how to ask for upfront payment

Are you wondering how to ask for upfront payment for the accounting services you want to provide to your clients? Have you been invoicing all of your clients after the work is done?

It might seem crazy, but it’s not uncommon for an accountant to collect payment after they’ve already rendered their services. In fact, I had one accounting professional that had about $65K that he was waiting to receive sitting on his balance sheet as accounts receivables.

Think about how much time you may have been wasting collecting that money. That’s time that would be better spent on your marketing efforts, (ie. following up with leads).

Don’t make this same mistake!

There is a way to start billing your clients upfront, EVEN if you’ve always billed after the fact. And, I’m giving you the exact steps you need in THIS podcast to learn how to ask for upfront payment from your next client!

If you’re done wasting time collecting payments after your work is done, then this podcast is a MUST LISTEN!

Do you spend a lot of time chasing down payments from clients? What would happen in your firm if you learned how to ask your clients for upfront payment before you start the work? Learn all about it in THIS BLOG POST!

Here are a few key secrets we talked about in this episode:

  • Michelle introduces herself, and the topic of today’s episode: requiring payment upfront from clients.
  • Many accounting firm owners find themselves chasing down clients for payment, often for work completed as far as nine months previous. This doesn’t serve accountants, nor does it help them serve their clients at the highest level!
  • I get asked a lot about how to start charging upfront for services instead of after the service is done.
  • It may not be the most common practice for a CPA or accountant to charge up front for services, but there’s no reason why you can’t incorporate this into your firm right away.
  • You can request payment ahead of time for a long-term project, or with a brand new client for even just compliance work or services rendered monthly.
  • Michelle shares a story of a student that had more than $60,000 in accounts receivable. That’s crazy; you don’t have time for that and this can get down to zero quick.
  • If you think about how much time you spend chasing down payments from work you have already completed, that is time that you could be delivering value to your other clients instead.
  • Getting payment upfront not only can increase your revenue, but it can get cash flow going in the positive flow, and make you appear more professional and trustworthy.
  • Think about courses, similar to a leadership training I just took. I had to pay in advance before I started any of the training!
  • Also, think about a general contractor: with my old business, I had a retail store. When we were doing the store build out, I had to pay 50% of the fees upfront before they even took the blueprints to the city for approvals. I had to pay the other 50% of the fees before anything was even started for the build out!
  • If you think that your clients will hesitate at paying upfront, you can start with a 50/50 system: require the first % of the payment upfront, and then before you deliver the tax returns or the final tax plan, require the other 50% to be paid in full prior to delivery of any work.
  • Take baby steps towards charging in full upfront!
  • Before I personally work with any clients, they pay in full, in advance before any work or classes begin.
  • Having clients pay in advance ensures that you have cash flow and money in the bank. When it comes time to pay your employees, or the rent, you know where the money is and don’t have to chase it down.
  • For monthly work, you can bill up front. For example,Bill on the 1st of the month for the full month of service: that can also help cover any expenses for you, like software, etc..
  • Charging upfront helps eliminate cash flow problems in your business.
  • Remember, this is The Abundant Accountant Podcast, so if you want to live that life of abundance, you have to do the work to establish a firm of abundance.
  • When you charge upfront, you do elevate your value, and set yourself apart from other firms.
  • One of my students runs an efficient firm, and actually has set up ACH debits for his clients, so they are billed automatically on the 1st of every month prior to the services being performed.
  • Charging upfront builds trust, as you are making the process smooth and easy, so that you can spend the maximum time possible with serving your clients.
  • Having a money-back guarantee will also help ease the minds of hesitant clients.
  • Making the change to getting paid upfront can be hard, but framing it as a way to provide even better client service will help your clients see and embrace the benefit.
  • For a monthly retainer, I do not personally recommend the 50/50 approach we talked about earlier. Monthly retainers should be collected 100% upfront
  • This can be a big shift in your firm, and it will help make it more efficient!

Learn More & Connect With Me Here!

P.S. Stop wasting time! Learn how to ask for payment upfront from clients and start collecting your payments before you’ve even started doing the work. Wondering how that’s possible? THIS BLOG POST will tell you what you need to do! 


Join me so you can unlock the secrets to growing a profitable accounting firm with less stress by joining our upcoming Abundant Accountants Masterclass!

You will learn:

  • The easiest ways to sift through clients and get to the RIGHT ones!
  • Proven tactics to actually get paid instead of giving away FREE advice!
  • How to stop competing on price FOREVER!

Join our Abundant Accountants Masterclass today.

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