Best Practices For Charging A Flat Monthly Rate For Recurring Weekly Services

Templates are the easiest way to schedule ongoing, recurring services such as daily dog walks. However, templates, by default, will bill clients per service. While it’s possible to use packages to charge a flat monthly rate for recurring weekly services, this ends up requiring a lot of manual work adding a new package for clients each month, and then either scheduling the recurring services or manually claiming them onto a package from a template. A more automated way to charge a flat monthly rate for recurring weekly services is to use just a template and add your monthly fee as a service on the template.

Start by creating two services - one service for your flat monthly fee and one service for your recurring service. Set the price of the recurring service to $0.

View of Flat Monthly Rate in Services List

You’ll want to make both of these services not selectable by clients (especially the $0 one) because you’ll only be using them with your templates.

View of "Selectable By Client" option in the Services List

Now go to the “Templates” tab in the Scheduler to set up a monthly template. Change the Billing Frequency to "Month At a Time" and How Often? to "Every Month". (For more information about Templates, see Scheduling Repeat Services Using Templates)

View of "Month At a Time" Billing Frequency in Template Set up

After completing the Template’s Details, you’ll be taken to the Template’s Services section. Click the “Add Service To Template” button:

screenshot of template services screen with arrow pointing to "add services to template" button

Then, add your service for the monthly fee as follows: Set Monthly Type to "Day Of Month” and Which Days to "1st". For What Time, it generally works best to choose something outside of your normal business hours so that this service doesn’t get in the way of your actual pet care visits on the Scheduler. In the Service field, select your monthly fee service. For the Staff field, keep in mind that this will create an event on the schedule, so we recommend assigning the monthly fee to an admin or other manager to avoid confusion.

View of Day Of Month, Which Days for Template Settings

After you’ve saved your monthly fee as a service on the template, click the “Add Service To Template” button again, and add your weekly recurring service with Monthly Type set to “Day Of Week”. Select the days of the week that the service will repeat on and select all of the “1st” through “5th” boxes for Which Weeks. In the Staff field, select the staff member that the service will be assigned by default.

View of Template settings

Now that you've added the services, your template for charging a flat monthly rate is complete. Each month an invoice will be generated with the flat monthly fee as the first item and with all of the actual recurring visits as $0. Since you’ve scheduled the monthly fee as a service, you will need to mark it as “complete” each month if you don’t want it showing up as an incomplete service. You can easily complete the monthly fee service for all of your regular clients at once using Bulk Update.

Paying Staff When Charging A Flat Monthly Rate

Because you won’t be charging clients for the individual visits on their template, you need to set up your service for the recurring visits with a flat rate (not a percentage) to pay staff.

View of Staff Rates setting on a Service in the Services List

When generating Pay Stubs for your Staff, “Flat Rate Staff on $0 Services” must be checked.

View of Flat Rate Staff on $0 Services checkbox before generating paystubs

Cancelations When Charging A Flat Monthly Rate

If your company doesn’t give credits or refunds for cancellations for your flat monthly rate services, you can simply cancel services as needed without having to make any adjustments to the client’s invoice. However, if you ever need to credit a client for a cancellation of their recurring services, you won’t be able to do that by simply selecting “Do Not Charge” for the cancellation since these services are already $0. Instead, after canceling the visit, you’ll need to open the invoice and manually adjust the price of the monthly fee or add a negative custom line item for the cancellation.

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