Client Tasks - notifications to clients and printing for workpapers

  • 8 September 2021
  • 13 replies

Userlevel 2

I use Client Tasks for customised tax return and account preparation checklists, however:

  1. When we reply to client queries through the comments, the client receives a notification which takes them into the whole checklist.  Numerous clients have complained that they must click through every checklist item to find which item we have replied to, which is time consuming and annoying.  Clearly this renders the discussion capacity of Client Tasks practically useless due to the poor client experience, and forces us to call or email instead of replying within the relevant items, which is clearly counterproductive.
  2. We are unable to print the list of items with client responses and discussion visible in Client Task for our workpapers.

In my view, without the ability for clients to be taken to the comments make and respond efficiently, and without the ability to print full checklists with discussions, Client Tasks is not finished.

I’ve invested countless hours into creating various client checklists. They promise to be amazing, however they’re not.

Please finish Client Tasks so they work as clients expect them to work, and how accountants need them to work.

13 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +19

Hi Adrian!

I’ve experienced similar feedback from one client (though I expected to have more). Have you added the suggestion to the feedback box in Karbon? If not, I highly recommend doing that. The team does a really great job of keeping track of those entries and use it to guide the near and far-term roadmap. They will even adjust the roadmap if enough people put in feedback.

Click here:

Then click here:


You may not get a response from the development team about your entry, but I have seen some specific changes happen in Karbon based off of feedback that I have entered through that function.

Userlevel 2

Hi Max

Unfortunately I’ve made both those suggestions several times.

And everyday I suffer because the functionality doesn’t exist yet.

They’re basic functions that should’ve been there from start.

And yet we have timesheets, with no invoicing capability, when almost everyone already has a timesheet and invoicing option.

I”ll have to look at other options for client checklists because what’s the point if they don’t work, and there’s no plans on the horizon.

I don’t know who Karbon is listening to.  But I suspect they have a different agenda to those who work at the coalface of public practice every day.

Userlevel 7
Badge +19

Hi Adrian,

I think I understand, and I think I would be frustrated/disappointed if functionality that I expected to be in Karbon wasn’t there yet (to be honest, this happens a lot with me). Karbon is an exciting, but growing and maturing platform. It’s not a perfect solution (for almost anything) but it’s a tool that is continuing to improve based on feedback like you’ve given here.

There may be some ways to make Karbon work a little better for what you are trying to accomplish even with it’s shortcomings. I don’t know if you’d like to connect directly to talk through your specific situation.

If not, I’m happy to talk through it here in the community as well.

Userlevel 2
Badge +1

You could tailor your approach to how checklists are used and provide a short training video for your clients?  You could include a link in the task description to the help so that it minimises the amount of questions that a client has?

For our checklists, we have added a few options like “Need help?” to get in touch if they dont understand or are overwhelmed by the amount of tasks.  We have also split it up into different sections so that it is relatively obvious where the response is.

I agree that an email notification of the comment should be sent to the client with the comment and a button to reply included, and with Karbon evolving a client portal and moving in that direction, I think it will get there soon.

@max lots of suggestions go there but Karbon has admitted that they get quite a few all the time but dont respond to any of them to acknowledge where they are in the development line or that they have actioned them.  I’ve suggested in person, by email and through that function to change this but still waiting on that development.

@Adrian C Mathews - what workpaper software are you using or are you manual based for this element of the process?  I would be more inclined to revert to comments being left in the software as incoming queries and email (preferably) or call as the response from us.

Userlevel 7
Badge +19

I like your suggestions, Daniel! One thing I forgot to mention is that we experimented with long client task lists and quickly found out the the shorter the list, the better for the client. We use Microsoft Forms to collect questionnaire information from our clients, and we use the client tasks to pass the link to them.

We also have one task item for documents we know need to be uploaded and then list the specific documents in the description of the client task.

I don’t know if these things will help. :)


Userlevel 2
Badge +1

I do think the whole user experience for Client lists needs looking at.  I would much rather have a triage approach than a to do list approach with the ability to clear the tasks/comments off the list rather than them sit on the list marked as completed.

or a tweak to the clients view that removes completed items?

Both within the realms of possibility without too much development.

I use Google forms and typeforms for the same purpose.

Userlevel 2

I asked my clients how they liked the checklist, and all of them said it was good to have a long checklist with the ability to share documents with us, however it was an annoying waste of time looking for a comment that is part of an ongoing discussion.

Having conversations stuck in Karbon is not adequate for records and workpapers.  Snipping each item is possible but time consuming and painful.  I’ve tried page capture software but the checklist conversations don’t stay expanded, so they don’t solve the issue.

Microsoft Forms requires yet another app.

Clients expect the checklist to behave in the same manner as other apps they use, and it doesn’t.

I guess it would be nice if we didn’t need to support yet another app, with yet another app, because the first app, only goes halfway.

These sort of chats simply waste more time.  If it’s not something Karbon is going to do, then just say so and people can find alternatives that work better for what they need.


Userlevel 2
Badge +1

Have you thought about putting a link to an IM software in the description?  We use slack and can set up a channel with an external link if you have something that is ongoing

Userlevel 7
Badge +19

I think what Adrian wants (and I agree) is a simple, unified way to maintain communication. This is a funny example where this process actually got worse because of a change. In the past, the most recent comment appeared in the email notification, so it was clear that there was a comment and what that comment was.

Karbon removed the comment from the email based on feedback that the comments are expected to be private and secure and shouldn’t show up in emails. When Karbon removed the comment from the email, it created this situation where it’s hard to find the comment, especially in long client task lists.

Instead of focusing resources on this, Karbon has opted for a more ambitious project of revamping how clients interact with client tasks by developing a client portal that should have many more features built in that make it easier for clients to interact with client tasks.

The new portal is in active development and some users are actually testing it now with their clients, so I expect an answer to this problem (or new problems altogether, lol) might be forthcoming.

Client tasks, including checklists, was an important feature for us to sign-up with Karbon. We wrongly assumed that if you are asking clients important questions and there is a comment field to gathers responses, then it is important information that should be in the workpapers. Why else have this confidential comment section without the ability to use it? I can’t understand how a reviewer is supposed to check a workpaper if there are answers buried in the comments. Screen snips is not a reliable and efficient solution.

Solution: Provide the ability to run a report, with all the Client Tasks and Comments fully expanded plus the file name of uploaded files so that it can be saved to PDF, DOC or TXT.

Currently the Client Tasks are significantly devalued when gathering responses from clients. I doubt we will be using it the way we intended which will be a significant black mark when we review whether we continue our Karbon subscription in a few months.

Userlevel 7
Badge +19

Hi Matt,

Karbon was a big change for our firm, and there are lots of little things that could be (and will be) better. Karbon engineers design based on customer feedback, so the best way to get things changed or added is to put it in the suggestion box.

And you might be right, Karbon might not be a good fit for your firm right now if your staff have a certain way that they like to create their work papers and are not interested in exploring other options.

We have found the client tasks incredibly helpful. It was a huge shift in thinking at our firm, but with a few small adjustments, we have seen a huge payoff in client satisfaction and internal firm efficiency after we made some key adaptations to our process.

I don’t think if that’s what you want to hear right now, but it’s where we are at with it. I don’t know if you want to chat one-on-one. I love Karbon because of the problems it solved for our firm, but it’s not finished and it’s for everyone.

Userlevel 1

Hi Everyone there is a feature request in the community for this feature. If you want it to happen can you please go over there and add a vote and hopefully the more votes we get the more likely it is to happen.

Userlevel 7
Badge +19

Voted. 😀