Now available — two changes to improve your financial reporting

We have two unrelated, and relatively minor, enhancements.

First — on the trend report. For those of you unfamiliar with the trend report, it’s a running total across the last six years, of charges and credits per family. You choose which categories you’d like to see on the report. What have we enhanced? The trend report consists of one line per family unit. Formerly, each line started with the family code. Now, you’ll see both the family code and the formal name.

Trend report sample
Trend report snippet

(By the way, all names are fictitious.)

The second enhancement resides in Queries -> Financial Transactions. Here, the very first filtering criterion, Fiscal year, had been limited to one fiscal year only. Most of the time, you can select the data you want by filtering on a range of effective dates. However, there are times when activity might occur before your next fiscal year starts, yet you want to attribute that pledge or payment to the forthcoming fiscal year.

In those cases, you may well want to select a range of fiscal years, instead of entering a range of dates. That is now possible:

financial transaction search criteria

ShalomCloud shopping cart: Now with user-determined prices

Until now, the ShalomCloud shopping cart contained strictly fixed-price items. Shabbat dinners, Lulav and Etrog sets, classes (whether free or not) are some examples.

However, sometimes you’ll have a set of prices for an event, perhaps with various sponsorship levels. Aha, but if anyone wanted to register for the event, but remit something above, or between, the fixed sponsorship levels, you couldn’t do that with the shopping cart. Instead, you’d have to use the donation button.

With this announcement, you can designate shopping cart items that have a “fill-in-the-blank” price.

By the way, your existing shopping cart items are unaffected. By default, they are fixed-price.

This video shows this new capability, both from the back-office perspective, as well as from the “shopper’s” perspective.

shopping cart user pricing
Shopping Cart User Pricing

More Choices for your Tax Letters

With tax season just around the corner, you may be interested in one new tax letter option.

Previously, when you produced tax letters, you had the option to include what we call “source of funds.” Meaning the check number, or last four digits of the card, or some bank account info. You could also omit that column, and simply show the date, the category, and the amount.

If you’d like to view a basic tax letter tutorial, please visit this link.

What’s new? One new choice — instead of the source of funds, you can now choose to show the transaction description — typically phrases such as “in memory of” or “in honor of.”

By the way, this option holds, whether you print and mail the tax letters, or choose to send them via a personalized link in emails.

tax letter option
Tax letter option — show description

Here’s a video depicting this option in action.

Credits on File

This is a tutorial on the subject of credit on file. Credits on file are funds that you’re holding to be applied later.

There are two main ways that these funds originate: One way is typically toward the end of a calendar year. Somebody might send in a check, typically for tax purposes. Their intent is to instruct you in months to come, where to apply those funds; perhaps after the next pledge campaign, for example.

More frequently, though, is the case where you’ll have recurring payments. Toward the end of the recurring payment cycle, the respective charges are completely paid. In that case, the system places the extra funds into the category that we’ve dubbed Credit on File.

The question then is what do you do with that? How do you go about applying it? And we’ll run through a simple illustration in the accompanying video, using the fictitious Davis family.

We’ll see that they do owe some modest sums for dues. And if we skip all the way to the bottom, we’ll find that they have some credits on file left over from recurring payments over-payment.

To “draw” on the credit on file, we simply put an amount into the category that we wish to pay; and then, instead of a check, card, or bank account, we key that amount next to the credit on file balance.

Apply credits on file

Name-only Labels

ShalomCloud has for years been able to print labels. That is true both for individuals and for family units. However, until now, the labels were strictly mailing labels. That is, the program always printed the mailing address onto the label.

With this change, you now have the choice of printing name-only labels — excluding addresses. For family units, that name can be the formal name (“President George Washington and Mrs. Martha Washington”), or the informal name (“George and Martha”), or the informal label (“George and Martha Washington”). For individuals, it’s the title, the first name, and the last name.

A few possible uses for name-only labels: seating for a community Seder; badges for social events; badges for religious school, to name a few.

Here’s a short video showing the two places from which you can produce name-only labels.

Name-only labels
Labels — choice to include names only

Specific Item in the Shopping Cart

You now have the ability to point a link or button to a specific item in the shopping cart.

ShalomCloud has offered a shopping cart for some time now. That enables simple event registration, and the purchase of fixed-priced items. That could be classes, high holiday tickets, Hamantaschen, Siddurim–really anything with a price, including zero.

However, we’ve received feedback about the desire to point to a specific item in the cart, instead of showing all available items. That’s what this change provides.

Here’s how it works — when you’re configuring your items in the cart, you’ll see here and there a “Show” link. By selecting that link, you’ll see a new field, labeled Direct link. By using a button or link — on your web site, or in an email blast, for example–and directing people to that direct link, only that one item will show in the shopping cart.

This video shows how it works.

Specific item
Cart specific item — annual concert

One-time Password

For an extra layer of security, you may now take advantage of our one-time password capability.

One-time password? What’s that? Until now, logging into ShalomCloud was a matter of entering an email address and a password. That is still the default.

However, if you enter the synagogue options panel, you’ll see three choices: To not use OTP, or to require OTP for all, or to have OTP be an individual option.

If you opt to require OTP, everyone logging into ShalomCloud will see a second login screen. At the same time, the system will send that user a numeric code, to the logon email; and, if there is a cell phone in the user’s profile, the system will also send the code via text message.

If you make the second factor an option for your synagogue, then you’ll use a checkbox for each individual who prefers to log on via both email/password, and the six-digit number sent via email and/or cell.

Please follow this video to see how to put this capability into action.

One-time password
Process Flags

Some possible future enhancements:

Offering a preference between cell phone and email, to receive the code. For now, since cell phone is a new field in the user record, we’ll send to the email always, and the cell phone if it’s there.

Offering authentication via a phone app, such as Google Authenticator or Twilio Authy. This would mean scanning a bar code with your phone, and then using the phone app to retrieve the login code. This is considered a more secure way to implement MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication), but more complex.

Small Enhancements

Here are described several small enhancements. Most of the time, we include a video. However, in this case, a screen snapshot should serve well to illustrate these changes.

When you’re doing Yahrzeit maintenance, you will now see a search box to jump right to the last name in question. This saves you from scrolling through several pages of Yahrzeits.

Yahrzeit search
Yahrzeit search

Second of the small enhancements: in the area of financial categories. If you use our contribution portal, you’re probably aware that you can select which categories appear in the drop-down box. You’d select “public” for those; the rest are internal, or private. If you have dozens to hundreds of categories, but want only a handful to appear in the portal, you can use the new button to declare all categories non-public. After using that button, you would flip to public the relatively small number of categories to appear in the portal.

Make all non-public

Third thing — if you use our form builder, and specifically radio buttons and check-boxes — you now have up to sixteen choices for each, up from five.

While we’re on the subject of the form builder — if you’d like to see responses from prior forms, you can now select which set of forms or registrations you’d like to review:

Select a registration

Envelopes for Yahrzeit notifications.

Directly from the Yahrzeit query screen, you may now print envelopes for Yahrzeit notifications.

The envelopes come out in alphabetical order, one per person. As is the case for printing envelopes from the family query, you may choose to print your synagogue’s return address on the upper left of the envelope, or leave that area blank.

For more background on various aspects of Yahrzeits, please visit this link.

For a video specifically on printing envelopes for Yahrzeit notifications, please visit this link.

Envelopes for Yahrzeit reminders
Envelopes for Yahrzeit reminders