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Lost Friend and Lost Client

over Father's Death

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I had a very good friend, We were very close and been great source of support over the years.  I was also his accountant for his Ltd company.

The monthly fees were around 50% lower than anyone else I charged - it didn't bother me as he was a mate   This friend rarely paid me I didn't mind (as money was tight).    Always provided information at the last posssible minute before the accounting and tax deadlines.  I didn't mind either.

My father died last week,  He called  (he didn't know my father had died)  I mentioned my fathers death, he sympathised then at the end of the call wanting to know if I can help him file his accounts (already has extended for three months) and self assessment tax return which was due on Sunday 28th Feb.  I was stunned and refused.  At that moment I had lost a good friend.  I was distraught a good friend of mine could be so insensitive at a difficult time

Immediately I disengaged and wrote off the large debt.  

 

 

Replies (28)

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By Piltdown Man
03rd Mar 2021 12:23

Good for you.

When I was a young man, my grandfather told me "when you get older you will realise that you can probably count the number of good friends on the fingers of one hand".

As a young man I thought he was wrong. As an older man, I realise how right he was!

"Good" friends often turn out not to be so.

PS. Sorry to hear about your father.

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Replying to Piltdown Man:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
03rd Mar 2021 13:16

My old dad used to say "Your best friend is a pound in your pocket".

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By grannysmith
03rd Mar 2021 14:24

Was he Harold Wilson?

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Replying to Piltdown Man:
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By sanjay100
03rd Mar 2021 14:31

Thank you

Yes I agree. I am mourning my father and to an extent mourning loss of friend

I only have a few friends left but he was my closest so hurts even more as we did everything together. He is a decent guy and has helped me a lot in the past and we have never got close to falling out so thats more upsetting

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By DaveyJonesLocker
03rd Mar 2021 12:28

Sorry to hear of your loss.

With the way your friend treated you now, and in the past, you are better off with not being connected to him anymore.

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Scooby
By gainsborough
03rd Mar 2021 12:34

My condolences for your loss Sanjay.

You are better off without this so-called "friend". Situations like this really highlight who your true friends are.

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By Truthsayer
03rd Mar 2021 12:34

Never mistake clients for friends. When they do such things as paying for meals, they just want a free advice session. If you give them mates' rates, they will only be your 'friend' as long as those low fees last.

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By Southwestbeancounter
03rd Mar 2021 13:29

Very sorry to hear about the death of your Father, Sanjay.

I think you have found that your 'very good friend' in fact, wasn't. Very sad but true.

I think, sadly, in times like you are experiencing you really find out who your true friends are.

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Replying to Southwestbeancounter:
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By sanjay100
03rd Mar 2021 14:34

He was a very good friend for more than 10 years and has always been caring and aware of others feelings so not sure what made him even mention anything to do with work.

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By lesley.barnes
03rd Mar 2021 14:01

Really sorry to hear about your father. Your friend is not a friend he's only thinking about himself. He's been taking everything he could, receiving free accountancy and putting on your good nature by making you work at the last minute. Your well rid of him don't let him back in your life he'll just drag you down again. Wave good riddance to this selfish individual fingers crossed he has to pay an accountant upfront and gets late filing penalties as well.

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By Matrix
03rd Mar 2021 14:17

Sorry for your loss. Take some time out, hopefully there aren’t any imminent deadlines and put yourself first. It sounds as if you are already doing that as you made a decision about this client. Taking control is empowering.

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Replying to Matrix:
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By sanjay100
03rd Mar 2021 14:40

Thank You

Luckily there isn't any thing urgent. I am working just to take my mind off things.

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By bernard michael
03rd Mar 2021 14:22

Plus ca change !!

Sorry about your loss

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blue sheep
By Nigel Henshaw
03rd Mar 2021 14:27

Sorry to hear that Sanjay

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By Truthsayer
03rd Mar 2021 15:04

'At that moment I had lost a good friend.'

No you didn't....

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By Tax Dragon
03rd Mar 2021 16:14

I'll add my condolences too. And a different perspective on the friend.

You're clearly better off without the client. I wouldn't be so quick to write him off as a friend. People close to us can hurt us the most, unintentionally, through the thoughtlessness and insensitivity that we are all guilty of.

If he phones again to apologise, or even just sends a card, tell him how hurt you were. The friendship might recover. But I wouldn't take him back as a client.

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By sanjay100
03rd Mar 2021 17:17

Wise words indeed. I cannot envisage a scenario apart from bereavement where one can be so insensitive ? I am tolerant of people but there are boundaries you just do not cross.

Yes, it will take a lot for me to take him back now. I know he would be distraught losing me as his accountant (maybe because he will have to pay his next accountant and pay double) and friend but the onus is on him to make up for his faux pas. If he doesn't then it has the end as far as I am concerned.

No definitely will not have him as a client. In fact, I will no longer act for friends as will not mix business with pleasure.

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Replying to sanjay100:
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By Tax Dragon
03rd Mar 2021 17:31

sanjay100 wrote:

I will no longer act for friends as will not mix business with pleasure.

Wise words too.

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By Klandrews
04th Mar 2021 09:45

OK, so your friend has been a lousy client - and the consensus is not to mix business with pleasure as you've also noted. But has he been a lousy friend before? And is it really right to cut off a friend at a time when you might need one because he made a mistake? He might not even realise that what he said was insensitive. I have a colleague who just wanted to throw herself into her work as a distraction from her grief. It's up to you of course, but you have reacted hastily and I would recommend at least a conversation to explain how hurt you are and why you have cut him off. Friendship is valuable and you need to be sure you are doing the right thing by ending one.

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Replying to Klandrews:
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By raju m
04th Mar 2021 09:56

I agree. Think care fully.

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Replying to Klandrews:
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By sanjay100
04th Mar 2021 12:54

He hasn't been a lousy friend before. In fact a very good one. Though what I found very irritating that I was the one always making the initial contact which I pointed out to him a couple months back. He would call only if here was a reason to call.

Talking about accounts is just selfish and don't think the timing could have been worse. Other clients have been very understanding and called me but said they will contact me later when I am ready

I agree people make mistakes and say things but they should also realised by now how hurt I was and try to make amends through a sincere apology or whatever means. This could reduce the severity of the damage and in time I might forgive.

If he comes back a few months later and thinks I have calmed down and all is okay then he will have be disappointed by my reaction. It is a huge loss as I needed him but I know it will be difficult for the relationship to survive now. Perhaps its a huge flaw with me but when I have been deeply hurt things are never the same again even when I have tried to keep the relationship going.

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By sonoftwosheds
03rd Mar 2021 17:22

sorry to hear about your loss and the thoughtless so called friend, he might have done you a good turn in the long run, no one needs "friends" like these

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By allan613
04th Mar 2021 09:13

Very early on I was advised - never take a friend as a client, because whatever you do is wrong, and whatever you charge will be (according to them) exorbitant!
If a client becomes a friend afterwards - then that's a different story.
The few friends I had as clients, when they said - 'how much?' I told them my wife likes chocolates, buy her a box. You could then tell by the price and size of the box what kind of friends they were!

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By CazzyT
04th Mar 2021 13:39

Sorry for your loss.

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By Andy Reeves
04th Mar 2021 17:41

Just a thought, but is the "friend" on the autistic spectrum? If so, he may not realise that he was being insensitive, and that could also explain why he never made the first approach in non-business situations.

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Replying to Andy Reeves:
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By sanjay100
04th Mar 2021 21:00

I am trying to understand why he would make such a request as he is a great listener and gives good advise. Definitely nothing to do autism. My theory is since I am so nice and helpful he thought I would help him in any situation plus the fact he has a stressful month he probably was not thinking clearly.

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By richard.snape
04th Mar 2021 19:14

People often find dealing with other people's grief very difficult and don't know quite what to say. I certainly do. Perhaps he blurted out this request regarding his accounts from a position of awkwardness and reverting to practical matters because he couldn't cope with the emotional.

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Replying to richard.snape:
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By sanjay100
04th Mar 2021 20:49

The reason for the call was to discuss his accounts. He only calls when he wants something. He is emotionally stable so cannot fathom the reason why he would want to discuss his accounting needs after informing him about my father’s death.

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