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.
Job templates are used to populate the tasks on our recurring jobs when they are created. To set up a recurring job, XPM needs to know what template to use otherwise it would create a job with no tasks on it. We therefore need to set up our job templates to represent the types of engagements we have with our clients.
You’ll find 80% of your annual client engagements will easily fit into a handful of job templates, but for 20% of them you will need to set up custom job templates. For example, we might have 100 clients that receive the same service from us, which is annual accounts and bi-monthly GST returns. For this situation we might set up a job template that would have the following tasks on it:
- Annual Accounts – Preparation
- Annual Accounts – Review
- GST – April/May
- GST – June/July
- GST – August/September
- GST – October/November
- GST – December/January
- GST – February/March.
We could call this template ‘Annual Accounts + Bi-Monthly GST’, and it can be used for those 100 clients. It’s also worth noting here that GST is just one task, and we have used labels to differentiate the headings. This helps with reporting.
We might also have 200 clients that only get annual accounts work done by us, so we could have a job template that has these tasks on it:
- Annual Accounts – Preparation
- Annual Accounts – Review.
You might also have some clients that have unusual engagements. For example, Dickens Doorknobs Limited receives quarterly coaching, and also pays for Dickens Family Trust’s accounts to be completed, so we would need to set up a template called ‘Dickens Doorknobs Limited’ and have the following tasks on it:
- Annual Accounts – Preparation for Dickens Doorknobs Limited
- Annual Accounts – Review for Dickens Doorknobs Limited
- Annual Accounts – Preparation for Dickens Family Trust
- Annual Accounts – Review for Dickens Family Trust
- Quarterly Coaching – Q1
- Quarterly Coaching – Q2
- Quarterly Coaching – Q3
- Quarterly Coaching – Q4.
It is important to note here that we have used labels to denote the entity, and the quarters for the coaching tasks. These are not unique tasks we have created in our task admin section. It is also important to note that this is a unique example where the main entity is paying for the trust. This was touched on earlier in this chapter. It should be avoided if possible, but if the situation does arise, this is how you deal with it.
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