Re: [Emerald] Changing Permanent Expire...

Sheryl D. Weidner ( (no email) )
Wed, 15 Sep 1999 18:08:10 -0700

Hi David,

> We set to the Billing Cycle of Anniversary as Renewel and Anniversary in
> it's configuration. Our thoughts were that it would be easier having
> payments spread throughtout the month and additionally, when we created a
> new customer in Emerald (using Monthly Billing Cycle) it would pro-rate a
> charge to the start of the next month... but, generally customers that sign
> up are already paying for a month so that left us deleting the pro-rated
> charge and having to create a pro-rated invoice manually for the following
> month... that's what we thought we'd have to do... maybe I missed something...

You do have the option with a Renewal billing cycle of taking the
one-month payment against the prorate+month invoice, and then having the
difference appear as a "previous balance" on the next bill (if you take
a payment against an invoice, Emerald will mark the invoice as paid and
advance the customer's expire date even if there is a balance
remaining). However, this isn't the cleanest way to do it. Customers
get very concerned about any kind of implication they didn't pay you on
time. I believe an Anniversary billing cycle will work better for you
if you do not want to invoice your customers for the prorate+the first
month on their first bill. My own opinion (I used to run an ISP) is
that it's also better to have money coming in all the time instead of
just once a month, but your mileage may vary.

> What was (is) confusing is a large part of our customers that we're
> inputting now expire on the 1st of the month... they're not paid thru that
> date but "to" that date... so my thoughts were to expire them on the 30th
> and that's why the questions...

Do they expire on the first of the month because you were manually
entering them while you had the monthly billing cycle configured?

> Here's a tricky one... would it be better to set them as Paid Thru 9/31/99
> (if it would take it) so that each month it would expire on the last day of
> the month? ...or how do we set the Paid Thru date so that it's not the 1st
> of the month...

It won't accept 9/31/99 as a date value, so we can scratch that option.
The real question here is, are your customers really paid through the
last day of the month, or are they actually paid through varying dates
but have an expire date of the first due to the data entry process (and
the configuration while it was being done)? The Paid Thru date isn't
something you want to manually set each month, either - and it's updated
automatically each time you take a payment so that it matches the
EndDate of the invoice you paid (in other words, modifying the PaidThru
date won't change the behavior of the program at all, and will be
overwritten at the end of the first billing cycle). The date you want
to modify, if you choose to modify any of them, will be the BilledThru
date - that date determines the StartDate (and therefore the EndDate) of
each subsequent invoice, which in turn defines the Expire date for the
account once you've been through a billing cycle.

> Technically, our customers now are paid on a month by month basis... so
> they should be inactive on the 1st and not the 2nd... picky, yea I know...
> I'm really just trying to understand this...

It's okay to be picky. It's only your money we're talking about here.

However, I think in terms of simplicity - both for your customers and
for you - it wil be simpler to leave the existing entered customers'
dates at the first of the month - you can make adjustments, if
necessary, on the extensions you grant them (see below).

> The reason for all this is to have a consistant answer for when someones
> account will expire... we're planning to send e-mail invoices out say... 5
> days ahead of the due date and having the permanent expire set to say...
> 15... that way 20 days after the invoice date the account will become
> inactive (if payment isn't made).

So, if you want your accounts to expire at the beginning of the day they
expire (or at the beginning of the day their grace period ends), you can
set the values above to 6 and 14 respectively. Emerald inactivates an
account at midnight on the date of expiration. The dates on the
customers' invoices need not change, it's only the behavior of the
authentication and bill generation that will change.

> >> update masteraccounts
> >> set paidthru=9/30/1999
> >> where paidthru=10/1/1999
> >>
> It didn't work.... I left out the "where paidthru=10/1/1999" (since all the
> ones in there are 10/1/99) and it set all of the Paid Thru dates as
> "1/1/1900". ooooooops....

*smacks self in head* I believe the solution to this is as simple as
putting the dates inside of quotes (set paidthru="9/30/1999"). I should
have caught it the first time you sent it through. :) Try that.
(Remember, you're not changing how the system behaves by changing the
PaidThru date though.) (It must be late. I'm getting

Let me know how it goes.

Sheryl Weidner
IEA Software

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