#RecipeForSuccess: Engaging With a CPA Firm as a Bookkeeper

Are you a bookkeeper? Are you looking to better engage with CPAs who work with current or potential small business clients? As part of a social campaign, #RecipeForSuccess, QuickBooks ProAdvisors® are creating recipes for small business success. Here are Karine Woodman’s key ingredients when it comes to working with CPA firms as a bookkeeper, and join the conversation on Twitter: #RecipeForSuccess.

Master Chef: Karine Woodman

I started 24hr Bookkeeper in 2010 with the goal of helping our clients positively transform the way they do accounting. We do this in a number of ways, working directly with the client and/or in collaboration with their existing CPA. When we engage the client’s CPA, it’s a win for everyone involved; it makes the process much more efficient, and it can save everyone time and effort.

Ingredients:

  • Client authorization to speak with CPA.
  • CPA contact information.
  • Cloud software to collaborate with your client.
  • Something to take notes.

Directions:

Step 1: Have the discussion with your client that you want to be introduced to his or her CPA to provide a full "team approach" to working with them: “Mr. Client, it's important for me to get in touch with your CPA so I can make sure we're on the same page when it comes to your financials.”

Step 2: Request the CPA firm’s contact information from your client so you can begin the conversation.

Step 3: Contact the CPA and introduce yourself. There are several items you’ll want to be sure to talk about in your conversation, including:

  • Introduction of your involvement: tell the CPA who you are and summarize what you are doing for the client: “Mr. Client hired me to handle his bookkeeping and I'll be the one closing the books on a monthly basis ....”
  • Ask the CPA if there are specific things you need to know about the client that is important to know.
  • Ask the CPA if they wanted to be involved in some way. For example: “We are editing the chart of accounts and I wanted to know if you wanted to approve what we’ve come up with before we edit in QBO” or “is there information I can provide you that you may need in a regular basis?”
  • Understanding of the current CPA/client relationship. You might already know this from  your conversation with the client. For example, maybe the CPA and client only do year-end returns,or they could be meeting on a regular basis.
  • Mention to the CPA that should he or she has questions on the financials, they are encouraged to contact you first.
  • Ask if there is anything else you need to know before you get off the call.

Step 4: Create a schedule to provide information to CPA if necessary.

Step 5: Be sure to send the CPA your contact info via email.

Step 6: Circle back with your client to let them know you’ve connected with their CPA. You can do this via email and/or summarize the conversation for your client.

As you work with your client, remember to keep the communication lines open with their CPA. This is important because your client will appreciate the “team approach.”

Don’t forget that the CPA speaks your language and knows if you're providing value to your client. It's important what your client thinks of you, but equally important what the CPA thinks of the work you're doing.

A goal should be to do a year-end review for your client to allow your client’s CPA to trust the financials and know the financials are accurate.

Having a relationship with your client’s CPA can be very beneficial. Don't assume the CPA provides all the same services you do. It's possible you offer something he or she doesn't, and vice versa. Build a relationship and discuss swapping referrals.

Are you a bookkeeper or CPA? What’s your #RecipeForSuccess for partnering together? The recipe may be different, but the goal remains the same: truly satisfying relationships with the small businesses that you help to achieve success. Good luck!