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Will They Connect? Sharing Strongbox Data Gathering with a Client

When working with audit or CAS clients or a target company during the M&A process, one of the most critical aspects of a successful engagement is efficient and secure data. Strongbox data gathering offers a seamless solution for this, but it's important to ensure that your clients are comfortable and ready to connect. This blog post will guide you through the process of introducing Strongbox to your clients, handling potential objections, and providing robust support to ensure a smooth experience.


Path of Least Resistance: Using Your Own Credentials or a Backup File

The simplest way to connect to Strongbox is by using your own credentials. Each accounting system supported by Strongbox has specific credentials needed to approve the connection (find those here.) If you have these credentials, then you can connect directly yourself without the client or target having to spend any additional time or energy to generate reports for you.


Even if you don’t have admin credentials, with QuickBooks Desktop (QBD) you can still gain easy access yourself if the client provides their backup file. If you have the backup file, the process is straightforward and can be completed without needing the client’s direct involvement.


However, in many cases, you might not have this level of access. When this happens, you'll need to guide the client through the process of connecting themselves. This can be a new and sometimes skeptical step for clients, but with the right approach and support, they’ll see how easy it is and appreciate the time it saves them.

 

Introducing Strongbox Data Gathering to the Client

The best time to introduce Strongbox is early in your conversations with the client. This will prevent them from feeling blindsided or spammed by unfamiliar tools or steps. Mention the benefits and how it can streamline the data gathering process, saving them significant time and reducing manual efforts.

Here’s some best practices for introducing Strongbox data gathering technology to your clients or targets:

  1. Early Introduction: Start by explaining the importance of efficient data gathering and how Strongbox fits into this process early on. Many Strongbox users even mention it during the sales process to highlight the ways they make the process smooth for the client/target.

  2. Highlight Benefits: Emphasize the key benefits for the client rather the benefits for the firm. We have found these benefits to be most persuasive:

Time Savings: There will be fewer reports and back-and-forth they have to deal with so that they can stay focused on running their business.

Security: Strongbox is a read-only connection, so no data in their system can be changed. Strongbox uses bank-level encryption and adheres to GDPR and SOC 2 security standards.

Ease of Use: Connecting only requires a couple of clicks. It’s a straight-forward process with step-by-step instructions guiding them the whole way.

  1. Share Social Proof: Gather feedback from targets and clients so that you have information to share with sceptics. Use specific examples like, "Our customers report that Strongbox saves about 2 hours by bypassing the need to run manual reports."

  2. Provide a Demo: If possible, offer a quick demonstration of how Strongbox works. Show them how straightforward the process is and how it benefits both parties.

 

Responding to Objections

While most of our customers report no issues with getting clients or targets to connect, it does occasionally happen. Clients may have concerns about using a new tool. Here are some of the concerns we’ve heard and how to respond to them:

  1. Security Concerns: Explain that Strongbox uses bank-level encryption to protect their data. Share the Security FAQ that Strongbox provides (more on that below).

  2. Access Concerns: Some businesses, especially in M&A or forensic accounting, may be hesitant to hand over their books. Assure them that their information is secure and only accessible in a read-only format.

  3. Connection Permanency: Clarify that the connection is not permanent. It expires after a set period, ensuring that their data is not continuously accessible.

  4. Complexity: Some clients might worry about the complexity of connecting to Strongbox. Reassure them that connecting to Strongbox is faster and easier than the reports they’d have to produce otherwise. If any issues crop up, our dedicated customer support team is available to assist you and your clients through every step of the process.

 

How We Support You

To make the process as smooth as possible, we offer a range of support materials and services:

  • Dedicated Customer Support: Our team is available to assist clients and targets with connecting to Strongbox, addressing any concerns or difficulties they may encounter.

  • Security Fact Sheet: We provide a detailed security fact sheet that can be shared with clients to address any security-related questions.

  • Branded One-Pager: To help explain why your firm is using Strongbox and how it benefits the target or client, we offer our clients a branded one-pager that outlines all the key points in a clear and concise manner.



By following these steps, you can ensure that your clients are not only ready but also enthusiastic about connecting to Strongbox. Early introduction, clear communication of benefits, addressing objections, and robust support are key to making this process smooth and efficient. Remember, the goal is to make the data gathering process as seamless and secure as possible, ultimately benefiting both your firm and your clients.


For more detailed information about any of the information or resources discussed in this article, contact your Strongbox customer support or account executive.

 

Lathrop Smith, a Partner at Maxwell Locke & Ritter, states:

“Strongbox has greatly simplified the process of data gathering for our team. This makes all parties (including our team, our clients, and the target company) happy and less stressed. Receiving the source data in the same format on each Strongbox enabled deal has helped improve the internal efficiency for our team. The Maxwell Locke & Ritter team are fans of Strongbox."

 

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