Category Archives: Tips

Tips, Tricks and Traps on Using flowerSoft

Tip #288-Bad Checks

Tip #288
Bad Checks

There are times when a customer’s check will come back as “Insufficient Funds” along with the amount your bank is charging you for processing that check.  Hopefully, this will not happen to you often.  But if it does, in most cases (if not all) you will want to recoup these bank charges from the customer.  This post will tell you how to do that.

First of all, there are 2 different types of bad checks, the ones entered through the accounts receivable module and the ones entered at the point of sale module.

Let’s start by saying that you should never accept a check from a customer through a “999” sale because if the check “bounces” there is no way for you to recoup the money.
I would not even accept a check from a customer if I don’t have a backup credit card to charge in case the check is no good.

Most “bad” checks will be entered through the A/R module and that is why there is a specific menu option to handle them.


Upon selecting this option, you will be presented with the following screens…


You will need to enter the account number and the correct check number of the “bad” check.  This should be easily available to you from the bank but if it is not you can always find it through the A/R module.  Once you have the correct account and check number entered, flowerSoft will allow you to continue…


flowerSoft will supply the check amount and let you enter the bank charge you want to recoup.  It then informs you of the total amount the customer will be charged back.

Since this is a check entered through the A/R module, it will have one or more ON ACCOUNT invoices linked to it.  So instead of adding a new charge for $220.oo in this example, what flowerSoft will do is void the payment, restoring all the original outstanding amounts for the invoices it paid, and then just add an additional charge for the bank charge.


If you go and look at the original payment, you will see that it has been marked as void.


So if you now look into the customer’s account, you will see that the payment is not even shown but a charge back amount is now visible.


That is how you handle a payment made through the A/R module when the check comes back as “Insufficient Funds” or any other reason for that matter.

However, if the “bad” check was accepted through the POS module, we need to use a different method to charge back the customer.

First you need to bring up the invoice that was paid with the “bad” check.
Once you have it on the screen, you will need to update the record and indicate why you are doing so…


Next, you will need to navigate to the products screen and add a line item for the chargeback…


In order to add what the bank charged you for the returned check, you will need to have an item code for the chargeback.  The code name and description is entirely up to you but you must make sure that it is marked as a tax free item.


Once you have an item code for the chargeback, you can enter it on the next available line in the order.


By the way, you can make the chargeback amount to the customer greater than what the bank charged you if you want to cover your additional expenses.

Once this line item is added, you must change the method of payment from check, to either ON ACCOUNT or CREDIT CARD if you have a backup credit card for this customer.  Remember that since flowerSoft does not store credit card numbers,  to have a backup credit card for the customer, the customer must have made a previous purchase using a credit card.

So now you must go to the method of payment screen and change the method of payment to ON ACCOUNT or CREDIT CARD.


Notice that the order is still a taxable order and that even though the Subtotal amount has changed to $90.00, the taxable amount remains at $60.00 and the Sales Tax amount remains the same as it was.

Those are the steps needed to charge the customer back for a returned check accepted through the POS module.  A little more complicated than a check accepted through the A/R module but still a fairly simple process.

The one thing to remember is that you must make your chargeback item code as a tax free item, otherwise flowerSoft would calculate sales tax on $90.00 instead of $60.00

If you have any questions or comments, please let me know.







Tip #283 – Default Delivery Date and Sentriment

Tip #283
Default Delivery Date and Sentiment

In our endless quest to make order entry more efficient, I have added a new feature to flowerSoft 2016 which may not prove to be very useful for this holiday since most of you do not have it yet.

From the Manager’s menu > System Information > Defaults, flowerSoft will now allow you to set a default delivery date for a holiday (or any day) and a sentiment associated with that date. For example, you could set the default delivery date for next Valentine’s Day as 02/13/2017 (or 02/14/2017 if you prefer) and a sentiment of “HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY”.

In the defaults settings (page 1) you will now see 3 new fields. If you leave the default delivery date blank, the feature will be disabled. If the default delivery date is earlier that today’s date, the feature will also be disabled.


In the “Default Delivery Date” field you will enter the date you want displayed for delivery and the sentiment code associated with that date.

For illustration purposes, I set up my default delivery date as 05/08/2016 and my default sentiment code as HMD for Happy Mother’s Day.
You may want to set your default delivery date to the day before the actual holiday which in this case would have been 05/07/2016 had you wanted to encourage early deliveries.

So now the default settings for the default delivery date are set.


Upon first entering the first line of the enclosure card, flowerSoft will take a look at the defaults record and see if you have defined a default delivery date. If you have, if will automatically supply the delivery date and the sentiment code associated with that date, if there is one.
The reason flowerSoft only supplies the code is in case if you do not need that sentiment for a specific order, it will be easier to erase or type another sentiment code. Once you hit <Enter> past the sentiment code, the sentiment wording and its associated occasion will be displayed.

When you enter the delivery date field, the “default” date will be already displayed. However, you can easily increase (+) or decrease (-) the delivery date by pressing the plus or minus keys.
All other features associated with the delivery date remain active, so you can still use the first 2 letters of the delivery day or bring up the calendar by pressing F9.


Once this new feature is implemented in your system, the delivery date will no longer be blank when you first enter it.
It will either have the default delivery date, if there is one defined for a date greater than today’s date or it will show today’s date if no default delivery date is defined.
You can increase or decrease the delivery day by pressing the plus or minus keys.
So if you find it easier to hit the plus key 4 times to get to next Tuesday instead of typing TU, you can now do that.
If you accidentally hit the plus key too many times and go past your desired delivery date, you can then hit the minus key to go back one day at a time.

Even though you may not have this new feature yet, you can still define a default sentiment code and then you may enter it by just typing a period from the first line of the card message.
The advantage of using sentiment codes is that they have an occasion associated with them so all your Valentine and Mother’s Day orders will have the HOLIDAY occasion and will be included when you do your occasion reminders next year.

As usual, if you can think of any improvements that can be made to this feature please let me know.




Tip #238 – Enclosure Cards Your Way

Tip #238
Enclosure Cards Your Way

Every so often I will get a call about the formatting of words in the enclosure card.
Most of the time, those asking the question, either do not know that flowerSoft formats the card message as indicated in the “defaults” settings or know how to get to those settings in order to change them.

flowerSoft will format your enclosure card in one of three different ways:

  1. flowerSoft will capitalize the first letter of every word. So, if for example, you type “I love you” flowerSoft will format that line as “I Love You”
    This is OK in most cases, but sometimes it produces undesirable effects. Let’s say you type “NYC Dept. of Public Works”. flowerSoft will convert that sentence to “Nyc Dept. Of Public Works”.
    There isn’t much you can do to prevent that exempt perhaps separate each letter with a space as in “N Y C Dept. of Public Works” to get “N Y C Dept. Of Public Works”.
  2. The second option you have is to be in total control. flowerSoft will not try to format anything you type. If you want a letter or word in CAPS, you have to type it that way.
  3. The last option is to have flowerSoft capitalize all the letters in the card. So if you type “I love you”, flowerSoft will make it “I LOVE YOU”.

You can select which option you want to use by following this path from the main menu: M > S > D > 1 > 1 (in most cases) > U and then navigating to page #19 by hitting the <Page Down> key.

and then entering the number of the style you want flowerSoft to use in the red box.

Watch this video: 

However, if you like style 1, where flowerSoft capitalizes the first letter of each word, but run into the “Nyc Dept. Of Public Works” formatting problem occasionally, you can change the formatting for that order only by pressing F9 and selecting style #2. That style will remain in effect for that order only. On the next order, the style will go back to the default style.

Watch this video:

Have a nice weekend!

Tip #215 – Paying CODs and Pay on Pick Up Orders

Tip #215
Paying Outstanding CODs and Pay on Pick Up Orders

When you enter an order with a COD or Pay on P/UP method of payment, you will not be able to pay that order by updating and changing the method of payment.

The outstanding orders must be paid using the following method:


Please note:

  1. Method of payment on the invoice will be changed by flowerSoft, not you, from COD or Pay on P/UP to whatever method you selected for payment.
  2. Use the number in from of the method of payment to select that method of payment.
  3. If you selected credit card and the transaction was approved a token and approval number will show on the screen.


Tip #214 – Form Letters Using Word & Mail Merge

Tip #214
Form Letters Using Word & Mail Merge

As you probably know, flowerSoft lets you type your own form letters through its database. However, a database is not a word processor and when compared to something like Word, does a pretty poor job of formatting a letter.
A database however, does a great job of locating and selecting records that can then be used to generate the form letters.
In the past, I’ve tried to provide several form letters and let you pick which one you want to use. However, everyone has their own opinion of what the letters should look like and I’ve been making changes to the letters on an individual basis.

I have decided that it is much better for all involved, to let you use Word to write your own form letters and teach you how to use the data extracted from flowerSoft to generate the letters. It is not that difficult.
The examples shown here were created with Word 2007. Other versions of Word should be very similar.
I am also assuming that you will be using your own letterheads for this process. If you are printing on plain paper, you will need to add your name and address to the top of the letter.

Here is how to do it…

  1. Open Microsoft Word (yes, it is required) and create your form letter.

    The first thing you need to do when you open your blank document is to use the line spacing option and select to remove the space after a Paragraph. See below…

    The reason we need to do this is that Word’s mail merge inserts a space after each line of the address block and it just does not look good.

  2. Now type your letter. Just the body of the letter, do not enter a customer’s address or a salutation. It should look something like this…

After you have composed your letter, save it giving it a name that you will remember later. For example, we could call this one “New Recipient Letter”

  1. Now we will need to extract the recipient data in flowerSoft to use with the form letter. Here is how we do that:
  • Go to the Manager’s menu and select the Marketing option. From there, select the Import/Export option.

    From there select the Export Recipients to a CSV file option

    Since this is a letter to be sent to new recipients, we are going to select option #4 of the menu.
    You could also use option #5 if you want but that option will select recipients you’ve delivered to before and might have gotten the letter already.

    Next, answer all the questions flowerSoft will ask…

So not we have our data source for the form letters. Please remember the name and location of the file, you will need it later.
I suggest saving all the data files to the \FSROOT\EXPORT folder, that way you will always know where to find them later.

  1. Now let’s open up the form letter you created before and see what we have to do now.

    Notice the Mailings tab. Click on it.

    Click on the Select Recipients option and then click on the Use Existing List option.

    Navigate to the location where you stored the recipients list. This would be \FSROOT\EXPORT\ unless you used something different, and find your file.

    Once you select the file, Word will pop up the window below asking to verify the data layout.

    Just click on OK. Do not select any other options.

    After you click on OK, Word will display the document again…

    Now is time to insert the data we want to extract from our recipient file.

    The first thing we want to do, assuming you are using a single window envelope, is place the recipient’s address on the letter.

    We do this by selecting the “Address Block” from the Mailings tab.

    You can experiment with the location but I’ve found that entering the data starting 5 or 6 lines from the top of the letter works well.

    Never print all your letters without first checking to see that the customer’s address shows through the envelope’s window.

    Print just one letter to verify correctness of the address block position.

    When you click on Address Block, Word will again display this window…

    And you should just click on OK again.

    Next, Word will show you how it will format the Address Block. Because of the way flowerSoft names the recipient’s name field, Word will not select it as part of the address block.

    All you have to do to fix this is click on the Match Fields button.

    Click on the down arrowhead for the “First Name field…

    And select Recipient Name from the list of fields.

    Do not try to match the “Last Name” or any of the other fields marked (not matched). Just click OK.

    Word will now display the correct address block.

    Click on OK and Word will insert the address block on the letter.

    Now let’s insert the Greeting Line. Click on the Greeting Line option of the Mailings tab.

    Word will respond with this…

    As you can see, Word has the correct data for the greeting line, so all we have to do is click OK.

    And Word will insert the greeting line tag on the letter.

    The last action to take is to tell Word to create the merge…

    We do that by clicking on the Finish & Merge option.

    We should select the “Edit Individual Documents” option unless you are absolutely sure everything is correct.

    Word will then ask if you want to merge all the records or just the current one. Select all the records…

    Word will then display all the merged records on the screen.
    You can review all the letters and make corrections as necessary and then print them.

    That is all there is to it. It takes a lot longer to explain the process than to actually do it.

    This method of doing form letters allows you a lot more flexibility.

    Since Word is doing the printing, you can select any font you like and you can print to any printer, even host-based printers.

    If you have any questions, please let me know.





Tip #213 – Mass Mailings (Exporting Your Top Accounts)

Tip #213
Mass Mailings (Exporting Your Top Accounts)

Suppose you want to do (or have someone do for you) a mass mailing to your top accounts. How would you go about it?

Here is how…

Go to Manager’s menu – Client Operations

  • Select Option #5 – YTD Purchases

  • Select Option F – Same as Above but for Any Period (Option E does only 1 year)

  • Select a period of time to calculate

  • Let flowerSoft run through your accounts and calculate the purchases for the period selected.

  • When flowerSoft finishes calculating the purchases, it will ask you how many you want to print.

    Select the number of records you want to export and print to the screen (unless you want a hard copy).

    You must print either to paper or the screen as this is what actually ranks the customers.

  • flowerSoft will then ask you if you want to export the accounts. Answer “Y”.

  • Tell flowerSoft where you want the exported csv file to be placed and what name to give it.

  • flowerSoft will give you a chance to change your mind or correct a mistake.

  • More than likely, you will not want to print address labels for the top accounts but if you do, answer “Y”

    The label size is the standard 1″ x 2 5/8″ , 3-across.

  • flowerSoft will first print to the screen (unless told otherwise) the accounts in rank # order.



and export the csv file with the name you gave it to the location you specified.


If you had the accounts already ranked as you wanted, you could do the following…

  • Import/Export Menu option of the Manager’s Client Operations menu.


  • The select option C – Export Clients to a CSV File.

  • Select the customers by rank (option R)

  • Tell flowerSoft the highest rank to select…

  • Give the csv file a name…

  • Verify the file name…

  • Then tell flowerSoft where you want the file placed…

  • Answer the question about exporting the headings. Accept the default unless you know better…

  • flowerSoft will tell you how many records were exported.

(Notice that is a couple less than what you asked for, but now you know why.)

  • flowerSoft will then ask you if you want to see the information exported…

  • Answer “Y” if you want to see it or send it to someone directly from Excel.

Note that the file is exported in customer name order, not customer rank order.

Probably takes longer to explain this it than to actually do it.


Tip #205 – Exporting Your Customer Data to Excel

Tip #205
Exporting Your Customer Data to Excel

There will be times when you’ll need to export your customer data to another program or service that will require you to give them your customer data in a format they can understand.

flowerSoft allows you to export your data to a csv file which can be read by Excel and many other programs. Here are the 15 steps you need to take…

  1. Go to the Manager’s menu

2. Select Client Operations 

3. Select Import/Export menu 

4.  Select C. Export Clients to a CSV File 

5.  Select which clients you want to export.
Option 1 selects all your clients. Other options are self-explanatory. 

6.  If you want to select a specific group of client from the group of clients requested above, enter “Y”es, otherwise accept the default of “N”o. 

7.Give the file to be exported a name. Do not include the extension, which will be .csv. Enter only the name. You will need to remember this name later. 

8.  Give flowerSoft the OK to create the file. 

9.  Enter the path (location in your hard drive) where the file should be placed once it is created. You will need to remember where you placed this file. 

10.  Tell flowerSoft if you want to export the field headings or not. It defaults to “Y”es. 

11.  flowerSoft will select the records requested and tell you how many client records were exported. 

12.  flowerSoft will ask you if you want to see the information exported. If you answer “Y”es you will need to have Excel or some other program like Excel that will allow you to view the file. 

13.  flowerSoft will open the file in Excel

14.  If you are mailing to another person or organization, select to send the file as an attachment. 

15.  Enter the email address where you want the file sent, add something to the body of the email and send.

Tip #204 – Bad Check Charge Back

Tip #204
Bad Check Charge Back

It has happened to most of us. We get a check from a customer, we deposit it and a couple of days later we get a letter from the bank telling us that the check from the customer bounced along with a $20 to $30 charge.

So how do we recoup that money?

flowerSoft has always given you to option to debit a customer’s account for the total of the check plus any bank charges, but now flowerSoft goes a step further and (if possible) it will reverse the effect the bad check had on the customer’s account.

In other words, it will void the check and remove the amount paid from the invoices it affected. It will then add a debit for the amount of the bank charge.

This is particularly good news for those of you who send “open-item” statements, since now all those invoices that were marked as paid will show again on the statements instead of one lump sum that is difficult to explain.

Here is how to enter a bad check chargeback…

These are the invoices paid by the bad check (check #104)

Step 1 – Go to the Accounts Receivable menu and select option P – Payments/Credits/Debits

Step 2 – Select option C – Charge Back a Returned Check

Step 3 – Enter pertinent information. Once you enter the payment reference number (check number) flowerSoft will display a list of payments for that customer using that reference number.

Yes, as horrible as that is, some of you enter the same reference number every time you get a payment from a customer, so I have to make sure you are selecting the correct one.

Step 4 – Tell flowerSoft everything is OK.

flowerSoft will then tell you if the charge back was successful.

The is the way the invoices for the customer’s account will look now…

Easy as pie.





Tip #203 – Inventory Tracking – Understanding Sets and Components

Tip #203
Inventory Tracking – Understanding Sets and Components

In flowerSoft, an inventory item is any item you want to know its current quantity on hand.

First, let me explain about the different flowerSoft databases (there are 3 of them) involved in item and inventory tracking.

The first database is the Item Description Codes database. Every item you sell should be in this database, whether or not you want to keep track of its quantity on hand.
Why? When you sell an item and you use its item description code, flowerSoft can report on that item. It can tell you how many you sold for any period of time and how much money you made by selling that item.
It can compare how that item sold using two periods of time.
If, for example, you use DRV as the item description code for a dozen red roses in a vase, flowerSoft can tell you how many you sold during Valentine’s Day week in 2014.
It can also compare those figures to any similar period of time, for example 2013 and 2014.
If you do not use item description codes when selling an item, flowerSoft cannot run reports on that item.

If you need or want to keep track of the quantity on hand of an item, then you must use an item description code for the item.
Inventory tracking cannot be done without using item description codes.

To indicate that an item is an inventory item, you first add it to the Item Description Codes database and indicate that the item is an inventory item, meaning that you want to know at all times how many of the item you have on hand.
When you indicate that an item is an inventory item by placing a Y in the appropriate field, a record gets added to the Inventory Items database for that item code.

When you go past the “Inventory Item?” field, flowerSoft makes sure that a record exists in the inventory items database.
If it doesn’t, it will add it for you and if it does, it will ask you if you want to update it or view it.

If in addition, you tell flowerSoft that the item has components, flowerSoft will make you add a record for that item code to the Item Components database.

The need for these 3 separate databases is that you can have Item Description codes that do not need to keep track of the units on hand, so they do not have to be included in the Inventory Items database.
Likewise, you can have inventory items that do not have components, so they do not have to be included in the Item Components database.

Next we’ll look at the steps required for entering an item into the Item Description Codes database, the Inventory Items database and the Item Components database.

But first let me try to explain what a component is.

When an item you sell as a unit, is made up of several different items, the item is called a “set”. The items that are used to make up this “set” are called the “components” of the set.
So if you have an item code A that is made up of items B, C, D and E, A is the set and B, C, D and E are the components.

Items that are components of a set cannot have components themselves. In our example, if you indicate that item A is made up of items B, C, D and E then neither of those items can have components but…

Item C could still be made up of items F, G and H, making it a set, as long as it is not listed as itself being a component of item A. I know this is confusing but let me give you an example to clarify.

If you tell flowerSoft that item A is made up of items B, C, D and E, then item C cannot have components.
But if you tell flowerSoft that item A is made up of items, B, (F, G, and H), D and E then it is OK for item C to have components because item C itself is not being listed as a component of item A.
The components of item C are the ones that get listed as being part of item A.

So, if the quantity required for each of the components of item A is one, then every time you sell item A flowerSoft will reduce the quantity on hand of items B, F, G, H, D and E by one.

A set’s quantity on hand is determined by the least quantity available of its components. Let’s say to make an item A you need

Let us also say that your quantities on hand for items B, F, G, H, D and E are as follows:

Item    Quantity on Hand
B    20 pieces
F    30 pieces
G    90 pieces
H    40 pieces
D    80 pieces
E    60 pieces

Based on this information, how many units on hand will flowerSoft say are available for Item A?
And knowing the item C is made up of items F, G and H, how many pieces of item C will flowerSoft say are available?

And the answer is…

10 sets of item A and 30 sets of item C.

Do you see why?

There are only 20 pieces of item B available and item A requires 2 of them, so after you make 10 sets of item A, you’ll be out of item B so you can’t make anymore sets of item A.

The same goes for item C. You need 3 pieces of item G for each item C. Since you have 90 pieces of item G, after you make 30 sets you’ll be out of item G.

Another good way of looking at sets and components is to look at a recipe for an item. For example, let’s look at Teleflora’s Bee Well Bouquet recipe.

Item code T01J400C is the item code you use when you sell a Bee Well Bouquet. This is the set.
The 9 different items that make up the Bee Well Bouquet are the components.

Unless you want to keep track of your flowers’ quantity on hand, the only item that you will need to enter as a component of the T01J400C item is is the Bee Well Bee.
Why? Because that is the one item you need to know how many you have on hand in order to be able to sell the Bee Well Bouquet.

Every time you sell a T01J400C, one piece will be deducted from the quantity on hand of item TFBWELLB.
You will want to know when you are running low on that item, so that you can order more.

We will talk more on sets and components in the next post.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.