Beat the recession masterclass, part four: Your action plan

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In part four of this multi-media series, leading strategist Steve Pipe FCA explains how accountants can structure their systems of support for clients battling the economic crisis.

Listen to Steve Pipe's audio message here:

Parts one and two of this series offered overwhelming evidence that practitioners need to do more to help clients beat the recession, while part three explained how this can be done in a way that benefits the practice. This instalment will describe how to build the rest of your action plan and outline the...

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By eddybee
30th Apr 2009 16:42

Moving out of the comfort zone....
Another excellent article Steve -thank you .

I was interested in Mark's comments about the 4 partner firm. They may well also gain in the long run due to referrals into new clients whose accountants are not helping in the same way. At a time when some firms are downsizing, this approach can help relieve the pressure even if the extra profit isn't the desired amount.

Whilst some firms either have or may be able to quickly develop the required skills, for others this type of support may completely outside their comfort zone. These firms may wish to consider an arrangement with someone with commercial experience who can help their clients. Whilst the idea of introducing another accountant to clients is an anathema to many accountants, using the principle that it senseless to bite the hand that feeds you - any fears on this front are likely to be ill founded.

As regards rates - the traditional practice model for charge out rates assumes a slug of fixed overheads that have to be recovered. The market rates for outsourced financial management services are generally lower than practice rates (the overhead base is normally low). Where firms view this work from a traditional perspective they will struggle to make it work at normal practice rates - however if they view it as a low overhead add on service it can create extra profit and be rewarding work that helps clients where it really matters.

David Lewis
Camrose Consulting

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29th Apr 2009 16:08

Some firms are certainly focused on helping clients survive
I was talking with one of the partners in a four partner firm just yesterday. He told me that the partners were focused very much on helping clients even if they were not able to secure full fees for all of the partner time being invested.

Their view is very much that they want to help their clients to survive the recession. Their logic is simply that they have generated good fees from their clients over the years. Now that times are tough for clients they want to help ensure that those clients will survive so that they will be around to continue paying good fees in the future when the impact of the recession has passed.

Mark Lee
Tax Advice Network

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