Bringing the Balance to $0

When the remaining balance of a reservation or bill shows anything other than zero, it means there is action required to settle the bill and eliminate the balance. The remaining balance is a very simple calculation of the difference between the charges and the payments. The balance goes to zero when the charges equal the payments. It sounds like you refunded too much or didn't charge enough.

If you have a balance, something needs to be fixed. You need to identify what is the incorrect amount on the reservation or bill: the charges or the payments? Review the charges and payments carefully and decide. Then see the options below.

Positive Remaining Balance (No payment/Partially Paid)

If the Total is not accurate, then decrease the charges to make it right.

  • Edit the price of one or more items.
  • Edit the price of the room to a lower amount.
  • Remove an item or items.
  • Add an item with a negative price. Put a hyphen in front of the amount to indicate it's in the negative.
  • Consider the tax implications if applicable.

If the Payments are not accurate, then increase payments to make it right.

  • Charge the customer the amount they owe according to the remaining balance via credit card or another method.
  • If the guest did pay, but it wasn't recorded on the bill, record the payment now.
  • Void a refund if it hasn't settled yet if the refund was accidentally too high.
  • Delete a "refund" payment that was made by mistake.
  • Add an adjustment payment on their behalf. Perhaps the payment type (you can create custom ones) is called "Admin Adjustment" or similar.

Negative Remaining Balance (Overpaid)

If the Total is not accurate, then increase the charges to make it right.

  • Edit the price of one or more items.
  • Edit the price of the room to a higher amount.
  • Add an item or items. Examples are cancellation fees or a Gift Certificate.
  • Consider the tax implications if applicable.

If the Payments are not accurate, then decrease payments to make it right.

  • Refund the customer the amount they owe according to the remaining balance via credit card or another method.
  • If you refunded the guest, but it wasn't recorded on the bill, record the payment now. A refund payment that isn't a credit card will be a negative amount.
  • Void a charge if it hasn't settled yet if the charge was accidentally too high.
  • Delete a payment that was made by mistake.

We also recommend you add notes in the Special Accommodation section for you and your staff to review later when it's not fresh in your mind.

As you can see from the above, there are a few ways to settle a balance on a bill. You can adjust the bill's charges by adding, editing, or removing line items, or you can adjust the amount paid by adding, editing, or removing payments. Ideally, the charges and payments would be true and accurate so that when the remaining balance is $0, it's because the amount paid is the right amount, and the charges are the right amount. Let's look at an example reservation with a negative remaining balance.

In the above example, Mr. Thomas needed to leave a day early and gave enough notice that no cancellation fee was needed. The guest paid in full, and the reservation was updated to reflect 3 nights instead of the original 4. But now the reservation shows a negative remaining balance.

To solve this, we could increase the room charges, for example, by adding a cancellation fee. But in this example, we are going to refund. If the negative balance is -$397.15, then a refund of $397.15 would bring the balance to zero.


Below is an example reservation where the balance is in the positive.

In this example, Mr. Thomas was given two mugs during check-out. There is a balance of $40.28 because two mugs at retail price were added to the list of room charges. While they were a gift to the guest, the bill shows as if they owe for it.

To solve this, we could charge the credit card on file, but because there were gifted we are going to edit the price of the mugs to $0. This will remove the price of the mugs, and the tax associated with the mugs, bringing the balance to $0.


If you have any questions, please submit a ticket or give us a call!


S
Sean is the author of this solution article.

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