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What do you expect to do for clients who do their own bookeeeping?

What do you expect to do for clients who do...

I don't mind calculating and posting depreciation, but I get a bit irked about correcting VAT, calculating interest on DLA, sorting out negative petty cash balances, and correcting sundry mispostings (especially PAYE that doesn't match the payroll).

Do other people do these things without minding, do they charge more or am I just a whinger?


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08th Jan 2013 18:11

Problem is charging

.. they think they have done it correctly and you are 'redoing' their work - they are paying for you to retype their figures in a different format or so they think. You can either say 'sorry.. I do it all or not do it at all' or try to teach them the error of their ways.

Have you found that by doing it your way there are more expenses and thus reduced profit thus reduced tax.... If you want to keep the client you'll have to try and be nice to them; start by explaining to them that their way is costing them as you are having to check everything..

If you want the client next year tell them that there are other allowances/expenses that they have not claimed for and that you have to calculate. Dont tell them how. Try to agree what they do and what you do and then agree a set fee. If you have done the accounts this way for a couple of years you must have an idea as to what is a fair fee.

Or.. dump them! There are some good clients around.



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By Sarah P
08th Jan 2013 18:18

Part of the job
To be honest I see that as part of my role - reviewing the underlying records and amending where necessary. If I feel a client is really losing their way with the bookkeeping and it is taking me undue time to correct the errors, then I do say "you need to sort it out or I'll do it for you for an extra £X".

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08th Jan 2013 18:29

Definitely part of the job

We consider those sort of adjustments to be part of our role in preparing the accounts. However, we are these days also more actively encouraging some clients to let us quote for the bookkeeping as it can save them money in the long run and also keep our fee income rising. 

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09th Jan 2013 00:25

No 2 clients are the same

Take a look at this recent thread on a similar theme.

Some clients can do 100% of the bookkeeping and others 50%, with most being in the middle.  As long as you and your client knows where that boundary is and what it will cost for you to make up the missing bit AND understands/agrees the fees involved then it should all work well.

If you don't want it to work like this then you either do 100% or 0% of the bookkeeping for each client, but I think that's very limiting (and the former is very boring!).


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09th Jan 2013 10:03

Love it

Personally, I get a bit depressed if there isn't anything to correct. Makes me feel rather redundant. Might just be me though!

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09th Jan 2013 10:42

Expecting too much

I must admit that if you expect client to work out the interest on their overdrawn DLA's then you must be continually disappointed - I'm not sure that I would expect professional book keepers to attempt that, particularly when this is one of the last areas agreed with the client.


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By chatman
to lionofludesch
09th Jan 2013 11:13

You are right; I wouldn't expect clients to calculate DLA int.

Roland195 wrote:
I must admit that if you expect client to work out the interest on their overdrawn DLA's then you must be continually disappointed

Yes, very good point. I wouldn't expect them to do that either. Badly worded query/rant on my part. I now put a bit in my quote about additional fees if the DLA goes overdrawn, due to interest calc, CT600A etc. I am thinking about the clients I took on before I started doing that. My fault entirely.

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By chatman
09th Jan 2013 11:05

Thanks for the responses

Thanks for all your responses. That sort of thing helps when I wonder if I am doing something wrong.

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