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ChrisHein
04-06-2011, 10:42 AM
So I'm considering adding a recurring billing system to my school, and there is a sea of choices. What do most of you use? What kind of drawbacks/advantages do you feel that system offers?

Do many of you simply take checks/cash (that's what I do) or do you find a billing system helps dramatically?

Thanks for the help!

lbb
04-06-2011, 02:39 PM
Our dojo uses Quickbooks, which is accounting software designed for running a small business. It handles recurring invoices just fine and also handles all other aspects of business accounting. If you don't know anything about accounting it can be pretty overwhelming, however.

Janet Rosen
04-06-2011, 03:18 PM
Nagging.:)

Janet Rosen
04-06-2011, 03:21 PM
In all seriousness, a couple of dojos in SF where I used to train had us signing up for automatic billpay via cc or bank but I don't recall them using a specific third party just having each of us do it thru our cc or bank.

Pauliina Lievonen
04-06-2011, 03:38 PM
At our dojo most people pay through automatic pay through their bank I think. That's the most common way of paying monthly bills anyway...but it might be different over there. :)

Pauliina

ChrisHein
04-06-2011, 10:37 PM
Thanx from the replies!

Jeff Sodeman
04-07-2011, 02:25 AM
Affiliated.org has been recommended by a few people.

AsimHanif
04-07-2011, 07:44 AM
I've used eFit for 7 years and I'm very happy with their service.
http://www.efitfinancial.com/

chillzATL
04-07-2011, 08:05 AM
Have you looked to see what options paypal has? Many in our dojo use it to pay fees and it may have options to allow you to setup billing cycles and such.

Anjisan
04-07-2011, 07:57 PM
We use the high-tech system of an an envelope posted to a bullitin board to place checks in. Perhaps if the instructors are teaching for a living then paypal etc maybe is used more. However, martial arts instructors of any art that teach full-time to make a living can open a whole host of "other issues."

danj
04-07-2011, 11:41 PM
I developed and ran a large university club for a while, paypal took the headache out of collecting fees from regular punters, who also appreciated the discount we offered for using it. prepayment for beginners courses meant we knew how many were coming before they turned up. It was hands down preffered over using billing systems (we tried both) as the control to stop payments was in the members hands. One offs and regular monthly payments were pretty easy to do. There is a little bit of fiddle generating buttons for a website and an email each time a payment was made is automatically generated. As a non profit club it meant less time was spent collecting money and more just getting on the mat. YMMV

George S. Ledyard
04-08-2011, 12:54 AM
Affiliated Acceptance Corporation
Afiliated Website (http://www.affiliated.org/)

We do strictly auto pay. Folks can have their dues taken out of a checking account or put on a credit card. As far as I am concerned, it is the only way to go.

I was pretty much the first one in my own organization to use a service for dues collection. Many have followed me. I have never had a person tell me it wasn't an improvement. The most common response is "I should have done it years ago!"

Those very rare individuals who refuse to do auto pay may pay quarterly, in advance. They may not do monthly. The AAC drops my money directly into my bank account, has all the reports I need on-line. I can download these reports into Excel. Since I can download all my transactions directly off the Bank of America website into Quicken, I do not handle checks or need to do manual deposits. I get e-mails if anyone is delinquent.

All of our seminars are handled by Eventsbot.com (http://www.eventsbot.com/). Payment for all seminars is done via PayPal and I can download my PayPal transactions into Quicken as well. I am doing more and more events in which registration is limited and folks must do so in advance. I can e-mail everyone registered by pushing a button. I can download all reports into Excel. It's extremely easy to work out the profit / loss of any event we run.

Between these two programs I save an immense amount of time over the old days. And I know how much money I can expect each month... not as it was back when folks paid by check when and if they got around to it. If someone doesn't pay, the AAC contacts them. If they want to quit, they have to talk to me, which means I can find out why they are leaving. And people don't just drift away, they have to make the decision to actually quit. So we collect far more dues from folks who are in the marginal category than we would have in the old system.

ChrisHein
04-08-2011, 10:32 AM
Great information everyone! Thank you very much!!