We see clients who have been billing their IT contracts in e-automate prior to using a PSA tool like ConnectWise want to sync to their existing contracts so that they can have contract profit reports that include the old contract. While this is possible, we do not recommend it, as it can cause issues with the sync.
Instead, we suggest you let the sync create a new contract, then change that contract number in e-automate to match the next revision on the old contract.
To link the agreements in ConnectWise to the contracts in e-automate, a custom field is used on the agreement in ConnectWise. Click here for instructions on how to create the custom field in ConnectWise.
Once the custom field is created in ConnectWise, you'll need to enter the contract number from e-automate into this field. Make sure that you enter the full contract number from e-automate, including the revision number:
The value to enter in the custom field for this example is CW-40757-01
If the value in ZCJ_ContractNumber is not an exact match to the e-automate contract number, the sync will create a new contract in e-automate when the invoice from ConnectWise is synced over. If that happens, you will need to delete or terminate that contract in e-automate and then let us know so that we can also remove the linking created in our background tables.
Contract Changes in e-automate
There are two changes to the existing contracts that may need to be done prior to the first sync; both of these changes will require renewing the contract in e-automate:
1. The contract billing period must begin on the first day of the month to match the billing cycle in ConnectWise.
ConnectWise only bills starting on the first of the month and doesn't allow for billing on any other days of the month like e-automate does.
2. The option to Use equipment base rates must be selected.
If either of these fields needs to be changed, you'll need to renew the contract so that you can make the changes.
After the first invoice has synced from ConnectWise, you'll notice some changes to the contract in e-automate:
1. Any equipment records of items that existed on the contract will be terminated. The sync matches the line items from the ConnectWise invoice to the items on the contract and anything that doesn't match will be terminated. The line items will be terminated using the termination code you've entered in variable 11 of ID964.
2. The sync adds the item CW-Service to every contract, this item is used with the ID965 service call sync. The start coverage date for this item will be set to match the agreement start date from ConnectWise. Depending on if you had to renew the existing contract in e-automate, this may cause an issue as the start coverage date on the item will be set to before the start date of the contract in e-automate. You will need to manually fix these date issues before billing the contract. This field is not updated on subsequent updates by the sync so you will not need to do this again after the first month's billing.
3. The contract base rate amount on the installment based billing tab of the contract may not match to the amount the items on the contract will bill. This is due to the previous billing of the contract with the items that have been terminated. The contract will bill the proper amount to match to ConnectWise.
Tips and Tricks
Another option you can use to sync to existing contracts is to terminate all the existing contracts and let the sync create new contracts. Once the new contracts are created, you can change the contract number to be the old contract number with a -02. You'll then need to update the custom field in ConnectWise to reflect the updated contract number. This allows continuity with the contract numbers but also bypasses some of the issues that occur when syncing to existing contracts as the sync has created and linked all of the contracts through the syncing process.
Contract profitability reports can also be run by customer, so even if the contract numbers differ, you should still be able to see the profitability on the contracts.
We have seen sporadic issues with syncing to existing contracts where the days in the billing period will get off by one day and need to be manually adjusted before billing. This issue is not seen when the sync creates the contracts.