The 4 key roles to onboard your clients right

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Onboarding a new client is perhaps the most pivotal step in your relationship with them, so you want to get this right first time. To make the process clear and effortless, ultimately creating loyal and long-lasting relationships moving forward, here are the 4 key roles that you will need to involve when onboarding your clients.

Role 1: Practice Manager

A person in this role will be in charge of overviewing work and monitoring all client relationships, so they will update the appropriate team on a new client win, decide who will be the Client Manager for the client, and they will be who the team reports to regarding progress and any issues. In small firms, this person may be the Operations Manager for the firm or the Client Manager or the firm owner.

Role 2: Client Manager

Appointed by the Practice Manager, a person in this role will be the new client’s Account Manager; they will hold onboarding meetings with the client and create a strong client relationship from the get-go. This role is absolutely essential to onboarding your clients successfully as they set the client expectations at the very start of the relationship.

Role 3: Administrator

The Administrator’s role is to make the onboarding process run as efficiently as possible. From following up with the client for any missing data ( e.g. HMRC authorisation codes and ID for the money-laundering checks) to getting the new client set up properly on the firm’s systems, this role is vital for ensuring a smooth transition for the client.

Role 4: Business Development Person

The role of the Business Development Person is to update the firm’s marketing and sales systems accordingly after the new client is won and to personally thank the referrer for the work. In many firms, this person will also be the Client Manager, but it is important to distinguish the difference in responsibilities that the two roles have.

Onboarding your clients to your accounting firm

Although onboarding your clients successfully involves essential steps such as refining your accountant onboarding software and gathering as much client information as possible using your accounting onboarding checklist, it takes a lot more than automation to improve this process in your firm.

There should be a balance between automation and the human touch, so implement the necessary accountant onboarding software and make sure that you involve these 4 key roles to cover the human element. Only when you have both can you onboard clients and keep them for the long term!


"This article was originally published on the Accountants Millionaires' Club Website"

About Heather Townsend

Heather Townsend is Founder and Author of ‘The Accountants Millionaires’ Club’. In 2015 the ICAEW decided she was the number one online influencer for the accountancy profession. She is the author of 5 books, including The Go-To Expert, and ‘How to make partner and still have a life’ (co-authored with Jo Larbie).

Heather is always up for a challenge. Perhaps that is why she has built a track record of helping accountants grow the size of their practice by 50-200%, often in under two years. Often helping them make partner or equity partner in the process.

Heather is a high profile member of the accountancy profession in the UK. She has worked with over 300 partners, coached, trained and mentored over 2000 professionals at every level of the UK’s most ambitious professional practices. Heather's clients have included: 7 out of the Top 10 UK practices, including all the Big 4 firms. 

This is what members say about the Accountants Millionaires' club.

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