Creating usable Standard Operating Procedures and Checklists in Karbon

  • 9 September 2022
  • 5 replies

Userlevel 1


I am training new team members so our standard operating procedures are quite detailed. For management accounts or year-end  - I want them to run through a detailed checklist like so….



I have one test job open for management accounts and of course every task appears in my ToDo list which is horrifically overwhelming with just one job open!!  I've created each of these checks as subtasks hoping they would not appear in the Work List but here they are! It will be unworkable if I roll this out.




But if I set all the steps out in the notes - the person doing the job has nothing to check off and I have no way of knowing if they've considered every step without micromanaging the work.

The only solution I can think of is to change the colour of the text of the steps actioned.




But the visibility of that is lost when you come out of the task.



I can of course opt for a much smaller list of headline tasks which would be much less overwhelming but then where do you put the detail of the SOP in a format that can be followed by the team member. 


Wondering how others create their procedures without overwhelming team members. Thanks

5 replies

Userlevel 4
Badge +2

Hi Lisa

I hear you on this! I started in this role in March 22 and have been learning Karbon and how it fits with our practice.

I’m sure our challenges are very similar to yours and many other practices. When I first looked at To-Do I was quickly overwhelmed by the volume of tasks and I struggled to be able to focus on progress with Work.

Our firm has not used the To Do section in the past, preferring to ‘work’ in the Work area and use the tasks as checklists within each Work. So in this way we are not overwhelmed by the huge number of tasks in To Do. (I know this is not really the way Karbon was designed but this is the way our practice has evolved and we were an early Karbon client).

As I’ve been tasked with improving workflow, I’m actively looking at ways we can be using Karbon more effectively/efficiently. 

Typically when we complete a Work, we choose to mark all tasks complete - however I am looking at changing that process to leave tasks as-is so that we’re able to go back to review works to see what was or was not checked off. I’m also experimenting with having some Yes or No subtasks where we ask a quesiton, and only the selected answer is checked with the other one remaining unchecked. Not sure how effective this will be yet.

We’re also using individual sections to hold ‘Before you Start’ information on how to do the Work, and and Email Template section with the customised email for that work/client (i.e. name, tax number, filing dates etc) that we can cut and paste into an email. At an early stage our approach seems that it will work for the way we like to work! Does that make sense?

Hope that helps and happy to hear how other are doing things.




Userlevel 7
Badge +19

Hi @Lisa Dickson! 😀

You ask a great question. Our company has gradually migrated from longer, detailed lists to shorter lists with the detail in the task body. Our rule is that if the work is done in one sitting, its generally under one task item.

We also use compliance checklists in Word that are linked in the body of the Karbon task. I don’t really like this system, but it works to keep the work item clean and readable. Also the accountants like their word-based lists, lol.

Another option you have is to indent subtasks under the main task. Assign the main task, but leave the subtasks unassigned so they don’t show in To-Do, but you can still see progress in the work item.

Does that make sense?

Userlevel 6
Badge +10

Hi @Lisa Dickson I love your task lists!  But I can see how that can be super overwhelming.

When we onboarded with Karbon, our CSM at the time recommended that we don’t assign the sub-tasks to a person and just leave the main task with the assigned team member.  He said this would help keep the To Do List cleaner and only have the main task listed there. 

The thought there was that the main task tells the team member what step in the process they are on and needs to be done, then they go to the work item to get the detailed sub-tasks for them to do.  He recommended that the sub-tasks be checked off as completed, and then the main one be completed once all sub-tasks were finished.  

I think this might work in your example since you are the person listed for all the tasks and subtasks.

So you would keep yourself assigned on the main tasks, but remove your assignment on the subs.  

This has worked well for us, and keeps the To Do list cleaner as well as triage too.  Looks like @max has the same idea as well!

Hope this helps some!


Userlevel 7
Badge +10

Hi @Lisa Dickson 

We found the same issues and follow the same solutions noted here, utilizing sub tasks without assignees is key.

I also add in () on the main task how many tasks need to be completed.  In your example it would look something like this

   Balance Sheet Reveiw… (7 sub tasks)


Getting away from the To-Do lists and living in My Week helps reduce the stress of overwhelming To-Do lists.

It is a work in progress (isn’t everything?)

Userlevel 1

@Victoria Peters @kylenecarse @max Thanks so much for the feedback - I’m going to go and remove assignee from the subtask immediately!

Before you start section is a good idea. Thank you.