Booking charges

In this article

Overview of intended functionality
Configuring the Bookings module for raising booking charges
Adding charges to a booking
Handling refunds
Deleting charges from a booking
Sending the booking page to a customer
Reporting bookings charges


You can easily raise charges against bookings and then send a notification to the customer. Customers can even pay your booking charges online, providing you and your customer with a simple, secure and efficient means of managing payments. Manual payments received by other payment methods can also be maintained, with helpful reporting to keep track of all the charges that are due and overdue for payment.

Overview of intended functionality

Charges are raised against an individual booking or a booking sequence. You have lots of flexibility about the frequency of when charges are raised for a sequence, perhaps raising charges weekly or monthly or even for the entire sequence, if you wish. You can raise multiple charges against each booking or sequence, perhaps for deposits, instalments and extras and also set a due date for a charge so that you and your customer know when payment is due.

To help manage the various bookings you may have for a particular organisation, you can group customers by Company and specify the job title of each customer within that company. The customer page helpfully lists all the customers for that company, so you can quickly switch to different customers within the same company. You can also add internal Notes against customers and bookings; notes are not visible to customers.

When viewing a booking, you'll see the table of all Charges that relate to that booking, whether it is an individual booking or part of a sequence. From here you can easily Add a new charge, Edit or Duplicate existing charges and View changes to an existing charge.

The View history option on the above Charges table provides a helpful audit trail of all charges, payments and communications related to the booking.

Each booking has its own unique customer-facing Booking Page that can be sent to the customer as a booking confirmation. In this way you can easily communicate variations of terms of hire and send requests for payments - whenever a customer views their booking page they'll always see the latest booking details and charges.

The customer-facing Booking Page shows all dates in the booking sequence, the booking details, charges and payment details and the responses to all booking type and resource questions. When configuring booking Types and Resources, you can set whether question responses are visible or hidden on the booking page sent to customers, perhaps to hide any internal-use questions that are not relevant to the customer but are relevant to your bookings team.



While the Booking Charges functionality is not intended to be a replacement for your organisation's accounting and invoicing systems, an optional invoice number field is provided for cross-referencing each booking charge in ChurchSuite to your paper invoices and/or accounting system.

The Bookings module Reports include a number of customer and booking charge-related reports to help you manage and report on bookings, customers and charges. The Stripe Transfers report shows a detailed breakdown of online payments received in respect of booking charges.

Configuring the Bookings module for raising booking charges

There is very little configuration required to begin raising booking charges and processing payments received from customers. You'll get the most from the functionality by following these simple suggested configuration steps.

Review your module settings

Begin by ensuring the Charges feature has been enabled in the Bookings module's options - scroll down the Module Options tab and click Edit settings and select to Enable charges on the pop-up.

On the Booking Page tab you can optionally Edit and add a custom message that will be displayed at the bottom of all Booking Pages, which your customers will see when viewing their booking page. For example, this message could be used to set out your terms and conditions, cancellation policy, payment terms and your address and contact details.

Stripe card payment integration

If you wish to provide customers with the option to pay their booking charges online you will need to complete the Stripe integration (Administrator > Integrations). You may already have a Stripe integration completed for event ticket payments and online donations; if so, no further action is required to receive booking payments but if not, then see the related support article at the end of this article for further details of how to complete this step.

Booking "Types" configuration

From the booking Type "View" page, you can configure your branding option by selecting Edit:

For example, for churches whose commercial lettings are branded differently to their main church branding, you can set a custom Brand for each of your booking Types. Brands are first added in Administrator >Brands (see related support article for further details). Once a brand has been added you can assign a brand to a booking Type - all bookings for that Type will then follow that branding.

Additionally, for each booking Type you can set whether you wish to accept online payments by default; to do this, set Payment Enabled to Yes. Note that this option is a default setting - you can override this when adding or editing a booking, choosing to disable online payment at that point if you wish.

On the booking Type "View" page, you can also configure the Payment Instructions...

...and the Confirmation Email that will be sent to the booking contact/customer when they make an online payment for a booking of this Type.

The Confirmation Email lists the charges which were covered by the payment, as well as a full summary of all other charges linked to that booking, along with their payment status.

By default the Payment confirmation Email will include details of the charges raised, the payments made and the name/date of the booking, sending it to the booking contact/customer's email address (where one is provided). However, it's also possible to customise the Payment Confirmation, perhaps to add you own payment confirmation message – ChurchSuite will append the payment information to the end of your customised online payment confirmation email. Notice the options to set the default From Name, From Email and Subject. Remember to Save the custom Payment Email content.

For each of the custom Questions for a booking Type you can optionally set the question's Visibility to determine whether the question and response should be visible or hidden on the customer-facing Booking Page. In this way you can set internal-use questions and responses to hidden if you wish - they will only be visible internally when a user is viewing the booking in ChurchSuite. This is especially helpful when you have booking questions that are not relevant to the customer - perhaps only relevant to your bookings team, caretaker or overseers for that booking Type.

To make changes to a Question select Edit from the Action menu...

...and set the Visibility to Visible or Hidden as appropriate.

Repeat the above steps for each of your booking Types and Type questions, as appropriate.

Booking "Resources" configuration

As with booking Types, there are optional settings that you can configure for each of your Resources. From the list of Resources in the Bookings module, select a resource and click View from the Action menu:

Scroll down the resource page to the Questions section. For each of the custom questions you've added to a booking Resource you can optionally set the question's Visibility to determine whether the question and question response should be shown on the customer-facing Booking Page. In this way you can set internal-use questions and responses to hidden if you wish - they will only be visible internally when a user is viewing the booking in ChurchSuite. This is especially helpful when you have booking questions that are not relevant to the customer - perhaps only relevant to your bookings team, caretaker or overseers for that Resource.

To make changes to a Question select Edit from the Action menu:

...and set the Visibility to Visible or Hidden as appropriate. Repeat for each of your Resources as appropriate.

Adding charges to a booking

Accepting online payments for a booking

To accept online payments for booking charges, the Stripe integration must first be completed (see earlier), and the Enable payment box must be checked on the booking's "Edit" page, otherwise the "Pay" button will not be visible to customers when they view their customer-facing Booking Page.

The "Pay" button is only be visible on the customer-facing booking page if there are unpaid, visible charges, otherwise the button is hidden.

Charges are added against a booking on the booking "View" page in the Bookings module. Click to open and view a booking. Scroll down the page to the Charges table. The table is always visible, even if there are no charges as yet.

To add a charge for a booking, click Add charge.

For each charge raised, specify the charge Name and Description, an Invoice number (if required) the Amount due and the Due Date. Adding a Due Date for a charge will help you with managing and reporting due and overdue charges.

You are also able to set whether the charge is to be Visible. By default, all charges are Visible in booking emails and on customer-facing booking pages but you have the option to set a charge as Hidden, perhaps hiding a charge until it is approved by the customer, at which point you can edit the charge and set it visible.

ChurchSuite will help you manage the payment status of your charges, so you can easily see charges that are due, overdue, refunded and partially refunded. While online charge payments automatically update the charge's payment status to "paid", you can also manage payments by other methods and set a charge as Paid and note the payment Method; ideal for recording payments received by cash, cheque and bank transfer (BACS). To do this, change the charge status from Unpaid to Paid. This will reveal the payment Method and payment Date fields. Set these as appropriate and save your changes. Note that it's not possible to process partial payments of charges - instead, create separate charges for the partially-paid and unpaid elements.

The Charges table lists each charge and clearly distinguishes charges that are paid and unpaid. For sequence bookings, this same table of charges will show when viewing any booking within the sequence.

The charges table is also shown in the first stage of the Charges section on the customer-facing Booking Page. Again, for sequence bookings, the same table of charges will show on each booking page in the sequence.

Finally, it's also possible to duplicate an existing charge within a booking, making it quicker to add similar charges to the same booking - select Duplicate from the Action menu on the charges list:

Top Tip!

A booking contact can be either a Customer from your Bookings module or a Contact from your Address Book. You can easily add a new customer from a contact - ideal if you're likely to be taking repeat bookings from that contact.

Select Add customer from the Action menu next to Contact name on the booking "View" page. This option is only available for bookings containing booking charges.

When adding the contact as a customer, if ChurchSuite detects other bookings for the same contact, you will have the option to update the booking contact for all selected bookings to the newly-created customer.

Handling refunds

Online payments

When a customer makes an online payment for a booking charge, it is possible to raise a full or partial refund for that payment. From the charges table, select Refund from the Action menu:

On the Refund payment pop-up, select whether a Full or Partial refund (specify the amount) is to be processed. Confirm the refund and click Refund Payment. The payment is refunded back to the card originally used to pay (even if that card has subsequently expired). It is not possible to refund to a different card.

The refund is then shown in the Charges table and the charge is locked (whether partial or full), preventing the payment status from being further edited or the charge being deleted, although it is still possible to edit the charge... modify the charge Name, Description and Invoice No:

The refund is also shown in the charge history - click View changes from the Action menu on the Charges table (see above).

Refunds made by other payment methods

You can easily record refunds for payments received by other methods by adding a credit against the charge. For example, where a charge has been manually paid by the customer - perhaps by cheque - you can process a full or partial refund of that payment as a credit and specify the method the refund was paid back to the customer.

Select Add credit from the action menu for the relevant charge...

...and complete the relevant information, including the method of repayment of the credit.

The Charges table will then list the credit as a separate entry in the list.

The booking page will also reflect the credit added.

Deleting charges from a booking

Only unpaid charges can be deleted from a booking. To delete an unpaid charge, select Delete from the Action menu:

It is possible to edit charges manually recorded as Paid, but a charge paid online cannot be edited, as explained in the Handling Refunds section above. Charges manually recorded as paid can be refunded by selecting Edit from the Action menu.

You can revert the charge to unpaid, adding a description as appropriate.

Sending the booking page to a customer

Introduction to the customer-facing booking page

For each booking ChurchSuite will has a unique booking page. This is a customer-facing page that you can share with your customer so that they can view all the details of their booking - much like a booking confirmation, although the booking page is considerably more! For sequence booking, the same Booking Page URL covers all dates in the same sequence. If a date is added to a sequence, the booking page will include the booking details for that additional date. Essentially the booking page remains up to date whenever changes to the booking or sequence are made.

From a booking's "View" page click Go to booking page to preview the booking page in a new browser tab.

The URL for a booking page can be easily shared as a link in your customer email communications, but it's also possible to Send a booking page to a customer, which auto-embeds the booking page and URL into an email, ready to send (see later in this section).

The Booking Page will sport the Brand set for the booking's Type and includes the custom message in the footer (set in the Bookings module's Embed options). Type and Resource questions and responses that have been set visible to the customer are included, along with all the booking details - dates, times, resources and charges.

For sequence bookings, all the sequence dates are listed. The booking date being viewed is the date at the top of the list. A customer clicking on any of the other dates in the sequence will see a refreshed booking page showing the booking details for that sequence date. In this way customers can view all the date-specific booking details in one view, including resource timings and booking question responses unique to that date. For sequence bookings, charges are added to the sequence, so the same Charges section is displayed on the booking page regardless of the sequence date being viewed. The Confirm button is only shown if there are unpaid charges and if the booking has online Payment enabled.

The Charges section is composed of three stages, the first of which displays the charges which have been raised for the booking and allows the customer to select the charges that they will be paying off at that time.

Clicking the Confirm button take the customer to the second stage, which will then give them the chance to review the contact details which are linked to that booking, including the customer's Name, Email, Phone and Address details.

Clicking the Update Details button, or if no customer details are yet held, a form opens to allow entry of their missing customer contact details.

Having reviewed those details they click Proceed to Payment to move on to the final stage, entering their Billing Details (cardholder billing details may be different to the customer details) and Card Details.

Once they are happy, clicking Pay will complete the process. A success message is displayed on screen and a payment confirmation email is sent to the customer email address confirming the payment made. The charge "status" is also updated from Unpaid to Paid in ChurchSuite. The charges list on the booking page will also update to reflect the payment made.

Sending the booking page

When viewing a booking in ChurchSuite, select Send booking from the Communicate button menu.

Set the Send booking options to be included in the email. Note that these options only determine which booking details are included in the email body content; the Booking Page itself will always show all booking details. Click Proceed to see the draft email.

The email can be further edited at this point if desired, perhaps to add a personalised message into the email. The email Template is pre-selected based on the Brand specified for the booking's Type. You can optionally attach files e.g. a PDF of your terms and conditions. The email can also be scheduled, rather than sent immediately. Once you are happy, click to Preview Email.

The customer or booking contact is auto-added as the Recipient, but this can be changed; perhaps adding or removing recipients as required. All recipients are always blind-copied. When you are happy, click Send Email and your email will be sent/scheduled.

The Booking Charges History (click the View history button on the Charges table as described previously) provides a detailed audit trail of all charge-related changes made to a booking or booking sequence, including a log of each time a Send booking email is sent. Clicking +More...

...opens the sent email and open rate email tracking (if supported by the recipient email client) can be viewed:

Sent booking communications are also logged in the Communication section at the bottom of the booking's "View" page. Note that the communication is only logged against the booking date from which the email is sent from, even though the booking may relate to a sequence of dates; however, an identical log is recorded in the Communication log for the booking contact/customer.

All sent booking communications are logged in the Communication report accessible through the Bookings module's Reports section. This report can be further filtered to a particular communication method or user.

Reporting bookings charges

In the Bookings module > Reports section are a number of helpful reports about bookings, customers and charges. Here is a sample of some of the reports that relate to booking charges and refunds.

Charges report

This report lists all your booking charges and refunds. Using this report you can filter charges for a range of Amounts, those Paid within a specified date range, charges based on their Status (paid, unpaid, refunded, partially refunded or free), charges that are Due, overdue or pending, and charges based on their Visibility. Remember to click Generate after changing the report's filters. The report results columns are also click-sortable.

Full Details report

This report is ideal for viewing the full details of all bookings for a given date range. The report can be optionally filtered by Resource, booking Type, and booking Status (confirmed, pending or cancelled). The results of this report is a separate page for each booking within the date range. Note that you can select various options to include in the report. Click Generate after changing the report's filters to update the results.

Stripe Transfers report

This report lists the Stripe bank transfers within a given date range, with a summary of which booking charges are included (along with all your other Stripe transfers for online tickets and donations). The report is in three parts - a summary of booking Type Activity and All Activity within the date range at the beginning of the report...

...and beneath them, the detail of each bank transfer, showing the booking name, reference, type, the fees deducted from the charges and the net amount deposited in your bank account.

Further detail related to each bank transfer can also be found in your Stripe account's control panel.

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