Repeating Flows are flow templates that are set to automatically repeat and enter the workflow for a specific time period which you can assign to a team member. Creating a more efficient workflow.
Creating a Repeating Flow will follow a very similar process to creating a One-Off Flow, with a few exceptions:
Precision has 2 types of Repeating Flows:
- Event driven flows
- Flows created using Tags
- Updating existing repeating flows with the new functionality listed above
What you need to know
- Before you start, repeating flows must always use a Flow Template. However, you can create one during Flow creation if you haven’t already done so.
- If a template linked to a Repeating Flow is edited, you will receive a warning with a list of affected Repeating Flows.
- You can not schedule a repeating flow template to repeat on the same day you are setting up the template. For eg. if it is 25th July you can’t use this date as the scheduled date in the repeating flow template. It will not enter the Flow list until the next schedule date which would be 25th Aug.
- 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 require parameters will be added to Repeating Flows with the default parameters applied, unless the Repeating Flow is edited to update the default parameters.
Repeating flows can now be created using a “specific event” to determine when flows should repeat for each client assigned to the repeating flow. This allows clients with different year end or vat return periods to be included in a repeating flow together and will repeat at different times based on the individual client’s configuration.
Steps to set up a repeating flow:
- Go to Focus (under Team Home)
- Click on Flow Creator
- Create a Repeating Flow
- Name your flow
- Select a template that you have created or you can build your own at this point in the process
- Click Next
- On the Set Cadence section is where you will define the Repeating flow started by option:
- Scheduled Date (choose from a selection of different reporting period options)
- Specific Event (Year End or VAT Return period)
Currently the available events that can be used for a “specific event” repeating flow are Year End and VAT Return Period. When a repeating flow is created using these specific events, the flow reporting periods will be either last complete financial year for “Year End” and last complete VAT period for “VAT Return Period”.
- Next the following settings must be set by the user:
- Scheduled Date:The number of days/weeks after the selected reporting period that the flow will be created. (Note: You can not schedule a repeating flow template to repeat on the same day you are setting up the template. For eg. if it is 25th July you can’t use this date as the scheduled date in the repeating flow template. It will not enter the Flow list until the next schedule date which would be 25th Aug.)
- Complete Within:This will set the due date for the flow once it has been created.
- Reporting Period: Choose either Year End or VAT Return Period (UK)
- Repeat this Flow every: The frequency of repetition for the Flow. This begins from the Scheduled Date.
- Next Add Clients, by clicking on the clients or you can add by tags (explained in next section of this article)
- Last step is to Review & Go. Check the flow is set up correctly then click Publish. When the flow is ready to be started your team member will need to select it in their flow list, which is found under Team Home – Focus – Flow List and click Start.
Flows using a “specific event” cadence will show in the repeating flow list with a message stating “repeats on specific event” instead of the next start date that regular repeating flows show.
Where a repeating flow has been created using the “VAT Return Period” specific event, when adding clients to the repeating flow, if clients do not have a tax period start date, tax scheme or tax frequency set in Precision, the “Select Clients” screen will provide a new section at the bottom of the page which allows the user to set those settings for each client as seen in the screenshot below.
Use Case Examples
Example 1: Year-End Accounts
Some customers using Repeating Flows for their year end accounts, as it stands have to maintain 12 repeating flows (one for every month of the year). The reason they need to do this is because, their clients have year-ends spread through out the year.
As it stands today, the schedule date is a fixed calendar date, as part of this change we would be looking for the option to set this schedule date, in relation to the Reporting Period as well as by fixed calendar date.
Example 2 : Quarterly VAT Returns
A customer has 50 VAT Return Clients, they follow the following cadence:
- 2 are monthly VAT Return Clients
- 45 are quarterly of which, 20 start in January, 15 in Feb and 10 in March.
- 3 are Annual VAT Return Clients (April and June) Start
When using Flows currently the customer has a ‘VAT Checklist’ Template, this then gets applied to 6 Repeating Flows to work out the scheduling. The new changes should reduce this to 1 Repeating Flow.
Please follow Steps 1-10 as above however when you come to choosing the clients you want for your flows you have the option just like One off Flows to create Repeating Flows by Tags. This will simplify the process of adding clients to a repeating flow.
Selecting “by tag” on the client selection screen when creating a repeating flow will show a list of the available tags to chose from.
Adding a tag to a client after the repeating flow has been created will automatically add the client all repeating flows that have been created using that tag.
When a tag is selected, all of the clients associated with that tag are added to the selected clients list.
Multiple tags can be used at the same time.
Tags that are in use with a repeating flow can not be deleted. When on the tags management page, if a user attempts to delete a tag that has been used with a repeating flow, the following message will be displayed.
Please note:When you add new clients to Precision and assign a tag that has a Repeating Flow set up related to that tag the new client will automatically be aded to the existing repeating flow for that tag. This also applies if you remove a tag from a client we will remove any related existing repeating flows. This option is not available for One Off Flows
Before getting started on updating your existing flows we highly suggest that you update all your client Tags. If you have tags that are broken up into VAT Quarters ie Jan-Mar, Apr-Jun etc. you will no longer need these tags you will just need a tag that is VAT Client. This applies to any Year End tags you may have created too. You may just want a tag called Year End Work as an example.
Steps to update your existing flows:
- Go to Focus – Repeating Flows
- Choose the flow template you wish to update
- Click on the 3 dots far right of the flow – Edit Flow
- Click on the Set Cadence section
- Select Specific Event – choose Year End or VAT Return Period
- Next, if you want to assign repeating flows to clients using Tags then go to Add Clients section and choose By Tag, select the tags (you may need to remove already selected tags by click on the X under selected tags and assign the new tags if applicable)
- Go to Review & Go and click Save.
This will save the report as the name shown. If you change the name of the flow it will just be updated to the new name. It will NOT create a new flow. If you require a new flow you will need to create a new repeating flow template.
Once you have updated your repeating flows you may have quite a number of flows that are now redundant. Ie: You may have several different flows reflecting VAT Periods or Year Ends. Precision will know when to move your flows, based on the new settings, into your flow lists. To delete your redundant flows click on the 3 dots to the right of those repeating flows and click Delete Flow. This will have to be one flow template at a time as we don’t have a bulk delete feature at the moment.
Important to note:
Only Team Owners and Admins can EDIT repeating flow templates for clients but you can only DELETE repeating flow templates that YOU have created.
Once a repeating flow enters the flow list to be processed anyone with visibility over the flow can edit certain fields for that flow. Such as reassigning them to other team members and reviewers and the due date. However, the due date can’t be updated once the flow is in progress/or started.
You team members will be notified via our Focus Daily Digest emails updating them on status of their flows assigned to them. Click the link to see the notifications they will receive.
If you have any further questions on how to use repeating flows please contact your Account Manager or reach out to your Partner Success Consultant.