Setup automatically recurring tasks for work you do each week/month/quarter and automate your business rates & processes by configuring your retainer types, in order to better manage all work related to your ongoing services, save time, and increase the quality of your work
Using this guide, you can:
Take advantage of Accelo's automation by creating Retainer Types. All your Retainer Templates will be based upon Retainer Types you have configured.
When you create a new retainer for a client, you must select the type of retainer. Depending on the type chosen, details of the retainer will be automatically populated, including any tasks that you have defined to be associated.
To configure your Retainer Type:
Click the Modules button in the top left of Accelo and select Configuration.
Select Retainers and then click Progressions & Fields.
Title - Enter a brief name for this type of retainer. E.g. "Premium Website Support".
Parent - If you are creating several retainer types under a common type, select it using the parent field. Note - this is purely for grouping purposes.
Status - Active if this retainer type should be in use, otherwise Inactive.
Auto Renew Periods - A retainer of this type will automatically generate new periods.
Template - Select an Invoice Template to apply to this retainer type.
Your retainer periods track the work allocated for each of your retainers. Let’s say you manage an agreement with a client to provide $1000 worth of work each month, you can configure your period template so that Accelo can quickly build these periods for you.
Note - if the specifications of a retainer change over time, you can update the Period Template so that future periods are created correctly instead of creating a new Retainer Period.
Some fields shown on your period template will show/hide as you change some of the settings - such as the Billing Type and Allowance.
Period Duration - Fixed or Unlimited.
a. Fixed period is for a set period of time, such as 6 weeks, or 1 month, or 3 months, etc. Once the set time has elapsed, your new period can be created, along with a new invoice, and possibly some new tasks, etc.
b. Unlimited period has no set expiry date. You can always close the period after the allowance has been exceeded and then create a fresh period.
Length per Period - For your fixed period, configure the default period length. Your retainers can run for as little as 1 week, or for as long as 10 years.
Billing Type - Pre-paid or Post-Paid.
a. Pre-paid - A fixed price, and optionally, an allowance which is tracked in either value or hours.
b. Post-paid - Where you will charge the client at the end of the period for the value used. Useful when a client agrees to a billable rate for all work you complete for activities logged over a period.
Price - Set price charged for your Pre-paid billing types. If you invoice for the period, this will become a line item known as the "Period fee".
Pre-paid Allowance - Define an allowance to be Unlimited hours, Fixed hours, or Fixed value.
a. Unlimited hours - no set time/work allocated to the period. Useful if you're not tracking time against the period.
b. Fixed hours - if you want to track the usage of the period based on the hours logged. When selected, you must also specify the allowed hours.
c. Fixed value - if you want to track the usage of the period based on the value of work logged. The value depends on the rate used for work that is allocated to the period. However, you can specify whether all work should use a specific rate with the Retainer Rate; you can also specify where work should keep the rate based on where it came from (an issue, project, etc.). When selected you must also specify the allowed amount.
Rates - Define your Fallback rates or Override the standard rates.
a. Fallback rate will act as the retainer rate as well as the fallback when you are not overriding the object rate. Note - there is a field on the right of the Fallback Rate which allows you to specify a new rate value.
b. Override rate - Configure whether to override the rate that may be already assigned to work being allocated to the period. Select "Use Retainer Rate" to override any previously assigned rates.
Excess Rate - depending on the Billing and Allowance type you have selected, you may be able to select the Excess Rate. This rate is applied to any work logged to the period than what is allowed.
Ongoing work means recurring tasks, whether you are doing monthly optimization on an ongoing marketing campaign as an agency, or quarterly reporting and filing as an accountant firm. Define any tasks you wish to be created automatically each time a period is added to the retainer. You can easily edit or remove those tasks from the list. For example, if every period your client has new website graphics which require updating on their live website, you can add this as a templated task.
Set up a template task by choosing +Add Template Task.
Define any necessary additional materials, such as any additional fees/charges/products/costs, that will be prepared automatically each time a period is set up. For example, every period you may want to invoice the client for website hosting costs. By templating this cost you can be sure that it will flow through to the invoice as a separate line item (if you choose to invoice for the period).
Click +Add Template Material to set one up.
Title - The name of the Material
Quantity - How many units of this item does the client require
Amount Per Item - How much each item costs.
Ledger - Your account code. Ensure the material items flow into your accounting system correctly.
Tax - Will usually default based on the account code selected previously, but you can adjust the tax rate if necessary.
Finally, click Save to finish setting up your new client retainer!