Roles, Reports, Permissions & Access

Roles can be defined in Alto which control user access to certain parts of the software. To access, edit and amend the Group Roles, a user must have access to System Administration and Group Roles.

The role of Group Administrator gives full access to all aspects of Alto.

This article includes:

Role uses

Roles define a users permissions and can be active or inactive, have branches assigned to them, and tokens which control the reports the user will have access to.

There are 4 categories of access:

  • NO access
  • Read only
  • Read/Write
  • Full access

If there is a branch where some users need restricted access:

  • Create a specific role just for that branch and then assign that role to a user. The user would then have access to their own branch but no others

There are four default roles that are part of every Alto set up, but more can be added.

We do not recommend altering the access of these default roles generally as they can affect other parts of Alto.  It is better practice to create custom roles and add those to a User profile as required.
For example, it may be useful to turn off some permissions on a Negotiator role, such as to restrict access to customise templates or bulk archive.  Instead, create a custom role just for those tasks and apply that role to specific users who will perform those tasks rather than allow it for all negotiators.

All users must have as a minimum the roles of Shared contact Administrator and User which gives people access to the contacts shared between branches, i.e. solicitors and contractors.
The following 4 basic roles have been set up to give users the level of access they need in their everyday work. It is not usually necessary to amend the permissions contained within these roles. New roles can be created with greater or lesser permissions if necessary and these roles can be assigned to users.

  1. Group Administrator - Full access – access all areas
  2. Shared Contact Administrator - Can add contacts and assign contacts to branches and negotiators can book appointments
  3. Shared Contact User - Can add contacts
  4. Negotiator – Can add contacts, properties and create event driven letters and emails


For access to PropertyFile, users must have the Group Administrator role assigned to their account
For more information on PropertyFile, click here

Group Users

To edit a user role:

  1. Click Tools on the main toolbar
  2. On the side menu, under System Tools, click System Administration
  3. Click Group Users
  4. Click Edit next to the relevant user (This will bring up the page which defines which branches (and therefore the contacts and properties in those branches)


In the Edit User screen, various options can be selected which then feed data dynamically into letters and email templates.

The Forename, Surname, Email, Work phone, Branch Name & Job title can be used as merge codes in emails and letters.

  • #negotiator
  • work phone - #negotiator_phone#
  • #negotiator_email#
  • #job_title#

If you scroll to the bottom, you can see which branches that role is assigned to and which users.


Custom Roles

Creating custom roles to allow a user to customise letters or brochures can be useful to maintain control over designs. To create a custom role:

  1. Click Tools on the main toolbar
  2. On the side menu, under System Tools, click System Administration
  3. Click Group Roles
  4. Click Create New
  5. Give the new role a name (Reference Code) and Description. Click Create
  6. With the new role selected, click through to select the branches and permissions
  7. If you scroll to the bottom, the custom role can be applied to users and report tokens. Roles can then be linked to branches and to user profiles
  8. Click Save

Creating Custom Roles

In the scenario where an agency only wants one person to have the ability to be able to customise a template, a new role could be created called Design. This role could then be applied to specific user profiles. Similarly, roles can be created to do Bacs Payments, Batch Receipt, Bulk Archive, Bulk Delete etc.

Examples of Custom Roles

  • Customise templates
  • Lettings negotiator
  • Bulk Archive
  • Branch Manager
  • PM Full access

The following expandable list describes all the areas that would be needed to have Property Management access for Lettings, as well as all the areas that would be needed to have Residential Sales.

Areas needing Property Management access for Lettings
  • Accounting
  • Accounts Document Processing
  • Accounts Centre
  • Agency Payments
  • Appraisal
  • BACS Payments
  • Contact Bank Accounts
  • Bank Account Reconciliation
  • BatchList
  • BatchReceipt - Allows access to batch receipts
  • Board Management
  • Branch
  • Brand
  • BulkArchiveContact - Allows bulk archive of contacts
  • BulkDelete - Controls access to mark Contact records for deletion
  • Charges
  • ClientAccount - Landlord and Property Client Accounts
  • Company
  • Contact - Controls access to Contacts
  • ContactAddress
  • ContactDate - Contact Management Dates
  • ContactTenancy - Contact Tenancy List
  • Deposit Transfers
  • DocumentTemplate - Create and edit letter, stationery, and email template
  • Electronic Signing
  • Group Bank Account Maintenance
  • Group Settings
  • Inland Revenue Payments
  • Landlord Statements
  • Landlord Supplier Maintenance
  • Landlord Tax Maintenance
  • Letter
  • Management Section
  • Opening Balances
  • Payment Groups
  • PM Financial Reporting
  • PropertyDate - Property Management Dates
  • PropertyInsurance - Property Insurance Maintenance
  • PropertySupplier - Property Supplier Maintenance
  • Property Tenancy List
  • Property Utilities Maintenance
  • Receipts
  • Refunds
  • Supplier Payments
  • SupplierPaymentDetail - Supplier Payment Detail Maintenance
  • Allow setup of TDS
  • Tenancy
  • Tenancy Management Dates
  • TenancyDeposit - Tenancy Deposit Maintenance
  • TenancyDetail - Tenancy Notice Address Details
  • TenancyMarketing - Tenancy Marketing Details
  • TenancyPeriodic - Change Tenancy to Periodic
  • TenancyRenewal - Begin Tenancy Renewal Progression
  • TenancyUtility - Tenancy Utilities Maintenance
  • TenancyVacate - Begin Tenancy Vacate Progression
  • Tenant
  • TransactionList - Accounts Transaction List
  • WorksOrder - Works Order Maintenance
Areas needed to have Residential Sales
  • Appraisal
  • Board Management
  • BatchList
  • Branch
  • BulkArchiveProperty
  • Company
  • Contact
  • Customise Template
  • DiaryEvent
  • DocumentTemplate
  • ElectronicsSigning
  • Email
  • Followup
  • Group Settings
  • Letter
  • Logon
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Property
  • Recurring Diary Event
  • Recurring Event
  • Reporting
  • Saved Search
  • Security Role
  • Security User
  • Viewing

Property Management

To enable property management:

  1. Click Tools on the main toolbar
  2. On the side menu, under System Tools, click System Administration
  3. Click Group Users
  4. Click Edit next to the relevant user
  5. Tick Property Management Enabled
  6. Scroll down and click Save

This activates the lettings side of Alto, allowing landlords to be paid rent, fees taken etc.  This gives users access to the accountancy functions within Property Management.


This is a chargeable permission so if you are unable to Save, a warning message will appear to advise you that you don't have enough licences

When Property Management is enabled, new reports become available to users who have that selected.


Report Tokens

Report tokens are set so only specific users can use the reports, and are assigned to a group role. Users who need to see a report need to be added to that group role - or if all users can see a report, the report can be set to not require a token.
By using tokens, all the reports for financials could go to one person, all the property management reports to another person and all the applicant reports to another.
For more information on Report tokens, click here

Report Categories

  • Property
  • Applicant
  • Financials
  • Sales
  • Lettings
  • Marketing
  • EPC
  • Property Management
  • Property Management Financials
  • Management

For more information on Running reports, click here

Report tokens are configured in two places:

  1. Tools > System Administration > Reports - This is where the reports are linked to tokens


  2. Tools > System Administration > Group Roles > Edit


Effective Permissions

This section lists all the permissions contained in the roles the user has been assigned. This is useful when a user may need different levels of access in different branches. Effective permissions would show that a user can customise templates in one branch but not in another branch.

Roles & Branches

Not all Alto set-ups have more than one branch, but where that is the case, roles can grant access to those branches. Sometimes virtual branches for the same office can be created, i.e. one for Sales and one for Lettings - this allows for separate branding.

  1. Click Edit to bring up the page that defines which branches that particular role will have access to, and also what permissions they will have. A role can give access to all branches or limit to one, then an additional role can also define what level of access a user has


Every branch must have an administrator assigned to it otherwise it is not possible to assign roles, permission and access to that branch

Roles are assigned on the user profiles within Group Users. A user can have more than one role if needed.

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