How to Accept Prepayment

Do you bill your customers in advance of services being performed?

James Dixon avatar
Written by James Dixon
Updated over a week ago

A prepaid credit is used to charge the client's payment method in advance of a service. Prepay works within Scout's automated billing system. As appointments are completed invoices are updated live and prepaid credits are applied. At the end of your billing period, pet parents receive a detailed account statement.

To add a prepaid credit navigate to the pet parent's profile or click the icon below.

1. Click on a pet parent. 

2. From the customer profile menu navigate to Billing > Prepaid Credit

3. Click the "Add Credit" Button

4. Choose the appropriate payment method, Credit Card or Cash/Check/Other, and complete the prepaid credit form.

* If you want your customer to receive a receipt, check the notify customer box.

5. Click the "Charge Payment Method" button

If you choose credit card, the customer's electronic payment method will be charged after you click the "Charge Payment Method" button and a prepaid credit will be added to their account.

If you choose cash/check/other, a prepaid credit will be added to their account and no electronic payment method will be charged. We recommend you do not issue a prepaid credit until after you have received the payment.

6. Check the prepaid balance is correctly reflected in the customer profile. You will see the balance and a log entry for the transaction.

Frequently Asked Questions

I've added a prepaid credit, now what?

You don't have to do anything! Prepaid credits are automatically applied to a customer's invoice as services are completed. If the invoice balance is $0 at the end of the billing period, the invoice is closed and a receipt is sent to the customer. 

If there is an amount due on the customer's invoice at the end of a billing period, the customer's electronic payment method is charged in the amount of their balance,  a receipt is sent, and the invoice is closed. Cash customers are sent an invoice that includes their balance.

Can I accept a mix of prepay and post-pay?

No (but also yes, you can). We recommend choosing either prepay or post-pay and NOT mixing them, but there is a temporary workaround.  

What happens if I take prepayment for vacation care and post payment for dog walking (for example)?

If you take a prepayment for vacation care, but the customer schedules dog walking before their vacation, the system is going to apply the prepaid credits for the vacation care to the dog walking services as they are completed. We feel the best way to handle this in the long run is to create a quoting system for vacation care and tie prepayment, invoicing and eventually scheduling to that quote. This functionality will take some time to fully automate.

Whats the workaround?

For now... we suggest creating a prepaid credit and closing out the invoice manually on Monday after your chosen billing period ends. When the invoice is closed the customer will receive a receipt. Check to make sure the amount of the prepaid credit equals the amount of the open invoice. What's left in their account after the new prepaid credit are applied will be equal to their vacation care credit.

Does my customer get a receipt when I add a prepaid credit?

Only if you check the box to "Notify Customer".

How are prepaid credits reflected in my revenue report?

Scout handles prepaid credits according to Generally Accepted Account Principals (GAAP). Prepayments are considered unearned until the services are completed, at which time they are treated as revenue and reflected in the revenue report.

See Reporting Docs for additional report details:

  1. Prepayment Report

  2. Credit Balance Report

Can I create a quote for a customer?

Not at this time. You will need to calculate the amount due and create a quote manually, off-system. Once you have calculated the expected fees, enter the total amount as a prepaid credit.

Quotes Coming Soon!

What happens if a customer prepays and they subsequently adds more services or add-ons?

You have 2 options. 

Option 1: You can manually add more prepaid credits to their account.

Option 2: If the amount of the customers final invoice is greater than the amount of prepaid credits, Scout will automatically bill their payment method on file and send the pet parent a receipt for the difference. Cash customers will receive an invoice for the difference.

Can I refund a Prepaid Credit?


What happens if a customer prepaid using multiple payment methods?

The system will attempt to refund the money using the most recent electronic payment transactions first. Once all electronic payment transactions are fully refunded the system will process any excess amount as a cash refund.

What happens if I try to issue a refund using an electronic payment method that is no longer valid?

Contact support via live chat or email

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