A new tax client intake form helps your firm streamline the collection of information while also reducing back-and-forth conversations with your client.
If you’re not sure what a CPA client intake form entails or why you should invest in one, we’ll be discussing that and more in the sections below.
What is a Client Intake Form and Why Do You Need It?
New client intake forms are used by tax and accounting professionals worldwide. An intake form is beneficial for you and the client because you’ll be able to:
- Request accurate information
- Request updated information
The intake form, often interactive, allows you to gather as much information as possible from a client so that you can render the best service possible.
However, that’s not all that you’ll learn when a client fills out an intake form.
For example, if a current client refers a friend to you, the friend may be under the impression that you offer any type of tax assistance. You might work with small businesses, but not have the capacity to work with enterprises.
Your prospective client intake form will provide you with invaluable insights into the true needs of the prospect so that you know how you can best help them.
A client intake form, in the most basic sense, is a questionnaire that you ask the client to fill in. This questionnaire is unique to your business and services. Creating an intake form is beneficial for accounting and bookkeeping firms because:
- It saves time and money by allowing you to prepare a series of questions once and use the same questions for all clients.
- You’ll look more professional.
- It’s easier to vet leads and understand whether a prospective client is a good or bad fit for your business.
- Forms make it easier for clients to focus on their main goal when using your service.
- Automation makes it easier to keep records of intake forms and better serve your clients.
From a business standpoint, the right intake form will help you best serve your clients and save money in the process.
When Do You Need a CPA Client Intake Form?
Client intake forms are often updated by businesses over time, so you may need to create new forms periodically. The main times you need an intake form are for:
|Prospective clients||A lot of time is spent trying to understand the needs of prospective clients and how you can best help them. Creating a new intake form for prospects helps you better understand the needs of clients, how or if you can serve them, and what services they may benefit from the most.|
|New clients||When securing new clients, you’ll need to ask a lot of pertinent questions to ensure that you can begin work for them as quickly (and with as little stress) as possible. New intake forms allow you to gather information from the client to begin your work.|
|Returning clients||A returning client is a valuable client. You’ll need intake forms if a client is initially returning after a short break from using your services, or you may send them out at the new year to gather tax information.|
Whenever you find yourself or your staff asking the same questions from clients and gathering information, intake forms can be a valuable addition to your workflow.
PDF Forms Vs Interactive One
A CPA client intake form can be interactive, a PDF, or physical forms. However, when onboarding clients or updating information, interactive solutions are always best. The main reason firms are moving away from PDFs is because:
- They’re not mobile-friendly, so clients take longer to fill them out
- PDFs don’t automatically save, so they’re inconvenient and prone to error
- It can be difficult to brand a PDF
On top of all of these points, PDFs add a lot of steps for your staff after they’ve been filled out. Aggregating data, storing it, and cross-checking to make sure that the client has filled out all portions of the forms and supplied the right documents can take your staff hours.
Plus, if the form is too long, clients are unlikely to fill them out or complete them in their entirety.
Interactive forms are better for both your firm and the clients that you serve. With TaxDome, our clients note that 80% of clients complete the intake forms they create on our platform. The uptick in intake form completion:
- Saves firms money
- Improves the client experience
At TaxDome, we’ve created an interactive solution that makes it easy for you to create intake forms that your clients will actually use. Built within the client portal, you’re able to:
- Create forms that are mobile-friendly
- Use a solution that auto-saves forms
- Brand each intake form
- Integrate intake forms into your workflow
When you use interactive forms, it’s easiest to gather more information from clients, serve them better, and the improve client experience. You’ll also save time and money associated with old, outdated forms that clients struggle to fill out.
Whether you’re just starting to implement new client intake forms or want to upgrade your existing forms, we highly recommend using interactive forms to your advantage.
Ways to Incorporate Client Intake Forms into Your Firm’s Internal Processes
Incorporating new tax client intake forms depends on your firm. For most firms, it’s important to automate the process as much as possible – that’s where TaxDome can help. Our platform can automate the process by sending intake forms automatically when:
- A new client signs up
- A prospect is interested in your business
- The beginning of each year (when it’s time to prepare 1040s, etc.)
TaxDome will automatically send your staff a task to review the forms when they’re completed.
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But what happens if a client forgets to fill in the form? Systems can be put in place to send automatic reminders to clients to fill out forms, or staff can submit the files for the client if they work with the client in the office.
- Save your firm time and money
- Improve the onboarding process
- Increase customer satisfaction
- Make a great first impression
While you can create a CPA client intake form using PDFs, we highly recommend using interactive forms. Digital forms make it easier to streamline your business operations without having to deal with tedious paperwork and losing physical files.
The right intake form will allow you to offer the best services to your clients while also saving your firm time and money. It’s a win-win for all parties involved. Plus, designing a simple five-minute intake form can save you hours of time each week.