Chatting with an accountant recently he told me he was amazed why so many clients leave their tax returns to the last minute. He told me he chases clients throughout the year. He sends reminders and prompts. He has recently asked around his business networks to clarify why small business owners and investors do this.
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
I love a blog post written by Paul Simister on his 'Differentiate your business' blog. He explains that Yellow Pages Bingo is a game for checking that your marketing hasn’t fallen into the trap of being too similar to your competitors. And he then reveals the results of playing the game with accountants in central
I wonder how many readers of this blog had heard of Elaine Clark before I awarded her the 'best overnight budget summary' last week? Elaine qualified as a chartered accountant in 1988 and now and runs one of the fastest growing online accountancy practices in the UK. She established it in 2007 and has a
Let me be clear I'm not saying that everyone should or can do this. Simply that some accountants do it. I was prompted to write this blog post after engaging with a couple of accountants on twitter. Here are their tweets: Standing order mandates delivered to the bank. Get the customers paying in advance on
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.
The Tax Advice Network includes a private forum area where the tax adviser members can discuss and share ideas and issues. No one else can see or take part. A recent discussion concerned how different tax advisers deal with calls that only take 10 or 15 minutes. A number of different views were expressed. My
Quick question on 12 July 2014: Please add a note below or email me as to how and why you found this post. It baffles me that this 4 year old piece is routinely one of the most popular on my blog, with hundreds of views every week. Why would that be? ------- This is
As software evolves to meet new legislative requirements so accountants assume this will be built into the price they pay for their software. There is little prospect of accountants asking clients to pay extra - or of them securing additional fees if they did ask! Equally, accountants will not willingly pay extra for updates of
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
There are essentially just five basic approaches to making more profits as an accountant in practice: Increase your charges – for doing the same work you have always done. This requires you to increase the perceived value of what you do Speed up collection of your fees and so reduce your capital requirements and
Anyone who has heard me speak recently will recall my encouragement to review the way in which fees are set. I've also posted numerous previous items on this subject. A summary and link to them all is included in this one: Negotiating fees when times are tough. I've just had a call from an accountant who
I've written a number of previous posts on related subjects and thought it would be useful to provide a one stop link to each of them: I think there are 4 different scenarios where it may be necessary to negotiate fees for your services: The annual fees you charge to existing clients; The additional
Pricing the work that we do for clients is never easy. When I worked for larger firms many years ago fees were determined by reference to 'costs on the clock' - ie: the aggregate of staff and partner time costs as measured by timesheets. Charge out rates were commonly set at about three times the
It's been a while since my last blog post on the subject of billing and fees. What has inspired me to return to the subject? Well, I've just had my car serviced and I was impressed with the sensible way that the garage both managed my expectations and the way they prepared their fee notes.
Some years ago I read an article that highlights six things that happen all too often when anyone focuses their energy on trying to win new clients at the expense of managing the relationship with newly won clients. The author explained how easy it is to fall into each of these six traps: Once you sign