orders and surplus, but even that is far easier now.
We also made payments received via Client Access editable. Previously you could only edit certain details about electronic payments, but now all fields are always editable.
This release makes payment schedules much easier to use, as you’ll only ever need to set up payment rules when creating advanced schedules. We made the retainer a part of the payment schedule and added three built-in schedule types; One, Multiple, and Monthly. We recommend against using percentage-based retainers, as they may be seen as refundable deposits if challenged in some courts.
The three new built-in schedules work just as you’d expect. The One type will result in the entire balance being due upon booking. The Multiple type lets you specify a retainer and then a number of payments to split the balance between. The Monthly type creates monthly invoices from booking up until 30 days prior to the job date. The advanced Custom type has the traditional rules, though the retainer is no longer included there.
As you may have noticed, we also added a third example to the payment schedule editor in Settings, so you can visualize the schedule applied to three very different orders.
Finally, we added a Restrictions field so you can restrict online payment to the first payment only, to only subsequent payments, or completely disable online payments for the schedule. We previously provided the less-flexible “Limit online payments to retainers only” option at the brand-level. Many studios outside of North America use this to limit exposure to the added cost of credit card fees after booking.
Payment Gateway Expenses
While a few payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe send us the credit card processing fee, most do not. For those gateways that don’t tell us the processing fee, the payment gateway setup now lets you specify a fixed amount and percentage to automatically create a processing fee expense.
For example; if you use Braintree, you know you’ll have a flat $0.30 plus 2.9% transaction fee. Once a client makes a payment using Braintree, an expense for $0.30 plus 2.9% of the transaction total will be created and applied to the job. If you use a variable rate gateway like Authorize.net you can use an average, but keep in mind that American Express or cross-border transactions may significantly increase the expense and your Profit & Loss report will be incorrect until you finalize the actual expense.
Jason and I will be at Imaging USA in Phoenix, Arizona, this January. Come visit us in booth 1633 at one of the two International Print Competition entrances. We’re also attending WPPI in Las Vegas this March (booth 1361, across from Kelly Moore).