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Claire Bartlett accepting client transformation award | AccountingWEB
Accounting Excellence

How to build a strong advisory relationship with clients

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Claire Bartlett, the director of Arden Bookkeeping and the winner of the 2023 client transformation award, describes how she helped an extremely stressed client feel completely in control of their business.

23rd Feb 2024
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Bartlett picked up the client transformation award at the 2023 Accounting Excellence Awards (pictured holding the award above) after sharing the story of a client who came to her after being wrongly advised by their previous accountant. After having amassed late filing penalties from HMRC, they were left feeling overwhelmed and confused about what was required of them. 

“We’ve had so many clients through the years who have been on the brink of closing their business because they’ve been overwhelmed about their legal obligations and not understanding the accounting side of their business. They just thought it was too complicated and couldn’t cope with it," said Bartlett. 

“It goes to show the weight and importance of the role accountants and bookkeepers have to play in helping those businesses. I’ve preached about it for years, but it’s all about how we educate our clients and that they understand what we’re doing for them – and that’s the difference between a bad accountant or bookkeeper and a good one.”

Bartlett will be speaking more about the power of the human touch in maintaining a strong client relationship at the Festival of Accounting & Bookkeeping (FAB), where she will be talking more about the techniques she used to help this client back from the brink. 

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Replies (4)

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By BryanS1958
27th Feb 2024 09:45

“This is my post self assessment treat to myself. I’m going to FAB..." - I'm going to go on a cruise.

I could think of nothing worse than going to listen to speakers talking about AML and 'the power of the human touch'. One day someone is going to take that literally and get arrested!

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By Nicholas185Smith
27th Feb 2024 11:41

Bartlett's first step was empathy. She understood the client's stress and confusion.

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Replying to Nicholas185Smith:
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By BryanS1958
27th Feb 2024 12:05

I would hope that most accountants do that; we are used to assisting clients with matters that cause them stress and confusion.

As humans most of us don't need to go to a FAB and groovy event to be lectured on how to do this. Nor do we want to be lectured about AML and MTD ITSA. A cruise seems preferable:-)

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By Mr J Andrews
27th Feb 2024 17:01

Yes - hopefully this is what most of us do. Sadly but fortunately it's the odd few ''....former accountants....'' that initiate the problems as in this particular instance. One wonders what sort of practice he / she operated.
Apart from a satisfied client , the savings obtained by working with HMRC { normally an oxymoronic thought } has proved a nice little earner.
I've never heard of a ''client transformation award'' before. Considering the synonyms for ''transformation'', other thoughts spring to mind.

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