In our previous blog post, we explained how an Account Owner can remove someone from their Account Team, or reduce their role to a Visitor. Both options can help if you want to reduce the cost of your Kerika subscriptions, since you don’t have to pay for Visitors.
Once the number of Team Members and Board Admins in your Account Team falls below the licensed (paid-for) amount, you can shrink your subscription count as well.
(You need to reduce the size of your active Account Team first, before you can reduce your subscription count since Kerika automatically checks to make sure you are paying for all of your current Team Members.)
To manage your subscriptions, click on your photo/initials on the top-right corner of the app:
A dialog will appear; select the Manage My Account option:
This will take you to your Account page inside the Kerika app:
A section within this page shows the size of your current plan, and whether there are any unused subscriptions. If you had followed the steps for reducing the size of your Account Team, you should have unused subscriptions shown, as in the example above.
Click on the Manage My Current Plan button, and you will see a dialog like this:
In the example shown above, this account has 2 unused subscriptions, and the Account Owner can reduce her Kerika plan down to 18 users. When the subscription plan size is changed, Kerika calculates whether you are owed a refund or need to pay more (if your plan increased in size).
This calculation is based upon the number of days left before your existing subscriptions expire. In this example, the user can get a refund of $74.10:
After confirming her request, the user’s Account Summary page now reflects the credit she has gotten by reducing her plan size:
Most people leave the credit in place because small changes in their Account Team are expected, both in terms of reducing Team Members and increasing them.
If you are sure that you will never use the credit, you can click on the Request Refund button (shown above) and a refund check, drawn in US dollars from a US bank, will be sent to the user’s billing address. (So make sure your billing address is up to date!)
We noticed a number of folks were tripping over the process of entering their Billing Info (from the Manage Users page), which was embarrassing…
We have made some minor tweaks that we think will fix any potential confusion:
If you miss a required field — and remember: every field is required except for additional Billing Contacts — the system does a better job of getting you to pause and fix the mistake.
The process of selecting a Country and State/Province has been made easier. If you select the USA or Canada as your country, the State/Province field becomes a drop-down list since we know which states and provinces to present as choices in each case. If your country is something else, this field becomes a free text field to let you type in anything you want.
If you purchase subscriptions, or do other actions like request a refund, Kerika prompts you to update your Billing Information:
This information is needed to complete a transaction:
Your name or organization (school, college, nonprofit, company, government agency…) are used to ensure invoices and receipts are addressed to the correct person (the purchaser).
Your phone number is needed to handle any problems we face processing your invoices or purchases.
Your address is used to create invoices and receipts, and to check whether we need to charge you Washington State sales tax.
At the bottom of this screen you can optionally include Billing Contacts: people who need to get copies of all your transactions, such as your organization’s Purchasing Department or outside accountants/bookkeepers.
We store this information securely: as you may have already noticed, all access to Kerika servers is done using SSL/HTTPS, and within the Kerika virtual network, our servers communicate with each other using SSL as well.
We never ask for your credit card information: we use Stripe to handle all online payments, and we never see your credit card at any time.
If you pay by bank check or electronic funds transfer, this information is handled by Bank of America: details of these transactions, such as your bank information, are stored only at Bank of America and not stored on the Kerika servers.
The rollout of our new billing system seems to have been smooth — so far, fingers crossed! — and with this you now get better controls over who is part of your Account Team:
Please note that you don’t get charged for Visitors: if someone is only a Visitor on your boards — i.e. is not a Team Member or Board Admin on any board you own — you don’t need to pay for this person.
It doesn’t matter how many boards this person “visits”.
Visitors do show up on your Manage My Team list in the Manage Users tab, so you are reminded that they have access to some, possibly all, of your boards, and you can remove a Visitor entirely from your Account in the same way that you might remove a Team Member or Board Admin.
With the new billing system that we will be rolling out next week, Kerika will also be adding a slew of account management features that will make it much easier to purchase subscriptions, manage teams and handle your payments.
The Manage Account screen has a new layout, with three tabs on the left: Account Summary, Manage Users, and Billing History.
This page has several sections, starting with your Account Name at the top. When you create an Account, you can give it any name that you like, and on this page you can change it if needed. Changes to the Account Name are shown instantly to everyone who is viewing boards owned by your Account.
Next is a section that lets you manage your Kerika subscriptions. You can see which plan you are currently on — Individual, Nonprofit or Professional — and switch to a different plan if needed.
People on a paid Professional Plan can manage the number of subscriptions they currently have (you need enough to cover your current Account Team, which consists of everyone who is currently a Board Admin or Team Member on the boards owned by your Account.)
Managing your Professional Plan is easy: you can increase the number of subscriptions you have, or decrease them.
All subscriptions have the same end-date: this makes annual reviews and renewals easy for Account Owners. You can also decide whether you want to turn on, or off automatic renewals of your subscriptions.
In the example shown above, the user is increasing the number of subscriptions from 20 to 25. The system reminds the user that he needs at least 20, for the size of his current Account Team.
With our new billing system, it’s easy to make purchases online, or request that an invoice be sent to you.
Online purchases are handled by Stripe, so Kerika never sees your credit card information.
If your Account currently has a credit balance, because you had reduced the number of subscriptions, this is reflected in your purchase: by default a credit balance is applied to future purchases, but you can also request a check be mailed to you if you don’t plan to use your credit balance.
If you are located in Washington State (in the USA) we may be required to charge you Washington State Sales Tax. You can specify whether this applies to you by updating your BillingInformation:
Your Billing Information contains just your address and phone number; we never ask for, or store, your credit card or bank information.
One useful new feature we have added is the concept of Billing Contacts:
Billing Contacts can be any set of people who need to get copies of all your Kerika transactions, e.g. your manager or Purchasing Department. Every purchase will generate a PDF for the transaction which will be automatically emailed to all the Billing Contacts for the Account.
Billing Contacts can include people from outside your organization, e.g. if you use a bookkeeping service from another company. Billing Contacts only get copies of your receipts and invoices; they don’t have access to your boards, and are not considered part of your Account Team.
The Manage Users page has been enhanced as well: you can see at a glance who is currently part of your Account Team, and now it is possible to invite someone to join the Account as a whole: previously people could be invited to join only a specific board.
For each member of your Account Team, Kerika will list the date when they joined your Account, the date of their last login, and the total number of boards where they are currently a Board Admin or Team Member.
This makes it easy to see at a glance how active someone is, if you are wondering whether to continue paying for their subscriptions.
(Note: in some cases the “Joined Team” information may not be available if it was months or years in the past; we didn’t start tracking this information until we started building the new billing system.)
Selecting a member of your Account Team offers additional actions:
Clicking on the View button gives you a more detailed view of particular member of your Account Team:
One new feature is you can see the IP address last used by the team member: this can be helpful in security reviews.
With the Manage User button, you can also remove someone from your Account Team altogether, demote their role to Visitor (across all boards owned by that account).
Going forward, all transactions — including online and offline payments — will be tracked automatically by the new billing system.
We will start keeping a history of your transactions going forward (we won’t have all the old transactions; sorry) and they can be accessed through the Billing History page:
If you have an overdue invoice — and we sincerely hope you don’t! — you can pay it online, or request it to be resent to the billing contacts for the Account:
The new billing system took a lot of work, over many months, but it was long overdue: our old billing process was largely manual, and somewhat error-prone.
Unlike some of our competitors, we understand that even though Kerika is software-as-a-service (SaaS), not everyone is set up to make online purchases. That’s why we have made it equally easy for people to receive invoices and make payments offline, e.g. by bank check or funds transfer, and have these transactions show up inside their Kerika account with the same flexibility as online purchases.
All of this should go live at the beginning of next week!
Don’t. The system is massively buggy and the company is completely unresponsive to complaints.
The web UI looks like it everything is nice and automated, but in reality you will end up doing a bunch of stuff by hand. Examples of bugs and/or dumb design that have already driven us crazy:
If you have a bunch of outstanding invoices that you want to cancel, the bulk select/action doesn’t work. No error or anything: it just doesn’t do anything, silently.|
They use lazy loading to show just a dozen or so invoices at a time, with the rest showing only after you scroll down (like Facebook, Twitter, etc.) If you try to do a search or filter, that works only on the invoices that are currently being displayed, not the full set: presumably resulting from a design decision to make the filter work within the client rather than the server.
Thanks to a flaky implementation of lazy loading itself, some invoices will appear as duplicates.
It’s pretty clear that Elon Musk has left the building.