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How to create a preparer start time

Modified on Thu, 28 Sep 2023 at 02:02 PM

In 23.1 a new task template setting was introduced to allow a start time for only the Preparer role to be set.  

This will allow you to be able to calculate performance times between the scheduled start time and the actual completed time which is useful for Shared Service Centre SLA measurement.

We advise that you read this article in conjunction with the preparer and approver workflow settings article which describes the current due date and time settings.

Setting the Preparer start time.

The Preparer start date and time are calculated using the same logic as the current due date and times.

The Day Type is only set in the Preparer section. You cannot mix this setting between the roles. This means all roles will use the day type that you set in the Preparer section. The Preparer start date follows this same rule.

Setting the Day Type (1) to Work Day: Automation manager will consider the holidays that you have set in the holiday calendar linked to the company when generating the task.

Setting the Day Type (1) to Calendar Day: Automation manager will set that exact day ignoring the holiday calendar. For example, Calendar Day 15 will mean the 15th of January or 15th of February etc.

Tip: You can use Calendar Day -1 which will set the last calendar day of the month, the 29th of February or 30th of June, for example.

Start Day Preparer (2): Simply enter a day number keeping in mind the above notes. 

Enter a positive number to count the days from the beginning of the Start Month set in (3).  

Enter a negative number to count back from the end of the Start Month set in (3).

Start Month Preparer (3): Current month means the month that is being closed. 

Next month means the month after the one that is being closed. For example, if you are generating the tasks for Period 9 then the current month is September and the next month is October. Therefore Workday 2 of the next month means the second working day of October and Workday -1 of the current period means the last working day of September.

Start Time Preparer (4): This refers to a time in Hours:Minutes:Seconds. Please be aware the times are linked to the 

timezone of the company and not the schedule group attached to the task.

It is strongly advised to seta default in the task type configuration for this field. Remember, if any of the fields are empty the date and time are not calculated.

Info: It is important to understand these are the times that the user is expected to start their roles in the workflow. It has no relationship with the schedule group start and end time which refers to the automation, not the user action.

Ultimately it calculates and sets a due date and time in the respective headers startDateTimePreparer, startDateTimeApprover1 etc.

It will also set the respective startDayPreparer, and startDayApprover1 headers with the day number, such as 2. This is useful when using work days as we are often interested in, for example, the tasks due on workday 2 and so on.

If these headers are not present on the template, they are not set. Therefore, if you have the startDateTimePreparer but not the startDayPreparer then only the first is set. The task will not error.

Note: This start time simply sets the Aico document headers and does not affect the schedule in Automation manager. The task will be started by Automation manager using the current method of the associated schedule group and it will not be affected by the setting of this new Preparer start time.


The task could therefore potentially be available to the Preparer before the Start Date and Time Preparer or even not be available to the Preparer until after the Start Date and Time Preparer if the master data is inconsistent. It will also not be affected by the task being a successor task. For example, if the Preparer start time is set as 09:00 am and the predecessor is not completed until 10:00 am the task will not understand this and still assume the task should have been started at 09:00 am.

For more information on creating task templates, please read this article.

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