To ensure that documents such as letters are always presented with the format and layout required by your practice, you set up Stationery and Templates.
This article is an overview of the FYI Stationery, Templates and Merge Fields that are used for Word documents and uses an example of setting these up for letters. As an overview of the general principals, the examples cover the main features that can be included.
For further information, details of how to create and update Stationery and Templates, using Merge Fields and Bookmarks, and details of how Templates can be set up for Excel, PowerPoint and PDFs, refer to the articles in the help section Stationery and Templates. For information on how these are used for emails refer to the help section Stationery and Templates for Email.
It is important to understand the relationship between Stationery, Templates and Merge Fields and how they are used in combination in FYI and how they can be best utilised within your practice. To show how these work together, this article uses the example of setting them up for letters. How you set up your Stationery and Templates and use these for other types of documents depends on the requirements of your practice. However the following are the recommendations for how to set up at least the most commonly used Stationery and Templates.
Stationery holds the information that is common to all documents (for example all letters). This would be anything at the top and the bottom of a letter and is used for any headers, date, addressee, address etc and also the sign-off, and sender details, and any footers.
There would usually to be two formats for Stationery:
- A format where the letterhead includes the header and footer with the company logo, company address etc. so these are added for a letter that is emailed.
- A format that has no letterhead and with the layout ready to be printed on pre-printed stationery for a letter that is printed and sent out.
Templates hold the standard text for the body of the documents. This would be the text included in the middle of the letter, for example, for an engagement letter or notice of tax assessment.
By defining the elements included in Stationery and Templates in this recommended way (with the common information in Stationery and the text for the body of the letter in Templates) this offers not only ease of use but also flexibility.
It allows you to have potentially just two Stationery documents for letters (one for sending via email and one for printing on pre-printed letterhead). There will then be a number of Templates that hold the standard text for the body of the letters.
The main benefit is when you want to make changes to how standard letters are produced. It is very clear if changes are needed to the Stationery (for common, repeated elements) or to the Templates (for specific text). For example, if you decide in the future you want to add a reference number to all letters, you would add this just to Stationery documents instead of having to update many Template documents.
For a multi disciplinary practice (for example, which includes financial planning along with accounting practice) you can simply set up different Stationery that includes any licence requirements for financial planning and specific disclaimers. By clearly naming the FYI Stationery, users can easily identify which letterhead they need to use.
Using Word Features
Stationery and Templates for letters are set up as a Word document. This allows you to use the features of Word (such as formatting, margins, adding text and images to headers and footers with different headers/footer for the first and subsequent pages).
You may have Word documents already set up for the layouts and text and these can be used as the basis for the FYI Stationery or Templates.
Using Word Bookmarks in Stationery
Users would commonly create Word documents where both an FYI Stationery and an FYI Template is selected. The Stationery must include a Word bookmark with the name Body to indicate where to include the text and any merge codes from the Template. If the Stationery is used without a Template, the bookmark has no effect.
You can incorporate Merge Fields within Stationery and Templates used for Word documents.
Merge Fields are used to bring in the following content:
- Client information from Xero Practice Manager - for example, First Name and Last Name of the addressee, and the Postal Address.
- User information from Xero Practice Manager - for example, the Author Name, Author Phone.
- Information from FYI - for example, the Role of the Author and a unique Reference Number for the FYI document.
- Results from a Word function - for example, "today's date" automatically generated.
- If you have set up Custom Fields in your Xero Practice Manager, you can include Merge Fields for these in Stationery and Templates.
Merge Fields are added to the Word document that will be used as the stationery or template, for example, «ContactName» for the Contact Name, or «PostalAddress» for the address. You can download the FYI Merge Fields.docx document with a list of these codes at the bottom of this help article.
Example Structures of Word Documents for Stationery
The following examples demonstrate how you can structure Word Documents for Stationery. For the purpose of the examples, the Word Field Code is displayed for the "Date" (in Word using right-click and selecting Toggle Field Codes).
Stationery with Letterhead (for emailing)
Stationery without Letterhead (for printing on pre-printed letterhead)
Explanations of the Example Structures
The following includes explanations in red of some of the different components that can be included.
Example of a Word Document for Templates
The following example of a Template holds only text. If you wish to, Templates can include Merge Fields or the signature text but in the recommendations, these are included in the Stationery.
Creating the Document
When creating the document in FYI, the Client, Stationery and Template are selected.
The following shows how these examples for Stationery and Template are brought together, in this example for the Stationery with letterhead. In this example, the additional information can be entered as relevant for the letter being created and any other changes if needed, and the Word document saved and filed in FYI.