Creating and paying Bills is a crucial part of any business, and Tailwind provides a number of tools to make this process as easy as possible — including the ability to schedule a Bill to be created in the future, or to be created at a regular interval going forward. This can help save time, as well as ensure that crucial recurring Bills are created in a timely fashion.
Overview of Bill Scheduling
A Bill Schedule consists of two parts: a Bill Template and a Bill Schedule. The Bill Template is a Bill with a single line item that the system uses to create individual Bills according to the Bill Schedule. The Bill Schedule is a set of instructions about how often to create a new Bill. For example, you could set up a Monthly schedule to automatically deduct admin fees from an Owner/Operator on the 1st of every month, or automatically create a Bill for a monthly insurance cost.
Scheduling a Bill…
There are two different ways to Schedule a Bill in Tailwind: you can either create a new Bill and schedule it immediately, or you can create a new schedule using an existing Bill as a template.
… While Creating a Bill
To Schedule a brand new Bill, start by Creating a Bill for the Vendor or Personnel whose Bill you want to schedule, as you would with a one-off Bill. There is only one limitation: a Scheduled Bill can only have a single line item/charge type.
Once you have populated all the Bill information, you will see a new option at the bottom of the page: click ‘Schedule Bill’ to immediately create a schedule based off your new Bill.
… From an Existing Bill
If you want to use an existing Bill as the basis for your schedule, start by opening the Bill record that you want to use. Remember that the Bill cannot have more than one line item, if you are going to use it in a schedule! Once you have opened the Bill you want to schedule, click on the ‘More’ menu and select ‘Schedule Bill.’
Regardless of whether you are using an existing Bill or creating a new one, you will see the same scheduling options.
Scheduling Options – How Often?
The first two fields control when the schedule will start, and how often it will run. The ‘Start Bill Date’ field indicates what date the schedule will begin. The ‘How Often?’ field indicates how frequently Bills will be created from the schedule, starting from the given date.
While a ‘Just Once’ schedule will create only a single Bill, on the specified ‘start’ date, the other choices will set up a recurring schedule, using the date given as a starting point. A Daily schedule will run every day, a Weekly schedule once a week, etc.
Scheduling Options – Schedule Until
If you select one of the recurring options, additional fields will appear to specify when the Schedule should stop running:
End Date: allows you to choose a specific date on which the schedule will stop running.
Total Amount Reached: allows you to set a total dollar amount after which the schedule will stop running. If the amount on the Bill does not divide evenly into the total amount set, the final Bill created by the schedule will be for the remaining balance.
Total Number of Bills: allows you to specify a total number of Bills the schedule should create, after which it will stop.
Indefinitely: a Schedule set to run indefinitely will not end, unless manually disabled.
Lastly, you have the option of setting whether the Bills created by the Schedule should be Posted automatically.
Once you have selected the appropriate options, clicking on the ‘Create Schedule’ button will complete the process and create a new Bill Schedule. Once in place, Bill Schedules will automatically create Bills according to the schedule you have specified. These Bills will appear in your Payables just like other Bills.
Bill Schedules List & View
To see your existing Schedules, navigate to the ‘Bill Schedules’ module under the ‘Tools’ left navigation menu. This will bring up a list of all active Bill Schedules. You can open an individual Schedule to see more details about the schedule, access the schedule’s Bill Template, and edit or stop the schedule.
The Bill Schedule view shows the schedule details, and allows you to stop or edit the schedule, as well as edit the Bill Template the schedule is using. It also contains a list of all the individual Bills that the schedule has created so far, which are displayed in the ‘Bills Created’ section to the right.
Editing or Stopping a Bill Schedule
If the ‘Start Bill Date’ for a Schedule has not yet passed (i.e. the schedule has not yet started running), you will have the option to Edit or even Delete the schedule. Editing will allow you to adjust the Schedule options, as explained above. Deleting the Schedule will remove it from the system completely.
If the Schedule has already started running, you will only be able to Stop the schedule. This will prevent the Schedule from creating any more Bills, but will not remove or otherwise affect any Bills it has already created. It will also set the Schedule to ‘Inactive’, meaning it will not show up by default in your Bill Schedules view.
It is not possible to Delete a Bill Schedule once it has created at least one Bill; this is to help maintain a clear, auditable trail for your Payables.
Editing a Bill Template
It is possible to Edit the Bill Template that a Schedule is using, even once the Schedule is running. To do so, click the ‘Edit Bill Template’ button on the top right of the Bill Schedule view. While editing the Template mid-schedule is not recommended, there are cases where you may want to continue running a schedule, but adjust the amount on each individual Bill going forward. Editing the Bill Template will allow you to do so.
Edits made to a Bill Template WILL apply to any future Bills created by that Schedule. They WILL NOT affect any Bills that have already been created. If you want to make changes to Bills that a Schedule has created, you can do so in the individual Bill records.
– Scheduling a Bill generally comes after you have created a Bill.