I started writing this blog post early last week. At the time, I was just writing about some new user interface ("UI") features that came out. But when I wrote the line "we haven't actually redesigned any screens - yet - but at least now we can." I woke up - it is certainly not in the holiday spirit to tease and leave Method users wanting more!! So a week later, here I am, back to finish my blog post, with more to announce.
We now have a freshly redesigned Receive Payment screen!
If you go to Customer Center > Receive Payment you'll see some new functionality, as well as an example of what is possible with some of the new design capabilities in Method. Let me explain...
- Balance in Received From dropdown - In another life, when I used QuickBooks directly to enter payments instead of Method, it bothered me that I couldn't see what the outstanding balance was for the customer in the dropdown - so we took the liberty of adding that to Method's version of the Receive Payment screen. Also, when you select a customer the balance outstanding automatically fills in the Amount field to save you time (which, of course, you can overwrite if needed).
- Payment Gateway - You'll now see the Payment Gateway dropdown here. This lists all the merchant accounts you have listed under Customize > My Account > Payment Gateways. If you are not already setup, you'll have to first have an account with either Intuit Merchant Services, Authorize.NET (great for Americans) or PSIGate (great for Canadians). You'll also notice that we tied a Payment Gateway to a QuickBooks A/R Account, Payment Method and Deposit To Account to speed up data entry.
- Process with payment gateway when saving? - Together with the Payment Gateway, when you save the payment you have the option to automatically charge the customer's credit card, give a "Payment Processed" or "Payment Declined" message, put the Order ID into the Reference # field, and send the payment to QuickBooks.....which I can report back as being *awesome* since we started using it internally a few days ago.
- Email payment notification when saving? - Selecting this will mean that when the payment is processed all contacts on this customer's account who are setup to receive billing notifications will receive an email. The email template is something you can customize yourself, but you'll see the standard one already gives you a professional look. Tip: edit the Payment Notification email template and add your billing email to the CC (optional) field, so that you can receive a copy of each notification you send.
New User Interface:
- Labels support HTML - You'll notice that the "Process customer payments that sync to QuickBooks......" label in the image above has a backcolor, bold text and a border. How did I do that? In the past, the labels were straight text. Now the labels support HTML content, and up to 4000 characters, so if you know a little HTML, or know how to copy and paste from an HTML editor, you have a lot of flexibility.
- Sections have background color, border color and cellspacing - when you click Edit on a section header in the designer, you'll see a lot more options for styling the section. As you can see from the credit card information section above, it has been styled to have the same background as the inactive tab color, same border as the active tab color and some extra padding.
- Buttons can be big or small - previously buttons came in one size, take it or leave it. Now you can adjust the font size of buttons to emphasize or de-emphasize buttons. In the example above, you'll see Save & Close has a font size of 12pts making it bigger than normal, and Cancel is a link with font size 8pts, making it smaller than normal.
- Keep objects side-by-side - You'll see in the example above that Save & Close, or, and Cancel are all in the same cell, displayed side-by-side. You couldn't do this before. If you had fields and objects in the same cell you only had the option to stack them on top of each other. Now you can set this by editing each object in a cell and choosing the "Keep this side-by-side other objects in the same cell" option. Note: some objects like dropdowns and datepickers don't yet support this feature.
- Objects can align left, right or center in a cell - Previously you could only adjust the alignment of buttons. Now you can adjust the alignment of most objects - which goes a long way when trying to match your design layout in Method to how you planned it in your head.
While studying at Queen's School of Business in 1999, Paul founded Alocet Incorporated, developing 'QXpress', which later became the top rated field service scheduling add-on for QuickBooks.
Alocet Incorporated later went on to create Method Integration - an innovative small business management platform that allows users to create their own web apps for QuickBooks.