Send out reminders to top up a negative meal or account balance

You can see account balances for top-up accounts such as meals, and send messages to users to ask them to top up the account if they're running low or in debt.

Please note that it is not possible to automate these messages - they need to be sent manually.

Permissions

  • Finance: Administer - see balances and send communications to guardians
  • School: General Admin: Export Data - create a custom report
  • Send and administer school communications: Administer - set up communication templates

If you don't have the permission, you'll need to ask your admin team to give you permission using these instructions.

 

Sending reminders to students' guardians

In bulk using the balances page and default template

You can ask all Primary Guardians to top up in bulk using a new Mail Merge SMS, email or in-app message.

To select only guardian's whose children have low balances, go to School > Payments > Accounts > Balances. Tick the boxes next to the people to send communications to, then click the Bulk action button select the communication type.

Top Tip: Click the Balance column header to bring the lowest balances to the top.

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You'll then be able to send the communication.

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Individually from their student profile

Go to the Payments > Select Account > Account Overview section of the student profile.

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Click the Communications button, and select Send email or Send SMS to send a reminder to top up to the students' guardians.

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Can we edit the communication template?

You won't be able to edit the default recoupment communication template from like you can do with other system templates, as it won't appear in the list. If you want to edit the template, you will need to either:

  • edit the message each time you want to send the communication
  • follow the instructions below to set up a custom template

 

Sending reminders to staff

The only way to send reminders to staff to top up their balance is by using the custom template instructions below.

If you select staff from the School > Payments > Accounts > Balances page, when you try to send a communication, all staff will be removed from the list.

  • If only staff were selected, the To box will be blank and you will not be able to send the communication.
  • If a mix of user types were selected, you'll only be able to send to the guardians.

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You also won't be able to send a reminder from the staff member's profile.

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Using a custom template

For students

To create your own communication for students, follow the steps below.

Step 1 - Create your report

Click the link at the bottom of this article to download the report template for Meals for students. Do not open the template. You can then import it into your site by following these instructions: Importing a report

Add any additional columns you want to include in your communications, or edit the filter as needed.  

Step 2 - Create your template

Go to School > Communications > Templates and click +Add to add a new template with a Custom Report Writer report.

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You can then use the fields in your custom report as Merge fields in your message. This will pull through the data in your report to the communication.

You may also wish to add a link to our instructions for parents on topping up balances: Payment accounts and topping up the meal account on the Parent Portal or Arbor App

Screenshot_2022-05-18_at_09.21.24.png

Step 3 - Send the communication

Return to your custom report, and tick the boxes next to the students or staff you wish to send the communication to. Click the Bulk action button to select the communications option.

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On the next page, click Load email template, and select your template.

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The communication will then pull through the data from your report.

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For staff

Because you can't send communications from Custom Report Writer reports about staff, please use the instructions below.

Step 1 - Create your report

Click the link at the bottom of this article to download the report template for Meals for staff. Do not open the template. You can then import it into your site by following these instructions: Importing a report

Add any additional columns you want to include in your communications, or edit the filter as needed.  

Step 2 - Create your template

Go to School > Communications > Templates and click +Add to add a new template with a Custom Report Writer report.

Screenshot_2023-01-30_at_13.13.13.png

 

You can then use the fields in your custom report as Merge fields in your message. This will pull through the data in your report to the communication.

You may also wish to add a link to our instructions for staff on topping up their accounts: How staff can top up their own meal account

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Step 3 - Send the communication

Return to your custom report, and click the Send Mail Merge button to select your communication type. 

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Click Load email template to select your template. You can then select all staff in the custom report in the To box.

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Can we be notified when there are low balances?

You can be alerted when there are low balances by setting up a Custom Group, with automatic criteria.

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2 comments
  • Is there any way of editing this standard message without having to edit it every time I want to send a reminder.  We do not address our parents with Hi and their first name.  We also only want parents to top up their accounts via card payment.  

    Thank you

     

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  • Hi Nicola, thanks for your comment! I'm afraid it isn't possible to edit this template permanently, you would need to keep on editing it each time. You can see how to add this as feedback for future consideration here.

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