Focus


Focus

Dext Precision Focus allows you to select from a library of tools and build a workflow that suits the business processes you have developed around specific accounting jobs such as Tax Returns, Monthly Bookkeeping or Year-End.

Focus Glossary

  • Check: A tool or task in Dext Precision, typically with a set of calculated results
  • Custom Check: A user-defined Check for directing to non-Dext Precision tasks
  • Flow Template: a selection of Checks in a specific order, that can be assigned to a Flow
  • Flow: a Flow Template linked to a Client, User and Reporting Period, with a Due Date
  • Flow History: an audit trail of progress on a Flow
  • Repeating Flow: A Flow that is set to repeat on a regular basis, which is linked to a Flow Template, Client(s), User(s) and a reporting time period, with a scheduled date and a time span for completion
  • Draft Flow: A Flow that has not yet been completed or published.
  • Focus Daily Digest: An email summarising any Flows that require action for the day.

Checks

Dext Precision tackles all sorts of accounting insights and spots many kinds of errors. These are organised into Checks, which you can think of as individual tools or tasks that require review by someone.

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If the Check has a down-arrow on the right-hand-side, then it can be expanded to show more detailed information by clicking on the card:

Some Checks have additional configuration options that can be adjusted while you are in Flow Mode. These Checks have cog icons beside their title. Clicking on the cog will bring up the options that can be adjusted:

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Sometimes if a Check raises an alert then you are prompted to take action and fix whatever Dext Precision has found to be the issue. Focus provides a library of these Checks that can be combined together into Flow Templates.

# Check Master List

A list of all checks available in Dext Precision:

Check NameDescriptionXeroQuickBooks
Aged ReceivablesA review of your aged receivables balance, find out who is late in paying you!YesYes
Average Debtor DaysThe Debtor Days ratio shows the average number of days your customers are taking to pay you.YesYes
Bank ReconciliationThis shows the total of unreconciled transactions across all bank accounts in Xero, as well as the oldest item. Ideally, all transactions should be reconciled as quickly as possible.YesNo
Aged PayablesA review of your aged payables balance – the invoices you have not paid yet.YesYes
Client has paid PAYEConfirm with the client that they have paid PAYE as per HMRCYesNo
Contact DefaultsSearch each Contact’s transaction history to suggest default reporting codes or VAT Rates which are then pushed back into Xero.YesNo
Cost by Account CodeDesigned to analyse the activity in the General Ledger over time and automatically detect issues.YesYes
Customer RelianceMonitor business reliance on key customers and assess associated risk.YesYes
Dividends StatusKeep track of who has declared dividends, how much they have declared and when they declared them.YesNo
Dormant AccountsGive your chart of accounts a spring clean – review all of the account codes which have not had activity in a while and archive them.YesYes
Draft InvoicesHighlights any draft bills or sales invoices in XeroYesNo
Duplicate ContactsDuplicate contacts go through all your Xero contacts and matches contacts that we think are the same supplier or customer.YesYes
Duplicate TransactionsDext Precision looks across invoices and bank transactions and highlights records that it thinks could be unwanted duplicates.YesYes
Entertainment AccountsA useful tool that tracks your spend on client and staff entertainment and will let you know if you have breached any thresholdsYesYes
Estimated Corporation TaxA simple Corporation Tax estimate to keep track of how much tax your client needs to pay.YesNo
Estimated VATAn estimation of VAT liability for the periodYesNo
Fixed Asset Account ReconciliationWe will take your fixed asset balance compare it to your balance sheet balance, highlight imbalances and then tell you the date that the imbalance started.YesNo
Fixed Asset AccountsChecks that Fixed Asset Account Types match up to a corresponding General Ledger AccountYesNo
Fixed Asset Depreciation ReconciliationWe will take your fixed asset depreciation account and compare it to your balance sheet depreciation account, highlight imbalances and then tell you the date that the imbalance started.YesNo
Fixed Asset Depreciation Run DateShows you the last time depreciation was run.YesNo 
Fixed Asset DraftsReview all draft assets to check none need to be published to balance the registerYesNo
Historical ChangesDetects changes in a defined period of historical data, since a defined date (such as a filing date).YesNo
HMRC StatusFiling and Payment amounts and dates, direct from HMRCYesNo 
Lock Dates StatusTrack changes to Xero’s lock dates and combine with account filing information from Companies House (where available) to help you keep Xero data stableYesYes
Multi-Coded ContactsMulti-coded contacts searches through your contacts history to highlight where a contact has been coded against multiple account codes of VAT rates.YesYes
Net AssetsKeep track of net assets over time, and compare current status with previous periods.YesNo
OverpaymentsStay on top of overpaymentsYesYes
PAYE StatusEnsure the PAYE control account is behaving as it should.YesNo
Payroll StatusEnsure the Payroll control account is behaving as it should.YesNo
Pensions StatusEnsure the Pensions control account is behaving as it should.YesNo
Regular SuppliersDesigned to analyse payments to suppliers over time and automatically detect issues.YesYes
Revenue MovementKeep track of revenue over time, and compare performance with previous periods.YesYes
Supplier RelianceMonitor business reliance on key suppliers and assess associated risk.YesYes
Tax Review By CodeReview all transactions for the period over a certain value, grouped by sales tax codeYesNo
Transactions with AttachmentsReview attachments for all transactions over a certain value for the periodYesNo
Transactions without AttachmentsReview all transactions per the period over a certain value that don’t have attachmentsYesNo
VAT Balance Sheet ReviewFor VAT Review – highlights any Balance Sheet transactions with sales tax appliedYesNo
VAT Control AccountReview the balance of the VAT Control Account against pending liabilitiesYesNo
VAT Expense Account ReviewFor VAT Review – highlights high-risk Expense transactions such as Entertainment, Printing and TravelYesNo
VAT Revenue Account ReviewFor VAT Review – finds Revenue transactions that have a non-revenue tax typeYesNo
VAT Scheme ThresholdCompares rolling turnover with the business’s VAT Scheme thresholds to ensure complianceYesNo
Xero ActivityMonitor for sales and bills activity within Xero and raise alerts if none are detected for 30 daysYesNo

Custom Checks

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There’s often non-Dext Precision tasks that you’d like your team members to work on during jobs like Management Reporting or Year End. That’s where Custom Checks come in. You can create your own Custom Checks that can be added to any Flow Template you like. You can also include links in the description of the Check so your colleagues know where to go, by highlighting a word:

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Flow Templates

A selection of Dext Precision’s Checks can be combined together in a logical order into Flow Templates, designed for guiding your colleagues through a specific job without needing to build lengthy internal process documents. Flow Templates can be built on-the-fly when creating a Flow, at which point you can decide whether you only need the template once or you’d like to save the template for re-use. They can also be created from the Flow Templates view.

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Once multiple Checks have been added to a template they can be re-ordered by dragging and dropping.

All Repeating Flows must be linked to a Flow Template. If a template linked to a Repeating Flow is edited, you will receive a warning with a list of affected Repeating Flows.

  • Any changes to a Repeating Flow template will take effect on the next scheduled date, and will not affect any Repeating Flows that have entered the Flow List.
  • Any checks added to templates that require parameters will be added to Repeating Flows with the default parameters applied unless the Repeating Flow is edited to update the default parameters.

Creating Flows

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Flows are created from the Flow Creator view. You can select to create either a One-Off Flow or a Repeating Flow.

Once you have selected the type of Flow you want to create, the Flow Creator will walk you through a series of steps to build the Flow.

  • Set Checks: Select the Checks you would like to use for the Flow, including any Custom Checks. You can either select a Flow Template, or create your own selection of Checks.
  • Set Dates: This step will differ between a Repeating and One-Off Flow, but these are the dates that determine the Flow start and due date, and the reporting period.
  • Set Parameters: Some Checks require parameters to be set, such as a ‘transactions since’ parameter for Multi-Coded Contacts.
  • Add Clients: Add the clients you would like to run the Flow for. You can select as many clients as you would like, and also assign the team members and reviewers who will complete the Flow. These will default to Account Manager 1 and Account Manager 2, respectively.
  • Review & Go: This stage will allow you to check the template, dates and clients all on one page before completing the Flow.

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During Flow creation, you can navigate forwards and backwards at the bottom of the form with the ‘Next’ and ‘Back’ buttons respectively. You can also click on the links below the coloured progress bar at the top to view stages you have previously completed.

# Draft Flows

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A Draft Flow is a Flow that has not yet been published. They are stored in the ‘Create Flow’ view which can be accessed from the sidebar under Focus.

During Flow creation, clicking ‘Save’ at the top right of the screen will allow you to save your Flow and give it a name. It will then appear in the Draft Flow list with the name it was assigned, and any additional details added during Flow creation.

Draft Flows will also be created if you close Dext Precision or click away from the Flow Creator at any time; if you do this, we’ll name the Draft Flow after the template chosen as default.

In the Draft Flow List, each Flow will have the date it was last edited, and a pink Repeating Flow icon will be present if the Flow was a Repeating Flow.

Draft Flows can be edited or deleted. Simply click the ‘Continue’ button on the Draft Flow card to pick up where you left off. To delete the Draft Flow, you can use the three-dot menu to the right of the card and select ‘Delete’ from the dropdown list.

One-Off Flows

Creating a one-off Flow involves assigning a Flow Template to one or more Clients, assigning a team member to the Client, and selecting a reporting period and a due date for when the Flow needs to be completed. You can select a pre-existing Flow Template, or build your own as you go.

# Adding Clients by Tag

If you are creating a One-Off Flow, you can add multiple clients to a Flow by selecting By Tag in the Add Client stage. This will add all clients to your Flow assigned to a specific tag. Select the account manager and reviewer you would like to use for this group, and then click Add Clients From Tags to add these clients to your Flow. You will then be able to view the list of clients you have added, and edit assignees and reviewers and delete as necessary.

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  If you add multiple Clients when building a Flow, a Flow will be created for each Client.

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If you are creating the Flow for just one Client there will also be the option to ‘Save & Start’. This provides a shortcut where the Flow will be both created and started in one go, and you will be taken directly into Flow Mode.

Repeating Flows

Creating a Repeating Flow will follow a very similar process to creating a One-Off Flow, with a few exceptions:

# Repeating Flow Checks

Repeating Flows must always use a Flow Template. You can create one during Flow creation.

If a template linked to a Repeating Flow is edited, you will receive a warning with a list of affected Repeating Flows.

  • Any changes to a Repeating Flow template will take effect on the next scheduled date, and will not effect any Repeating Flows that have entered the Flow List.
  • Any checks added to templates that that require parameters will be added to Repeating Flows with the default parameters applied, unless the Repeating Flow is edited to update the default parameters.

When Publishing a Repeating Flow, it will enter the Repeating Flows List. The Flow will also enter the Flow List if the creation date is the same as the Scheduled Date.

You will only have the option to ‘Save and Start’ if the Repeating Flow is for only one Client, and if the creation date is the same as the Scheduled Date.

# Repeating Flow Dates

  • Scheduled Date: The date at which your Repeating Flow will first enter the Flow List.
  • Complete Within: The time between the Scheduled Date and the Due Date for the Flow.
  • Reporting Period: The dates the Flow Checks will refer to. This is a date range which is calculated backwards from the Scheduled Date. These can be client specific, for example ‘Last Financial Year’ which will refer to the most recent complete financial year after the Scheduled Date for that client.
  • Repeat this Flow every: The frequency of repetition for the Flow. This begins from the Scheduled Date.

Here’s an example. For a Flow, created on the 28th of October with the following dates:

  • Scheduled Date: 1st November
  • Complete Within: 2 Weeks
  • Reporting Period: Last complete Month
  • Repeat this Flow every: 1 Month

This Flow will enter the Flow List on the 1st of November, and the first due date will be the 15th of November. The date range of the Flow will be the 1st to the 31st of October. The Flow will then appear in the Flow List every month on the 1st, to be due on the 15th.

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Reviewers

Flows in Dext Precision can have up to two reviewers which you assign when creating the Flow. These reviewers are sent an email when the Flow is ready for review, starting with the first reviewer, who can either hand it back to the assigned user with any comments, or pass it on to the second reviewer (if assigned). The Flow can only be marked as complete once approved by the reviewer(s). Details of the reviewers and status are listed in the sidebar in Focus Mode.

The Flow List

The Flow List shows all Flows to be completed for your team, and provides various filters to quickly find the Flows you are looking for. You can filter Flows by their status (Not Started, In Progress, Complete), and order by different values such as Due Date and Period End. Use the search box to filter based on the Flow Template name. If the Flow is not yet completed, warnings will be displayed as the Due Date set for the Flow is approaching.

Any Flows linked to a Repeating Flow will have a pink Repeating Flow on the card.

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There are options available for each Flow by clicking on the menu on the right of the card. Note that Flows that have been started cannot be edited.

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A version of the Flow List is available when viewing an individual Client too, which is automatically filtered to Flows for that Client.

The Repeating Flow List

All Repeating Flows will live within this list, with a card for each one.

If the Repeating Flow has been named (by clicking ‘Save’ during Flow Creation), it will have that name on the Flow card, otherwise it will be named after the Flow Template as default.

From the Flow cards, you can see the date which the Flows will be due to enter the Flow List. Clicking on the buttons on each card will reveal the checks for that Flow, and the Clients assigned to it.

You can also Edit or Delete each Repeating Flow by using the three dot menu icon on the far right of the card, and selecting from the dropdown menu.

Inside a Flow

When you click on a Flow, you are taken to a special “Flow Mode”, which hides the distractions of the rest of Dext Precision and allows you to focus on the job at hand. From here you can run through the Checks in a logical order and mark each one as complete once you are happy.

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From the left hand menu you can head back to the Flow List by clicking on Focus Home, and go to the Client Overview by clicking on the name of the Client.

Attaching Files to Flow Templates

Being able to upload attachments to any flow task will give you the ability to reference certain documents, or link to calculations in excel or word that may be important to a check.  This is great for clients who may need to answer questions about tasks, and will allow reviewers to reference materials the bookkeeper or accountants used to complete the task.  This provides easier visibility over supporting documentation.

To attach a file or multiple files to individual tasks in flows click on the upload files link under the comment button in each task included in your flow template and then select the files you want to upload.  You can upload multiple files to a task. 

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Please note, there is no integration between the comments and files so Partners can make a comment referencing a file and then would need to attach this file separately using the button, or can simply attach a file without a comment.

Anyone who can view the flow will be able to view or download the file from Precision.

The file/files can only be deleted by the uploader and/or the Team Owner.

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# Exporting a Flow

You can export a Flow to both PDF and Excel. The PDF is an export with the health score and top-level check information, plus the comments. The final section of the export is the Flow History.

Regular Flows will export directly to your browser, like the other PDF exports in Dext Precision, however large Flows of 25+ checks will be emailed to the email address of the exporter (this is the email address you use to log into Dext Precision). This will still use the same ‘Export to PDF’ button, but you’ll get a pop-up notification to let you know if it’s been emailed. Please bear in mind; the larger the Flow, the more time it will take to be emailed to you, so it could take more than a few minutes in some cases.

The Excel export contains the same data as the PDF, but simply formatted and always downloaded immediately to the browser. It’s a good format if you want to create your own Flow export layouts, or edit the information before you provide it to the client.

Completing Flows

Progress is made on a Flow by completing Checks. This is done by clicking on the ticks beside each Check:

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If needed, you can click the tick again to change the Check back to incomplete. Only once you’ve completed all Checks will Dext Precision allow you to mark the Flow as Complete:

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WARNING 

Once a Flow is completed this cannot be reversed, so make sure you’re happy with all the Checks before performing this final step.

Flow History

Dext Precision tracks the progress of a Flow via an audit trail called Flow History. In the “History” view of the Flow you can see key events for the Flow laid out in a timeline:

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This includes events such as a user rolling back a completed Check. A snapshot of the Health Score is also captured at the time of these events, so you can track the improvement of this over the course of the Flow.

Focus Daily Digest

Dext Precision will send you an email summary once a day at 8am, if (and only if) you have items in Focus that need attention. This will include:

  • Flows Ready to Start: If a member of your team creates a Flow and assigns it to you, or a Repeating Flow enters the Flow List assigned to you.

  • Flows Due: Any Flows that have not been completed, assigned to you, which become due.

  • Flows Overdue: Any Flows that have not been completed, assigned to you, and the Due date has past. These Flows will only be included for up to three days after the due date, after which we will stop reminding you in the Daily Digest.

The Daily Digest email can be turned on and off in your User Settings area, which can be accessed by clicking on your user avatar in the top right of Dext Precision.