Recurring Invoice, and Recurring Payments, and Sprout Billings Clarification

This documentation is to help with any confusion on the uses of " Recurring Invoice Creation" and "Recurring Invoice Payments", if you have not already reviewed their product page you should do that now (here).

The differences between the two:

Do not use both Recurring Invoices and Recurring Payments with the same invoice.

Recurring Invoice Payments - Creates a subscription payment with your payment gateway, defined by the term and duration you set.

Recurring Invoice Creation - Duplicates the existing invoice on a schedule, defined by the duration and frequency.

Details and notes:

Recurring Invoice Payments

  • Only Stripe and PayPal are compatible with subscription payments.
  • Similar to Recurring Invoices an invoice will be created on the same schedule as the subscription payment, so when a payment is made within via the payment gateway's subscription an invoice is created (via cloning of the original) and marked as paid. 
    • Note: the subscription will be validated via the payment gateways API to make sure the subscription is active before an invoice is created.
  • The recurring payment total is defined by the invoice total. 
  • The start date is the date the client decides to make his first payment, which would create the subscription.
  • If the subscription payment needs to be cancelled early it must be done within the payment gateway  (i.e. Stripe or PayPal).
  • If the subscription payment needs to be modified (e.g. total needs adjustment) it must be done within the payment gateway (i.e. Stripe or PayPal).

Recurring Invoice Creation

  • All new invoices are generated from he original invoice. Meaning if the original invoice is modified than any future invoice will include those changes.
  • In order to stop invoices from being generated requires that the original invoice have the "Recurring Invoice" option unchecked.

Sprout Billings Users:

Auto Billing (aka Sprout Billings) has general documentation. If you need to setup Sprout Billings, please refer to that documentation (here).

Recurring Invoice Payments

Do not use Sprout Billings with Recurring Invoice Payments. Neither Sprout Billings payment processors (Stripe Profiles and Authorize.net CIM) accept subscription payments.

If you want to have payments automatically captured use Recurring Invoices.

Recurring Invoice Creation

A recurring invoice can have a payment automatically captured if the client has a payment profile selected.

The image below shows that the client agreed to the terms at checkout to have their bank account automatically billed for any future invoices, they also selected the pay date of the 4th. With he example below an invoice could be automatically created on the first of every month, and auto-billing will charge the client on the 4th.