Choose the Best Bookkeeping Clients According to Their Needs and Your Ability to Deliver
In our previous blog ‘Xero Bookkeepers—Why Would Someone Call YOU to Work for Them?’, we talked about how to define your ideal client and include a strong Call-To-Action that would appeal to them in your advertising.
Now let’s assume that your marketing message has captured the interest of a potential client. How would you go about confirming that he or she meets your ‘ideal client’ criteria and that they are a good fit for your business? Getting more of what you define as your best bookkeeping client should be your business goal.
Questions to identify the best bookkeeping client
This business owner reaches out to you because they have a bookkeeper that they are not happy with. That bookkeeper initially charged $199 per month on a performance based pricing plan but then upped their rate to $550 per month.
On the face of it you may agree that the client is paying too much and that you can offer a more attractive rate, however there are a few points you need to consider first.
When you respond to ad enquiries there are a few targeted questions that you should ask up front. The answers will help you to qualify your prospect and ensure that they are the right fit for your services:
- What tasks is the current bookkeeper performing?
- What qualifications and experience does the current bookkeeper have? e.g. are they a registered BAS agent or certified accountant?
- Did they give a reason for increasing their monthly pricing plan?
- What is the nature of the business (do you have any relevant industry experience?)
- Location. Does the client require a bookkeeper to work on site or can the work be done remotely?
- The number of employees. Is the bookkeeper required to perform payroll functions?
- The top three bookkeeping issues that need addressing.
- Required availability. Do you have enough time to allocate to this client?
Build a Client Profile
Once you’ve asked the right questions and gathered all of the facts you are in a better position to assess whether they are the best bookkeeping client for your business.
- In this case the business owner performs all the data entry, invoicing and payments and credit management tasks to ensure that all accounts receivable and payable are up to date.
- The business owner uses Hubdoc to capture as many source documents as possible and the business doesn’t change significantly from month to month because he has been in business for 10 years and gets a lot of word of mouth referrals.
- The owner chose Xero because he was told it was easy to use and he is happy to hire a remote bookkeeper who can work from their own home.
- The current bookkeeper is a registered BAS agent and processes BAS, payroll and superannuation payments on a fortnightly basis.
The bookkeeping profile for this business can be summarised as follows:
- Business Structure: Company Pty Ltd
- Employee: 1 employee (Director)
- Transactions per month: 40-60
- Bank Accounts: 2
- Credit Cards: 1 Amex
- Daily Data Entry: No
- Weekly Credit Management: No
- End of Month Reconciling: Yes
- Pay Runs: Yes, fortnightly
- BAS & Superannuation: Yes, Quarterly
- Accounting Software: Xero
Which Bookkeeper would consider this as their best bookkeeping client?
Using the above profile we are now able to determine which type of bookkeeper is best suited to this client’s business needs.
Let’s look at two bookkeeper profiles:
- Trevor is a Certified Practising Accountant and registered BAS agent with extensive experience in MYOB, Xero and Quickbooks. He has a background working in the corporate sector and has also successfully operated his own small businesses.
- Trevor is able to communicate effectively and coordinate work with other staff members. He is a capable business manager, having overseen the completion of various projects including the delivery of bookkeeping training to his clients.
- His rate is $70/hr.
- Agnest is a junior bookkeeper with experience in office administration, accounts receivable and payable, data entry, bank account and credit card reconciliation, invoicing and purchase orders.
- Agnest is a thorough and diligent worker and she is conscientious about meeting deadlines for her clients.
- Her rate is $25/hr.
In this case the business owner would be an ideal client for a bookkeeper like Trevor.
- Trevor has the required qualifications and experience to perform quarterly BAS and payroll functions.
- He is readily available at short notice.
- Trevor charges a higher hourly rate but he will be able to perform the work faster.
- He will be able to make proactive recommendations for improvements, rather than simply completing the assigned tasks as directed by the business owner.
- Trevor is likely to be more compatible with the client’s personality and business approach.
Summary: Know when to let someone go
In the long run it’s much better for the client and for your business to know when to let go.
If a prospect does not qualify for your bookkeeping services based on the questions you ask, you still have an option to refer them to other professionals within your network and perhaps get reciprocal leads in return.
Evaluate each enquiry with your ideal client in mind. You’ll generate goodwill with your prospects, improve your referral opportunities and save yourself a lot of time in the process.
Find a Good Bookkeeper
What makes a good bookkeeper and how do you find them?
Find Xero Bookkeeping Clients By Helping to Solve Problems
Not all clients will have needs that fit within the predefined service packages offered by your business, however that doesn’t mean that you have to lose them as a client.
By opening yourself up to alternative solutions and thinking outside the box, you can qualify more prospects and increase your chances of winning new clients.