Including Merge Fields in Automations

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Automations allow you to easily process repetitive tasks, or introduce time-saving benefits by automating emails, document creation, and much more.

Using Merge fields, you can personalise the Automation process steps specific to your needs. For example, automatically create a job customised with the Client's name.

Merge fields are added to your steps, and need to be added in a specific format.

Automation Fields available to use Merge Fields

  • Name e.g. Job Name, Filing Name etc
  • Comments
  • Budget
  • Description
  • Year
  • Custom Fields (when used with the Job Rollover process)

Using Custom Merge 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 Custom Merge Fields in your Automations.

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.

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

To ensure the field names are inserted correctly, there are rules that 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

Adding Merge Fields to Automations

To add a Merge Field, you will need to add a step to your Automation Process. For detailed step-by-step instructions on creating an Automation Process Step refer to Automation Process Steps

  1. Open the Process.
  2. Click Add Step.
  3. Select your function e.g. Create Word.

    504_Automation_Step.gif

  4. Enter any text to be added to the name as required e.g. Notice of Assessment.
  5. In the Name field click the three dots icon (...) to load the Merge Fields window.
    Note: The Create Job step will need to have Merge Fields manually typed into the field.

    1431_Process_Step_Name_Merge_Fields.gif
     
  6. Click the tabs on the right to view a list of merge fields; click on the field to add it to the Name.
    Note: Some Merge Fields are only supported for specific steps. Refer to the section Merge Fields Available For Specific Steps below. For users of Xero Practice Manager, please note that Custom Merge Fields will only retrieve data from the Client, and not the Job.

    1432_Process_Step_Add_Name_Merge_Fields.gif

  7. For advanced formatting options and additional fields, refer to Advanced Merge Fields and Formatting below.
  8. Click Save to save the changes.
  9. Update the remaining Process Step details as required to add the step to your automation.
  10. Continue to create your automation; refer to Automation Process Steps for more information.

Merge Fields Available For Specific Steps

Some Merge Fields are only supported for specific steps. 

Merge Field Details
{{ComplianceYear}} Only available with BGL and NowInfinity Integrations. Refer to:
{{OriginalFileName}} Only available with the Alter Document step. Refer to Process Step Details – Alter Document.
{{ TotalWIP }} Only available with the Create Invoice step 3345_Elite_plan_Swish.png 
{{ TotalDisbursement }} Only available with the Create Invoice step 3345_Elite_plan_Swish.png

Download Merge Fields Comprehensive Guide

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Click here to download the FYI Merge Fields Comprehensive Guide.

In this document, you'll find a list of Merge Fields to copy and paste into your Automation fields (refer to Automation Fields available to use Merge Fields above). You'll also find a copy of the link at the bottom of the article.

Advanced Merge Fields and Formatting

For more advanced merge fields, you can use formatters and even add text or perform calculations.

When adding the formatters, the pipe character ( | ) is added by typing the Shift + Backslash (\) key. Ensure that the spaces are added correctly as in the examples.

Note: Pasting the formula into an Office app may change the quotation marks to a right-angle quotes character, which causes an error when the formula is used in FYI. If you encounter an error, try replacing the quotation marks using the character ". Hold shift and press the quotation key to enter this character.

Format Details

Current date

{{"now"}}

Returns the current time formatted to day month year e.g. 17 May 2023. 

Format dates

{{"now" | date: "%d %B %Y"}}

Used to modify how the date is displayed. You can use any combination of the Formatting options, for example, use only the month, or month and year.

Formatting options:

  • "%d %b %y" - 31 Mar 23
  • "%d %B %Y" - 31 March 2023
  • "%d-%m-%Y" - 31-03-2023 (add a hyphen between the codes to hyphenate the date)
  • "%B %Y" - March 2023
  • "%Y" - 2023

Use capitals for the month or the year to display the full month text and year.

For example, to include the custom merge field "Job Start Date" from Xero Practice Manager, with the full month and year displayed, the following merge field would be added to the email template:

{{ custom_Job_Start_Date | date: "%d %B %Y" }}

add_interval

{{ "now" | add_interval: "-1 month" | date: "%B %Y" }}

Calculates a new date by adding/subtracting a specified time period, referred to as an "Interval". This can be used for:

  • Hour
  • Day
  • Month
  • Year.

Requirements for using the interval

  • The interval must be entered as either a minus or positive (a plus sign isn't necessary) e.g. -1, 2, 5
  • Use the pipe character to separate the formatters
  • The Interval must come before the date format
  • Multiple intervals can be included in a single filter e.g.
    {{ "now" | add_interval: "1 day" | add_interval: "1 month" | date: "%d-%m-%Y" }}

start_of

{{"now" | start_of: "quarter" | date: "%d %B %y"}}

 

Change a date to the start of a specified period - month, quarter, or year. For example, if you had a job that was to be created at the start of each month.

Requirements for using start_of:

  • Use the pipe character to separate the formatters
  • Use the date formatters to specify the formatting of the returned date
  • The start_of field must come before the date format

Constant Date

"2023-03-01"

Used to enter a specific date. This can be combined with the formatters above.

For example, entering {{"2023-05-18" | start_of: "year" | date: "%d-%m-%y"}} would result in the date 01-01-23 (the first day of the year, formatted as d-m-y).

url_encode

{{ ClientName | url_encode }}

Converts any URL-unsafe characters to allow merge fields to be used as part of a website address. E.g. the Client Name “Cobb & Co” would become “Cobb+&26+Co”.

Multiplying values

{{ (field) | times: (value) }}

 

Multiplies the field by the amount specified.

e.g. {{ Trigger_custom_Engagement_Budget | times: 1.03 }}

Can be combined with "round" to multiply and round to a whole number e.g. {{ Trigger_custom_Engagement_Budget | times: 1.03 | round }}

Dividing values

{{ (field) | divided_by: (value) }}

Divides the field by the value specified. 

e.g. e.g. {{ Trigger_custom_Engagement_Budget | divided_by: 1.03 }}

Can be combined with "round" to divide and round to a whole number e.g. {{ Trigger_custom_Engagement_Budget | divided_by: 1.03 | round }}

Round

{{ (field) | times: 1.03 | round }}

 

Used to round to a whole number e.g. 2.7 would be rounded to 3, 1.2 would be rounded to 1.

 

When used together, you could create an advanced Merge Field like:

  • {{ "now" | add_interval: "1 month" | start_of: "quarter" | date: "%d %B %y" }}

If today's date was the 18th of May 2023, it would:

  1. Add a month (18th June 2023).
  2. Determine the start date of that quarter (1st April 2023).
  3. Format the date (01 April 23).

2713_Process_Steps_Add_Name_Interval.gif

Job Rollover Merge Fields

The "Create Job" process step can be used to create new jobs using the values from the Job that triggered the process. For example, when creating jobs at the end of the year. 

For more information refer to the section "Create Job(s) using Values from the Trigger Job(s) - Copy from Trigger" in the article Process Step Details - Updating Clients, Creating and Updating Jobs

Merge Field Details
{{ TriggerName }} Used for the Name, this merge field automatically creates a Job with a name as per the name of the job used to trigger the automation
{{ TriggerBudget }} Enters a budget matching the job that triggered the automation
{{ TriggerDescription }} Used for the Description field, this enters a description matching the job that triggered the automation
{{ Trigger(CustomField) }}

Use any Custom Fields with a type of "Text" as a merge field, as long as the field was populated from the original job that triggered the automation.

The merge field is entered using both the phrase "Trigger" and the Custom Field Name, without any spaces. For example,
{{ TriggerAdministration }}

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Requirements:

  • Ensure there is a space after the opening curly brackets and before the closing curly brackets.
  • Ensure you enter the Merge Field in the same case as the Custom Name
  • Remove any spaces.
  • Remove any characters that are not a number, letter or underscore (_)

 

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