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

By |2015-09-29T15:11:37+00:00September 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+00:00July 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+00:00June 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

10 shocking mistakes that frustrate your clients

By |2015-02-24T09:32:31+00:00February 24th, 2015|Accountants, Servicing clients|

During my annual networking ski trip I asked a number of my fellow entrepreneurs and business owners to talk to me about their accountants. I have since written 3 articles for AccountingWeb by reference to the notes of those conversations.The first article has been published and has already stimulated much online discussion. By way of

Lessons for accountants from….. London cabbies

By |2014-06-17T09:30:22+00:00June 17th, 2014|Accountants, Servicing clients, STANDING OUT|

Last week many of London's black cab drivers staged a protest against the way that the authorities had treated a new competitor in the marketplace. This reminded me of the strident views that some qualified accountants express as regards the competition they face from unqualified people. Some of the reports of the cabbies'  protest suggest that their

Ten ways to make clients listen to your advice

By |2014-02-18T09:11:26+00:00February 18th, 2014|Servicing clients|

It can be frustrating when you give clients advice which they then either ignore or misunderstand.  You want to get them to trust your advice and you want to be able to influence them to follow your advice. Here are ten ways to increase the likelihood that clients will listen to you: Ask more and

How naturally good are you at what you do?

By |2018-07-12T07:29:41+00:00October 29th, 2013|Accountants, Key Business skills, Productivity, Servicing clients, STANDING OUT|

Some people assume that all of the important non-technical skills evidenced by successful accountants and partners can be developed merely by working alongside experienced colleagues or learning 'on the job' , through experience. Another common view is that some people are naturally ‘good’ at things as though their experiences, background and training were irrelevant.

How loyal will your clients be?

By |2009-08-25T06:53:32+00:00August 25th, 2009|Servicing clients|

Telemarketing companies who focus on securing new clients for accountancy businesses tell me that they have never been busier. And there do seem to be a number of such specialist firms - in addition to the more general telemarketing companies that simply work for accountants as and when engaged to do so. Some telemarketers are

Where smaller firms of accountants are going wrong

By |2009-07-23T09:20:59+00:00July 23rd, 2009|Career development, Servicing clients|

Accountancy Age has published a profile piece on Peter Hargreaves (Chartered Accountant and founder of Hargreaves Lansdown).  In it he is quite scathing about certain elements of the profession. None more so than the smaller practitioner: "They’re not doing a good enough job for clients, hence they can’t charge much for the work. A self-defeating

Why bigger isn’t always best

By |2009-01-12T08:02:47+00:00January 12th, 2009|Accountants, Servicing clients|

It's worth sharing  stories I hear about  dissatisfied clients of accountants as there are always lessons that can learned.  Let me be clear this story refers to a friend of mine who has recently gone back to his old accountant. Why did 'Harold' change accountants last year?  He told me: Believe it or not it

Use it or lose it – Your clients’ trust

By |2008-12-16T08:38:41+00:00December 16th, 2008|Accountants, Dependability and trust, Servicing clients|

Accountants are expected and trusted to be good business advisers. This puts them in a good position to advice clients during the current troubled financial times. I addressed this point recently in a post entitled: Accountants need to show they really are business advisers as we move into recession. I have now seen reports of another

How far do you go?

By |2008-07-21T07:55:13+00:00July 21st, 2008|Professional Negligence, Servicing clients, Tax related|

This was another of the thoughts I had during the workshop that followed an E-business for accountants seminar that I attended. (I've already commented on the seminar here and here). One of the workshop leaders was suggesting that accountants should be more prepared to 'upskill' their clients as regards their e-business strategy. I asked whether he

How to develop good listening skills

By |2008-03-19T08:18:41+00:00March 19th, 2008|Servicing clients|

These are so important as ambitious professionals need to be good listeners. We have to listen to our clients, our colleagues, our staff, our partners, our suppliers, our prospects and our prospective clients. So here are a number of tips that, if practiced, will ensure that you are seen to be a good listener: Stop

What do you count as a bad client?

By |2008-02-21T08:17:36+00:00February 21st, 2008|Professional Negligence, Servicing clients|

I regularly encourage accountants to ditch their bad clients. There are two primary reasons for this. - Following the Pareto (80/20) principle, you can be sure that your worst clients (however small the number) cause the bulk of the problems and hassle that you suffer. Conversely, 80% of your profits are probably generated by the