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Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions

Although the majority of questions here relate to Salon & Spa the answers will also be of interest to users of the other software.

I recently installed Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 and no longer can use the automatic update feature from the Help Menu.

Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 security changes prevent programs from updating themselves. To avoid this problem you need to run the Xcite Software as an administrator and in compatibility mode for Windows 8.  Using Windows File Explorer go to c:\sprow and right click on strac10.exe (you may be using strac8.exe or strac9.exe) go to the compatibility tab and for all users check the boxes for run as administrator and in compatibility mode for Windows 8.  Click Apply and OK.  Restart the program and try the update from the Help Menu.

I get an error 6 when running the year end module.

This occurs in version 8 and 9 of Salon & Spa up to and including version 9.1.22 and occurs if you have more than 32000 client history files.  The solution is to clean up your client files by deleting and removing records no longer needed or use the service history edit tool found in the tools menu of the client manager to remove old history files.  This error has been removed in Salon & Spa 9 version 9.1.23.

My schedule screen locks up when opening it or an error 63 is noted and the program shuts down.

This occurs in version 9 of Salon & Spa up to and including version 9.1.20 and happens if you set your days open in preferences to all 7 days of the week. Update your system to version 9.1.21 to eliminate the error.  This error is not found in any version 8 or earlier of Salon & Spa.

How do we normally interact with the functions of the sales register?

Enter your staff code, select the client and then enter the first sale item.  At this point the sale has started and to stop it requires a void, so the tip button, void button and the tender box are active.  Before this point you can stop the sale by pressing the ESC key twice.

Normally then after entering all of the sale items you can press ENTER with a blank item entry box, click on the item entry button (red check mark) or click on the tender box to move to the tender box to start the tender.  Again the void button and tip entry are available.  Clicking on the tip button and entering a tip will automatically move to the tender box.  Once the tip has been added the tip button will no longer be available.  You can always void up to the point of pressing complete.

Note that you can have the tip tool open automatically when you move to the tender box if you wish.  In your system menu click on enable automatic tip tools. If there is to be no tip you can click cancel or press ESC. 

Only when all information for the tender has been entered and the complete button is highlighted will the print invoice button be activated.  We donít know if you use it but you can also have the receipt printed and/or cash drawer opened automatically using a setting in your preferences.

You can tell which boxes are currently active (item entry, tender, quantity) as they will have a yellow background.

When the tender box is active the tender icons on the right can be used as a quick way of entering the tender type. You can also enter the type code and press ENTER or pick from the list.  Pressing ESC in the tender box will normally return to the item entry box to add more items to the sale.

Can we print mailing labels for clients? 

Look in Client Manager>>Tools>>Client Mailing Labels

I' m trying to print product labels, but the font size stays at 12 no matter what number I enter. I would like them to be size 8 font

After changing the font point size or the x y coordinates you must click on the blue link "Save Settings" in the lower right corner. After pressing this link the font will change. The settings will stay as set until you change them again.

The Tax code is set up in Preferences properly, but when I add retail inventory the tax code shows a 5 and it should be a 1.

Preferences only sets up the tax names and rates in %. The rate each inventory item uses and the manner in which is to be applied is set in inventory. 

Do we have to have a printer connected in order to use the program?

Yes you need a printer to print reports and it is required for the close register routine.

How do you do multiple prices for a certain service inventory item? Most of the service inventory items have only one price and I can use the Pricing Table, but others, such as, perms have multiple prices depending on the length of hair.

You would need to set up multiple perms, similar to how some set up different hair cuts, for example:

.H1 Men's hair cut
.H2 Woman's hair cut
.H3 Childs hair cut

Note that the coding sequences that you set up after sorting will determine which items are loaded to the 12 function keys so it takes a bit of thought to come up with an arrangement. 

When you delete an employee, and want to use that number for a new employee you can't re-assign that number to anyone.

Employees don't have numbers, there is an employee number field which can be anything you want and would be used for the employee payroll number or whatever. Employees have codes which are usually their initials, you can use numbers if you wish but they would be reusable in any event. Clients, on the other hand, use numbers and are not reusable after the client is deleted as the number is the index field for all related data there is sufficient room for 99,999 clients.

How do I edit client histories?

To edit a client history go to the Client Manager, select Tools==>Edit Client Histories. When there enter the client number and click on start. It will stop when it finds a history for that client. Change what you want and click Save/Modify. Click on next/back to move to the next or back to the last record. You can change the edit mode to all clients but they are harder to follow that way.

How do I put a retail product on sale?

You set individual items on sale using inventory.

For a store wide promotion where all retail product is to be on sale, say 10% off then set it in Preferences>>General Tab>>Storewide Sale at ??% off. The sale stays on until you zero out the percent in Preferences.

If you wish to discount an item to a single individual then after you input the item code and when the cursor is in the Quantity box click on the discount link (lower left corner in the menu list) a window will open to allow you to deduct a % from the item or a $ amount. Click on accept and carry on as normal. 

What are service pricing tables?

If you have the feature "Use pricing tables for services" turned on in preferences then all services must be pre-priced.

With pre set prices when the item has been entered in sales and before you either accept the 1 in quantity or change the number purchased you can click on the discount link on the left side and enter either a % or $ discount for the item.

Can I discount a service when using the split service feature?

There is a discount button in the split service, before entering the service into the grid, click on the discount button and enter the discount (% or $) the amount of the service sale will change, then press enter to push it to the grid.

I am having trouble finding clients using the client search features.

The search is case sensitive for first and last names. So if the first letter of a name is a capital it must be that way in the search also. When the search dialog opens it is on the first name field, type in a name or part of it and press the enter key and it will search for that first name. If you want to enter a last name or part of it also then press tab to move and type in the last name and press the enter key.  If the first one that comes up is not the one you want then press F1 or click on search again. If you get through all the possible choices the system will stop and suggest a new search or for you to pick from the list. The list is generated during the search from all possible choices which matched your search criteria.

Use the same procedure when using a client number or phone number.

How do I complete a sale?

Although you can use a mouse on the sales screen it is designed to also work with keyboard only as that is the way most salons prefer. The active box at any given time is yellow where others are white. When the program is idle between sales the staff box is active at the top left of the screen. The staff must enter their code so the system knows who to record the sale to, for record purposes.  Enter always moves forward and ESC moves back. The system will open a window and ask you to search for the client. Let's skip the client look up for now and assume this is a walk in, press ESC and the window will disappear, the client designation will be Walk In and the system moves to the box marked "Item".

Here you enter the service or retail codes for the products and services you have set up in inventory. As a short cut the system is designed to map the first 12 inventory items which are usually services as they are forced that way when you sort your inventory. You can press one of the function keys to select that inventory item. Press F1 and the info on the item is shown and the system moves to the Amount box for you to enter the amount. Enter an amount say 20.00 (the keypad works best for this) then press Enter. The line item will move down and it will position itself for the next item. Note that the subtotal and taxes have been updated. To sell a retail item, scan or type in the code and press enter. The system moves to the Quantity box and defaults to one, you can change that to more or press Enter. Again the sale moves to the grid and positions for the next item. You can keep entering items or if all are entered press the Enter key with a blank item box and you move to the tender stage. The information bar at the bottom of the screen shows the tender codes, 1 = cash etc. You can also click on the tender icons with the mouse. Try 1 press Enter then enter the amount and press Enter. At this point you can print the invoice or void the sale by clicking on those buttons if you wish or press Enter to finish the sale. The sale information is saved, the client history and inventory is updated.

How do I see what my mapped function keys are?

In the tools menu you can select Quick Key Assignments which will show you what the keys are mapped to. 

How do I price services?

You can price services in two ways, by entering the amount at the time of sale or preset all prices in inventory.  To change the setting in preferences go to the policies tab and check "Use Pricing Tables for Services". 

Is the evaluation version disabled in any way?

No all evaluation programs are the full version, all you need are the registration codes. If you have constructed client, staff and inventory tables they can be preserved during registration.

What types of printers can I use?

If the printer can be recognized as a windows printer and it can be selected from the printers in preferences then it will work. There are three settings for receipts, 2 inch, 3 inch and standard 81/2 inch. You would choose the size which would best be displayed on the paper from your receipt printer. Most are 2 or 3 inch wide paper.

Do I require a specific cash drawer interface or brand of cash drawer?

No most any brand will work. We recommend serial connection drawers.

Is the user prevented from deleting a sale?

Once completed and recorded a sale transaction can not be deleted.  Void is provided to delete a transaction before it is completed. All sales are time and date stamped and contain the name of the stylist or clerk who entered it. To return funds to the client you must reverse the sale by entering a new sale with negative amounts of products and services.

Are the reports and tax functions acceptable for the USA?

Yes tax functions are fully customizable. The program is currently in use in many major cities in the USA.

How do I set my Quick Keys (Function Keys)?

The assignment is by selecting the first 12 items in inventory after the sort. Setting the order is done by giving thought to the order of your service items in inventory and setting the most important to the top of the sort. Note that it is an alpha-numeric sort. The "." forces the service items to the top (above retail inventory), then the sort order is numbers 1 to 9 then letters A to Z. So .1 would be before .A which would be before .AB. If you play around with your codes you can get the 12 keys the way you would like them

Is there a unique ID for each employee?

Yes, usually their initials.

Will the system track sales for services and products?

Yes, product sales plus 20 service categories defined by the salon, other service categories beyond the 20 are included in "other sales". There is no limit to the number of service categories or individual products. Each of these categories are reported by staff member individually or summarized for the salon. As well all sales reports are date range selectable. The system also tracks payments by the following methods, cash, cheques, MasterCard, Visa, Debit, Discover, gift certificates, donations, charges, insurance, cash cards, points or other. Expenses (Petty Cash withdrawals from the cash drawer) are also tracked.

Will the system track product inventory changes?

Yes, tracks amounts purchased, sold, loss, consumed and current

Can we have staff monitored with a time clock?

Yes, time in, time out and hours and minutes worked are recorded with each log in/out. If implemented (optional feature - see preferences) it is mandatory that the employee log in before employee code is recognized. 

Is there a full client database?

Yes, full address/phone database plus client profile, client formula, service history, purchase history, tan history and tracking. Histories are automatically recorded during the sale transaction process and as well can be manually entered.

Is there employee tracking of service and product sales?

Yes product sales and 21 services are tracked. Commission calculations are available for all 22 categories. Reporting can be selected for any desired time period.

Can I track what products my employees sell?

Yes, retail product tracking by employee is by number of products sold and also indicates which products, so you can track employee sales to the individual product or line of products, it also reports by sales $ generated.

Can I track what products my clients buy?

Client reports indicate which products clients purchase and the total spent by the client for all products and services (automatic history recording must be set on in preferences for implementation of this feature). These reports are selectable for any time period desired.

Is there more than one password access level?

Yes and passwords are encrypted. 

Are there tutorials available?

Yes, video tutorials are available on the web or you may download and install them on your system for faster access.

Is there on line help?

Yes, the user reference is in HTML and is fully indexed and can be accessed from the help menu.  The help requires that an internet explorer is installed on your system.

Can the software be customized for a specialized salon/spa?

Yes very easily, the variations between salon types are in their services and retail inventory. The inventory is normally set up to mirror your normal business model. The system is operating in hair salons, esthetic centers, cosmetic laser centers, tanning salons and nail salons.

Can I print duplicate receipts for a client?

Yes, look in the tools menu for the Print Duplicate Receipts tool.   If you know the date and client number you can go directly to the transaction and print the receipt.  To locate the customer number of the date use the client's history file to find the date and sales history entry.  From this you have the date and client number.  Using the tools menu select Print Duplicate Receipts.  Move to the date taken from the history and then look for the correct client number.  You can then print the receipt.

Are there different discount tools and when do I use them?

The discount/up-charge button on the tool bar is designed for single items. prior to accepting the item for the sale clicking on the discount button will allow a dollar or percent discount or up-charge to be applied to that single item.  This discount feature is available in the split sale window as well.

If you turn discount coupons on in preferences at the time of tender you can apply a dollar or percentage discount to the entire sale.  Note that taxes that apply will be adjusted.

A store wide sale can be set up in preferences that will discount all services and retail product by the set percentage.

Sale prices can be set up for individual retail items in the inventory manager.

How do I set up my beginning inventory value?

The beginning inventory balance is calculated by the year end procedure and entered into your preferences file. When initially setting up your inventory for the first year of operation using Salon & Spa this number is entered into the preferences file manually from your records.

How do I set up my beginning fiscal year?

Your current fiscal year is set in Preferences.  Open Preferences and set the year to the year you wish to label your first fiscal year.  The setting is in the format yyyy for example 2004.  Once set the year end procedure will archive your files to that label for past year reporting and increment the year number

How are consigned products different from retail products?

Consigned products are similar to retail in that they have a cost, mark-up and sales price but although you may have 10 on the shelves, as current inventory, the system will not purchase them until they are sold, whereas retail products are purchased then sold. A subtle difference, but makes a difference when getting reports that value your inventory and where you would not want to include consigned product.

We have just completed inventory for our retail products, and some of our numbers do not match. Is there a way now to adjust the computer's inventory to match the actual physical count?

Yes. Open the inventory manager and go to the retail tab. Locate the item you need to adjust and double click on it. When the item adjustment window opens click on the Quantity button. Enter the number by which you want to adjust the current amount (a positive number increases the current amount and a negative number reduces the current amount). If current is 8 and you want it to be 10 enter 2. Click the apply button then close the item window and pick the next item from the list and so on. Note that the change is saved automatically and the table is updated each time.

When I print the appointment page it does not show the services scheduled for the clients. Is there any way to do that?

If printing the appointment page is not sufficient detail for what you want, Try using the staff schedule sheet which can be printed at the start of the day for each stylist. Open the report, select the stylist, click the today button and print, then select the next stylist and press print and so on. The report will change each time you select a different stylist or date selection. There is no need to close the report in between selections.

When we give a $25 gift certificate to a client, and client uses it for services, does the staff receive full commission for service or is there commission reduced by the discount taken off the service? Also on retail products, does the same thing apply?

The commissions are based upon the value of the product or service sold. You can check this value by looking at the receipt for the sale. The sales value is the one for each line item in the small table.

If the service and/or product is entered into the sale at full price then the free $25.00 gift certificate is used as part of the tender for the sale and the client pays the remainder (or even if the gift certificate is the full value of the tender) there is no effect or reduction on the commission.

This is not the case, however, if the service or product is discounted individually using the discount/up-charge button at the item level. That change will have an effect on the item value (again see the sale receipt) and will effect the commission.

Is there a way to do the end of day close for all of the staff that did services that day - or do I have to do it individually by stylist?

You can get more detail on the ending day close by opening preferences and check the box in the security tab check the box that says use individual cash outs for each of the staff. A button will then be on the register close screen after it opens and calculates the days close. The three sub reports will give individual statistics for the staff in sales, tenders and tips. Run these reports prior to closing the day and running the summary report as it can only be done once. There are some similar reports in the Sales View and SpotCheck reports but they are not exactly the same.

We have different services entered into our service inventory. After the 20th one, the end of day close lumps everything into the other category. Why?

The system will track individual sales statistics for 20 individual service codes, plus retail products. All other service codes are shown under the other category. This is because there had to be a limit on the amount of data that the system tracks individually. There are other reports which will give you information on sales performance of all services (see the service performance report in the SpotCheck reports). Note that the 20 services tracked daily in the close are the first 20 in the sorted service inventory list. We suggest that when you are setting up your service codes that the 20 most important services that you have are coded such that when sorted they come to the start of the list. Sort order is standard numbers, capitals then small letters in numeric and alphabetic order. Also note that the Quickkeys are set up similarly. The 12 function keys on your keyboard map to the first 12 services in your inventory. Staff only need to push the function key to enter that item into the sales screen.

Are there reserved inventory codes that we should not use.

Code .98 is reserved for the system and is used for an expense (ie when someone takes funds from the cash drawer and purchases something - petty cash). There are other reserved codes prefixes as well that start with .GIFT, .UND, .TIP, .ROA, etc.

Can we update the client referral information after the new client has been entered into the system.  I know that this information can be entered when the client is first added but it was missed.

Open the Client Manager, double click on the new clients name in the list. That clients name will then be selected and will be shown on the panel at the top of the window. Go to the Other Tab there is a Referred by button in the lower right corner. Enter the referral client number or look up the client if you don't remember the number (lookup button). You can also edit all other client information at this point as well.

Is there a report that I can run to let us know who purchased gift certificates and who they purchased them for?

No. There are a number of reports which you can find in the gift certificate manager, most salons have been interested in the Gift Certificate Name (owner), date purchased and outstanding amount. The system does record and save the purchasers name (if you enter it at time of sale) and client number (if they have a client file and you entered the number at the time of sale). The purchaser's client history would record the date certificate number and price of the certificate.

Is a way to cash out 2 clients, both with services with different staff, but on one sale. ie one client is paying for another as well as her own bill. Is there a way to do this without having to do 2 transactions?

Enter both the sales under the client who is paying, adjust the staff code of the second service by the other staff, and complete as normal. Then copy the history of that sale to the second client's history by using the "Save last history to a second client" from the tools menu and select the client's name from the pop up list.

Is there a way to change the price of a treatment at point of sale when using a ticket to transfer the service information from the appointment screen to the sales screen?

Because the ticket has already looked up prices from the inventory tables and pre-entered the sale the individual item discount option has been passed. We would suggest that if the amount that you would have discount is known, say $10.00 then finish the sale and just before entering the tender type use the coupon discount option. You can enter it as a $ amount and it will show on the invoice as a discount. You could use a percent at this point but remember that the percent will apply to the entire sale amount and not just to the single treatment. If the treatment was the only item in the transaction it would be fine to use the percentage. Note that the discount coupon tool will correct the taxes for the discount.

Is there a way to void a single entry on the sales screen, once it is there. If I click on the wrong treatment or product by mistake or the client changes her mind, once it is on the screen the whole sale has to be voided and restarted. Is there a way to highlight, right click and delete? or something similar?

If an incorrect entry is made and moved to the screen to reverse it run it again with a negative quantity, this will cancel out the previous one then you can run in the correct one. This method will keep the inventory in order and is a similar action that you will see at grocery stores, etc when they run in the wrong product number. The sale can carry on as normal. Give it a try, you select the product/service, it defaults to 1 and you just press ENTER to accept it, for reversing select the product/service, press -1ENTER in that order and it is reversed.

Is there a way to void a sale once transaction has been completed?

No, to keep an audit trail there is no way to void a transaction after it has been completed. To remove it do the transaction again exactly the same but use negative quantities and the same tender type. The transaction will be reversed and all reports will be correct.

This is the same action you would take if someone were returning a retail product. The return negative transaction returns the product to inventory and returns the tender. To keep the cash drawer in balance if the tender was originally a debit card and you returned cash show them that way.

A client came for her appt and when she was cashing out booked and pre-paid for her husbands appointment later on in the week. Is there a way to make a note on his file, or tag it, so that when he comes in we don't forget and recharge him?

If the system is set in preferences to automatically create service histories at the time of sale then after entering the clients name into the sales screen the last three of these histories will pop up in a window. This window could hold the note if you enter a manual client history item in his file when the service was prepaid. To do that select Add Service History from the client tools screen. Select the client (her husband, and he must have his own file) and enter the note into the window that opens, save it. when he comes in and you select him for a sale the message will pop up.

A client lost her gift certificate and does not know the number, is there a way to find it in the system?

If you are using detailed gift certificate management then there are a number of ways to locate the certificate. If you know the buyers name the certificate number is recorded in that persons service history for the date that they bought it. Knowing the number you can use the lookup gift certificate feature from the tools menu, that will give you the owners name, date of purchase original value, it's use history and current value. If it is still unused or partially unused you can re-issue it.

If the purchaser is unknown or does not have a client file then there is no buyer history. In that case you will need to go to the Administration tools section of the tools menu and open the gift certificate manager. In the upper left corner will be a list of all of your gift certificates with the owners name listed along with the date purchased and certificate number. Locate the person's name and click on it, the certificate and it's history will be displayed.

Alternatively if they know the date it was purchased open the gift certificate manager and run the report that lists all gift certificates purchased on a day or period that you can select. The list should contain the certificate you are looking for. Again it will list the number, owner's name, date purchased, original value, remaining value and status.

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