I knew I needed a client onboarding software when I couldn't standardize the onboarding process for new clients. Our inconsistent process produced inconsistent client experiences."

Accounting firm owner

The results of a poor onboarding process show the importance of an effective client onboarding system in an accounting firm.

When a client signs up for your service, they expect you to help them understand the value and scope of your services. Failure to meet this expectation, possibly because of poorly defined services or the lack of suitable software, results in client frustration and churn.

For example, 51% of the accounting firms Financial Cents surveyed struggled with onboarding inefficiencies because they did not have accounting client onboarding software. Meanwhile, using client onboarding software addressed the challenges of 55% of accounting firms.

Here are seven of the best accounting client onboarding software for simplifying, automating, and making client onboarding more seamless for you and your client.

What is an Accounting Client Onboarding Software?

Accounting Client onboarding Software simplifies client onboarding by automating the setting up of client profiles (in relevant tools), collecting (and storing) client information, and communicating with new clients to ensure they feel valued and well-supported to use your services.

Features to Look for in Client Onboarding Software for Accountants

Client Portal

Client portals are platforms for sharing documents and requesting signatures (for tax returns, contracts, engagement letters, etc.) and other information from new (and existing) clients.

They are built with advanced security systems to protect your client’s sensitive information from unauthorized access.

Without a client portal, your new clients may send confidential information by email, which is not secure.


Every successful client onboarding program involves several efficiency tools that handle individual aspects of the process.

The onboarding is better when the emailing, e-signature, questionnaire, and project management tools integrate and share data. This enables you to sync data across the board and use the client onboarding features of multiple apps from one place.

Ease of Use

Client onboarding software must be intuitive and frictionless to be implementable. Otherwise, your team members might not be willing or able to use it.

Learning how to use onboarding tools with steep learning curves can become projects of their own, consuming hours of non-billable work. That is why many businesses abandon software products after paying for them and starting the implementation process.


The client onboarding process has lots of repetitive tasks. If you onboard new clients regularly (as every firm owner dreams of), these repetitive tasks can overwhelm your team and reduce your chances of meeting client deadlines.

Automating repetitive tasks enables you to meet your onboarding requirements on time while conserving your energy for higher-value tasks.

Moreover, technology handles most client onboarding tasks (like data entry) more accurately than humans.

Onboarding kits (Checklist Templates, Content Hub, YouTube Tutorials, Podcasts)

Some client onboarding software provide content that educates on topical issues. This has become immensely valuable to users because it helps them overcome challenges.

For example, the Financial Cents’ Accounting Flow podcast dives deep into workflow problems and accounting strategies that help firm owners build more profitable businesses.

Bonus points if your client onboarding software has client onboarding checklist templates that guide users to complete accounting processes quickly.


Accounting professionals deal with sensitive information every day. Keeping these client data away from prying eyes is essential.

Any reputable accounting client onboarding software should use data encryption technology and authentication (and authorization) measures to protect your clients’ data.

Data security usually goes hand-in-hand with regulatory compliance. Ensure the tool you chose meets your clients’ compliance and security requirements.

Client Dashboard

Client dashboards are popular because it takes multiple team members to onboard (and serve) a new client. Everyone needs to be able to store and access client information from one central location to prevent information silos.

A solid accounting client onboarding software should have a CRM feature that helps your team access client documents and information anytime and from anywhere.

The 7 Best Accounting Client Onboarding Tools for a Smooth Client Onboarding Experience

accounting client onboarding software - financial cents

Financial Cents is an accounting practice management software with a client management feature that empowers firms to onboard, organize, and collaborate with new clients to meet their deliverables.

With a 4.9 out of 5 ease of use rating, Financial Cents combines sophisticated client management features with a frictionless and intuitive design to enable you to manage your clients, team, and projects.

Its client onboarding features enable you to:

  • Standardize the Process with an Onboarding Template Checklist

free accounting client onboarding checklist template

Firm owners are fond of storing their work information and processes in their heads. But as your clientele grows (and the number of onboarding projects increases), it becomes easy to forget some steps.

Documenting the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for your client onboarding process becomes necessary to keep you from forgetting some of these steps.

Financial Cents’ customizable templates outline your onboarding procedure, enabling you to complete your client onboarding in a fraction of the time. It also saves you and your employees from worrying about what you might have missed.

  • Bulk Import Clients from QuickBooks

Entering your new client data into multiple software is not only time-consuming, but it is also prone to human error.

That is why Financial Cents integration is so beneficial. It allows you to import clients from QBO to Financial Cents with a few clicks.

This integration synchronizes data between both apps. Any edit you make to your client’s profile in QBO reflects in Financial Cents, keeping your client information up-to-date across the board.

In seconds, the clients’ profiles will be created in Financial Cents using their names, contact details (email, phone number, address, etc.), and other information. The best part is you can import one or multiple clients at once.

  • Bulk Import Clients using a CSV File

This feature has become one of the quickest ways to import clients from tax, bookkeeping, or accounting software to Financial Cents.

It takes two main steps:

    • Export A CSV file of the client list from the tax, bookkeeping, or accounting software.
    • Import the CSV file into Financial Cents by selecting the Upload Spreadsheet option when creating clients.

This takes 30-60 seconds. Once completed, you’ll get an email notification.

  • Request New Client’s Documents (with the Client Portal & Document Management System)

In Financial Cents, the client portal is a hub for all things related to document sharing, organization, and client collaboration.

The portal enables you to:

    • Request Documents by creating a checklist of the files you need from your clients. It comes with automated reminders, which increase the rate and speed of client response.
    • Receive e-signatures from clients—thanks to Financial Cents’ integration with Adobe E-signature.
    • Collaborate on documents by sharing, organizing, and asking questions about invoices, reports, and other documents.
    • Automatically update clients’ uncategorized transaction information in QBO through Financial Cents’ ReCats feature.

The best part is that Financial Cents’ client portal does not require clients to provide usernames or passwords but instead uses a magic, secure link. This saves them the stress of managing login information.

  • Automate Workflow

Financial Cents’ automation features save accounting firms from hours of manual work and human-related errors.

The Recurrences feature, for example, allows you to automate the creation of repetitive projects for their future dates so that you remember to do it. Other ways to automate your workflow in Financial Cents include Tags and Dependencies.

  • Receive Client Signatures Quickly with Adobe E-signature

Financial Cents integrates with Adobe E-signature to enable firms to receive client signatures in minutes (instead of days or weeks), eliminating the need to chase clients for signatures.

All you have to do is upload the document (proposal, tax return, or any other document) to the client portal. Your new client will be able to sign it directly in the portal. They wouldn’t need to download, print, and scan the document to add a wet signature.

  • Connect with Over 5000 Apps with Zapier Integration

Financial Cents integrates with Zapier to allow you to connect with 5000+ other mission-critical apps.

For example;

    • This integration enables you to automatically create a client in Financial Cents when a client signs your proposal in GoProposal, Practice Ignition, Dubsado, etc.
    • It also automatically creates a folder in your document management system (like Google Drive, OneDrive, Sharefile, Dropbox, etc..) when a client is created in Financial Cents.
Pros Cons
  • Projects and client management in one place.
  • No mobile app
  • Integration with QBO that ensures up-to-date client data across the board.
  • Pricing

Financial Cents offers a free trial that gives you access to all its features for 14 days.

It’s payment plans are

  • Team at $39/month per user (billed annually.
  • Scale at $59/month per user (billed annually).

2. Zapier

accounting client onboarding tool - zapier

Zapier is not a client onboarding tool in the traditional sense. However, its automation features enable firms to connect multiple client onboarding applications to perform a sequence of onboarding tasks (with little to no human input).

Here is how Zapier helps the client onboarding process:

It uses trigger and action events to complete zaps (series of onboarding steps). You need to connect your apps using the Zapier integration. This enables it to trigger the relevant actions in the other apps in your client onboarding tech stack.

Once your onboarding tools are integrated, you need to get the new client to take the first step (like signing your contract or filling out your onboarding form). This step is the trigger event.

Then, Zapier will use each outcome as the trigger for the next action in the succeeding app. The sequence will continue until the process is completed.

For example, the signing of a proposal in GoProposal could trigger the following order of events:

  • Creating the client’s profile in Financial Cents (your workflow management software).
  • Create a document folder for the client in Dropbox (your document management software).
  • Create profiles in all relevant accounting software.
Pros Cons
  • Connect (and use the features of) 5000+ apps with no code.
  • Integrating the apps requires a steep learning curve.
  • Automation that Saves time and energy.
  • Advanced features are only available upon upgrade.
  • Pricing

Zapier offers a free plan for core features and a 14-day free trial of its premium features.

Paid plans are:

  • Starter at $19.99/month (billed annually)
  • Professional at $49/month (billed annually)
  • Team at $69/month (billed annually)
  • Company depending on your needs.

3. GoProposal

client onboarding software - go proposal

GoProposal is a client engagement software for accounting firms to onboard clients with ‘the highest level of compliance.’ Its features streamline pricing and proposals to communicate the value of accounting services.

It helps the client onboarding process by providing/with a:

  • Consistent pricing system that makes your firm (and staff) more productive and profitable by preventing scope creep.
  • Intuitive user interface that enables you to set clear expectations with your clients by documenting the accounting services they will receive from you and at what rate. This prevents unmet expectations, which could hurt the client relationship.
  • A platform that articulates services for clients to select what they need and see how much it will cost them.
  • Automatic engagement letters that are simple and clear for your staff and clients to understand. These letters are regularly reviewed to meet compliance requirements.
Pros Cons
  • Helps with accurate pricing.
  • High cost of using all features.
  • Standard and professional engagement letters.
  • Instant signature.

GoProposal offers a 30-day Free Trial.

Paid plans are:

  • Solo: up to 5 Proposals for 1 User $75/£60/month per user
  • Basic: up to 10 Proposals at $120/£90/month per user.
  • Standard: up to 50 Proposals $150/£120/month for two users.
  • Premium: unlimited Proposals at $255/£190/month for Unlimited Users.

4. Practice Ignition

accounting client onboarding system - practice ignition

Ignition is an accounting client onboarding system that helps firms automate admin tasks to reclaim time and unlock more revenue lines.

With the ability to create online proposals with a defined scope of work and engagement letters with clear terms and conditions, Ignition simplifies the onboarding process for you and your clients.

It’s onboarding features give you the ability to

  • Automatically generate engagement letters that clients can sign online.
  • Stay on top of invoicing and payment information from one place.
  • Integrate with QuickBooks to sync client data between both apps.
Pros Cons
  • Designed for the accounting industry.
  • Payment refunds are difficult.
  • Customizable templates.
  • Advanced features and templates are only available to higher plans.
  • Pricing

Ignition offers a 14-day free trial.

Its paid plans are:

  • Core at $99/month (billed annually).
  • Pro at $199/month (billed annually)
  • Pro+ at $399/month (billed annually).

5. Clustdoc

clustdoc onboarding software

Clustdoc’s dedicated client onboarding and verification solution helps to streamline client data collection and set new clients up without error. Its branded client portal makes document processes and submissions more efficient.

Its client onboarding features include:

  • A form-building solution for requesting information from new clients.
  • Client document collaboration allows you to accept, reject, and provide feedback on client’s documents.
  • E-signature that is built into workflows to streamline document approvals.
  • Scheduled tasks with due dates and reminders to get new clients’ responses faster.
Pros Cons
  • A mobile app that helps your team stay on top of onboarding tasks.
  • Difficulty developing forms.
  • Centralized data.
  • Steep learning curve.
  • Event-triggered messages.
  • Document workflows.
  • Pricing

Clustdoc offers a free trial that shows you everything it can do for your firm.

Its prices depend on the number of users. They are:

  • Gold at $100/month for three (3) internal and three (3) external users
  • Platinum at $350/month for five (5) internal and five (5) external users.
  • Enterprise billed according to the firm’s needs.

6. Freshbooks

client onboarding software for accountants - FreshBooks

Freshbooks is primarily an accounting and bookkeeping software (like QBO and Xero). However, its client portal is excellent for exchanging files and information (contracts, proposals, and other documents) that sets new clients up for success.

Freshbooks’ key client onboarding features include:

  • Estimates that request approval for visibility of acceptance.
  • Once the estimates are approved, they can convert to an invoice that can be paid seamlessly with the click of a button and become recurring payments.
  • Freshbooks handles multi-currency invoicing and payments beautifully.
  • The estimates and invoices can be customized to be visually pleasing.
  • Client reports help you surface your profitable clients.
Pros Cons
  • Client, payment, and project management in one place.
  • Onboarding features are not scalable and unsuited for firms with complex onboarding requirements.
  • Client onboarding templates
  • Automated invoices and collections
  • Pricing

FreshBooks offers a 30-day free trial.

Its prices are:

  • Lite: $19 per month
  • Plus: $33 per month
  • Premium: $60 per month
  • Select: Custom

7. Copilot

copilot client onboarding

Copilot is a client onboarding software that streamlines communication, file sharing, and payment for service businesses. Its automation workflow enables firms to onboard new clients quickly and more efficiently.

Copilot’s client onboarding features include:

  • Contract management enables you to prepare, sign, send, and track all contracts in one place.
  • File management for exchanging files and folders with new clients.
  • Customizable forms to streamline data collection.
  • Messaging to communicate with your clients securely.
Pros Cons
  • Contract templates
  • A steep learning curve, especially for those who are not tech-savvy.
  • E-signature
  • No mobile application.
  • Audit trail of signed contracts
  • Pricing

Copilot offers a 14-day free trial.

Its paid prices are:

  • Basic: $29/month per user (billed annually)
  • Professional: $69/month per user (billed annually)
  • Advanced: $119/month per user (billed annually)
  • Supersonic: Custom price for Enterprise businesses


Three Tips for Streamlining Client Onboarding for Accounting Firms

  • Use an Accounting Client Onboarding Checklist

Every firm owner wants more clients. Getting more clients requires you to build systems that enable you to onboard new clients successfully. That is where onboarding checklist templates come in.

Without checklist templates that outline what needs to be done at each point, onboarding multiple clients in a week (or month) can become a nightmare—instead of a blessing.

An onboarding checklist empowers even the newest staff member to onboard clients properly.

  • Automate Client Tasks So They Don’t Forget

Accounting clients struggle to respond to requests for additional information for two major reasons: time constraints and the inability to navigate data collection systems.

Automating the process with the Client Portal and Client Task features solves both challenges.

Client Portals are a secure platform where clients can upload documents to you and even communicate with your firm. The Client Task feature enables you to request information ahead of time, giving the client more time to respond to you at a more convenient time.

In Financial Cents, this feature has automated reminders that nudge clients until they grant your requests.

  • Use Onboarding Questionnaires to Know Your New Client Better

Client Onboarding questionnaires help you understand your new client’s needs, goals, and preferences more deeply.

For example, asking how their previous accountant addressed their challenges can help you understand what can be done differently. This can keep you from deploying the tactics that might have failed.

You can find engaging questions to ask your new clients in our free client questionnaire template.

Client onboarding questionnaires help you understand the context you need to tailor your services to your new clients.

Financial Cents Empowers You to Stay on Top of Your Client Onboarding Process

You are one right software away from creating personalized onboarding journeys consistent with your brand values.

Financial Cents enables me to set up templates for projects. This helps me set my new clients up when I’m bringing them on. Doing this with those templates helps me see what they might have missed"

Phil McTaggart, Founder SALAS Inc.

Financial Cents has robust onboarding features that enable you to automate the process to focus on more strategic tasks.

When you are too involved in every step of client onboarding, you won’t be able to zoom out to find opportunities to improve and make client experiences more memorable.

Start using Financial Cents to give your clients seamless onboarding experiences. Sign up for a 14-day free trial today.