August 2020 | Issue #94
 
Current Releases:  SM 8.0.090 (8/3) | AW  3.5.060 (7/22)
 Leading Cultural Change in Your Continuing Education Program (Partnered with NCCET) - 9/3 3:00 CDT
  Student Manager Import & Export Tools - 9/17 2:00 CDT
ACEware Software Update - 10/7 2:00 CDT
ACEware Systems Newsletter - Information to Run Your Program
Bad Check Easy Button
checkbook-pen.jpg
Call them bounced, NSF (Non-Sufficient Funds), or other names not suitable for this article, but they are bad checks. There are a host of reasons for them like calculation errors, the person expects funds to hit their account and they didn't, or outright fraud. It is also big business with billions of dollars in fees assessed every year.

I've seen some creative ways to combat this. Some of our customers take credit card payments only. Others take everything under the sun except for checks. These solutions have their own issues, like making students hesitant to pay cash for high-dollar courses, cash being stolen, you are assessed a fee for taking a credit card, or students uncomfortable in putting their credit card online. Thus, sometimes checks are good things (and maybe the only way you can get paid).

So how do you process a payment in Manager if you get a returned check? Currently, you have to go void the payment record and assess an additional fee to the registration if your institution assesses a fee. The keyword in my previous statement is, "currently." In Student Manager 8.0.091 due out September 7th, there'll be a button on the payment screen, only enabled for checks, called Bad Check. Clicking it will void the payment. Additionally, there will be global preferences you can set that will let you set up what additional fee description to charge and how much. The Bad Check button will then add this fee to your registration.

Let's face it; bad checks are a part of life. Hopefully, the Bad Check easy button will make your life easier!

Contributed by Matthew Olson
Testing with Fake Names
Not everything fake is bad. In software, you've got to have some "play" data in order to test things. So, let's talk about some fake people rather than fake news.

In our demo, we have some names that are real people or derived from them. Other names are actors or sports figures. I've seen customers use names of family members, pets, and fictional characters (one institution has a bunch of Harry Potter names as records). Sometimes, there are even the occasional joke name (next time you are in a demo, look up Jenny Call who I created in 2008 and see what her phone number is.)
It takes time to come up with something new all the time, especially when you are just trying to push through ACEweb to test out a data capture form or something else you've changed there. Luckily there's a browser extension available that will help you save a bit of time, called Fake Filler. It's available for Chrome, Firefox, and MS Edge (likely others, too), and saves you the hassle of always having to think up new names and demographic information. How it works: When you're on a page that requires you to enter name information (think account signup or data capture pages), you can just click on the Form Filler button in your browser and it will automatically fill in bogus data. You can even set it up to fill more appropriate data in various fields (like putting just a first name in that field rather than the whole name). What is great is that settings can be imported and exported, so your colleagues don't have to start from scratch. In fact, Stein was the one who found this tool and shared his settings with me. If you would like those settings, I've posted them in our Tools area (credentials required; get them from your tech if you don't have them).

Yes, this may not save you a ton of time, but it does save you the pain of thinking up all these names to do your testing with. That makes this tool worth every darn penny! (It's free, by the way.)

Note: Fake Filler did not sponsor or partner with us in any way, shape, or form. This is my unsolicited opinion!

Contributed by Matthew Olson
Tech Tip of the Month: Payment History (Alt+F9)
One of the hidden little gems in Manager is the ability to view the entire payment history for an individual from their name or registration record. So in the event that you are trying to see all payments that have been made, or if there is a dispute regarding a payment being made or not made, you can use the Alt+F9 to bring up the records. It shows the info in a similar format as Pay Grabber (F7), but you don't have to set any filters. This also saves you from running the Pay History report in the receipt area.

Contributed by Joe Sotkovski
Report of the Month: Negative (AKA Credit) Balances
Did you know you can run a report to show students who have a negative balance on registrations?
 
Check to see if you have this handy report under Reports > Accounting > Special 1 Reg/1 Line (Deadbeat):
 
It will be an additional report named "JUSTDO - $ Credit". If you don't have it, check with your tech to get one to import into your system! Or download it here.

Contributed by Jason Allen

To your continued success!

- Chuck, Sharon, Cheryl, Jason, Joe, Lindsey, Matthew, Mike, Stein, and Susan

 ACEware Systems
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