This article aims to cover the steps to allow you to self-manage the setting up of Bulk Correspondence with the assistance of your IT professional. Should you like to engage with an APS consultant to guide and assist you after reviewing this article, click on "Request Assistance". Consulting costs will apply.
Summary of the implementation process
- Practice Management 11 or higher.
- Invoice and Statement layouts in REPX file format and enabled.
- SMTP functionality capable on your environment.
- Database configuration and testing.
- Training and GO-Live.
Continue to the Implementation Process below which will cover the steps in more detail of what is involved and get your journey started today.
Step 1: Install APS Practice Management 11 or higher
Please ensure you have upgraded to Practice Management (PM) 11 before you continue. (PM9 users may upgrade to PM10.2 to enable bulk correspondence if unable to upgrade to PM11 due to constraints)
You can find more information regarding PM Upgrades
Important upgrade notice
Before you upgrade, please check if you have customised templates and keep a copy/backup of this file. As of PM 10, you are able to save these files on a different location on your network to avoid them being replaced in future.
Invoice file (apinvoice.dll)
Receipt file (advrec.dll)
Customised statement file(s), *statement.dll or *statement.rpx
NOTE: It is imperative that you make a backup of these files. The PM version 11 application install will REPLACE these files with the standard application files. They will also be required for Step 2.
Step 2: Templates in REPX file format and enabled
If your templates are not in the REPX file format, they need to be upgraded and converted to the new format. To check if this applies to you, go to the SUPS settings and changing the View Settings to System, under Correspondence the field "Use Repx Layouts" would be "False". Allow 10 - 15 working days for templates to be converted.
Get started now to Upgrade Templates
If the setting is "True", you can proceed to Step 3. Before you do so, this may also be a good time to review your current invoice and statement templates and consider any changes.
Review our article on Layout Considerations
Note: Customisations to templates will incur separate costs. Layouts can be worked on while your environment is being upgraded
Step 3: Database configuration
In this step you will be able to update JOE Admin access rights and SUPS settings required. Refer to the Configuration Guide and watch the video for detailed setup information. You will need SMTP setup information from your IT department before you can start.
Get your IT to set up SMTP on your environment. It is important you put steps in place to prevent your bulk emails to be identified as spam. Once you are blacklisted, it is very difficult to get this reversed.
For more information, please refer to our Technical Guide for SMTP Configuration. Forward this to your IT provider.
Note: The configurations are some working examples to refer to as a guide, however your IT provider should advise the best solution for your environment.
You don’t have to wait until this is resolved to continue. You can carry on below while this is being setup.
Sender email address
Confirm the “insert email sender address email” email address that correspondence will be coming from, all users that will be emailing can send on behalf of this account.
Emails for accounts
Determine what email field you want to use for sending invoice and statements to your clients’ accounts department. We recommend setting up a new attribute called “Email for Accounts” that holds the email address to be used for invoice and statement correspondence.
Email Body Templates
Determine the default email body text you want to use for each entity when sending multiple invoice and statements.
Step 4: Testing
Review and test the new invoice and statement layouts as well as testing the SMTP process. Ideally this should be done in a test environment, but if this is not possible, ensure to follow our recommended steps for testing in production. Allow 2 weeks for testing to plan for additional changes that may be required to the layouts.
Testing invoices and statements with the following scenarios:
Every billing Entity & Client Type (Company/Individual/Trust/Partnership etc) – for both new and existing Invoices
Single and multi-pages as the second page have different configuration
Long client names & large address blocks
Confirm details in header; e.g. Invoice Due Date / ABN / Practice Details
Confirm details in the remittance; e.g. Bank Details / Invoice ID / Phone or Postal details / Portal links
Refer to the User Guide for more detail.
Step 5: Go Live
Once your database is set up and all tests have run through with no errors, you can update the SUPS settings to start using REPX templates and Bulk Emailing. Ensure that all users that are involved in the billing process gets an overview of the new features within central console, fees and debtors.
Depending on your practice requirements, the above process timeline from Step 1 to Go-Live can take up to 6 weeks or longer.
If you'd like our team to help you in anyway, please request assistance below, and our Technical Services team will be in touch.