Blogger
Share this content
0
46
4134

New Client - High tax bill with me

I have a new client for whom I prepared a first set of accs and corp tax return. His corporation tax bill in his eyes is very high. I checked everthing to ensure I got all the bases covered and I have.

His tax bill is £3.5k higher than his previous corp tax. The key reason for this is  no 100% FYA for the year in question.

I can see client is not all happy with me.

I am sure others have come across this. Any ideas how to handle this?

Replies

Please login or register to join the discussion.

avatar
29th Jul 2010 19:48

Educate the client

Inform the client of the reason why his tax is higher and the implication of the 100% allowance last year, show him if neccessary what the tax bill would have been last year without the FYA, explain any other differences to last year and their implications and show him how you have applied tax saving methods to him in other areas.  If he still isn't happy then there's not much more you can do about that!

Jason Dormer

Seahorse (UK) Ltd - Supporting Accountants & Bookkeepers

www.seahorseuk.co.uk

Thanks (0)
avatar
29th Jul 2010 19:49

Oh yes!

Have just prepared rental schedules for a new client.

1.  interest on mortgage is way down.

2.  No big repairs this year.

3.  My fee is much less than the rip off lot who did it last year.

So her tax bill is high and she is upset.  Clearly I should have charged her more to keep the tax bill down!

Thanks (0)

What do clients want?
The service clients want from their accountant is to save them tax.

However, most of them don't think their accountant does enough to save them tax.

So tell tell them what you do! Explain how much you saved with capital allowances, use of home as office, etc.

Tell them about EFRBS, even if it isn't relevant. Talk about tax efficient profit extraction.

Let them see you save them tax.

And then explain last year's AIA claim and its effects.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By pembo
29th Jul 2010 20:23

clients eh !

Try and explain it to the cliient but from over 30 years experience good luck !

They (clients) want good news and do not have the foggiest understanding of what we do.  

As I approach retirement my view is that if he's thick enough not to understand then so be it. I've gone way beyond having stupid clients so leave them to the wolves who will tell them what they want to hear and should he not come round to your way of thinking then ditch and try and get clients with your personal emphathy.

 

Thanks (0)
avatar
29th Jul 2010 21:14

HMRC Business payment support

I have also experienced this afterall we are the next person to the taxman in the eyes of many clients.

Again, take the time to show the client the calculation and how the liability has arisen.  Make sure he understands the calculation.

One other thing you could try is to tell him about HMRC Business business payment supprt team and that if he can not afford to pay the bill in one go he may be able to come to an arrangement with HMRC.  0845 302 1435.  This will show that you are trying to help.

 

Thanks (0)

The service clients want from their accountant is to save them t

Only if you take on clients that expect that.  Clients who see that as my prime purpose are encouraged to pester someone else, tax is an obligation not an overhead.

I tend to find that most disappointment at tax bills comes when clients can't afford them, ie they made the profit, there is tax to pay but there's been a downturn or they have spent it.  As mentioned above, there's a lot to be said for educating the client into how tax works so that s/he can judge as the year progresses what sort of tax bill is growing, helped of course by us having a look at the figures maybe @ month 9 or 10.

In this case I shouldn't lose any sleep.  He sees the tax bill as high, what is he judging it on? Chances are he has stuck his finger in the air (or worse) whereas you have a calculator & software, maybe it will teach him he needs you to keep an eye on things as the year progresses rather than after the event? 

Also, what about the previous accountant, wasn't it up to him/her to say "your tax bill's £x,xxx but that's artificially low because of the kit you bought, ie all things staying equal you'll have to spend another £15K next year to achieve the same tax bill"?

 

Thanks (0)
avatar
29th Jul 2010 22:30

knitting fog

As I approach retirement ...............

 

Posted by pembo on Thu, 29/07/2010 - 20:23

 

 

Retirement?????????

Didn't you know that you don't HAVE to retire now, and probably can't afford to thanks to Gordon's 13 years of pension robbing.

You know you would miss all those wonderful clients moaning about paying tax - any tax at all. But be honest, for every whinger you also have a decent client, the ones who treat you well. Like the old couple we have who we go to see because they're getting on - both in their 80's, and when we get there there's always a cup of tea and some of the best home made cake I've ever tasted waiting for us.  We spend 5 minutes discussing their accounts, and 2 hours listening to the latest exploits of their menagerie of pets.

You'd only get bored if you retired.

As for explaining tax bills to client's, a thankless and pointless task, they won't understand because they dont want to understand.  I find it about as useful an excercise as trying to knit fog.

Thanks (0)
30th Jul 2010 08:25

USP generator

@FirstTab – this is a great opportunity for you because most accountants do nothing. When  you come up against issues like this it is an opportunity for you to create a USP and maybe a new product which you can bundle.

I came across the idea when with my first job. I worked for Barclays Trust Company and we used to prepare a lot of tax returns for pensioners.  The Tax Manager got me to prepare a detailed reconciliation between the tax position for the year and the Notice of Coding.  This formed the basis of the explanation then went to the client with their tax return.

I did this is my own practice with all clients and it went down really well.  In fact, I could not finish a job without going through the process, it because an internal quality/check system. 

For business clients that sent me ”accounts” which showed a profit we would list what we added and what we took off to arrive at the taxable profit. This is where we would show capital allowances and there is no reason not to show last year next to the current year.

We would then compare the tax to last year to this year and explain the difference.  One reason would be the profit difference but this would pick up pension contributions, other income and change in tax rates.

In our marketing and engagement we used the messages that not only do we everything legally possible to reduce the tax bill but we also explain it and provide tax payment schedules. One tagline was "you may not like your tax bill, but you’ll understand it and never be surprised".

If anyone wants an example of a letter and workings they can email me [email protected].

Bob Harper

Marketing for Accountants
 

Thanks (0)
avatar
30th Jul 2010 09:24

Good News and Bad News

AIA claims aside, it still amazes me how many times you can say to someone "you had a fantastic year, profit has increased.  Unfortunately, as a result, you also have a higher tax bill" and they are pissed off.  Excuse me!  You made more money.  Most of my clients are companies, so they get to keep 80% of it.

Some of the strategies of breaking the news:

- Good news, bad news (as above, but with compassion!)

- If you were an employee, you (almost certainly) wouldn't be able to make claims for use of home, your mobile, etc, etc

- If you were an employee, it would be taken off as you earn it (nb the downside of this is that it means, if they are not putting it aside, they'll probably have spent it!)

- Planning opportunity; before your year end, buy an asset, such as a van - for sole traders, under AIA, they save 20% IT, 8% NI and if claiming tax credits, get 39% extra

- Explaining the major areas where the results differ from the previous year - sales up, margin up, expenses down

As was said earlier, it's down to education.

Thanks (0)
avatar
30th Jul 2010 09:43

Clients Want it both ways

Most clients want to pay little or no tax but also want to show enough profit to get a large mortgage!!

 

I also find they say 'my mate doesn't pay that much tax' but his mate is usually a client of yours and pays more!!

 

 

Thanks (0)
30th Jul 2010 09:49

Couple of other thoughts

If all an accountant does is work out profit for tax at the year-end they are setting themselves up for problems. Why not review quarterly or at least mid-year?

I used to explain that a good accountant will not only claim the maximum of expenses but offer suggestions to maximise revenue. So, you could argue that a really good accountant would actually increase the tax bill - that’s certainly my objective with marketing.

By the way, you can always offer to reduce the tax bill by charging more! A little humour goes a long way.

Bob Harper

Marketing for Accountants
 

Thanks (0)
30th Jul 2010 10:10

Deferred tax

I know how difficult it is to explain deferred tax to clients, but there should have been a big deferred tax charge last year on the 100% FYA and a credit this year.  Try explaining to the client that the overall (current + deferred) tax charge remains unchanged at 21% of profits.

I am, of course, assuming that both you and the previous accountant have provided for deferred tax.

Thanks (0)
avatar
30th Jul 2010 11:12

@ Euan

Dangerous to assume that!

I have NEVER taken over a set of accounts with deferred tax provided for (and over the last 20 years that may be hundreds of clients)

The clients  never seem to understand it (come to think of it - a lot of accountants don't either!)

I recently tried to explain to a very nice client (he did understand in the end) why he needed to provide £120k of deferred tax in the accounts (as he had spent £1m + on large plant over recent years and paid no CT despite being V Profitable!)

 

 

 

-- A Nonny Mouse

Thanks (0)
30th Jul 2010 12:01

Lack of client understanding

With regards to deferred tax, depreciation and capital allowances, I think very few clients really understand it. We try to explain if the client shows genuine interest.

We also try to educate our clients, ie. send detailed report of all adjustments with the draft accounts and invite them to a meeting to discuss them. We provide full reports of taxable income, and reliefs, and tax calculations, and talk them though it before getting the tax signed off. Most of our clients appreciate this effort, but there are always those who just want to know how much tax they need to pay, and then complain at the amount.

My most memorable was an ex-client who complained bitterly that we expected him to pay tax when he only took £700 a week in drawings! 

Thanks (0)
30th Jul 2010 12:01

Hahahahaha...............

@WD "As for explaining tax bills to client's, a thankless and pointless task, they won't understand because they dont want to understand. I find it about as useful an excercise as trying to knit fog."

That is it in a nutshell - I think knitting fog would be a doddle compared to trying to explain a high tax bill to someone who clearly does not want to understand. 

So off they go to another "accountant" who promptly (and totally incorrectly) reduces all payments on account to nil - I am always intrigued as to what happens when it all catches up with them.

Some clients you are better off without - and they often select themselves like this.

Cynical? Moi?!!

Thanks (0)
avatar
30th Jul 2010 12:20

Glazed eyes

I have some sympathy with the OP.

I expect we all have our fair share of clients whose eyes glaze over when you try to talk them through their tax liability and how it has arisen.

I am still torn as to what to do when that happens - a) Persevere with the meeting as planned in the knowledge that you are wasting their time and yours because none of it is sinking in. or b) Bring the meeting to as swift a close as possible within the boundaries of courtesy and risk an accusation later down the line that 'you never told me about ......'.

-- Kind regards Andy

Thanks (0)
30th Jul 2010 13:43

its the way you tell them!

If you just jump in with here is your accounts, here is your tax bill, here is my bill - thanks I am off you are bound to come up against resistance however if you take the time to explain and make sure they understand the tax bill in my expereance clients are much more receptive.

Therefore in the same situation I would

1. explain the tax calculation, this year and last making sure the client fully understood,

2. point out the effective rate of tax over the two years and

3. provide some advice on how to reduce next years liability. 

 

You may also want to try building a closer relationship with your clients, you could offer a pre year end tax planning meeting next year or try picking up the phone once in a while to see how they are doing. This way you turn your role from compliance to consultant and you develop your relationship. The client feels good and increases his confidence in you.

 

Thanks (0)
30th Jul 2010 14:12

It's the way you do it

@Tim - I think you are 100% right; it's often not what you do but the way you do it that gets results.  That could be a song!

Here's the type of a standard email/letter that could go out:

Dear Client,

2010 results and tax

Enclosed are your 2010 accounts and tax return for you to sign and return.

When I first started working on this year's accounts I expected to see a lower tax bill than last year because your bookkeeping showed £10,000 lower profit.  However, unfortunately, our work uncovered £12,000 of missing sales invoices as well as two areas where the final expenses/deductions this year were lower than last year.

It's good that we spotted the sales error because if the tax office did there could have been real problems.  It is common for them to suspect this happened in previous years.  We've heard about cases that go on for years and cost thousands because things like this are not spotted.

Anyway, the two areas where the expenses/deductions are lower are:

Bad debts – this year there is nothing to claim; last year we claimed £6,000.Assests - because you have not purchased any equipment in 2010 the claim is £3,000 lower.

Overall, this means this year’s taxable profits are £11,000 higher than last year.  This results in a higher tax bill of £5,880.00 and explians why you were able to take more money out of the business while increasing the cash in the bank.  Well done!

The additional tax is mostly due to higher taxable profits but also because you have gone into higher rates of tax.  Igoring the differences in personal allowances and tax rates the additional tax is broken down like this:

£3,850.00 due to higher taxable profits£2,030.00 because of higher tax rates

Payment of the £5,880.00 is due 31st January.

2011 tax payments

As you know, the 2011 tax payments are estimated based on your 2010 results and will be £9,030.00 due on or before 31st January and 31 July 2011.

If you want we can do a tax review in November 2010 and see if there is scope to reduce these based on the forecasted profits or any tax planning opportunities.

I will call you to make sure you are clear on the above and see if you want me to book you a year-end review. 

Regards

I hope this helps some or triggers ideas so that client are happier.

Bob Harper

Marketing for Accountants

Thanks (0)
30th Jul 2010 14:16

Why bother?

I sympathise with Andy.

Some clients won't listen and don't care about the detail. We try to explain, and ask if they want further explanation, but some just aren't interested. I respect their wishes to remain ignorant, so long as there is no 'come back' on us, and the reports we give the client cover virtually all bases.

The end result is that it gives me more time for the clients who are interested in understanding more.

If you persevere in 'educating' a client who just doesn't want to be educated you are just wasting everyones time and annoying the client. That is OK if you would rather be without that particular client, but why get rid of a happy client, just because they don't see things as we do. It isn't illegal not to understand, so long as they have a professional adviser to take care of the things that they don't care to learn about.

Thanks (0)
30th Jul 2010 14:32

Bob - you are confusing me, let alone the client

Why would you send a standard letter talking about personal allowances and payments on account when trying to explain the corporation tax charge to a limited company client?

Thanks (0)
30th Jul 2010 14:43

Fair point

@Shirley – fair point; some clients are not interested and these can be less likely to perceive value of the service.

I don’t know what your experience is but I found that the clients who didn’t care about the tax or accounts were more price sensitive about my fees and tended to pay late! Looking back, my guess guess is that many of them were doing their own tax planning!

My strategy is to bother with the communication but to move away from clients that aren't bothered and this type of strategy with client selection can be one of the things that get's for to 100% or more recovery rates. 

By the way, I recorded a video yesterday which included a worked example that write-off time cost the typical partner nearly £60k a year in time not fully recovered.

Bob Harper

Marketing for Accountants

 

Thanks (0)
30th Jul 2010 14:53

Wrong end of the stick!

@Euan – sorry, I decided to use an example of a sole-trader with interim payments because that is more fun to explain than Ltd Company.

If it was a Ltd Company the email/letter and/or conversation could be.

2010 results and tax

Enclosed are your 2010 accounts and tax return for you to sign and return.

When I first started working on this year's accounts I expected to see a lower tax bill than last year because your bookkeeping showed £10,000 lower profit. However, unfortunately, our work uncovered £12,000 of missing sales invoices as well as two areas where the final expenses/deductions this year were lower than last year.

It's good that we spotted the sales error because if the tax office did there could have been real problems. It is common for them to suspect this happened in previous years. We've heard about cases that go on for years and cost thousands because things like this are not spotted.

Anyway, the two areas where the expenses/deductions are lower are:

Bad debts – this year there is nothing to claim; last year we claimed £6,000.Assests - because you have not purchased any equipment in 2010 the claim is £3,000 lower.

Overall, this means this year’s taxable profits are £11,000 higher than last year. This results in a higher tax bill of £2,200 and explains why you were able to take more money out of the business while increasing the cash in the bank. Well done!

The total tax of 10,320 is due on date.

Euan - does that clear it up?

Bob Harper

Marketing for Accountants

Thanks (0)
30th Jul 2010 14:58

Its the way that you tell them!

ShirleyM - I sort of agree. Some clients don’t want a hands on service and won’t actively engage in conversation with you however I disagree that “they don’t care”. I think the clients that tell you this are probably scared (of cost or most probably admitting they don’t understand) and deep down really do care, after all it is their money/profits/ tax bill. The art is delivering your service in such a way that clients open up to you and to take on board what you are saying. Engage with them on the level that suits them, get them to buy in to your ability as their professional advisor.

This said I think you are slightly missing the key point of the original post which stated that "The client is not happy…”

Now it is no good having unhappy clients so I go back to me original point that you need to explain to them the reason for the increased tax bill and make sure they understand. This way they can still be unhappy, but not with you which is the key difference. They will see that you have done all you can and that you are open to helping them save tax in the future.

Bob – Cheers and yes that is a good template however but I would go a step further and engage in a conversation in person. By all means send some draft figures with some key areas noted but to really develop you relationship you need to talk after all people buy people.

 

Thanks (0)
30th Jul 2010 15:53

Tim

Our clients don't fit your description.

We offer more in the way of education, and explanation, than any other accountant in our area. This is what our 'interested' clients tell us when they join us after using other accountants in the area. If clients don't understand anything, I go to great lengths to explain and while ever a client shows interest I am very, very patient with them, and they know it!

You surely have to agree that some clients (like my most memorable ex-client) have unrealistic expectations and will never be happy, whatever you do. I could worry myself wondering what I could do different, but at some point you have to realise they are not worth the effort.

Thanks (0)
avatar
30th Jul 2010 15:54

2 types of client

40 years experience tells me that half your clients want to understand their tax bill, and the other half couldnt care less and just want the tax man out of the way for another year.

The ones who don't care tend to be the best clients, the ones who pay your bill, and accept your advice. 

The ones who want to understand tend to be the ones who nit pick over everything, get a bee in their bonnet about some half baked way to save tax, and also object to every penny you charge them.

Thanks (0)
avatar
30th Jul 2010 18:32

Don't despair

I'd give your client a chance to calm down and perhaps even to realise that he's just blaming the messenger, then offer him a free meeting to discuss it.

Give him a chance to let off steam and then you can explain how you and he can work together next year to get a better result.

Chances are he's just had an instant over reaction that he's already feeling a bit silly about.

 

 

Thanks (0)
avatar
31st Jul 2010 12:08

Good points

I think Naomi raises good points.

Trouble is the resolution is to offer something for free as a pacifier, which might not sound very attractive (it could almost sounds like an admission of guilt!). It also requires the accountant to operate as a quasi-therapist. I am not sure many accountants are necessarily qualified for that role or would be comfortable in it.

-- Kind regards Andy

Thanks (0)
31st Jul 2010 14:31

Meeting with client

Thanks for all the responses. I found these very helpful.

I was really dreading the meeting with this client to extent I was thinking about cancelling it. In the end I did go.

We had a very long 2.5 hour meeting today ( I thought rather this than lose a client). I went through and explained how his tax bill was calculated. I also went through the previous years figures highlightning why the tax bill was lower.

After a long dicussion I think he understood. Is he happy? - Difficult to say. If he goes now - there really is nothing futher I can do. I feel I have done everything I could.

 

 

Thanks (0)
31st Jul 2010 22:33

Well done

"I was really dreading the meeting with this client to extent I was thinking about cancelling it. In the end I did go."

Never be like that. Meeting are very rarely a bad idea.

"We had a very long 2.5 hour meeting today ( I thought rather this than lose a client). I went through and explained how his tax bill was calculated. I also went through the previous years figures highlightning why the tax bill was lower.

After a long dicussion I think he understood. Is he happy? - Difficult to say. If he goes now - there really is nothing futher I can do. I feel I have done everything I could."

You have certainly done the best you could. Maybe he's unhappy because he's paying more tax even if he understands why and knows it's not your fault.

 

Thanks (0)
avatar
31st Jul 2010 23:26

Take charge ......

 was really dreading the meeting with this client to extent I was thinking about cancelling it. In the end I did go.

 

Posted by FirstTab on Sat, 31/07/2010 - 14:31

 

Never let it get to you like that.

Remember, you don't have to act for these clients, there is nothing stopping you telling a client that you've had enough of their whinging and to go and find someone else to moan at.  I've done it - and it's funny how they usually come back with their tail between their legs like little lambs.

Yes you want their fee every year, but remember, they need you just as much, probably more.  I've yet to meet a client it was worth getting worked up over.

 

Thanks (0)
avatar
01st Aug 2010 04:07

Just one more thought

Not pertinent to your exact experience - which I have found most interesting to follow, but I have been glad that I told a number of my clients last year about the big tax bill they would have when the recession recedes. Many have made no POA's for the current year and a couple have showed quite admirable "bounce", so BIG bills come January.

Fortunately, being at home ill, I'm pushing through my SA work with help and getting to them quite a lot earlier than I would otherwise have done, while my warnings of high tax bills to come are still echoing back to them, and they have time to do something about it!

Thanks (0)
01st Aug 2010 08:05

Early returns and my ethics

Thanks Rebecca you raise a good point about early returns. I think it would help a lot. I will need to train my clients to send me the information earlier. On a different note, I hope you feel better soon.

This experience really tested my ethics. I am a relatively new practice. This client fee level is £3000 per year. I thougt if he were to leave it will be difficult to replace him in an increasingly comptetive market. At times I was very tempted to make the taxable profits figure lower. I do not think I have to spell out how to do this.

Of course I am fully aware of the risks and this is not just unethical but also illegal. The pressure to meet day today expenses and expand the practice to meet these expenses was my key motivater to do this.

After reading the responses here and thinking further, I concluded I rather find any job than go through this unethical/illegal  route. Before responding on this please bear in mind I am human and I am not perfect!

 

Thanks (0)
01st Aug 2010 09:12

£1,200 per hour for Financial Therapy

@Tim – I agree, email/letters are just one option.

I recommend asking clients what style of communication they prefer; telephone, online meetings, video presentation or meetings. I think online meetings are great and also suggest video presentations because they can be watched when the client wants and viewed more than once. This is really easy to do with Camtasia and a great way to differentiate the firm.

@Naomi – excellent attitude.

@Andy – if accountants aren’t qualified for "financial therapy" who is?

I believe there is a great opportunity here.  The way the service is delivered can be a key part of the marketing strategy. I'm in touch with a lady who uses this expression in her explaination of her firm's service.  It looks like she has a structured programme for helping clients and I'm hoping she will do a Webinar with me. 

@FirstTab – follow up with the client. Maybe introduce an annual feedback from...you've just invested 2.5 hours and lots of energy so see what he has to say. There is a chance that he's really impressed with you and now a time for referrals.

I had clients like this.  One said to be that the meeting was worth the fee, he didn't care about the preparation work to get to the meeting.  You could effectively be charging £1,200 an hour and that's why emoploying people to do the work for you is vital - that face-time is vital!

Bob Harper

Marketing for Accountants

 

 

Thanks (0)
avatar
01st Aug 2010 16:54

@ Bob - financial therapy?

Marketing consultants can administer a placebo  ;)

Edit - what I meant was that accountants are not trained to deal with the emotional fall-out arising from a high tax bill or any financial information imparted to a client. I am sure I am not alone in having had clients in tears. I don't remember that being part of the deal when they signed the letter of engagement.

-- Kind regards Andy

Thanks (0)

Early Returns & Ethics

Think Monday morning is not the time to expand into "what am I doing all this for?" (mainly cos I did it last Monday) but you have my sympathy with your dilemma.  Having now voiced it on here I'm sure you'll not take the "dodgy" path but if you ever do sail close to the wind, never do so with a client you don't trust or where you are likely to get into conflict.

I've never sailed close to the wind, of course, but I have taken the plunge over the past couple of years in reducing fee income past the point at which my forecasts said I could withstand it and I'm still here.  Take time out and look at what & how you do things and the clients you act for and imagine cheaper more effecient ways, how you attract new business and whether there are any other areas you could try, either by skilling up in what you do now or in moving into sectors you've avoided in the past.

On the early returns subject, there's a really easy way of acheiving it, just set your own deadline and make sure you remind clients.  Three years ago we moved from "unless we get all the information we need by 31 October we can not guarantee completing your return/accounts in time" to "the deadline for receiving all the information we need is 30 June (5 July for SA returns)".  Ever since, over 70% of the information arrives end of June rather than mid November and no complaints.

Good Luck

Thanks (0)
avatar
By pembo
02nd Aug 2010 09:53

agree

with Paul that Monday mornings too early but...

With great respect to Bob who makes some valid points but as I am well into a period in my life where wheel reinvention wearyness set in years ago and one who since ICAEW tried to reinvent the accountant some 20 odd years ago has been there done it got the tee shirt from Paul Dunns boot camp onwards ad nauseum client marketing tends to happen by (1) being good at what you do (2) being proactive and 100% responsive (3) understanding that each client is likely to repond differently to that response (4) when explaining tax imagining you're addressing a class of 5 year olds and (5) not charging stupid fees ...a strange phenomena called recommendations then sets in that tends to follow an exponential curve...

 

Thanks (0)
02nd Aug 2010 10:08

wimps

a day is 24 long and there's 7 days in a week - make the most of it.

"(3) understanding that each client is likely to repond differently to that response"

This is so true. I think there's a lot to be said for having a variety of tactics in different situations and recording which tactic to use with which client.

 

Thanks (0)
02nd Aug 2010 10:34

Financial intamacy

@Andy – I agree, accountants are not trained to deal with the emotional fall-out arising from a high tax bill but they can easily develop these skills and focusing on this in the marketing will win better clients at a higher fee than focusing on accounting.

@Pembo – my take on the Bootcamp thing is that this could have been before its time.  Today that message is all more relevant because of the enviroment.

I agree that your five points are vital. 

There are only so many businesses in the UK, the competition is increasing and fees are falling. Where does this leave accountants who do not innovate?

I’d suggest the way a service is delivered is now as important than the service itself. And, I’d also suggest the service needs to be wider and deeper with “financial intimacy” between the client and accountant.

Bob Harper

Marketing for Accountants

Thanks (0)
avatar
By pembo
02nd Aug 2010 11:11

ding dong

without due deference to PC can think of quite a few clients a bit of intimacy financial or otherwise would not go amiss..

Take your point Bob ... I'm a bit weird as you may have worked out....after being inspired by Dale Carnegie Jack Canfield Stephen Covey and the ilk years ago actually did a few seminars for clients on interpersonal and personal development skills...the clients loved them and resurrected one recently for a group of professionals ...

so your point about accountants lack of intimacy financial or otherwise is most valid as many do unfortunately  tend to be too close for comfort to the edge of the autistic spectrum.....

Thanks (0)
avatar
02nd Aug 2010 12:01

At Andy

Mark Lee does an excellent course called "Dealing with difficult clients",which was written especially for our local CIOT branch.

You could always email him to see if he's doing it near you.

I think his website is www.bookmarklee.com

 

Thanks (0)
avatar
04th Aug 2010 16:51

Too much tax? Much less than I first intimated sir!

 Pointless to explain. As some comments have it, they want to pay less tax irrespective of the facts.

One client accused me if not doing my job as he checked with some pals (Found out it was in the pub) and he had a copy of the relevant tax code which showed I had cocked up. He did not even look embarrassed when on being shown the document I pointed him to the fact that it was a 10 year old copy and tax changes every year.

I try to ameliorate complaints by continueously referring to my initial review and the high tax bill this showed (a bit of imagination at times) and how I will do my best to reduce. Then when the accounts are being signed off I quote my original estimate and give my actual which I ensure will always be lower.

It works more often than not. 

Thanks (0)
avatar
04th Aug 2010 18:27

Tears

 I am sure I am not alone in having had clients in tears.

-- Kind regards Andy

Posted by andypartridge on Sun, 01/08/2010 - 16:54

 

The cure to that is simple Andy - post your bill to them instead of handing it to them :) 

 

 

Thanks (0)
04th Aug 2010 19:33

C_D started off not readiing your posts

C_D started off not reading your posts. More recently this has changed completely. You have a great sense of humour.

Thanks (0)
avatar
05th Aug 2010 09:12

C_D won't admit it

But he's mellowing. And we are better off for it.

-- Kind regards Andy

Thanks (0)
avatar
By pembo
05th Aug 2010 11:49

not so sure

the old CD wouldn't have bottled the cricket box in the pub experiment to prove a very important duality of purpose tax issue....he'd have gone in all guns blazing so to speak...

Thanks (0)
avatar
05th Aug 2010 22:28

Never

But he's mellowing. And we are better off for it.

-- Kind regards Andy

 

Posted by andypartridge on Thu, 05/08/2010 - 09:12

 

 

Mellowed ?   Upset me and you will see how much I've mellowed  :)

Thanks (0)