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Better to repeat work monhtly or have 12 monthly tasks?

  • 6 January 2022
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Best practice advice please… I’m fairly new to Karbon and looking for tips to better organize. For recurring work like month end close or biweekly payroll, is it better to create a “work” template for each of these and have them repeat or create one “work” template with 12 (or 24) tasks within that have monthly/ biweekly due dates for each task? Which way is easier to manage?

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Best answer by Victoria Peters 6 January 2022, 21:34

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Hi Grace! Welcome to the Karbon community. 😀

The answer to your question depends heavily on how you like the work to flow in your firm. I will tell you what we have tried and how it worked out, but I hesitate to call it a best practice. It may be that for us, but it may not work as well for others.

The main problem that we were dealing with was dependent work items. If one work item needs to be completed before another, and they both happen regularly, why have different work items? So, we started out making monolithic work items that included everything we do in the period.

What we found is that it’s really hard to track where the bottlenecks exist. We started added extra work status to suite, but that started to get out of hand, and we still didn’t have a good grasp on the flow.

We decided to add one extra work status (waiting on other work) and split the work items up. This gives us more flexibility when billing and when assigning work. We have one work item for weekly bookkeeping and a different work item for monthly account reconciliation.

Our staff has so far agreed that splitting the work items up by their start and due dates makes the most sense. If two tasks have the same start and due date and are done at the same time (Q4 Payroll and W2/W3s here in the states), then they are lumped together in one work item. If any of those things are different, we split the work items out and put in the correct information for each.

Does that help at all?

Userlevel 5
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Hi Grace,

I’m with @max it really is dependent on your work flow and if you want to track things like work completed on time throughout the year.  

If you have one work order with 12 or 24 tasks that work order is ‘open’ for 12 months.  If you check out Insights you will see there are some valuable, well, insights there but they are measured at the work order level.

We set up repeating schedules for all repeating work orders within any engagement so we can end up with a number of work orders but it does give flexibility on how we assign the work and how we prioritize due dates.  We also set the repeating schedule to only last as long as the engagement (there is a desire to have it run Forever but we have found that to be problematic).

It is not unusual for a monthly client in our system to have the following work orders on different repeating cycles with appropriate due dates.

  • Weekly Accounting
  • Bi-Weekly Payroll
  • Month end Accounting
  • Monthly or Quarterly Reporting
  • Quarterly HST

To deal with the work items that are dependent on other items being complete we have created the first task will be to confirm that the other work is done.  For example on the Monthly Accounting work order the first task will be to confirm that all weekly accounting for the month is complete.

Hope that helps,

Userlevel 4
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@Grace McKay I’m with @Victoria Peters and @max on this.  

We have tried both ways, and we failed both ways initially!  This was largely related to not being completely familiar with the Karbon repeat setup and having a good grasp of how our work actually flowed!

But now I think we finally have it down for what will work for us.  We have work created for each type of work we have, then have them repeat at the cadence we need.  BUT this time we were smarter with the repeat settings and made sure that weekly, bi-weekly and even monthly work doesn’t even create in the system until much closer to the start date.

Ex:

Weekly Bookkeeping - repeats weekly and the next week’s work doesn’t generate until the day before the start date.  This helps keep the Work tab from getting out of control and overwhelming

Month End Accounting - this could repeat as frequently as each month, quarterly, or even annually in some cases - just depends on the client needs.  The work creation repeats two-weeks ahead of the start date for most clients. 

Hope that helps some too!

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