What are Charge Categories?
Charge categories are labels used to describe the charges that you can add to a family account.
Before creating any charges for a family, you will need to set up charge categories to track the charges in iClassPro (Tuition, Registration Fees, ProShop Items, etc). Charge categories also affect financial reporting and help protect against duplicate charges.
To configure the charge categories, go to Settings>Setup>General Settings> Charge Categories.
Where do you see the charge category labels?
Anytime you create a charge, it must be labeled with a charge category. The charge category will automatically populate in the title of the charge on the family’s ledger, on customer statements, and when a customer views their ledger from the parent portal. Therefore, you will want to use charge category titles that are clear to both you and your customers.
How are they utilized?
The primary uses of charge categories in iClassPro is on financial reports. Most financial reports can sort by the charge category. This is why it is important to be consistent in using the same charge categories for the same types of charges-- to get an accurate snapshot of your business' income.
(Below is a sample of a Category List report entry.)
Charge categories are also used to detect duplicate tuition charges. For instance, if someone already has a charge for ‘2014 January Tuition’ attached to an enrollment, when you run your class billing for the charge category ‘2014 January Tuition’ using the default duplicate detection setting, then that student will not be charged.
(Below is an example of a Class Tuition Charge where a duplicate charge has been detected.)
Charge categories are also used to record transactions in order to complete online registration through the parent portal. You have the ability to select a specific charge category for classes and one for camps. If you fail to set a required charge category, customers will receive an error message saying the Auto-Charge Charge Category has not been set.
A charge category must be selected under Settings>Parent Portal>Class Registration if you are auto-approving and charging for classes as customers register online.
Under Settings>Parent Portal>Camp Registration, you are required to select a charge category for any camps you wish to offer online registration for, regardless of whether or not you auto-charge the camp tuition. Unlike classes, camps allow you to toggle the auto-charge option individually for each camp you create, so the charge category is a required setting.
When setting up your charge categories, we recommend creating a different charge category for each tuition billing period. Often, this period is monthly, so charge categories such as "August Tuition" work best. If you bill per session, you can also create a full session charge category such as "2013 Fall Tuition." This means that the same charge category will not likely repeat during the enrollment period and will provide for the most accurate duplicate detection.
"Registration Fees" or "Anniversary Charges", should be tracked as a separate charge category and program than tuition charges. This way, you can keep the two income streams separate in financial reports.
If you bill teams or customers for uniforms or competition fees directly related to class performances or events, tracking them in separate charge categories such as "Team Uniforms" or "Competition Fees" allows you to utilize reports to see which students have not yet paid those fees quickly and how much income they are generating over a time period.
ProShop items or Concessions should be grouped under separate charge categories as well. Remember, this is just a label for sorting, so you can enter the price for individual units on the charge itself and still use this label and the charge titles and a brief description of the product.
Expiration Dates can be set for charge categories so that they will no longer be able to be used for new charges.
*Since you are not deleting the charge categories, they will still be available for reports & you can always remove the expiration date to put them back on the list available for use.
You will want to also perform routine maintenance by updating the Charge Categories used for Parent Portal Registrations on a regular basis. If you are offering online registration that automatically charges for enrollments, the charge category used in your settings should match the charge category you are using for the current billing period to help prevent duplicate charges when processing Class Tuition Charges.
*Find these Auto-Charge Charge Categories under Settings>Parent Portal>Class Registration and Settings>Parent Portal>Camp Registration.