Our multiple user account login option gives business owners the ability to let all their employees make bookings, while controlling what they can see and do in the Dashboard. It’s a popular feature, but many of our users have contracts with third-party agents or partners—they are not staff, but they make bookings on behalf of the business. One of our most common feature requests is for partner accounts that these agents can use, allowing them to implement a Checkfront booking page on their website and track their sales for commission purposes. With Checkfront 3.3, we’re pleased to introduce a partner accounts feature that you can start using immediately. Here’s a quick start guide on how the feature works and what you can expect.
What has changed
The partner accounts feature adds options to several different areas of the dashboard:
- Inventory items now have a ‘Commissions’ tab
- There is a ‘Partners’ option in the Manage drop-down menu, where you can create the new accounts and designate bonus commission options
- There is a ‘Commission’ report in the Reports menu, which shows you all agent-made sales, as well as which items have commissions on them. This is also the place where you can reconcile your commissions and confirm the sales once you have received payment.
Creating a new Partner Account
You can start creating partner accounts by going to ‘Partners’ in the Manage tab of your Checkfront dashboard. When you click on “New Partner Account”, you’ll be brought to a form which looks very similar to the New Staff Account form; you may input your new partner’s information here. Agents will log in by going to ‘yourbusiness.checkfront.com’ and putting in the username and password you have designated.
In order to apply commissions and use partner accounts, you must apply commissions to your inventory items. When you view the details of an inventory item, you’ll see a new Commission tab at the top of the page; in that tab you can set either a percentage or a flat amount per item. A commission set on an item applies to all partners who can sell that item.
When you explore the new partner accounts tab, you’ll see two tabs: ‘Commission’ and ‘Group Commission’. These can only be used if you’ve already set a commission on your items; they’re meant to apply bonuses on top of what the agents will receive when they sell an item.
If you want to specify a bonus commission for a specific partner, you can do so in the Commission tab on the Partner Accounts page. When you click on “Create bonus commission”, you can select the partner account and designate their commission. It’s important to note that these individual commissions exist in addition to the base commission set on an item. A bonus commission can be useful as a reward to one of your best sellers.
The last tab on the Partner Accounts page is for setting group bonus commissions. There are a number of situations where group bonus commissions apply. If you have a group of partners who make lots of bookings and want to give them an extra 5%, you can set a group rate instead of having to set up every partner account with its own bonus. If you set up a group bonus, then any individual bonus commissions will be overridden by the group rule. To create a group bonus, click “Create Bonus Group Commission” on the left-hand sidebar, and give the group a name and a commission amount. You can then add partner accounts to the group in the middle Commission tab, by clicking on “Create Bonus Commission”, selecting a partner account, and selecting the commission group from the dropdown menu. In the image below you can see an example of bonus commissions in action; the first account has an individual bonus of 10%, and the second is part of the ‘Test’ group and thus gets an additional bonus of 5%.
Viewing your commissions
In the Reports menu, you can go to the Commissions Report to see how your partner accounts are doing. The default report shows you invoice numbers for the bookings, which partner account made them, the commission they are owed, and the commission you’ve paid them.
You are responsible for paying your partners their commissions outside of Checkfront. The Checkfront app does not handle any payouts, and it’s up to you to organize the payment structure with the agents and your payment gateway or bank account. Once you have manually paid the agent, you can mark the booking as Paid in the Commissions Report by clicking the circle beside the invoice number and then clicking on the leftmost button on the top left of the report; you’ll get a popup asking to confirm the marked commission as paid—see image below.
What do your partners see?
When your partners go to yourbusiness.checkfront.com and use their login/password, they will see a limited version of the Checkfront dashboard, along with their commission report (image 1). They are able to manage how their website shows the Checkfront booking page—be it via our droplet code or through one of our website platform plugins—in the ‘Add-ons’ menu; they can also modify their profile. If they click on ‘Booking’, an agent can take bookings via the droplet right within their account; under the ‘Booking’ menu, partners can also view the payout list of all items which will generate a commission. A partner’s dashboard shows the sales they’ve made, but the invoices and commissions will be listed as ‘Not Paid’ until you, the owner, go into your dashboard. Agents cannot receive payments on your behalf, mark invoices as Paid, or pay out their own commission; they do not have access to your cash flow or process.