Service Descriptions, Service Terms and the Engagement Template work together to create the perfect contract for your client. Here's how they flow into the client accept page:
It's best to think about these three components as tiers, where the Service description would be Tier 1, Service Terms Tier 2, and the Engagement Template as Tier 3. Let's break them down:
Tier 1: Service Descriptions.
- Purpose? Defines the scope of work of a specific service.
- What should it include? A concise description of deliverables, timeline, Software and Limitations.
- Can it be customized per client/proposal? Yes
Example: This package includes a subscription to Hubdoc to automate data into your file, plus:
- Reconcile credit card and bank statements up to 250 transactions per month
- Reconcile accounts receivable and payable up to 100 transactions per month
Tier 2: Service Terms:
- Purpose? Optional terms that can be be dynamically included in your engagement letter.
- What should it include? Useful for appendixes, additional legal terms or SLA's. Also useful for including third party app privacy policies.
- Can it be customized per client/proposal? No.
- Example: Note, any items listed in the service for this item that have not been lodged in the previous periods may require an amended engagement for the additional work.
Tier 3: Engagement Letter Template
- Purpose? Automatic creation of your engagement letter
- What should it include? The standard terms and conditions of engaging your practice, regardless of the services being provided.
Can it be customized per client/proposal?
- Ownership of documents
- Limitation of liability
- Scope and fee schedule.
I need to change my terms for a specific client. What's the best way to do that?
Any time you need to add a new term, or make a specific adjustment to the terms and conditions for one individual client, the fastest and best place to do this is the service description:
Why can't I just include service specific terms directly in the engagement letter?
You can, but then you risk two things:
- You risk including terms and conditions that might be irrelevant to the client. At worst, this could de-rail the acceptance of your proposal, At best, it creates a poor customer experience.