Biggest thing you have learnt over the years

Biggest thing you have learnt over the years

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Was thinking about this the other day and how in the early days I would literally take anyone on, at in hindsight well below market rates just to win the work. As time has gone on I am very much more selective and have got rid of all my nightmare clients which there were a lot of.

Replies (33)

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Intercity
By Mr Hankey
05th Apr 2024 12:57

Completely agree. Funny you should say that actually, that paragraph is exactly me too!

Ditching the time draining / low paying Z-list clients was the best thing I ever did. Noticed a huge difference in the extra time & happiness I had, but hardly noticed the (slightly) reduced income.

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By Paul Crowley
05th Apr 2024 13:25

Still take on most that come through the door.
But if they are problematic my fees go up.
Just do not bother with clients that come with what I think is a risk.
Keep to what I am both comfortable and confident with.

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By Kosher
05th Apr 2024 13:38

Well I agree, but still have clients at the low fee level, but as long as they aren't time consuming or cause me problems I am quite happy.

But the one thing I have learned, since 2004, that if you want a decent standard of living then you must be prepared to go into an accountancy business with no morals and rip people off. My ex business partner, parted company in 2008, did me for £55,000 and has now retired and gone from a terraced house, in Pickering, to a detached Georgian house in Ross on Wye.

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Replying to Kosher:
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By JimLittle
05th Apr 2024 20:19

I agree dishonest people seem to do well. There is plenty of work out and you can do well without ripping off others

Sorry you had a bad experience with your ex business partner. I think we all get badly burned by at least one horrible Pyscho/Narcissistic person in your lifetime.

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Replying to JimLittle:
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By Kosher
05th Apr 2024 22:08

JimLittle wrote:

I agree dishonest people seem to do well. There is plenty of work out and you can do well without ripping off others

Sorry you had a bad experience with your ex business partner. I think we all get badly burned by at least one horrible Pyscho/Narcissistic person in your lifetime.


Well last year I fell out with my colleague, whom I avoided becoming partner with, and this time I didn't get burnt.
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Replying to Kosher:
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By JD
09th Apr 2024 21:28

I bet it was all done with an easy charm that fools everybody he/she comes into contact with.

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Lisa Thomas
By Lisa Thomas - Insolvency Practitioner
05th Apr 2024 13:53

Always check how many shareholders there are before you give a quote for an MVL...

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Replying to Insolvency Practitioner:
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By FactChecker
05th Apr 2024 14:38

Ouch (bet that one still rankles)!

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Replying to Insolvency Practitioner:
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By Paul Crowley
05th Apr 2024 15:17

Wives, brothers, children grandchildren, all with 5%?

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Sandman
By Mr Sandman
05th Apr 2024 14:30

Don't act for Solicitors, 2nd Hand Car Dealers & Residents Associations.

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Replying to Mr Sandman:
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By JimLittle
05th Apr 2024 20:15

I have had enough of CIS clients.

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Replying to JimLittle:
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By AdamJones82
06th Apr 2024 09:14

Yeah, I don't take them on any more. Regular PITA

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Replying to Mr Sandman:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
08th Apr 2024 10:08

Concur on the solicitors, most entities you need two people to cause an argument, solicitors only need themselves. (Though the most obnoxious client I ever worked with was a Town Planning Consultant which is alarming as my daughter is a Planner)

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Replying to DJKL:
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By FactChecker
08th Apr 2024 14:20

Better not cross her then ... before you know it you'll be more reliant on her than you ever dreamed of when she was but a bairn.

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Replying to FactChecker:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
08th Apr 2024 15:24

We know- she has a temper like her parents and as her brother departed for the USA she will likely be the one sorting our care needs in due course (though hopefully we have 20 years before that is required) We always said he would kill us by neglect but she would use a pillow.

We already rely on her sorting issues with the Smart TV when one of us manages to reprogramme the remote control or introduces non required subtitles that do not want to leave.

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By JB101
05th Apr 2024 15:44

Aleph-zero

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Slim
By Slim
05th Apr 2024 16:51

the old 80 / 20 rule

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Ivor Windybottom
By Ivor Windybottom
05th Apr 2024 16:53

Do what you enjoy and are good at.
Have fun and try to be a good colleague.

Thanks (2)
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By HL86
05th Apr 2024 17:05

Don't mess with VAT and VAT won't mess with you, or something equally poetic.

Obviously day to day stuff is fine, but not going swimming in the murkier outlying complexities of VAT without a specialist to hand!

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By Justin Bryant
05th Apr 2024 17:36

If you never underestimate people's stupidity or overestimate their intelligence, you will not go far wrong in life.

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Replying to Justin Bryant:
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By Paul Crowley
05th Apr 2024 18:43

Yesterday evening I spent ever such a long time repeating many times to a client that just because we are doing 14 months accounts, that he did not need to register for VAT based on 14 months exceeding the limit. I have told him every year how it works, but it has not got through.

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
06th Apr 2024 09:33

Paul Crowley wrote:

I have told him every year how it works, but it has not got through.

That's your fault for not sticking to 12 months' accounts!

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By Paul Crowley
06th Apr 2024 19:24

Basis year change.
The accounts for ye Jan 23 still to be amended from estimates, the 'year' in question is to 31 March 2024.

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By mumpin
05th Apr 2024 19:31

If someone offers to pay you there and then, never ever ever say "I don't know how much it is yet, we'll sort it out later".

Instead say "OK Great! Pay me x. That will knock a hole in it. If there's any additional amount I will send you another invoice when the whole thing is done and dusted. Much obliged!"

Failure to adhere to the above will mean you get stung every couple of years and you will have no-one to blame but yourself.

Thanks (5)
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By johnthegood
06th Apr 2024 06:07

money is like a pile of manure - leave it in a pile and all it does is stink, spread it around and it makes things grow

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By Truthsayer
06th Apr 2024 16:15

If you can see a potential source of conflict with a client, don't delay having it out with them. If they walk, good riddance, and if they stay, that source of conflict will not be hanging over you.

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Flag of the Soviet Union
By thevaliant
08th Apr 2024 09:56

Honestly - No one really cares, and it doesn't really matter.

We're not saving lives here, teaching future leaders, helping the elderly or the sick or anything like that.

We're paid well, but our work is utterly irrelevent in even in medium scheme of things.
Don't kid yourself. You're not important.

Thanks (2)
Replying to thevaliant:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
08th Apr 2024 10:11

Well, if that is so why do we feature in the HHGTG books, if, in the vastness of the universe, we get a couple of mentions we must have some meaning. (Mind you, so do town planners, see my comment above)

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paddle steamer
By DJKL
08th Apr 2024 12:29

I wish that I knew what I know now
When I was younger
I wish that I knew what I know now
When I was stronger

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Replying to DJKL:
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By FactChecker
08th Apr 2024 14:22

Ah, but I was so much older then
I'm younger than that now

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By johnthegood
09th Apr 2024 12:42

The biggest thing I have learned is not to pay too much attention to clients that either think you are wonderful or hate you!

Many times over the years I have been a hero one year ("a tax refund? you are amazing") only to be the villain the next ("that tax can't be right, I've been talking to a mate of mine.....").

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By Husbandofstinky
09th Apr 2024 13:28

No one cares. Do your job, get paid and go home.

Also, leave anything even slightly iffy on the AMLR front well alone imo. Just in case and not worth it.

Thanks (1)
Replying to Husbandofstinky:
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By JB101
09th Apr 2024 15:33

"No one cares."?

I once had a client who was dying contact me for a meeting (at their local hospital). It turned out he was worried that his tax return hadn't been filed (it had) and when I told him that he was all filed up to date, he was so happy. He died later that day, presumably still smiling!

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