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End Of Day Settlement over an Extended Break

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The easiest way to handle an extended break (eg over the christmas holidays) where there are no events being performed and nobody is in the office is to temporarily enable the Emergency Mode on the merchant account.

This is probably the best option if nobody is around

Alternately, you can let cards be authorized, but you will need to check with your credit card processor to find the maximum period in which credit cards must be settled before they are automatically released.

If you can remote in and periodically do a deposit, this is probably the best option

Options for processing over an extended break

On an extended break, and if you have web sales occurring, deposits still need to take place on a regular basis. Therefore, your options are to do one or more of the following:

  1. Turn your merchant processor into Emergency Mode over the holidays when nobody is in the office. This option is probably the easiest and means:
    • All credit cards taken online will the treated as post dated payments (they can be authorized for real when you get back)
    • You might be taking a small risk that the card get declined, but since no tickets have gone out and (assuming that there are no events performed during this time), you have complete control of your inventory, including refunding it if need be
    • When everybody returns from break, turn off Emergency Mode and authorize all cards at end of day
  2. Stop all sales during the break, including Box Office, Web Sales and any donation entry by the Development Department - essentially 'close the shop'
  3. Come in to the office and do your deposits every few days
  4. Remote into your company network from your home office and perform your deposit.
  5. Do a final deposit before you leave the office and then one first thing when you come back (read the cautionary note)

 

Caveat for Options that do not use the Emergency Mode Feature

Your credit card processor (Chase Paymentech, Authorize.net, Elavon, Moneris, etc.) prefers that you settle your credit card batch on a regular basis (i.e. daily). Your merchant provider sets a specified maximum frequency between settlements so that they can guarantee that the amounts they have authorized for you will still be available when you go to collect the funds. Because authorized credit cards must be settled within the pre-defined frequency, there is a "Settle Batch Frequency" setting in the Setup>>Merchant Accounts>>Settlement tab that retains the maximum days that your merchant provider indicates before a settlement is required. The maximum setting in Theatre Manager is set for seven days before settlement is required, however it is recommended that this is set at three days in order to maintain clean batches and regular settlements.

This setting applies to Box Office Sales only, and if you are running web sales over an extended break (such as the end of year holiday season), your web sales will continue to authorize credit cards beyond the time out setting in Theatre Manager.


For most online payment gateways (Paymentech Orbital, Authorize.net, etc.) the actual timeout may be up to 30 days or longer and having a extended break of less then 30 days may not have any impact on your non-settled authorized cards. Check with your credit card processor to determine the maximum period in which credit cards must be settled.

Some credit card processors offer the service of auto-closing your batch if you plan to be away for an extended period. If you choose this option, you will need to force your deposit when you return from the break, after ensuring that Theatre Manager and your processor have the same credit cards and amounts in your batch(es). Check directly with your processor (Chase Paymentech, Authoriza.net, Elavon, Moneris, et.c) to see if they offer this service.

You do not need to perform a complete End Of Day (Deposits, Sales Entries, A/R Posting, and Reports). You only need to complete the Deposit portion of the End Of Day in order to settle the batch.


Option 2:

Turning off web sales means you do not need to come in at all. If this is a time of year when you do not have many online ticket sales, gift certificates, passes or donations, this may be an acceptable option for you. Unless you have a need for this approach, it is really not recommended.

Option 3:

If you can stop by the office once every few days (within the limits of the Batch Settlement Frequency), then you can run the Deposits in order to clear the open batch. You do not need to run the full End Of Day until you return from the break if you do not want to. This is a reasonable solution.

Option 4:

The more likely option is to remote in to your company network from your home office and perform the deposits. You can (along with your IT department's permission and direction) use a remote connection to access your company network and run the End Of Day from your home. If you are running web sales only (and have an online payment gateway), you may choose to delay the End Of Day until you return to the office, as long as it does not exceed the time specified by your processor. This is probably the best solution

If you choose to use remote access to log in from your home office and complete the deposits, check with your IT department to ensure that you abide by the security rules and protocols they have defined for your company network.

Option 5:

This is the default or do nothing alternative but you will have to verify with your credit card provider how long you can go without settling your batch. Most credit card providers are quite liberal and allow a relatively long time of a week or more which means you should not have any issues.

There is one service provider we know of (Global Payments - NDC) that starts dropping any authorizations that are older than 3 days as if they never happened. Since they don't tell you, this is a huge problem and you will need to pick one of the other options.. It is one of the reasons we recommend against using them as a service provider.

 

Remote Access Options

At Arts Management Systems, we use TeamViewer for its ease of use, and the fact that in most cases it does not require a firewall configuration. There are several other remote access programs available, including:

  • Remote Desktop Connection
  • Apple Remote Desktop
  • PC Anywhere
  • LogMeIn
  • VNC
  • Timbuktu
  • While Arts Management Systems does not directly support any of the above products, we have tested each one and know they work for remote access. Installation, licensing requirements, and operation of any remote access product is the client's responsibility.