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Onboarding A New Client

Published by Summit Marketing Team on May 6, 2020 6:00:00 AM

The Modern CPA Success Show: Episode 11


Clients will come to you for a specific reason, and they are looking to get a specific result from working with you. That’s why the onboarding process is so important. It sets the tone for the relationship and clarifies the expectations of both parties.

Today we are sitting down with Adam Hale, the COO at Summit CPA to talk first impressions and onboarding new clients. At Summit CPA, this is something we revisit about every 6 months, so this podcast is full of information about things we have tried, things that have gone well, and what we have learned.

Jamie Nau: Welcome to today's podcast. Today, I'm joined once again by Adam Hale, and we're going to talk about first impressions, more importantly, onboarding. So just to give you a little bit of background on the Summit onboarding process, this is something that we revisit about every six months. It's ever changing. We've talked several times about how Summit is a pretty dynamic firm, and we're always trying to change things. But onboarding is something where every time we get feedback from a client that the onboarding isn't going as well as they would like, we go in and we reevaluate the process. We dig into it. We make changes. So this podcast will have a lot of lessons learned, the stuff that we've done well, and a lot of things that we still are working on improving. But I think our listeners will really get a lot out of this podcast. So, Adam, welcome.

 

Adam Hale: Thanks. I agree. I mean, getting off to the right start is essential. I mean, that's really everything. I think that if we look back over time, what we found is that every good relationship that we currently have it always starts out right from the beginning, right? So getting off on the right foot, it's going to be important to establishing the relationship. And in just getting the client the information, because typically when clients come to us, they have a specific need and they want to get there as fast as possible. So I can tell you that like before you were with us Jamie, what we used to do was nothing super formal. Like we didn't charge separately for onboarding. We didn't call it a separate thing. We didn't have a team designated for it. We just thought hey, new client comes on, we assign the team, the team will work through the issues, trying to work backward and forward kind of at the same time. And what we found is it just took forever. The clients got super frustrated because you don't really have time to balance both going backwards and forwards at the same time. So that's when we decided hey, we need to actually name it. There's a lot of power in the naming of things. So we're like, onboarding. We decided we were going to double the fees for the first eight weeks, and tell clients it takes us about two months to fully get you onboarded. That doesn't mean we want to really actually take eight weeks for it to even be able to work with them. What it means is they give us a little bit of time to get our bearings, and everything like that. Then we decided to bring on additional people into the onboarding process rather than just the core team in order to speed that process up.

 

Jamie Nau: Yeah, and I definitely think that when I started, having the onboarding named was really important to me because it did identify it as, you know, things are going to happen during these eight weeks. They're going to happen, and they're going to really set us up for the future. So I think having a name is super important. And I think the most recent lesson learned, I think this is something where I'd like to start is expectation. You know, I think one of our keys in onboarding is setting the expectations for the client. Stating the expectations for us and really having connection between our sales process and our onboarding processes is key. So Adam, can you go a little bit into the expectations we try to set during our onboarding?

 

Adam Hale: Yeah. As you mentioned, it really should start with your sales process. So making sure everybody's in tune, the onboarding team and the sales team, just to make sure that we're  getting the right fit. We wouldn't talk about ideal client communication. Of course, whenever you're in that dating process, you're focusing more on the services and the solutions. So it's natural just to kind of come in, you know, with really positive, you know, ready to move forward kind of expectations whenever you jump into onboarding. The problem is, it might not be completely aligned. So the first place we start is with the service agreement. So we went through the sales process. We told you what we're going to do. Everybody was on the same page. They signed the service agreement. We want to revisit that. And the reason being is because, again, to your point, it comes back to expectations. So we break down that SOW by line item. But rather than just like repeating exactly what we named it, we want to walk through and explain to the client every single line item, you know, by talking about what the deliverables are going to be for that item, what the process for that's going to look like. And then most importantly, what the communication for that line item looks like. What channels we're going to use. Are we going to talk in Slack, or by email? You know, those kind of things, because, it's really easy to get bombarded when you inherit the client's email account, and just get flooded with emails. That's not how we work. So talking about the cadence of the communication and then making sure that we're responsive. So we make it pretty clear hey, this is how often we can respond. We can't respond to you every minute of the day, all day. We're just not built to be able to do that. We have more than you as a client. They understand that in the sales process. But a lot of times whenever they're like, good, I just made this purchase, I just want to offload my problems, it's really important to kind of set those boundaries. The other thing that we do is we also try to identify which one of those line items is the highest priority. That's really important too, because what you don't want to do is put cash flow management forth on deck and you don't get to it until week four or five. Then it's like, the most mission critical thing that you're going to do. You need to be able to be a little bit flexible in the order in which you deliver these things.

 

Jamie Nau: And just for people to know, how we establish this is we have a kickoff call. So it's even before we do our official onboarding, so we basically say okay, you're going to start on February 13th, on February 6th, we’d like to have a kickoff call with you and walk through all these expectations. I can tell you, it's as much for their team as it is for our team. So kind of lesson learned on the SOW walk through is there were several clients where we were doing way too much. When they said we're taking over AR for them, we thought it meant something completely different from what they thought. So we're doing all this additional work for them and never really established that upfront. So we have this kickoff meeting where we walk through those expectations. We walk through exactly what it means that we're invoicing for, if we're doing AR for the client, etc. It has made a big change for us to actually have that communication. Like I said, not always for the client, but also for us. It gives the virtual CFO a chance prior to that meeting, and the account manager prior to that meeting, to actually remind themselves what we are doing for the client, and that that's been really key. The second thing you talked about there, Adam, I'd like you to dig into this a little bit more is talking about the expectations of communication. This is something that's really key because to Adam's point, there's a lot of people that just want to, you know, email us 50 times a day. They went from having a full time controller to having us. That's a bit different. So it's us communicating those expectations upfront. So will you go into that a little bit more?

 

Adam Hale: Yeah, I would say, we measure client feedback on a monthly basis. The number one thing that we always get tacked on, if anything, whenever we have any kind of client service issue it's communication. We're not getting back fast enough, or we're not getting issues resolved quick enough. Yeah. So one of the things that we talk about with the team is just the importance of emptying out your communication tray on a daily basis. So I typically do it in the morning. Then before I leave I make sure that all my Slacks and all of my emails have been responded to. And, you know, I guess the important thing that we coach there with our team is the response does not need to be the answer. If Jamie, if you email me on Monday and you have this urgent question. I don't even know if it's urgent, it might be semi urgent, no clue, I can't tell by the tone of your email, and then I decide to get back to you on Wednesday with the answer. I've got it all written out. It's beautiful, exactly what you asked me. You're going to be super pissed because you didn't hear from me on Monday or Tuesday. You had no idea if I even got the communication. I'm not responding. I can't tell you how many times we've done that. And rather I could have just emailed you right away, you know, at lunchtime or before the end of the day, or whenever I am emptying out my communication tray. Responding hey, cool, Jamie, I got your note. I'm going to be looking into it. Do you mind if I get back to you on Friday? So you can set your own boundary, your own deadline. You can push it out further than Wednesday. Give yourself extra time. Now, the client, if it's really urgent, might come back and say hey, Friday won't work. Can we do Thursday? You know, I've got a meeting at noon. Now, all of a sudden, you understand the boundary and it's like, oh of course, you know, and then you can get back to them. So I think that's the first part of managing expectations. Being able to set your own boundaries whenever they send that stuff to you. The other side of that, what we hear too, is on the responsiveness. The other problem that you find, even if you are replying on a regular basis, sometimes you're just not replying fast enough. I think that's one that's a little bit more problematic to your point. If you're replacing a full time person that they can, every time a thought enters into their head, they can just spill it out and you know, have you get back to. I mean, keep in mind, in many instances, you're going to be their finance department if you're doing any back office. They're relying on you to help run their day-to-day business. So they want to be able to just reach out and touch you whenever they can. So I think it was you, Jamie, that kind of came up with the idea of batch communication, right? So, I mean, you can probably better talk through best practices in terms of batch management, and talking to a client about batching their communication.

 

Jamie Nau: Yeah, the big thing about batching communication is trying to anticipate the type of communication you're going to get from the client. Also setting the expectation early on that there are certain things that we just want to make sure we talk about in a week's time. A great example of this is cash flow and AP. So we're already having a cash flow meeting once a week, and we're having it on Tuesday, and it's the last 30 minutes of the meeting. So instead of you sending me twenty five emails that are all not going to be responded to one at a time, then it's, you know, an hour to two hours, or three hours during the week where you can  respond to those type of things. Anything that's not urgent. Let's just put it on a Trello board somewhere, or let's put it somewhere outside of an email. Have a special Slack channel. We can address all of those once during that 30 minute meeting. That way the time is a little bit more condensed. So we talk a lot about batching our communication. Sometimes clients will sit there, and they'll be up at 10 o'clock at night trying to think of something like, oh, yeah, that's a great idea, I should just send this over to our virtual CFO. Which is great. We want that type of communication and that's the services we provide. But that's not urgent. Let's just get it on a Trello board so we can make sure we talk about it during our next working meeting and say, hey, we know you had this great idea, let's talk about it now. Or the client might even say we only need to talk about that for a couple of minutes,  I still want to get it on your radar. That's the type of stuff that sounds small, but those type of things can add up to 50, 100, 150 e-mails a week. Then we miss those things that really are urgent. So that's kind of the key with batching.

 

Adam Hale: One of the most important things that you mentioned there was just having established meetings and regular touch points. I mean, we've got to train the client to understand that. We've designed those meetings for those conversations. I can't tell you how frustrating it is to watch a Slack channel, or see back and forth on email, where people are just missing each other. So the client asks something, and then we're not really sure what that means. So we respond, then they respond back, we then respond back, then they respond, what do you mean? And you'll watch it like all day long in the Slack channel, and you can tell the client is getting super irritated. Now, on our side, I know we're getting irritated. But we don't show it, right? Because the client's always right. But it can be solved super quick. 30 second,  oh, if we just picked up the phone if we need to. If it's truly as urgent. Better yet, just have established those types of the conversations to happen on Mondays at noon. Like that's the purpose of that meeting because we really do, I think, do a good job of having certain meeting types that really accommodate for all those things, minus the urgent one-off items that happen occasionally.

 

Jamie Nau: I think the key in what we're talking about in our onboarding meetings, is we being Summit, we're the experts in what make good clients and how good clients work. So we can come to them and say hey, we have two hundred relationships, and the ones that work, work like this. This is how we'd like to work with you. And of course, most clients are going to look at and be like, perfect. You know how to make this work. That sounds great. Some clients may have one or two areas like, you know, we're not big Slack fans. We never communicating in Slack. Is there something else we can use for that? Then we can kind of come up with those alternatives that will work. But I think the big thing is, is knowing that we're the experts and conveying that to client, that if you guys want to be successful, this is the formula. This is what it's going to take to make our relationship work.

 

Adam Hale: Yeah and as it relates to service line items, I think it's just as important to talk about what you're not going to do as it is as what you will do. There's always that, you know, there's a million things that could technically fall under that bucket. But there's certain things that, you know, we're just not going to do. You know, we're not going to be the personal assistant. We're not going to be HR. Even for handling payroll administration, it doesn't mean that I'm going to manage HR. So clearly defining what those things mean, brings a lot of clarity. And in some instances, you might find the person saying oh, well, I thought that's what payroll management was. If you're just doing that piece of it, maybe I don't need that line item. Which is perfectly fine. Go ahead and address that so you get it taken care of before it becomes problematic rather than finding out later.

 

Jamie Nau: That's what we want to do, and that's our whole point. Onboarding is a guarantee where if something happens during week one, where they thought payroll is something different than it was, and we changed the services, you're still going to get off on the right foot with the client. That's not a problem. That was just a miscommunication during the sales process. Where if six months from now you've been doing A, and they thought you should be doing B, that's a client that's going to walk away and be like, I hated working with them. It was a terrible experience. That's the last thing we want. So that's why we're trying to establish that up front so we can change the work scope if needed.

 

Adam Hale: I mean, that example, I just had it happen a couple of weeks ago. A client reached out, and they combined our payroll and our expense, two separate line items together. But they were only signed up for the payroll administration. And whenever they walked through the detail of what those tasks look like, whenever we went through onboarding, it's like, no, you either need to add the expense tracking or not. Leave it as payroll or get rid of the entire thing. They elected to just to keep the payroll. But at least we didn't bite off more than we can chew because by nature it's kind of a white glove service and we try to impress the client. And if we wouldn't have had that conversation upfront, the team would have just walked into giving away expense tracking for the client just to make sure that they were happy. And that wouldn't have been any good long term.

 

Jamie Nau: Okay. So let's turn gears a little bit here, let's change direction. Let's start talking about who's involved in the roles for onboarding. So we have a pretty big onboarding team. So Adam, if you I want to go through kind of the different roles that are needed for a successful onboarding, and talk about what those roles involve.

 

Adam Hale: Yeah. I mean, first to be clear. You can have a smaller onboarding team, but you just want to be clear that there might still be a need for six or eight roles. Meaning your headcount might only be three people, but the roles still are six people. You know what I mean? Some people will do dual roles. So, for example, a good one for that is our AM and PM roles. That's typically on our side, one person. So the AM is the salesperson. So that's the person that signed you up. We're all happy talking through the service line items. It's important for that person to be on the kickoff call. As we're walking through the service line items they're the ones that understood your problems to begin with. We want to just make sure that it was translated well into the SOW. After the onboarding call, the account manager role will fall back just a little bit and they're just touching base once a week just to make sure everything's going good. And we don't even do that with an in-person touch. We use a tool called Customer Thermometer that measures satisfaction. The account manager will jump in if there's any kind of problems. After that, once it's out of onboarding, then that person's just the escalation point for him and they check in every six months just to make sure things are going well. If there are problems, then they're the person that steps in. So pretty light roll, which is why we have this person playing a dual role, which is the PM. The PM is really the task manager, that’s their primary role. They're not doing a lot of the work, they're just making sure the right people are doing the work that we have on the team, and making sure everything pulls together. I think that's a really important role, and one in the past that we used to actually have doing the work as well. We didn't separate out those roles and I think that became confusing as well.

 

Jamie Nau: Yeah, I agree. I think that the big thing that I always talk to our task manager about is consistency. So we want to make sure that they're the front line of consistency. You know, again, in my role as a director, one of the things I see in a lot of our clients is what we're doing for client A, is so different than what we're doing for client B. So if I could have a PM that's making sure if we are doing revenue recognition for a client, its setup with the exact same template. And again, there may be some different formulas in there depending on what the client does, but it's really the key that the clients look very similar across the board, and that we're not doing anything special for this client. And again, sometimes we do have to do some special activities. But again, I want to make sure I have a person that has seen multiple onboardings, making those decisions, and not just a person that this is their third account, and making a bunch of changes on it. So that's really important. The PM having consistency there.

 

Adam Hale: Which to that point is the reason why we also have them be kind of the designer as it relates to documenting process. So the first thing that we found that you really need to frontload in these engagements is just mapping out the entire process. I'm talking about how they do AP, how they do AR, how they do payroll, how they closed the books at the end of the month, what financial information they look at, all of those need to be documented. Whether you're doing them or not, even if you're not doing the bill pay, the cash flow management, it doesn't matter because ultimately at the end of the day, you're going to own the financial information. So if there's a problem with it, you have to fix it. They also look to us to improve their processes. So if there's a better, faster way to do it, then we should do it. So having this dedicated PM person also, you know, documenting those processes and then working with the rest of the team during the task manager piece to just look to see if there's a better way to do a process really provides that consistency that you're talking about. I think that's a big part of our success in onboarding. That PM role.

 

Jamie Nau: Yeah, definitely. So we talked about the account manager and we talked about the project manager. So what's the other roles we have involved in the engagement?

 

Adam Hale: So with our engagements, we always have a virtual CFO and an accountant assigned. So we get them involved right out of the gate. Obviously, we don't want them to be disconnected. It's not like somebody is just going to set this thing up perfect for them and then jump in. Sure our team would love that, but that's just not feasible. It probably wouldn't work out. You want them to be right there at ground level. So the virtual CFO we refer to as the architect. They are the architect because they need to design the forecast and the KPIs. They're going to be the chief storyteller. So if they're not designing the information and trapping it in the appropriate way to tell the story that they want to tell, that'll be most helpful to the client, then it would be a difficult engagement. So we want them right out of the gate just to be focusing on how the client makes money. Walk me through all the different service lines you have, and then walk me through all the expenses. Direct to indirect. What ties to what. They're building the forecast. That's their role.

 

Jamie Nau: Yeah, definitely. I think the virtual CFO is super important. Obviously, they're going to have the longest-term touch with the client. You know, again, the clients really want to have someone that they know they can lean on. Obviously the account manager and the project manager, they're going to be there. Project managers are going to be there for the onboarding, account manager is going to check in with them every six months. But the virtual CFO is their long term relationship. They're involved with the architecture and make sure they understand everything that's being set up. They can't just be in the background saying oh, why are we doing API like that? They need to make sure they understand that, because ultimately if there's a problem they are going to want to jump in and fix it and make sure that they understand what's going on there.

 

Adam Hale: Yeah, and the role of the accountant on the team is more of the builder. So meaning that while we went through the design of the processes, and trying to figure out how to automate them and do those kind of things, the accountant is going to own those. So they have to kind of sign off on that design, and build any kind of new process that needs to be in there, and focus on those priorities that we talked about. So where we struggled in the past was trying to have the go forward and lookback teams. So the lookback team is that PM going through designing things. The go forward team is really on the accountant to just take over the AP right away. Client’s don't want to wait eight weeks for us to pay their bills. So that's where we want to leave some of the back work off of their plate and focus the accountant on all the go forward stuff so the client doesn't feel like they skip a beat. So that's really the role of the accountant.

 

Jamie Nau: I think the big thing there is leaving in the time, right? You want to make sure that if they're there working on AP, the first couple of times, anytime you take over a process, the first couple times you do it are going to take twice as long as they are six months from now. So you want to make sure the accountant when they're on that engagement, has the time to take over the AP process. It's going to take them more so you can’t have them taking over the AP process and having a forecasting discussion with the clients. That needs to be with someone else outside of the accountant because they really need to be working on that go forward, and making sure that there's no problems right away. The last thing you want is to pay the wrong vendor, or pay the wrong amount in those first couple weeks, because that's not a good first impression.

 

Adam Hale: No. Divide and conquer for sure. The last two people on the team play a little bit, and it kind of depends on the needs of the client, but we do have the tax director step in. Just to make an introduction, regardless if we're doing taxes or not. Obviously, if we're doing taxes for them then it'll be a little bit more involved conversation, or reviewing the tax returns and talking through things like that. But we at least want to offer the client some risk assessment, you know, because we also partner with the family office that can do a lot of financial advisory and high end tax planning. So there might be opportunities for estate planning or other things. More holistic view is the reason for the risk management piece. You know, taking a look at the overall client and the relationship, that's what the tax director does. Then the last one is the IT team. So our IT team is amazing. Their role is just to automate things. So they're there just to kind of support the accountant and support the designer and the virtual CFO. They'll go and connect tools that aren't connected. You know hey, they want to convert from zero to KUVO, whatever that is. Hey, I need to automate this workflow so that this doesn't take me five hours a month to do it. I need it to automatically go from one place to the other. They'll do that automation and really help with building some of that stuff. So they're actually really the builder more than the accountant. Like I said, that accountant is more of like the go forward person, but the IT person is an extension of them.

 

Jamie Nau: And like Adam said, these roles have fallen in different buckets. But I think as we talked about what it takes for a successful onboarding, all these, you know, tags that Adam touch on are really important. You know, we need the architect, the designer, we need all these things just to make sure it's successful. As Adam said, you may have a two person team. That's all they do, and they have four roles a piece. You know, I think that's the that's the important thing is just making sure those roles are done by someone and understood by someone.

 

Adam Hale: Absolutely.

 

Jamie Nau: So Adam we've talked about eight weeks a couple of times. I think the other point when it comes to onboarding, and you briefly touched on this, but you want to talk a little bit about that timeline and what that eight weeks actually means for us, and kind of how we front load it? I think front loading is a key thing that we've talked about recently.

 

Adam Hale: Yeah, we're so process driven that we you know, we came up with this very rigid eight week plan where we're going to do this one week, and this another week, that kind of thing. I think what we did was we just really got ourselves off to a super slow start. We were so mechanical. We would just touch base once a week with the client, or maybe twice a week, and we wouldn't make much progress. We spent half the meeting trying to catch up, and remember what they gave us or what they said. The client really felt some frustration from that. I personally witnessed it myself. I'm not going to tell you the vendor that I worked with that made me feel this way. But I went through their process and it was very rigid. I mean, it mirrored ours, identical, and it was awful. I mean, for me, I was ready to just be like, I'm done. Every week they showed up, and they're just like, it was like I had never talked to them before. You know, it wasn't that bad, but it was pretty darn close. Like, no, I specifically said I didn't want this and I did want that. And I remembered that oh, my gosh, that's like probably what our customers feel like. So I quickly went to the team and I said okay, I know it's an eight week onboarding, but I want it done in the first week. And of course, you all laughed at me. And were just like, yeah, whatever. But what I meant by that is like I used the remaining like four weeks to just fine tune, you know, really get things dialed in and then give us the freedom from the client's perspective to not have everything perfect. But if you really want to get off to a good start, you need to front load those first two, to four weeks. Get as much of, at least institutional knowledge documented put into place, and forecasting bill, in order to really start advising and working with the client right out of the gate. Otherwise, people like me are just super turned off.

 

Jamie Nau: And I think this goes back to a lot of what we've talked about in this entire podcast. One, we talked about the roles. So it's really important that we divide and conquer. It's really important that the virtual CFO doesn't have to sit in every meeting in order to have onboarding be successful. So we can have, you know, the virtual CFO handling X, Y, Z meetings, and have the accountant handling a couple other meetings, and then the onboarding specialist or the account manager or project manager handling other meetings. That way it feels like we're sprinting, but that way each person individually is handling their lane and moving things. So that's one part about it. Then if you're going to do that, going back to what we said earlier, there's also the internal communication. We want to make sure that we talked about the virtual CFO being the architect, so virtual CFO is not in every meeting. They're going to need to know what's happening in those meetings. So having just an hour touchpoint as a team and saying hey, this is what we accomplished this week, this will be what we accomplished next week, is really important as a team because we really want to divide and conquer, and then also allow the client to divide and conquer again. Again, is there really a reason for their CEO to be sitting in an accounts payable process meeting? No, that person will be bored. They'll hate that you invited them. So all we really need is the right person who does their AP. Let's talk about the process with that person and make sure that it's understood. So really on both sides divide and conquer, and then going back in communicating and making sure everything is up is being done.

 

Adam Hale: Yeah. As you go through those process, that's a great point. It's important to call out who's going to be attending those meetings. So you kind of walk through what those look like and just say hey, you know, who is going to be on our side? Who's going to be on their side? Make sure the right people are in the meetings so you are not wasting anybody's time. That was some early on feedback that we got as well that I think is important. You know, the only other thing that I can think of that's important to keep in mind, whenever you're doing onboarding, you know, just kind of in closing, would be internally to your point, the project managers are kind of running that stuff. But don't let yourself get out of onboarding without making sure that those processes are effectively documented, and also leveraged appropriately. For us we use Jetpack and we have all the tasks built out. We know who owns the tasks and do those kind of things. Jamie, I know you sign off basically before we consider onboarding done. I mean, you go through a process of validating all that stuff, right? Making sure the right people are doing the right tasks.

 

Jamie Nau: Yep. Definitely. I make sure the right people are doing the right tasks and make sure they're documented properly. I make sure we have plans for what if the accountant is out for a week or two, they need to take a vacation. What's the plan for that? I kind of go through that with our team and make sure that all of that is in place before we could sign off on onboarding. It's really key. It's a key thing to do.

 

Adam Hale: Yeah. So as accounting director, you just kind of come in and do that final sign off. You don't really need to be involved in the upfront onboarding. I know they pull you in whenever they have questions about best practices around design, or process, because you've got all that built out, and you've built a ton of great templates for us to be able to review stuff, and that the clients are doing. But it's really just putting it up.

 

Jamie Nau: I try to check in throughout the onboarding just to make sure we're not going off track. Again, we have really qualified people doing that, but sometimes they're in the weeds too much. They overthink something. We just had this example, where we're way in the weeds on something and we took a completely wrong path on it. I was able to get in and be like, wait a second guys. Why are we doing it this way when we really could just do it this way? Which is going to take us as much time to do. But sometimes when you're in that urgency with the client, you just don't take that step back. So I do try to check in throughout the onboarding and make sure we're not going the wrong direction.

 

Adam Hale: So if I'm a small CPA firm, you just scared the hell out of me because we just named like eight people that are touching this thing. But first impressions are so critical, and just getting off to the right start that if you have the ability again, even if there's just one or two of you to front load all of your resources, and get off to the right start. Like I said, we charge double during those first eight weeks. So it's not like we do it for free, but we still lose out. But I mean, I think even when we look back through it, even doubling the fee, a lot of times we'll still have way too much time into those first eight weeks. But for us, it's more of the annualized lifetime value of the relationship that outweighs it. And if it avoids bunch of rework down the road, or problems, or friction with the client, always obviously easier to, or more beneficial to, maintain a client than it is to go find a new one.

 

Jamie Nau: Yeah onboarding is definitely an investment in terms of hours, in terms of relationships. So you want to make sure you start that relationship off on the right foot. And that's what we've talked about here and it's kind of our tips behind it. But Adam's point, you're going to spend a lot of hours, you're going to spend a lot of time doing it. Hopefully our listeners got a lot of good information out of this podcast, and we didn't scare you before we sign off. I do want to throw our email address out there. Our email address for this podcast is cpa@summitcpa.net. We're looking to hear about topics. If you want to be a guest on the show, anything you want to talk about, please e-mail that account. We want this to be a podcast that is reaching our listeners. So I look forward to hearing from you.  Adam, thanks for the topic. I think that is a good show.

 

Onboarding A New Client


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