AutoPay Overview

Overview

AutoPay — a feature of VC Pay — processes payments in schedule AutoPay batches. This overview article covers aspects of configuring these batches and best practice workflow.

Scheduled AutoPay Batches

Veracross creates specific batches depending on your school’s tuition configuration, taking into account invoice type, payment plan, installment and school year.

The AutoPay Homepage

AutoPay_Admin security role is required to access the AutoPay homepage and AutoPay batches. This homepage provides quick access to AutoPay batches and configuration options.

The AutoPay Batch Header Record

General

Batches are at the center of AutoPay functionality. They can be reviewed and approved. Reviewing batches is optional but suggested as part of your office’s workflow. Batches must be approved to move them through the AutoPay cycle.

These are the highlights of the header (“Processing Queue”) record:

SectionFieldMeaning
GeneralBatch TypeInvoice Payments
GeneralScheduled Batch DateDate that approved AutoPay batch will be automatically processed.  
Scheduled ReminderDateScheduled AutoPay Reminder date associated with the AutoPay batch.
  • Reminder emails will be sent to all payers in the batch with AutoPay Amounts greater than $0.
  • Scheduled reminder dates can be manually updated on the AutoPay batch header record after batch creation.
Invoice CriteriaBegin Due Date
Begin date range for all unpaid invoice items included in the batch.  Unpaid items dated earlier than the begin due date make up the Overdue Amount.
Invoice CriteriaEnd Due DateEnd date range for all unpaid invoice items included in the batch.
Approval StatusApproved?Status – a batch must be approved in order for it to run.
Review StatusReviewed?Optionally, mark the batch as reviewed to assist with batch workflow.

Validation

On the right of the AutoPay batch header are validation fields that highlight details about the batch that are worthy of note. They are informational only and do not prevent the batch from being approved.  Click the “Open Record”  icon  to view the payments.

  • First Time Payment Account: Number of payments in this batch that are being paid by payment accounts where this is the first time that payment account has ever been used for anything related to AutoPay. This will be all of them the first time a batch runs.
  • Non-resident Payment Account: The owner of the payment account does not live with the student whose invoice is going to be paid
  • Amount-related Fields:
    • Payment > Unpaid: payments that are charging more than the invoice’s unpaid amount
    • Number of Overrides: payments with override amounts
    • Override > Expected: payments with overrides greater than their respective expected amounts
    • Override < Expected: payments with overrides less than their respective expected amounts

Payment Records

Below the header record (“Processing Queue”) are the payments that comprise the batch.  The tabs act as quick filters:

  • All Invoices: shows all invoices (the default view)
  • Type – CC: displays only payments with the payment amount type of credit card
  • Type – ACH: displays only payments with the payment amount type of ACH
  • Overrides: displays payments with override amounts
  • Excluded: displays payments that have been excluded by setting the “Status” field to “Exclude”
  • Pending Payments: displays unposted pending payments

Here are the highlights:

FieldMeaning
StatusInclude or Exclude: Determines whether the payment will be included or excluded from the particular batch; manually update as needed
ModifiedDisplays system or manual modified records since the last batch “Review”.
Invoice NumberLink to the invoice towards which the payment will be counted.
Total Unpaid AmountReflects the unpaid amount on the invoice for reference.
Scheduled AmountReflects the scheduled amount toward this invoice. Click on the invoice number to see the invoice items used in the calculation. 
Overdue AmountReflects any past due payments toward this invoice. Click on the invoice number to see the invoice items used in the calculation. 
Pending PaymentsReflects any unposted payments toward this invoice.
Expected AmountThe amount that Veracross calculates should be paid. he Expected Amount equals the Schedule Amount + Overdue Amount - Pending Payments. 
Override AmountManually enter an override if needed.
AutoPay AmountReflects either the expected or override amount.
Account DescriptionReflects the credit card or bank account that will be used.
Resend Reminder EmailSelect and update to manually resend reminder emails via the action menu.

Action Menu Items

There are several Action menu items to help you review and approve AutoPay batches:

  • Review Batch: Marks the batch as reviewed and resets the modified field on the batch. Optional if helpful in your office’s workflow.
  • Approve Batch: Approves the batch for processing. Required to process the batch. An approved batch is locked. Unapprove, to make edits before it is processed.
    • All batches including those with $0 must be approved or set obsolete. 
  • Unapprove Batch: Unapprove an approved batch to make additional edits.
  • Refresh Batch: Force a refresh of the overnight process that refreshes the batch. Here’s what happens:
    • Any missing items are added.
    • Expected amounts are updated to include any changes from the invoice as well as any pending payments.
    • Payment accounts are updated if the parent made a change.
  • Full Reset: Clears all payments and re-creates the entire batch. Overrides and excludes are removed as are any other settings you may have manually adjusted.
  • Set Batch Obsolete: Marks a batch as obsolete if it does not need to be processed.
    • All batches including those with $0 must be approved or set obsolete. 
  • Resend Reminder Notification: Sends a reminder email to any payer associated payments that have “Resend Reminder Email” checked

Refresh the Batch

Unapproved batches are refreshed overnight, picking up any student billing changes that happened since the last refresh. You can manually run the process at any time for any unapproved batch:

  1. Click the Action menu (lightning bolt).
  2. Click Refresh Batch and confirm the action when prompted.

When a batch is refreshed, overrides and excluded payments are retained. Here’s what is updated:

  • Any missing items are added.
  • Expected amounts are updated to include any changes from the invoice as well as any pending payments.
  • Payment accounts are updated if the parent made a change.

When doing a final review, refreshing the batch is recommended to ensure that any recent changes are reflected.

Review the Batch

Reviewing batches is optional but can be beneficial to your AutoPay workflow.

When a batch is reviewed:

  • The modified record counter is activated on the first review and reset with additional reviews. The modified record flag displays any system or manual record modifications since the last review.
  • Review date and person are populated on the batch.
  • Review date and person are capture in the audit log.

Approve and Unapprove the Batch

AutoPay batches must be approved in order to be processed. To manually approve a batch, on the AutoPay batch detail screen:

  1. Click the Action menu (lightning bolt).
  2. Click Approve Batch and confirm the action when prompted.

Once the batch has been approved, it is locked and cannot be edited. To make a change before the batch is processed, first unapprove it:

  1. Click the Action menu (lightning bolt).
  2. Click Unapprove Batch and confirm the action when prompted.
Batches must be approved by 9:00 AM local time to be processed the same day. Batches approved after 9:00 AM are automatically rescheduled for the following business day.  

AutoPay Processing:

Automatic AutoPay processing occurs Monday - Friday between 9:00 am ET - 5:00 pm ET. AutoPay processing does not occur on weekends or holidays.

System Email Templates

Access System Email templates on the AutoPay Homepage under Invoice Defaults. System Email Templates can be customized by adding a customized school message via the school message tab.

Parent Reminder

Notify payers of upcoming AutoPay processing automatically or manually.

  • Automatically: Scheduled Reminder dates in the batch header are generated based on the "days before batch" configuration on the invoice defaults screen. An email will get sent on that date at 3pm EST to all payers associated with the batch.  Click the date on the individual batch to override the date. 
    • Schedule reminder dates must be between 1-10 days prior to processing date
    • Schedule reminder dates cannot be modified after scheduled reminder has been sent
    • Schedule reminder dates cannot be set to "today"
    • Schedule reminder dates cannot be set to a date in the past.
    • Schedule reminder dates cannot be set to a date after the batch processing date
    • Schedule reminder dates can only be edited by AutoPay_admin.
  • Disable Automatic reminders by setting the Scheduled Reminder status on Invoice Defaults  to “Disabled”.
  • Manually: Check “Resend Reminder Email” on the far right of the individual payment record, then run the Resend Reminder Notifications. The main recommended use case is to send a reminder to people whose invoices have an override amount, perhaps after the initial reminder went out and you later applied the override.

Both emails use a system email template accessible via the System Email Templates link on the AutoPay Homepage under Invoice Defaults.

Parent Notifications

Automatic notifications are sent to parents upon AutoPay processing:

  • Credit Card Success: Notifies parents that credit card payments were successful.
  • ACH Pending: Notifies parents that ACH payments are pending
  • ACH Success: Notifies parents that ACH payments were successful.
  • Failure: Notifies parents that payments failed.

Business Office Notifications

There are three notification emails that get sent to your business office. Set the recipients in the “To Address” field of the system email templates.

  • Batch Approval Reminder: Goes out three (3) days prior to the processing date if the batch has not been approved. Resends daily until the batch is approved.
  • AutoPay Batch Process Complete: This email sends once to confirm that a batch has been processed, including basic statistics such as batch details (type, date, name), number of successful and failed credit cards, and number of pending ACH payments. Review any failed transactions for follow-up with payers.
  • ACH Payment Summary: This email sends daily once for prior day ACH processing activity, typically several days after a batch processes since ACH payments take longer to clear than credit card transactions. Shows successful and failed ACH payments. Review any failed ACH payments.

Recommended Batch Processing Workflow

  1. Locate upcoming batches days before processing via AutoPay Homepage.
  2. Manually “Refresh” the batch via the action menu for updated payment record details. (optional) 
    • Batches in an unapproved state will automatically refresh nightly.  Manually refreshing the batch will update payment record details in real time.
  3. Review payment record details for correct AutoPay Amounts including any overrides or excludes
  4. Manually “Review” the batch via the action menu to time stamp and activate the modified record counter. (optional)
  5. Before processing, “Refresh” the batch again to see if anything changed. (optional)
  6. Send manual reminder emails to any payers where AutoPay amounts may have changed since the automatic reminder email was sent. (See Query: AutoPay Reminders Not Set on the AutoPay homepage)
  7. Repeat steps 2 – 6 as needed.
  8. Manually “Approve” the batch the day before scheduled processing.
    • Approved batches are locked and do not refresh nightly.