There are three main building blocks when it comes to Senta's workflows - Tasks, Jobs and Services. In this guide, we'll take a look at what each one does, and how they work with each other to create the services you will use.

The difference between Tasks, Jobs and Services

A Task is an individual action - for example, sending an email, uploading documents, making a call or filling in a form.

A Job Template is the base configuration for any given set of Tasks. You can copy, amend and tweak Job Templates to suit your practice. For example, Tax Return workflows contain several asks that range from sending emails to uploading documents, which are completed in order.

A Job is a collection of Tasks that you need to complete for a client.

A Service is a collection of Jobs - this is how Senta collects several Jobs into one overall service to be provided to clients, such as Tax Returns or Client Onboarding, and this is where you set any recurring frequencies for jobs.

How do Tasks, Jobs and services interact in Senta?

This diagram shows the three main building blocks and how they work together to build a Workflow:

Let's use the analogy of a birthday party. You throw a birthday party for your sibling every year. The Tasks would be all the actions you need to take to prepare for, and tidy up after, the birthday party. So things like sending invitations, buying food, decorating the house - and cleaning up afterwards! These tasks combine to create the end product, the party itself. 

Say you want the invitations to go out a month before the party, you're going to buy the food 3 days before the party, and send thank you notes 2 days later. These are task start and/or due date offsets - you can use these to make sure aspects of a work flow are completed in a timely manner, or to stagger out workload. (You can also use Key Dates to help handle this kind of thing. In terms of workflow, these are usually compliance dates such as filing and payment due dates and are added to the overall job, as opposed to the task).

The party itself is the Job - and the date of the party represents the core Job Date.

You want your party set up to run at the same time yearly. This is where a Service comes in. Services are where you can set a frequency for the job, in this case yearly based on a set date. Your sibling is born on the 28th Feb, so this date drives the yearly repeat for you.

What this looks like in terms of the workflow:

The blue squares represent tasks, with their associated date offsets to push the task to certain dates. The green square represents the party and job date. The Service comes in to allow you to automate this process annually.

Using Services to manage several Jobs

You can add more than one job to a Service, and run them at different times or frequencies. This is so that you can self-contain types of work, even if they happen at different frequencies. 

An example of this is the pre-loaded VAT Service. It contains several jobs, including:

  • A one-off Set Up job (designed to gather all the information needed to relevant jobs from the service)
  • Recurring VAT Return jobs, configured to run at different frequencies

What this allows you to do is build a single workflow that can then be configured to run for different client needs, rather than needing to build a separate job for each - in this instance, the VAT Return job. 

The VAT Set Up job runs as a one-off and is designed to gather information to drive the correct frequencies. This is done via the VAT details form built into the Set Up job, which prompts you to fill in information based on the client's VAT needs - how often do they need returns done? The process is as follows:

Now that you understand how Jobs and Services are built, why not check out our guide on Jobs and Configuration?