Collecting a deposit is best practice for accountants, bookkeepers or any professional services business looking to improve cash flow and minimise business risk - especially when engaging new clients.
Let's learn how to create a deposit in the New Proposal Editor.
Table of Contents
How to include a deposit on your services
Please note that deposits are only available with our New Proposal Editor and for services with a Fixed Price Type.
You will see a Deposit preset in the Services step in the New Proposal Editor.
When selected, this preset creates a new type of Billing Rule - a deposit.
When you add a service with a fixed price to this billing rule, you will see the price for that service split evenly across two billing events.
The first is the upfront deposit your client will pay.
The second for the balance that is due upon completion.
Note: Default split is 50% and 50%.
The deposit can be manually billed or automatically billed. The balance will always be manually billed. This is to safeguard against accidental billing.
Remember that you always have full control over your billing. If you wish, you can always schedule the balance to be billed automatically sooner or later once the billing items are created.
Changing the deposit amount
You can customize the amount on the deposit and the system will automatically adjust the balance according to the total service price.
Please note that you can only change the amount on the initial deposit. The remaining balance will change automatically based on the deposit. This is for control reasons to minimize billing errors.
At this point in time we are unable to enter a percentage amount - see the FAQ section for more information.
Customizing the names and dates of the deposit and balance
By selecting Edit Billing Rules, you can also customize the date and name for each billing event.
Please note: The date defines when the deposit and the remaining balance will be billed. The name is used for context and is shown alongside the service name in the proposal and invoices.
If you add multiple services to a deposit billing rule, all the services in the billing rule will be billed on the same dates that you choose.
If you want to bill different deposits on different dates, you will need to create a new Billing Rule.
What your client sees
You can preview how deposits display to your client in the Presentation step of the New Proposal Editor.
In the live preview, you will see in the Schedule step that the service is split into two separate payments, with the context shown in front of the service name for each.
This will also show in the Options step (if using Proposal Options).
And just like one time services, the billing dates for a deposit service are hidden by default in the client proposal view.
If you want to change this, you can disable the Hide date for ‘one time’ and ‘deposit’ services toggle.
You can also click Preview Client Experience to see this from your client’s perspective.
If you are using Ignition to create invoices in your connected accounting ledger, each billing event will be shown separately with context (will display the name) on the invoice that is sent to your client.
Indicators in Billing Schedule tab
Billing items that include a deposit will be indicated in your client’s Billing Schedule tab.
You will see context for each billing event (deposit, balance) when you click into the specific billing item that relates to a deposit.
Indicators in the Invoices tab
Deposits are also indicated in your client’s Invoices tab.
When you select a specific invoice in your client’s Invoices tab, you will see an indication of what the billing event is (deposit, balance).
Indicators in the Services tab
When you navigate to your client’s Services tab, you will see an indicator besides the agreed service that denotes that this particular service contains multiple schedules, which can include a deposit.
When you click into the service and navigate to the Schedule tab, you will see the total billed amount for that service split into two payments, with context shown for each. (clicking into the actual service)
Can I enter a percentage amount rather than entering the dollar amount?
Not at the moment due to technical complexities around rounding errors (issues with decimal points). We will be investigating this in the future and it is our preference to have the ability to manipulate both percentages and dollar amounts.
Is it possible to have a deposit on recurring or variable services?
We currently only support deposits for services that are billed one time with a fixed price type. However, this is on the plans for development in the future - stay tuned!