This article is an extract from the book 'Everything you need to know about Xero Practice Manager'
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This section focuses on how to set up annual engagements using XPM. All annual jobs will be created using the recurring job function within XPM, which you can find by going to ‘Jobs > Jobs’, then navigating to the ‘Recurring’ tab. On the left-hand side you’ll see ‘New Recurring Job’. This is where you will be creating all of your annual jobs.
We want to set up recurring jobs for both time-charge agreements and fixed-price agreements. This makes the creation of jobs at the start of each financial year as seamless as possible. To set up a recurring job, XPM needs to know what tasks to add to the job when it is created. This is done by adding a job template to the recurring job, so when the job is created it will automatically populate the tasks under the job based on the template it was assigned.
Setting up fixed-price agreements
Fixed-price agreements can get a little more challenging to set up in XPM due to the number of different billing methods. As a quick recap, there are three methods for managing fixed-price agreements:
For the in-period fixed-price agreements, we can set these up just like our time-charge agreements, ie. a 14-month duration. This is because we don’t need to have them open for a year before the work commences like we do with the other two methods.
If your practice uses the in-period method for its fixed-price agreements, you can set your recurring jobs up the exact same way as the time-charge agreements. The only difference is how we set up the invoicing, which we will cover in a lot more detail in Chapter 10: Invoicing. In short, we set up recurring invoices in Xero and these map to the job within XPM.
If your practice uses the contract-period or in-advance methods for billing fixed-price agreements, we will need to have the jobs set up for two years. The first year is to capture the invoices on the job and to add time sheets for any tasks that are completed within the year. The next year is to capture the time sheets for the annual financial statements.
Because of the nature of these engagements, we make the duration of the job 26 months. The recurrence is still 12 months, because we want a new job to be created each year. The job will need to be open two months before the billing year starts for scheduling purposes. It will then be open for the year to capture all the invoices, and for time sheets on any in-period tasks. It will also be open for the next financial year to capture time sheets while the annual accounts and tax return are completed. This ensures all the time sheets that relate to the billing are captured against a single job
It’s worth pointing out that although the job duration is 26 months, we may close it out sooner. For example, we might complete the annual accounts and tax returns three months into the financial year. In this case, we can close the job 17 months after the job was created – two before the start of the billing year, 12 throughout the billing year, then three the next year.
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