Note: our recurring payment plan feature is only available on both our Essential and Business plans only while integrated with LawPay. To find out more regarding our paid subscription plans, please click here.
The new Payment Plan feature allows the firm to begin automatically receiving online payments either until a certain agreed upon date or agreed upon dollar amount has been paid.
LawPay must be integrated with PracticePanther for this feature to work.
To review how, please click here before continuing.
1) This is a one-way sync. This means the Payment Plan must be created on PracticePanther's end for the systems to talk to each other. If you create the Payment Plans on LawPay's end, PracticePanther will not see them.
2) The term “Payment Plan” is synonymous with the “Scheduled Payments” section in LawPay.
Below you will find a start to finish tutorial covering everything you will need to know regarding payment plans in PracticePanther. Jump to the topic of interest by clicking on a title in the index below.
To create a payment plan, watch this video or follow the steps below:
After integrating with LawPay, there are a few ways to create a new Payment Plan.
Creating a payment plan on the Payments Plan page
1) Click "Automation", then "Payment Plans".
2) Click "New Payment Plan".
Creating a payment plan on the Matter page
1) In a matter, click on the "Payment Plans" tab, then "New Payment Plan".
Creating a payment plan when generating an Invoice
Creating a payment plan when generating a new Payment
Steps to follow when creating a payment plan
1) Link the contact and matter.
2) Fill out the Payment Plan details.
Description: The title of this Payment Plan.
First Charge: The date you'd like the first payment to process.
Amount Per Payment: The amount you want to charge for each recurring payment.
Repeat Every: How often you'd like to automatically charge your client.
Ends: Choose the condition in which you'd like this Payment Plan to end.
3) Select which saved payment method you'd like to use for this Payment Plan. You can create additional payment methods on the fly by clicking "New Payment Method" in this dropdown menu. To review how to save a payment method, follow this article.
4) Pick which bank account you'd like this money to be initially deposited into.
Note: If an invoice is not being created for this payment, the payment will be logged as a retainer payment for the chosen account.
5) If you would like a recurring bill for this payment plan, choose "Yes" for "Create Invoices".
Note: If a trust account was chosen for the deposit, the payment will first get logged as a trust retainer on the chosen contact and matter. Then a second payment will automatically apply this trust money to your new invoice.
You will still need to physically transfer the trust money in your bank to your operating account accordingly.
6) Pick a line item to use on these automatically created invoices.
Note: Invoices created by Payment Plans will use your default invoice template. For more information on invoice templates, click here.
7) Click "Save".
What happens when the payment plan is set up
Now your clients will automatically be charged for the amount and frequency you've chosen. These payments will be logged here in PracticePanther as well as in LawPay and then be seen in your Bank.
If you've chosen to create invoices for each payment, the item chosen will automatically be included on the invoice for you. This invoice will also automatically be paid.
Back in the Payment Plans page, you can review all of your previously created plans and their status.
If a card gets declined, the status of the individual transaction will be viewable as "Failed" in the Payment Plan History for that Payment Plan. LawPay will not make any additional attempts to charge this card. To fix a "Failed" payment plan, you will need to create a new Payment Plan with a new, working, card.
You can view the history for any specific Payment Plan by clicking on the name of the plan.
Over in LawPay, you can see these same Payment Plans in the "Schedule" tab.
When any transaction occurs through this payment plan, your client can automatically receive a receipt from LawPay. This requires the correct settings to be set in LawPay.
To review a list of the individual payments you've received via Payment Plans, in PracticePanther click "Payment Plan History" on the top right.
You can sort your recent and upcoming automated transactions by status, and even choose to skip an upcoming "Pending" payment by hovering over the payment and clicking "Skip Payment".
You can also view all of your automated payments inside of your Payments tab by changing the "Payment Method" to "LawPay".
After receiving many automated retainer payments, you may want to quickly check to make sure that all available retainer is being utilized before sending out your newest invoices. To easily run a mass check for any usable retainer, follow this helpful article!