Overview of Contacts

Learn how to best manage your contacts and get the full overview over clients, whether they are individuals or organizations.

Erin Jamison avatar
Written by Erin Jamison
Updated over a week ago

In Karbon, there are people contacts and organization contacts. You can also create client groups to manage contacts that are related by ownership or financial structure.

On your Contacts page, you have the ability to view, filter, and search your contacts and in this article you will learn the basics about how to navigate the contacts you have in Karbon, whether they are individual people, groups of clients or organizations.


Video: Overview of Contacts

Watch this quick 3-minute overview on how to manage your company's contacts.

Viewing all Contacts

To view your contacts, open your Main Menu and click on Contacts. You will see a drop menu appear, that shows you the different types of views.

  • My Contacts

    Includes any contacts that you are the client owner of or those where you are a member of the client team.

  • People

  • Organizations

  • Client Groups

You can alternatively, view all of your contacts and easily distinguish them by their icon type. Square icons are your organization contacts, circle icons are your people contacts and circle icons with two squares and a circle are your client groups.

While viewing your contacts, you'll get a quick snapshot of information pertaining to them such as:

  • Related Contacts

    Contacts that are associated with one another through people contact cards.

  • Contact Type

    Allows you to categorize contacts into groups, to help you filter and keep track of your different types.

  • Work

    Gives a quick snapshot of how many work items are in their respective statuses, click into the contact to view all work items.

If you're not finding the contacts easily through the different options from the Main Menu, you can filter your contacts by different types or by the Contact Type they were given.

Contact Types Defaults

We have pre-populated your account with commonly used Contact Types but these can be edited or removed. Further contact types may also be added to suit your firm's needs. To adjust your contact types go into your Main Menu open your Settings and click on Contact Settings.

Best practice tip: We recommend using a contact type called 'Inactive' or something similar for clients or contacts you no longer work with. We don’t recommend deleting these clients as you would lose information such as emails, work completed and notes for that client.

Add a contact

Adding people and organizations as contacts in Karbon is simple. The easiest way to add new contacts is from the global add icon, located in the top-right of your app and accessible from anywhere.

You will then be prompted to add either a person, organization or client group.

Creating a Person

When you enter the name of your new contact, Karbon will search for similar people in your account, to help you avoid creating duplicates. If no relevant names appear, select Create a new person and fill in the contacts First Name, Middle Name, and Last Name.

You will then be able to add the person's email and contact type and determine if you would like to make your communication with this contact public to everyone in your company or Turn Off Sharing.

Keep in mind this feature will be turned on by default, so any email that you send out or receive from that address it will automatically store on that timeline.

Lastly, you can also choose to add a new or existing organization for the individual—linking them to this other contact in the process.

Creating an Organization

If you choose to create an organization contact, you will be asked to enter its name, website, and Contact type. You can also choose to add a primary contact person, which can be a new or existing person contact.

If an individual is associated with an organization, they can be linked together. This helps your team keep track of the relationships your clients have with their entities, and vice versa. This association is called a People Contact Card.

Adding a person to an organization when creating them

When you create a new contact, you will be presented with a modal to input their most important details.

At the bottom of this modal, you have the option to link that individual to an existing organization contact or create a new one.

If you are creating a new organization contact rather than a new person, you will also have the option to add a primary contact for that organization - linking them to each other in the process.

To add more details relating to that contact, go into the contact's details page and add the necessary information.

Creating a Client Group

You can create a Client Group to manage related contacts, create work for them, and see all related jobs in a single view. This might be useful if you have people and organizations that are related by ownership or financial structure.

When you choose to create a new contact, you have the option to create a new client group. You will be able to choose a name for your client group, and a contact type if you'd like.

Contact import from Gmail or Outlook

You can maintain your records by quickly importing new individual contacts from the emails that come into your native email inbox.

From your Contacts page, click the Import from... link at the top:

Click the Add Contact button next to any contact you want to create in Karbon. The new contact modal will come up with their name and email pre-populated, and from there you can continue adding any other contact details you require.

When you click 'Create' you will be taken to the new client group profile page.

Contact Timelines

Timelines bring together all your communication in one place. It's a great place to store notes for summaries of phone conversations or face-to-face meetings.

Timelines help you and your team stay up to date on the latest communications happening among your clients. They allow you to see any emails or notes that you or your team members choose to add.

You can filter to find the specific type of item that you need and search items in your Timeline to get to the item you need most.

With Organizations and People, you can directly share with individual contacts or auto-share all of your communication to their timelines. Whereas for client groups, items related to member contacts are not automatically displayed.

Viewing work for Contacts

Work tab of People & Organizations

All work for contacts and organizations are captured on their respective timeline. You have the ability to sort and filter information based on your preferences. By default it will show you all work items that have not been completed. If you are looking for work that is already completed, you will have to click the arrow next to All Work (not completed) and choose Completed.

Work tab of Client Groups

Work that is related to a Client Group will include any work items that have been created with the client group as the client or any work items for members of that client group.

Keep in mind that if a contact is a member of several client groups, work will only show up if it's linked to the specific client group you are looking at.

Adding and editing Contact Details

You can edit the details of a contact and other data from the Details tab of that person or organization.

Profile image

Karbon pulls in your contact's profile images so that you can have each photo displayed for each contact.

You are able to edit your contact's profile image by going to the details tab > clicking edit in the Basics section > and then clicking on your contact's current avatar, it'll give you an option to select from photos that Karbon has pulled up or you can choose to upload a photo of your own.

Basic details

Name: the person's, organization's or client group's name

Preferred Name (specific to people): what your clients prefer to be called, this field is also a useful way to personalize your automatic client task emails.

Description: allows you to add any miscellaneous notes or details that don't fit anywhere else.

Contact Type: outlines whether your contact is an organization or a person.
You are unable to edit this once the contact is created.

Contact Category (specific to people & organizations): defines the contact type you have assigned that contact to. You can leave this blank if you want, or you can edit it.

Client Identifier: can be used to store a client code or similar.

Client Groups (specific to people & organizations): can be used to link with other contacts that are related by ownership or financial structure.

Contact Details

These are the general details of the company, including phone number, physical address, social media handles, and a map showing their location. If you add the company's website, Karbon will find and bring in all related social details.

Associating an email address to your organization is useful for business email address. You can add their email by going into the Details Tab within that organization Timeline.

The rules for an organization Contact email address is the same as a Person Contact email address - it must be unique to that one contact, and any emails sent or received will appear on that Contact Timeline if you choose to share that communication.

Contact Cards

In a person's details tab, you can see their contact cards, these are a way to organize the relationships between people and their entities in Karbon.

To add a new contact card go to the Details tab, and then click on the "+" within the empty card.

There is no limit to the number of contact cards you can create for each person contact - allowing you to link an individual to all entities that they are involved with.

Similar to a people's contact card, in the organization's details tab, you will see a section for 'Other Contacts Involved' this will show you a list of any people contacts who have been associated with the organization.

Whereas for client groups, the way to see contacts that are associated with them is to click on the 'Members' tab. Here you will see contacts that are members of the client group. You can also choose to add new members from here.

Any person or organization contact can be added as a member of a client group that has been created. From the Members tab, choose Add Member. You will then be able to search for any existing contacts, and add them as members.

You can also add contacts to existing client groups from the organization or person's details page.

Client Team

A client team allows you to set which colleagues work with specific clients. You can add colleagues or full teams to the client team. You can view and manage the client team from any contact's Details tab.

You also have the option to set a client owner and/or client manager. These fields can also be left blank if they are not relevant to your team.


You can choose the level of privacy that you would like for your contact, the privacy option chosen will determine who can see the contact's information. There are three forms of privacy:

  • Public

  • Private

  • Hidden

By default, all contacts are public and searchable by any team member.

Only the client team will have access to that private contact and their work. Colleagues who don’t have access will see the client and work names, but will not be able to view details or any communication that occurs.

Additionally, you can grant access to a private or hidden work item to anyone outside of the client team.

While hidden items have many of the same rules as private, only the client team will have access to the contact. Colleagues without access will not know the contact or work related to it exists in Karbon (it will not show up in searches.)

If you are assigned a task, note or email on a hidden work item, only those with access to that work item will be able to see those tasks in your to-do list. Scheduled work for a hidden client will also be hidden.

Accounting Details

Beyond the basic contact information you store for all organizations and people, you can store extra client details that are specific to different accounting firms in the contact's accounting details section.

To access this, click on Details > Accounting details of any organization or contact.

Here you will find dedicated fields for information such as client ID, tax numbers, birth dates, and legal name. You can utilize the notes section for any additional information you want to store that does not have its own field.

Note: For UK and South African people contacts, when ‘Self Employed’ is ticked for the contact’s employment status under 'Basics', a VAT Number field will appear. This allows you to use a single record for sole trader clients.

Documents relating to a client

There are certain files that pertain to clients, like personal tax returns, letters from the tax department addressed to them, or their onboarding questionnaire form.

You can store these documents against the client’s contact profile so that anyone in can find them. This makes it easier to collaborate, find relevant information, and work together.

On the details tab of the contact’s profile, you’ll find Recent Documents. From here, you can upload files, rename or delete them.

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