Enabling services for clients allows Senta to kick off jobs for you on a recurring basis. This guide will take you through creating a service.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What is a Service?
- Creating a new Service
- Triggered Jobs
- Adding filters
- Choosing how far ahead jobs will show
What is a Service?
Services are a simple way of grouping jobs together, or of making a job recur on a regular basis.
- A VAT Service, which is made up of 4 quarterly VAT returns and all the work that goes with them.
- An annual accounts service, which might include preparing accounts & submitting them.
Services have to be switched on for customers that need them. For example, an "Annual accounts service" might only be relevant to some clients, so you switch it on for them only. To learn more about how to activate services for clients, take a look at our guide to adding Services.
For an example of setting up a specific service, please see the following guide to creating a bookkeeping service.
Creating a new Service
Go to Settings > Services and click Add service.
You can add a service name, description, and choose whether you want it to be manual or automatic. To learn more about the difference between manual and automatic services, take a look at our guide: What is the difference between Services and Automatic Services?
Navigate to the Jobs tab to then choose which jobs you'd like to be part of your service.
Next you should select how frequently you want this job to recur. This could be anything from a one-off to 5-yearly.
When it comes to the most commonly used frequencies (Weekly, Monthly, Yearly), the following principles apply:
A service with a Weekly frequency will repeat on the same day of the week, based on the first day it is set to happen.
e.g. start date Tuesday 2/7/19 will then repeat every Tuesday (2/7/19 and then 9/7/19, 16/7/19, etc.)
A service with a Monthly frequency will repeat on the same date of the month, based on the first day it is set to happen.
e.g. start date Tuesday 2/7/19 will then repeat every 2nd of the month (2/7/19 and then 2/8/19, 2/9/19, etc)
A service with a Yearly frequency will repeat on the same date of the year, based on the first day it is set to happen.
e.g. start date Tuesday 2/7/19 will then repeat every July 2nd every year (2/7/19 and then 2/7/20, 2/7,21, etc)
If you choose a starting date which does not exist for some years, for example a yearly job recurring on 29/02/20, then for the next 3 years the job will run on 28/02, and will only run on 29/02 for leap years.
If you choose for the job to recur "when triggered", you can choose what to use as the trigger field, the trigger type, whether to trigger for the current value, and set the job date.
The job date is what will be used to run any jobs. To learn more about job dates click here.
Job dates can either be pulled from a form, or they can be a fixed date.
If you select "form date", you will be given a list of all date fields from any forms in Senta. For example you could set a job to kick off based on a client's date of next payroll.
If you select "fixed date", you will be given a date field to fill in.
If the Monthly frequency is selected, you will be given additional options to "Form date" and "Fixed date". These additional options are "Last day of month" and "Last working day of month".
If you select "Last day of month", the job date will always be calculated to the last day in the month. For example, in October this will be 31st October and in November this will be 30th November.
If you select "Last working day of month", the job date will be calculated relative to the last business day of the month. For example, if the last day of the month falls on a Sunday, the job date will be whichever date the previous Friday falls on. (Please note: business days currently include public holidays for UK, US and Canada)
Amending job dates
It is worth noting that if you edit a service and change the job date while any jobs are already in progress, Senta will not amend the existing jobs, but will instead create new ones.
This is to avoid the risk of task dates and key dates being updated unintentionally for jobs that are already in progress.
Jobs can be triggered in Senta automatically by a change of a field value, which can be done manually by selecting a new field value or automatically, like changes to a date pulled through from Companies House.
To set up a triggered job:
- Go to the service settings in Settings > Services
- Pick the job that you would like to set up as triggered
- Click on the How often drop-down
- Select When triggered from the list
To learn more about how to use triggered jobs in Senta, take a look at our support guide - How do triggered jobs work?
Filters can be applied in two different places within Services:
1. Automatic services
When using an automatic service, a filter can be applied in the General tab which applies to the entire service. For more information on automatic services, please see our guide: What is the difference between Services and Automatic Services?
The New client take on service in Senta is an automatic service which is filtered to the State of "Client". This means that only clients who have "Client" selected as their State, will have this service and any associated jobs.
To add the filter to the automatic service, select Add filter under the General tab to open the field picker:
Choose the field from the field picker; in this example we are using State found under the Client details > General section:
And now we can see the available values from the State field where I can choose "Client":
2. Jobs within the Service
All jobs associated with the service can be found under the Jobs tab. You can add filters to each one. You may need to do this if you have jobs running at different frequencies. For example, in the Bookkeeping service, we may need a Bookkeeping job to kick off for a client, either on a Weekly, Monthly or Weekly and Monthly frequency. Here are the two jobs in the service:
To add a filter to a job, click on the job to expand and select Add filter:
From the field picker, select the Bookkeeping frequency field from the Bookkeeping details form/section:
The relevant values can then be selected:
This job will kick off for a client if they have the Bookkeeping service turned on, and they have Weekly or Weekly + monthly selected as their Bookkeeping frequency.
For more information on filters, please see our guide to using filters.
Please note, if you do the following:
- Set the job date to pull from a form that is only available for certain types of clients e.g. just for individuals
- Add a filter to the job so that it will only run for certain types of clients e.g. only companies
The job will not run.
This is because Senta will try to run the job for companies, using the date from a form that can only be filled in for individuals. This will flag up as an error message on the services tab for the client.
Once you have finished adding a job, you can add more Jobs by clicking on Add job at the bottom of the page.
Choosing how far ahead jobs will show
For repeating jobs, you can choose how far ahead Senta will show jobs.
The default date offsets are as follows, relative to the job date:
Annual jobs : -3m
Quarterly jobs: -1m
Monthly jobs: -1m
Weekly jobs: -1w
Daily jobs: -1d
You can manually override this date offset in the field below the filters.
For example, if you set a monthly recurring job to show -2m in advance, this means that jobs will be created 2 months before the job date.
The VAT return service in the example below has been set so that VAT jobs show -2m before the job date. The job date for VAT jobs is the month end, so based on the date of 19th November 2019, jobs have been created for the periods ending 30th November and 30th December 2019.