Administrator Email - 7/27/2020 - Announcing
We're pleased to announce ClubExpress Version 9.4, including some powerful new features to help clubs and associations of all sizes and types.
This release adds Business Memberships, Discussion Forum Enhancements, Event Enhancements, and many other features. Some of these features are in final testing, but they should be deployed by the end of the week. The Help system has been updated.
Version 9.4 Webinar
We will hold a webinar this coming Wednesday, July 29th, to demonstrate the new features in version 9.4.
Time: Noon Eastern, 11:00 AM Central, 10:00 AM Mountain, 9:00 AM Pacific.
Here are the connection details:
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 852 8277 3618
There is no need to RSVP but attendance is limited to the first 200 people. If you can't make it, this webinar will be recorded and an edited version will be available on the website within 48 hours.
Also check out some of our recent video tutorials and webinars. They can be found on our website, under the Cool Stuff --> Video Tutorials and Cool Stuff --> Webinars options.
Gauging Interest in a Couple of Ideas
We're considering a couple of enhancements to ClubExpress that would involve a significant development effort and a one-time charge to enable these features. We'd like to know whether your club or association is interested in either or both of these features:
- Full text searching within documents uploaded to the website
- The ability to choose a table for banquet/event seating. This functionality could also potentially be used to pick an exhibit booth at a convention, or even a mooring slip for a yacht club marina
If you are interested in either or both of these features, please click here
to record your vote.
In this issue:
(Note that these features are in final testing and will be deployed in the next couple of days.)
There is a new option for all member types to define a membership as a "Business Membership". This is independent of whether members join your club or association through their personal or business lives. Business memberships allow businesses to sign up as members. For example, a cycling club might allow local cycling shops to sign up.
When editing a member type, you can now select whether or not this is a business membership. You can also specify whether or not members can add themselves to the business membership. This feature allows a company to join and then to provide an authorization code to individual employees who can then sign themselves up. These members are entered into the system as Prospective members and the primary member for the Business membership receives a notification email to log in and either approve or decline that person.
For Business Memberships, the "Contact Info" screen has been redesigned into a "Company Profile" screen. The "Additional Members in your Account" screen has also been redesigned to allow the primary contact person to view and copy the code to be handed out to company employees, and to view and approve or decline members who signed themselves up. Approved employees receive a confirmation email while declined employees receive a different email that can include a decline reason. Declined members can also be reinstated if a mistake was made.
If your club or association has at least one Business Member type, the Member Signup Wizard is also changed to allow employees to add themselves to an existing membership. For Business Members, the Member Manager and Standard Member Directory modules will show the company name first and the employee name second.
The system will still enforce secondary member limits. If you only allow up to 5 secondary members, it will block a 6th employee from signing up. And if there are additional charges associated with a secondary member, the necessary transaction will be created and must be paid before the secondary member is fully active.
Discussion Forum Enhancements
- "Strong threading" (with its funky code in the Subject line) is no longer required. We have changed how threading works to make it far more reliable without this code. We will eventually remove the "Strong vs. Weak" option but for now, select "Weak threading" to remove the subject-line code.
- Clubs can now customize the disclaimer note that appears at the bottom of each emailed message.
- When drilling into a thread to read it, then going back to the list of threads, users are now returned to the place where they started.
- There is a new button on the Forums opening page to allow members to jump to their Profile -- Forum Memberships page, to make is easier to sign up for a forum.
- There is a new Forum-level report that includes the email address each member is using for that forum.
- Admins can now also search for the alternate email addresses that members use for forums. And in the search results, we've added an icon to jump to that member's Profile screen.
- In the Forums Manager, there is also a new "View" icon to jump that forum's opening page.
- One new option allows admins to combine two threads into one. And another option allows admins to move a post from one thread/topic to another.
And some exciting news to look forward to: we're also working on redesigning the user interfaces for both Threaded and Flat views in forums, to simplify them and make them more familiar and easier to use. Look for this to be deployed and announced in the next few weeks.
Event Calendar Enhancements
- We have made a number of enhancements to the Waitlist function for multi-activity events:
- There is now a flag to indicate whether an activity or item should be included in the Waitlist.
- In the Waitlist Manager, admins can now reactivate a waitlisted member who didn't register in time. Their status is changed and they go to the bottom of the queue.
- There is a new Waitlist Export.
- Email notifications are now sent to event contacts only if members cancel a registration themselves.
- For a multi-date event, if an individual date was cancelled, this will be shown beside that date in the Event View.
- For multi-activity events, you now have the ability to copy an activity within the same event.
- QuickEvents now have the "Visible to Everyone; Details for Members Only" option.
- The text associated with a Registration Close Date has been changed to make it clear that the date is "inclusive". For example, if you specify "7/22/2020" as the close date, it will be obvious that registrations can still be made through this date (up to 11:59:59 PM).
- We have also added support for a Registration Close Time! So in the above example, you could specify 6:00:00 PM as the close time.
- There are new module-wide options to customize the "Fee" and "Fee After" text to indicate an Initial/Late charge or an Early Bird/Regular charge.
- For Event Emailings, we have added new distribution lists to send to everyone is an interest group, chapter, or committee who has NOT yet registered for the event.
- When defining a new event, Event Category no longer defaults to anything; it is required must be specified each time. This change ensures that the appropriate category will be selected for each event.
- Previously, people who opt-ed out of receiving general emails from the club would not receive reminder emails for events for which they have already registered. This has been changed so that these emails will now be sent.
- In List View, you can now change the text of the "View", for example to "Purchase Tickets". This can be defined as a default and also for each event.
- Event email confirmations now include the chapter that an event is for.
The following enhancements are in final testing and will be deployed by the end of the week:
- The Search panel has been redesigned to be more consistent with the rest of the platform. There is now a Search button in the initial Event Grid and List Views, which displays a drop-down panel. Search parameters are retained when query string options are used (such as showing only events for a chapter or a category). And the Print Calendar button will respect these search settings.
- When an event is configured for "Payment at the Event Only", it will no longer appear on the Payment Pending screen for members or non-members to pay prior to the event. A transaction is still created but now it only appears for administrators and coordinators, to allow them to record payments received at the event.
- The Events Manager now includes Sort options.
- You can now record attendance for each date in a multi-date event.
- The Event List Export now includes the address, phone, website, etc. for the event location.
And in other parts of the ClubExpress platform:
- QuickBooks Online support has been enhanced in the following ways:
- We added a QuickBooks Default Item Name field to the Financial Accounts add/edit and Master Account edit screens. QBO requires an Item Name so this change simplifies entering one. When a transfer from ClubExpress to QBO is initiated, check that an item name has been defined for each financial activity; if it hasn't, we will use the Default Item Name for the account associated with the activity.
- If your ClubExpress site does not have the internal QBO ID for a member or non-member who had financial activity during the period you’re processing, the system tries to find the customer on the QBO side. It matches the ClubExpress member/non-member to the QBO customer using the customer’s Display Name in QBO. If the customer does not exist on QBO, the process creates the customer there. Similarly, the system creates accounts, classes, and items on QBO if they do not already exist there.
- If a transaction, payment, or credit, etc. fails to transfer to QBO for any reason, the item is marked to be resent, and the system automatically includes it in the next ClubExpress to QBO transfer you do.
- A new “QuickBooks Item and Account Names” report on the QBO Interface screen, shows you the QBO item names that you have set up on the ClubExpress side, so that you can edit them where necessary on either side, to ensure that the item names are the same in both places.
- A new "History" option on the QBO Interface screen displays all the transfers between ClubExpress and QBO. You can search by date range on this page, and run a report to show the invoices, payments, etc. that were included in that transfer. If there were errors for any particular item, the QBO error information is shown below the item, together with information about what to look for to correct the error. (Note that this way of error tracking was only introduced with this round of enhancements, so that the report will show errors going forward only.)
- For Gift Memberships, we have added the following features:
- You can now specify a future date to send the message.
- There is a new Profile screen listing all gifts purchased.
- From this screen, you can also print a gift letter.
- The Coupon Code is now included in the email for memberships that require approval.
- We have added a 30-day Free Trial to the Ad Hoc Reports function. We have also added extensive support to run ad hoc reports for multi-tier "parent" clubs to output information on the independent "child" clubs linked to them, as well as the members and non-members of these clubs. You can also filter by child club. Note that these additional data elements are only available to the "parent" club; if a "child" club signs up for Ad Hoc Reports, these elements will not be visible.
- There is a new option for credit card refunds to refund less than the full amount (can be specified by amount or a percentage.) There is also an option to carry an amount from one refund to the next, if you have to do multiple refunds of the same amount.
- A new option on the Money Options screen allows you to specify "Other Payment Methods". When something is specified in this text box, it will appear on the payment page for users (but not admins.) This feature allows your club to list other options that you support, including direct bank deposit, Venmo, Zelle, or options that are country-specific. Once payment has been received, an admin can record the payment using the existing "Paid through a separate system" option.
- In the Member Manager and Non-Member Manager, we have changed how searches for accented characters work (for example, for foreign language names.) Matches will now be found if searching without the accent.
- Reminder emails for pending payments can now be configured to be sent out every 1-7 days.
- We have made improvements in how additional member data questions are displayed on the website.
- The User Transaction Export has been modified to add the member name, full address, phone number, and email address.
- We have made significant progress in making ClubExpress websites more accessible to users with disabilities, including improved navigation, “aria” attributes, labels connected to fields, HTML roles, links, menus, etc. Work is ongoing based on updated standards. For example, the News/Articles module has been extensively updated.
- You can now configure the Standard Directory to allow searches on City and Address1.
The following bugs were fixed since our last version announcement:
- In the new "Tell a Friend" function, the wrong email was initially being sent out.
- Member additional data questions can be attached to one or more member types, so that only members of the selected types can answer the questions. If the list of member types for a question changes, or a member changes their member type when renewing, the list of questions that the member sees should change. This works on the profile page, but previously answered questions which should no longer be visible for a member were still appearing on reports and data exports.
- When you changed the member types for a question, the change was being saved but was not immediately visible on the site.
- Date ranges were not working correctly for international users on the User Transaction by Type, and User Transaction by Chapter reports.
- E-Commerce Storefront order confirmation emails were being emailed from the club's contact person instead of the person defined as the contact in Storefront Options.
- On the Open Credits screen, the total at the bottom of the page was not always correct.
- Admins had to set the Privacy Options for a member twice for them to "stick".
- Mailing label reports with a date filter, based on date of signup or last renewal, were adding an extra day at the end.
- There was a problem with the vCard working on Apple mobile devices to create a new contact in the user's Contact List.
- Under specific circumstances, cancelling an event was not cancelling all paid registrations.
- The capacity on an activity allowed additional people with no admin/coordinator access to register.
- The print calendar option was showing the club's old logo.
- In the Link Builder, Photo Albums were being shown in “Display Sequence” order. This was changed to be in alphabetical order. Also custom web pages will now show Categories and only Active custom pages. For subgroup admins, only pages linked to the subgroup will now be shown.
- On the Website Security Report, when a member has two accounts, only ONE was listed in the report.
- On the Check-In Desk Module, the screen listing check-ins within a date range was including Dropped Members. Also, the check-in times were not being adjusted for the local time zone.
- In the E-Commerce Storefront module, if a club had no active shipping methods defined, orders were being created without a shipping method. This was causing problems when the club tried to ship the order. If no shipping method has been defined, the system will now create a "Default Shipping Method" for the club and the order will use this method.
- In the Quick Member Lookup function, if a member was using their alt-address, the primary Phone was always being displayed, not the alt-phone.
- In a multi-tier situation with separate websites for each club, a coordinator at the top level was able to select a member from a closed, lower-level club.
- In the same multi-tier situation, members could not log into the top club if their login name was the same as the login name of a dropped member, or the club was not pending or active.
- Also in the same multi-tier situation, members could log into the top club but were not able to update their forum preferences.
- When an unpaid Classified Ad was deleted by an administrator, the matching transaction was not also being deleted.
- There was a problem with a small number of Member Contact Info reports that caused them to run very slowly or sometimes time-out.
- Data exports that included the Gender column were not correctly displaying members who identified as "Non-Binary/Other".
Again, all of these problems have been fixed.