Many of our clients reach out to us because they are in a jam. They haven’t reconciled any of their accounts for the past year, entered payroll or entered credit card charges. Every year, they promise they will get more organized. Every year, it’s the same old problems. They hand you a year or quarter worth of statements all at once. Inevitably, statements and paperwork are missing …you know the drill.
It is up to us to be more proactive and ‘nudge’ them into organizing themselves. Not only will it save us aggravation, it will remove the anxiety the client feels every time they speak to you, wondering what they need to find next. There are a number of things that we can do as consultants for our clients to help them with this. Some clients need to take ‘baby’ steps in organizing themselves. The more we can show them that their efforts will pay off, the more likely they will take more steps to improve whenever possible.
Some small steps include a simple accordion file. One tab for each month for the client to put their receipts and/or statements. An email every month reminding them to file their monthly statements would be helpful as well. Any client that is reaching out for assistance will welcome and rely on the email. A quarterly on-site appointment at the client’s office to pick up paperwork or have a catch-up meeting will also help keep them on track. This service could be added into the monthly or quarterly billing cycle as a value added service as well.
If they have more volume in paperwork than what can fit in an accordion file, there are a number of on-line services where statements can be captured in PDF format. Many of these online options tend to be overwhelming for these types of clients. Offer to setup these systems for them. Once they see the benefit of not having to hunt down statements, they will sing your praises for helping them.
Little steps at a time can push these types of clients from after the fact bookkeeping clients where you are catching up for a YEAR to possibly monthly. That would be a tremendous improvement. The client will feel more at ease and you as the consultant will again be able to provide a value added service. The referrals you receive will be abundant once the client is organized and at peace with their paperwork.
You as a consultant can feel content in knowing that you have achieved your goal of providing value to your client that assists them in running their business, not always playing catch-up.
Debora is President of Just For Your Consulting and has been an Advanced Desktop Certified Proadvisor since 2009 and a Certified Proadvisor since 1999. She has just recently completed the certification for QuickBooks Online Certified. She specializes in small business in service industries. www.justforyou-consulting.com @JFYCons