You can use the power of OneDrive to share your practice's OneDrive with external users. This may include 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 shared via OneDrive and to documents that are in Co-edit with Client.
This article contains the following sections:
- How Recipients Access the Share Folder
- Sharing the OneDrive Folder with the Client
- Sharing the OneDrive Folder with Additional Users at a Later Time
- Sharing the OneDrive Folders with a User who is not the Client or a Client Contact
- Resending the Link
- Sharing the Folders with the Client Group
- Removing Access
- Upload Folder
- Fixing an Error with the Share Folders
- System Generated Email displaying in the Sharing Settings
- User created within your Office 365 when the Client Accesses the Folder
How Recipients Access the Share Folder
To ensure that the shared folder links are only opened by the intended recipient, the client will be asked to verify themselves using their email.
- If the recipient is a Microsoft 365 Business user and they are already logged into their account in an open browser, the shared folder displays straight away. If they are not already logged in, they are prompted to login to their Microsoft account and the folder then displays.
- If the recipient is not a Microsoft 365 Business user, they need to enter their email address. This sends the recipient an email with a verification code that they enter to access the folder.
For information on how the external user accesses the shared folders, refer to How the External User accesses the Shared Folders For information on how you can let your clients know how to access the documents, refer to Introducing Shared Folders to your Clients and Sample Email for Practices.
Note: The OneDrive folders can only be shared with a client by an FYI administrator, or a user in a User Group that has Permissions enabled for Share Settings. Refer to Managing User Groups and Managing Users.
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 Sharing Documents via OneDrive.
Note: Sharing documents with a client does not automatically give the recipient access to the Share Folder. However, documents shared via OneDrive will be accessible by users with Share Folder access. Giving a user access to the Share Folder is a separate function as described below.
Sharing the OneDrive Folder with the Client
- Display the Client - Collaborate tab for the relevant client.
- On the Client - Collaborate tab, click Sharing Settings.
The Sharing Settings pop-up displays.
Initially, the OneDrive folder for the client is not shared with any other users. Adding at least one user creates the shared folders in your OneDrive Admin Account for the first time and releases the shared folders so they are 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.
Note: If for any reason the Share Folders cannot be created, an error message displays "Error - Creating Share Folder. There was an error creating share folders, please check settings or contact FYI support". This would usually be due to settings within your Microsoft 365.
In the event of an error, a Fix Me button displays that you click to correct the error. Refer below to Fixing an Error with the Share Folders.
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 Shared Folders Email Template and Assigning Share Settings Access 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 Share 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 folders 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 User who is not the Client or a Client Contact
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
Resending the Link
If the client loses their link to the Share 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 Share Folder and Upload folders that are relevant for that client. Refer to Setting up the Shared Folders Email Template and Assigning Share Settings Access.
Sharing the Folder with 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.
If the Client Changes their Email
If the client changes their email, the email address in Sharing settings will not be updated automatically. You need to remove the existing email address (see below) and re-invite the client by adding the new email address.
To remove the client's access to the Share Folder, to the Upload Folder and to documents that were directly shared with users (with the Share button) by clicking the Delete Sharing button in the Sharing Settings. Refer to Removing Access for All Users in Removing Access to the Share Folders and Upload Folder.
If you only want to remove access for certain users, this needs to be done directly in your OneDrive. Refer to Removing Access for a Specific User in Removing Access to the Share Folder and Upload Folder.
If you need to remove access to a specific document that you have shared using the Share button (for example if an incorrect document was shared) this needs to be done from your OneDrive. Refer to Removing Access to Shared Documents.
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.
Fixing an Error with the Share Folders
In the event of an error, a Fix Me button displays in the Sharing Settings. A scenario in which this would display is if there is the Share Link button or the Upload Link button, but not both.
To correct an error that has been detected with the share folders:
- Click Fix Me.
- A message displays with any further instructions.
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 client's folder a universally consistent link for all external users and creates an intelligent link to maximise a smooth experience for all.
Your FYI administrator 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.
User created within your Office 365 when the Client Accesses the Folder
When the client has accessed the shared folder, you will see a user for the client within your practice's Office 365. The user will show in the following format:
This is normal as OneDrive has created the external share for the client to access the documents.