Accounting Contract Template

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Table of contents

An accounting contract is a legally binding agreement between an accountant and a client that outlines the terms and conditions of their professional relationship. This contract serves as a roadmap for the engagement, detailing the scope of your work, fees, payment terms, timelines, confidentiality, and other essential elements of your client relationship. 

It helps to establish a professional and productive relationship between you and your client while providing clarity and protection to the engagement process.

We'd guide you through the elements, benefits, and easy steps to set up your accounting contract. Sign-up to get started on your professional accounting contract.

Why is an Accounting Contract Important?

An accounting contract is essential because it clarifies the expectations between your client and you. It can also serve as a means of protection for you and your client in case of misunderstandings or disputes.

An accounting contract can also help you to establish a professional relationship and show how serious and committed you are to providing high-quality services.

Essential Elements of an Accounting Contract

The following elements should be included to ensure that your accounting contract covers all necessary aspects of the accountant-client relationship:

Scope of Work

The first thing you need to have in your accounting contract is your scope of work. This section should entail your specific services, including bookkeeping, tax preparation, financial analysis, and other related services. It should also detail the client's responsibilities, completion timelines, and required deliverables.


Your accounting contract should contain a timeline. This section should specify the services' timeline, including the engagement's start and end date, and deadlines for deliverables. This will help you stay on track and ensure the engagement progresses smoothly.


You must come to concrete terms with your clients on your fees, hence the need for this section in your accounting contract. This section of your contract should specify the fees for the services you will provide, and it includes your hourly rate or a flat fee for each service, additional fees, and payment terms. Being transparent about fees and costs will help to establish trust between you and your client.

Payment Terms

This section should specify the payment terms for your services, including the payment schedule, payment method, and any penalties for late payment. This will help ensure that your clients know their responsibilities and prevent disagreements or contentions.


This part is very important because everyone wants to be in safe hands. This section outlines the confidentiality terms of the agreement. It should state that you will keep all client information confidential and will not disclose any confidential information to third parties without the client's written consent. This will help to protect the client's sensitive data. 


Sadly, not every well-meaning contract comes to a successful end. It would be best if you outlined the conditions on which termination can be affected either by you or your client. It should include notice periods and any penalties for early termination. This will help to provide clarity on the circumstances under which the engagement can be terminated.

Dispute Resolution

This section should outline the process for resolving disputes that may arise during the engagement. It includes the steps for dispute resolution and the governing law that will apply. This will help minimize the risk of disputes between you and your client and provide a framework for resolving them if they arise.


Many people fail to add insurance policies to their accounting contracts making their clients less safe with the process. This section should outline the insurance coverage that you have in place. It should specify the type of coverage, the amount of coverage, and any exclusions. This will help protect the client in case of any errors or omissions made by the accountant.

Benefits of Having an Accounting Contract

Having an accounting contract has several benefits, including:


An accounting contract clarifies the scope of work, fees, payment terms, and timelines. This clarity helps to avoid misunderstandings or disputes between you and your client.

Legal protection

An accounting contract provides legal protection for you and your client, and it helps to ensure that both of you are held accountable for obligations under the contract.


An accounting contract streamlines the engagement process, making managing and executing the work easier.

Building Credibility

Having an accounting contract in place can help to build credibility for you as an accountant. It shows that you are professional and take your work seriously. This can be especially important for new or small businesses that may hesitate to work with an accountant without a contract. Establishing a clear agreement can build credibility and a positive reputation in your field.

Financial Management

An accounting contract can help your client to manage their finances by providing clear guidance on financial reporting, budgeting, and forecasting. It also helps them make more informed business decisions and achieve financial goals. The contract provides valuable insights and recommendations on financial management, helping your client optimize their financial performance and making you proud in the long run. 

How to Set up Your Accounting Contract 

Here are five easy steps to take when creating your accounting contract with Bonsai:

  • Select your template
  • Add your basic info  
  • Add your scope of work
  • Add your payment details
  • Review and sign

With your accounting contract set up, you should forward it to your clients. Edits to the document can be carried out at any stage before final signatures with your client.

Common Questions About Accounting Contracts

Do I need an accounting contract for every client?

Yes, it is recommended that you have an accounting contract for every client, ensuring that both parties have a clear understanding of the contract.

What happens if the client provides inaccurate or incomplete information?

If the client provides inaccurate or incomplete information, it can impact the accuracy and completeness of your accounting services. The accounting contract should outline the client's responsibility to provide accurate and complete information. You must communicate with the client about the importance of accurate and complete information and follow up with the client if necessary to obtain missing or corrected information.

Can I use a template for my accounting contract?

Yes, you can use a template for your accounting contract. However, it is important to ensure that the template covers all essential elements of an accounting contract and is tailored to your specific needs.

What happens if the client breaches the contract?

If the client breaches the contract, you may be entitled to terminate the engagement or seek legal remedies. It is important to include a section in your accounting contract that outlines the consequences of breaching the contract.

Can I modify the accounting contract after it has been signed?

Yes, you can modify the accounting contract after it has been signed. However, any modifications should be made in writing and agreed upon by both parties.

What is the process for renewing an accounting contract?

The process for renewing an accounting contract can vary depending on the contract terms and the accountant's and client's preferences. Typically, you must provide the client with a proposal for the new engagement, which outlines the essential elements of the accounting contract for the renewal period. 

The client can review the proposal and negotiate any changes or additions as necessary. Once the proposal is finalized and agreed upon, you and the client can sign a new contract or an amendment to the existing contract to reflect the renewal terms. It is important to start the renewal process early enough to allow for negotiation and review time before the expiration of the existing contract.


An accounting contract is essential to establish a professional and productive client relationship. It makes your brand gain credibility. An accounting contract for every client makes things easier for you for your client since they will be able to go through your contract plan easily and make observations. 

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