What does a freelance accountant/bookkeeper pitch look like?
May 3, 2021 8:05 AM   Subscribe

I am an accountant at a small real estate development firm, and am planning to relocate this summer. I want to pitch my boss on continuing to use me for contract work. We have talked about it a few times and she is pretty enthusiastic, but has not made a commitment. This will be my first pitch and my first client -- very literally, what should my pitch look like?

I am relocating in a couple months and will hang my own shingle as an accountant and bookkeeper. My current boss (company owner/CEO) knows my plans and I have talked to her about shifting from employee to contractor, which she is pretty enthusiastic about.

As of today, there is suddenly a vacuum in the accounting department and it's imperative I pitch my boss right away on using me for contract work. But this will be my first pitch and my first client -- very literally, what should my pitch look like?

I mean both what should the literal document look like and what should the structure of the pitch be? I have some notes for what I want to say about my belief in the company and my desire to stay involved with it, but mostly I want to know what SHE would like to use me for and form a plan of action.

I think once we have some kind of plan in place that she will feel committed to going forward -- and will also feel very relieved, since we're suddenly short accountants just as new clients are about to onboard.

I want to have a meeting with her tomorrow about this, so I need to prep tonight.

I have already registered the business (i.e., the actual LLC is in existence) and I do have a business plan and budget for it, but this is all happening about a month ahead of schedule (due to the sudden departmental vacuum), so I need to finish whipping everything into shape quickly.
posted by nowadays to Work & Money (3 answers total)
Your pitch should be purely based on what her requirements are. Your pitch should be based on these requirements.

Your belief of what she wants might be very different to you think she wants. As a result, if you pitched her in the morning, your pitch could be totally misaligned.

Tomorrow, when you meet her, its time to ask her open ended questions about how she wants this work. Its your job tomorrow to provide her with a blank canvas to tell you what's on her mind.

Questions like:

Do you see your accountancy requirements being that same as they were in the last year?

How to do you think the new XYZ clients are going to change things?

How would you like this work?

Listen intently to her answers.

Your job is to get as much information out of her as possible. Once you have the information, base your pitch on all the issues she brought up. And do not be afraid to schedule a second meeting for the actual pitch. "Ok, let me get back to you on this, how Tuesday week sound?"

Bonus tip: Do not mention / emphasize about her being your first client. Yes, she probably already knows this, but she could use this as leverage against you.

posted by jacobean at 9:57 AM on May 3

If you really want to know how SHE wants to use you, then I would prepare a couple of different options. You have a better understanding of what the company might need from you and you are going to have given it more thought. So help her out by presenting something that she can react to instead of having to start from scratch. Each option should outline a set of tasks that you would be responsible for and the time commitment associated with that package.

Second, she will want to know how much it will cost, particularly compared to what she is paying now. You have plan and a budget so you should know what you want to charge for your services. You also know the fully loaded cost of your current salary (including taxes, benefits, vacation & holiday pay) Show her how this makes sense for her.
posted by metahawk at 9:59 AM on May 3

When you're calculating your rates, don't forget to account for the employer paid taxes you'll have to now pay on your own - social security and FICA, plus any additional state specific taxes. You should be able to find these on your paystub.

Also account for health insurance costs, additional admin time, and client acquisition costs (even if there's none with her, there will be for the next one!)

Everyone knows contractor rates are higher than employee rates for all of the above reasons, so make sure you're advocating for fair compensation.
posted by ananci at 11:49 AM on May 3

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