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Note: Many common questions related to Transactions have been answered in our newsletters -- be sure to check the Newsletter Category Index (click this link) to see if your question is answered there.
For site rentals and many other common transactions, you will probably have a number of Rates defined to speed the entry process, and to avoid mistakes that can occur if you had to enter the value each time.
When you click the Select Rate(s) button a new dialog will appear, with applicable Rental Rates and Add-Ons shown by default (for Reservations). You can change the Rate Type to see other types or all types using the drop-down list. Some applicable reservation information appears at the bottom of the dialog for reference when selecting rates or entering quantities (the number of nights, discount, and any synchronized sites are shown).
Note: If you want to change which Rate Types are shown by default, check the box "Make this the default" after selecting the desired Rate Type. (Make sure you close the dialog using "OK" rather than "Cancel" or else it won't save the change.) This setting will be specific to each workstation, and also separate for Reservation Transactions, Customer Transactions and Unbound Transactions.
Note that the rates shown in the list are based on a lot of different factors in the Rates Setup. If you're not seeing a rate you expect to see, you need to review the rate definition and the reservation. A rate might not appear if the discount type selected is different than defined for the rate, or if the site's type or class is different, or the length of stay is too long or short, or if the reservation date range is outside the rate's season or in the special exclusion dates.
Note for Linked reservations: The Select Rates function can only show rates for either a single reservation or a synchronized set of reservations at once. Therefore if the reservation is linked to sub-members, you will need to do Select Rates for those separately. (A warning message will appear if this is necessary.) To Select Rates for a particular reservation, select (highlight) that reservation from the list in the Transactions dialog before clicking the Select Rates button.
Rate Quick-Finder (optional)
If you have the Rate Code field enabled, you can select a rate by typing the rate code in the Rate code quick-finder field (the cursor will start there so you can just start typing). When the correct rate is selected, just press Tab to move to the Sites or other Qty field if needed, or go ahead and Add the rate (Alt-A). Note that this only works if the rate shows up in the list, e.g. if it's applicable to the current reservation, etc.
This is a drop-down list of discounts, identical to the discounts on the Transactions dialog. Any previous discount used will be automatically selected here. There are two reasons this selection is duplicated here:
1. When checking in customers, this may be the first dialog that appears (it will "skip" the Transactions dialog if the Options are set up to do so), so you need to be able to select the rate here.
2. It can also be handy to check different discount rates at this point to find the best rate. Just select different discounts and the applicable rates will be shown immediately.
Auto-calculate All Rates
If auto-rates functionality is enabled, this button will instantly select the appropriate rates and quantities for the reservation. Actually this can be done directly from the Transaction dialog instead of coming into Select Rates, but if you prefer to see the actual rates selected first, then you can do it from here. (This is also useful when using Check Rates, if the option to do it automatically for Check Rates is disabled.)
Just click on the desired rate in the list (or use the quick-finder), change the qty field(s) if necessary, and click Add. If you know that the quantities don't need changed, you can just double-click the rate and it will be added with the default quantities immediately (see below for more about the quantities). Therefore in most cases, such as simple daily rates, all you will need to do is double-click the appropriate rate, then click Done to finish the rates selection.
By default, the rates list will show rates that are specific to the current reservation (by site type, discounts, etc.). However there may be times when you want to select a rate that's not normally used for this reservation. Check the Override box to disable the filtering and show every rate defined for the selected rate type. Note that this is separate from the auto-rates calculation, so it won't affect auto-calculations.
Note: If the override option is used, it probably means the rate definitions need some adjustments. However it is provided as a quick fix or to manually select a non-standard rate.
Whenever a rate is highlighted in the rates list, one or more quantity boxes may appear to the right. These depend on the options selected in the rate definition, and can include a period quantity (Day, Week, Month, or Year), a Site quantity, or a simple Qty field (or any combination of these). By default, these will be filled with a number appropriate to the reservation for which you're adding transactions.
For example, the Days quantity will automatically be filled with the number of reservation nights. This assumes that the rate applies to all of the dates of the reservation -- otherwise it will only include the number of days that match the rate definition. Weeks, Months, and Years will be filled with a "truncated" number for the period -- thus a 20-day reservation would show 2 weeks, since it's assumed that you will also add the extra 6 days as a daily rate. (However if the reservation was for less than 7 days and you use a weekly rate, it would still assume that they are paying for 1 week minimum, not 0.)
Note -- the default number of days (or other period) automatically takes into account the paid-through date, and also any previously selected rates (but only during the same Select Rate(s) dialog session -- any charges added previously won't be taken into account unless the Paid Through date has been updated accordingly).
For instance, for a 16-day reservation that has already been paid through the first week, it will start by showing 9 days unpaid (this shows at the bottom of the Rate Selection dialog). If you then add a weekly rate, it will know that 1 full week has not been paid/charged yet, so the quantity will be 1. After adding that week, when you select a daily rate to complete the charges, it will know that only 2 days are needed at the daily rate. This also works for reversing charges -- if a reservation is checked out and its paid-through date is 2 days later than the last night, selecting the daily rate will correctly assume -2 days.
If the reservation is synchronized with other reservations, the Site quantity will automatically reflect the number of synchronized sites that satisfy that rate's criteria. Keep in mind that a group of reservation may cover more than one site type, so you may have to Add more than one rate to cover all of the synchronized sites.
Once the quantities are verified to be correct, just click Add to add the rate with the quantities shown to the Rates Selected list at the bottom. (Note: If the qty is 0, then Add will not do anything.) The tax amount is automatically calculated and shown along with a total. If you need to correct a rate, highlight the entry in the Rates selected list and click Delete Selected Item(s). Then add the rate again if necessary.
You can repeat the rates adding process to select multiple rates of any type before leaving this dialog, and each one will appear in the Rates Selected list at the bottom with an updated quantity. When all needed rates are selected, click Done to accept all of the selected rates and add the rate charges to the New Transactions dialog. In fact, it's recommended that you add all of the rates at once, so that the number of days, weeks, etc. is calculated correctly (it will keep track of the number of days being added for the currently added rates, but if you click Done and then come back into Select rates, it won't remember what rates have already been added).
For metered electric, gas and water rates, there is a special dialog that appears when you Add the rate. (This requires that the "Ask for meter reading" flag be set on the Rate Definition.) This dialog shows the site name, the previous reading and date, an actual reading date selection, and a button to view the last reservation that read the meter (in case there is a dispute). All you have to do is enter the new reading, and it will add the appropriate rate charge and also update the reading information in the Site record. If the reading was actually taken on a previous day, you should also select the correct date for Actual date of reading. Note that any other quantity entries on the Select Rates dialog will be ignored (and the rate definition should be fixed to not ask for a quantity if you see a Qty box).
Note that meter wrap-around is handled automatically, as long as the wrap-around figure is set in Maintenance / Park Setup / Parks. For instance if the meter only has 4 digits and the last reading was 9900 but it now shows 0200, just enter 200 and it will know that 300 units were used. Note that the wrap-around must be less than 25% of the entire range (e.g. 2500 if it's a 4-digit meter). An error will be shown if the figure you enter cannot be understood as either greater than the previous reading or a reasonable wrap-around.
There is an option to Invert amounts of the rates -- this will turn all quantities into negatives, so this can be used to cancel out a charge or for refunds -- however, note that the transaction categories will not be changed to "refund" or "credit", so this could affect reporting. If you're not concerned with reporting refunds separately from charges, then this is the easy way to do it. Of course if you're just canceling a reservation, it's probably best to just delete any associated charge transactions directly in the Transaction dialog, rather than adding negative charges.
If you're entering rates for multiple linked reservations, there will be an option to Use separate entries for each site. This is normally selected by default (but can be changed to unselected by default in File / Printing Options), and will result in a separate line-item charge for every site for which you're adding a rate. The separate charges will also include the site name, so the receipt will show a record of all sites that have been charged.
However, there may be times when you prefer not to show separate lines for each site. For instance, if you have many (over 20 or so) sites linked, then the receipt may not hold all of them. Also note that there will be a separate line item for each transaction defined in the rate -- so for instance if the rate includes a Charge, a Discount, and a Credit (e.g. a coupon), then all 3 of these would be duplicated for each linked site.
When you're done selecting rates, transactions will be generated according to the transaction templates in the rate definitions, plus transactions for any auto-added taxes. These will appear as new transactions in the Transactions dialog, just as if you entered them manually. You can adjust them if necessary or delete any that you added by mistake. (Take care in deleting individual transactions back in the Transactions Dialog, since the tax won't be re-calculated.)