Documenting Member Refunds

There is likely to come a time when you will want to give someone a refund for all or part of their CSA share cost. These instructions are to help you properly document any refunds you give to a member.

When a member is cancelling a membership, it can be tempting to just offer them their refund and then to delete the membership from your database, but we advise against doing this. Instead we recommend that you annotate the refund against their invoice and then create an adjusting entry to show the refund against their payments. This creates a “paper trail” for your records in case you need to reference the membership or payments in the future.

1) Give the member their refund

The first thing you need to do is send your member their refund. If the member paid by Paypal or Authorize.net, you can simply login via your Paypal or Authorize.net account and issue them a refund. If the member paid by check, then you should issue them a check for their refund.

2) Adjust their invoice

If the refund is due to the member changing their member type to one with a lower price, then their invoice should adjust automatically when their member type is adjusted (either by you, or by a membership update request). However, if the refund is because they are cancelling their membership or for some other reason, you will need to make the adjustment manually.

Find the member in the database and bring up their membership dashboard. Click on the “Balance” tab and click “view invoice” next to the invoice for the season that is being refunded. Add an adjustment to the invoice with the description “REFUND”, make the adjustment a discount and enter the amount of the refund. Be sure to click the “ADD” button to save the adjustment.

3) Add adjusting entry for payment

You will now want to make an adjustment on the payment side. Once again get back to the “Balance” tab and click on “Add payment to Membership”. Under the payment type, choose refund. Since a refund is in effect a reverse payment, you will need to enter the amount as a negative amount. For example, if you are giving a $100 refund, enter “-100” into the amount field. In the comments field, enter any notes about the refund including how the refund was issued (check, Paypal, Authorize.net). Then hit submit. The refund will now appear as a separate line item on the Balance page.

4) Final adjustments

If the refund was for a cancelled membership, the last thing you will want to do is to disable the membership. In the member’s main dashboard page, click the “disable membership” button. This will leave a record of the membership existing and the payments made against it, but the membership will be removed from share counts, pickup lists, etc.

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