For some new bookkeeping firms, it takes a bit of hustling to get the first or second client. To nab those first couple of clients, you’ll need to send out multiple proposals, follow up with potential clients, and hope the potential client feels you are the right fit.
But how do you outline your services and set appropriate expectations for your working relationship? You need to create a professional bookkeeping proposal that outlines all the pertinent information.
Even if you have new potential clients beating down your door, you’ll need to have a proposal template ready to ensure everyone is on the same page before you get to work. Standardizing your bookkeeping proposal template will mean less time spent getting the work and more time doing the work.
What is a Bookkeeping Proposal?
A bookkeeping proposal includes several components. There is an initial introductory cover letter, an outline of the services to be rendered, a pricing quote, and a place for the client’s signature to indicate acceptance of the proposal. Included below is a template to get you started.
A Free Bookkeeping Proposal Template
Below is a sample template. You can also find a standalone copy of the sample proposal here.
(Insert Street Address)
(Insert City, State Zip Code)
(Insert Phone Number)
Dear (insert name),
It was so nice meeting with you last week to discuss your new business venture. You’ve found a great location for your new restaurant, and I’m sure your decade of restaurant management experience means you will find success.
While you are running your business, we’ll be setting up your books and ensuring your records are kept up to date. Our goal is to manage your bookkeeping so you can free up your time to manage your business. We will be updating your books on a weekly basis, running your payroll, preparing sales tax returns, and providing quarterly financial statements.
We want this process to be seamless and stress-free for you. We will use online access to your QuickBooks file and receive your bank statements directly from the bank.
Thank you for the opportunity to bid on your bookkeeping work. We would welcome the opportunity to help you grow your business!
Included in our initial proposal are the following services:
- Initial setup of your general ledger and recording of your start-up expenses, including build-out for the restaurant.
- Payroll processing for up to 15 employees, including direct deposit of paychecks and manual checks when necessary.
- Monthly bank reconciliation for your two bank accounts and credit card. We require you to allow direct bank feeds from your financial institutions and allow us to access your statements.
- Quarterly financial statements and meetings to review variations from prior quarters
- Quarterly sales tax return preparation and submission
- Coordinating with your tax preparer
- Two hours of meetings or phone consultations
Initial Setup: $(insert here)
The initial setup includes the preparation of your general ledger and a review of expense accounts. We will also review initial expenditures outside of the business accounts to ensure all start-up expenses are properly categorized. This stage also includes payroll setup, assistance registering with taxing authorities, and meetings as necessary.
Ongoing Monthly Fee: $(insert here)
The ongoing monthly fee includes the services listed above for the next 12 months. After 12-months we will assess our fees. Any significant change to the number of accounts, employees, or transactions may result in an earlier reevaluation of our monthly fee.
Additional Services: $(insert here)/hour
For services rendered outside of the items outlined above, we will bill at our standard hourly rate, which is listed above.
By signing below, you are accepting the terms and conditions outlined above. Any changes to the agreement must be in writing and accepted by both parties.
Bookkeeping Service Start Date: (insert date here)
BONUS: 32 Other Free Templates for Bookkeeping Firms
There’s no reason for you to reinvent the wheel when it comes to business proposal templates. The same sentiment applies to many recurring tasks in your practice.
Jetpack Workflow has created a free set of 32 accounting and bookkeeping workflow templates that can help you standardize your workflows. The templates cover a wide variety of accounting related projects, such as bookkeeping, audits, financial statement preparation, tax engagements, and more.
What to Include in Your Proposal to Win New Clients
Your proposal should start with a personalized letter selling your services to a prospective client. The letter should include the reasons you and your firm are the best fit for servicing their bookkeeping needs. You should mention how excited you are to win their business.
The letter should include several specifics about the client’s business, so it doesn’t read like a form letter. For example, if the business is just starting up, mention you are excited to help them set off on the right foot. If the business is moving from a prior bookkeeper, mention the pain point that caused them to move (such as slow communication) and how you will set yourself apart from the prior bookkeeper.
The initial letter should also include your value proposition. If you are taking over the entire bookkeeping function for the company, you should mention you will be responsive, and they will have no worries when it comes to their bookkeeping. If you will coordinate with their CPA or tax preparer at the end of the year, point out it will be one less item on their year end checklist.
Whatever value you are adding or the problem you are solving for the client should be noted in the letter. The proposal is an agreement on services and costs, and it is also marketing material.
All services included in your initial setup or regular monthly services should be carefully outlined to prevent misunderstanding. This will be one of the main sections where the potential client will be comparing if they have multiple proposals from different firms.
Initial Cost. Your proposal will generally include two phases of your project. The first is the initial setup, which takes additional time and resources. Don’t underestimate the time involved in getting a new client integrated into your system.
Recurring Cost. Once you’ve set up the client in all of your bookkeeping and bookkeeping workflow systems, the ongoing work will take considerably less time than the initial setup and should be priced accordingly.
Other Costs. You should include an explanation for other costs (such as third-party software) and how they will be billed. If other services outside the scope of the proposal will be billed at your standard hourly rate, that should be noted in the proposal billing section.
Along with the timeframe for the initial onboarding of your new client, include any specific deadlines involved in completing the client’s bookkeeping work. For example, if you have agreed to have the bank reconciled by the 5th of the month, note that timeframe in the bookkeeping proposal. Specificity can set you apart if you are competing against several proposals the client is considering.
To indicate acceptance by all parties, all parties should sign the acceptance of the proposal. Each party should receive a copy of the signed agreement.
Need Help Managing New Bookkeeping Client Projects?
With the right skills and a winning proposal template, you’ll soon be juggling multiple clients! However, winning new clients is only half of the battle; the other half is managing your workload and making sure you’re delivering on your promise. Some 49% of accounting tasks can be automated with the right tools.
You could keep track of your work on to-do lists and manage your team via email, but a piecemeal system soon becomes unwieldy. Jetpack Workflow was designed with bookkeepers in mind and has a complete system for managing workflows. With a free 14-day trial, you can try the robust workflow management system for your team with no risk.