Monthly Archives: March 2013

Trivia


Trivia
How big is flowerSoft?

We all know that flowerSoft is a large program that keeps expanding every day and has done so for the past 25 years, but how big is it exactly?

Well, as of today March 30th of 2013 flowerSoft has:

6,880 processing tables (programs) that average approximately 220 lines of code each.
Some processing tables, like the one controlling the order entry process are very large, with well over 4,000 lines of code; while other are fairly small with maybe 50 lines of code.
We can estimate that the entire flowerSoft Systems program (all modules) have over 1,500,000 lines of code and no bugs! ūüôā

There are also 1,586 indeces, keeping all your information organized.

Reports?  At present count there are 1,498 different reports in flowerSoft.  No wonder you have trouble finding some of them!

Menus?  1.007 different ones.

Data entry screens? 3,043

So yes, flowerSoft is big, very big and getting bigger each day.

When flowerSoft was first introduced, 40MB hard drives were the norm.
I remember telling a flowerSoft customer after he got a 1 GB drive that he would never have to get a bigger hard drive in his life.  That shows you how much I know.
Today, flowerSoft alone is over 1GB and that is with no data.

I have backup drives today that are 2 Terrabytes (that’s 2000 GB)¬†and thumb drives that are 8GB, that’s 8 times bigger than the biggest one¬†I thought anyone would ever need just¬†20 years ago.

Can’t wait to see what is coming down the pike.

 

 

Notice


Notice
flowerSoft Will Stop Supporting ICVerify

As mentioned previously, as of July 1st, 2013 flowerSoft will stop supporting versions of flowerSoft which used ICVerify to obtain credit card approvals.

What does this mean?  It means that if as of July 1st, 2013 you are still using a version of flowerSoft that does not interface with Merchant Warehouse, you will not be able to receive any new updates or features from flowerSoft.  In addition, if the credit card numbers stored in your system become compromised for any reason, your are liable for stiff fines and charges for external audits.

The reason for this decision is to make flowerSoft PCI compliant and remove it from the scope of the Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS).

In the past, flowerSoft had interfaced with ICVerify to obtain approvals of credit card transactions, however this method did not pass the PA-DSS standards because credit cards are kept in your computer or server.

Recently, I received this email from ICVerify:

“Dear Valued Partner,

I’d like to take this opportunity to inform you of the current status of ICVERIFY as it pertains to your POS integration, your merchants and their PCI compliance status.

Please refer to the attached End-of-Life notice and make note that we are retiring ICVERIFY Software Version 4.0.4 (all builds) and earlier as of June 30, 2013.¬† No new support contracts or new product sales will be supported after that date.¬† Any existing support contracts will be supported for the duration of their term.”

So, as of that date,  flowerSoft will stop supporting versions using ICVerify to get approvals.

We have now teamed up with Merchant Warehouse to provide a PCI and PA-DSS compliant version of flowerSoft, that does not require that you keep credit card numbers in your system.

This is the only version of flowerSoft that will be supported as of July 1st, 2013.

So, it is imperative for you, if you have not already done so, to request a quote from Merchant Warehouse.

We have provided them with the name and telephone numbers of all current flowerSoft customers, but if you have not received a called from them or if you have received a call but dismissed it as just another salesman trying to sell me something, please let me know and I’ll have them call you again.

We have many customers who have already switched to Merchant Warehouse and they all report to have received very competitive rates and their support is free and¬†excellent, especially when compared to ICVerify’s.

They also provide state of the art equipment, as shown on the flyer below, that will make your shop able to accept all new forms of payment coming in the near future.

So again, I urge you to switch to Merchant Warehouse and upgrade to the latest version of flowerSoft (which is absolutely free of charge once you switch) as soon as possible, as it takes time to  upgrade your system and get it ready to accept credit cards through the web.

Thank you for your support,

George Simon

genius01

 

 

 

Tip #122 – Method of Payment Analysis Report


Tip #122
Method of Payment Analysis Report

For many years I have heard florists debating on whether to extend credit to customers or not, with both sides offering strong arguments.

Well, flowerSoft now offers you a way to make that decision more intelligently.

Here is how.¬† From flowerSoft’s Main menu, follow this path: M > R > A > A > M or 4

moprep01

I am selecting one of the summary reports because they take less room on the page.  Once I select M, flowerSoft will ask me which summary report I want to print.

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(I’m going to select the default, which is choice #2 because it is shorter and easier to show here.)

Once you select either of these options, flowerSoft will ask you for the range of order dates you want the report on.

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and once you select the dates you want, flowerSoft will show you this…

moprep04

So now let’s compare the CREDIT CARD and ON ACCOUNT methods of payment.

As you can see above, payments by credit card account for  almost 70% of all the orders taken, clearly outdistanced any other method of payment.

However, take a look at the average order amount.¬† This seems to indicate that customers who have “house” accounts, spend 30% more on each order than customers who do not have one.
It could also be that in this case, “house” accounts are given to corporate clients, which tend to spend more on each order.

Having a “house” account also gives the customer a sense of “loyalty” to your shop.¬† If they need to order flowers for any occasion they are a lot more likely to call you than to call some other shop¬†or from some order gatherer, where they will have to give out their credit card number to some stranger.

So, if customers that have “house” accounts spend more than customers who don’t, why is it that a lot of florists are reluctant to extend credit to new customers?

Obviously, the main reason has to be the credit risk factor and the time period it takes to get paid.  Credit card payments are immediate, although it will cost you approximately 3% of the total of the order, while payments on account take at least 30 days and many times more than that.

I guess it is all a matter of individual preference and knowing from past experience if  your customers are normally good payers or not.

Are you willing and can you afford to wait 45 to 60 days or more for your money in order to increase your sales by a significant margin?

Those are decision you can only make, but now you can make a more informed decision by generating this report.

Comments are welcomed.

Tip #121 – Be Nice to Your Accountant


Tip #121
Be nice to your accountant

Your accountant will love you (and maybe not raise his rates) if you make his or her job easier.
flowerSoft can produce several reports that can make it easier for your accountant to do his or her job, but one of the most recently added to the latest version of flowerSoft is the “Revenues From Sales” report.

This report can be found by following this math from flowerSoft’s Main menu: M > R > A > B > 6

rfs01

After selecting this option, you will be prompted from the range of delivery dates you want the report on and the you will get something like this:

rfs03

This will provide your accountant with easy access to information he or she will need to keep your books in order.

Tip #120 – How to Issue Credits if You Are Using “Open Balance” Statements


Tip #120
How to issue a credit to an account
if you are sending open-balance statements

If you are sending open-balance statements instead of balance-forward statements, issuing a credit to an account should be done differently than by adding a credit through the Accounts Receivable module.

Why, you ask?  Because open-balance statements only show orders with outstanding balances and a credit to a house account entered through the Accounts Receivable module does not create an order with a negative balance.  If it did, it would throw the account out of balance.

So what should you do if you use open-balance statements?  The same thing I just explained why a credit on account cannot do.  You should simply create an order for the customer with a negative balance.

Here is how…

  1. Go into the New Orders menu and begin entering a local order as you would normally do for the customer you want to give credit to.
  2. When you get to the recipient’s area, enter “XX” in the recipient’s name field so that flowerSoft will not calculate a delivery charge.
  3. You can leave the enclosure card blank or you can type something like “CREDIT TO ACCOUNT”
  4. When you get to the “Items Sold” screen, enter a quantity of “1” and in the item code field, enter “CRED.”
  5. In the description field the word “CREDIT” will automatically appear.¬† Add any additional wording to it, like “CREDIT FOR RETURNED VASES” or anything else you want to say.
  6. Enter the amount of the credit in the Unit Price field.¬† You should precede the number with a minus (-) sign but if you don’t, flowerSoft will do it for you.
  7. Enter the total amount of the credit, flowerSoft will pull out the sales tax amount later.  However, if you make the order tax exempt after flowerSoft has removed the sales tax from the total credit, you will have to adjust the credit back to its original amount.  flowerSoft will only do this once, so make sure that the amounts you enter are correct.
  8. Select the method of payment.

Here is the graphical version…

credit01credit02credit03credit04credit05

Tip #119 – How to Credit a Finance or Re-Billing Charge


Tip #119
How to credit a finance or re-billing charge

As all of you are aware, finance and re-billing charges are just a tool to get the customers to pay.
Most of the time, they will send the payment without including the amount of the additional late charge.
Most of you will accept this as full payment and waive the finance charge.

There are several ways of getting rid of a finance or re-billing charge, but the only way I recommend is by including a finance/re-billing charge allowance when entering the payment from the customer.
This works well whether you are sending balance forward or open balance statements.

Here is the proper way to waive a finance/re-billing charge.

fca01

By the way, this is also the correct way to apply a sales allowance as doing it from here will reduce your sales tax liability.

Tip #118 – Does it Pay?


Tip #118
Does it Pay?

Many of you often wonder if it pays to belong to a wire service.
When you add up all the commissions and fees, how much are you really making on those incoming orders?

Well, wonder no more.  Now flowerSoft gives you a way to know exactly how much you are making on those incoming orders.

What does it require of you?  A little work, not a lot and is work you should be doing anyhow.
You should be checking and reconciling your combined reports from the wire service(s) you belong to.

flowerSoft gives you a way of doing this by following this path: O > O > W > C and then select the method you want to use to reconcile your combined report.
The easiest way is to obtain a cd or file from the wire service and let flowerSoft spit out any discrepancies it may find.

However, on the same Reconcile Combined Report menu, you will notice an option that reads C – Charges & Expenses

rcr01

Selecting this option and then selecting the option to A – Add Charges & Expenses, will take you to the following screen:

rcr02

After you enter the name of the wire service and the “From” and “to” dates, flowerSoft will fill most of the fields for you by reading the data in the sales file.

rcr03

Now, using the information provide to you in the combined report, you enter the charges and expenses you had for that period.

rcr04

flowerSoft will then tell you what your statement balance should be.

Best of all, is that at the end of the year (or any time you want), you can generate a report that will tell you exactly how much money you made on incoming orders.

rcr05

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Armed with this information, you can then make an intelligent decision as to whether or not it pays to belong to that particular wire service.

Please note the labor expense rate comes directly from your control file.¬† If yourlabor expense rate increases or decreases you can always adjust it by going into the Manager’s menu.
Select System Information > Defaults Menu > Operating Defaults and then navigating to page # 21 and changing the rate there.

rcr07

If you have any comments or improvements that can be made to this option, leave a comment and let me know.

Thanks.