Move Your Practice Online Series: Step 4-Bring New Clients On to Work with You Remotely Right Away

Welcome to the latest post in the Move Online series.  We’ve already covered Joining the ProAdvisor program, finding the technology that will allow you to work remotely and ways to help make the transition to remote more attractive to a resistant client.

Here, we’ll talk about how important it is to describe how you work and lay out the scope, methods and expectations for new clients BEFORE you prepare your engagement letter.

Many of us get clients a variety of ways: word of mouth, the Find a ProAdvisor database, Google Ads, etc. They’re either going to call or email us about our services, and since we all know that first impressions are important, I’ll just say this about prospect follow up: be fast, be courteous and have a SOME SORT system to track your sales pipeline (I prefer Method CRM or BatchBooks), preferably one that syncs with your accounting system.

This post is not a sales column, how to book yourself solid or proper techniques for turning every prospect into a paying client. This post is what happens after you’ve sold yourself – your experience, knowledge, innovation and time. You should have a system in place for working with these clients, and be able to describe the process clearly, so they understand expectations. I’ve been doing the “Find Freedom in the Cloud… Your Way” training tour and I’ve heard from a number of accounting professionals that they don’t have that system in place… yet.

What I do, for my bookkeeping clients is offer them a choice. It’s almost always remote; I only have 2 clients with which I work on site. The base options are: QuickBooks Online + Bill.com + Intuit Online Payroll  or QuickBooks Desktop (hosted via UniDataIT.com) + Bill.com + Assisted Payroll. If the client has other needs – project management, CRM, inventory, e-commerce – then we look at add ons like Mavenlink.com, Method CRM, SOSInventory, Pinnacle Cart.

I explain how these programs, and services from Kildal Services LLC will work in detail, how the setup and implementation will work, whom the client contact will be at Kildal Services, and the most important part: how payment for services and any online applications will be handled. Some firms pay for the applications themselves and then bill the client, but I prefer to have the client billed directly; it’s a matter of what works best for your practice.

There is always a chance that you’ll come across a client that isn’t open to working remotely with you; my advice for this is communication. Take a page from the Intuit book of doing things, and find out what the client’s pain point is, and try to solve for that. Are they worried that they don’t know QuickBooks Online? Offer a few hours of free training. Are they concerned about security? Explain that Intuit uses the same security protocols as major financial institutions, so if they’re already using their bank website, they should be comfortable with QBO.

Once the client understands that this is how they will interact with you and your staff, all that’s left is preparing the engagement letter and getting them that credit card authorization form, so you can start billing their credit card each month your flat fee billing rate… Which just happens to be our next article!

Read Step 3-Offer an incentive for existing clients to remote

Read Step 5-Provide Flat Fee/Value pricing

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