Using Automated Actions

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By Mary Cooper

updated 3 days ago

Automated actions serve to save time as well as remind you what needs to be done next. You add them so that a task automatically pops up as the next step in the workflow as you move through the various stages of a job.

Covered here:

What Are Automated Actions?

Sometimes a specific step must be taken as the result of completing a particular procedure: When I do x, I must do y. These kinds of follow-ups can be turned into automated actions, so that once a stage of the work is completed, the next order of business is automatically initiated.

Say, you’re preparing a client’s 1040 Tax Return for e-filing on TaxDome. Once the client has moved through the different stages of the tax-preparation process (a pipeline) to the Sign engagement letter stage, your firm will need to prepare an engagement letter for them. You can add this as an automated action, so that the task is generated as a matter of course.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Create the template. If it's a task template, write a description of the task, assign it to a team member or members, choose a due date, and select a priority. If it's an email template, write its contents. 
  2. Create a pipeline and add the different stages it will include.
  3. Select a stage and add the automated action to it that will serve as its follow-up, then select a template.
  4. Save the pipeline.

Once the client has been moved to the stage that requires a follow-up action, the assigned team member or members will have a new task assigned to them (task action) or the email will be sent to the client (email action).

Before you create automated actions, think about which stages will require specific types of follow-up:

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

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

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

Adding an Automated Action

Once you know which automated actions you want to create, your next step will be to add them to your pipeline. You can add actions to stages while creating or editing a pipeline.

To add an action to a stage:

1. Go to Settings, select Pipelines, then click the pipeline name or click on the CREATE PIPELINE button.

2. Select the stage you want to link the action to, click + Add action in the top right corner of the Actions section, then select the action type. Currently, Create Task and Create Email actions are available (we plan to add creation of invoice, sending request, etc.).

3. Select a template for your automated action. See the separate articles on email and task templates to learn more.

4. Add as many actions as needed. 

5. Repeat steps 1-3 for any other stage.

6. Click the SAVE button to save your changes.

Keeping Track of To-do's Within a Pipeline

If any automated actions created to-do's within a stage, you can track their progress with easy visual cues. Here's how it works:

  • #  - the number of tasks outstanding associated with the stage.
  • 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 arrow icon next to client's name 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. Click the task name to review and edit it. 

If a task was created automatically, you can see to which stage/pipeline it belongs on task editing screen. Click the pipeline name to open it. 


Deleting an Automated Action

You can delete actions while editing a pipeline.

1. Go to Settings, select Pipelines, then click the pipeline name. 

2. Select the stage with the action.

3. Click the Delete icon to the right of the action.

If any automated actions created to-do's within a stage, you can track their progress with easy visual cues. Here's how it works:

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