It’s Client Onboarding Day- A Day In The Life of an Accountant

By PRETTY BOOKS ON August 6, 2020
DAY IN THE LIFE is a snapshot of the life of an accountant, taken one day at a time. If you ask an accountant what they do, they will probably tell you “it depends on the day.” Because an accountant’s scope of responsibilities is vast and integrated into the decision making and operations of a business, it frequently shifts depending on the time of month, day of the year, and the needs of their clients. While you can’t pinpoint a typical day for an accountant, there are some days that pay out similarly throughout the year.

What is a client onboarding day? It’s the first day an accountant takes the reins from the account management team and meets their new clients for the first time. Client onboarding days start with a lot of research into the company and quite a few meetings to discuss needs, priorities, and expectations.

7:30 AM: I wake up, make myself some coffee, and get ready for the day. I’m meeting new clients today and I’m not sure what I’m feeling. On one hand, I love diving in deep to learn about their business and their plans for success. On the other hand, meeting new clients for the first time can be stressful—it feels a little bit like meeting a significant other’s parents. I want to impress them, get to know them, and make them feel welcome all at the same time.

9:00 AM: Walk into the office and have a quick chat with my teammate about the client. We did some preliminary research last week, but startups move fast. It’s time to head to my desk and do some more investigation.

9:10 AM: Navigate to their website again and look for anything new, specifically how they earn revenue. I peruse the testimonies of Instagram influencers and the ‘about me’ section, but I don’t find any information I didn’t already know. They link influencers to brands, but so far I’m not sure how the two play into the client’s revenue.

9:30 AM: Usually a client will have a general ledger that provides a historical look at their company over time. You can literally read it like a book and it’ll tell you the story of the business, including how they get funding. This company is new, so I have to figure all of this out on my own. Time to dig deep into the Internet and find some info. I look up their name and find some posts from influencers commending them for setting them up with brands. Beyond that, there isn’t much breaking news on the company since they signed on with us last week. I find them on a few start-up information websites. It looks like they just started financing. Are they fundraising? How? Maybe they’re charging a subscription to their customers?

10:30 AM: Time for a meeting with the account manager who signed on the client and has some more background information for us. Since she spoke directly with them, I’m hopeful that she will have more information on how the company gets funding.

10:55 AM: I learned a lot about my points of contact for the company. My account manager said they were easy to talk to and already had big plans for the company. She said they’re very passionate people so working with them will be a lot of fun. That makes me feel a lot less nervous about meeting them later! She didn’t have any information about their revenue stream, but that’s okay. It just means more research before our clients get here.

12:00 PM: Meet with my teammate to prepare for the meeting. Our first task is discussing our findings. I don’t think they charge their influencers, but I’m guessing they charge the brands some kind of posting fee. That seems to be what other, similar business models do for revenue. Next, we address their expectations of us. They are growing and want our help with forecasting, budgeting, and bookkeeping.

12:15 PM: I jot down a list of questions to ask our client regarding what they need from us, what their priorities are, how we can best communicate with them, and my outstanding questions. We run through the agenda we created and sent out yesterday to make sure our conversation flow and questions fit.

1:00 PM: Start tidying up the office and letting our teammates know we will have visitors.

1:45 PM: Rapidly run through all the different iterations of the revenue question in my head to see what sounds the most professional. “What do you do for revenue?” “How do you fund your business?”

1:47 PM: Start feeling anxious. What if they don’t like me? What if their website clearly said something about their revenue and I somehow missed it the 15 times I read through it?

1:52 PM: Shuffle around the office making sure nothing is out of place. I move a potted plant an inch to the left. You got this. You can do it. The account manager said they’re nice.

1:55 PM: See someone at the door. Take a deep breath in and go greet my clients. “Hello, it’s great to meet you!”

2:00 PM: Start the meeting right on time by introducing myself and my teammate. My heart is pumping. So far, so good. It’s Friday, I’m going to ask about weekend plans.

2:15 PM: Small talk is ending, and it’s time to talk business and get the answers to some of my more burning questions. “What’s your plan for revenue?” “How do you get funding?” “Can you tell I’m nervous?” Okay, maybe not that one.

3:00 PM: The meeting is over. I laugh my way out of the conference room with my two new buddies. It’s only been an hour, but I feel like we’ve known each other forever. I thank my clients for coming in and escort them out, stopping to chit chat about our space.

3:15 PM: Sigh audibly. My curiosity was satisfied. Just as I thought earlier, they charge a posting fee and are fundraising now. My clients and I got along well, and they were more than happy to talk about their company and their goals. I head back into the conference room to debrief with my teammate and come up with plans for their future with us.

5:00 PM: High-five my teammate and head out of the office to that song in The Breakfast Club. I am a champion at first impressions and getting clients prepared for their future. I have a roadmap for future work with the client including some of their goals as well as options for other projects that might help them along. I can’t wait to see them again!

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The information provided in this post is for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Consult your financial, business, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. Pretty Books assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon this information.
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