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Service Value - do you formally tell clients how much you've 'saved' them?

Reading the Lamont Pridmore awards article on here two weeks ago http://www.accountingweb.co.uk/article/practice-excellence-getting-custo..., and having noticed another accountancy business has the total saved running along the bottom of their website, has set me wondering how many other accountants are doing this, and how they calculate and manage it.

Do you formally tell clients every year (possibly when you give an annual fixed fee quote) that you have saved them £x by advising on dividends versus salary, possibly structuring private use of cars or other benefits to maximum tax advantage, maybe organising pension contributions etc.?

If so can I ask what items you include and what are the practicalities of recording and calculating the savings, and how you set it out to your clients?

What do you do if you haven't saved a client very much at all (or does this never happen)?!

Finally does it work out as a worthwhile exercise that brings in more clients?

Hopefully this doesn't sound too much like askling for trade secrets! I'm really interested to know if this is something worth putting resources into.

Thanks

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By murphy1
06th Dec 2012 13:56

Hi Newmoon,

 

I wondered with interest about this too! Actually, one of my clients said the day before I read the same article that it would be good if we did this and that he thought he would be able to get much more business for us if we did !! A great client to have!

 

The concern I had is that in year 1 of them being a new client, when we advise low salary, divs etc wtc they save a lot, but maybe not so much in each year after that. So, do you give them all the advice in year one, and hole back for the next year or so - obviously not a good plan - or do you track the impact of the inital advice year on year.

 

Again, I am interested to hear any otehr thoughts on this.

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06th Dec 2012 14:13

...would consider

putting it on the fee note - also for something such as a salary/divi plan, its not a one off...you have effectively saved the client that money each year....or that would be my view anyway....

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By blok
06th Dec 2012 14:26

.

I really dislike this sort of stuff.

As soon as someone feels the need to point out to me (in a detailed note, in writing) , how good they are, or how clever they have been, then I am sorry, they have lost my respect.

It's this modern day thing of "he who shouts loudest" and for me is a marketing gimmick.  Businesses can be built on this sort of thing but its not for me.

I would rather pick up the phone and reassure the business person that they are paying the lowest rate of tax possible.  I would let the client know this without feeling the need to utter the words " I have saved you tax of £x pounds and y pence.".  I would do this by not tretaing themm like someone who is only focused on short term gain. Yes give them round sum figures and gain their respect that way.

How you value the tax savings, is a subjective matter -  you will be comparing the actual (lowest) tax liability against a made up one? 

I do agree with a lot of the other things in the article regarding regular client meetings etc...

Thanks (1)
06th Dec 2012 14:37

What does it mean?

Are you saying that by doing what many accountants do you are "saving your client money"?

You don't have to claim capital allowances, so by claiming them are you "saving your client money"?

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By Maslins
06th Dec 2012 15:30

Savings compared to what?

petersaxton wrote:

Are you saying that by doing what many accountants do you are "saving your client money"?

You don't have to claim capital allowances, so by claiming them are you "saving your client money"?

This.  Saving money compared to what?

Seems to me those who shout loudest about the tax savings are those with the least tax qualifications...quite possibly a direct link because they don't realise all the things that should be taxable/disallowable.

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06th Dec 2012 15:49

I think the idea is

to establish the savings from out of the ordinary/on and above what is happening currently.  i don't think the suggestion is to show off about saving tax because you have claimed the right amount of motor expenses....more like you have advised the client that not having a company car is better (or something like that).

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This is very silly

Can't think of much else to say.

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By blok
07th Dec 2012 09:43

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Paul.

You have said what I meant to say in 4 words.

 

 

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