A detailed look at payment schedule templates
What are payment schedules?
Payment schedules allow you to easily break an invoice down into several smaller payments.
That means that you can offer a payment plan to your clients and make it easier for them to pay an invoice in more manageable instalments. Because it’s more affordable for your client, a payment schedule can help you to make larger sales or get bookings more easily, too.
What is a payment schedule template?
Payment schedule templates allow you to set up a payment schedule that can be applied to your invoices, which saves you from having to set them up for each individual invoice that you send to your clients.
You can create a new template by going to the “Payment Schedule Templates” section of the Preferences window and clicking the “Add Record” button in the toolbar, or copy an existing template by selecting it and clicking the “Duplicate Record” button.
Each payment schedule contains at least one instalment, but you can set up as many as you like. Each instalment has options that allow you to schedule its due date and the amount due.
The due date is a number of days, weeks, or months after the invoice date, before the shoot date, or after the shoot date. For example, you could have an instalment that’s due immediately be choose “0 days after invoice date”, or one that’s due a month before the shoot date.
You can specify the amount due as either a fixed amount such a £100, or a percentage of the invoice total or the remaining amount.
We recommend having a “100% of the remaining balance” step at the end of all of your payment schedules in case anything changes on the invoice or your client makes some unscheduled payments along the way. Light Blue will warn you if you forget to include a “100% of the remaining balance” step, and you can click the warning to automatically fix this.
Other instalment options
There are a couple of extra options that apply to invoices that you send to your client via Light Blue’s online invoice feature.
The payment options menu allows you to specify whether you’ll accept online payment by card or PayPal for this instalment, and whether your custom invoice payment text will be displayed for this instalment. For example, you could have an initial instalment that your client can pay by card, and another instalment that you’re going to ask them to pay by bank transfer.
You can also choose which email template will be sent to your client as a receipt if your client pays this instalment online. You can create and customise email templates in their own section of the Preferences window.
Light Blue can also send automatic email payment reminders to your clients when a payment is due for an invoice. You can find out more about setting up these reminders in this knowledgebase article.
Applying a payment schedule template to a sale
You can manually apply a payment schedule template to a sale, but it’s much more efficient to choose a default template that’s applied whenever you create a new sale record. You can choose your default payment schedule template in the “Finances” section of the Preferences window, and you can also choose different defaults for particular shoot types. For example, you can have a different default for your commercial photography jobs and your weddings.
To manually apply a payment schedule template to a sale:
- Go to the sale.
- Select the “Payments” tab.
- Click the + button and select “Apply Payment Schedule Template”.
- Choose the template that you want to apply.
- Light Blue will copy all of the settings from the template onto the sale.
- If you want to tweak any of the instalments for this particular sale, you can do so by double-clicking on one of them to edit it, or by adding additional instalments from the + menu.