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Creating a Task
Updated over a week ago

In this article:

  • Creating a Task

About Tasks

A Task is an internal work process for a job you and your team are doing for a client. Tasks help you manage your to-dos to stay on point, which is crucial to your firm! For example, tasks can be:

  • a 1040 Return

  • W-2 Processing

  • Payroll

  • Or Monthly Bookkeeping

Tasks can also be used for personal things, like creating reminders for yourself for weekly “clean-up” maintenance for files or reminders for audit logs.

You have the option to assign a task to a contact and add any number of team members to each task.

Different Kinds of Tasks

There are three different types of Tasks:

  • A Task

  • A Task with subtasks

  • And Client Requests

A Task (also known as a main or parent Task) is what you create and points to the kind of job you are doing.

A subtask is a stage within a Task. It divides up a Task into steps you take to complete it, like a to-do list. Subtasks only exist under a main or parent Task. If the Task is the parent, then subtasks are the children's tasks.

A Client Request is a type of task that is used to create a to-do for your client such as collecting information, sending reminders, or requesting documents from your clients.

  • Client Requests can be created under a parent Task, like subtask, but can be sent on their own as well, as a standalone or one-off type of task.

Tasks and Subtasks are internal, so your clients do not see all the steps as you do in Canopy. But they do see Client Requests as a to-do in the client portal.

You can create any number of subtasks under a Task. These are, most of the time, sequential events. For example, under a Tax Return Task, you might have a sequence of subtasks for:

  • Collect documents

  • Review documents

  • Prepare return

And you might have several client requests to get forms for signatures throughout the process. Sometimes, tasks don’t need any subtasks at all! It just depends on the situation!

You can create a Task anywhere in Canopy by:

  1. Click the Global Plus button.

  2. Select Create Task on the slide-in panel.

  3. Once you do that, a Task window appears.

Start by entering some basic information in the Create Task window. The only required field is the Task name - what your job is called (like 1040 return)

Dynamic Naming

Some firms like to use monthly tasks with the same name, which as you can imagine can become quite confusing. To help keep track of these types of tasks you can use dynamic placeholders.

Select the plus button in the task name. You can scroll through the dynamic placeholder options, or search.

For example you could use {{clientname}} and {{currentmonthandyearnum}}.

When the task is created these placeholders will be replaced with the current information.

Task Options

But of course, you can optionally add the following:

  • A Client.

  • Assignee(s) - which team members are assigned to track this work, this could include you!

    • When you assign a task, it automatically becomes visible to the assigned team members

  • Budget Hours.

  • Priority - starts as No priority, but can be set as Low, Medium, or High.

  • Description.

Under the description, you can indicate if this Task is a repeating or you might say recurring task. Recurring tasks are ones that you regularly perform, like making a phone call to a client once a week.

Click on the dropdown next to Repeat to choose a cadence, from Daily to Yearly.

Let’s jump back up - At the top of the Task Window is a Status dropdown.

Task Statuses

Every Task has a status, which indicates the progress of the task. By default, it’s set to No Status, but as you receive work or make progress on a task, you update these.

Some default status types include:

  • In progress

  • on hold

  • with client

  • or completed

You may also create custom statuses if your firm needs a more defined process tracking. To do this, click on the Status dropdown and select Add Custom Status. One popular custom status is “Ready”.

Name your Status and drag the slider to your desired color! Add as many as you think you need!

Add Date

Setting start and due dates are optional but can help manage your time!

Start Dates are when you want the Task to start and Due Dates are for when the Task should end.

Each Date field allows you to determine if you want to select a fixed date or a relative date.

Fixed Dates

A fixed date is pretty straightforward - you’ll simply select a date from the calendar and click Add fixed date. Fixed dates are best for scheduling tasks that have an exact due date, such as April 15th - you know, our favorite day!

Relative Dates

Relative dates are a way of triggering tasks to start or due after criteria is met.

For Start Dates, you can create relative dates based only on a status change event. For example, you could set up this Task’s start date to be 3 days after its status has been changed to “with client”.

For Due Dates, you can base the date BEFORE or AFTER another Date (like the start date) or a status change event. If you choose a date, you can select the start date at the final step. For example, setting a due date to be 3 weeks after the Task’s start date.

Note that if you don’t have a start date, then it will not work

Let’s jump back up - At the top of the Task Window is a Status dropdown.

Recurring Tasks

Under Date, you can indicate if this task is a recurring task. Recurring tasks are ones that you regularly perform, like making a phone call to a client once a week.

Click on the dropdown next to Recreate on to select when to restart the task either: after completion or on a scheduled date. After which you can choose a cadence, from Daily up to Yearly

Tax Preparation Field

For some tasks you may want to filter by tax year or return type for quick access and easy reference. By using this toggle you can easily add the tax year and return type by selecting from the option in each dropdown.

Reminders, Files and Automation

There are several additional options when setting up your task. You can also add a reminder for a specific time or assignee, or you can add any applicable files. Both options allow you to stay organized and on top of your work.

To help you take this task to the next level you can use automation. We go into more detail into how to automate tasks here but you have many options to select a condition, and an action to apply when the condition is met.

At the bottom of the task you will see you have the options add a client request or add a subtask. As I mentioned before, each of these can help you break up your tasks into a organized list. You can learn more about adding subtasks and client requests here. The process is similar to the steps you just completed.

Click Create and Manage to save.

Next, you’ll be taken to the Task Workspace where you can manage your newly created Task.

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