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Offering a Discount for Upfront Payments with Practice Ignition

Do you offer a discount on the quoted price to clients if they pay you upfront? If you do and still want to use Practice Ignition (PI) to engage with all of your clients (not just those who you have on annual/fixed price agreements), there’s certainly a way to handle it in PI.

PI doesn’t currently have the ability to provide two price options for your clients to select their preferred option (e.g. pay upfront and receive a 5% discount or pay within our normal terms of $XXX) and then accept the proposal. That is handled in a slightly different way. You need to create another service in your service library entitled for example “Upfront Payment Discount” to begin with. Then by utilizing both the personalized email function and the comments area in a proposal, you can easily still offer this payment option to your clients.

A New Approach to Get Paid (Up Front)

In the past, when you have offered the client a discount, you would have had some “template text” that sits in the body of your proposal/quote/invoice that explains your policy regarding the discount term, e.g. “Prior to accepting this proposal, please indicate your intention to pay upfront to receive a 5% discount. Our standard terms will apply and no discount will be given if failure to notify us prior to work beginning occurs”.

Turn this text into more of an email-like correspondence. Have this saved in a handy spot for easy access. When you create a proposal, under the 'Templates' tab at the top, paste this text into the Personalized Message area, I’d also suggest you paste this into the comments area for your clients to reply to and then send off your proposal once you are ready too.

After the client has alerted you to their preferred payment option by utilizing the comments area on the acceptance screen, you will be notified. You then need to simply “revoke & edit” the engagement if they have opted for the discount, add the “Upfront Payment Discount” service into the proposal and put the discounted amount in as a negative dollar value, e.g. $-250.75.

For Australian users using the payments feature, I advise you to then make “payment required” which ensures you actually receive the payment upfront and you can start the work immediately. Save the proposal, write another comment to the client telling them you have applied the discount and to accept it and then approve and send. This way, the client can clearly see you have applied the discount as it will appear as a separate item, and when they accept the proposal, everything still deploys as it would normally and the invoice will have the discounted amount also.

This process still relies on you and your staff, verbally communicating with your client about the new way they will be receiving a proposal. By simply alerting your client when they either phone you to have their tax return done, or when you meet them to discuss a different range of work, “that you offer a discount on upfront payment and when they receive the proposal, simply reply in the comments on the acceptance screen to arrange this discount before accepting the proposal”, then your clients will understand what they need to do.

Do-Overs? Doable.

If you are not using the payments feature and in the unlikely event that your client mistakenly accepts the engagement when they wanted the discount (and they quickly contact you!), you simply go into your Xero file, apply the discount to the draft invoice, approve and send this to your client requesting they pay this ASAP so you can begin your work.

Remember, the more information you have in the one system and by that, I mean putting all your client proposals and engagements through PI, the more valuable the financial information will be when it comes to running your reports.

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