Outline your responsibilities and establish credibility with your client with our professional bookkeeping engagement letter for accountants, bookkeepers and CPAs!

What is an Engagement Letter?

It is a formal written agreement or a contract between you (service provider – accounting or bookkeeping firm) and your client that clearly outlines the terms of service. A typical engagement letter contains the following:

  • Scope of Services
  • Responsibilities of the Client
  • Fees and Payment Terms
  • Duration
  • Termination clause
  • Signatures (yours and your client’s)

You should always ensure you receive a signed copy of the engagement letter before you start any kind of work for the client to avoid disputes.

Why you need a Bookkeeping Engagement Letter

If you are an accounting or bookkeeping firm owner, you know that it’s vital to impress first-time or potential clients. A client’s first impression of your business could make or break a deal.

You need a bookkeeping engagement letter because:

1) A client’s first impression of your business can make or break a deal.

2) When you appear professional and credible, you’ll leave a good first impression and establish a good working relationship with new clients from the get go.

3) Make it easy for the customer to work with you

You must exhibit these qualities in all your interactions with your clients, whether it’s an in-person meeting, a phone call, or an engagement letter.

At Financial Cents, we understand the importance of a first impression, and we’re here to help. Our FREE bookkeeping engagement letter template will help you craft a professional accounting engagement letter that impresses your clients instead of confusing them.

How a Bookkeeping Engagement Letter will help your firm

A solid engagement letter will help you:

  1. Present a professional image
  2. Establish credibility
  3. Set clear expectations
  4. Outline your services and fee structure
  5. Outline responsibilities for both you and your client
  6. Mitigate risk by clearly describing terms and conditions

Let’s take a look at each of these 6 goals.

1. Present a professional image

An official engagement letter outlining all your terms and conditions helps you to appear professional, competent and assured. Our accounting engagement letter is a great template you can customize to suit your firm's needs.  It allows you to fill in your logo and information so you can quickly create a clear-cut, professional-looking letter that your clients will immediately notice.

2. Establish credibility:

Your client needs to know that you are trustworthy and competent. A clear, confident accounting engagement letter helps assure potential clients that you are capable and will do a good job. Promptly sending a solid letter of engagement will also let your client know that your accounting business is well run and organized.

3. Set clear expectations:

In business, clarity is key! The primary purpose of a bookkeeping engagement letter is to clearly state the expectations of your agreement. If you don’t state your expectations clearly, you could run into confusion in the future. Having a clear initial engagement letter is one of the best ways to provide clarity and eliminate all confusion right off the bat. Also, if you have a clear engagement letter that eliminates doubts about your agreement, you reduce your risk of litigation. But more on that in a bit.

4. Outline your services and fee structure:

A good bookkeeping engagement letter lets your client know exactly what services they can expect to receive from you, what you expect them to pay for it, and other terms and conditions. If your engagement letter plainly outlines this information, it helps remove potential confusion and forgetfulness, saving you time, stress, and potentially from an upset client.

5. Outline responsibilities for both you and your client:

Your accounting engagement letter should not only outline your responsibilities but the responsibilities of your client. For example, you may need certain bookkeeping or financial records from the client by a set time of the month in order to complete your tasks on time. Or, you may state that your accounting firm does not include any procedures designed to discover fraud or theft and cannot be relied on to find those things, and that this is your client’s responsibility. Stating clear deadlines and tasks saves you trouble, and maybe even a customer, in the future.

6. Mitigate risk by clearly describing terms and conditions:

A clear, explicit engagement letter is your first line of defense when it comes to avoiding legal trouble. An engagement letter is not a binding agreement like a contract, but it’s a written paper that states your terms and conditions and eliminates confusion. An engagement letter is a good safeguard to help you avoid confusion, anger, and ultimately, a lawsuit. An accounting engagement letter template like ours will help you make sure that you have all the bases covered so you can avoid unpleasant situations in the future.

What you’ll find in our Bookkeeping Engagement Letter

In our fully editable and customizable bookkeeping engagement letter, you’ll find sections for:

  • Company name
  • Scope of work
  • Responsibilities
  • Privacy policy
  • Outsourcing
  • Termination
  • Governing law
  • Invoice procedures
  • Expenses
  • Fee schedule
  • Company summary

These are all important items to include in a bookkeeping engagement letter so that you don’t leave room for any kind of ambiguity or confusion.

How to use the Bookkeeping Engagement letter

Once you and your client have had a verbal agreement to work together, the next step is for you to send them an engagement letter to make things official.

With our bookkeeping engagement letter template, the process of creating an engagement letter for your client is easy and fast. Simply:

  • Download the template
  • Or create an account with Financial Cents to access the template

After you’ve gotten your copy of the template, follow these steps to customize it to your firm:

  • On page 1, insert your logo, company name, and the services you offer.
  • Go through each page and change or insert necessary information like your company name, client name, specific services requested, fee information, etcetera.
  • When you’re done, review everything to make sure you didn’t leave anything out.
  • Email it to your client!

Bookkeeping Engagement Letter FAQs

Do I need a lawyer to formalize my bookkeeping engagement letter?

No, you don’t. A bookkeeping engagement letter is not a legal contract but an agreement between a service provider and a client.

Can I use the same bookkeeping engagement letter for multiple clients?

Because different clients require different services from you under different conditions, it’s always good to have a template you customize for each client so you can fill in specific information about the engagement.

Do I need to send a bookkeeping engagement letter to every client I work with?

Yes, it is advisable that you send an engagement letter to every client you will be working with.

When do I need to send a bookkeeping engagement letter to my client?

According to investopedia, engagement letters need to be presented to the client at the beginning of the relationship before work commences.


Your first interactions with a customer matter!

First impressions lay the foundation for your relationship. It’s important to appear professional, clear, and polished.

Sending a well-written engagement letter will help you to do this.

It will also help you build a good relationship with your client and avoid unpleasantness by eliminating confusion and clearly stating expectations.

The sample bookkeeping engagement letter we offer at Financial Cents makes it easier to present a professional image.

Download your template letter today and continue building solid relationships with your clients!

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