22 Nov “You Got The Client, Now What?”
You got the new client, now what?
For most bookkeepers and consultants, after the excitement of obtaining a new client is experienced, the next thought is usually, what did I get myself into? By having an organized approach to beginning the work with a new client, it eliminates any surprises for you. An added benefit is that it is very easy to explain to the client what your approach will be.
One of the first things following the initial conversation with a new (or potential) client is to have a written explanation of what work is to be done, on what time table, and at what cost. (Sample engagement letter.) This is extremely important to try to avoid any misunderstandings on the scope of the project.
Included in the engagement letter is the approach that you will take for the work. That approach is typically, assess the situation, develop a plan, and execute the plan, then double check that all the issues have been addressed. Having an organized approach for assessing the situation in a complete and efficient manner is critical to avoid surprises in the long run. Although the client is always in a hurry to “get things done” taking short cuts in the beginning will create bigger problems in the long run. Try to explain to the client that typically what they see is the “symptom” of the problem. You can best assist them by understanding the extent of the issue, as well as any others that they may not even be aware of, so your approach will be organized and efficient (i.e. less costly for them then doing the project piece meal).
To eliminate free initial meetings and the possibility of overlooking key issues, consider using the QuickBooks Diagnostic Tool.