The majority of the contents in this guide apply to both StudioPlus Spectra AND myStratus Desktop.
In most cases, instructions referring to "Spectra" also apply to myStratus Desktop.


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Payment Plans

NOTE: This feature is available in the Professional and Enterprise versions of both Spectra and myStratus Desktop.

You can create a payment plan on any invoice in Spectra/myStratus. The Payment Plan feature allows you to create pending payments to be processed at a future date. You can create a single pending payment or a series of pending payments with a payment schedule. Once created, pending payments can be processed manually or as a batch.

Creating a Single Pending Payment

  1. To manually create a new pending payment, open the Invoice you want to schedule the payment for.

  2. In the New group on the ribbon, click Payment or Refund.

  3. On the New Payment screen, check the Future Payment checkbox to schedule this payment for a future date.

  1. The Payment Date will be blanked out and you can enter a Due Date and Payment Amount for this pending payment.

  2. You can choose to enter a Payment Method to be used when processing this payment. Or you can leave this field blank, allowing the software to use the client's saved payment methods when processing this payment (see the section below on Setting up Payment Methods).

  3. Save and Close the payment.

  4. This pending payment will now appear on the Order Detail tab of the invoice as a Pending Payment, and the Total Pending Payments field on the invoice will reflect the total amount of pending payments the customer has on this invoice.

Creating a Payment Plan

A payment plan is a series of pending payments for a single invoice that have a set payment schedule. Follow these steps to create a payment plan:

  1. Open the invoice you want to create a payment plan for.

  2. In the New group on the ribbon, click Payment Plan. The Payment Plan window will open.

  1. Under Frequency, choose the schedule for the payments, Weekly, Bi-Weekly (every other week), or Monthly.

  2. If you select Monthly, also select the day of the month.

  3. If you select Weekly or Bi-Weekly, also select the Next Payment Date, which indicates when payment plan will start.

  4. Enter the Number of Payments and the payment amount will be automatically updated. Note: The final payment will correct for any rounding so the invoice will be paid in full.

  5. Click OK.

  6. You will now see the pending payments on the Order Detail tab of the invoice.


Pending payments and payment plans are NOT included on Payment and Accounts Receivable Aging reports, the Today's Snapshot panel of the home page, and the Make a Deposit Posting tool. Pending payments are printed on the invoice. You can also see a list of pending payments in Reports > Lists and Labels > Payments Pending List. See also: Payments Pending List

Setting up Payment Plan Web Forms

NOTE: This feature is available in the Professional and Enterprise versions of myStratus Desktop. Spectra does not include this feature.

Web Forms can be utilized to create a Payment Plan Agreement for your client to give an e-signature stating they agree with your terms. This web form can also be automatically emailed to the client after their payment plan is first saved. See also: Introduction to Web Forms

  1. Build an Invoice-based Web Form with your client's payment plan information. You can also include a section for the client to accept any terms you may have. The Web Form can be built at Maintenance > Web Forms > Web Forms

  2. Build an HTML email, at Tools > Design Tools > HTML Email Builder, that includes the link to your web form portal. The matching merge field can be found at Insert Data Field > Special Fields > Client Web Form PortalNote: This email is already in myStratus for you! It's in your HTML email builder with the name Sample: Payment Plan Web Form. See also: HTML Email Builder
  3. Optionally, with the SMS messaging add-on service, you can also set up a Form Letter to text the client a link to their web form. Set this up at Tools > Design Tools > Form Letter Builder. See also: Form Letter Builder, SMS Overview
  4. Next, set the Web Form and matching email/text at Maintenance > Preferences > Company Preferences > Invoicing tab > Payment Plans section. First, check the box to automatically create a web form whenever a Payment Plan is created and select the Web Form you built. After that, select the HTML email and/or Form Letter that should be sent to notify the client when the Web Form is created. See also: Company Preferences - Invoicing

Setting up Client Payment Methods

Setting up a payment plan requires one or more payment methods to be set up for the client. Payment methods can be saved on the client's record for future use.

  1. Open a Client, Session, Invoice, or Payment record and then click the File tab and choose Payment Methods.

  1. Click Add to add a new method. In the Payment Method drop-down list you will get a list of any credit cards this customer has previously used.

  2. Select the Payment Method and complete the payment information. Note: Non-credit card payment methods can be selected but they will not be automatically processed during the payment processing routine.

  3. Select if the Payment Method should be the Primary or Secondary method. The software will use this information when automatically processing payments.

Pending Payments Report

Run the Payments Pending Report to see a list of all pending payments for a given time period.

  1. Go to Reports > Lists and Labels > Payments Pending List.

  2. Choose to run the Summary or the Detail Report and then select the date range.


In order to run credit card payments automatically for your payment plans you must be using TSYS (in the U.S.) or eWAY (in Australia and New Zealand) as your credit card processor. For more information visit:

Processing Payment Plans

Use the Process Payment Plans tool to regularly process pending payments that are due by a certain date and apply each payment to the appropriate invoice. This includes pending payments that are part of a payment plan, as well as any manually created pending payments.

  1. To process pending payments go to Tools > Process Payment Plans.

  1. Choose from the following Options:

    • Change Status on Paid-in-Full Invoices - Have the software automatically update the invoice status when a processed payment results in an invoice being paid in full. Choose the appropriate status from the drop-down list.

    • Email Payment Form Letter - Have the software automatically send an email to clients with successful payments. Select the appropriate form letter or HTML email from the drop-down list. Note: To email the client as part of the payment processing procedure, you must use a Payment Type form letter or HTML email. See also: Form Letter Builder and HTML Email Builder

  2. You will receive a preview of the number and amount of payments to be processed.

  3. The payment processing routine will use each client's payment methods to determine how to process the payment. Note: The payment processing routine will automatically run credit card transactions only if you are using TSYS or eWAY as your credit card processor. If the payment is a credit card, the software will attempt to authorize the payment using the client's primary payment method. If that method is declined, the software will attempt to use the secondary payment method. If that method also fails, or if the client does not have a secondary method, this transaction will appear on the Payment Processing - Failures Report.

  4. The Payment Processing - Successful Report lists all payments that have been successfully processed.

  5. Any non-credit card payments will need to be processed manually, but will appear on the Payment Processing - Successful Report.

Automating Payment Processing

You can take things a step further by automating your payment processing with the Control Center. You can set up the Payment Processing job to periodically process pending payments, eliminating the need to process them manually at the end of each day with the Process Payment Plans tool (described above). See the Control Center topic for more information.

See also

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