On the horizon for Karbon: Upcoming features for the second half of 2022 and beyond
Every quarter is an opportunity to provide more functionality and value for Karbon customers, and there are many exciting features on the horizon for the second half of 2022 and beyond.
Announced on stage in Lake Tahoe at Karbon X, our inaugural customer leaders summit, these new features will boost functionality and UX—giving you back valuable hours every day by helping your firm run more efficiently.
Everything I reveal in this article is being worked on by our team right now—either in design, in development, beta testing, or in some cases, has been released in recent weeks. That means it won’t be long at all before each new feature is available to all Karbon customers.
Improvements to work management
Our vision for Karbon is end-to-end practice management. The fewer times you need to leave the platform the more efficiently you’ll be able to work. So, we’re introducing more ways for Karbon to bring the value you need to a central location, starting with calendar integration, new visibility over work assignments, and integrations with more document management solutions.
My Week is about to get more powerful with direct calendar integrations with Office365, Gmail, and Exchange, enabling you to:
Accept invites from Triage (without having to leave Karbon)
See the details of your meetings that you’d normally see in calendar invites, such as invitees and a description, etc.
Drag-and-drop events into your calendar directly from My Week to block out time for those tasks
Track time in Karbon against each event in your calendar
Your calendar within Karbon will stay in sync 100% of the time, so you’ll always have a full picture of your work and meetings in one place.
The Assignments feature is designed for your peace of mind, letting you see assigned tasks clearly and in detail. You’ll also be able to start conversations within those tasks—useful for nudging a team member along if a particular task is falling behind schedule.
Assignments is your place to see tasks in a new way, broken into three sections:
1. Assigned by Me. This allows you to see all the tasks you’ve assigned. You can apply a range of filters to isolate the information you want to see.
2. Assigned to Colleague. This view lets you see all the work assigned to a particular team member. It’s particularly useful before meetings or 1:1s; you can see what your team member is working on, what they might be falling behind on, or where they need help.
3. Client Requests. The reimagining of Client Tasks, Client Requests lets you see clients that haven’t yet uploaded documents or taken action required of them. You’ll no longer need to dive into accounts individually to figure out what’s missing.
In addition to being able to see open Assignments, there will be a 60-day lookback functionality for completed or expired Assignments, so you can be confident nothing will fall through the cracks. Every task for every team member (and client) will be categorized and accounted for.
Document management system (DMS) integrations afford seamless access and storage of your documents within Karbon. Dropbox and OneDrive integrations are now live for all Karbon users, and integrations with other DMS solutions will follow in the near future.
Alongside Karbon Storage in the Documents tab, there is an option to connect a folder, where you can link your preferred DMS. Once integrated, you’ll be able to see all those files without having to leave Karbon.
You can manually copy files from Karbon, but you can also toggle Automatic Copy—this will keep your DMS updated with all the files that flow into Karbon for a particular contact or work item.
For example, once you’ve connected a folder, whenever you add an email to a work item’s timeline, the documents from that email are automatically copied into your connected Dropbox or OneDrive folder.
More connected communication
For Karbon, visibility has always been a priority. Through transparent collaboration, Karbon champions non-siloed communication with colleagues and clients alike—so everyone stays connected and informed.
You’ll soon be able to set up a Team Triage, which lets your team communicate with clients through one inbox.
You can switch the email address you’re replying from, allowing you to choose a different alias depending on who you are talking to. Once selected, Karbon will automatically apply the correct email signature.
If a colleague is away, they can delegate their Triage; the beauty of open collaboration is that your team won’t falter with somebody out.
You can delegate Triage access in two forms:
View Only. In this view, your colleague will have access to your Triage, but only be able to reply as themselves.
View and Reply as me. Your colleague will be able to reply from your Triage with your email signature. This feature is particularly useful if you work with a personal assistant—you’ll be able to give them access to your Triage without having to give up your password.
Slack is a fantastic, quick communication tool. But sometimes a conversation becomes too important to risk losing track of it in Slack’s chat.
With this new integration, you’ll be able to create a note directly to Karbon from Slack with options to set a due date and assign it to a work or contact timeline. If you do assign the note, it will also appear in the new Assigned by and Assigned to views.
Within Slack, you can choose to show you’ve created that note, and you can even link out to the note in Karbon from that Slack channel.
Enhancing the client experience
The client user experience will see significant enhancement this year, with your clients given access to all relevant documents through one portal.
Via a secure ‘magic link’, clients will be able to create a login that will give them access to work items (current and historical), plus open and completed requests. Your team won’t need to spend time digging around for documents—now the client can see them all themselves.
You’ll also be given a URL to link on your website that clients can click to be taken to their individual portals.
Translated Client Portal
Clients will soon be able to access their portal in their preferred language, with French, Spanish, or Dutch translations supported. If there are other languages you’d like to see on that list, talk to your Karbon Customer Success Manager—they’ll raise it with the product team.
Soon, you’ll be able to send client requests to multiple people. They’ll have their own magic links, they can set up their own login, and can work on the same tasks.
Your clients will be able to see information as it‘s uploaded to the relevant task—fostering collaboration and preventing communication double-ups.
You’ll also have the ability to remove certain people’s access through the Manage Client Access button.
Billing and payments
Receiving payments should be one of the more enjoyable parts of your business day—but all too often, it can be the most frustrating. Making it simple for you to invoice clients is a big focus for Karbon’s current roadmap.
You’ll be able to customize your invoices, take payments directly through the Karbon platform, and get valuable insights into the way you bill.
Bill your work
Once enabled, you’ll see a Billing section on your Karbon interface, under which you’ll see two tabs:
1. Unbilled. This is all the work you are yet to invoice for. From this tab, you draft invoices, either in bulk or individually, and with both time or fixed-fee billing. You will also be able to filter your unbilled work by the due date, client, fee type, and more.
You can build invoices in bulk for all the work items associated with a client, or choose to leave some unbilled.
2. Invoices. Within Invoices, you’ll see the Draft and Approved tabs. Under Draft, you’ll be able to click into any draft invoice to see details such as:
Time and materials
What you’re billing for
Here you’ll be able to write on/off any expenses and adjust the total or individual time entries before finalizing the invoice.
Karbon can be partially or completely incorporated as your billing platform. If you prefer adding your invoices into different software, you can download approved invoices as CSV files.
Customize your invoices within Karbon
Total invoice customization will be available, including color theme options and the ability to add your logo.
You’ll see a true view of the invoice under Presentation, so you can make any adjustments you like before sending it off.
Your clients will be able to see the invoice and have the ability to pay—all through the Client Portal.
They’ll also be able to save their payment details so future payments can be processed automatically. This will mean less time chasing invoices.
Reimagining the way we work
Powerful new features are always going to be around the corner, as we reimagine the best way a practice can run. And even after each release, every feature will be constantly interrogated and refined until it’s the best version it can be, for you.
The second half of 2022 will bring a host of exciting additions to address your pain points and exceed your expectations—we can’t wait for you to see them.
Chief Product Officer, Karbon
Sara has been leading product teams for the past 14 years. She was one of Xero’s early employees in 2007, and responsible for teams building sales, support & operational systems, as well as a global product scalable to millions of customers. Her projects have received numerous awards including three Webbys.