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Delinquency Billing Best Practices

Mitchell Paul-Soumis Updated by Mitchell Paul-Soumis

The purpose behind switching the status from an Active Status to a Delinquent/Inactive status is not to punish the individuals whose accounts become delinquent, rather it is designed to prevent additional debits from running on the account when the individual is not able to access their services due to their delinquency.
The Delinquency Billing Best Practices article is not designed to walk you through the process of designing a Billing Default and a Delinquency Status. For information on how to handle these prerequisites, refer to the appropriate articles.

Delinquency in Sonar

A single invoice (or even multiple invoices) can become delinquent without affecting the account status. An invoice being delinquent simply means the amount was not paid prior to the due date. Until the Grace Period has elapsed, the account status will not change.

The Grace Period can extend a few days beyond the Due Date, and can be adjusted individually as required on specific accounts. What this means is that from the date of the Bill day, the total number of days before the customer enters delinquency is Due Days + Grace Days

Delinquency in Sonar is a term used in two parts - First, the invoice becomes due, then after a certain period of time - defined as Grace Days - the account becomes Delinquent, which triggers the process flow below.

Invoice Delinquency and Account Delinquency combine functions from multiple portions of the settings page. The primary features you'll be interacting with to establish Delinquency Billing are:

  1. Account Statuses - Creating an account status for Delinquent Customers. You can learn more about creating an Account Status here
  2. Address Lists - These will be used to disconnect delinquent customers after a long-period of non-payment, automating the process of taking a delinquent customer and removing them from your network. For more information on address lists, see the article here
  3. Delinquency Checks, and Delinquency Exclusions
    To have a delinquency exclusion be applied every year, leave the Year field blank when setting up the exclusion.
  4. Delinquency Grace Periods, configured under Billing Defaults
  5. Late Fees and re-connection fees
  • In the screen shot below we have an account whose invoice is created on the 1st of each month and 15 days later (16th of each month) the invoice becomes due. If the customer has not paid their invoice on the 16, the invoice is considered hast past its due date but not yet delinquent. On the 21st of each month (5 days past the due date) if the customer has still not paid off that invoice, the invoice becomes delinquent and thus moving the account to a delinquent status. If the customer requests additional days to pay off the invoice, you can use the Grace Until section to change the date when the account becomes delinquent.

  • Under the Billing Default you're creating for your customers, ensure "Switch status after delinquency" is checked and complete all required fields below:

In this example, we've set Days of Delinquency for Status Switch to 7 days for a very important reason - to ensure the customer does not have another bill run when they're already delinquent, the status must switch before the end of the month. With these parameters, the Account will become inactive the 28th of the month, which means that no matter which of the year the customer is behind, the status will always switch in time for the next billing run.

Process Flow details

In Sonar, there's a flow for Billing and for Delinquency Billing. In our example, this flow begins on the 1st of the month. The Sonar system will check the account's current status against the list of account statuses which activate accounts. If the account in active, then billing runs, tallying the services and discounts into an invoice.

From there, assuming no payment is made until the Due Day has arrived, Invoice Delinquency checks will occur. At this point, the provided Grace Days will begin counting down before the invoice moves into a Delinquent state.

Once the Grace days have elapsed, the Account enters Delinquency. It's at this stage that the system will check against any Delinquency Exclusions for specific dates or days of the week. If there are none, the account becomes delinquent, if not, then the account becomes delinquent at the following opportunity.

At this point, the account is placed into the Delinquent Address list, and the final countdown to the status switch occurs.

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