What is the best way for a Bookkeeper or an accountant to transition clients from billing after the work is done, to billing up front?

I'm afraid to make this change because my clients are used to pay after the work is done and I think it can stir up issues.


Our monthly pricing package for clients includes their QBO subscription and a set number of hours of work. For those that go over that month’s time, I bill the difference on the 1st day of the month, to the card I have on file. The signed engagement agreement I have for each client spells out all my fees, so there should be no surprises.

I switched almost all of my clients over from a ‘Bill After’ system to an ‘Auto-Charge’ on the 1st of the month.

I phrased it as efficiency and asked if they would prefer me to continue to invoice them on the 1st (instead of whatever date I had historically used for them) or if they would prefer I keep their account or credit card on file. All my clients but one signed up for the Auto-Payments and the other one is a good client, so I will accept my check once a month from her.

Don’t be afraid of this!

Lana is the owner & Head Bookkeeper at Hill Bookkeeping & Consulting LLC. They offer cloud-based accounting solutions with QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Self-Employed.