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Change Doesn't Need To Be Hard: Editing Payments In Altru

We all know that no matter how diligent we are with data entry, there will be times when we need to make changes to a payment record in Altru to correct a mistake or add information. But how do we make those needed adjustments? What are the rules that we should keep in mind?

First, you probably already know that not all payments in Altru are created equal – Sales Orders and their payments can have different rules than payments added via the Back Office tools of Add a Payment, Add a Membership, and Batch. This means that before you proceed with any changes to a payment, you need to figure out if you’re dealing with a Sales Order or a Back Office payment. There is a great Knowledgebase article, How can I tell if a payment is a back office payment?, but the basic gist is – if the word “Payment” appears in the record name and you have Edit tools in the left-hand Explorer bar, you’ve accessed a Back Office payment record. Sales Order payments are missing these tools, as the detail of what was paid for in a Sales Order is on the order record, rather than the payment record.

Let’s start with the rules for editing Sales Orders. With a few notable exceptions, if you need to change the information on a Sales Order or the payment associated with a Sales Order, you must refund all or part of that order. We’ve got a great video that covers the basics of editing a Sales Order.

Common edits that require you to refund the Sales Order and perform a new sale:
Change the payment method
Remove items from the order
Add additional items to the order
Change what was included in the order*

Changes that you can make to a Sales Order without refunding:
Change the designation on a donation made in a Sales Order from one designation to single different designation
Change the patron on the order
Change the delivery method on the order
*Change tickets purchased in the order from one event to another within the same Scheduled Program without changing the price types or amount paid

Next, let’s explore what the rules are for editing Back Office payments. In general, Back Office payments allow for more flexibility to adjust without having to refund the transaction. However, it’s important to note that if you use Altru’s General Ledger and you are adjusting a posted payment, you’ll be required to enter adjustment details.

Common adjustments made to back office payments:
Change the designation on a donation
Change the application on a payment – for example, when a payment is entered as a donation, but should have been a pledge, recurring gift, or fundraising event registration payment
Add or adjust the recognition credits for a payment

It’s also possible that you’ll need to refund all or part of a back office payment. If the payment was for a membership or a fundraising event registration, I’d always recommend performing that refund like you would a Sales Order through Refunds. However, back office donations, including pledge, recurring gift, and donor challenge payments can’t be refunded using the Refunds tool in Altru. Additionally, if a payment was entered as a donation, but should have been a membership payment, you’ll need to refund the donation in order to change the payment to a membership.

When making changes to a back office transaction, you might also get an error message informing you that you can’t adjust a payment in a locked deposit. Deposits can be unlocked, the payment edited, and then the deposit can be locked again. But maybe you don’t want just anyone to be able to edit, unlock or lock deposits, or delete back office payments. Who is able to perform these actions in Altru is all about the System Roles that have been assigned to users. Perhaps, you just want to track who made a change to a payment. You can do that too.

I haven’t covered every possible scenario out there for editing your payments today, but you’ve probably noticed that all the how-to steps that I’ve provided have been links to our Knowledgebase. In Knowledgebase, you also find other articles on payment changes that are less common – so it’s a good first place to visit when you run into a change you need to make.
Posted by Meredith Galdeen on May 16, 2018 2:34 PM America/New_York

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Thank you!  This is a nice how-to that is very helpful.
  • Posted Mon 04 Jun 2018 12:50 PM EDT
Thank you! I'm bookmarking this to share with my colleagues.
  • Posted Thu 07 Jun 2018 01:50 PM EDT
Great and thorough blog!
  • Posted Tue 03 Jul 2018 12:33 PM EDT
Thank you!  This is a great reference!
  • Posted Mon 22 Apr 2019 12:31 PM EDT