Target date examples: payroll info in (client specific targets)

Sometimes it is useful to have a target date automatically calculated by a workflow action - where the number of days is specific to each client.

An example of where this is often used is to set the date by which a client wishes to receive their final payroll data.

To achieve this follow these steps:

First we need a custom client field of the number data type:

  1. Click on the Config menu (superuser access required)
  2. Click on Edit additional client field.
  3. Click on Number alongside the Create new field options.
    1. This field will appear on the summary page of the client card. If you would prefer the field to appear on a workflow tab such as payroll then add the field to that tab. Follow the steps here.
  4. Note, the number entered into this field for any particular client will provide the number of days used in the Set target date workflow action on jobs for that client. So in this example we will be setting up an automated target date for the 'Send data to client' stage and we will want this to be before our payroll deadline. If we want this to be 3 days before then we would enter a value of -3 for that client.
    1. Call the field something like Payroll completion - working days before deadline.
    2. The purpose of the other field settings are discussed here. For this example you can leave them all as they are except perhaps setting the order, this controls where the field appears on the client card.
  5. At some point you would want to populate this value for your clients. This can be done individually on the client card or in bulk using the Excel import tool.

Next we need to set up the workflow action:

In any payroll workflow we recommend that the job date represents the 'Normal pay date' - so if a client is normally paid on the 18th of the month or the last working day of the month - this would be the date that appears as the job date. Remember you can use various special job frequencies to deal with the intricacies of payroll.

We then recommend you have a deadline that represents the actual pay date, you could call the deadline Actual pay date. Use the deadline option UK - RTI Submision (pay day). This will create a deadline that is exactly the same as the job date; however, it will walk back to the last working day before the pay date. So if the normal pay date falls on a weekend then your actual pay date will be the Friday. This will also step backwards from UK public holiday.

Follow these steps to set up your target date automation:

  1. Click on Edit workflow systems (superuser access required)
  2. Click on the pencil icon alongside your payroll workflow system to edit it.
  3. The editor will open on the routes tab. If you have more then one route variation then you would need to complete the following for each route.
  4. Scroll down until you get to Workflow steps. Our client field will be populated before our job creates and therefore there is no reason not to calculate this target at the point of job creation. Scroll down a little further to the 1st workflow step which will say From (Special) - On Creation - this workflow step is run when the job creates.
  5. Click the blue Create New Action button that is just below this step (it is on the right hand side of the screen).
  6. In the drop down box choose either the Set target date (Calendar days) or Set target date (Working days) workflow action - the difference is whether you wish to walk backwards from your deadline in working or calendar days. I suspect for payroll purposes it would be working days. Make sure this choice ties in with the numbers entered into your client field. For example if you have entered the number 3 for a client because you want the target to be 3 working days before pay date then be sure to choose the working days action. This choice will apply to all clients that use this route. If you wanted to have some clients calculate by reference to working days and some by reference to calendar days then you would need two routes with different actions, you would still only need the one client field.
  7. Set the action up with these settings:
    1. Choose sub-system: In here you will select payroll (or whatever your sub-system is named).
    2. Number of days: In here you will enter a default number which will be used to calculate the target in the event that the client field is empty for a client. So perhaps enter -4 or whatever your default target date would be.
    3. Execution date: Change the reference point to the option [Job date +] 'the name of your client field'. So for example it may show as [Job date + ] 'payroll completion working days before deadline' (overrides days field above).
    4. Select stage: In here choose the stage that you wish the target to be set on. In this dropdown we list the stage milestone text and so it would likely be something like 'Payroll data sent to client'.
    5. Click save.

Now you are all set up. and ready to go. Remember that the new workflow action is on the job creation step and so this target will not exist on any jobs that have already been created. You could enter it manually for these jobs.

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