4 essential tools when automating your firm’s onboarding process – they are so simple, your kids could do it!

The best way to keep your clients is to make it easy to work with you from day one of your relationship and the way to do this is with a solid and smooth client onboarding process. This might take time at first, but with automated systems, you’ll soon have a streamlined process that you can’t do without. Here are 4 best practices to apply when automating your firm's onboarding process in order to onboard clients efficiently and effectively.


Best practices for automating your firm's onboarding process

1. Practice Ignition

This software for client engagement, proposals, and payments is the most versatile tool for automating your firm's onboarding process. Why? Because as soon as your new client signs their online proposal document, the next six steps automatically take place:

  1. Your client signs their automatically generated engagement letter.
  2. They set up a continuous payment authority either via GoCardless or Practice Ignition’s credit card payment service. (Practice Ignition’s own Direct Debit solution is due very soon for the UK)
  3. A recurring (or one-off) invoice is set up in Xero or Quickbooks.
  4. An onboarding job is set up for the new client (if you use Xero Practice Manager, Senta or Karbon).
  5. A workflow will be set up for all the new client’s services (if you are a Karbon or Senta user).
  6. Your client gets an email with a link to your new starter form. This can either be a Google Form or a form for your CRM such as ActiveCampaign.

Practice Ignition saves you valuable time by making managing client engagements much faster and more efficient. It also provides you with additional benefits:

  • It is a tool that can be integrated with thousands of other cloud-based applications.
  • One of the only software which integrates with Zapier, a tool that zaps you when a proposal is accepted etc.
  • If you have integrated with other CRM, email marketing or practice management software such as Senta, you can set up workflows where the steps are automated as each client moves through the workflow. So your client moves to “won” in your pipeline, they are added to your firm’s email list and automated requests for data from the client are scheduled. 

2. GoProposal

Automating online quoting and proposals can save you more time than you realise. Software such as GoProposal can be extremely valuable to help refine your onboarding process. Although GoPropsal doesn’t integrate with as many applications as Practice Ignition, it can automate the following steps following the signing of an online proposal document:

  1. Your client signs their automatically generated engagement letter.
  2. They set up a continuous payment authority via GoCardless.
  3. A draft invoice is set up in Xero or Quickbooks.
  4. An onboarding job plus workflows for all their services are set up for the new client (if you use Karbon or Senta).
  5. Your new client will be automatically added to your email list and the pipeline changed to show the work has been won (if you use MailChimp, Infusionsoft, ActiveCampaign, Capsule CRM or Agile CRM).

3. Accountancy Manager

When talking about the best practices for automating your firm's onboarding process, this all-in-one practice management software is among one of the most talked-about; Accountancy Manager is a system that automates proposals, client onboarding and engagement letters effortlessly. It’s very much designed for the micro practice which just wants a practice management system that can be taken out of the box and run. It doesn’t have the ability to configure workflows in the way you can with Karbon or Senta.

With this system, the following areas of running a practice become easy:

  • Onboarding - when a new client signs their online proposal, the following steps happen automatically; signing of the engagement letter and starter form, continuous payment authority set up, the addition of the job to the firm’s workflow.
  • Invoicing - you can use the built-in tool to automate invoices and payments.
  • Digital AML I.D. checks - you can verify your client’s I.D. automatically.
  • Tax - you can submit your 64-8 agent authorisation request to HMRC.

As Accountancy Manager is still a fairly young tool, it does come with a few disadvantages:

  • No integration with Quickbooks or FreeAgent (At the time of writing the Xero integration is about to go live)
  • No integration with Zapier

4. Senta

Last but not least is Senta, a cloud-based practice management tool. When it comes to client relationship management, workflows, and needing a tool that you can easily get live client data into and out of, Senta is invaluable. We love Senta at the Accountants’ Growth Club, and this is a solution that just keeps on getting better.

When it comes to automating onboarding accounting clients, Senta provides many benefits:

  • It integrates with many applications such as Zapier, FreeAgent, QuickBooks, Xero, Companies House, and GoCardless.
  • Consistent monitoring of every new client and automation of tasks such as client take-on, services such as VAT or annual accounts, background client admin, and customer service jobs.
  • Manages all client documents and sends automatic prompts whenever you need something from them.


What are your best practices for automating your firm's onboarding process?

Onboarding accounting clients can be a time-consuming process, especially as there is a lot of manual data entry to be completed on many different systems, so think about how you can automate it.

Successful client onboarding is as much about building relationships as it is about the work, so automate the jobs that are of low value to your business and spend more time on the ones that give you the most bang for your buck!


Ready to kick-start the growth of your firm?