flowerSoft will tell you how many duplicate credit card sales it has found.
Print the report.
Please note that the earliest possible date is February 28th, 2013 as that is when we first put the Merchant Warehouse interface into production.
You will be able to change that first date in case you run that report at the end of each month and don’t want to include transactions previously checked.
Only orders with a “credit card” method of payment are checked.
Transactions without a token number are not checked as you may have gotten an approval before switching to Merchant Warehouse.
Multiple orders are also not checked since you should have gotten one approval at the end of all the multiple order entry.
Voided orders as well as orders without an account number or name are not checked.
Also be aware that you may have gotten paid for all the transactions. At this point we don’t know if it is happening to everyone or only one flowerSoft customer, but you should check to make sure you have gotten paid.
More than likely, you would have gotten paid for at the first of the duplicate transactions, it is the second, third or fourth you may not have gotten paid for.
The report provides you with the approval and the token numbers so that you can check your records with Merchant Warehouse.
The token number is a unique number provided by Merchant Warehouse and it is never duplicated.
You should use this number to check with Merchant Warehouse to see if you have gotten paid.
As I’ve said in previous posts, ON ACCOUNT orders should be voided if not as yet posted on a statement that has been mailed to the customer, but CASH sales (which include credit card sales) should always be reversed.
On Monday, I was made aware of a problem that exists with debit card reversals. Here is the message I received…
“In trying to refund a debit card invoice from Friday, I’m getting a decline code 1012 from Merchant Warehouse. I’ve now talked to them about the problem and they are looking into it. But, I’ve processed the refund through their portal manually, after waiting to get the card number and expiration date. How can I let flowerSoft know the invoice was reversed? Is there no option to enter the approval code manually?”
Today, I found out about of another issue which is that when you reverse an order through flowerSoft and flowerSoft issues a credit to the customer, you are charged a transaction fee.
Hopefully you do not have so many reversals that make this a significant expense.
As you all probably know, you can void a sale through Merchant Warehouse’s portal if you do it before the end of the day, which is when your money goes into your account.
As I understand it, if you use this method to refund the customer his or her money, there is no transaction fee. However…
You still have to reverse that order in flowerSoft, otherwise it is going to show up as income and you will have to pay the sales tax on it. But if you try to reverse or void the order after an approval has been obtained, flowerSoft will automatically issue a credit to the customer’s credit card for the total of the order.
If you have already given credit to the customer via Merchant Warehouse’s portal, you’ll be giving credit twice and I am sure you do not want to do that.
So I’ve come up with a way to satisfy both cases, I think.
Whenever you use Merchant Warehouse’s portal to void or give credit to a customer, the order in flowerSoft can no longer be reversed because since there is no way for flowerSoft to know this, it will try to refund the order amount again. Remember that if flowerSoft “sees” a token and an approval number during the reversal process, it will automatically issue a credit to the card that was used to pay for the order. No exceptions.
So what I’ve done is instead of trying to reverse the order like you are supposed to do with all CASH payments, in these cases we will void (not really) the order instead.
Here is what will happen when you attempt to void an order that has been paid with a credit card and has a token and approval number.
Bring up the order through the Edit or View Existing Orders option of the Orders menu. Once you have it in view, hit V to void the order.
Normally, when you do this from the Edit or View Existing Orders, flowerSoft tells you to use the V – Void/Reverse Orders option of the Orders menu.
The change I’ve made to the program is that if you bring an order that has been paid with a credit card, up through the Edit or View option of the orders menu and while the order is on the screen you hit V, flowerSoft will respond with…
Read what the message says, carefully.
The question reads:
“Do you want to void this order but NOT issue a credit to customer’s credit card?”
If you want to issue a credit to the customer DO NOT answer “Y”es to the question. Leave the answer as “N”o, which is the default.
But if you do want to void the order so that it does not show up as income and you have to pay the sales tax on it, answer “Y”es to the question.
flowerSoft will immediately prompt you for the supervisor’s password.
If the correct supervisor’s password is provided, flowerSoft will still give you one more chance to change your mind…
So, as you can see, flowerSoft is not really going to void the order, it is going to reverse it but will not try to issue a credit to the customer’s credit card.
Once you answer that that is what you want to do, flowerSoft will proceed to reverse the order without issuing a credit to the customer’s credit card.
and when you look at the reversing invoice…
it will tell you that the order was reversed but that no credit was issued.
Hopefully this new feature will resolve both the problem with the crediting of debit cards and having to pay transaction fees when an order is reversed and a credit is issued to the customer’s credit card.
How many of you know that in any date field, the forward slash (/) [the one below the question mark on your keyboard] will give you today’s date? Why type 01/02/2014, when you can just do enter a slash in the field and hit the <Enter> key?
Also, did you know that when you type a date into a date field you do not need to enter the slashes?
In other words, you do not have to enter a date like this: 01/15/2014, you can just enter 011514 and flowerSoft will convert it to 01/15/2014.
Gotcha: Never enter dates using dashes, as in 01-15-2012 or back slashes as in 01\15\2012 or periods as in 01.15.2012.
flowerSoft will accept it those formats but will not be able to do date math on it. In other words calculate # of days, select within a range of dates, etc.
Always make sure your dates are in the mm/dd/yyyy format.
Tip #042 The F5 key
How many of you know what the F5 key can do in some areas of flowerSoft?
The F5 key is also known as the “dup” key because it will duplicate whatever the field entry was for a previously saved record.
For example, let’s say a customer calls you and gives an order going to his wife for Valentine’s Day.
Right after you are finished with the order, he says “..and I also want to send my mother…”
Now, it is too late to enter the order as a “multiple” order so what is the next best thing?
The next best thing is the F5 key.
You can go into another new order and for all the fields that will remain the same, such as the Account Number field, delivery date, enclosure card lines and even product, you can press the F5 key while at any of those fields and flowerSoft will duplicate the previously save data for those field.
The feature will work on Order Entry, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable and just about anywhere where you would duplicate information from record to record.
Gotcha: flowerSoft can only duplicate the fields for the previously saved record. In the above example, if you exited from the New Orders menu after taking the first order or if you entered another order in between, you can no longer use the F5 key to duplicate the data.
Tip #043 Cash Register Mode
Did you know that flowerSoft has a “cash drawer” mode?
It acts exactly as a physical cash register. Nothing gets recorded into the computer until you post the cash drawer sales from the Periodic Procedures menu.
Great to enter a quick cash & carry sale for someone who has no time to wait.
Also a great way to record petty cash and open the cash drawer when you just need to make change.
Tip #044 3-Month Calendar
Did you know that flowerSoft can display a 3-month calendar while in the delivery date field during order entry?
Press F9 while in the delivery date field and flowerSoft will display a 3-month calendar with today’s date highlighted.
Move the highlight to any date and hit Enter and the selected date will appear on the delivery date field.
If you can think of any other areas in flowerSoft where this calendar would be beneficial, please go into the “Making It Better” page and let us know.
Tip #045 Shortcut to delivery dates
OK, so most of you know that hitting Enter without entering a date while in the delivery date field will get you today’s date.
But did you know that entering the first two letters of the day will get you that day’s date?
If I go to the delivery date field and I enter “mo” and hit Enter, flowerSoft will translate the “mo” into Monday’s date.
Oh, you did know that because it is shown at the bottom of the screen.
But… did you know that entering “nmo” and hitting Enter will get you not this coming Monday’s date but next Monday’s date?
Or that entering “nnmo” and hitting Enter would get you Monday’s date 2 weeks from now?
I’d bet you didn’t know that.
How far can you take this? Well, the delivery date field can hold up to 10 characters, so…
“nnnnnnnnmo” will result in “03/05/2012”
It works like this, entering the first 2 letters of the day will give you the date for that very next day.
Preceding the day’s first 2 letters with an “N” will give you the date for that day the following week.
“NN” will give you that day’s date two weeks from the next one. And so on.
In my opinion, if the delivery date will require more than 2 N’s, you are better off bringing up the calendar.
Tip #046 Recipient History
As most of you know, flowerSoft allows you to display a customer’s recipient history by pressing the F4 key from the recipient’s name field.
Upon pressing F4, flowerSoft will display a list of the recipients you customer has sent flowers to.
However, this list displays the names in a chronological order, with the recipients with the most recent delivery dates at the top of the list.
While this is fine, and probably preferable in most cases, the are some customers that by the nature of their business send flowers to a multitude a different recipients.
Examples of these can be real estate firms, lawyers, etc. If you have any customers like those, their recipient history can contain dozens of names, which makes it a little inconvenient to find one that has not been delivered to in a while.
I recently received a suggestion from Dick Lindskoog, of Lindskoog Florist located in beautiful Minneapolis, MN.
He said that he thought it would be convenient to be able to go to a specific letter on the list of recipients.
In other words, if the list is very large and the recipient’s name does not show up on the first list displayed, it would be very convenient to go to the first letter of the recipient’s name and then select the recipient among a much smaller group of names.
I thought that this was a terrific suggestion, so as of right now, or as soon as I update your system with the latest version of flowerSoft, when you press the F4 key to get the recipient history list, flowerSoft will have an additional option:
When you press the letter G, flowerSoft will display the following prompt:
As soon as you enter the first letter of the recipient’s name (in this case I pressed S), flowerSoft will only display the names of the recipient’s whose name start with the letter selected.
I want to thank Dick for this excellent suggestion that will make flowerSoft even better than it is today.
If you have ideas on how to improve flowerSoft, like the one Dick just offered, please enter a post on the “Making it Better” page.
With contributions like the one above, you’ll be helping flowerSoft remain at the top of the florist software application available at any price and brag that you run the best florist software there is.
Tip #047 Default Orders
What is a “default” order?
A “default” order is an order that doesn’t change much each time the customer places it.
If you have customers that keep sending basically the same thing to different recipients, or customers that order the same thing time after time for their own home or location.
Examples of this type of customer could be a real estate company sending a plant to customers who used them to either sell or buy a house, or a restaurant that orders the same floral arrangement each week.
If you have customers that place such type of orders, flowerSoft gives you a way to save most of the time spent entering the order by allowing you to create “default” orders for those customers.
You can have as many “default” orders as you want. You can even have different “default” orders for the same customer.
So now that you know what a “default” order is and if you have any use for them, the next question should be:
“How do I create a “default” order?”
For that information, read the next tip.
Tip #048 How to make an order the “default” order
To make an order the “default” order for a customer is a very simple process.
Simply bring up the order by using the Edit/View Orders option of the Orders menu and once the order is up on the screen, press the letter “D“.
flowerSoft will then display the different options you can access when you press “D“.
Select 5. Make “Default” Order and flowerSoft will then display…
That is all there is to it. You now have a “default” order for the customer.
Tip #049 How to bring up an existing “default” order
So now you know what a “default” order is and how to create one, but how do you bring one up during order entry?
If you have ever “suspended” an order and then recalled it by pressing Home from the “Source” field, then you probably know how to do it.
Err… you don’t know how to suspend and order? OK, I guess that will be post #050.
Getting back to the “default” orders and how to bring an existing one up, when you are in the “Source” field, which is the first field you go to when entering an order, press the Home key.
When you press Home from the source field, flowerSoft displays…
Go ahead and press 2. Get “Default” Order. flowerSoft will then display a list of all the “default” orders you have created.
Please note that flowerSoft displays all the default orders you have entered, not just the ones you have entered for a particular customer, since at that point you have not told flowerSoft who the customer is.
However, if you are entering an order for an account that has “default” orders, flowerSoft will give you a heads-up once you get to the “Ordered By” field.
At this point, you can press the F3 key and then “D” to bring up the “default” orders for this customer if you want to use it as a template for the new order.
Ahh… I have not told you about the F3 key yet. That will be post #051.
Tip #050 Suspending an Order
This is such an old flowerSoft feature, that I just take it for granted that everyone knows about it but in reality a lot of the more recent flowerSoft users probably are not aware of this feature.
When flowerSoft was first being developed, Windows was not available yet. The first version of Windows, Windows 1.0 first came into existence on November of 1985, about a year after the first version of flowerSoft was first deployed.
Therefore, in those days, there was no way to open another flowerSoft “window”,
So, if a customer called with an order and you started entering it in the computer and got to the method of payment field and the customer said something like “My credit card is maxed out, I’ll call you back with my wife’s card number” or “I don’t have the apartment #, I’ll call you back with that info in 5 minutes.”, you could not leave that order on the screen and open another flowerSoft window and continued taking other orders.
You either had to take the other orders by hand on a piece of paper or you had to escape out of the order a lose all the information you had entered.
Hence the birth of flowerSoft’s “suspend” and order feature.
If while in the middle of an order, you hit the Esc key, flowerSoft will display this prompt…
Notice that when flowerSoft asks you “Do You Want to Exit?”, you have the option of answering “S” to “suspend” the order.
What does “suspending” an order mean? It means that flowerSoft will make a copy of the order as it is at the moment you hit the Esc key and save it to a different location in your hard disk.
You can then, at a later time, “recall” the suspended order and not have to re-enter all the information you entered previously.
How do you “recall” a suspended order? The same way you look for a “default” order.
Press the Home key from the “Source” field and flowerSoft will display all the suspended orders it has on file.
All you have to do is select the correct one from the list.
On the multi-user version of flowerSoft, if flowerSoft detects that a clerk who previously suspended an order which has to be delivered today, is entering a new order in any flowerSoft terminal in the network, the following warning will be displayed…
The clerk has then the option of bringing up the suspended order or continuing with the new order.
This helps prevent “suspended” orders from being “forgotten” in the system.
flowerSoft displays a list of all suspended orders for you to select the correct one. Once you select one of the “suspended” orders, flowerSoft displays the order and asks you if it is the correct order.
If you answer “No”, flowerSoft returns the order to the “suspended” orders file but if you say :Yes” this is the correct suspended order, flowerSoft deletes it from the “suspended” orders file.
Why is this a gotcha? Because if you for some reason have to exit the order again and do not suspend it, all the information you entered will be lost.
So remember, if you recall a “suspended” order and then for any reason have to exit out of the order again, “suspend” it one more time if you want to be available for recalling later on.
Although you can choose from a couple of different formats, flowerSoft provides the wording for the occasion reminders.
(By the way, if you think you have wording that is better than what we have, please feel free to send us an email with your wording and we’ll include it with the other options.)
So, birthdays and anniversaries are easy for flowerSoft because it is always a birthday or an anniversary you are reminding your customer about. Although you may not be entirely happy with the way the occasion reminder reads, it will always make reference to birthday or anniversary.
Holidays present a different challenge. How would flowerSoft know which holiday you are remaining the customer about?
Well, when flowerSoft is going through last year’s orders trying to pick the ones that should be included in the reminders for the following month, if it comes across an order that has “HOLIDAY” in the occasion field, it will stop and ask you what word should be used to replace “holiday” in the occasion reminder. Well, in February and May that is pretty easy because more than likely you only care about sending reminders for Valentine’s and Mother’s Day.
But what if you are sending reminders for December? What word do you use to replace “holiday” with? Do you use “Christmas”? Maybe it was “Chanukah” that the customer was celebrating. So… how do we solve that problem?
For the answer see Tip #032
Tip #032 Holiday Occasions (Cont.)
How can we tell if an order sent in December with “HOLIDAY” in the occasion field was for a customer celebrating Christmas or for one celebrating Chanukah or for one celebrating Kwanzaa? Other than going to the order and reading the enclosure card message, you can’t.
How do we avoid sending a customer an occasion reminder reading “Christmas” when the customer celebrates Chanukah or Kwanzaa?
This is how.
Go to the Manager’s menu and then to System Information and then to Operating Defaults. Press “U” to update the record and navigate to page #21 (as of this writing) or the page titled “Other Settings” and if not already set to “Y”, change the setting shown below to read “Y”.
What setting this to “Y” will do is force flowerSoft to display a list of holidays with dates equal to or greater than the delivery date of the order.
You can then select the correct holiday from the list displayed.
Tip #033 Managing Holiday Dates
You’ve learned how to get flowerSoft to ask you for the holiday name.
But how does flowerSoft know what the correct holiday dates are year after year, for holidays that do not fall on the same date each year?
The answer is that flowerSoft does not know. It has to depend on you changing the dates at the end of each year. However, flowerSoft gives you a fairly easy way to do this.
First of all, flowerSoft comes with a database of just about every holiday celebrated in the United States and Canada.
Mayor and minor ones. Last time I looked, the database had 77 entries. That is an entry for each of 77 different holidays.
Obviously, you do not need to enter dates for each of those holidays if you never or hardly ever have a call for orders celebrating a particular holiday on the list.
The database contains one field that allows you to suppress that holiday.
Entering a “Y” in that field will prevent it from being shown on the holidays list during order taking.
Of course some holidays, like Christmas or Valentine’s Day always fall on the same date, but what about the ones that do not, like Chanukah? How do you get those dates?
Well, here is where you have to put a little effort into this but still, flowerSoft tries to make it as painless as possible.
First, it tells you what the date rule is for each holiday and then by providing you with references, which are links to websites that provide the date information for each holiday.
You will, however, have to enter that information manually but think of all the headaches it will save you later.
After all, there are only a handful of important holidays that do not fall on the same date each year.
There you have it, a way to distinguish between different holidays falling within the same month.
So, where do you manage this holiday database from?
You manage it, like most other things, from the Manager’s menu. This time from the Periodic Procedures option.
There you will find an option called “Holidays” that when selected, will take you to this menu.
Again, if you are going to use this feature, it is extremely important that you maintain the holiday dates by updating them at the end of each year.
Tip #034 Adding the Designer Initials
If you are not the only designer at your shop, you should be keeping track of who designs each order received.
Why? There are several reason.
1. It makes it very easy to see who designed an order by just looking at it on the screen.
2. You can keep track of designer productivity.
3. If you are using the route & receipt forms feature, it is almost mandatory.
4. If you use the “bench” option, it is a requirement.
You should be entering orders into the computer in real time. In other words, as the customer is giving you the order.
When you are entering an order into the system, you probably do not know who is going to be designing the order.
If you are not, and the order has already been designed then you can enter the designer initials when you enter the order.
flowerSoft makes it easy for you to enter the designer’s initials after the order has been entered.
There are several ways to get the designer initials into the order, but the most common one is by bringing the order up on the screen
through the Edit/View Orders option of the Orders Menu, and pressing “D”.
flowerSoft will immediately ask you to enter the designer initials.
After the initials are entered, you’ll be able to tell who designed the order by simply looking at the order.
If an order has the designer initials already recorded, and you press “D” again, flowerSoft will allow you to change or erase the existing initials, but it will also give you opportunity to do other things as the screen shot below will show you.
This brings us to our next tip,
Tip #035 Shortcuts from Edit/View Orders
We try to show as many of the available options at the bottom of the screen as space will allow.
However, flowerSoft gives you so many options it is impossible to show them all at the bottom of the screen.
As you saw in the previous tip, pressing the letter “D” on an order will give you 10 different options as to things you can do at that point.
But if you look at the bottom of the screen above, “D” is not even shown. So how do you know that “D” is even an option?
Simple, if you read the options carefully, you will see that one of the options is a question mark (?).
Press the “?” on the keyboard and this is what flowerSoft will display…
flowerSoft will display a list of all the different options available while you are looking at the order.
But you are not always in Edit/View Orders. Most of the time you are in the New Orders menu.
What options are available from there? For the answer see Tip #036
Tip #036 Options Available from New Orders Menu
Let’s face it, your computer is going to spend 80-90% of the time in the New Orders Menu
We can see that we have the option of entering options 1 through 7, plus the option to exit the menu.
But are those the only options you have from this screen? If you read the bottom of the screen, the obvious answer is “no” there are a LOT of other functions you can perform while on the screen.
All these options are displayed when you pressed the F10 key. We call them the “Quick Access” keys because they give you access to other functions, some totally unrelated to entering an order by simply pressing one key on your keyboard.
Some of these keys are very useful, while others you will only use once in a while.
For example, if you need to look at an order and you know the invoice number, there is no need to exit out of the New Orders menu and go into Edit/View Orders. You can simply press “E” and flowerSoft will ask you to enter the invoice number you want to view or edit.
But let’s say you want to do something entirely different. Your wholesaler just showed up with a delivery of flowers and you have to write him a check.
You could exit the New Orders Menu and then exit the orders menu and then go into the Accounts Payable menu and then go into the Checkbooks menu, enter the password and then go into the Direct Checks menu and then select the Write a Direct Check option.
So how many keystrokes is that? Let’s see X > X > P > C > PASSWORD > C and finally A.
That is 6 keystrokes plus the length of the password. Not terrible but what if there was a much quicker way, like pressing the “@” sign?
Wouldn’t you rather use that? I would, if I knew it was available.
Shortcuts just like this one are available for a myriad of other functions. When you have a little time available, press the F10 key from the New Orders menu and explore them. You might find some very useful ones.
Tip #037 The F7 key
Here is pretty useful tip that most of you may not be familiar with.
The F7 key will take you to the end of a field while in entering data into a field. For example, let’s say you enter the customer’s address into the address field
and then you leave the field. But now you find the need to add something the end of the address field, like an apartment #.
You press the up arrow to go back to the address field and most of you will probably use the right arrow key to get to the end of the field and add the information.
Try this instead, use the up arrow to get back to the address field and then press F7. flowerSoft will take you directly to the end of the data in the field.
This is true for any field in flowerSoft except 1-character fields.
But that is not all. Let’s say you used one of the Quick Access keys mentioned on the previous tip. The “E” quick access key that triggers flowerSoft into asking you to enter the invoice number you want to view or edit. Let’s say it is the last order you entered or one you entered recently.
If you press the F7 key at that point, flowerSoft will take you directly to the last invoice number entered without the need to enter the actual number.
If it is not the very last invoice entered you want, it is pretty easy to just arrow up to the one you want.
This would also be true, but not as useful, from other areas. For example, if you are in Edit/View Orders and you are using the Account Name index and press the F7 key from there, flowerSoft will take you to the alphabetically last Account Name in the database, for example “Zwiener, Waylon”. Like I said, not as useful but you get the idea of what the F7 key can do for you. Had you been using the Delivery Date index, pressing the F7 key from there would have taken you to orders with the very last delivery dates in the system. So if you had an order in the system for delivery next Valentine’s Day, it would have taken you directly to that order.
On the enclosure card section, if you arrow up to a line that already has data in it, flowerSoft automatically puts you on the first space after the last letter on the line so that
you can add words to that line. How does flowerSoft do this? By pushing the F7 key for you. Now, if you move to the beginning of the line by pressing the Home key, you
can then move back to the end of the line again by pressing the F7 key.
Try it, you’ll like it.
Tip #038 Aliases and FUAs
Alias = As Known As or AKA
FUA = Frequently Used Address
These are 2 terms used in flowerSoft you should be familiar with and know what the differences are between them.
On this post, let’s start with Aliases, we’ll deal with FUAs on the next post.
There are 2 different kind of aliases, customer aliases and recipient aliases.
They are kept in 2 different databases and are not interchangeable. In other words, a customer alias will not work in the “Deliver To” field and a recipient alias will not work from the Account Number or Account Name fields.
When entering a customer alias from the account # field, you can enter it directly into the field. Nothing has to precede it.
If you enter an alias into the account name field, you must precede it with a period (.) to alert flowerSoft that what you are entering is not an account name but an alias you are providing.
Once an alias is entered, and is a valid one (found in the database) flowerSoft will fill out all the information associated with that alias for you. Account number, name, address, city, state, zip code and telephone numbers. Customer aliases must be unique. You cannot have duplicate aliases because flowerSoft would not know which one you want to use. As a matter of fact, flowerSoft will prevent you from entering a new alias that is already in use for someone else. However, you can have several different aliases for the same customer, as long as they are unique.
Recipient aliases are similar to customer aliases but can only be used from the “Deliver To” field and you must always precede them with a period (.) or you must press F9 to have flowerSoft prompt you for the alias.
However, there is another BIG difference between customer and recipient aliases and that is that recipient aliases DO NOT have to be unique! In other words, you can have 2 totally different recipient’s with the same recipient alias.
This allows us to have (to our knowledge) another flowerSoft feature not found in any other florist software.
Let us explain, let’s say that you have 10 very good customers that send flowers to their wives often. You don’t want to be embarrassed by having to ask for their names each time they place an order. You know your memory is not what it used to be and even worse, you don’t want to further embarrass yourself by calling her wife by the wrong name. So what can you do to look good in the eyes of your customer and make them think you remember their wife’s name?
You can give each one of those ten wives the alias of “wife” and you will never have to ask for their name again!
The same goes for mother or daughter or aunt or girlfriend or anything else. Each time, flowerSoft will bring up the correct recipient information.
Now, isn’t that cool?
Tip #039 Aliases and FUAs (Cont.)
OK, now that you know all about aliases, let’s talk about QACs (Quick Access Codes) and FUAs (Frequently Used Addresses)
A quick access code is nothing but a shortcut to some information stored in your computer. A quick access code can contain up to 10 alpha-numeric characters. Aliases and FUAs use quick access codes to retrieve the information stored.
When a quick access code is used from the first line of the recipient’s address, it is called a FUA (Frequently Used Address).
When used from the “Delivered To” field, it is called a recipients alias and when used from the Account # or Account Name fields it is called a customer alias.
Like a recipient alias, a FUA can not only hold the address to a place you deliver to frequently, but also the name.
In flowerSoft, the correct or recommended way to enter the recipient information on an order going to a funeral home or hospital is to enter either the deceased’s name or the patient’s name on the “Deliver To” field and the name of the funeral home or hospital on the first line of the recipient’s address field. The address can then be entered on the second line of the recipient’s address.
On a previous post we mentioned quick access codes but we did not go into very much detail as to what they were and when they should be used.
So you ask “What is a FUA and when should we use them?”
A FUA, like the name implies, should be used as a shortcut to places you deliver to frequently. These are mostly hospitals and funeral homes but can also be used for hotels, restaurants and even recipients who are very popular.
Like aliases, they use a quick access codes to retrieve stored information. Unlike an alias, however, a FUA is not used to bring up information on a customer or recipient. Instead, a FUA is used to bring up information on business or places that you deliver to very often. Therefore, a FUA is only used from the first line of the recipient’s address and must be preceded by a period (.) just like a recipient alias.
You saw that the cemeteries, funeral homes and hospitals database had a field designated to keep a quick access code. We also gave a short explanation on how to use a quick access code. If you want to refer back to that post, click on this link: http://wp.me/p24nOe-4H
On that post you can see how a QAC is used in a FUA to access stored delivery information on a hospital.
A FUA holds the following information:
A name. Usually a business name but it could also be the name of an individual.
An address. Only one line since the first line of the recipient’s address is used for the name.
A cross-street, if one is available to facilitate the delivery.
The name of the city
The state abbreviation
The zip code
A phone number
In other words, all that is needed to deliver the order to the correct location.
Tip #040 Aliases and FUAs (Cont.)
Aliases are used as shortcuts to customer or recipient information.
Customer and Recipient aliases are independent from each other. They are not interchangeable.
Customer aliases do not have to be preceded by a period when entered into the account # field.
Customer aliases have to be preceded by a period when entered in the Account Name field.
Recipient aliases always have to be preceded by a period or entered after pressing the F9 key.
Customer aliases have to be unique. Recipient aliases do not.
You can have different aliases for the same customer.
You can have different aliases for the same recipient as long as the customer is different.
FUAs (Frequently Used Addresses)
A FUA can only be used from the first line of the recipient’s address field.
A FUA is used mostly to hold funeral home and hospital information but can be used also for hotels, restaurants, etc.
Like customer aliases, FUAs must be unique.
QAC (Quick Access Codes)
Quick access codes are used by both aliases and FUAs.
A quick access code can be up to 10 alpha-numeric characters in length.
At least once a month I get a call from some flowerSoft user complaining that not all the accounts that should have gotten a statement got one.
The reason almost always is that they either forgot to run the “Calculate Finance Changes” option or they thought they did not have to because they do not charge their customers a finance charge.
You MUST run the “Calc. Finance/Re-Billing Charges” option found in the Pre-Statement Account Maintenance menu even if you do not charge finance or re-billing charges.
If you fail to do this, accounts that owe you money from a previous month that had no transactions for the current month WILL NOT receive a statement!
Tip #023 Finance/Rebilling Charges (Cont.)
I’m sure you all know the difference between a finance charge and a re-billing charge, but just in case…
A finance charge applies a percentage to the outstanding amount of an invoice if over 30 days past the delivery date.
A re-billing charge applies a pre-set charge to the account if it has balances over 30 days old.
In other words, a re-billing charge is always the same whether the customer owes $10 or $1000. A finance charge would be different for both accounts in that case.
A finance charge usually produces more revenue than a re-billing charge if the outstanding balance is large, but the re-billing charge produces more revenue if the outstanding balances are generally small.
However, maybe most of you did not know that you can have the best of both worlds.
You can have a finance charge associated with a minimum charge. So, for example, if the finance charge for an account is calculated at $1.25 for the month, you can tell flowerSoft to make the minimum finance charge $5.00.
In that scenario, no finance charge would be less than $5.00 but it certainly can be well over $5.00 for accounts that have large outstanding balances.
Like I said, the best of both worlds. Tip #024 Occasion Reminders
If you are not using them, start.
If you plan to start using Occasion Reminders or if you are currently using them, make sure the occasion field is filled properly.
flowerSoft will only send reminders to customers who had BIRTHDAY, ANNIVERSARY or HOLIDAY orders. If the occasion field does not have one of those 3 occasions, the order will not be picked!
Tip #025 Not used
Tip #026 Address Verification
Did you know flowerSoft can do address verifications?
When you get to the Phone field of the recipient information, press the F4 key and then A for address verification.
Tip #027 Google Maps
From the same location (recipient’s phone # field) you can press F4 and then G for the Google Map with directions to the recipient’s address.
Tip #028 Minimum Order Amounts
I’m almost sure this is a flowerSoft feature that most of you do not use and yet can be so useful when taking an outgoing order.
When you have a customer that wants to send a dozen roses to someone in New York City but does not want to spend more than $50, what do you do?
What do you tell them?
More than likely you will tell them that you cannot send a dozen roses to someone in NYC for that amount of money, and you’d be right.
But what if they ask, “What is the least amount I can spend?”
What do you do then? Take a guess and say $75?
Well, flowerSoft gives you an easy way to find out is the minimum amount you can spend to send a dozen roses to NYC or anywhere else.
Here is how:
1. From the New Orders Menu, select #3, Outgoing Order
2. As soon as flowerSoft puts you in the “Source” field, press F10
3. flowerSoft will then ask you to enter the Recipient’s City and then the Recipient’s State.
4. flowerSoft will then display the minimum amounts found for the different categories, such as Arrangements, Balloons, Blooming Plants, Candy, Fresh Fruit, Roses, Dried/Silks and Food Baskets. Each one will have the minimum amount found for either en FTD or Teleflora florist.
5. You can then select one of the categories and press “V” to view a detailed list of 10 florists offering the lowest amounts.
6. If you choose to, you can select the number in from of one of the 10 florists displayed and flowerSoft will automatically select it as the filling florist if the customer wants to then place the order.
Note: Some of you with the latest version of flowerSoft, will also be able to do this from the “Quick Find” menu, which is accessed by pressing “Q” from the New Orders menu.
Tip #029 Foreign Characters
Did you know that flowerSoft allows you to enter foreign characters line ú or ñ into a card? flowerSoft has always allowed this if you have your system set to card format #2 but you had to know the combination keystrokes to enter.
A new feature in flowerSoft now allows you to enter up to 18 different characters by simply pressing Shift + Tab from the card message lines.
Tip #030 Occasion Reminders and the Occasion Field
We all know that flowerSoft automatically keeps track of customer occasions so that you can send occasion reminders the following year. You should also know that flowerSoft does this based on what you enter on the “Occasion” field. So it is very important to enter the correct occasion for the order.
flowerSoft will enter the correct occasion for you if you use one of the card sentiment codes. For example, if you enter HB for Happy Birthday! flowerSoft will automatically make the occasion “BIRTHDAY”. If you enter HA for Happy Anniversary, the occasion will automatically become “ANNIVERSARY”. If you enter HNY for Happy New Year, the occasion will become “HOLIDAY”.
However, if you do not use a sentiment code, flowerSoft will default to “NONE” unless you manually select another one from the list of occasions displayed.
If the occasion field has something other than “BIRTHDAY”, “ANNIVERSARY” or “HOLIDAY”, flowerSoft will not select the order for inclusion into the occasion reminder letters, postcards or email to be sent.
So, if you use the occasion reminders feature, and you most definitely should, then make sure you and your employees use the correct occasion for the order.
A zero payment is a special kind of payment flowerSoft uses to get rid of transactions with credit balances.
For example, a customer owes you $150 but sends you a check for $160 instead.
What flowerSoft does in such cases is pay off the customer’s balance and then issue an overpayment credit for $10.
This overpayment credit is in the customer’s account as a credit balance transaction, in other words, it has a negative balance.
The same would happen if you give an account partial credit for flowers that did not last very long or any other reason that would generate a negative amount transaction.
This negative balance stays in the customer’s account until they make another purchase or you send them a check for the credit balance and then adjust their account accordingly.
Most of you will opt to keep the $10 until the customer makes another purchase, and that is perfectly fine.
Now, when the customer makes another purchase, let’s say for $50, flowerSoft will show that their account owes $40 because when it adds the open transactions, it finds one for $50 and another for $-10 which adds up to $40.
When you send a statement to the customer, the statement will say that they owe $40 and that should be what the customer sends you a check for.
Let’s say you do get the check for $40. When you apply that payment, you should be first selecting the credit balance transaction for $-10 which has the effect of increasing the payment amount to $50, and then selecting the invoice for $50. If you do this, then there is no problem. The account will not show any credit balances.
However, if you select the invoice for $50 first, flowerSoft will not let you select the credit balance transaction because it “thinks” that you’ve run out of money to apply towards open transactions.
This leaves the customer’s account with a $10 open charge and a $-10 credit balance.
They do equal to $0.00 but it is sort of confusing when you look at the account’s transactions. Hence the reason for “zero” payments.
If you have accounts that have both open charges and open credits, you can get rid of the open credits by entering a “zero” payment.
To find out how and when to enter “zero” payments, read the next tip (Tip #019)
Tip #019 Zero Payments (Cont.)
So, now I should explain when and when not to use “zero” payments.
Never enter a “zero” payment to eliminate credit balances if the account owes less that the credit balance. In other words, if an account has a credit balance transaction of $-50.00 and a debit balance transaction of $30.00 DO NOT enter a “zero” payment because all that is going to do is eliminate the $-50.00 credit with a $-20.00.
Do enter a “zero” payment if the credit and debit transactions match each other or if the debit transaction is larger than the credit transaction.
In other words, if you have a $-50.00 credit and a $50.00, go ahead and use a “zero” payment to eliminate both.
If you have a $-50.00 credit and a $75.00 debit, go ahead and use the “zero” payment to eliminate the credit and reduce the debit to $25.00.
Next tip, how to enter a “zero” payment.
Tip #020 Zero Payments (Cont.)
To enter a “zero” payment, go to the A/R menu and go to add a payment the way you do all the time. Enter the account #, flowerSoft will tell you how much the account owes, enter the date and then, in the “Adj.Ref.” field enter either “ZP” or MZP” and hit the <Enter> key.
The difference between “ZP” and “MZP” is that with “ZP” flowerSoft will simply look for the credit transactions and apply them (in a chronological order) to the outstanding charges. You do not get to pick the outstanding charges.
With “MZP”, flowerSoft will allow you to pick which charges the “zero” payment is going to be applied against.
Obviously, if you only have 1 credit and 1 debit you can use the “ZP” or if you do not care which invoices are paid.
If you want to select which invoices get paid, then select the “MZP” option.
“MZP” stands for Manual Zero Payment
Tip #021 Zero Payments (Cont.)
To find out what accounts have transactions with negative balances; you can hit F9 while in the account number field. After you do that, you can press F8 to display a list of accounts with credit balance transactions and select from that list.
Even though flowerSoft will display the accounts with credit balance transactions, that does not mean that the account itself has a balance larger than the credit balance transaction. In other words, someone can have $-50.00 credit balance transaction and only have a $25.00 outstanding balance in an invoice.
Remember that you should not apply “zero” payments to accounts that don’t have enough debit balance transactions to offset the credit balances.
The bottom line is this, after applying a “zero” payment, the account should have no balance or a positive outstanding balance.
The reason almost always is that they either forgot to run the :Calculate Finance Changes” option or they thought they did not have to because they do not charge their customers a finance charge.
You MUST run the “Calc. Finance/Re-Billing Charges” option found in the Pre-Statement Account Maintenance menu even if you do not charge finance or re-billing charges.
If you fail to do this, accounts that owe you money from a previous month, that had no transactions for the current month WILL NOT receive a statement!
Tip #011 Card Signatures Do you have any accounts with a name like Wahn, Mayer, Smith, Creber, Lyons, Torrance & Stevenson LLC or Ziffren, Brittenham, Branca, Fischer, Gilbert-Lurie, Stiffelman, Cook, Johnson, Lande & Wolf? Or perhaps more simple names like Florrick Agos or Stern, Lockhart & Gardner but you and/or your employees can’t remember how to correctly spell their names.
And do they always sign their enclosure cards:
From the offices of
Wahn, Mayer, Smith, Creber, Lyons, Torrance & Stevenson LLC or
From your friends at
Ziffren, Brittenham, Branca, Fischer, Gilbert-Lurie, Stiffelman, Cook, Johnson, Lande & Wolf?
Wishing you the best for the holidays,
We Miss You!
Your old friends at
Stern, Lockhart & Gardner
If you do, don’t despair. flowerSoft has a way of automating such signatures.
The next time you get an order from a client with a long and convoluted name, when you get to the “Occasion” field, press the F4 key.
flowerSoft will display a screen showing the card lines, numbered from 1 to 4 and ask you to select the line # where the signature block starts.
Once you’ve done this once, flowerSoft will remember that signature the next time the same customer places an order. Once you get to the part in the enclosure card where you have to enter the signature, simply press the asterisk (*) key twice and hit <Enter>. flowerSoft will then supply the signature for you.
Just make sure when you first save the signature block all the names are spelled correctly.
By the way, you can have more than one signature block for each customer, so you can have:
From all your friends at
Stern, Lockhart & Gardner
From the law offices of Stern, Lockhart & Gardner
Tip #012 Email History
You can get the email history of any local or outgoing order by bringing up the order with the Edit or View Existing Orders option and pressing E>5.
You can also look at the email history of any order by going to the Manager’s menu > Client Operations > Email/Alternate Addresses Menu and accessing the History of Sent Emails option or the Report of Emails Sent option.
Tip #013 Alternate Addresses
Did you know that you can have more than one address for an account?
Maybe you guys in the colder northern states have customer that go south for the winter months but they still order from you and you would like to send them statements and other mail to their winter home in Key West.
No problem, simply access the Email/Alternate Addresses Menu and go to the Add Alternate Address option.
Add the address in Key West. Then go to the Edit/View Alternate Addresses option and bring up their Key West address. At the bottom of the screen you will see an option that reads “R-Replace Information in Customer’s Profile Record with This Information”
Press “R” and the alternate address will now be the address that flowerSoft will use to send mail to that account.
When the customer moves back to the cold, cruel north, you can repeat this operation but you will now be replacing the alternate address with their original address.
Tip #014 Entering A/R Payments
Did you know that you can suspend a payment the same way you can suspend an order?
Let’s say you are entering a payment for a customer and in the middle of it you come up with a problem. Maybe they sent too much money or they did not tell you which invoices they are paying or anything else.
You can hit <Esc> and then press “s”, just like you do to suspend an order.
When you get the information you need, you can go back to the A/R Enter Payments option and payment and recall it by pressing <Home> from the account # field.
Tip #015 Shortcut Keys
Do you know how many things, besides taking a new order, you can do from the New Orders menu?
Press F10 to find out.
Tip #016 Voiding vs. Reversing
Do you know when to void an order and when to reverse it?
Here is the bottom line.
If on the same day the order was taken, cash orders should be voided. If after the day on which the order was taken, the order should be reversed.
ON ACCOUNT orders should ALWAYS be voided unless they have appeared on a statement that has been sent to the customer. If they have appeared on a statement, they should be reversed.
“Cash” orders (credit cards, cash, checks, etc.) should always be reversed so that trail exists.
Tip #017 Weddings
If you don’t use the wedding program and you want to keep track of the wedding payments, you should open an account for the wedding couple and enter the order as an ON ACCOUNT order, enter the deposit taken as a part payment on the invoice.
Then, as payments are received, you can add them through the A/R payments option.
If you use the wedding program, flowerSoft gives the option to convert the wedding estimate into an order.
If you use that option, flowerSoft will make it an ON ACCOUNT order.
Tip #001 Getting the Recipient Info First You can take the recipient’s information before anything else by pressing F3 from the “Source” field.
Sympathy and Get Well Orders On sympathy and get well orders, enter the name of the recipient on the first line (“Deliver To” field) and the hospital, funeral home or cemetery on the second line.
This will also allow you to access and make use of the Funeral Homes/Cemeteries/Hospital database by pressing F6 from the “Address 1” field.
The Obituary Function It pays to use the Obituary function in flowerSoft.
Scanning the obituaries in your local paper and entering the information for the relevant ones into flowerSoft, will speed up your order-taking process and make you look helpful and efficient in the eyes of your customers.
You can access the obituary function from the Manager’s menu > Utilities > Obituaries > Add New Obituaries or if you are entering a new order…
you can hit F4 from the “Source” field,
Once you add the obituaries for the day, you can access them from the “Deliver To” menu by entering “O” and hitting <Enter>. flowerSoft will then display a list showing the deceased’s name, the name of the funeral home, the viewing start and end dates. You can also display a more detailed view by highlighting an entry and pressing the letter “V”. Try it, you’ll like it.
Tip #004 Account Aliases Everyone has certain accounts that order very often. An easy way to save time during order entry is to give those accounts an “alias”. An alias is a shortcut to a customer’s account. An alias can be up to 10 characters in length and it must be unique. In other words, it cannot be duplicated.
An account can have many aliases, as long as those aliases are unique. In other words, one of your employees can give my account with you an alias of “georges” while another one of your employees can give my account an alias of “simong”. Both these aliases, when entered in the account number or account name field will bring up the same account. There is no limit as to how many aliases an account can have or how many aliases the system can hold. The only restriction, as mentioned before, is that the alias must be unique.
Aliases can only be used in order entry and A/R payment entry.
Suspending a Payment Did you know that you can suspend an a/r payment the same way you suspend an order?
If while entering a payment, you cannot complete the entry until certain information is provided, simply hit the Esc key and then hit “s” to suspend the payment.
You’ll be able to recall the suspended payment later on by hitting <Home> from the account # field.
Occasion Reminders Use the occasion reminders feature in flowerSoft and watch your sales grow.
If you have been using flowerSoft for at least 1 year, the occasion reminders feature is something you should be using every month.
You can either send reminders via US Mail or e-mail.
Changing an Account Number This tip comes as a result of a question I just got asked by a flowerSoft user.
I am having some issues with accounts #’s, when entering orders, O>N>1, and using the phone #, on this particular account, if I enter a 402 first, FS will recognize it as belonging to a different account number, even though it is the same customer. If I use 4024887638 first, FS will bring up a pop up window, telling me I should use 4887638 instead. When I go to their account profile, their account number is without their 402 #, but on their phone # it shows the 402. I did update their account, but FS won’t change it to reflect this change, so when taking orders, I cannot use the 402.
I don’t know how to fix that, maybe you can take a look!
flowerSoft will not change the account number unless it sees a change in the existing phone number or an additional phone number in the customer’s profile.
Go to the customer’s profile, update it and enter another phone number (perhaps the one without the area code) in one of the empty phone number fields.
This will force flowerSoft to ask which phone number you want to use as the account number. You can then select the phone number with the area code. After you save the changes, flowerSoft will ask you if you want to update all existing related records. Answer “Y”es. That should solve your problem.
Tip #008 Duplicate Accounts Sometimes, an account for the same customer gets duplicated because the customer gave you a different phone number that the one that was on file.
When you realize that you have the same customer entered twice in the system, flowerSoft can help you combine the 2 accounts with very little effort on your part.
To combine 2 accounts into one, go to the Manager’s menu and access the Client Operations option and from there; select the Combine Two Accounts option.
Enter the two account numbers in question into each of the 2 account number fields.
flowerSoft will then display the information it has for each account.
Then, enter an “X” into the panel containing the account number you want to assimilate into the remaining account. flowerSoft will ask for confirmation and then combine the two accounts into one. That is all there is to it.
Tip #009 Automatic Discounts Most florists have some accounts the extend discounts to on every local order they place. although flowerSoft allows you to apply a discount to each order manually, there is a simpler way to do this for accounts you always give discounts to, as long as the discount % is always the same.
Let’s say, for example, that you provide a 30% discount to a gift shop in a hospital when the place orders with you. They place an order for a $100 arrangement and you give them a $30 discount on the order.
I’ve seen florist trying to remind themselves and their staff to do this by adding a note to the customer’s profile. The note will automatically come up during the order-taking process but you will still need to apply the discount manually.
Here is the simpler way.
Go to the Manager’s menu and access the Customer Operations option. Bring up the customer’s profile and press the percent sign (% – Shift 5).
flowerSoft will then display a little box asking for the percent number. In the example above, you would enter 30 into the box.
From that point on, flowerSoft will apply a 30% discount to the customer’s local orders. Please note that the discount is only applied to the product amount.
If you ever need to change the discount percent, just go back to the customer’s profile and press the percent key again and change the number.
Please note that this applies to local orders only. Discounts to outgoing and incoming orders must be applied manually.
Tip #010 Adjusting the order total
Have you ever had a cash and carry customer go into the store, pick out a ready-made arrangement, go to pay for it and when you finish entering the order into flowerSoft and tell him or her that the total will be $51.38 they tell you “Oh, but I only have $50 with me.
You have some options at this point, like telling the customer “Sorry, you have to come up with the extra $1.38 if you want it” or you can ask for a credit card, if he or she has one that isn’t maxed out or try to figure out how much you have to reduce the order by in order to come up to $50 or…
You can say OK, take the $50 and tell flowerSoft to adjust the total of the order to $50 instead of $51.38.
How do you do this you ask?
Simple. From the “Tax Rate” field or from the “Ready to Save Order” field, you can press the F6 key and tell flowerSoft how much the total of the order should be, including delivery, relay and sales tax.
flowerSoft will then adjust the product amount to make the total come up to the amount requested.