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Navigating client payments

Navigating client payments

SimplePractice provides robust billing features that give you the ability to apply partial payments to invoices, select which invoice a payment applies to, view details about client billing, and more.

In this guide, we’ll cover:

Adding a client payment

You can add client payments from the Calendar, an unpaid invoice, or a client’s billing summary. 

To add a payment from the Calendar homepage: 

  • Navigate to your Calendar
  • Open the appointment you’d like to add a payment to
  • Click Add Payment in the appointment flyout


Note: If the appointment has an uninvoiced amount, click Create Invoice & Add Payment.

To add a payment from an unpaid invoice:

  • Open the unpaid invoice


To add a payment from a client’s billing summary:

  • Navigate to the client’s profile
  • Click Add Payment


Next, you’ll select which invoice(s) a payment will be applied to. If you'd like to add a partial payment, see Applying partial payments.

To select the invoices:

  • Check the boxes next to the invoice numbers



Note: If you’d like to add a payment that isn’t attached to an invoice, you can deselect all invoices and enter a payment amount.

If the client still has a balance after applying the credit, choose a payment method to cover the remaining amount.

Tip: If you only want to apply the credit to an invoice and don’t want to select an additional payment method, you can adjust the invoice to match the amount of credit being applied. 

Now, you’ll select a payment method. There are multiple types of payment methods you can record in SimplePractice, including:

  • Online Card: Charge a client’s credit, debit, or FSA/HSA card using our integrated Online Payments feature
  • External Card: Record a client credit card payment made using a third-party credit card processor
  • Cash
  • Check

When adding a client's first payment, no payment method will be selected and the one you choose will be their default method for future payments. 


To charge a client’s credit, debit, or FSA/HSA card using our integrated Online Payments processor:

  • Select Online card on file


  • If you’d like to charge a different card than the default, click Change
  • To add a new card, click +New online card

To add a payment that’s not an online card, choose Cash, Check or External card when selecting a payment method. 

Note: Payments will only be processed through SimplePractice if you select the Online card on file option. You can also record a client’s payment as Cash, Check or External card, but these forms of payment will need to be collected outside of SimplePractice.

To finish adding the client payment: 

  • Review the Summary and confirm the transaction


Note: If the payment amount is lower than the invoiced amount, you won’t be able to confirm it. If the payment amount is higher than the invoiced amount, a credit will be added to the client’s account. 

Adding partial payments

With updates to our billing features, you can now apply partial payments to new invoices. To add a partial payment: 

  • Navigate to the client’s profile
  • Click Add Payment
  • Adjust the Amount field


  • Confirm the payment method
  • Review the Summary
  • Confirm the transaction  

The invoice will show the amount paid and the remaining balance. 


Note: Partially paid invoices won't be marked Paid.

To add a partial payment to a client account with a large balance, follow the steps in this video:

Note: Invoices can't have line items added or removed if a partial payment is added. If you need to add or remove an item from an invoice, and a partial payment is already added, delete and recreate the invoice and then allocate the payment to the newly created invoice.

Billing cash-only clients

If you're not currently accepting insurance or have a cash pay client, you can select Self-pay as a client's billing type when you create their profile. 


You can also update an existing client’s billing type to Self-Pay. To do this: 

  • Navigate to the client's profile
  • Click Edit
  • Select the Billing and Insurance tab
  • Choose Self-pay as the client’s billing type


  • Scroll down and click Save Client

Editing and deleting client payments

You can edit Cash, Check, and External card payments that haven’t been applied to an invoice. If a payment has already been applied to an invoice, you’ll need to delete and recreate the payment. If you’d like to make changes to an online card payment, you’ll want to refund the client instead.

To edit a Cash, Check, or External card payment:

  • Navigate to the client’s Billing page
  • Use the filters to narrow the date range and sort by Transactions by client to locate the payment


  • Find the payment and click View


  • Click Edit on the Payment details page


  • Make your changes and click Save

To delete a Cash, Check, or External card payment:

  • Navigate to the client’s Billing page
  • Use the filters to narrow the date range and sort by Transactions by client to locate the payment


  • Find the payment and click View


  • Click the trash can icon on the Payment details page


  • Click Delete payment

Refunding a client

You have the ability to mark all types of client payments as refunded. To do this: 

  • Navigate to the client’s Billing tab
  • Filter this page by Transactions by client


  • Click View next to the payment you'd like to refund


  • Click Refund in the upper right corner of the page


  • Enter the amount you'd like to refund in the Refund Amount


  • Click Refund


  • Click Confirm Refund


Note: Online card refunds can take 5-10 days to appear on a client’s online card statement.

You can also refund a payment that was applied to multiple invoices. On the Payment details page, you’ll see a Payment allocation of the invoices that a payment applied to. 

To refund this type of payment: 

  • Click Refund in the upper right corner
  • Enter the amount you’d like to refund for each invoice the payment was applied to


  • Click Refund
  • Select Confirm Refund

To view a refund’s details:

  • Navigate to the client’s Billing tab
  • Filter by Transactions by client
  • Click View next to the refund

You can also view a refund by: 

  • Navigating to the original payment’s Payment details page
  • Finding the Related Payments section

Note: You can also refund online card payments on the Billing > Card Transactions page.

Unallocated payments

An unallocated client payment can occur when a payment isn’t allocated to an invoice, or if a payment is added to an invoice that’s then deleted. When a payment amount is unallocated, it’s displayed as a client credit.

To view a client’s unallocated payments:

  • Navigate to the client’s Billing tab
  • Filter by Unallocated


  • Or, click Unallocated in the Client billing summary


  • Click View next to the payment


Note: Unallocated credit invoices will also show in the Unallocated view. This type of invoice will occur if an appointment fee is reduced after an invoice is created, or if a product invoice is created for a negative amount.

To allocate a client payment:

  • Select View next to the unallocated payment
  • Click Select invoice


Note: This option will only appear if there’s an invoice to allocate the payment to.

  • Select the invoice to allocate the payment to by clicking the check boxes next to the invoice number
  • Check the box next to Apply available credit to apply the unallocated payment to this invoice


  • If the credit doesn’t cover the full amount of the invoice, choose a payment method to cover the remaining balance.

Note: If you only want to apply the credit to an invoice and don’t want to select an additional payment method, you can adjust the invoice to match the amount of credit being applied.

  • Confirm the payment


Using the Appointment billing details page

The Appointment billing details page displays billing information, billing history, and any billing documents or payments associated with an appointment. To view the Appointment billing details page:

  • Navigate to the client’s Billing tab
  • Find the appointment you’d like to view billing details for
  • Click Manage > View details



On the Appointment billing details page, you’ll find the following information:

Total fee

The Total fee includes:

  • The amount charged to the client 
  • The amount charged to the insurance payer if you accept insurance
  • The write-off amount


Client and Insurance payments

In the Client payments and Insurance payments sections, you can see what each party contributed to the cost of the appointment. 

  • To view the details of a payment, click View payment


Billing documents

The Billing documents section of the page displays all invoices, claims, and superbills created for the appointment.


Recent activity

The Recent activity section shows all billing activity that’s occurred for an appointment in the last six months.


Understanding the Payment details page

The Payment details page displays information about a payment, including the payment type, date, method, amount, and whether any amount of that payment is unallocated.


If the payment is allocated to an invoice, you’ll see the invoice number and details under Payment allocation.


If the payment has partially been refunded, the partial payment will show up under Related payments.


The Recent activity section will show whether any activity has been completed related to that payment.



Below, you’ll find answers to some frequently asked questions about billing in SimplePractice: 

How do I change an appointment’s billing type?

If you need to change an appointment’s billing type from Self-Pay to Insurance, or vice versa: 

  • Find the appointment in the client’s Billing tab
  • Click Manage > Edit details next to the appointment


  • Select the correct billing type in the Type dropdown


  • Click Save

Note: Changing one appointment’s billing type won’t affect future appointments. For more information, see Appointment level billing changes.

Can I add a negative payment?

All payment methods can now be refunded in your SimplePractice account, so you won’t need to add negative payments as refunds. Refunded payments will still be listed as adjustments on the client’s Billing page. For more information on ways to refund a client, see Refunding a client.

How do I record a vCard payment?

Our Online Payments feature only supports charging virtual insurance credit cards (vCards) as client payments. We recommend processing these cards outside of SimplePractice. You can also reach out to the insurance payer directly to request that future payments be sent via check or direct deposit. 

You can mark vCard payments as refunded by Cash, Check, or External card, rather than adding a negative payment. To mark a vCard payment as refunded: 

  • Locate the transaction in the client’s Billing page
  • Click View
  • Click Refund in the Payment details page


  • Use the Method dropdown and select Cash, Check, or External card

Important: Don’t choose the Stripe credit card option, as this will issue a refund to the vCard.

  • Enter the Refund Amount


  • Click Refund
  • Click Confirm Refund

Can payments allocate automatically?

Unallocated amounts are payments that haven’t been allocated to a specific invoice. These can be used as credits and applied towards a client’s balance. If a client has AutoPay enabled, any unallocated payments in their file will be applied towards their balance overnight.  

Important: If a client has AutoPay enabled, they’ll be charged their full balance overnight. If their unallocated payments don’t cover the full balance, the remaining amount will be charged. 

You can use AutoPay to automate the process of allocating payments. To do this: 

  • Navigate to Settings > Client billing and insurance > Client billing documents
  • Set Automatic invoice creation to Daily


  • Click Save 

Invoices will be created automatically overnight. When AutoPay is enabled for a client, their full balance will be charged overnight. If the client has any unallocated payments, these will be allocated first, and they’ll be charged for any remaining balance. If the client’s unallocated payments cover the invoiced amount, they won’t be charged any additional fees. 

To enable AutoPay for a specific client: 

  • Navigate to the client’s Overview page
  • Click Edit 
  • Choose the Billing and Insurance tab
  • Check the AutoPay Enrolled box


  • Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click Save Client

Note: A client must have a card on file to be enrolled in AutoPay. For more information on using AutoPay, see Getting Started with AutoPay.

Why are there Adjustments under a client’s Unallocated payments?

Previously, a negative unallocated payment would occur when an unallocated payment was refunded. This refunded amount would be listed under the Adjustments section of a client’s Unallocated amounts.


We released an enhancement that removes the use of negative unallocated payments. Meaning, if you refund an unallocated payment now, no further action is needed. 

There are a few scenarios where a client's file can still have adjustments. These include: 

  • If the client had a negative unallocated amount in their file when this enhancement was enabled in your account
  • If a client initiates a dispute to a payment that's unallocated
  • If an invoice is deleted that previously had a negative unallocated amount allocated to it, and the original payment was allocated to a different invoice

In each scenario, the adjustment will need to be allocated. To do this: 

  • Navigate to the payment you’d like to allocate 
  • Select View
  • Click Select invoice to choose an invoice to apply the negative payment to


Note: You’ll only be able to select an invoice if the client has a paid invoice to allocate the negative payment to.

  • Enter the Allocation amount on the refund flyout
    • This amount will appear as a negative amount


  • Click Allocate
  • Select Confirm


Note: When you apply a negative payment to a paid invoice, this will mark the invoice as Unpaid. If you’d like to reapply payment to the invoice, click Add Payment.

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