When onboarding a new accounting client, it is essential to have a checklist in place to ensure a smooth transition and accurate financial reporting. This checklist serves as a guide to help you gather all the necessary information and set the foundation for a successful client relationship. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of what you should include in your new accounting client checklist:
Before diving into the nitty-gritty of client onboarding, establish open lines of communication. Arrange an initial meeting or phone call to introduce yourself and understand the client’s accounting needs and goals. This will help you assess whether you are the right fit for their business.
Gather Basic Information
To kickstart the onboarding process, you will need the client’s basic information. This includes their full legal business name, address, contact details, and tax identification number. Additionally, request any pertinent legal documents such as articles of incorporation or partnership agreements.
Previous Financial Statements
Obtain copies of the client’s previous financial statements. These statements provide valuable insight into the New accounting client checklist financial health, performance, and trends. Reviewing these documents will equip you with the necessary background knowledge to offer tailored accounting solutions.
Accounting Software and Access
Find out which accounting software the client currently uses and gain access to their system. This allows you to familiarize yourself with their existing processes and streamline the transition. If the client doesn’t already use accounting software, recommend a reliable and suitable option based on their business needs.
Budgeting and Forecasts
Discuss the client’s budgeting and forecasting expectations to understand their financial goals. Obtain copies of any existing budgets or forecasts to evaluate their accuracy and feasibility. Use this information to offer strategic financial planning advice and make necessary adjustments to optimize their financial performance.
Tax Compliance and Filings
Review the client’s tax compliance history, including their filing deadlines and any outstanding tax liabilities. Ensure they are up to date with their tax obligations and make a note of any potential areas of concern or opportunities for tax optimization.
Bank Statements and Accounts
Collect the client’s bank statements for multiple periods, allowing you to analyze their cash flow, identify any discrepancies, and offer insights into their financial health. Obtain information about their various accounts, such as checking, savings, and credit card accounts, to ensure accurate recording and reconciliation.
If the client has employees, obtain payroll information, including records of salaries, wages, benefits, and tax withholdings. This data will be necessary for accurate payroll processing and compliance with employment regulations.
Contracts and Agreements
For a comprehensive understanding of the client’s business operations, acquire copies of any significant contracts, agreements, or leases they are a party to. This ensures that you are aware of any financial implications related to these contracts and can account for them properly.
Internal Controls and Processes
Lastly, evaluate the client’s existing internal controls and processes, including their bookkeeping procedures, approval workflows, and segregation of duties. Identify any potential weaknesses or areas for improvement to enhance the efficiency and accuracy of their financial operations.