Collecting Payments with Stripe

We’ve recently made some improvements to Teachworks’ Stripe Integration that make collecting payments easier by allowing you to manage client credit cards and to charge credit cards on behalf of clients. This improvement will give your teaching business more autonomy to manage client payments.

Multiple Client Credit Cards

The first improvement that we’ve made is allowing multiple credit cards to be saved on client profiles.  This makes it possible to quickly select a card to use for paying an invoice and it allows clients to have one or more back up credit cards in case their default card is declined.  There are several actions available for managing client cards including adding, editing, removing and selecting a default card.

Managing Client Credit Cards

Previously, only clients could add or remove credit cards.  With this update, there is now an option that allows administrators or staff to manage client cards.  Admins or staff can go to the client’s profile and click the link under their billing details to View & Manage the clients cards.

This option is ideal for companies who have not enabled user accounts for their clients and want to handle charges on behalf of clients.

Charging Credit Cards on Behalf of Clients

Collecting payments just got easier with this option!

When the “Manage & Charge” option is enabled in your Stripe Integration settings, managers and staff employees with the appropriate account permissions can also pay invoice balances using the client’s credit card.

Collecting PaymentsWhen viewing an unpaid invoice belonging to a client with at least one saved credit card, the administrator or staff member will see a payment option at the bottom of the invoice that allows them to select one of the client’s credit cards and pay the invoice balance.

This payment method also includes an option to go directly to the next unpaid invoice, so that you can efficiently review and pay multiple invoices in succession.

Lesson Cancellation Emails Add-On

Lesson Cancellation EmailsTeachworks’ newest add-on allows you to send customizable email notifications to students, parents, and/or teachers when a lesson is canceled.  The Lesson Cancellation Emails Add-on lets you choose which recipient groups (students, parents, teachers) should receive cancellation emails, and it provides you with the option to choose whether or not to send the cancellation email for a specific lesson when you cancel it.

Like all other emails, the Lesson Cancellation Emails have templates that allow you to customize the subject and message, as well as merge tags that allow the template to be personalized for the email recipient.

When enabled, the Lesson Cancellation Emails Add-on, adds a checkbox to the Complete Lesson form.  The checkbox appears when the status for at least one student in the lesson is set to canceled, and when the lesson being canceled is on the current or a future date (the cancellation email option isn’t displayed for lessons that have already passed).

When the box is checked, and the form is submitted cancellation emails are sent to the affected student, parents, and/or teacher.

You can learn more about using this add-on in this Knowledge Base article: Cancellation Emails Add-On.

How to Keep Track of Items Borrowed by Students

Allowing your students to borrow from your teaching business is one of the best ways to provide students with a variety of resources and help them save money. However, one of the biggest challenges teachers face is being able to keep track of items borrowed by students.

Depending on the type of teaching business you own, you could be letting your students borrow expensive items such as  a music instrument, a specialized book,  or it could simply be lending out a calculator or dictionary.

Teachworks latest addition is the Lending Library Add-on.  This add-on allows you to create a library of items that can be lent to students and to keep track of what items borrowed by students and when the item is due to be returned.

items borrowed by students

 

Music schools can use this add-on to keep track of instruments, music books, and other educational materials.  Language schools can use it to keep track of textbooks that have been lent to students.  Any education business that lends items to students can use this add-on to keep track of their items.

When the Lending Library add-on is enabled, student and parents can view items that they’ve borrowed and when they need to be returned from their own Teachworks account.  You can also enable an email reminder to be sent to the student when the item is due.

The Lending Library also allows you to choose whether or not teachers have the ability to check items out of or into the library.  lend_item

Completing an item check out is as simple as selecting the student and setting a due date.  You can check in one or more items at once by checking boxes next to the items and clicking the “Check In” button at the top of the Lending Library table.

To learn more about this add-on, read the Knowledge Base Article: Lending Library Add-on.

Driving School Vehicle Management Add-On

Our latest add-on is designed specifically to help driving schools vehicle management. This add-on will help managing scheduling and vehicles more efficiently.  It allows driver’s ed companies to create detailed vehicle profiles to store key information about their vehicles.  The profiles include a name for identification, make, model, year, VIN, license plate, insurance policy and more.

Driving School Vehicle Management

The vehicles that are created are displayed on the scheduling form so that a vehicle can be selected for behind-the-wheel lesson with driving students.

The Driving School Vehicle Management Add-On also adds new features to the calendar.  This filter_vehicleincludes a vehicle filter so that you can quickly see all lessons for a vehicle, a dedicated Vehicle Calendar that displays the schedules for each of your vehicles so that you can quickly see the lessons and availability for specific time slots, and the lesson details pop-up includes the vehicle for all lessons that have a vehicle selected.

In addition to the calendar features, the conflict checker that you can use when scheduling lessons also checks for conflicts for the vehicle selected for a lesson.  This makes it easy to avoid double-booking the same car for more than one lesson.

You can find detailed instructions for this add-on in the Knowledge Base here: Vehicle Management Add-on

Updating Your Student Grade Levels

student grade levelsMaintaining accurate student records is an important part of running an education business. Teachworks has added a new feature to help you keep your student grade levels up-to-date.

At the end of the year, changing all of your student’s grades manually could become a very tedious task. This feature will automatically change the grades for you so you can focus on a different aspect of your business.

This feature allows you to increment the grade levels for all of your existing students as you transition to a new school year.  The feature can be accessed by going to your Students table and clicking the “Increment Grade Levels” link in the sidebar.

The form displays a list of all of the grade levels that have been assigned to your students.  Next to each grade is a text field where you can enter the replacement value.  As an example, if you have students with the grade value of “Grade One” you would enter “Grade Two” in the text field to update the grade level for those students.

If you find that you have entered student grade levels using different formats such as “Grade 1”, “Grade One” and “1” you can update each of these with a value that uses a consistent format.

grade_level_change_datesIf you’ve already begun saving student records using the new school year, but you still have student records with grade levels based on the previous school year, you can choose which records to update based on the date that the student profiles were created.  For example, if you began using the next school year for all student profiles created after July 1 you would be able to update only the records prior to July 1.

You can learn more about this feature in the Knowledge Base here: Incrementing Grade Levels

Customize Your Teachworks Dashboard

As an education business owner, staying on top of your business is a priority. We have made things easier for you by providing you with a snapshot of your business statistics through the Teachworks Dashboard.

With our latest update, it’s now possible for you to customize your Teachworks dashboard. You can choose from a variety of widgets to add to your dashboard to give you a quick view of different parts of your business.

teachworks dashboard

There are several standard widgets in the Teachworks Dashboard such as lesson hours by status, overdue invoices, plan usage, payment and invoice totals, upcoming lessons, uncompleted lessons, etc.

There are also several widgets that are available when you’ve enabled add-ons in your Teachworks account including upcoming and overdue tasks, lesson requests, new student enrollments, employee applications, etc.

dashboard-settings

To manage your dashboard settings click the dashboard settings icon at the bottom right corner of your dashboard.

 

On your Dashboard settings page, you can enable or disable a specific widget by simply clicking the “Enable” or “Disable” link below the widget.

widgets

You can arrange the order that your widgets are displayed on your dashboard by clicking the “Set Widget Order” link in the sidebar of the dashboard settings page.  Your enabled widgets will be listed and you can drag the widget to set the order.

At any point, you can access the dashboard screen to quickly get a glance of how your business is doing. Another way to gain further insight into your business performance is through the lesson reports included in Teachworks. These reports can be fully customized to show any aspect of your business included lesson revenue, missed lessons, and revenue by teacher.

Managing Student Lesson Notes Efficiently

Managing student lesson notes efficiently is very important. When a parent requests information regarding their child’s progress you want to be able to provide them with this information fast and efficiently.

An easy way to organize student lessons notes is to create a template that your teachers can follow. If you would like your teachers to use follow a standard format when entering their internal or shared lesson notes when they complete a lesson, you can save the format on your account settings page and the format will be pre-filled in the notes fields on the Complete Lesson form.

managing student lesson notes

Setting default notes, makes managing student lesson notes more efficient. To save your default notes, log into your admin account and go to the Account Settings page.  Under the Calendar & Event Settings section, you’ll find two fields for Internal and Shared notes.  Enter the format that you want to be pre-filled into the respective fields on the Complete Lesson form.

If you plan to use any of the formatting options such as bold, underline or italic you should first enter all of the text and spacing and then apply formatting to the specific text that should be formatted.  This makes it possible for teachers to type information under headings without the formatting being applied to their text.

After entering the default formatting, submit the form.

Now when you complete a lesson the notes fields will have the default formatting pre-filled.

internal_notes_form

You can find detailed instructions for this feature in the Knowledge Base here: Pre-Filled Lesson Notes

Teachworks MailChimp Integration

Teachworks MailChimp Integration

Our latest integration is the Teachworks MailChimp Integration. MailChimp is a leading online email marketing solution that manages contacts, sends emails and tracks results.  As an education business owner, it is important to create long lasting connections with your customers, MailChimp can help you with this through email marketing. If you aren’t using MailChimp for your email marketing you can learn more on their website here: www.mailchimp.com.

Teachworks Mailchimp integration allows you connect to your Mailchimp account and then to sync your students, families, teachers and staff to your lists in Mailchimp.  For each contact type, you can choose which status to sync including active, inactive, prospective, or all statuses.

In addition to syncing your contacts, you can also choose to include merge tags such as a school, grade, zip code, city, etc.  These merge tags can then be used to personalize your email messages or to segment your lists for targeted email campaigns.

The Teachworks MailChimp Integration was a suggestion from our feature suggestions forum. Thank you to everyone who voted for this feature and helped us prioritize this addition. We believe this feature will help you manage email marketing initiatives for your education company more efficiently.

To learn more and to start using this new integration, read our Knowledge Base article here: Mailchimp Integration

Teachworks Tutorials To Help You Get Started

teachworks tutorialsWe’ve put together several Teachworks Tutorials to help new users get started with their accounts.  All of these tutorials will be useful to new administrators, but many will also be helpful to new staff and teachers.

Each tutorial includes step-by-step instructions with screenshots so that you can read a description of the step and see the relevant section of the page.  You can easily move through the instructions as you complete the steps in your own Teachworks account.

The Teachworks Tutorials include:

Account Settings, Adding Services, Adding Locations, Adding Employees, Adding Students, Scheduling Lessons, Completing Lessons, Deleting Lessons, Generating Invoices, Adding Packages, Recording Payments, and Hours, Earnings & Payments.

If you need additional assistance with a feature, please do not hesitate to contact us by using the “?” icon at the bottom right corner of the page when you are signed into your account.

View all tutorials here: Tutorials

Creating Student Invoices Efficiently

At Teachworks, we are always working to improve features and make processes more efficient to help you save time. Invoicing is one of the most important and time-consuming tasks for education businesses, we are happy to introduce a few improvements that will make creating student invoices a breeze.

The first feature improvement is useful for companies that bill students for packages of lessons, and the second will help companies that bill in advance and need to adjust invoices for changes made to lessons on an invoice that has already been paid.

Package Pricing
When creating student invoices, if you add a package, Teachworks will now automatically fill in the unit price and discount rate based on the customer’s settings and/or your service list. This helps speed up invoicing and reduces errors.  You can find more information in this Knowledge Base article: Adding a Package.

Invoice Adjustmentsflag
In Teachworks, if a customer has paid an invoice, but changes are later made to the lessons that were included on the invoice, the invoice is flagged to indicate the changes.

Depending on whether the invoice total needs to be adjusted up or down a credit note or adjustment invoice needs to be created.

We’ve made this process more efficient by providing a link that opens a window with the appropriate form with the customer, tax treatment, date, and credit line all pre-filled. This allows you to immediately create the necessary adjustment without leaving the original invoice.

creating student invoices

 

 

 

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