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Step-by-step: how to invoice and collect membership contribution
Step-by-step: how to invoice and collect membership contribution

This guide will explain how you can send contribution invoices and how to collect them.

Updated over a week ago

Sending invoices for membership contribution can seem like a daunting task. In this step-by-step guide we will explain all the steps and everything necessary to send and collect contribution with Congressus. The (Dutch-language) video at the bottom of this article demonstrates all the steps of this guide.


Checking the Workflow

The Workflow determines a couple of things:

  • How your invoice will be sent

  • The text on your Invoice

  • The accompanying email

  • Whether you want to make use of Direct Debit

  • The ways your members can pay

  • The Invoice due date.

In general, we recommend using a single generic Workflow for your invoices. However, because the collection of contribution fees is an important moment of communication with your members, some associations use a separate Workflow that they designed specifically for contribution.

Through "Settings > Invoice Workflows" you can edit current Workflows or create new ones.

Setting up Direct Debit

If you want to collect contribution from your members by way of Direct Debit, it is important to make sure the following information is correct:

  • Are the limits of your direct debit contract still up to date? You can check these limits by going to 'settings > Financial > SEPA direct debit'. Are the limits no longer enough? You first need to contact your bank to change these and then edit them in the manager.

  • Did you activate 'Direct Debit' in the workflow you want to use? You can do this under the tab "Sending - Direct Debit"

Creating Products

When you create an Invoice you select which products are listed on it. Make sure that the prices of your contribution products match your current membership dues. We recommend creating a new contribution product for each year in order to keep close tabs on the payment status for each year.

There is often a separate folder for 'Contribution' under 'Products' in Congressus Manager. Here you can add a subfolder per contribution year and add Products.

Creating Invoices

In order to create Invoices in bulk, select all members that pay the same membership dues and follow the steps below.

  1. Navigate to Members 'Administration > Members'

  2. Create a filter which encompasses the members you want to invoice for a particular contribution Product. Consider using a Temporary Filter if you do not want to save your selection.

  3. Click the 'Create List' button in the top right corner of the screen.

  4. Click on the Downward arrow next to 'List: XX members'

  5. Choose 'Add Sale Invoice for list'

  6. Follow the steps in the wizard

    a. Optional: Add an invoice reference

    b. Choose the right Workflow

    c. Optional: Indicate the contribution period

    d. Choose the right Product

    e. Add the Invoices

Repeat these steps for each contribution amount.

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Sending invoices

All created invoices are marked as 'Concept' in your administration. This is a good moment to double check if the total amount of invoices are corresponding with the total amount of members that need to pay contribution.

Is everything correct? If so, you can go ahead and send the concept-invoices!

  1. Click on 'Actions > send invoices'

  2. Click on 'Send all invoices (xx)' at the bottom

  3. Choose which sending method you want to use. If you have set this up correctly choose 'According to workflow'

  4. Send invoices.

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Creating a direct debit batch and send it to your bank

Now that all the invoices are in your administration, you can create a direct debit batch. You do this by going to the menu-item 'Direct Debit'. Click on 'Add direct debit' in the top right corner. Follow the wizard. When asked which products you want to collect, choose the products that are part of your contribution.

You can also choose to collect other open invoices in conjunction with your contribution.

Are there less payments in the direct debit batch than what you were expecting? Make sure to check the following:

  • Do all your members have a valid SEPA direct debit authorisation? You can check this by using a filter in your member administration or by individually checking the member profile in the manager

  • Did you exceed your SEPA direct debit contract limits with your bank? You can check your limits by going to 'Settings > SEPA Direct Debit'. These limits need to correspond with the limits in your SEPA direct debit contract that you have with your bank.

Direct debit batch - sending it to your bank

Once you have created the direct debit batch, you can export and upload this to your

bank through internet banking. This does not happen automatically; Congressus does not have a direct link with your bank. Therefore you have to submit this direct debit batch manually to your bank.

Direct debit batch - process payments

Congressus does not have a direct link with your bank. After you have submitted the direct debit batch to your bank and once your bank has executed the direct debit batch, you can start processing payments.

You can process your payments in two ways:

  1. Manually: you edit the direct debit batch in Congressus. Under the tab 'Payments' you can indicate if the payments have been 'paid'. Furthermore, you can also mark possible cancelled payments as 'reversed'.

  2. Upload bank transactions: in package Pro and Enterprise you have the possibility to upload your bank transactions. Congressus will recognise all payments that are related to you direct debit batch and change the status automatically.

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Often, you are not allowed to submit cancelled payments again to your bank with another direct debit batch. You can however, set a reminder in your workflow so that members automatically get an email with a payment request through bank or iDeal.

Reminding unpaid invoices

It can happen that invoices are not payed within the the given payment term. These invoices automatically get the status 'Late'.

For these late invoices you can send a reminder, it can happen that even a reminded invoices exceeds the payment term. Congressus allows you to send a reminder up to 3 times. If the occasion presents itself that a triple reminded invoices is not payed, the association needs to decide themselves what the next steps should be.


The video below is only available in Dutch, but still offers as a great guidance through the steps.

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