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: See Getting started with Online Payments to get your account set up with our integrated card processing system.
This guide walks through everything you need to know to start documenting client payments to keep your accounting records up to date and stay on top of your practice's financials. You'll also find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding client payments.
Getting started with client payments
- 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 at a glance section showing a credit?
- My client paid but I forgot to record the client payment
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, Stripe. You can learn more about charging a card through Stripe here: Processing Online Payments.
- Manual Credit 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, manual credit 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 on an appointment for the client that you'd like to add a payment for. This will open the calendar fly-out.
- If an invoice has not yet been generated for the appointment, you will need to first click Create Invoice:
- Once there is an invoice associated with the appointment, you'll see the option to Add Payment:
- Select the appropriate payment amount and payment type that you'd like to add and click Add Payment to record the payment:
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 will immediately see the amount of the payment applied toward the Client Balance listed in the Billing Overview section of the right panel.
Adding a client payment from an unpaid invoice
Navigate to an unpaid invoice for the client that you would like to add a payment for.
- From the unpaid invoice, click the Add Payment button in the upper right corner to open the Add Payment screen.
- Once you've selected the appropriate payment amount and payment type that you'd like to add, click the Add Payment button 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 manual credit 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
Tip: Use the filters to narrow the date range and isolate Client Payments to easily locate the payment.
- Hover your mouse over the client payment to reveal the Edit and Delete options:
Edit will allow you to edit the payment type, amount, and date of the payment. Clicking the trashcan icon will prompt 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 record 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 will 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 this guide: 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 amount:
When you click Add Payment an Adjustment will be added to the client's record and the client's balance will be credited 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:
- 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 how 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. With this in mind, we've given you the flexibility to add payments when it's convenient for you. There are a couple ways to make sure you can get paid prior to the start of the appointment.
You will want to create an invoice for the session first, this will indicate to the system that the client is paying for an upcoming appointment, rather than listing a credit in the client's profile. Locate the upcoming appointment from your calendar home page and open the calendar fly-out 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 in order for a new client to be able to book an appointment with you. To learn more, see our guide on Requesting credit card information via the Client Portal.
Can I offer appointment packages to my clients?
You can definitely use SimplePractice to 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 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 chip away per appointment.
Why is my client’s at a glance section showing a credit?
With the SimplePractice billing system, your client's balance due is calculated based off of existing invoices for that client. Until an invoice is created, a client's appointment fee will show up as an Uninvoiced amount.
If client payments have been added for uninvoiced appointments, the payments will show up as client credits.
Here is an example of a session for which an invoice has not been generated. You can see that there is an Uninvoiced Amount.
If we add a $150 payment, a credit appears. To resolve this, click Uninvoiced in the client's Billing Overview. This will generate an invoice for any uninvoiced appointments and correct the Client Balance.
My client paid but I forgot to record the client payment
If your client has a balance but you know 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 - outlining the detailed history of charges, payments, and resulting balances. Using this as a resource is a great way to pinpoint exactly which charge resulted in the balance that you're currently seeing on the client's account.
Note: If you have Email Billing Notifications enabled in a client's Billing & Insurance information settings, statements you create will generate and send an email notification after the designated Billing Document Delivery Delay time interval that you've selected in your practice's Billing & Services settings.
If you find that the payment wasn't added to SimplePractice but the client already paid you in cash, check, or through a third-party credit card processor, you can add a backdated payment.
To do so, go to the client profile and follow the steps to add a payment:
Adjust the payment date to reflect the day that the payment was received from the client (this can be back-dated), and enter the appropriate payment amount
Click Add Payment. This will apply the client's payment to the Client Balance due.
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 our guide: Processing Online Payments for step by step instructions on how to successfully charge a credit card in SimplePractice.