Book-keeping, taking on new clients...

Raging Pineapples
Raging Pineapples Registered Posts: 110 Dedicated contributor 🦉
I have a question, and it may seem like a no-brainer, but humour me! :001_tt2:

When you as a book-keeper get a new client, presumably either your client writes to their previous book-keeper, or you do, saying in effect "would you hand over the client's information because they're ditching you:)"

Is that more or less correct, and could you elaborate on it?

I'm a little unsure of everything right now, since I want to just do basic book-keeping part time (I'm about as ambitious as a goldfish, lol), but my experience comes entirely from industry. Which is good in some ways, and I feel completely confident with the actual book-keeping process. It's just that my experience is lacking in the admin areas, like starting up with a client and handing him on to someone else.

All my experience so far is from bookkeeping for businesses from the inside or (from college) of setting up the accounts of a new firm from scratch. Not continuing someone's accounts after they've been handled by someone else for 5 years.

I REALLY need to get out of this rut, as I intend to get married soon, but it's all a bit daunting :glare: I'm planning on doing some bookkeeping work with my Dad as he retires this spring, and has 40 years of accounting experience... but only in industry, so in terms of the things I've highlighted here (getting a client off someone else and handing one of my clients to someone else) he's as much a novice as me.

Thoughts? :blushing:


  • JJ43
    JJ43 Registered Posts: 50 Regular contributor ⭐
    Its very daunting when first venturing out into the big wide world of bookkeeping..... but it does get better once you have your first client under your belt.

    Normally, when you are taking over from a clients previous bookkeeper, all the necessary books/ledgers/backups should already be in your clients hands. When I first meet a client the first thing I want to do is have a good look at their books as this gives you a good indication of their previous arrangment etc., Your client should have already informed them that he no longer wishes their bookkeeping services - so no need for you to do the dirty deed !

    Its a good idea to have your client sign a `letter of engagement`, this basically sets out your terms and conditions. You need to have it in writing exactly what you have both agreed the elements of bookkeeping you will be providing them. Also include in this letter your payment terms - very important !

    Also, make contact with their Accountant via letter on the lines of you have been instructed by `Joe Bloggs` to provide a bookkeeping service etc., then follow up with a phone call, just to introduce yourself, again your client should have informed their Accountants of a change of bookkeeper - you may even get some referrals this way !!

    Hope this helps a little !!
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