Our On-boarding Procedure For New Clients - Part 1: Free Initial Consultation


I thought I would write a series of blogs to explain how we work with you at Channel Bookkeeping. The first one is a three part series outlining our procedure for onboarding new clients. Some of you may have worked with bookkeepers before and may be familiar with the types of information you will need to provide to the bookkeeper to enable them to help you. If you are new to the business world, then congratulations on starting your business! I wish you well, and hope that your business will become prosperous! This blog will help you gain some insight into the process of engaging a professional bookkeeper to help your business stay on track!

Our onboarding process is done in three steps. First, we offer a free, no obligation consultation to allow us to get to know one other and decide if we are a good fit for one another. After the consultation, if you would like us to help you, we will ask you to fill out a “New Client Form” so we can gather information about your business needs and work out an action plan together. Lastly, we will document the action plan in an engagement letter and ask you to sign the engagement letter and various authorisation forms as required depending on your business needs. The last step can be a little daunting to some people, but I wish to say that it really isn’t as scary as it seems; all professional bookkeepers and accountants are required to keep these documents on file and will ultimately serve in your best interests. So, in summary our onboard process is:

  1. Free initial consultation/interview

  2. Fill out “New Client Form” to gather information about your business needs

  3. Sign engagement letter & authorisation forms

Once step 3 is completed, you are officially welcomed on board with a welcome pack and we commence working together!

Some of our frequently asked questions are “why do I need to sign an engagement letter?” and “why do you need to know my date of birth?” and “what information do you need me to provide at our first consultation?”. This blog series will let you know what to expect at each step of our onboarding process and will answer those questions.

Lets start with part 1: The free initial consultation/interview:

As mentioned, the first initial consultation is free and provided face to face over a cup of tea/coffee, or over the phone. It is purely for the purpose of getting to know one another so we can determine if we are the right fit and ascertain how we can help you. These are the common questions that I may ask you:

  1. Tell me about your business – what do you do and how long have you been in business for?

  2. Have you used a bookkeeper before?

  3. Who is your accountant/tax agent?

  4. What tasks would you like a bookkeeper to do for you?

  5. What software do you use?

  6. Would you like Channel Bookkeeping to create your accounting file from scratch?

  7. What apps do your currently have connected to your software?

  8. Are you registered for GST?

  9. Do you want us to process or lodge BAS and/or IAS?

  10. Are you up to date with your bookkeeping and Bas lodgements?

  11. When was your last tax return lodged?

  12. Would you like Channel Bookkeeping to liaise with your tax agent?

  13. Do you do any data entry yourself? Do you use the software for invoicing?

  14. Do you have employees? If yes, how many?

  15. Would you like Channel Bookkeeping to process payroll and/or superannuation contributions?

  16. Do you want regular meetings – monthly/quarterly?

  17. Do you want regular reports – monthly/quarterly?

  18. Do you think you would like to trial our services for a month then tweak things to suit?

  19. How would you like to work with us – onsite, in the cloud, paper exchange or combination of all three?

  20. How would you like to share your documents/receipts with us?

  21. How would you like to pay us- hourly rate/fixed package plus added extras when needed or a mixture of both?

  22. Do you have any questions for us?

  23. Please complete our “New Client Form” (we would only ask this if you indicate that you would like Channel Bookkeeping to help you)

  24. What tasks would you like Channel Bookkeeping to do for you, and what would you like to be included in the engagement letter?

So, they are the most likely questions that I would ask at our first potential meeting. I would take notes, and provide you with information about how we can help, and may also refer you to other people who may be able to help with matters that fall outside our scope of expertise. A little reminder that the meeting is for a get to know you chit chat only. If you ask us to perform work at the meeting, you will have effectively engaged our services, and fees will apply from that point in time. Other than that, the chat is free – so what have you got to lose? Contact us today to arrange a meeting!

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