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Features at your fingertips: How ACS Desktop can work for you

Kelli Brannen August 15, 2013

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Many times in the world of technology, there are resources available to us that we are not aware of. Sometimes we get frustrated trying to find a way to perform certain tasks, and we wonder if it is even possible. You may have run into these situations with the ACS software wondering, “How can I do that?” There are so many helpful features at your fingertips that you may not know about.

Let’s take a look at a few of these in ACS People Suite.

Get Creative with the Comments Tab

One very helpful resource is the Comments tab on individual records. Even though you may have seen this tab, you may not realize how much you can do with it. Not only can you add family and individual comments and create comment types, but you can also search on these comments and include them in some of your reports. You can enter as much information as you need into a comment; there is no character limit. This is important if you have items you need to enter that require a few lines worth of text. One example of this is spiritual gifts. Some individuals have more than one spiritual gift, and you may also want to list experiences that these individuals have had using these gifts. During my days in Support, I took several calls from clients who wanted to know if there was an effective way to enter this information into the database. They knew lists wouldn’t work, because you can only choose one item, and fields wouldn’t work, because the amount of characters is limited. Comments were an ideal solution to this dilemma. All they had to do was set up a comment type of spiritual gifts and add a new comment entering all relevant information for the individuals with spiritual gifts. Once you’ve entered comments, you can search for specific comment types, select to search for family comments, individual comments, or both, and you can search for comments that do or don’t contain certain information. You can also include comments on some reports, such as the Name and Special Fields Report, and you can select to include all comments or only specific types.

Stop Handwriting Notes on Checkpoint Badges

Another useful but overlooked feature is the Note field on Checkpoint badges. You can use this to alert your Sunday School teachers or Awana leaders of allergies that children have or some other significant information. You can edit your existing badges or create new ones in Checkpoint Setup to include this field. In the past, I’ve taken calls from clients who were manually writing this information out on their badges because they did not realize this option was available to them. You can add these notes in through assisted check-in or through an individual’s record ahead of time if you already have this information.

Keep Consent Forms and Important Documents Accessible

You may also find the Document Library tab on both individual and organization records helpful. Here, you can attach files relevant to an individual or organization; for example, an individual’s background check, a child’s consent form to participate in a youth trip, or an organization’s newsletter. This way, you can find and view this information quickly should you need to reference it. You can also create new Word® documents or Excel® spreadsheets from this tab to add to a record. When working with any ACS products, make sure to contact us if you find yourself wondering if a feature is available or if there is a way to perform a certain task. Remember, if you have a burning question, someone else probably has the same one. Kelli is a Technical Writer who began her career at ACS as a support representative. She has a degree in mass communications with a minor in Spanish from Francis Marion University. She and her husband Mike will always have a house divided when it comes to college football teams.

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