This article is an extract from the book 'Everything you need to know about Xero Practice Manager'
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Your job states reflect the chronological movement of a job through your practice. Each job state should have someone responsible for moving it out of that job state and moving it onto the next job state. Below are some suggested job states for a typical accounting practice:
- 1.0 To Be Scheduled
- 1.1 Not In
- 1.2 In Progress
- 1.3 Queries With Client
- 1.4 In Review
- 1.5 Director Sign-off
- 1.6 Filing
- 1.7 Finalisation
- 1.8 Completed
- 1.9 Archived
- 2.0 General Billable
- 2.1 Ready to Invoice
- On Hold
You will notice these job states are numbered to illustrate the chronological movement of a set of annual accounts through the practice. There is also a subset of job states for our general billable work and an internal job state. These number prefixes also allow us to easily sort our active jobs, to quickly view all jobs in the same state together in our jobs list.
The objective is to move a job through the job states as fast as possible. This will:
- Focus our attention with fewer open jobs at a time
- Reduce our WIP balance
- Reduce our WIP days
- Increase the velocity of time and money in our practice.
It is everyone's responsibility to ensure job states are updated to reflect the current status of the job. This is something that should be updated on a regular basis by the people working on the job. It is important that a name or role is assigned to be responsible for each job state.
For example, it might be the scheduler’s responsibility to update the job state from 1.0 To Be Scheduled to 1.1 Not In. It might be the job manager’s responsibility to ensure the client information arrives so they can update the job state from 1.1 Not In to 1.2 In Progress. It might then be the accountant working on the job’s responsibility to move it from 1.2 In Progress to 1.3 Queries with Client. It might be the job manager’s responsibility to ensure these queries are answered promptly by the client to progress it back to 1.2 In Progress, after which the accountant may update the job state from 1.2 In Progress to 1.4 In Review.
You will notice that although these job states are chronological, they are not strictly so. We can skip job states where they may not be required. We can also move backward to prior job states where new information might be received that allows us to continue.
Job states can be updated from inside the job by anyone with ‘Edit Job’ permissions. All of your team should have this permission so they can update job details as they receive new information.
To make their lives easier, all staff should have the ‘Job Quick Edit’ permission in order to hover over the little black triangle next to each job state in the job manager and quickly update a job state once complete.
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