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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).

Continue reading to learn about setting up these plans, editing them, adding discounts, splitting charges between payers, adding co-pays, and how to manage family/sibling billing!

Table of Contents

Creating Billing Plans

You can create billing plans for a single student or multiple students at once in your account on the web! 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're in the setup workflow, complete the following actions:

  1. Select or search to add students

    • Select one or multiple students to create the plan for. We recommend setting up plans for all students who have the same charges and billing frequency in a group when you set up your first set of plans - this helps you create plans for all students quickly. You can add discounts and split invoices between payers once plans are created.

  2. Set Schedule

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

    • How often should payers receive bills? Set the frequency for when parents should be billed; we currently support:

      • Weekly: invoices go out 1X per week

      • Biweekly: invoices go out every 2 weeks

      • Bimonthly: invoices go out 2 times per month; you can set these to go out on the 1st and 15th of the month OR the 15th and last day of the month

      • Monthly: invoices go out 1X per month

    • When do you want the first payment to be due? Set the first payment due date.

    • [Optional] Add last payment date - 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.

    • When should payers receive their 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.

    • [Optional] Add billing period to the invoice - 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.

  3. Add charges

    • You can add charges to your billing plan that you want to bill families for on a recurring basis. You can add as many charges as you would like to your billing plan.

      • You can add existing charges from the library to reuse charges you have previously created by clicking in the search bar and selecting one of the results.

      • You can add a new charge to set up how you bill for the services you provide by clicking + Create a new charge

        • Category: choose or add a category for the charge

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

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

        • Amount: enter the amount for the charge.

        • 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.

        • 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.

        • 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.
          Please Note: 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.

  4. Preview and Confirm

    • Preview the billing plan details and confirm that everything is correct.

    • Add an optional Note in the 'Notes' section that will show up on each invoice for parents to see

    • Once all looks good, click Create billing plan!

💡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).

Editing 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. Log in to brightwheel, and navigate to the Billing tab

  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

You can also pause or delete billing plans from the 'Student Plans' tab in bulk! To learn more about pausing and resuming plans, view our resource here. To delete a plan, simply use the checkbox to select the appropriate students and click the Deactivate selected plans option at the bottom of the page.

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. 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.

  4. 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 Split $ charge across payers? to Yes

  3. Click the checkboxes of the payers who should be responsible for this charge.
    Please Note: By default, it will split the charges evenly.

  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

It's important to note that 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. Log in to brightwheel, and navigate to the Billing tab

  2. Click to open the Library

  3. Select Create a new fixed charge and add a charge to the library with an amount of $0.00.

  4. 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.

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