Using Pipelines


By Mary Cooper

updated about 1 month ago

Workflow consists of Pipelines & Tasks.

Pipelines are business processes you setup that help manage your flow of clients and always know where clients are in it. Pipelines are fully customizable to your specific firm's needs. Within pipelines, you can run automated actions such as the creation of tasks, sending of emails, etc.

Covered here:

What Are Pipelines

A pipeline is a set of stages that an account moves through, as they progress through the documents preparation cycle. Once each pipeline stage is completed, the client account is advanced to the next stage. You can associate automated actions to the stages (see below).

Here are some examples of pipelines:

Example 1 - 1040 Return

Stage 1 Review Docs

Stage 2 Prepare Engagement Letter

Stage 3 Prepare Return

Stage 4 Review

Stage 5 E-file

Example 2 -  Payroll

Stage 1 Review Docs

Stage 2 Timecard reviews

Stage 3 Initiate Debit

Stage 4 Send Paystubs

Creating a Pipeline

A pipeline can be created by the firm owner or by any team member who has granted the Manage pipelines permission. Here are the steps:

1. Go to Settings, then to Templatesselect Pipelines, then click on the CREATE PIPELINE button.

2. Enter a name for the pipeline.

3. Grant your team members access to the pipeline by selecting the checkboxes next to their names.

4. Decide how do you want to sort your accounts in stages. By default, they are sorted by name, but you can sort accounts by time they spent in a stage, so that the newly added accounts are displayed at the top.  

5. Enter a stage name, then click Add stage to add an additional stage. Add as many stages as you need. 

6. Your pipeline can include automated actions that are linked to stages. Once an account is moved to a stage with automated action attached, the action is triggered (the task is automatically created, the email is sent,  etc.). To add an action, select a stage, then click Add action. Read more on this in a Using Automated Actions article. 

7. Click SAVE

Editing a Pipeline

A pipeline can be edited by the firm owner or by any team member with the Manage pipelines permission granted. Here are the steps:

1. Go to Settings, then to Templates, select Pipelines, then click the pipeline name. Alternatively, you can go to Workflow section, click the three-dots icon next to the pipeline name, then select Edit.

You can change a name for the pipeline, select or deselect team members who can access it. You can also make any changes to stages you need:

  • To add a stage, click Add stage, then enter a stage name.
  • To move a stage, point to a move icon next to its name, then drag-n-drop. 
  • To delete a stage, click on the red icon next to its name.
  • To add an action to a stage.
  • To delete a stage action.

2. Click SAVE.

Duplicating a Pipeline

You can create new pipelines based on existing ones. To do so, go to Settings, then to Templates, select Pipelines, click the three dots icon to the far right of the pipeline's name, then select Duplicate link. The pipeline's copy will be saved with the appropriate suffix (i.e. 1040 Return (2)). Stages, automated actions, and other template settings are copied. However, you will need to add the client accounts to a new pipeline manually. 

Adding Default Pipeline from Our Library

For your convenience, we offer default pipeline templates which you can easily edit. To add a pipeline from our library:

1. Go to Settings in the left sidebar, select Templates in the menu bar, then select Pipelines and click the COPY FROM LIBRARY button.

2. Click the copy icon next to the template you want to add. Stages, automated actions, and other template settings are copied. Now you can edit the pipeline by clicking on its name. 

Thanks to our customers, we are constantly adding new templates to our library. Do you want to share your pipelines with other TaxDome users, too? Please contact us.

Populating a Pipeline with Client Accounts

Once a pipeline has been created, you can add client accounts and move them through it. Please note the following:

  • Client accounts can be added to a pipeline either by the firm owner or by any team member who has granted the Manage pipelines permission.
  • Team members can see only those pipelines that were made available to them in the pipeline settings.
  • Team members can move their assigned accounts through the pipeline.
  • Team members see in a pipeline only their assigned accounts unless they've got View all accounts permission.

You can work with pipelines in one of two ways:

  • Explore pipelines for all client accounts. Go to the Workflow section, then select the pipeline in the list. Then you can easily go to another pipeline using the dropdown.

  • Explore pipelines for a particular client account. Go to Clients, click on the account name, then go to Workflow. You will see every pipeline for that account as well as its progress. Once an account has been deleted from the pipeline, it is no longer visible in their profile. 

Each pipeline is visualized as a kanban board. You can add an account to a pipeline only from the Workflow section by selecting the appropriate pipeline. To do so, click the pipeline name in the list, click on Add account, then select a client account from the list. The account is automatically added to the first stage. 

To move a client's account to another stage in a pipeline, hover a mouse to their name, then drag-n-drop. If there are automated actions associated with a pipeline, the popup with the automated actions that are going to be generated is displayed. Deselect the ones you don't want to happen, then click Move

If there are existing tasks tied to a pipeline stage that were not finished (status is not marked complete), you are asked how you wish to proceed. You can mark them as done, delete or move to the next stage.

Sorting Accounts in a Pipeline

By default, accounts are sorted by account name. Instead, you can sort accounts by time they spent in stage, so that the newly added accounts are displayed at the top or at the bottom. Go to Settings, then to Templates, select Pipelines, then click the pipeline name to change this setting.

Deleting a Client Account From a Pipeline

A client account can be deleted from any pipeline stage. Click their name on a board, then click on the red icon.

How to See Which Accounts Are Added to a Pipeline

You can filter your account list to see which accounts are added to a specific pipeline. To do so:

  1. Go to Clients, then click on the FILTER button
  2. Select a pipeline name in the Pipelines section, then click on APPLY. You can also select several pipelines if needed.

You will see the list of all accounts that were added to a selected pipeline.

Keeping Track of To-Do's Within a Pipeline

You are always aware  how long the account is in the stage. Time counter is displayed below the account name. 

You can also see all tasks associated with a stage for a selected client account on your pipeline. The number of outstanding tasks is displayed along with its status. Here's how to read it:

  • green circle - the associated task is not yet at the deadline.
  • orange circle - the associated task is approaching deadline (3 days or less).
  • red circle - the associated task is overdue.
  • gray circle - the associated task does not have a due date.
  • check mark -  all tasks for that stage are completed.

Click the account's card on a stage to get more information about associated tasks:

  • Completed tasks are struck through. 
  • A counter next to the tasks shows how many subtasks the task includes (if any) and how many of them are already completed. 
  • A start date next to the task name is shown for the recurring tasks to make it easier to identify the right one.

Click the task name to review and edit it. 

If a task is linked to a stage, you can see to which stage/pipeline it belongs on task editing screen. Click the pipeline name to navigate to it. 

Linking a Standalone Task to a Stage

A task can be linked to a stage either manually or by adding an automated action. While adding tasks to a pipeline via automated actions involves a change in the pipeline template, manual linking allows you to track all tasks within your pipeline without modifying the pipeline template.

To link a task manually:

1. Click the account card on a stage, then click + Link task

2. All tasks for the current client account will be displayed. Select the one you want to link to a stage. One task can be linked only to one stage. If you have recurring tasks, the start date is shown next to the task name to make it easier to select the right one.  

Deleting a Pipeline

To delete a pipeline, go to Settings, then to Templates, select Pipelines, click the three dots icon next to the pipeline, select Delete, then confirm. Note that this will delete all stages linked to the pipeline. If the pipeline contains linked tasks, they are not deleted. However, they will be unlinked from the pipeline. 

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