We’re guessing that online registrations and online payment processing have been huge benefits to your dance studio! As you approach the holiday season, there are a few issues that can come up. As long as you’re prepared for them, though, you can help ensure that you and your dance studio staff have a happy and financially healthy holiday season! As you look toward December, we have a few suggestions for you to consider, to help make sure your dance studio’s financial situation remains secure.
Should You Reconsider Your Settlement Time?
Did you know that you can change your settlement time, when same-day processing is cut off for your dance studio? Early settlement times allow you to receive payments earlier, but later settlement times allow you to ensure that your processing statement will align more fully with your bank statement. For instance, let’s say your settlement time is currently 6:00 p.m.; that means that every electronic payment that comes in at 6:01 p.m. or later will be processed the next business day. If you would benefit from an earlier or later settlement time, though, you can always change it.
We typically recommend a settlement time of 11:30 p.m., which allows the reporting timeframe to end at midnight. That scenario allows processing statements to reconcile with bank accounts, simplifying your financials.
Are You Anticipating Holiday Delays?
Perhaps you anticipate delays in traffic patterns and shipping estimates, but have you planned ahead for delays in settlement? Bank closures for holidays mean fewer “business days,” in turn delaying the processing of electronic payments. The main issue that can come up as a result, depending on the amount of “cushion” in your dance studio’s account, is when payroll is run.
To make sure you keep enough money in your account, you can encourage clients to make accounts current before the holiday break; since most payments are due at the beginning of a month and most December holidays fall at the end of the month, it might be helpful for you to send out a reminder to parents who may be in all-out vacation mode the last week of the month.
Do You Know How To Spot a Scam?
As much as donations and other forms of goodwill hit their peak during the month of December, so do scams. The good news is that scammers can be pretty easy to spot, if you know what to look for. With a secure dance management software platform, you don’t have to worry about your accounts or your students’ information being compromised; however, that doesn’t mean you aren’t vulnerable to some other forms of fraud.
If you have a new customer who wants to pay ahead for dance classes – and especially who wants to give you “a little extra money for your trouble” – consider the possibility that the credit card they’re using is a stolen one. If someone tries to give you a hard-luck story and ends up requesting that you accept a credit card payment in return for a cash refund, that’s another red flag; always offer refunds to the same card used.