Setting up payments for property expenses by Direct Debit is illegal in most locations, and poor practice strenuously advised against if you are in a location where it is legally acceptable to do this.
Here is a list of suggestions using the options available which you could use to help manage this.
Add a payment priority option to your Settings called 'Paid by Direct Debit' or similar. Place it above all other priority options in the list.
Add a disbursement profile for payments by Direct Debit, it should include only Creditor payments and the relevant reports. Select this profile only for owners who have payments by direct debit. If you pay more than one type of expense by Direct Debit, you may like to set up separate profiles to make it easier to see what payments are made for each owner contact.
This clearly shows direct debit payments processed in the Disbursement History page.
Dedicated Direct Debit Creditor Contacts
Setting up specifically named creditors to use only for Direct Debit payments makes it easier to separate the payments you need to make from your trust account, from those which will be made automatically. Adding a tag also helps if you want to be able to see a list of creditors who are paid this way, contacts can have more than one tag so you can use these to record a variety of extra info.
The payment method needs to be EFT, and the banking details should be the same as the trust or client account the payment will be made from. This means that if an invoice was accidentally included in a normal disbursement, the funds would be returned to the account and not paid to the creditor a second time.
It is important to disburse Direct Debited invoices separately from all other payments. The payment method selected should show as EFT.
The EFT file needs to be downloaded to complete the disbursement process, but should be discarded as the payment is instigated externally.
Set up a Repeating Expense Invoice
- Repeating expense invoices save time on entering the same invoice details for each payment.
- Using 'Approved' status makes the invoice available to disburse immediately after it has been raised, it's already approved at the bank so using the other status options is creating more work for no reason.
- Setting it to be raised as early in the month it is due as possible ensures the funds are able to be held back from any owner payments, this is dependant on your trust account settings, check the settings for your account if you are not sure.
- The due date should line up with when payment is expected to be taken from the account. Invoices can be filtered by the due date during a disbursement.
- The invoice is 'From' the direct debit version of the Creditor, this ensures correct payment priority is applied.
- Adding Direct Debit to the reference field will make it easier to locate this invoice type in the Income and Expenses pages.