Issuing a refund

Use HoneyBook to issue full or partial refunds to your clients

Updated over a week ago

No one loves giving refunds, but HoneyBook knows that sometimes, they're just a part of doing business. That's why, if you're processing all of your payments through HoneyBook, we make the refund process secure and easy.

In most cases, the client payment you want to refund has already been transferred to your bank account, so HoneyBook will need to collect the funds from your bank account to issue the refund. The good news? You don't pay any transaction fees on refunded payments, and we only draw from your bank account the amount that was originally transferred to it. Your client should see the refund—the full amount that they paid—back in their account within 7-14 business days. Refunds cannot be issued anywhere other than the client's original payment method.

📣 Note

Always issue the refund, using the process detailed below, before making any edits to the services or payment schedule. Once the refund is issued, we’ll automatically recalculate the payment schedule for you.

Issuing a refund via the project workspace

1.  Find and open the project for which you'll be issuing the refund.

a. You can search for a specific project via the search icon, or select the Projects tab to review your full list of projects.

📚 Tip

You can also issue a refund from the Payments tab of your Bookkeeping section! Just find the payment you need to adjust, click to expand the payment information, and click Issue Refund.

2. Once you've opened your project, select the Files tab.

3.  Select the file that has the payment you'll refund.

4.  In the File Summary that appears, find the Action Summary section → find the payment you want to refund.

5. Next to the payment to be refunded, select the 3-dot icon → select Refund a custom amount.

a. If you manually marked the payment as paid, you'll select Mark as refunded

6. In the Refund Amount field of the pop-up, enter the dollar amount you want to refund. If you haven't connected a bank account for refunds, you'll need to do that first. Continue on to the next step—you can send a refund after connecting a bank account.

a. This can either be the full amount of the payment, or a partial amount.

📚 Tip

If you issue a partial refund now, you can can always issue the remaining payment amount (or another partial amount) as a refund at a later date!

7. Now, if you have not yet, you’ll need to connect a bank account that you’ve designated for refunds. Click Connect Bank Account.

📣 Note

All refunds are processed via ACH (aka bank transfers). Refunds cannot be processed with a credit card. If your refunding bank account was not accepted by Plaid for any reason, reach out to Support by selecting the Question Mark icon on any HoneyBook page for help getting your client refunded.

Though you’re welcome to connect the same bank account you set up to receive payments, that account will not automatically populate here. We understand that sometimes, money moves around—so we want to give you the opportunity to select any bank account through which to process refunds.

If you’ve already been through this process to issue a previous refund, we’ll save your bank account info for easy processing next time. In this case, you can skip to Step 9. Alternatively, you can always click Use a Different Bank Account to set up a different account.

8. If you’re connecting your bank account for the first time, select your financial institution from the provided list (or use the search bar to find it).

9. Follow the steps on your screen to complete the online login for your bank.

10. Once you’ve completed the steps to connect your account, we’ll take you back to the refund screen. Double check that the amount you’re refunding to the client is correct, and when you're ready, click the Refund button.

Your client will receive an email confirmation that their payment has been refunded, and should see the refund—the full amount that they paid—back in their account within 7-14 business days. Now, if you need to make corresponding edits to the services or payment schedule, you can do so, and resend the document to your client.

Issuing a refund via the Finance Payments tab

You can also refund the payment while reviewing all your paid payments.

1. Find the Paid Payments section of your Payments screen.

2. Select the payment you want to refund.

3. A new section will appear. Below the Total, select Issue Refund.

4. Enter the amount to be refunded, then select Refund Now.

When a refund can NOT be issued

A refund cannot be issued:

  • If the payment was made outside of HoneyBook and manually marked as paid (however, you CAN manually mark those payments as refunded if you issued the refund outside of HoneyBook—just for your records!)

  • When a file is expired

  • When 80 days has passed since an ACH payment was made. Credit card payments may be refunded at any time, but ACH payments have a 80 day refund window

  • If the payment is a bank transfer and it is still processing (the funds are still in the process of clearing the client's bank). Once the payment status switches to paid, you can process the refund

  • When a file is in draft mode. In this case, either resend the file with the edits you've made before refunding, or delete the current draft via the trash can in the draft drop-down menu

Refund FAQs

Do refunds include transaction fees?

When you process a refund, you're charged only for the amount that was originally transferred to your bank account. Your client will receive the full amount that they paid back!

Why is it giving me an error that I have insufficient funds when I select an account?

Through our partnership with Plaid, we’re able to detect immediately whether you have enough funds to cover the refunded amount in order to prevent you from over-drafting. If you do not have sufficient funds in that particular account, you’ll want to click on “Connect to different account” to return to the list of sub-accounts. You can also click “Try Later” to exit the refund process and return to it another time when funds are available.

Why are some of my accounts greyed out?

We only allow refunds to come from depository accounts where we know that funds can be easily transferred to another account.

What if I don’t have enough in my bank account to cover the refund? Is there an alternative way to refund?

If you do not have sufficient funds for a refund, you can try the refund later when funds are made available in your bank account.

Can my team members issue a refund?

Refunds can be issued only by the account owner, the file owner, or anyone who is an admin or super admin on the company team.

Is this secure?

Yes! We partner with Plaid, a third party system that uses end-to-end data encryption to ensure that your information remains secure.

I issued a refund, but my client no longer has access to their original payment methodwhat happens to the refund?

Even if your client no longer has access to their original payment method (i.e., they cancelled their card), if they are still with the same bank, the refund will be routed to their account. If they no longer have a relationship with their bank, the bank may still provide the refund via check.

If your client does not receive the refund within 30 business days, please reach out to our Support team for further assistance.

Can I cancel a refund?

Once a refund has been initiated, it unfortunately can't be canceled. That said, if your client no longer has access to their original payment method, check out the above FAQ for next steps!

I haven't received my client's payment yet, but I want to cancel it and refund the payment to them. How do I do this?

If your client made payment and you haven't received it yet—but you need to return the payment to the client now—you can do so in most cases. Simply follow the refund flow outlined here. If you haven't received the payment, you should not be charged for the refund and the funds will simply be returned to your client.

📣 Note

If your client paid via ACH bank transfer, you cannot return their payment until the payment status switches from processing to paid. Processing means the funds are still in the process of clearing the client's bank.

Once the payment status switches to paid, you should be able to process the refund.

I issued a refund for my client (they used the wrong card), but they want to repay now. Can they do that?

Your client cannot remake a payment. You will need to edit the file to add an additional payment for your client, then resend it. Once your client approves the revisions, they'll be able to make the new payment.

Still have questions? Feel free to send us a message by clicking the Question Mark icon on any HoneyBook page. Our team is always happy to help!

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