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Home > Questions and Answers > Common Mistakes

Common Mistakes

It is easy to make mistakes if you haven't been trained, you get distracted, or you haven't read our Help pages.  Execu/Suite is super easy to use but there is a right and wrong way to do something.  This guide will help you avoid mistakes.
 01  Name and Profile Changes
 02  Rate Changes
 03  Credit Card Processing
 04  Unreleased Credit Card Authorizations
 05  Payment Adjustments
 06  Master Folio Postings
 07  Duplicate Reservations
 08  Group Blocks
 09  Deposits Remaining for Cancellations and No-Shows
 10   Share-with's
 11  Connecting Rooms
 12  Night Audit Procedures
 13  Direct Bill (City Ledger) Batch Updates
 14  Inventory Batch Updates
 15  POS Reports - Server versus Cashier
 16  Missing Icons
 17  Cannot Log In - Wrong Company
 18  Ignoring Errors
 19  Improper Setup
 20  Lack of Training
  

01 Name and Profile Changes
           

Changing anything in a profile will affect all reservations and folios attached to that folio.  If you pull up a profile for SMITH/JOHN and change the name to BLUE/JANE, you will no longer have a profile for SMITH/JOHN. 

The only time you should change the name in a profile is to make a correction such as SNITH/JOHN to SMITH/JOHN or to add a salutation, etc. 

To change the name on a folio without overwriting the existing profile, select the "Find/New" button which will allow you to select a different existing profile or to create a new profile.                

More            

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02 Rate Changes
           

Rate changes should be done in the View/Edit grid rather than on the main reservation or check-in screen, especially if you use seasonal or weekend rates.

Comp rooms should be rate code 6 or rate code 7 and should have a zero rate.  Rate codes 1-5 should not have a zero rate if you want comps to calculate correctly in your statistics.

If you apply corporate rates you should look up the company rather than enter the company in the "company" field.  That way you know you have selected the correct one.                 

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03 Credit Card Processing

Most credit card errors occur because there is no standard policy or procedure.  Because of security measures and current technology, there are specific rules for credit card processing.  You should decide which of the following you wish to implement and make sure your settings are correct for that policy:
  • Preauthorization at check-in.  If you do this, you should not post the credit card payment at check-in.
  • Payment at check-in.  If you do this, you should not preauthorize the credit card at check-in.

Check-out procedures depend on whether or not a credit card was preauthorized at check-in.
  • If a card was preauthorized at check-in you must use that card at check-out or you must void the preauthorization.  You will see the "Void preauth" button both on the folio (check-in) screen and the Post Payment screen. 
  • To use the preauthorized card, simply Enter through the fields on the Post Payment screen.  The amount due will deduct from the funds set aside at preauthorization and any additional preauthorized funds will release. 
  • Note that preauthorizations do not release immediately.  This depends on your merchant services provider's policies.
  • If there is not a preauthorized card, you may process the payment as usual. 
See also next section, 04 Unreleased Credit Card Authorizations.

For wholesalers with virtual credit cards you should create a secondary folio (by answering Y to "Split folio?" at check-in).  This allows you to post the credit card payment for the virtual card provided by the wholesaler and then preauthorize the guest's credit card in the secondary folio.            

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04 Unreleased Credit Card Authorizations (Lodging)

Once a guest's credit card has been preauthorized, the funds remain set aside.  When you check out the guest, if done properly, the held authorized funds will release.  The preauthorized funds ONLY release by the check-out process.  Therefore, you should NOT both preauthorize a card at check-in and post the payment at check-in.

See also previous section, 03 Credit Card Processing.                        

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05 Payment Adjustments

When using the Adjustment button on the Post Folio (Post Charges/Payments) screen, you must type a minus sign (-) with the amount to subtract a payment.

For charges do not type a minus sign with the amount when posting an adjustment.

If you are unsure what to do we suggest posting into an administrative or testing folio first so that you can see what happens.                                    

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06 Master Folio Postings

There are several types of master folios.  These are discussed below.

Clearing Folios:  You should never post transactions directly into the following folios unless advised by Execu/Tech.  These folios should not be checked out unless advised by Execu/Tech.
  • POS Food and Beverage Master Folios.  You will have a POS master folio for each F&B store.  Transactions in this folio post automatically when POS checks are closed.  The folios should always have a zero balance after each check is closed.  If they do not, a message will print on the Final Recap at Night Audit Reorganize files.  This message means that you should find the problem and zero out the folios.  These folios clear nightly if the balance is zero.  They may become corrupt if they do not clear night after night.
  • POS Retail Master Folios.  You will have a POS master folio for each retail store.  Transactions in this folio post automatically when POS checks are closed.  The folios should always have a zero balance after each check is closed.  If they do not, a message will print on the Final Recap at Night Audit Reorganize files.  This message means that you should find the problem and zero out the folios.  These folios clear nightly if the balance is zero.  They may become corrupt if they do not clear night after night.
Advance Deposit Master:  You should never post directly into the Advance Deposit master folio unless advised by Execu/Tech.  You should never void or adjust a transaction in the Advance Deposit folio.  This folio is designed to function a specific way.  Posting directly to this folio may interrupt the data flow.  All transactions in this folio should post automatically by the system in two ways:  (1) when posting and advance deposit to a reservation; and (2) when a guest with a deposit checks in.  This folio should not be checked out unless advised by Execu/Tech.

Gift Card Master:  You should not post directly to this folio.  All transactions in this folio should post automatically when a gift card/certificate is sold through Execu/Gift.  This folio should always have a zero balance.  This folio should not be checked out unless advised by Execu/Tech.

Group Master Folios:  Group master folios exist so that guest room & tax charges will post to one folio for guests not paying for their own room and tax charges.  Group deposits are posted to this folio.  Other charges may post to this folio as well, such as event charges (meeting rooms, catering, etc.).  After the group has departed you should make sure the folio has a zero balance and then close (check out) the folio.

Cash Sales Masters:  These folios exist for front-desk sales that are not processed through Point of Sale or charged to a guest room.  Examples:  Post cards, fax charges, etc.  These folios should always have a zero balance after each sale - a debit for the charge and a credit for the payment.  These folios are not required but recommended for hotels selling items to non-staying customers.  Occasionally these folios should be closed; the frequency depends on the quantity of transactions.  Annually is common as part of year-end procedures.  You can then open a new folio for these postings.

Administrative/Adjustment/Miscellaneous:  These folios are for posting charges and payments for various things.  They should be zeroed out monthly if not daily so that things do not get out of hand.  Occasionally these folios should be closed; the frequency depends on the quantity of transactions.  Annually is common as part of year-end procedures.  You can then open a new folio for these postings.

See also Master Folio  setup.                        

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07 Duplicate Reservations
           
Duplicate reservations are entered three ways: (1) a reservation was entered into the system when there already was a reservation for the guest;  (2) you answered "yes" to "Make another reservation like this?" (3) you already started a reservation for this guest but minimized the screen and forgot you were doing it, then started the reservation again and saved it, and then rediscovered your minimized reservation and completed it.

You should be able to spot duplicate reservations by printing a Reservation Status Report, which you can sort by guest name.  You also should spot duplicate reservations when you print your arrival list (Print Arrivals and Departures).  When you find a duplicated reservation, simply cancel the second one.  If both have deposits you may need to refund the duplicate deposit first.  If only one has a deposit, then cancel the one that does not have the deposit. 

If you do not catch the duplication until after check-in, cancel the unchecked in reservation.  If there is a duplicate deposit, you may need to refund it.  If you need to transfer the funds from the second reservation to the checked in folio you must post a credit advance deposit payment and then post a payment to the guest folio, using the same code.  Since you are not receiving "new" funds, you should not use an actual credit card payment code such as VS.  However, CA or another code would be fine since you are posting both a debit and credit and the sum will be zero.                       

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08 Group Blocks
           
While we have gone to great lengths to prevent group block problems, people still find a way to make mistakes.  Here are some of them.
  • Deleting a group before releasing the blocks.  (Newer versions prevent this.)
  • Entering the blocks in the grid and soft blocking rooms, thus doubling the block. (Newer versions prevent this.)
  • Moving a group's arrival date but not removing the soft blocks first.  Soft blocks do not move with group arrival dates.
  • Assigning a room for a group reservation but not correctly picking it up from the block.  This makes that room overbooked.
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09 Deposits Remaining for Cancellations and No-Shows

You should not cancel a reservation until you zero out the deposit.  You can refund the guest's money by posting a payment and entering a minus sign (-) with the amount.  You can post a charge code (without a minus sign) such as ADF (advance deposit forfeit) or CFEE (Cancellation fee).  You can post a combination, for a partial refund and a fee.  Once the deposit sum is zero, the system will ask you if you wish to cancel the reservation and you can answer Yes.

The night auditor should be printing the Arrival and Departure List which will show all expected arrivals that have not been checked in.  These can be dealt with one of three ways:
           
  • Cancel the reservation.  First, zero out the deposit and then cancel the reservation.  This will show up in history (profile "guest stays") as a cancellation for this guest.
  • Check in the guest.  You might do this if you know the guest is coming but simply has not arrived prior to night audit.  This will show up in history (profile "guest stays") as a stay for this guest.
  • Change the arrival date.  This will leave the reservation as-is.
  • Let the reservation stay a no-show.  Zero out the deposit.  If your policy is to post a no-show fee you will post it as an advance deposit just as you posted the payment when the deposit was made.  When the deposit is zero the system will ask if you wish to cancel the reservation. Answer NO. This will show up in history (profile "guest stays") as a no-show for this guest.

One of the audit programs prints a report, "Deposits remaining for cancellations and no-shows".   This report should not have names or deposits.  If it does, first find the reservation and zero the deposit.  If you cannot find a reservation, read THIS.                           

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10 Share-Withs

The correct way to enter share-with reservation is to enter the first reservation, save it, then click the "Share-with" button at the bottom of the screen.  This will bring up a new screen to enter the second reservation.  Do NOT click the share-with button beside the "no. of rooms" field.  This is for viewing an existing reservation and displaying the guests sharing this room.

You need to calculate the room rate split and enter the correct rate for each guest in the share. The variables in calculation are virtually unlimited and we therefore do not do this calculation for you.

Note that the first guest in the share will have 1 for "no. of rooms"; each subsequent guest will have 0 for "no. of rooms".

Click HERE  for complete instructions.            

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11 Connecting Rooms
           
Connecting rooms become a single unit once you select a connecting room from the pop-up when making a reservation or checking in a guest.  Both rooms are removed from availability.  You cannot disconnect the rooms for this guest.  If you cancel the reservation, both rooms will be cancelled.  If you check out the guest, both rooms will be checked out. 

The room rate of the first room selected will apply.  The rate for the second rate will not apply since it has become "one" with the first room.  You will need to set up a special rate code to use for connecting rooms, or manually enter the room rate that would apply if both rooms are rented together as a unit.

Connecting rooms is convenient for properties with condo or home layouts where individual rooms or areas can be rented separately or as a whole. 

If you simply have two rooms with a connecting door and do not typically rent them as a single unit, we suggest not setting them up as connecting rooms but rather enter a comment in the room setup.  This way you will not get in a hurry and accidentally check a guest into two connecting rooms when you do not mean to do it.  You cannot un-connect them.

See Rooms  setup.                      

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12 Night Audit Procedures
           
Each step on your night audit menu is important for proper auditing and we advise you not to skip any of them.

Any step on your night audit menu that begins with the word "Print" may be done more than once.  Any step that does not begin with the word "Print" should not be run more than once, even if it appears to be a printout.  It actually is a background-running program that prints its results. 

Night audit procedures should be done within the same time frame each night.  It should be done (start to finish) BEFORE the night-audit cut-off time for last night's audit (yesterday's business).  It should be done (start to finish) AFTER the cut-off time for today's business.  The night audit cut-off time is designated in the Parameter Record.  The cut-off time should NOT be changed day to day in order to accommodate someone's schedule.

All users except the auditor should be logged completely out of the software, to the Windows desktop prior to night audit Reorganize Files.  All POS workstations should be either logged out to the Windows desktop or at the blue POS keyboard login screen.  If this is not, file corruption may occur and reorganize may stop.  No one other than the auditor should log back into Execu/Tech until the audit has finished.

If you get an error during night audit, especially during Reorganize Files, you should leave the error on the screen and contact Execu/Tech.  If you do not have a support contract with Execu/Tech, you should contact your operations manager or your IT manager.  HERE is a list of common errors.  If you do not have a support contract with Execu/Tech or have only a business-hours contract and your error occurs outside business errors, you can send an email to support@execu-tech.com.

If you have network issues Execu/Tech cannot help you.  You need to call your IT manager or network administrator.  Network issues include loss of communication with the server, locked files, freezes, etc.

The night auditor should make sure that the payment journal matches cash received plus credit cards that are in your credit card batch.

The night auditor should make sure that clearing folios have a zero balance so that they clear.  if they do not have a zero balance, a message will print on the Final Recap and the auditor should take care of zeroing out the folios or should leave a message for management to assign to the appropriate party.

Each report shows at the top left the day and time the report was printed.  The "as of" date will also display.  This is the business day you are doing the audit for.                 

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13 Direct Bill (City Ledger) Batch Updates

City Ledger batches are created three ways:  (1)  "Create city ledger postings" is run at night audit (the program name on your menu might be different but the name will be similar); (2) an open item payment is posted in city ledger; and (3) a transaction is posted through "Enter Transactions" in customer processing.

Transactions post into a batch so that you can view them and make changes if necessary.  NOTE:  You should check with Execu/Tech before making changes.  Transactions will continue to accumulate in the batch until the batch is updated.  If the batch never gets updated, it eventually contains too many transactions to be manageable and may become corrupted.  Therefore it is important that you update the batches daily or as often as possible.

Open item payments and manually-entered transactions must be updated on the terminal on which the transactions were posted. "Print and update transaction batch" is the second item on your Direct Bill (city ledger) menu.

Transactions generated from night audit must be updated on the terminal designated in the parameter record .  These are the postings created from DB payments in folios at front desk.  These typically are the transactions we see sitting in and accumulating in a batch day after day after month after month with no one updating and clearing the batches.  "Print and update transaction batch" is the second item on your Direct Bill (city ledger) menu.                        

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14 Inventory Batch Updates
           
Inventory batches are created several ways: (1) when a purchase order is entered; (2) when a purchase order is received; (3) when miscellaneous postings are entered; (4) when POS end of day is done.  These batches should be updated daily or as often as possible.  When purchase orders and miscellaneous postings are done, the system will ask if you wish to update the batch.  However, when POS end of day is done, there is not prompt asking if you wish to update the batch.  There is a message reminding you to update the batch.  Typically the batch will be on the computer on which POS End of day was done but you may have a setting designating a different computer.  In that case, you should update the batch on the designated computer.  "Print and update postings" is the second item on your Inventory menu.

If an inventory batch is not updated, transactions will continue to accumulate in the batch day after day; the batch eventually will get corrupted.          

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15 POS Reports - Server versus Cashier

It is important to familiarize yourself with the various reports in POS.  Do you want to print sales by server or by register (computer)?  Are you looking for tips?  Know which report you need.  It also is important to make sure you do everything under your own login.  If you enter information on more than one workstation make sure to take that into account when printing your reports.  Server reports show sales by server.  Cashier reports show cashier check closings.  If you open a check and someone else closes it, make sure you know which report to print for what you're looking for.

Employee setup determines what prints for which type of employee.

Click HERE for a sample Sales by Server report.                        

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16 Missing Icons

There are three main reasons your icons disappear: (1) someone deleted them; (2) you are using a different Windows login and the Execu/Tech icon is for a different user rather than all Windows users on that computer; (3) you lost your network connection, Windows tried to find the database and couldn't, and asked if you wanted to delete the icon and you said yes.

To solve the problem, look in the recycle bin for the icon, try another Windows login, or recreate the shortcut.                        

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17 Cannot Log In - Wrong Company

Either someone selected a different company and you do not have a user/password for it, or an "Enter company code" prompt popped up and someone entered an invalid company code.

You will need a user ID with permissions to all companies as well as permissions to "Select another company".  Once you log on with those credentials, go to System Maintenance - Select another company.  At the prompt enter the two-digit company number.  If you do not know, ask management.  For most properties the default hotel company is 01 but it may be anything between 01 and 99.  Make sure that you enter both integers; i.e., 01 and not 1.

Click HERE  for more information.                        

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18 Ignoring Errors

Errors are not common, but they should not be ignored, even if you are able to proceed.  Note that a message is not an error.  An error typically has the word "error" at the top and indicates a process is unable to continue.  A message is a notification, such as overbooking or something is finished.

You should leave the error on the screen and contact Execu/Tech.  Send a screen shot of the error.  You can download a free screen capture app at http://www.gadwin.com/printscreen/ and it is easy to use.  Paste error into and email or send it as an attachment to support@execu-tech.com.

If errors indicate you are having network issues, those should be addressed promptly by your IT manager or network administrator, as data corruption can occur.

Click HERE  for a list of Shift4 errors.

Click HERE  for common program warnings.

Click HERE  for common file errors.                        

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19 Improper Setup

Many issues are due to improper setup of your system.

Execu/Suite Hotel PMS Setup
Execu/Touch POS Setup                 

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20 Lack of Training
           
All employees should be trained on correct usage of any software necessary to do their jobs.  Management and department supervisors should be adequately trained in order to train new employees.

Execu/Tech software is intuitive but there are right and wrong ways to do things.  There also are better ways to do things and each employee should know how to use the software quickly and efficiently.

This Knowledgebase  is designed to provide everything from technical information to basic procedures to full enjoyment of the features built into the software. 
  
We require training for all customers using credit card processing.  

We highly recommend training for all new Execu/Tech customers.  We offer on-site training (three day minimum) and remote WebEx training.  On-site training is highly beneficial as our trainers are on site during implementation and when you go live.

We also recommend training every year or couple of years, or as determined by staff turnover, seasonal employees, etc.  The original staff might have been trained thoroughly but tips and tricks drop by the wayside as the next person trains the next person, etc.

Prices vary depending on the number of modules and depth of training.  To request training call 850.747.0581 or email support@execu-tech.com.                                                

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See also: Common  Questions
 
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