Introduction to Email AutoFile

As soon as FYI is deployed, the items in your users' Inbox and Sent in Outlook are monitored and automatically filed depending on your settings. The AutoFile process runs approximately every 15 minutes, and will import emails based on the Last Modified date in Outlook.

Email Types

There are three Email Types:

  • Client emails
    Client emails are where the email is from or to a Client or a Client's Contact. These can be auto-filed in FYI using the Filing Defaults to determine the Cabinet and Category/Categories to set as the filing details. Any client email that cannot be auto-filed will go to the FYI In Tray of the user who sent or received the email for review.

  • Internal emails
    Internal emails are emails in Outlook between your internal team members and these would usually be set to be excluded.

  • External emails
    External emails are emails from or to an unknown email address. Provided these are not from or to any email addresses or domains on the list of emails to exclude from the AutoFile, these can be included to ensure that any other emails that relate to clients are captured. In this case, they are sent to the In Tray of the user who sent or received them so they can be reviewed and then either filed or deleted in FYI. If External emails are set to be excluded, they can still be filed to FYI manually from the user's Outlook on an ad hoc basis (this setting is ideal for avoiding junk emails from being filed to FYI).

Filing Status

  • When an email, or any document attachments, are auto-filed by FYI or manually filed by a user, this makes it available to all FYI users across your practice. It is set with a Filing Status of Filed.
  • When an email, or any document attachments, have been imported into FYI and are in a user's In Tray, they have a Filing Status of Draft Filed.
  • When an email has been excluded from filing based on the rules it has a Filing Status of Not Filed. The email is still in the user's Outlook from where it can be filed manually into FYI. 

Using FYI Configuration Settings to Maximize the Auto-filing

There are three main configuration and maintenance areas:

  • Email AutoFile Settings for your practice
  • Excluding irrelevant email addresses and domains
  • Setting the Filing Defaults (for Clients, Users and Practice)

Email AutoFile Settings

The Email AutoFile Settings determine what filing rules are applied and how for your practice. These settings can only be managed by an FYI Admin, or a user in a User Group that has Permissions enabled for Automations. For full details on all these practice settings, refer to Email AutoFile Settings,  Exclusions and Practice Filing Defaults.

When FYI is first deployed, the practice's Email AutoFile setting will default to "AutoFile Else In Tray - Emails & attachments".

The AutoFile setting for users will be set to "Disabled" by default, including when a new user is added to FYI. Users will need to change this when going live with FYI, or when they have been added to the platform.

The "AutoFile mode" can be updated to Practice Default or In Tray for users in bulk by an FYI Admin. Refer to Changing Filing Defaults and Settings with Bulk Edit in Managing Users.

The following are our recommendations for the key settings.

Client Email Settings

  • AutoFile Else In Tray
    By setting AutoFile Else In Tray "On" (either in your practice settings or if set in the user's settings), emails are auto-filed where possible and the emails and documents have a Filing Status set as Filed. If any condition for filing is not met, the email is set with the Filing Status as Draft Filed and sent to the user's In Tray. It can be checked and the filing details entered and then filed and this can be done either from the In Tray or from the FYI Drawer in Outlook. If any emails do not need to be filed in FYI, they can be deleted by the user from the In Tray.

    Note: If any specific users need to review their emails before filing (for example, a partner) they can change this in their own settings by setting the AutoFile Mode option to In Tray Review. The emails are then always set as Draft Filed and sent for review and can be filed from the In Tray or from Outlook. Refer to Setting Defaults and Filing Defaults for your Own Login - My Settings.

    The alternative for this practice setting is In Tray Review where all emails are Draft Filed for review. Filing details will still be set where possible from the Filing Defaults for Cabinet and Categories and these can be changed when filing the email and any attached documents.

  • Include Client Contacts
    By setting Include Client's Contacts "On", if an email is sent or received from the email address of one of the Contacts that is held for a client in your practice management software, this will match that client when the email is auto-filed. This allows emails to be filed to the client when they are sent or received to/from the client's contacts such as bookkeepers, advisers, etc.

    Note: Contacts cannot use the same domain as the sender. If the domains match, the email will not be autofiled.

  • Exclude Email Stationery Images
    By setting Exclude Email Stationery Images "On", attachments with a file format of jpg, jpeg, png, gif, ico, SVG or bmp and are less than 40 Kb are excluded from being auto-filed. Where these file types are equal to or greater than 40Kb, they will be auto-filed. Refer to Filing Email Attachments.

Exclude Internal Emails
Setting the option Exclude internal emails "On" will exclude all of your internal emails. This uses the email addresses that are recorded in your FYI Users.

Exclude External Emails
Setting Exclude External Emails as "Off" will include External emails where the email address is not held for any Clients or Client's Contacts. This ensures that any emails sent or received that relate to a client (such as for a client's lawyers, banker, bookkeeper, etc) can be filed against the client. It also allows emails for prospective clients to be filed.

The external emails are always set as Draft Filed in FYI and, if relevant, can be filed against a client from the In Tray or from Outlook. If they do not relate to a client they can be deleted from the In Tray.

Note: The Email AutoFile Exclusions can be used to set up any email addresses and domains that you know you do not require emails from. Emails from these email addresses and domains will be automatically excluded. See below Exclude Irrelevant Email Addresses and Domains.

Excluding Irrelevant Email Addresses and Domains

The Email AutoFile - Exclusion tab holds the email addresses or domains for any specific emails or domains you need to exclude from the auto-filing, helping to avoid irrelevant emails in the In Trays.

These can be added directly. You can also import these via a .csv file. Refer to Email AutoFile Exclusion CSV Import which includes a spreadsheet you can download with FYI's list of suggested exclusions as a starting point.

In the Documents lists, there is also a Draft Filed view that an FYI Admin can use to check the In Trays across all users to see any emails that are not getting filed. This can be used as a source for determining which additional email addresses or domains you need to add to the Exclusions and can be used to generate a .csv file for the import. Refer to FYI Admin view of all Users' In Trays.

Filing Defaults

Filing Defaults are used to set the Cabinet and Category/Categories that are applied when emails (and any attached documents) are auto-filed. These Filing Defaults are also used as the defaults for the filing details when users create emails and documents within FYI. The default Cabinet and Categories can be changed by a user when filing emails and documents, and also after an email or document has been auto-filed.

Throughout FYI, when determining which defaults to apply, FYI checks the Cabinet and Categories to use as the filing details in the following order:

  1. Automation step
    If an email or document is being created from an Automation process, a check is made if the Cabinet and Category have been set in the Automation step.
  2. Template
    If an email or document is being created in FYI and a Template is selected, any filing defaults from the Template are used.
  3. Existing Email Thread
    Where an email is part of a thread is filed, all subsequent emails in that thread will be auto-filed using the same filing details as the filed email in the thread. Refer to Managing Email Threads.
  4. Client Filing Defaults
    A check is then made if there are Filing Defaults set for the relevant Client and, if there are, these are used.
  5. User Filing Defaults
    If Filing Defaults are not set for the Client, a check is made if the relevant User has Filing Defaults and, if they are, these are used.
  6. Practice Filing Defaults
    If neither the Client nor User Filing Defaults are set, the Practice Filing Defaults are applied.

If none of these are set, the email cannot be auto-filed and it is set as Draft Filed and sent to the In Tray for review.

Note: If the Cabinet selected in the Filing Defaults that has been applied has any Categories set as "Required", a value for this must be available from the defaults. If these are not available, the email or document cannot be auto-filed.
The Activity section in the drawer includes details of the Category with the missing value. 

Deciding how to Set Filing Defaults

When deciding how to set up Filing Defaults for your practice, first consider what would be most useful so you determine whether to apply these at the Client, User or Practice level. For example:

  • You may decide to have a general setting for all clients, or for all users. In this case, the Filing Defaults can be set at the Practice level. This also ensures if you have a new client, Filing Defaults are already available to apply automatically. With the Filing Defaults set at the Practice level, you can have certain users (for example partners) with different settings or clients with different settings which would override the practice-wide setting.
  • You may decide to set these up as Filing Defaults at the Client level if you have certain clients that you want specific settings applied to.
  • For practices with teams in different divisions, such as Audit and Business Services, it may be more relevant to set the Filing Defaults for users.

Filing Defaults should be applied as broadly as possible across the practice. The best practice is to set a Cabinet and the Year by default. For example, all emails could be auto-filed as the "current" Year (using the Category Year) within the Cabinet “Correspondence”. If the current year is not relevant for any emails, these can be refiled to another year after the auto-filing. 

Setting the Default for Year as the Calendar or Financial Year
It is up to your practice to decide whether to set the default for the Year as the calendar year or the financial year. The majority of accounting practices utilise the year as the financial year to ensure that documents are kept to the relevant financial period.

When setting up Filing Defaults, bear in mind that these are also offered as defaults when creating emails and documents within FYI, not only for the Email AutoFile.

Note: The Clients Bulk Update or User Bulk Update can be used to update the Filing Defaults.
This is useful if you are using the current year as Filing Defaults. The Bulk Update functions can be used to update this for all clients/users at the end of the financial year. Refer to Clients Bulk Update and Managing Users.


Checking and Cleaning your data

Update Clients and Contacts in your Practice Management Software

Ensure the Clients and Contacts data is up-to-date in your practice management software.

Note: One way to do this in Xero Practice Manager is to export details from Xero Practice Manager to allow all team members to check and update them, before re-importing in Xero Practice Manager. You can use the Co-edit feature in FYI to give all users access to the Excel spreadsheet when updating the information. Refer to the following Xero Practice Manager help articles for information on their export and import features for clients and contacts:
https://central.xero.com/s/article/Import-data-into-Practice-Manager and https://central.xero.com/s/article/Import-your-client-file-AU.

Update the Include in AutoFile for the Clients in Client Groups

If an email is received where the email address is shared by more than one client, and if no client has been nominated in FYI as the client to Include in AutoFile, the email is Draft Filed, automatically marked as "Multiple Clients" and sent to the In Tray. The Client to file it under then needs to be selected. When filing the email from the In Tray or when filing it in Outlook, a list of the clients who hold that email address is displayed in the drawer so you can select which client to file it under.

Wherever there are shared email addresses on Clients within a Client Group, one of these Clients should be marked as Include in AutoFile. This ensures that emails from the shared email address are always auto-filed to the correct client.

There are several ways to check and update this. Refer to Nominating the Client to Include in AutoFile.

You can use the Clients Bulk Update to set Include in AutoFile for selected clients as "Include" or "Exclude". Refer to Clients Bulk Update.

Understanding how an Email was AutoFiled

When an email or document has been auto-filed, the Activity section in the drawer includes details of this and shows how any Filing Defaults were applied. Refer to Viewing Activity on a Document.

Multiple Recipients

Where an email is received from or sent to more than one address, FYI looks at all the email addresses. For information on how an email with multiple recipients is auto-filed, refer to Emails with Multiple Recipients.

Suggested Work Practices to Optimise the Email AutoFile

Refer also to Suggested Work Practices to Optimise the Email AutoFile.

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