Start Date Anniversary Triggers ⚡️

Learn about the automated scheduled assessments you can trigger for your Contracts


  Safeguard Compliance

   Estimated Read Time: 6 minutes

    Estimated Configuration Time: 5 Minutes




Sections in this article

Background on Workflow Triggers

Introduction to this trigger

Configuring a Start Date Trigger

Suggested Additions to Start Date Triggers

How it works (with example use-cases)


Additional Reading





Workflow triggers are a key method for initiating a workflow process

With a trigger enabled, Gatekeeper will automatically create new cards on your workflow boards based on criteria (or "conditions") set by you


These trigger-criteria can generally be split into 2 categories:

Trigger Type 1 Is "fixed" metadata values (such as Status fields, risk ratings, etc.)

With these triggers, Gatekeeper generally will be monitoring for changes to these values to start a process when something is happening

Trigger Type 2 is "Dates"

Once set, the event that causes these triggers to fire is the passage of time....When the date values in your repository are approaching, Gatekeeper will compare them with the current date and initiate a review process in advance!

The most common scenario when our clients leverage these date fields is for initiating Contract Renewal Reviews when key termination/renewal dates are imminent

By leveraging a Workflow Trigger, you can ensure all contract renewals are assessed so you can stay on top of recurring expenditure - and you can add a significant buffer so you can complete your decisions & reviews before key deadlines have passed


If you do not have a Contract Renewal Workflow yet, you can view our best template walkthrough guide for inspiration

🛠️ Create your own - Contract Renewal Assessment Workflow


In the below article we will explain the functionality available for one type of "Date" trigger...




Most date triggers work by choosing a date field for contracts/vendors which occurs in the future (e.g. the End Date of a Contract) and applying a buffer (e.g. 90 days)


With a rule like this, Gatekeeper will regularly check contract end dates and - when it finds a match - will automatically create a new workflow card linked to the contract (or vendor) record


⚡️ Trigger: Contract: End Date occurs in 90 Days

📑 Contract End Date: 31/03/2024


➡️ On 01/01/2024, Gatekeeper will create a new workflow card for this contract to start the Renewal Review process


However, there is one specific trigger type which uses a date occurring in the past - "Anniversary of the Contract Start Date"

This type of trigger can be a good way to make sure contracts are reviewed on a regularly basis - especially contracts which have no fixed end date (or where no end date has been added to your metadata!)







Configuring the trigger

Step 1) Head to your Workflows Page

Step 2) Click to edit a workflow then select the Workflow Triggers option

Step 3) Hit ➕ ADD TRIGGER

Step 4) Name your trigger then hit ✅ Create

Step 5) Use ➕ ADD to compile the list of conditions for the trigger to fire

Here you should use:

Contract / Start Date  ➡️  annually before anniversary  ➡️  X days

Once finished configuring your trigger (and your workflow) you should set the Trigger Status from Pipeline to Live so Gatekeeper will begin checking your contracts for matches


Suggested Additions

Unless you wish review every single one of your contracts every year around the anniversary of its Start Date, it is suggested to add some additional conditions to your trigger to reduce the number of records for which this trigger will fire


As an example our best practice template comes with the below additional condition

Above, the additional field means Gatekeeper will only start a renewal review for contracts which can not have an "End Date" (because "Evergreen" is the setting which implies a contract does not have a fixed term and will continue indefinitely)





How it works

With a Start Date Anniversary trigger in place, each year Gatekeeper will take the same date (plus 1 year to get the anniversary) and count backwards from that - basically how End Date triggers work

Below are some examples of when Workflows will trigger based on the start date you have for a metadata record...

Use Cases

Standard Case

Contract Start Date: 1st October 2020

Trigger: Start Date Anniversary occurs in 90 days

Cards will be triggered on:

3rd July 2021

3rd July 2022

3rd July 2023



Edge Cases

If you want know how the trigger will work when data is amended for live records already in place, below are some explanations of all possible scenarios:

EC 1: Backwards Amended Start Date 

📑 Contract Start Date: 1st October 2020

⚡️ Trigger: Start Date Anniversary occurs in 90 days

First card triggered: 3rd July 2021

🛠️ After 3rd July 2021, Start Date Amended to: 1st September 2020

Next card triggered: 3rd June 2022


Here, since the trigger period is moved backwards, when Gatekeeper checks the contract there will be no risk of it immediately meeting the trigger criteria again

From the next year, annual reviews will trigger as scheduled

EC 2: Forwards Amended Start Date 

📑 Contract Start Date: 1st October 2020

⚡️ Trigger: Start Date Anniversary occurs in 90 days

First Card Triggered: 3rd July 2021

🛠️ After 3rd July 2021, Start Date Amended to: 1st November 2020

Next card triggered: 3rd August 2021


Here, because the new Start Date trigger period is in the future, when checked by Gatekeeper, this contract will be due for another annual review!

EC 3: Trigger-Jumping Start Date

📑 Contract Start Date: 1st October 2020

⚡️ Trigger: Start Date Anniversary occurs in 90 days

🛠️ BEFORE 3rd July 2021, Start Date Amended to: 1st September 2020

First Card Triggered: 3rd June 2022


Here, because the trigger period for the new Start Date had already passed in 2021, Gatekeeper will not create a card for this anniversary

EC 4: Archived Card

📑 Contract Start Date: 1st October 2020

⚡️ Trigger: Start Date Anniversary occurs in 90 days

First Card Triggered: 3rd July 2021

🗂️ Card Archived from Kanban on 4th July 2021

Next card triggered: 3rd July 2022


Here, because the 4th July is past the Start Date trigger period, Gatekeeper will not create a second card for the review in this year

EC 5: Leap Years

Contract Start Date: 29th February 2020

Trigger: Start Date Anniversary occurs in 7 days

Cards will be triggered on:

21st February 2021

21st February 2022

21st February 2023

22nd February 2024


Here, Gatekeeper is "pretending" the Leap day of the each year is February 28th, until a real leap year occurs when it goes back to normal







Q: How often does Gatekeeper check my trigger conditions?

A: For fixed-value based triggers, these are checked instantly at the point that any metadata value changes in your repository!

For Date-based triggers, Gatekeeper will check these once per hour (at varying intervals)

Start Dates are checked at 25 minutes past the hour

End Dates are checked at 15 minutes past the hour

Notice Period Dates are checked at 20 minutes past the hour

Custom Dates are checked at 10 minutes past the hour

File Expiry Dates are checked at 30 minutes past the hour



Q: What happens if I configure multiple triggers for the same workflow?

A: This is fine (and very common for Gatekeeper clients)

Gatekeeper will check all live triggers on the above schedule. Whichever matches with a contract record first will trigger the workflow first!

💡 If a Contract already has a live card on a workflow, other triggers for that workflow will not fire

Therefore, you don't have to worry about your users getting confused by multiple separate workflow cards for the same agreement review!


Q: Can we create a trigger based on the anniversary of any other date fields than Start date?

A: Technically no. This is the only date field which allows you to use the "Annually before anniversary" operator

However, it is possible to automatically populate & update a custom date field for regular reviews

See 📖 Dynamic Dates for an explanation of this


Q: Do we need to use this trigger for a renewal review?

A: Not necessarily. This is just the most common scenario we see Gatekeeper clients leveraging this feature.

You could also use the same trigger settings for other processes such as biannual reviews of your more critical contracts 





Additional Reading 📚


📖 Creating a Trigger

See a walkthrough of the basics for creating workflow triggers


⚡️ Dynamic Dates ⚡️

Learn about another way to automate regular review workflows


🛠️ Create Your Own - Contract Renewal Review

See a walkthrough of our best practice template workflow for contract renewal reviews