The doctor will see you now

The Practitioner
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There are times when being a general practitioner feels a bit like being a medical GP. Our surgery is always open to patients (sorry, I mean clients) and boy do they like to bring us their problems!

In the last few days I have seen a range of clients with their accounts and/or tax returns and have ended up also:

  • Helping their son get work experience
  • Putting a startup in touch with a business networking group to help him make local contacts
  • Getting legal and social services contacts for a client caring for an elderly relative
  • Sorting out a client's wife's Tax Credits overpayments
  • Recommending an IFA to help a client get their finances in order and save for retirement
  • Running through the issues a client needed to think about before instructing his solicitor on setting up a fairly complicated will and family trust arrangement
  • Connecting a company with a business transfer agent to try to sell their business
  • Helping a couple work through their life goals and come up with some new ideas and directions for a struggling business
  • Finding a better mobile phone contract
  • Introducing a new client to a bank and a specialist printer (also a client) to design and produce marketing materials
  • Obtaining credit reports on a couple of customers to check the level of trade credit they should give them (turned out to be "none" in both cases, which came as a bit of a shock to him!)

Yes, it's all part of a days work for the busy general practitioner! And I still get job applicants who think all they need to do this job is A Level maths.


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18th Jul 2012 11:38

More than just numbercrunching

That pretty much describes a normal week for me too.

These are the bits of the job I enjoy. Helping with real life problems and making clients feel good.

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18th Jul 2012 14:13

Sounds familiar

Might give you a warm feeling inside but means 8 hours of chargeable work take 10 or 11.

Mind you 'givers gain' and all that...

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20th Jul 2012 13:38

Regularly happens in my practice.

Had a client come in because he needed help with inheritance tax forms. He's been a client for a couple of years with his sole trader business. The deceased was his best friend and we spent 30 minutes on the forms and an hour drinking coffee and chatting about how much he missed his best friend.

Another client has breast cancer and her husband uses me as a listening ear when he's upset.

I've had many discussions about another client's son with learning difficulties, a client whose mother has just passed away, discussions about child custody with a recently divorced client, a phone call from a client in hospital to say that he'd just had a heart attack, another client is involved in a current high profile sexual assault case (this lady also discusses all her family difficulties with me.

I wouldn't have it any other way. I think that the relationship a client has with their bookkeeper/accountant is actually quite a personal one. How many other people know how much money you earn or how and where you spend it? When you trust someone with all of that information it becomes very easy to discuss other intimate details with them. For some people they need to share information with someone who won't pass it on and if they know you are trustworthy you may become that person.

I also have clients who share nothing except finances with me. That's fine too. It's the way the cookie crumbles and it's my ability to distinguish between the two types of client and react accordingly that ensures that I have a vibrant and busy practice and a very loyal clientele.

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