CFO Client Onboarding Checklist - Summit CPA

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CFO ClientOnboarding ChecklistChanging the way people think about accounting.

Table of Contents The Importance of OnboardingPrior to OnboardingSummit CPA’s Sample Technology StackThe Onboarding ProcessClient Onboarding Timeline & Checklist‣ Intro Week‣ Week 1‣ Week 2‣ Week 3‣ Week 4‣ Week 5‣ Week 6‣ Week 7‣ Week 8 Standardize & Evaluate!2

The Importance of Onboarding“Proper onboarding isn’t done to prevent churn; it’s done toensure the customer achieves their desired outcome.Retention comes from that.”—Lincoln Murphy, author of Customer Success: HowInnovative Companies are Reducing Churn and GrowingAt Summit CPA, we believe the onboarding stage is crucialfor establishing a great relationship with the client. It’s thephase where we set the expectations for how we will worktogether. It helps us start off on the right foot together andsets the tone for the relationship going forward.!3

Prior to OnboardingBefore you begin onboarding, it’s critical that your new clientfully understands the services you will be providing, the levelof involvement each of you will have and the pricing. AtSummit CPA we are completely transparent about ourpricing levels for the Virtual CFO services as well as what isin included with each pricing level.It’s also important that you identify who your ideal clientwould be so that you can use this as a lens to filter newclients through during the preliminary consultation. An idealclient is inquisitive and patient. You want your clients to becomfortable asking you questions about the process. Youalso want them to be patient with you as you ask themquestions to get familiar with their business.Finally, you will need to standardize your technology “stack”which includes the accounting applications you use as thisenables you to automate your workflow. Technology isalways changing and in order to stay ahead of the game, wealways have to be willing to adapt to the newest technologythat comes along. This allows us to continue to provide thebest service possible to our clients.!4

Summit CPA’s Sample Technology StackAccounting SoftwareBill PayClient InteractionCloud StorageExpense ManagementInternalCommunicationMeeting SchedulingProductivity ToolsRecruitingSecurityTask ManagementTime TrackingWorkflow Automation!5

The Onboarding ProcessWe recommend having a dedicated Onboarding Specialist who will act asthe main point of contact throughout the onboarding process. This ensuresthe onboarding experience is a smooth and positive experience for theclient.The key responsibilities of the Onboarding Specialist will include: Setting timelines and expectations for the onboarding process Gathering the necessary client information Assisting the client with app account setup and training Transitioning the client over to their dedicated accounting teamDuring the onboarding process you will get caught up with the client’sexisting processes. You will review their past books, build a forecastingmodel and set of KPIs, and do an audit of their financial statements/chart ofaccounts to make sure you’re all on the same page and getting started onthe right foot. The onboarding timeframe for a new Virtual CFO client is 6-8weeks depending on the level of service being provided.!6

Client Onboarding Timeline & ChecklistThe onboarding timeframe for a new Virtual CFO client is 6-8 weeks depending on the levelof service being provided. In the following pages we will break down the checklist for eachweek of the onboarding process, including the Intro Week which is the pre-onboardingstage.Intro WeekWeek 2Week 1Week 4Week 3Week 6Week 5Week 8Week 7!7

Intro WeekThe Intro Week is the dedicated time for the Onboarding Specialist to gather all of thenecessary information in order be able to hit the ground running with the client’s account inWeek 1. It is also when the Onboarding Specialist will set the client’s expectations for thenext few weeks of the onboarding process. Excellent communication and timely follow up isimperative during this time.During the Intro Week you will set up the onboarding structure in Trello, set the meetingschedule and gather the information you will need from the client, such as login information,the employee handbook, organizational chart and tax returns.Intro WeekWeek 2Week 1Week 4Week 3Week 6Week 5Week 8Week 7!8

Intro WeekTaskOwnerSend Invite to Trello BoardOnboardingSend Welcome EmailOnboardingIntroductions and Explain Onboarding Process (including AM)Onboarding/CFOObtain Client Contact InformationSalesProvide Login InformationClientProvide Employee HandbookClientProvide a Copy of Organizational ChartClientSetup Meetings SchedulesOnboardingSetup for bill pay (IF APPLICABLE)OnboardingCompleteGather Business and Individual Tax Returns for Company and All Partners (2 Years) OnboardingObtain Client's Key Contacts and Send Intro LetterOnboardingSend Intro Week Recap to ClientOnboarding!9

Intro WeekWeek 2Week 1Week 4Week 3Week 6Week 5Week 8Week 7Week 1Onboarding has officially begun! During Week 1, the Onboarding Team will spend an ampleamount of time getting familiar with the company by reviewing the materials received duringthe Intro Week. This is the time where discussions around revenue recognition will happen inorder for the team to begin assessing the KPIs.Checklist!10

Week 1TaskOwnerLearn about the Company (NTJ / Risk Assessment)Onboarding/CFODiscuss Revenue RecognitionCFOSend Onboarding Meeting Recap to ClientOnboardingComplete!11

Week 2The Onboarding Team will begin to dig a little deeper during Week 2, reviewing the prior yeartax return, preparing necessary bank reconciliations and journal entries and discussing thecompany expense policies. It’s likely the Onboarding Team will have a lot of questions in theweekly meeting at the beginning — it’s all part of getting a firm grasp of the financial situation.Patience and transparency on both sides helps keep the process smoothly and efficient.Intro WeekWeek 2Week 1Week 4Week 3Week 6Week 5Week 8Week 7!12

Week 2TaskOwnerDiscuss Expense Policy and Supporting Doc RetentionCFOReview PY Tax ReturnOnboardingReview & Prepare Necessary Bank Reconciliations and Journal EntriesOnboardingAgree FS to Prior Year Tax ReturnsOnboardingWrite off any Fixed Asset Purchases under 2,500OnboardingSend Onboarding Meeting Recap to ClientOnboardingComplete!13

Intro WeekWeek 2Week 1Week 4Week 3Week 6Week 5Week 8Week 7Week 3There’s a lot to cover in Week 3. The Onboarding Team will again dig a little deeperinto the finances, reviewing the chart of accounts with the client and making anynecessary modifications, creating a financial statement template and reviewingforecasting methodology with the client. In addition, the Onboarding Team willmeet with the new client and the bank to establish the new relationship andunderstand the loan terms.Checklist!14

Week 3TaskMeeting with Client, Summit, and Bank to Establish Relationship and UnderstandLoan TermsDownload COA from Client's Software and Propose Changes to Accounts iew Chart of Accounts with ClientOnboarding/CFOReview Forecasting Methodology with ClientOnboarding/CFOUpdate Account Numbers to Follow SCPA FormatOnboardingModify Chart of AccountsOnboardingModify Chart of Accounts and Clean Up Client's Books and Customize asNecessary (discuss)Onboarding/CFOCreate Financial Statement TemplateOnboardingSetup Account Structure in Plan Guru and Load Historical DataOnboardingWeekly Cash Flow MeetingCFO/Senior AcctSend Onboarding Meeting Recap to ClientOnboarding!15

Week 4Week 4 is dedicated to creating some of the structure needed for the ongoingrelationship. The Onboarding Team will create the forecasting model for thecompany. This is also the time to determine the company policies from theemployee handbook, create the payroll grid and begin the weekly cash flowmeetings.Intro WeekWeek 2Week 1Week 4Week 3ChecklistWeek 6Week 5Week 8Week 7!16

Week 4TaskDetermine Company Policies from Employee HandbookCreate a Payroll e Forecasting ModelOnboardingWeekly Cash Flow MeetingSenior AcctSend Onboarding Meeting Recap to ClientOnboarding!17

Intro WeekWeek 2Week 1Week 4Week 3Week 6Week 5Week 8Week 7Week 5Now that the weekly cash flow meetings have started, the Onboarding Team will draft the priormonth’s financial statements and begin assigning ownership to the budgets. Week 5 is alsowhen the Onboarding Team will review the preliminary forecasting model with the client.Checklist!18

Week 5TaskMake Final Changes to Payroll Grid (If Needed)Review Preliminary Forecasting Model with ClientOwnerCompleteOnboarding/CFO/Senior AcctOnboarding/CFOAssigning Ownership to BudgetsOnboarding/CFODraft of Prior Month's Financial Statements (depending on week of the month)OnboardingWeekly Cash Flow MeetingSenior AcctSend Onboarding Meeting Recap to ClientOnboarding!19

Week 6As Onboarding it beginning to wind down, the Onboarding Team will now revisitrevenue recognition, review time and billing software and make any necessarychanges to the forecasting model. Invoicing meetings begin during Week 6.Intro WeekWeek 2Week 1Week 4Week 3ChecklistWeek 6Week 5Week 8Week 7!20

Week 6TaskMake necessary changes to Forecasting ModelInvoicing Meeting isit Revenue RecognitionOnboarding/CFOReview Time and Billing SoftwareOnboarding/CFOWeekly Cash Flow MeetingSenior AcctSend Onboarding Meeting Recap to ClientOnboarding!21

Intro WeekWeek 2Week 1Week 4Week 3Week 6Week 5Week 8Week 7Week 7Now that the Forecasting Model has been finalized, it’s time to focus on KPIs. During Week 7the Onboarding Team will determine rates for KPI metrics and prepare the initial KPI reports,reviewing them in detail with the client.!22

Week 7TaskOwnerData Dump Information into KPI ReportsOnboardingDetermine Rates for KPI MetricsCFORevise Forecasting Model Based on Utilization RatesCFOPrepare KPI reports for Clients and Review with ClientOnboarding/CFOWeekly Cash Flow MeetingSenior AcctSend Onboarding Meeting Recap to ClientOnboardingComplete!23

Week 8It’s the final week of onboarding! A solid relationship has been built with the client and most ofthe work is done. The final week is devoted to making any necessary final adjustments to theKPI Reports and Forecasting Model. The Onboarding Team will present a full set of financialsto the client and conduct an exit interview with the client and the account manager. At the endof Week 8 the official engagement begins!Intro WeekWeek 2Week 1Week 4Week 3Week 6Week 5Week 8Week 7!24

Week 8TaskOwnerMake necessary adjustments to KPI Reports and Forecast ModelOnboarding/CFO/Senior AcctPresent Full Set of FinancialsCFOWeekly Cash Flow MeetingOnboarding exit interview with Account ManagerSend Final Onboarding Meeting Recap to ClientCompleteOnboarding/CFO/Senior AcctOnboarding/AccountManagerOnboarding!25

Standardize & EvaluateAt Summit CPA, we believe it’s important to create a standardprocess for onboarding to make the process as smooth andefficient as possible for everyone involved. Standardizing theprocess, however, does not mean creating procedures andblindly following them forever. We believe it’s quite theopposite, in fact.Technology is always changing and we are constantlyevaluating our tools and processes. It’s important that everyonenot the team be willing to adapt to changes. If we determine away to make something more efficient, we make the changeand we move forward swiftly.We also value feedback from our clients. The exit evaluation atthe end of onboarding is a great way for us to learn if there wasanything we could have done to make the process better orsmoother for the client. We also request feedback from ourclients monthly and conduct an NPS survey every six months.These are all great ways to stay in touch with clients andimprove our processes as we go.To view the checklist in Google Sheets, click below.View Checklist!26

Create Financial Statement Template Onboarding Setup Account Structure in Plan Guru and Load Historical Data Onboarding Weekly Cash Flow Meeting CFO/Senior Acct Send Onboarding Meeting Recap to Client Onboarding Week 3!16 Week 4 Week 4 is dedicated

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