The Workflow Manager is used for controlling the workflow of common tasks performed by the tax department in a business, using Trackers to manage each type based on that task's typical lifecycle. There are three Trackers currently included in Workflow Manager: Assignment Tracker, which tracks various activities like tax registrations, voluntary disclosure agreements, and research projects; Audit Tracker, which tracks audit history for your entities and each audit through its lifecycle; and Notice Tracker, which tracks notices received from taxing jurisdictions throughout their lifecycle. We will be adding Knowledge Tracker, for maintaining important tax-centric information related to significant historical events, such as acquisitions or transfer pricing agreements, in 2021. Each Workflow Item (i.e. an Audit or a Notice) allows the entry of the basic information for that Work Item, including the entity to which it relates, the jurisdiction involved, and the period of time it covers. These also allow the attachment of multiple files at the Work Item level, such as an image of the notice or the audit notification letter. You then track the activities taken relative to that Work Item as you work through it to resolution. Activities can change the status of a Work Item, or keep it the same, depending on what is happening as a result of that particular activity. Activities include basic information (what type of activity it was, like an email received or sent) and the details of the activity (room for a comment and any attachments as well, like a Word document of a letter that was sent). If you enter an email activity, you have the choice to actually have VTO send that email for you, including attachments, rather than sending it yourself. And yes, you can BCC yourself if you really must use your Inbox to keep track of these things, but there’s no need for that since VTO tracks it all for you in a much more organized and searchable way! You can also have VTO add a tracking key to the email so when the recipient responds, or you receive a response to your own email address which you forward to a VTO emailbox, it will be added to that Work Item’s history automatically!
Work Items are assigned to individual users for accountability and effectiveness, and new Work Items can be set up unassigned, creating a “pool” of work for users to grab based on their role within your department. In addition, Tasks can be set up within Work Items and assigned to different users. Tasks are similar to Work Items in that they allow general data of the task to be stored, and also allow attachments and activities, just like their parent Work items. But they are still related to the parent Work Item, so users are able to collaborate on the Work Item and accelerate bringing it to resolution. You can use tasks for any purpose you see fit (typically to assign a user a task to complete by a certain deadline, which is set in the Task record), but common Tasks may include gathering of exemption certificates to prepare for an audit, handling an IRS Information Document Request (IDR), or dealing with tax policy changes needed after an audit identifies an issue.