This is probably one of the most valuable tips I share during 1-2-1 mentoring sessions. It’s not just relevant to sole practitioners though. Every client facing partner needs to know their BATASFI when negotiating fees with clients. Indeed it’s equally relevant to service providers way beyond the accountancy profession. I even know some accountants
Should I reference my fees on my website? And if so, how can I do this given how my fees vary from client to client? These are very common questions I get asked by accountants, bookkeepers and tax advisers. And my answer is always: "It depends." ;-) It depends whether you are confident of
We've all done it haven't we. Estimated (or maybe even quoted a fixed) fee for a specific piece of work and then allowed the scope of the work to evolve slightly. And then a bit more. Perhaps we've delegated the work and have not kept in touch with how much extra time
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 themselves, when they give away advice for free to
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 so easy to put into practice.
One of the many recurring topics in my conversations wth accountants is their approach to quoting fees. Twice in the last week I have been asked my view on fee quotes sent out by accountants I am mentoring. They are not alone. I know from my webinars and group sessions that plenty
We all know the old adage “if you don’t ask, you don’t get“. So it is perhaps unsurprising that some people ask if we will reduce our fees. This even happens occasionally when accountants approach me for my NED-style mentoring support services. Fortunately it's very rare. But it has happened. A little
Not all of my clients want to discuss profitability issues with me. So I don’t always know how profitable they are. If it doesn’t come up during our conversations then I assume they are happy enough with their current level of profitability. Or perhaps they are embarrassed because they are less profitable
A popular approach to getting your attention (and often your money) is to tell you that there is ‘one thing’ you must do to achieve your ambitions and succeed. I see this all over the place, in blogs, articles, videos and social media posts. Those who suggest there is just 'one thing'
What do you really need to sell as an accountant? This is a simple enough question, and knowing the right answer could make a profound difference to the success of your practice. Let’s start with what you’re NOT selling. As I explained in a 2018 blog post, You are NOT selling your time.
As a teenager, before I started studying to become an accountant, I was a children's party entertainer - and I continued doing this for about 25 years. When I look back I realise that I quickly learned 3 key lessons that now, many years later, still inform my thinking and thus my
When I ask accountants about the level of fees they would ideally like to earn from new clients, they often struggle to give an answer. Some can't even agree as to the minimum fees they (and their colleagues, if any) would charge for each type of new client work they might take
I have long noticed a tension between the desire to stop acting for difficult clients and a conflicting desire to avoid losing a chunk of fees. The higher the fees paid by the difficult client, the more difficult it is to end things with them. This leads to much muddled thinking -
This is a good question to ponder. In most cases I think your reply should be ‘yes'. Where you set your minimum fee is up to you of course. I have been asking accountants this question for years. It grew out of the annual fee comparison masterclass I run for Members of
Maybe you still use timesheets. Many accountants have moved on but plenty continue to record the time that they and their staff spend on client matters. Throughout my years in practice I diligently recorded my time. Initially this was on monthly, then weekly and, finally, daily time sheets. In most of the
One of the most common issues for accountants is how can they stop getting caught out doing extra little bits of work for free? This has become more of an issue since they started quoting fixed fees. The issue comes up less often for those traditional accountants who still claim to charge
What does ‘closing the sale’ mean in the context of accountancy services? None of us like to think that we are in ‘sales’, so perish the thought that we might ever come across as a pushy sales person. In our world I suggest that 'closing the sale' means advancing the sales process to secure absolute
Let’s start with a truism. No accountants complain that their clients are paying them too much. Conversely there are five main reasons why accountants think their clients are paying too little: 1. They haven’t put the basic fee up to a commercial level; 2. They don’t charge more during their busiest period; 3. They haven’t
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
In early 2013 Professor Richard Susskind published a new book, 'Tomorrow's lawyers'. This included some updated observations of the views expressed in his previous book, published in 2008: The End of Lawyers? Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services. As I share many of Professor Susskind's views I thought I would pick out one theme for this blog.
Over the years I addressed this topic many times in training sessions that explained how to make more profits from your smaller clients (without fancy schemes). It seems that I have yet to include on this blog the opening summary in which I share what seem to me to be the only six ways in
We’ve all done it haven’t we? Estimated a fee (or maybe even quoted a fixed fee) for a specific piece of work and then the scope of the work has changed slightly. And then a bit more. Perhaps we’ve delegated the work and have not kept in touch with how much extra time the ‘tweaks’
Seth Godin is renowned for his pithy and thought provoking blog posts and books. His most recent post is a new (to me) way of looking at the age-old 'time vs value based' billing argument: "Long work is what the lawyer who bills 14 hours a day filling in forms does. Hard work is what
An accountant I was chatting with recently made this astonishing admission. I have to admit I was surprised by his honesty and self awareness. Most accountants blame their clients for ignoring requests to produce their papers in good time to avoid a last minute rush before the 31 January filing deadline for personal tax returns.
A number of people have mentioned in conversation recently how much it costs to go to the dentist. In each case their dentists are getting close to retirement and their longstanding patients are stating to look for someone new. The patients are shocked at how much more they have to pay their new dentist. Their