Pipelines (Basic): Your First Pipeline With Automations Tutorial

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Create a standard pipeline with automations, add a job to it, then move the job forward until completion. Here, we show you how. Once you’ve set up your first automated pipeline and understand how it all works, you’ll want to make more to fit your particular business needs.

The steps:

We’ll walk you through an example, creating a Corporate Tax Return pipeline where we will be able to put the Corp Tax Return 2019 job for client Charles Burns. This illustration shows what that pipeline will look like:

Step 1. Create the Templates You Need

All automations require templates, so the first order of business is making sure you have all the ones you’ll need to automate the Corporate Tax Return pipeline you’re creating. Our template library offers a variety of samples you can copy and edit.

tip

Tip! You can get all templates and p[ipeline ready to use by copying the Corporate Return Pipeline from our library and then editing all templates for your needs. Read more in the article.

To create a Corporate Tax Return pipeline, you’ll need these templates:

  • A “Getting Started” email (for more details, go here)
  • A Corp Tax Return contract (for more details, go here)
  • A Corp Tax Return invoice (for more details, go here)
  • A Review Docs task (for more details, go here)
  • A “We’ve Started Work on Your Return” message (for more details, go here)
  • A Prepare Return task
  • A Manager Review task
  • An E-file Return task
  • A “We’ve Completed Your Return” message
  • An Ask for Google Review email

To summarize, you’ll need two email templates, one contract template, one invoice template, four task templates, and two message templates for this pipeline.

Step 2. Create a Pipeline With Stages

Now you’re ready to set up your Corporate Tax Return pipeline, using the templates you’ve created. Go to Settings, select Pipelines, then click the pipeline name or click on the CREATE PIPELINE button.

First, you’ll need to break down the corporate tax return work process into steps, which will then become the different stages of the Corporate Tax Return pipeline. In the illustration above, we’ve narrowed it down to six stages:

  • Intro
  • Doc Review
  • Prepare Return
  • Manager Review
  • E-file
  • Finished

To learn more about pipeline settings, go here.

Step 3. Add Automations

Now you can begin adding automations to each stage of your Corporate Tax Return pipeline. Each stage in a pipeline can include several automations that are triggered at the same time, so their order doesn’t matter.

The first stage, Intro, includes three automations:

  • A Send Email automation with a Getting Started” email template selected
  • A Create Invoice automation with a Corp Tax Return invoice template selected
  • A Send Contract automation with a Corp Tax Return contract template selected

The second stage, Doc Review, includes two automations:

  • A Create Task automation with a Review Docs task template selected
  • A Send Message automation with a “We’ve Started Work on Your Return” message template selected

The third stage, Prepare Return, includes one automation:

  • A Create Task automation with a Prepare Return task template selected

The fourth stage, Manager Review, includes one automation:

  • A Create Task automation with a Manager Review task template selected

The fifth stage, E-file, includes one automation:

  • A Create Task automation with an E-file Return task template selected

And the last stage, Finished, includes two automations:

  • A Send Message automation with a We’ve Completed Your Return” message template selected
  • A Send Email automation with Ask for Google Review email template selected

Step 4. Turn on the Automove Feature

If you want to automate this pipeline even more, turn on the Automove Jobs feature for all stages (except for the last). This way, you can sit back and watch your jobs move from stage to stage as the work gets done. For more details about this feature, go here.

Don’t forget to save your new pipeline along with all the automations. Now, we’re ready for Mr. Burns’s job.

Step 5. Add Jobs for Your Clients

Now that you have your Corporate Tax Return pipeline all set up, you can begin adding jobs to it, either in bulk or one by one (go here to see the different ways to add jobs).

A job is always performed for a specific client account, in this case Charles Burns. Each job is linked to one client account, but you can have several jobs for one client in one pipeline. Mr. Burns wants you not only to prepare Corp Tax Return 2019 but also Corp Tax Return 2018 and Corp Tax Return 2020! In this case, you’ll need to add all three jobs for Mr. Burns to your Corporate Tax Return pipeline.

With each job, this is what will happen:

1. Once you add the job to the pipeline, a pop-up will show you all the automated actions about to be triggered—you can uncheck any of them if needed.

2. Once you click Move (in this case without unchecking anything), the job for Mr. Burns enters the Intro stage, and an automated Getting Started” email and Corp Tax Return contract are sent to him, along with an invoice. Bravo! The contract and invoice are automatically linked to the job.

3. Once Mr. Burns signs the contract and pays the invoice, the job automatically moves to the next stage, Doc Review (you can also move it manually whenever you need to).

4. Once the job enters the second stage, Doc Review, the Review Docs task is created for your team, and a message is sent to
Mr. Burns.

5. Once the task is marked by any of your team members as completed, the job automoves to the next stage.

6. Once the job enters the Prepare Return stage, a Prepare Return task is created for your team.

7. Once the task is marked by any of your team members as completed, the job automoves to the next stage.

8. Once the job enters the Manager Review stage, the Manager Review task is created for your team.

9. Once the task is marked by any of your team members as completed, the job automoves to the next stage.

10. Once the job enters the E-file stage, the E-file Return task is created for your team.

11. Once the task is marked by any of your team members as completed, the job automoves to the next stage.

12. Once the job enters the Finished stage, the “We’ve Completed Your Return” message and Ask for Google Review email are sent to Mr. Burns.

In this example, ten automations are triggered, which simplifies your routines, letting you focus more on the work than on its flow.

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