This article is an extract from the book 'Everything you need to know about Xero Practice Manager'
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Once you have rolled over your engagements, it’s time to allocate this work to your team. A client engagement will contain multiple tasks such as annual accounts, GST, quarterly coaching etc. These tasks need to be allocated to the people delivering them so you have visibility of capacity within your practice. This will also allow your teams to know what they should be working on, when, and for how long. It will ensure you deliver jobs on time and within budget.
It is important to acknowledge that XPM does not contain a scheduling or capacity planning module. The best option is to create custom reports to assist you with scheduling and capacity planning.
There are three custom reports required to roll out scheduling within your practice.
- Scheduling report
This custom report displays the jobs that require scheduling. The jobs are grouped under each client so you can click through to each job and allocate a date, duration and staff member(s) to each task. Once tasks are scheduled, they will display on the ‘Monthly Capacity Report’, and the ‘Staff Workflow Schedule’ for the staff that have been assigned the task.
- Monthly capacity report
Once the jobs have been scheduled using the ‘Scheduling Report’, they will display on the ‘Monthly Capacity Report’. This report will allow you to compare the total allocated task times by staff members for the month, enabling you to easily see if someone is over or under-booked for a month.
- Staff workflow report
This report is designed for individual staff to identify which jobs and tasks they have been assigned for the current month and to view the estimated task duration. Each billable staff member will have their own version of this report showing their jobs.
If you’ve followed the processes in Chapter 4: Practice Settings and Chapter 7: Setting Up Engagements, you will already have a default job state called ‘1.0 To Be Scheduled’ or similar. This will be the job state your new recurring jobs will roll over into each year or the default job state for your new jobs. We’ll be using these to build your custom reports.
Each year we have a two-month window prior to our financial year starting to do our workflow scheduling. We’ll be using a combination of the scheduling report and the monthly capacity report to allocate and plan the year ahead. We will assign tasks to staff members with a due date and time budget, which then populates the ‘Staff workflow report’. The ‘Staff workflow report’ is a way for staff to login and view exactly what tasks they have been assigned to, and what the expectations are around task timeframes. Upon task completion, the staff member simply checks off the task, which will remove the completed task from their workflow schedule.
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