In Student Billing, there are two options when working with Products and Billing Items as well as Bill Codes and Application Restrictions. When creating these items, we are required to enter in Valid From and Valid To Dates. This solution describes the difference between working with Billing Cycles and Specific Dates.
There are two options when working with valid from and valid to dates:
Billing Cycles enable you to copy all information at one time and quickly associate items with a particular date range. For example, you could setup the 2010-2011 billing cycle with Dates from 7/1/2010 - 6/30/2011. You would then setup Products and Billing Items, Bill Codes, and Application Restrictions to be associated with this billing cycle. In the following year, when setting up 2011-2012, you would copy the 2010-2011 billing cycle and all items created would be copied as well.
Specific Dates enable you to restrict items to be available only at particular times or avoid working with billing cycles. When using Specific Dates, you would need to copy Products and Billing Items, Bill Codes, and Application Restrictions individually with each year. For example, you could setup Products and Billing Items using the option: Item can only be used from, and enter 7/1/2010 - 6/30/2011. Then when creating 2011-2012, you would need to go to Products and Billing Items and copy the items valid from 7/1/2010 and valid to 6/30/2011 to copy these items.
Note: Advance Deposits need to be handled appropriately based on the needs of the organization. In particular review the setup of the schedule for the credit that will be generated from the advance deposit. For example, if using Billing Cycles, the 2010-2011 advance deposit would need to be setup to generate on 7/1/2011 to be recorded as revenue in the 2011-2012 year. However, if using Specific Dates, you can either work with the Fiscal Year dates (if so, you would need to again follow the steps outlined for Billing Cycles) or work with the Calendar year (1/1/2011 - 12/31/2011) and generate on 7/1/2011.