GoCardless is a Direct Debit payment merchant which will allow you to take payments for invoices within Clear Books. The system will mark these invoices as paid and apply the GoCardless fee automatically. You require a GoCardless account to use this feature.
The way this works is that you create a Direct Debit mandate with your customer using GoCardless. The Direct Debit mandate is essentially an agreed amount of money that your customer allows you to take payment from for any of their invoices in Clear Books. You can choose to take payments manually or automatically from these Direct Debit mandates.
2. Toggle on GoCardless in Clear Books
Navigate to Settings > Organisation > Configure system > Toggle Features > Features and click on the radio button beside 'GoCardless'.
Refresh the page and then navigate to Tools > Integrations > GoCardless.
Click on the Start GoCardless Setup button.
Sign in to your GoCardless account to connect it with Clear Books. Click on the 'Sign up' link if you do not already have a GoCardless account.
During the signup process, you will be required to verify your GoCardless account. If this is not completed, you will not be able to take payments. A verification link will appear on the Tools > Integrations > GoCardless > Mandates menu if you need to complete this step.
You can access the GoCardless integration settings on the Tools > Integrations > GoCardless > Settings menu.
When GoCardless has been successfully set up, the system will create a new bank account on the Money > Bank accounts menu (called GoCardless by default). All payments will be received into this bank account and the payment method will be set to 'Direct Debit' by default. All GoCardless fees will also be paid out of this bank account and default to the account code 'Bank charges'.
You can change these details on the settings menu although we recommend you use the defaults.
If you tick the option 'Automatic payment requests when mandates available', the system will search for any unpaid invoices and attempt to take payment from a mandate if available. It will also mean any invoices you create in future will attempt to take payment automatically from available mandates.
If you tick the option 'Automatically import and handle GoCardless payout fees' the GoCardless fees will be generated automatically on the date of payout.
A Direct Debit mandate first needs to be agreed with your customer to allow you to take payments for invoices. The mandate limit currently defaults to £5,000.
4.1 Request a mandate from an invoice
Head to Sales > Invoices and click on an unpaid invoice number.
Under the 'Payment history' table click on the 'mandate request' link below the 'Active Direct Debit mandates' header.
You will be re-directed to the Tools > Integrations > GoCardless > Mandates menu.
When you email an invoice or customer statement, a secure customer statement link will be included in the email message by default. The customer statement link displays an option for your customer to set up a Direct Debit mandate.
4.2 Request a mandate from the GoCardless Menu
Head to Tools > Integrations > GoCardless > Mandates.
Select a customer under the 'Add new mandate' heading and click on the 'Request mandate' button.
The customer must have an email address so that the mandate request can be sent
Your customer will receive an email to confirm the mandate request as per below:
All requested mandates will appear in the 'Requested mandates' table. You can re-send or cancel these requests using the 'Manage' drop down field.
All accepted mandates will appear in the 'Existing mandates' table. You can cancel these at any time. The 'Total' shows the agreed mandate limit and the 'Remaining' shows how much outstanding from the total amount you have left to take for other invoices. The remaining amount resets back to the total mandate each month.
4.3 Link existing mandates from the GoCardless Menu
In the situation where you have existing mandates in your GoCardless account, you are able to link these to existing customers in Clear Books. This guide explains how to do so.
Head to Tools > Integrations > GoCardless > Mandates.
Under the 'Link existing mandates' heading, you are able to select the relevant customer where you can input the Mandate ID shown on your GoCardless account.
To find your mandate id in GoCardless:
- Login to your GoCardless account.
- Head to the Customers tab.
- Click on the appropriate customer name.
- Click on bank account for the customer.
- Click on the active Mandate.
- The Mandate number is shown at the top of the menu.
Alternatively, you can upload a CSV file by clicking on the 'Browse' button. You can download a template using the link to view the required data. The file requires contact ID, mandate ID and company name. You can export a list of customers from the Tools > Export menu which will show the contact ID for each Clear Books customer.
Click on the 'Submit' button to complete your action.
5. Taking payment for invoices
Once your Direct Debit mandates are confirmed for your customers, you can begin taking payments for any of their invoices.
5.1 Take Payments Automatically
Head to Tools > Integrations > GoCardless > Settings and tick the check-box next to the 'Automatic payment requests when mandate' available text.
Click on the Save button to complete.
Once enabled this setting will check if the customer has any active mandates.
The system will then immediately take payment from these mandates for any existing invoices which have an amount less than that of the mandate.
The system will also take payment from active mandates for any invoices created in future with amounts less than that of the mandate.
5.2 Take Payments Manually
You can take payment manually from a mandate for any invoices up to the value of the mandate limit. You can only take payment for the outstanding amount of an invoice.
5.2.1 From an unpaid invoice
To do this click on an appropriate unpaid invoice on the Sales > Invoices > Unpaid menu.
Locate the 'Payment history' table to the bottom left and click on the available mandates link which appears under the 'GoCardless payments' header.
5.2.2 From the GoCardless Payments menu
Alternatively, you can take payment from the Tools > Integrations > GoCardless > Payments menu. You can only take payment for the outstanding amount of an invoice. Use the check box to select the appropriate invoices and then click on the Use available mandates button.
6. Taking payment for recurred invoices
You can chose to take payment from Direct Debit mandates automatically for recurred invoices. This might be particularly useful if you have a subscription service.
Navigate to Sales > Invoices > Recurring and click on the Create Recurring Invoice Template button.
Fill in all the required details of the recurring template.
At the bottom of the page select, GoCardless as the bank account in the Bank details to display drop-down box and tick the 'Attempt to collect money automatically from customer' checkbox.
7. GoCardless Payments
The GoCardless payment process will take between 5-7 days. When payment is received Clear Books will automatically mark the invoice as paid, this payment will use the GoCardless bank account unless you have changed this in the settings.
The status of payments can be viewed on the Tools > Integrations > GoCardless > Payments menu. You can cancel GoCardless payments by using the Manage drop down field, however, you have up until 4pm, two working days before the charge date.
8. GoCardless Transaction fee
Every transaction incurs a GoCardless transaction fee. You can learn more about the cost of the transaction fee on the GoCardless website. VAT applies to this transaction fee.
Clear Books will generate the transaction fee automatically by default. If you would like to account for the transaction fees yourself, you can disable the transaction fee from being created automatically on the Tools > Integrations > GoCardless > Settings menu.
If the transaction fee is automated, the system will create a paid a bill, prefixed PAY and coded to bank charges. The payment side of this bill uses the GoCardless bank account. You can change the bank account and account code of the GoCardless transaction fee on the Tools > Integrations > GoCardless > Settings menu. The GoCardless transaction fee is generated on the payout date from GoCardless.
The GoCardless transaction fee amount is a combination of fees on ALL transactions made within your GoCardless account. This includes transaction fees for payments towards Clear Books invoices and transaction fees for payments made outside of Clear Books.
9. Explaining Money received from GoCardless
The GoCardless payments received for invoices and the GoCardless fees will be updating your GoCardless bank account balance in Clear Books. The net of these two amounts will be the amount you actually receive in your business bank account.
You will therefore need to explain any money received in your business bank account from GoCardless as a transfer from the GoCardless bank account.