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Some items to consider…
Scoping a project is really on a client-by-client basis. To make a scope, you are using the sales rep’s notes on pain points and determining the hours required for you to deliver on these + the client’s specific asks.
The sales rep will have already provided you a tentative list of tasks from their initial client conversations, but the ultimate task list is determined by you and your client. Sometimes the client will be able to tell you what they would like to be tackled, but you will also get insight into their financials to be able to see what else needs to be done.
For bookkeeping, at a minimum, most clients want their transactions categorized and reconciliations done on a monthly basis.
If you’re having trouble getting a hold of someone, be sure to follow up with clients every 2 days. They have signed off to work with you and clearly want you to help them so don’t be afraid to pester them for information, especially at the start of a project. As we all know, sometimes the toughest part of a project is just getting started and getting used to new processes! Don’t give up after one follow-up as clients really appreciate someone not quitting on them. Try calling or even texting as well. Some clients are much more responsive to phone communication than email.
Outline boundaries and/or develop a schedule with your client. If you have a client that doesn’t understand your general availability, establish boundaries. Let them know your typical work schedule and when you’ll be working on their account. Also, develop a weekly (or monthly) cadence with them. For example, you can tell them you’ll be working on their account every Thursday of the week, they will get deliverables every Friday, or every Monday, you can send an update of the weekly tasks, etc.
Sometimes clients don’t understand the accounting concepts behind their books and they think their numbers should be different than what is displayed. It’s okay to let clients know when they don’t understand something (do it nicely). Some clients will give you a hard time and it’s usually because they don’t understand the accounting or finance related to their books. All they need is a bit of a lesson and it’s okay to tell clients when they aren’t grasping the accounting/finance topic. Offer to walk them through it or try explaining it in a different way. You can always let them know you’re willing to do things their way but it won’t be accurate and that will only hurt them in the future.
Paro’s marketplace has several service lines that clients can utilize. As you may know, we have bookkeeping, accountants, tax preparers, financial analysts and CFOs. We are paving the way for the future of finance and accounting work so we offer and encourage clients to build a virtual finance team for all their needs. You may need to work with another person to gather information and take additional items off your clients’ plate. Don’t be afraid to ask each other questions. Try not to burden your client with repetition of information or questions so be cognizant of what you can leverage from the other Paro freelancer.
You’ll be the main point of contact for your client, so go ahead and reach out first. It’s important to reach out ASAP after the kick-off email is sent.
The AM will handle any ad-hoc issues that aren’t directly related to your service line. This includes, but is not limited to:
Use your best judgement. The AMs will ensure projects are kicked off, but if you cc them on emails or provide status updates from time-to-time (major milestones), that would suffice as well. The AMs don’t need to be on every email to the client, but they appreciate staying the loop. Always feel free to come to them if there is an issue.
It also helps to cc or contact the AM when you sense your client is looking for additional finance help and may see value from other Paro-provided services.
The client can set up a remote desktop situation where you can log in and be on the client’s desktop to use their desktop program and file. You would have to figure out the best day and time to do this. Discussing the options with the client and coming to the best/easiest solution for both parties is critical.
You can also pass the file back and forth with the client (e.g. via Dropbox or a Google Drive folder) as long as you and the client use the same desktop year.
Great job! That usually means your client trusts you enough to give you more work and you’ve done an awesome job thus far.
Communicate to your client the additional hours it will take to complete the additional services so they are aware of any extra billing. If it’s an increase in fixed-price quote, tell them the AM will be in touch with the additional cost and then communicate this cost adjustment to the AM.
Yes, if it pertains to the work you’re doing for them. Kick-off calls and other calls to discuss Quickbooks, Xero, their financials, models, etc., are all billable time.
Be cognizant how much of the call was truly work-related. If you’re talking about the weather for the first 10 minutes, that won’t be a great item to bill (we usually finding billing in increments of 10 minutes works well in these situations). It can be a good thing to over-communicate (at least initially) to ensure proper expectation management.
Yes, on a project-by-project basis. We’re a marketplace and encourage you to set your own rate but it must be done when you express interest in the project. We want to be able to help sell you on these projects and we tell the client the cost upfront. If you decide to change your rate after the call, there will be less of a chance that you will win the client.
Hourly Projects: Nope! The time logs you create in the Paro platform serve as your bills -- so our technology creates them for you! It is not necessary to log time for client projects outside of our platform.
Fixed Price Projects: If you have a fixed price agreement, please send proof of completion of the project to the project’s dedicated AM; it will then be marked as complete in the platform.
Funds are transferred instantly by end of business hours (CST) on the 15th of every month. All Stripe accounts are set on auto-deposit to the bank account you linked. How long the ACH takes to hit your personal or business bank account linked depends on your bank.
Please allow for a couple additional days on your first (and only the first) disbursement