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Thinking about subcontracting work

I am thinking about subcontracting bookkeeping and final accounts work. I have not done this before.

I would be grateful for a response on my following concerns/points:

  1. I would lose my clients to the subcontractor? Is there anyway I can protect this?
  2. What would be a reasonable fee to pay to a subcontractor? Best to agree fixed fees?
  3. Best if subcontractor does not have contact with the client?
  4. How do I find a good subcontractor/bookkeeper?
  5. Is there a template agreement that someone is willing to share with me?
  6. Subcontract or outsource to India? Which would be better

Please feel free to respond generally rather then my long list above.

Thanks

Replies

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04th May 2012 07:53

My views

 

I would lose my clients to the subcontractor? Is there anyway I can protect this? SEE 3What would be a reasonable fee to pay to a subcontractor? Best to agree fixed fees? I WOULD THINK AROUND 50% TO TWO-THIRDSBest if subcontractor does not have contact with the client? YESHow do I find a good subcontractor/bookkeeper? I GET LOTS OF PEOPLE CONTACTING ME BUT ALSO YOU COULD LOOK ON THE INTERNETIs there a template agreement that someone is willing to share with me? MAYBESubcontract or outsource to India? Which would be better SUBCONTRACT IN THE UK - MOST INDIAN OUTSOURCERS STAFF DON'T HAVE A CLUE WHAT THEY ARE DOING

What are you going to do?

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04th May 2012 09:22

Subcontracting

@FirstTab - one way to decide what to outsource is to ask yourself 1) are you good at it and 2) does it give you competitive advantage? If the answer to both is no then outsourcing could be the right thing to do. 

My guess is that you are good at the work and it doesn't give you any advantage. But, if you are busy working in the business you are not working on it so you must employ or outsource. There are pros and cons of both and risks. However, I would suggest you employ to begin with and then outsource. But, if you can't afford to do that the outsource.

It should be an obvious answer. Just get on a do it and accept the risk as part of being in business.

@Peter - what experience do you have about outsourcing to India?

Bob

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By blok
04th May 2012 11:01

.

I know of a firm that outsources to India and the feedback is fantastic.

A lot of that will rely on your IT skills and your software being recognisable.

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By dreamcatcher
04th May 2012 11:35

I do subcontract work

..in my spare time evenings/weekend etc so I have been on the other end of the questions you are asking.

 

I would be grateful for a response on my following concerns/points:

I would lose my clients to the subcontractor? Is there anyway I can protect this? MAKE SURE THE PERSON DOES NOT HAVE DIRECT CONTACT WITH THE CLIENT AND/OR YOU COULD TRY TO WORD A SUBCONTRACTOR AGREEMENT IN SUCH A WAY THAT RESTRICTS POACHING OF CLIENTS.  HOWEVER IN THE REAL WORLD NOT SURE HOW ENFORCEABLE IT WOULD BE.What would be a reasonable fee to pay to a subcontractor? Best to agree fixed fees?  FIXED FEES THEN BOTH PARTIES KNOW WHERE THEY STAND.  WHEN I SUBCONTRACT I USUALLY CHARGE BETWEEN 1/3 & 1/2 OF THE FEE CHARGED TO THE CLIENT.  IN LIGHT OF PETER'S POST PERHAPS I SHOULD UP WHAT I CHARGE.Best if subcontractor does not have contact with the client? YESHow do I find a good subcontractor/bookkeeper? THERE ARE ALWAYS PEOPLE POSTING ON AWEB OFFERING THEIR SERVICES, BUT ASK FOR A REFERENCE FROM SOMEONE THE CURRENTLY SUB CONTRACT WITH.Is there a template agreement that someone is willing to share with me? AAT HAVE A TEMPLATE AGREEMENT, WHICH I CAN FORWARD YOU IF YOU WOULD LIKE.Subcontract or outsource to India? Which would be better PERSONAL CHOICE REALLY.  BEAR IN MIND COST (UK V INDIA) AND THE TIME DIFFERENCE SHOULD YOU NEED TO SPEAK TO SOMEONE IN INDIA.

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04th May 2012 12:25

Subcontract work

 

Hi FirstTab - I too have done subcontract work both locally and remotely.I would lose my clients to the subcontractor? Is there anyway I can protect this? This is a trust issue really but backed up with point 3 below. However if you have a good relationship with the client and you present the work to your usual standard then there is no reason for the client to move.What would be a reasonable fee to pay to a subcontractor? Best to agree fixed fees? I charge 60% of the total fee charged to the client.Best if subcontractor does not have contact with the client? Yes the agreement should be that there is no contact with the client and if any is made then that's the end of the subcontract agreement.How do I find a good subcontractor/bookkeeper? I'm good!!Is there a template agreement that someone is willing to share with me? I didn't have a formal written agreement in either case but the main points were agreed either verbally or by email and no problems actually arose.Subcontract or outsource to India? Which would be better? No idea.

You will also have to decide how you are going to import the information onto your software (e.g. accounts preparation and personal tax, etc). Is it enough for the subcontractor to provide you with a TB and draft accounts so that you can discuss the draft figures with your client and input the TB onto your system ready for any final adjustments? It is helpful if the subcontractor uses the same accounts/tax package as you but not crucial.

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04th May 2012 14:13

I don't have any experience

I haven't done it because of the feedback I have got from other accountants. I have heard of real horror stories.

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04th May 2012 14:42

Experience

@Peter - how many accountants and how much outsourcing did they do?

I ask because a) many firms just poke their nose and look for it not to work. The experience I have is that it's something you need to make work. 

If you look at this http://accountancy-practice.iris.co.uk/iris-openapps/iris-openresourcing.aspx you will see a firm who has done it.

We outsource some online programming development to the Philippines and they know what they are doing. Is bookkeeping or accounts preparation harder than coding?

The world is getting smaller. I can see offshore bookkeepers/accountants working direct with businesses. Have a look at People Per Hour. 

Bob

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04th May 2012 15:51

Outsourcing sounds good on the basis a quality outsourced firm is found.

IRIS Open look good, but having read feedback about IRIS on AW, I will not go for this.

If there are any recommendations (not from people who provide outsourced service) of a quality outsourced firms, please let me know.

I would have to invest in a quality fast scanner? I am not sure how long  scanning would take.

Thanks

 

 

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04th May 2012 15:54

Looking for reasons not to do it

@FirsTab - the perfect supplier/partner doesn't exist - could you be one of those that looks for reasons not to do something?

What's a few negative comments on AW from firms who haven't done much?

Bob

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04th May 2012 16:09

Experience

I don't know how much the accountants spent time on outsourcing. I would expect they stopped it pretty quick when they got some rubbish back.

I know one of my clients (a graphic designer but with electrical knowledge) had to spend three months in the Middle East after a hospital outsourced a lot of work to the Far East - not accounting. He had to go out there and do the work again.

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By occca
04th May 2012 16:13

Decide what you want from a subcontractor

Having done outsourcing work for a number of firms over the years you should consider the following :-

 

1. What exactly do you want?
Do you want a large firm where the work gets given to the next available person, or do you want a one to one relationship with your contractor

 

2. Software

What software will you use that is compatible / can you give a subcontractor remote access to your system so that they can use your software

 

3. Ad Hoc / Ongoing

Do you need someone to help with the odd job, or on a more permanent basis

 

4. Expertise

Would you like a subcontractor to help you bounce ideas off when you come across problems with clients / practise

 

I have had experience of outsourcing to India and whilst I have found in both cases the wages to be extremely cheap, I have never found the work to be of standard, and lots of extra work has been done, meaning that the cost for having done them outsourced in the UK would have been similar

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04th May 2012 16:17

Outsourcing doesn't work then

@Peter - then it's final, outsourcing doesn't work.

@FirstTab - start employing.

Bob

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04th May 2012 16:19

Scanning

"I would have to invest in a quality fast scanner? I am not sure how long  scanning would take."

It doesn't matter too much if you have a sheet feeder. What about the difficult to scan items like cheque book stubs?

This scanner won't break the bank:

http://www8.hp.com/uk/en/products/scanners/product-detail.html?oid=1118293

This one might break the bank!

http://www8.hp.com/uk/en/products/scanners/product-detail.html?oid=3697396

The problem could be how well they handle different sizes of paper.

My view is that after all the messing around you do with scanning and workrounds you could have done the work yourself.

If your subcontractors collect and return paperwork in then you don't need to scan. Something like the ScanSnap 1500 can be used for the odd papers delivered late.

I still don't know what you will end up doing.

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04th May 2012 16:23

Bob can't argue what I say so he argues against what I don't say

"@Peter - then it's final, outsourcing doesn't work."

I didn't say it didn't work. I said outsourcing to India is less reliable. If FT wants to outsource then he should source local bookkeepers/accountants. 

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04th May 2012 17:57

@petersaxton

petersaxton wrote:

"@Peter - then it's final, outsourcing doesn't work."

I didn't say it didn't work. I said outsourcing to India is less reliable. If FT wants to outsource then he should source local bookkeepers/accountants. 

... must say I quite agree with Peter - I have seen many different accountants outsource to India and, in most cases, the work had to be done again - it's not something I would EVER consider doing... it may be cheap but, as with everything in life, you get what you pay for - I use a brilliant subcontractor in the UK and would never change.

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By Dido63
04th May 2012 20:53

I am a subcontractor

Hi FirstTab,

I am subcontracted to complete tax work for three firms of accountants.

I have a contract with each but I have also established a trusted working relationship with each firm and I do contact their clients directly, if required. I never discuss my work with the other firms. I have no intention of poaching their clients, why bite the hand that feeds me? I have my own portfolio too; but I enjoy the variety that subcontracting brings.

Fees are agreed in advance and timelines for completion of work. I have remote access with one firm and I use the same software as another. I have PII (not that it has been used!)

I guess you need to ask yourself whether you want your work to go offsite & is it secure; or would you prefer to see the subbie at work first to establish whether they are compatible with your working practices.

I would ask other contacts if they would recommend anybody.

I'm actually starting to believe that this is the way forward for smaller businesses. I work with an IFA & accountant regularly and we pitch for work as a team - the clients seem to like the set up and I haven't experienced any negative feedback to date.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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04th May 2012 21:23

Subcontracting

FirstTab - All the formal agreements in the world won't stop a small minority of subbies poaching work.  Go on your gut instinct with the subcontractor as to how trustworthy they are.  The good ones know that it would be professional suicide for them to poach.

Consider a trial run with your preferred subbies and see how you work together.

Re outsourcing to India, no one ever seems to mention the moral implications, it not all about the money, money, money, I think that there is an obligation to your clients not to ship their work out to the other side of the world.  I wounder how many accountants who do ship it out to India tell their clients the whole truth.  I'm all for systemisation and efficiency and allocation to lowest cost resource but not at any expense.

Jason Dormer

Seahorse (UK) Ltd - For Accountants and Bookkeepers

 

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04th May 2012 21:52

More to be gained

@Peter - when I read "most Indian outsourcers don't have a clue" and "horror stories" and "rubbish" I assumed you were saying it didn't work.

@Jaybee - like I said, I have heard both side of the argument. Outsourcing works but there is an obligation on the firms to make it work. It takes a new mindset.

@Jason - what if there is a moral/ethical reason to support outsourcing? 

For a start, the reduced costs can be passed on to the client's. This means the UK may need to employ fewer bookkeepers/compliance accountants but this will reduce the cost of being in business is good for UK Ltd.

Isn't that what we should be doing?

By the way, the McKinsey Global Institute found that for every $1 outsourced, the USA economy gained $1.12 to $1.14. Like many things there is often more to be gained than lost as the research also found that the country to which a job is outsourced gained just 33 cents.

 Bob   

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04th May 2012 22:03

Outsourcing

Evening Bob

Long time no speak.  Sorry to hear about the hotel fire, bet that was a bit of shock for the community?

 

Re outsourcing overseas:

 

The cost saving passed on to the client could be a good thing if put into practice though I would be surprised if this is the case.

I would be surprised if accountants outsourcing to India, say to their clients "Hi Bill, hope your'e well.  Hows the kids?  By the way, we have sent all of your business records to India to process the accounts.  The people involved have no knowledge of you or your business, but the good news is they are paid less than our minimal wage, even though they are fully qualified accountants!  Obviously this reduces our costs which we are passing on to you, so your bill is halved from now on."

Jason Dormer

Seahorse (UK) Ltd - For accountants and bookkeepers

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04th May 2012 22:23

Positioning

@Jason - yes, the hotel was a shock and is next door to the one we use. Good news no one was hurt.

What about saying:

We've been looking at how we can give clients better valueOne of the biggest software companies has a quality operation offshoreWe've decided to give clients a lower cost option - it will save you £500 on your accountancy fee and 50% of your bookkeepingWe are training and developing our people to do higher value workIt is only for basic workWe fully brief them on your businessWe are in control and review everythingYour records never leave the UK

Just something to think about.

Bob

 

 

 

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04th May 2012 22:32

"@Peter - when I read "most

"@Peter - when I read "most Indian outsourcers don't have a clue" and "horror stories" and "rubbish" I assumed you were saying it didn't work."

Sending work overseas doesn't work

Doing it in the UK can work.

"the good news is they are paid less than our minimal wage, even though they are fully qualified accountants!  Obviously this reduces our costs which we are passing on to you, so your bill is halved from now on." ....

"the bad news is that after we get the data back we will have to redo the work again and send you a supplementary invoice that will be double the previous invoice. Don't blames us because we took the advice of a guy called Bob. You can't reply on anybody nowadays can you"

"For a start, the reduced costs can be passed on to the client's. This means the UK may need to employ fewer bookkeepers/compliance accountants but this will reduce the cost of being in business is good for UK Ltd.

Isn't that what we should be doing?"

If the accounts come back a mess - and many times they do - and the accountant has to redo the work then the accountant usually has to absorb the cost. This will reduce the cost of being an accountant which is bad for UK accountants. It's all pretty straightforward and you don't need to explain it in such ponderous terms. If the UK accountant finds the overseas accountant does a good job at a reduced price it is GOOD; if the UK accountant finds the overseas accountant does a bad job at a reduced price it is still BAD.

"By the way, the McKinsey Global Institute found that for every $1 outsourced, the USA economy gained $1.12 to $1.14. Like many things there is often more to be gained than lost as the research also found that the country to which a job is outsourced gained just 33 cents."

Can you explain the mechanics of how that is supposed to have happened? For example what does the "$1 outsourced" represent? Is that the fee paid to the accountants in an overseas country? What are the rest? Are you sure it's not the usual juggling of numbers without any understanding?: "It rained today and I got a new client ergo McKinsey decides that when it rains accountants get new clients."

 

 

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04th May 2012 22:53

Get it straight

@Peter - first you say "I didn't say it didn't work" now you say "it doesn't work".

The fact is, outsourcing can work for accountants despite some firms failing because there are firms making it work. And, despite what you say, when they make it work there is no need to redo work. 

The research found that workers freed up from routine tasks are redeployed within the company generating greater value and jobs paying higher wages.

You are right on one thing though. It is pretty straightforward.

Bob

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07th May 2012 13:35

To subcontract or not subcontract

<<<@Peter - first you say "I didn't say it didn't work" now you say "it doesn't work".>>>

I think once you understand tenses you will know that there's no contradiction.

"And, despite what you say, when they make it work there is no need to redo work. "

That's obvious. The issue is will they make it work.

It looks like you don't understand the research and only repeat what is said.

 

 

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07th May 2012 13:39

Not experience

"What would be a reasonable fee to pay to a subcontractor? Best to agree fixed fees?  FIXED FEES THEN BOTH PARTIES KNOW WHERE THEY STAND.  WHEN I SUBCONTRACT I USUALLY CHARGE BETWEEN 1/3 & 1/2 OF THE FEE CHARGED TO THE CLIENT.  IN LIGHT OF PETER'S POST PERHAPS I SHOULD UP WHAT I CHARGE."

It was just my view not experience. I think it would also depend how much work the accountant can give you. If an accountant was charging £900 to a client I would have thought that £300 is to low a charge by a subcontractor.

 

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07th May 2012 13:53

Got it

@Peter - I understand tenses are about the past future and present and I think know where you are focussed. 

I also understand research but it seems you are only prepared to accept it if it supports your world view. That's fine (and fairly normal) but that doesn't make you right.

The fact is outsourcing works but is sounds like the right thing for the OP is to employ someone first.

Bob

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07th May 2012 14:14

Not a recommendation

 

"I also understand research but it seems you are only prepared to accept it if it supports your world view. That's fine (and fairly normal) but that doesn't make you right."

I can accept research if I or somebody else understands it. I don't think you have demonstrated that you do.

"The fact is outsourcing works but is sounds like the right thing for the OP is to employ someone first."

I would think employing somebody seems reasonable but maybe the quality of people he can get for the wages he wants to pay may not be what he wants.

"If there are any recommendations (not from people who provide outsourced service) of a quality outsourced firms, please let me know."

It's not a recommendation, but I would suggest you look at this local company who provides outsourcing from overseas. 

http://www.doshiuk.com/

 

 

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07th May 2012 15:22

It's simple

@Peter - sorry, I can't make it any simpler; you get someone else to do your low value work and do something else more valuable to the client.

The question is, what would you do if someone did your work of completing/correcting your client's bookkeeping, basic accounting and form filing?

Bob

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07th May 2012 16:35

Who and what

I thought that was what people wanted done?

Clients can't prepare statutory accounts and prepare and advise on tax themselves so I am happy to do that for them.

I am not going to nag clients to pay me for "added value work" which they don't see as adding value.

FT has not explained what he would do if he outsourced the work that he did.

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07th May 2012 21:02

Want and nee

@Peter - do you really think clients "want" statutory accounts? My take is that they "need" them (at the moment) and perceive no or little value.

Added value is not about nagging clients, it's about doing things they value to help them get what they REALLY want.

Bob

 

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08th May 2012 07:56

Who is better?

If they don't have accounts submitted to Companies House they will get a penalty so they want to accounts to avoid the penalty.

Clients want these things done. They don't want somebody charging them to tell them that if they increase their sales they will increase their profit because they don't believe that an accountant will understand the elasticity of demand as well as they do - and they would be right.

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08th May 2012 09:09

No

@Peter - there is little point continuing with an argument over modal operators; I think they NEED accounts to avoid the penalty you believe they WANT them. Even so, the value is driven by the size of the penalty, nothing more.

If that's an accounts life's work, I find that sad.

Where did you get that adding value is about about telling clients to increase sales?

It can be about getting clients to understand that reducing sales (or at least the number of customers) can increase profits, introducing them to new marketing concepts, helping them develop more effective pricing models, working with them to improve their business management, suggesting ways to get more from employees and many other things.

Outsourcing and/or technology can free some time so accountants can start exploring these things with clients. For me that's 100% ethical, anything less is questionable because it's putting what the accountants NEEDS before their clients' WANTS. 

Bob

 

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08th May 2012 09:17

Trust

Outsourcing requires trust.  I think a large number of people who accept outsourced work including myself, would not be interested in poaching their principals' clients.

Select the right person to contract out to, and they will represent and promote your business with enthusiasm and be satisfied with doing a great job for a reasonable fee share.

In these circumstances, the ability to communicate with the client, would only enhance the cost efficiency of the work they do for you.

 

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08th May 2012 09:29

Back to topic

I can't believe that people try outsourcing and then redo the work themselves. I thought I was soft but I would keep sending it back until it met my requirements.

I wouldn't pay 60% for a freelancer either. It can cost money to get that client, it certainly costs money to do the admin throughout the year, provide the support, possibly transfer the data to different software, review the accounts, prepare the tax, meet with the client to discuss their records, the drafts and the final accounts/tax, and then discuss any problems or recommendations .... and we meet our clients twice (minimum) in our practice).

For me personally, it wouldn't be worth it for just 40% of the fees. The only way it would attract me is if I couldn't get the work done within a specified deadline, in which case I would pay rather than let my client down, but good planning, and honesty with the client usually prevents this.

We use payroll outsourcing, but our outsourcers deal direct with our clients. I am happy for them to 'steal' our clients payroll work. :)

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08th May 2012 10:39

Example

"Where did you get that adding value is about about telling clients to increase sales?"

It's an example. I didn't mean that is the only advice that counts as "added value".

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08th May 2012 11:03

But

@Peter - I don't think telling clients to increase sales to increase profits "counts" as added value. Perhaps you can use another example to help explain why clients don't want accountants to be proactive and seek to added value.

As regards elasticity of demand, my experience is that most small business clients would not have a clue what this. They run their business very simplistically just getting as much work as they can. Many would benefit from some "what if" and segmentation reviews to help them identify the most effective use of their resources. And, this could lead on to them considering outsourcing!

You see, everything accountants use to improve their business can be reused with clients as part of added value.

Bob

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08th May 2012 11:10

Outsourcing to India

I've outsourced work to India, mainly jobs which are messy and time consuming. They do a very good job at reasonable rates, delivered on time, nice set of working papers, easy to follow and everything input on an Iris accounts file for me.  I'm perfectly happy, saves me time and money.  Although the work is subcontracted to India the contact is in the UK and billing is from the UK.

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08th May 2012 11:13

Easy answer

Give it to me and Ill get the staff to do it for you. Two ways to do this

 

1) We contact the clients sort it all out and all you have to do is print the final letter on your letter head and sign it. We say we are part of your team.

2) We pass all the queries to you and you email the client and pass back to us. so we act as back room.

 

The person here dealing with it is English, qualified and knows what they are doing, its then checked by quality control another qualified and then by me.  We have a dozen or so qualifieds so can easily absorb a little or a lot of what you want to throw at usv

We have a dozen or so qualifieds so can absob whatever you throw at us.

We do this for a few other people, we dont steal anyones clients ,why would we because youll stop sending us the other work., which is more important.

Details of us at www.ttca.co.uk and you can see over 350 recommendations from clients at

.http://www.checkatrade.com/TreetopsCharteredAccountants/Monitors.aspx 

 

Tom

[email protected]

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08th May 2012 11:46

@Bob Harper

I have to agree with Bob in the argument with Peter, there is no way that clients WANT statutory accounts, but unfortunately they do NEED them... it's a job that HAS to be done, and they choose to hire us to do them - but, in terms of 'added value' it brings absolutely nothing, which is why we have to work hard to do something that DOES, and therefore give the client a reason to choose us...

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By BKD
08th May 2012 11:56

Not often that I agree with Bob, either

But in this case I do (and with jaybee)

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08th May 2012 12:00

Resources

@FirstTab - do you want to use all your resource doing work that clients don't value and where you are a commodity?

The past does not equal the future. You are a new business and I'd recommend you use a new business model and new thinking.

Good luck.

Bob

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08th May 2012 12:00

Who wants "added value"?

I don't think you understand my point.

Potential clients want/need/desire/love (choose whichever you want - it wont make any difference) to have a set of accounts and we can provide that for them. If we can do that for them they may ask us to provide them.

If an accountant says they will "add value" the potential client will see them as bullshitters and want nothing to do with them.

I've had plenty of clients come to be and say they wanted me as their accountant because I understand them and know what they want and they trust me. They say that their previous accountants either didn't care what they wanted or wanted to take as much money off them as possible. 

 

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08th May 2012 12:03

@petersaxton

petersaxton wrote:

I don't think you understand my point.

Potential clients want/need/desire/love (choose whichever you want - it wont make any difference) to have a set of accounts and we can provide that for them. If we can do that for them they may ask us to provide them.

If an accountant says they will "add value" the potential client will see them as bullshitters and want nothing to do with them.

I've had plenty of clients come to be and say they wanted me as their accountant because I understand them and know what they want and they trust me. They say that their previous accountants either didn't care what they wanted or wanted to take as much money off them as possible. 

 

... sorry but I sense a slight contradiction in your post... first of all, they don't want/desire/love them... whatever you say, they need them, end of story.

... you say clients came to you because their previous accountant didn't care what they wanted... so, aside from compliance (which any accountant can provide) what is it they wanted?

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By BKD
08th May 2012 12:12

Sweeping generalisations

petersaxton wrote:

IIf an accountant says they will "add value" the potential client will see them as bullshitters and want nothing to do with them.

With any prospective client, we are upfront with the fact that we are by no means the cheapest around - if the client wants a compliance service only we are happy to recommend cheaper advisers in the area that will do exactly that and nothing more. However, very few of those prospective clients walk away - most are happy to engage us. It's all about how you get the message across that they will in fact see that "added value" in choosing you over a competitor. Some are obviously better at it than others (both in adding value and in getting the message across).

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08th May 2012 12:06

Compliance

They just wanted ("needed" if you prefer) compliance.

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08th May 2012 12:11

@petersaxton

petersaxton wrote:

They just wanted ("needed" if you prefer) compliance.

... so why couldn't their previous accountant provide that?

I think this argument could go on for a long time, and of course we're all entitled to our opinion, but this is mine...

Any old accountant can provide compliance... it's the core of what we do, and I don't believe that clients choose us on that basis for one second... most clients leave accountants because 'they weren't proactive enough'... and I think that being proactive means doing MORE than compliance work... if you want to call that 'added value' then so be it... but what it IS is of course is up for debate... it's difficult to pinpoint what being proactive and adding value is but, if you want to keep clients happy, it's something you need to do... and it has NOTHING to do with preparing a set of accounts...

... that's my opinion anyway.

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08th May 2012 12:13

Compare it with a bank or car repairer

When you go to your bank to pay a cheque in - do you want or need to do it? - and the cashier tries to sell you insurance.

When you go to a car repairer to get your car repaired and the workers try to sell you go faster stripes.

What do you think of these people? Do you trust them?

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By BKD
08th May 2012 12:21

?

petersaxton wrote:

When you go to your bank to pay a cheque in - do you want or need to do it? - and the cashier tries to sell you insurance.

When you go to a car repairer to get your car repaired and the workers try to sell you go faster stripes.

What do you think of these people? Do you trust them?

Trust them to do what? I may decline their kind offer of an extra service/product, but I don't see that the offer has anything to do with trust. Perhaps I would fancy a set of go-faster stripes. Perhaps I am under-insured. Like I said above, it's how one conveys the message - there's a difference between pressurising someone into paying for something they don't want/need etc and letting them know what is available (and the associated benefits). As jaybee says, its more about giving the client more for their money, not necessarily about selling something them extra.

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08th May 2012 12:16

@petersaxton

... why should you have to try and 'sell' them something?

I'm talking about adding value into the fee they're paying you - that's something WE have to do as their accountant.

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08th May 2012 12:33

???

jaybee661 wrote:

... why should you have to try and 'sell' them something?

I'm talking about adding value into the fee they're paying you - that's something WE have to do as their accountant.

What do you mean?

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