STEPS TO GETTING STARTED
The following is a summary of our onboarding process for beginning an engagement…
- Discovery Meeting
- Financial Review
- Review Meeting and Proposal
- Your Decision and First Steps
Each step is explained in detail below.
STEP 1 – DISCOVERY MEETING
First, we want to get to know you and your company. Whether this meeting takes place in person or on the phone, this is your chance to talk about your company, how you started, the challenges you face, the concerns that keep you awake at night. This is our opportunity to understand where you want to go, what changes you want to see in the future and how those changes will impact you and your company. So we ask a lot of questions and mostly listen to ensure we understand what you care about and what you want to accomplish.
This is also your chance to pick our brains about anything you want to discuss. You can ask about anything on your mind (compliance issues, debt acquisition, staffing, company structure, challenges you are facing, etc). Remember there is absolutely no cost to you so we hope we can provide some valuable insight during the process.
At the end of our meeting we will ask for access to your accounting file so we can perform a financial review. This could mean a backup of your accounting file if using a desktop version of QuickBooks, or an invitation to your online QuickBooks account or access to your NetSuite account, Xero profile, etc. Don’t worry about how. We will work with you on the best way to give us temporary access so we can begin the next stage.
Now, if at the end of our introduction meeting you have received what you need (insights, answers to your questions, etc) and you do not want to go further…Then, we are glad to have provided some assistance and we can stop the process. Perhaps you want to delay the next step…that is okay too. But at this point with access to your accounting file we will do all the work and there is more insight available in the coming days.
STEP 2 – FINANCIAL REVIEW
This is the easy part for you. You sit back and relax while we go to work understanding your financial condition, company health, process issues, accuracy, condition of your A/R and A/P and a list of other areas. Our team member(s) will spend anywhere from an hour to four hours reviewing your file and documenting the findings
STEP 3 – REVIEW MEETING AND PROPOSAL
After our financial review we will prepare a proposal for services. The proposal will provide the following…
- List of company strengths based on our financial review and meeting
- List of areas where focus is needed in your accounting, structure, tax, etc.
- 3 service level options along with the cost, features and benefits at each level
- Strategic initiatives
Now, it is also possible that we may not feel we are a fit for your unique situation and needs. In that case we will have a discussion why that is the case with some recommendations on your next steps. Yes, this does happen. We know our strengths well and if you need something different from what we can provide, we will say so. It does not help either of us if we enter into a relationship where we know we will not be successful. We would not knowingly waste your time or enter into a relationship we believe will be frustrating for you or short term in nature.
We will go over the details of the proposal and you will have the opportunity to ask all the questions you need to make a decision on whether to proceed. Again, you will not get any sales pressure from us. That is not who we are and simply not in our nature. We do not employ salespeople so you will be dealing with a team member who serves clients.
STEP 4 – YOUR DECISION AND FIRST STEPS
After we have discussed the proposal and service level options we will give you the first couple of steps to get started. You can then decide whether to move forward.
We avoid start up fees when possible. This means the majority of our engagements do not require a start up fee but there are times when the timeline is short and we need to put a number of team members on the engagement to meet a deadline. We enter the relationship with a long-term view. We plan for the relationship to last until you outgrow a Fractional CFO (graduation day for us) or you exit the business from a sale or merger. We will do everything we can to make it a painless transition and a great experience for you.
In conclusion, we would offer this question. What is the worst thing that can happen by going through the process? Our answer would be…for the time you spend in the process you get in return a list of areas where focus should be given along with your strategic initiatives. Even if you decide not to move forward you now have greater insight into your company’s accounting systems and processes. You also have had an opportunity to receive some guidance from a professional in the areas of your business you want to discuss. We are confident your time will not be poorly spent.
Thank you for the opportunity to share with you our methodology and approach to new business relationships. You are never asked to sign a long-term contract. Only in rare cases would you do that with an employee so why would we require it of you. Our retention rate is over 95% so we know if we do a great job for you the relationship will last for years to come.
Ready to get started? Please contact us and we will get the process going.
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