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How to Onboard Your Accounting Clients to Create Lasting Relationships

By Jake Andrews

Onboarding is a science and an overlooked piece of creating a healthy, long lasting client relationships. The better your onboarding experience is, the longer your client life cycle will be. Here are some tips from us that have helped us build a strong onboarding process that is generating referrals.


We started with nothing, just 4-8 whiteboards and some markers. We now track our onboarding process in Asana with a dedicated Onboarding Captain that runs the ship for our onboarding journey with prospects and new clients. Here are the keys to our success with onboarding..


  1. Communication – Be clear and define roles, responsibilities and timelines for your client and your team.
  2. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat and repeat again. Drill your process and expectations into your team and clients. This will make for a smooth transition from prospect to long-lasting client.
  3. Create “wow” moments throughout the process. Be intentional and personal with client gifts.
  4. From time to time there’s a need to transition clients to another point of contact. Be upfront and clear with this transition and ensure this process runs smoothly by explaining and introducing the new team member taking over. This should be more than just a quick email notification. This process could last several months or just a few clients meetings to establish trust and provide opportunities for introductions.
  5. Your onboarding process is the first experience your new client is going to have and it will leave a lasting impression. The Ritz Carlton is known for having an exceptional client experience and it starts the moment you step out of your car or walk towards the main entrance. You’re greeted and usually asked immediately how they can be of service.

Set the stage as early as possible for your clients to know exactly what they can expect and when. Trust me, they will thank you for it by sending referrals your way.

To hear more about our client onboarding process, head over to our podcast channel - Owners & Operations - Accountants - wherever you listen to podcasts.


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