Table of Contents

Batch Payments & Deposit Slips: Overview

Mitchell Paul-Soumis Updated by Mitchell Paul-Soumis

Read Time: 13 mins

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Typically, customer payment methods are added in Sonar and set to auto-pay so that a payment will be made automatically by the customer's added credit card or bank account and therefore no manual intervention is required. However, if your customers are allowed to pay via check, cash, or wire transfer, then you will need to manually enter and track these payments back to your bank account. Through the use of Sonar's Batch Payment Entry and Deposit Slips tools, this process becomes significantly easier and more efficient to manage.

Using Batch Payment Entry

The Batch Payment Entry tool can be accessed by:

  1. Clicking into the Billing tab from the left-hand panel
  2. Selecting “Batch Payment Entry”

Once you've navigated into the Batch Payment Entry tool, you can follow the steps outlined below to enter a payment for the batch:

  1. Find the account. Before you can add a payment to the batch, you will need to first select the account that this payment is originating from – this can be done two different ways:
    1. Account Selector: Clicking into the Account field, you will be presented with a dropdown list of all accounts within the instance. From here you can either select the account from the list or use the search box at the top of the list to find the specific account. Once you've made your account selection, the account details will appear below.
    2. Account ID: If you know the specific ID of the account, you can opt to enter the ID in the Account field – upon hitting ENTER on your keyboard, the account will be selected, and its details will be displayed below.
    3. Accounts also have an icon next to them. This icon is used to reflect their Parent/Child account status. This can be in one of three states:

      Single account

      Parent account

      Child account

  2. Add your payment CSV. Optionally, you can use a CSV Upload to fill out the payment batch. Loading a CSV file allows you to import numerous payments from multiple accounts simultaneously. This option makes use of a custom importer, which is covered further in the article.
  3. Review account information. This section of the Batch Payments tool provides an overview of the selected account. This section contains the:
    1. Account status
    2. Parent account details
    3. Amount Due now
    4. Next bill date
    5. Address information
    6. Primary contact information
    7. Open Invoices
      1. The open invoices section provides a lot of information in quite a small space. All invoices on the account, including Child invoices, are represented here.
        Child invoices are represented by an indent when compared against invoices belonging to the parent account.

        They're also represented by the Child Account iconography, with the smaller account icon illuminated.
        The invoices are organized by due date, with nearer due dates appearing towards the top of the list. You can take two actions with the Open Invoices list:
        1. Check the box next to the invoice to add its due amount to the payment “Amount” field, and automatically apply the payment to the selected invoice(s).
          When specific invoices are selected, the payment will only be applied to those specific invoices. Any overpayment will result in a credit being applied to the customer account as a credit, rather than applied against additional invoices.
        2. Click on any invoice in the list opens the sidebar, which contains invoice details.

Any text or section of the instance that contains this icon can be clicked to open the sidebar

  1. Select the payment type. From the Type drop down, select the method of payment that was provided by the account. These can be:
    1. Cash
    2. Check
    3. Other
    4. Paypal, or
    5. Wire
  2. Enter the payment date/time. By default, the current date and time will be pre-populated. However, this can be changed by clicking into the field and using the selector to first set a new date and then a time.
    Payments can only be entered for the current date/time, or a date in the past – you cannot submit a payment for a future date. If the payment needs to be made at a future date, you can schedule the payment on the account via a scheduled event.
  3. Fill out the payment amount. The amount that the payment was made for can be entered here. If the amount entered doesn't match the amount due, a notice will appear below this field:
    The payment amount doesn't match the amount due. Accounting issues may occur.
  4. Enter in additional reference information. This field is optional, but can be used to enter in additional information such as a reference number.
    If PAYPAL is selected as the payment type, this field will disappear and be replaced by "Payment Transaction ID"
  5. Add a description. Optionally, you can also add in other details regarding the payment through the Description field here, such as "Re: Install" if the payment was for a job.
    If PAYPAL is selected as the payment type, this field will disappear.
  6. Un/check "Apply to Open Invoices". If this box is checked, the payment that is entered will be used to pay down any open invoice(s) on the account, starting with the oldest invoice. If this box is not checked, the payment amount will be added as Available Credits for the account.
  7. Un/check "Email Payment Receipt". If this box is checked, the payment(s) entered will generate a receipt that will be emailed to the financial contact from the account making the payment.
  8. Click "Create". As you enter payments, each one will appear in the table below the account details.
    This table contains:
    1. The running total for the batch session
    2. The ability to export all batched payments from the current session
    3. Filters to organize the table, to simplify your experience alongside the search function
    4. The unique transaction ID
    5. The account name
      Clicking on the account name will open the sidebar, containing a basic account overview and a link to the account management page.
    6. The payment date/time
    7. The payment type
    8. The (payment) amount
    9. The amount remaining
      The Amount Remaining column will reflect the dollar amount leftover, after the initial payment is used to pay down any open invoice(s) on the account. This will almost always reflect $0, unless the customer made a payment that was more than the amount due on the account. For example, in the screenshot below, we can see that Darian Gleichner paid $85 in cash for his $84.95 bill, therefore the Amount Remaining reflects the $0.05 overpayment, which will now be placed onto his account as Available Credits.

      There will also be an amount remaining if no invoices are selected, or "Apply to open Invoices" is unchecked.
    10. Any entered payment reference
      If PAYPAL is selected as the payment type, this field will disappear and be replaced by "Payment Transaction ID"
    11. Any supplied payment description
      If PAYPAL is selected as the payment type, this field will disappear.
    12. Which invoice(s) the payment was applied to
    13. Whether an email receipt is being sent to the customer
    14. Whether the payment was successful or not. As it pertains to batch payments, which is manual entry of previously confirmed payments, all payments will be marked as successful.
    15. The “Edit” function, which lets you modify the Reference for a payment. This also has additional options, allowing you to “Delete” the transaction, or download the payment receipt.
      1. Deleting the transaction can only be done if it was made in an unclosed accounting period. If the payment is batched for a closed accounting period, the transaction must be reversed rather than deleted.
    16. The caret can be used to open a sidebar containing details about both the payment and the account

Considerations for Using the Batch Payment Importer

  1. Clicking on the "Load CSV" button will open the import modal, which in its default state contains only two buttons – one to load your CSV, and another to obtain a data template.
    The “Download Template” button provides a small spreadsheet with example data, which can be used as a baseline for creating your own data imports.
    As seen in the template, any uploaded data sheet must contain a first row with header data, followed by the payment data. In this specific example, the first and second data rows contain optional details, while the final line contains only required information. For data to be uploaded, the headers must match exactly, including case sensitivity.
    The importer makes use of the following fields:
    Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required for all records.
    1. account_id*: An integer value referring to an existing account.
      1. Number only, no quotation marks or special characters
    2. payment_type*: The type of the payment to be created. See Payment Type in #4.
      1. This is a required value, and leaving it empty will make the line invalid and not accepted for submission.
      2. This field is case-sensitive, and must be in all capital letters when added to the CSV. Mixed case or lower-case will cause the row to be invalid.
    3. payment_datetime: Must be a string denoting a date and a time.
      Payments can only be entered for the current date/time, or a date in the past – you cannot submit a payment for a future date. If the payment needs to be made at a future date, you can schedule the payment on the account via a scheduled event.
      1. Must be in ISO 8601 format.
        1. For example: 2023‐07‐24T11:53:46-05:00 or 2023-12-31 18:45
      2. If you have an Accounting Period Close Date set in /settings/billing/billing-settings, the date of the payment must be after the accounting period close date. Otherwise, the payment will fail submission.
      3. If this field is left blank during CSV submission, it will default to the current date and time (as of submission).
    4. amount*: The amount of money to be credited to the account by this payment. See “Amount” in #6.
    5. reference: A string used as a payment reference. See #7.
    6. description: A string used as a transaction description. See #8
    7. transaction_id: A string used as PayPal transaction ID.
      1. This field should only be filled out when the payment type is PayPal.
    8. apply_to_open_invoices: See #9. If invoice_ids are provided (see i), then this field value is ignored.
      1. This field uses true or false regardless of case notation. For example, “true”, “True”, and “TRUE” are all valid.
    9. invoice_ids: IDs of specific invoices this payment will be applied to.
      1. If a Child Invoice is selected, the Parent Invoice must also be selected, and must be listed first.
      2. The Invoice IDs must be listed in quotation marks, and comma separated with no spaces (i.e., “7,13,27”).
    10. email_payment_receipt: Whether to send a payment receipt via email. See #10
      While emails will be sent if this value is set to true, the session table will show “No” regardless of the actual settings during the batch import.
      1. This field uses true or false regardless of case notation. For example, “true”, “True”, and “TRUE” are all valid.

Now that we have our payments entered and our batch created, we can quickly and easily get our deposit slip ready to take to the bank through the use of Sonar's Deposit Slips tool.

Using Deposit Slips

The Deposit Slips tool can be accessed by:

  1. Clicking into the Billing tab from the left-hand panel
  2. Selecting "Deposit Slips"

Once you've navigated into the Deposit Slips screen, click “Create Deposit Slip” from the top-right corner. You will be presented with the Create Deposit Slip window, where you can follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Select the date. Use the date selector to input the date you intend to make the deposit on.
  2. Enter in the bank account line. This is where you can enter the bank account number that the payments should be deposited into.
  3. Add in a memo. Optionally, you can also include additional information regarding the deposit through this field.
  4. Select the payments to include. All of the batched payments that have not yet been included in a deposit slip will appear for selection here and have a few key details displayed. Clicking the "Select All" button will automatically select all payments listed, or you can use the slider toggle beside each payment to individually select specific payments to be included.
    A best practice for selecting payments is to select each payment individually, as you physically pick up each check or cash payment and place it in the deposit envelope. This method ensures that when you are done, either all the line items will already be physically within the envelope ready for deposit, or you will clearly understand any payments that are physically missing.
  5. Click "Create". The deposit slip will now be created and appear in the Deposit Slips screen, available to download or delete. Clicking on the file name under the Files column will display additional details through the sidebar panel.
    If a deposit slip is deleted, all of the payments that were included in it will then become available to be selected when creating a new deposit slip.
  6. Download the deposit slip. Clicking the button under the Download column will download a PDF of the deposit slip. This slip will provide the exact values that need to be entered to deposit the slip at the bank, including the account number, memo, the cash and check totals, as well as a grand total.

Considerations when using Deposit Slips

Deposit slips are a fantastic tool for quickly processing cash and check payments with your financial institution, however, their nature as an immutable record does have some drawbacks.

As soon as a deposit slip is generated, any changes or errors made will necessitate the deletion and recreation of the deposit slip, which is only feasible if the slip hasn't been delivered to your financial institution.

If a mistake is made during the initial payment, such as the cash or check payment being applied to the wrong account, you can expect the following to happen:

If the deposit slip hasn't been generated yet:

If you've received a customer payment that was placed on the wrong account and you've applied it to the wrong account, reversing the transaction (as detailed in the Manual Transactions article) will allow your deposit slip to show the correct transaction information as long as the accounting period is still open. If you're correcting the payment after the accounting period has closed, the transaction date and time will no longer match the actual transaction details, but the deposit slip will show the right name and account.

If the deposit slip has already been generated:

If you've received a customer payment, and it was applied to an account, then a deposit slip was immediately generated, any changes made to correct the transaction details will not be reflected in the deposit slip. However, if the deposit slip was generated but not yet submitted to the financial institution, you're able to delete the deposit slip and create a new one with only the accurate transactions. As in the previous example, if the accounting period has already closed, the transaction date and time won't match, as the corrected transaction cannot be made for a time belonging to a closed accounting period.

If you find that you still have questions about the functionality of deposit slips related to how your organization conducts business, don't be afraid to reach out to your Client Relations Manager (CRM) or to the Support team for any follow-up questions.

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