Top free templates every accounting firm should have

What if you never had to start from scratch again?

Close-up of an accountant's hands using a calculator and reviewing a colorful accounting report with graphs, reflecting the efficiency of using specialized accounting templates

What if all your accounting processes existed as pre-created workflow templates that are tailored to your region and service, ready for you to download, customize and use instantly?

For many firms, it means hours of time savings:

  • BKL saves at least three days per month by using templated workflows

  • Tabworks has sped up their staff onboarding process

  • Leppert Group has streamlined their client onboarding and offboarding

Here is a list of common accounting templates, designed to save you time, streamline your days, reduce manual inputs, and drive more client value. Templates have the potential to seriously transform your accounting firm.

You can directly download these as Excel accounting templates and Excel bookkeeping templates from the Karbon Template Library, or you can add them straight to Karbon. If you’re not already a Karbon customer, you’ll have the opportunity to start a free trial with your chosen template added.

Monthly Accounting template

This is a best practice process for monthly accounting, including monthly bookkeeping essentials and month-end close processes.

👉 Download it for free

Monthly Accounting template for accountants
This is how the monthly accounting template looks when added to Karbon

This template helps maintain accurate records of clients’ monthly financial transactions, expenses, and income.

It leverages Karbon’s Automators and Client Requests to help prepare, reconcile, review, and follow up with your clients about their monthly accounting information.

See this template in action.

Client Onboarding template

This accounting client onboarding checklist template will help to ensure that every step of your client onboarding is covered consistently and efficiently.

Every section is laid out clearly, including kick-off, systems setup, information collection, financials and workflow preparation, and review and advisory.

👉 Download it for free

Client Onboarding template for accounting firms
The client onboarding checklist template saves accountants hours

Your client onboarding process sets the tone for what's to come during your relationship with each client.

It’s an opportunity to make expectations clear, understand communication styles, gather all necessary information, and train your clients on your firm’s systems.

Year-End Review template

This is a best practice process for year-end reviews. It assumes month-end close work has been completed previously, and doesn't include the completion of any tax work.

👉 Download it for free

Year-End Review template for accounting firms
Manage your year-end reviews with a dedicated and templated process

If you’re partnering with a CPA firm to manage year-end tax work, there is an additional section at the end to manage that interaction. 

If not (or if you're doing it internally), you can remove the last section from the template. If you use the template in Karbon, you can add an Automator to the last section to mark the work completed once the tasks in the section are done.

Payroll Set Up template

This payroll set up template is designed to help you get started with managing your clients’ ongoing payroll and quarterly tax filing process.

It also includes a PDF outline that illustrates each step of the process, who is involved and what information is required.

👉 Download it for free

Payroll Set Up template for accounting and bookkeeping firms
Standardize your payroll set up process with this template

It walks you through collecting the relevant information from clients, setting up your payroll system per client, reviewing a sample payroll for accuracy, and setting up recurring payroll workflows.

Payroll Processing template

This best practice payroll processing template guides you through the key stages of running payroll.

👉 Download it for free

Payroll Processing template for accounting and bookkeeping firms.
This payroll processing template will streamline this repetitive process

It includes tasks for your clients to provide payroll timesheets, steps for you to process new employees, rate changes and time off requests, and reminders for processing payroll and following up with your clients.

See this template in action.

Recommended reading: Payroll best practices checklist

Client Offboarding template

All good things must come to an end, including client relationships. When a client parts ways with your practice, there are several tasks to complete to minimize complications and confusion down the track.

This is the best practice process for completing a smooth client offboarding.

👉 Download it for free

Client Offboarding template for accounting firms.
Part ways seamlessly with the client offboarding template from Karbon

It aims to finalize the client relationship 30 days after your exit interview with them.

New Client Acquisition template

This template was created by US accounting firm, Parable. They have shared their best practice process for handling the tasks required when their practice gains a new client.

👉 Download it for free

New Client Acquisition template for accounting practices.
US firm, Parable, have shared their best practice process for new clients

Every time they acquire a new client, they create a new piece of work in Karbon from this template to ensure everything is checked off.

Lead Management template

Maximize your lead conversions, acquire new clients, and grow your accounting practice with this process developed by UK accounting firm, Ask The Boss.

👉 Download it for free

Lead Management template from UK accounting practice, Ask The Boss.
Ask The Boss use this template to find and convert leads to clients

Some steps in this process are specific to UK accounting requirements and the systems used at Ask The Boss. 

But it’s a great example of a detailed and effective onboarding process that involves several team members. It's a perfect base that your firm can adapt to suit your own systems and local regulations.

Quarterly Review template

This template was created by Bette Hochberger Inc. to standardize the quarterly review process across her team. These steps help them ensure their clients are hitting their professional goals.

👉 Download it for free

Quarterly Review template for accounting and bookkeeping firms.
This template is a comprehensive checklist for completing quarterly reviews

Bette Hochberger Inc. is a boutique concierge accounting practice in South Florida specializing in start-ups and small businesses. This template is broad, making it ideal for you to customize to suit your own firm.

Bookkeeping Best Practice template

This detailed workflow template outlines detailed monthly bookkeeping steps including:

  • Weekly bookkeeping

  • Bi-weekly payroll

  • Gathering documents

  • Adjustments

  • Reports

  • Review

👉 Download it for free

Bookkeeping Best Practice template
The Bookkeeping Best Practice Checklist template is one of the most popular templates in the Karbon Template Library

Split into seven sections, it includes critical details for each step including task owner, duration and due date.

Weekly Reconciliation template

This is a best practice process for weekly reconciliation (a sub-process of monthly bookkeeping). 

It includes tasks for preparing accounts payable and expenses, bill pay, bank account reconciliation, credit card reconciliation, and client communication.

👉 Download it for free

Weekly Reconciliation template for bookkeeping and accounting firms across the world.
Save time when completing weekly reconciliations with this standardized and repeatable workflow template

If you use this template in Karbon, once it’s set up and personalized, you can set it to repeat on an automatic weekly recurring schedule.

See this template in action.

Weekly Reconciliation in QuickBooks template

This is a best practice process for weekly reconciliation using Intuit QuickBooks. Even if you don’t use QuickBooks, this template can be customized to suit your needs.

👉 Download it for free

Weekly Reconciliation in QuickBooks template for accounting and bookkeeping firms
This template is unique for firms using QuickBooks

It includes tasks for preparing and reviewing accounts payable and expenses, bill pay, adding receipts from QuickBooks Online, managing bank feeds, managing credit card transactions, reconciling accounts, and reviews.

Financial Planning templates pack

This Financial Planning Pack is designed to support your periodic financial planning meetings with your clients.

This pack includes five workflows:

  1. Financial Planning Bulk Review Meeting Set Up

  2. Financial Planning Review Meeting

  3. Initial Financial Planning Meeting

  4. Statement of Advice (SOA) Preparation

  5. Statement of Advice (SOA) Implementation

👉 Download it for free

Financial Planning templates pack for accounting firms
This Financial Planning templates pack is a comprehensive collection of common processes related to financial planning work with your clients

Cash Flow template

This template is designed to kick start your advisory services with clients. It will help you confirm your cash flow advisory meeting with your client, complete cash flow advisory prep work, conduct the meeting, and follow up with the client and put them to task.

👉 Download it for free

Cash Flow template for bookkeepers and accountants.
Manage your entire cash flow advisory meeting process with this workflow

If you use this template in Karbon, once it’s set up, you can place the work item on a weekly/monthly/quarterly schedule based on your agreement with your client.

Sales Qualification and Discovery Process template

This template is designed to walk you through an initial discovery call with a potential client. It lists the essential questions you need to ask them to understand exactly what they need, their pain points, motivations, and if you can help them.

👉 Download it for free

Sales Qualification and Discovery Process template for accounting firm owners.
Standardize your sales qualification and discovery process with this template

This template also guides you through the follow up, including understanding if they’re a good fit for your firm, the proposal drafting process in GoProposal or Ignition, and the finalizing communications with new clients.

It also includes a PDF outline of the process, that illustrates each step of the process, who is involved and what information is required.

Strategy Consulting Session template

This template outlines a best practice process for scheduling and completing a one-hour strategy consulting session with a client.

👉 Download it for free

Strategy Consulting Session template for accounting firms.
Use this template to schedule and complete strategy consulting sessions with clients

It includes potential discussion points for the meeting, and if you use the template in Karbon, it will automate the client communication process.

Accounting template FAQs

What is an accounting template?

An accounting template is a pre-built accounting process or workflow designed for accounting professionals to download and customize in their accounting business.

Accounting templates often exist as Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, but some can be added directly to your accounting workflow software.

Who needs an accounting template?

Any accountant, bookkeeper or business owner who wants to work efficiently and effectively should use accounting templates.

What features are included in an accounting template?

At a minimum, free accounting templates should include instructions or tutorials about how to use the templates, work tasks, sub tasks, task descriptions, and task assignments.

What are the different use cases for an accounting template?

Accounting templates can be used for client accounting processes, like accounts receivable, financial reports, and cash flow statements, as well as project management processes, like periodic employee performance reviews.

What types of accounting templates are there?

Accounting templates and checklists can exist as free Excel templates, Google Sheets, or as files you can add to your accounting software. 

These templates include business accounting processes, as well as documentation templates, like invoice templates, accounting journal templates, and cashbook templates.

How do you use an accounting template?

You can use an accounting template as an Excel file, ensuring your relevant team members have access to it, and you have reminders set to recreate recurring workflows like payroll.

You can also use accounting templates in accounting software. For example, your accounting practice management tool should enable you to choose from a variety of pre-existing templates that you can customize and use however you need to at your firm.

What are the most common accounting templates?

The most common accounting templates include processes that are heavily repetitive. By using templates and checklists for these tasks, accountants and bookkeepers save time and never have to start from scratch.

Some common accounting templates include:

  • Accounts payable and receivable templates

  • Profit and loss statement templates

  • Financial statement templates

  • Balance sheet template

  • Income statement template

  • Budget template

  • Expense report template

  • Business expenses templates

Accomplish more with Karbon templates

Even though most firm owners don’t need any more convincing that centralized knowledge is valuable, few are actually satisfied with the quality and volume of standardized processes in their firm.

All that changes with Karbon.

The Karbon Template Library houses over 250 workflow templates that are tailored to your region and service, sorted into common collections and workflow packs, with more added frequently. They're all ready to download and start using instantly.

Karbon templates include customizable statuses, checklists, workflow automation, job roles and work types. These allow you to document workflows to suit your firm, giving your staff the tools to set up detailed projects in seconds.

If you’re a Karbon customer, choose any template from the Karbon Template Library and have it instantly added to your account with one click. Complete with automators, client tasks, job roles, statuses, and all the other Karbon workflow functionality you’re used to.

If you don’t use Karbon yet, you can start a trial instantly with your chosen template added. 

Or, if you’re not quite ready or want to use a different system, you don’t miss out. All templates are available to download as Excel spreadsheets to upload to Google Sheets or PDF process maps to use however you want.

Firms that use these templates in Karbon will benefit from integrations with general ledger apps like QuickBooks and Xero, and other accounting and bookkeeping software.

Book a demo to learn more about Karbon.