petBASE 8B questions & answers
petBASE 8B overview

Here are some typical questions and answers about petBASE 8B:-

Q  I am coping well with a paper-based system for managing my bookings, so what advantages would petBASE 8B give me?

A  We certainly can't claim that petBASE 8B is essential, after all, kennels and catteries have been run successfully since well before PCs became available! However, petBASE 8B can be an invaluable tool, even for small establishments. Here are some of its advantages:-

It saves time. Information is instantly available. For example the Boarding Calendar shows the number of bookings or vacancies for each day of any month. 

It prevents you from over-booking or double-booking.

Total fees are automatically calculated.

Changes and cancellations are automatically dealt with - no crossing-out and erasing!

Full details of your customers and pets are always readily at hand.

The optional Invoices module automatically creates invoices covering sales-tax (eg VAT) registered businesses or otherwise. 

The optional Accounting module enables you to keep full control of your finances by linking directly with the Invoices and Suppliers modules.

The optional Suppliers module enables you to keep records of the companies, organisations and individuals to whom you make payments in the course of running your business. It links to the Accounting module to quickly create debit transactions for your payments.

The various analysis functions provide you with information in seconds that would be impractical to produce manually, so you can always be fully aware of how well your business is performing. 

The printed booking forms and invoices present a professional image to your customers. 

Q  Is petBASE 8B easy to use?

A  petBASE 8B has been designed from the start for ease of use. It uses a simple, no-frills format, with straight-forward menus and push-button controls. There are prompts at all stages, automatic error-checking wherever possible and a full on-screen help system (which includes advice on getting started). The wide range of options enables you to configure the program to correspond to the way that you run your business. Providing that you are familiar with the basic functions of a Windows-based computer, you should have no problems in quickly learning how to use petBASE 8B.

Q  I run a cattery. Is petBASE 8B suitable for this?

A  Yes, petBASE 8B is designed for use by kennels, catteries, or kennels & catteries. Simply go to General Settings and set Pet Groups to 'Cats'; the program will now be tailored to suit.

Q  Does petBASE 8B cater for small animals, in addition to dogs and cats? 

A  Yes. In General Settings, you can specify up to 3 Pet Groups: Dogs, Cats and Other Pets. If you select the latter, you can then specify any number of corresponding Pet Types, such as rabbits, hamsters, etc.

Q  I live in New Zealand and require a program that shows fees in $ and produces invoices with the current GST (sales tax) rate applied. Can petBASE 8B do this?

A  petBASE 8B caters for all English-speaking countries. The required currency can be specified in General Settings, and the sales tax type (VAT, GST, HST, etc) and corresponding standard rate specified in Invoice Settings. 

Q  I'm not sure whether I would require the optional Accommodation module.

A  The Accommodation module enables you to enter full details of individual pens, with the facility to apply varying premiums or boarding rates to different pens. When adding or changing a boarding booking, appropriate pens can then be selected and any premiums or boarding rates will be automatically applied. Pen allocation details can also be instantly viewed, showing which pens are occupied and which are free over any period of time. 

However, some users may prefer the flexibility of not allocating specific pens when bookings are made, in which case only the total number of pens required for a booking needs to be considered. In this case, the Accommodation module is not required (even if you've purchased it, it can be disabled in General Settings). Note that you can still enter pen numbers when adding or changing a booking, but these will not relate to a list of actual pens, so no automatic checks will be made for availability and no record will be kept of pen allocations.

Q  I refer to my accommodation units as 'chalets' rather than 'pens'; can this be changed?

A  In General Settings, the Accommodation Unit Name can be changed from 'Pen' to a word of your choice (eg 'Run', 'Kennel', 'Chalet', etc). The changed word will then appear throughout the program. 

Q  We provide a home boarding service for dogs, in which all the boarders are housed in one building, rather than in individual pens. Would petBASE 8B be suitable for us?

A  Although petBASE 8B is designed around the concept of putting pets in pens, it can still work just as well for you. Go to General Settings and:- 

(1) Select only one Pet Group: 'Dogs'.

(2) Change Accommodation Unit Name to 'Place'.

(3) Specify the number of dog places as equal to the maximum number of dogs that you can accommodate. From then on, dog 'places' will be referred to rather than pens throughout the program. 

(4) Go to General Booking Settings and can tick 'Omit place data from printed booking forms'; this will remove all references to dog places when you print a booking form, thus avoiding the possibility of confusing your customers! Of course, you would not require the optional Accommodation module. 

Q  We provide a grooming service with our kennels & cattery - does petBASE 8B cater for this?

A  Yes, if you purchase the Pet Services option and, in General Settings, select 'Grooming' as the Service Type. You can now add grooming services to your boarding bookings and also add separate grooming bookings (in which one or more pets are booked-in for grooming only and arrive and depart on the same day). In either case, you can select one or more grooming services for each pet in the boarding or grooming booking and petBASE 8B will calculate the total grooming fee based on a table of standard fees. The Grooming Calendar shows key data for your grooming bookings on each day of any month.

Q  We provide a training service with our kennels - does petBASE 8B cater for this?

A  In General Settings, you can specify your Service Type as  'Grooming', 'Training', 'Hydrotherapy', 'Services', or any other word that best describes the service(s) that you offer. If you select 'Training', this word is used throughout the program and petBASE 8B caters for your training services in exactly the same way as described in the previous answer. 

Q  Is petBASE 8B suitable for a pet services business (eg grooming or training) that doesn't provide boarding?

A No! In this case you should use petBASE 8S, which is specially designed for this. It includes all the features of petBASE 8B, except that those features and functions relating specifically to boarding matters are omitted, thus avoiding the display of unnecessary and potentially confusing information. 

Q  What happens if I add a booking that is subsequently cancelled? 

A  Select the booking and click the 'Cancel' button. The booking and its associated invoice (if any) will be deleted and the Calendar automatically adjusted. 

Q  How effective is the Accounting module?

A  The optional Accounting module is designed to interact directly with the Invoices and Suppliers modules to give you full financial control of your business. Although it doesn't have all the 'bells and whistles' of some dedicated accounting software, it includes all the basic functions necessary for a small business to carry out essential bookkeeping and accounting tasks. It's technically a 'single-entry' system, so it's easy to use and, unlike double-entry systems, you can rectify input errors at any time. It caters for sales-tax (eg VAT) and non-sales-tax businesses, as specified in Invoice Settings. You can analyse your data with the Income v Expenses and comprehensive filtering functions. If you're registered for sales-tax (eg VAT), the sales-tax summary function should provide sufficient data for submitting your sales-tax return; if not, more detailed data can be produced. 

Note! All sales-tax data is based on money that you've already received (sales) or paid (purchases), and is equivalent to the UK 'Cash Accounting Scheme' for VAT returns. The alternative 'Standard VAT Accounting' is based on invoices that you've issued or received during the time period, whether or not they've been paid, and is not catered for here.               

Q  What happens if I've been using petBASE 8B for some time and my computer crashes? Will I lose all my data? 

A  petBASE 8B has a built-in data back-up system. At the click of a button, it copies all data files in the form of a single compressed (zip) file to any specified location (eg a memory stick). This only takes a few seconds and it is recommended that you do this at least once a day, preferably just before you close the program at the end of the day. In the event of a computer crash, you can then use petBASE's Restore function to restore your data from your latest back-up. Full details and advice on this subject are given in the Help system.

Q  What equipment do I need to run petBASE 8B?

A  You will need a PC running under Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, or XP. A minimum screen resolution of 800 x 600 pixels is necessary. You also require a mouse (ideally with a wheel) and an A4 printer. Some form of external data storage (memory stick, external hard-drive, etc) is required to back-up your data. 

Q  I would like to run petBASE 8B on two computers - one in my kennels and the other in my house. Can this be done? Must the computers be on a network?

A  If your computers are networked together and you purchase petBASE's Multi-User option, the program can be used simultaneously on up to 6 computers for both viewing and changing data. 

However, you could do this without a network if, for example, you use the kennels computer during the day for entering data and the house computer in the evening for viewing, analysing and printing data. At the close of business, use petBASE's built-in back-up facility to back-up your data to (eg) a memory stick on your kennels computer and restore it onto your house computer. 

Q  What after-sales support do you offer? 

A  Unlike some software companies, we don't charge anything for after-sales support. If you have any problems or queries, please e-mail us and we'll try and sort them out. If necessary, you can attach your latest back-up file to your e-mail, so we can see exactly what the problem is. Please, however, don't forget to first use the comprehensive Help system (which includes a 'Troubleshooting' section), as the answer may well be there! If you have a problem that proves to be caused by a fault within petBASE, we'll rectify it free of charge. 

Q  Will I be able to upgrade my current program when new versions become available? 

A  Yes, when new versions are released, they are designed to be compatible with earlier ones. Currently, if your purchased version of petBASE is 8.00 or later, you can upgrade to the latest version free of charge. Users with purchased versions 6.00 to 7.32 can upgrade for 50% of the full price, and users with purchased versions prior to 6.00 can upgrade for 75% of the full price. 

Q  After reviewing your website, I think that petBASE 8B could be useful for my business. What should I do next?  

A  We suggest that you take the following action:-

(1) Download petBASE 8B Evaluator. This enables you to fully evaluate the program and decide whether it will meet your requirements. Please take your time during your evaluation, particularly when selecting the various settings and options that will best suit your business. Make sure that your print-outs are OK and, if you're thinking of using petBASE 8B on a network, test this out.

(2) If you conclude that petBASE 8B is suitable for your business, decide which options you require in addition to the basic program; these are Pet Services, the Accommodation module, the Invoices module, the Suppliers and Accounting modules, and the Multi-User option (see Help subject 'Choosing your program options' for advice on this). Your selection will determine the total price.  

(3) You can then make your payment on-line by credit/debit card or PayPal. See Prices for instructions.  

(4) On receipt of your payment, we will then e-mail you your Program Key, which will enable you to instantly activate your full program.  

Updated 1 December 2018 

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