David Barry writes: When times are good and clients are making money the accountants’ role is to advise on their traditional services like bookkeeping, financial accounts and personal/corporate tax planning.
However, what about when times are bad and there is a recession? Not all businesses are recession proof (shops in particular) and this is where the accountant must shake off the dust, think outside his usual role and work with clients (almost daily) at making their businesses survive.
Obviously, all accountants understand the problem. If a business is suffering it is hard enough recovering fees for our usual work. However, what to do about fees if we find that we are investing our time at teaching clients how best to manage their businesses?
David Barry writes that he believes it is our duty as accountants to help as much as we can and to complete this free of all accountancy charges. Yes, our fees will reduce and we find ourselves working harder. However, ours is a unique profession/position in that in accepting an appointment to represent clients in their tax and financial affairs clients have nowhere else to go and so lean on us for advice. If we can help with financial /business advice/encouragement and our experience then please do this and complete this with enthusiasm and a good heart.
Payback There is a payback for us. It is the pleasure of seeing clients surviving the recession, rebuilding their businesses and becoming successful again (or if a start-up, successful first time.) This leads to a truly long lasting loyal (both sides) professional relationship with clients knowing that you have contributed to their financial success.