You can use the power of OneDrive to share your practice's OneDrive with specific clients, any of their contacts or to any other user(s) who need access to it. This is useful for clients with which you work on a frequent basis. It gives the client access to all the documents in the Client - Collaborate list so they can see a record of all documents that have been sent. This is not obligatory and there is no need to share folders if you want to only use the Client - Collaborate tab internally.
Note: The OneDrive folders can only be shared with a client by an FYI administrator or by a user who is in a User Group that has Administer Share Settings enabled. Refer to Managing User Groups and Managing Users.
Introducing your Clients to Shared Folders
For information about this, refer to Introducing Shared Folders to your Clients and Sample Email for Practices for our suggested best practice for how to explain the Shared Folders, and also the Upload folder. This article has a sample email that you can send out.
As an FYI administrator, you can set up an Email Template that can be used to send to your client with information of how they access the Shared folders and the Upload folder. Refer to Creating Email Templates and including Merge Fields.
Sharing the Folders with Users who are not Microsoft 365 Users
You can share the folders with users who are not Microsoft 365 users (for example, to a .gmail email address). These users will still be able to access the folders, open documents but there may be a slightly difference experience to when the user has a full Microsoft 365 account.
Shared Folders and Sending Individual Documents (with the Share button)
When the OneDrive folder is shared, sending an individual document (with the Share function) will still notify that person that a new document has been sent. Refer to Sending Documents via OneDrive - Share. Note that sharing documents with a client does not automatically give the recipient access to the Shared folder. Giving a user access to the Shared folder is a separate function as described below.
Sharing the OneDrive folder with the Client
- Display the Client - Collaborate tab for the relevant client.
- Click Sharing Settings.
Initially, the OneDrive folder for the client is not shared with any other users. Adding at least one user creates a shared folder in your OneDrive account for the first time and releases the shared folder so it is accessible to the client.
- Click the Give user access button to add a user.
- In the Select a contact or enter email address to give access, use the drop-down to select or enter the user to share the folder with.
By default, the email address of the client is displayed.
If the client has any Contacts in Xero Practice Manager, these display in the drop-down. You can select any of these contacts.
- The selected user displays.
- You can click Give user access and add additional users to share the folder at the same time with a client contact or to another email for any other people who need access to the folder.
- You can select additional users from the drop-down list if relevant.
- You can also enter the email address of other additional user(s). See below.
You can also share the folder with additional people at a later time.
- When ready to share, click Save.
The Create Email displays. This will send an email to the email address the folder is being shared with to let the client, contact or user know the folder has been shared with them and to send them the links.
The Template is automatically selected as the Email Template that has been set up and selected for your practice. This template will include the Merge Fields that add the links to the shared folders. Do not delete or change the template that has been selected in the Create Email. Refer to Setting up the Email Template for Shared Folders Invitation and Introducing Shared Folders to your Clients and Sample Email for Practices.
The recipients of the email are set as all the email addresses you have selected.
The email will send the recipient(s) a link to the shared folder and also to the Upload folder (refer to Sharing the Upload Folder with the Client).
- Make any changes as required to the email, for example to the filing, and select if you want to save it as a "Draft in FYI", "Draft in Outlook" or "Send Immediately".
- Click Create to create the email. If you have selected "Draft in FYI" it displays in the editor, or if you have selected "Draft in Outlook" it is added to the FYI - Drafts folder in your Outlook and you can then send the email in the usual way.
This sends an email to the selected user(s) to advise them they have shared folder access. The links can also be sent manually at any time if the link needs to be resent (refer to Resending the Link below).
Sharing the OneDrive Folder with Additional Users at a Later Time
You can select additional email addresses at a later time in the same way if additional people need access to the client's folder. The could be any of the contacts for the client that show in the drop-list or to a other users who need access and the selected user is set as the recipient of the email that is sent.
Sharing the OneDrive Folder with a Other Users
You can also share the folder with any other user(s) who need access to it. This could be for example, to a family member or to a bookkeeper not otherwise held as a contact for the client.
- In the Sharing Settings, click Give user access.
- Type the email address.
- Click Grant ..... access
Client Receives Email and Opens Shared Folder
When the client, their contact or another user receives the email, they click on the link in the email to access the shared folder.
Note: If the client does not receive the email, emails from OneDrive are sometimes seen as spam. Ask the client to check their spam or junk folder and to mark the email so it is not spam/junk in the future. The verification code that the client requests from Microsoft to access the folder may also be sent to their spam/junk. Refer also to Collaborate using OneDrive - Errors clients may receive when accessing secure links.
The following steps are a function of Microsoft. If needed, the recipient will be prompted to login to their Microsoft 365 account.
When the recipient clicks the link, a prompt may display to verify the email.
The recipient enters their email address and clicks Next.
An email is sent to that email address with a verification code.
- The recipient opens the email to see the verification code.
- The recipient enters the verification code that is sent and clicks Verify.
Note: By checkmarking Keep me signed in, the recipient will be able to access the link to the shared OneDrive folder in the future without having to verify again.
The Shared OneDrive folder displays as follows.
The person who has been granted access to the shared folder can save the link and use it in the future to see what has been shared.
When displaying the documents that have been shared, the client will also see the Upload folder.
Note: To access the Upload folder, the client must initially click the link in the email. This is a requirement of Microsoft. Once they have accessed the Upload folder, it will then be available to upload documents to. Refer to Sharing the Upload Folder with the Client.
Resending the Link
If the client loses their link to the shared folder, you can resend this by copying the link to your clipboard from the Sharing Settings.
- On the Collaborate tab for the relevant client, click Sharing Settings.
- Click Share Link.
This copies the link to your clipboard.
Note: The Share Link is only available if the folder has already been shared with the client.
- You can then paste this, for example to an email, and send it directly to the person.
The email template that is set up for your practice for the email used when initially sending the links can also be used to resend the link by creating an email, selecting the client and selecting the relevant email template. This will add the links to the Shared and Upload folders that are relevant for that client. Refer to Setting up the Email Template for Shared Folders Invitation.
Sharing the Folder for the Client Group
If you need to share all the clients within the Client group, this is done by sharing each client in the group individually.
System Generated Email displaying in the Sharing Settings
Due to the Microsoft OneDrive design, there are different types of external links that are created for the sharing links. The Microsoft terminology for this is "Guest" and "Non-Guest" users. To simplify the complexity this can cause, FYI have implemented a common workflow for each of these by creating a unique, system generated email address for your client Shared folders. This is used as a placeholder to attach other links to and is generated the first time you share the folders with your client, or for folders already share, it is added if does not already exist.
An FYI Administrator will see this system generated email address from your practice's OneDrive as an additional email address that the folders are shared with. The email address starts with your practice’s name, followed by a number (taken from the client code, export code or ID) and it always ends with @clients.fyidocs.com. For example:
This email address is automatically created and maintained by FYI, and will not be shared with any users. It gives each clients folder a universally consistent link for all external users and creates an intelligent link to maximise a smooth experience for all.
Your FYI administrators users will not see this email address anywhere else inside of FYI. It can only be accessed from the relevant client’s FYI - Clients folder in your OneDrive.
Important note: Do not remove or change this system generated email from the client’s folder in your OneDrive as this will disrupt the integrity of the existing shared links and ultimately cause them to break.
To remove the client's access to the Shared folder, to the Upload folder and to documents that were directly shared with users, this needs to be done from your OneDrive by someone who has access to administer your practice's OneDrive. Refer to Removing Access to the Shared Folder and Upload Folder.