Overview of Templates, Signatures and Merge Fields for Emails

To ensure that emails are always presented with the format and layout required by your practice, you set up Templates and Signatures.

The way in which you set up your Templates and Signature and use these for emails depends on the requirements of your practice. It is important to understand the relationship between Templates, Signatures and Merge Fields and how they are used in combination in FYI and how they can be best utilised within your practice.

Using the Knowledge - Templates List

Templates, Word Stationery and Email Signatures are displayed, created and edited from the Knowledge - Templates view (refer to Using Knowledge Cabinets).

They can only be set up and maintained by an FYI Admin, or a user in a User Group that has Permissions enabled for Templates (refer to Managing User Groups).

Templates and Stationery hold Filing details to organise and categorise them in the Knowledge - Templates list. They are all held in a Templates Cabinet as the top-level of the filing.

Note: The Templates Cabinet cannot be removed.

An FYI Admin can add any Categories to the Templates Cabinet as relevant for your practice to further categorise the Templates and Signatures. For example, you could add a Category such as "Team" (to indicate who would use them) and the Category "Work Type" (to indicate when they would be used). Refer to Managing Cabinets. The Category is added to a Template or Signature in the Filing section. 

Email Signature

The Email Signature holds the signature information that is common to all emails. The Email Signature holds anything that you want to add to the bottom of all emails and can include your company logo and sign-off information such as the name, email and phone numbers of the author of the email.

An Email Signature is automatically applied whenever you create an email in FYI. This holds the information that is added as default to emails created in FYI.

  • You set up the Email Signature you want to use as default for your practice. The Signature to use is then selected in Practice Settings - Documents - Settings tab in the Default Email Signature field. This is the email Signature that is used for all users that do not have an alternate Signature set in their user profile. Only an Active Signature can be selected. Refer Managing Practice Settings for Documents.

  • If any users need different Email Signatures, these are set up and then the relevant Signature is assigned to a specific user(s). This is then used instead of the default. For example, users in a financial planning division within your organisation may require different information shown in their emails. For users requiring a different Signature to the default one for your practice, the Signature to use is set from the Practice Settings - General - Users. Only an Active Signature can be selected. Refer to Managing Users.

For information on setting up Email Signatures, refer to Creating Email Templates and Signatures.


Templates hold the standard text for the email. This would be the text included in the email, for example, the text that is included when emailing an engagement letter or emailing a notice of tax assessment.

When creating an email in FYI or in Outlook, users can select the FYI Template to use as relevant for the email they are sending.

For information on setting up Email Templates, refer to Creating Email Templates and Signatures.

Merge Fields

You can incorporate Merge Fields within Email Templates and Signatures. Merge Fields are used to bring in content from your practice management software for the Client, such as the client's Name, and address and also to bring information from Staff in your practice management software such as the Author Name, or Author Phone. Merge Fields can also be used to bring in information in FYI such as the Author Role in the user's profile and the FYI unique Reference Number. Refer to Including Merge Fields in Email Templates and Signatures.

Merge Fields are used to bring in the following content:

  • Client information - for example, First Name and Last Name of the addressee.
    If integrated with Xero Practice Manager, Information such as the client's Contact Name, Addressee, and Salutation is retrieved for the primary contact of the client, as displayed on the Client - Summary tab (refer to Client Summary). If an Addressee is not specified, Xero Practice Manager uses the Contact Name.
  • User information - for example, the Author Name, Author Phone.
  • Information from FYI - for example, the Role of the Author, a unique Reference Number for the FYI document and the date the document was created.
  • Internal Merge Fields used to include links to the OneDrive for attachments and links to Share Folder and the Upload folder.

When Merge Fields are added to the Email Template or Stationery, they are added in a specific format, for example, {{ FirstName }} for the addressee's first name, or {{ AuthorName }} for the author's name. The Merge Fields need the correct character for the opening and closing curly brackets and also need a space after the opening curly brackets and before the closing curly brackets.

Author and Owner Merge Fields
When Emails are created from a Template and Signature that use certain Merge Fields, such as those that relate to Author (Author Name, Author Role Author Phone), these are only applied when the final sender of the email has been determined and these do not display when editing the email in FYI.

The Author Merge Fields relate to the 'sender' of the email.
The Owner Merge Fields take the information relating to the person who originally created the email.

If an email is edited and sent by someone after it is initially created, the Owner information does not change, but the Author information will change to reflect the user who sent the email.

Note: The Merge Field for the Author's Name, in an Email Signature or Template, can be added so that only the Author's first name is added. Refer to Adding a Merge Field for the Author's First Name in Including Merge Fields in Email Templates and Signatures.

Benefits of Separating Templates and Signatures for Emails

Defining the elements included in Templates and Signatures separately (with the common information in the Signature and the text for Emails in Templates) offers not only ease of use but also flexibility.

  • The Signature holds the email signature information and any text or logos you want included in all emails (and different Email Signatures can be applied for specific users).

  • The Email Templates hold the standard text for the body of the emails.

The main benefit is when you want to make changes to how standard emails are produced. It is very clear if changes are needed to the Signature (for common, repeated elements) or to the Templates (for specific text). For example, if you decide in the future you want to add a reference number to all emails, you could add this just to the Signature(s) instead of having to update many Template documents.

For a multi-disciplinary practice (for example, which includes financial planning along with accounting practice) you can simply set up different Signatures that include any licence requirements for financial planning and specific disclaimers. An FYI Admin can then assign this Signature to the relevant users in their User Profile. By clearly naming the FYI Email Signature, you can easily identify which Signature to assign.

Example of Email Signature and Template and Using Merge Fields

The following is an example of an Email Signature. Merge Fields have been added to include the author's Role and Qualifications held in FYI, and the direct phone number when the Signature is applied.

The internal FYI reference number has also been included at the end of the email.

1273 Email Signature with Filing.gif

The following is how the Signature looks when used in an email.


Example of Email with the Signature and a Template

The following is an example of an Email Template. This Template has been set up with Merge Fields to include the clients' salutation and to add the file that was attached to the email.

1269 Email Template.gif

The following example is an email where the Template has been selected by the user then creating the email. This has the text from the selected Template, followed by the information from the Default Email Signature.


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