How to Off-board Employees Securely and Effectively

In a perfect world, we’d all hold onto stellar employees forever. Firms would flourish, revenue would double, and client satisfaction would skyrocket. Unfortunately, the reality is that one in every six CPA firms experiences annual turnover of 20% or greater. As a result, it’s crucial to establish an efficient offboarding process in your firm to ensure a smooth, secure exit for previous employees.  

Here are four critical steps to take after an employee has left your firm:  

Remove login access 

Priority number one is to remove your ex-employee’s login access to all accounts. Keep a list of all the apps and passwords you provided the employee with throughout their tenure. Then, revoke all access upon their dismissal. You can manage passwords and revoke access to passwords easily with password management tools like LastPass or Practice Protect. Using one of these platforms will not only save you valuable time, but it will ensure that all accounts have been accounted for. Let technology do the work for you!  

Obtain all physical property & archive their documents 

Keep track of all the hardware that you have issued including laptops, flash drives, and any other devices that may have your client’s information stored on it, and make sure it is returned to you. You will want to archive all the documents that have been stored on their computer. We advise going the extra mile by documenting the serial numbers on each device to confirm that the correct device has been returned – this is especially important for larger CPA firms with more employees with identical device models. Once you receive all the hardware, make sure all keys and key cards have been returned and be certain to delete any security system codes they might still have access to. Finally, shred and cancel all payment cards that were issued to them. You’ll want to make sure you receive all of these items before you say your final goodbyes!  

Terminate all accounts 

Even if the person no longer has access to their accounts, those accounts should be deactivated completely so they’re not left floating in the ether. Make sure to audit all accounts in your organization just to make sure you didn’t miss anyone – and don’t forget interns! Forward any emails and/or delegate access to their email to another employee. You might want to consider setting an automated message to notify external stakeholders that they’re no longer with the company.  

If the employee had a personalized phone extension or voicemail, you will want to update those as well. And finally, be sure to remove any access they had to your banking accounts. 


Create and maintain an employee offboarding checklist  

Your offboarding checklist should include all information regarding the firm’s systems, applications, accounts, and physical property. This makes it easy to double-check you’re not giving an employee access to anything post-departure. It may seem intimidating to have to create an off-boarding checklist of your own, but you can reference this blog post and download our off-boarding checklist guide to help you get a head start.  

And remember when it comes to employee offboarding, don’t be afraid to learn from previous mistakes. Continuously update your offboarding checklist when you discover loopholes in the process. This will prevent repetitive mistakes and save you hours of time in the long run!  

The Next Steps – Download the official Tech Guru off-boarding checklist template 

Before you say good-bye to your next employee, download our free off-boarding checklist template. This isn’t a comprehensive list, but a guide to cover the necessary bases until you discover what else you should add. Offboarding doesn’t need to be a scramble, and this checklist will prepare you to make the process as efficient and secure as possible.