Initiate and Apply Payments
Shortly after you complete end-of-period billing, payments will begin to arrive from the account contact/customer's entity. Follett approved payment methods for A/R are checks sent to the A/R Lockbox directly from the vendor, or a wire transfer/ACH from the vendor to Follett, or POS payments. Check for and apply new payments daily. It is important to maintain clean and accurate records for collecting unpaid balances.
Shortly after you complete end-of-period billing, payments will begin to arrive from the account contact/customer's entity.
Acceptable payment option methods for A/R are as follows:
- Lockbox Payments (US stores only): Checks/payments are sent from the account contact/customer's entity directly to the lockbox.
- Electronic Payments: Electronic payments, also known as wire transfer or ACH, are submitted from the account contact/customer's bank account to the Follett bank account. Wire transfer/ACH is the preferred method of payment.
- POS Payments: Payments can be accepted at the POS (in-store).
Any POS payment over $500 must have the following:
The store needs to provide written notification to the RM
The store needs to make a copy of the check and statement
The store needs to make a copy of the payment receipt at POS – tendered to the proper AR account
The store needs to prepare a deposit for the exact amount of the check
All copies need to be attached and maintained with the EOD paperwork
Forward a copy of the check and payment remittance advice/statement to ARdept@follett.com.
The regional manager needs to review documentation upon the next store visit
Buyback Scholarship Payment (for credit in CARRR vs. a check sent to the campus): Send an email to ARDept@follett.com detailing the amount of the buyback credit. Include the CourseTracks Buyback Scholarship Report that reflects the total of the requested amount. Approval is required per the approval limits below:
Assistant Store Mgr/HO Supv $250
Store Manager: up to $500
Store Director $2500
RM/HO Mgr/Operations Mgr $5,000
GVP/ HO Dir/ Assist Controller $25,000
Senior VP/General Manager $100,000
NOTE: If your check payment to the campus for buyback scholarship is requested, do NOT send information to ARDept@follett.com. Instead, submit the buyback request for AP payment to FHEGExpense@follett.com.
The home office enters a credit into CARRR, which will be reflected in the unapplied screen. Payments will appear within 48 hours of final approval.
Credit card payments are NOT allowed or accepted in ANY store unless approved by the regional manager via email as an exception.
- It is important to note that your store incurs credit card fees due to this payment. Therefore, it is NOT allowable and against Follett policy to charge a service charge to the account contact/customer's entity to cover the store's incurred credit card fees.
A payment remittance advice must accompany all payments. The payment remittance advice must include Store #/name, invoice #, and payment amount. In addition, for major accounts for Follett ACCESS, campus card, or other major accounts paid at the student level, the payment remittance advice should also include major ID, customer/student #, and transaction date.
If a payment remittance advice is not sent, it is your responsibility to request the information for the current payment and request that the remittance advice is sent going forward.
In addition, as invoices are being sent to the account contact/customer, attach the Remittance Advice Request Letter to the monthly invoice. If not received by the third request, partner with your regional manager to escalate the request. Keep the remittance advice in the major account folder.
Timing of Payments Appearing in Apply Account Payment Screen in CARRR
- Lockbox checks: A daily bank file interfaces with CARRR. This includes the check image and payment remittance advice if provided.
- Electronic payments: Wires/ACHs appear as soon as the home office approves the store-initiated wire requests. The home office approves the request as soon as the payment is reflected on the bank records. However, if a store does not initiate a payment, but the home office identifies the store it belongs to, the payment will be allocated to the store. Any identifying reference information is also displayed/attached to the specific wire/ACH payment in CARRR.
- POS payments: POS payments transacted at the register appear the day after in CARRR if the end of the day process is completed properly at the store.
- Scholarship Buyback payments: Will appear within 48 hours of final approval.
Check CARRR and apply any new payments daily. See Apply Account Payments.
All payments appear in the Apply Account Payments screen in CARRR until they are fully applied to the applicable major accounts and customers (at the transaction level).
Apply payments received by the account contact/customer's entity to open invoices on a timely basis and no later than 15 days after the payment date, unless otherwise approved by the regional manager. The only exceptions are as follows, where the accounts receivable will be established at a future period of time:
- Contractual obligations, scholarships, or credits per the operating agreement in which the school/campus decides when and how the funds willbe utilized.
- Prepaid accounts where the accounts receivable are established during the period of time indicated on the Prepaid Account Agreement:
- Scholarship accounts
- Personal major accounts
Overpayments/ Unapplied Payments: Once payment has been applied according to the entity's remittance advice, there may be an overpayment or duplicate. Research the reason for this overpayment before taking any action. Occasionally, payment will be received for an invoice/statement. The total in the major account has changed due to a return or returns that have been processed after the invoice has been submitted. Apply the payment to the intended charges/time period/invoice according to the remittance advice. This will create a credit balance in the major account. This credit will appear in the next billing cycle.
Overpayments/Duplicate Payments of $1,000 or less: The store manager must notify the account contact/customer's entity that the credit will be applied to open invoices based on the account contact/customer's preference, with the same entity or it can be refunded within 30 days of discovery.
Overpayments/Duplicate Payments of $1,000 or more: The store manager must notify the account contact/customer's entity that the credits will be applied to open invoices due from the account holder. The payment may be refunded once the payment of all past due charges has been received.
Prepaid Accounts: Prepaid major accounts with remaining unused credits must be refunded to the account contact/customer/parent in accordance with the Prepaid Account Agreement form. Personal major accounts must not exceed two years for a two-year school/campus and four years for a four-year school/campus.
Note: If a refund is not possible due to a lack of payee contact information and/or the payee cannot be located, the store must fill out the Unclaimed Property Request Form to move the funds, which will be remitted to the applicable state. See the Transfer to Unclaimed Property to Home Office topic for additional details.
Follow the correct refund process as explained in A/R Refunds - Customer Refunds.
Unidentified Payments: Payments that you cannot apply to any outstanding balances. This can be for several reasons:
No remittance advice – contact payer for remittance advice
Remittance advice for a different store – Contact store manager to verify and then move to the correct store.
Duplicate payment - see Overpayment/Unapplied Payment
Payment received for a closed account - Research is required to determine if the payment is for an older item that has been previously written off. If there has been a write off to bad debt, then this needs to be adjusted in the Payment processing, apply payments screen, to Record Recovery of Bad Debt:
Contractual credits and/or scholarships must be used per the timeframe indicated in the contract. If a timeframe is not referenced in the contract, see below for further direction.
Contractual Credits (Reference the Operating Store Agreement)
The store manager must communicate and discuss the use of contractual credits greater than a one-year-old. The option can be presented to:
- Apply to outstanding and aged-school/campus invoices
- Convert into Follett gift cards