Let's learn how to streamline your workflow by correctly setting up your XPM Job Categories, Job States and Cost Templates to streamline the automatic workflow between Ignition and XPM.
You only have to do this once as this is a set-and-forget type of process!
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XPM Job Categories help meaningfully categorise different types of engagements in XPM to help you better understand and efficiently manage the WIP wash-up process at the end of the job.
When Ignition deploys a job in XPM, the Job category field can be automatically populated based on the proposal’s Automation or client Workflow tab settings.
To ensure you are maximising your use of Job Categories we recommend you follow the best practice set-up steps below.
Utilising these best practices will enable your practice to easily filter and segment WIP Reports in XPM so that contracted WIP can be easily separated from billable WIP which can be a big efficiency driver.
Step 1: Set up your Job Categories in XPM
To set up your Job Categories, head to your XPM's Business Menu → Settings → Job Settings → Job Categories and use the + Add Job Category button to add the 8 best practice Job Categories below into your account:
When using Ignition to automate your workflow deployment it is recommended that Job Categories are used to categorise the different engagement billing types to help your practice differentiate between engagements in your XPM Reporting and WIP Wash-up processes. This categorisation is also important to help you understand the profitability across your different engagement types.
When setting up a job from Ignition’s proposal Automation tab or Workflow tab, categories starting with an "Ignition - " prefix reference should be used and the appropriate billing type after the reference selected.
Do & Charge job categories should only be used on XPM jobs where the final invoice will be raised within XPM rather than from Ignition. Do & Charge job categories should be linked to corresponding Xero Accounts so that your practice revenue streams are split up appropriately in your Xero P&L.
When Ignition is utilised for job deployment it is not necessary to link your XPM Job Categories with an “Ignition - “ reference to Xero Accounts as the revenue from Ignition services can be pre-mapped to Xero Accounts under the Ignition Service Library.
This means that the revenue from your Xero invoices will automatically be mapped to linked Xero Accounts to split up your revenue streams in your Xero P&L.
It is strongly recommended to manage all engagements and billing through Ignition to centralise your billing management and to take advantage of our automated payment collection and reconciliation process. Doing this allows you to say goodbye to your debtor days & save more time.
Pro-tip: If you do follow this best practice and only do your billing through Ignition, it is not necessary to set-up the Do & Charge job categories above!
Step 2: Sync your new Job Categories into Ignition
XPM updates will automatically synchronise to Ignition overnight. However, if you do want to start using your new Job categories straight away you can navigate to Ignition's Apps tab → Xero Practice Manager → Sync.
The manual sync should take a maximum of 30 minutes to sync new updates into Ignition.
Step 3: Selecting the correct Job Category in your Ignition automation & workflow tab
Whether you’re using the proposal’s Automation tab or the client’s Workflow tab in Ignition to deploy your XPM workflow, you should select the correct Job Category from the list above while setting up the job to auto-populate this field in XPM based on how the engagement will be billed.
For example, if you are setting up a Job for an engagement that includes a range of Accounting Services that will be billed in recurring monthly instalments then the Ignition - ASA (Recurring Fixed Fees) Job Category should be selected. Whereas, if you are setting up an ITR Job for an ITR engagement billed when the work is complete, then the Ignition - On Completion Job category should be selected.
Job States are utilised in XPM to reflect the different stages a job transitions through throughout the year prior to being completed and archived.
In order for Xero invoices to allocate to a job in XPM the Job State must be in a standard state at the time of the overnight Xero to XPM sync. For this reason, when using Ignition it is recommended to add a new standard job state in XPM called ‘Awaiting Ignition invoice’.
This job state should be used on jobs when the engagement is being billed on completion of the work and has an Ignition - On Completion or an Ignition - Annual On Completion job category.
The job state should be updated to this ‘Awaiting Ignition invoice’ state once all timesheets have been added to the job and the final invoice for the engagement has been generated from your Ignition billing schedule.
This will indicate to your team that the job is waiting for the final invoice to allocate in the overnight Xero to XPM sync before the job and WIP wash-up process can be completed to ensure an accurate write-on or write-off.
You can create your new Job State under XPM’s Business Menu → Settings → Job Settings → Job States clicking + New Job State and then adding the best practice Job States below:
In your Ignition proposal, you may be quoting clients not only for the services that you will be engaging them for but also for other disbursement fees & costs such as software subscription and ASIC fees.
It is important when deploying jobs from Ignition that the invoices for these fees are recognised as costs rather than revenue in your XPM WIP wash-up process so write-on amounts aren’t inflated.
To ensure these costs are accurately taken into account your Ignition disbursement fee services should be linked to an appropriate XPM cost template in your Service Library. This will ensure that any engagements with disbursement fee services automatically allocate the relevant cost template to the deployed XPM job so you can report an accurate write-on/off calculation.
Follow the next steps to set up and link your XPM Costs to Ignition services:
Step 1: Set up Costs in XPM
Costs will need to be set up in XPM before cost templates can be created. This can be done under the Business menu → Settings → Costs → New Costs.
We recommend setting up a new cost for each of your disbursement fees and job costs.
When managing Software subscription billing in Ignition a separate cost should be set up for each level of subscription.
Step 2: Set up Job Templates with costs in XPM
To link costs to Ignition services, the XPM costs will need to be added to XPM Job templates. This means we will need to set up one Job Template for each cost you would like to link to an Ignition service.
Job Templates can be set up under you XPM Business menu → Settings → Job Settings → Job Templates and + New Job Template.
You can use the Template Name to indicate the Cost Type and Job Costs should be set to Estimated as they will be marked as actual costs during the WIP wash-up process to ensure accuracy.
Lastly, before saving your Cost Template scroll down to add the correct cost to the template and set the quantity to the number of months the subscription will be billed for over the engagement period. For example, if you are engaging the client for 12 months, the quantity should be 12.
Step 3: Manually sync new cost templates from XPM into Ignition
Navigate to your Ignition Apps tab → Xero Practice Manager → Sync to synchronise your new cost templates into Ignition within approximately 30 minutes.
Step 4: Link XPM Cost Templates to Ignition Services
Navigate to the Ignition Service Library under Library → Services to start linking your disbursement fee services to their relevant cost templates.
This can be done by clicking into the Ignition service i.e. Xero Subscription - Standard Package and using the Workflow Templates drop-down at the bottom of the service to search for the correct 'cost' job template from XPM.
Step 5: Link Ignition Cost Services to a ‘Disbursement Fees’ Xero Account
To ensure your cost and disbursement fee services aren’t recognised as revenue in your Xero P&L you also want to make sure you have correctly mapped your Ignition disbursement fee services to a disbursement Xero account in your Ignition Service Library.
Step 6: Mark costs as Actual costs before WIP Washup process
Immediately prior to the job WIP washup process make sure to review and mark costs as Actual by ticking the box next to the cost to ensure these are taken into account in your XPM recoverability reporting.