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Create & Manage Billing Plans
Create & Manage Billing Plans

[For Admins + Billing Only Role] Learn how to create, manage, and deactivate student Billing Plans.

Sabrina avatar
Written by Sabrina
Updated yesterday

Billing plans are the core of brightwheel billing - they define the schedule and charges you want to bill families for on a regular (recurring basis). Billing plans can be set up to bill on weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, or annual frequencies.

Continue reading to learn about setting up templates, bill plans, adding discounts, splitting charges between payers, and more!


Create Billing Plan Templates

Simplify setting up student billing plans by using a template and save time! A template will contain the key reusable components of the billing plan (charge and payment schedule). Add a few core templates for your tuition rates & schedules, then apply those to students in the student bill plan creation process!

How to Create

  1. Navigate to the Billing page in your account on the web

  2. Open the Library tab

  3. On the Plan Templates tab, click the Create a new plan template button

  4. Set rate:

    1. Select the Billing frequency at which payers will receive invoices using the drop-down

    2. Add an existing charge from your billing library or click + Create a new charge

      1. If adding an existing charge from your library:

        1. Select the existing charge from the drop-down

        2. Add as many existing charges as relevant

        3. Click Actions on the charges row to Edit charge or Delete charge if needed

      2. If creating a new charge:

        1. Category: choose or add a category for the charge

        2. Description: add a description for the charge - this will be shown on the invoice.

        3. Amount: enter the amount for the charge.

        4. Save to library?: save your charge to the library to use it on future billing plans or invoices. You should select this option if this charge will be applicable for other students in the future.

        5. Click Save

        6. Repeat the steps to additional charges if needed

    3. Click Next

  5. Add Details:

    1. Input a Billing plan name - this will be visible to you but will not be seen by your families.

    2. Select the Invoice send date using the drop-down

  6. Click Create billing plan template


Manage Billing Plan Templates

Templates can be edited at any time to ensure new plans are set up with the latest rates. But it's important to note that edits to a template will not affect any existing student bill plans created on the previous version of the template.

How to Manage

  1. Navigate to the Billing page in your account on the web

  2. Open the Library tab

  3. On the Plan Templates tab, locate the applicable template

  4. Click the Actions drop-down menu

  5. Select Edit plan template or Delete plan template

    1. If editing:

      1. Make any needed changes to the Schedule or Charges

      2. When finished, click Update billing plan template

    2. If deleting:

      1. Click Delete to confirm the action


Create Billing Plans

Create a billing plan for single or multiple students from your account on the web. Bill plans can be created from scratch or from an existing template saved in your billing library. View the section applicable to your needs below!

Create from Scratch

  1. Use the Select an action drop-down menu on most Billing tabs to choose the Set up a billing plan option.
    💡 If you're specifically creating a plan for one student, you can use this same drop-down available on the individual student's billing profile.

  2. Add students

    1. Select one, multiple, or all students to create a billing plan for

    2. Click Next

  3. Set rate

    1. Select Start from scratch
      💡 If you do want to create a plan from a template, jump to and follow the steps in the section below instead!

    2. Select the Billing frequency at which payers will receive invoices using the drop-down

    3. Add an existing charge from your billing library or click + Create a new charge

      1. If adding an existing charge from your library:

        1. Select the existing charge from the drop-down

        2. Add as many existing charges as relevant

        3. Click Actions on the charges row to Edit charge or Delete charge if needed

      2. If creating a new charge:

        1. Category: choose or add a category for the charge

        2. Description: add a description for the charge - this will be shown on the invoice.

        3. [Optional] Notes: adding notes is optional. Add notes to provide additional information for payers on the invoice.

        4. Amount: enter the amount for the charge.

        5. Discount?: you can add a discount to the charge if the discount will apply to all students on the billing plan. If you would like to add discounts for individual students, you can do this for those students after creating the plan.

        6. Save to library?: save your charge to the library to use it on future billing plans or invoices. You should select this option if this charge will be applicable for other students in the future.

        7. Assign charge to specific payer(s)? - This option will only be available if you are creating a plan for a single student. You can select this option to choose how invoices will be split between the payers on the student’s account.
          💡 If you need to split charge responsibilities between payers, you will need to edit the payer assignments on each student's plan, as you will not see this option when creating plans in bulk.

        8. Click Save

        9. Repeat the steps to additional charges if needed

    4. Click Next

  4. Add details

    1. What will this plan be called? Give the billing plan a name - this will be visible to you but will not be seen by your families.

    2. When will this plan be in effect? Set the first payment due date and an optional Last payment due date

    3. When should payers receive invoices? Choose when invoices should be sent to families before their payment is due - this gives families an opportunity to review their charges before paying. For example, you may want invoices to go out 5 days before payment is due.

    4. [Optional] Add dates of service - Adding the billing period is optional; however, we highly recommend setting a billing period so that families can reference the dates of service for their invoices when filing their taxes or applying for reimbursement for their childcare expenses. This is relative to your billing period and first billing period date. For example, if you bill monthly, you can choose to set the billing period to the prior month or the next month.
      💡 If the dates of service on an existing plan need to be updated, you will need to delete the existing billing plan and create a new plan with the correct dates of service.

    5. [Optional] Add notes - This will show up on each invoice for parents to see

    6. If desired, check the box for Save plan as template for future use?

    7. Review the Payer experience box on the right side of the screen to determine if any changes are needed (and if so, use the Back button to perform them)

  5. When ready, click Create billing plan

ℹ️ You have the option to create one or multiple billing plans for each student. This allows for student accounts to be billed for certain services/charges on different frequencies or to set up plans such that when one expires, a new one kicks in (for example, if a student is transitioning between rooms).

Create using a Saved Template

You can use the Select an Action drop-down menu on most Billing tabs to choose the Set up a billing plan option. If you're specifically creating a plan for one student, you can use this same drop-down available on the individual student's billing profile. Once you've selected this, follow the steps below.

💡 Navigate to the Billing Library on the Plan Templates tab, locate the template, and click Actions to select Set up billing plans as well!

  1. Add students

    1. Select one, multiple, or all students to create a billing plan for using a template

    2. Click Next

  2. Set rate

    1. Select Start from saved template

    2. Select the appropriate template using the drop-down
      ℹ️ The selected template will fill in the Plan name, Billing frequency, Charges, and Invoice Send date. Change this information if desired but know that it won't change the actual template to be used on future plans.

    3. Click Next

  3. Add details

    1. When should the first payment be due? Set the first payment due date

    2. [Optional] When should the last payment be due? This is the last date a charge will be due, and the plan will expire on this selected date. We recommend using this if you know students will graduate or stop attending your program on a certain date. For example, if you offer Pre-K from August-May, then you could set an end date to stop billing when your program ends in May automatically.

    3. When should payers receive invoices? This will be auto-populated based on the template but can be edited as well. Choose when invoices should be sent to families before their payment is due - this gives families an opportunity to review their charges before paying. For example, you may want invoices to go out 5 days before payment is due.

    4. [Optional] Add dates of service - Adding the billing period is optional; however, we highly recommend setting a billing period so that families can reference the dates of service for their invoices when filing their taxes or applying for reimbursement for their childcare expenses. This is relative to your billing period and first billing period date. For example, if you bill monthly, you can choose to set the billing period to the prior month or the next month.

    5. [Optional] Add notes - This will show up on each invoice for parents to see

  4. Review the Payer experience box on the right side of the screen to determine if any changes are needed (and if so, use the Back button to perform them)

  5. When ready, click Create billing plan


Edit Billing Plans

You can edit student billing plans once they have been created to edit charges, add discounts, or split invoices between payers. To edit a recurring charge so that all future invoices reflect that amount:

  1. Navigate to the Billing page in your account on the web

  2. Click to open Students and select Student Plans
    💡This will show you a list of all of the student plans you have created

  3. Find the student plan you would like to edit and click Actions, and then Manage billing plan

  4. Next to the plan that you would like to edit, click Actions and then View / Edit

  5. Click the ✏️ in the 'Charges' section to edit charges on the plan

  6. Find the charge you would like to edit and click Actions

    1. Click Edit charge to edit the change charge details, add discounts, or split invoices between payers

    2. Click Delete charge to delete the specific charge from the plan immediately

  7. Once edits are completed, click Save

  8. Click Apply changes

  9. Once you're back on the preview page, click Confirm billing plan changes to finalize the updates


Add Discounts to Billing Plans

You can add discounts to charges on individual student plans after their billing plans have been created. For example, if you created billing plans for your toddler classroom but have two students whose families receive an employee discount, you can edit the plans for those two students to add the discount to the charges on their plan.

  1. When editing a billing plan, choose the charge that you would like to add a discount to and select Edit charge from the Actions menu next to the charge

  2. When editing the charge, select the Discount? checkbox and enter the discount details.

    • Discount amount - You can enter discount amounts as dollars ($) or as a percent (%) discount. Select which type of discount you would like to add and enter the discount amount.

    • Discount description - Select or add a category for the discount. You can choose from existing discount types that are commonly used by centers or type a description to add your own.

    • Notes - Adding a note is optional. You can add a note to provide more information about the discount - this will show to families on the invoice.

    • New charge total - The new amount for the charge will be calculated based on the discount amount you added. Review the amount in this field to make sure your discount is correct.

  3. Click Save

  4. Once you have added your discount details and reviewed the new charge total, click Apply changes to save the discounted charge to the billing plan.

  5. Review the overall plan details and click Confirm billing plan changes to update the student’s billing plan


Split Charges Between Payers

We know that not all students' invoices are paid by a single-payer. Sometimes families want to split invoices across multiple payers, or students may have an alternate funding source that pays for their childcare costs. You can edit how invoices are split across payers by editing the charges on a student’s billing plan. If you split charges, the payers will all receive notifications of charges based on the portion that they're responsible for.

  1. When editing a billing plan, choose the charge that you would like to split between payers and select Edit charge from the Actions menu next to the charge

  2. Toggle the switch for Assign $ charge to specific payer(s)? to YES

  3. Click the checkboxes of the payers who should be responsible for this charge.

  4. [Optional] Adjust the Amount due per payer to not be evenly distributed

  5. Press Save once all changes have been made

  6. Click Apply changes

  7. Review the overall plan details and click Confirm billing plan changes to update the student’s billing plan

ℹ️ Discounts must be added before splitting the charge and they'll be applied proportionally based on the subtotals due for each payer.


Add Co-Pays to Billing Plans

There are two ways to manage co-pays in brightwheel.

Co-Pay charges

If you expect to receive subsidy payments for a student but do not need or want families to see that amount, you can create or update the student’s billing plan so that only the copay amount that the parent owes is reflected.

  1. Navigate to the Billing page in your account on the web

  2. Click to open the Library

  3. Open the Fixed Charges tab

  4. Click Create a new fixed charge

  5. Select the charges Category, add a Description, and leave the Amount as $0.00

  6. Click Save to library

  7. Create a new billing plan or edit an existing billing plan to add the co-pay charge you created
    💡 Edit the charge to change the amount to the amount of the student’s co-pay!

Co-Pay discounts

If you would like the original/standard amount and the subsidized amount displayed to families, you can add a discount to the original amount to reduce it to the amount the family should pay, noting the agency in the description. For example, if you charge $500 and the payer has a $100 co-pay, you can edit the charge to add a $400 discount with the description ‘Subsidy’.


Manage Family/Sibling Billing

We understand that many programs have families with siblings enrolled.

To bill families, we strongly recommend billing siblings separately on individual billing plans as outlined above. This method is easiest for administrators to manage and will result in clearer reporting and accounting.

Bundled Sibling Payments also have other significant benefits for your program and families! Learn more about Bundled Sibling Payments in our resource here.


Deactivate Billing Plans

Deactivating or deleting a billing plan will ensure recurring invoices are no longer posted to a student's billing account. There are many reasons why you may want to deactivate a billing plan, including:

  • A family is leaving the program

  • A student has graduated from the program

  • Tuition rates for the program have been updated

  • A student is moving to a different classroom with a new tuition rate

  • The send date or due date of the billing plan need to be changed

  • A duplicate billing plan was created by accident

🚩 Deactivating a billing plan is permanent and cannot be undone. If you delete a plan by accident, we recommend creating a new plan.

ℹ️ Instead of deactivating, you can also pause billing plans. Learn more here.

Deactivate an Individual Student's Plan

  1. Open the Billing tab on the web

  2. Search the student's name in the 'Jump to student profile...' box

  3. Select the student's name, from the drop-down

  4. Open the Account details tab

  5. Under Billing Plans, click Actions on the applicable plan

  6. Select Deactivate

  7. Provide a Reason to deactivate

  8. Select the Deactivate starting on date or check the box to End immediately

  9. When finished, click Confirm

If you choose to Deactivate starting on a specific date then one last charge will be due for the plan before it automatically deletes itself. Additionally:

  1. The plan's Starts/ends date will be visible on the student's Account details page

  2. Once deleted, the plan will no longer generate new charges and will be listed under the Inactive tab on the student's Account details page

Deactivate in Bulk

  1. Navigate to the Billing page in your account on the web

  2. Click to open the Students page

  3. Jump to the Student Plans tab

  4. Use the checkboxes on the applicable student's rows and click Deactivate selected plans at the bottom of the page

  5. Select a Reason to deactivate

  6. Click Confirm

💡 If after deactivating a billing plan, the student's account still displays a balance from unintended charges you can fix this by Reducing or Voiding invoices that have been posted to the account to bring their balance owed down to $0.00.

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