Work Item Creation responsibility in your org?

  • 19 January 2022
  • 9 replies

Userlevel 2

Hello!  I would like to find out how other organizations assign the task of creating work items (new clients, new projects, whatever).   Do you centralize that process internally to one person/group that manages it?  We talked about that being a more administrative/process mgt task that could be done for the accounting teams.   I also wonder if pushing that to the team/accountant that is actually doing the work is better (this could lead to various styles and inconsistencies across client work items).   Any thoughts out there or experience/lessons learned?  Thank you!

9 replies

Userlevel 6
Badge +10

Hi @Wendy Barnabo !

Great question!  We basically broke this topic down to three different categories:

  • Creation and modification of work template types
  • Bulk creation and assignment of work
  • Adding work to clients on an as needed basis

All creation and modification of work templates is centralized to one person (me).  We realized quickly that if we had everyone in at this category, there were too many inconsistencies, especially with the task organization and automation within the work item itself.  

Bulk creation and assignment of work (using Karbon’s bulk upload service) is also centralized to one person (me).  This keeps the communication with our CSM centralized as well, as the bulk upload process itself is one that needs to be handled with care and lots of attention to detail.  Too many hands in this process can cause inconsistencies and errors when creating large bulk upload files.  

We do allow our team to create work on an ad-hoc basis for random requests that come in, or add work from templates as new needs arise, but we have a standardized list of procedures for naming, assigning, and repeat setup.  This helps keep work naming and repeat settings as consistent as possible.   

All of the procedures to create work templates and use the bulk service are well documented though in case I am out and another member of the team needs to step in.  

Hope this helps!  


Userlevel 7
Badge +19

Hi Wendy!

We have a similar setup to @kylenecarse with a few small differences:

  • Templates are adjusted through a draft > review > test process.
    • Draft - I make changes to the template based on feedback received from the team members using the template
    • Review - I set a meeting with the manager and staff who will use the template to make sure I’ve captured their feedback
    • Test - We assign work to one client and physically go through every step with the staff to make sure it works as intended
  • I add bulk work items using the API
    • I highly recommend this self-service option
    • I’ll be making my process available in a community post soon
  • We use GoProposal to add work for new clients and after annual reviews.
    • This is a new process, so I cannot yet recommend it
    • I’ll update my progress here in the community once we figure it out. 😀
  • Staff are encouraged to add work as they see fit if any of these are true:
    • Requires interaction from more than one staff
    • Requires feedback from the client
    • Cannot be completed in one sitting

We are not well-documented, but we are working to improve in that area. 😋

Userlevel 2

@max and @kylenecarse Thank you for this feedback!   I see a combination of the two scenarios is maybe best, depending on the level of communication and the “bulk” nature of the work item in question.  That is a great place for us to start our conversations here.  

I am not familiar with “bulk” uploads and API integrations.  My assumption is that it would be used for something like….we created a 1099 work item for a whole bunch of clients using the same template for this month?

@max I really like your definition of a reason to ad an ad hoc work item!


Userlevel 7
Badge +10

Hi @Wendy Barnabo

We are similar to @kylenecarse and @max.

When it comes to bulk changes, updating templates or adding templates that goes through me but like Max it is done with feedback and testing at the team level.

@max I will be watching for your self service option using the API our CIO has been exploring the API.

We use Practice Ignition integrated with Karbon so service items in PI set up as work orders for the clients when the client accepts the proposal.  This is directed to a single person in our case that is our Practice Manager

  • The dates on the work orders are set based on the engagement
  • The work is reset to trigger the automators by role
  • The appropriate cycle is set up for each work order

if our PM does not have the details to do all of these steps they will assign the unknowns to the team manager who will go through those steps.

We would like to see more automation between PI and Karbon for more in-depth automation but there are a lot of moving pieces there.

It is helpful to have a clear ‘owner’ of specific processes with a team of Karbon champions to help move those processes along!

Userlevel 5
Badge +6

Similar to what everyone else has described here, we have an onboarding specialist who reviews each new agreement and sets up the new client in Karbon with the applicable Work templates based on what they are seeing in the agreement.  After that, the client team takes over and customizes the Work based on what is needed for that client.  Ad-hoc Work is the responsibility of the client team.

Userlevel 7
Badge +19

I will be watching for your self service option using the API our CIO has been exploring the API.

It’s been really useful this season. I added all of our annual bookkeeping, adjustments, and tax returns. I was able to standardize the template, work name, start date, due date, work role assignments, default budgets.

It’s not very polished, but it was effective and fast.

Userlevel 3
Badge +3

Great discussion and insights everyone.

We maintain a “master list of key processes”, both client service and business management (in Excel!) and assign a process owner to each one (either my business partner or myself). Templates can only be created and changed by the process analyst, with approval required by the process owner for all material changes to templates (i.e. broken links or other routine inaccuracies are not considered material)

We also centralize creation of work items from existing templates for new clients during onboarding. Our VA currently does it but we’re hiring an onboarding specialist who will do this.

Consistent with what others have noted above, after initially being created from templates, work items can be tweaked by accountants as they are working with a client, based on their specific needs. I’m sure we’ll get more rigorous about these client-level customizations at some point to be sure we’re being intentional about not creating entirely bespoke processes for each client.

@Eshah17 @Miya - interesting discussion here :)

Userlevel 7
Badge +13

We have an onboarding specialist who is responsible for setting up new clients in our systems and creating the initial work.  After that, The admin (Me) will set-up work items for current clients, adjust templates as needed and create custom work items for special projects using the feedback of the Associate being assigned the project.  Sometimes these will become a template to use going forward.

We feel having only a few people creating work items helps the process run smoothly.  Thing are created in a consistent manner and the correct template is used for the work type.  This helps us when we are working in different work views in our work list.  It allows the filters to work properly so you are only seeing Tax Returns or Bookkeeping etc.

Userlevel 6
Badge +10

@DianeK THIS!!  The fewer people in the process the better - cannot stress this point enough!  We are on the struggle bus right now because we had too many hands in the process and are in a massive clean-up mode now.