Bookkeeping Work Item Best Practice

  • 21 September 2022
  • 3 replies
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Userlevel 1

Hey everyone - Our firm has been with Karbon for about 2 years and we are retooling some of our processes as well as work items as we’ve grown and we are looking for some insight into some best practices when it comes to our Bookkeeping work items.

 

For the majority of our client base, we do quarterly financials - very rarely do we have monthly calls with monthly financials. We want to have the work done monthly so workflow is more predictable on a monthly basis as currently most work items are just set up for quarterly write up and then a financial statement prep in the same work item with multiple steps. 

We have thought of three ways to get this done while trying to cause the least confusion.

 

Option 1 - Create a monthly repeating bookkeeping work item that just has reconciliation work and then create a separate repeating work item for quarterly financial statement prep. In the quarterly financial statement prep, the first step would be for the bookkeeper to check off that all 3 months are reconciled so that work is not going to the accountant before it is actually ready.

 

Option 2 - Create 12 Bookkeeping work items for each client that don’t repeat and on the month that the quarter ends, have the tasks associated with quarterly financial statement prep, tax planning, etc get added into those work items, and then in the 12th month, add completing the entity tax return into the work item.

 

Option 3 - Create one work item that spans the entire year and just have each month be a task within the work item.

 

Each of these options have their own lists of pros and cons ranging from work visibility to complications with automaters, to issues with clients not providing proper information, to having a timeline overload in one work item. Also don’t know if we are overthinking this. I wanted to get an idea of how others are handling this inside of Karbon to get an idea of what may work best. Any insight anyone could provide would be very much appreciated.


3 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +19

Option 1 - Create a monthly repeating bookkeeping work item that just has reconciliation work and then create a separate repeating work item for quarterly financial statement prep. In the quarterly financial statement prep, the first step would be for the bookkeeper to check off that all 3 months are reconciled so that work is not going to the accountant before it is actually ready.

We have tried all three approaches and landed on your option 1. We have a work status “Waiting on other work” where work items sit when they are dependent on preceding work items.

Option 2 - Create 12 Bookkeeping work items for each client that don’t repeat and on the month that the quarter ends, have the tasks associated with quarterly financial statement prep, tax planning, etc get added into those work items, and then in the 12th month, add completing the entity tax return into the work item.

This could work if your process is very stable. We are continually adjusting the way we do work so that things are better and smoother, so when we tried setting up work this way, we found the process of documenting changes to our process was prohibitively difficult because you must change 12 work items instead of letting your changes roll forward automatically.

Option 3 - Create one work item that spans the entire year and just have each month be a task within the work item.

This is how we started with Karbon but found that we lost visibility on the actual status of the work. It was too difficult to figure out if the work item was on track, behind, etc.

Each of these options have their own lists of pros and cons ranging from work visibility to complications with automaters, to issues with clients not providing proper information, to having a timeline overload in one work item. Also don’t know if we are overthinking this. I wanted to get an idea of how others are handling this inside of Karbon to get an idea of what may work best. Any insight anyone could provide would be very much appreciated.

Each of these options is viable and your context is different than ours 😀 so one option may work better for you than it would for us.

We are pretty set on small work items that cascade from one to the next.

If the work has a different start or due date, recurrence, or is done by different departments (bookkeeping, accounting, etc.) it gets it’s own work item with instructions on how to wait for the preceding work item and how to kick off the follow-on work items.

Here’s a feature idea I put in to try to help with the multiple dependent work items. Vote how you feel led. 😉

Does that help at all?

Userlevel 1

Yes. Thank you very much. We are thinking more towards option 1 as well. Work Item Dependency would be an amazing feature add!

Userlevel 6
Badge +9

Hi Jarett,

After a few false starts we are also parked firmly in Option 1 from your list of approaches and have found it to be very effective, especially since the different bookkeeping packages we offer have different reporting cycles even though we reconcile the books monthly regardless.

Doing the work monthly evens out capacity planning, giving a more constant flow of work to be done by staff with the ‘blip’ of sending reports showing up on a different cycle.  And this does not happen until the work has been reviewed by a lead.

We are also very keen to see the Work Item Dependency idea come into play.

V

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