Payment and Deposit Transactions

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Payments, Deposits and Refunds are all entered exactly the same way.  The only difference you will notice is the default in the Amount field when the dialog opens.


(For more information about handling Refunds, see the Refunds topic.)



Enter Payment Information (or "Enter Deposit" or "Enter Refund")


First you should select a Payment Method from the list.  If a payment method was already selected for transactions (or if a previous payment transaction was entered), the previous payment method will already be selected.  In addition, if credit card information was previously entered for any of this customer's transactions, or if you enter or swipe a credit card first, then the payment method type may be selected automatically.  In that case, just press Enter or Tab to go to the Description field.  Otherwise, use the up/down arrow keys or the mouse to select a payment method first.


Note that the Description will automatically default to the name of the payment method you selected.  You can leave it at this or change it to whatever you like. It's recommended to keep descriptions fairly short so that they fit on the receipts, since there is a limited amount of room. Note that the description will always be preceded by "Payment : " on the receipt, so you don't need to repeat that.  (Likewise, Deposits and Refunds will be prefixed by the transaction type on receipts.)


The Quantity field is usually left blank, but you may enter a quantity if you prefer.  This might make sense for special types of payment like Traveler's Checks or campground membership coupons.  Note that depending on the payment method, the Qty field may be disabled (this is configured in the Payment Methods Pick List).  For instance, Cash, Check and Credit Card payments don't normally have a Qty, just an Amount.  One notable exception is for coupon-type payments, which can be configured so that each coupon has a set value and only a Qty is entered.


The Amount to pay field will usually be automatically set to the customer's current balance (or credit balance if you're doing a refund), since most of the time the balance will be paid in full.  Be sure to change this if needed.  Note that if the "Trav Check" payment method is selected, it will change to Amount of checks and you will need to enter the amount of the travelers' checks received.  If it's more than the amount due, you will then need to add a separate Refund transaction for any cash given back to the customer.


If you are accepting cash that's not exactly the amount due, you can use the Amount Tendered field to enter the amount actually received.  This will calculate the change due and show it on the dialog.  If the amount tendered is entered, it will also appear on receipts along with the change due (unless disabled through Maintenance / Printing Options), and is saved with the transaction (in the Reference field).  


If the option is enabled to show a change-due prompt, then a pop-up message will also be shown when the receipt is printed.  (See Maintenance / Program Options / Functions). For countries like Canada where the penny is being phased out, you can select the "Round to the nearest 5 cents" option , to show the proper rounded-to-the-nearest-nickel amount of change to give when a cash payment is entered and a "Tendered" amount is specified.  The rounded amount will also show on receipts, however this does not affect the recorded total for the transaction or the amount of payment received for the transaction.  Any discrepancies due to rounding will be minimal in the long run, and should be handled the same way as any other minor cash drawer imbalance.


The Ref / Check # field can be used for anything you like (or left blank).  Most often this is used for a check number.  If it's a Check payment type (as configured in the Payment Methods Pick List), then the number entered here will automatically be added to the description for the receipt.  If you don't want it there, then you can go back to the description field and change it before clicking Save.


Note that the Ref / Check # field does not show on receipts, so it is private.  You can view it later by checking the "Details" box on the Transactions dialog, and it will also appear in the Detailed Transaction reports.  Also note that this field is enabled according to the flag for each payment method, set up in the Payment Methods Pick List.  So if it's not enabled and you think it should be, check the pick list settings.


For further information about credit card transactions and processing, see the next section: Credit and Debit Card Payments.



Applying Payments to Categories


If the option to allow category allocation for payments is enabled (Maintenance / Program Options / Prompts), then a list of categories will appear in the lower left of the payment dialog.  This functionality is useful if you use the Receipts by Category report and need to manually allocate categories to overcome interpolation issues (for instance when payments are made in advance, or if monthly reservations are not paid in full each month).


You can leave the default "<AUTOMATIC>" option selected in most cases, e.g. whenever a bill is paid in full, since it will automatically split the payment among the appropriate Charge transactions.  However if you need to manually apply the payment to one or more specific categories, rather than letting it divide it proportionally among all unpaid charges, then you can either select a single category for the payment or click the "Split Categories..." button to enter multiple categories with an amount to allocate into each category.


If you need to change the allocation later, then you do so by selecting the payment in the Transactions dialog -- an "Edit Category Allocation" button will appear to allow editing the allocations.


Note that Deposits cannot be allocated to categories -- they are always reported separately from payments.  If the customer makes an advance payment that you want to report in specific categories at this time (e.g. as realized income), then it should be entered as a Payment, not a Deposit. However, once the deposit is applied (a Dep Applied transaction automatically added), then the Dep Applied transaction can be categorized manually if needed using the Edit Category Allocation function.  Likewise, Payment Transfers can be manually allocated after a transfer is done.



Deposit Transactions


Note that Deposit transactions are used for "advance" deposits, i.e. payment before a stay, not to be confused with Security deposits, e.g. payment kept for possible loss or damage.



Entering Deposit Information


Deposits are entered the same way as payments, except that the Amount will not have a default value.  Just select a payment type and enter an amount, and click Save.  


Note that when you add a deposit, it's not "Applied" yet -- while it does show up on the customer's balance due (as a credit), it won't affect the overall A/R balance.  It's added to the overall Deposits balance until it's applied.  When a charge transaction is entered after a deposit, then a separate Deposit Applied transaction will be inserted to show that this deposit has been applied and is now earned income.



Automatic deposit amount calculation


Optionally, Deposit Definitions can be set up so that the required deposit amount can be filled in automatically in the "Amount of deposit".  This can either be fully automatic, appearing as soon as the Enter Deposit window is opened, or it can leave it blank initially with an "Auto-set" button that will calculate it when desired.  (See Program Options / Reservations to enable these options.)  Depending on the Access Levels configuration and your operator level, you may or may not be able to change this amount once it has been automatically set.



Splitting the deposit among multiple reservations


If the reservation is linked to other non-synchronized reservations (for separate billing), then a special Split payment among group members option will be present when entering the deposit.  (This option appears as a checkbox next to the "Amount of deposit" entry field.) For instance, if one person is making a deposit for a group of 4 parties, select this option to automatically split the deposit (transfer 1/4 of it to each of the other 3 reservations).  This adds all of the appropriate "Deposit Transfer" transactions, saving you the trouble of doing the transfers manually.


Important: You must enter the deposit on the "Transaction Master" reservation (Linked Master), and the other reservations must be linked directly to the master as Non-Synchronized.


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