At TutorPanel we continually work on improving our tutoring software based on feedback we receive from customers. A recently added feature that may help your business track your tutor’s wages is a different wage tracking method called “Wage Tiers”. Originally, TutorPanel had a simple method for tracking tutor wages. You could either pay your tutors their wages based on the type of tutoring they were providing to the student or you could set a flat hourly rate regardless of tutoring type. While these methods are sufficient for many small tutoring businesses, some tutoring companies wanted the ability to pay tutors different wages for different types of tutoring based on the tutor’s experience, education level, etc.
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When starting a tutoring business it’s important to find an attractive niche to establish your company. Finding the right niche is important for your new business because it allows you to avoid competing head on with more established tutoring companies and will allow your tutoring business to earn higher profit margins in the early stages.  These higher profit margins are essential for funding the expansion of your tutoring business.

Tutoring is a competitive business where word-of-mouth and reputation play an important role in attracting students. For a brand new business to compete directly with established tutoring companies it would likely need to spend more on advertising to get the same number of students since established businesses can rely on word of mouth for attracting new students. As a result, if a new tutoring business charges the same rate as established tutoring companies it will likely generate less profit because advertising expenses are higher on a relative basis. This puts the new business at a disadvantage right from the start.
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In February & March we added the following new features and bug fixes to TutorPanel:

  • Added Korean Won and Guatemalan Quetzal to list of available currencies.
  • When reconciling group sessions from teacher accounts wage is now set to zero if status for all students is set to cancelled.
  • Fixed formatting bug in emails containing short codes that were sent to adult and child students.
  • Fixed formatting of “Details” section in Teacher payslip emails.
  • Updated invoices table to display last name before first name to allow sorting by last name

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We’ve made the following improvements and bug fixes to TutorPanel in January:

  • Fixed a bug in the financial snapshot that was displaying the incorrect previous month totals due to the change in year.
  • Added general events to the calendar.
  • Fixed a bug on the auto invoice form when editing an auto invoice schedule that was causing the “PDF” setting to not appear correctly if it had been enabled.
  • Changed the reconcile page time format from 24-hour to standard format to be consistent with the rest of the program.
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We’ve made the following updates to TutorPanel during November:

  • Ordered the Lesson Type menu alphabetically on the Add Lesson form
  • Made the date field wider on the batch reconcile forms.
  • Fixed an error message that was appearing when adding to a price list with wage tiers enabled, but no wage tiers created.
  • Calender Teacher List Report is now ordered by start time followed by teacher last name
  • Teachers can now be searched by subject in addition to first and last name
  • Added “Send Receipt” option to the edit payment form to allow receipts to be sent for previously recorded payments.
  • Added staff permission to hide tutoring costs on the calendar and reconcile form
  • Staff accounts now need permission for both Accounting & Finances and Reports in order to view the financial snapshot on the home page
  • The employees table now displays only active employees.  Staff and teacher tables can be used to view inactive employees.
  • Export to excel student file now displays parent first and last name in two columns
  • Changed the time format in several sections of the website to use the standard time format instead of 24-hour time
  • After deleting all events on a day, TutorPanel was redirecting to a missing page — this has been fixed.

The following features and bug fixes were made to TutorPanel this month.

  • Added “now” navigation button to the reconcile list in the mobile site.
  • Fixed a bug that was causing the “Now” button in the mobile site schedule view to occasionally display the previous week.
  • Fixed a bug that was preventing the schedule confirmation message field from being edited in some browser versions.
  • Added Indonesian Rupiah to the currency list.
  • Fixed a bug in the income statement that was including “pending” lessons in the revenue number.
  • Fixed a bug in the teacher’s table that was double-counting some students.
  • Changed the error message that appears when trying to upload a non-csv file for bulk student upload.
  • Added option to general settings that allows you to have text contrast on calendar events so that light-colored appointments use darker text while dark-colored appointments use white text.

The following changes were made to TutorPanel during September 2012:

  • Added the email feature to all admin accounts.
  • Fixed an error message that was appearing when a file could not be uploaded to the file area.
  • Updated the calendar to load only events for dates in the current period being viewed. This speeds up load times for tutoring companies with a large number of events.
  • General events now use a darker shade of gray to make reading easier.
  • Added a “Choose All” option to invoice forms for choosing all clients from a list.

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We made the following improvements and bug fixes to TutorPanel during August:

  • Added a new export to Quickbooks option that allows admins to generate IIF files of customers, invoice totals and payments
  • Calendar in admin accounts can be re-sized to fit the full width of the screen.
  • Added a new week report that displays a row for each tutor and columns for each day. Under Reports > Teacher Week View
  • Added the ability to adjust the time slot minutes on the calendar to 15 minutes or 30 minutes. This can be set under general settings.

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We made the following updates and bug fixes to TutorPanel during July. If you want to learn about updates as they happen you can follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tutorpanel.

  • Added an option to list all locations on the appointment request form, which can be enabled in General Settings under “Request Lessons”
  • Added an option to hide tutoring types from the Request Appointment form in student and parent accounts.
  • Fixed a bug that was affecting emails that contained special characters in the subject or from field.
  • Custom fields are now visible in teacher accounts when this option is enabled on the General Settings page.

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We’ve made the following updates and bug fixes to TutorPanel during the month of June.  To get real-time updates on improvements and bug fixes, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tutorpanel.  The improvements we make to TutorPanel are based on the suggestions of our users.  If you have a suggestion please let us know — if enough other tutoring companies request the same feature we will work on adding it.

  • Added a “children” column to the balances table to display the children in a family account.
  • Added a detailed “export to excel” option to the teacher hours table that displays teacher hours by session for every teacher.
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