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Home > FuseDocs > Features > Designing your FuseDocs workflow
Designing your FuseDocs workflow
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Why use FuseDocs Workflow? 

Have you ever requested a document collation from a team member, then wondered how much progress has been made? 

 

Have you had team members chasing you for collating work that they’ve requested, and not realised that you have other work in the queue?  

 

FuseDocs Workflow is a tool designed to provide an easily accessible view of the progress of any collating job to all team members, as it moves through the various stages of the collation process specific to your firm.   Workflow is intended to track the collation, approval, and distribution of the various documents that are created as part of your accounting processes, rather than the end-to-end accounting work that most firms would track through their Practice Management System.

 

FuseDocs Workflow List

 

How to design your workflow

Across our client base we see two different types of teams using FuseDocs Workflow: those that have a single person responsible for the end-to-end process, and those that have multiple team members work on the documents as they pass through an approval process.

 

Single Touch Collating

In an accounting practice with a single person responsible for the end-to-end collation process the workflow stages can be as simple as IN PROGRESS, and COMPLETE.  These are the minimum workflow stages that come as standard to enable job tracking in FuseDocs Workflow.  This minimum workflow, while simple, provides a powerful opportunity to keep your collating tasks in one easy to access place, a way to easily save progress if interrupted mid-task, and a way to retrieve completed work for re-work if ever needed - although we hope that doesn't happen to often!

 

Workflow Collating

In an accounting practice working in teams, often an accountant will request the work to be collated by the support team. Once collated a manager will review the collation before approving it for distribution to the client.  This process calls for a more managed approach to the stages the documents move through, as shown in the example below.

 

 

In the REQUEST stage, the accountant uses FuseDocs to create a new collation task and indicates the client group and required documents.  The accountant can save their work and the task will show in the work list as being at REQUEST stage. When ready to request the collation work, the accountant can assign the task to the appropriate team member and update the workflow stage to COLLATION.

 

The support team member will receive an email notification and can see the task marked at COLLATION stage in their FuseDocs work list. Once complete, the support team member can assign the task to the appropriate manager and update the workflow stage to REVIEW.

 

The manager will receive an email notification and can see the task marked at REVIEW stage in their FuseDocs work list.  Once reviewed, the manager can assign the task to the appropriate support team member and update the workflow stage to DISTRIBUTION.

 

The support team member will receive an email notification and can see the task marked at DISTRIBUTION stage in their work list, clearly distinguished from tasks that are in COLLATION stage.  The support team member can save the collated documents into the document management system and mark the task as COMPLETE.

 

Determining Workflow Stages

There are two key questions to consider in determining your workflow stages:

  1. Which team members need to do something to the documents in the process?
  2. What does each team member do to transform the document, or add value, during the process?

In our example:

               An accountant requests the work by indicating the group and documents.

               A support team member collates the documents.

               A manager reviews and approves the documents.

               A support team member distributes the documents to the client.

Another example could be:

               An accountant requests the work by indicating the group and documents.

               An accountant collates the documents.

               A manager reviews and approves the documents.

               An accountant distributes the documents to the client.

In this example, the REQUEST and COLLATION stages could be combined into one, because there is no hand-off to another team member.

 

Determining User Groups

Workflow stages can be used to determine what user groups might be appropriate so that certain features can be enabled or disabled for certain users.  

 

In the example above the grouping could be AccountantsSupport Team Members, and Managers.  This grouping could enable the document compilation function of FuseDocs to be limited to support team members, and approvals to be limited to managers.   When determining user groups, it’s best to keep it simple.  If there is no reason to prevent accountants or managers from doing the compilation function, then simply Managers and Others are likely more appropriate groups.  

 

What can go wrong? 

When designing your workflow watch out for these traps:

 

  • Do you have too many process steps?  Has the process been over complicated?  Simple is best!

 

  • Have you been tempted to allowed for re-work and re-approval steps in case things go wrong?  Try to keep the process linear (moving in one direction) and try to trust that things will go right each time. If you have a lot of re-work in your process, we suggest running a project to determine and prevent the root cause of the issues.

 

  • Do you have too many user groups?  Keep in mind that you’ll need to add all of the relevant team members to each group in your FuseDocs account on app.fuse.work, and these lists will need to be maintained as team members join and leave your practice.  Try to make sure that any user groups you need are useful for delegation within your process.

 

If you need help designing your workflow stages, please reach out to your FuseWorks consultant who will happily guide you through.

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