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Why you should always know your BATASFI when negotiating fees with clients

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...

Should I reference my fees on my website? If so, how can I do this?

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...

What if you want to charge more than your fee quote?

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 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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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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5 mistakes you make when quoting fees to new clients

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...

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Why are you not as profitable as you want to be?

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...

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What do you REALLY need to sell as an accountant?

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...

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Want to charge more and do more for new clients?

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...

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Is now the time to drop problematic clients?

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...

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What do you sell? The answer is NOT time

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,...

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How to stop doing extra work for free

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...

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Can accountants ‘close the sale’ effectively?

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...

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What can you do if your fees are too low?

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...

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