Teachworks supports a number of different billing methods. This article will go into more detail about our Package Billing Method.
1. When to use it
You would generally use this billing method if you’d like to bill your customers in advance for a package of hours or lessons that they will use over an undefined period of time.
2. How it works
With this billing method, the customer is invoiced for a package of lessons / hours of a particular service. When lessons with the same service as the package are scheduled and attended by the customer, the customer’s package balance is reduced accordingly.
3. How the customer is charged
The customer is charged for a package when you generate an invoice and use the “Add Package” option to add a package to the invoice.
It’s important to pay special attention to the service you select on the invoice -- this service needs to be consistent with the service you select when scheduling lessons for the student.
For more information on how to generate a package invoice, view the following tutorial: Creating Packages
If you’ve selected the “Package” billing method on a student’s profile, the cost of their lessons will automatically be set to zero (since you’ve already invoiced them for the package of lessons/hours). Setting the cost to zero ensures that the client is not double billed by accident.
4. Customizable settings for tracking package balances
You can adjust the following settings by going to Account & Settings > Account Settings > Package Settings:
- Package Units: Track packages by lesson or by hour
- Count “Missed” lessons as used: Choose to count lessons marked as “Missed” as used package lessons
- Track Packages by: Packages can be tracked by student or by family.
- Packages Available when Invoice is: You can choose to make packages available when an invoice with a package is either approved or paid
5. Setting up services for packages
If you have services in your Services list that are used for both packages and individual lessons, it’s generally best to create a separate service to use with packages.
For example, if you have a service called “English Tutoring” you should create a separate service called “English Tutoring - Package” to use exclusively for packages.
6. Steps to follow to use the Package Billing Method
- Start by customizing your package settings on your Account Settings page under the Package Settings section.
- On the student's profile, set their billing method to "Package" and save the change.
- Create an invoice for the client and select the "Add Package" option in the line item section of the invoice and click the "Go" button.
- Complete the details of the package including setting the service, units, and cost for the package.
- Approve the invoice. Depending on your settings the invoice may also need to be paid before the package is available to the client.
- Schedule lessons. When you select the student's name in the student field, the services list will be updated to display any package hours that are available to the student. Select the service matching the package service and schedule the lesson.
Note: If you were using the package billing method on a different software, you can set up starting balances for your customers by following these steps: Starting Package Balances
7. How package balances are calculated and where to see them
A customer's package balance is the total of the package lessons or hours that they have purchased of a particular service type, minus the lessons that have been scheduled or attended with the same service type as the package.
You can view package balances by going to Billing > Package Balances
8. Billing a client for packages and individual lessons
If you have students that are billed using the package method, but also may have lessons that are not included in a package, you should set the student’s billing method to “Package”, and use the Cost Override feature to schedule a lesson that will be assigned a cost whenever you need to bill the customer for an individual lesson.
In order to accurately track balances and ensure that lessons billed individually are not deducted from a package, you will need to use separate services for package lessons and individual lessons. For example, you can create services named “English Tutoring” and “English Tutoring - Package”. When scheduling a lesson to be billed individually, simply select the “non-package” service, and click the “Override Billing Method” option then select the appropriate billing method.
9. Archiving packages
If you would like to archive a customer’s package, you can follow these steps: How to Archive Packages
10. Further reading:
Here are some more articles with package-related information that might be useful for you:
- Crediting a Package
- Removing Packages
- Switching From The Package Billing Method
- Package Billing Cheat Sheet
Need some more help? Watch this video on how to create packages for your clients.
*** Still unsure about which Billing Method to choose for your teaching business? View our cheat sheet: Teachworks Billing Methods and Cheat Sheet