[Account Owner] Setting Up Engagement Workflows

To turn on Engagements in AdvicePay, please reach out to your Relationship Manager at enterprise@advicepay.com -- we'll work closely with you to help make getting started easy!

In This Article:

With Engagements, all of the core functions available in AdvicePay -- invoicing, document eSignatures, approvals, and deliverables -- can be bundled together in fully automated sequences that make providing and overseeing fee-for-service financial planning both fast and compliant.

By setting up just a couple of simple workflows, your firm can hand off all the manual tasks involved in obtaining signatures, billing, and/or oversight to AdvicePay.

We'll automatically move the pieces of a client's engagement with your firm through each step you require -- from the moment a document and/or invoice is created by an advisor to the post-payment period when you need to collect and store deliverables while the client is receiving services.

This means a big boost in operational and billing efficiency, as well as a more consistent and reliable experience for firm advisors using AdvicePay!

Watch our helpful video on how to get started -- or, if you prefer, keep reading for a complete tutorial:


Preparation: Pre-Review or Post-Review?

Before jumping into setup, it helps to determine which best describes your firm's requirements for advisors providing fee-for-service financial planning: 

Pre-Review firms have supervision/compliance personnel that need to review documents, invoices, or both before they can be sent to the client.

Post-Review firms don't need to review documents or invoices before they are sent to the client. Supervision/compliance personnel audit or review documents, invoices, and/or deliverables after the client has signed their agreements and paid.

Engagement workflows can accommodate either approach! Click on the links below to jump to the instructions that best describe your firm.

We're a Pre-Review firm

We're a Post-Review firm

Pre-Review Workflow Set Up

If you are a Pre-Review firm, we recommend the following workflow as a best practice:

📌 To automate all of this within AdvicePay for max efficiency, your firm will first want to:

Now let's get started setting up an Engagement workflow!

1. Navigate to Firm Settings > Engagements

2. Since using an Engagement workflow when creating invoices and/or sending out documents is required when Engagements is active, by default one engagement will be created for you already. Click Edit to begin adjusting the conditions!

3. Rename the Engagement to capture the type of service a client may be engaged in. (For example: "Ongoing Financial Planning"

When multiple Engagement workflows are present, advisors will be selecting which one they want to use when creating and sending documents/invoices -- so it's best to make the name as clear as possible for them!

Make it simple! When starting out, you may only want to have one or two workflows. We suggest starting with a One-time and an Ongoing. 

  • One-time is best used when your firm only needs to see one thing about the engagement in a 12 month period.
  • Ongoing is best used for ongoing planning OR planning paid for over the course of a period of time.

4. Decide whether to allow your firm advisors to add new invoices to existing engagements using this workflow. (By default this is not allowed.)

Best practice is to turn this on if your firm has evergreen financial planning agreements and advisors could be billing one-time invoices for an agreement. This will give them the ability to associate new invoices with an open engagement.

Toggle to on (green) in order to enable:

Invoice approval requirements are honored for any new invoices added to an existing engagement!

5. If using an eSignature integration (recommended), select which templates will be available for use with this specific Engagement workflow. 

If none are selected, advisors will have access to all available firm-wide templates and can select their own.

Additionally, if eSign is enabled you will also designate what should happen when a document is sent under Document Automation. (Currently only the option shown below is available -- we'll be adding more scenarios soon!)

Under Document Required, select Yes or No -- if "Yes" then an advisor must attach a document when using that Engagement.

Finally, you can also decide whether an advisor will be allowed to upload a "wet" signed document in PDF format in lieu of obtaining electronic signatures. (This is only available if eSignature is enabled on your firm account.)

Under  Allow advisors to upload documents signed outside of AdvicePay select Yes or No -- if "Yes" then an advisor can attach a PDF version of their already-signed document when using that Engagement. 

6. For Invoice Automation, select:

When A document is sent then Require invoice approval

This is the existing behavior for documents and invoices that require approval. (In the future there will be a separate approvals flow, which will allow documents to be signed while the invoice is in approval status.)

📍 Read more about how Approvals work!

7. Under Invoice Required, select Yes or No -- if "Yes" then an advisor much attach an invoice when using that Engagement.

8. Under Service Descriptions, select which descriptions of service will be available to the advisor when using the engagement. If no descriptions are selected, all descriptions will be available.

9. If using Deliverables (recommended), select a template from the Deliverable Template drop down menu that should be automatically used for this type of Engagement.

If no template is selected, then a deliverable will not be created.

10. Under Automatically cancel subscriptions and invoices when a deliverable is overdue, select Yes or No.

If "Yes" is selected, then all unpaid invoices and active subscriptions for the client will be canceled when the deliverable is overdue. Advisors will receive an email notice 7 days in advance of the deliverable due date warning them of the deliverable status and upcoming cancelation.

If "Yes" is selected you can also set a Grace Period (in days) to allow advisors time to submit the deliverable after it becomes overdue and before cancelations take place. (If set to 0, there is no grace period and cancelations will take place immediately upon the deliverable becoming overdue.)

11. Under Deliverable Automation, select either:

When A document is signed then Open deliverable 

or

When an invoice is paid, then Open deliverable

12. You're done! Click Save.

📍Want to publish this workflow for immediate use by firm advisors?

Additional Engagement workflows can be created by selecting Add New Engagement Workflow and following the steps above:

Tip: If you want to start with only one Engagement, this will be used automatically when advisors create and send invoices/documents. If more than one Engagement workflow is present and published, advisors will need to select which Engagement to use when creating and sending invoices/documents.

Post-Review Workflow Set Up

If you are a Post-Review firm, we recommend the following workflow as a best practice:

📌 To automate all of this within AdvicePay for max efficiency, your firm will first want to:

Now let's get started setting up an Engagement workflow!

1. Navigate to Firm Settings > Engagements

2. Since using an Engagement workflow when creating invoices and/or sending out documents is required when Engagements is active, by default one engagement will be created for you already. Click Edit to begin adjusting the conditions!

3. Rename the Engagement to capture the type of service a client may be engaged in. (For example: "Ongoing Financial Planning") 

When multiple Engagement workflows are present, advisors will be selecting which one they want to use when creating and sending documents/invoices -- so it's best to make the name as clear as possible for them!

Make it simple! When starting out, you may only want to have one or two workflows. We suggest starting with a One-time and an Ongoing. 

  • One-time is best used when your firm only needs to see one thing about the engagement in a 12 month period.
  • Ongoing is best used for ongoing planning OR planning paid for over the course of a period of time.

4. Decide whether to allow your firm advisors to add new invoices to existing engagements using this workflow. (By default this is not allowed.)

Best practice is to turn this on if your firm has evergreen financial planning agreements and advisors could be billing one-time invoices for an agreement. This will give them the ability to associate new invoices with an open engagement.

Toggle to on (green) in order to enable:

5. If using an eSignature integration (recommended), select which templates will be available for use with this specific Engagement workflow. 

If none are selected, advisors will have access to all available firm-wide templates and can select their own.

Additionally, if eSign is enabled you will also designate what should happen when a document is sent under Document Automation. (Currently only the option shown below is available -- we'll be adding more scenarios soon!)

Under Document Required, select Yes or No -- if "Yes" then an advisor must attach a document when using that Engagement.

Finally, you can also decide whether an advisor will be allowed to upload a "wet" signed document in PDF format in lieu of obtaining electronic signatures. (This is only available if eSignature is enabled on your firm account.)

Under  Allow advisors to upload documents signed outside of AdvicePay select Yes or No -- if "Yes" then an advisor can attach a PDF version of their already-signed document when using that Engagement. 

6. For Invoice Automation, select either:

When A document is signed then Send invoice automatically (* this is the existing behavior in AdvicePay)

or

When  A document is sent then Send invoice automatically

The first option (document signed > send invoice) is our existing default workflow. When an invoice with document is attached is sent, we send an email notifying the client that their signature is requested on a document. We wait until all signers have signed the document before sending any payment request emails.
The second option (document sent > send invoice) immediately sends both an email notifying the client that their signature is requested on a document AND the payment request email when an invoice is created with an attached document. However, for compliance reasons we will still prevent the client from paying the invoice until all signers have signed the document.

7. Under  Invoice Required, select Yes or No -- if "Yes" then an advisor much attach an invoice when using that Engagement.

8. Under Service Descriptions, select which descriptions of service will be available to the advisor when using the engagement. If no descriptions are selected, all descriptions will be available.

9. If using Deliverables (recommended), select a template from the Deliverable Template drop down menu that should be automatically used for this type of Engagement.

If no template is selected, then a deliverable will not be created.

10. Under Automatically cancel subscriptions and invoices when a deliverable is overdue, select Yes or No.

If "Yes" is selected, then all unpaid invoices and active subscriptions for the client will be canceled when the deliverable is overdue. Advisors will receive an email notice 7 days in advance of the deliverable due date warning them of the deliverable status and upcoming cancelation.

If "Yes" is selected you can also set a Grace Period (in days) to allow advisors time to submit the deliverable after it becomes overdue and before cancelations take place. (If set to 0, there is no grace period and cancelations will take place immediately upon the deliverable becoming overdue.)

11. Under Deliverable Automation, select either:

When A document is signed then Open deliverable 

or

When an invoice is paid then Open deliverable

12. You're done! Click Save.

Additional Engagement workflows can be created by selecting Add New Engagement Workflow and following the steps above:

Tip: If you want to start with only one Engagement, this will be used automatically when advisors create and send invoices/documents. If more than one Engagement workflow is present, advisors will need to select which Engagement to use when creating and sending invoices/documents.

Post-Review Workflow: Basic Setup Without eSign and/or Deliverables

For Post-Review firms who haven't yet implemented eSign and/or Deliverables within AdvicePay, Engagement workflows can still be used to automate the parts you DO use right now! 

As you start taking advantage of AdvicePay's other features later on, you can begin seamlessly tying them in to your workflows by editing what you've already created.

For the below example, eSign is not enabled on the account so the standard document options are hidden:

1. Navigate to Firm Settings > Engagements

2. Since using an Engagement workflow when creating invoices and/or sending out documents is required when Engagements is active, by default one engagement will be created for you already. Click Edit to begin adjusting the conditions!

3. Rename the Engagement to capture the type of service a client may be engaged in. (For example: "Ongoing Financial Planning") 

When multiple Engagement workflows are present, advisors will be selecting which one they want to use when creating and sending documents/invoices -- so it's best to make the name as clear as possible for them!

Make it simple! When starting out, you may only want to have one or two workflows. We suggest starting with a One-time and an Ongoing. 

  • One-time is best used when your firm only needs to see one thing about the engagement in a 12 month period.
  • Ongoing is best used for ongoing planning OR planning paid for over the course of a period of time.

4. Decide whether to allow your firm advisors to add new invoices to existing engagements using this workflow. (By default this is not allowed.)

Best practice is to turn this on if your firm has evergreen financial planning agreements and advisors could be billing one-time invoices for an agreement. This will give them the ability to associate new invoices with an open engagement.

Toggle to  on (green) in order to enable:

5. Under  Invoice Automation, select:

When A document is signed then Send invoice automatically (* this is the existing behavior in AdvicePay)

Because eSignature is not being used, this will not impact any behavior; invoices will be sent to clients as normal when sent via email through AdvicePay upon creation.

6. Under  Invoice Required, select Yes or No -- if "Yes" then an advisor much attach an invoice when using that Engagement.

(You will want to select Yes if just using Engagements to send invoices.)

7. Under Service Descriptions, select which descriptions of service will be available to the advisor when using the engagement. If no descriptions are selected, all descriptions will be available.

8. When not using Deliverables, leave the Deliverable Template drop down menu empty. Under Deliverable Automation, leave the options as-is. (Since a template is not selected, no automation will be used.)

Is your firm using Deliverables, but not eSign? Select a template from the  Deliverable Template drop down menu that should be automatically used for this type of Engagement.

Under  Deliverable Automation, select:

When  an invoice is paid then Open deliverable

Then, under Automatically cancel subscriptions and invoices when a deliverable is overdue, select Yes or No.

  • If "Yes" is selected, then all unpaid invoices and active subscriptions for the client will be canceled when the deliverable is overdue. Advisors will receive an email notice 7 days in advance of the deliverable due date warning them of the deliverable status and upcoming cancelation.
  • If "Yes" is selected you can also set a Grace Period (in days) to allow advisors time to submit the deliverable after it becomes overdue and before cancelations take place. (If set to 0, there is no grace period and cancelations will take place immediately upon the deliverable becoming overdue.)

9. You're done! Click Save

📍Want to publish this workflow for immediate use by firm advisors?

Without eSign and Deliverables included in the Engagement workflow, the description displayed in AdvicePay will look like this:

Additional Engagement workflows can be created when needed by selecting Add New Engagement Workflow and following the steps above:

Tip: If you want to start with only one Engagement, this will be used automatically when advisors create and send invoices/documents. If more than one Engagement workflow is present and published, advisors will need to select which Engagement to use when creating and sending invoices/documents.

How to Publish Workflows

When creating brand new Engagement workflows, your firm advisors will not be able to see or use them until you enable advisor access. This allows you to create workflows at your own pace, ensuring everything is good to go before advisors start using them with clients!

To open up a finished workflow to advisors when creating or editing a new Engagement, toggle the Allow advisors to use this workflow button to on.

Note: The Default workflow is always visible to advisors.

Editing/Deleting Workflows

Need to edit or delete a workflow? No problem!

Any workflow can be edited by clicking the Edit link:

(Be sure to click Save when you're done!)

Any workflow -- aside from that marked as the Default -- can be deleted by clicking the Delete link.

Note: If an Engagement workflow is edited or deleted, it will not impact any Engagements already created using that workflow. The existing Engagements will continue to operate based on what was established at the time of creation.

If a new/updated workflow is needed for a client, they will need to be issued a new Engagement. 👍

How to Send Engagements

Sending an Engagement is easy! Watch this quick video to see how it's done by your Home Office or an advisor, as well as get a tour of the Engagements detail page:

📍See below for more helpful articles related to sending Engagements:

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