The maintenance of dog records is a never ending process. Throughout any given month you receive information that requires you to update the dog record in Avitar Clerk, such as rabies vaccinations dates/tag numbers that you received from the veterinarians and designating dogs as “Inactive” when an owner calls to let you know his dog has passed away. By updating the dog’s information when you receive it, you always have accurate information in your Avitar Clerk system. However, if you are accepting online payments with Invoice Cloud, you also need to maintain the dog information that your customers see when they access Invoice Cloud.
In a previous blog post (Resending Dog Invoices to Invoice Cloud), we discussed how you can upload all your dog notices (e.g. rabies, renewal, civil forfeiture) to Invoice Cloud frequently, and we recommended that you upload the notices at least on a monthly basis. The upload process will add any new dog notices and update any notice in Invoice Cloud that is unpaid with the latest dog information (e.g. new rabies tag and expiration date).
However, the process only uploads invoices for “Active” dogs so it will not remove a dog’s invoice from Invoice Cloud if you have recently designated the dog as “Inactive” in Avitar Clerk. To designate a dog as “Inactive” in Invoice Cloud, you must deactivate the unpaid dog invoice.
Why deactivate a dog’s invoice?
Below are several reasons why you should deactivate a dog’s invoice on your Invoice Cloud portal:
- Customers, who have signed up for email notifications through Invoice Cloud, will still receive emails stating their dogs are available to be renewed. If a customer had previously called to inform you that his dog was deceased, he will be calling you again wondering why you are still sending him emails.
- If your customer has moved to another community, you do not want her to license her dog online, as she should be renewing the dog in the town in which she resides.
- If you do not deactivate the dog’s invoice, it will remain on the Invoice Cloud portal until the notice expires. So, if your customer accesses Invoice Cloud before the expiration of the notice, he will see he has an outstanding invoice. This will either result in a call to your office from your customer, or the customer may pay the invoice, creating an overpayment that you will have to refund.
How do I deactivate a dog’s invoice?
In order to deactivate a dog’s invoice, you must log in to your Invoice Cloud portal. Under Data Management, select Search Invoices. For the Invoice Type, use the drop down box to select Dog Licenses. There are three search methods (Customer Name, Account Number, Invoice Number) you can utilize to narrow your search results, but you must enter information into at least one of the search criteria. We recommend you utilize the Customer Name field (e.g. John Smith). Make sure there is a check mark in the Outstanding Only check box, as this will display only invoices that have not been paid. Select Submit and depending on how much information you entered as your search criteria, will determine how many unpaid dog invoices will be displayed. There are two reasons why the search will return no results:
- The information you entered is incorrect.
- There are no unpaid dog invoices.
Only dogs with unpaid invoices need to be deactivated. Once an invoice is paid, the invoice cannot be paid again and all emails to customers stop, effectively making the invoice deactivated without you having to do anything.
So, once you have located an unpaid invoice, you should verify you have the correct dog on that invoice, as you do not want to deactivate the wrong one. To verify you have the correct dog, under the Options section is several icons, select the magnifying glass icon. This will open up a new window displaying the details of the invoice. Verify the dog information matches the dog you want to deactivate the invoice for. If so, close the renewal invoice window and select the red X icon. This will deactivate the dog’s invoice.
After you have deactivated the dog, the invoice will no longer display in the list of available unpaid invoices and your customer will no longer receive emails or be able to view/renew this dog online.
When should I deactivate a dog?
We recommend that as soon as you “Inactivate” a dog in Avitar Clerk, you go right into your Invoice Cloud portal and deactivate the dog’s invoice. This will eliminate the confusion for your customers, minimize the phone calls to your office, and dogs will not be licensed erroneously.
This seems like a lot of work. Will I have to do this forever?
In a future update, we hope to add functionality which would automatically deactivate a dog’s invoice with Invoice Cloud as soon as you designate the dog as “Inactive” in Avitar Clerk. Until then, you will need to follow the above procedures of deactivating a dog’s unpaid invoice on Invoice Cloud each time you designate a dog as “Inactive” in Avitar Clerk.