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”?


  • 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:

A few changes to the contribution portal

Just a few changes to announce, concerning the contribution portal (a.k.a., non-logged-in portal).

First, where the contributor can name a person to be notified. The screen now has a radio button, to choose either email or postal mail address. Then, depending on which button the user selected, it offers an area in which to enter that email or postal address.

Second change: Before, as soon as someone tabbed out of the amount area, the screen immediately dropped down, to invite a second item within that contribution. That has led to some confusion, or, worse, people repeating the previous item unintentionally. Instead, the screen now has a checkbox. When the user checks the box (an intentional act), then the screen opens for a second line item. And repeats, for up to five line items.

Third change: With every contribution, office folks so flagged receive an email notification. All well and good, but we’ve added to that notification the email and/or the postal mail address of the “notifee.” That should save office personnel from having to look up, or, worse, chase down contact information for the person(s) to be honored.

By the way, if you missed the post on bulk email acknowledgments, have a look at this article.

And here’s a video showing certain aspects of this change.

Send Several Thank-you Emails from One Screen

This post announces an express way to send acknowledgments for contributions, via email.

Until now, in order to issue notes, to both contributors, and to those who they wish to be notified about their contributions (which, for the sake of brevity, we’ll refer to as “notifees”), the procedure was this:

You would do a financial transaction query, typically by date. That assumes you send these notices on some regular cadence — weekly, daily, M-W-F, for example. Then, you would select the “Preview” link, look over the email, and either print it or send it.

The traditional way is still available. Now, however, you can choose a different approach. You’d do the financial transaction query, as before. But you’ll see a new button, labeled “Bulk acknowledge.” By selecting that button, you’ll see the same set of payments, displayed as a list. Not only as a list, but also with input boxes. In those input boxes, you can enter or override the description, the name of a notifee, and the email address. Also, there are check-boxes on the far right, so that you can choose which contributions will receive an acknowledgment.

The system fills in the notifee area in one of two ways. First, if you, as an administrator, have selected a person to be notified when you entered the financial transaction, that person with an email address will appear. Second, if someone has made an online contribution, and has supplied a name, or, better yet, a name with an email address, ShalomCloud populates whatever information the contributor has entered.

One last point — for the notifee template, if you want to include the name of the notifee, you’ll need one of these fields in your template:

  • {notifee}
  • {donee_firstname}
  • {donee_informal_name}

Here’s a video explaining the bulk-acknowledgment process.

Bulk Acknowledge
Bulk Acknowledge

QuickBooks Online and Class Codes

If you take advantage of the integration between ShalomCloud and QuickBooks Online, you may take a keen interest in this post.

First of all, if you’re not familiar with class codes, you may find this article from Intuit to be instructive.

With that background in hand, know that our connection to QBO now supports designating a class code for each financial category.

Here’s a video that demonstrates the use of class codes. This short illustration shows both the ShalomCloud posting, and how it’s reflected in QuickBooks Online.

Now available — select which categories to include on periodic statements.

ShalomCloud now has the ability to send statements, for specific categories that you select.

Until now, every statement was all-in. That is, it showed everything owed per family. Thus, you could not produce a statement for religious-school only, or cemetery-only.

Now, you can select one or more categories to appear.

To see a short (3m 7s) video of this feature in action, please follow this link.

Category selection for statements
Category selection for statements