In addition to the primary administrator account, each Checkfront customer has the ability to configure additional accounts for use by their staff members. Various permissions can be set to control how much access the staff member has to the inventory and reporting etc, but ultimately they will be working within the company’s Checkfront backend.
Sometimes, companies need to offer third-party agents or partners, the functionality to make bookings on behalf of the business. Commissions are paid for these bookings and the partner must have access to their own reporting console, without having access to the main business backend. This is where partner accounts come into play, and all Checkfront subscription levels have access to this feature.
You can view the number of permitted partner accounts based on your plan by visiting our Plans Page. When a partner account is created, that partner has access to their own private dashboard. This provides them with the tools they need to embed a booking portal on their website and track commissions earned on their referrals. They do not have access to your inventory or company reporting and are unable to make any changes to your account. So let’s dive in and have a closer look at how to create a partner account and how it can be used to benefit your business.
Creating a New Partner AccountBack to top
Fill out the required fields, including a unique partner ID, name and address, temporary password and a nickname which will be displayed in your reports.
If you use Twilio SMS notifications, you can add a mobile number for the partner.
Password CreationBack to top
When it comes to choosing a password for the partner, choose one that contains a mixture of letters, numbers, and symbols. The stronger the password, the higher it will score in the coloured strength bar. A password must have a strength of 50 or more, or it will not be accepted.
Once you have finished entering the partner details, click Save to finalize the account. New partner accounts can be added in the same way at any time.
Commission GroupBack to top
If the partner should belong to a commission group, you can select that from the drop-down menu here.
If your list of groups is long, use the search field to find the relevant group by typing out its name. As soon as you begin typing, irrelevant options will be filtered out. Once you see the group you're looking for, select it and continue.
If the commission group doesn't yet exist in the system, you can create it by clicking on the Create a new commission group link.
From here, simply enter the name for the group and click on the check button to complete. If you change your mind, click on the 'x' button to cancel. The new commission group will then become available for future use also.
Snapshot EmailBack to top
You can also choose whether or not they should receive a weekly snapshot email containing a summary of statistics and activity. You can choose a day of the week from the drop-down menu for which to send out the report. Choose never if you don’t wish to send one at all.
PermissionsBack to top
It's possible to assign certain permissions to your partners, allowing them to perform certain tasks or not. After saving the partner credentials in the previous step, a new button will appear at the top of the screen labelled Permissions.
You can enable the ability to process payments by POS and/or credit card, via the payment gateway. You can also choose to enable Account Receivable Payments for the partner. This enables them to charge the customer for the booking, using their own payment method and then owe that to your business on an accounts receivable basis. This feature in Checkfront also includes a field to collect a third-party voucher code.
For example, you may have a reseller who is offering your products to their customers. When a sale is made, they issue the customer a voucher code (created outside of Checkfront), which needs to be tracked when the final booking is made at Checkfront. If an invoice total is $89.60, your Commission Report will show as -$89.60 (owing) to you.
The voucher code used will be displayed on the booking invoice:
You also have the option to restrict certain categories from booking on a per partner basis. You can uncheck an entire category so that the partner does not have access to it or any of the items inside (1). Or, you can leave the category checked, but uncheck specific items only within the category (2). From that point on, the partner will not have access to anything you have unchecked here. In this case, the partner is able to accept all booking payments, but cannot make reservations in the Gift Certificates category and cannot book Horseback Adventures in the Tours category.
Commissions & GroupsBack to top
You can access the Commissions & Groups table via your main Checkfront navigation menu at Manage > Commissions.
Creating a CommissionBack to top
After creating your partner accounts, it’s time to start creating your commissions. Each item in your inventory can have its own commission rate. This can be found in the Pricing section. In order to apply commissions in conjunction with your partner accounts, you must configure the commission amounts in each of your inventory items. After arriving in the Pricing section, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the Additional Options link. This will reveal the commission options for the item.
Activate the commission for the item by clicking on the off switch.
Enter your commission rate and choose either percentage or a flat fee rate from the drop-down menu. Then, click Save at the bottom of the screen.
Create via Commission TableBack to top
The base commission of an item can also be set and updated via the Commission Table at Manage > Commissions.
As you can see in the image above, each item in your inventory is listed in its own column with the base commission at the top. If you have already set the base commission in the item's pricing tab, it will be shown here. You can edit the base commission by inputting the required value in the field provided. You can select whether this is a percentage or flat fee from the drop-down provided.
Bonus CommissionsBack to top
As a business owner, your relationships with third-party vendors probably vary on different levels from one to the next. As such, there may be times when you wish to offer greater commissions to select partners. Checkfront has a bonus commission feature which can be accessed through the commission table at Manage > Commissions.
Enter the bonus commission into the fields provided for each partner, as highlighted in the table above. After clicking on the field you wish to edit, a drop-down menu will appear, enabling you to select either a percentage or flat fee for the commission type.
Bonus commissions are earned in addition to the base commission set for each of your items. For example, if you offer a 10% bonus commission on an item with a base commission of 15%, the total payable amount would be 25% of the partner’s booking. The bonus commission will be applied to all items in your inventory. Once you have set a bonus commission, it will be added to the base commission and updated in the commission table. This can be seen in the image below, highlighted by the red box.
The commission on the left is the base commission, with the bonus listed on the right. The combined total will then be displayed just above this. If you like, you may combine two different commission types i.e. one can be a percentage, the other a flat fee. In this case, the label will say 'mixed'. You can see an example of this in the above image.
Group CommissionsBack to top
If you have more than one preferred vendor taking bookings on your behalf, you can also create Group Commissions. This allows you to adjust the bonus commission rate for a larger group, rather than having to make changes on a per account basis.
To create a new commission group, click on the Create New Group button in the top right corner.
In the pop-up window, provide a name for the new commission group. Then, using the drop-down menu below, select the partners you wish to include in the group by checking the box next to the relevant names. Once you've done that, click the blue Create Group button. The group will now appear in the left-most column, as highlighted below.
Expand the group by clicking on the black arrow to the left of the group name. You’ll notice that the rate field for the individual partners can no longer be edited. This is now controlled by the group. Any subsequent changes made to the group rate will automatically update all partners that have been assigned to that group. A partner can be removed from a group, or moved to a different group, at any time, by clicking on the pencil icon next to their name.
From the pop-up window, a new group can be selected from the drop-down menu, or, the partner can be removed from the current group by clicking on the red Remove From Group button.
|If you have restricted the partner from receiving commissions on certain items, via the account permissions feature, the commission rates will be displayed as Restricted in the commission table.|
Embedded/Hosted Booking PageBack to top
So now that the commission rates have been configured, let’s have a look at how a partner can make a booking. If the partner has their own website, they can embed the booking portal directly into their page, just like you have probably done on your own website. From within the partner’s account, go to the Add-ons menu link.
By default, the droplet embed code generator is displayed and can be applied to all website platforms. If the partner is using a specific platform, such as Wordpress, they can choose this from the left sidebar in order to produce the appropriate shortcode. After customizing the booking portal’s features and appearance, click the Generate Code button at the bottom.
This code should be copied and pasted into the relevant web page where your partner wants the booking portal to appear. For assistance on embedding the booking portal, see our support documentation for your preferred platform. The system assigns each vendor a unique partner ID when their account is first created. You will see this as part of the embed code once it has been generated by the system. The partner ID ensures commissions are applied to the appropriate vendor.
Making a BookingBack to top
As an alternative to the embedded booking portal, a partner can also use the Hosted Booking Page to make a reservation. To do this, append your hosted booking URL with /?partner_id= and then the partner number as shown below.
No matter which method is used, a partner can go ahead and make a booking as normal, confident that they will be rewarded for the sale in the system backend. Once the booking is complete, you will be able to see a commission breakdown underneath the invoice, when viewing it through the Checkfront backend.
Report/Receipt/Audit LogBack to top
From their dashboard, your partner will be able to view all the bookings made with their unique ID, including an up-to-date status on payouts.
They can also select a booking from the list to view the invoice in greater detail. Visiting the Booking > Payout List screen will allow the partner to view a list of commission eligible items and the payouts they can expect to receive.
On the business end, a commission report can be viewed by navigating to Reports > Commission from the main menu. The view is similar to that of the partner’s, only as a business owner you have the ability to mark a commission as paid.
To do this, check off the bookings for which you wish to mark the commission as paid and then click on the batch update button as marked by the number 2 in the image below.
From the pop-up window, make sure Paid is selected and then click Update to confirm the payments. These invoices will now be marked as PAID.
|Please note, commission payments must be handled outside of Checkfront, as there is not currently a feature for paying these directly through the system.|
Once a payment has been made, it’s just a case of manually updating the status through the commission report.
Audit LogBack to top
Finally, partner activity can be monitored through an audit log accessible at Reports > Activity Log.
This is also accessible through the partner’s profile page.
Manually Attributing a Partner BookingBack to top
Bookings by a partner are usually made by the partner themselves. However, there may be times when you or a staff member in your organisation need to manually attribute a booking to one of these partners. To do this, pull up the invoice for the booking in question and look over to the left sidebar. You'll see a button labelled Add Partner Attribution.
Clicking on this button will launch a pop-up window with a drop-down field labelled Select a Partner. Simply choose the relevant partner from the list and click Submit.
And that's it! The selected partner now has the booking attributed to them.
Of course, you may wish to change the partner attribution, in which case, you'll see a button in the left sidebar labelled Change Partner Attribution.
Click on that button and follow the same steps as above to change the partner that the booking is attributed to.