Getting started with QuickBooks – Part 3a
Part 3a - Onboarding Clients
Getting started with QuickBooks? Easy! Become a QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor! We will follow the steps using the new section of the Intuit Community especially designed to help people just starting out and using this pdf as a guideline. We will discover everything needed and the steps to navigate your new program. Special thanks to moderator, Cheryl Grindell, for this amazing pdf!
In the first three weeks of this series, we looked at signing up for QuickBooks Online Accountant, we explored some of the features in the program and last week we looked at some good tips on test taking to become certified in QuickBooks Online. This week we discover the cool section that is your work management tool. It is embedded in the program and can be found under the tab, Work.
Again, a special thank you to Matthew Fulton of Parkway Business Solutions for joining me in setting up our first clients and assigning tasks!
Getting started with QuickBooks: Use the tools in the program...
Matthew and I decided to separate this category from part three because of it being such a broad topic when it comes to onboarding your clients. But this is all about QuickBooks online accountant and how to use the tools embedded in the program. We deep dive into the work tab. Yes, it’s a free practice management tool! And it’s pretty awesome.
Did you know that it has preset templates inside? If you are just started getting into the accounting field, you can follow the generic lists. They are pretty well laid out. In the example in the video below, there are 12 steps in just for onboarding.
Getting started with QuickBooks: Onboarding your new client...
So what is onboarding? To me, the onboarding stage happens after you obtain a lead, provide a quote and they accept it. That’s when the actual paying customer relationship begins. This time in the relationship is pivotal. How do you handle onboarding your client sets up for an excellent ongoing relationship further down the road. Following the list above is a great place to start. You can also edit and modify the general template and make it fit your business. As you can see, this is a list for a customer that is not already with QuickBooks Online -- new to the program where you can add them to your wholesale subscription, if you choose to do so. This onboarding includes setting up a brand new file. It is my experience that most customers that come to me (about 95%) have already set themselves up in the program. For this use case, I would create my own list that would include cleaning up a client's chart of accounts and other housekeeping items. In other words, make this Project Management tool work for you. Fine tune it for your business. Create and design your own templates.
ProAdvisor Tip: One of the critical points I strongly recommend, is getting paid up front. This would begin BEFORE these steps occur. I can’t stress that enough. For more complex jobs, I also recommend getting paid to do the quote. You can offer to reduce the contract by the quote price, if they sign up with you.
Getting started with QuickBooks: More tips for a successful client relationship...
One of the other things that both of us do is let the client know that there’s going to be some time required from them in the first couple of months of the working relationship. We need to establish best practices and find a groove and a client-specific workflow. Every client is different. Some are more demanding than others. It’s essential to make sure that they conform to your workflow, your apps and tools and how you want to work laid out. If you establish this at the beginning of the client relationship, and you will set yourself up for success.
It is best to set up the dates and let the client know when the work will be completed (the actual day of the week). Often times your client may forget that you have other customers. Make sure your current contract addresses the need for obtaining documents in a timely fashion. The last thing you want is a client not providing the paperwork that you need. If they are slow to provide it, you may end up doing catch up work at the end of the year -- or worse, during busy season. Make sure to convey that there is an added cost if the data needed to service them is not provided monthly.
As mentioned in the video, I’m sharing a copy of my onboarding letter. What are the steps in my process of working with my customer? Here is a link to a post that shares my specific workflow for working with attorneys.
Last piece of advice: Make the tools work for you....
I use 17hats and Liscio for my Work Management Tools. 17hats is a very robust tool for managing clients, having them sign contracts with e-sign. You can save time with templates that are letters regarding the onboarding. You can schedule the letters to go out to the clients too. I create reminder letters, letters regarding 1099's, letters regarding sales tax tasks, etc. As for Liscio, once the become a client, it is my tool for communication with them and tool for storing documents securely. See this post for more details.
If you have any questions or would like to see a future video on another topic, please reach out to me on Facebook.