Onboarding clients is the process of bringing on a new client into your practice. Effective onboarding can save a lot of headaches when it is done effectively and can give a client a clear expectation of what role you have in their business and what is needed from them.
One of the important parts of making a clients business run smoother is the onboarding process. A lot of the time when the onboarding is done well, then the business relationship flourishes, and the business will have a clear path forward with their bookkeeping and accounting practices.
The Onboarding Process
When onboarding it is important to make sure that you have all the relevant information to begin with. Asking for a general overview of the business and the business history is always a good start and will give you an understanding of the business.
At this point it is important to determine whether the business has the right business structure. Often the business may have been structured correctly in the initial stages of business, but as the business has evolved over time, there may be different requirements to consider. Reviewing current needs is a critical step of onboarding.
Some clients will consider that their bookkeeping is one of the hardest things in the world to master, however it may be apparent after discussion that they are not using an accounting solution that is suited to their exact needs. Some clients may be using software that is too complex and others may be using outdated software that is not the easiest way to work.
Explaining the features of software in particular if the decision is made to transfer over to another platform may give the new client a deeper understanding of the capabilities of the software. If the client has decided that they will be entering in their own data and not making use of a professional bookkeeping service then making sure that the client is going to use the software correctly when entering in data will be crucial in the initial stages to make sure that the process filters through.
It is important when it comes to software usage to find out what type of information that they would like to get from their accounting reports. Some clients might have very specific needs and being able to have a degree of transparency into their own business affairs is quite often a way for clients to have confidence moving forward in business as they won’t feel as though they are doing it blindly.
To make sure that the relationship between accountant and client continues to flourish, having clear expectations set out as to all of the roles involved is a great way to ensure that there is no confusion. It is important for a client to know that you are part of their team, with the goal of their business excelling being in both of your best interests.
If a follow up meeting is needed to check that everything is going well, booking that in now is a good way for the client to know that you aren’t going to fall away after the initial onboarding process. Letting the client know that you are here for them can make the client feel less isolated in business too and know that they have support.
About Paul Purczel
Paul Purczel has had a variety of roles in managing businesses since 1994 in Adelaide, South Australia. His passion is to assist businesses to establish best practices by giving solid advice based on business experience and education. His sound knowledge and advise has helped to increase business turnover, and identify and rectify issues within a diverse range of businesses. In his position at Ace Business he advises clients on both online and offline business solutions, along with fine tuning the bookkeeping and accounting processes within the practice.