The CoachAccountable Blog

What's new with the CA platform, tutorials on using it, and customer spotlights.

Archive for Creating CoachAccountable

Offerings – Sell Your Coaching from your Website

If there’s one thing that’s been made crystal clear to me over 6 years of providing an online coaching platform, it’s that people generally seek (and indeed, crave) having a single system that does EVERYTHING.

“An all-in-one solution” is a bit of a cliche, often an unattainable ideal.  But I don’t fault folks for wanting it, especially in a piece of software they use to run their coaching business.

Introducing CoachAccountable Offerings, a big step towards CA being that all-in-one unicorn for coaches.

Offerings started as the answer to a question we commonly get:

CoachAccountable’s scheduling system is great for my existing clients, but how can prospective clients use it to book with me?

» Continue reading “Offerings – Sell Your Coaching from your Website”

New Privacy Setting: Just me and the Client

In a coaching relationship, some things are appropriate for sharing with clients and some things are meant to be for internal reference only.  As such it’s vital for any online coaching portal to smartly manage who can see what, so as to both respect confidentiality AND accommodate collaboration.

CoachAccountable has long supported privacy settings on a per-item basis, allowing, for example, some Session Notes to be shared with/freely accessible by the client and others to be private, for the coach’s eyes only.  “Private” and “Shared with client” are handy options to have when making an entry in a client record.

Coaches in Team Edition accounts actually have 3 options for the privacy setting:

  1. Private, for my eyes only.  Items that are just for the author’s reference, and not meant to be seen even by other coaches on the team.
  2. Visible only to team coaches.  Items that are just meant to be internal to the coaching team.
  3. Shared with client.  Items that are meant to be seen by the client in addition to members of the coaching team.

For quite some time these settings have been quite sufficient for the CoachAccountable community.  But a few weeks ago, CoachAccountable client Martin Hoyle shared some insightful perspective that I’d never considered before:

…if I share a session note with a client it can be seen by another team coach. Can I suggest you make that more explicit?

As a coach I’m not comfortable with this, as I believe that all conversations between me and my client (especially session notes) are confidential – even with regard to other coaches working with the same client. It doesn’t seem that there is an easy way to preserve this privacy within the system as it stands.

I’d always assumed that coaching teams within a given organization were more or less a fully united front, in that anything suitable for sharing with the client would as well be suitable to be seen by other coaches assigned to work with that client (not necessarily ALL coaches within the organization, of course, just those specifically paired with him or her).

Yet this bit of feedback made clear that that wasn’t always the case.  Thus I agreed that the system needed a 4th privacy setting: Just me and the client, for items that are suitable to share with the client but still to be kept confidential from any other team coaches, EVEN those coaches who are also working with the client and have access to their records.

So thus here we have sprinkled out through the system, wherever item privacy settings are relevant, a 4th option:

My thanks to Morgan for the grammar check: the first draft of this option was the less catchy and grammarically-inferior “Just client and I”.

It is my hope that this little addition will make easier and more clear the task of balancing confidentiality with collaboration.  My thanks to Martin, and as always to the whole community of CA users whose input continues to make the platform better than I ever could with my limited perspective alone!

Now Accept Client Payments Via Square

Until now, you’ve been able to accept coaching client payments via PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.net. Today we’re pleased to announce that your clients can now also pay via Square!

As in the case with Stripe and Authorize.net, clients can pay your invoices directly inside the online coaching platform, rather than going to an external site.

Setup from within the CoachAccountable system is easy. Just navigate to Settings >> System >> Client Invoicing Config.

Here, select Square as your online payment processor.

Online coaching platform now accepts Square payments

Look at that big beautiful Square!

If you’re not logged in to Square, you’ll be directed to the Square login page.

CoachAccountable and Square coaching client payments

This one should look pretty familiar!

If you are logged in, you’ll skip right over that one and see this next. Square will make sure you want CoachAccountable to have some permissions.

Please say yes – don’t make us get down on one knee!

And voila! The connection with CoachAccountable is complete.

CoachAccountable online coaching platform accepting Square payments

CELEBRATE!! You WIN! Go get that money!

Now your money is going right into your Square account.

What Does This Payment Integration Cost?

It’s free on our end! CoachAccountable doesn’t take any cut of your payments. The only fees are what Square charges you.

Conveniently Save Card Information

As in the Stripe and Authorize.net payment process, your clients can have the system store their credit card information for future use. That makes those automatically recurring invoices a snap and takes them off your mind!

But is it secure? Yep – CA is just a pass-through. Just like coach subscription information, we never keep card details (other than what’s needed to identify the card for the client, such as the last 4 digits and expiration), but instead use a unique token. Square adds yet another PCI-compliant way of taking your customers’ payments through our online coaching tool.


Were you hoping for Square integration in order to sign up for your free 30-day trial of CoachAccountable’s coaching tool? Hop on board today!

New Explainer Video

At 5 and a half years, the old explainer video had a good run, and it did the job of explaining the gist of CoachAccountable well.  But it was a relic of my early days animation chops (not that they’ve come terribly far!), a shoestring budget, and indeed a much less sophisticated CoachAccountable (which HAS since come terribly far :).

So there was MUCH room for improvement.

I think we succeeded!  Thanks the artistic direction of Rob Fieldhouse of Playground Creative and the beautiful animations of Anastasiya Bulavkina I’m proud of this 2 minute and 45 second video that introduces this platform I’ve been building and evolving for so long.

Fun fact: it’s once again yours truly doing the narration.  We did an hour long studio recording with professional voice talent, and though her voice was great and the take essentially perfect, it just didn’t feel quite right.  Between polished professionalism and gritty authenticity I opted emphatically for the latter.  I just think that the enthusiasm spoken by a fellow coach who’s actually excited about the topic at hand resonated much more than someone who, ultimately, was just reading a script.

I think you’ll find it comes through.  Enjoy!

Speaking at the ACTO Conference

For some time now I’ve thought to myself it might be cool to be invited to speak at a conference, to share about what I’ve learned over the years in my quest to make coaching better by way of technology.

In late April Halli MacNab, incoming president of ACTO, the Association of Coach Training Organizations, reached out with a simple inquiry:

We had a presenter drop out – and are wondering if you are interested in a conversation about presenting at the conference – about the benefits of merging coaching with technology?

“Why yes, that sounds like fun!”  In our first conversation I was happy to report that that very subject was something I felt quite comfortable with and qualified to speak on. » Continue reading “Speaking at the ACTO Conference”

Printing Right From Your CA Online Coaching Platform

Recently, Henk from Business Doctors in South Africa asked about printing from CoachAccountable. While this wasn’t possible in most of CA, John realized that the option to print would be useful for all, especially those with executive coaching clients who potentially have a “higher-up” to report to in a meeting where paper is required.

Now, you have a couple ways to print from the app.

» Continue reading “Printing Right From Your CA Online Coaching Platform”

A Brief History of CA Versions

Now that v3, the new version of CoachAccountable’s coaching software is out, I thought it would be fun to recap the path from 2.0’s launch over 5 years ago that led us to where we are now.

The funny thing is I haven’t really used version numbers since 2.0 came on the scene, instead making incremental changes and improvements, large and small, at a regular clip that amounted to a monthly, weekly, or indeed sometimes daily basis!

This is no doubt one of the great luxuries of web-based software.

But what if I DID use version numbers to mark the big jumps?  What would I consider to be the major .point (and even kinda major .point.point) releases?  This is realm of creative editorial discretion, and so I invite you to come along for a journey into largely contrived (yet totally plausible) trajectory of CA’s journey from 2.0 to 3.0!

» Continue reading “A Brief History of CA Versions”

Why Version 3 Was Kept Secret

I released CoachAccountable Version 3 now nearly three weeks ago, pretty much out of the blue as far as anyone was concerned.  If you’ve been a user of the CoachAccountable coaching management system for months or years, you had no idea it was coming if you weren’t among the very select few that I told in advance.

Yet V3 was in the making since early 2016, well over a year and a half.  The more conventional thing to do for a software company is to talk up such a project, to drive hype, interest, and attention so that everyone can be all like “OMG it’s so good!” when it finally drops.

Why did I keep such a large project, one that would ostensibly demonstrate a positive sign that the platform was continuing to move forward, so thoroughly under wraps?

I offer insight into that question as sort of glimpse into the inner workings of the software enterprise that is CoachAccountable, or, you might say, a glimpse into how I roll.

» Continue reading “Why Version 3 Was Kept Secret”

Version 3

This has been in the works for a long time.

It was January of last year (2016) that I invited Lee and Rob, my business partners from back in the Version 1 days (circa 2008-2009), for a meeting to discuss giving CoachAccountable’s coaching management platform an aesthetic facelift.

» Continue reading “Version 3”

Delightful Collaboration VIII – Setting Location and Description for Appointments

Here is a great example of where CoachAccountable’s coaching software gets better through me being exposed to a style of doing things other than my own.

The calendar feed of appointments is a lovely thing, allowing both coaches and clients to have appointments [set within CoachAccountable] appear right within their usual calendars (like Google Calendars, iCal, and Outlook).

Beyond the what and when, calendar software aficionados know that it’s handy to have location and descriptive information about a calendar event right there as well.

For my sake when it comes to coaching appointments there’s nothing to it: “where” is invariably on the phone, and there are no access or dial-in details to speak of, or really anything else–I call them and that’s that.

Liz HeimanBut last Thursday I had a great call with Liz Heiman of Percio Strategies.  We went over a bevy of great questions of how to set up and do this or that within our coaching tool, and Liz made a great case for how useful it would be to have location and description information about an appointment appear right along side appointments within people’s calendars: vital for coordination of meeting locations and a great boon to timely attendance to have dial in information right there for attendees. » Continue reading “Delightful Collaboration VIII – Setting Location and Description for Appointments”