Using proposals

Using proposals

Proposals are portal forms used to offer services to your clients. All proposals are able to be accepted online by the client or they can print and sign a PDF version attached to the email sent via the portal. The accepted proposal forms a legally binding contract between your firm and the client. We recommend reviewing the How to Write a Winning BD Proposal document, available in the 3. Selling folder of the Value Based Selling bridge prior to creating a proposal to help you understand the format of Gap proposals.

Required setup

Your portal administrator must set up your firm's Payment Options in Main menu > Services & Pricing > Payment Options tab before preparing a proposal.
  1. If you attempt to create a proposal before setup is complete, you will need to redo the proposal from scratch, i.e. you cannot use a proposal drafted prior to setup being completed
    1. Please note that updates to Firm Settings do not pull through to drafted documents
  2. If your Payment Options have not been set up, you will experience an error message requiring that you 'fill in fields marked in red' when trying to click Next or Action on a proposal (even after all required fields have been filled)
Important info
We recommend that your portal administrator completes the setup for all tabs in Services & Pricing as soon as possible, as this information pulls through to the proposals.

For more information check out the Setting up services and pricing and Configuring proposal payment terms articles.

Which proposal should I use?

  1. Proactive Onboarding (PO) Services Proposal: this proposal pulls through your services and service plans from your Services & Pricing area and requires your Terms of Engagement (ToE) to be attached; send this proposal to new clients who need to accept your ToE
  2. Complimentary Client Review (CCR) Services Proposal: this proposal pulls through your services and service plans from your Services & Pricing area; send this proposal to clients who have previously accepted your ToE
  3. Proposal for Additional Services: this proposal pulls through your services and service plans from your Services & Pricing area but is not pre-populated with our standard proposal sections; use this proposal for one-off or bespoke services, e.g. Xero Setup
  4. Business Development proposals: these proposals are available in each bridge and set up specifically for that service, e.g. Business Planning Proposal or Quarterly Coaching Proposal. Some bridges contain multi-service proposals, e.g. Business Planning, Cashflow Forecast and Quarterly Coaching proposal; ensure you gain conceptual agreement for all services prior to sending a multi-service proposal

How to create a proposal

Navigate to Main menu > Bridges and select the bridge related to the proposal you wish to create. Alternatively, use the Search  feature in the Main menu toolbar to find a proposal.
Most proposals are located in the 3. Selling folder. Click the proposal name to open it.

Red text is hint text to assist in proposal creation and will not appear in the completed proposal.

Send as email or letter

Choose your sending method by selecting the appropriate checkbox:
  1. When you chose the Send as email, the recipient has the choice to either accept the proposal online or download, print and sign the PDF version automatically attached to the email
  2. When Send as letter has been selected, you'll download the cover letter and proposal as separate PDFs after clicking Next or Action on the proposal

Send to multiple recipients

You can send a proposal to more than one person by clicking the button in Recipients after clicking Next or Action on the proposal and adding email addresses. Please note that:
  1. Each recipient will receive their own copy of the proposal to sign either online or manually. You may wish to collate proposals accepted online using PDF editing software, then upload them to the client's Activity tab
  2. We recommend customising the email greeting to suit, e.g. 'Hi John and Jane' or 'Hi all'
  3. If recipients are likely to print, sign and scan the proposal, we recommend backspacing the 'Contact Name' and 'Client Company Name' text fields at the very bottom of the proposal (in the Acceptance section > PDF signature table) and replacing them with two new lines of text including 'Full Name (PLEASE PRINT):' and 'Company:' so the client can write their own details

Important info
We recommend that you send proposals via email in the interests of efficiency. This allows clients to accept the proposal online.

Client Selection

You must select a client from the Client dropdown in the top right-hand corner prior to clicking Next or Action on a proposal. This will automatically populate the proposal with the client's details and will save the proposal to the client's Activity tab.
If you have a long list of clients you can start typing the first few letters of the client's name after clicking the dropdown.

Cover Pages and Back Covers

You can add branding to your proposals by using a Cover Page and Back Cover. There are four templates for you to customise to create your own Cover Page and Back Cover in the Main menu > Marketing > Proposal Branding  folder. Cover Pages and Back Covers will only append to the PDF version of the proposal.
  1. Add a new Cover Page by clicking the Upload button beneath your firm's logo or select a previously uploaded Cover Page from the dropdown
  2. Add a new Back Cover by clicking the Upload button at the bottom of the proposal or select a previously uploaded Back Cover from the dropdown
  3. The portal will retain the last 20 files for your convenience
  4. Uploaded Cover Pages and Back Covers are available for all users to use
  5. To delete an uploaded Cover Page or Back Cover, select the file from the dropdown then click  which will appear on the right-hand side of the dropdown

Objectives, Measures of Success and Value

As part of gaining conceptual agreement, you should establish the client's objectives, measures of success and the value they'll obtain from the service. 

Objectives: these are what your client wants to achieve as a result of the service you'll provide them.
Measures of success: these explain how you'll measure progress towards achieving objectives in a qualitative or quantitative way.
Value: these outline the benefit of the service specifically to your clients.
  1. Proposal templates have been set up with suggested objectives, measures of success and points of value, however, these should be amended to suit the specific needs of each client
  2. Tick the box next to any you wish to include in your proposal; any left unticked will not appear in the proposal
  3. Add your own bespoke points by clicking your cursor at the end of the last point and pressing enter on your keyboard. A new bullet will appear; type your bespoke text, entering down to add additional points. These points will automatically appear in the proposal; there are no boxes to tick


This section should clarify mutual accountabilities and the expected behaviours of each party to achieve a successful working relationship. This has been pre-populated with expectations; edit these or add your own to reflect your firm's.


This clarifies the probable duration and timing of the service and encourages the client to accept the proposal promptly, helping to maintain your workflow. Enter the month and year the service will begin; you don't need to specify the exact date here.

Proposed Service

This should clearly explain the process of how the service will be delivered. If offering more than one service option, state the options for your client in this section, also clarify the length of any meetings and the outcomes of the service. This section has been pre-populated in the proposal templates.

Pricing and Payment Terms

The service price automatically pulls through from the Main menu >  > Services & Pricing > BD Pricing tab. This can be edited by clicking in the textbox and updating the price. Ensure the price entered is exclusive of tax.

The Payment Terms automatically pull through from the Main menu >  > Services & Pricing > Payment Options tab. Click to toggle on  or off   the payment terms within the proposal according to your client's needs. Your client must select a payment term per service to submit their proposal online.

If your firm has includes a loading % fee for the monthly payment option in the Main menu > Services & Pricing > Payment Options tab, the price displayed for the monthly payment term in the proposal includes this fee.

We recommend offering at least three payment terms to give your client a choice of yeses.


This section includes the acceptance deadline and the signature form. The default is a 10 working day deadline for acceptance; the date automatically populates based on this deadline but is editable.

The two grey boxes show what will appear in the electronic proposal for online acceptance and the PDF attached to the email. The red hint text won't appear in the client's proposal.

The Gap's online proposal acceptance form meets the requirements to form a legally binding contract between your firm and your client. Your client's electronic signature is accepted as valid under international law.

Preview and Save as Draft buttons

  1. The Preview button generates a PDF of the proposal, including any attached files (cover pages, back covers, and Terms of Engagement); we recommend previewing documents prior to sending
  2. The Save as draft button saves the proposal to Main menu Drafts; the proposal also autosaves every 30 seconds during creation as long as you've selected a client and have an active internet connection

Completing a proposal

  1. Click the Next or Action button when you've finished creating your proposal. This button will only be active if you've selected a client and filled in all required fields (marked in red).
  2. After clicking Next or Action, the Set Proposal Due Date popover prompt will appear, with a pre-selected date 14 days in the future (including public holidays). Amend if necessary and click Save. The proposal will now appear in the Proposals Open section of your portal dashboard.
  3. To send as an email:
    1. The 'BCC FYI' recipient will file your proposal to FYI when selected (if your firm has an automated FYI integration enabled)
    2. The Recipients list allows you to send the proposal to more than one person
      1. Enter all additional email addresses in the dropdown field, separated by a comma
      2. Each recipient will receive their own link to individually accept their copy of the proposal online
    3. Click the  Send button when you are ready
  4. To download as a PDF, click the Download to PDF button. 
The Email Preview section contains the active 'click here' link your clients will use if they choose to accept your proposal online. Click it to see the proposal from the client's perspective before sending it.

The Services Proposal

The Services Proposal can be used to offer a mix of Business Development, Compliance, Compliance Plus, Advisory, and Bookkeeping services. All services your firm has set up in your Onboarding Services tab will appear in the Service Proposal, available to be toggled on or off. If your firm has set up service plans, you can select a service plan from the dropdown to automatically toggle those services on.

There are two Services Proposals in the portal; one in the Proactive Onboarding (PO) bridge and one in the Complimentary Client Review (CCR) bridge.
  1. The Services Proposal in the PO bridge requires your firm's Terms of Engagement to be attached
  2. The Services Proposal in the CCR bridge does not require Terms of Engagement to be attached, but these can be attached during proposal creation
If you require a time and cost based proposal, check out the Setting up a time and cost based proposal article for further instructions.

Proposal and Fee Summary

The Services Proposal is the same as other proposals up until the Proposal and Fee Summary section. 

Do not
 use Gap Forms to request credit card or payment details!

Service Plans
If your firm has set up Service Plans in the Main menu >  > Services & Pricing > Service Plans tab, you can select one from the Service Plan dropdown at the top of the Proposal and Fee Summary area. This will automatically toggle the services within the Service Plan on  in the proposal and collapse any unused service categories. You can still toggle individual services or service categories on or off after selecting a Service Plan if required.

Annual Pricing vs Monthly Recurring Pricing
Select between annual or monthly pricing using the buttons; the selected pricing option will appear green. Service prices, overall totals and payment terms will adjust accordingly.

Show Category Totals
Click this button to enable or disable category totals. When deselected, the button will appear grey and the category totals will appear in light italics; this is to assist with pricing calculations during proposal creation only and will not show on the completed proposal. When selected, the button will appear green and the category totals will appear in normal text and show on the completed proposal.

Building the Services
  1. Service categories and services appear in the order they've been set up in the Main menu >  > Services & Pricing > Onboarding Services tab
  2. The Line Pricing icon allows you to enable or disable line pricing in each service category; when enabled , you'll be able to select the pricing option from the dropdown, i.e. Agree, Estimated or Range
    1. You can edit the price during proposal creation; ensure you enter the tax exclusive amount rounded to the nearest dollar
    2. If the 'Estimated' price option is selected, a disclaimer will appear below the proposal totals explaining that the price is estimated only, and if any issues arise that increase the firm's internal costs, the client will be notified prior to continuing the work
    3. We recommend you toggle line pricing off  after setting up the pricing for each service
  3. Use the chevrons to expand   or collapse  service categories to navigate the form more easily
  4. Toggle a service category on  to toggle all services in that category on; toggle a service category off  to toggle off all services in that category
  5. Toggle a service on  to include it in the proposal; toggle a service off to remove it from the proposal

Total price
The total price, both excluding and including tax, is automatically calculated and displayed at the bottom of the Proposal and Fee Summary section. If an estimated price has been inputted, the disclaimer will appear below the total price. If a price range has been inputted for one or more services, the range will appear in the total price.

Payment Terms

Annual Pricing
The Payment Terms automatically pull through from the Main menu >  > Services & Pricing > Payment Options tab. Click to toggle on  or off  the payment terms within the proposal according to your client's needs. Your client must select a payment term per service prior to submitting their proposal online.
In Services Proposals, only the monthly payment option will show the amount. 

Monthly Recurring Pricing
If this option was selected during proposal creation, the Payment Terms will simply have a sentence specifying the monthly payment method. The text box contains the text 'direct debit or credit card' - amend this to specify your preferred monthly payment method.

Terms of Engagement

  1. If your Terms of Engagement has been uploaded to the Main menu > Services & Pricing > Onboarding Services tab, this will automatically be appended to the PO and CCR Services Proposals
    1. You can delete this from the CCR Services Proposal by clicking the  icon
    2. You can delete this from the PO Services Proposal but you must upload another version (ToE must be appended to this proposal)
  2. If your ToE has not been uploaded to the Main menu >  > Services & Pricing > Onboarding Services tab, click Upload > select a PDF file > Open
  3. To replace the current ToE file, simply click  and then upload the desired PDF file
  4. During online acceptance, the ToE section will contain the text 'Please click here to read our Terms of Engagement.' which, when clicked, will open the PDF in a new browser tab
    1. The client must tick a box to indicate they accept your ToE prior to accepting the proposal online
  5. Your uploaded ToE will append to the end of the PDF version of the proposal 
Important info
For your convenience, there are Terms of Engagement templates for our three main territories New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom in the Proactive Onboarding > 3. Selling folder.

Proposal for Additional Services

This is a stripped-back version of the Services Proposal, which allows you to offer ad hoc services to your client when required.
  1. There is a blank text area for you to write your own description of the service above the Proposal and Fee Summary section
  2. The rest of the proposal is set up the same as the Services Proposal, with all your firm's Onboarding Services listed to be toggled on  or off 
  3. Ensure you've added the relevant services to your Onboarding Services prior to creating the proposal
  4. Terms of Engagement can be appended to this proposal but are not required

Business Development Proposals

These proposals are located in the 3. Selling folder of each bridge.
  1. Proposals are pre-populated with objectives, measures of success, points of value and proposed service details
  2. The proposed service section is based on the process outlined in the Process Guide for that bridge; ensure you update this section to reflect any changes to the process or outcomes for the client
  3. Some bridges contain multi-service proposals, where two or more services complement one another and are often offered as a package, for example, Business Planning, Cashflow Forecast and Quarterly Coaching; these proposals contain objectives, measures of success and points of value for each service. All services have separate Pricing and Payment Terms; this allows the client to choose which services they'd like during online acceptance, so ensure you've gained conceptual agreement for all services prior to sending the multi-service proposal

Important info
If you wish to create a custom proposal, use the proposal templates available in the Main menu > TemplatesGeneric Templates  > Selling  folder.

Online acceptance - the client experience

When your client receives the proposal email, it will reflect any text changes you made in the body of the email and an active link for your client to accept the proposal online. The proposal will also be attached to the email as a PDF for manual acceptance (i.e. print, sign, scan, return).

After clicking the link in the email, a webpage will open with your proposal. The client can attach a file to their online acceptance if required, by clicking the Attach button in the top right-hand corner of the proposal. There are a few differences between the proposals during online acceptance:
  1. PO Services Proposal: 
    1. Your client will not be able to select between services; ensure you have gained conceptual agreement before sending this proposal or you'll have to amend it and re-send if the client doesn't want to accept all services
    2. Clients must select a payment term
    3. Clients must click both 'I have read and agree to the terms of this proposal' and 'I have read, understood, and accept the Terms of Engagement' checkboxes prior to submission
  2. Single Service Business Development Proposal and CCR Services Proposal:
    1. Clients must select a payment option
    2. Clients must click 'I have read and agree to the terms of this proposal'
  3. Multi-Service Business Development Proposal:
    1. Your clients will be able to select between the services offered
    2. Each service has its own payment options; clients must choose an option for each accepted service
    3. Clients must click the 'I have read and agree to the terms of this proposal' checkbox prior to submission
Your clients must type their signature, then click Submit. After submission, your client will have the options to download the signed proposal to PDF or email themselves a copy.

Portal notifications

The portal user who sends the proposal will receive an email notification when the client has submitted their acceptance online. A PDF of the signed proposal can be downloaded in the Main menu >  > Inbox tab; other users can view the accepted proposal by changing the My Documents dropdown to 'All Documents'. For more information, check out the Managing inbox notifications article.

Marking a proposal as won or lost

When a client has submitted their signed proposal, you'll need to mark it as won in the Proposals Open area of your portal Dashboard.
  1. Navigate to Main menu > Dashboard.
  2. Locate the proposal in the Proposals Open area.
  3. Click the  icon to mark the proposal as won.
  4. In the popover prompt:
    1. Update the acceptance date if required
    2. Amend the BD Revenue if the client didn't accept all services
    3. Click Save
If a client does not accept the proposal, mark it as lost in the Proposals Open area of your portal Dashboard.
  1. Navigate to Main menu > Dashboard.
  2. Locate the proposal in the Proposals Open area.
  3. Click the  icon to mark the proposal as lost.
  4. Click OK on the popover prompt to confirm you want to change the status to lost.
  5. The next popover prompt will ask if you want to set an action to follow up the client in 90 days.
    1. To add a 90 day action, review and update the text then click Save; the follow up action will appear in your 90 Day Actions section of your portal
    2. If you don't want to set an action to follow up, click Skip
For more information about the Proposals Open area, check out the Utilising the dashboard article.

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