Another year is coming to a close, and it’s time to start making some resolutions for 2023. Reviewing your bookkeeping engagements is a great place to start! Your clients are fundamental to your firm’s image. By carefully assessing which clients you want to continue to work with AND what those relationships will look like, you can shape your bookkeeping firm’s image how you want.
Do you have to review your engagements EVERY year, though? We highly recommend it. Even if you aren’t reviewing your engagements with the goal of reshaping your client list, it’s still an important step in managing scope creep at your bookkeeping firm.
What Does a Good Engagement Letter Look Like?
A review of your engagements begins with the engagement letter. An engagement letter is a contract between a firm and its client that outlines the firm’s services, fees, and the responsibilities of both parties. They are essential documents to have on hand when disputes arise. A good engagement letter should include the following:
- What services are being provided
- Information about who the parties involved are
- What fees will be charged
- How payments will be delivered
- What responsibilities each party has
Reviewing Bookkeeping Engagement Letters
In addition to being important documents for settling disputes, engagement letters can also help prevent scope creep at your firm. Think about it: if everything you’re being paid to do AND how much time you will dedicate to tasks is clearly outlined in the letter, then you shouldn’t find yourself doing any unpaid work. Reviewing your engagements gives you a chance to take a look at the jobs you’re doing and whether or not all the work you do is accounted for. If the answer is no, it’s time to update that engagement letter.
Setting Goals For Your Firm
We’ve established that reviewing your engagements is important, but why do it annually? The reason we here at Aero recommend doing this review as a tradition is that it’s a great way to reset. Your bookkeeping firm is constantly evolving — and your goals are too. Reevaluating your client list will help you decide who you are as a business and where you’re going. At the end of the day, you want high-value clients and, if you’ve got a specific niche for your business, you want clients that reflect the industry and specialization that you’re going for.
Reviewing your engagement letters annually will help you redefine your firm’s goals and prevent scope creep — so there’s no time to waste. As the year winds to a close, make a plan to start reviewing your engagements. Be sure to start with your engagement letters and schedule some meetings with clients to discuss the next steps when you’re ready!