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Need to let off steam!

I can't believe what a now ex client has just said to me

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I need to let off steam, my blood is boiling right now and it isn't the heat. 

So brief history, client 12 months late supplying monthly book keeping 2 years running. 

Last January I receive paperwork going back to April prior when it should have been received each month. Notice client has gone over vat threshold and advised what he needed to do and what would happen.

I get an email today to say they are going elsewhere because my advice has been poor! 

So they expected me to know when they hit the threshold without having the information as agreed each month but somehow it's my fault for not advising them sooner? 

People really do live in their own dream world, I just can't believe the cheek of it. 

Had they said thanx for the memories but it's time to part id have said good luck and take care, but they made it their choice to state I was slow at advising them sooner and completely ignoring all the issues they caused which stopped me from advising them at the appropriate time.


Replies (17)

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
24th Jul 2019 13:15


I imagine everything that goes right is their doing,and everything that goes wrong is someone else's.

On the plus side you get to draft a choice handover letter advising your new accountants of the VAT reg breach and circumstances . "On the eventual receipt of paperwork for April 2018, due May 2018, which we received until July 2019, we noted that..........having informed the client of the requirement to register from XXXX, we understand our services were no longer required"

Have some fun with it!

Thanks (4)
Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
By SXGuy
24th Jul 2019 13:03

Nice, I like that!

Thanks (0)
By James Green
24th Jul 2019 12:54

Think of it this way: you’ve had a lucky escape. Clearly this ex client is at prime PITA and would only waste your time, turn in to a bad debt and then likely make a complaint to your regulator. As some fella on a TV show said: “some will, some won’t, so what! Next!”

Thanks (2)
Replying to James Green:
By SXGuy
24th Jul 2019 13:04

Yes your right. It just angers me when you litterally bend over backwards for someone for years and then they have the cheek to pass the blame on like they did nothing wrong. I guess you get all sorts.

Thanks (0)
By Chris.Mann
24th Jul 2019 13:06

I comfort myself, if ever this type of situation happens and, mutter the phrase "you can't educate lard".

Thanks (5)
By raj1234
24th Jul 2019 14:18

Just politely remind them that you didn't receive the information in a timely manner. I understand you are frustrated, but take a chill pill and stay professional about it.

Thanks (0)
By bernard michael
24th Jul 2019 14:43

Surely you realise clients think of us as money-grabbing scum working for HMRC

Thanks (1)
Replying to bernard michael:
By raj1234
24th Jul 2019 14:48

Depends on the client! Not all are the same...

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By Red Leader
24th Jul 2019 14:49

I had this with a client. My gobsmacked response on the phone did cause him to reflect a bit. He conceded that he had an unrealistic idea of the service I was offering.

Thanks (2)
Replying to Red Leader:
By Maslins
25th Jul 2019 10:13

This post reminds me how much I hate the word "proactive" when it comes to accountancy guidance, as expectations are so wildly different.

Some clients think we're being extremely proactive when we tell them their year end has passed and ask for info, rather than them tell us. Some clients think proactive means we should guess what they're thinking about doing before they do it, and explain how they should do it differently before we've heard anything about it.

Thanks (2)
Replying to Maslins:
By Red Leader
25th Jul 2019 12:45

Exactly! Another client seemed to expect me to in effect be a financial PA, constantly reminding and nudging him on a weekly basis. Realistically this would be the sort of service best provided by someone sitting across the desk from him!

Thanks (0)
By lionofludesch
24th Jul 2019 15:22

I wouldn't let it pass.

I'd be making the ex-client and his new accountant fully aware of my view.

Thanks (3)
By Vaughan Blake1
24th Jul 2019 15:49

Clients, tsch!

My favourite moaner was a 'amateur' classic car dealer. When he brought in the first books he banged on about how much money he must have made as he bought cheapy classic cars from private owners and sold them at auction for double in most cases. When I did the accounts he had made a loss and blamed it on the way I had prepared them!

What he had ignored was , transport costs to get the car home as they were often not drivable. Rectification work to make them more saleable/drivable. Auction fees on the sale, delivery costs, wages, rent, accountancy etc etc.

Clearly all my fault!

Thanks (1)
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
24th Jul 2019 15:53

SX - I’d love to say I don’t know that feeling, but ...

The handover letter is a great stress relief. Put everything down that you want to say, then rip it up and do a slightly more professional version that still lands the client in it.

Thanks (4)
24th Jul 2019 18:24

''I get an email today to say they are going elsewhere because my advice has been poor!'' well as plain unappreciative, it sound to me like a tactic to avoid payment of anything that may be outstanding or your closing fee note

Still chuckling about the concept of trying to educate lard..

Thanks (0)
By Moonbeam
24th Jul 2019 19:41

I had one of these recently. To be fair, almost as soon as I signed him up I just knew I would find all sorts of stuff that he'd overclaimed/underdeclared. This duly happened and I was politely dismissed, whereby I passed ALL my workings to the next accountant, explaining why the accounts remained unfinished.
So I've had myself in for a quick chat and said that however desperate I am for work in future, I should just say no to people who have PITA inscribed on their foreheads.
I plan to set up a survey on future prospects that will tell me what my guts already know, and if anyone in future doesn't pass, at least I can say bye bye before I waste time on work and emotional commitment.

Thanks (3)
Replying to Moonbeam:
By Red Leader
25th Jul 2019 12:46

Yes, I eventually learned years ago to listen to my instinct about a prospect rather than my "rational" side.

Thanks (2)
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