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Advanced: Recurring Transactions

How to handle special billing cases, such as recurring transactions for members that are on payment plans.

Jaime Morgan, CAE avatar
Written by Jaime Morgan, CAE
Updated over a week ago

Your organization may have a member that needs special dues billing on a one-off basis, such as a monthly, quarterly, or bi-annual payment plan.

This can be achieved by setting up a recurring transaction in QuickBooks Online to take care of the payments. However, you'll also need to update some information in Novi so the regular dues rules don't apply to this member.

Recurring transactions in QuickBooks Online is a feature that lets users create templates for transactions that happen regularly and reuse them. This feature can help save time and reduce mistakes by automating repetitive tasks, such as journal entries, invoices, checks, and bills. It can also be used to create templates for complex or lengthy invoices or journals.

If you'd like Novi to account for situations like this, you'll want to follow this workflow:

  1. Set up a custom field for Special Billing to track the members who need this particular situation

  2. Update your Dues Rules with a Condition to include the new Custom Field

  3. Create the Recurring Transaction in QuickBooks Online

  4. Most Important: Don't Lose Track of This

Step 1: Set Up a "Special Billing" Custom Field

Create a custom field for member records called Special Billing.

  • We recommend using a set of options (e.g. Yes/No or Monthly/Quarterly), instead of checkboxes.

  • Under Visibility, check the box next to both Members and Dues Rules.

  • Be sure to set this for Internal Use Only so that your members can't see or change it.

  • Determine if this should apply to either Individuals or Companies (or both) and if it should be restricted to a certain Member Type.

Custom Field Setup:

  • Once the field has been created, don't forget to update the value on the member's record.

Step 2: Update your Dues Rules in the Member Type Settings

You will need to add a condition group to your dues rules to exclude any member record that has "special billing" set to yes. To do this, you'll need to add the following condition group to every dues rule within that member type.

  • In the Rule Conditions section, click the + Add Group link

  • Add a Rule for "Special Billing" equals "No"

  • Add a Rule for "Special Billing" is null (this accounts for cases where you haven't set the value for that field)

  • Set the group to be "OR" so that either one of these rules can be met instead of both

Step 3: Create a Recurring Transaction in QuickBooks Online

To set up the actual payment plan, you'll need to create the Recurring Transaction in QuickBooks Online. Check out this great resource from QuickBooks:

Step 4: Most Important: Don't Lose Track of This

The most important thing to remember in this entire workflow is that you are essentially bypassing Novi's dues rules by doing this. We designed Novi to be this flexible and to rely on QuickBooks functionality like recurring transactions, so you're not completely in the wild. But you are taking full responsibility to ensure that these "special billing" members are billed appropriately.

Track Special Billing with a Custom Report

It's a good idea to create a custom membership report within Novi to use as a safeguard. This will allow you to track all of your "special billing" members in one place.

  • The basic condition would be "special billing" equal "yes"

  • In the image below, under Display Settings, the member's name and expiration date are displayed, but feel free to add additional fields or customize it how you'd like.

Add details about your process to Novi Notes

Additionally, since this is bypassing the dues rules, Novi Notes are a great place to document the process used for this special circumstance. You can link to the Custom Report for easy reference, too!


What about the member's expiration date?

If the Member Type has auto-renewal disabled, then you will need to manually update the member's expiration date each term.

If the Member Type is set up to auto-renew and the Auto-Renew Membership checkbox on the member's record is checked, then the member will continue to renew automatically with everyone else. This means their expiration date will be moved forward to next year, but an invoice will not be created by Novi.

If the member should not automatically have their expiration date moved forward, go to the Details tab on their record and uncheck the Auto-Renew Membership setting. Then, add a step to your process to manually update their expiration date at the appropriate time.

How do I drop this member if their credit card charge is not successful on the recurring transaction in QuickBooks Online?

Since these members cannot be dropped using the Non-Renew & Credit process, you'll need to manually update the expiration date on the Details tab of the member's record in Novi. Simply edit the date to one year prior - 12/31/2021 becomes 12/31/2020.

What steps do I take if the member requests to be dropped?

  1. Edit the expiration date on the member's record in Novi (see previous answer above for more details)

  2. Cancel the recurring transaction in QuickBooks Online

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