Chapter 2. Understanding Spike

Spike is much more sophisticated than most small business software. It is more than just a productivity aid to help with the current task. It works by collecting information about your service, your policies, your clients, etc. which it then interprets using a vast amount of embedded child care business knowhow to accomplish business tasks. Your task therefore is mainly to tell the system about things you know, preferably as soon as possible after you find out. The system then manages the consequences.

Consider for example that the management committee has just determined a new fee structure. You need simply to tell the system which fees have changed and when they come into force, your task is then complete. The new scale of fees will automatically be applied by the billing system commencing on the correct week, be that next week, next month or even sometime next year. If you didn't find out in time and have already billed some accounts under the previous Charge Type, it will even recognise this as a problem and prompt you to revise those accounts.

You will find therefore you have to supply a lot of information before you can generate your first bills, the good bit though is you only have to tell it something once, so it is very efficient.

The Spike computer program has sections:

2.1. Important Booking and Billing Concepts

This is the most complex and powerful section of the Spike software package. It is here that you will do most of your work so it is important to understand the thinking behind it.

At the core of its organisational structure, the Booking and Billing component of the Spike software is a database for compiling information about real things that we call objects. The primary objects that the system tracks are:

You tell the system what you know about these objects and it will call upon this information whenever it is needed. For example, if you change your service's name in the Centre Details, the new name will automatically appear on all bills, forms etc.

If you have new information about an individual child, then you would go to the Child section of the software to record it. If you need to change the information that is kept about a parent, then go to Adult. If you want to add a new group go to Groups.