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Don’t Sabotage Your Team - Create a System for Managing Your Clients

December 14, 2018

Do you have more work than you can handle yet you’re resisting hiring anyone because you believe you're the only one who can do the bookkeeping correctly for your client? If so, you’re creating a self-fulfilling prophesy. You’ll find problems with any staff you hire, and your clients won’t be happy.

Trust me on this one. I did it for years. When I started getting more business than I could handle, I reluctantly began adding to my staff. And guess what? Everyone I hired failed because of my belief that no one could do the work as well as I could.

The real reason they failed was because all of the key information about that client was in my head. I had not communicated that information properly so that my staff person could succeed!

Here are 3 vital steps towards creating a system to manage clients that will ensure the success of your team.

  1. Create a Comprehensive Client Profile

The first step is to get key information out of your head and document it in a Client Profile that your staff can use. It needs to document both standard and unique client information. Here's client data you’ll want to include:

  • Contact information
  • Mailing address
  • Type of business entity
  • Length of time they’ve been in business
  • CPA information
  • Payroll provider, etc..
  • Unique information needed to successfully process that client. For example, specific ways in which data is recorded because of the type of business they are in or certain information needed on invoices to ensure payment is received.

Rather than overwhelming yourself by doing your whole client list, start with one or two accounts you’re delegating to your new staff person and go from there. Create them using a free form method for the first couple just to see the information you are capturing, then go back and edit them and create your standard format.

Don't get hung up on it being perfect or you won’t get them done. You don’t need to know a head of time everything you'll document in your client profile or any system that you create. As you are in the process the next steps will be revealed to you.

  1. Create a Standard Processing Schedule

This involves a set day and time when the information comes into your office for processing and a set day and time when the processed information is returned to the client. When you create your standard processing schedule you need to communicate to your client when the information is due to you and when they can expect it back.

For example, if their information comes in on a Monday morning 10:00 A.M. their processed information will be returned to them on Thursday morning 10:00 A.M. If their information comes in on a Tuesday morning their processed information will be returned to them on a Friday morning. This creates definitive start and stops for each client account.

  1. Stick to Your Boundaries

This means you should carry over any late information. I cannot emphasize this point enough.  You’ve created this boundary and it is up to you hold that information until the next processing date - otherwise you have defeated the very reason your set-up schedule process times in the first place.

Once you have communicated this new system to your staff and clients, you'll find your clients respect the boundaries that you’ve set, and your business will run efficiently because everyone knows what’s expected. Then, as the owner of your bookkeeping business, you can spend more time on business development and trust your team to do their work.