All articles

How to Write a Winning Bookkeeping Proposal

Marissa Taffer|Updated Mar 8, 2024
a man is sitting at a desk looking at a cell phone .

Writing an effective bookkeeping proposal can be tricky. Listing off your skills is usually the easy part. Where many people stumble is presenting these skills in a way that connects them with their prospective client’s financial objectives. And that's exactly where we can help.

In this article, we'll show you how to write a bookkeeping proposal that showcases your skills and reliability in a personable- yet compelling- way. Linking your solution to their need. We’ll even give you a template that will do much of the heavy lifting for you, letting you concentrate on the content instead of the presentation.

Key takeaways

  1. A bookkeeping proposal should be tailored to the client's needs, showcasing your skills and how you plan to address their specific challenges.
  2. Understanding the client's needs, crafting a personal introduction, outlining the scope of services, and providing flexibility are key steps in writing a proposal.
  3. Highlighting the benefits and your unique value proposition, sharing case studies or testimonials, and being transparent about pricing can enhance your proposal's effectiveness.
  4. The proposal should include all terms and conditions, ensuring both parties know what to expect from each other.
  5. Concluding with a call to action encourages the potential client to take the next step, whether it's arranging a meeting, signing up, or asking questions.

What Is a Bookkeeping Proposal?

A bookkeeping proposal is a detailed offer introducing your services to a potential client. In this document, you showcase your skills, approach to accounting, and, most importantly, how you plan to address the client's specific challenges.

However, it isn't just a generic list of services you can provide; your proposal is carefully tailored to your potential client's needs. It tells them: "I understand what you need, and I have the skills to help you succeed."

A compelling accounting services proposal combines professional detail with a personal touch. It shows that you aren't just any accountant but someone who wants to be part of your company's development. In fact, you’re the perfect fit.

Steps to write a bookkeeping proposal: Key elements to include

Need to create a bookkeeping proposal that appeals to your potential clients, and you don't know how to start? These are the steps to take and some key elements you must include:

1. Understanding your client's needs

Before you can start writing your bookkeeping proposal, you must understand what your potential client needs. This begins with listening carefully, doing your homework, and taking a genuine interest in the company's goals.

The first thing you should do is listen carefully. Every conversation, email, and document they exchange reveals their goals and challenges. Are they trying to grow their business and save money, or do they just need clearer financial direction? You must ferret out these details and incorporate them into your offer.

And then there's the research. Find out about the industry, trends, and standard financial hurdles. This shows that you're not just a bookkeeper but someone who knows the industry inside out.

Armed with this knowledge, you can then propose customized solutions.

2. Craft an introduction

Start with a personal note. Tell your prospect a little about yourself or your firm, focusing on your qualifications and why you like helping companies manage their finances better. This will help you build a connection with your clients. Your passion for bookkeeping should shine through so that you demonstrate that you're not just good with numbers but also committed to your client's success.

This is also the right time to show how well you understand your client's needs. Strike a friendly but confident tone here, showing your willingness to customize your services to meet their specific challenges.

3. Outline the scope of services

Here, you explain your services and how they'll improve your client's business life. Start by describing the bookkeeping tasks you'll perform for them. It can range from monitoring daily financial transactions and payroll to more complex issues such as tax preparation.

For each task, explain why it matters for them. For example, you could explain how accurate financial reports will help them make smarter business decisions or how smooth payroll means less stress and fewer mistakes. In this part of your proposal, always make a clear connection between the features of your work and the benefits to their organization.

4. Customize your proposal and provide flexibility

This is where you tell your clients that you're not just offering a standard package but are ready to develop something that fits their business perfectly.

Customization is about recognizing that every business is unique. Understanding that what works for one business may not work well for another. Explain how you will customize your accounting services to meet their needs. Maybe you offer different service plans according to their size and complexity. Perhaps you can create specialized reports to meet the industry’s specific needs.

Flexibility is your promise to remain adaptable. Companies evolve – they may expand, shift their focus, or face new challenges. Your offer demonstrates your willingness to adapt your services to meet the company's changing needs.

5. Share the benefits and your value proposition

This is about painting a clear picture of what their business could look like before and after they decide to work with you. You want to show them how their business's financial situation will improve with your help and how this can lead to a more successful business overall. Show them how much comfort and confidence they'll gain knowing their finances are in a safe and skilled pair of hands.

This section highlights what makes you different from other accounting services and what you do better. Whether it's a particular way of doing things or special tools or technology that make your services more efficient and accurate, it's about showing them the high quality of your work and the additional benefits they'll have if they choose you.

6. Include case studies or testimonials

And, after tooting your own horn, here you let others do it for you.

Choose case studies or testimonials that cover different problems you've solved. This could be a small business that got its finances in order or a fast-growing company that had to keep up with its financial demands. These stories show that you can deal with different challenges and that the companies benefit from working with you.
When sharing these testimonials, don’t skimp on the details. Talk about specific results, such as how much money you saved a client or how you helped them increase their profits. The personal side of these stories, such as how much more confident an entrepreneur feels about their finances, can be just as important if you have them. These help tie all the money talk into more relatable human emotions.
By sharing stories of companies you've helped, you show potential clients that you understand their challenges and have a track record of solving them.

7. Share your pricing and how you structure your engagements

Now that you've shown your prospect why they should work with you and made your case about how much you can help them, you should clearly state what you're charging for your services. Whether a monthly flat rate, an hourly rate, or a customized price based on the client's exact needs, you should be documenting how much you'll charge and when here. But don't just throw out numbers and payment terms. Explain what the individual services include, emphasizing the value of your proposal.
It's important to be honest about any extra costs or additional services. If you're transparent from the start, you avoid surprises later on and build trust from the start. If you offer different packages or service levels, explain the benefits of each respective offer.

8. Show all the terms and conditions

This part sets the rules for your working relationship, ensuring you and your client know exactly what to expect from each other.
You should be clear about what your services include and what they don't. It ensures your client won't expect something you don't offer, preventing confusion. Also, explain how long the agreement will last. Is it for a month, a year, or a project basis? This helps both of you plan better for the future.
It's crucial to discuss the details of payment with your client. This includes when you expect to receive payment, how often you will send invoices, what payment methods you accept, and what will happen if a payment is late. If you require a deposit or retainer before starting work, this is the time to bring it up. Additionally, you should outline any policies regarding refunds or cancellations made by the client.

Confidentiality is important, too, of course. Include a promise to keep their financial information confidential and any additional security measures you take.

9.Conclude with a call to action

This is where you encourage your potential client to take the next step. Start by reiterating the most important reasons why they should choose you. Remind them how you can solve their problems, simplify their financial management, and grow their business. Gently remind them what makes your service unique and why you're the best choice for them.

Then, make it clear what you want them to do next. Whether that's arranging a meeting to discuss more, signing up to work with you, or getting in touch if they have any questions. You should make these steps as simple as possible.

Your call to action should prepare them to move forward with you and show that you're excited about the possibility of working together.

Example of a bookkeeping proposal template

Even with all this information, starting your bookkeeping services proposal can be a bit overwhelming. That’s why we have created a bookkeeping proposal template just for you. It lays out everything in a clear, easy-to-follow format, ensuring all the essential parts are included in a document designed to grab (and hold) your client's attention.

Here is what our bookkeeping project proposal template includes.

  • Introduction: Start with a warm welcome, making a great first impression. Here, you express your excitement about the possibility of working together, setting a friendly and authoritative tone.
  • Understanding Your Needs: This part shows you've listened to the client's needs. It's where you prove you're not offering a one-size-fits-all service but are ready to tackle their specific financial challenges.
  • Your Priorities: Here, you align your services with what the client cares about most, whether improving their cash flow, cutting costs, or planning for growth. It shows you're focused on what's important to them.
  • Success Looks Like: You describe what success will look like with your help, creating a vision of improved finances and business growth. This section is about inspiring confidence and setting clear goals.
  • Our Approach: Detail how you solve bookkeeping problems, highlighting your unique methods or philosophy. It reassures clients they're in good hands with a thoughtful and practical approach to their finances.
  • Our Services: Instead of just listing what you do, explain how each service benefits the client, linking your offerings directly to their needs. This showcases your wide range of skills and how they contribute to the client's success.
  • Our Achievements: Share stories of your past successes or case studies. This builds trust, showing that you're not just talking a big game but delivering results for businesses like theirs.
  • Our Team: Introduce the people behind the services. This makes your proposal more personal, showing the expertise and dedication of the team they’ll have at their disposal.
  • Pricing: Be clear about your prices, making sure clients understand what they're paying for and the value it brings. This section is also a chance to show you're willing to work within their budget.
  • Call to Action (CTA): Encourage the client to take the next step, whether it's discussing the proposal further, asking questions, or signing up. Make it feel effortless and exciting for them to move forward with you.
  • Terms and Conditions: Clearly outline the agreement's terms, covering everything from the services provided to payment details. This ensures both you and the client know exactly what to expect from each other.
  • Conclusion: End on a high note, reinforcing the value you offer and the success you see in their future. Leave them feeling optimistic about what you can achieve together.

Final Thoughts

Writing a bookkeeping proposal is a great opportunity to show potential clients how you can help their business succeed financially. The secret to a successful proposal is clarity and customization. Use the tips above, and you’ll be well on your way.

The Qwilr Bookkeeping Proposal Template is a fantastic resource if you're looking for further inspiration. Our templates are easily customizable and give you professional, visually impressive proposals in a fraction of the time. Check them out for yourself today.

About the author

Marissa Taffer, Founder & President of M. Taffer Consulting

Marissa Taffer|Founder & President of M. Taffer Consulting

Marissa Taffer is the Founder & President of M. Taffer Consulting. She brings over 15 years of sales and marketing experience across various industries to a broad range of clients.

Frequently asked questions

The best format for a professional bookkeeping proposal is simple and focused on the client. It mixes detailed descriptions of your offering with a friendly and inviting tone. Start by showing that you understand the client's needs, then explain how you can help them with your services, tell them about your successes, and set your prices.

The most common mistake is not tailoring the offer sufficiently to the customer's needs. Another mistake is to formulate the services and prices vaguely. Ensure your offer is individual, clear, and detailed to avoid misunderstandings and emphasize your professionalism and commitment.

Your bookkeeping proposal should be brief yet thorough, usually between 5 and 10 pages. The most important thing is that you provide enough detail to clarify the value of your services without overwhelming the reader.