How to Invoice Pet Parents

Scout's automated billing and invoicing system prioritizes organization and financial health

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

Whether you're using prepay or billing after services are completed, Scout's billing and invoicing system makes staying organized and getting paid a breeze.

How it works

Scout is a transaction based business management system. What does this mean? When a dog walker, pet sitter or administrator starts a service, a revenue transaction is created and added to the customer's open invoice in real time.

Electronic Payments

Pet parents are automatically billed for the balance of their invoice at the end of each billing period. If the transaction is successful the invoice is closed and a detailed receipt is sent. It's totally hands free. No action is required from the pet parent. If the transaction fails, the pet parent is sent an alert via email requesting that they update their payment method. Scout will automatically re-attempt to charge all unpaid invoice balances at the each billing period.


If a pet parent pays via cash, check, or other off-system payment method, they will receive a detailed invoice. When the customer submits payment, you can manually mark their invoice paid.

To apply payment manually navigate to a customer's invoice and click the "APPLY PAYMENT" button.

Using Multiple Payment Methods (Split Payments)

When manually applying payment to an invoice you have the option to split the payment among multiple payment methods.

  1. Navigate to the customer's invoice

  2. Click "Apply Payment"

  3. Choose the first payment method and change the amount to the value you want to apply to the first payment method

  4. Add any notes you wish to add

  5. Click Apply Payment to confirm

  6. Repeat steps #2 - #5 for each payment method you would like to use.

Applying Prepay and Account Credits

If a customer has credits on their account, the credits are automatically applied to the invoice until they run out. You can add more credit to a customer's account at any time. If their invoice balance is more than the amount of existing credits the following action will be taken at the end of the billing period:

  1. Electronic Payment Method: The invoice balance will be billed to the pet parents payment method less any existing credits that were applied. A detailed receipt will be sent.

  2. Cash/check/other: The customer will receive an invoice. The balance due will reflect any outstanding credits in the customer's account.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I charge a pet parent's electronic payment method or mark an invoice as paid before the current billing period ends?

Yes. You can manually apply payment for an invoice in the middle of a billing period. 

What happens if the customer's invoice is marked paid during the active billing period and the customer requests additional appointments?

If a customer does not have an open invoice in the current billing period, a new one will be created as soon as an appointment is started. You can also create a new invoice manually.

Can I close an invoice if payment is not received?

Yes, in certain circumstances it may be necessary to close an invoice without receiving payment. In those circumstances you can manually close the invoice even if there is an unpaid balance.

Can I refund a customer?

Yes. You can issue a full or partial refund. Payments can be refunded to a customer's electronic payment method or via cash, check or other off-system payment method.

1. Full refund

If you are issuing a full refund, the funds will be returned using the same payment methods that were used to pay the invoice. 

Electronic Payment Transactions are refunded to the original payment method used, including any prepaid credits that may have been purchased via electronic payment method and applied to the invoice. Scout does not add prepaid credits back to the pet parent's account.

Cash Payment Transactions: Scout assumes you have refunded the payment in cash at the time the refund is issued. This includes any prepayments received in cash. Scout does not add prepaid credits back to the pet parent's account.

Account Credits are automatically added back to the customers account and will be re-applied to any current or future open invoices.

2. Partial refund
If you are issuing a partial refund, you will have the option to refund the customer using any of the payment methods used to close the invoice. If you are refunding to an electronic payment method, you can only refund up to the amount that was originally charge to that payment method. The rest must be refunded in cash or account credits.

Can I resend an invoice or payment receipt to a pet parent?

Yes. Select the "More" menu from the pet parent's invoice and choose "Email to Customer."

Can I manually add a line item to an invoice?

Yes. See our article on editing invoices for detailed instructions.

Can I manually remove a line item from an invoice?

Yes. See our article on editing invoices for detailed instructions.

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