The Turnaround Document

This post shows how to ask your congregation to verify the information on hand, via the turnaround document.

The turnaround document is an email template. It consists of placeholders for all the information in ShalomCloud for each family, member, and Yahrzeit data, per household.

You can choose to send it by email, by postal mail, or both. Also, you can also send it first by email, and then by postal, only for families with no email.

You can change the template itself. For example, if there are fields that don’t matter, you can delete them. Too, If you’d like to change a background color, the accompanying video will show you how.

This video shows the end-to-end process. It covers editing the template, sending it by email, and printing it.

Emergency Contact Information

ShalomCloud now offers a place to enter emergency contact information.

You can now enter a name, phone, and email, as an emergency contact for all members of a family. The name is actually a free-form field. Thus, it can contain not just a name, but also a phrase, such as “brother.” The email does need to be a correctly formatted address.

You have a checkbox in the family query, that lets you include the emergency contacts. Also, the spreadsheet download from the family query includes the emergency contacts. That way, if you just want a quick list of the families and contacts, you can obtain that from the family query.

Similarly, the individual member query has a checkbox to include the emergency contacts. And, of course, so will the member downloads. Since those contacts are held at the family level, every person in the family has the same contact.

Here is a video showing how you enter the data and how you query these new fields.

Emergency Contact Information
Entering Emergency Contact Information

Option in the Periodic Statements

There’s a new option in the periodic statements. That is, if you use the financial capabilities of ShalomCloud, you’ll see two sections in the statements. The upper part shows owed items and anything paid against them; while below that is an area of recent payments.

If you choose, you can now exclude the lower portion. There’s a checkbox that is checked by default, to keep intact the prior default behavior. Now, though, if you would like to eliminate that lower section, just un-check that box.

Here’s a short video showing the statement, with and without the lower section.

Options in the Periodic Statements
Include Recent Payments

Yahrzeit Letters – Tabular Format

If in your congregation, it is common for one person to receive multiple Yahrzeit reminder letters in the same period, you can now use the tabular format. In this format, the Yahrzeits appear in neat columns, in the middle of the page. In contrast, in the traditional format, the Yahrzeits were in-line with the rest of the text.

There is one thing you should be aware of, though. The tabular format is fixed–it has the name of the deceased, relationship to the living person, and Hebrew and Gregorian dates. There is no flexibility to include or exclude fields in that table.

With the Yahrzeit letters tabular format, you still do control the rest of the text of the letter–the areas above and below the table are free-form.

Here’s a video (3:51) showing how this works.

Yahrzeit letter tabular format

Tax Statements by Email

You can now send links to your memberships’ tax statements by email.

For some time, ShalomCloud could send tax statements by printed letter. As with the periodic statements, you can now send links by email to your members. By accessing the link, each member can see, print, or download the tax statement.

There are two “must-have” items for this process. One — the actual tax letter. Two, an email template entitled, specifically, “send_tax_statement_link.” If you already have a “send_statement_link”, you can copy that one, and change it for tax purposes.

Here is a video showing the tax email process in action:

Tax statements by email

Tax Letters by Email
Tax Letters by Email

Labels for Checked Members

From the member query screen, you can now print labels specifically for members selected by checkbox.

Prior to this relatively small enhancement, if you wanted to finely select your audience for labels, you’d have to make a member attribute, and tag the selected members with that attribute.

Now, you can create an ad hoc set of labels, just by checking or unchecking names that appear in the query.

Here’s a two-minute video showing how to use this new feature.

Labels for checked members
Labels for checked members

Aged Accounts Receivable Reports

ShalomCloud now has available four aged accounts receivable reports.

The four reports are:

  • By family, summarized.
  • By family, detail.
  • By category, summarized.
  • By category, detail.

If you’ve entered Due Date in the charge, that is the field that determines the age of the receivable item. Lacking due date, the system chooses effective date. Lacking effective date, it’ll fall back to the date the transaction was entered.

There is also a selection to include fiscal year in the categories. Here’s what that means. If you already include the year in your categories–that is, if you set up new sets of categories each each, then you won’t need to include fiscal year, because it’s already there.

On the other hand, knowing that ShalomCloud carries an explicit, separate field for fiscal year, you may adopt the practice of not setting up new categories each year. In that case, if you wish to separate the commitments by year, you would want to include fiscal years on the reports.

Here’s a six-minute video that runs through how to create these reports.

A/R Aged
Aged Accounts Receivable Reports

How to Reassign Payments

This is an instructional article on how to reassign payments.

To explain, let’s run through a typical example.

Let’s say you’ve created outstanding items for two categories — a pledge for $800 and religious school tuition for $400.

A check arrives for $50, and you’ve applied it to the pledge, leaving a pledge balance of $750.

The video steps through how to find the $50 payment, and how to reapply it to the school tuition. The result would be a pledge balance of $800 and school tuition balance of $350. View the video

Reassigning a payment
Reassigning a payment

Recurring Payments

There’s a new feature available in regard to recurring payments.

Previously, there were only two time periods for recurring payments–weekly or monthly. Now, though, you can specify the number of weeks or months between payments.

For example, if you specify a month-type payment, but with an interval of 3, that charge will happen every 3 months.

If you’re unfamiliar with the whole idea of recurring payments, as implemented within ShalomCloud, you’ll likely find this video helpful.

List of payment plans
Payment Plans

Copy email and letter templates

It is now possible, and rather easy, to copy email and letter templates.

In both cases, the procedure is simple. Under the Configuration menu, go to either letter templates or email (a.k.a. multipurpose) templates. From the list, choose the new link that says Copy.

The system will duplicate the document, appending a -copy to the name. You can then edit the document as usual.

Here’s a short video showing the feature in action.