Monthly Archives: November 2014

Another Improvement

Another Improvement

This one must be credited to Lucy Ricardo owner of Sunnywoods Flower Shop in Chatham, NJ.

Lucy complained to me that if an account was shared by more than one person, a new credit card added to the account would not reflect the name of the card holder.

For example, if my wife used my account to purchase from you and she had previously used my credit card to make the purchase (as she usually does), my name would be in the cardholder field.

If by some small miracle while making another purchase from you, she could not get hold of my credit card and had to use her own card, you would hit “N” to add a new card under my account.

The problem was that even if she changed the cardholder’s name from George Simon to Marilyn Simon as shown above, flowerSoft would still save the new card with George Simon in the cardholder’s name.

Lucy did not like that because the next time my wife called to make a purchase, she still would not know which card was my wife’s and which one was mine. She had a legitimate gripe.

So now, since Merchant Warehouse does return the name of the cardholder in the response file, flowerSoft will save the new card with the correct cardholder’s name.


Lucy was very happy to hear that she would be credited with the improvement in the blog.

Thank you, Lucy!

PS – Lucy’s real name is Rosa Marsal and claims to be Cuban.



Tip #232 – Switching an Account Number From Alpha to Numeric

Tip # 232
Switching an Account Number From Alpha to Numeric

I got an email yesterday from a long-time customer asking me how to switch an account number from alphanumeric to numeric.
I had to think for a few minutes to remember how to do it and this made me realize that perhaps many of you do not know how to do this or even know how to make an account alphanumeric in the first place.

So let’s start at the beginning. Let’s first learn how to make an account alphanumeric. An alphanumeric account is an account whose account number contains both letters and numbers.
You can make an account alphanumeric when you first enter it into flowerSoft or after you have entered it. However, I think you should never do it when first entering an account into flowerSoft’s client’s database on the fly or when taking an order from an existing customer with a numeric account.
Why? Because it does take a bit of planning and doing it on the fly may not prove to be the smart thing to do. Switching account numbers should be done by a supervisor from the Manager’s menu.
So let’s start with an existing account with a numeric account number. Let’s learn how to switch a numeric account to alphanumeric.

Let’s see how…

When you get to any of the phone number fields, you will see the following message at the bottom of the screen…

Pressing F8 at this point will trigger the alphanumeric account number routine, which allows you to switch the account number from a phone number to something else.

Please note that there is a 10 character limit to an alphanumeric account even though there is space available to enter more characters.
flowerSoft will only accept 10 characters in this field.

flowerSoft immediately switches the account number to an alphanumeric account.

When you press F9 to save the record, flowerSoft will display this message and after you hit the Enter key…

flowerSoft will change all records related to account number 7186980298.000 to FLOWERSOFT.000

That is how you change an account number from numeric to alphanumeric. The reason I think this should only be done by a supervisor from the Manager’s menu and not while entering a new order, is because you should give a little thought as to how to name the account. If you enter something cryptic, it might be hard to remember.
Sometimes though, if dealing with a company or institution with a lot of different departments with different phone numbers, this might be a good way of setting the account number. For example, CBS.000 or ABC.000.

So that is how you change an account from numeric to alphanumeric. But what if you want to do the opposite?

Basically it is done the same way, although I must admit is not apparent and I should add a prompt at the bottom of the screen. To change an account that is alphanumeric to just numeric do the following…

When you get to any of the phone number fields, hit the F8 key. I know the prompt says to hit F8 to enter an alphanumeric account. I will change that to read “F8 – to change to a numeric account” in the near future, but for now just hit F8.
flowerSoft will come back with…

Answer “Yes” to the question and flowerSoft will change the account number to KILLALPHA.000 and wait for you to enter the phone numbers for the account.

After you get past the phone number fields, flowerSoft will change the account from alphanumeric to numeric…

And after you hit F9 to save the record, flowerSoft will proceed to change all records linked to the alphanumeric account to the new numeric account.

I know this is something that does not happen often but I think it is good for you to know is there if you ever need it.








Urgent Warning!

Urgent Warning!

If you are using Internet Explorer 6, upgrade immediately to a newer version.

Internet Explorer 6 uses a cryptography protocol called SSL 3.0, which has just been found to be vulnerable to attacks trying to intercept  payment and cardholder data.

Merchant Warehouse will require to disable SSL 3.0 on or before December 1st.

To disable SSL 3.0, follow the instructions provided by this link:

You should also read this blog post from Merchant Warehouse:

Support for Internet Explorer 6 has been discontinued by Microsoft. That means that it is not receiving security updates.
If you continue to use Internet Explorer 6 you may not pass your upcoming PCI security audit.

If you are using Internet Explorer 6, upgrade to a newer version immediately!


Order Confirmations Improvement

Thanks to a suggestion by Larry of FlowerWorks in Lincoln, Nebraska, I’ve made an improvement to the way flowerSoft sends order confirmations to accounts with multiple e-mail addresses on file.

It used to be that if, for example, a customer had 3 e-mail addresses on file; you could either select any one of the addresses from the list or, if indicated in the customer’s profile, flowerSoft would send the order confirmation to all the e-mail addresses on file. However, there was no way of selecting maybe 2 out of the 3 or 4 out of 6 or 2 out of 7. It was either 1 or all.
flowerSoft Silver 2015 will now let you select which e-mail addresses should receive the order confirmation on a case by case basis. Here is how…

The list of e-mail addresses for accounts with multiple e-mail addresses will now have a new field (Include) at the end of each address.
You can still select just one address from the list by highlighting it and hitting <Enter> and the e-mail will only go to that address.
But now you can also hit “S” to send the order confirmation to all the addresses with a “Y” in the “Include” field.

If I were to hit “S” at this point, the only e-mail address that would get the order confirmation would be

To include or exclude e-mail addresses on the list, highlight them and hit “I” to include or “E” to exclude. See below…

I included the and the addresses by highlighting them and hitting “I” to include.

I’ve also de-selected the address by highlighting it and hitting “E” to exclude.

Now, the only e-mail address on the list that would not to receive the order confirmation would be

If the customer’s profile indicates that all the e-mail address should receive the order confirmations, then they would all have a “Y” in the “Include” field.

and the list would display like this…

To send the order confirmation to all the addresses, just hit “S”. However…

If the customer’s profile indicates that all the e-mail address should receive the order confirmations, removing an address containing a “Y” in the “Include” filed by highlighting it and hitting “E” excludes it only from the current order confirmation.

The next time the list comes up for the same customer, all the addresses will have a “Y” in the “Include” field.

Again, I want to thank Larry for suggesting this improvement as it makes this feature a lot more flexible.

Improvement Made

Thanks to Cris Bandle of Owens Flower Shop in Lawrence, KS for asking…

“Now that flowerSoft is asking for missing emails on existing accounts, if we add one at that point, is there a way for flowerSoft to ask OR automatically change the O/C and D/C settings to Y? ”

flowerSoft will now ask if you want to change the O/C and D/C settings to Y when you add an email address for a customer who had not provided one previously.

Bug Fixed

Thanks to Richard Lindskoog and John Moorhead of Lindskoog Florist in Minneapolis, MN and for pointing out a bug in flowerSoft’s credit card submissions report.

The report was not including payments on account.

Thank you, Richard. Thank you, John.

Tip #231 – Thank You Notes

Tip #231
Thank You Notes

There will be certain times during the year, when you will want to thank customers for large (or even small) purchases.
flowerSoft Silver 2015 now gives you an easy way to generate a list showing what customers have spent during a certain period of time.
Here is how to get the list…

As flowerSoft selects the records for the report, it also saves the ones selected to a file and then sorts those records by the # of orders and by the total amount of the orders.
These records can then be used to export the name and address information for those clients and then be used to generate a thank you letters or emails.


Tip #230 – Understanding the Different Methods of Payment

Tip #230
Understanding the Different Methods of Payment

Below is the list of methods of payment flowerSoft allows…

#1 – Credit Card
Selecting this method of payment forces you to enter a credit card number to obtain an approval for the total of the order.
Once an approval is obtained, the order’s total amount cannot be changed.
If a change affecting the approved total is required, you must refund the original approved amount before you make any changes to the order that will affect the total of the order.
You do this by selecting the Reverse and Update option while viewing the order that needs to be changed.

If the change will not affect the total of the order, for example the recipient’s phone number, then you can just update the order and make the change. There is no need to use the refund and update option.
Orders paid with the credit card method of payment must be paid in full. There cannot be an outstanding balance on these orders.

#3 – On Account
Use the On Account method of payment only for customers with “house” accounts.
If the customer does not have a “house” account, flowerSoft will not allow you to use the On Account method of payment.
Orders with the On Account method of payment cannot have a payment recorded when the order is first entered into the system.
Orders with the On Account method of payment will show up in the customer monthly (or bi-monthly) statements.
Any payments received towards an order with an On Account method of payment, should be recorded through the A/R module.
Do not change an order’s On Account method of payment to a different method of payment in order to pay it.

#4 – Cash
Use the cash method of payment only when actual cash is received from the customer to pay for an order.
This can only happen if the customer comes into the store to place the order (a walk-in order) and pays you with cash.

#5 – Check
Same as with cash, this method of payment can only be used if the customer hands you a check in person.
This is not the same as checks received via US Mail as payment on account, which have to be entered through the A/R module.

#6 – COD
Collect on Delivery or COD should only be used if your driver is collecting the monies due for an order when he or she makes the delivery.
COD is one of the 4 methods of payment that allow you to have a balance due on an order. Do you know what the other 3 are?

#7 Pay on P/UP
Similar to a COD. Use this method of payment when the customer is coming into the store to pick up the order and pay for it at that time.

#8 – Gift Cert.
A paper gift certificate issued by your store. Not a gift card.
Use the Gift Cert. method of payment only if the amount of the gift certificate is greater than the total of the order.
If the amount of the gift certificate is less that the total of the order, you must use the split method of payment and then use the gift certificate as one of the payments in the split.

#9 – Split
Use the Split method of payment when more than one method of payment is being used to pay for an order.
For example, cash and a credit card. Or if several different credit cards are being used to pay for an order.

B – Barter
Use this method of payment of you are trading products or services that you sell for the customer’s products or services. No cash exchanges hands.

C – Courtesy
Similar to COD and Pay on P/Up in that it allows an open balance.
Normally used on orders for family members or good friends. Must be paid in the same manner that CODs and Pay on P/Ups are paid.

D – Debit Card
Same as a credit card for most of you unless you have a Genius device that will allow the entering of a PIN number.
Avoid otherwise.

E – E-Gift Card
Same as a Gift Certificate except that the information is kept in your computer (no paper) and usually a password is required.
E-Gift cards can be replenished through a sale.

N – No Charge
A No Charge method of payment should only be used when you are not collecting any monies from the customer.
In other words, you are giving them the merchandise for free.
Normally used when replacing an order that did not meet the customer’s expectations. Will normally require a password.

P – Prepaid
Use this method of payment when the monies have been collected from a source outside of flowerSoft.
For example, orders placed through your web site and paid for with a credit card, may have been pre-approved by the time you enter the order into flowerSoft.

Y – Paypal
Use this method of payment only if you accept Paypal.


The only methods of payment that allow a remaining or outstanding balance are:

  1. COD
  2. Pay on P/Up
  3. Courtesy and
  4. On Account

All other methods of payment require that the order be paid in full.

You may occasionally have situations where an order that was paid for has to be changed in a way that it will affect the existing total of the order.
If the order was paid with a credit card, the only way to accomplish this is with a “Refund and Update” maneuver. You refund the original amount charged to the customer and they you get a new approval for the new total of the order.

Orders paid for with any other method of payment can be changed at any time as long as they are changed on the same day the order was entered.
Orders with an ON ACCOUNT method of payment can be changed anytime before the statement containing the charge for the order goes out to the customer.
Even after the statement goes out, the order can still be changed but a new statement will have to be sent to the customer.

When an order needs to be changed on a date different that the original order date, all changes to the monies collected will be reflected on the order’s original date.
For example, you have an order for $100 that the customer paid in full but will not be picked up or delivered until tomorrow.
Now, the day after the customer calls you and wants to add something to the order, making the order total $150.
The customer comes in and pays the additional $50 in cash.
If you had kept the method of payment as cash, the new total will be reflected on the date the order was entered. In other words, the cash collected for that date will show an additional $50.
In cases such as that, when you have to make a change that will affect the total of the order and you want the additional monies collected to be reflected on the date collected, you should change the method of payment to COD or Pay on P/UP and leave the original amount paid intact.
The monies for the original date will remain the same and when you do pay the COD or Pay on P/UP the new monies collected will show up on the date they were collected.

Changing a method of payment after the order has been saved will require that a password be entered.