Not Just One, but Many — on Statement Runs

Modest change here — having to do with your periodic statements.

One of the selection criteria on statement runs had been the ability to select all families, or one family:


With this change, you can now select multiple families or all:

Probably the most advantageous circumstance where this would be useful is this: Suppose you primarily send statements by email. The system dutifully warns of any families who would have received a statement, but for whom the system has no email address.

Before, you would proceed by selecting the first family and printing the statement. Then, you would select the second family; and so forth, one at a time.

Now, you can select all the families for whom there is no email address, and obtain printed statements in one step.

Here’s a video that illustrates the above.

By the way, if you want to see a series of articles about the various developments concerning statements, please peruse this collection.

New capability — to acknowledge pledges

Adding to the existing ability to acknowledge payments in bulk, we now have the ability to bulk acknowledge pledges.

If you’re not families with what we mean by “bulk acknowledge,” please view this article.

That works handily for recognizing payments of any kind. Now, we’ve added the a button to sent several acknowledgements for pledges, or any amount owed, for that matter. For example, you may want to sent email thank-you notes after a pledge drive, or after people have made commitments to a building campaign.

The procedure is the same as before — it stars with Queries -> Financial transactions. Then, you’d likely select a date ranges; and, perhaps focus on a designated set of categories

New is the light blue button to bulk acknowledge pledges (actually, any type of amount owed).

Here is a video to view the end-to-end process

Announcing a new, more granular authorization

First of all, some background. If you’re not familiar with the ShalomCloud shopping cart, please review this handful of articles.

Some more background. ShalomCloud controls access to its major functions by means of a set of permissions, or authorizations. Each permission carries a flag — N for no access; R for read access; and W for read/write access. All well and good. In order to add or change items in the shopping cart, one needed the Financial permission. However, financial permission opens the door to see all financials, including pledges, contributions, and shopping cart activity.

And now we arrive at the focus of this article. You now have an authorization specifically for the shopping cart. In other words, you can grant access to create and update items in the shopping cart, without granting access to the rest of the financial information.

Unlocking the Full Potential: More Ways to Maximize Your Alternate Email Sender

For some time now, ShalomCloud has offered the ability to send emails from a general alternate email address. For background on that capability, see this article. Useful for things like newsletters, general information, et al.

We have expanded the use of alternate sender address, to both periodic statements by email, and tax letters by email.

Here is a very short video that demonstrates these two new use cases.

Credit balances now on statements

We call it, officially, “credit on file.” Sometimes referred to as pre-payments. These are funds sent in ahead of time, to be used in the future, as specified by your congregants.

We at ShalomCloud had conceived the periodic (monthly, quarterly, annually) statements as something geared to commitments, and then payments toward those commitments. However, as time bore on, we’ve received feedback that, in those cases where your folks send in money ahead of time, those funds should appear on the statements.

You’ve suggested; we’ve acted accordingly. Now, those credits appear on the statements, listed after the commitments (a.k.a. dues or pledges).

One rule-of-thumb to be aware of — once a credit balance gets drawn down to zero, it

  • Does not appear if its effective date precedes the statement period.
  • Conversely, does appear if its effective date falls during the statement period.

Here’s the video illustration of the above textual description.

One more thing — we’ve guessed that the vast majority of our readership will prefer this addition to the statements. If you do not wish those credits to appear on statements,

  • After signing into ShalomCloud, go to Home -> Declare synagogue options.
  • Find the selection “Statements show credits on file.”
  • Select the radio button Exclude credits-on-file on statements.
  • Submit

Your entry did not go to QuickBooks Online — now what?

Announcing the ability to post activity to QuickBooks Online retroactively.

First of all — this article does not pertain to those who use our QuickBooks Desktop integration. Because that is, by its nature, run in batch, after the transactions post to ShalomCloud.

When would you want to use this capability? Not often, hopefully. However, let’s say you’ve set up a new financial category in ShalomCloud, and haven’t mapped it to the corresponding chart of accounts entries in QuickBooks. And, then, some items post — could be via the administrative screens, or via any of the online portals. If that happens, you’ll receive an email, saying something like, “No mapping for credits on category <name of the category>.

Given that the integration from ShalomCloud to QuickBooks Online occurs within seconds, how can you correct that missing entry? In the past, you could post the entries manually; or we in ShalomCloud support could handle it, also manually.

Aha! Now, you can go into the familiar Queries -> Financial transactions. Enter whatever criteria will include the items(s) in question. Check the box on the far right, and touch the orange button at the bottom, Send checked to QBOL. That’s it.

You can see the above scenario in action by viewing this video.

Retroactive posting to QuickBooks Online

New ability to group checks by deposit ID

For those of you who process a significant number of checks, you now have the ability to group checks by deposit ID.

What this means, is that, as you enter checks (or cash, for that matter), you can select a free-form label that will stick with those transactions. As you enter financial activity, you can enter a never-before-used deposit ID, or you an select from a drop-down list of previously used deposit ids. By the way, the previously used list, appears according to when they were created, with the most recent being at the top.

Where does the deposit ID appear? One place is within the financial transaction query. You can use deposit id as one of the filtering criteria. And, regardless of the filtering criteria, deposit ID appears in the source of funds column. Moreover, if you do a financial transaction download, the deposit ID appears as a column in the resulting spreadsheet.

One more place — the Deposit Assistant. Prior to this change, the sole choice for the Deposit Assistant was a range of dates. Now, in addition, or instead of, a range of dates, you can select deposit ID from that same drop-down list as mentioned above.

If you find the above description promising, and are wondering how to enable this feature — someone with administrative access would go to Home -> Declare synagogue options. There, you’ll find a radio button to “Use deposit id.”

To see this feature in action, please have a look at this video.

Now up to you — accept or disallow recurring contributions

It’s now your choice — either to accept, or to disallow, recurring contributions from the public portal.

On the publicly-facing payment/contribution page, you may have noticed an option to make a recurring contribution. This is analogous to what you’ll see on many charitable organizations, such as Shriners Hospital and Red Cross. Those organizations, like ShalomCloud, allow the contributor to choose between a one-time payment, or a recurring monthly payment.

Recurring contributions can add complexity to your synagogue finances. Accordingly, we now offer a way to exclude that recurring option. To effect that choice, simply go to Home -> Declare synagogue options, and you’ll see

Allow or disallow recurring contributions

By selecting “Do not allow recurring contributions,” your page will look like this:

Now up to you -- accept or disallow recurring contributions

instead of:

Now up to you -- accept or disallow recurring contributions

Here’s a video that displays and explains this new option.

Better Handling of Early Payments

Here’s a situation that has been occurring, not infrequently.

Let’s say that you intend to gear up for a pledge drive in June or July. Or, you’re going to register children for religious school over the summer, and bill the respective families. That is all well and good.

But — you may have cases where people send in payments (or remit funds online), before you’ve had a chance to bill them.

What has been happening? Lacking an amount owed, ShalomCloud creates an immediate debit matching the payment amount. Then, when you bill the family, unless you’ve recognized the prepaid pledge or school payment, you’re effectively overcharging. That’s a bit of a sticky situation to unwind.

With this change, you can declare selected categories as prepay-eligible. Then, using the same situation described above, instead of ShalomCloud creating an immediate debit, it’ll put the money into a credit-on-file category. It will also insert “Prepaid” at the beginning of the description. So, for example, if the intent was to pay for part of a pledge, under category “Standard family pledge”, you’ll see in the description “Prepaid Standard family pledge.”

New category type — Prepay

Prepay Category

There’s one other visual change. We’ve moved up the Credit on file section. It used to be at the very bottom, below the credit card and ACH sections. Now, it’s right under the check / cash /other section. You’ll see it much more readily than when it sat at the bottom.

source of funds and credit on file
New location for credits on file

Video showing these changes

Include More Info in the Shopping Cart

We have one new wrinkle to announce, concerning the ShalomCloud shopping cart.

Until now, the items in the shopping cart consisted of the name of the item, a description, and a price. (By the way, that price could be zero, or could be user-determined). All well and good. But — what if you needed to collect some additional information from the “buyer”?

Examples:

  • For a class, the names of the attendees
  • Same thing for a community Seder
  • If you’re selling Hamantaschen, who will be picking up the order?

If you have asked for that additional information, when someone places that item into the cart, the program will provide a place for the response.

In turn, the purchase queries include the question-answer pair.

Last item of note — the email to the “buyer.” Thinking that, more often than not, those emails will appear on a cell phone, we’ve formatted the response to appear vertically.

Here’s how it looks on a computer monitor:

Shopping cart purchase -- wide screen
Shopping cart purchase — wide screen

And here’s how it looks on a cell phone:

Shopping cart purchase -- narrow screen
Shopping cart purchase — narrow screen

To see a video of the end-to-end process, please access this link: