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Client leaving...

We have had our first client loss to another firm today (a few have stopped trading over the 4 years ) and they choose to let us know by email.

I would have thought a phone call would have been a better route and this had really annoyed me today.

They are not a 'Category A' client, and do thing against our advice re CIS and self employed/employed etc too, but a good monthly fee.

What is the normal way a client advises that they are leaving?

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By BKD
30th Jan 2013 16:12

I'd be grateful that you received an email

Sometimes the first you hear about it is when the letter arrives from the new agent.

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30th Jan 2013 16:28

Agree with BKD. Dont worry about it - 1 loss after 4 years means you are doing plenty right. Think how many times you have written to "the previous accountant" during those 4 years. Keep calm and carry on....

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I've had two in 12 years ...

so don't worry, you probably won't get another one for a while! With both mine the first I knew was a letter from the new accountants which probably says everything about the relationship. Can't say I was heart broken on either!

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Agree with the above

C'est la vie.

If they don't say why they moved, always good to ask.  Also (and sorry if it's obvious) don't forget to email them a disengagement note, to confirm the current state of play on their affairs.

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30th Jan 2013 17:47

Not sure about the rest of my colleagues.....

But after the performance of several clients this month I am tempted to ensure that there will be some more request for information from new accountant letters arriving on my desk soon.....

That will be after letters from us to certain clients resigning as their accountants

Those clients will fall under the category of "difficult to deal with", "severely lack information and normally sent away to retrieve, at least, their bank statements", "terrible payers", "deliver receipts in a carrier bag normally screwed up with more shopping bills than evidence of business expenditure", "first you hear from them is when it's January and the next you hear from them is a couple of days later and then at regular intervals following up until 31 Jan"............... and yes I normally mean every single one of those categories is ticked by those clients.

Why do we put up with this year after year.

Note to self: Don't forget all about this on Friday!

 

Oh and the other category murphy 1 is "come to ask for advice, we spend ages giving it and then they report back a year later having done nothing we told them to do and expecting us to make the problems go away".

I'd get the flags out if I were you - they've just made room for the next decent one that enquires of your services!! You don't need the grief/potential grief when inevitably it all crashes down around them.

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By a_q
30th Jan 2013 23:06

An email is as good as a letter

If you want to terminate a contract, why not send an email?

It has as much legal force as a letter, and you can prove exactly when it was sent and received, to boot.

A phone call is just a bit of audio.

Or are you more concerned with the _politeness_ aspect of the situation?

 

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By refs8
30th Jan 2013 23:41

Makes room for the next better client
For me it makes room for a better client we tend find lose one and then gain a better one !

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By murphy1
31st Jan 2013 09:04

Thanks.

 

Yes, I was a bit annoyed that they couldn't phone, given the normal frequency of phone calls and hand holding that has been done.

However, you are all right, it leave room for better clients. This was an intensive bookkeeping job, client always trying to do things their own way. I refused to do certain things, and surprisingly enough the new accountant is not regulated by an professional body, which I think may explain the reason.

The fee was good, and given another client stopped trading this month, we have lost a fair bit monthly, added into the pot of making up for my partners income as he has cancer, it is just more worry financially.

 

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By murphy1
31st Jan 2013 09:12

And taking Paul's advice, I called and they said the bank advised them as they were growing and needed a bigger firm! The new accountant has just started in practice and is on his own.

Will never know the answer, but can guess!

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