5 Best Client Onboarding Software for Accountants in 2024
Collecting all the relevant financial data, documentation, and signatures from new accounting clients during the onboarding phase can quickly become a long, drawn-out process.
With seemingly endless back-and-forths, missing signatures, and incomplete information, the administrative tasks of taking on a new client can pile up before you even start on their accounting services. The client’s first impression is on the line, so you want to be sure you get the onboarding process done right.
We’ve talked to dozens of successful accounting firm owners who turned to client onboarding software solutions to make their onboarding process more efficient. In this article, we’ll highlight what we’ve found to be the top client onboarding tools you can implement in your practice.
What to Look for When Assessing Different Client Onboarding Tools for Your Accounting Clients
When you’re in the market for a client onboarding software, you need to keep some key components in mind to make sure you find the most effective one for your needs, including:
- App integrations: Check to make sure the program integrates with apps that are essential to your operations, like document-sharing apps, accounting software, and practice management tools.
- Automation functionalities: Platforms with advanced automation features help you streamline your onboarding process and minimize the amount of hands-on work your team needs to complete.
- User-friendly: Look for programs that have a user-friendly interface so both you and your clients can easily navigate the onboarding process.
- Security measures: Since you are collecting and storing sensitive client data (e.g., financial statements, bank account information, and passwords), the software program should have sophisticated security measures to help safeguard their information.
- Customer support: Ensure your chosen platform has a helpful and responsive customer support team to help you troubleshoot and resolve issues promptly.
- Helpful resources: Tools with helpful resources like webinars, podcasts, blog posts, a FAQ page, and more help you get the most out of the platform’s functionalities.
Top 5 Client Onboarding Software That Makes New Accounting Client Onboarding a Breeze
Zapier is an automation tool that accountants can use to streamline their client onboarding process. Though used by professionals in all industries, accountants in particular can benefit from the seamless connections, or “zaps,” this software builds between all the applications and platforms they need for onboarding clients.
We recently spoke with Brady Meaux, founder of the accounting firm Meaux & Co., about how to automate client onboarding. Meaux uses Zapier to connect the different applications his firm utilizes, which has saved him significant time while onboarding new clients.
He sends out a welcome email and has the new client fill out one onboarding form, then Zapier gets to work behind the scenes. It uses the client’s details to create a contact and folder system and set them up with all the necessary accounts, like the firm’s document management system, Jetpack Workflow (which we’ll cover next), tax software, and more.
- Integrations with nearly all applications
- Highly reliable
- Improves efficiency and saves time
- No coding knowledge required to set up automation rules
- Need to upgrade plan to support additional tasks
- There is a learning curve to get started
Pricing: Zapier’s core features are free forever, but most accounting firms need the more advanced tools available in one of their four paid plans.
Paid plans start at $19.99/month with the Starter option, increasing to $799/month with the Company plan, billed annually. You’ll need to price up to access more tasks, unlimited users, unlimited app integrations, premier support, and other features.
2. Jetpack Workflow
Built for accountants, Jetpack Workflow is a comprehensive task and productivity tool with helpful features for onboarding new clients. Compared to some of the other solutions listed here, this software offers seamless integration with major accounting platforms and thousands of other apps, which helps to onboard new clients with minimal added work.
Jetpack Workflow includes dozens of pre-built templates, checklists, and deadline reminders you can apply to all new clients, ensuring you collect the necessary info and documents from them. With easy collaboration across your entire team, you stay organized and on track with customer onboarding tasks.
The platform also includes automation for repetitive tasks, saving accountants valuable time when setting up a new client. Plus, you can quickly gauge the progress of your onboarding tasks from your dashboard to prioritize what you need to do next.
- Great customer support
- Improves accuracy and efficiency
- Designed for accountants
- Easy integration with thousands of apps
- Convenient mobile application
- Free training and guides
- No free version, but pricing is very reasonable
Pricing: There is a 14-day free trial and two paid plan options once you’re ready to get started.
The Organize plan costs $36/user per month, billed annually. The Scale plan is $39/user per month and includes additional tools like team scheduling and capacity management.
Clustdoc is not an onboarding platform created specifically for accounting firms; however, its features apply to bringing on new accounting clients. Clustdoc’s no-code platform allows accountants to automate their client onboarding processes with minimal friction.
The platform has a form-building tool to gather client information, straightforward document and e-signature collection, automated reminders and follow-ups, and more.
- Good customer support team
- Intuitive interface and user-friendly set-up
- Onboarding available in 10 different languages
- Integrations with other business applications could be better
- No record of email reminders sent to clients
Pricing: Clustdoc has three plans available — Gold, Platinum, and Enterprise — to match the number of users and premium features you need. They also have a 7-day free trial, so you can test it before committing.
The Gold plan is $100/month, the Platinum plan is $350/month, and pricing for the Enterprise plan is available upon request. Certain features within the Gold plan are pay-per-use, which is something to be aware of when considering the cost.
4. Practice Ignition
Practice Ignition is an all-in-one client engagement solution that supports many professional service providers, including accounting practices. It smoothly integrates with QuickBooks and other standard business applications like Zapier and Xero to minimize extra administrative work during the client onboarding phase.
From sending proposals to creating an automated engagement letter and collecting payments, Practice Ignition aims to automate and streamline the process of client onboarding.
- Accountant-specific platform
- Ready-made templates
- Advanced automation capabilities
- No free version
- Limited access to templates depending on the selected plan
- Cannot complete refunds to clients through the platform
Pricing: There are three different Practice Ignition plans. The one you choose will depend on how many active clients you need to support, among other features. They also offer a 14-day free trial.
Plans start at $69/month when billed annually. The Professional plan is $149/month, while the highest-tier Scale plan is $369/month, with both billed annually.
Accountants and bookkeepers can facilitate a streamlined onboarding process with Rocketlane. Though not specific to the accounting field, its collaborative and brandable onboarding platform makes it easy to connect with clients and collect their relevant information before initiating the engagement.
Their goal is to enhance the time-to-value metric for professional service providers while still offering a quality client experience. Through the self-service portal, clients can see which onboarding tasks they still need to complete, the documents they need to share, and other relevant deadlines.
- User-friendly interface for data collection
- Reusable templates
- Not specific to accounting professionals
- Certain integrations only available on higher-tier plans
- No integrations with accounting software
Pricing: Accountants can try Rocketlane free for 14 days, then choose from one of their four plan options.
Ranging from $19/user per month to $99/user per month when billed annually, all plans offer unlimited projects and customers. However, they all require a minimum of five team members. The primary difference between the plans is the integrations and security features included, among other elements.