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Child Accounts: Best Practices & How Tos

Morgan Wynnes Updated by Morgan Wynnes

Adding A Child Account In Sonar

Adding a child account is a way of connecting one or more accounts together within Sonar, and this results in the parent account becoming responsible for all future invoices generated on the child account(s). A child account can only have one parent, but a parent account can be linked to multiple child accounts. This functionality is particularly useful in scenarios where an employer wants to pay for all of the employee services, or when one family member wants to be responsible for and/or pay for the services of the other members in the family.

How To Add A Child Account

To begin, you need to navigate to the account overview page for the account which you want to attach a child account to. Within this account view, select the "Billing" tab from the left-hand panel to display several additional tabs across the top - one of which is "Child Accounts". Once you have opened the Child Accounts tab, you will see the "Link Account" button.

Clicking "Link Account" will open a pop-up window where you can select from a dropdown list the account that you would like to make the child.

Select the account from the list and hit "Link". After doing so, a message will appear in the top-left corner indicating that the child account was linked successfully, and the account will now show up within the Child Accounts view of the main account.

You are also able to see the number of child accounts linked to a parent account right from the Accounts screen. In the image below, you can see that Kayley Adams now has a '1' next to the accounts icon that is located under the Counts column, after we linked Adalberto Brown as the child account.

Invoices With Child Accounts

When an invoice is generated for a child account, their balances will be linked to the next recurring invoice that is generated on the parent account. The linking is done automatically by the billing process and the child invoice can be seen from the parent account invoice view, and is also included on the downloadable versions of the parent account invoices as well.

From the example below, you can see that Peter Parent has Charlie Child linked as a child account. Within each invoice that is generated for Peter Parent, Charlie Child's invoice will also be available, under the "Child Invoices" tab on the left. The "Details" tab includes further details about the parent account invoice, but also includes the 'child invoice remaining due' amount as well.

This child account invoice link (Invoice # 6 in the example) is also clickable, and when clicked, will open up a sidebar window with the details for that particular child invoice.

On the downloadable versions of the invoice and statement, the child account invoice will be appended at the bottom of the parent account invoice, as can be seen below:

Manually Linking and Unlinking Invoices

With the child and parent account relationship, there also exists the possibility to manually link and/or unlink child invoices to the parent invoices. The linking of invoices is generally done automatically by the billing process and should not be done manually unless you are trying to rectify an error.

From within the child account, under the Invoices section within the Billing tab, the "Unlink Invoice" option exists under the Edit menu next to the invoice. Using this option will unlink that child invoice from the parent account invoice. The "Unlink Invoice" option is also present from the same section of the parent account, as well as the option to "Link Invoice". You can only link invoices from associated child accounts that do not yet have a parent invoice - when using the "Link Invoice" option, the Link Invoice window will contain a dropdown of invoices to link, and only child invoices that do not have a parent invoice will be available for selection.

Transaction History and Child Accounts

When a parent account has a child account linked to it, the child account's transactions will also be displayed under the parent account Transaction History tab, in addition to being displayed on the child account's transaction history. As can be seen from Peter Parent's transaction history below, any of Charlie Child's transactions are viewable here; clicking on the date and timestamp of the transaction, under the Date column, will open up further details about that particular transaction.

Billing Considerations

Account Delinquency

Child accounts maintain their own delinquency cycle, so it is important to synchronize the billing cycles for both the parent and child accounts, unless the child accounts have appropriately long delinquency periods allowed. The reasoning behind this is explained in the examples below.

Example #1: Peter Parent's account bills on the 15th of every month. Charlie Child's account is linked to Peter Parent's, and Charlie's account bills on the 1st of every month. Charlie Child's account is configured to become delinquent after 5 days. On the 1st of January, Charlie Child's account bills and now has a balance. However, since Peter Parent's account will not bill until the 15th, Peter Parent will not become responsible for this balance until then. Charlie Child's account is left unpaid and consequently becomes delinquent on the 6th; it will not have the delinquency removed until after the 15th, when Peter Parent receives an invoice and pays it.

Example #2: Taking the same scenario as above, this situation becomes even worse if Peter Parent's account is set to bill on a cycle that is longer than monthly. If Peter Parent's account is set to bill on a 3 month cycle, then Charlie Child's account could have an invoice generated on January 1st and Peter Parent would not become responsible for this invoice until February 15th, when Peter Parent's account is billed. This would result in Charlie Child's account being left delinquent for over 45 days.

Therefore, under almost all circumstances, you will want to synchronize billing cycles for child accounts that are under a parent account, unless the child accounts have a long enough delinquency period to avoid the above scenarios from occurring.

Late Fees

Within your Billing Settings configuration, you have the option to enable or disable late fees from being applied to any child accounts that are linked to a parent account. When the "Apply Late Fees To Child Invoices" is checked, late fees will be applied to the child account invoices. Otherwise, if it is not checked, any child account invoices that have been linked to a parent account invoice will not have late fees applied.

Removing Child Accounts In Sonar

To remove a child account from a parent account in Sonar, navigate to the "Child Accounts" section of the Billing tab of the parent account. Here, you will see the child accounts listed along with an "Unlink" option next to each child account.

Once you click "Unlink" next to the child account you want to remove, a pop-up window will be displayed. This window will include some of the child account details, along with another "Unlink" button to ensure that you want to perform this action on this account.

Once you click "Unlink" from this pop-up window, the child account will be removed from the parent account. A message will also appear on the top left of your screen, indicating that the child account was unlinked successfully.

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Notes & Tasks: Best Practices & Use Cases

Deleting an Account