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How often do you deal with such client requests?

One client who has not payed me. Can you advise me what to do?

Hi

I have received an email this morning from one client:

One client who has not payed me. Can you advise me what to do? 

I would be surprised if client believes that credit control is actually a basic service offered by most accountants in practice? Not sure, if anyone does offer such service?

 

 

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24th Aug 2018 12:10

"Get a dictionary and a solicitor."

In that order.

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24th Aug 2018 12:24

You don't have to offer credit control. What you can do is advise the client how to chase a debt.

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24th Aug 2018 12:50

This is where you differentiate between being a form filler and a proper accountant.

I love questions like that myself.

Had one about an employee loan yesterday, 15 minutes of help and the client is delighted.

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to ireallyshouldknowthisbut
24th Aug 2018 13:21

Totally agree, and its this type of advice that is valued by clients and ultimately keeps them with you

Its only going to take 5 minutes to respond to the client or give them call to explain what their options are for getting paid in this situation

Really these types of request are routine and anyone holding themselves out in practice should be able to answer them

Thanks (1)
to ireallyshouldknowthisbut
26th Aug 2018 19:55

ireallyshouldknowthisbut wrote:

Had one about an employee loan yesterday, 15 minutes of help and the client is delighted.

Seems that your client noticed the real value of your advice.

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By SXGuy
24th Aug 2018 13:02

I see both sides really.

I always offer advice and time for free.

If I had a client who contuinly fails to pay I'd be more reluctant to give my time freely.

However if this client has simply not paid his fee for this year, I can't see an issue providing advice.

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to SXGuy
26th Aug 2018 19:59

SXGuy wrote:

If I had a client who contuinly fails to pay I'd be more reluctant to give my time freely.

However if this client has simply not paid his fee for this year, I can't see an issue providing advice.

You've got a valid point - our approach may vary from client to client .

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24th Aug 2018 13:21

I'd probably reply with:

Send statement
Ring them
Ring them again
Cease providing services/goods
Try a 'sausage factory debt collector/solicitor' letter (Thomas Higgins)
Moneyclaimonline (assuming it's not high value).

In that order.

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24th Aug 2018 14:09

If you wish to achieve 'trusted business adviser' status you should answer all such questions or be able to point the client in the right direction. The client doesn't actually seem to be asking you to chase the debt, but what they should do themselves.

The answer, if they have lots of clients, I would give is to install a chaser system, statement after normal payment date, then telephone call, then nice letter after so many days, etc etc until you get to a threat of legal proceedings.

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to Vaughan Blake1
26th Aug 2018 19:52

Vaughan Blake1 wrote:

If you wish to achieve 'trusted business adviser' status you should answer all such questions or be able to point the client in the right direction.

Agree but i think it's also very important to draw a line to when it comes to dealing with client requests that fall outside normal engagement in order to make sure that we dont end up giving away too much of our time for free because time is money.

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