The CoachAccountable Blog

What's new with the CA platform, tutorials on using it, and customer spotlights.

Automatic Subscription Billing

I’ve surveyed the audience and one thing is clear: when it comes to running a coaching business, it’s REALLY nice (some would say downright essential), to have a clear separation between getting paid for coaching work and doing said coaching work.

One invariable muddles the other: blessed is the coach who outright won’t tolerate clients who would make them chase checks, and it’s really nice if client doesn’t get distracted with logistics of paying for coaching when they’re heads down getting the most out of a coaching experience.

CoachAccountable makes this possible.  All you really need to do is setup your account to process client invoice payments on your behalf, by connecting it to your Stripe or Authorize.net merchant account.

If you don’t have one yet, CA makes it super easy to grab a Stripe account in about 5 minutes.

Once ready, you or your client can enter a credit card up front, have it stored for future charges, and CA will automatically process invoices on whatever schedule you like.

Let’s see how this works!

Creating a Sequence of Invoices

CoachAccountable invoices are super simple to create.  Just give it a date (or default to today), enter one or more line items (with associated prices), add taxes if needed, and you’re done.  Check a box if you want the system to email it off to your client, either immediately or as scheduled (when entering in a future invoice).

Be MOAR awesome? Oh yeah, sign me up!

The magic of a subscription is in the ability to create a sequence, by clicking the little “I would like to make a series of invoices just like this one” link towards the bottom:

12 invoices, one every 1 month… sounds about right for a year long engagement!

As you’d expect, this creates a series of invoices, one scheduled to go out each month:

A whole bunch of ostensibly pending revenue… nice!

These invoices will be sent off via email to your client, right on schedule throughout the coming year.

What happens when an invoice’s date comes up?  That depends!

If your client doesn’t have any credit card on file, the invoice email the get will contain a magic link.  Clicking that will take them right to where they can enter their credit card in order to pay the invoice.

If your client DOES have a credit card on file, the system will automatically process the payment for the invoice, no fuss.  If the charge goes through okay, the email they’ll get will be an invoice marked paid, essentially a receipt.  And you, as coach, will get an email notification telling you of that’s on its way to your bank account. :)

Entering Credit Card Details for your Clients

In our scenario so far, your client is apt to get sent that first invoice as unpaid, and they’ll need to enter their payment info the first time and then (hopefully) opt to save their payment info on file for seamless processing of future invoices.

But perhaps instead you’d like to set them up from the get go.  You as coach can do that for them, provided you have their credit card information (perhaps from some form they filled out, or perhaps when they handed it to you during an initial in person meeting and you’ve got your swanky tablet there and ready to set things up).

Once you’ve created an invoice for your client, simply click the dollar icon next to it to bring up payment options.  You can make record a payment made outside of CA (say for example if they’re handing you a check), and you can process a payment right then and there:

Holy moly this invoice is overdue.  Let’s click that first option and get this all handled!

Clicking the first option brings up a place to process a payment by entering credit card details:

Remember this card for future use? Yes please!

Simple as that.  By remembering the card for future use it will be handy for automatically processing future invoices.

By either you or your client entering that credit card once when you’re first getting started, everything else takes care of itself with the subscription billing you setup to cover the term of your engagement or program.  Nice!

Is this secure for my clients’ sensitive payment info?

Yes!  Like everything else on CA, this all happens over an encrypted connection.  Moreover CA uses the token-based approach to keeping cards on file–the actual credit card number is never stored or even seen by the CA server.  If anyone were to get a hold of what CoachAccountable stores, they’d only be able to process payments into your account–hardly useful for nefarious purposes. :)

Sounds pretty good, any fees for this?

Nope!  You’ll almost certainly need to pay the usual fees endemic to ANY credit card processing, but CA doesn’t take any cut whatsoever.


Having to play the role of accounts payable is seldom pleasant, and most certainly distracts from doing the real difference-making work of coaching.  Use this setup to get client payments handled without hassle from the get go, and automate away the drudgery of chasing down (and even processing!) payments later.  Enjoy!

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4 Comments »

  1. Debra Wilson Guttas said,

    April 5, 2018 @ 2:09 pm

    Yayyy!

    To clarify, I currently use Stripe’s subscription option to automatically charge my clients’ credit cards so that I don’t ever have to think about it. Are you saying that this option would replace that while still using my stripe account?

    I like the idea of having it all in one place. I assume that both they and I can always see what payments are coming up…?

    Thank you!

  2. John said,

    April 5, 2018 @ 3:25 pm

    Hi Debra,

    Close! Stripe Subscriptions support indefinite recurring charges, whereas in CoachAccountable you need to generate a series of invoices (which is finite).

    You as coach within CA can see all future/scheduled invoices, but they are not visible to your clients until sent on schedule.

    Cheers!
    John

  3. Darinenne Mobley said,

    April 16, 2018 @ 12:20 pm

    John, can you do subscription billing through Paypal. Or does it have to be Stripe?

  4. John said,

    April 16, 2018 @ 12:40 pm

    Hi Darienne,

    This is supported for only Stripe or Authorize.net.

    Cheers,
    John

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