As well as the Sample Processes that are shipped with FYI, you can set up Custom Processes specifically for the needs of your practice. Every practice has repetitive processes that can be automated with FYI's custom processes.
For example, you may have clients that you service with regular frequency, such as monthly or quarterly management reporting. You may also have internal processes that repeat with consistency, with respect to HR, IT, administration, and marketing (that is, a new team member onboarding).
To find custom processes in FYI, go to the Automation dashboard. To add a Custom Process, click the Add Custom Process button.
Note: Any Custom Processes that are still in Draft will show in the Automation Dashboard with a grey background and in the Automation - Processes List view with the Status "Draft".
Custom Processes can only be set up or edited by an FYI administrator or a user in a User Group with Administer Automation set "On" (refer to Managing User Groups). Custom Process is only available for practices on the "Pro" plan.
For a video walkthrough of Adding a Custom Process, refer to Creating a Custom Process to Email in Bulk (3 min). This covers the steps required to prepare a 'bulk email' automation. The same method can be followed when creating any custom process in your practice. If you prepare a similar process and then want to test it, refer below to Testing a Custom Process.
For a video walkthrough of Running a Custom Process, refer to Running and Testing a Custom Process (3 min). This covers the steps to perform when you want to run a custom process manually. There are slightly different steps required when you want to run your process for an individual instance/client, compared to running a process for your entire client base, or a sub-section of your client base. This video excludes Scheduled processes, which run as defined by their schedule.
Adding a Custom Process
Adding a Custom Process is similar to setting up or modifying a Sample Process for a process with steps but has some different settings.
When adding a Custom Process, you add a trigger and a filter, and include one or more steps.
- The Trigger controls whether the process runs on a Scheduled time basis or it is Manual and can can be run manually, as and when needed.
- The Filter determines what information is or is not included in the process.
- The Steps control the actions done by the process, such as creating an email or Word document and filing it and then creating a task relating to it.
Refer also to Setting up Automation Processes.
Enter the name of the process, for example, "Quarterly BAS", "Onboarding New Employee".
This controls the way in which a process can be triggered. This can be set as
On the Automation Process Grid View, an icon displays to indicate if the Trigger for the Custom Process is Schedule or Manual. The person icon is for when it is a Manual Trigger and the clock icon is Scheduled.
The process will run automatically according to the Schedule you set. When the Trigger is set to Schedule, click below this to define the Schedule.
The Select Date Range displays where you also set the frequency.
Start and End
Set the Start date and optionally the End date. These dates determine when then process is going to start and end running.
To set the frequency, this is set as either "On the" or "Every". These also work in combination with the Start date.
"On the" sets a specific day. For "Every" you enter the number and select hours, days, weeks, etc. Use the drop-downs to see the combinations that you can select for each.
For example, to set the frequency as every Monday, you would set the Start of the Schedule as a date that is a Monday and schedule it to run every 7 days.
To set this as the last Monday in a quarter, you would set the Schedule as follows.
To schedule the process to run every 12 hours, set it as follows. For every number of hours, this uses the time that you set up the process as the start of when the process triggers. For every number of days or weeks, you can use the Start date to set the start.
When set as Manual, the process is run manually as and when required. It is run from the Automation Dashboard by opening the Custom Process and clicking Run.
Manual processes that relate to a specific client can be run from the Clients - Processes tab for the selected client. Refer to Displaying Information for a Client.
A filter determines what information is monitored or included in the process.
Click the edit icon to display the Filter Items.
Filter Types can be selected as:
- "Client - Select Filters"
- "Document - View Filters"
- "Job - View Filters"
- "Client - View Filters".
Filter Type "Document - View Filters", "Job - View Filters" or "Client - View Filters" allows you to select a Documents, Job or Client list view on which to filter the Document, Jobs or Clients.
If you want to make the process available for all Clients (or Documents or Jobs) you would select a view that shows "All". For information on using a view as the filter. Refer to Custom Processes using Views and Summary Notifications.
- Filter Type "Client - Select Filters"
This shows the standard filters and also all of the Custom Fields that you have set up in Xero Practice Manager.
- Client - You can select a specific client. If a specific client is selected, other filters will not be applied. If you select a client, you can then additionally select the Client Group to apply if the client belongs to more than one group.
- Structure - This uses a setting in Xero Practice Manager to filter a specific client structure such as "Individual", "Company", "Sole Trader", "Trust", etc.
- Manager - this is used to filter clients assigned to a specific Manager within your practice.
- Partner - this is used to filter clients assigned to a specific Partner within your practice.
- Has Email - when Has Email is ticked, the process includes only those clients with a valid email address.
- Include Archived - archived clients are excluded by the filter by default.
- Custom Fields - A selection of any of the Custom Fields that have been set up in Xero Practice Manager can be used as a filter.
For example, if your practice performs a monthly or a quarterly bookkeeping service for some clients, in a "Service" Custom Field, these clients would have either "Bookkeeping - Monthly" or "Bookkeeping - Quarterly". You can then set up a Custom Process that sends out a monthly or quarterly checklist to relevant clients by setting the relevant Custom Field in the FYI Custom Process.
The Status can be "Active" or "Draft". A process will only be run if the Status is "Active".
The Owner is set by default as the user who created the custom process and this can be changed if required. An Owner must be selected for a process. If the Custom process fails, an email will be sent to this user as notification. You can set this as "Me" to set yourself as the owner.
Start From is only relevant for processes that import documents. This allows you to enter the date from which you want to start retrieving the documents. If you enter a date in the past, this will import documents from that date, This will only import documents that have not already been imported.
Add the Steps to the Custom Process
- Click Add Step.
- Choose the application for the step.
- Select the Action and Filing details for each step.
- Save the Custom Process by moving out of the screen for example, by clicking Back to redisplay the Process Dashboard. A Process is saved automatically.
Once added, the Custom Process displays in the Automation Dashboard along with the Sample Processes.
Scheduled Custom Process
The following example shows the steps for a scheduled Custom Process that will send out a checklist to the clients you are doing bookkeeping for to remind these clients what they need to do and to send you for that quarter.
The clients this will be sent to will determined by the Filter for the Custom Process. In the example, this will be all clients who have "Bookkeeping - Quarterly" set in the Custom Field "Service".
Step 1 is set up to create a Spreadsheet using a template "Checklist for Quarterly Bookkeeping" which has already been set up. You also set up the filing details for the spreadsheet, such as the Cabinet.
Step 2 creates the email and sends the checklist spreadsheet from Step 1 via OneDrive. You also set up the filing details for the email, such as the Cabinet.
Manual Custom Process
The following example is of a manual Custom Process used to onboard a new employee.
This Custom Process will be run manually as and when needed. In the example, it contains the following steps.
- Create a Task to appoint the coordinator for an induction program for the new team member.
- Set up the checklist for the coordinator using a template that has been created as an Excel Spreadsheet.
- Send an email to the IT Manager that there is a new team member who needs to be set up.
- Create a New Team Member Details form for the new employee using a template that has been created as a Word document.
- Create a New Team Member Booklet for the new employee using a template that has been created as a Word document.
Testing and Running a Custom Process
When setting up a Custom Process, it is very important to test it to ensure it is working as expected. Refer to Testing Custom Processes.
For details of who the different ways to run a Custom Process, refer to Running Custom Processes.