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#1277874 - 09/30/09 11:14 AM Re: Charging per lesson vs. per month [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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keystring Offline
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Excel?

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#1277895 - 09/30/09 11:40 AM Re: Charging per lesson vs. per month [Re: keystring]  
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bitWrangler Offline
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bitWrangler  Offline
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Originally Posted by keystring
Excel?


Since he confessed his love of WordPerfect, I would guess that he still uses Lotus 123, probably running on an IBM AT and PC-DOS 3.3.

I was always a M$ Word guy myself, pseudo WYSIWYG and styles, woot!

#1277899 - 09/30/09 11:45 AM Re: Charging per lesson vs. per month [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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Monica K. Offline

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Monica K.  Offline

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Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook
Many of you are not old enough to remember WordPerfect, but it was designed for office workers by office workers, not by computer geeks in Redmond, so it was very friendly to us. MSWord "adopted" a lot of their features, but not all. IMHO, WP is still far easier to use.


John, I am a diehard WordPerfect fan heart and will only stop using it when they pry my keyboard out of my cold, dead fingers. grin

What I particularly like about WordPerfect is the "reveal codes" option which lets you see exactly where that stray 'indent' or 'font' command is that's messing up your document. Trying to troubleshoot those things in Word is a nightmare.


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#1277918 - 09/30/09 12:05 PM Re: Charging per lesson vs. per month [Re: bitWrangler]  
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John v.d.Brook Offline
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Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted by bitWrangler
Originally Posted by keystring
Excel?


Since he confessed his love of WordPerfect, I would guess that he still uses Lotus 123, probably running on an IBM AT and PC-DOS 3.3.

I was always a M$ Word guy myself, pseudo WYSIWYG and styles, woot!


No, the spreadsheet program in WP is QuattroPro, and I'm using version 8, which was the last good version, on XP.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
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#1278043 - 09/30/09 02:52 PM Re: Charging per lesson vs. per month [Re: Morodiene]  
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PianoKitty Offline
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PianoKitty  Offline
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by PianoKitty
I want to clarify that I send out invoices once a month, for the total number of lessons in the upcoming month. I would go crazy getting checks every week LOL! I like having the students pay up front for the next month, so I'm not having to haggle over missed lessons. I also include any book fees or recital fees in the invoices.

However, I get so bogged down at invoice time (this week!) that I am leaning more and more toward calculating all of the Monday (T,W,Th,F) lessons in a year, minus vacations/holidays, and separating it into 4 installments for the year. It would be sooo much easier. Although I would still have to deal with getting books paid for as well. And recital payments.

On the issue of invoices and professionalism, I have actually had several parents comment on how professional my business is, and many of them have mentioned receiving the itemized invoices as part of that professional perception.


How do you do invoices? By hand, or do you use Quickbooks or a similar business accounting program?


I actually use Word LOL...probably not very efficient! I list out the dates of the lessons for the upcoming months, any credits or overages on the account, any books the student received or are owed, etc. I have to do one of these for each student at the end of each month. I do them by day, so I don't have to constantly change the dates (for example, all Tuesday students in October will have the same lesson dates, so I do all Tuesday students at once, and all I have to do is change the student name and books owed, or miscellaneous things).

I hope that makes sense. I just started doing invoices about 8 months ago so I'm sure there's a much better, more efficient way to do it! I do find that people enjoy seeing all of the charges listed out and itemized each month, so I want to continue doing them in some form (even if I switch to installments next year), but I think I need a new program!


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#1278254 - 09/30/09 09:43 PM Re: Charging per lesson vs. per month [Re: PianoKitty]  
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Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted by PianoKitty


I actually use Word LOL...probably not very efficient! I list out the dates of the lessons for the upcoming months, any credits or overages on the account, any books the student received or are owed, etc. I have to do one of these for each student at the end of each month. I do them by day, so I don't have to constantly change the dates (for example, all Tuesday students in October will have the same lesson dates, so I do all Tuesday students at once, and all I have to do is change the student name and books owed, or miscellaneous things).

I hope that makes sense. I just started doing invoices about 8 months ago so I'm sure there's a much better, more efficient way to do it! I do find that people enjoy seeing all of the charges listed out and itemized each month, so I want to continue doing them in some form (even if I switch to installments next year), but I think I need a new program!


With Quickbooks (or other similar software) you don't have to really do a lot of inputting or math. You simply select your item to charge (i.e., if you charge for 1/2 hour lessons, you can have that rate set in there so when you select this it will come up). Then either email or print from there. If the student has an overage or underpayment (which is not common), then you can print a statement which you can choose to show all charges and payments received within a given set of dates.

Billing takes me about an hour, tops, but that is because I was emailing invoices for the first time and was customizing the email for each. Probably next month it will take less time. Currently, about 70% of my families pay monthly, and my fee is slightly more to help cover the extra time it takes for paperwork (by about $20 per student over the semester).


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#1278290 - 09/30/09 11:03 PM Re: Charging per lesson vs. per month [Re: Morodiene]  
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PianoKitty Offline
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How much is Quickbooks? That sounds great! Much better than my system LOL.


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Member, Music Teachers National Association (MTNA)
#1278702 - 10/01/09 01:51 PM Re: Charging per lesson vs. per month [Re: PianoKitty]  
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MsAdrienne Offline
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Lexington, Kentucky
Did anyone else mention 3rd-party billing? There's a company that does this just for music teachers. I raised my rates 4% (the amount the company keeps for admin.) and receive the same tuition that I did before the switch. My students pay monthly or quarterly by credit card or direct debit. I get paid every month on the 15th by direct deposit. grin

When I started using this service in 2003, I only lost one student, but they didn't tell me the reason for leaving, so I am making an assumption. I get a statement each January for my taxes, and don't have to do any invoicing. It really frees me up to focus on the students. My parents like it, too, at least they claim to! wink


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#1278737 - 10/01/09 02:53 PM Re: Charging per lesson vs. per month [Re: MsAdrienne]  
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Joe H. Offline
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Joe H.  Offline
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What's the name of the company?

#1278752 - 10/01/09 03:22 PM Re: Charging per lesson vs. per month [Re: Joe H.]  
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Morodiene Offline
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Paypal has an option for people to pay monthly recurring payments as well.


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#1278774 - 10/01/09 04:08 PM Re: Charging per lesson vs. per month [Re: Morodiene]  
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MsAdrienne Offline
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MsAdrienne  Offline
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Lexington, Kentucky
PianoKitty and Joe H.: It's called Music Business Solutions (MuBuS) and it's at mubus.com. It is owned and operated by music teachers who came up with the concept. I can let them be the "bad guys" regarding the 30-day notice, or I can handle issues myself if I'd rather. It's been such a relief to not deal with invoices any more. It takes that aspect of managing the studio off my shoulders. It's only $2 a month, plus they keep 4% of the tuition, so they recommend a tuition increase of 4 or 5% when you join if you'd like to keep your income level the same (well, of course!).


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#1280463 - 10/04/09 10:48 AM Re: Charging per lesson vs. per month [Re: Nikolas]  
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Toronto, Canada
Charge per month, if you charge per lesson you will likely have people who'll want to reduce the amount they have to pay because they'll be away for a week or two.

Meri


Clarinet and Piano Teacher based out of Toronto, Canada.Web: http://donmillsmusicstudio.weebly.com
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