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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:

Note: Our updated billing experience is being rolled out in groups and won't be enabled in all practices until a later date. If you don't see this in your account and would like this feature enabled in your account, please reach out to our team.

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 flyoutaddpayment.simplepractice.calendar.png

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

To add a payment from an unpaid invoice:

  • Open the unpaid invoiceaddpayment.simplepractice.invoice.png

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

  • Navigate to the client’s Overview page
  • Click Add Paymentaddpayment.simplepractice.billingovgerview.png

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

To select the invoices:

  • Check the boxes next to the invoice numbersselectinvoice.simplepractice.invoice.png


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

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 transactionaddpayment.simplepractice.summary.png

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 invoices.

Important: You can only apply partial payments to invoices that are created after our new billing enhancements were enabled in your account.  invoicecreatedbeforebilling2.0.simplepractice.invoice.pngInvoices created before this update can be paid in full or can be deleted and recreated to be able to add a partial payment.  

To add a partial payment: 

  • Navigate to the client’s Overview page
  • 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. 

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 to locate the paymenttransactions.simpleprctice.clientoverview.png
  • Find the payment and click Viewviewpayment.simplepractice.billingoverview.png
  • Click Edit on the Payment Details pageeditdetails.simplepractice.paymentdetails.png
  • 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 to locate the paymenttransactionsfilter.simplepractice.billingoverviw.png
  • Click the trash can icon on the Payment Details pagetrashicon.simplepractice.paymentdetails.png
  • 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 Transactionstransactions.simpleprctice.clientoverview.png
  • Click View next to the payment you'd like to refundviewpayment.simplepractice.overview.png
  • Click Refund in the upper right corner of the pagerefund.simplepractice.paymentdetails.png
  • Enter the amount you'd like to refund in the Refund Amountrefundamount.simplepractice.refund.png
  • Click Refundconfirmpayment.simplepractice.refund.png
  • Click Confirm Refundconfirmrefund.simplepractice.refundpayment.png

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
  • refundamounts.simplepractice.refundpayment.png
  • Click Refund
  • Select Confirm Refund

To view a refund’s details:

  • Navigate to the client’s Billing tab
  • Filter by Transactions
  • 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 Unallocatedunallocated.simplepractice.billingoverv_iew.png
  • Or, click Unallocated in the Client billing summaryclickunallocated.simplepractice.billingoverview.png
  • Click View next to the paymentviewpayment.simplepractice.clientbilling.png

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 invoiceselectinvoice.simplepractice.paymentdetails.png

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 invoiceavailablecredit.simplepractice.confirmpayment.png
  • 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 paymentallocatecredit.simplepractice.addpayment.png

Negative unallocated payments

A negative unallocated payment will occur when an unallocated payment is refunded. Negative unallocated payments will be displayed in the Unallocated section of a client’s Billing tab, and will be in red with a negative sign:


To allocate a negative payment: 

  • Navigate to the payment you’d like to allocate 
  • Click View
  • Click Select invoice to choose an invoice to apply the negative payment toselectinvoice.simplepractice.unallocated.png

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 Payment details page
    • This amount will appear as a negative amountallocatenegativepayment.simplepractice.negativepayment.png
  • Click Allocate
  • Select Confirmconfirmnegativeallocation.simplepractice.confirmpayment.png
  • The payment will appear as an Adjustment in the client’s Billing tabadjustment.simplepractice.billingoverview.png

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.

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 detailsviewdetails.simplepractice.billingoverview.png


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 amounttotalfee.simplepractice.paymentdetails.png

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 paymentviewpayment.simplepractice.billingdetails.png

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 appointmenteditdetails.simplepractice.payment.png
  • Select the correct billing type in the Type dropdownappointmenttype.simplepractice.paymenttype.png
  • 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 pagerefund.simplepractice.paymentdetails.png
  • Use the Method dropdown and select Cash, Check, or External card
  • paymentmethod.simplepractice.refundpayment.png

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

  • Enter the Refund Amountrefundamount.simplepractice.refundpayment.png
  • Click Refund
  • Click Confirm Refund

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