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Manage patron bills

Learn how to create and manage bills from the patron account.

Based on loan policies configured in the OCLC Service Configuration, WorldShare Circulation creates most bills automatically.

  • For group aware libraries, the structure and amount of bills are based on policies configured by an item’s owning institution.

Manually create bills for fines or fees by accessing the patron's account and selecting the Bills tab. 

  • For group aware libraries, bills can be created for patrons of other institutions in the group.

Bills

The Bills tab on a patron account has two accordions:

  • Account: Lists outstanding current charges which have not been fully paid, waived, or refunded.  Subtotals include:
    • Current charges: A subtotal of all the user's current charges.
    • Total accruing charges: Charges to date for overdue items not yet returned. Additional charges could accrue for these overdue items.
    • Current outstanding charges: The sum of current charges and total accruing charges.
  • Account History: A record of all resolved bills for a patron. View details and notes for a specific bill from the Payment History dialog window. See view account and payment history.

Configure columns in the Bills tab

  1. On the right side of the screen, click the User Preferences button (User Preferences button).
  2. In the Show Columns window, check or uncheck the columns you want to show or hide. 
    • The columns you checked or unchecked are shown or hidden.
    • Select All to configure all the column headings for display.
      • Select Select All to add a selection box on the Bills screen to allow for the selection of individual or all listed bills.
  3. Close the Show Columns window by clicking anywhere outside it.

Create bills for a fine or fee

Follow the instructions below to manually bill a patron for a fine or fee. For example, if a patron has lost their library card and your library charges a replacement fee for a new card, you can create a bill with the amount of the replacement fee.

  • All roles except for Student Worker Restricted can manually create bills. Override credentials are required for the Student Worker Restricted role to create a bill.
  • For group aware libraries, bills can be created for patrons of other institutions in the group.
  1. Search for the patron's account.
  2. In the patron account, select either:
    1. Click the Bills tab.
    2. Click the outstanding bills hyperlink from the Account Overview section of the Checkout tab.
  3. Under the Account accordion, click Create Bill.
  4. On the Create Bill window, fill in the following fields:
    1. Amount - Amount charged
    2. Bill Reason - Select the bill reason from the list. Bill reasons are created in Service Configuration (WorldShare Circulation > Bill Reasons). For more information, see Bill Reason
    3. Item (Optional) - Associate an item with the bill. Retrieve the item by searching for its OCLC number or barcode.
    4. Note (Optional) - Free-text message, such as an explanation or payment due date
  5. Click Create Bill to create the bill.
  6. The new bill appears as the first line in the table. If you included a note with the bill, a Details link appears in the Reason column of the bill. Click on Details to view the note.

Cancel a bill

To correct bills that were created in error, library staff can cancel a bill. You can only cancel bills that have not been paid or waived. The Cancel Bill option will not appear for bills that have been partially paid or partially waived.  Canceled bills will not count against the Max amount of Waived bills setting in the Patron Type Policy module. 

  • All roles except for Student Worker Restricted can cancel bills. Override credentials are required for the Student Worker Restricted role to cancel a bill.
  • For group-aware libraries, institutions can only cancel bills for their own institution.
  1. From the patron record, click the Bills tab.
  2. In the Account section, indicate which bills you want to cancel:
    • All bills: Select all bills by clicking the check box at the top of the first column. You can only cancel all bills if all of them have not been paid or waived. Click Pay/Waive/Refund.
    • One or more specific bills: Click the checkboxes to select specific bills. Click Pay/Waive/Refund.
  3. In the Resolve Bills window, select Cancel from the Action list.
  4. In the Notes field, enter any notes.
    • If a note is not entered, you will have to acknowledge a warning message. Depending on your account, you may have to enter an override.
  5. (Optional). In the Receipt to field, select if you want to print the receipt or email the receipt to the patron.
    Notes on emailing a receipt
    • Receipts use the email address provided in the patron's record.
    • If there is no email address in the patron record, the Email field will be empty. In order to send the patron an email receipt, you must add their email address to their patron record and then resend the receipt.
    • If the patron wants the email to be sent to a different email address, you can edit the email address on the Email Preview window.
    • Changing the email address on the Email Preview window does not change the email address in the patron record.
  6. Complete the transaction:
    1. Click Resolve.
    2. Optional. Print or email the receipt.

Pay or waive all bills, selected bills, or partial amounts

Waiving bills works much like paying bills. You can waive all bills or selected bills. And you can waive the full amount owed or part of the total. Bills resulting from proxy patron activity can be viewed from both the proxy patron and primary patron accounts, but can be paid only from the primary patron account.

  • All roles except for Student Worker Restricted can manually pay or waive a bill. Override credentials are required for the Student Worker Restricted role to pay or waive a bill.
  • For group-aware libraries, institutions can process bill payments for other institutions in the group depending on the other institutions' configurations. 

See Edit patron type policies for information about the Max amount of Waived bills setting. If a patron exceeds the maximum amount of bills that can be waived, they will be blocked from checking out or placing holds.

  1. From the patron record, click the Bills tab.
  2. In the Account section, indicate which bills you want to pay or waive:
    • All bills: Select all bills by clicking the check box at the top of the first column. Click Pay/Waive/Refund.
    • One or more specific bills: Click the checkboxes to select specific bills. Click Pay/Waive/Refund.
  3. In the Resolve Bills window, select Pay or Waive from the Action list and supply this information:
    Information Description
    Amount to Pay Enter the amount to be paid or waived (full amount owed or part of the total)
    Amount Tendered Enter the amount received from the patron
    Notes (Optional).
    Payment Method Open the list and select the form of payment. Payment Methods are set in Service Configuration (WorldShare Circulation > Payment Method). For more information, see Payment Method.
    Receipt to

    (Optional). Select the delivery method for the receipt.

  4. Click Resolve.
  5. (Optional). Print or email the receipt.
  6. Return any change due to the patron. The system calculates change and displays the amount in the Change Due box.
  7. Click Close.
    Result:
    Partial payment (or waiving) of all or some bills
    • Amount paid or waived is applied first to the oldest bill, then the remainder is applied to the next oldest bill, and so on. Each bill is paid in full, if possible. Then the remaining amount is applied to reduce the amount owed on the next bill.
    • Bills paid or waived in full move to the Account History section.
    • The system recalculates the amount due for any bills partially paid or waived, and the total balance for all outstanding bills.
    Full payment (or waiving) of all or some bills All bills paid or waived in full are moved to the Account History section and the account balance is reduced by the amount paid or waived.

Refund a bill

You can refund bills partially or fully paid by patrons. Only bills created after the March 2015 WMS release are eligible for refunds.

  • All roles except for Student Worker Restricted can refund a bill.
  • For group-aware libraries, institutions can only refund bills for their institution. 
  1. From the patron record, click the Bills tab.
  2. Determine if the bill you want to refund is partially or fully paid.
  3. Two options:
    • Partially paid bill. In the Account section, indicate which partially paid bills you want to refund:
      • All bills: Select all bills by clicking the check box at the top of the first column. Click Pay/Waive/Refund.
      • One or more specific bills: Click the checkboxes to select specific bills. Click Pay/Waive/Refund.
    • Fully paid bill. In the Account History section, indicate which paid bills you want to refund:
      • All bills: Select all bills by clicking the check box at the top of the first column. Click Refund.
      • One or more specific bills: Click the checkboxes to select specific bills. Click Refund.
  4. In the Resolve Bills window, select Refund from the Action list and supply this information:
    Information Description
    Amount to Refund Enter the amount to be refunded (full amount paid or part of the total)
    Notes Required. If a note is not entered, you will have to acknowledge a warning message. Depending on your account, you may have to enter an override.
    Receipt to

    (Optional). Select the delivery method for the receipt.

    Notes on emailing a receipt

    • Receipts use the email address provided in the patron's record.
    • If there is no email address in the patron record, the Email field will be empty. In order to send the patron an email receipt, you must add their email address to their patron record and then resend the receipt.
    • If the patron wants the email to be sent to a different email address, you can edit the email address on the Email Preview window.
    • Changing the email address on the Email Preview window does not change the email address in the patron record.
  5. Complete the transaction:
    1. Click Resolve.
    2. (Optional). Print or email the receipt.
    3. Return the refunded amount to the patron.

Long overdue items

The following occurs when a long overdue item is checked in:

  • The replacement cost is removed from the patron's account if they have not yet paid the fee.
  • The processing fee is removed if the policy has been configured to cancel the fee once the item is returned and the patron has not yet paid the fee.
  • The patron is charged with overdue fees from when the item first went overdue.

View and add notes to bills

Bills resulting from proxy patron activity can be viewed from both the proxy patron and primary patron accounts, but can be paid only from the primary patron account.

View a patron's bills

  1. From the patron record, click the Bills tab.

    Bill tab columns
    Column Description
    Amount Amount charged
    Barcode Barcode of the item
    Call number Indicates classification and shelving location
    Charging library Library that issues the bill.

    Check box

    Specify bills to process via Pay/Waive/Refund button
    Date Billed Date bill was created
    Description

    Item-related fines: For a bill associated with a circulating item, Description contains the title.

    Other charges: For a bill not associated with an item, the Description column is blank.

    Outstanding Amount owed
    Reason

    Type of charge, selected from library-defined options

    Edit: Add or edit a note.

    Details: Lists the changes to the bill, including notes.

Add a note to a bill

  1. From the patron record, click the Bills tab.
  2. In the Account section, in the Reason column of the row of the bill, click Edit.
  3. In the Bill Details window, enter any notes into the Notes field.
  4. Click Save. Result:  The Bill Details window closes and a Details link appears in the Reason column of the bill.

Claims lost, returned, never had

Use loan statuses to note patrons’ claims about items. See Claims lost, returned, never had.

View account and payment history

A record of all resolved bills for a patron can be viewed from the Account History accordion. You can also view details and notes for a specific bill from the Payment History dialog window.

View account history

  1. From the patron record, click the Bills tab.
  2. Click Account History to open the accordion.
    Account History columns
    Column Description
    Reason Bill reasons are created in Service Configuration (WorldShare Circulation > Bill Reasons). For more information, see Bill Reason
    Description Item title associated with the fine
    Barcode Barcode of the item
    Call Number Indicates classification and shelving location
    Due Date Date item was due
    Date Billed Date bill was created
    Amount Amount charged

View payment history

  1. From the patron record, click the Bills tab.
  2. Click Account or Account History to open the accordion.
  3. From the Reason column, click the Details link for a bill. The Payment history dialog window opens.
    Account History columns
    Column Description
    Payment Type

    Payment types include:

    • Assess
    • Cancel
    • Payment
    • Pending
    • Refund
    • Waived
    Payment Method Payment methods are created in Service Configuration (WorldShare Circulation > Billing > Payment Methods). For more information, see Payment Methods.
    Operator Staff member who processed the payment
    Amount Amount charged
    Notes Notes related to the payment
    Date Date payment was processed

     

 

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