Horse jumping over the text At The Yard
Blog
11 June 2019

Third Party Payment Requests

Product Update

It’s common for yards to look after a horse on behalf of the owner when the Vet, Farrier, Equine Dentist etc. comes to the yard. This is an essential service for owners who work full time and might not be able to get to the yard themselves.

When it comes to paying it’s simple when it’s a large business (like a veterinary practice) they just add it onto the owners account and have their finance department keep track. But when it’s a smaller supplier typically 1 of 3 things happens:

  1. The supplier bills the yard and then the yard recharges it to the owner.
  2. The supplier sends the bill to the owner (text/email/etc) and the owners pays them directly.
  3. The supplier asks you to give the bill to the owner.

Option 1 ensures the supplier is paid in full and on time (which keeps them happy) but mean’s you’re having to use the yard’s money, not only tying up capital but should the owner decide not to pay making you the one out of pocket.

Secondly when you recharge the owner it’ll count as an income from an accounting point of view (even though there’ll be an equal expense to cancel it out). Whilst this shouldn’t increase your tax bill can push you towards the VAT registration threshold (we wrote a blog post around this subject last year - https://www.attheyard.co.uk/blog/2018/5/11/the-future-of-vat-and-livery-yards). Many yards wish to stay under this threshold and certainly wouldn’t want to be pushed into it based on ‘recharged’ services where there is no upside for them.

Option 2 takes all the burden off of you but comes with other issues. You can end up being in the middle of a supplier and owner who’s paid late or not at all. In the worst cases this can sour the relationship between the yard and the supplier - something nobody wants to happen.

All this whilst being out of the loop of what’s going on and unable to step in and defuse the issue before it becomes critical. It’s the simpler option but perhaps not the most effective…

Option 3 is a middle ground. The yard would act as an intermediate, receiving the requests for payment and passing them onto the owner, who can then pay the supplier directly.

You can keep informed whilst never being out of pocket, the only real downside is it means more admin work.

What At The Yard CAn Do To Help

After considering all the options, and talking to our customers, option 3 looks to be the best approach and so, today, we are introducing Third Party Payment Requests into At The Yard.

With Third Party Payment Requests in At The Yard you get all the benefits of acting as an intermediate with none of the downsides. We’ll help you keep track of everything and keep the admin to a minimum.

All you need to do is enter the requests from the supplier into At The Yard when they give them to you. Once done the owner gets a notification of the request and can go ahead and pay it (and let you know). This way you can stay on top of everything - with At The Yard automatically showing you who has outstanding bills so you can give them a friendly prompt and keep relations between the yard, owners and suppliers in tip top shape!

How?

As always, all current subscribers to At The Yard have already received this update.

As a manager user go to the manager tab and click payment requests. From here you can start adding requests for payments on behalf of the suppliers.

P.S. If you've stumbled across this page and have your own livery yard we'd love to show you more of At The Yard. Please visit our contact page and get in touch.



08 May 2019

Setting up the Feed System

Guide

In yesterdays video we looked at how to setup products in At The Yard. In todays video will be looking at the feed system; how to customise it, how to set it up and how to use it.

Check out the video below to find out how.



07 May 2019

Setting up Products in At The Yard

Guide

A key part of At The Yard is getting your products setup for your customers to purchase either when visiting your yard or for the care of their horse when they’re boarding their horse with you. Once setup you can use many of the additional features in At The Yard that are based around products. For example included products as part of a livery package or in the feeding schedule system.

However, it’s important to get the basics setup first and that’s what we’ll be looking at today. At The Yard has three types of products:

  1. Full - Used for non dividable products like a wormer.
  2. Fractional - Used for dividable products such as hay or straw.
  3. Weight - Used for a item you purchase by weight, generally feeds.

For each type of product At The Yard will automatically calculate the correct price for the amount purchased, ready for you to bill for at invoicing time. Check out the video below to find out how.



05 April 2019

Track Staff Working Hours & Generating Time Sheets

Guide, Product Update

Running a yard requires a team of people to make it a success. This means you'll likely be hiring regular staff, bringing in helpers or using freelancers to help with the day to day running of the yard.

To help make life easier we’ve introduced tools into At The Yard to help you and your staff keep track of the hours they work. This makes it quicker and easier to pay them (which is great for both you and them) whilst ensuring the amounts are accurate and fair.

In the rest of this article we’re going to take a look at how to use this new feature.

Contents

Tracking Hours as a Staff Member

You can access the staff work recording area by clicking on the Staff Menu and clicking on Record Work. You’ll be greeted with the page shown below. You can enter your worked hours and review your previous hours.

Entering Hours

The left hand side of the screen is dedicated to entering your hours. Staff can do this at the end of the day and can enter multiple times at once by clicking the green + button (this is great if they take a break for lunch etc). When they’ve entered all their work hours for the day all they need to do is click Record and the hours will be saved.

Reviewing Hours

Once you’ve entered your worked hours you’ll see them on the right hand side of the screen. There is also a label to let you know if it’s been approved by your yard manager or not. When they approve the hours this will be updated.

Managing Staffs Hours & Pay Rates as a Yard Manager

Setting Staff Pay Rates

In the menu click on Admin and Edit Staff Rates. This will bring you to the Staff Pay Rates section where you can review your current staff pay rates and create new ones. The rate set at the time a staff member records their hours will be used to automatically calculate the total pay owed to them. Because of this it’s important to set up your staff with the correct pay rate before they record any hours.

To create a new Staff Pay Rate click on New Staff Pay Rate and it’ll open a new dialog. In the dialog you can choose the staff member and set their rate. When you’re ready click Submit and it’ll be ready to go.

Reviewing Staff Hours worked

Click on Admin and Review Staff Hours. This will bring you to the staff hours review page. Here you can record additional hours on behalf of staff members (useful if they’ve forgotten to enter any). You can also see all the records staff have recorded and approve them. Finally you can create time sheets (which can be printed). The timesheet will show all the hours worked and the total pay owed to the staff member.

Recording Additional hours on behalf of staff

This is the same process as listed above for a staff member. The only difference is that you need to select the member of staff it’s for. If you need to make multiple records just enter one, click Record and repeat.

Approve Recorded Hours

On the right hand side of the screen you can see all the recorded hours for the month (you can swap months by choosing a different month from the drop down box and clicking go).

To approve a record click Approve. It’ll swap to ‘Approve by Your Name’. Once approved the record will be eligible to be added to a time sheet.

Creating a time sheet

To begin the process of making a time sheet for a user select the users name and click on New Time Sheet.

You’ll see all the staff work records that have been approved and are not yet linked to a time sheet. If you want to exclude a record from this time sheet you can untick the box under Include?. Once you’ve finished selecting the staff work records you wish to use click on Create.

This will create the time sheet and take you back to the review page. You’ll see a new time sheet has been added. For each time sheet you can see the total time worked and the pay owed to the staff member.

If you click on Show it’ll bring up the time sheet and show you all the details. Please Note: This is only a timesheet and does not act as a Pay Slip. If you need to issue a Pay Slip you’ll need to use appropriate tools for that.

Summary

This new addition will give you the tools you and your staff need to easily and quickly keep track of the hours worked. It makes it easy to calculate the pay owed and reduces errors for both parties.

P.S. If you've stumbled across this page and have your own livery yard we'd love to show you more. This was one of our #FeatureFocusFriday posts where we highlight a feature in At The Yard but there’s much more to see. Please visit our contact page and get in touch to find out more.



12 April 2019

Composite Bookings

Product Update, Guide

Over the last year we’ve seen our customers starting to use the booking system in At The Yard to schedule riding lessons. To make this easier we’ve been periodically adding features to make using it for this scenario more effective. One example of this development is the Request system we implemented a while ago which allows a user to request a booking and for you to approve, deny or suggest an alternative.

When booking a riding lesson you also need to ensure that another facility (such as the outdoor school) is available at the same time (it’s not much good having a lesson if you’ve got nowhere to ride). Until now you’ve had to manually do this process, either by booking it before approving the request or by asking your customer to also request/book the necessary facilities when booking the lesson.

Whilst this has worked, it’s been an area that we’ve wanted to improve for a while. We want customers to just book the lesson and have all the dependencies booked automatically at the same time.

To make this possible we are today releasing the a feature called Composite Bookings.

Composite Bookings

An example needing the school and an instructor.

Composite Bookings, literally meaning bookings made up of several parts, takes away the extra steps that have been involved in booking a lesson up-to now. It supports the ability to have multiple dependencies (e.g you can require the outdoor school and also for an instructor to be accessible) or simply just one dependency (e.g like a school in our original example).

Once setup, however simple or complicated your dependencies, it’ll automatically book everything needed. Your customers simply need to book the one thing they care about. In this case, the lesson!

Setting up the facilities dependancies

You cannot have loops in your dependency between ‘Facilities’.

This setup process only needs to be done once by the yard admin. It’ll define the relationships between different facilities. Each facility can be involved in multiple dependency chains (e.g. Both Lesson with Instructor #1 & Lesson with Instructor #2 can both depend on the Indoor School being free). The one restriction that we impose is that you cannot have loops in your dependencies (as show in the diagram) - but don't worry it’ll let you know if you try and form a loop.

To start the setup process go to Admin -> Facilities Note: You’ll need to create all your facilities before creating the dependancies. To setup the dependancies for a facility, click on Edit for the respective facility. On the dialog which opens, scroll down to the Dependant Facility section. To add a dependancy click on the Green + button. You can then select the dependancies for this facility (shown in the diagram below for our example “Lesson with Instructor Number 1”). This can be repeated as many times as necessary.

Once you’ve finished choosing the dependancies click on Update Facility. This will set your dependancies and from then on, in our example, any bookings for “Lesson with Instructor Number 1” will automatically make a corresponding booking for the School and for Instructor #1.

Making a Composite Booking as a Customer

An overview of all the bookings made, including the automatic ones made as a result of the defined dependancies.

The process of making a composite booking as a customer/member/livery is exactly the same as they’re already used to. They just go to the booking screen, select what they want, choose a time and then click on book. The difference is it’ll book all the other required facilities at the same time.

This result is shown in the diagram on the right/above. You’ll note that there is no Cancel Booking on the automatically made bookings. They’ll be removed automatically if/when the Cancel Booking button is pressed on the primary booking (in this case Lesson with Instructor #1).

A Note On Terminology

Reading this post you’ll notice that there are a few ‘inconsistencies’ in the way we use the term Facility(ies). For example whilst a Lesson would more logically be called a service we’re still calling it a facility. This discrepancy occurs because within At The Yard Services are typically date based (e.g. booking for a muck out for a date or a selection of dates) where as Facilities are time based (e.g. you have slots available to book and they select time from those slots). This discrepancy won’t cause issues for your users but we thought we’d note it here to remove any confusion that may arise when setting up.

What’s Next?

The next enhancements to the booking system will be attaching a ‘booking schedule’ to each horse. This means you’ll also be able to ensure that the horse they’ll be using for a lesson will be available at the same time as a lesson. This is great for facilities which have horses available to use as part of a customers membership.

Check back soon for more updates or follow us on Facebook where we post notifications of updates to At The Yard.