The real reasons you need to do business advice properly

By | 2018-05-22T23:03:11+00:00 May 15th, 2018|Accountants, Business advice, cloud accounting, Future, Servicing clients|

Why are so many consultants telling accountants that they need to start providing advisory services to clients? You've been doing this for years haven't you? Or else your clients don't want, don't need or can't afford to pay for such services.     Hmm. Have you really been doing this for years? I know many

10 ways to get paid for additional work

By | 2018-05-22T23:05:59+00:00 April 3rd, 2018|Accountants, Pricing, Servicing clients|

Here are ten approaches to getting paid for additional work and that may be worth considering in the right circumstances.  I should stress that I can't wave a magic wand and ensure your clients pay you for additional work that you haven't discussed or billed in a professional way.  The key, invariably is good communication.

What are you doing about your clients’ uncertainty about the future?

By | 2018-05-22T23:07:00+00:00 February 13th, 2018|Future, Servicing clients|

When I talk with accountants, which I do a lot, I often sense an unspoken concern about increased ‘uncertainty’ in their world. It is clear to me that many business clients are uncertain, many private clients are uncertain and also many accountants themselves are uncertain. Business clients They are uncertain about future sales and expansion,

How was January for you this year?

By | 2018-02-06T22:53:02+00:00 February 6th, 2018|Accountants, Servicing clients|

This is a question I always ask accountants when I talk with them in February. "How was January for you this year?" The answers are always pretty similar. They range from "Not as bad as previously" through to the absolute defeatist "Same as always. I just accept that's the way it is."  This tends to

Cloud accounting – Do you lead your clients or let them lead you?

By | 2017-11-22T11:38:12+00:00 November 22nd, 2017|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, cloud accounting, Experience and expertise, Productivity, Servicing clients, sole practitioners, Starting out|

This is the first of what I anticipate will become a series of cloud accounting related blog posts. Back in 2009 I disagreed with those commentators who were warning accountants about an urgent need to embrace cloud accounting technology. The alternative, warned these merchants of doom, was that accountants who failed to embrace the cloud

3 lessons for accountants from….. personal trainers

By | 2017-07-11T10:56:09+00:00 July 11th, 2017|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Career development, Experience and expertise, Reputation, Servicing clients, sole practitioners|

I recently heard John Hardy the Founder of FASTER Health and Fitness introduce his business.  He mentioned he throught there were similarities with accountants. I have taken what he said and adapted it to provide some lessons for accountants from the business side of personal training and fitness. 1  Personality John has noted that a

How do you allow clients to communicate with you?

By | 2017-06-20T09:47:51+00:00 June 20th, 2017|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, facebook, Linkedin, Servicing clients, Social Media, twitter|

In the days before email there were only 3 ways that clients could communicate with their accountants. In person, by phone and by letter. Now the list of options is much longer. Do you encourage, tolerate or refuse to accept communications by less conventional methods? How does this impact your client base? Email is perhaps

The end of accountants is nigh. Or is it?

By | 2017-05-30T09:15:43+00:00 May 30th, 2017|Accountants, Career development, Future, Servicing clients, sole practitioners|

Let me save you some time. Yes, the accounting profession is going through (another) period of unprecedented change. There will be fewer jobs for accountants in the future. There will be fewer large firms of accountants in the future. But there will continue to be plenty of work for savvy sole practitioner accountants for many years

“None of my clients want anything more than the basics”

By | 2017-05-09T09:32:30+00:00 May 9th, 2017|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Servicing clients, sole practitioners, STANDING OUT|

Unlike some commentators, I entirely accept that many accountants have some clients who want nothing more than a basic compliance service.  And that you get very frustrated to be told by consultants that you should offer your clients advisory services. After all,  you know your clients don't want, cannot afford and will not value such advisory

Why do you let clients bully you?

By | 2017-02-09T09:29:04+00:00 February 9th, 2017|Accountants, Servicing clients|

Each February I hear tales of woe from accountants who have worked late into the night during the weeks leading up to the tax return filing deadline. Many are resigned to this and some even seem to enjoy the adrenaline rush. Most though resent the late hours and the pressure they feel as the deadline

Sole practitioners – what can you do when your clients are too tough on you?

By | 2018-03-14T22:44:02+00:00 October 19th, 2016|Accountants, Servicing clients, sole practitioners|

Many an otherwise savvy sole practitioner tells me about similar problems with their client base. "They won't pay higher fees, they don't want additional services and they leave everything to the last minute" If you have clients like this, you're not alone. Often it's a direct consequence of how desperate you were to take on

10 commandments of client service for sole practitioners

By | 2016-06-13T15:48:32+00:00 June 13th, 2016|Accountants, Dependability and trust, Experience and expertise, Productivity, Servicing clients|

Ok, maybe not real 'commandments' and maybe they are relevant to a wider audience than sole practitioners. Either way I hope you'll nod as you look through the list. I suggest you aim to pick out one or two where you know you could do better. And then focus on what you could do to

Is it better to have lots of small clients or a smaller number of larger clients?

By | 2015-09-29T15:11:37+00:00 September 29th, 2015|Accountants, Pricing, Servicing clients|

The question I was recently asked by an accountant was actually: “Is it better to have 500 small clients paying me £500 pa or 50 larger clients paying £5,000 pa?” A little background from the accountant concerned: “The reason behind this question is that I have been running my practise for many years looking after

Why I sacked a large firm of accountants

By | 2015-07-21T10:18:37+00:00 July 21st, 2015|Accountants, Servicing clients|

The purpose of sharing what follows is the lessons that I hope become apparent. I have no desire to embarrass anyone so I am not identifying the client, the firm or the partner concerned. That's not the point. Background Last year I took over responsibility, on a voluntary basis, for the finances of a members'

Resolving issues with problem clients

By | 2018-06-09T19:26:01+00:00 June 2nd, 2015|Accountants, Productivity, Servicing clients|

This was the main topic for discussion at last month’s meeting of The Inner Circle for Accountants. Once again Members of The Inner Circle benefited from the willingness they all had to share their experiences and insights during our round table discussion. In accordance with one of our key membership principles everyone agreed to