When onboarding a New accounting client checklist, it is essential to have a systematic approach to ensure a smooth transition and set the foundation for a successful client-accountant relationship.
Gather Basic Information
- Collect the client’s legal business name, registered address, tax identification numbers, and contact details.
- Request copies of financial statements, tax returns, and any outstanding tax notices or audits from previous years.
- Obtain a list of the client’s current financial software or tools, such as accounting software or payroll systems.
Assess Current Accounting Practices
Evaluate the client’s existing accounting practices to identify areas for improvement and develop a tailored approach:
- Review the client’s bookkeeping system, including chart of accounts and journal entries.
- Evaluate reconciliation processes for bank accounts, credit cards, and other financial accounts.
- Assess the invoicing and accounts receivable procedures in place.
Determine Reporting and Compliance Requirements
Understand the client’s industry-specific reporting and compliance obligations:
- Familiarize yourself with the relevant tax laws and regulations applicable to the client’s business.
- Identify any industry-specific accounting standards or reporting requirements.
- Review any licenses, permits, or certifications the client needs to maintain.
Establish Communication Channels
Establish clear and effective communication channels with the client:
- Schedule regular meetings or calls to discuss financial updates.
- Set up a secure method for document sharing, such as a client portal or encrypted email.
- Define expectations for response times and availability.
Define Roles and Responsibilities
Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of both the client and the accountant:
- Specify the tasks the client will handle, such as maintaining receipts or providing monthly sales reports.
- Outline the responsibilities of the accountant, such as preparing financial statements or filing tax returns.
- Establish deadlines and delivery expectations for both parties.
Implement Financial Controls
Implement robust internal controls to safeguard the client’s financial interests:
- Segregate duties to ensure no single person has complete control over financial transactions.
- Regularly review and monitor financial transactions for inconsistencies or discrepancies.
- Establish approval workflows for financial transactions beyond a certain threshold.
Plan for Regular Reviews and Performance Assessments
Schedule periodic reviews and performance assessments to track progress and ensure client satisfaction:
- Evaluate the client’s financial performance and provide recommendations for improvement.
- Review the client’s goals and objectives and align accounting practices to support their growth.
By following this comprehensive New accounting client checklist, you can effectively onboard new accounting clients and set the stage for a successful and mutually beneficial relationship. Tailor your approach to each client’s unique needs and focus on open communication and continuous improvement to provide exceptional accounting services.