Dec 25 2023 /

Webinar and Q&A: Walkthrough of workflow automation, templates & best practices 

Webinar and Q&A: Walkthrough of workflow automation, templates & best practices 

To round off 2023 and get you ready for 2024, chief product officer Ilya Radzinsky hosted a live webinar to walk through ready-made templates with automation, discuss best practices and introduce the TaxDome Marketplace.

During the one-hour session, Ilya was joined by chief revenue officer Petar Iliev and special guest Michael Flax, CEO at Flax CPA & Business Solutions.

In case you missed it, you can find a full recording of the webinar below:

Here’s a brief overview of what was discussed:

  • The benefits of workflow automation
  • A detailed walkthrough of a TaxDome workflow template
  • Workflow automation best practices
  • An introduction to TaxDome Marketplace (like the App Store but for TaxDome templates)

Want to find out more about templates and TaxDome Marketplace? Schedule a demo with our implementation team:

Q&A transcript

Workflow and best practices

Am I able to use my own engagement letter and tax organizer in the pipeline?

Yes, you can! You can fully customize a pipeline with your own engagement letter and organizer templates.

Is there a way for a client to sign the organizer? I would like them to sign a statement saying that the information they have provided on the organizer is true.

Yes – if you’d like to add an “I confirm” type statement, you can add a checkbox that your clients can check off. 

Is there an easy way to see a client’s view of their specific account?

Yes! You can go to the client profile (Account) > Info tab and then click the “Log in as account (read-only)” button to the right of the account name. See our help article for more information.

So is tax preparation a job? Or is a client a job?

Jobs are the things you get paid for – the 1040, the 1065, etc.

The pipeline is the set of stages that it takes for you to complete the job – from intake to prep to signature to e-filing.

You can visit our help article for a more detailed breakdown.

What about documents that clients need to upload? Can that be part of completing an organizer?

Yes! Document uploads can be part of your organizer template. For more information on organizer templates, visit our help article.

Can we create an automation to continue a certain chat? E.g. one chat for payroll info that is auto-selected?

When you set up a chat automation, you can choose to create a new thread or reply to the latest chat. See our help article for more information.

Is a new pipeline created or modified for each year?

In general, we recommend keeping the same pipeline, irrespective of year. Remember, the pipeline is the process – so your tax prep process remains (mostly) the same for a current year return or a prior year return. It’s the same for bookkeeping: your monthly bookkeeping pipeline can contain all your monthly bookkeeping jobs – from Feb 2022 to March 2024, etc. 

When you’re done with the job, simply archive it. The pipeline contains all active jobs currently in your workflow.

Regarding modifications – of course! We find that most firms continually improve their workflows each season (and frequently within it) as they find out what works best for them.

Can the clients edit any of the auto-filled areas in organizers? E.g. if their address changed from the previous year?

Yes! For example, your clients can choose the same answer as last year or manually enter a new address.

New TaxDome user here. Do you think client involvement affects the automations in Workflow? I have a feeling some clients will not complete items, therefore certain automations will not trigger. It’s made me think of turning certain automations off.

Great question – in any business, you can’t force your clients to do something, whether it’s sign a document or pay an invoice. But if you have a good system in place and you have adequate processes, the ship runs smoothly. That’s why we focus on the client experience and make it as easy as possible for clients to interact with your firm. 

In addition, clients can also complete tasks such as invoices, organizers and engagement letters from any device, including through our mobile app. This enhances convenience and encourages clients to easily complete items and trigger the automations.

And if your clients forget to do something, automated reminders will follow up with them automatically – ensuring a streamlined follow-up process. The user-friendly nature of the automations within TaxDome also simplifies this, such as when you need to obtain a signature or process invoice payments. 

If you update the recurrence date on a pipeline, does it automatically apply to all jobs in the pipeline?

To update the recurrence on the Jobs, click “Manage recurrence” within the Pipeline and do a bulk edit on the Job recurrences. 

Changing it on the pipeline settings only changes the default settings for future job recurrences that get created – it won’t affect the recurrences you have already set up.

For more information on job recurrences, see our help article.

Will there be a space for users to keep track of action items, tasks, notes, or other items that are not connected to a Pipeline?

Yes! You can already do this. In a pipeline, you can create tasks without them being attached to a job. Every account has its own Notes tab. Every item is connected to an account so you can see them without having them as a job in a pipeline.

Our tax software has fillable organizers that include last year’s data. How can I implement this into the TaxDome pipeline?

It’s all about the client experience. Your tax software might prefill some information for them, but it comes in a clunky PDF, is 30 pages long, and the reality is that very few of your clients will actually complete it. Remember: the best juicer is the one you actually use!

TaxDome’s organizer is mobile-friendly, auto-saves all answers, auto-saves the documents they upload directly into their documents area and more. And once they complete your organizer for the first time, they will have the option to pre-fill answers in future years. 

The actual time to complete the organizer is far shorter and a far more pleasant experience for your clients, resulting in what you as a practitioner really want: completed organizers that you can work with.

How are the jobs in a pipeline organized? Is it by entry into the stage, alphabetical order, or other?

You have full flexibility to arrange this to suit your preference. By default, jobs are sorted by account name, but you can also sort them by the amount of time in a stage, due date, date a job was created, or priority.

Visit our help article for more information.

Can you track the time spent by team members? For example, to calculate the time for paying hourly staff?

Yes, you can do that using Time Entries and reports within the time entry section. This lets you view the amount of hours your staff worked each period.

What happens with existing clients if you apply a new folder template? Do the current folders get overwritten?

Nothing happens to existing folders, but if any new folders exist they will be added.

When you add a new folder template in bulk to your clients, the template will be visible in their accounts. Existing folders within a client’s account will remain unchanged and won’t be deleted.

Will TaxDome recognize that an engagement letter has been signed and then move forward to the next stage? Or do we have to do it manually?

It’s done automatically. All you have to do is to turn on the Automove toggle within that stage. 

For more information on how to use the Automove feature to send proposals and engagement letters automatically, visit our help article.

Will there be an ability to view projects in a list view rather than a Kanban view?

This is already possible when you go to Workflow > Jobs. This will give you a list of all of your projects and you can apply filters to the list to search for specific projects.

At the end of my pipeline, I have Finalized so I know it is all completed. Do I have it set to start again on Jan 15, 2024 or will they auto-reset?

You can set recurrences to create new jobs on Jan 15, 2024. We recommend doing that (visit our help article on how to do that) so you don’t have to think about it – the jobs will be created automatically.

Or if you want to do it manually, that’s easy, too – see our help article. You can bulk select accounts from your client list and add a job for them manually on the 15th.

Once you are done with the work, we recommend archiving the job. We do not recommend deleting the jobs so you can maintain your records.

Templates and marketplace

Is the marketplace different from the template library?

Yes, the template library will be replaced by the marketplace. For now, both exist, but only in this transitional phase. The template library consists of templates that we have created for you. You can easily copy and paste these templates within your library. 

The marketplace enables creators to list and sell business process templates, which you can download to your library. New templates will also be added there. 

How do we know who created the templates?

You will see brand logos and images when browsing the marketplace, and once you open the template you will see the name of the firm or consultant that created the template.

I am fairly new – where does the pipeline template go once I click “Get free” on the marketplace?

The new template will be added to your workspace. You can view it and make modifications in your template library inside of Settings.

If you change the template, do you have to apply it to each client or is there a mass application now? My experience has been that I have had to un-apply and reapply the changes or change every pipeline for each client.

Here’s how updates to templates work:

Automations for pipelines trigger when jobs enter a stage. If you make updates to a pipeline, those updates will take effect immediately for any time a job enters a stage; it will not work retroactively.

For other templates, such as tasks, organizers, emails, etc. – once the item has been created, changes to the template won’t affect any items that you have already sent.

What is the name of this pipeline in TaxDome Marketplace?

The name of the pipeline in the marketplace is: 1040 Tax Return Pipeline (used during webinar).

Josef Hynard

Josef is a content writer for TaxDome who enjoys creating clear, actionable content to inspire readers about TaxDome’s features and updates. When he’s not fitting words together, he likes to read books and work out.

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