13.1 Running ClientBase

mouse: double click with the mouse

keyboard: use the arrow keys to highlight the icon, then press ENTER

13.2 The ClientBase screen

The screen is divided into two. The top half is the client view.

The bottom half is the client list.

13.3 Moving around

13.3.1 Moving through the records

Click on the client list and use the arrow keys on the keyboard to go through the records.

13.3.2 Editing a client record

To change a record, just edit the fields you wish to change, then select Update database from the Edit menu.

13.3.3 Adding a new client record

To add new blank records use New Client from the Edit menu.

13.3.4 Deleting a client record

Select the client view and choose Delete client from the Edit menu.

13.3.5 Sorting clients

Choose By Business from the Sort menu to sort clients into alphabetical order based on the business name.

Choose By Code from the Sort menu to sort clients into alphabetical order based on the client code.

13.4 Linking to ProTax

13.4.1 Tax

To run ProTax from ClientBase select a client, using the client list on the bottom half of the screen. Check that the client’s type of business is correctly set, as this will affect the tax return you will generate. You will find this by clicking on the business button.

Then select Tax from the Tools menu. This will bring up the selected client’s tax return.

To run ProTax for Pay and File, select Corp Tax from the Tools menu in a similar manner.

To return to ClientBase, exit from ProTax in the normal way.

13.4.2 Client codes

There are two methodologies available for the nameing of tax return files.

  • Client name – the file name is the first 4 characters of the surname followed by initials followed by year. e.g forbdg06.tax
  • Client code – the file name is xxxx06.tax where xxxx is the client code.
  • The default is based on the client name.
    The latter can be selected by going into a tax return and choosing Tools / User Setup / advanced / use client code.
    This will set up the software to save all returns under the client code rather than the name.
    Changing naming convention will have consequences if you have already saved many returns under the alternative naming scheme.
    It is also possible to select to use the client code based naming convention just on specific clients.
    To do this, select the client in the client database and then choose tools / advanced / use client code for this client.
    Finally if you have recently changed naming convention and you have brought up a tax return and it is blank because the data is stored under the other naming convention, in the tax software, tools / advanced / open alternate.

    13.5 Exiting from ClientBase

    To exit from ClientBase, choose Exit from the File menu or press down the Alt and F keys together, then press x.

    13.6 Printing

    13.6.1 Printing the Client List

    Click on the client list and select Print from the File menu.

    13.6.2 Producing labels

    To produce sticky labels for a mailshot, first select the clients, by status or group as outlined in the previous paragraph. Then choose Labels from the Tools menu.

    Choose the style of labels you will be using from the list displayed when you choose Open from the Layout menu. ClientBase currently is setup for Avery 7163 laserprinter labels. Choose Print from the File menu.

    13.7 Filtering

    13.7.1 Selecting clients

    There are two primary ways of selecting clients by status and by group. A client has a particular status at any one time and can belong to a number of groups.

    You set the status of a client using the status field. There are a number of predefined choices. These are set up by pressing the Status button after selecting User setup from the Tools menu. To display only the clients with a particular status use By Status from the Select menu.

    In addition to having a status, a client can belong to a number of groups. You could have groups such as agriculture, high turnover, xmas card list. To create a new group press the groups button, enter the name of the group and press the new group button. Once you have your group names decided on you can select which groups each client is in. Choose the client in the client list, then press the groups button. Click on each group the client is in. To display only the clients in a particular group use By Group from the Select menu.

    Using the select menu you may select a subset of clients in the bottom half of the screen.
    This active subset will be used for example when you create sticky labels.

    13.7.2 Displaying all clients

    To display all the clients again, regardless of status or group, choose All from the Select menu.

    13.7.3 Inactive clients

  • Edit/Set Client As Inactive – for the currently selected client, sets the status to “inactive” and hides the client from the list.
  • View/Inactive Clients/Show – redisplays all clients with the status of “inactive”
  • Edit/Set Client As Active – for the currently selected client, clears the status of “inactive”
  • View/Inactive Clients/Hide – hides again all clients with the status of “inactive”

  • 13.8 Deadline management

    The deadline dates completed using the date button colour code clients in the clientlist. An deadline overdue or due within 7 days is shown in red. Those within 30 days in orange.

    You can customise this colouring and add further ones using tools / advanced / customise / warning colours.

    13.9 Client folders

    Each client has a client folder.
    For example if the client code is ZZZ and the clients folder is c:forbesclients the the client folder will be c:forbesclientsZZ.
    All files related to this client accounts, company secretarial, standard letters etc will be stored in this folder.
    Using the client folder icon on the toolbar will open the client folder for a particular client.

    You can change the location of the root folder for client folders using tools / user setup / paths

    13.10 Data Import and Export

    file / export / google/icloud will update the contacts on your iphone/ipad/android device via icloud or google contacts. You do this for all clients or just a subset e.g. those clients allocated to a particular partner.

    The calendar/year planner in client base can import from the your icloud calendar using File / Sync

    13.11 Notes and Standard letters

    13.11.1 Introduction

    Notes and standard letters includes 3 commands:-

  • Notes
  • Standard letters
  • Acquire from scanner
  • 13.11.2 Notes

  • Additional Notes File 1..3
  • These files are kept in the client folder and are general purpose.

  • History
  • Each time you go in a new date and time stamped paragraph will be added.

  • Todo and Report Todo
  • Todo can be used to compile a todo list for client ZZZ.

    Report Todo merges the individual todo lists to give a consolidated report across clients.

  • “Leave note for user” and “Notes for user xxxx”
  • If you use the user management facilities outlined below, you can leave a note for a particular user. A user can pick up the notes left for them.

    13.11.3 Standard letters

    This button allows you to produce standard letters from a template and is covered in more detail in the section below.

    13.11.4 Acquire from scanner

    You can use this button to scan from a scanner.
    The scanned image will be stored in the client folder.

    An entry will be made in the log.

    13.12 Standard letters

    13.12.1 Introduction

    13.12.2 Selecting a template

    When you go into the standard letters program or when you press the template menu you will be prompted to choose a template.

    Modifiy or creating your own templates ic covered below.

    13.12.3 Merge fields

    The template consists of text and merge fields for example [Salutation].

    Merge fields can be inserted by typing or using Insert / Merge field

    13.12.4 Pictures

    Pictures and other objects can be added using Insert / Object.

    13.12.5 Saving your template

    Use File / Save or File / Save As to save your templates.

    13.12.6 Selecting the clients

    Use the select menu to choose the client or clients that you want to produce a letter using the selected template.

    Copies of the letter will be stored in the client folder.

    13.12.7 Advanced – Merge fields arithmetic

    It is possible to perform arithmetic on merge fields.

    For example tax liability is [TFBoxesCAL1] and first payment on account is [TFBoxesCAL11]. You might want to show the total of the two.

    Dear [Salutation],
    Your tax liability is [TFBoxesCAL1].
    Payment on account [TFBoxesCAL11]
    Total due in January is £[=dbval(“TFBoxesCAL1″)+dbval(“TFBoxesCAL11″)]

    If the fields you want to add are XXX and YYY


    This appears quite complex but you can just copy and paste from here.

    13.12.8 Advanced – skipping

    You can add fields to a standard letter that cause it to be skipped under certain circumstances. If you copy and paste into the standard letter (anywhere will do)


    Then if you run that standard letter for all clients, it will only actually get produced for ones with something in box CAL11 and similarly for other boxes.

    13.12.9 Advanced – conditional text

    The cond() function takes 3 parameters. The first is a condition. The second is the text that is returned if the condition is satisfied. The third is the text that is returned otherwise.

    For example…

    Your [=cond(dbval(“TFBoxesCAL1″)>10000,”large”,”medium”)] tax liability is [TFBoxesCAL1].


    Your large tax liability is £18,319.


    Your medium tax liability is £2,000.

    You could also use this facility for displaying text conditionally for clients in certain groups

    [=cond(isyes(“Group00″), “this text only appears for clients in group 0″, “”)]
    [=cond(isyes(“Group01″), “this text only appears for clients in group 1″, “”)]
    [=cond(isyes(“Group02″), “this text only appears for clients in group 2″, “”)]

    You can also embed newline characters in a string. This done by entering the character string $nl

    e.g. [=cond(1,”one$nltwo$nlthree”,””)]

    comes out as




    13.13 Log and Reports

    13.13.1 Log

    The log keeps track of documents scanned, created, submitted electronically etc.

    A more detailed view for tax transmissions is avaialable in the log tab of the tax software.

    13.13.2 Log

    The reports menu allows you to run an existing report or create your own.

    13.14 Communication

    13.14.1 Sending SMS and Email

    Using Tools / communication it is possible to send emails and SMS to clients.

    To send SMS texts we use www.aql.com an email to text gateway. You will need to open an account and register your email address with them and purchase credits. Please chec that you can successfully send email via clientbase first.

    13.14.2 Email Filing

    ClientBase can take copies of emails you have sent and received via your email program and file them in the appropriate client subfolder based on the email address.

    You can then browse these emails with clientbase and open then in your email program.

    Choose Tools / Communication / Email monitor to take you into this part of the software.

    First you need to use the setup button to configure the software to look at your emails. You may need to set up your mail server to keep archive copies of email messages. Once you have told the system which folders to look in, you can press the run button.
    The first time you use this, it may take a long time to scan all your emails.

    Copies of the emails for each client will be stored in the appropriate client folder in a subfolder called email. By first selecting the client in ClientBase, then choosing Tools / communication / email monitor / view you will see copies of the emails for that client. There are tabs at the top to select sent and received emails.

    13.15 Calendars

    13.15.1 Introduction

    You can keep multiple calendars in the software, overall, per client, per user. These can be synchronised with calendars on other devices.

    13.16 Customising

    13.16.1 Adding fields

    Before customising your client database it is strongly recommend you back up c:forbesclientsclients.dbf

    It is possible to put (several pages of) custom fields into clientbase.
    They will appear in the custom area to the left of the client window.

    Choose Tools/Advanced/Customise/Edit custom field list

    When prompted, choose the number of custom fields you want – say 5

    Edit the field names etc. Compare the screen shot of entering the setup to the end result shown further up.
    Most of the entries are of type “Field”. For buttons see the next section “adding buttons”.

    After completing the customisation exit from clientbase and come back in again

    13.16.2 Adding custom buttons

    As well as adding fields it is also possible to add short cut buttons.
    The above example on line 4 has the column Type set to Button. In the id field is the number 40137.
    The number 40137 corresponds to Tools / Advanced / Notes / 1.
    A list of available commands can be found at http://www.tax.co.uk/notes/manual/commands.txt

    13.16.3 Multiple computers

    If you are using this facility on multiple computers that are not networked you will need to copy the customisation file from one PC to another.
    If your customer code is nnnn the customisation file will c:forbesclients
    Once you have customised one computer you will need to copy this to the other computers.

    13.16.4 Quick commands

    If there are menu commands that you use frequently and want to put on the front screen of ClientBase you can do this using Tools / Advanced / Customise / Quick Commands

    13.17 User Management

    13.17.1 Introduction

    For larger multiuser set ups you may want to consider the user management facilities within the software.

    You can enable this feature for some all or all the programs.

    13.17.2 Enabling

    Go into the program in question, for example accounts and go to tools / user setup then user management. Tick the “enable for xxxx” box.

    13.17.3 Users

    13.17.4 User groups

    If you want to restrict certain functions with in the software to certain users you can set up groups, control the settings for the group and then assign the users to that group.

    For example you could set up a group called “juniors” and prevent users in that group deleting records in the client database.

    13.18 Secure Portal

    13.18.1 Introduction

    A portal is a website for sharing documents with your clients. You can put pdfs that are in the client subfolder, such as tax returns and paylsips onto the portal from within our software. The client can access these by logging securely onto the portal. This is convenient and complies with all aspects of data protection. Furthermore the client can approve such documents online.

    As a resource the portal also contains copies of all accounts filed electronically at Companies House since November 2012, approximately 1.3 million at the time of writing.

    We recommend you install the latest version of our software.

    The portal menu is available within all out software by clicking on the web icon or the sync icon on the launchbar or by choosing the Portal menu in clientbase.

    13.18.2 Company information

    Use this option view accounts filed on the public record. You can search by company name of company number or by other criteria.

    Using the other criteria option youe could look for all plumbers in a certain postcode area with more than a certain amount of cash at bank.

    You would achieve this by adding criteria for the SIC code, postcode and CashBankInHand XBRL element.

    After searching you can see the resulst as a csv in excel, as a web page (html) with links to the accounts or print labels or do a mail merge with the standard letters.

    13.18.3 Create Agent Account

    Use this option to create an account for your practice. You must set an email address under Tools / User setup / agent details before using this command. You will be asked for a password. You only need to do this once.

    13.18.4 Create Client Account

    Before you upload for the first time you must create an account for the client. It will use the email address in the client database and prompt you for a password. You must inform the client of the password and email address that they will use to log on. See point 6 below.

    13.18.5 Add Document

    This will allow you to select a pdf from within the client folder (or payslips subfolder) and upload it to the client portal.

    The document must be in PDF format and in the client subfolder

    There are specific short cuts in some of the packages:-

  • In tax – File / Export as pdf
  • In payroll – Payslip / upload to portal
  • In accounts – File / Export as pdf
  • 13.18.6 List Documents

    This lists the documents and the status (e.g. viewed, agreed) of the documents for this client.

    13.18.7 Client Access

    The client can access their documents by logging onto http://www.securefiler.co.uk using their email address and password as created in point 3 above.

    13.18.8 Company information

    This contains 1.6 million sets of accounts and a searchable database.

    13.18.9 Advanced

    In the advanced menu you will find:-

  • delete client account
  • delete document
  • diagnostics
  • list client accounts
  • client account properties

  • 13.19 Outsourcing

    13.19.1 Introduction

    Using the cloud storage facilities you can aoutsource work on certain clients.

    13.19.2 Main Office Setup

  • portal / create agent account
  • synch and backup (icon) cloudsync – this will mirror all the data onto securefiler in the cloud (and might take a while)
  • tools / outsourcing / setup / email address
  • tools / outsourcing / create account (specifying a password)
  • 13.19.3 Outsource Office Setup

  • install the software
  • tick tools / user setup / backup / autosync
  • 13.19.4 Ongoing

    On an ongoing basis to give access to a particular client, in main office select client in clientbase and choose

    tools / outsourcing / send access email

    This will send an email to the outsourcer with an attachment identifying the client. When the outsourcer clicks on the attachment a client would be added to his clientbase (the outsource would not have access to the full clientbase) and on with the account details set up in, the data downloaded from securefiler. The outsourcer would work on the client in the normal way. Whenever he saves it saves it back to securefiler and the data is updated in main office, and vice versa

    13.20 Work management facilities

    13.20.1 Introduction

    ClientBase includes facilities for managing interaction with your clients. An “item” is basic record of the system. It may represent a sales lead, a piece of work that needs doing. Each item typical references a client and is assigned to a member of staff.

    13.20.2 Getting started

    In ClientBase choose Tools / Work management

    If you are not already logged in you will be asked to log in.
    The top half of the window will lists jobs that are assigned to you. Clicking on a particular item will show the details in the bottom half of the window.

    13.20.3 Items

    There are predefined item type accounts,sa,ct,paye,cis,vat,ar, other
    Add more item types using the other button and then setup.
    Each item is normally associated with a client and then assigned to a member of staff or to a team.
    To create a new item press the new item button.

    13.20.4 Users

    The users can be set up under tools / users setup / user management or within setup of work management.

    13.20.5 Teams

    You can have users allocated to teams. Team are set up under other / setup. Each team will have a leader.
    When you assign a job it can be assigned to a person or a team. If not assigned to a specific person it will appear on every user in that teams feed.


    Using the add comment button you can add comments to a job

    13.20.7 Assign

    Using the asign button you can assign the job to someone else.

    13.20.8 Priorities

    Each item is assigned a priority. There are 5 build in priorites in the system. You can add more or modify the existing ones using choose the other button and then setup.

    13.20.9 Status

    Each item is assigned a status. Open, Prepared, Approved, Filed, Closed. When a new item is created its status will be set to open. If you want more options theses can be set up using the other button then setup.

    To change the status of an item use the Status button

    13.20.10 Activity

    In the bottom of the item detail screen will be a list of the activity. Each time a comment is added, status changed or the job assigned this will be recorded here