Accountants suffering toxic debts

Editorial team
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Bad debts are on the increase among accountancy practices, but it doesn’t have to be like this, argues practice consultant Finola McManus.

The recession has put considerable financial pressure on clients and as a result, accountants are suffering the after-effects. Some of the most common problems at the moment include:

  • Debtor days extending: Practitioners are experiencing continued difficulties in asking clients to pay when they know they are struggling with cash flow themselves.
  • Poor cash flow: This often results in difficult decisions to be made about spending, expansion and driving the practice forward as planned.
  • Payments missed: Clients are not paying when they promised to and payment plans are no...

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14th Oct 2009 14:20


I wish that we had the "problem" of negative w.i.p.

With kind regards

Clint Westwood

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By Anonymous
14th Oct 2009 15:25

Sorry - but your headline seriously undermines your credibility

Negative work in progress is a GOOD THING for accountants and helps avoid some of the problems that you cover in your article. For example if you are paid in advance you won't have a bad debt.

Is it too late to change it?

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15th Oct 2009 11:10

Blame the deputy editor!

Thanks for spotting that. Please don't blame Finola because it was an error that sprang from my editor's pen and not from her! I have now amended this. Apologies for the oversight.


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By Anonymous
16th Oct 2009 15:16

Some accountants do the strangest things.

Recently  a small firm of chartered  accountants  in London with a turnover of £270, 000 took an a new member of staff £50,000 a year for four days a week which works out at £34 per hour  but only being charged out at a rate  twice that.    Shortly thereafter  they lost (unconected reason)a large client worth £24,000 pa.   Result  his cashflow is shot to pieces, does not pay his sub contactors on time, a long time staff member leaves because of overpaid and  inexperienced starter, unpaid debtors have shot up  & the firms profits have  evaporated. Some accountants bring it on themselves !



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