Client service Articles

The power of setting and explaining minimum fees

The first question to consider here is whether you want all new clients to pay you at least a minimum fee. This is a good question to ponder. In most cases I think your reply should be ‘yes’. Where you set your minimum fees is up to you of course. As is whether you...

Transitioning from compliance work and rediscovering your purpose

What is the real reason you are in practice as an accountant? You won't be alone if you struggle to answer this. What is the first thing that comes to mind as to your motivation to be in practice as an accountant? Is it perhaps because you enjoy: helping your clients?...

What type of service guarantees do accountants offer?

Let’s be realistic. If you did some work for a client but they weren’t happy because you made a big mess of it, would you insist on charging them extra to correct your mistake? I hope you wouldn’t even consider trying to charge extra to resolve a mistake of your own...

The 10 Cs of powerful conversations with clients

I first shared a shorter version of this post a few years ago at a very difficult time for everyone. I have now updated this to reflect 10 key topics you may want to factor into the conversations you have with your clients: Change Asking clients about recent...

View article

How to deliver advisory services for maximum success

'How to deliver advisory services for maximum success' is the sub-title of a superb new book for accountants that I read recently. I'll share the author and title later in this post. Let's just say that I wish I had written this book, as I am already recommending...

View article

What is the key to accountants’ survival in the AI era?

One of the biggest changes to be heralded by the introduction of AI so far as accountants are concerned, links to one of my long-term messages for accountants. How can you stand out from the competition? And, as a result, win more of the business you really want?...

View article

Ten signs you may be a bad accountant

This personal list simply reflects my experience and views. None of these qualities are about efficiency vs inefficiency, nor about old-style vs new-style and it’s certainly not about qualified vs unqualified. You may think some of the qualities listed below are...

View article

Should accountants do bookkeeping for clients?

I hate being asked questions like that. Well, not 'hate' exactly. It's one of those questions when I know my reply will start with 'It depends'. The question implicitly assumes that all accountants are the same. And, as I frequently point out - that's just not...

View article

Ten ways to make clients listen to your advice

An accountant I have been mentoring for a while shared a common frustration with me recently. It seems he has a number of clients who either ignore or misunderstand his advice. We discussed why this might be happening, how often it happens and what might be the...

View article

Lessons for accountants from…..personal trainers

When someone decides they want to get fit they could choose the DIY route at a gym or they can engage a personal trainer. The trainer will ask if the client has has had a trainer before. If so, what did the client like about the exercises, the fitness regime, the...

View article

How to avoid giving free advice to prospects

How to avoid giving away advice for free to prospective clients? I'm reminded of the old sex education message: Just say 'no'! As an accountant you are, I'm sure, well used to prospective clients seeking free advice. I think the most common reason accountants give...

View article

A brave accountant admits he needs help and asks for it.

An accountant approached me last week to ask whether any of the members of my Tax Advice Network would be willing to work with his practice on a regular basis? The answer was 'yes'. The background to this accountant's question was not uncommon. What I admired...

View article

10 ways to get paid for doing unbudgeted work

Lots of accountants I work with used to struggle to charge what they feel they're worth for the work they do. Sadly I can't just wave a magic wand to change things. Mostly what's required is an increase in confidence and improved communication. Easy to say, but not...

View article