Creating and Maintaining Task Templates

Task Templates are used to pre-populate the Task fields when creating a new Task, significantly reducing the time spent re-typing repetitive task instructions for team members.

To learn how to enable Task Templates, refer to Setting up Task Templates.

Creating Task Templates

Follow these steps to create Task Templates:

  1. From FYI, click the Knowledge menu option.

  2. Go to the Task Templates tab and click the +Add button.

  3. The Create Task Template drawer will be displayed.
  4. Enter the Template Name. This identifies the template internally, and it is important that this clearly describes when the Template would be used.

  5. Enter the task name. This is used to define the name of the Task created from the template and displays as the Subject in Tasks lists. If blank, the name of the Task will be automatically populated based on the Template Name.

    The Name field supports the use of Merge Fields to personalise the name of the task, for example, adding the client's name. Select from the list of Merge Fields groups at the bottom of the Task Template Details section and copy/paste it to the Name field. For more advanced options and formatting, refer to the Using Merge Fields section below.

  6. Select the default Assignee for the Task. The Assignee is the name of the user or user role assigned to the task. Select "Unassigned" if the task should not be assigned to a user when created. Refer to Custom User Roles.
  7. Select the default number of days for the Due Date for the task, for example, 3 or 28 days. When a task is created using this template, the due date will be displayed as the specific due date.

  8. If any Categories have been set up as Available in Tasks (refer to Managing Categories) these are included in the Task drawer.


    These can be Categories that are generally used for filing documents (such as Work Type or Year) or specific Categories can be set up that are used only for tasks. An example of a Category used specifically for Tasks would be a Category Priority with the Options of "High", "Medium" and "Low", and Available in Tasks enabled. This allows users to identify high-priority tasks which may require a separate view and Automation Process(es) to give greater oversight for key team members.

  9. If Task Security has been enabled in the Practice Settings for your practice, you can select a Cabinet for the task template. The Cabinet selected for a task sets the security and ensures that only users with access to that Cabinet can see the task. This is useful, for example, for sensitive areas such as HR or performance management. Refer to Managing Tasks and Managing User Groups.

  10. If Task Job Category has been enabled in the Practice Settings for your practice (refer to Managing Tasks), you can also optionally select a Job Category for the task. Job Categories are from Xero Practice Manager.

  11. Click the Filing heading to expand the section. Initially, the Status of the Template is set to "Draft". To make the task available for users, change the Status to "Active".

  12. Click the Time heading to expand the section and enter the Time for the task. 

    Time Type 3345_Elite_plan_Swish.png

    Select a default Time Type to be used when time is entered against the task. When a time entry is created for the task, this Time Type will be selected automatically. If the Time Type is Chargeable, a job will be required. If the Time Type is non-chargeable, time can be created without being associated with a job.

    AutoTime 3345_Elite_plan_Swish.png
    If AutoTime has been enabled for the practice, when a Task created from the Template is completed, a draft Timesheet will be created for the Task Assignee. If the Template is deleted before the Task is completed, time will not be created.

    Custom Automation Processes used to create tasks will not use the Task Template time, and will need to have time applied within the Automation step. Refer to Process Step Details - AutoTime.

  13. Enter the default Details for the Task Template to provide further instructions for the recipient of the task. You can apply formatting such as bold or italics using the tools at the top of the Task Template Details. 
    You can personalise the details of the task using Merge Fields, for example by adding the Client Name. When the task is created, the details will be populated unique to that task. Use the Merge Field Groups at the bottom of the details to add a field. For more advanced options and formatting, refer to the Using Merge Fields section below.

  14. Click Create.

The Template will now display in the Task Templates list in the Knowledge Workspace.

Using Merge Fields

Merge Fields can be added to the Name and Task Details fields, to personalise the details of the task when created. 

Each Merge Field must be added in a specific format for both Standard and Custom fields in FYI, covered in more detail below.

Standard Fields

Standard Merge Fields in FYI are displayed in the Merge Field Groups at the bottom of the Task Details. These fields generally follow the format of "{{ (field name) }}", for example, {{ ClientName }}.

Click here to download the FYI Merge Fields Comprehensive Guide for a list of Merge Fields that you can copy and paste into your Template (or download the file from the bottom of this article).


Custom Fields

If you have set up Custom Fields in your practice management software, UDFs in GreatSoft, or added Custom Fields directly in FYI, you can include Merge Fields for these in Templates and Stationery.

Custom Fields can be used, for example, to distinguish the client type (such as A, B or C grade clients) to record additional address or contact information, or for other indicators. Custom Fields display in the Client - Custom Fields and Job - Custom Fields tabs in FYI.


When including Custom Fields in Task Templates, you add them as Merge Fields from the Word Field function.

Custom Fields generally follow the format of "custom_(fieldname)", for example, "custom_ClientLevel".

To ensure the field names are inserted correctly, some rules must be followed:

  • Prefix the Custom Field name with "custom_"

  • The Field name must exactly match the Custom Field name as it appears in FYI, including the same case. Refer to Managing Custom Fields for instructions on how to find the Custom Field name.

  • For Custom Field names with spaces, replace the space with an underscore (_).

  • Remove special characters from Custom Field names like full stops (.) or any other special characters (such as , or &).

For users of Xero Practice Manager, please note that Custom Merge Fields will only retrieve data from the Client, and not the Job.

For example:

Custom Field Name Merge Field Name
Types custom_Types
Skype Call custom_Skype_Call
z2.1 Name custom_z21_Name

Advanced Formatting

For more advanced merge fields, you can use formatters and even add text or perform calculations. For example, to put in the current year, use the merge field {{"now" | date: "%Y"}}

Click here to download the FYI Merge Fields Comprehensive Guide, and refer to the section "Advanced Merge Fields and Formatting" for a list of more advanced merge fields.

Making Changes to a Task Template

You can make changes to a Task Template at any time.

  1. Select the Template in the Knowledge - Task Templates list to display the drawer.

  2. Edit the Template details as required.

  3. To update Task Template Details, click Editor in the drawer.

  4. Click Update to save your changes.

    Note: When a Task Template is changed, you can see a record of the changes in the Activity section in the drawer.

Copying Task Templates

When creating a copy of a Task Template, it creates a new Template containing the same information as the original.

  1. Select the Task Template you want to copy from.

  2. Click Copy Template in the toolbar.
  3. Confirm the copy and the copied Template displays in the Task Templates list.

  4. Select the copied Template to open the drawer and make any changes.

  5. Update the Status to "Active".

  6. Click Update to save your changes.

Archiving or Deleting Task Templates

You can archive a Task Template by opening the Filing section in the drawer and setting the Status to "Archived". A template will only be available for selection if it has a status of "Active".

You can delete a Task Template by selecting it in the Templates list and clicking Delete.


  • If you need to archive or delete an Email Template, first check if it has been used in any Process Automations (refer to Automation Process Steps and Process Step Details - Creating Documents and Tasks).

  • If a Task Template is deleted, any tasks created from the template will not create AutoTime entries when the task is completed.

  • There is no restore facility for deleted Templates or Stationery. Instead of deleting a Task Template that is not in use, we recommend setting the Status to "Archived".

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