At various events in recent weeks the same theme has cropped up several times: “Clients are asking us to reduce our fees and do more work for less.”
At the recent CCH Conference, for example, Philip Woodgate from Goodman Jones commented: “We’re getting lots of pressure on price, just because our clients’ margins are going down. Clients are coming forward and asking for fee reductions, but they want to continue with the firm.”
The firm’s response was to review many of its processes and wherever possible move clients on to Twinfield cloud accounting software.
I also heard a similar story at the Accountex event in June from Mark Hil of Woking-based Ashfield Accounting. He’s using BankLink to help reduce fees and says pulling in bookkeeping data from clients’ bank accounts “helps reduce their fees” and supports both client retention and acquisition.
Have any other AccountingWEB members experienced similar pressure from clients to reduce your fees? And if so, what have you done about it?
We’ve picked up a lot of anecdotal evidence from comments like these and previous posts on AccountingWEB, such as the member who posted in January that “80% of clients are constantly asking for reduced fees and taking 60+ days to pay”.
In the circumstances, we thought it might be helpful to collect a bit of data to assess how widespread this trend might be and discuss how firms are dealing with it. Are you likely to follow the examples of Goodman Jones and Ashfield Accounting and use technology to make savings in-house, or are their other things you can do to preserve your margins?