Lesson 10 – 17Hats and Your Client Setup Checklist

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Now that your agreement is signed, and you’ve gotten your first payment, you have some work to do on your end. There must be a process here. What applications are you using with clients, that need to be set up.

In my case I need to have the following items set up:

  1. Add client to Nimble CRM (or confirm, and complete the information).
  2. Set up Google Drive.
  3. Set up Box.com.
  4. Set up smartsheet.
  5. Send e-mail to client, explaining about these services, and remind them to schedule their first 1:1 session, if they haven’t already.

The first 4 are simply “To do” items in your workflow.

The client is likely already in your CRM, but you’ll want to confirm. Also, now that they have completed the questionnaire, there is likely more information to add. In the video I will show you how easy it is to jump into the contact in Nimble, while I am working in 17hats.

Setting up Google Drive, and Box.com are simply a matter of creating the folders for the client on these services. I have a set folder structure that I use for clients. I’ll show you a generic version of what this looks like.

Smartsheet is what I use to collaborate with the client on. Setting this up entails creating the Workspace in Smartsheet. The initial project that I set up will be a simple task list of the things I need to complete the on boarding. This often includes a list of the vendors that are paid each month, so that I can ensure that my systems are set up properly to pay them. I will get the logins from the client, and track the progress (what I have vs what I need) in Smartsheet.

As time goes on, and based on the client’s needs, I will develop other sheets.

Here’s a video that walks you through that initial project that I set up for all clients in Smartsheet:

Once everything is setup, you will want to review it all with the client. That’s what the last e-mail in this workflow is about. I also remind them (because let’s face it, who reads anything these days) that I have sent them a link to use, to schedule a Zoom conference with me, so I can review everything. Of course I provide the link again.

Here’s the video I promised about Nimble and 17Hats:

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Lesson 9 – Appendix A – Reviewing your Agreement – Do You Know Were Your Lawyer is?

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I’ve seen many conversations online, in which people are asking one another to share their agreements. I also think it is amazing how generous and kind spirited we are, when it comes to helping one another. I don’t think there is a single other industry out there where our peers are as anxious to help one another as the accounting industry is.

You’ve seen how to automate the process of getting your engagement letter aka agreement signed. What I didn’t cover in the main part of that, is something that I feel is critically important to the business.

No matter how trusted the source who shared their agreement might be, you must have an attorney review the agreement that you are sending out to your clients. $250 – $350 for an attorney to review your agreement, and make sure you’re covered pales in comparison to what it will cost you, if you wind up in a dispute, and you aren’t adequately covered. Even it if is $1,000 (which is highly unlikely, unless the agreement is complex) it would still be worth it.

Many of us are starting to use 17hats to send our agreements out. I recommend that you hire someone like Stephen Loeb, to review your contracts. You can speak to Stephen directly, and make sure that he understands what your intentions are. From there, Stephen can look at your agreement, and make sure it properly reflects your intentions, in a manner and form that will hold up in court.

The attorney who drafted the contract for the person who shared it with you, knows nothing about you, or your unique issues. So while I commend the generosity our community has in sharing these things with one another, and it may be a great start, I still cannot stress enough how important it is that you have an attorney review your agreements.

If you don’t have someone you can call for help with this, Stephen is available to help you:

The Law Office of Stephen Loeb
E-mail – SLoeb@Loeblaw.com
Call (212) 766-5268


NO – I will not receive an affiliate commission on this.

NO – I am not being paid to say any of this.

It is JUST that important to me, that you cover your ass!

 

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Lesson 8 – Getting Your Initial Payment – Power Pricing, and Subscriptions with Woo Commerce

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There are many ways to get your initial payment, and all of your payments for that matter.

Let’s talk about how you price your services.

In fact, let’s take a look at that goal you have set, for how much money you want to make this year. Then let’s see how many clients you can take on. Then we can look at how to price your services. We can see how much money you need to charge in order to reach your goal. That’s how we need to come up with your pricing. That’s Power Pricing, not value pricing. The power is in your hands to decide what you need to get paid in order to reach your goals.

The assumption here has to be that you have a set of skills and a value that you bring to the table that makes it very well worth the price for the client to pay you, for what you will deliver. I don’t know about you, but when I am getting paid better than I would expect to do a job, I am going to look for more things I can do, to deliver the most amazing experience to my clients. Conversely, when I am worried about the amount I am getting paid, I will work to get the job done in as little time as I can, so I can move on to something else as quickly as possible.

Once we’ve established pricing, let’s look at how to set up receiving your payments with clients. If you hate spending time chasing people for money like I do, then you’ll want to set up a subscription with the client. This way they’re charged each month, right on time. No receivables to chase. Some of my colleagues like to keep the card on file. I am not a fan of this way of handling customer payments. I don’t want the responsibility of keeping the credit card information secure. I use Woo Commerce Subscriptions. They handle everything.

 

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Lesson 7 – How to Set Up and Automate Your Engagement Letter in 17Hats

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Have you found yourself wasting collective hours on time spent sending e-mails back and forth, while you’re nailing down the terms of your agreement, or engagement letter? What if I told you this process is completely automated in 17Hats? Here’s how to set up and automate your engagement letter in 17Hats.

The only thing you’ll have to do is make any revisions to the agreement, based on your client’s comments. This is done inside 17Hats. Once that happens, the client is sent a notification that the agreement has been updated. The client can log in, review the changes, and then sign it.

This is so easy to set up, that I am not going to bother explaining it here. Watch the video, and you’ll see how this works.

 

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Lesson 6 – 17Hats.com – The Questionnaire

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The question will immediately arise as to what kind of information are you comfortable gathering on 17Hats. You can use a file upload, to capture the client’s tax returns, and bank statements, or you can link them to a source you trust with this sort of information such as ShareFile.

You can use your questionnaire to gather the following types of information:

  • Short answer (text)
  • Long answer (text)
  • Yes/No questions
  • Choose from a list
  • Checkboxes
  • Date (eg date of incorporation for your business)
  • Related Contact (you can gather info about other contacts, such as dependents).

Note that there is not a file upload option here. You will want the client to upload tax returns and bank statements through something like ShareFile. In the video I’ll show you how to set this up, and then include the ShareFile link for the client, in the 17Hats e-mail that goes out with the Questionnaire.

It’s a good idea to list the information you want from a new client. It might look something like this (then you can build your questionnaire from this):

    • Company Name
    • Legal Name
    • Street Address
    • City
    • State
    • Zip
    • Business Phone
    • Mobile Phone
    • E-mail

Note you may already have all of this, if the client came in originally as a lead in 17hats

  • Entity Type (Drop down or check boxes)
    • Sole Proprietor
    • C-Corp
    • S-Corp
    • LLC
    • Partnership
    • Non-Profit
    • Other
  • Date of formation (Date)
  • Last Tax Return Filed (Date)
  • Tax ID (some of you may not feel comfortable getting this in 17Hats. Of course you can get it from their tax returns, via file upload).
  • Accounting Software Used
  • Payroll? (Y or N)
  • Sales Tax? (Y or N)
  • Describe your business (long text)
  • Short Term Goals
  • Long Term Goals

The above list is pretty comprehensive. You can use this to get ideas, and the create your own based on what you need from your own clients.

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