My Week: Client Selection

Share this content

Hello folks. I think we have a fantastic summer. I am trying to make the most of it, but at times, work takes priority over enjoying the sunshine.

Client Recruitment 

Over the past few months, now that I have an okay client base, I have been selective about clients we take on. As a result, I have lost business that I would have otherwise gained.

New clients need to be lucrative. Through hard experience, I have learnt to weed out the ones I do not think are the right fit. I am not perfect at it. Some good ones may have slipped through the net. 

I have no doubt, you know, poor client selection does hamper the growth of the practice since we would be too busy doing it doing it. I was in that position before.

Practice Development

The current tax investigation has kept me very busy. I do not know when it will come to an end. It has meant, I spent considerably less time on practice development. This is where 90% of my time should be spent – NOT on the day to day client work. If I continue with day to day client work, the practice will not move further, since the work needed to add value to the practice is not being done.


I have not had a chance to review our client list and make decisions on client goodbyes. We are no longer a start-up practice.  During the early days, I made mistakes on client recruitment that is still bitting me hard in the back. We have some clients, that are just not viable The worst part is that they do take up an unreasonable amount of time.

Fee bank clients

About half of the fee bank clients have left since they have closed shop or they became dreaded inside IR35 contractors.  Not fair on yours truly. For a change, I wanted easy and profitable contractors. At least share some of the big contractor accountants easy street returns. No, that this not the way damn destiny works for me. I just have to keep on working hard to make a decent living and have a good business.


I am continuing with CTA studies. Being summer, it is very easy to get up at 5 am get on my bike at about 6:30 am and put in about 1.5 hours studying before the working hours’ madness starts.

Honestly, early summer morning on a bicycle is such a magical experience, especially in my area. I feel, at this time of the year, I am in the best country in the world.

And Finally 

It’s summer and it is after Accountex. Do you know what that means? Drumroll. We are now in Sift’s awards season! It appears to be Sift’s crown jewel. Dare I criticise it? I will be put on the Sift’s naughty step. I am there most of the time.

Please, no advice from the shortlisted and the winners.  Will they give us the real detail on how when who and why? No chance. In that case, it is pointless and without meaning, I do not want it. Fair enough. I will not read what comes out.

About FirstTab


Blogs about my week in a boutique practice. My independent channel:


Please login or register to join the discussion.

18th Jun 2018 09:45

So FT after you are left with just half of the fees that you bought in, can I ask if you would do that again and did you learn anything from the process.

Are you just doing the CTA to get you tax knowledge up to date or are you actually wanting to gain the qualification.

Firsttab I thought you didn't take advice of anyone not just those who are short listed for the AE awards.

I have made the cut this year and will happily share my story with you.

Thanks (0)
to Glennzy
18th Jun 2018 12:17

Glenn on the points you raised.

1. Fee bank, I would do it again if the fee bank was the right fit - lucrative fees, cloud-based and no need for handholding. Not easy to find these because of the demand and probably exiting contacts would get them.

2. CTA- I have more than enough qualifications. It is to acquire valuable tax knowledge and skills. They are no shortcuts, examinations need to be sat and passed. Otherwise, there is no clear goal to get through the material.

3. I take advice from people who I trust and respect. It does not include award winners and shortlisted. You know it is nothing more than PR intended to gain more business for ALL parties. I do NOT like it on AW since it gives credit to people whose only contribution on AW is completing the application and then getting maximum exposure. You just have to look at the previous winners. I do not see it as fair. It is insulting. It is NOT my platform so I have zero say on the matter. Thankfully, so far, I have the platform to express my thinking.

4, Great you made the shortlist. I hope it brings in more business for you. The exposure is bound to.

Thanks (0)