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Bulk create your work items

Get assistance to create work items in bulk after your contacts and processes are imported or created in Karbon.

Ian Vacin avatar
Written by Ian Vacin
Updated over a week ago

Please note: The below is a paid add-on service which is also covered under an Annual Service Plan. This service provides further customization for creating your work in bulk with assistance from the Karbon team. You also have the option to create work in bulk via our free self-service feature.

When getting up and running on Karbon initially (and for certain events throughout the year like annual tax work), you might find it convenient to have work items created for you in bulk. To do so you must request direct assistance from the Karbon team.

Make sure you've saved and published the work templates you wish to create work for, before requesting a bulk work creation. Once requested, you'll not be able to make additional changes to the template before the work has been uploaded.


Request a bulk creation of work ($999 USD)

To bulk create your work, submit a request either in Help & Feedback and follow the prompt "Make changes to my Karbon data" to request your work to be created or send an email directly to and write "I would like to have our work bulk created in Karbon please." We'll respond with a series of Karbon client tasks guiding you through the process.

There are two key steps in bulk creation of work items. In the first step, you'll identify which work items need to be created using which templates with default details for those templates. There will then be a second step where the details of those individual work items are further defined.

Step 1: Identify the work items you want created

Within the client tasks you receive there will be an Excel spreadsheet to download. Using this spreadsheet, which has been customized to your account, identify which work items you would like to have created for each client. You'll then re-upload the spreadsheet to your client task. Here's what this step will look like:

Once you've requested work to be created in bulk, watch for a client task email from the team at Karbon. From there you can download the Step 1 workbook, which contains 5 tabs:

Step 1:

Identify which templates you would like to use for this bulk work creation by toggling the appropriate row to “Yes”. Then define the default parameters for work created using that template (Assignee, Start Date, Due Date, Recurring Frequency, Title Definition).


Person with overall responsibility for work. This is different from assignment for individual tasks within the work item, which will be determined in Step 2.

Start Date and Due Date

These are required fields. You can enter passed and future start and due dates however you cannot enter a due date that is before the start date.


How often should the work repeat? Please ONLY use the options available from the drop-down menu in each cell. If not repeating, select “None”.

Title Definition

Repeating work should include a dynamic date in the title so that your team members can differentiate between work items for different periods in the future. This dynamic date will automatically update for each new work item created by the repeating schedule, but needs to be pinned to the Start Date, Due Date or Repeating Period. You can play around with the options here and will see an illustration of what the work title will be based on the options you choose.

Note: You'll have an opportunity to change details for individual work items before we create work, so please choose the options that apply to the majority of the work items for each template. Please do not leave these blank as it will result in your needing to do more work in Step 2.

Step 2 – 4:

Each tab has the same layout, with the work templates you've selected to use listed along the top, and your contact names listed down the side. The only difference between the three tabs is that one lists your organizations, one lists your people contacts, and the last shows client groups.

For every contact you need a work item created for, simply place an "x" in the column of the template that work should be based on. It's okay to mark multiple templates for the same client.

Note: If you go back to the 1st tab to add a template, any “X”’s that you've already added may become offset, however you're able to copy/paste the “X”s into the correct template columns on Tabs 2 - 4.

Step 5:

You're all done! Once you're done just save and re-upload the spreadsheet to the original client task. Sit back, and we'll be in touch soon with the next step, where we'll gather details like modifications to individual work items – start/due date, frequency, Assignee, Role Assignments for tasks, and more.

Step 2: Define the specific details of your new work items

The Karbon team will review the file and generate a second Excel spreadsheet where specific work details will be reviewed, changed and added. We'll share this new spreadsheet via your client tasks and work directly with you to determine the work details.

If you completed the requested fields in the Step 1 workbook correctly, most of your data will be populated for you, and you may make customizations as needed.

Once the spreadsheet is populated and you've determined whether any final changes need to be made, we'll request payment and import your data.

You'll then be sent a link for a test work item, to approve before we import the rest of your data, to ensure that everything is imported the way it's supposed to be. You'll then find your work items created in Karbon with all the details that you provided. You'll be able to do a final review for accuracy and the Karbon Team will resolve any data import issues identified.

Best Practice Tip: Check the Bulk Work Creation Field Reference, for more information on how to fill out each field in the spreadsheet.

Here is a look at how to work with this spreadsheet and data:

Note that many cells include a drop-down menu of predetermined options. In these cases, it's important to choose one of the options from the drop-down. Entering a non-standard value could cause the import to fail. Copying a cell and using the paste-value option is okay.

Complete the data for each tab in the spreadsheet and upload to the client task when done. We'll create a few of your work items and alert you to verify they look the way you intended, after which we'll complete creation of the remainder of your new work.

Bulk Work Creation Field Reference

Defines fields available when creating work in bulk.

Karbon ID - Please do not touch this column.

Update Existing Work Data? - Please do not touch this column.

The next several columns relate to one-time work items or to the initial piece of work in a repeating series.

Work Title - If you plan to create repeating work, we recommend including a date or other indication of the period each iteration is for. Here are a few suggested naming conventions depending on the frequency and work type of the work:

Weekly - such as weekly bookkeeping, etc.

Naming convention: Work Title MMM DD, YYYY
Example: Bookkeeping Mar 14, 2020

Monthly - such as monthly bookkeeping, management accounting, etc.

Naming convention: Work Title MMM YYYY
Example: Management Accounts Mar 2020

Quarterly - such as VAT, etc.

Naming convention: Work Title MMM - MMM YYYY
Example: VAT Jan - Mar 2020

Yearly - such as Year End Accounts, Yearly reviews, etc.
Naming convention: Work Title YYYY
Example: Year End Accounts 2020

Description - Optional. You can put any additional information or notes relating to the work item in this field.

Work Type - This must match the default work type of the template being used. The Karbon Team will pre-populate this for you.

Assigned To - Which colleague on your team will the work item be assigned to? This is a required field and prefilled based on your Step 1 elections. Please use the drop-down menu to select a different assignee for individual items. Do NOT type in other names that do not exist in the drop down as they cannot be included in this file since they did not exist in your Karbon account when this file was created.

Client Type & Client Key - These will be pre-populated for you based on the first spreadsheet you submitted to us. Please do not change the data in these columns.

Related Client Group Key - We'll default this to "Auto" but please mention to us if you've contacts that are members of multiple client groups.

Start Date & Due Date - These are required fields and will be prefilled based on what you elected in the Step 1 workbook. You can enter start and due dates that have already passed or start and due dates in the future. You cannot, however, enter a due date that is before the start date.

Status - We will default this to "Planned," which is appropriate in most circumstances. Please let us know if you think there is a reason to create any work in a different work status.

The next several columns only pertain to creating repeating schedules for your new work.

Frequency - How often should the work repeat? Please ONLY use the options available from the drop-down menu in each cell.

Customer Units & Custom Period - These are left blank unless a custom frequency is being setup. In those cases, we'll discuss with you one on one how to populate these fields.

Due Type - Prefilled based on repeating frequency selected in Step 1 workbook but may be changed for individual items. Required for repeating work. ONLY use the options presented in the drop-down menu.

Due Day - Only used if setting a mid-month due date. Avoid using "29" or "30" if there's a chance work might come due in February.

Due Month - Used when the due date is more than a full month after the start date, and ONLY when the "Due Type" selected is "Day of (2nd, 3rd, ...) month after start month."


Work starting August 1st and due on the 20th of November would be set as:

*Type = Day of (2nd, 3rd, ...) month after start month

*Day = 20

*Month = 3 (because November is the third month after August, counting September as 1, October as 2 and November as number 3)

Adjust Weekend Start/Due Date - If set to "Yes" then start and due dates that fall on weekends will automatically be moved to the preceding Friday. This may result in the TOTAL number of days of work duration being either shortened or lengthen by up to two days.

End Date - Optional field. Leave blank if work should repeat indefinitely. If defined, no new work in schedule will be created with a start date after this date.

Title Definition - This will be prefilled if you completed the selection in the Step 1 workbook. The Karbon Team can help you better understand the options here if needed. There are several placeholder options to allow future work names to populate with specific date and timing conventions.

Create Work / Create Tasks – These fields are optional, but they must either be both completed or both blank. If left blank the default will be to create work 3 months before the start date and tasks 2 weeks before the start date.

These final two sections apply to both one time and repeating work.

Role Assignees - If your template includes any Job Role placeholders, there will be a column here representing each unique role (otherwise this area will not appear). Please ONLY use the drop down menu in each cell. These fields are optional and it's fine to leave all or some of them blank. It's perfectly fine if you plan to assign colleagues to these roles later once the work is created.

Best Practice tip: Complete the role assignments before we begin creating work. While these fields are optional and you may choose to leave all or some of them blank, without the role assignees, some of the Automators in your templates may not work properly or may show warnings. You are able to manually add these assignments later, but only in app from within each individual work item. There is NO way to add these role assignments after work has been created via bulk work update.

Client Task Recipients - If your template includes any Client Task sections, a column will be included here for each section (otherwise this area will not appear). Populating these fields is optional if your client tasks are sent to send out manually. If you've your client tasks set to send automatically, these fields must be filled out with an email address.

If you do populate, make sure any client email addresses you put in already exist as contacts in your Karbon account, otherwise the import will fail.

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