Having the right procedures in place can make or break your accounting firm. We’re all familiar with the idea that you’ve got to clean your own house first. If you want your firm to run smoothly, you have to begin by cleaning up your internal procedures. Having certain processes nailed down AND recorded will ensure that you and every member of your team can replicate successes. So, we’ve picked out four procedures we think are absolutely vital to maintaining both internal and external relationships at your accounting firm! Figure out these procedures, and maintaining good clients and staff should be a breeze.
Your onboarding process sets the tone of your client relationship… and you want those relationships to be good! A great place to start is with a client communication plan. This document will outline communication expectations so they can be standardized. Every new client aboard your firm should have the same, wonderful experience. How will you initiate contact? Do you have a standard welcome email? How do you gather client information? You’ll want to have a standard procedure for setting up things like cloud storage, payroll, and time tracking. Another part of your client onboarding process might include sending a welcome package!
Sometimes, things just don’t work out. You can’t control whether or not a client is a good fit for your firm, but you can control your offboarding process to make sure clients are let go smoothly. After all, you don’t want any hard feelings; former clients can be some of your best marketing tools!
When it comes to your client’s offboarding procedure, it’s important you cover all the bases from onboarding. Your recorded procedures should include changing passwords and removing clients’ from your digital accounts. When it comes to offboarding, there are more legal and security issues to be aware of. Reviewing engagement letters should be part of your procedure so that you can ensure nothing comes back to bite you.
Just like with your clients, staff onboarding is your chance to make a good first impression. How great is it to show a new team member that your firm is efficient and well-prepared from your first interactions? Onboarding procedures should include all necessary training and assimilation into the team. Replicate this same process every time you bring on a new team member and they should feel right at home in their new work environment!
People leave their jobs for many reasons. Maybe things just didn’t work out; maybe they decided to change careers or reached retirement age. Whatever the case may be, it’s crucial that your team knows how valued they are right up until the very end. Having this process standardized will also ensure that you don’t miss any steps that could result in legal complications.
With your onboarding and offboarding procedures for both clients and staff in place, you’ll be able to curate the kinds of relationships you want at your accounting firm. Then, everything else can fall into place.
Let us know what procedures you’re working on improving this year — and be sure to check out our more detailed client onboarding guide here!