Mentor and Speaker for accountants BookMarkLee
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Entrepreneurs share thoughts on their accountants

17th Feb 2015
Mentor and Speaker for accountants BookMarkLee
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During my annual networking ski trip this month, I interviewed some of my fellow skiers. I chose those who run their own businesses and encouraged them to share their views as to provide useful insights for AccountingWEB members. 

This article is the first of a series of three based on the responses, views and advice shared by my interviewees.

Firstly, I asked them for their instinctive replies to the question:

“What is the most frustrating thing your accountant does?”

Yes, I know I could have asked them to tell me what they liked about their accountants but that’s what we hear most often. I felt that their instinctive replies to my question about frustrations would offer more value to AccountingWEB members.

Most of my interviewees were immediately able to identify frustrations, but thankfully this feeling wasn’t universal. Some are very happy to recommend their accountants and occasionally do so without being asked. More on this in part two of this series.

I have endeavoured to share 10 of the replies exactly as they were spoken:

1. “He works too close to the deadlines. For example, I sent him all the information he needed for my accounts and tax return by the start of September, But I heard nothing of substance until the first week of January. Everything was done in time but I would have liked more notice of how much tax I was going to have pay at the end of the month.”

2. “Charging me by reference to how much time she spends doing stuff. I would much prefer to just pay for the job that needs doing. I don’t care if it takes her four or six hours.”

3. “I believe that almost every accountant can deliver far more added value to their clients than they currently do. Yes, this requires a slightly different mindset but I believe that genuinely helping clients to run better businesses is what clients really want. This is a golden opportunity for those accountants who recognise what needs to be done.”

4. “They’re not great at communicating with me and aren’t always available when I want to speak to them. I want to get them on my terms. Sometimes they are slow to respond when we ask for things. There have been times when it has taken them weeks or months to complete the action points from meetings we have had with them.”

5. “They are not being proactive and give me no advice unless I ask for it. I have asked many times for monthly KPI financial figures and a commentary showing how I am doing. My accountant simply tells me to log on to the accounting system as the figures I want are there. We use Kashflow. But I’m not an accountant. I want him to interpret and explain the figures to me.”

6. “I wish they would give me a heads up on how much I owe HMRC at least a year in advance. And shouldn’t they be telling me how much salary to take?  I’m now with Baker Tilly but I was originally with [one of the small predecessors]. My main contact has been there throughout but he left recently after 25 years. Baker Tilly then sent me a huge bill out of the blue. When I questioned this they explained it was a big catch up across all areas of work. I eventually agreed to pay on condition that I will not do so if it ever happens again.”

7. “I was recommended to a particular guy in the firm who I speak to every now and then. But he seems to pass all my work down to someone else who passes it on further down the line. And this more junior person sends me emails that go into great detail about numbers I can’t easily follow. I find it confusing and would much prefer someone to explain things to me on the phone. But I assume the junior guy isn’t allowed to call me.”

8. “Easy. They seem to be beholden to HMRC and always seem to focus only on complying with the tax laws and rules. It’s a conspiracy. They do make an effort to compensate for this and that's why I'm with them. I’m talking here about money flow rather than tax avoidance.” 

9. “ I went to him on a recommendation without checking he understood my type of business. He doesn’t, so after 18 months of frustrations I’m moving to a new accountant next month. The current guy’s practice also isn’t computerised and he’s not into online bookkeeping.”

10. “He’s a one man band so if he’s not there I can’t talk to him, but that is quite rare. Also everything is bespoke, which sounds good. In practice this means there aren't many processes that simplify things. So everything feels like’s it more complicated than it needs to be.”

Commentary

I’d love to think that none of the above frustrations could apply to AccountingWEB members. If they do, then hang your head in shame.

We might think that some of these frustrations are unreasonable. For example, to be constantly available, to offer pro-active advice to people with the simplest of affairs and to reduce the tax bills of businesses that offer no obvious opportunities for such.

When this issue comes up during mentoring conversations with accountants I stress that what matters is the client’s perception, as their perception is their reality.

The skill comes in learning how to help clients to recognise that you are doing your best to help them, that you are thinking about how you can reduce their tax bill and how they can legally beat the tax man.

If you’re not around when they call you need to help them feel that you called back promptly and didn’t let things slide; that you’re on their side, and that you understand and want to help them succeed in their business.

The language you use in conversations, emails and forms/checklists all contribute to your clients’ perceptions. How confident are you that your clients aren’t harbouring unspoken frustrations that could mean they move to a new accountant in the near future?

Thanks

Most of the 15 or so networking skiers I interviewed for this series preferred to remain anonymous in case their accountants could identify themselves.

Others who also kindly agreed to be interviewed and who were happy to be identified were:

  • Robert Craven – Business author and expert adviser
  • Barnaby Wynter – branding expert and marketing speaker
  • Mike Jennings – Owner of business parks and entrepreneur
  • Robert Fenton – Serial entrepreneur
  • Chantal Cornelius – Small business marketing expert
  • Chris Iles – Network marketer of health and beauty products
  • Siam Kidd – Ethical and realistic forex trader and trainer

Mark Lee is consultant practice editor of AccountingWEB and a speaker at conferences and in-house events, helping accountants become more memorable, win more work and secure more referrals. He also facilitates The Inner Circle group for accountants and is chairman of the Tax Advice Network of independent tax specialists who provide support to smaller practices.

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Replies (49)

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By Tickers
17th Feb 2015 10:55

Expectations

I think alot of this can be explained with one word, Fees! 

Many of the services clients want, they aren't willing to pay for or assume it bundled with their compliance work. However, clients have genuine grievances with the issues above but they also need to reflect on their own behavior some of which would like their accountant to double job as their personal secretary. "You never told me" "How was I supposed to know" 

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
17th Feb 2015 11:21

Interesting article Mark. 

Interesting article Mark. 

I think I come out of that one not too badly, but this made me snort:

"They seem to be beholden to HMRC and always seem to focus only on complying with the tax laws and rules. It’s a conspiracy"

 So if this chap goes to the dentist he is advised to not bother brushing his teeth and eat lots of sugary stuff? A lot of what we do (and some clients really appreciate this) is to act as the angel on their shoulder.  They can listen to the devil if they like, but at least we are then in their ear now and again.  No-one likes to be told "no"

I have the odd ex-client like this. Note the "ex"

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By justsotax
17th Feb 2015 12:40

I particularly

like the contradictory nature of 7. and 10. - so you want a firm...no an individual...no a firm....etc etc. 

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Mark Lee 2017
By Mark Lee
17th Feb 2015 12:47

@justsotax

Different people want different things.....

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By TaxTeddy
17th Feb 2015 12:48

Point 4 ... oh yes

Point 4 - which essentially says "I want 24/7 access" really rings a bell. Usually it's these same clients who will moan when you charge for the time spent dealing with their stream of enquiries, and then pay late. It reminds me why I got rid of my mobile phone.

Two sides to everything, don't you think?

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By justsotax
17th Feb 2015 12:58

so we must

all hang our heads in shame then because one or the other will inevitably apply...makes a mockery of the list or at the very least the assertion that we should seek to achieve and satisfy clients on all ten points (and of course with no increase in fees to be seen).

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Man of Kent
By Kent accountant
17th Feb 2015 13:26

Choose your client's carefully

@Mark - interesting article, I can see a few (potential) PITA clients in that list - wants to know how much tax he owes a year in advance - didn't know we were supposed to predict the future!

At the same time there's plenty of valid points - slow turnaround of information, slow response to queries, not returning calls/e-mails

Shows the need to choose your client's carefully and not to be beholden to any of them.

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
17th Feb 2015 13:29

.

Whilst there is no way you can do all of the above, it does focus in my mind at least the need to be niche, and match clients to that niche.

I like clients that take an interest in their accounts. Which means I set short deadlines for ourselves, and get back quickly and ask lots of questions. I like working like that. 

Those clients would hate the "pile it high and work through it" style of working with little in the way of questions.

I tend to pick up clients who say "my accountant never asks me anything"

My clients who don't like the way I work might complain "that bloody accountant makes me spend 2 hours of my day going through the year end accounts".

Or as the ones who stay would hopefully see it "my accountant spent 2 hours going through my accounts with me on the phone, and this gives me a lot of comfort that he is taking the time to get it right".

Horses for courses, getting the match is the hard part but I can generally pick the right "type" of client who appreciates what we do and why, and why its not for everyone.  A lot of that is in the initial contact and closing down the poor fit clients from the outset. 

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Mark Lee 2017
By Mark Lee
17th Feb 2015 15:03

Defensive comments

I'm sorry @justsotax but I didn't sense any degree of unreasonableness in the points being made by the business owners I spoke with; nor do I do so on reading them back now.

I suspect that some of the frustrations may sound similar to those you have heard from clients who want a higher quality service than they are prepared to pay for. That's not always the way though. 

Some further client frustrations will become apparent in parts two and three of this series. I would urge readers to consider them objectively rather than defensively. 

Mark

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Man of Kent
By Kent accountant
17th Feb 2015 17:04

Move on

@Mark - if they're unhappy, and several of them seem to be, why haven't they changed accountants, or are they in the process of doing so?

Some of the frustrations sound like deal breakers rather than just small points.

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Mark Lee 2017
By Mark Lee
18th Feb 2015 14:35

@Kent accountant

When I started the conversations I didn't realise how many would tell me about how they had changed accountants. Some of the frustrations noted above led to the clients changing accountants - and inspired the third part of this series. Further frustrations will come out of parts two and three .

It is also the case that many people seem to be willing to stay with their accountant despite certain frustrations. They're not bad enough to warrant leaving. Or the client feels it's best to stay frustrated rather than risk moving to someone else who could charge more.  

That also explains why there is plenty of opportunity to win work by building up relationships with business owners over time. Eventually they will reocgnise that they could get a better deal , more attention and a better service from you - and that it's not that hard to switch accountants. 

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Mark Lee 2017
By Mark Lee
17th Feb 2015 18:42

weird

I don't see that any of them expect their accountants to work or to be available 24/7.

Not sure why this has become a focus point.

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Chris M
By mr. mischief
18th Feb 2015 07:12

Glad

I am glad about some of the defensive responses.  I am confident some of my local competitors would respond in a similar fashion, it makes it easy to win good quality clients from them and then keep them!

Very similar points to my own market research in 2009 before I set up my business.  I built my processes around the need not to be like the accountants mentioned in the survey, and to be seen not to be like them.

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By Jekyll and Hyde
18th Feb 2015 08:14

I have read this article 4 times now .......
.... and have cone up with different immediate answers every time.

my latest, and possibly the most accurate answer is that bookmark lee is highlighting client perception in every circumstance and not actually what happens.

If this is correct, this would be the reason for not immediately responding to client issues and sitting and reflection on such issues.

The real negative I take out of this article is why I have read it 4 times and have cone to the conclusion that I have read all 10 points and assumed that I must achieve all 10. The answer is that 10 points have cone from 10 different people and not one person. similar if you ask 10 different people to provide the most frustrating thing their solicitor, insurance broker, doctor, retail shop did you are likely to get 10 different issues. I feel that as there is not one thing constantly coming from this article that accountants frustrate entrepreneurs is perceived by me as a good thing.

What I would like to add is that I do not feel that us accountants have it completely right when it comes to the smaller business sector (cannot comment on larger business sector) and I also feel that this is largely the fault of the entrepreneur. A true entrepreneur will understand what his business needs and wants and will a point not just one accountant but 3 or 4 different accountants undertaking different roles. eg. financial control, costings, tax and financial reporting. This doesn't happen though and I do often wonder why the same accountant is used accross such a large field.

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Chris M
By mr. mischief
18th Feb 2015 08:59

Appointing more than one

I think the last paragraph of the last post is exactly right except for this bit:

"I also feel that this is largely the fault of the entrepreneur"

I am a sole practitioner.  I think there are some areas where I am really strong and where it's unlikely a client will get a better job done elsewhere, such as IR35.  But even in those areas there are aspects - such as IR35 legal review - which I would not undertake.

That's where the Oaktree preferred supplier list comes in - every client gets an update of this every 6 months, every new client gets this as one of the 6 "Day 1" items sent to new clients in their first 24 hours.

IR35 contract legal guys are on there, but so are guys like foreign currency brokers, HR specialists and so on.

A good example of how this works in practice is R&D tax credits.  The specialist on there will not normally get involved unless the tax saving is over £20k and his fees are higher than mine.  But I am perfectly capable of knocking out a 6 page R&D tax credits report which will make the cut with HMRC.

The client gets offered the choice.  And it is a similar thing on historic capital allowances claims, where the specialist will normally get involved only on £50k-plus siutations.

In this respect I think like a Finance Director for each client.  So HR issues and the like are not necessarily "not me guv".  A good FD is the main sounding board for everything an MD wants a second opinion about, across the whole business.  That is the founding principle of my business.

 

 

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Man of Kent
By Kent accountant
18th Feb 2015 10:44

24/7

@Mark - the reference to being available 24/7 probably comes from point 4:

 

"They’re not great at communicating with me and aren’t always available when I want to speak to them. I want to get them on my terms." 

There's a point (after 6/7pm?) when receiving a call/e-mail from a client gets ignored until the next working day. For most reasonable people that's acceptable.

The quote above suggests that this individual expects his accountant to be at his beck and call, based on what he wants.

 

 

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Mark Lee 2017
By Mark Lee
18th Feb 2015 14:28

24/7

Thanks @Kent and @richardgere

As you have realised, just one out of the ten interviewees mentions their accountant not always being available - and this in the context of sometimes waiting weeks or months for a response. 

I'm sorry but I don't see that this justifies the riposte:

"we cannot do the impossible and work 24/7 like some of these clients expect us to do."

As I commented earlier, it strikes me as an overly defensive stance.

Mark

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Man of Kent
By Kent accountant
18th Feb 2015 12:08

Yes

Probably overly defensive.

As far as I can see it all comes down to two things - communication and managing expectations.

Get that right and most of the issues highlighted go away.

 

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By Arabita
18th Feb 2015 15:35

Hi Mark

Thanks for a great article. 

Are you able to expand on point 10 re everything being bespoke for a one man band and the processes bit which don't simplify tasks

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Mark Lee 2017
By Mark Lee
18th Feb 2015 17:12

Hi @Arabita

Arabita wrote:

Are you able to expand on point 10 re everything being bespoke for a one man band and the processes bit which don't simplify tasks

What I think my friend found frustrating was his perception that the accountant kept reinventing the wheel on his behalf. An absence of standard forms and processes that would otherwise have provided confidence that everything that should be addressed and considered was being addressed and considered.

I don't know, but I suspect that a previous accountant (maybe in a larger firm) operated this way previously. So it's something my friend misses now he is with a sole practitioner who doesn't do that sort of thing.

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By johnjenkins
18th Feb 2015 17:15

Very interesting

article Mark. Although, it might well be, that if you asked 10 customers of your 10 business interviewees you could come up with the same answers.

Now I'm not being on the defensive, but over the last few years the small business and Accountants have had to put up with a lot of change. Don't forget an Accountants practice is also a business. So not only do we have to change our business we have to advise others on how to change theirs. Compliance is rife and causing no end of problems with the resultant penalty regime.

So, Mark, a challenge to you. Ask 10 customers of your 10 interviewees what they think. That should either alter your 3rd article or give you a fourth.

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Mark Lee 2017
By Mark Lee
18th Feb 2015 17:40

No thanks

johnjenkins wrote:

So, Mark, a challenge to you. Ask 10 customers of your 10 interviewees what they think. That should either alter your 3rd article or give you a fourth.

I'll pass thanks John. My articles, like my talks, are intended to help accountants to become more successful. I cannot see how that would be helped by arranging a comparable article re what customers think of their suppliers who happen to be clients of accountants. Plus the current article was only possible as I had so many interviewees in one place at the same time.

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By johnjenkins
19th Feb 2015 09:20

The reason

for the challenge Mark, is that your article, IMO, could be directed at 80% of business these days. However I take the point that sometimes we need a kick up the backside to keep us on track.

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By levelheaded1903
19th Feb 2015 11:17

benchmarks

A thought provoking article Mark, and I am not too defensive about the remarks, no doubt most of us could recognise ourselves in perhaps 1 or 2 of the remarks, even if that was just with 1 client - as previous posts have said, we all run our own businesses, are human and are not perfect. For me, the one area where I know I am very good is getting back to clients straight away - unless I am on holiday (and clients are told this), I get back to people on the same day. That doesn't stop some clients taking it too far though. I had 1 guy turn up on my doorstep 8pm on Christmas eve (company accounts, not due in for 4 months so hardly urgent), and another client turn up on new years day! (previous quarters vat return, wanted to get it out of the way! I had out of office reply on my email, mobile and office phone, so no excuse. The point is, even if you are giving clients a good level of service, within the areas that they themselves feel are important, some people do not see boundaries, even when told. You could have knocked me down with a feather on both occasions, and I told both that it was unacceptable to come to my home when it is out of office hours. But no apology from either. No doubt if you spoke to either of them @ après ski, they would perhaps say that I wasn't available when they needed me!

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Mark Lee 2017
By Mark Lee
19th Feb 2015 11:37

@levelheaded

Good points, well made. However none of the business people I interviewed were the sort of people I would imagine would make unreasonable demands of their accountants.

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By levelheaded1903
19th Feb 2015 12:02

unreasonable demands

I have known them both for some years now - and was surprised, as they have always seemed fairly reasonable. perhaps you are being ironic but I don't think you could possibly know the people you interviewed having just met them at a skiing resort!

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By johnjenkins
19th Feb 2015 12:04

@Mark

To be a very successful business person toes would have been trodden on and unreasonable demands made. Alan Sugar didn't get where he got without ruthlessness (some would call it "just business" others "criminal"). A lot of it goes on behind closed doors and some (like the banks) get caught.

The beauty of being in practice is that we can (to a certain extent) pick and choose who we want to do business with.

I have agricultural people turn up with books at all times (it's the trade they're in). However I allow that to happen because my business is 24/7. If you are in business and do not work for someone you have to "take on" a different level of mindset, If you start restricting yourself to 9-5 or whatever then you will have to pick your clients very carefully.

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By justsotax
19th Feb 2015 13:04

Mark my comment

wasn't defensive, I suppose I wanted to find out the context of the comments...as not all things are so black and white in reality - and no the customer is not always right....

 

The other impression I got from the list was a number of people who had an expectation that was not met.  But these are business people...did they not ask questions about the service they were going to get...did they not know the guy was a sole trade...or that the partner would not be entering his/her bank interest onto the tax return.

 

It's not that I disagree with the article but question its usefulness without context or questioning the replies more deeply than merely accepting that the accountant in question failed.

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Mark Lee 2017
By Mark Lee
19th Feb 2015 14:11

@levelheaded

I was interviewing other members of the group I travelled, stayed and skied with over the course of a week. It was my fifth time as part of this annual networking ski trip.

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Man of Kent
By Kent accountant
19th Feb 2015 14:46

Let's face it...

...we're not likely to keep everyone happy all of the time.

As long as we keep most of our client's happy most of the time, we'll be ok.

It's all about communication and managing expectations.

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By Arabita
19th Feb 2015 22:55

I reply to emails up to midnight... guess im in the minority!

Its also about managing expectations.  New client has asked me whether I would be giving monthly reports on the companys progress as previous accountant didn't. (My "unreasonable client expectations" radar went up).   I said yes of course..... and we can adjust your package to reflect the additional services you require. ..  funnily  enough he said he was happy not to proceed with the extras.

As someone on here has said before, its those client who want rolls royce service but want to pay ford k a prices that cause issues

 

 

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By Old Greying Accountant
20th Feb 2015 12:31

It is hard ...

... to turn work round quickly and be available all the time when you are a one man band

This week I have got "nothing" done (i.e. things I had scheduled) as it has been a bad week for constant phone calls, e-mails, and the worst - the ones who just turn up without letting you know first, let alone making an appointment!

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By LocalBookkeepingSupport
24th Feb 2015 12:19

forums...
Absolutely....

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By Tickers
24th Feb 2015 09:55

With all due respect, your

@localbookkeeping with all due respect, your post outlines why your accountant was frustrated with you. Depreciation???

This was your primary concern when signing off your financial statements, to the extent that you decided to go back and recalculate for the previous eight years. Did you discover that depreciation is effectively meaningless which is why your accountant was fobbing you off?

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By Michelle G
20th Feb 2015 16:05

Great article
Thanks for the insights Mark. Some of these points are similar to the feedback I receive from new clients and people I meet. Looking forward to the next instalment.

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By Hayter
20th Feb 2015 16:15

Just boils down to one thing - a failure to communicate effectively. Pretty much standard fare for accountants really.

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By johnjenkins
20th Feb 2015 16:23

@Hayter

It takes two or more to communicate. From your post it seems that you need a lesson or three in communication. 

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By johnjenkins
20th Feb 2015 16:27

@LocalBookkeepin

So now you have the knowledge, You know what they say. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Best you stick to bookkeepin.

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By Hayter
20th Feb 2015 16:28

Indeed it does. And probably explains why I am an accountant.

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By johnjenkins
20th Feb 2015 16:28

@OGA

Snap.

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By johnjenkins
20th Feb 2015 16:30

@Hayter

Practicing or otherwise?

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By Hayter
23rd Feb 2015 12:22

Practising.

@johnjenkinsPractising. I actually understand that the article does no more than articulate the clients perspective. But we all know the problem with juggling competing demands against the backdrop of finite time. For the smaller practitioner this is just par for the course. For the larger practice it will depend on how effective a partner is in securing an allocation of resources. The end result in either case is that managing the clients expectations varies wildly. Like most we just tell it like it is. If we can we'll respond instantly. If we can't we'll get back to you within 24 hours. If it's urgent send me a text but don't expect me to have sound on when I'm in a meeting. If we think it's urgent then you'll know. That still doesn't mean that clients will understand the delay. As one of the contributors recognised, some people have unreasonable expectations. We still have to manage it. If I'm a business owner, I'm not really concerned about how many competing problems my accountant has on his plate. As long as he's dealing with mine. That's just how it is.

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By johnjenkins
20th Feb 2015 16:39

Hey Mark

42 comments and growing. You seem to be hitting the right articles at long last. (It's Friday pm, don't expect anything else but sarcasm). 

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By Michael C Feltham
20th Feb 2015 19:05

Cynical Moi!

Interesting to Google these whingeing "entrepreneurs".....

I actually met Robert Craven, years ago at a Barclays Corporate bash.

The list seems big on those who have built a sort of "business" on BS......

Since the late 1980s, one has seen a raft of Marketing experts, who really know zip about what marketing, as a defined management discipline actually is! The seem to have sprung out of the 1990s epidemic and craze of networking, where loads of people sort of met, talked up a storm about business: and in point of fact, did little else.

Not one seems to mention their internal accounting function?

If they are so very successful and know so much about strategic management, then surely, one of the very first facilities they should have established, was an in-house accounts person, as they grow into needing a Finance Director?

But of course, no.

They want an accountant to do everything; including the financial thinking!

Happy to do this for them: all provided they are prepared to pay top dollar: which includes treating long rambling phone calls and emails as client conferences etc.

PwC, KPMG, et al would: as do solicitors of any decent repute and ability.

I recently raised a charge for in excess of £2,000 + VAT for email time and cost: if I am spending hours dealing with the client's problem, then strangely enough, I expect to be paid. Since expending such time bites into my billable hours and thus revenue.

The client, naturally, went ballistic: until I sent them a detailed fee time sheet and the number of emails received and sent: many of which were complex and not a couple of minutes for consideration and research time, preparation time to respond etc.

The fees invoice was included with my formal disengagement letter.........need I say more..

 

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By Jekyll and Hyde
21st Feb 2015 11:21

indeed

[quote=Michael C Feltham]

Not one seems to mention their internal accounting function?

If they are so very successful and know so much about strategic management, then surely, one of the very first facilities they should have established, was an in-house accounts person, as they grow into needing a Finance Director?

But of course, no.

They want an accountant to do everything; including the financial thinking!

[/quote}

You have hit the point I was making a couple of days ago, which is why I largely blame the entrepreneurs. It is the entrepreneurs that appoint the advisers to advise them. If they appoint the wrong ones, or indeed are not communicating on what they want, then they only have themselves to blame.

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By johnjenkins
23rd Feb 2015 11:36

You will find

that normally the entrepreneurs will decide what is to be done and the advisers have to find a way of doing it. That's why they are entrepreneurs.

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By Michael C Feltham
23rd Feb 2015 12:22

Or Alternatively..........

johnjenkins wrote:

that normally the entrepreneurs will decide what is to be done and the advisers have to find a way of doing it. That's why they are entrepreneurs.

The client explains what they have done, are going to do and plan to do........

And the adviser explains why and how:

(i)  What they have done is illegal: or,

(ii)  Has created a large tax problem:

(iii) How what they are going to do, ditto .i. and .ii. above:

(iv) What they plan to do will cause various forward problems!

This is why business plans are essential even to the smallest business and seeking advice at the same time as generating the business plan is also critical.

As I have had to explain to clients far too often to recall, Post-Event Tax Planning, etc rarely works!

And has about as much value in the real world as forecasting who will win last year's Derby.

 

 

 

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By johnjenkins
23rd Feb 2015 12:37

HMRC

do exactly the same thing. They will do something (regardless of the consequences). It all goes tits[***] up and we are left to pick up the pieces. The same goes with banks and other large institutions. Yet the small business doesn't get a receipt for a tenner and it's hell to pay.

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By Alan Davies
24th Feb 2015 17:27

Entrepreneur

To me an entrepreneur is someone who builds a business.  Many people who allowed themselves to be named in your article are not building businesses but selling their individual expertise.  This may seem a nit-picking point but these are completely different animals with different needs and expectations in my experience. 

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