How are Membership Balances calculated?
You may allow your members to carry a balance on their Membership accounts. This means that they do not have to pay the full cost of their share or membership type all at once, which can be helpful for people who would rather defer the cost of membership over time. Member Assembler keeps track of the money that each Membership owes you by tracking invoice items and payments and then calculating a Membership Balance. The follow simple formula is how these balances are determined:
Sum of invoice items - Sum of payments - Future scheduled payments = Membership Balance
Below you will find more extensive information about calculating Membership Balances. However, since Membership Balances are calculated automatically for you, feel free to skip this section and go directly to End of Season Balances at the conclusion of this article.
The following section goes into more detail about the Membership Balance formula for a better understanding of the calculations involved and how "future scheduled payments" fit into the final balance.
The fist number, "sum of invoice items", includes the initial membership cost as well as any charges, discounts, or adjustments that were applied. For example, the "sum of invoice items" may be:
$300 for the share type - $20 early bird discount + $5 credit card payment charge = $285.
The "sum of payments" is the total of all the payments made towards the Membership Balance so far. Lets say our member paid 50% of the membership ($150) when she signed up and then made an additional payment of $35 later on. Therefore the "sum of payments" would be: $150 + $35 = $185.
Lastly, if your member has set up automated scheduled payments using Authorize.Net, the "future scheduled payments" will also be subtracted from the Membership Balance. This is done because we can assume that these payments will be made as scheduled. Our example member has 4 scheduled payments of $25 each over the course of her membership, so her future scheduled payment total is $100 ($25 x 4).
Using our example member, the Membership Balance calculation would look like this:
$285 (sum of invoice items) - $185 (sum of payments) - $100 (future scheduled payments) = $0
Most of the time when using automated scheduled payments, the Membership Balance will always be zero. When an automated scheduled payment is made, it is removed from "future scheduled payments" and included in the "sum of payments" in the Membership Balance formula. So, in our example, after the first automated payment is made, the Membership Balance formula would look like this: $285 - $210 - $75 =$0 The first payment of $25 was moved from a "future payment" to a payment that has been made and 3 future payments of $25 remain.
If, for whatever reason, a scheduled payment fails, it will not
be subtracted from the Membership Balance and that money will show
up as still being owed. Let's say the first automated payment
failed because our member's credit card information has expired.
The Membership Balance would now look like this: $285 - $185 - $75
= $25. Notice that a future payment was removed, but not reflected
in the "sum of payments" because it failed to be paid. Because of
that failed payment, the member will owe $25 on their Membership at
the end of the Season.
If you are not using automated scheduled payments, most of your memberships will carry a balance that they can slowly pay down, or pay all at once at any time. Note: Membership Balance is cumulative; meaning that if your member owes money from one Season, it will carry over to the next Season.
It is a good idea to persuade people to settle up at the end of each Season so that your balances will all be paid and your members will start the new Season without an outstanding balance. Members can check their own balances if you Configure Status Emails and enable them through your website.
For more information on payments, invoices, or balances, read the following articles:
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- Can I use Small Farm Central's services if I already have a website?
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