In the world of accounting, a client proposal is a formal business document that industry professionals use to secure work. If you're a tax pro and you're making a pitch to a local small business owner to handle their taxes for the upcoming year, for example, a proposal is how you'd do it. It affords the chance for pros to outline the scope of work, and for prospective clients to see how much it will cost them.
Proposals can also be used to secure ongoing retainers from new clients – this means that a tax and accounting expert will perform tasks for the same client on a regular basis. Regardless of what you plan to use proposals for at your tax and accounting firm, there are a few key things to keep in mind every time you sit down at the computer to draft a proposal.
Creating Tax Client Proposals: What You Need to Know
The number one best practice to follow when creating a client proposal is to focus on precisely that – the client. Everything should be framed around them, their needs, the goals they want to accomplish, and the value they will get out of working with a tax and accounting pro like you. Be as specific as you can. If you've already had discussions with this potential client (as you likely have), recall areas that you’ve previously spoken about in the document.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you should never bog down a client proposal with too much extraneous information. You're trying to get someone to invest in a service. Your service, specifically.
Anything superfluous could distract the would-be client, taking their focus off of hiring you. Instead, center your proposal on the problem the individual has and the solution that only you can provide. Anything that falls outside of that very simple context is better to be saved elsewhere.
Finally, don't be afraid to leverage proposal software to your advantage. Not only do these systems make it easier to create proposals with all the proper formatting but it helps to store and manage them as well. Many tools have smartphone compatibility, can be integrated with a lot of tools you're already using like CRM platforms, and more – all so you can get the most effective version of your client proposal out the door and into your prospective clients’ hands as quickly as possible.
In the end, whether you're using a client proposal as part of the bidding process, to secure work, or just as a formality for a long-time client, it's an important document to get right. It simultaneously acts as invaluable protection against potential issues like scope creep, helps to make sure everyone has the same expectations entering into a project, and aid in securing future work.
By following the straightforward best practices as outlined above, you'll walk away with the strongest proposal possible, and a mutually beneficial situation for all involved.
CountingWorks PRO’s ClientHub has an integrated proposal builder that will make crafting and sending client proposals a breeze.