How do I transition from another system?

If you're moving to Flight School Booking from another system (even if it's paper) you will want to handle the transition carefully.

Bookings

To migrate from another system, you can set up the aircraft, instructors and users ahead of time. For users, you can even import them in bulk from a CSV file if you have one. This can be used to send everyone a welcome email, or you can leave that step and simply use the system to send a newsletter to everyone telling them about how to get started with their account.

Inevitably there will be some bookings that are in an old system that need to be transferred over. This should be done as quickly as possible to avoid people making a double booking, thinking a slot is available when in fact it was booked on an old system. As a transition, if you have office staff taking bookings anyway, they could add bookings in both systems during a transition period.

Billing

If you are using the billing system to charge membership fees, you will most likely have people that have already paid for membership at the time you switch over to this new billing system.

The billing system in Flight School Booking is flexible in that it allows you to set a schedule such as monthly or annual billing but has a fixed date such that everyone on the same price group will pay fees on the same date. You old system may have been set up where your customers paid the full annual fee on the date they joined you.

Here is how best to handle this migration.

To select which price group the customer will be billed on, find their Bills & payments tab and change their price group. Choose "today" as the effective date to change groups.

The system will create an invoice for membership fees that cover the period from today up until the next bill date.

For each customer you are moving to a price group with a membership or regular payment, you will need to know the date of their next payment (e.g. a year after their last payment). On the diagram below, this is their "Paid until date". Make a list of these customers and their paid until date.

You will have chosen a fixed bill date in the new price item. This is shows below as "Next bill date".

We now have two examples, one where the paid until date lies before the next bill date and one where it lies after.

In both cases, you will need to find the number of days difference between two dates. You can make use of an online service to help, for example www.timeanddate.com.

Example 1

Example 1: Customer's last payment covers a period AFTER the next bill date

In this example, the customer has already paid beyond the next bill date.

The system will have created an invoice for period A already, which should be credited back to the customer. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Click the invoice to view it, followed by Credit (shown above the invoice).
  • Once the credit is created, there is no need to make changes to the amount, simply finalise it. This adds it to the customer's account and their balance should read zero.
  • Add an opening balance to the customer's account. This hides the invoice and credit from them, giving them a clean initial view of their account. Add an opening balance from their Bills & payments tab and choose Manual entry > Adjustment. Within the form, make sure you choose opening balance and type a description such as "Opening balance brought forward". You should set the balance according to your existing records, even if zero.

 

Wait until the next bill date, when the system creates the next invoice.

For each customer you will issue a partial credit covering the period from the next bill date until their paid until date. The system will have created an invoice that extends beyond this date, most likely another year depending on how you set up your regular payments.

  • Click the customer's invoice and click Credit.
  • The credit is created as a draft, which you should edit. The edit link opens the credit for editing. The invoice has the correct "each" amount already, and you simply need to edit the quantity. A quantity of 1 corresponds to the full period, so work out the quantity by dividing the number of days in period B by the number of days in the year. In the line description you can edit it to say the credit is for membership fees already collected under the previous system.
  • Once you are happy the credit amount is correct for period B, finalise the credit which adds it to the customer's account.
  • If you have completed these steps later than the due date, payment will already have been taken. Customers are usually happy to fly the balance off, but if you would rather issue a refund for the value of the credit, you can do this from the receipt in their Bills & payments tab.

 

Example 2

Payment due before next bill date

In this example, the customer's next payment date is between now and the next bill date.

The system will have created an invoice for period A already, and the customer needs to be credited a partial amount to cover period B. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Click the invoice to view it, followed by Credit (shown above the invoice).
  • As described above, edit the credit. Again, the invoice has the correct "each" amount already, and you simply need to edit the quantity. Work out the quantity by dividing the number of days in period B by the number of days in the year. Edit the line description as described before.
  • Once you are happy the credit amount is correct for period B, finalise the credit which adds it to the customer's account.
  • Add an opening balance to the customer's account as described earlier. This hides the invoice and credit from the customer.