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Contacts Best Practices

  • 27 October 2022
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I am looking at our contacts - People vs Organizations vs Client Groups - and would love to see what others are doing.

  • For people - Are you creating a contact for each person on a tax return - both taxpayer and spouse?
  • For client groups - are you creating a client group for each joint tax return?  And then are you creating work for the taxpayer of the client group?
  • For clients with personal and business returns are you 1) adding the person + organization to the client group?  And then do you assign the tax return work to the person and organization or to the client group?
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Best answer by sarah.e 28 October 2022, 15:56

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Userlevel 5
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I am looking at our contacts - People vs Organizations vs Client Groups - and would love to see what others are doing.

  • For people - Are you creating a contact for each person on a tax return - both taxpayer and spouse?
  • For client groups - are you creating a client group for each joint tax return?  And then are you creating work for the taxpayer of the client group?
  • For clients with personal and business returns are you 1) adding the person + organization to the client group?  And then do you assign the tax return work to the person and organization or to the client group?

 

People: We create a contact for each person on the return so we can send the client request emails to both people. Also, quite often one of them, if not both, are the owner of the org so having them separated allows for better clarity of that owner and access to certain data in requests sent. Then we associate the people together and the proper people to the associated org where appropriate.

 

Client groups: We only use these for entities as that could get very messy and cluttery with a lot of client groups.

 

For join individual returns, we apply the work to the owner of the org we service. For corp returns we apply to the org.

 

Interesting way to utilize client groups though. 

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@Terri Warren Thanks for your insight - yet another good reason for both the taxpayer and spouse to be in Karbon.  

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Hi @Ken Rogers

Almost all of our personal tax clients are associated with a business contact, we set up a person for each email contact, so I do not have much to add to the discussion.  I did come here to agree with @Terri Warren that the client groups could get messy if you have one for each joint tax return.  

We utilize client groups by service items, for example clients who have opted into our ‘Gold’ package are in the Gold Clients client group.  

I think how you lay this out really comes down to what you want to get from your dashboards, what filters matter to you.

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@Ken Rogers Taxpayer and Spouse are Contacts associated with the Organization which is the Full First and Last Name of Each (The Organization is the Customer). Only works that way for joint returns as for Individuals the Taxpayer is the Customer.

Client Groups are used if there are multiple entities (businesses, indiviudals, etc). This way we can pull up the Client Group and see all of the work associated with everyone. We include the children in the Client Group as well so we can make sure to see their work when looking at the group.

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Person - We create a contact for the taxpayer and spouse. 

Organization - We create a contact for the joint return, listing both the taxpayer and spouse. We create an org for each entity on the returns also. Ex: Last, Primary First & Spouse First

Client Group - Since most of our clients have a minimum of 3 contacts, we have a group for almost every client. For clients with businesses, we use the last name and the primary business in as the group name. Ex: Last / Business Group

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Hi @Ken Rogers

Almost all of our personal tax clients are associated with a business contact, we set up a person for each email contact, so I do not have much to add to the discussion.  I did come here to agree with @Terri Warren that the client groups could get messy if you have one for each joint tax return.  

We utilize client groups by service items, for example clients who have opted into our ‘Gold’ package are in the Gold Clients client group.  

I think how you lay this out really comes down to what you want to get from your dashboards, what filters matter to you.

 

 

I love this Victoria! 🙌 You can also add a client to more than one group. This is such a great idea that would be so easy to implement for us!

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Hi @Ken Rogers

Almost all of our personal tax clients are associated with a business contact, we set up a person for each email contact, so I do not have much to add to the discussion.  I did come here to agree with @Terri Warren that the client groups could get messy if you have one for each joint tax return.  

We utilize client groups by service items, for example clients who have opted into our ‘Gold’ package are in the Gold Clients client group.  

I think how you lay this out really comes down to what you want to get from your dashboards, what filters matter to you.

I love this Victoria! 🙌 You can also add a client to more than one group. This is such a great idea that would be so easy to implement for us!

 

@sarah.e Yes, you can add a client to more than one group but there are limitations when you filter by groups, something to watch out for when you do that.  We do it so are always mindful when we are creating dashboards that we will get ALL the clients we hope to.

 

From the Karbon article on Client Groups

Manage a Client Group | Karbon Help (karbonhq.com)

Keep in mind that if you are filtering down to a specific client group with the Kanban view, you will only be able to see work items that have been created for that specific client group. If you can't find the work item you are looking for, either no work item is created for that specific client group or maybe it's been created for one of the other client groups that that specific client is a member of.

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We don’t do any year-end/tax work so have no work for individuals. We set ours up as follows:

Organizations: each entity we do bookkeeping/payroll for

People: the contacts for each entity (owners, specific employees, sometimes vendors, their YE accountant etc.)

Groups: we have a couple uses for groups - to indicate related companies; to indicate which bookkeeping team works on the file

 

We’ve also set up a group called Time Tracking with internal time codes (e.g. training, Karbon hygiene, admin etc.) setup as organizations. We also have some internal organizations for our internal work.

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We’ve also set up a group called Time Tracking with internal time codes (e.g. training, Karbon hygiene, admin etc.) setup as organizations. We also have some internal organizations for our internal work.

This is an interesting way to track internal time. I like it. I assume you have particular work templates created assigned to each person? Would you mind expanding on this?

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This is an interesting way to track internal time. I like it. I assume you have particular work templates created assigned to each person? Would you mind expanding on this?

@Terri Warren We don’t have any templates or work items setup for the general team for these as they don’t have processes or aren’t in Karbon so they just record time to the internal “client”.

We have codes such as:

  • Karbon Hygiene (Triage, My Week planning, reassigning work etc.)
  • Learning & Development (completing training, webinars, workshops etc.)
  • Internal Meetings (all hands, huddles, not client specific etc.)
  • Leave (vacation, sick, stat holidays etc.)

We also have a catch-all “Admin” code and they need to leave notes if they use this one. Anything client related should go to a specific client piece of work.

Some of us in more admin roles have created work items so we can get more granular, but the above are sufficient for the bookkeeping/payroll teams!

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We have codes such as:

  • Karbon Hygiene (Triage, My Week planning, reassigning work etc.)
  • Learning & Development (completing training, webinars, workshops etc.)
  • Internal Meetings (all hands, huddles, not client specific etc.)
  • Leave (vacation, sick, stat holidays etc.)

I’m interested in knowing how having leave hours in Karbon effects your reporting. We were doing this but decided to stop logging non-work time like vacation because it was difficult to pull that data out of the Insights tab and our Karbon Practice Intelligence reports. 

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@sarah.e we include it so we can have complete timesheets - it makes it easier to review/approve if it’s all in the one place! It removes the question “is their timesheet low because they were absent, or is it low because they didn’t log everything?”.

We aren’t using Karbon PI so that wasn’t a consideration for us. Any time analysis we do would be at the client or work level to compare budgets and actuals. 99% of what we do is also non-billable, and the timesheets export gives us what we need for our occasional billable work.

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