Team role in Karbon

  • 13 September 2021
  • 9 replies

Userlevel 3
Badge +4

In Karbon, for work(/job) level, there is only only work assignee who is supposed to be a job in-charge. However, in accounting firm, due to the compulsory requirement of professional code, each piece of professional work require an engagement manager as well as an engagement leader (normally the partner). There is nowhere to put these two role in. I know there is so called “client owner” and “client manager” under client contact card. However, these two to me are only for client level, rather than work level concept. Since 1) the client owner and client manager are more for relationship purpose, rather than the professional work role. 2) most important, in my firm, one client may have different type of work, for example, tax service and accounting service may have different work managers, one client manager does not cover both at all. How are you guys or KARBON expert suggest on this? Only get-around I found is to setup a colleague role called “work manager” and “work leader”, however, for work manager and work leader to have their own view of karbon work board is not easy, as there no selection available by “colleague role” in the work filter and sorting tool. Anyone to share experience regarding this?

9 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +19

Hi Mike!

I see what you mean. Our firm has one dedicated person per client, so the built-in tags work as designed, but I can see that if you have different people in place for individual work items, it can get confusing.

I played around with a couple things, and I think what might work is to make a client group for each of the roles you mentioned for each of the different people in your office that have those roles. That way, you can filter the work list by the appropriate client groups and your managers can quickly see the status of all work where they have that role.

As I’m re-reading this, I think it might be confusing. I’ll give an example:

Let’s say you have a James and Raeanne. James is the engagement manager, and Raeanne is the engagement leader. You can create a client group for Raeanne and assign all of her engagements to that group. Raeanne won’t need to be attached to the work at all to easily keep track of her clients. All she needs to do is create a work dashboard filtered by her client group.

Likewise, James can have his own client group.

The only breakdown in this idea is that if you have work assigned to a client group, you cannot add one client group to another client group. People and organizations can be added to multiple client groups, though, so as long as your work is kept at the person or organization level, this might work for you.

What do you think? Was any of that helpful?

Userlevel 5
Badge +5

We have the client owner set up as either partner that has the over all view of the client. 

The client managers, are just that, the person who is responsible for the overall work to be done (regardless of who does it).

When we set a job up, we allocate job roles on the templates and the individual team member is assigned when the job is created. 

So let’s take a job that has the compliance work where the records are paper as an example - the job starts with an admin role and one of our admin team will scan this in. Then book-keeping needs to be done. The role is allocated as book-keeping and a team member selected. This is passed to accounts and then to partner for review etc and the role changed as well as the team member.

The team members are interdependent so not assigned by job per se. I have one person who does lots of our admin, and now is doing some book-keeping for clients so her name has been allocated where appropriate. 

Does this help?

Userlevel 3
Badge +4

@max  Thank you Max. By only thinking this, the idea should be working as a workaround. That means I need to create client groups by job managers, each job manager or each job partner get a specified client group. I will try this out. Only pain is that it is not easy to set up client group as I have add one client by one client to the client group, there is not multiple selection available to add clients ticked all at once.  But your way is a good way for sure, thank you.

Userlevel 3
Badge +4

@Coral  Thank you Carol. Since I have multiple service lines, there may be multiple managers/partners for same clients, so I may need other solution to get around.

Userlevel 3
Badge +4

I am just in a process to define the roles. Because following limitations in Karbon, I found I am struggling to clearly define the roles in karbon, to have proper view for each role as well as having a performance results (insights) for those roles.


Limitation or Karbon:

  1. there are only 3 pre-set roles in Karbon (client owner, client manager at contact level) and work assignee at work level. To me, two compulsory standard roles (engagement manager (or if you use work assignee as engagement manager, then the work doer is missing) and engagement partner/leader) are missing. These are not matching the most standard practice in an accounting firm. (my former software greenxero has such role at job level)
  2. The view for work management is a bit scattered, I really hope there are standard/recommended pre-set view for each roles. This will save a lot of time to do our own filtering as we are suppose to focus on service delivery rather than Karbon tailoring.
  3. Currently, the insights about the work efficiency and deadline meeting is focused on work level, if the “work assignee” is used the engagement doer, than the work manager’s performance is missing. If the “work assignee” is used as engagement manager, then the work doers performance is missing. This is really dilemma. 
Userlevel 5
Badge +5

@Mike Liang we do that too. There are 2 partners in this firm, and we don’t necessarily work on our own caseload of client, but more on job specification based or, more accurately, our specialisms.

Every job will have similar processes, and that is what I’ve based our jobs on. But one particular job make go to my business partner for review and another to me and we ‘share client’ so I do set thing up this way.


If you are thinking about sharing information and knowing who to reach out to in the team, have you considered writing a note and pinning it for the client so that it always appears at the top? We’ve done this within our team and also include any detailed requirements a client may have (such as we have one client that will upload the payroll, but the reports have to be sent to another partner to be signed off) - so the team don’t forget, the note is pinned to the top of the timeline as well as who our team members are etc - if there are changes, then we unpin it and replace it with an update.


I also have a KYC word document that I attach to the client details (so thinks like what accounting system and version are noted, if the client drops paper documents off, if there are specific accounting requirements used or if the client has their own auto entry software and not the one we provide etc) and this is regularly reviewed and updated where necessary.

Userlevel 7
Badge +19

I think what Mike is mostly trying to do is get a working dashboard for the key people involved in the work. Karbon is designed to have one person in charge and one manager, both at the client level (this is how we handle clients at our firm, so it works well for us as designed).

The difficulty is when different people are in charge of different aspects of a single client.

Karbon is a quickly developing, but not a fully mature project management software. They are constantly developing features based on customer feedback, but that means Karbon is a good fit for customers that are okay with using a product that is continually improving and under development.

Karbon is also built on a philosophical platform. There’s a specific work philosophy at Karbon. In this case, it’s that one person is always in charge, and no more. They believe that when more than one person is responsible, the work doesn’t get done as reliably. There may be a certain amount of firm alignment that needs to take place to take full advantage of the power of Karbon.

I don’t know if that’s helpful or not, lol. :)

Userlevel 2
Badge +1

Karbon are talking about releasing an update where we can have a shared inbox managed through Triage (I think) like hello@ or accounts@ emails.  I’m not sure how they are going to be imported in but maybe instead of using the roles, we have additional users with a generic managementaccounts@ and assign them?

I would like to see Karbon make more of the roles as we operate in teams too

Userlevel 5
Badge +5

Don’t forget that you can post a feature request with Karbon as well - this way their product team will know what is important for development too.