Running Statements

Running statements can tie up your screen for much more than a few seconds. In fact, if statements take more than two minutes, you’ll see a message about a Gateway timeout.

In order to avoid this, we are now processing statements as a background job. What does this mean to you? First of all, as you submit a statement run, you’ll get an immediate response, telling you that the statement run has begun. Later, typically two to five minutes, you’ll receive an email, from [email protected], informing you that the statements are ready. In that email will be a link, which you can use to download the statements.

For small synagogues, this may be a bit of an inconvenience — after all, it’s a two-step process to pull statements. However, you do gain the benefit of being able to use your browser while the statements are running. And, by running them in the background, you’ll not have to worry about the system timing out.

In weeks to come, we expect to be doing the same for some of the longer-running selections.

Statement run in action: Link to video

Long running jobs

Recurring Payments in the Member Portal

ShalomCloud now offers the ability to create recurring payments in the member portal.

By way of background — we have for some time offered the following capabilities, once a congregant logs in:

  • Maintain own family’s demographic information
  • See yahrzeits related to any member of the family
  • Add a member to the family
  • Pull a statement — amounts owed and paid — for any date range.
  • Make a payment, while designating exactly how those funds should be applied.
  • Member search, by any portion of the last name and/or first name.

To these functions, we now add the idea of creating, updating, and deleting recurring payments. For the sake of completeness, let us mention a couple of prerequisites:

  1. Your temple or synagogue must have an account with our gateway that offers both card and ACH. For more information on that topic, please send us a note at [email protected], and we’ll guide you through the setup process.
  2. There must be a charge, debit, or amount owed, to which the recurring payment would be applied.

The following video shows, not only the new recurring payments function, but actually everything that the member portal can do. Feel free share this post and video, especially if you have members who may want to have an online account.

Member portal end-to-end.

Recurring payment via member portal
Recurring payment via member portal

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

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

Statements by Email

We now have the ability to send statements by email.

Button to send statements by email.

Taking our cue from banks and brokerages, we’ve opted not to send the actual statement by email. Instead, we send a rather long link that, when selected, takes the congregant directly into that family’s statement.

There are a few very simple setup steps:

  • Make an email template named send_statement_link.  This is an ordinary email template–so that you can insert pictures, and other customized language. The only requirement is that the template contain, in squiggly braces, the phrase {magic_link}.
  • When you go to produce the statements by email, you may choose to send the links to only certain roles, such as Parent or Adult. And, as with letter statements, you can select specific billing statuses, and/or certain family attributes.
  • Do know that the system will tell you any families for whom there are no email addresses. In that case, without leaving the screen, you can print statements for those families. Then, before the next statement period, perhaps you could work on retrieving email addresses for those families lacking one.

Here’s a video that takes you through the process.

Reassign Categories

You are now able to reassign categories for financial transactions. That is to say, if you have an obsolete category, and you wish to move all the activity to a new category. you can now do so in one action.

If you wish, you can delete the old category once the activity moves.

Here’s a two-minute demonstration of this feature.

One Donation Letter per Household

Frequently, when congregants make contributions, they include requests to inform others about the gift. Until now, the system dutifully created precisely one letter per individual. For example, if David Davies contributed $18 to a fund, and wished to inform Earl Everett and Eva Everett about the contribution, the system produced a letter to David (as the contributor), a letter to Earl, and a letter to Eva.

With this change, the system recognizes those cases where the honorees reside in the same household, and produces one letter per household

This video illustrates a case, where, in fact, the last names of the honorees are different, but reside in the same household. You’ll see in the video one letter to the honoree’s household.

Payment Portal for Receivables

The payment portal, sometimes called the non-logged-in portal, and sometimes called the contribution portal, has a new wrinkle.

Until now, the portal was purely a means to accept contributions. Now, though, if you do indeed create charges for items such as school tuition or pledges, you’ll see the portal looking for such receivables against which it will apply payments.

Sounds awfully wordy and complicated. Please watch this short (3m, 42s) video to see how this works.

Archive Financial Categories

Primarily to control what appears in the two user portals, you now have the ability to archive financial categories.

What do we mean by “archive?” You might think of it as a way to retire a no-longer-used category. Or, perhaps, you might have categories that you use internally. In fact, if your organization is more comfortable with a term such as “close” or “make private”, we can accommodate that wish quite easily.

The main point is simple–when you archive financial categories, those do not show up in either the general payment screen or the logged-in user portal.

For more background on the portals, please see these articles.

Here is a video (3:40) that shows how to archive a category, and its effect on the contribution portal.

Archiving Financial Categories
Archiving Financial Categories