Pipelines (Basic): How Automations Work

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Automations help save you time. You add them so that an action is automatically initiated as the next step in the workflow process as you move a job through the various stages of your workflow.

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Automations, Explained

In case you’re scratching your head, an automation is a mechanism that makes a system operate automatically. TaxDome’s automations initiate actions for you, your team members, or clients during the different stages of your work procedures. As a job moves through the different stages of a pipeline, the automations you set up trigger actions that need to be taken in order for the job to be completed.

Besides, automations include the jobs automove feature. You’re able to set up cause-and-effect triggers, so a job is automatically moved to the next stage when all requirements for the current stage are done. When a client pays an invoice and signs a contract, for instance, the job automatically moves to the next stage in the pipeline, where the new automation is triggered (for example, a task for your team is created).

For example, your firm has Personal Tax process. For instance, you may want the client to be automatically sent an introduction e-mail and customized organizer to complete. Then, when the client submits the organizer, the job for them automatically gets to the next stage, e.g., Tax Prep, you may want to initiate a task for a team member to complete, and so on.

Here's how the sample process for your client may look like. You can see that each stage could have automations that simplify your routines.

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Tip! Please see Pipelines (Basic): Your First Pipeline With Automations Tutorial where we explain how a typical pipeline with templates and automations is created and what happens when you add a job to it and move it further.

To get started, follow these steps:

1. Copy a pipeline from our library. This will also copy all templates used inside automations.

2. Select a stage, add or edit automation(s) as a follow-up, then select a template.

3. Decide if you want to use the jobs automove feature. You can turn it on or off for each stage except for the last one.

4. Save the pipeline. Once the automation is added you can see it by going to the pipeline page and clicking the automation icon above the stage.

Once a job is moved to a stage that has a follow-up automation, you’ll be able to review it and confirm whether you want it to be triggered.

Adding Automations

Before you create automations, think about the different stages of your work process that require specific kinds of follow-ups:

  1. When you have an assignment, write down the different stages of the work process.

  2. Circle the stages that require follow-up actions.

  3. Define what these actions are, so that you can add them as automations when you create a new pipeline on TaxDome.

Once you know which automations you want to create, your next step is to add them to a pipeline:

1. From the pipeline settings, select the stage you want to link the automation to, click on the  Add automations button or the Edit automations if you already have one, then select the automation type:

  • Apply folder template: Once a job for a client enters this stage, the folder structure of their docs is changed to that of a selected template.
  • Update account tags: Once a job for a client enters this stage, the selected tag is automatically applied to their account or deleted from it. You can also decide to clear all account tags.
  • Create invoice: Once a job for a client enters this stage, the invoice based on a selected template is sent to them. It is also automatically linked to the job.
  • Create organizer: Once a job for a client enters this stage, the organizer based on a selected template is sent to them. It is also automatically linked to the job.
  • Create task: Once a job for a client enters this stage, the task based on a selected template is created. It is also automatically linked to the job.
  • Send contract: Once a job for a client enters this stage, the contract based on a selected template is sent to them. It is also automatically linked to the job.
  • Send email: Once a job for a client enters this stage, the email based on a selected template is sent to them.
  • Send message: Once a job for a client enters this stage, the message based on a selected template is sent to them. It is also automatically linked to the job.
  • Update account access: Once a job for a client enters this stage, the team members who have access to the account are changed.

2. Select a template for your automation or click New template button to create the new one. Once the template is created and saved, you will be able to select it from the list.

To learn more about how to create templates, follow the links:

3. If you want additional emails to be sent to your clients if they don’t respond within a certain time frame, enable the Reminders feature (works for the organizers, contracts, invoices, or messages automations). Read more on reminders in the article.

4. If you want your automation to be triggered only for certain clients, click on the Edit conditions button, then add a condition. Read more on this in the article.

5. Add as many automations for each stage as needed. 

6. Decide if you want your jobs to be moved automatically to the next stage once all associated actions are done, e.g., the organizer is completed, the invoice is paid, etc. Read more on the Automove jobs.

7. Click the Save button to save your changes.

Automations Order

Usually, you shouldn't be aware of automation order inside one stage. They are triggered one by one once a job enters the stage. So, if the message is sent to the client along with organizer,  these two events happen almost at the same time. 

However, in some cases, the automation order matters because some of them may depend on the other. For example, if you have the Update Account Tags automation which clears all tags from client accounts, and the conditional automation which sends organizers only to the accounts with specific tag applied, you should check the order carefully. In the latter example, you may want to place the Update Account Tags automation in the second place, or the conditional automation will not work.

You can change the automation order by clicking the Edit automations link inside the stage. Hover the mouse on the Move icon, then drag-n-drop. 

Deleting Automations

You can delete automations while editing a pipeline.

1. From the pipeline settings, select the stage with the automation. You can see the number of automations in a stage on the middle.

2. Click on the Edit automations button.

3. Click on the trash can icon to the right of the automation, then click Save.

Viewing Automations in Pipelines

You can always find out what automations are being used in a pipeline, as well as quickly add or delete ones.

  • There’s an automation icon with the counter above each stage. Click the icon to explore the details: what automations does the stage have and what templates are used. If there are conditional automations they will be marked accordingly. Point the cursor to see the tag which triggers the automation.
  • If there is a conditional stage, you'll see the Stage conditions link above it. Click to explore which tags are used as triggers.
  • To make changes to the pipeline, click the Add automations or Add tags link. This will open the Edit pipeline window.

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