Can we make a 'Payments by Event' report?

Billy Fluck
Billy Fluck
  • Updated

A question that sometimes comes up is whether it’s possible for a report to break down the amounts paid using different payment types for specific Events (or other items, such as donations, memberships or merchandise). This is an understandable request, however it could never be possible to extract sufficiently accurate information of this type for it to be suitable for accounting purposes - in this article we’re going to explain why that’s the case, and what you can do to get some of the way towards this information.

Why is it not possible?

Spektrix allows you and your customers to include multiple Events, items and payments in one transaction, which means you’re likely to find orders which contain two or more methods of payment. In addition, each payment is not made specifically for a particular Event (or other item), but rather to pay for whatever combination of items are in the basket/cart.

For example, you could have an order which looks something like this:

  • Items:
    • Two £10 tickets to Macbeth
    • Two £20 tickets to Hamlet
    • One £5 Programme
    • One £2 Donation
    • One £10 Gift Voucher purchase
  • Payments:
    • One Card payment of £50
    • One Account Credit payment of £27

In this example the customer has made two payments but purchased several chargeable items, and there's no way for the system to split up the £77 worth of payments between each item. There are simply too many factors to consider, such as:

  • With multiple items in the order, should each payment go towards just the one item or be split across them all?
    • If the payment were to be shared across each item, how should it be split out - especially considering it’s unlikely to be evenly distributed?
    • How would bank fees be calculated if payments were split across multiple items?
  • In future the customer could come back and exchange some or all of their tickets, perhaps paying extra (to upgrade, for example) and using another different payment type
  • The Account Credit that the customer used may have also been originally paid for by card, in which case you might prefer to report on its original payment type instead

With so many complex ways of structuring an order, it becomes impossible to have a rule that works in all cases.

What does this mean?

The most likely reason why you might want to report in this way is in order to pass on Credit Card Commissions to promoters (or other third parties) as a direct cost of the sale of tickets for their events. In the same vein, it’s also worth considering the indirect costs you have for non-Card payments (such as cash handling expenses) which you might want to charge back to promoters as well.

With that in mind, we would suggest that you build a single charge into your contracts, which covers all of your costs. By doing so, you can look at the total value of all sales taken for an Event and charge a proportion of the total back to cover all of your costs.

Common ways of calculating the charge are:

  • A percentage of gross sales
  • A fixed amount per ticket sold or returned (especially for free or low-value Events, as many of the costs you incur will be the same as for high revenue ones)
  • A minimum charge per Event (perhaps with sales above the minimum billed as a percentage)

Whatever charge you decide to pass back to third parties, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Spektrix Support team if you would like to discuss how to incorporate this into your settlement reports.

Understanding the financial impact of cancelled performances
Another reason why you might want to find this sort of information is if you have had to cancel one or more shows, and you’re looking to understand the impact of those cancellations - along with the accompanying refunds, exchanges, donations and so on.

Ideally, to get a full picture of the impact you want to be able to report on the following:

  • Ticket returns
  • Refunds
  • Tickets exchanged to future Instances or alternative Events
  • Tickets converted into donations

We have a separate article dedicated to exploring this subject, so please see here for more information, and suggestions of how you can understand the choices your customers make when shows are cancelled.

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Please don't hesitate to get in touch with the Spektrix Support team if you have any further questions or would like to discuss anything covered here in more detail.

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