Client service Articles

Striking the right balance between client trust and extra fees

Imagine you’ve gone to buy a second hand car and, after checking it has all the features you want, you agree the price you’ll pay with the vendor. You are thrilled. They promise to give it a clean and bring it around to your house a couple of days later. That’s all...

10 fallacies accountants should not buy into

Not all accountants believe all of these fallacies. And some have been part of our psyche for so long we think they must be true. Others are repeated by salespeople and consultants who want you to believe stuff so that you’ll buy what they’re selling. But a...

10 commandments of client service for accountants

Over the years I have seen and heard much advice on the subject of client service for accountants. What you should do and what you should not do. I've whittled these down to the following list of ten 'commandments'. I wonder if you agree with me and if there are any...

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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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How do you know what your clients really want from you?

It’s all to easy to assume that all clients want the same things. But unless you ask, you won’t know for sure. It’s probably true that most clients want you to help them pay less tax and to keep them straight with the authorities. Probably true. For most. But these...

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How to stop your clients’ last minute-itus

How many of your clients only do things at the last minute? Too many, I’d bet. You’re not alone though as “Clients’ last minute-itus” is a common complaint I hear from accountants all over the UK. The question then is how to avoid this? First we need to be clear as...

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What does giving clients ‘added value’ really mean?

I first wrote about this in 2012 when I explained that I don't believe that accountants’ clients really want 'added value'. Heresy? No. It's just I'm not a big fan of buzzwords. I believe it's more helpful to think about what anyone means when they say they want...

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How’s your self confidence and experience?

In my experience many accountants have more potential to succeed than they themselves believe. They are better accountants than they are prepared to admit. And they deserve to be more successful than they have so far managed to be. Could this be true of you too?...

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How to stop letting dilatory clients bully you

Every February I hear tales of woe from accountants who have worked late into the night during the days and 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...

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What matters to clients – real-life feedback

Below you will find a ten point list of what matters to an accountant's client who has just posted a glowing and comprehensive testimonial for them. The client shared the list on Linkedin and I have copied it here and added my related observations. I know the...

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Top ten blog posts of 2021

  Instead of a final post of the year, I offer you a reminder of ten of my most popular blog posts (out of the 50 posted, one each Tuesday) in 2021. I’ve included the links in case you missed them originally or you want to take another look. Early in January I...

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