As a bookkeeper, are you confident you have a clear and detailed contract with your clients that sets the right expectations?
Are you including everything from outlining the services you will provide, the payment terms and confidentiality agreements, and the terms by which either party can terminate the contract?
If you’re not sure where to start as you set out to create a contract template for your firm, or you’re doing some research to make sure your contract is as ironclad as it can be, this article has you covered.
We’ll discuss what to include in your bookkeeping contract and why having one is essential. You’ll also find a template to use as a foundation for creating your bookkeeping contract. Before we get started, let’s clarify that consulting a lawyer is recommended when drafting contracts or entering into binding agreements.
What to Include in Your Bookkeeping Contract
A bookkeeping services agreement or contract should include the following sections.
- Description of services: Clearly outline the services a bookkeeper will provide, such as data entry, bank reconciliation, payroll, and preparing financial statements. Be as specific as possible so both parties know what to expect.
- Payment terms: Specify the fee structure, including the hourly rate or flat fee, payment schedule, and any late payment fees. Outline how the bookkeeper will be compensated for their services, explain the invoicing process, and list acceptable payment methods.
- Confidentiality and data security: Include a confidentiality clause prohibiting the bookkeeper from sharing or disclosing any confidential or proprietary information about the client's business.
This section should also specify the bookkeeper's responsibility to maintain the security of the client's financial records and data and to protect such confidential information from unauthorized access. This is particularly important for small businesses since financial data is often the most sensitive information they have.
- Termination clause: A termination clause outlines the conditions under which either party can end the agreement. Specify the amount of notice required and any conditions to be met before terminating the contract. This gives both parties a clear understanding of the terms and conditions for ending the agreement.
- Contact information: List contact information for both the client and the bookkeeper so both parties can get in touch with one another should any questions or issues arise.
- Time frame: Detail the time frame for providing bookkeeping services. Specify the start and end dates for the services, as well as the frequency of service.
- Signature: Have the client and the bookkeeper sign to indicate their agreement to the terms and conditions outlined in the contract. Signatures provide both parties with a legally binding document they can refer to in the event of a dispute.
A bookkeeping agreement may vary depending on the jurisdiction and industry regulations. Consult a lawyer to ensure the contract complies with local and state laws and regulations.
A Free Bookkeeping Contract Template
You can also access this template as a Google Doc. Click on “File” in the upper left-hand corner, and select “Download” from the menu to choose your preferred document format.
Please note this template is for illustrative purposes only. It should not be interpreted as legal advice.
Bookkeeping Services Contract
This Bookkeeping Services Contract (“Contract”) is entered into on [Date] by and between [Your Name] (“Bookkeeper”) and [Client Name] (“Client”).
Description of Services
The Bookkeeper shall provide the following bookkeeping services to the Client:
- Data entry
- Bank reconciliation
- Financial statement preparation
- [Other services as specified by the client]
The Bookkeeper shall be compensated at the rate of [hourly rate/flat fee] for services rendered.
The Client shall make payment to the Bookkeeper within [number of days] days of receipt of invoice.
Any late payments shall be subject to a [late payment amount] fee.
Confidentiality and Data Security
The Bookkeeper shall not disclose any confidential information regarding the Client’s business to any third party.
The Bookkeeper shall take all reasonable precautions to safeguard the Client’s financial data against unauthorized access.
Either party may terminate this Contract upon [number of days] days written notice.
The Contract may also be terminated immediately if either party breaches any of its obligations under this Contract.
The Bookkeeper’s contact information: [Your contact information]
The Client’s contact information: [Client’s contact information]
The services shall be provided between the period of [start date] and [end date].
The services shall be provided on [frequency of service]
This Contract constitutes the entire agreement between the parties. This Contract shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of the parties hereto, their successors and assigns.
This Contract is governed by the laws of [Jurisdiction] and any disputes arising under or in connection with this Contract shall be resolved in accordance with the laws of [Jurisdiction].
By signing this contract, the client acknowledges that they have read and agreed to the terms and conditions outlined in this contract and that they understand their rights and responsibilities.
BONUS: 32 Additional Free Templates for Bookkeeping Firms
When creating an invoicing process for your clients, there's no need to start from scratch. To give you a hand, Jetpack Workflow created a set of 32 workflow templates you can use and customize to simplify and streamline your general bookkeeping tasks and workflow processes.
Need Help Managing New Bookkeeping Clients?
Once you and your client have entered into a bookkeeping contract, the next step is for you to manage your client’s work. Meeting deadlines and adhering to expectations are vital to maintaining a positive client relationship.
Jetpack Workflow is a cloud-based software solution designed for bookkeepers and accountants. It has pre-configured workflows for standard bookkeeping tasks like financial statement preparation and monthly accounting. Tailor Jetpack Workflow’s task management system to your bookkeeping firm’s needs so you meet every deadline effortlessly.
Learn more about Jetpack Workflow and start a free 14-day trial here.