CPA Experience Director BaCo Tech
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5 Ways To Tell if a Client Is Right for Your Firm

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Accounting professionals try to actively avoid clients who are nothing but a headache. But, are you also actively looking for people who will add value to your firm? Will Baker of BaCo Tech lists five simple steps you can take to ensure you're onboarding the right clients.

Jun 28th 2021
CPA Experience Director BaCo Tech
Columnist
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There’s a lot of information out there about how to figure out if a client is wrong for you, as well as tips on disengaging with a client. But what about signs a client is right for your practice? After all, it's easier to weed out clients who won’t fit right from the start rather than think “I should’ve never taken on this client” when the relationship isn’t going so well a year or two in.

Here’s how to proactively seek out people you’d like to work with and who will add value to your accounting firm:

1. Evaluate the Client’s Integrity

Evaluating a potential client’s integrity can be done in multiple ways. One is by meeting with them personally. This allows you to get a sense of what the client is like, both personally and professionally. Next, you can ask them for additional follow-up references, including the names and numbers of their bankers, attorneys and other business consultants. Reaching out to these contacts is important because you want to make sure the potential client is in good standing with these people. Termination of these relationships due to business disagreements or outstanding invoices shows the true integrity of this potential client.

If the client is changing CPAs, you should ask for permission to contact their previous accounting professional. This way, you can speak to their last CPA about topics such as integrity, ethics and expectations and find out if they had any problems that caused them to abruptly end the relationship. You’ll also want to determine how the client found your firm. The reference they’re visiting you from can change the degree of skepticism you have regarding whether you want to take them on as a client or not. Clients who are a good fit for your firm will be happy to provide all of this information and will have a solid reputation.

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