Invoicing is a tremendously useful part of Music Teachers Helper. But it can be confusing. Here’s a tour through the way one teacher (that’s me!) makes use of the invoicing system — plus a few extra comments.
I have found invoicing to be increasingly helpful, and more of my students are requesting it. First I’ll describe a few situations where I use invoicing, and then I’ll explain how I work with invoices. (Please note that, technically, an “invoice” is a bill that requests payment, while a “statement” is a record of a student’s charges and payments, showing the balance owed, if any. For the purposes of this discussion, I’m just using the word “invoice” to talk about everything we do on the “Create Invoices” window.)
Here are some reasons to use invoices:
1. Some students don’t want to have to remember to bring cash or a checkbook to the lesson, or else they simply prefer to handle or track their lesson payments via credit card. These students have requested that I invoice them.
2. In a few cases, a student seems to have trouble remembering to pay, and although they may not request an invoice, creating and emailing them one is a very clear and effective request for payment, and gives them the option to pay immediately by credit card.
3. Where there might be some complication in the student’s account, it is easiest to explain the problems by setting up an invoice that summarizes all the charges and payments in question, and emailing it to the student.
4. When a student is taking a class, or a combination of classes and private lessons, I can schedule them for the month or sometimes for longer – many of my classes are 8 weeks long – and by emailing an invoice, I not only can make clear how much the student owes, but also make clear to them the dates of all the classes and lessons.
5. When a flat monthly rate is in effect, some students may prefer an automatic invoice to be emailed at the beginning of the month, and a few may even choose automatic payments.
Here’s how I go about making different kinds of invoices