A Detailed Guide to Write an Accounting Proposal
Accounting is truly the heart of every business whether it’s a small or an established one. If the company’s funds aren’t managed properly it will eventually lead to the failure of the business. Meaningful and well-organized financial records ensure that the business operations run more efficiently on a daily basis.
And in order to educate any management on why do they need accounting services for their business, you’ll need to write a solid proposal- that’s right, “an accounting proposal”. An effective accounting proposal always includes an overview of your accounting services, the case study that talks about the result of having a professional accountant by their side, along with the timeline and an estimate of the cost.
In this post, I’ll walk you through everything that is needed to craft an effective accounting proposal, including:
- What is an accounting proposal?
- When to use it?
- The reason why your accounting proposal isn’t converting
- Questions every accountant should ask before offering their services
- The major parts of a high converting accounting proposal
Let’s get into it!!!!
What is an accounting proposal?
An accounting proposal is a document that will help you sell yourself and your accounting services to clients. It’s a summary of what you can do for a client with a breakdown of the problem they are trying to solve and the solution you can provide.
When a company or an individual look for an accountant that offers certain services such as business structure advice, accounting system advice, and setup, and tax/compliance service, they ask potential accounting firms to write an accounting proposal for their business.
You can use an accounting proposal any time when you want to get a new client or if you have an existing client that wants a new set of accounting services from your firm.
Why Your Accounting Proposals aren’t Converting?
Unfortunately, still too many accounting firms or accountants create their proposals unknowingly in the wrong way. And that is leading them to more and more proposal failures. The biggest mistake they make is they consider their proposals as a sales pitch.
But aren’t proposals and pitches the same thing? (poteto/potato)
No, they are definitely not the same.
Proposals and pitches both are different concepts.
What is the difference then?
The purpose of pitches is to introduce your and your skills to a potential client
The purpose of proposals is to have an agreement on what EXACTLY you’re going to do to help your potential client.
Do you have to use a pitch and a proposal?
Yes, you do! You should always present the proposal only after having the discovery conversation with your potential clients. And by discovery conversation, I mean after introducing yourself and learning about your potential client’s accounting needs.
Clear? Okay. So from now onwards follow the below steps before you sit down and start writing the proposal,
6 Questions Every Accountant Must Ask Before Offering a Solution
Question 1: Were you engaged with any other accountant before? If yes then why did you decide to change the firm?
This will give you insights about how the client keeps the relationships with their accounting professionals
Question 2: What is your business entity?
It’s important to know if they are a sole proprietor, LLC, S-corp or a C-corp. An answer to this will give rise to many other questions.
Question 3: How many financial accounts do you have?
The answer to this question will allow you to calculate the time you’ll need to spend on balancing monthly statements. This will also help you discover if they have a PayPal account, personal or bank loans, equipment leases, etc.
Question 4: How do you prepare your invoices?
This is to find out if they are using accounting software or a third party like Freshbooks to prepare their invoices.
Question 5: Are you up to date on tax filings?
Clients who have failed to file tax returns on time might indicate to be highly unorganized and irresponsible.
Question 6: Are you keeping business and personal finances separate?
A very important question to ask because if your client is paying personal bills from their business account then you could find yourself dealing with a major mess.
What Should an Accounting Proposal Include?
An accounting proposal needs to be long enough to help clients understand what you can do for them. Simultaneously, it should be concise enough to hold their attention.
Here’s how you can break down your accounting proposal into several parts and make it look digestible,
You only get one opportunity to make a first impression and your only opportunity is the cover page of your proposal. For proposals that are five pages or longer, one should always include a cover page. Accounting proposal’s cover page should include,
- Name of your accounting firm and a logo
- Project title
- Contact information (personal contact name, address, country, phone, email, website)
- Name of the potential client
Cover Letter/Executive Summary
The cover letter of your proposal is something that gives the teaser of your accounting services and encourages them to read the rest of the proposal. Here are a few tips to have a perfect cover letter for your social media marketing proposal,
- Start by addressing your prospect
- Instead of a descriptive introduction, get straight to the point
- Express the understanding of their pain points and convey the benefits of your accounting services
- Highlight what sets you apart, briefly gives a history of your firm.
- Make yourself accessible with a strong CTA (call to action)
Specifications About the Services
This portion of your accounting proposal should give specific details about the work you’ll be doing. Here are some examples of the accounting services you can outline in this section,
- Tax returns preparation
- Financial statements preparation
- Trial balance reconciliation
- Maintenance of invoices/clearance and employee expenses
- Development and formation of reports for annual audits
- Payroll services
- Cash handling services
- E-accounting services
In this section, address the expected completion dates for each accounting service. For example, if the service is creating MIS reports (which includes, balance sheet, receivables, and payables and profit/loss statements), then explain how much time you’ll need for the completion.
You can break down your accounting proposal timeline into,
- Work phase
- Estimated time
- And the completion date.
Now is the time to include the detailed breakdown of the accounting services expenses. Make everything clear that what is included in the quoted amount, and what services are chargeable extras if requested.
While writing the investment section make sure to highlight your previous work and accounting experience. This will make it crystal clear that your charges are according to the experience.
The purpose of the case study in your accounting services proposal is to tell potential customers how a similar customer succeeded in their business with your services. You can fill out this section with the expertise you have, the awards you won, the big list of your happy clients.
A great case study in your proposal gives prospective clients a real insight into the benefits of your accounting services and also an idea of what it’s like to work with you.
It can make your clients visualize themselves working with you.
Do your best to make them feel secure if they decide to hire you.
Terms and Conditions
Always keep the contract and your terms and conditions part of your proposal and get them signed together to avoid future conflict.
It is where you need to explain in-depth what you want your client to do next to get the things rolling. You can include something like,
- Sign the proposal (digitally with e-signature)
- The initial amount to be payable while signing the contract
- Schedule the next meeting call to discuss further steps.
Don’t expect to submit your proposal and assume your work is done. Take the initiative to indicate you’ll be in touch to discuss the proposal further.
With all this is in mind you should be able to create your own high-converting accounting proposal template.
But if you are still feeling it a bit challenging, then you can always use our customizable and free accounting proposal template to create a winning proposal in a matter of minutes.