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Client has changed everything without my knowledge

Client has changed everything without my knowledge

I have a client that I run book-keeping on Xero for - all the record-keeping is done by us at their premises.

Today I go in and the client tells me that we're not using Xero anymore, he has been out and bought Sage Accounts Professional for over a grand because it's cheaper than Xero and it does job costing so will save us time.

Not only that but the client has entered the debtors and creditors himself - it may be a mess, it may not be - but he has spent most of the time on the Sage Support line today.

To say I feel pushed out is an understatement - but I really don't know how I should react - does anyone have any thoughts?


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06th Dec 2012 18:50

Not much you can do with clients like that ...

... except let them learn 'the hard way'.

Be there to provide support, but make sure he pays for it, and if it's a mess then make him sort it out, and if he can't then charge him for sorting it out, or for providing training.

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By DMGbus
06th Dec 2012 20:10

What is cost of Xero?

Presumably Xero costs more than £1,000 if client says Sage is costing over £1,000 but cheaper than Xero?


I think the true costs of Xero (often highly recommended) need to be better publicised.



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06th Dec 2012 22:14


£19 per month, unless you need multi currency in which case it's £24.  Including automatic backup, program updates, support and any number of concurrent users.

So that's a minimum of 40 months before you pay out the same on Xero, if you don't have Sage support or any upgrades

And I reckon that Xero saved me at least an hour each month (probably more) just on doing the bank entries and reconciliation on my own accounts.  That's worth way more that the monthly fee. 

The "true" cost is readily available on the Xero website

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06th Dec 2012 22:19

Leave them to it

The big unknown here is why on earth wouldn't he discuss the subject with you before making the decision, did he even discuss Sage with you, what you thought of it, whether you were familiar with it?

I too can't understand the cost thing, also there are loads of add-ins to Xero to handle job planning/accounting.

Obviously there could be more to this you don't know about but on the face of it his behaviour is rude and arrogant and I wouldn't be prepared to play ball, I'd bill him up to date, tell him what I thought of his behaviour and leave him to make a mess of it or get someone cheap to make a mess for him.

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07th Dec 2012 08:23

Bin them!

They might be a reasonable fee to you but your work load and profit margin is going to become a whole lot worse now that they are using s*ge!

In more positive news, I converted one of last 9 remaining s*ge clients to VT yesterday!  8 more to go...

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07th Dec 2012 08:50

s*ge & st*rbucks

Good luck MissAccounting (I'm down to one) "people power" !

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07th Dec 2012 09:02

lemings... far as I'm concerned, Sage's products are generally poor, the deciding factor being reputation (or should that be PR?) rather than productivity, so after you've given advice charge them whatever for sorting out their crap. Once they've realised what an expensive mistake they've made, as long as you're not critical, they will trust you even more.

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By Monsoon
07th Dec 2012 09:32

Ah, that kind of client

It's clients like this I had in mind when I wrote this article. Like Paul and Miss Accounting say, bin them.


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07th Dec 2012 10:00

Just had a similar situation

Went to collect a set of books (its a year end job only) only to find that the client had migrated from sage to quickbooks, as the directors found it easier to get off the reports they needed.

Only problem was the bookeeeper (who was 90% there on sage) hadn't reconciled anything all year because "no-one had shown her how", and "could I just show her what to do next time I was in".

I had to tell the directors that it was pointless being able to get reports off if they were hopelessly innaccurate due to basic controls not being carried out.

My heart sinks when I get situations like this, especially as they had paid their previous accountant for sage training initially and I had given some free coaching on sage the previous year to get over the things they weren't doing.



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11th Dec 2012 11:36

usual load of old codswallop on this thread

welcome to the new world order , where tax avoidance is immoral  and compliance is King . only trouble is as software gets better the need for an accountant gets less. re engineer yourselves even an old fart like me is trying to 

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11th Dec 2012 18:14

Actually there is technological advance in this thread

Most of the posters here are talking about Xero, which is advanced cloud accounting that allows collaboration with clients.  It is the clients who don't value or understand the underlying accounting skills that are needed to run any accounting system.  There is more to it than just entering transactions.  Someone will no doubt mention marketing and training as options, but there are a hard core of clients who always know best and they deserve to be given a wide berth.

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