Ignition blog  /  Improve cash flow  /  New Feature: Xero Practice Manager Billing Job

Using Xero Practice Manager and Ignition? We just made this a bit more streamlined!

IMPROVE CASH FLOW 4 mins 25 Jul 2018 by Angela Gosnell
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Through our native integration with Xero Practice Manager (XPM), Ignition auto-magically deployed over 100,000 XPM jobs in the last year on acceptance of a Ignition contract! Firms using Ignition and XPM say this integration saves them a huge amount of administration time when bringing on new clients or renewing a client for a new year of work - check out what Stuart at 542 Partners says:

Our invoices and workflows are effortlessly synced, saving us admin time better spent providing value to our clients.

- Stuart Bradman, 542 Partners

After listening to some feedback from Ignition and XPM users we have made an update to the way Ignition works with XPM to streamline this even further. To understand this update, we want to explain first a few different ways you can use PI and XPM together, particularly for monthly fixed price contracts…

Setting up your XPM job structure for monthly fixed price contracts

When setting up your Ignition contracts and XPM jobs for work that runs throughout a year (e.g., an annual fixed price agreement) we see there are two high-level ways practices structure this:

  • A master job structure - one job per client that contains all necessary tasks for that client for the year
  • An annual job structure - multiple jobs are set up per client, with one job that runs for the entirety of the contracted period (usually a year), with separate jobs to track work to be completed throughout the contract term
How services in Ignition can be structured to deploy jobs in XPM

For a master job structure, you would set up each service in your Ignition contract within the same job. The XPM job templates linked to each service would then be deployed as tasks and sub-tasks in the master job for that client.

The master job would be open for the term of the contract, and tasks would be ticked off as completed, with time tracked against those tasks.

The benefit of a master job is:

  1. Fewer jobs in your XPM system - so fewer to administer
  2. Time is tracked in the same job as invoices are allocated

The majority of small and medium sized firms use a master job structure, and this is also recommended as a best practice by Xero themselves - have a look at this webinar to explain Xero’s perspective.

For an annual job structure, you would include a job that runs for the entire contract term. Practices that use this method in Ignition often create a job which includes a service named "Annual Agreement" or "Annual accounting services." We recommend this becomes your billing job.

Once you create this job in your Ignition proposal, you'll then create any additional jobs in the proposal directly below the annual job, using the "add job" button; one for each separate job you'd like to deploy into XPM.

When the proposal is accepted, each job would be set up with the XPM job template associated and you would have multiple jobs for the same client.

How do practices use the annual job structure?

Multiple jobs within one agreement with an annual job structure are mainly used by larger teams that wish to allocate responsibilities for whole areas of work (an XPM job) to different team members or who want to track the state of different aspects of work.

If you are deploying a job not associated with a piece of work, e.g., the service is ‘annual agreement’, then this job template in XPM may contain relationship-based tasks and milestones like quarterly reviews, renewal conversations and other points in your clients lifecycle with you.

If you have an annual job structure, you can choose to track all time against the annual job (recommended), or you can track time against separate jobs and then write off/wash up time on multiple jobs as described here.

So what has changed with Ignition?

Whilst Ignition has always accommodated both job structures in our proposals, the annual job structure has had some complications when it comes to the Xero-XPM integration. When a proposal is accepted, Ignition will push through instructions to Xero blue for invoices and XPM for jobs. When it comes to linking Xero invoices to XPM jobs, the Xero-XPM integration takes over - if you don’t know how this integration works, have a look at Xero’s support page here.

As the Xero-XPM integration controlled where invoices were allocated (usually the most recent job), sometimes invoices for a monthly recurring agreement could be allocated across different jobs, rather than always the same job. Ignition’s “Billing job” feature has now solved for this, as you can now specify one job for all invoices from Xero to be synced to in XPM - this is denoted in Ignition as the “Billing job”.

Billing Job in Ignition

You will now notice when you create a proposal and have XPM linked, there will be a green badge on the first job that says 'billing job':

  • If you are operating under the master job structure there are no changes for you - as there is only one job, this will automatically be your billing job in XPM.
  • If you are operating under the annual job structure (and have multiple jobs), you can change what job you have selected as your billing job in the Job settings - it will automatically be selected as the first job.

Anything else I should know when using Billing Job?

For an annual job structure, you should select as your billing job either a job you will have open for the whole contract term or one that recurs over the whole term (i.e., a monthly recurring job that recurs over the whole term of the contract) - the reason being if you set the status of a job as ‘complete’ in XPM, then no more invoices can be assigned to it from Xero.

Demo Time - XPM Billing Job in Ignition

Have a look at the below demo where we create a proposal with a billing job and change which job is the billing job:

As always, we welcome your feedback and look forward to improving Ignition with each new release! Stay tuned - Onwards and Upwards!

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Angela Gosnell
Angela Gosnell

Global Content Marketing Lead 

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Published 25 Jul 2018 Last updated 19 Mar 2024