March 23, 2023

How to Create a Frictionless Digital Onboarding Process


With a cost of living rising and the unpredictability of the economic future of the EU, retaining clients is a top priority. But what about bringing new clients into the business – how can you make sure the onboarding process offers a smooth enough experience to future proof new clients into the business? 

With just 23% of businesses claiming they offer a frictionless onboarding service, read on to find out our top tips to start smoothing the onboarding process in your accounting firm

Maximise Automation

While you may be used to tried and tested manual methods of data entry, there is a digital alternative that offers faster and slicker processes. Digital automation exists through third-party accounting software, and can help onboard clients by centralising their information, and calculating any tax obligations quickly, efficiently and accurately. 

Popular accounting management softwares like Xero offer bespoke digital onboarding portals, that offer automated resources to help clients and accountants alike through the onboarding process – asking the right questions, at the right time, to avoid bottlenecks, recalls, and the missed information that can be all to common with manual onboarding. 

Using software to automate stages of onboarding can break down three of the main barriers for manual onboarding: 


Clients are able to onboard faster due to a large share of automated questions, available to answer at leisure on a multitude of device types. This removes the time drain of aligning availability between client and accountant. 


While there is a cost associated with the move from manual data entry, it’s something that can be clawed back through the saving of resources. With more time available to accountants as the weight is lifted through digital onboarding, there is more billable time available. 


Increasing the amount of billable hours available to your team offers an opportunity for your business to take on more clients. Plus, with all onboarding and data recorded in a centralised location accessible through the cloud, it will be easier than ever to grow your client base.

Understanding Channels

With each client having different digital needs, it’s important to connect with them on the right channel. Upgrading your business from a phone and email-only service to a myriad of different channels can give you better coverage for clients who prefer channels such as mobile, chatbot, or even social. 

While opening too many avenues for digital contact can leave you open to over communication, it also means that you’re less likely to miss vital opportunities from digital first clients

Offering digital payments

Day-by-day, payment services are developing new innovations to make online payments quicker and more seamless than ever. As an accountancy firm, you have the opportunity to meet the ever growing expectations of new clients by offering online payment services. 

Removing the need for your clients, as well as your staff, to print confirmations and fill out books by hand, you’re removing friction in the onboarding process, and are more likely to see return business or referrals.

Plus, moving forward with digital payments, you’re creating a log of all transactions, invoices – offering your client the chance to move all of their payments onto portals like Sage for a smooth journey moving forward.

Join INAA to network with accounting experts worldwide

Want to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and topics for your onboarding? The International Association of Independent Accounting firms (INAA) launched 25 years ago to promote international trade.

To make global business personal and to take personal business global, we connect accounting firms that strive to provide quality professional services. Our cooperative association of foreign companies is dedicated to participating in global accounting and sustainability discussions.

Join now to begin forming effective business connections.

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