Adding client payments in SimplePractice is easy and can be done from the Calendar homepage, a client's profile, or from an unpaid invoice. If you've set up an Online Payments account, clients can even pay with a credit card directly from their Client Portal.
Tip: To start processing client payments with our integrated card processing system, see Getting started with Online Payments.
This guide walks through everything you need to know to start documenting client payments to keep your accounting records up to date. You'll also find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding client payments.
Getting started with client payments
- Explaining payment types
- Adding client payments
- Editing and deleting client payments
- Refunding a client
- How are payments allocated to invoices?
- Can my clients pay for their appointments in advance?
- Can I offer appointment packages to my clients?
- Why is my client’s Billing Overview section showing a credit?
- My client paid but I forgot to record the payment. What do I do now?
- I accidentally recorded the wrong payment type. How do I fix this?
- My client only owes the copay and not the full fee. How do I fix this?
Explaining payment types
SimplePractice offers the following payment types for recording client payments:
- Cash: Record a client payment made in cash.
- Stripe Credit Card: Charge a client's credit card using our integrated Online Payments processor. To learn more about charging a card through your Online Payments account, see: Processing Online Payments.
- External Card: Record a client credit card payment made using a third-party credit card processor. This will not run a charge on the card through SimplePractice.
- Check: Record a client payment made by check. This allows you to document the check number.
Tip: If you use a different payment method than what is listed above, you can still choose from the available options in SimplePractice to record the payment in your account. For example, if you accept a client payment through Venmo, you can choose to document this as a cash, external card, or check payment.
Adding client payments
You can add client payments in SimplePractice to indicate which clients have paid and which still have a balance due. Once you record a client payment, it will automatically be applied to a client's existing balance.
To streamline your workflow, SimplePractice allows you to add client payments from multiple different pages in your account:
- Adding a client payment from the calendar fly-out
- Adding a client payment from a client's profile
- Adding a client payment from an unpaid invoice
Adding a client payment from the calendar fly-out
From your Calendar homepage, click an appointment for the client that you'd like to add a payment for. This will open the calendar fly-out.
- You can choose the payment amount along with the payment type before clicking Add Payment
- This will add the payment as well as create an invoice if one doesn’t already exist
- If you’d like to edit the invoice before adding a payment, click Edit Invoice
- Once the payment has been added, you’ll see the newly created paid invoice on the calendar flyout
Adding a client payment from a client's profile
You have the option to add client payments directly from their profile. On the right hand panel, you'll see the Add a Payment section. From here, you can indicate the appropriate payment amount and select the payment method. Click the Add Payment button to record the payment:
After the payment is recorded, you’ll immediately see the payment amount applied towards the Client Balance listed in the Billing Overview section of the right panel.
Adding a client payment from an unpaid invoice
There are a couple of ways to find a client’s unpaid invoice. You can navigate to the Calendar homepage and click the appointment flyout. If there’s already an invoice associated with the appointment, the appointment flyout will indicate whether it’s Paid or Unpaid. Click on the invoice number to open it.
You can also view a list of unpaid invoices for each client. To do this:
- Navigate to the client’s Overview page
- Select Billing
- Use the dropdown menu to view Unpaid items
- Click on each invoice to open it
When you’re viewing an unpaid invoice:
- Click the Add Payment button in the upper right corner
- Select the appropriate payment amount and payment type
- Click Add Payment to save the payment:
Important: Invoices will not update to Paid unless they've been covered in full. The system will apply client payments to the client's oldest existing unpaid invoice that it can cover. For more information, see: How are payments allocated to invoices?
Editing and deleting client payments
You can easily edit or delete cash, check, and external card payments to reflect the correct billing information for your clients.
To delete a payment for a client:
- Navigate to the Billing tab of the client's profile to locate the payment in question
- Use the filters to narrow the date range and sort by Transactions to easily locate the payment
- Click Edit on the Payment line item
- Clicking Edit allows you to edit the payment type, the amount, and the date of the payment
- Clicking Delete payment prompts you to confirm that you'd like to delete the payment
Refunding a client
If you need to issue a refund to a client, you can record this in the client's profile by creating a billing adjustment. To add a billing adjustment, follow the same steps for adding a client payment from their profile. In this case, you’ll simply add a negative payment to reverse or partially reverse a client payment.
Note: If you would like to delete or refund a Stripe credit card payment, see: Processing Online Payments.
From the Add Payment section in the right panel of the client's profile, select Other Amount, and enter the amount you'd like to refund as a negative number:
When you click Add Payment, an Adjustment will be added to the client's profile and the client's balance will be credited with the refund amount.
Important: Making this billing adjustment will only update your billing records within SimplePractice. You will need to work with the client directly to sort out the method for refunding the payment to them.
After adding this negative balance, it will appear that your client still owes you for the appointment. To zero out the client's balance, follow these steps:
- Delete the original invoice for the appointment
- Make an appointment level billing change and change the fee of the appointment to reflect how much the client actually paid you
- Recreate the invoice for the appointment
This will zero out the client's balance and reflect that a refund was given.
How are payments allocated to invoices?
There are a few key concepts to keep in mind when considering how client payments get allocated to invoices in SimplePractice:
- The system will apply client payments to the oldest unpaid invoice that it can cover in full
- If you have an unpaid invoice from January for $100 and another from February of the same year for $100, the next $100 payment that's entered will automatically apply to the January invoice, even if you enter that payment in February.
- Invoices will not update to paid until they've been covered in full
- Invoices cannot be partially paid. If a client payment does not cover the full amount listed on an invoice, it will not be applied to that invoice. This means that payments don't always get applied to the oldest existing invoice. If there's a newer unpaid invoice that can be covered by the client's payment, the payment will be applied toward that invoice to update its status to Paid.
Important: All client payments will always be reflected in the total Client Payments amount listed in the Billing Overview section of their profile. Regardless of whether or not an invoice updates to paid after a payment is added, the payment will be recorded in the client's record.
Can my clients pay for their appointments in advance?
We understand that there are cases where it may be important to get paid prior to an appointment, such as when you’re meeting a client for the first time. There are a couple ways to make sure you can get paid prior to the start of the appointment.
You can create an invoice for the session first, so the client payment will be allocated to the correct appointment, rather than shown as a credit in the client's profile. To do this, locate the upcoming appointment on your Calendar homepage and open the calendar flyout to create an invoice for that appointment:
Once the invoice is created, you can choose to document the client payment using any of the Add Payment options.
Tip: You can also choose to require credit card information for a new client to be able to book an appointment with you. To learn more, see: Requesting credit card information via the Client Portal.
Can I offer appointment packages to my clients?
Yes, you can offer appointment packages to your clients. To do so, you can collect payment from a client for a set number of appointments in advance, and record the payment in SimplePractice. Since the appointments haven't occurred yet, this would appear as a Client Credit in the client's Billing Overview page.
For example, if the client wants to pre-pay for 4 upcoming appointments at $100 per appointment, you would charge them $400 upfront. As these appointments occur, the client's credit will slowly allocate to each associated invoice as they’re created.
Why is my client’s Billing Overview showing a credit?
With the SimplePractice billing system, your client's balance due is calculated based off existing invoices for that client. Until an invoice is created, a client's appointment fee will show up as an Uninvoiced amount.
In this example, you can see that there’s an Uninvoiced Amount:
If client payments have been added for uninvoiced appointments, the payments will show up as client credits. For example, if we add a $150 payment, a credit appears. To resolve this, click Uninvoiced in the client's Billing Overview box. This will generate an invoice for any uninvoiced appointments and will update the Client Balance.
My client paid but I forgot to record the payment. What do I do now?
If your client has a balance but you know that they've already paid for all of their appointments, it's possible that you forgot to record a payment.
To determine where a client's balance is stemming from, we recommend Creating a statement. Statements in SimplePractice follow the same format that you would see on a monthly credit card statement, which outlines the detailed history of charges, payments, and resulting balances. Using this as a resource is a great way to pinpoint exactly which charge(s) resulted in the balance that you're currently seeing on the client's profile.
If you find that the payment wasn't added to SimplePractice but the client already paid you via cash, check, or through a third-party credit card processor, you can add a backdated payment.
To do so, navigate to the client’s Billing Overview page and follow the steps to add a payment:
- Adjust the payment date to reflect the day that the payment was received from the client, and enter the appropriate payment amount
- Click Add payment
This payment will be applied to the Client Balance.
Note: If you use our integrated card processing system for credit card payments and cannot locate a missing client payment, the client's credit card wouldn't have been charged. See Processing Online Payments for step-by-step instructions on how to successfully charge a credit card in SimplePractice.
I accidentally recorded the wrong payment type. How do I fix this?
To fix this, you can edit the payment type:
- Navigate to the client’s Billing page
- Use the dropdown menu to see all Transactions
- Click Edit next to the payment
- Use the dropdown menu to update the payment method
- Click Save
My client only owes the copay and not the full fee. How do I fix this?
If you have a client that's being charged for their full appointment fee instead of their copay, it may be because their Billing Type is set to Self-pay. To resolve this, follow these steps:
- Change the client’s Billing Type to Insurance
- Edit the Billing Type and copay for past appointments
Change the client’s Billing Type to Insurance
The steps below will make sure that the client's future appointments are billed correctly.
- Navigate to the client's Overview page > Edit > Billing and Insurance
- Select Insurance as the Billing Type
- Navigate to Insurance Information and enter the client's copay amount in the Copay/Coinsurance field
- Click Save Client
Note: See How do I bill clients who haven't met their deductible? to learn how to correctly bill clients with a deductible.
Edit the Billing Type and copay for past appointments
To edit your client's past appointments:
- Navigate to the client's Billing page
- Locate the appointment(s) that were billed incorrectly
- These appointments will display a full fee under the Client column
- Delete the associated invoice for these appointments
- Click Edit next to the appointment you want to modify
- Select Insurance from the Type dropdown
- Enter the client's copay amount in the Client owes field
- Click Save
- Create a new invoice for the appointment
- Repeat these steps for each appointment that needs to be updated
Note: See Appointment level billing changes for more details on making billing adjustments to past appointments.