Rules that can be set up to notify you if a client puts a large transaction into a P&L category, or hasn't logged in for a long time.
As an accountant, you'll know that sometimes clients do make mistakes when they use FreeAgent.
For example, perhaps they put a car into Motor Expenses, or a computer into Computer Hardware, instead of using one of the asset categories.
Or perhaps the client hasn't logged in for a month.
Or maybe you want to be warned if your clients' distributable reserves go below a certain amount, or if their directors' current accounts go too high.
You can now create rules so that you'll be alerted if any of these happen. These are called "alert rules", and these are just a few examples of the rules you can set up.
Create a new alert rule
To create a new alert rule, log into your account manager dashboard.
You'll see there's a new tab there called Dashboard, which lets you set up new alert rules. Select either of the green buttons to start.
This brings up the New Alert Rule box.
Choose which type of alert rule you want to create, from the list.
Example 1: Transaction value over a chosen amount
If you choose "Transaction value over amount", you then need to choose the category that you want to watch (or you can choose to watch all categories by selecting "Any" from the list), and at what amount the alert rule should be triggered.
For example, this one would show you if your client put in a transaction over £500 in the Computer Hardware category. You might want to check that out in case the client inadvertently put a fixed asset into the Computer Hardware code, which is a P&L code.
Example 2: Client has not logged in
If you choose "User hasn't logged in", you then need to choose whether you only want to be alerted if the main user on that account hasn't logged in, or if you want to be alerted if nobody at the client end has logged in.
You would also need to choose how soon after the client's last login you want to be alerted. In this example you would be alerted if nobody at the client end logs in for 10 days.
Once you've finished setting the rule, select Save Alert Rule.
The software then puts the alert on your dashboard.
Timing of alerts
Alerts are run every hour so you can quickly see if any clients have triggered alerts.
When you view the dashboard again once the alerts have run, you'll see that some clients may have triggered the alerts you set up.
Using the above examples, in one panel are clients who haven't logged in to their accounts for more than 10 days...
...and in another panel are those who have posted a transaction amounting to £500 or over to Computer Hardware.
You could then chase up the clients listed in the first panel and remind them to do their books.
If you want to correct any of the transactions in the second panel, you can select the transaction's description...
...and be taken straight to that transaction.
You can see that this client has put a fixed asset into a P&L code, and so you can correct it straight away for them, there and then...
...and once you select Save Changes, the software takes you straight back to your dashboard and tells you that the entry has been updated.
The alert box will refresh the next time alerts are run, so you will see an hour later that this particular transaction is no longer in the alert box.
Practice-wide or client-specific?
Alerts are practice-specific rather than client-specific or team member-specific.
I'm happy with the transaction as it is. How can I hide the alert?
If you're sure that the transaction is right as it is, you can hide the alert by selecting the client's name against the alert. For example, I don't need the system to tell me that this client hasn't logged in for 10 days, because this is a client for whom I do the books.
You'll see that on the overview page for that client is an option to hide the alerts. Select the Hide button next to the alert that you want to hide.